The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.



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Entries in Aida Johnson-Rapp (1)


Skilled Instructors are Integral to Running a Successful Group Exercise Program

Are you maximizing the ROI on your group exercise classes?

Research by IHRSA and others documents how important group-ex is to members and, in turn, to member satisfaction. According to IHRSA, a remarkable 90% of all exercisers prefer to work out in groups rather than on their own. And The Retention People (TRP), a Woodbury, New York–based provider of customer experience management (CEM) software and services, reports that group offerings reduce the risk of cancellation by 26%—possibly because the people who take part in classes visit the club more frequently than those who are equipment-centric.

Think an impressive array of new, well-maintained, high-tech cardio and strength machines is the key to success?

Well, you might want to think again.

If there’s one word that sums up the power of group-ex, it might well be engagement.

Classes, whether small or large, low- or high- impact, relaxed or high-intensity, produce an ambience marked by camaraderie, cooperation, encouragement, and friendly competition, creating a strong sense of community.

Instructors Are the Essence of a Group Program

Although many group-ex programs may look the same or share the same name, in reality, the instructor defines each class, shaping it in their own image. Even pre-choreographed sessions, such as those offered by Les Mills, vary somewhat, depending on the leader’s personality and style.

“Instructors are the essence of a group program,” said Aida Johnson-Rapp, the group-ex director at the premium East Bank Club in Chicago, which stages 216 classes a week. “They have to have the qualities of a performer; the skills and knowledge to deliver safe, effective classes that members enjoy; and the ability to produce results.”

No matter how trendy your classes are, your success rests,
ultimately, on the shoulders of certified professionals who are enthusiastic about service and helping others enjoy exercise.

“The instructors are the heartbeat, the air, the sunshine—basically, the life—of the program,” said Dori Nugent, the group-ex director at Club La Maison, in Wayne, PA. “Instructors who can create magic in the studio—they’re priceless.”

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