In this episode we discuss using templates workout programs for inducting new members and how this can lead to time saving benefits and improve the customer experience.
Lets start with a bit of a story….
The other day I was at a health club and I’ve seen this happen a number of times. At the gym I was visiting there was a new member being taken through a workout program by a trainer and it was quite evident that this member was perhaps a first time gym user because they looked a bit overwhelmed
The trainer was taking them through a workout program and it had all types of complex exercises involving standing on standing on one leg etc.. You could see that the member was getting quite overwhelmed by all this. In fact, the trainer themselves we we’re having trouble demonstrating the exercises properly because it was so complicated.
This is a common problem when it comes to integrating new members into your health club. Some trainers want to get a bit creative and artistic when they’re writing programs for new members. The problem with this is that workout program need to be simple for a new member, particularly if they’ve never been to a gym before. There’s a lot to learn and take in and all they need is to really build the foundations of fundamental strength training and cardio.
Sometimes as trainers we think that a new member might get bored easily and tend to compensate by becoming too creative and over the top with exercise prescription.
This mistake can set up failure for the member because if we give them something that’s really difficult and hard it may give them a really poor experience, frustrate them, and cause a motivation to drop.
We also want to ensure that we keep workout programs short. Another thing that I see frequently is a lot of new trainers will write really long exercise programs and that makes it really laborious and tiring, The mantra should be to keep workouts short, sharp and focus on consistency
So when I saw this happening the other day I thought about one of the concepts that I really like in terms of improving the way to induct new members- This is using templated workout programs.
Now some schools of thought are against this, they’re wanting to ensure there’s that element of personalization for every member but we really need to think about what we are trying to achieve by inducting and providing new members with a workout program. If you think about the people that need a workout program prescribed for them, they’re typically brand new to the gym or have limited experience in the gym. They’re not the types that need an overly complicated and creative and detailed program. They just need the basics to get started. Usually around 40 percent of new members fit that demographic of limited experience or first time gym users.
The requirements for a basic type of program really adds weight to the argument to have a templated approach to work out programs. This can be done by having a handful of basic templated programs and we typically know that there’s only a restricted number of goals that members have. Most members want to lose weight or put on muscle size or improve toning or just improve general health. Therefore we can have a limited number of base templated programs to fill those particular needs for onboarding new members. The benefit of this particular approach is that you don’t have to personalize each workout program to every member. You can save a lot of time by not having to write at a different creative program every time.
You could argue that it’s better to have that personalisation approach but as I said, what we’re trying to do is get members started with the basics, keeping it simple for them and getting them moving forward and getting started as soon as possible.
Yes the personalization approach may provide a marginally improved level of service but when you have to consider the time savings of having a templated approach in a month you can save hours and hours in the 10 to 20 hour range in a in a larger health club. All of those hours are directly correlated with staffing costs. When we save that time, we can then reinvested in other areas more beneficial such as spending more time educating the members or following up, or working on other high leverage activities.
So a few other things to consider here, you obviously want to take care with a templated approach. That’s again one argument against it. What happens if someone has an injury or a health condition that won’t allow a templated program to fit their particular needs? Of course you still need to review every single member and make sure that the template you’re providing them is safe and suitable for their needs, conditions and injuries. By all means we want to take that into account. But you can still use a templated approach in that circumstance.
How can we best implement the templated program approach?
There’s probably two ways you can have some pre-made workouts. The first is having some templates printed on card or paper. You can then have some spaces for notes and cross out that are not suitable for a specific member. That’s probably the old school approach.
The more modern way is to use a software program. This is one of the great functionalities within FitDesk software. FitDesk allows you to create templates that you can assign to members easily, members can access their program on the mobile phone, you can print out copies and you have great flexibility with manipulating them. If a member has an injury and they can’t do certain exercises you can simply click and remove those exercises specifically for that member. So the software way of dealing with templated workouts is probably more efficient way of managing templated workout programs for inducting new members.
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