Operations: Don’t Overlook Self-Powered Cardio Equipment
If capitalizing on the ever-growing popularity of small group, team and semi-private training is one of your club’s goals for the New Year, then now is the time to rethink your facility’s cardiovascular equipment selection and purpose.
At Hive Lifespan Center we view ourselves as an active case study for integrating effective, evidence-based personal training programming in various formats and subsequent price points. As we continue to successfully execute and evolve these formats, we have identified the importance of embracing a programming philosophy that views strength and cardio training as inclusive of one another.
The “cardio deck” has had its day in the limelight. For 2016, think strategically-placed equipment pods of varying sizes and make-ups.
Category No. 1: Metabolic Intervals
This category will be used primarily in semi-private (2-4 clients) or team plus (6-8 clients) training sessions as a tool for metabolic intervals. Think modularity of design when envisioning layouts. These pieces require portability, immediate start-up, provide basic feedback and create a difficult perceived exertion in a short period of time.
* Run, Squat, Run! We love the idea of placing a Woodway Curve or two close to your squat racks to create a killer power circuit.
- Stairmaster AirFit
- Concept 2 Rower
- Woodway Curve
- Jacobs Ladder
The sky is the limit with how these pieces can be integrated. Some of our favorites include Ride & Glide, utilizing indoor cycling bikes and the Total Gym GTS; Bikes & Battle Ropes; and even taking the show on the road with flash workouts at local businesses in your community.
Category No. 2: Authentic with Feedback
Equipment in this category is ideal for small group sessions (8-12) that are programmed for endurance training and conditioning. Entertainment is not recommended on this equipment. Exercise feedback combined with an authentic experience is the most important feature when considering what models to select. Wireless heart rate is a must, but ANT+ connectivity is preferred.
*Resist Temptation! Heart Rate and Wattage training zones can be challenging to communicate to members. Be careful not to abandon science and simply use it as a tool to get clients fixated on calories burned.
- Stages SC3 or WattBike
- Treadmills with ANT+ connectivity (Woodway)
- StairMaster FreeClimber
- Octane Elliptical
Here, we pull our inspiration from successful studios across the country including Barry’s Bootcamp, Mile High Run Club in NYC, Rise Nation and Soul Cycle. Keep in mind, we are using these studios to fuel programming ideas, not simply mimicking the size and experience.
Category No. 3: All The Bells and Whistles
This is where you can wow members with technology and innovative equipment models. Exercisers in this category are looking for an exclusive experience that includes entertainment, smart phone connectivity, built-in programs and heart rate. Steady-state cardio will tend to be the norm with this group, however if the layout of certain pieces (ie: Gauntlet) is carefully thought-out, then they too can be utilized as excellent interval tools.
*Don’t Neglect the Senior Population! Include a SciFit REX or UBE in your club cardio package to ensure there is an option for every client, regardless of age or exercise restrictions.
As club owners, we have all built great relationships and have loyalty toward certain brands. When it comes to choosing equipment in this category, we encourage you to not abandon these relationships, but rather choose as many models as possible from one manufacturer in an effort to provide a seamless member experience.
- Upright Bikes, Recumbent Bikes
- Treadmills & Ellipticals
- LifeFitness FlexStrider, Precor AMT
- Star Trac TreadClimber
- Octane Lateral Elliptical
- StairMaster Gauntlet
Have fun and get creative. Each category lends itself well to competitive club challenges both short and long. Think Jacobs Ladder Mt. Everest Challenge, rowing the English Channel or Stages 60 second watt challenge.
So this year when you hit the IHRSA trade show floor to check out the latest industry cardiovascular equipment offerings, keep an eye out for some old favorites that have had new life breathed into them, not by technology but rather by our expanding understanding of training science, exercise programming and client integration.
Chris Salisbury is the founder Hive Lifespan Center. For more information he can be reached at email@example.com.