Group fitness is evolving to include more and more activities both inside and outside the fitness studio. Health clubs and training studios are offering more formats to cater the wide variety of member interests. A strong and comprehensive group fitness program is a major contributor for member retention. According to a 2013 IHRSA Member Retention Report, group exercisers are 26% less likely to cancel than gym only members.
Small group training programs are quickly becoming a great complement to one-on-one sessions and existing group fitness schedules. A great small group training (SGT) program can and set your facility or personal training business apart from competitors. Some fitness experts are estimating that small group training might replace the majority of one-on-one training sessions in the future. Successful SGT programs benefit the facility, the trainer, and the members – literally a win-win-win!
Facilities benefit from higher member retention rates as the growing number of loyal SGT members become just as engaged as the group fitness “groupies”. Not to mention an increase to the bottom line as most SGT is fee-based. Trainers will benefit from making more money per hour training a group of 4-6 people than in a 60 minute one-on-one session. Members enjoy getting involved in a group for fun and accountability all for a fraction of the cost of an hour personal session.
The new normal at fitness centers is small groups of people training inside, outside, and in some cases, everywhere in between. Group training classes aren’t just confined to the group fitness studio anymore. Indoor/outdoor boot camps and circuit training classes are continuing to gain momentum. This HIIT training model is popular for SGT, but what about the people who aren’t looking for such an intense workout experience?
Mainstream SGT is catering to the people who are not intimidated by words like “boot camp” and “high intensity”. There are plenty of members and prospective members who would like to join a group and benefit from the guidance of a personal trainer who might never join a “boot camp” for fear they couldn’t keep up.
Keep in mind that small group training can be anything – not just HIIT.
Here are a few other SGT programming ideas to consider:
Consider offering a variety of SGT programming options to bridge the gap between the beginners and the boot campers. This could be a solution for your facility to increase ancillary revenue as well as the earning potential of your training staff.