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When you ask people why they’re visiting a gym or health club; you commonly get answers like to “to get in shape” or “to improve my health and fitness”. They want results. But they can get that from almost any type of exercise, from walking around the block or working out in their living room. So why do they come to us as exercise professionals?
The answer is motivation. People hope and expect that in a club environment, they’ll be inspired and able to achieve more than they can on their own. That means motivation is the secret to your success as a fitness business.
One of the most powerful motivators is to make exercise social. Getting people working out together builds strong exercise adherence. Why? Because we are social animals.
After 40 years of experimenting with all kinds of motivational tools in our own family gym chain, we’ve learnt that the activity that works best is group exercise. That’s why we started our global group exercise business: it is the most effective way to get the maximum number of people exercising regularly.
Motivation matters because it drives attendance, and I believe that attendance is the most important metric in any club. Focusing on sales only yields short-term success, unless you also have good retention. Our research has shown conclusively that attendance is the key measure that drives retention. It’s as simple as it is obvious: members who come often are much less likely to cancel. In fact, attendance also drives sales, via increased word-of-mouth referrals.
Experience has shown us that excellent group exercise gets individuals coming more often. Our independent research commissioned from companies like Nielsen consistently finds that people attending group exercise classes use their facility more than three times per week, compared with industry averages between one and two times per week.
In short, group-exercise members attend more often, have higher retention, generate more referrals and won’t leave your facility for a budget club down the road.
The same research shows that facilities with world-class group exercise have 500 more members per club than the global average - something we call the Group Effect.
Here are some of the things you can do to build a great group exercise program:
It’s always an important decision whether to develop your classes in-house or to invite a third-party partner to help. Perhaps you already have a great group exercise offering. How would you know? I encourage you to ask yourself some questions.
We share our industry knowledge with regular seminars, designed to boost your business.