Fitness on Demand group fitness programs. What are your thoughts?
I am curious what both group fitness instructors and club managers think about Fitness on Demand group fitness classes in a gym setting. It allows members to watch group fitness classes on a TV at the gym without an instructor on site. basically- it's fitness videos on demand at the gym. I have seen them at 24 hour gyms, and am now getting suggestions from a vendor to add them to my gym (not a 24 hour gym with lots of -i think- great group fitness programming with real, live instructors!).
Hmmm...seems like an expensive way to watch a video/dvd. Price of the membership to the club, travel time and gas costs, might be better off to purchase a dvd and exercise at home.
I would look into the pros and cons along with your business model and your target audience.
It seems odd that a gym would offer this particularly if there are great group leaders wanting to teach!
Nothing will replace personal touch and human contact
my first thought was: what are the ramifications for liability? You have instructors who you screen and whose credentials you know. They scan the classes to make sure that everybody is safe. Participants get very attached to instructors and enjoy a short post-workout chat. Obviously, a video cannot do that.
On the other hand: there are excellent videos by highly respected instructors. I recommend them myself to clients at times.
If I was an instructor where such programming was introduced, I would wonder if I was on my way out the door and would probably begin looking for another club.
In summary: I can see the temptation for a club owner but I myself would not go that route.
Just my thoughts .....
I am just curious to know whether anyone believes the rationale behind setting the station of the televisions on "Fitness On Demand" is simply because it is a gym and not for any other reason.
Many gyms have various television stations playing that participants freely watch which riding ellipticals, running on treadmills, etc., and the risk of injury exists there too.
For me it's a simple business decision of setting the television to a channel offering fitness programming as it is a gym.
I believe that a human instructor will always be better than a video. I am there to correct form, encourage and praise. Trainers are also able to handle an emergency.
If videos were the answer, our country would look and act differently. Not to mention, we are a social being.
One thing I noted was the idea to select various workout videos to play on televisions for members using ellipticals, treadmills, etc. I believe the digital fitness concept started from this very thing, as content providers were not being being paid and filing lawsuits against club owners. I would think paying a monthly licensing and content fee would be much wiser than risking it and facing potential legal issues.
Lastly, I've strongly considered a digital fitness system for several of my gyms. I've consulted with various reps on different systems and even participated in some online webcasts. Not only were these extremely helpful in my buying decision, but there was one system in particular that provided multiple benefits to most of the hesitations mentioned throughout this thread. I successfully implemented a digital system 3 years ago and business couldn't be better.
Overall, I would recommend to everyone in this conversation to experience a workout through a digital system and participate in a provider's online demonstration. I had a very pleasant experience working with Christian from FOD (hint hint). He's a true professional which is tough to find.
Side question: For those who have dealt with under performing class issues, or inconsistency with instructors schedules, what solution(s) have you used with the most positive impact?