Michaela Brown, the group fitness manager at VIDA, shares why group fitness is a slam dunk post-COVID and tips for success.
The Group X industry won’t need to rebound as COVID restrictions ease because it’s set up for a slam dunk. Fitness-seekers are ready to get out of the house and into the gym, just like the “good ol’ days.” The physical and metaphoric power of numbers in a shared space with a common goal and a shared energy is the essence of group exercise. That’s why it’s a billion-dollar industry.
Group fitness clients have made-do with virtual and solo substitutes this past year, but the truth is we’ve missed that “good ol’ feeling.” So as gyms begin to reopen, operators won’t have to do much except give clients a big taste of the old with bits of the new mixed in. In other words:
- Bring back old favorites — classes, instructors and studios — to re-establish that sense of community clients had to abruptly abandon in 2020.
- Be great at the simple things — open and proactive communication with clients, creating an inclusive workout environment, maintaining clean facilities, offering good effective workout equipment, etc.
- Maintain many of the COVID-specific cleaning practices in your facility and be visible about it.
- Create a welcoming environment for clients and staff who are still following COVID precautions as you relax measures for others.
- Flex your diversity, equity and inclusion muscles. Show your organization is committed to welcoming people of all types. This starts with having a diverse workforce, who is intentional about serving a diverse clientele.
- Survey members and staff about what they want and don’t want, what’s working and not working, etc.
A wise man once told me, “It’s not rocket science; it’s just the gym.” And he was right. So, operators should be simple, but great. Be reflective, but adaptive. Finally, company owners should share in the community’s excitement for being back to business. Group fitness will be a great place to start.
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