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Entries in personal training (64)


To Grow Personal Training Revenue, Teach Staff to Create Positive Experiences

This post is a preview of the October 12 webinar, "Top Tips for Growing Fitness Revenues."

Photo: Healthtrax

When you’re looking to increase your gym’s personal training revenues, your first instinct may be to crunch the numbers. But, while the financials may shed some light on opportunities for cost savings, you may be better off starting with the core of your business—the people.

Continue reading "To Grow Personal Training Revenue, Teach Staff to Create Positive Experiences."

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Selling a Better Life: Where Personal Training Meets Revenue 

The following is an excerpt from “How to Increase Trainer Revenue: Volume 1,” available for free on the IHRSA Exclusive Member Content App.

Few necessities in running a business are as fraught with as many contradictions as “sales.”

As consumers, the term “salespeople” can have negative connotations because of bad experiences in retail and telemarketing. Who hasn’t had a shopping experience disrupted by an aggressive salesperson who shadows you as you browse or badgered you into looking at a more expensive option? 

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Strong Fee-based Programming Drives Revenue, Trainer Retention

This post is an IHRSA Institute preview.

There’s more to fee-based programming than meets the eye.

Personal training, small group training, and other fee-based programs are strong drivers of additional club business revenue. But the benefits of fee-based programming don’t stop at your bottom line.

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It’s Not Me, It’s You: How to Avoid the Client/Personal Trainer Breakup 

This is an IHRSA featured post, brought to you by Matrix.

There’s no Uber for personal trainers and clients, or at least not one that accounts for the unique relationship between trainers and clients. This is a relationship that depends on similar interpersonal dynamics as more serious commitments. It’s business, sure, but they call it “personal” training for a reason. 

Establishing a good match between trainer and client is based on a number of criteria (costs, goals, comfort level, scheduling, etc.), but when the relationship ends, it’s usually for the same reason: lack of progress. Your club may do a good job of signing people up for training sessions, but if members don’t commit or they quit before their goals are achieved, the experience can become negative. That’s not good for retention or club loyalty.

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Encouraging Gym Members to Take Advantage of Personal Training

The following post was written Brent Gallagher, owner of Avenu Fitness, for our Best Practices series.

Question: We want to convert more of our members into personal training clients. Do you have a suggestion?

Brent Gallagher: How about offering 30-minute training sessions, if you’re not already doing so?

Back in 2007, when I was offering hour-long sessions, I began to realize how busy everyone was. My clients were telling me that they no longer had enough time for personal training.

Also, I was working so much that I’d lost touch with friends and family, so I stepped back and wondered, “What if I cut the workouts in half? Does more time necessarily mean better health?” I realized that a 30-minute model could help my members make better use of their time.
I could do the same—and work with even more people.

Since then, I’ve also observed that, when a session is 60 minutes long, people pace themselves; in a shorter session, they tend to focus and give 100%. That said, if you’re going to offer half-hour sessions, be sure to emphasize the importance of eating well and getting adequate sleep. Sleep deprivation can contribute to overeating, and, over a 30-minute session, members aren’t likely to burn enough calories to counteract the effects of poor habits.

Think about it. Time is the most valuable asset we all have, so it’s important to use it wisely—and to create a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.

Brent Gallagher
Owner and Performance Coach
Avenu Fitness
Houston, TX


5 Ways Wearable Devices Can Turn Your PT Staff into Supertrainers 

This is an IHRSA featured post, brought to you by EXOS.

Knowing your heart rate is so 2010. Today’s wearable fitness technology delivers data points that far exceed anything that’s ever before been made available outside of medical clinics. But what good is all that information if it’s not used to improve health outcomes and fitness levels?

When personal trainers and performance coaches are trained in analyzing data from wearable devices, they can provide tremendous benefits to novice and serious clients in reaching their goals. And that means happier members and improved retention.

Here are five ways wearables can take fitness training to the next level.

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What Every Personal Trainer Needs to Know About Sales

Personal training is a large—and growing—source of revenue for many health clubs. But are your personal trainers willing and able to play a successful role in the sales process? 

According to the 2015 IHRSA Profiles of Success, a median of 10% of total revenues at leading health clubs comes from individual and small-group personal training. From 2013 to 2014, member participation in at least one personal training session increased by 11%. 

Clearly, the ability to sell personal training services is critical to the long-term success of your operation(s). And that means making sure your personal trainers are comfortable with and knowledgeable about sales.

It Takes a Team 

Building a robust personal training program is a team effort, and health club operators need to educate their employees on their particular role in the process. 

As Steve Satin, president and founder of Satin Wellness, notes, the focus of the front desk and membership teams is generating new memberships. So they may be concerned that bringing up personal training with prospective or new members comes across as overselling. 

The solution? Understanding the right way to approach the sales conversation. 

"The front desk team is a great place to ask appropriate questions, [and] the membership team can easily provide the option of personal training to an enthusiastic new member," Satin said at IHRSA 2016

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6 Components of a Strong Personal Training Department

Why does personal training exist? Because we can’t do the exercise ourselves, said Luke Carlson of Discover Strength during his “Personal & Group Training Management” session at the 2016 IHRSA Institute.   

Strong Leaders, Strong Personal Training Department 

Session attendees shared additional reasons their club members hire personal trainers, such as looking for expertise and social interaction, and seeking motivation and accountability. The key reason club members need personal trainers is supervision; statistically, fitness performance and health outcomes are far better with supervised exercise, Carlson said.  

