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Group X: Tips for Competing with Boutiques

Group X

With boutiques on the rise, clubs are strategizing ways for their Group X programs to compete. With this in mind, Karen Ryan, the Group X manager for the 13-location The Edge Fitness Clubs, shares strategies for differentiating from boutiques and engaging with members.

CS: How does The Edge Fitness Clubs compete with boutiques?

KM: We understand people have options when choosing boutique-style classes, so we’ve designed the Edge Group X to be a one-stop-shop for all our members’ needs. The Edge Fitness Clubs offers a wide variety of fitness classes, from strength and cardio to mind-body. With more than 800 classes per week at each of our locations, it’s easy to find a class for any schedule. ​Our certified instructors bring their years of qualified experience to our state-of-the-art EDGE studios featuring only the most up-to-date equipment. Our classes are taught in an intense, upbeat and motivating atmosphere and are always well attended, with 30 attendees or more in each class.

CS: How do you attract and retain members?

KM: To attract and keep our members coming back for more classes, we offer competitive rates. [In addition we use] ClubConnect, a software service company with more than 35 years in the fitness industry, [which] is designed for trainers to track clients’ progress, design customize workouts and more. Members who join Group X are gifted a membership to ClubConnect.

CS: How long have you been using ClubConnect for Group X, and what issues or problems has it helped solve?

KM: The Edge Fitness Clubs has been using ClubConnect for our Group X exercise classes for two years. From a management level, it allows our team to track our instructors’ certifications and ensure they are up-to-date. We also offer our instructors at The Edge Fitness Clubs in-house training and certifications online, which provides added ease and accessibility.

This software provides accountability for certifications. With 13 locations already in Connecticut and our expansion into New Jersey, it allows our team to keep track and ensure all our Group X instructors are current with their certifications and training. ClubConnect is also a valuable tool for in-house training and class programming.

CS: What benefits does ClubConnect provide to the members? 

KM: While this software is specifically designed for our instructors, members can enjoy customized workouts designed by their personal trainers. The software includes 1,300 videos and lets our trainers tailor workouts to specifically address their clients’ unique and individual needs.

CS: What do members love about Group X at The Edge?  

KM: We continue to receive feedback that The Edge Fitness Clubs fosters a positive environment and is a supportive community for those looking to make changes in their lives. Whether it’s coming from their trainers or peers, our members are always encouraged by positive reinforcement. We see the camaraderie and friendships formed, and have been told these relationships extend past the treadmills to evenings out and more.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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