How can you cater to all of the members in your club — the beginners, the moderate exercisers, the athletes and those with injuries or limitations? There’s no one-size-fits-all workout plan, and it’s important to have a diverse staff with different areas of expertise to ensure each member is getting their optimal workout.
Michele Melkerson-Granryd, the general manager at BB Fitness Studios, said to achieve that ideal, it’s important to make sure you don’t hire a group of trainers who all have the same niche. “You have to make sure that if your membership is diverse, that your staff is diverse,” said Melkerson-Granryd. “Any time you have different ages in a club, you’re never going to have a homogenous population in anything you do, so we have to be able to individualize.”
So, how can you individualize? Melkerson-Granryd recommends offering alternative workouts and other options and modifications. “Each person is an individual, so even in a class setting, I think it’s important to let people know that it’s OK to make modifications, or to say that it doesn’t feel good, and to ask what they can do instead,” she added. “Whether it’s a trainer or an instructor, our job is to motivate, to educate and to lead … but also to be aware and to notice when people are having difficulty in a certain movement.”
Along with a diverse staff, Melkerson-Granryd finds it important to have a diverse schedule. “The person who’s focused on high intensity training, they’re maybe not going to go to a restorative yoga class, whether they need it or not,” she said. “So, you have to provide opportunities in what they will be interested in.”
She also finds it important to educate members by providing opportunities for education. “It’s important for them to learn why some of those less intense workouts are as valuable as the intense workouts — they need to understand the reasons behind that. I think something like MYZONE or a heart-rate training program helps educate people on where they should be training and the need for training in different zones, not just high intensity.”
Michele’s Expert Advice: Provide all of your members with the tools and resources they need. “That’s your equipment. That’s your class offerings. You need enough variety so that they can find what they want, and make sure it’s fun. Because it doesn’t matter how intense it is, if they don’t like what they’re doing, they’re not going to come back.”