An important consideration when assessing technology to optimize conversion, personal training sales onboarding, and training programs is appreciating that one component of fitness cannot tell the entire story. In the same way that knowing your car has great brakes tells you nothing about how good the acceleration is, a person who appears strong and lean does not necessarily move better than someone with lower levels.
In fact, only a weak relationship between fitness and movement quality is demonstrated in published literature. One way to ensure a combination of high-quality movement and high fitness levels — and stimulate membership and training revenue — is to incorporate valid, reliable and actionable movement assessments into client onboarding and training programs.
Traditionally, cardiovascular power and endurance, muscular strength, and body composition have been considered desirable qualities to define fitness and improved quality of life. While it’s great — and fun — to have a big bench press and an eight-pack, these traits don’t necessarily promote functional longevity and sustainability. What good is a big bench press if you can’t reach overhead to place an item on a shelf? Functional training and functional fitness, by definition, are qualities that transfer to different areas of recreation, job-related tasks and activities of daily living.
Good movement quality improves efficiency, decreases wear and tear on the body’s moving parts, and makes us resilient to aches and pains.
In order to promote quality movement, we need to assess it. Unfortunately, measuring and evaluating movement quality has not been an easy feat. Many standardized movement tests fail us because they aren’t accurate or individualized.
Oftentimes, these tests do not accept that we all move differently and/or respond differently to injury or pain. Plus, our movement systems rapidly adapt — positively or negatively — which means our needs may change frequently, depending on the state of one or more of our body’s systems on a given day or time. Movement screening can also take time to administer, which may limit our ability to retest and determine progressions.
While assessing movement can be challenging, accessibility to technology helps us instantly analyze an individual’s movement capacity and provide immediate solutions for improved performance. Assessment tech allows you to capture baseline scores and track changes over time. This makes it easier for the trainer to develop effective programs, and for the client to experience increased buy-in and loyalty because they get real-time information about how the programs impact his or her success potential.
Greater success potential means improved client and member acquisition, retention and sales. Many studio owners report cash flow increases after installing assessment systems in their facilities — they’ve used them as standalone profit centers, service add-ons and marketing tools to convert members.
It’s a win-win. Members find real results thanks to better quality assessments, and training programs and studios reap the rewards of a happy, committed and sustainable member base.
Chris Frankel, PhD(c) is head of human performance for TRX and has been with the company for more than 10 years. He has more than 35 years of experience in the human performance field as a strength and conditioning coach, sport and exercise scientist, professor at undergraduate and graduate levels, and consultant to professional and collegiate sports teams. Prior to TRX, Frankel was an instructor in the health, exercise and sports science department of the University of New Mexico. Frankel continues to coach, teach and conduct research in the areas of strength training, cardiovascular/aerobic fitness, movement analysis, fitness assessment and injury prevention.