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Programming directors, whether group fitness or personal training, aspire to hire and retain a staff of fitness professionals who are driven, knowledgeable and consistently deliver safe and effective workouts. When directors stop looking at group fitness and personal training as separate entities and start creating synergy between the two genres, the dream of satisfying the fitness needs of members and the fiscal needs of the company becomes a reality.
Whether you oversee one or both departments, “bridging the gap” between group fitness and personal training is the key to creating member culture, increasing member engagement and improving member retention. After all, it’s the cross-over clients that not only see the greatest results, but account for a major portion of all revenue. For example, the group fitness participant who also invests in personal training.
So, how do you create synergy between these two critical departments? Dual certification. You hire fitness professionals who are not only personal trainers, but certified group fitness instructors as well, and vice versa. You encourage and maybe even sponsor your current employees to pursue dual certification. Successful fitness professionals realize that longevity in this industry requires the continual pursuit of education. Driven employees will be more than willing to invest the time and effort in multiple certifications if it means a path towards full-time work.
If dual certification is not a possibility, require all personal training staff members to shadow a group fitness instructor and have each group fitness instructor participate in a personal training session as part of their annual competence review. After all, having an appreciation for the “other” department goes a long way.
Ultimately, creating synergy between these two previously separate departments will help you increase group fitness attendance, grow personal training revenue and retain members, as well as fitness professionals; all of which positively affect the bottom line.
Paul Brones is the regional training director of Tilton Fitness & Wellness.