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New Gym and Fitness Tech to Watch for in 2022

« Blog | Written by Kira Razavian | | (0) Comments

Keeping up with evolving technology is every modern business’ struggle, and gyms are no exception. Clients will be expecting more and more of your gym as their own personal tech grows and changes.

This list gives you a preview of the fitness technology to look out for this year. Invest only in what makes sense for your business, but always know what’s out there!

Wearables

Wearable technology is popular for personal use, but can also be used at gyms. Most wearable gym tech monitors heart rate and other vitals to give the wearer deeper insights into their performance. There are a few different types.

Wrist monitors

This is what most people think of when they hear “wearable fitness tech.” The Apple Watch and FitBit are some examples. Amazon even has its own version.

While many gym-goers have their own, it may be wise to have a few you can lend to members. Just make sure you have a good system for checking them in and out so they don’t get lost. 

Chest monitors

These work similarly to wrist monitors except they wrap around the wearer’s chest. Heart rate monitors on a chest strap are commonly used in group classes with heavy cardio so participants can see their progress against their target heart rate.

Rings

For those who don’t want something around their wrist or chest, new fitness-tracking rings offer a smaller alternative. They go around a client’s finger and monitor their heart rate from there.

Smart gym equipment

Have you ever wondered if you’re doing an exercise correctly? Of course you have. Smart gym equipment can answer that question for you with real-time feedback and built-in fitness tracking.

Many smart equipment companies also offer class subscriptions. Live and recorded classes can stream right to the device, where participants can monitor their progress on the same screen. Some products also gamify workouts, making the fitness journey more fun (and a little addictive).

Weights

New machines can automatically adjust resistance, track motion, show classes on a mirrored screen, and more. Consumers are impressed.

However, these machines are also very expensive for the average home-gym builder. Adding equipment like Tonal to your facility can bring in curious clients who want to give it a try.

Cardio

Treadmills, rowing machines, and stationary bikes are also getting smart. Companies like Peloton are leading the way, and customers love the ease and benefits of smart cardio. They can follow along with instructors and simultaneously monitor their heart rate.

Another example is the newest model of the Peloton stationary bike. It automatically adjusts resistance based on the class leader’s instructions. Expect to see more equipment on the market that does the easy work for you, so fitness can be the only manual task.   

Smart scales

Your gym likely has a normal scale that simply tells you a person’s weight. But newer, smarter scales are available to help your customers on their fitness journey.

Smart scales can connect to apps on members’ phones, break down body composition details, and calculate body mass index (BMI). Some scales can also connect to other fitness-related apps so all of one’s fitness data can be viewed in one place.

The best part? Many of these scales are under $100. Adding a few to your facility’s locker rooms is attainable and beneficial.

Gym management software

Paper sign-in sheets? Please. It’s 2022!

Gym management software is no longer a nice-to-have. Gym goers expect you to have it. They want their membership easily managed and a smooth, high-tech customer experience.

That’s where software like EZFacility comes in. Extensive features for gym owners and members alike make management easy.

Scheduling

Gym software enables your staff to schedule in one place and avoid overlaps. Members can more easily see the lineup of classes and availability of personal trainers, private rooms, etc. Users can also search the schedule to find exactly what they’re looking for.

Membership management

The hardest part of being a member at a gym should be the actual workouts, not managing a membership. The right software can give power to members so they can see and edit the details of their membership.

Members can also sign up for leagues, tournaments, and individual trainings on their own. This makes it fast for them and reduces the time your staff has to spend coordinating member activities.

Gym staff will also be able to automate fee collection, make different types of memberships, and manage valuable client relationships. Billing and payments are all handled in the same place. 

Point of sale

In an ideal gym world, products for sale don’t need to be in a separate system from memberships and other client info. EZFacility makes that ideal possible since it can act as a POS.

Reporting

Member stats and financial records can be visualized with the right gym software. You can learn more about your clientele and get ideas for business improvements.

Staff and personal trainer management

Members aren’t the only people gyms need to manage. EZFacility gym management software makes managing staff and personal trainers much easier than chasing around emails and phone calls.

Virtual classes

In this age, your gym is not only competing with other local gyms but also competing with online services that offer live and on-demand classes at members’ fingertips. It’s easy to pull up whatever class they want and they don’t have to leave the comfort of their homes.

So how do you reel in those customers who are tempted by the at-home wellness and fitness tech experience? Add your own virtual experiences to your gym’s repertoire.

