group training

Make Your SGT Pop with Programming

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As we continue to dive into the latest Fitness Trends reports to brainstorm ideas and make plans for a successful fitness business in 2018, it’s a good idea to look at the details surrounding your group fitness programming. ACSM’s Survey of the Top 20 Fitness Trends for 2018 revealed both Group Training and Group Personal Training. The difference between these two trends (which we will soon explore) are subtle – but

the truth is that for facilities, trainers, and members – training is, in fact, better in groups.

ACSM defines Group Training as large groups of more than five people and excludes specialty classes such as Zumba. Depending on your facility, these types of classes might be included in the membership fee or offered for an upcharge. Group Training jumped four spots this year landing at the #2 fitness trend for 2018.

Group Personal Training is what we might more commonly refer to as Small Group Training (SGT) and describes a group of 2-4 clients training together with a trainer. This training model is financially ideal for trainers and members – trainers charge more, while clients pay less – per hour.

Training in groups – small or large, added cost or no added cost – increases social interaction with the member base and staff. Social interaction has a tremendous effect on member retention. According to a study conducted by IHRSA, the risk of cancellation is 56% higher among members who just use gym equipment vs. those who exercise in groups.

The new normal at fitness centers is 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”. However, 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:

–           Yoga for Runners

–           Strength Training Fundamentals

–           Core Training Basics

–           Basic Training for Beginners

A strong SGT curriculum that offers a variety of high and low intensity programming will appeal to all fitness levels. Paring a strong SGT curriculum and a balanced group fitness schedule, accomplishes two of the five items on IHRSA’s Member Retention Tune-Up Checklist:

  • Build a community among members and staff
  • Expand your group fitness offering

Consider offering a variety of SGT programming options to bridge the gap between the beginners and the boot campers.

Not sure where to start? We’re here to help.

If you are on the hunt for new programming ideas – Power Systems offers new products complete with plug-and-play programming options for group training and group personal training – the PowerWave and the Axle.

The Axle

Interested in reaching out the growing number of obstacle course racers inside and outside your club walls? This summer, we worked with Power Systems Master Coach and Elite OCR coach and athlete, Yancy Culp, on how to implement obstacle course specific training exercises into your SGT programs.

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Elisabeth Fouts

About Elisabeth Fouts

Elisabeth serves as the Education Coordinator for Power Systems and is their primary content contributor for blogs and articles on a variety of subjects from personal training and group fitness programming to product spotlights and health club operations. She holds a B.S. in Exercise Science and has over 15 years of experience in the fitness industry from a personal trainer & group fitness instructor to regional level fitness management. Elisabeth is also a Master Trainer for PowerWave Master and holds industry group fitness certifications with ACE & Les Mills.