Bruce Carter, President of Optimal Design Systems International, discusses some key renovation tips.
Why You Need to Redesign Your Workout Space
By: Bruce Carter
Recently, an individual who moved to a new area went shopping for a new club. At her previous club, this individual had been introduced to newer types of training, so she was looking for certain specific things in a club. Off she went from club to club visiting national chains and local clubs. But, with most of the clubs, she could not find the key areas she needed to continue her rewarding fitness regimen. Sure, most of the clubs had all kinds of machines and cardio equipment, some with rows and rows of equipment. What she was looking for, though, were two kinds of space, or the more recent “new” kind of training spaces. Both would allow her to keep training the new empowering way she had learned.
First, she wanted to do functional training using a wide range of exercise tools such as medicine balls, bands, exercise balls and more. This type of training is credited with creating a renaissance in training because it gets people better results and helps them start feeling like energetic kids again. Sure, she wanted to use some machines, free weights and do cardio, but her workout now had a new balance with core body movements using her new exercise “toys.”
She had learned that functional training enabled her to use her body in such a way that related to how she used her body in her daily life. Functional training was rejuvenating her and is also rejuvenating fitness training throughout the country. This is the main reason that personal training is the fastest growing profit center in clubs; however, if clubs do not properly plan for functional training, the profits will go to their competitors that do.
Second, she wanted to also be able to do small group training classes, again another “new” kind of training space. So, when this individual went out looking for a new club, the one thing she did not find in most of the clubs she visited was the space to do this type of training, nor did she find the training tools needed for this training. Two of the clubs were 45,000 square feet, and each had only approximately 250 square feet for people to do “floor work” and stretching. Another club had some of the tools, but they were in piles here and there with no place to properly store them or adequately use them. Most clubs had plenty of equipment but no place to get a complete workout. Industry trends show that those clubs do not allow for a minimum of 400 – 1,200 square feet of open visible space for numerous people to move freely performing a wide range of movements including both standing and floor exercises.
In addition, an additional 800 – 1,500 square feet to do such things as Cross Fit and TRX type group training classes is ideal. These are in increasing demand, and members pay extra for the classes. Also, equally important is easily accessible space needed to store all of the wonderful choices of apparatus that individuals will use and experiment with in moving and conditioning their bodies to new levels.
New clubs should not even dream of opening without such space, and existing clubs should even get rid of some fixed movement machines (could it possibly be that fewer machines might even be better?) to make way for some open training spaces.
Training spaces are that powerful and profitable, and therefore, are absolutely necessary for any “club of the future.” If this space is not made available, a club will limit its ability to generate more training revenue, have fewer satisfied customers and have a major competitive weakness in the marketplace.
An additional important fact that clubs are learning is that training spaces work far better when there are qualified trainers who believe in and are well versed in functional training. When the trainers start to adopt a new training prescription for people to reach their goals combined with the new space and necessary apparatus to do such training, the training space produces the highest revenue per square foot in a club.
Training spaces serve the evolving needs of the market place and the physical activity requirements of the average inactive adult. Wonderful opportunities are waiting for those that take advantage of this and progressively educate people on what is now considered “lifestyle” training. Take a look at your club and see if you are benefitting from this renaissance of training. Your members will be rewarded with more satisfying fitness and you with more profits.
As published on clubinsideronline.com, April 2012.