Video library

Your gym’s website can do more than offer basic info and schedules. Record some classes and add them to a video library just for members.

You can host this on password-protected parts of your website or a private YouTube channel if you want to restrict it to members only. However, a free YouTube channel may also be a great way to bring in new clients!

Live streams

You can also try live streaming some of your popular classes. Do this on your website or start simple and stream it free on your social media pages.

You may be surprised by the response you get. Just make sure to promote the stream so people know when it starts and how to tune in. You could also partner with other gyms or influencers to do joint streams. 

Virtual reality (VR)

Ready to get really futuristic with your fit tech? Virtual reality is gaining popularity in the gaming world, but it’s coming for the fitness industry, too.

Get ready to see more fitness programs for VR headsets. Your members may appreciate the immersive experience.

Fitness recovery tech

Recovery is essential for continued fitness success and growth. It completes the fitness regimen and gets gym members ready for their next round.  

One of the most popular recovery tech companies is Therabody, which manufactures tools such as massage guns, vibrating rollers, compression systems, and more. These devices are well-known in the fitness community and may have a place at your facility.

Soreness/stiffness

Hand-held massage devices can help knead the soreness and stiffness out of post-workout muscles. Therabody’s popular Theragun products come with multiple attachments and massage types.

Whatever brand you go with, offering massage guns to gym members can remind them that you care about their whole fitness process, not just the workout.

Muscle Conditioning

Muscle-simulating electrical pulses can aid recovery and condition muscles. These devices stick nodes onto the skin and can connect to apps that control intensity.

Fitness apps and trackers

The majority of Americans – a whopping 85 percent – own smartphones. Not incorporating that into your gym programs would be a missed opportunity.

Fortunately, many of these apps are cheap or free. We’ve listed a few different types below.

Workout class apps

Subscription workout class services often have their own apps. Users can log in and have an organized video library ready to go.

Your gym could incorporate one of these apps into memberships. Or, create an app with your own video library to really stand out to your members.

Workout trackers

Fitness enthusiasts can use apps to track all their workout stats now. From mapping an outdoor run to recording calories burned during a HIIT session, gym-goers want a way to see all their stats in one place.

Calorie trackers

Apps such as MyFitnessPal help users keep track of their meals, calories, and macros. Adding these types of applications to your gym’s programs can up your training game. 

How to incorporate new technology in your gym

The wide variety of fitness technology available on the market today can be overwhelming. Here are three steps to keep you focused as you add some of this new tech to your facilities and

programs.

1. Survey your members

Send out a survey to your current members to determine their interest in new tech. It’s always better to hear from your customers rather than take a guess and make the wrong investment.

2. Start small

It’s tempting to overhaul everything at once. While large-scale tech updates are impressive, they’re also expensive.

Make investments in new technology little by little. Replace a few machines at a time, or add online classes one type at a time.

Going slowly will also give your gym members time to adjust. It can be intimidating if everything changes overnight. 

3. Stay up-to-date

Your fitness facility’s future success depends on keeping up with consumer demands, and that includes having the latest technology. Keep up with industry news and make it a goal to invest in a few updates every quarter. 

Final thoughts

Your gym doesn’t need to have all the latest devices to be unique – your community, staff, and leadership give your gym the heart customers want. But offering advanced devices never hurts!

As you learn about what your customers want, make sure you’re still taking a step back to look at the full picture. Your job is to provide a place where fitness thrives, not just a place where a bunch of fitness technology sits.

How is your facility treating the whole individual and supporting their goals? All of your gym and fitness tech should revolve around that question first. 

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The Simple Guide to Creating Fitness Assessments for Your Customers

« Blog | Written by Kira Razavian | | (2) Comments

When customers join your gym, they’re looking for one main thing: results. Implementing a fitness assessment system will not only enable your customers to effectively measure their results, but also give you insight into your customer base.

Here, we break down what a fitness assessment is, what factors to consider, the measurements you should include, and how to assess fitness goals.

What is a fitness assessment?

A fitness assessment is a short survey used to evaluate a gym customer’s current fitness level, fitness history, and their goals.

The format can be as simple as a quick Google Form, or you can add in some personal physical assessments.

The benefits of fitness assessments

Fitness assessment data is much more than just a client check-up. Gym owners and other fitness industry professionals can use them to foster community and get new ideas.

