Posted on June 18, 2013 by Lawrence Fagan
I am aware that I am listing 4 accessories and not a more normal “top” number of either 3 or 5 or even 10. I did that for a reason and not to be an overachiever if you think there should only be 3 listed or lazy if you believe that 5 listed accessories would have been a better well rounded number for this article. In a sense, I do agree that 5 sounds better, so I am going to ask you at the end of this article to add in the comment section what the 5th most important gym accessory should be.
With that said, everyone knows that a health club is a place where you expect to find a wide range of equipment that is required for a good and comprehensive workout. In a previous article, I listed the top 5 most popular pieces of gym equipment. While many top health clubs meet the expectation, there are cases where some health clubs might be under equipped. There are also cases where health clubs might have the equipment but do not have accessories required to use the equipment safely. Here is a list of the top four gym equipment accessories that every health club should have.
Weight plates are probably the most important accessory set that a health club must have. The range of exercises in which weight plates can be used is almost unlimited. They can be even used with dumbbells for heavy workout sessions. Weight plates are also an integral part of bench press. Another factor that health clubs should keep in mind is the range of weights in the weight plates’ rack. Depending on the capacity of the person, the weights that he or she can use can be as less as 5 pounds and can go up to as much as 50 pounds per plate. So, it is imperative that the range of weights should also be considered in the setup.
The locks that go with weight plates are also as important as the plates. These locks are used to ensure that the weight plates do not slide off the bar in case the bar is tilted in the process of exercising. Weight plates and the locks go are equally important to any health club and they are the most important gym equipment accessories.
The back, although appears stronger, is the most vulnerable part of the body when you try to lift heavy weights. This is the reason why most of the people who are experienced in the gym use back support belts while working with large weights. Most gyms either have a shortage of these belts or no belts at all. One of the problems with back injuries is that it never heals completely. It keeps recurring, especially when you put additional strain on your back. That is the reason why it is always better to wear a back support belt, as prevention is better than cure when it comes to back injuries as well.
Although these might not fall exactly under the category of gym equipment accessories, the skipping rope is one most ignored health club accessories. People are more fascinated by the sophisticated equipment that the health club has, and tend to incline towards those and ignore the immense potential that this simple accessory has to offer.
Skipping is one of the best ways of improving your lower body strength while performing cardiovascular exercise as well. This dual effect of skipping is why boxers are seen exercising using the skipping rope so frequently.
The stability ball, in my opinion could be either considered a piece of equipment or accessory as it could be used alone or with other accessories. The stability ball comes in a range of sizes, and the number of exercises that can be performed using them is endless. Just use the internet to search for stability ball exercises and you will probably get more than you can handle.
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Posted on June 13, 2013 by Lawrence Fagan
Fitness facilities generally involve a large amount of investment in the beginning and high maintenance costs throughout. On top of this, keeping up with the competition in terms of technology and training is another expense. Returns come much after this chunk of money is being fueled into the heart and soul of the business.
What this implies is that you must have a great start to break-even as soon as possible. Your facility deserves a huge opening so that people know that a lot of effort and money has been put into a project for their benefit. Here are some tips that may help you if you are in a similar situation.
Timing is very important. Timing here means choosing the opportune moment to open the fitness facility, as well as the timing of how to spread out your opening campaign over a few weeks or months in order for it to be cost and publicity effective. Now that we are through with the per-requisites, let us explore the possible options for you.
The Opening Date Makes a Difference
One thing to remember is to be remembered. You want the name of your fitness center to be the first people think of when they say “gym” or “health club.” An easy way to start on this road is to open your center on a day that is easy to remember.
An ideal time to open such a place is a fortnight before an important holiday. For example, open your doors about two weeks before Christmas. Before understanding the reasoning behind this fully, you must know that in business, small firms offer lower prices and then slowly increase them after they start getting customers.
By opening prior to an important festival, you may offer a generous discount, and mask the fact that you intend to increase your prices later. To the customer it will only seem like an excellent investment at the festival price, and they will expect the price to go up once the discount period is over without feeling cheated by quarterly increments in membership fees.
Make the Best Use of Technology
With gym management software, it is slightly easier for those opening their own franchises. Without coming to terms with technical advancements, you will put yourself under far more pressure when compared to your competitors. Having this slight edge in the beginning makes a large difference in the long run. It also helps to research and purchase such software well in advance and learn how to use it efficiently before you actually start the fitness center.
Take advantage of social media. Marketing on such platforms is growing for the sole reason that tons of people have access to these platforms. In this era, there are a lot more people stuck to their computers when compared to TVs.
This is a great opportunity for start-ups. Offline commercials cost a bomb compared to the minimal cost of social media marketing. Use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to catch the attention of people. Also creating reputable profiles on LinkedIn and IdeaFit are important for your rapport and networking within the fitness community. No matter which social route you go, creating a buzz is important because in business, brand name and reputation is everything.
The timing for this way of advertising, however, is a little different. You can create a webpage or a Facebook profile page, but the talk on the Internet dies down fairly quickly. Either a few weeks before opening, or after, is probably the best time to make such a move.
