Fitness equipment is as big a part of your club experience as your facility design, classes and staff. While factors like available space and layout usually drive your choices in equipment, you can leverage the popularity of specific machines or brands to enhance members’ experiences.
The most important step is identifying what equipment members most commonly seek out. An evolving technological landscape in the industry has resulted in fitness equipment with a myriad of digital features, and these pieces tend to be favorites of members.
“[Equipment] should be able to not only do the exercise it is intended for, but also have customizable features — plug into the user’s phone, access Netflix, and do anything else that can distract them from their workout,” said Noah Hastay, the operations manager at Gainesville Health & Fitness.
According to Hastay, many consumers prefer equipment that allows them to participate in guided workouts without actually going to a class. “Virtual classes integrated into cardio equipment are very popular,” he noted.
While popular equipment can provide a boost to your members’ experiences, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. It can be tempting to experiment with a lot of trending pieces you see, but consistency will benefit your club in the long run.
“Having 25 different types of cardio pieces isn’t always a good thing,” advised Hastay. “Do you like going out to eat and having to pick from 25 things on the menu? Not to mention, the member then has to learn to operate each piece. And if you only have two to three of each, chances are they can’t get their workout in because someone else is using it.”
Demonstrating great care in maintaining and quickly repairing your fitness equipment is another way to enhance the club experience. Your members will appreciate when you increase their chances of getting that workout in on a daily basis.
“Know what the maintenance and cleaning procedures are for equipment, especially if it is a new piece to the industry,” said Hastay. “Also, having spare or replacement parts readily available for next day shipping is essential to keep unnecessary inventory and turnaround time on broken equipment to a minimum.”
By treating your fitness equipment as an essential part of the member experience, you’ll take your club to new levels of success. The key is confidence in knowing what your members want and delivering it.
“Be decisive, try and stick to two to three reputable brands, and give your customer a consistent product,” said Hastay.