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Entries in Mile High Run Club (1)

Wednesday
Aug192015

Dream Machines

Machine-based cardiovascular workouts—e.g., running on a treadmill— have long been a solitary, solo sort of affair. Now, however, club members no longer need to go it alone.

Today, the equipment on your cardio floor is muscling its way into the group fitness studio. This relatively new phenomena is enticing clients to sweat more and giving clubs a significant upgrade in terms of retention and secondary revenue.

The way you offer group fitness might never be the same again.

New roles for machines

First, there were the bikes.
Group cycling, now nearly three decades old, is still going strong, and seems to be unstoppable. In fact, wheels are spinning feverishly, not only in traditional clubs, but also in facilities dedicated to the practice. For instance, Soul Cycle, based in New York City, has more than 40 studios across the U.S., staging classes that are consistently sold out, and is planning to expand in Europe.

Given this, the question many in the industry are asking is: If bikes can do it, why not other types of equipment, too?

As a result, manufacturers, club owners and operators, and fitness professionals are all looking at equipment in an entirely new way, and weighing the promising possibilities.

Treadmills are, perhaps, the front-runners in this growing trend. Crunch Fitness, the ever-entertainment- minded, New York–based brand, offers sessions such as Tread N’ Shed and Runway, both of which utilize treadmills. And Orangetheory Fitness, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida–based fitness franchise, features a 60-minute workout that employs treadmill-based intervals.

“People want to train smarter. And harder,” points out Deborah Warner, the founder and program director of the Mile High Run Club (MHRC), a 4000-square-foot boutique treadmill studio in New York City. “They’re eager for better results, and these classes deliver them.” Her facility, open 7 days a week from as early as 6 a.m. until as late as 9 p.m., offers classes such as Dash28.

The 45-to-60-minute classes cost $34 each.

Warner is a former instructor for Equinox, the Manhattan-based chain that offers its own take on group treadmill classes as part of its Precision Running program, and which, coincidentally, also operates Soul Cycle.

For Warner, machine-centric group workouts
 are definitely not a passing trend. “There’s great
potential here to equal the success of group
cycling,” she contends. “The music, the lights, the group dynamic, the accountability, and the coach
who guides and inspires you—they make this a
compelling option with definite staying power.”

It also appeals to a wide demographic. “We’re attracting beginners, as well as the advanced, elite, competitive runners,” she explains. “There are far more indoor runners than indoor cyclists, and treadmills are actually the No. 1 most popular type of cardio equipment.”

MHRC makes use of 30 treadmills provided by Woodway USA, and, Warner reports, “They’re in a league all their own—built like a tank.”

 

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