Customer experience is one of the hottest topics in the fitness industry.
Throughout the sector, health clubs recognise that to win new members – converting them first into fans, and then into advocates – every aspect of the gym experience needs to be meaningfully tailored to their needs. Even when the user is not yet sure what those needs might be.
And it’s not just about loyalty. Various studies1 have shown that, overwhelmingly, customers are willing to pay higher prices if it means they feel valued and cared for.
Therefore, the fitness industry needs to purposely think about how to deliver meaningful customer experiences. Great experiences do not happen by chance. They happen because a company has a deep understanding of the customers’ needs and expectations, and has the right processes and culture to deliver that great experience.
The customer experience needs to be designed and prepared. In this process, it is useful to break down the experience into five key components for health club owners to think about.
THE ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS
The structure underpinning a great gym experience needs to consider the following:
In the fitness industry, the “product” is the actual exercise methodology that the health club offers. It’s essential to tailor the product to the likely client base, understanding your customer and their needs and offering them a unique and bespoke experience. This should incorporate the following (but isn’t it isn’t limited to them!):
- Exercise programs
- Strategies to deliver specific outcomes
- Equipment that can support even the most demanding workouts.
Refining the product is what creates the differences between a fitboxing boutique, a bodybuilding gym, or a traditional health club. It is the very first step to start planning the experience.
One good example of a well-defined fitness product is Orangetheory Fitness, a company with a very specific product for very specific needs: personalised, high-intensity group training, based on science and powered by technology.
In a fitness centre, human connections exist between everyone taking part in the experience: between members, instructors, and staff. Relationships can even be created between the customer and the brand! Creating a strong social circle can be one of the best ways to improve member retention and increase motivation.
Therefore, the experience planning process needs to consider what type of relationships should happen in the health club. Should instructors proactively connect with members? Should the club organise activities to provoke member connections? Should the club stay on the side and let members create informal connections on their own? It all depends on the experience to be delivered for members.
There are certain questions gyms should be asking themselves:
- Should the club promote new connections? If so, how?
- What type of relationships do the members expect to have?
- How do you motivate people?
- Who is the authority during a workout?
- How frequently should you communicate with your members?
The facility is where the magic happens. Surroundings not only enhance mood but can also affect behaviour. The various spaces of a fitness centre need to be carefully designed to help deliver the experience along the member’s journey.
And that goes beyond some fancy neon lights. Designing a fitness space is a complex process that involves many decisions, from selecting the right equipment to having the right smell.
The smallest details can make a difference. A good starting point is to think about:
- What are the limitations in the space you have?
- What equipment should you be using?
- How should the equipment be placed?
- What type of lighting should you have?
- Should you have music?
- How will people move around the facility?
- How should the centre smell?
In today’s competitive world, design expectations are higher. While the best possible fitness equipment is a given if you want to attract and retain members, it’s also important to remember that people feel valued when their surroundings make them feel good. When designing the fitness space, having the right inspiration can take your idea to the next level. At Life Fitness, we call this Gymspiration.
As we said, great experiences do not happen by chance. They depend on a series of carefully planned processes in which players from every level of a business take part.
In this key component of an experience, strategies, processes and company culture become the pillars of consistently delivering a good experience.
There are several things to think about when planning these processes.
- Does the company have the right culture?
- Do employees understand their contribution to the experience?
- Are there clear strategies to deliver the experiences?
- Does the company have the right feedback channels to understand which processes need improvement?
Doing a deep dive into your members’ preferences will not only reveal which processes are required, but also what their expectations are.
For example, member onboarding is a well-known process for every fitness facility. However, there is not just a single way to deliver that. The perfect onboarding process for an advanced lifter might be very short: a small tour around the facility. But the perfect onboarding process for a newcomer might require a body composition analysis, followed by a personal training session and a 15-day follow-up to see how they are progressing.
The key to delivering the right experience is to understand member expectations, and create processes based on them.
