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The fitness industry is evolving every day. Whether it’s the newest innovation in wearable technology or the latest generation of equipment, the opportunities and advancements keep coming. Unfortunately for facilities though, challenges also continue. Owners and operators are constantly working to stay on top of current industry trends, keep members engaged, and remain profitable in an increasingly competitive landscape.
Fortunately, changes also bring opportunity. Take virtual fitness programming for example. The benefits for fitness clubs and gyms are well known. Virtual classes allow clubs to optimize facility usage across all hours of operation. Instead of your group fitness studio sitting there unused, classes can be held during off peak hours to encourage participation from those members who may not be able to make the regularly scheduled classes. When an instructor has a last-minute emergency and cannot make it to the gym to teach, virtual fitness allows you to still provide a workout to those members who came and are ready to sweat.
Virtual programming also creates a low-risk environment that can be more welcoming to a new gym-goer than a live class. And it has been proven that virtual classes lead to live classes. Research shows a 12% increase in live class attendance when facilities also run virtual workouts. And with group exercisers being 26% less likely to cancel memberships than gym-only goers, getting members into group exercise is a big step towards solving the ever-present issue of member retention.
The value of virtual fitness programming for clubs shouldn’t be understated, and neither should its potential impact on the future of fitness be underestimated.
Around the world, virtual exercise has increased exponentially. Today, it is estimated that more than 12,000 clubs offer some sort of virtual offering to members. However, for many clubs it’s an offering, not a solution. It’s virtual fitness in nascent form, with many providers struggling with the technological aspects — projectors or screens, set-up and scheduling.
However, it’s worth remembering that the needs of members will change quickly, and that their expectations around quality of content and delivery will change faster. In a world where Netflix has revolutionized the ways we watch TV, and high quality original content is the holy grail, clubs can expect their members to become increasingly discerning about how and where they work out.
Many industry leaders share the sentiment that in the future it will be a club’s ability to consistently provide high quality, highly experiential content that will determine its success. So now is the time. The benefits for your facility are clear. Explore and experience virtual fitness for yourself and reap the rewards of being on the forefront of the future of fitness.
Les Mills delivers a variety of group fitness classes that provide cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training for your members. Fresh class content is provided every three months to motivate and support engagement of both instructors and members which in turn reduces the attrition rate of your members. Our tried-and-tested group exercise classes deliver real physical results. Learn more about the tools and resources you need to improve your members’ experiences in their workouts, in the group studio and across the entire facility—all of which contribute to increased member engagement and retention. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 844-LES-MILLS.