Successfully Managing Your Gym Assets: Equipment

For Gym Operators

Successfully Managing Your Gym Assets: Equipment

Your business is dependent on the equipment your members use, and exerciser habits are changing. While traditional equipment like treadmills, resistance machines, and free weights are still vital, activity-specific equipment and training is no longer just a trend you can ignore.1

Remember: change is hard, but in the fitness industry, it’s necessary to compete.

Start with Demographics

Demographics, signature offerings and the user experience are good starting points to guide how your gym should look and operate ergonomically, according to IHRSA. Of course, your facility should be flexible in both its function and layout to meet the fitness trends of your target demographic.2

To make sure you have the right mix of equipment for your demographic, formulate a chart:

  1. Add the top five demographics – like the active ageing population or millennials – that you want to target
  2. Add the names of the zones you want your gym to have
  3. In each box, score how well you think the zone will appeal to the corresponding targeted demographic

Other things you should keep in mind when forming your facility’s layout:

  • Ensure you have enough exercise stations to avoid queues
  • Put measures in place such as instructions to make the equipment less intimidating for novices
  • Buy equipment that is appropriate for your demographic to limit the intimidation factor

Well-Built Equipment Really Does Pay Off

Investing in well-built equipment – that’s also easy to clean and maintain – pays off. Well-maintained facilities and equipment increase business value by a considerable amount.3

It’s simple enough to say that staff and exercisers will have an excellent experience when they don’t have to deal with constantly faulty equipment.4 What’s more? Research shows facilities with more reliable equipment retain members on average for three months longer, resulting in increased revenue.5

Successful Group Training Programmes

Exercisers looking to save money on personal trainer costs are flocking to group training, and a major component of successful group training programmes is having the right equipment. What’s more? Adding group training to your offerings could be the key to keeping members from flocking to a local boutique studio.

According to Vic Spatola, director of personal training at the Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club in Denver (Colorado, USA), a group training programme sells the club experience in addition to training.

“Provide unique and challenging equipment used specifically for group training,” he suggests. “This includes speed and ability tools, stability tools, self-myofascial release tools and Olympic lifting equipment.”6

According to Michele Melkerson-Granyrd, general manager for BodyBusiness Health Club & Spa in Austin (Texas, USA), “Equipment should be trainer-centric so that trainers are able to easily work with clients and demonstrate their value.”7

As mentioned previously, investing in equipment that is reliable for both exercisers and trainers can often be more important than investing in feature-rich equipment.

Don’t Forget About Education

Take the time to introduce new group exercise equipment and make it a priority – otherwise it’s a liability and not an asset. Investing in group exercise equipment is only a smart business decision if you’ve made it a priority and are prepared to integrate it into your gym offerings quickly.

Invest in Equipment That’s Invested in Technology

Technology has revolutionised our lives and is currently revolutionising the fitness industry, according to John Golden, president of product pioneering at EXOS.8 Thanks to the popularity of apps and wearable technology, an on-demand appetite for personal fitness data and expert advice currently exists.

How can your facility’s equipment help meet these technology demands?

Technology has transformed the simple treadmill into a machine capable of monitoring a client’s heart rate, suggesting incline changes and storing or even proposing personalised pre-made workouts. This leads to better results for your exercisers, benefiting your efforts to retain members.

Find ways to increase member retention by investing in equipment that:

  • Captures data about your users so you can analyse equipment usage, zone usage and exercise preferences
  • Has the ability to interact with the exerciser or even adds an element of gamification to their time on the equipment to make workouts remarkable, motivational and more challenging
  • Adds a secondary revenue stream to your business, such as technology subscriptions on top of existing member fees

In Summary

Without fitness equipment, your gym wouldn’t be a gym. But it’s about more than just filling your facility with the latest and greatest machines – the strategy behind your investment should start with unique, well-built equipment paired with education and technology.

Read about how to manage your other gym assets:

     

References

1 “Health Club Handbook 2015 Industry Insights”​
2 “Precor ActivDesign™”​
3 “Business Valuation for Fitness Clubs,” IHSRA Summaries

4 “Health club industry mid-market report,” Precor Resource Center​
5 “Equipment Uptime Infographic,” Precor Resource Center

6 “Strategies for Implementing a Successful Group Training Program,” IHRSA Summaries​
7 “Building a Strong Personal Training Business,” IHRSA Summaries​
8 “The Transformation of the Fitness Industry Through Technology,” IHSRA Summaries

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