Each new year, members will return to gyms and fitness studios in increased numbers. As a fitness facility, how will you differentiate yourself to ensure you’re retaining existing members and attracting new ones? The answer is simple, it’s your fitness programming! Offering your members a fitness experience beyond just the equipment builds a connection to your facility and your staff, which is just one of the keys to keeping them coming back for more. If you leverage the four keys below, you’re sure to make the New Year a great one for your facility and your members.

1) Create an experience worth sharing

The kinds of experience that members most value are powerful moments, defined by Nicole Scott in her article “Creating Powerful Moments.” These moments are comprised of four components: Elevation, Insight, Pride and Connection.

“In our industry, these four elements help to make up the foundation of our customers’ and staff’s narratives in their experiences,” explained Scott. “When these elements are embraced, celebrated in our businesses, and built into the culture of our work, then we can continue to foster more critical, life-altering moments. The result? Higher customer satisfaction and retention rates, enriched experiences for our staff, for our customers and for us. We can become the designers of moments that deliver elevation, insight, pride and connection.”

Scott offers a list of sample questions club owners can ask and take steps to implement with their staff to create more memorable and meaningful experiences for members.

• Are you addressing customers on a first name basis and referencing something you know is happening in their lives?

• Are your classes structured to create those magical coaching moments when 50 sweat-pouring minutes in a class fly by?

• Are you letting your clients mindlessly pound away on a treadmill or are you engaging with them?

○ Are you helping them reconnect with their bodies and their environment?

○ Are you adjusting workouts to meet them where they are mentally with their day?

• What can you do with your customer to provide an opportunity for something different to happen in their day?

• How do your staff’s peak moments differentiate between your customer’s peak moments?

○ Example: In sales, peak moments tend to center around completing the sale, getting the sign up, agreeing to the product, getting the customer to sign the contract, etc. For the customer, the peak moments tend to be centered on the delivery of the product, finishing the challenge/course, etc.

2) Professionally educated instructors

Having a wide equipment selection or the shiniest pieces of new fitness tech only goes so far if your members are not familiar with the machines and how to use them. One way that clubs can differentiate themselves is to provide programming that teaches members how to properly use the equipment. Members will achieve superior results and higher overall satisfaction. This can be achieved through a circuit training class that utilizes different pieces of equipment or a simple introductory class. Progressive, ongoing, hands on instruction or programming can provide further member education on the equipment. 

Programs can also be a valuable tool for facilities to leverage new and exciting equipment. For instance, the StairMaster HIIT program covers how to leverage the unique line of HIIT products offered by StairMaster, like the HIITMill X and BoxMaster, to promote your facility and create revenue generating programs. This goes along with the previously mentioned benefits of educating members on new equipment and building relationships between staff and members. 

3) Offer programming specific to your equipment

“The difference a professionally educated instructor makes in a facility’s fitness programming is monumental,” explained Becky Muck, Education Manager at Core Health & Fitness. “You provide a better, safer, and more engaging service to your members when you hire certified trainers or take the time to get your trainers certified.” 

A properly trained and certified instructor will not only have a stronger understanding of the exercises performed and of class construction, but will also better understand how to reduce risk of injury and engage, encourage and motivate participants. This creates a better experience for your members and by utilizing this touch point with a well-trained staff member you can form better relationships with your members, help them reach their personal goals and improve retention rates. Core Health & Fitness has an international Master Instructor team that certifies thousands of fitness professionals every year in Indoor CyclingHigh Intensity Interval TrainingStrength Training, Cardio, and more. 

4) Provide equipment that allows your instructors to impact your members’ unique fitness goals

The features you get from high quality products, like connectivity for fitness trackers from cardio consoles, proper biomechanics & muscle loading on strength products, accurate power readings on indoor cycles and so on, add an immense amount of value to your facilities memberships. This additional value gives your members the tools they need to reach their individual fitness goals.  

For instance, with the boom of people adopting interval training, having a designated HIIT area with assessable and intuitive machines lets you tap into the demographic of people setting goals around this fitness methodology. Likewise, functional training equipment like Throwdown or Nautilus HumanSport that have very customizable training programs tailored to specific sports or fitness goals can benefit a wide range of members and allows for new programming opportunities. You can tailor workouts for members who have very specific training goals, like building muscles related to golf, tennis or climbing. 

“Consumers have more options than ever before when it comes to choosing a fitness facility,” added Travis Vaughan, Senior Director of Product Management & Technology at Core Health & Fitness. “With such heavy competition, every detail of a club offering makes a difference in winning new members, and the type and condition of equipment is a key component of that mix.” 

Are you looking to create powerful moments for your fitness facility? Whether you’re looking to refresh your facility or open a brand new one, our team of industry experts take a consultative approach to understand your unique goals from equipment selection to programming. Contact a Core Health & Fitness expert today! 

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