If you were in charge of a fitness center....

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scholt64
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Post by scholt64 » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:42 pm

First... figure out what your market looks like.

Are you going to target the serious body building enthusiast, or are you going to target the other 98% of the population who are (or at least should be) concerned about their general health and fitness, many of whom haven't even been very active in years (if ever)? Are you trying to build a business that serves a broad community, or an exclusive club for the serious or competative athelete?

Since I fall into th the 98%, I'll stick to what I would like to see:

1) Enough equipment that there are not significant waits.
2) Trainers who understand your target market. The training needs of the serious athlete (body builder or otherwise) are substantially different than the traning needs of the obese person whose finally decided to pull it together. Similarly, needs differ with age.
3) Integrated programs that cover other aspects of healthly lifestyle - such as nutrition and stress management. Might even consider partering with local physicians to offer health screenings.
4) Programs that encourage "compliance" - that is, things that keep people engaged in their own personal fitness program... unless, of course, you're following the "lock in as many long term contracts as possible and hope they never show up" business model.
5) Child care.

Of course, what I am describing is a "wellness center" of which a gym is just a component.

Matt Z
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Post by Matt Z » Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:31 pm

"2) Trainers who understand your target market. The training needs of the serious athlete (body builder or otherwise) are substantially different than the traning needs of the obese person whose finally decided to pull it together. Similarly, needs differ with age." - scholt64

True, but the fundamentals are the same. Whether your a pro-powerlifter or someone who's never picked up a barbell before, a squat is still a squat and a deadlift is still a deadlift. Likewise you don't have to be a serious lifter to benefit from the knowledge and experience of serious lifters. I think this forum illustrates that point daily.

Matt Z
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Post by Matt Z » Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:35 pm

PS) If you've spent much time on this forum, you should know that few of us are serious body building enthusiasts.

Matt Z
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Post by Matt Z » Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:53 pm

My gym would consist of three rooms. The first room would contain cardio equipment (treadmills, stationary bikes, steppers, rowing machines, etc.). The second room would contain weight machines, a few benches (no uprights) and a rack of light-medium dumbbells. Finally, the third room would contain heavy free-weight equipment including squat racks, platforms, benches (with and without uprights), barbells, tons of plates and dumbbells up to at least 150 lbs. I think this type of setup would cater to a wide range of users without a lot of conflict (having hoosegow squat 10 feet away from the treadmills would be asking for trouble).

scholt64
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Post by scholt64 » Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:07 pm

I agree, the foundations are the same and certainly we can all benefit from sharing experience... my point was simply that a trainer needs to have very good understanding of his/her client's motivations and challenges... and those are very different across different populations.

For my own part, for example, I would much rather work with a trainer who has a lot of experience with helping obese people develop and stick to a plan. That's where I am and I think a trainer with that kind of experience is much more likely to understand my goals, motivations and needs than would one who has been working mostly with high performing clients.

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