Can Boot Camps Really Help Your Fitness Business?
By Georgette Pann, BS Health/Physical Ed., Physical Therapist Assistant, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist and Co-Author of Sure Victory – How to Design Boot Camp Workouts that Blast Fat and Build Power
Can Boot Camps Really Help Your Fitness Business?
The fastest way to attract new clients and collect plenty of profits for your fitness business is with a new program.
But what? You don’t want to put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into a fast-dying fad or a program that attracts a limited target market because your profits will dry up quickly.
Your solution: Fitness boot camps.
They appeal to a large range of people because just about anyone can do the exercises. And they escape the women-only stigma of aerobics and the men-only stigma of weight lifting. Influenced by traditional military boot camps, these fitness programs are so popular because they work- when they’re done right-and because of their social element. The participants enjoy the camaraderie of exercising in a group. And much like peer pressure keeps soldiers moving in military boot camp, peer encouragement – and developing friendships – keep people moving in fitness boot camp. Plus, more experienced participants often help newcomers, which provides an element of support that the trainer alone cannot give.
Here are other major ways that these benefit you and your clients.
If you don’t offer it as part of your fitness business, you’re missing out on serious dollars. Fiscally speaking, they are a no-brainer. Compared with aerobics, weight lifting, Spinning, treadmill workouts or in-home training, they are a virtual money mill.
Here’s why: They are an efficient use of your time. As the trainer, you typically handle large groups of people at once. Class sizes range from 20 to more than 50 people, so you can afford to charge less per person, which means a greater potential for plenty of people to sign up. Look at it this way: If you were to charge $10 per person for each session, and you had an average class size of 20 people, you’d collect $200 for a one-hour session. It’s hard to charge that much for a one-on-one training session!
They help you make money, but they also save you money because there are no overhead costs. You could hold your program in parks, school gymnasiums, parking lots, parking garages, or any place you can fit your class; you don’t need a studio or facility. You can arrange for a typical location for little or no money. If you’re planning to use a public park for a group, be sure to make any necessary reservations with park officials.Of course, if you already have a studio or facility, classes will make that space especially cost-effective. The fact that you don’t need a lot of equipment to run it means you reduce your expenses even further. Bodyweight exercises, such as pushups and sit-ups, form the core of most programs. Even if you decide to include dumbbells or resistance bands, you can pass that expense onto clients as a one-time fee. Or, you could have your business logo and contact info imprinted on the equipment to further promote it and write it off at tax time.
Benefits for Clients
There are two main aspects that keep clients coming back to boot camp programs time after time: these programs are effective and fun.
Let’s tackle the effectiveness part first. As you know, the key to weight loss, which is what the majority of boot campers are looking for, is burning calories. They cram a lot of exercise and calorie-burning into a short time. Clients don’t have to fool around with working out for 90 minutes to 2 hours every day. Forty-five minutes, boot-camp-style, is enough. Plus, participants benefit from higher metabolism for the rest of the day, which means they burn more calories for longer. And unlike many Nautilus and weight lifting programs that isolate only a few muscles, movements – such as pushups, pull-ups, jumping jacks and running – recruit many muscles in every exercise. So, instead of doing 3 sets on every machine in the gym, participants get the job done much more efficiently.
Besides their effectiveness, they appeal to people because of the fun and social factors. Sure, Denise Austin or Jake Steinfeld videos are motivating-but video workouts are very impersonal, and the motivation often lasts only for the first week or so. With this, participants get personal motivation from their trainer that is fresh and new every session. The trainers can also correct exercise form and postures for clients to keep them safe and get the most from the exercises. A video can’t do that.
The bottom line is that they make your bottom line look better. They are an efficient and profitable way to attract more clients and deliver effective fitness to more people. Adding it to your programming reinforces your image as an effective, affordable fitness professional.
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