How utilizing testing and tracking technology can help members achieve their goals.
The majority of people join a gym with a goal in mind. Whether it be to move more, lose 10 pounds or improve their mental health, they are there for a reason. And if people don’t see progress or results quickly, they will walk out the door and may never return.
Helping your members understand their fitness level, providing them with ways to track their progress and creating a personal relationship with them is key to keeping members around. This is why it’s crucial to utilize testing and tracking tools in your facility.
“Setting goals is a critical step in remaining connected to one’s fitness journey, and success along the way helps build the motivation to continue and achieve even greater mind and body wellness,” said Beth Smits, the senior vice president of operations and services for 24 Hour Fitness. “Whether utilizing a fitness tracker to monitor workout progress inside or outside the club, or experiencing the Evolt 360 body composition analysis or at an in-club NUTRISHOP location, these are just a few great options to help individuals to become more connected to their overall health and wellness.”
24 Hour Fitness offers the Evolt 360 body composition analysis machine in select clubs nationwide. Smits said club members and guests are encouraged to speak to a 24 Hour Fitness coach to access the complementary analysis. Within minutes of the analysis, a report is provided to the fitness coach who then prepares nutrition recommendations and a workout plan to make the best use of the results.
“The Evolt 360 offers a biometrical impedance analysis (BIA) to scientifically validate an individual’s total body composition — considered the fastest, non-invasive method of measuring total body composition,” explained Smits. “BIA passes a safe, low intensity electrical current through the body via feet and hands. Then the Evolt 360 result sheet provides over 30 different data points. One of the most important points of the report is visceral fat, the type of fat that increases the risk of high blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, to name a few more concerning health matters.”
The Atlantic Club is another facility that offers state-of-the-art technologies to track and test a member’s current fitness level.
Sandy Barndt, the program coordinator at the Cooper Wellness Center at The Atlantic Club, said new and current members can utilize their InBody 570 scale. It tells them their percentage of muscle versus body fat, hydration level, segmental lean mass and basal metabolic rate. The club also offers Myzone heart rate tracking in all fitness areas of the club, where members can sync their Myzone belt to any facility screens.
“New for The Atlantic Club is our CooperFit cardiovascular fitness test, which provides an accurate prediction of fitness by measuring an individual’s predicted max VO2 or aerobic capacity,” said Barndt. “The test is performed by walking or running on a treadmill for a specified period of time while wearing a heart rate monitor. This test has helped us in establishing a current fitness level for participants and working toward a goal to increase their level of fitness, which in turn helps their overall health.”
The benefits of these technologies and tests are their ability to provide individuals their current numbers and quantify starting points in a fast and informal atmosphere, all without having to go to a hospital, urgent care or doctor’s office.
“The CooperFit test has been able to show participants their level of current fitness,” said Barndt. “When a person knows their level of fitness, they are then able to choose what changes may be needed to benefit their quality and quantity of life with regards to chronic diseases, dementia, later-life depression and future Medicare expenditures.”
While there are clear benefits to offering tracking and testing technologies, there can be a barrier of entry. Therefore, it’s key to promote the offerings and educate members on the benefits they bring.
Barndt said this starts with your staff. “You need to showcase to your members as well as the community that your team is qualified to do these assessments, and be able to showcase this skill via testimonials that evidences their value to an individual,” explained Barndt. “We believe our efforts in this area over the past 12 years have provided excellent results that provide better outcomes for our members. This is the best advertising possible.”
For Smits, she said the best way to educate members is to emphasize the health benefits, and how testing and tracking technologies can aid in accomplishing goals.
“In the post-pandemic environment, overall health is more than just weight loss,” said Smits. “Having a clear overview of your current health helps to create specific long-term wellness goals, whether that is running your first 5K race, taking grocery bags effortlessly from the car into your home or playing with the grandchildren. Fitness trackers and technology can provide the data analysis, while the passion and support of the club’s trained fitness professionals complemented by the inspirational club community offers the perfect combination to help you meet and crush your fitness goals.”
Just like any other offering at your facility, testing and tracking technology comes with its own challenges.
Barndt noted these technologies are unique tools for the industry, with many new technologies being presented to operators on a monthly basis. They also require a separate language than traditional fitness conversations. Additionally, they are expensive and when not utilized, can easily become outdated and lack an acceptable ROI.
Despite these challenges, helping members achieve their fitness goals and to keep coming back to the gym is more than worth it, and there’s no better time than now.
“COVID-19 has provided a new opportunity for fitness centers to get more sophisticated in the area of assessments since many individuals are taking personal accountability for their health and fitness, and need to obtain and understand their key health metrics in a safe environment,” said Barndt.