Fitness and aquatics magazine serving non-profit facilities, YMCAs, YWCAs and Jewish community centers
Issue link: http://digital.turn-page.com/i/61066
20 OnSite Fitness | GROUPEX There's a secret to growing stronger bonds with and among your members – and to growing membership by an average of 500 people per facility. CEO of Les Mills International GROUP EXERCISE FOR GROWTH AND STRENGTH By Phillip Mills W When you ask people what they want when they join a gym or attend a recreation center, you commonly get answers like "to lose weight," to "to get in shape" or "to improve my health." In other words, they want results. But people know they can get results from almost any type of exercise – by walking around the block or working out in their living room, for example. So why do they come to us as exercise professionals? The answer is motivation. People hope and expect that in the environment of an exercise facility they'll be inspired and enabled to achieve more than they can on their own. There are some simple tools for motivation. Providing an attractive, enjoyable facility is one. Education and communication help, as they leave people feeling empowered and involved. Building bonds – making exercise social – is one of the most powerful motivators. Anything you can do that gets people working out with each other or with your staff builds strong exercise adherence. Personal training, small-group training, clubs within your club like sports training, hiking, even purely social activities like book clubs or wine clubs keep people coming back again and again. We are social creatures. We've tried everything along these over 40 years in my family's gym chain in New Zealand. We have as many as 90 personal and small-group trainers per facility. We have spent many thousands of dollars per facility on audiovisual systems to create great workout environments. And we've created dozens of internal groups where people do everything from learning healthy cooking to running triathlons to speed dating.