Posted by Karen Bryan on 1 March, 2017
For the first time, group training has made it into the ACSM top 20 trends for the year ahead! Gym and studio owners across the world are realising the benefits associated with small, personalised group training sessions - for their members AND their business. Group training helps to:
- Build community
- Increase motivation
- Increase member retention
With the fitness sphere set to change dramatically over the coming year, can you risk losing out against rivals who have already taken the plunge?
Let’s get started with Reason #1 - Why small group training should be part of your fitness business strategy!
1: GROUP TRAINING HELPS TO BUILD COMMUNITY
Do you find it difficult to create a community vibe at your gym or fitness studio? You're not alone. With competition as intense as it is, community is becoming more and more important. If member’s don’t form social connections with your trainers or other members, they’re essentially missing the glue that keeps them from hopping from studio to studio. Group training, on the other hand, gives members the opportunity to create these social bonds at your facility.
How can I increase community at my gym or studio?
Most humans are social beings who love to be part of something bigger. When members workout with their friends, it can often feel like a social gathering as opposed to a fitness regime. Once you keep it intense and give it your all - that's not exactly a bad thing! The best part? If a member is thinking of skipping a class, their fear of missing out on the social aspect will kick in, leading to increased attendance rates.
Overall, by encouraging the social aspect of each session, you can be sure the whole group walks out with a big smile on their face, no matter how they felt when they walked in.
2: GROUP TRAINING INCREASES MOTIVATION
Your member’s fitness friends will expect them to be at each training session, right? When members are thinking of giving a session a miss, they'll have their very own motivational team behind them. A team of people in the exact same shoes as them. Sometimes, all your members need is a little ‘push’ from others in a similar position. This is something that 1:1 personal training can’t always offer.
How can I increase member motivation at my gym or studio?
Choose motivational group trainers i.e. Leaders! Be sure to encourage these trainers to continuously develop upon their leadership skills. For example, Glofox clients have the opportunity to up skill by taking Shaw Academy courses.
It can be difficult to motivate 6 people to push themselves to the limit and become the best version of themselves, all at once. However, the success of your group training sessions will be dependent on your ability to motivate members. Not to mention, your motivational skills will rub off on your members. It’s not unlikely to see members applying the same tactics to their friends when they feel they’re losing determination.
Here at Glofox, we recommend trainers to encourage this motivation outside class hours, through mobile push notifications. Group training shouldn’t be impersonal. Push notifications give you the chance to build meaningful relationships with members, before they even walk through the door for their next session.
3: GROUP TRAINING HELPS TO INCREASE MEMBER RETENTION
It’s simple. When members are motivated, they’re less likely to cancel their membership. In fact, a survey completed by TRP found group exercisers 26% less likely to cancel, compared to members who solely went to the gym. For this reason, group training is a fantastic way of retaining members who otherwise, may have canceled their membership after a couple of weeks.
How can I increase member retention at my gym or studio?
It’s important to preempt reasons as to why members would quit your group training sessions. When you understand the reasons why members left in the past, you can create a strategy to counteract them.
For example, it’s not uncommon for group training sessions to take longer than a regular PT session, especially, when you’re still trying to provide a personalised service. To keep busy working members engaged, you could offer shorter, 30 minute HIIT group training sessions each week - an offer that even your busiest members couldn't turn down!
4: GROUP TRAINING HELPS TO PREVENT TRAINING BOREDOM
When it comes to group training, the possibilities are endless. You can switch up your group training sessions every single week if needs be - from HIIT, and strength and conditioning right up to pilates and yoga. What’s more, is that you can tailor each workout to meet the group’s goals and objectives. This will ensure you capture and keep the attention of members, even those who tend to get bored easily. By mixing things up, your members will also make better progress. If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that once we start seeing the results, it's harder to quit!
How can I prevent boredom at my gym or studio?
Before starting a group training session, be sure to sit down and identify common goals among the group. By doing so, you have the chance to strengthen the group dynamic and help the group to accomplish these goals more effectively. Example of group goals may be to:
- Increase muscular strength
- Increase flexibility and balance
- Increase stamina
5: GROUP TRAINING PROVIDES GUIDANCE, WITHOUT THE PRESSURE OF 1:1
TRP’s survey also found that new members who have never visited a fitness studio or gym before, are more likely to participate in group training as opposed to going it alone. For some, the pressure of 1:1 training is a major no go - especially for nervous newbies.
Small group training on the other hand, can provide a similar level of individualisation and personalisation, without the pressure one might experience in a 1:1 session.
How can I provide guidance to newbies through group training sessions?
Offer beginners group training sessions that cover a variety of introductory topics such as proper form to avoid injury, HIIT basics, stretching and recovery.
When you provide new members with the information they need in a comfortable surrounding, they’re more likely to understand the value your service has to offer and become more motivated on their fitness journey.
Group training is a fantastic opportunity for gyms and studio owners that want to improve the member experience.
We’ve given you 5 good reasons to offer group training at your gym or studio, now it's your turn to kick start your plan of action!
Be sure to follow our 4 tips for creating the ultimate member experience
Topics: Industry Interest