Fitness Floor Staff positions are typically entry level, and responsibilities include monitoring equipment, supplies and people in the facility.
Among the facilities represented in the 2010 IDEA Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report, 28% employ fitness floor staff. Most are employees (97%) who are paid by the hour (98%). They average 19.5 work hours per week, earning an average of $11.75 per hour. From 2006 to 2008, their hourly rate increased by just $0.25; from 2008 to 2010, there was a more significant increase of $1.50 per hour.
When I began my career as a group exercise instructor 30 years ago, I couldn’t have imagined the industry would be where it is today—an evolving, dynamic profession with boundless potential. Group exercise is diverse and offers unlimited options. However, finding the right job or deciding which direction to take can be overwhelming. This article takes you step by step through how to navigate a career in group exercise.
If you’re like a lot of successful personal trainers, you know from years of working with clients that even the best fitness evaluations and strength, cardio and weight management programs aren’t always enough. The problem--life gets in the way. From my own experience as a personal trainer, regardless of how great my programming was, it had zero value if my clients had adherence issues. Many of the hundreds I’ve helped over the years followed a plan for a while and then went back to their old self-sabotaging ways.
As the fitness industry embraces wellness concepts such as mental training, mindful movement and holistic programming, now more than ever the spa world offers viable career opportunities. Why? One reason is that it has long embraced these same healthy goals. The fitness professional who is curious about employment in the spa industry must take methodical steps toward discovering whether or not this specialty field is a good fit.
Spa History and Legacy
The pathway beyond group exercise instruction and personal training is not exactly clear cut. Fitness professionals realize early on that adding classes and clients to their already jam-packed, hectic schedules may not be the best use of their time. However, figuring out a way to increase stability and cash flow is challenging. Since most fitness professionals end up working for several facilities simultaneously and/or fend for themselves as independent entrepreneurs, finding a mentor can be tough.
As the health and wellness industry has developed, so has the understanding of what constitutes fitness “product” in the minds of consumers and facility operators alike. Nowadays, a company’s product is more than a tangible “thing.” It includes every aspect of fitness: personal training, group exercise, kids’ training, the facility, staff training and development, studio-based classes, floor layout and, above all, member experience.
When Nick Locascio, club manager of The Leading Edge in Greenfield, Massachusetts, hired someone for his front desk, he had no idea how much she would cost him—emotionally and financially.
“Instead of greeting and interacting with our customers, she spent her time on Facebook, texting and chatting with friends,” he says. “At one point, I caught her watching a movie on her laptop [while] wearing earphones.”
Many personal trainers are promoted to manager or director solely on the basis of their success as a trainer and not necessarily because of their management skills. Now it’s your turn: You are the new personal training manager. You’re finding out how different being the manager is from working with clients on the floor.
Regardless of how big or small your role is as group fitness manager (GFM), your success depends primarily on how effectively you communicate with a diverse audience. Each employee has a need to hear you, understand your message, store the information and act on it. Keeping employees informed can eat up a lot of time and may prevent you from getting to initiatives that could grow the business.