Last but not least, technology is the fifth component of our fitness experience model. Technology refers to the tools, software and gadgets that enable all the other components to shine.
The right level of digitalisation will depend on the members preferences and expectations. There is no one-size-fits-all approach here. For example, a site may decide that to deliver their perfect experience, they need colour-changing lights, HR monitoring, and a member app to book classes. Modern digital tools are ideal to create new connections, motivate members or increase the operational efficiency of your site.
However, another site may decide that the perfect experience for their members is purely analogical and human-based, with very little technology that only facilitates a couple of processes (reservations and availability).
Technology needs to be applied with a clear purpose; it needs to be a means to an end.
Deconstructing every fitness offering using these five components allows us to look at the gym experience in a more strategic way. By analysing each of the pillars, you can open new paths for innovation in, and improvements to, every aspect of the customer experience at your facility.
Evolve Fitness, the official gym equipment partner of the Sharks Rugby team in South Africa, understands the importance of high-quality strength training equipment for elite athletes. That’s why they choose Hammer Strength, the industry-leading brand founded by Gary Jones since 1989.
Hammer Strength revolutionized strength training by simplifying the biomechanics of lifting weights and matching machine movement to human motion. Their equipment is rugged, durable, and designed to withstand intense workouts, making it the perfect choice for elite athletes like the Sharks Rugby team.
From heavy-duty racks and rigs to benches and selectorized equipment, Hammer Strength offers a wide variety of tools for endless training possibilities. They continue to innovate and lead the fitness industry, ensuring that their equipment is built to a higher standard.
But Hammer Strength isn’t just built to last, it’s built to perform. Their equipment is tested to exceed industry standards, ensuring that it can hold up to years of even the most intense training programs. That’s why Hammer Strength is the number one brand for elite athletes and why Evolve Fitness is proud to be their official distributor.
10 Benefits of using Hammer Strength in High Performance Centers for world class athletes!
- Biomechanically correct movement: Hammer Strength equipment is designed to match human motion, reducing the risk of injury and promoting efficient muscle activation.
- Durable construction: Hammer Strength equipment is built to withstand intense training, making it ideal for high-performance centers.
- Variety of equipment: Hammer Strength offers a wide variety of equipment, including heavy-duty racks and rigs, benches, selectorized equipment, and accessories, providing endless training possibilities.
- Results-driven design: Hammer Strength equipment is designed to provide results, making it an essential tool for world-class athletes.
- Proven track record: Hammer Strength has a proven track record of success, with numerous professional and Olympic athletes relying on their equipment.
- Proprietary technology: Hammer Strength is constantly innovating and developing proprietary technology to improve the performance of their equipment.
- High-quality materials: Hammer Strength uses high-quality materials to ensure their equipment is built to last.
- Industry-leading standards: Hammer Strength equipment is tested to exceed industry standards, ensuring it can hold up to even the most intense training programs.
- Worldwide availability: Hammer Strength equipment is available in gyms and training centers around the world, making it accessible to athletes of all levels.
- Trusted by professionals: Hammer Strength is the preferred brand of many professional sports teams, including the Sharks Rugby team, making it a trusted choice for high-performance centers.
Hammer Strength products for high performance centers!
Hammer Strength offers a wide variety of equipment for high-performance centers, including:
- Plate-loaded equipment: Hammer Strength plate-loaded equipment includes strength training machines that mimic the natural movement patterns of the human body. This allows athletes to train specific muscle groups while reducing the risk of injury.
- Racks and rigs: Hammer Strength racks and rigs are built to withstand intense training and are perfect for high-performance centers. They are designed to accommodate a wide range of exercises and accommodate multiple users at once.
- Benches: Hammer Strength benches are built to withstand heavy loads and intense use. They are available in various styles such as flat, incline, decline and Olympic lifting benches.
- Selectorized equipment: Hammer Strength selectorized equipment offers a variety of strength training options for athletes. These machines provide precise resistance and are designed for ease of use and safety.
