An Educational Priority
Everyone wants to keep their Group X programming fresh, providing members with exciting new formats that are not only fun, but that challenge their bodies. A little over a year ago, Sport&Health ramped up its Group X programming by incorporating the ActivMotion Bar. The ActivMotion Bar resembles a body bar, but is hollow and filled with steal ball bearings that shift gently back and forth when moved in any direction.
“The concept is active resistance. So instead of being static in nature, ActivMotion Bars have resistance that is moving,” said Derek Mikulski, the inventor of ActivMotion Bar. “There are so many elements of innovation and creativity that can be involved with the programming. The benefits to a club is obviously being able to distinguish their offering and provide something new.”
However, regardless of how fun and exciting a format maybe, the success of the program comes down to the instructors. In order to ensure all instructors and trainers are knowledgeable about the ActivMotion Bar, Sport&Health made a significant investment in education.
“Aside from purchasing the product for Group X programming, they invested in getting all of their group fitness instructors and personal trainers educated on the ActivMotion Bar,” added Mikulski. “Everyone always talks about the importance of education and I feel like US Fitness Holdings and Sport&Health took it a step further. Instead of having instructors pay for the education, they are allowing them to get certified for free.”
The eight-hour ActivMotion training and certification process walks instructors through all details of the equipment. “First we introduce the product and spend time going over how it was built,” said Mikulski. “Getting a sound understanding of the product itself helps instructors explain the concept to their clients. Then we have a simple five-step system in cuing exercises, so we cover that.”
The training process also covers exercise science concepts in order to provide the rational behind incorporating the ActivMotion Bar into programming. “One of the biggest problems with education today is we are not telling fitness professionals why we are programming this way, why we are using this active resistance and the effects it has on the mind and body,” he explained. “We spend a lot of time covering that so they can articulate the benefits to members and be more passionate when they are teaching.”
Finally, the training ends with a teach-back session, where instructors have the opportunity to run through a class. “Everyone is required to go in front of the group and teach back some exercises,” said Mikulski. “I think that kinesthetic learning experience is the best, so we spend a pretty good amount of time on that as well.”
So, the next time you add a new product or format into the Group X schedule, consider how you can make education a priority.