Carlson cautioned that weak leaders can be the reason personal training departments aren’t performing better. Club owners and managers must identify their core values, institutionalize them and build a culture around them. Those in leadership roles must identify each individual staff member and job function and ensure that the “right person is in the right seat." 

Six Components of a Strong Personal Training Department 

Carlson introduced the following six components that comprise a strong personal training department, and stressed the importance of identifying the tools and tactical solutions that drive performance in each. 

  1. Vision – Solidify a shared vision of core values and a future plan
  2. People – Determine who does what and how it should be done.
  3. Process – Identify, simplify, and document your processes
  4. Data – Develop a consistent way to measure key performance indicators
  5. Traction – Document the two-to-five most important things to be accomplished each quarter
  6. Issues – Effective leaders must recognize issues and how to handle them 

In closing, Carlson said, “There is a difference between doing, and doing well. Execution is paramount.” 

Read more coverage from the 2016 IHRSA Institute.


Personal Trainer Packs Big Fitness Design Into Tiny House

The health club world is filled with dedicated professionals who eat, breathe, and live fitness, but Mike De Vivo has taken it to the next level; the Corporate Fitness Works personal trainer and his wife recently built a fitness-themed house, decked out with a climbing wall, kettle bell storage, a climbing rope, a gymnastics ladder, and TRX equipment. 

Oh, and the house is 330 square feet. Total.

“The tiny house lifestyle really is something that we think is a healthy lifestyle for us,” De Vivo says. “I don’t think it’s for everyone, but for us it’s going to allow us to have the lifestyle that we think will be the most healthy, especially with a kid on the way.” 

That’s right—when the De Vivos' baby is born this fall, three people will be living in a space smaller than the average studio apartment. 

Tiny House, Big Exposure 

It may sound extreme, but the tiny house movement is growing, as evidenced by the proliferation of TV shows featuring house hunters looking to downsize, decrease their living costs, and become more mobile. 

De Vivo’s tiny house construction project was featured on a recent episode of one such show—HGTV’s “Tiny House Big Living.” 

Allowing camera crews to document the five-month construction process was an easy choice for De Vivo, who already followed several tiny house blogs that posted ads about reality TV opportunities. He knew that building a fitness-themed house was a unique angle that would appeal to producers, and figured national coverage would provide positive exposure for the builders, while also ensuring quality of craftsmanship. 

“We also knew HGTV would be able to help us get sponsorship for a good amount of materials,” De Vivo says. “The fitness materials were sponsored—we were able to get a couple hundred dollars worth.” 

The sponsorships helped the build to stay on-budget; all-in, the house cost $72,000. 

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Personal Training Usage Continues to Grow Among Health Club Members

This feature is brought to you by the IHRSA Store spring sale. Now through June 30, save 25% on reports, webinars, and all other resources in the IHRSA Store by using promo code 2016SALE at checkout. 

Personal training is often the second-largest source of revenue for many health clubs and, in the case of many studios, it’s their primary source of revenue.

IHRSA’s Profiles of Success notes that leading club operators generate a median of 10% of total revenues from personal training. Incremental membership growth over the past several years has motivated club operators to seek new revenue sources and, consequently, the emphasis on monetizing the member experience through personal training (individual and small group). This year’s findings offer a window into the world of personal training to identify behaviors and trends that might help club operators prosper.

Personal Training Usage Moves Upward in 2014

In 2014, 15% of health club members and 15.4% of non-member users engaged in at least one personal training session. This represents an 11% increase over 2013, when 13.5% of members took part in at least one personal training session.

Among the 15% of members who have taken at least one personal training session over the past year, men are more likely to participate than women, with 16% of men and 14% of women engaging in personal training at least once in the past year, both increases from 2013. Among non-members, where overall participation was 15.4%, men and women were equally likely to engage in personal training.

Key distinctions in personal training participation can be observed across the various industry segments. The penetration percentage for members using personal training at least once in 2014 for traditional clubs ranges from 15% in nonprofits to 28% in multipurpose clubs, while for studio segments it ranges from 28% to 57%. It should be noted that the high levels of personal training participation for many of these studio facilities could be attributed to their heavy reliance on small group training.

In 2014, personal training clients worked with a trainer an average of 25 times over the course of the year, with women using the services of a trainer for an average of 32 times, in comparison with 20 sessions for men. The majority of members engage in personal training less than 10 times annually, with 59% of personal training clients using a personal trainer fewer than 10 times annually. On the other end of the spectrum, 15% of members engage with a trainer at least 50 times a year (super consumers) and women are nearly twice as likely to be a super consumer as men.

Personal Training Demographics – The Influence of Age and Income

Adults ages 25 to 34, along with youth 6 to 12, were the most likely to engage in personal training. Adults between the ages 35 and 44 closely followed these two younger age groups with 19% of personal training clients derived from this audience.

It’s worth noting that adults over age 55 are the least likely to leverage the expertise of a personal trainer, with fewer than 10% doing so. Viewing personal training trends by age group as a percentage of the overall membership, rather than just as a percentage of a specific age group, reveals that 6- to 12-year-olds, 25- to 34-year-olds, and 35- to 44-year-olds each represent 3% of the total membership base.

Personal training has proven to be the domain of the more affluent; 7% of members earning in excess of $100,000 annually engage in personal training—more than twice the percentage of any other HHI group that engages in personal training. No other HHI group has more than 2.4% of its membership group involved in personal training.

Finally, nearly 8% of all personal training clients are Caucasian health club members (over 50% of all personal training clients). Hispanic members are the second largest segment of personal training clients, representing 3.5% of all members (17% of all personal training clients). 

This post was excerpted from the 2015 Health Club Consumer Report.