The point of client programming is to add value to the lives and fitness of your members. There’s a lot of talk about specialty programs that appeal to hyper-motivated gym aficionados. We all know those shining stars of fitness, those super-fit fanatics who continuously push the limits to find new fitness experiences.
However, what about the rest? The average people who just want to get into shape and stay healthy? Here’s the thing, most consumers are just looking to get fit stay fit and fit fitness into an already overcrowded schedule. It’s up to small gym business and fitness club owners to provide the programs that work for them.
Match Your Client Programs To Your Buyer Personas
If you want a growing membership of people, who pay monthly and occasionally purchase premium services and merchandise on top, you’re not looking for extremophiles. The membership business models that keep most gyms in business involve taking people of average ability and motivation and pushing them to produce results they’d never achieve on their own.
Your opportunity to succeed in this business depends on adding that kind of value. It’s up to you to determine the characteristics of your membership personas and adapt your marketing and business model to them. Those members that come to you for the benefits of client programming will tend to fit into a few personas that represent segments of your community. Some of these personas will be personality types that you recognize immediately, others you’ll have to interview to figure out how they fit in.
As a small gym business, once you find your personas, you should stick with them. Once you have the outline of your client personas, you’ll know what sorts of programs will work in your market, and you can refine your client programs as you get more data from reports in your gym management software.
Some Members Need More Than Others
New membership prospects come to you with various levels of instruct-ability and fitness knowledge. Your high-performance athletes who just need the space, the equipment, and perhaps the social connection don’t require much help. These are people who you can leave to get on with it, without a trainer. Members with high fitness knowledge can plan workouts for themselves; you just provide resources.
On the other hand, the average fitness members, who tend to be less confident and experienced, often realize that they need to work out and develop workout routines will look to you to deliver their results. The one thing that you need is their commitment to an effort; members who don’t comply with your program won’t get the result. One of the reasons will likely be that they have stressful lifestyles that leave them chronically short of time and fatigued.
Use Client Programming To Create Your Own Success
It turns out that shorter sessions may be better for some of your membership. Some trainers and fitness clubs are finding that a combination of structure and brevity is a good fit for busy club members. Busy gym members find that fitness programs that limit classes and activities to half an hour fit their lifestyles better.
While there’s an argument in favor of longer sessions, you don’t get any value from the client programming you don’t sell. So, getting people to the gym in short bursts is definitely better than nothing. Once these members gain basic fitness and feel less fatigued, they may be more interested in extending training sessions.
Client Programming Successes Deliver The Results
People who respond to your programming and show positive results are the dream of every trainer and owner. If you think about it, a beginner client who starts with a low level of physical conditioning and then makes good progress is a gem. Hope and a sense of community are the great attractors in the fitness industry.
If prospects can see that you get results for people like them they’re much more likely to sign up. You get multiple benefits when their flab turns to fit, and fat turns to muscle. Friends and acquaintances will demand to know how these newly buffed-up members got that way and they’ll give you the best referrals that you could ever hope to receive. These members are the ones you can hold up and promote (with their permission of course) as examples of how your client programming changes lives.
Fundamental Value For Everyone
Client programming is the most fundamental feature that you can offer through your small gym business. Whether you have a well-resourced fitness club complete with IoT connected equipment or you simply rent space for classes or host gatherings in the park, it’s the same.
Your ability to provide valuable insights and deliver results is what the average membership prospect wants most. A winning client programming framework should be at the heart of your successful fitness value proposition.
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McGrath, Chris. Program Design for the Average Client. August 10, 2012. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/2837/program-design-for-the-average-client (accessed November 7, 2017).
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