All club owners are familiar with a certain type of gym member. They spend $200 on designer workout clothes, saunter into the club, sit on a few machines while staring at their phone, stroll a bit on a treadmill while socializing, then go home without breaking a sweat. Later, they’ll tell anybody who will listen that they got their workout in that day.
As familiar as this gym archetype may be, you see it less often these days. Instead, a different breed has become more common in clubs: the performance exerciser. They want fast, intense workouts that provide more bang for the buck. They expect efficiency and results.
This movement is the culmination of the popularity of functional fitness (e.g. CrossFit), heart rate training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), boot camp classes, and extreme obstacle course races. These trends, in turn, have been fueled by the studio movement and wearable technology. All of these concepts are frequently put under the category of “performance training.” Rare is the club that doesn’t offer at least one performance training option, especially if they have a younger clientele.
“Members—especially younger ones, but a growing number of others as well—are expressing a desire to experience ‘more’ in terms of performance training,” states a recent Club Business International (CBI) article. “For them, it’s not just about looking good. It’s about optimal performance, improved function, discovering what they’re made of, and demonstrating what they can do.”