5 Things You—and Your Cardio Equipment—Should Be Doing
Let’s look at how you can increase the member experience in your cardio room. For a premium cardio workout, your equipment should be able to accommodate these trends.
1. Allow for heart-rate and HIIT programming
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and heart-rate training are quickly gaining a larger market share in the fitness industry. The American College of Sports Medicine is just one research body that stresses the overall effectiveness of HIIT over more conventional routines. Machines that don’t allow programming for these types of workouts are not keeping up with workout trends that are quickly becoming imperatives.
HIIT and heart rate workouts are almost always shorter than steady-state cardio sessions, too. That’s important for younger demographics. According to the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, lack of time is one of Generation X’s top reasons they don’t go to the gym.
2. Increase social engagement and wearable connectivity
This is a no-brainer in these days of advanced tech devices that calculate activity markers and feed it to cloud-based social media sites. While older demographics aren’t as plugged in, that’s beginning to change, and you may be missing an opportunity to foster more social connection among your club members if your cardio equipment doesn’t provide for multiple digital platforms.
3. Offer versatile machine settings
Apart from a wide range of programming options, cardio equipment needs to be versatile in its ability to provide incline adjustments and other hardware settings to allow for different sized members with a range of fitness abilities. You’d be surprised how unyielding a lot of cardio machines are. Make sure your machines can provide a comfortable, safe workout for members of every shape and size.
4. Ensure it’s easy to use
This is another under-appreciated aspect of well-designed equipment. The dashboard panel should be intuitive and offer easy entry points for those coming to the machine for the first time. There’s no rule saying that versatile, technologically advanced equipment has to be complicated.
5. Delivers on the “wow” factor
This is a subjective measure, but you know it when you see it. Offering equipment that’s appealing to the eye, while providing unique features and capabilities, reflects well on your club brand. Fitness consultant Brent Darden says clubs can increase member satisfaction with even just a partial equipment upgrade.
“It should be augmented periodically with a major/noticeable equipment rejuvenation that produces a ‘wow’ factor,” he says.