Set benchmarks

A well-designed fitness questionnaire can determine a gym client’s current level of wellness. Their results can be used in the future to see how far they’ve come.

These benchmarks can also be used gym-wide. Can your fitness community raise their average scores together?

Understand your clientele

If you organize your assessment data in easy-to-read dashboards, you can see where your gym members’ fitness levels are. Are your customers already very fit and looking to maintain? Are they elite athletes? Or are they average and trying to get better? Knowing where they stand will help you see your business in a new light.

Plan new programs

When you understand your gym’s customers better, you can build your business around their needs. Fitness assessments can help you get ideas for new offerings or exercise programs to go beyond the trends

When to offer a fitness assessment

These questionnaires can be offered as often as they are relevant. Here are a few ideas for scheduling your assessments.

New membership

Offer an assessment as soon as someone signs up for a gym membership. It shows the customer that you are invested in their wellness, and you get valuable data on new members.

Changing goals

Fitness assessments aren’t always one-size-fits-all. Someone looking to pack on muscle and someone looking to lose lots of fat may want very different benchmarks.

Encourage members to fill out a new assessment whenever their goals change. Make sure you have a few different sets of fitness survey questions prepared for these goals ahead of time.

Monthly or quarterly

Many gym members are looking for consistency – and consistent progress. If their goal is long-term, ask them to fill out a survey every month or every quarter.

This will show them how they’re performing against their benchmarks. It will also give gym owners and personal trainers an idea of how effective their programs are.

Elements to consider

When building your facility’s fitness assessment, these basic factors will affect your customers’ answers – and what you do with them. Ask about them directly on the survey and keep them in mind when interpreting answers. 

Age

Different ages have different recommended amounts of weekly exercise. The CDC recommends the following based on the needs of various age groups:

Adults 18 to 64

Those in this age group should get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. They should also work in strength exercises at least two days per week.

Adults 65+

Recommendations for these adults are the same as those 18 to 64. However, it’s also recommended that they add in activities that can improve balance.

Physical ability

What is impacting your members’ level of physical ability? For example, someone who uses a wheelchair will have different abilities (and needs) than someone who doesn’t.

For those with chronic conditions and/or disabilities, the CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week in addition to two days per week of muscle training. Pregnant people should also get 150 minutes of exercise per week.

Previous injuries

Past injuries can affect a member’s current abilities. You may want to ask about affected body parts and how long ago the injuries occurred.

This can also inform the types of exercise and warmups you recommend. For example, a member may have the goal of increasing their running distance but have a history of shin splints. Knowing to recommend pre-run stretches will be good for them and improve your client relationship.

Exercise experience

Some of your gym’s members may be seasoned workout professionals. Others may be working out for the first time in their lives.

A member’s experience level will not only affect their answers on your assessment, but also how they interpret their results and recommended course of action. Frequent exercisers will understand gym jargon, but newbies will need a little more hand-holding.  

Diet

A gym member’s diet can help or hinder their progress. If you don’t ask about it directly, make sure to offer more information on diets that will contribute to fitness success.

Capacity and time

How much time at the gym can your customers realistically handle? This will vary depending on family situations, careers, or even how close someone lives to the facility.

Customer goals

The most important thing to keep in mind when someone fills out your gym’s assessment is what their goals are. Their satisfaction with your facility depends on the results they see, and knowing their goals will help you push them toward the results they want.

You can also realistically evaluate their goals using the assessment and the other elements above. For example, say that one of your customers has a goal of losing twenty pounds this month but only has a couple hours a week to come to the gym. Use this to spark a conversation about shifting either their goal or their time commitment.

What to include in a fitness assessment

Before diving into goals and timelines, your fitness survey should start with very basic health questions. It will almost feel like the paperwork you fill out at the doctor’s office.

Then you’ll get a little more granular with some fitness-related assessments. We used this info from the Mayo Clinic for some standard guidelines.   

Height and weight

After name and birthday, ask about height and weight. For those looking to lose or gain, this will act as a benchmark. It will also help you determine the customer’s BMI.

Body mass index (BMI) is one of many ways health professionals can determine if someone has a healthy weight. This calculator from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute uses height and weight to calculate BMI.

Keep in mind that BMI is not always a reliable indicator of a healthy weight, especially for very muscular builds. This is because it doesn’t distinguish between excess fat and excess muscle.

