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The Ins and Outs of Water Massage Offerings

water massage

Relaxation and recovery are trending in the industry, making post-workout offerings critical for the member experience. If you’re looking for a way to enhance your recovery offerings, it’s worth taking a look at water massage beds.

“We’re always on the lookout for the latest fitness trends and additional amenities in an effort to bring the best to our markets at the best value,” said Sammi Soliven, the director of club experience at In-Shape Health Clubs. “Our aqua beds are just one example of how we’ve done that throughout the years.”

At In-Shape, recovery has been a major focus, and water massage beds play a big role in that initiative. “We provide a full-service offering where you can come to workout and sweat or relax and recover,” said Soliven. “For over five years our aqua beds have helped us accomplish this goal with an easy-to-implement massage service that complements our saunas, hot tubs and massage chairs.”

Chuze Fitness has found success offering water massage services for well over a decade, and has seen them become a viable source of additional revenue.

“We have included HydroMassage beds in our offering since our inception in 2008,” said Nick Barshick, co-founder and COO of Chuze Fitness. “They add tremendous value to our upper-level membership plans.”

An important early decision for implementing water massage is the placement of the actual beds in the club. There are pretty much two placement options — private spaces or open spaces — and the bed placement depends on your club’s layout and members’ preferences.

“We create semi-private spaces where it is quiet enough that our members using the aqua massage beds can really relax,” said Soliven. “They’re also usually close to the [regular] massage chairs.”

Chuze has experience with both setups. “We used to place HydroMassage beds in individual rooms — our original clubs are still set up this way,” said Barshick. “We now build HydroMassage lounges with spa-like design features in a relaxing setting, and usage has only increased over time as a result.”

According to Soliven, there are three operational factors to consider when adding water massage beds to your club, including acoustics, venting and power.

“They can be noisy, so the challenge is to find a spot that doesn’t amplify the noise or disturb other areas of the club,” said Soliven. “There are also minimum HVAC requirements for venting and exhaust that are really important to prevent overheating, and the beds don’t have the standard voltage requirements. But once we solved for these factors, the install went smoothly.”

Helping members relax and recover after grueling workouts is the main focus of water massage beds, regardless of bed placement or any operational challenges.

“We want our members to be happy, fit and healthy and that looks different for different people,” said Soliven. “We love offering our members a post-workout tool to release tight muscles and serve as a cool down prior to leaving the gym.”

And if you’re on the fence about adding water massage beds to your facility, they’re worth considering for two simple reasons, according to Barshick. “Members love them, and they can generate revenue,” he said.

Bobby Dyer

Bobby is the former assistant editor of Club Solutions Magazine.

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