A fitness program can give clients safety cues, form instruction, and valuable feedback that has been proven to improve exercise outcomes. Research shows that those who exercised with professional guidance were able to achieve greater results in lean body mass gain, chest strength, leg strength, and VO2 max (Storer et al., 2014).
Digital guidance and in-person coaching both have their benefits. So how do you choose what type of exercise guidance is right for your fitness facility? The good news is you don’t have to choose.
Digital Fitness Program Benefits
Digital guidance, both live-streamed and pre-recorded, can improve exercise adherence (Parker et al., 2021). Instruction is often all an individual needs to help them get a great workout and build confidence to continue a workout plan.
People find that fitness program guidance is valuable because of the affordable cost of sessions, flexibility in class schedules, and being able to exercise from anywhere, including at home or at a gym (Casterline, 2021). Many digital exercise programs only require a subscription, minimal equipment, and an internet connection.
When choosing a digital exercise program, consider your facility setup. If you have the space to offer circuit or group workouts but have limited staff to run them, Aktiv TV is a great option. You can operate Aktiv TV with or without live instruction. If you want on-demand options for your users, Xponential+ Training Bays allow users to do any XPLUS live or on-demand class within the same footprint as a treadmill.
In-Person Fitness Program Benefits
Community and camaraderie are essential aspects of live, in-person exercise guidance, whether it’s the expectation of meeting a personal trainer, or the joy of socializing with other participants. The combination of informational cueing, hands-on feedback and motivation of live coaching can create a high-demand exercise program.
Members and clients are looking for a place where they can find the right balance of competition and support. The growing popularity of boutique-style fitness programs may be in part due to the desire to have closer connections and receive more individualized instruction from peers and fitness instructors.
Community, motivation, and camaraderie are all important aspects of fitness that can be used to market your facility. Alpha Fit Club in New Jersey uses a combination of digital exercise guidance and live instructors. They market themselves as “a community of like-minded individuals all striving to become the best version of themselves in and out of the gym.” They also advertise their “Certified Group Fitness Coaches” who will “help you build your mind, body, and spirit.” Fhitting Room in New York uses both digital instruction and live certified trainers as “a way for every body to reap the benefits of a one-on-one personal training session within a motivational group fitness setting.”
Great workout programs consist of effective, clear, and concise instructions, cueing examples, motivation, and emotional support. Consider your resources and what’s best for you and your clients or members and reach out to professionals for help developing the fitness programming for your facility.
Storer TW, Dolezal BA, Berenc MN, Timmins JE, Cooper CB. Effect of supervised, periodized exercise training vs. self-directed training on lean body mass and other fitness variables in health club members. J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Jul;28(7):1995-2006. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000331. PMID: 24276303. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24276303/
Parker K, Uddin R, Ridgers ND, Brown H, Veitch J, Salmon J, Timperio A, Sahlqvist S, Cassar S, Toffoletti K, Maddison R, Arundell L. The Use of Digital Platforms for Adults’ and Adolescents’ Physical Activity During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Our Life at Home): Survey Study. J Med Internet Res. 2021 Feb 1;23(2):e23389. doi: 10.2196/23389. PMID: 33481759; PMCID: PMC7857525. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33481759/
Casterline, L.J. (2021) Use and perceptions of online and virtual exercise training during the Covid-19 pandemic (unpublished). Middle Tennessee State University https://jewlscholar.mtsu.edu/server/api/core/bitstreams/d1c02ce0-d9b4-45ff-b3c5-0923d583a050/content