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Group Fitness on the Socially Distanced Cardio Floor

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During the extended closures, your team of trainers and instructors took initiative and adapted their programming to a virtual platform. However, virtual offerings are truly lacking a core driver of the success of group fitness: the social experience.

If local regulations are affecting the reopening of your group fitness classes, you are most likely seeking creative ways to still deliver on the experience members crave. Circuit training in enclosed studios is limited. Group fitness in your cardio area brings short and long-term advantages for your members and your bottom line.

To implement a new offering amidst distancing requirements and limited capacities, here’s how you can optimize the use of your cardio floor to safely provide a sense of community when it’s more important than ever before:

Motivating (and Safe) Social Fitness 

Contrary to a group fitness class where participants need guidance from instructors leading movements on stage, a class on the cardio floor using pre-programmed workouts on your equipment streamlines the instruction. Participants don’t need direct coaching, as the adjustments during the workout — speed, incline and resistance — change automatically with the programming. This allows the instructors to motivate the class while still complying with distancing.

To ease participants’ worries about cleanliness of the equipment, encourage your instructors to manage the cleaning procedures on the cardio floor both before and after the class, whether the instructor sanitizes the pieces themselves or if they enlist staff to help. If participants see your staff taking the extra precautions, they are more likely to be comfortable interacting with equipment.

Minimal Equipment Interaction and Preparation

Differing from circuit training where participants rotate to several stations throughout the class, the instructor hosting a cardio floor class can advise participants to stay on a solo piece of equipment during a HIIT-style workout, for example. This helps with minimal equipment interaction, reducing touch points across the club to give participants the personal autonomy to practice safety.

In the case that your reopening strategy includes your cardio floor, you’ve already prepped the equipment on the floor per local distancing requirements to set up the space for your general member base. While other group fitness classes had to adjust to a limited capacity, some transitioning to bigger spaces, i.e. a basketball court or an outdoor space, there is still an in-club option on spaced out cardio machines. 

If your scheduled classes are getting close to or reaching the modified capacity, you can offer an alternative class on the cardio floor for overflow during that time. That way, you are still delivering on social fitness and offering a structured workout.

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Eric Vahey

Eric Vahey is a connected solutions specialist at Matrix Fitness and can be reached at eric.vahey@matrixfitness.com.

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