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!).
As a former Division I athlete and current trainer, I can appreciate having the human touch factor, which can’t be replaced through sophisticated technology. However, from a business perspective this makes perfect sense for those with the space, as research strongly suggests it will be the new benchmark for group fitness in a few short years.
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?
I would just stay home and save the money I would have spent for membership. Plus, all that time wasted going to the gym. Besides the legal issues you may run into, the reason you have trainers at your gym is to make sure the clients get the correct form and instruction when working out, plus for your gym to make some extra income from personal training. Why would you want to give something for free when you can charge for it?
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.