Better The Class Experience In 14 Steps

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1. Get to class early. Spend a few minutes before class to get to know some of your students, not just to set up your equipment. This is prime time to show your clients that you are a) a relatable human being, and b) this gives you some time to learn client needs and what they are looking to get out of your class. Wander around too; don’t just wait for them to come to you. Remember as much significant information about clients as you can! Showing that you remember someone shows that you care and inspires client loyalty.

2. Own It. I should know who the instructor is the MINUTE I walk into the room. There’s no room for nervousness here. Even if you are nervous, fake that confidence until it’s real! If I am paying to take a class, I want to be confident in my instructor’s abilities.

3. Pump up the jams! BEFORE class starts. If you are about to teach a high-intensity class- like spinning- set the tone before clients enter the room. Chances are that most of your students have crawled out of bed to take this class before work or forced themselves to come after a long day. They need a psychological PUSH to rev them up. Don’t let them fall asleep on the bike.

4. Make sure to keep energy HIGH! Particularly in small classes.

There are a bunch of strategies you can keep in your arsenal. Here are just a few:

• Call people out by name. Make eye contact and encourage them to power through the workout.

• Make introductions between students to create a “pack mentality”. You’re in this together!

• Compliment them on actually making it to class when they could just have easily been sleeping—if it was a morning class—or headed straight to the bar after work. Instead, they’re here! YAY!

5. Encourage partner or group work.

Require students to make a connection by:

• Pairing up for a two-person exercise.

• Have half the class work super intense while the other half cheers them on.

• Tell students to cheer on the person exactly to their left/right. Give high fives (who doesn’t love a high five?).

6. Make a soundtrack full of FRESH jams, and while you’re at it, match the music to the beat! I personally need a good, blood pumping beat to get me in the right mental state for an intense workout. But, I need that feeling of something NEW each time to get that same effect. Don’t use the same soundtrack every class and, while you’re at it, check out the top 40 chart once in a while to keep relevant. And, try to match the workout to the beat! It helps the class synchronize and nothing is more motivating than being in sync as a unit.

7. Recover gracefully from mistakes. It’s inevitable: at some point in time, something will break or won’t go as planned. To prepare for this, make a list of things that could go wrong beforehand, and come up with solutions. Whether your music system breaks or you forget to repeat an exercise on the other side, find ways to roll with the punches gracefully and seamlessly. No one is going to walk out of the room in a huff if they see you are calm, poised and actively working on the issue.

8. Encourage encouraging noise! If you’ve been to any sporting event, you know that players thrive on the roar of the crowd. It’s no different in a group class studio. If there is someone screaming, whooping or doing a Native American battle cry – encourage this behavior and build on it! Usually when people are making these sounds, it means they are having a fantastic time. This is a major complement so don’t ignore it. Let students feed energy off each other and it will change the entire atmosphere of the class.

9. Correct students, but don’t make a scene. No matter what fitness level students are at, they can always improve. You earn trust from your students if you correct them once in a while. Push them deeper into a pose, make sure both feet are facing the right way—it goes a long way in showing your expertise. I want to know I am in fully capable hands. With that being said, don’t correct me from across the room and, for God’s sake, pull the mic away when you do! Most instructors don’t realize they’re embarrassing students this way. Just remember to pull the mic away for corrections.

10. Promote your colleagues! Contrary to popular belief, speaking well about another colleague does NOT take business away from you. Talk about how awesome the next instructor’s class is or mention how good an instructor is at a certain area of expertise. Talking badly about other instructors puts a bad taste in your students’ mouths.

11. Let students know when they are doing well. Praise students who are visibly trying their hardest. This goes a long way in boosting egos and encouraging them to keep coming back, especially if you call them out when they don’t realize you are watching.

12. Prepare for things to go wrong. Our bodies can do some pretty weird things when we exercise—things not everyone, especially first-timers—may not be familiar with. We sweat uncontrollably, make pained noises, hear popping sounds, and our muscles start to shake all over the place when they start to burn out. Reassure your students that all of this is normal to keep going!

13. Come up with an end-of-class ritual. Don’t just push students back into the real world straight after a workout. Ease them out of the endorphin high and congratulate them on a job well done. This could be a series of stretches or some light breathing techniques. Either way, ease them out of that mental state so they can be excited, feel accomplished, and then get on with their day.

14. Stay after class too. Don’t sprint out of the class once the workout is done. Stay after to get social with students. This is a great opportunity to get feedback on your class, whether positive or negative. Both forms will help you improve and gather ideas on how to make their next experience even better.

Most importantly, just stay after to chat and show that you are a normal person when you don’t have your supertrainer suit on. It will go a long way in forming loyal students and create viable referrals.

