WHY WE FAIL AT GROUP FITNESS PROGRAMMING

A few years back I worked for the leading supplier of group fitness to the world. My role as Account Manager gave me the opportunity to travel the country and visit clubs of all different shapes and sizes. It was during my time here that I developed the skill set to understand an individual clubs needs by sitting with them, talking to them and watching how they ran their business. I’d like to add here that most clubs in Australia, are doing pretty well in the Group Ex arena even if they don’t think so themselves.

Management thinker Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying that “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Drucker means that you can’t know whether or not you are successful unless success is defined and tracked.

Let me ask you right now, how do you measure success in your business? Let’s look at Group Ex as an example. How do you know if you are doing good, great or awesome in this arena? For starts you need to be measuring it. No I don’t mean get out a tape measure and work out the square feet in your Group Ex space (You should already know this, if not get in touch with me, you need help!) You need to be tracking your group fitness attendance for EACH and EVERY class you run. And , while I know most of you do track attendance in some way, shape or form, I also know that most of you either just keep the sheets filed in a Lever Arch Folder somewhere in your club or enter the figures into a spreadsheet but then do nothing with them. Can I ask you why? Can I tell you why?

Because you have either employed a Group Ex Manager who doesn’t have the skill set to understand what they need to do (Yes a Group Ex Manager’s role is a lot more than updating a timetable, finding covers and doing the pays),
You are a Group Fitness Manager who doesn’t have the skill set to understand what they need to do (Yes it is your responsibility the make the Group Ex grow in the club you are working for/at)
Or you as the owner / manager of the club don’t understand the power of Group Ex yourself and only see it is an expense, so haven’t given the power of running Group Ex to your Group Ex Manager (Yes your Group Ex Manager’s role is also about managing people, instructors, expectations, budgets, conflicts, the list goes on)

Tracking your Group Ex attendance properly allows you to make informed decisions based on facts and not emotions. It allows you and your Group Ex Manager to have real conversations about your business. It allows you to see how effectively you are looking after your members. We know that 60-70% of your members attend Group Ex classes or would attend Group Ex classes if the right program, right instructor, right time, right day were on when they attended the gym. This is not rocket science! You don’t need a degree in Science to understand where you are going wrong and how to fix it. You just need to understand how to measure what you are doing.

If you’re not giving your Group Ex arena as much attention as you are you Membership Sales, then you are failing before you’ve even begun. I laugh at clubs when I hear that they only employ a Group Ex Manager for 5-10 hours per week. Seriously! But you spend how much on trying to attract new members through outreach, referrals, sales campaigns? You don’t see Group Ex as a tool that can help you attract new members, you don’t see the benefit in putting on a full time Group Ex Manager that is paid the same if not more than your Membership Sales Manager. Groupe Ex has the power to service 60-70% of your members, give it the attention it deserves and I guarantee you’ll reap the rewards.

Let me spell it out for you……. you’re failing at group fitness programming because you’re not giving it the attention it deserves.

If you want to know more, get in touch with me.