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FUNCTIONAL TRAINING


Clubs should ensure members are ready to embrace functional training before installing a zone


operator currently going through the decision-making process, deciding where and how to invest in functional zones across its estate. “The primary value for us is in


customer retention,” says Darren Anderson, group fi tness manager. “A functional zone offers a new way to train and adds variety to members’ fi tness regimes – something customers tell us is really important in keeping them motivated. It also helps drive interaction between instructor and customer, which can generate a more vibrant atmosphere on the gym fl oor.” Michelle Bletso, group fi tness


development manager at Everyone Active, believes such zones offer


“variety of training, introduction of small group training and PT, and ‘wow’ factor for increased sales – but functional zones are also great fun for adolescents and our GP referral market”. She adds:


“Return on investment is also something we would expect from these areas.”


50


Everyone Active is not alone in seeking


a fi nancial return from chargeable sessions in its functional zones, offering both group and one-to-one sessions. Functional zones at Nuffi eld Health are used “extensively by personal trainers with paying clients, and physiotherapists with patients,” says Crawford. “We also offer some paid-for small group training sessions, as well as larger group training sessions that are included on the standard class timetable at no additional cost.” But across the sector there’s a range


of approaches in evidence when it comes to group classes in functional zones – specifi cally the question of inclusive versus chargeable use. Use of all functional areas at Fitness First is included in the membership, for example, with “no extra cost classes or instruction (outside of PT) in any of our facilities,” says David Perrin, Fitness First UK’s fi tness product manager. Matthew Januszek of Escape Fitness says: “As long as you nail your colours


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


to the mast and make it clear what your proposition is, then either could be a success depending on your model.”


Boosting PT Suppliers are also keen to underline the potential for increased sales of PT and group classes off the back of a functional zone. Januszek believes “most trainers know a great functional area is a golden ticket to make more money, leading to a surge in members turning to PT”. And Halls adds that “simple gym


access isn’t really enough any more, so operators are looking for new models to give members the opportunity to pay for better training”. Freedom Leisure has had great


success with a functional zone installed at K2 Crawley in September 2012. “To encourage usage, we offered a month of free 20-minute express workouts. Over 100 people participated in these sessions and our retention software shows that, in the 28 days after the


November/December 2013 © Cybertrek 2013


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