Overhead Costs and Ways to Manage Labor
Account for error in all business transactions. Do not distribute your budget over so many or such expensive things that you manage your business to the last penny. Always keep room for some extra money outflow even when it is least expected. In case things do not go according to your plan, it is far better to prepare for such a situation in advance than to postpone your opening and lose some amount of credibility among your target customers.
Hire your trainers and helpers a few days in advance at the very least. Paying an extra few days’ worth of salary is still better than not having staff to show when you interact with your clientele. Make sure your front desk staff has excellent interpersonal and communication skills. First impressions are last impressions for some people.
Management on the other hand involves making sure that your employees are all synchronizing with you to impress people with your new gym. It is better to hire management a week or two before the opening of the gym. This will help you to train them and make them understand your goals better. The easiest way to make sure your employees help you fulfill your goals is to keep them genuinely happy, and to ensure that you are not too impersonal. The better your relationship with your workers, the better they are able to sell your service. This way you do not have to offer a commission on every customer they find, as they will do so voluntarily.
Product differentiation is the best market strategy, agreed upon by countless experts. For a start-up, this edge is what will define your brand. Perhaps offering “charter memberships” will make your first few customers feel extra-special by being actively a part of your foundation.
You may even consider some kind of training to specialize in, like a segment of Special Populations. Capitalize on the small differences, because it’s differences that people remember, not the similarities. Center your opening on your niche and use your opening ceremony as a platform for campaigning it.
Although differentiation is important, it is equally vital to keep in mind that your fitness center has high-quality equipment and professional trainers, and charges reasonable prices in comparison to your competitors. Remember that your business can function only as well as your equipment. Purchase these tools months in advance and have them tried and tested.
Although you have prepared very hard and long for this venture, and its opening, try to avoid showing it off. Instead, maintain professionalism and humility. People who come to gyms have the same motive – to become fit. If you can manage to impress them with your gym being a place for them to get fit, it is sufficient for your business.
If you wish to have something memorable, then do something unique. You may host competitions related to fitness, and give out free vouchers from your center as gifts to those who win. Even a chance to win a free membership for one person for a certain amount of time is a good investment.
Do your best and forget the rest. Do a final checkup. Perhaps ask a friend, who is not a fitness maniac, how he finds the final setup and plan. Remember that this is just an extra vantage point from which you can assess your grand opening. Also, if you feel changes must be made, only make minor changes leading up to the opening day… do not venture to do something drastic.
It is completely natural to find faults in something you have created. Instead of having doubts, finish everything one or two days in advance, and make sure you relax during the next two days. You have probably waited very long for the opening day. An extra day or two for you to relax will only help you become a well rested and better host to your potential customers. Plus if your grand opening is a success, you will need the rest for your business growing pains!
Posted on June 12, 2013 by Lawrence Fagan
Contrary to what some believe, there is a certain way in which you should conduct yourself when you are working out around others in a gym environment. The reason behind this is pretty simple and obvious: there will be other people who might not be able to put up with the way you conduct yourself. This will go a long way in ensuring that you remain a classy member of the health club and people will appreciate you for that. Here are the top 5 rules.
The general feeling is that the health club is a very safe environment, but there are risks everywhere, both for you and for the people around you. Take the example of you using a skipping rope. If you don’t ensure that there is sufficient space around you to use the rope, you might actually hit someone and cause harm. Treadmills are placed next to each other and when you accidentally fall, you might drag the person next to you accidentally with you. These are minor concerns but when it happens, you get hurt with the others. So, always ensure that safety is the top priority.
There is nothing you can do about sweating, considering you are going to the health club to sweat it out. However, what you can do is to ensure that your sweat does not cause inconvenience to other members of the club. For example, if you use the bench press after an intense cardio session, you will be sweating already and to avoid bothering others, you should use your towel. Spread it on the bench before you lie down. This way, you will not be affected by the sweat of others on that bench and you will also not cause inconvenience to other members. Also, if provided, be sure to use sanitation wipes after use of the equipment.
It is very important that you take a lot of care to ensure your personal hygiene in the health club. Be sure to use deodorant and wear fresh gym clothes daily as the previous day’s workout clothes will accumulate a stink due to the sweat. Avoid perfume and cologne as this may trigger asthma or other related breathing problems in others that are working out in close proximity to you.
Although you might be comfortable with what you wear, other people might find that highly offensive. It’s not that you should take a lot of care while dressing for your workout. Just ensure that you don’t take a lot of liberty while choosing your attire. Make sure you have a proper top and tracks on. Just some things to be cognizant of like wearing jeans can ruin leather seat padding and work boots can ruin floor padding as well as cardio equipment. Also, it’s not a good idea to walk around in flip-flops. Always make sure that your feet are covered in appropriate footwear…even in the showers.
Do not try to fight with the other members for a turn on one of the equipments. For example, if you are waiting for a turn in the treadmill, make sure that you mention it to the others that you will engage in another activity till the treadmill is free. This way, you can prevent disputes for your turn on the equipment. On the contrary, if you know that someone is waiting to use a piece of equipment be efficient and timely in your workout routine. Do not stall or take a phone call or text message in the middle of a set.
