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small group
Space saving In many clubs, simply moving existing equipment around can help create space for gym fl oor workshops
team members. It’s not just about the Manufacturers recommend using so: “Anything that drives member
technical skills. It’s about engaging and kit that’s multi-purpose, portable and interest and encourages them to
interacting with members.” versatile, meaning use can be made of commit to the gym is a good thing. The
Janette Rose, brand manager at spaces traditionally standing empty; as model also stacks up: more versatile
Matrix Fitness Systems, observes that Orme points out, it’s easy to get six or equipment, used more often by more
staff motivation can be given a boost by seven Swiss balls in the stretching area. members, creating more activity on the
providing opportunities for education, However, Colston says he’s gym floor. We live in an ‘instant
personal development and career increasingly seeing the removal of gratification’ culture, so quick, effective,
progression. However, she cautions ‘traditional’ multiple rows of fi xed, high intensity and results-driven
that: “Group training instructors must single-station machines in favour of programmes – which small group
be trained to a level whereby they’re creating more space for gym fl oor exercise on the gym floor delivers –
capable of catering for people of very group exercise. “I’ve never seen a should have a great future.”
different abilities and experience. They change happening this fast,” he observes. Operators that have already
need to be able to develop effective “In my experience, the removal of introduced the concept are convinced
exercise progressions for each individual duplicate single station machines can that small group training on the gym
to keep it fresh and interesting for all.” effectively create the space required fl oor is here to stay. While it’s a little
to introduce the equipment for small too early for quantifi able results,
making space group exercise sessions.” subjective feedback is extremely
Most clubs find they can provide the Sellar agrees: “I think gyms can afford positive and the change in the gym
necessary space and equipment required to drop some of the isolation equipment environment speaks for itself: reports
for effective gym floor group exercise that’s been around for the past 40 years. are of a dynamic, innovative vibe with
with relative ease and minimal outlay: A bicep curl machine, for example, only people having great fun and more
many simply make use of existing areas of does one thing for the user. To me, it’s interaction among members, as well as
the gym and existing equipment. not good business sense to fi ll your gym between members and staff.
“The likes of rowing machines and exclusively with this sort of equipment. Sykes also believes that operators
treadmills can simply be re-arranged for Most gym refurbs these days include the will see a very high return on any
crew classes and circuits,” says Colston. creation of a ‘functional zone’ where investment by optimising use of the gym
“It can be a case of simply using existing you might fi nd, for example, a Power and/or exercise studio throughout the
equipment in a different manner.” Plate, TRX, GRAVITY Training System day. Beale agrees, and also reports an
Coulthard agrees – the cost to DW and some kettlebells.” increase in revenue through spin-off
Sports Fitness has not, she says, been courses and classes at David Lloyd.
high. Indeed, in their older clubs, they’ve future trends Coulthard sums up by saying:
simply moved equipment around to So is the growth of small group training “I think the fi tness industry takes
create space for their workshops. set to continue? Colston certainly thinks itself too seriously. We need a fresh
approach: it’s about time our members
left the gym fi red-up, enthusing about
the great time they had and counting
down to their next visit.”
andrea bickford
58 Read Health Club Management online march 2010 © cybertrek 2010
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