Well, statistically speaking this is true. Findings from a recent Gallup-Healthways Happiness-Stress Index found that people who had face to face contact with people for up 6 to 7 hours a day where far happier than does who didn’t. By nature, we are social creatures, so it makes sense that connections with other people are central to our happiness.The emergence of boutique fitness as a game changer in the fitness industry has highlighted the importance of creating a fitness community in your studio. Boutique fitness is largely defined by its class-based group training and this trend has risen in popularity in recent years. ASCMs Worldwide Study of Fitness Trends, which is conducted annually, has group training at number two. The trend has always been in and around the industry for a while but it is only in the last number of years has it really come to prominence. It was only in 2017 that the trend broke into the top 20 of ASCMs survey, coming in at number 6.
Recently there have been more and more studies that back up the theory that running group classes in your studio delivers a higher rate of retention. Recently, a Nielsen study of more than 3,000 participants of group fitness classes around the world highlighted that more than 85% of class members visit their facility twice a week specifically to engage in group classes. And 43% of members visit their facility four times per week for this purpose.So why are people turning to group fitness instead of working out individually?The answer lies in the sense of community that is generated from working out in a group. In this article we will take a dive into what it really means to build a sense of community in your fitness studio, why is it important and the steps you need to take to create a community in your studio.
In a strong community culture the owner and the instructors having an invested interest in the success of their members. And this means regular communication. An IHRSA study in 2017 found that 90% of studio members value consistent communication from staff. The staff should create an atmosphere in which everyone is comfortable and confident they can reach their fitness goals.As well as making sure that those relationships are built between the staff and the customers, community also means positive relationships between the members themselves. Additionally, people motivate as well as challenge each other to take part in rigorous workouts and work towards their fitness goals. Overall, the real meaning of community in a fitness studio is to make people feel welcome as soon as they walk in the door.For many, the gym can be quite an intimidating place, and by creating a sense of community with classes at your studio, it will ensure that clients keep returning. The same IHRSA Report found that the risk of cancellation is 56% higher among members who just use gym equipment vs. those who exercise in groups. We discussed this retention statistic and more that relate to group fitness in our article on gym membership retention statistics.
Whether you own a boxing, HIIT, Crossfit, or yoga studio, a community feeling can make people comfortable and give them a sense of family in your facility. This also means that people will be talking about your business to family and friends thus bringing in client referrals.Of course, building a friendly community feel can be difficult and frustrating too. People are stuck in their busy lives and are sometimes unwilling to take part in things apart from their workouts. Meanwhile, some people come to the fitness studio with a “no new friends” mentality. Such people just hit the gym, do their fitness regime, and head home. However, over time and with the right mentality people tend to cave in and grow fond of the new fitness family.Building a community revolving around health and fitness is quite essential. From the first time when the client enters the studio and until the class is finished, the goal of building a community is to utilize their time in the best manner. This isn’t only about physical exercise. In fact, it’s more about obtaining peace of mind and mental clarity once the class is over.