- Accessories: Hammer Strength also offers a wide variety of accessories such as weight plates, bars, collars, and other attachments that can be used to customize strength training routines.
- Heavy-duty Cardio Equipment: Hammer Strength offers heavy-duty cardio equipment such as treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes that are designed to withstand intense use, making them perfect for high-performance centers.
All of these Hammer Strength products are built to withstand heavy use and intense training, making them perfect for high-performance centers. They are also designed to provide results and improve the performance of athletes.
In conclusion, Hammer Strength is the preferred brand of many professional sports teams and high-performance centers around the world. Their equipment is designed to match human motion, reducing the risk of injury while promoting efficient muscle activation. The equipment is also built to withstand intense training and provide results, making it the perfect choice for athletes and high-performance centers.
If you are looking for top-of-the-line strength training equipment for your athletes or high-performance center, contact Evolve Fitness, the official gym equipment partner of the Sharks Rugby team in South Africa. They offer a wide variety of Hammer Strength equipment and can help you customize a training program to meet the specific needs of your athletes. Trust Evolve Fitness and Hammer Strength to help your athletes and high-performance center reach their full potential.
Contact Evolve Fitness to RAISE THE BAR in your High Performance Center!
Intro and Definition of Posterior Chain
Effective glute training enhances performance both on and off the field, whether you are a competitive athlete, a weekend warrior, or just someone who likes being active. The glutes make up a piece of interconnected segments in our body collectively known as the “posterior chain.” Many fitness and rehab professionals define the posterior chain as all the muscles on the backside of your body from the head to the feet (neck and back muscles, lats, glutes, hamstrings, and calves).
As you read through this blog, do a quick assessment on yourself. As you look at a profile view of yourself in the mirror, take note of your upper back (rounded?), how about at the hips (is your upper body leaning forward?), moving down how do those glutes look (flat?) and those hamstrings and calves (scrawny?). If you were any of the cues in parentheses then you likely would benefit from more posterior chain training.
Why Train the Posterior Chain
With all of the muscles involved, and all the actions they perform—core stability, power production, functional movement, and activities of daily living (ADL’s)—it makes sense that we should pay particular attention to this area of our body. Not only does the posterior chain aid our bodies as athletes or even weekend warriors, but it continues to play a huge part in our day-to-day activities and overall function. Not training the posterior chain can lead to its own issues that can range from scapular dysfunction to thoracic or low back pain to knee pain, depending on where the weak link is in the chain. So, while it might seem to be a lifelong commitment to training this area, it also doesn’t have to be overwhelming to even the average fitness person.
Regressions and Progressions
When training he posterior chain, a good place to start is to think of how you might progress through exercises, setting up the movement patterns and then adding load once you are comfortable with the basic movements. Two excellent movements for the posterior chain are the hip hinge (at the hip joint) and a hip extension (lying on ground or bench). For the hip hinge, begin with a body weight hip hinge (good mornings) and progress to a deadlift or a Kettlebell swing (also a hinge movement). For the hip extension movement, you can begin this with body weight glute drive (floor or bench) and you can move to body weight single leg. Once you are ready to add load, the Hammer Strength Glute Drive is the ideal choice. This allows you to execute the glute drive movement loaded but it is much easier to get in and out of than a barbell loaded hip extension, much more comfortable, and safer as you progress to higher loads. The hip hinge and glute drive are two extremely effective movements. Familiarize yourself with the movement patterns and then challenge yourself with the loaded options.
I hope that we have made a compelling argument how important the posterior chain is to your health and well-being. While it may look nice to spend an extra five minutes on those biceps and triceps, it may be a better investment in yourself to devote 2-3 sessions per week perhaps picking 1-2 exercises devoted to the posterior chain. We hope that we’ve given you some insight on training and why we should be thinking about training areas that we may not have linked together. Until next time. Happy training.