Thought leaders share why you may need to ride out the fitness fad wave in order to retain your members and keep them happy.
Club operators are always looking for ways to engage their members and discover the emerging trends that keep them coming back. However, Jenn Hogg, the Group X director at East Bank Club and panelist on the latest Thought Leaders Panel, said what has been trending in Group X is more of a circus rather than a purpose.
In current times members have been gravitating towards “fad fitness,” where they’re focusing more on fun than a sustainable, effective fitness regimen. While this can be frustrating as a seasoned industry leader, it’s important to keep your members happy.
“People are looking for something that will recharge their fun battery, but also with the back of mind feeling that they did something good for themselves,” said Victoria Tolbert-Ashley, the national director of group exercise at XSport Fitness and panelist. “Right now, we just need to listen and give people what they want, because we know what they need. Be in listen mode so we can better serve the circus act and weave in the fun elements of fitness.”
In a time where member retention is crucial, Lisa Groft, a director at Baptist East Milestone and panelist, explained sometimes you just have to ride out the fad.
“We’ve all worked with a Group X instructor who does everything wrong — from a training and technique stance — but they have a huge following,” said Groft. “It can be frustrating to someone who has been in the industry for awhile, but if that’s what your members want and are loving, let it be and ride out the fad wave.”
While the industry doesn’t love fad fitness programs, there is something we can learn from them. Members want fresh and fun classes. Keeping your same class schedule from the past five years is no longer going to cut it.
Gretchen Collins, the director of fitness at East Bank Club, said they have planned and structured their small group classes to allow for the trainer to energize the class. Once a month Collins, Hogg and another team member sit down and design every workout, format and class for the upcoming month. They film a five to 10 second video of them doing the moves and play it during the classes on a TV. This allows the instructor to not worry about queuing or explaining the exercises, so they can instead motivate and energize the class.
“People want different classes every month,” said Collins. “Don’t recycle your classes. You have to put in the work and time to sit down, program and come up with new, exciting, safe and effective exercises for your members.”
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