Alicia Whitis of Wellbridge shares how your club can capitalize on emerging trends in Pilates to help bring in additional profits.
After a year of financial struggles in 2020, health clubs are searching for profit centers to add to their facilities. Pilates could be the answer.
“Pilates reformer is a workout that offers longevity in fitness,” said Alicia Whitis, the east region fitness studio manager at Wellbridge with multiple locations throughout Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri and New Mexico. “It’s beneficial and also enjoyable to the teenager and the senior. As a non-impact workout, it can be adjusted to be as gentle or as challenging as the client would like. Because a Pilates workout is core-based with strength and flexibility work, it appeals to a wide demographic and is inclusive to everyone with any fitness goal.”
Though Pilates has been around for a while, emerging trends can give the offering a new feel, attract new members and drive additional profits.
Some of the trends Whitis has seen include Fusion classes that primarily incorporate cardio and attract people who are looking for ways to get the most out of their workout. Jumpboard Pilates has always offered a powerful, athletic, cardio approach to Pilates, but the new trend is adding HIIT and cardio intervals to get the heart pumping and make members’ Pilates workouts a little sweatier.
Another trend not only relevant in Pilates programming, but in the industry as a whole, is mental well-being. Stretch sessions on a Pilates reformer allows for assisted stretching to help members lessen the stiffness and asymmetry often caused by age, sports and daily stressors. Pilates can be a great reintroduction into group fitness for members without overwhelming them due to the shorter classes. The perfect length seems to be 45 minutes, where participants feel they can carve out that amount of time in their day but also get a solid, efficient workout.
The last trend Whitis has seen emerging is the Pilates experience as a whole. “It’s no longer just about the equipment and the instructor,” she explained. “Like most fitness modalities, Pilates has become a fitness experience incorporating music, fun lighting and dynamic instruction. Pilates studios will continue ‘upping their game’ to more experience-driven classes like we have seen with other fitness programs.”
Capitalizing on these trends and members craving for community can help your facility bring in much needed profits. However, there is one last piece of advice Whitis had that will help your Pilates program stand out from your competitors, and that is education.
“Educate your staff — especially sales teammates —so they know what Pilates is and can speak to it from experience,” said Whitis. “It’s also possible members don’t realize the benefits of Pilates, or even what Pilates is, so it’s our job to inform them and let potential clients know what they can expect from a session. Social media is a great way to educate members. Post videos of exercises and their benefits.”
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