Body fat

In this section of the questionnaire, take some body measurements that will help you determine the customer’s body composition. One important measurement is the waist-to-hip ratio.   

Using a tape measure, record the circumference of the smallest part of the waist and largest part of the hips. If the waist is larger than the hips, that may indicate a health problem.

Next, get a little more technical by breaking down the body composition and measuring body fat percentage. You can do this with simple tools like skinfold calipers or a bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) device.

A person’s body fat percentage reflects how much of their body is composed of fat. On average, women’s body fat percentage will be higher than men’s. These charts from Medical News Today break it down further by gender and age.   

Heart rate

Measuring heart health is an important part of getting the full picture of someone’s fitness level. Start with resting heart rate.

Resting heart rate

Your resting heart rate is a measure of how many times your heart beats per minute when your body is at rest. A healthy resting heart rate is usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute.

With regular exercise, a high resting heart rate may become lower over time. Get your baseline with the fitness assessment and see how it changes after a few months.

1.5-mile run

Another way to measure your heart health is through an aerobic fitness test, such as running a mile and half. The ideal run time varies by age.

AgeWomen: Time in minutesMen: Time in minutes
251311
3513.511.5
451412
551613
6517.514

Table from Mayo Clinic

Strength and endurance

Use pushups and situps as strength tests to get a baseline level of a gym member’s muscular fitness.

Pushup test

Find out the maximum number of pushups your gym customer can do. They can self-report this, or a trainer can observe them.

On average, men should be able to do more pushups than women and younger people should be able to do more than older people.

AgeWomen: Number of pushupsMen: Number of pushups
252028
351921
451416
551012
651010

Table from Mayo Clinic

Situp test

Count the maximum number of situps your customer can do. They can self-report or get help counting from a personal trainer.

AgeWomen: Number of situpsMen: Number of situps
253944
353040
452535
552130
651224

Table from Mayo Clinic

Flexibility

There are a few different ways to measure flexibility. Start by asking if the gym member can touch their toes from a standing position. Many people measure their own flexibility by this one factor, so it’s good to take note of it before starting an exercise program.

Sit-and-reach is a standard test of flexibility. To get this benchmark, ask the client to sit on the floor with their legs outstretched.

A yardstick should be placed between their legs with their feet landing on either side of the fifteen-inch mark. Ask them to reach as far as they can past their feet, holding for one full second. Use the best of three tries.

AgeWomen: Farthest reachMen: Farthest reach
2521.5 in. (55 cm)19.5 in. (50 cm)
3520.5 in. (52 cm)18.5 in. (47 cm)
4520 in. (51 cm)17.5 in. (44 cm)
5519 in. (48 cm)16.5 in. (42 cm)
6517.5 in. (44 cm)15.5 in. (39 cm)

Table from Mayo Clinic

Building fitness goals into the assessment

Once your customer knows where their fitness level stands, it’s time to record their goals so they can track their progress.

Don’t just leave a blank space where clients can write down whatever goals they want. At the end of your assessment, build in goal-oriented questions that follow the S.M.A.R.T. format.

Specific

A goal like “I want to lose weight” is flimsy, and flimsy goals are hard to stick to. If a gym member wants to lose weight, ask them to be specific. How many pounds and ounces are they looking to lose?

Measurable

A specific amount of weight loss is one example of a measurable goal. Some others include adding a number of reps to a weight lifting set, running a mile a few minutes faster, or losing an inch and a half off their waist.

Every time someone retakes the fitness assessment, make sure to check these goals and record updated numbers. They could also record their own progress if they have personal fitness technology.

Achievable

When asking about their goals, make sure the customer knows whether the goal is realistic. Losing 40 pounds in a month is a stretch, but five might be a good place to start.

Relevant

A customer might think they can get their ex back with a little bit of training, but that’s not something you can actually measure at the gym. Remind customers that their goals should be directly related to what they can accomplish at your facility.

Time-bound

Each goal should have an associated time limit. Whether it’s in a day, a month, or a year, ask exactly when your client wants to accomplish their goal.

Final thoughts

Providing a standardized fitness assessment to your gym customers is the ideal way to make them feel like you’re invested in their progress. A thorough questionnaire that helps members track their goals will help you stand out from the rest of the fitness market and set you apart as a gym owner that cares.

Using this article as a basis for your questions, create a survey that works for your gym. Your facility survey will help current members improve and attract new members.