Rebecca Cofod, the functional training solutions director at Matrix Fitness, shares how to properly maximize your functional training space.
Over the past few years, multi-purpose functional training spaces in health clubs have gained popularity. Members are now eager to return to their clubs with renewed interest in living a healthy lifestyle and reconnecting with others after the extended social isolation brought on by COVID restrictions. For those members who feel comfortable, participating in group activities will afford them both physical and social benefits.
If you are crafting a functional training zone for the first time, or reintroducing an existing area, you will want to start by defining your goals for the space. If one of your goals is to drive revenue with group or personal training, you will want to consider pricing models, which could range from tiered membership to multi-class packages and drop-in class offerings. If you offer group training programs for community-building and retention, you have the option to promote sessions as a member amenity at no additional fee.
There are several types of training to choose from to fill your timetable for usage of your functional training space; these include large group, small group, 1:1 personal training and self-service offerings for members during times where assisted exercise is not being offered. You can create a space that accommodates your choice of all, some or one of the training styles. Implementing multiple types of programming using the same equipment helps you to serve a multiple demographics throughout the day.
To ensure that members are able to maximize the benefits of your functional training zone, balance the mix of equipment made for strength and flexibility exercises, as well as cardio. Installing user-friendly, functional equipment that targets multiple muscle groups and exercise modalities will make this a favorite spot for trainers working with clients one on one and in groups.
Designing an attractive training zone is also important to draw member attention. If the area is offset and separated from your other offerings, differentiate the aesthetics to provide a unique and exclusive experience for participants, while still considering the importance of presenting an organized space.
Once you are ready to establish a launch plan, you will want to choose a champion to plan and promote your offering. This person/team will need to define the pricing model, determine the registration system, and plan class schedules and demo plans. As you market the sessions to your members, promote the benefits of working out with a group, such as accountability, camaraderie and motivation. Invite participants to “try before they buy” and host demo sessions. You can also expose people to the new functional training offerings by creating challenges that incorporate several offerings available in your clubs and encourage them to try them all.
Educating members on the value of the program and building excitement behind the launch will drive sign-ups and attendance. Putting extensive effort into choosing the fee structure, equipment variety and design of your functional training space to produce the best experience for your members will pay dividends for years to come.