Is Your Club Primed for Growth with Personal Training? Part 3 of 3

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In this final part of a three part post I have outlined below the remaining two of what I consider four key reasons for implementing a strong personal trainer scheduling and management solution as a component of your club management software:

  1. Enhanced Visibility Into Your Business

    A good system will provide the ability to view departmental performance in real-time, yet the power lies in its ability to uncover inefficiencies and provide insight. Creative club owners armed with this information can see how to better monetize facility resources and staff, and help to improve the overall profitability of their club. This information can help to uncover inefficiencies in the use of a trainer’s time each day, as well as help to more quickly and accurately determine when another trainer should be added to the days scheduled, etc. It can also help to identify which trainers are consistently converting free trials into revenue-generating customers, and which trainers are struggling with this extremely critical aspect of their jobs. All of this various information should help club owners and managers answer the key questions that will help them streamline the operations of their training business and improve the revenues derived as a result.
  2. Improved Customer Service

    Real-time visibility into your club’s daily processes also translates into improved customer service for your members. For example, when training clients call in to check on trainer availability, payments owed, or to change an appointment, a good scheduling and management system will provide these answers right at your fingertips – giving the member the answers they need, when they need them. A growing number of club owners are realizing that a powerful trainer scheduling and management system is an ongoing way to deliver enhanced business performance and in turn, significantly improve customer service.

Hopefully the information outlined in this three part post will help to show why researching and implementing a powerful trainer scheduling and management system, either stand-alone or as part of your core club management software solution, is an important process for your facility – and will help to prime your club for long-term growth and success.

Is Your Club Primed for Growth with Personal Training? Part 2 of 3

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In this second of a three part post I have outlined below two of what I consider four key reasons for implementing a strong personal trainer scheduling and management solution as a component of your club management software:

  1. Improved Operational Control

    The software system selected should provide club owners and trainers with an instantaneous view into daily processes to make sure operations are proceeding smoothly. Is a certain trainer available at a specific time today? Does my 2 o’clock appointment have any pre-existing medical conditions or owe a balance for a prior session or package? These are all questions that should be able to be answered by the new system with a quick glance at the screen or with one click of your mouse. By spotting trouble early each day, small problems can be dealt with or eliminated completely before they have a chance to accumulate and become large ones.
  2. Consistent Performance Reports & Financial Analysis

    A good trainer scheduling and management system enables a real-time view at how your business is performing, which yields reports that are more consistent and accurate in nature. Traditional reports are often out of date by the time they arrive on your manager’s desk, and usually after unexpected problems have already cropped up. A good system should provide customizable reports covering a variety of critical areas such as daily schedules and rosters, invoices, payments & customer statements, payroll reports for export to 3rd-party payroll providers, and management reports for club performance & financial analysis.

In the final post in this series I will outline the final two of the four key reasons.

Is Your Club Primed for Growth with Personal Training? Part 1 of 3

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Software that offers strong personal trainer scheduling and management functionality is gaining attention as a critical component for improving the operational processes that impact your club’s growth on a daily basis. How well your club streamlines its operations, improves trainer productivity, reduces costs and increases profits, will be a determining factor in your facility’s overall future success. With the popularity and revenue gains that club owners have seen with their personal training business in recent years, implementing a powerful club management software and billing system that includes a very strong trainer scheduling and management component has become that critical “must have” for a club of any size.

If you haven’t yet implemented a scheduling and management system within your club (either as a part of your core club management system or on a stand-alone basis), there are a variety of key items for you to consider as you begin the selection process:

  1. Is it user friendly – i.e. can it be used by staff with just novice computer experience?
  2. Does it offer detailed management of training packages and other service offerings?
  3. Does it allow for detailed tracking of trainer payroll, commissions and varying pay rates?
  4. Does it provide personal training specific management reports for club performance & financial analysis?
  5. Does it give your personal training clients access to book new sessions or buy new packages right from your website?
  6. Does it offer the ability to integrate credit card or direct debit functionality so that you can charge your customers for services in real-time? Or better yet, does it offer the option for a full-service billing and collections component as part of the software, so you don’t have to worry about chasing customers for overdue payments?
  7. Can it be accessed from any web-connected computer – both inside your club or out?

A good trainer scheduling and management software system focuses on these sets of issues with an eye on executing and managing them more efficiently on a daily basis. This attention to detail can result in improved operational control, better visibility into your business, improved customer service, and more consistent employee performance.

In the next post in this three part post I will begin to outline the 4 key reasons for implementing a strong personal trainer scheduling and management solution as a component of your club management software.