Percussive therapy is a recovery technique designed to treat soft tissue pain, typically done using a massage gun. This relatively new tool has been on the rise, but how do you know if it’s a good recovery option for your members?
At UFC GYM, the staff believe in delivering a holistic approach to their members’ fitness experiences. This includes not only dynamic workouts through classes, one-on-one training and individual workouts, but also through recovery including proper nutrition — with special attention to pre- and post-workout meals and timing — and a full slate of recovery options including cryotherapy, hydromassage, vibration therapy, assisted stretching and percussive therapy.
“Percussive therapy is a great option because it can accelerate warmups and recovery by delivering targeted pulses of pressure in desired muscle groups,” said Derek Gallup, the executive vice president of group fitness, fitness, operations, combat sports and education at UFC GYM. “Percussive therapy reduces soreness and stiffness by breaking up scar tissues and adhesions and has been found to be as effective as massage in preventing delayed onset muscle soreness. Percussive therapy also improves flexibility and range of motion as it reaches both superficial and deep muscle fibers.”
Billy Grenham, the chief marketing officer for Chuze Fitness, which boasts 30 clubs throughout California, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico, said clubs should consider offering percussive therapy because it’s so much more than recovery.
According to Grenham, members will often use the devices all throughout their clubs before and after workouts. “Percussive therapy is very popular right now, so giving access to these devices and allowing your partner access to your members is a win-win,” he said. “I like to think they are the iPhone, but we are the Apple store. How you present the benefits to members and how you nurture the partnership goes a long way.”
But finding the right percussive therapy partner can take some research and testing.
Gallup said the first and more important thing you should do is to find a partner with great and effective products. “Just as important is an effective education platform for your trainers and members to accompany these products,” he explained. “Pricing of course is important, but plays a much smaller role than finding the right partner, products and education.”
Grenham recommends choosing a partner willing to work with you. Percussive is very competitive right now and your club can use that to your advantage. Chuze Fitness partners with Therabody, and Grenham said it has been a fantastic collaboration as they both explore new and exciting ways to engage members.
Regardless of who you choose as your percussive therapy partner, having the offer in your facilities can be a benefit for both you and your members. And one of those benefits is additional revenue.
“We have found some direct and indirect revenue streams from percussive therapy,” said Gallup. “Direct revenue comes from delivering percussive treatments either as standalone sessions or as a part of the warmup or cool down of personal training sessions. Additionally, because members love the treatments so much, percussion therapy instruments are some of our top selling retail products in the entire UFC GYM chain. Although doing a self-percussive treatment feels amazing, it still does not compare to having a trained fitness profession deliver the percussive experience on a massage table.”
As far as indirect revenue streams go, Gallup said percussive therapy helps their members feel great and prevent injury. In fact, members who receive percussive treatments stay members longer and have provided more referrals.
Grenham prefers to think of percussive therapy more as an acquisition or retention tool, rather than a standalone revenue stream. While their members do love the devices and make purchases, Chuze likes the value-add proposition of the equation even more.
“There’s a lot of unique and emerging technology coming out in this space,” said Grenham. “My recommendation is to become a user yourself. Understand how easy or challenging something is so you can clearly communicate the benefits to your members. In the Therabody case, I’m such an avid user I’m pretty sure I’ve driven at least a few sales from friends and family.”
While there is a plethora of recovery options you can offer to your members, it is clear percussive therapy is a popular and effective choice.
“Percussive therapy is such a simple and unique piece of the holistic approach to fitness we provide at UFC GYM,” said Gallup. “The more touch points the better, both for how your members will feel and for increasing revenue.”