The workout isn’t enough, a studio must provide an… - Reform Athletica
The workout isn’t enough, a studio must provide an experience

The workout isn’t enough, a studio must provide an experience

Dec 19, 2021

Workouts Aren’t Enough. Your Studio Must Provide an Experience

As a fitness enthusiast, I am always drawn to try different classes both to experience something new and challenge my physical abilities. It is easy to get set in the same work-out routine, without having the discipline to change these routines on a regular basis (as one should). However, as we have all experienced, after some time, whilst the workout may still be challenging physically, the mental stimulation is no longer there.

As a client, I ask myself what makes me opt for a fitness studio? When a gym is at my doorstep and practically half the price of a studio class, what is it about a class that pushes me to opt for the more expensive option?

The answer: it’s the experience.

This is a very difficult ingredient to summarise succinctly because it is often felt more easily than explained or implemented. It is a vision that is envisaged and passed down from those who create it to be the ethos of the fitness establishment and its trainers. This vision translates into a studio culture and becomes the language spoken between everyone that works at the studio.

A fitness space, to us, is more than just a room with four walls and equipment. It is how a client feels from the moment they enter the space to not only the time they leave, but the feeling they take with them after they’ve left.

It goes without saying that the level of training and quality of training is one of the most important ingredients in the success of a fitness studio. After all, that is the heart of what we do without which, the survival of the business is at stake. So, if the quality of training is consistent amongst all the top fitness studios, what makes a client favour one over the other?

As a lawyer, we are often faced with this dilemma. Clients in the legal industry have an abundance of top-tier law firms to choose from. The quality of the work will, on the whole, be consistent amongst the top law firms. So, what makes a client choose one law firm over the other? As with fitness studios, the answer boils down to: cost, experience and a personal connection.

So now that I have tried to explain the intangible ingredient in the success of fitness studios (and law firms), I want to divulge some details of this ingredient that is relevant for the fitness industry.

  • Personal connection: making a client feel like they are welcome and they are part of the family is so important in ensuring that a client becomes a return client. When studio staff remember a client’s name and treats them with warmth, a client feels a sense of belonging to the space. When an instructor personalises the training, not only in class, but also outside of class and genuinely cares for the client’s well being, progression and life outside of class, that client is more likely to return to the studio than not. This element is very much dependent on the trainer’s inter-personal skills and their ability to draw clients with their compassion, personability and genuine concern for their clients.
  • Accountability and pushing the limits. Trainers have to master the art of ascertaining a client’s strengths and weaknesses in class to ensure the experience and attention they receive from the trainer and studio staff is suited to those strengths and weaknesses. Knowing when to push or indeed leave a client be is a key skill that takes a trainer some time to master. This inside knowledge into a client’s fitness journey (and knowing when to use this knowledge) ensures they are cared for and gives the client a reason to return to the trainer that knows them well and indeed cares for their fitness journey. It is the difference between a client going into a class without the trainer acknowledging the client or their abilities and going into a class where the client is recognized and praised for their efforts and achievements and pushed/left at the appropriate times.
  • Re-inventing/changing/refreshing: the fitness industry is sometimes at risk of being labelled as ‘faddish’ in some circles. However, those who are committed to their fitness journey and have become loyal customers can be easily lost if the ‘experience’ is not maintained and if the ‘it’ factor that drew the client in the first place begins to fade. Turnover of trainers is expected, so it is on management to ensure that client information is passed from trainers and if that isn’t possible, new trainers have to be adept at getting familiar with old faces and loyal customers. Giving those clients the attention they need is key to retaining them. Additionally, fitness studios have to continue to be innovative in their offering and strive to refresh their methods and offering before such offering becomes dated and no longer appealing to the wider public.

My message to all trainers: be passionate about what you do, be passionate about your clients and their progress. Give them the attention and personalised experience they deserve.

My message to studio owners: Make your vision a reality by being involved in every element of your studio. Being personally invested and wanting to truly serve clients to the best of your ability will reward you with the success of your business.

The workout isn’t enough, a studio must provide an experience.

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