Social Sweating

Group fitness is growing at a rapid rate in clubs, with Ezypay's most recent Fitness Industry Survey showing that over two- thirds (71.3%) of respondents attend group exercise classes.

The Survey highlighted that group exercise is a known member retention tool, explaining that "clubs should strive to keep members who participate in classes as happy as possible - (as) every group exercise manager can attest to the upset caused by a rescheduling of a timetable or a swapping of popular instructors."

At the club, which I have owned since 2003, our own survey determined that members are definitely looking for variety when it comes to group fitness. Backed up by talking with other club owners there are many group fitness products with increasing competition apps or online classes that enable participation at home or in the workplace.

Where aerobic and step classes used to dominate timetables, group fit providers are continually creating new and exciting class concepts with more sports orientated programs like HIIT and TRX currently generating lots of interest.

However, there is a dilemma for club owners, do you follow what competing clubs are doing or do you find the niche that works for you and focus on that? I often tell club owners instead of replicating the strengths of the nearest club, find the weak spot and build your business based on that.

The best way to deliver group fitness is to listen to your members and deliver on meeting their needs. Survey members, gather their feedback, then try to deliver a timetable that meets the needs of at least 75% of the participants.

Group X is growing at a fast rate yet the common factor for the majority of programs is the choreography that the instructors need to learn in order to deliver outstanding performances. To do this, specialised training is vitally important, not just from the group fitness provider but in ongoing training.

Without ongoing training, clubs automatically put themselves at handicap, instructors become stale and members change preference.

It doesn't matter what type of class you have in your club - whether it's group fitness, small group training or outdoor training - without continuing education your group business will eventually slide.

Social media plays a huge role in growth for any fitness business but you need to utilise the right platform to back your group fitness programming by knowing your demographic and then targeting their platform of use.

As a club owner, social media plays an important role in retention and launching new group fitness products. Introducing new programs through social media in this way, backed by exciting video clips and relevant information, has generated more than 80% of our sales in the past year.

The available media is varied, new programs such as those from Les Mills are backed by their own media while for freestyle programs outside of the standard such as freestyle HIIT,TRX, and cinema cycle we have had our own video clips made and promoted through our social media.

Promotion through social media has also seen us reduce our advertising spending on local radio and publications.

Technology in group fitness is also vital for bookings, with clubs needing to offer simple online methods for class bookings. Offering more than a standalone piece of equipment, successful clubs understand that the attraction of group fitness is in bringing people together through social interaction, friendship and a sense of belonging.

Group fitness is growing at a rapid rate in clubs, with Ezypay's most recent Fitness Industry Survey showing that over two- thirds (71.3%) of respondents attend group exercise classes.

The Survey highlighted that group exercise is a known member retention tool, explaining that "clubs should strive to keep members who participate in classes as happy as possible - (as) every group exercise manager can attest to the upset caused by a rescheduling of a timetable or a swapping of popular instructors."

At the club, which I have owned since 2003, our own survey determined that members are definitely looking for variety when it comes to group fitness. Backed up by talking with other club owners there are many group fitness products with increasing competition apps or online classes that enable participation at home or in the workplace.

Where aerobic and step classes used to dominate timetables, group fit providers are continually creating new and exciting class concepts with more sports orientated programs like HIIT and TRX currently generating lots of interest.

However, there is a dilemma for club owners, do you follow what competing clubs are doing or do you find the niche that works for you and focus on that? I often tell club owners instead of replicating the strengths of the nearest club, find the weak spot and build your business based on that.

The best way to deliver group fitness is to listen to your members and deliver on meeting their needs. Survey members, gather their feedback, then try to deliver a timetable that meets the needs of at least 75% of the participants.

Group X is growing at a fast rate yet the common factor for the majority of programs is the choreography that the instructors need to learn in order to deliver outstanding performances. To do this, specialised training is vitally important, not just from the group fitness provider but in ongoing training.

Without ongoing training, clubs automatically put themselves at handicap, instructors become stale and members change preference.

It doesn't matter what type of class you have in your club - whether it's group fitness, small group training or outdoor training - without continuing education your group business will eventually slide.

Social media plays a huge role in growth for any fitness business but you need to utilise the right platform to back your group fitness programming by knowing your demographic and then targeting their platform of use.

As a club owner, social media plays an important role in retention and launching new group fitness products. Introducing new programs through social media in this way, backed by exciting video clips and relevant information, has generated more than 80% of our sales in the past year.

The available media is varied, new programs such as those from Les Mills are backed by their own media while for freestyle programs outside of the standard such as freestyle HIIT,TRX, and cinema cycle we have had our own video clips made and promoted through our social media.

Promotion through social media has also seen us reduce our advertising spending on local radio and publications.

Technology in group fitness is also vital for bookings, with clubs needing to offer simple online methods for class bookings. Offering more than a standalone piece of equipment, successful clubs understand that the attraction of group fitness is in bringing people together through social interaction, friendship and a sense of belonging.


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