Group Fitness – The Roundup

Your group fitness expert – Mel Tempest, provides this update on what’s happening in the world of group fitness right now.

Group fitness has seen a big shift in the last few years the consumer has changed and so has the product.

The stayers are here to stay, Les Mills programs such as BodyPump and BodyCombat continue to receive great reviews from clubs that run them, with their marketing and ongoing support to clubs and education to instructors contributing significantly to their success.

But who’s new and what do they offer?

Wexer Virtual caught my attraction back in 2012 and again in 2013. Their virtual cycle classes give club owners the opportunity to fill the cycle room 24/7 without having to pay an instructor. With such a low financial outlay for clubs it’s certain to be a cost-effective retention tool. You’ll find members cycling along with an instructor who appears on the screen, or they may elect to dash through the crowds to the latest Sufferfest rides. Of course, if that’s not one’s cup of tea then they can always sit back and cycle to the calming views of the Rocky Mountains. Virtual Cycle is not a replacement for live classes, but rather, an ideal additional option for members that may contribute to retaining them.

Fight Klub is the latest group craze in the UK and is due to launch here in Australia this year. Using a freestanding bag, members work at the same time undertaking martial arts style moves, in a fun and  safe environment. The soundtrack is DJ-style, which ensures the class has a distinct party atmosphere. All these elements combine to provide a workout experience that results in members wanting to repeat, again and again.

Another innovative new group fitness program is Steel. Their two programs are called Steel Training and Steel Tonic, and both programs work alongside the Les Mills programs nicely.

Steel Training is a workout centred around progressive load, which uses hand weights and a barbell. Each muscle group is worked three times. During the first two rounds, isolation occurs by using the hand weights. Participants then go into the third and final round using the barbell with a heavier weight.

Steel Tonic is ideal as an entry-level program, for those wanting to use a step but who don’t want move around a lot or who don’t want any complexity. This class isolates the legs by working one side at a time with no bricks under the lid. The class also incorporates short aerobic cardio tracks as well as weights track.

If you’re looking for a point of difference on your timetable don’t replicate the club down the road – introduce new programs by organising launch classes and use your social media pages to attract new members. A tip when promoting on social media: short video clips tend to have a higher hit rate than static photos.

What ever you decide to do with your group fitness timetable, be sure that you truly understand your members and know what they want, and if you know the trends you can bring both together to create even greater success for your club.

5 ways to get your group fitness timetable pumping in 2015:

1. Educate yourself as the club owner/manager about the current fitness trends that your members want.

2. Know your demographic (members).

3. Social media is your friend so use it, and if you don’t know how then find someone who does.

4. Over 55’s classes are booming, so create a membership for them.

5. Create family nights so kids can see “where mum and dad workout” – they then become a great retention tool.

Article written by Mel Tempest for the What’s New in Fitness Magazine – Winter 2015 Edition. 

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