This month we sat down with Sara Kooperman, the CEO of SCW Fitness Education and WATERinMOTION, to discuss Group X trends in a COVID-19 world.
What are you seeing from your perspective that is currently trending in Group X ?
Currently trending in group exercise is anything related to functional training. Using bodyweight, simple tubes and multi-joint exercises seem to be the most successful. As far as programming, the favorite sessions tend to be active aging sessions. It used to be HIIT training, but this has taken a backseat to core training and mind/body exercises such as yoga, Pilates, recovery and meditation.
Another program alternative that has seen success is aquatic exercise. According to the CDC, pool chemicals have six times the strength to kill the coronavirus and therefore many fitness professionals feel safer to workout in these areas. Members also feel more comfortable both physically and emotionally in this space.
Some operators are struggling to reengage members into Group X post-COVID. What advice can you offer ?
Members hesitate to go into the facility as they are worried about the way the club was set up before pandemic closures. They are worried about crowding. This means business owners must provide current photos of social distanced exercise programs going on in their facilities. Emails, text messages and social media posts emphasizing safety and cleanliness are key.
What is key to successfully offering Group X post-COVID?
The key to successfully offering Group X post-COVID is to figure out how to offer hybrid programming. Think about developing strategies for maximizing your instructors’ talents. Think about adding a second instructor to do the filming, or have one of your managers take one or two hours away from their computers to do this valuable task. I would recommend sending your instructors through a certification course on virtual training. Paying an instructor for an hour and having them reach both live members and at-home members doubles the number of clients you are connecting with.
Is there anything else on Group X you’d like to share that clubs would benefit from?
Group fitness instructors are leaders and are constantly telling people what to do. Your members follow them. If your instructors go out on their own and start teaching on Facebook Live or on YouTube or another platform, you may lose them permanently. Get them connected to your facility and make sure they come back as soon as possible, even if it is only on a limited basis.
To learn more about Sara Kooperman and her leadership journey, connect with her on LinkedIn.