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We are only about 10 weeks away from the busiest time of the year for health clubs. Now is the time to start drafting a plan on how to differentiate your facility from all the others, both now and in the future. Not to mention the fact that your small group training (SGT) outdoor boot camps will have to start making their way inside to avoid the cold temperatures.
Start preparing for the New Year and the increase in small group training attendance by identifying a space in your facility that will not only add value to your location, but also generate revenue year around.
How much space? That is a great question. For small groups of four to six people plus a coach, 20 feet by 20 feet would be the minimum. Then use that as a scale to measure against if you intend on hosting larger groups.
Also, remember to consider your entire facility, not just existing open space. Rearranging your current set up to create this area will start the buzz that something new is coming. Don’t simply consider dusty, unused corner spaces — think about space that is out in the open and easily visible to the cardio deck and to those touring your facility. These SGT sessions will create a ton of energy that can be infectious and motivating.
Once you have identified your “revenue room,” build out your space by starting from the ground up. Pick out a different type of flooring so that your members will quickly be able to identify its significance. Try turf or reinforced rubber flooring that can stand up to the hard HIIT-ing (pun intended) sessions that will take place there. Also, think about installing a digital wall clock or timer that your trainers can use to time out each circuit or tabata set.
Your designated functional SGT space wouldn’t be complete without its own set of unique equipment and accessories. Battle ropes, medicine balls, kettlebells and slam balls are all great tools to start with. If you already have the staples, consider adding a few new unique pieces such as the Core Hammer, or the BOSU Elite, to take your SGT sessions to the next level of performance and excitement for your participants.
Depending on the size and location of your space, you may also want to add a few premium pull-up bars lined up side-by-side along the wall that can double as suspension trainer anchors. Make sure you hang them at least 8 feet off the floor. You’ll want to make sure there is at least 4 feet above the pull-up bar if you want your participants to have enough room to work on their muscle ups. If you have a larger, open space, a fitness rig is a great multi-purpose piece that can be used for suspension training, modified push-ups, pull-ups, dips and so much more.
Finally, don’t forget to maximize your new functional training space by adding storage. A 3-tier mega medicine ball rack is perfect for this space, as it will hold any ball 10 pounds and up.
Now is the time. The New Year will be here before you know it. Take some time this fall to look around your facility and see how you can maximize your space, your member experience and your revenue stream.
Elisabeth Fouts is Power Systems’ education and trade show coordinator. She has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, is certified in and actively teaches four Les Mills group fitness programs, and serves as a PowerWave Senior Coach. For more information visit power-systems.com.