Prioritizing Personal Training
Personal training has been a mainstay on the ACSM’s Fitness Trends Survey since it was first published in 2006, never dropping below the top 10. One-on-one training continues to be a strong trend as the profession of personal training becomes more accessible online and in health clubs.
After facing a global pandemic, personal training has been a great tool to serve members.
“What we are seeing most from clients returning to personal training is an increased desire to work with their trainer,” said Jacob Thomas, the general manager of Razor Sharp Fitness with two locations in Wisconsin. “Whether it be from losing their normal routine, gaining weight or having new health issues, the connection with their trainer seems to have strengthened even more than pre-COVID. Some of this has come from virtual training sessions we offered, as well as the continued outreach and support from the personal trainers to their clients all during the pandemic.”
In February 2020, Razor Sharp Fitness made significant changes to their member onboarding process. Their focus of this change was a fitness consultation to give a deeper personalized approach to their members’ journey and provide them with a specific team member who was dedicated toward their success.
“This consultant was also tasked with connecting these new members to their fitness team based on whichever areas of the club they were most interested in utilizing,” explained Thomas. “This fitness team would include a personal trainer, studio class instructor, team trainer, massage therapist as well as one department manager. This team would integrate the new member into these different departments. This process has allowed us to sell the programming more efficiently as well as retain clients longer.”
When Razor Sharp Fitness was hit with the initial shutdown due to COVID-19, their personal training team moved online. With this, they allowed their personal training clients to be able to rent equipment from the club to continue their program with their trainer.
The club has a 14,000-square-foot track with a performance area inside that was designed for functional training, with a specific focus on personal training and sports performance. As the club reopened, Thomas said this space allowed them to serve their clients with ease and give them space along with not needing to share equipment with others.
Another facility that is easily welcoming back their personal training clients is Anytime Fitness Cheswick, Leechburg and Kittanning.
“Our personal training clients were the most eager members to return post COVID-19,” said Ryan O’Toole, the regional manager for Anytime Fitness Cheswick, Leechburg and Kittanning. “The community atmosphere we have in our training program was something clients dearly missed during shutdown. In addition, a lot of clients have increased their personal training packages due to the stress and toll on their health the last year and a half has taken. Our personal training programs have rebounded well ahead of our membership base as more people are seeking out structure, guidance and the human interaction of our programs.”
O’Toole said their facility has aimed to maximize their revenue by first and foremost keeping clients. Him and his team ensure their clients are actively using their sessions, and that they are delivering quality sessions and service.
“Too many facilities prioritize getting people in the door but are losing clients out of the back door,” explained O’Toole. “Retaining clients sets the foundation for massive growth and maximizing value. In addition, we have been aggressively adding new programs to our personal training program to increase the value and cost of our services. These new programs have been great ways to keep long time clients excited and give us something to build a buzz around for people to not want to miss out.”
After experiencing more than 19 months of a pandemic, people are ready to make their health a priority. Getting them involved in personal training is a great way to help them achieve their goals.
“The last year and a half have been really tough for a lot of people,” said O’Toole. “We are seeing people come in with a heightened sense of urgency and excitement for personal training. When we were first coming out of COVID, people seemed a lot more comfortable trying out something that was a short-term commitment first before committing to the longer-term packages.”