8 Reasons Your Gym Needs to Offer Group Training

Published on: 
23 August 19
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11 min read

Group training is a growing trend in the fitness industry that’s gained huge momentum in the last few years. You can find group training in parks, gyms and community spaces in a variety of different forms like boot camps or spin classes. According to Les Mills, exercisers are 26% less likely to cancel on a class than just a gym-only member. Another standout statistic is that 35% remain loyal compared to 29% of gym attendees. 

Group training is a popular way to exercise and a great way to keep your members motivated. There are a ton of benefits that come from working out in a crowd and gym members are ready to take advantage of that. By offering group training at your gym, you can tap into an additional market that you may not have reached before. In this article, we will discuss eight reasons why your gym needs to start offering group training classes. 

 

What is Group Training? 

Group fitness may be the answer to a number of problems your members have from gym shyness to lacking motivation. A small study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association looked into the effects of group exercise classes on stress and quality of life. They found that those who took part in group exercises enjoyed more health benefits than those who worked out alone. 

Generally, group training involves fewer than 10 participants led by a professional trainer or instructor. Many gyms already offer a varied schedule of group training classes like strength training, core, and cardio. There are several boutique studios that are entirely based on group fitness including barre or indoor cycling such as SoulCycle. It’s personal training without the high costs, members benefit from professional instruction and guidance without the price tag of a personal trainer. 

In order to remain competitive and relevant, it’s not unusual for health and fitness facilities to keep an eye on influential trends within the industry. Health clubs with group training classes and programs in place are well-positioned to grow their revenue by drawing on emerging fitness trends and catering to the demand of their members. 

3 Exercises Perfect For Small Group Training 

Exercises that work best for small group training often depend on the group goal, the space and the kind of equipment you have available. To get you started, here are three exercises perfect for small group fitness.  

1. Circuit Training   

Circuit training is an effective way to train a small group. The majority of bootcamp businesses focus on this style of training to whip clients into shape. Bootcamp workouts emphasize total body functional training. The difficulty of the exercises depends on the fitness levels of your clients. Small group training programs are an ideal way to keep clients coming back, these are usually done over six or ten weeks with noticeable results. 

2. Kettlebell Group Training 

Group training can be designed around certain equipment like kettlebells. A kettlebell group session may include swings, squats and other moves. The trainer can instruct the whole class at the same time before walking around and helping individuals on their form and technique. Members get the benefit of one-on-one training with the support and camaraderie of a group. 

3. Weight-Loss Group Training  

When group training is focused on one specific goal, all members are working towards the same goal. Weight-loss group training focuses on exercises that increase the heart rate and burn the maximum amount of calories. A weight-loss program utilizing group fitness and professional instruction will be very attractive to certain members that don’t want to lose weight alone. There is growing evidence that group-based diet and exercise programs can lead to weight loss. 

8 Reasons Why You Need to Offer Group Training at Your Gym

Group training classes are a great way to bring your members together to socialize and get fit. Gen Z and Millennials make up 80% of health club members according to the 2019 Les Mills Global Consumer Fitness Survey. Today’s young people place a strong value on the social elements of exercise. 

According to the research, 60% of the barriers that are stopping people from taking part in group training are completely in your control and could be rectified through scheduling tweaks and a better onboarding program for new members. Here are eight reasons why you need to start offering group training at your gym. 

1. Build a Community and Meet New People  

Group training helps your members connect helping to build a strong community at your gym. It gives your clients the chance to meet new people, introducing a more social aspect to fitness and improving their overall experience. Research shows that younger members value social interaction even more so than Millennials. Beyond fitness goals, a community gives your members a sense of belonging. Create a workout-tribe to double down on the motivation. When you’re in an intense ab-burning class, it’s easier to push through adverse conditions when you’re in a group. 

Engage your members and make your fitness class a shared experience. This helps your class to be less intimidating to newcomers but also helps members form strong friendships which is an added incentive to keep coming back and booking classes. 

Here are a couple of great reads on customer retention:

2. Make Fitness Instruction More Affordable    

One of the main reasons group training is so attractive is that it makes professional fitness instruction completely affordable. This means that members that may not be able to afford one-on-one personal training sessions would love to attend group classes and receive proper guidance. Instead of struggling through a workout, a group fitness class allows you to work with a trainer without the high price tag.  

