Innovation is motivation in the fitness industry. And delivering encompassing, exceptional fitness experiences for your members requires a strong understanding of what they want from their workouts.
Convenience is crucial for consumers, according to Megan Gibson, the fitness and wellness director at the Bill Bartley Family YMCA in Wichita Falls, Texas. “In the past five years, people have more often wanted quick and convenient,” she said. “Create a one-stop shop when it comes to health and wellness.”
To help create this one-stop shop, make sure you design a space that delivers a wide array of programming while not disrupting other offerings you already have in place.
“Making sure the room flows with all the products is very important — in our space we were able to offer three different feels in one large space,” said Gibson. “We offer suspension training, turf and modalities used in HIIT training.”
And while HIIT classes are a priority at the Bill Bartley Y, other types of exercises will be popular among different fitness facilities. It’s important to know which workouts resonate most with your members.
“The programing behind a facility is probably most important,” said Gibson. “Implement programs that fit within your mission and values as a facility. Having a vision far beyond what is currently available is the key to maximizing your income per square foot.”
Accessibility is crucial for the one-stop shop concept, as it helps bring a wider variety of members through your doors and serves as a great culture boost. Fitness programs for children, families and seniors are becoming more popular, so your programming should cater to those populations as well.
“Create a space that allows you to hit all age ranges,” advised Gibson. “If a child can be active and involved at the same time the parent is, it’s a win-win. This also allows families to feel as though they are participating in something together.”
Before you begin building or renovating a fitness space, the most important step is to envision the desired outcomes. “Create a vision prior to creating a new space, especially when actually implementing anything that comes with a cost,” said Gibson. “Not having a vision of how you want to appeal to your audience can affect your potential for growth, and pieces of equipment in your facility will ultimately become a coat rack.”
With the proper planning to create a one-stop shop, you should be able to repurpose unused spaces and update your club to deliver newer, more engaging workouts. The end goal should be delivering a great experience to a wide array of members — but a welcome side effect will be growth for your club.
“You want to create a space that isn’t just a ‘wow’ factor, but allows a coach to create an experience for each and everyone who walks into the room,” said Gibson. “Be deliberate, have a vision and focus on your mission.”