Small group training (SGT) remains very popular today because it is a win-win: exercisers get a value for personal training sessions, trainers earn a higher rate and health clubs generate more revenue. SGT workouts typically emphasize strength training, functional exercises or circuit routines in a functional training area, the gym or the weight room. Historically, the cardio floor has been limited to clients warming up briefly with their trainers, or where exercisers slog it out on their own.
With new cardiovascular equipment and programming, health clubs now have an opportunity to generate additional personal training revenue from the cardio floor. While traditional cardiovascular equipment is designed to be user-friendly, some machines are best used with a trainer’s instruction, thereby providing additional workout options and profit centers. Exercisers also benefit from greater variety, which can stimulate motivation and results.
Personal trainers can use these specialty modalities for sessions with clients, or can lead a SGT class if ample machines are available. Clubs can promote personal training with free demos on the floor to pique member curiosity and promote the value of cross training and varying regimens.
Profitable Equipment Options
Of course, all machines don’t require a personal trainer supervising every workout. However, consider new training opportunities with novel equipment and programs:
1. Sleds, HIIT trainers and non-motorized treadmills: These machines are ideal for building stamina, speed and power, but may not attract usage without proper instruction and supervision. Ideal for athletes, these low-tech, high intensity products can be used with regular exercisers as well.
2. Rowing machines: Typically easy to use, rowers on their own may have exercisers default to steady-state cardio — often with poor form/technique. Why not punch it up with a trainer-directed, highly motivating HIIT workout for an individual or small group?
3. Upper-body ergometers (UBE): Although often overlooked, UBEs can deliver effective workouts for those who may have limited mobility or an injury in their lower body. Like rowers, however, UBEs don’t inspire creativity and inspiration, which is what a trainer provides.
4. Ellipticals, cross trainers and alternate motion machine: Some of these machines incorporate programs that add intervals, strength work and different motions, which can be more effective if led by a trainer, who can offer regressions and progressions and track performance to stimulate results over time.
5. Vibration platforms: While technically not cardio pieces, vibration units are not intuitive and ideally should be supervised to ensure safe and effective usage, whether exercisers are performing strength training, plyometrics, balance moves or flexibility work.
Clubs seeking new revenue avenues should capitalize on some of these unique products that can generate excitement, drive membership sales, improve retention and deliver valuable results. With instruction, these units can monetize the cardio floor and pay significant ROI.