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Members Are Back


Stacey Seward Vandiver, the owner and CEO of SoulBody Fitness, shares how to engage members as they return to health clubs.

Big changes are taking place in the fitness industry. One area that is driving a lot of attention is the word “wellness” and how the consumer currently understands its impact and importance to their health. The word wellness now includes three major areas of health — mental, physical and spiritual.

So, if the consumer is beginning to understand that wellness is important to them, health clubs and associations are primed to meet their needs as they return. This will require resources through partnerships and collaborations with companies that can provide services in all of these areas of health.

Biggest Impact

It’s group classes. This is one of the biggest activities taking place at health clubs. In person participation rates are stronger than ever as the consumer is seeking motivation that they do not get at their home gym for the past two years. Working out and moving together has brought a sense of community back to the club.

Offerings Are Key

The consumer understands now that working out is more than just to look good. The MindBody 2022 Fitness Report stated that the consumer is working out now for stress reduction (43%), mental health (43%) and then the physical aspect (39%).

With the return of members to clubs, class offerings need to be relevant to their demands and what they are seeking. This requires a variety of classes, Rockstar instructors and an engaging environment. A schedule that includes a smart selection of strength training, cardio and mind/body movement will thrive. Also, important to note is the mental aspect of exercising. This is one of the reasons for the recent surge in recovery. Classes that can either fuse restorative movement to reset the body or individual classes that focus solely on recovery, will elevate the experiences and choices for members.

Partnerships Make A Difference

One of the best ways to ensure a successful experience in group classes is to partner with companies that design programming as it lowers the risk of inconsistency, turn out and relevancy. It is a “you do you” sort of concept — clubs do what they do best, focusing on their members needs with services they are seeking, and suppliers do what they do best, delivering quality content and products.

There is a lot that goes into developing, training and delivering quality programming that will engage members longterm. Cohesiveness is extremely important and internal resources can be challenging and unpredictable. When outsourced properly, the experience from a high level of training and well written content is most often solid and effective, allowing members to always know what to expect, and reap the benefits.  

Stacey Seward Vandiver

Stacey Seward Vandiver is the owner and CEO of SoulBody Fitness, a full-service group fitness programming company that designs boutique-style classes for health clubs and studios. She can be reached at svandiver@soulbodyfitnessglobal.com or by visiting soulbody.fitness.

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