Rebecca Cofod, the functional training solutions director at Matrix Fitness, shares what to know about offering small group classes on the fitness floor.
Making the most of every inch of your facility is key to a successful business that maximizes member engagement and satisfaction. Group exercise studios are areas that typically pose an efficiency challenge because they often sit vacant when classes are not running — sometimes 80% or more of the time.
Members who participate in group classes remain members longer and are more likely to refer friends. So, what if you could offer more programs throughout your facility to optimize the use of all your space and equipment? A great option is combining a mix of popular cardio equipment with nearby functional training space to run small group classes that build a sense of community, offer accountability and ensure results.
Offering additional programs in non-traditional settings can be beneficial to your business because of the flexibility of the space, the resulting engagement, retention and potential revenue. The subtle introduction to group training that can attract members ready to join a community of fitness-minded friends is also beneficial.
Identifying a new area that can be used for classes will kickstart the vision of what your new offering could be. If using cardio floor space is an appealing option for your goals, signage can help to reserve a selection of cardio machines during limited class times so members are aware. Following this reservation routine will minimize impact on equipment usage, especially when members understand they can still use their favorite machines on their own during non-class times.
Choosing the best business model for the new program to meet your defined goals and promoting it properly can yield great results. You will attract a new community of engaged members which will build both referrals and retention, and you can unlock the potential of a new revenue stream with fee-for-service small group training if you choose. Because group classes are significant motivators for members to keep coming back, you have the opportunity to continue to build on the program offering over time.
Introduction to Group Training
When classes are situated in open areas of the facility, they are visible to other gym users and passersby. This will generate interest and questions about the new program. It also gives trainers the opportunity to introduce members to the program during classes and follow up with a more personal approach. Trainers can help members establish their goals, whether it be to improve fitness or have fun in a group setting, or both, and suggest the best program for them. Interactions with a trainer can increase members’ comfort levels with the idea of joining group or personal training and will likely increase client acquisition.
Maximizing the use of facility space by offering small group classes on the fitness floor has many benefits: optimizing the use of equipment you already own, driving community-building and retention, tapping into an additional revenue stream, and familiarizing members with trainer-led exercise. Each of these will positively impact your bottom line.