It started before Soul Cycle, an underground movement with small groups of exercise enthusiast turning up to workout together. They shared a common desire to train hard, suffer together rather than alone, motivate each other and recognise individual and group achievement. They shared a common goal. Maximize the workout and share the experience.
It began with small studios and enthusiastic instructors and then it gained momentum. The industry looked at it as a fad, something on the periphery, a small group of enthusiastic spinning participants, yoga devotees and Olympic lifters.
Then when Soul Cycle was revelaed, $112 million in anaual sales, people took notice. On the surface it looked easy to replicate. Take a small space, give it a funky appearance, coin a unique training approach and charge by the class not by the month.
Create a quality workout and user experience, make sure you can deliver it to those same high standards over and over again, price it above the norm...
The last five years has seen a proliferation of membership software systems, with cloud-based systems gaining ground. We’ve also seen an increase in software solutions such as personalised exercise data, nutritional coaching, virtual personal training platforms and staff-to-member engagement systems.
While this extra support can produce extraordinary results when implemented well, some lay dormant, costing money and producing nothing. It’s at this stage that the software is accused of not being effective, when it may well be a lack of operator focus that’s the issue.
For example, whilst CV equipment has become more sophisticated, most operators haven’t considered adapting the induction process to incorporate these advances. Apps, websites and wearables provide additional information to all parties, but also require explaining and teaching to maximise their effectiveness. It appears that very little time is given to training staff or even update training...
A key behaviour related to improved member retention is exercise adherence. While retention measures the time between joining and leaving, exercise adherence measures the number of session completed compared to the number of sessions a member plans to do.
If a member plans and succeeds in completing twelve training sessions per month we would report this as 100% adherence. If, however, they only completed six of the planned twelve sessions they have 50% adherence.
So we measure retention in months and adherence in sessions per month. 100% adherence is rare, unless the target frequency is so low that it’s easily achieved.
Exercise intensity is directly related exercise adherence. As intensity goes up adherence goes down. The tougher the workout the tougher we find it to maintain a regular routine. That may surprise experienced exercisers with the current fascination with HIIT. However, the more difficult an exercise programme becomes, either by intensity or...