The quality of the instructor is one of the biggest influencers for young people on how they choose their group workout classes, with 37% listing it as their biggest reason for signing up for a class. For some inspiration and advice from thought leaders on how to grow your fitness business, check out these podcasts:

3. Increase Motivation 

If your members are motivated they will renew their gym membership and keep booking classes. One of the most common reasons for gym members canceling their membership is down to a lack of motivation. Research suggests that 50% of people who start an exercise program will drop out in the first six months. 

Group training is a great way to keep clients motivated. With a teacher telling you what to do, the session is less work for you while still being very effective. If members are struggling to make it to the gym, a group training class could be the motivation that they need to commit to a training routine.  

4. Accountability and Support    

Accountability is a huge part of sticking to a fitness regime. Group training helps keep members accountable while supporting them with fitness professionals and a sense of community. Some gyms require members to sign up and pay for classes in advance and even charge a penalty fee for a no show. This is a great idea for holding members accountable which helps them meet their fitness goals. 

If you signed up for a class and it’s penciled in your diary and you know the teacher and your classmates will be asking where you are, will you really want to skip your class? The extra support your members feel from you as a gym owner, your instructor and other class members will keep them motivated and hold them accountable. 

5. Group Exercise Classes Are Fun    

It’s simple, group exercise classes are fun. With a mix of motivational music, energizing workouts and a good group of people, the atmosphere is fun, lively and enjoyable. This is especially true for cycling or aerobics classes which are entirely built around high-energy music and a social atmosphere.  

When exercising is fun, it’s more likely to be sustainable. The fun factor adds to the overall experience which members demand and nowadays, expect. When you can share in both the struggle and success of working out, members will come back again and again. Fun group training options include Zumba, Jazzercise and trampoline group workouts.

6. Improve Member Retention 

Members are at the core of any gym or fitness business and without them, you won’t get very far. Member retention is the ultimate goal for a gym with motivated members who renew their membership year after year. There are several reasons why your member retention may be low such as lack of motivation or new competition in the area with competitive pricing. Fortunately, group training is a fantastic way to improve member retention. 

Group training can increase commitment level, motivation and hold members accountable, all of which help members achieve their fitness goals. With results-driven training programs that offer a sense of belonging and strong community-vibe, members will keep coming back to your gym. A community feel is essential in improving member retention and a useful side effect of offering group training. To find out more about member retention, read our guide on how to accelerate growth with vital gym membership retention ideas.   

7. Structured Workout Plan   

For members who don’t like to exercise solo, sometimes a gym session can be challenging. Knowing what you should do and on which day can be tough. Group training takes the stress out of this while making fitness fun at the same time. A structured workout plan can give members the confidence they need to continue training while increasing motivation. 

It’s also thought that when members are in a group setting, they will push themselves harder. The Köhler Effect is the idea that no one wants to be the weakest link in the group. When you apply this to fitness, it means that members should push themselves harder when working out with people who are fitter than them. 

8. Diversify Class Schedule 

Group training helps to diversify your class schedule and add variety to your gym. Kickboxing, pilates, yoga, spin, cardio, the list goes on. There are numerous types of group training classes that you can incorporate into your gym or health club. Having a variety of classes throughout the week is a great way to work out different areas of the body. It also helps to prevent boredom as there’s plenty of options to try out and enjoy. 

Some creative group training fitness classes include:

  • Broadway Bodies – With studios in Los Angeles and New York, students dance through a workout while waving their jazz hands. 
  • CrossFit Yoga – this workout combines the intensity of CrossFit with the flow of yoga. It’s focused on short, high-intensity training programs that are designed to improve cardiovascular health, strength, and agility.
  • OnBoardSUP – in southern California, yoga is performed on a standup paddleboard to challenge balance and strength while enjoying the water. 

In Summary 

Group training is growing in popularity with many boutique studios based solely on the group fitness model. By offering the opportunity for members to work out in a group setting under the guidance of a professional trainer, you can help to increase motivation, improve member retention and make sure your members are hitting their fitness goals.

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