Have you invested in bringing group fitness and/or group training into your facility? If not, you should seriously consider it. According to industry trends, group training continues to dominate as a powerhouse program for clubs and facilities with considerable ROI and the best part is it shows no signs of slowing down.
The American College of Sports Medicine placed group training at the No. 2 spot on their list of top 20 worldwide fitness trends for 2019. Because of this, smart big box facilities and small boutique gyms alike are acting on this demand for social fitness experiences and have looked to group training as a means of attracting budget-conscious consumers.
International programming company Les Mills further punctuates the importance of group fitness. Their research found 60% of members decide to join a gym based on group fitness offerings, and those who participate in classes are 26% less likely to quit.
According to IHRSA, “Group exercise programs are frequently an overlooked aspect of running a successful fitness facility. When managed properly, they can increase revenue, referrals and member retention, as well as be a key element to overall success.”
So, if you’re thinking about taking the plunge, here are three ways to make sure you develop a winning program:
Creating a successful, sustainable and effective program takes a lot of work, time, research and subject matter expertise — something many clubs lack in-house. The good news is there are plenty of pre-made options out there with the turn-key trainer education to support them.
This not only takes the guesswork out of creating a great program design, but it ensures all your trainers are delivering the same message, able to deliver an amazing experience, and most of all, when that special instructor leaves, they won’t take their programming (and your members) with them.
Even more, most of these turn-key programming solutions are refreshed on an ongoing basis to keep your members engaged. They also include things like marketing support, playlists, launch guides and all the ingredients that go into an awesome experience for your members.
In the same way learning from experts can boost your group fitness know-how, it’s also a good idea to partner with known brands and industry leaders — as the equity and demand is already baked in.
We already know consumers seek out specific brands because they know what to expect from them — it’s why a brand like Apple continues to dominate the tech world. Loading your schedule with classes and programs featuring brands and modalities members (and potential members) recognize and like will give your gym an instant boost in credibility, perceived quality and membership acquisition.
There are plenty of programming offerings out there vying for customer attention, but programming alone often isn’t enough. You can have the best programming in the world, but if the coach can’t deliver, the program will fall flat.
One of the best ways to set yourself apart from the competition is to make sure your coaches and teachers have the knowledge and skills necessary to stand up in front of a group and lead memorable, effective and safe sessions. Learning from education providers who have identified and established the key coaching protocols will save you time, stress and money in the long run, plus it will get all your coaches and instructors speaking the same language.
Similarly, as stated previously, there’s nothing worse than having that rock star trainer leave your facility and take your members (and their amazing programs) with them.
All in all, it’s safe to say group training is a fitness juggernaut that can lead to increased retention and sales. In order to stay relevant and successful, it might be time to consider adding group fitness to your menu of services.
Nick Vay is the vice president of sales at TRX. To learn more about TRX, visit trxtraining.com.