Posted on June 11, 2013 by Lawrence Fagan
Customers today understand that it is very important to know as much as they can about a gym, health club, fitness facility, or studio before they decide to join. It is vital for you or your staff to be prepared to answer these queries in a manner which remains truthful during the sales process.
Any individual joining a gym will most likely first ask about the membership rates. Be sure to tell them the entire price, including taxes and extras, and then tell give them the breakdown of everything that is included in the total. Displaying a large amount at first may seem like a poor marketing strategy, but when they probe to ask minor things like if towels are charged extra, you can at least keep assuring them EVERYTHING is included within the cost presented.
Answer very clearly that the health facility you are offering is only half the job. The other half naturally depends on the regularity and nutrition of an individual. If qualified or have a nutritionist on staff, suggest some plans for specific workouts or offer to set them up with a personal trainer and/or nutritional coach introduction. Going out of your way to help customers will win their loyalty.
Always allow this option, because the market is too competitive not too. In fact, it is advisable to incorporate a “try-before-buying” scheme. People get impressed at the confidence of the health facility owner when they are allowed to experience what they may purchase.
Many people will ask this question before joining. People need some assurance that their trainers consist of only certified personnel who will assist them in achieving their goal without harming themselves in any way. Suggest that they may have a session with a trainer the trial period.
Some people feel uncomfortable working out while others are present. Perhaps you may allow a tour in the gym showing them like-minded people exercising together with an efficient and motivating trainer.
Assure your potential customers that the gym is well-equipped. However, still advice them of the peak hours and days in which the facility is the busiest. Be sure to write down the times that you can guarantee that there will be no wait time for a machine.
Many people try to bargain even after you tell them the complete membership cost. Make sure you have a pamphlet or Insight Sales Guru Solution displaying the prices clearly. Any special offers which the gym may have at that time should be told to the customer when they inquire about the price. Also, such limited period offers should be well advertised.
Give your buyers a good list which has everything that is being paid for by their membership dues. Try to create a list that is comprehensive, to make them see value for money.
Here, your buyer is testing your credibility. Train your salesperson to answer this question very carefully. If your gym has been running for a long time, tell this to your customer with confidence. If you have just started up your franchise or own gym, tell them about the growth of your gym since opening or projected growth.
Plan this in advance and be prepared for price objections. Once the customer has made their final decision, make sure that payment methods are easy and seamless. At the same time, try not to make it look hurried and that you still have the time to spend with the customer to answer questions even after the successful sale.
Posted on June 10, 2013 by Lawrence Fagan
If you are a gym and fitness center owner you will most likely find that you have to compete in a crowded market, where everyone is trying to court the same clientele. Having a fitness club where the customers are drawn in by the mere fact that you unlocked your front door is a luxury that most owners will never have. To compete effectively in the modern fitness market you’ve got to be able to offer something extra to your clients.
Well, all of that pretty much states the obvious. But did you know that being able to train and support clients from special populations are very good ways to expand your market? Having special population certified trainers can help you reach more people. Outstanding customer service will help you to maximize your proposition for the customers you can reach. Catering to special populations will help you reach more customers.
There are many things that could be described as best practice for gym operators. It’s an industry where service is as important to customers as the facility itself. To be popular, i.e., to grab a profitable share of the market, a club must be clean and well maintained, records and billing must run without incident and customer service has to be so smooth that the clients feel like they are just carried along for the ride. But any gym owner that’s paying attention tries to do that, don’t they?
Reaching out to special populations will increase the number of potential customers that you can sign up. So, if you aren’t already doing this, it’s like adding another dimension to your strategy. That can be a very rewarding choice, both as a source of revenue and as a way to make a very fulfilling contribution to a larger part of the community. It gives you a larger pool of potential clients to draw from that just the healthy, fit and motivated people, who find it easy to get the most out of a gym on their own initiative.
The key to your success is simple: It’s your people, and what they can do for your customers. Special populations are groups that require specialized knowledge and gentle handling. Seniors are a large and growing special population. Providing resources that help them be stronger and more independent is an expanding market.
People with disabilities and weight loss issues are other groups, in addition to seniors, that need the kind of guidance that only certified trainers can provide. It’s critical to have staff and trainers that are qualified to work with special populations. Not only because of the service levels but also because of the risk of liability claims against your gym.
Some of the benefits that special populations, such as seniors, receive are improved mobility and range of motion, increased bone density and reduced stress. Workouts set at a pace suitable for seniors will work well for people with other health issues or injuries, so there’s quite a bit of overlap. Some examples of classes are low impact aerobics, ballroom dancing and classes designed to increase the range of joint motion. Additional aqua classes if you have a suitable pool on site, such as water based stretching, aerobics and Pilates. Again, the one key thing is to have trainers with special population certification to lead classes and work with these kinds of members.
By all means focus efforts on serving your existing market segment with the highest possible level of service. But take some time to consider broadening your horizon to include the growing special populations that can be a whole new segment. One with which your fitness club can draw a healthy new build revenue stream. Customers aren’t just lining up outside the door (unless you’re exceptionally lucky); you have to go seek them out. It never hurts to have another place to find them.