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Best Practices

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Thinking of Opening a Studio?

By Alyse Mason Brill | June 19, 2015 |

Many fitness professionals dream of designing a studio that reflects their unique perspective and approach to health and fitness—a place where they can grow their business, their brand and their client base (and, of course, their paycheck!) on their own terms.

There’s a huge appeal to running your own space, especially if you’ve been working long enough to imagine how you might design a space specifically suited to your clients’ needs and your vision.

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GROOMing Habits, Part Two

By Shannon Fable | May 15, 2015 |

If you’ve ever struggled to fill open classes or you’ve ever wanted more qualified fitness pros on your staff, it’s time to get proactive and ensure that you have the team of your dreams. GROOMing Habits is designed to arm you with the tools to make it happen. In the first installment, we covered Groundwork and Recruitment. Now let’s explore the final components: Options, Opportunity, and Manage & Meet Expectations.

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Top Five Technology Roadblocks for Personal Training Staff

By Amanda Vogel, MA | May 15, 2015 |

Gone are the days when all that your personal training department needed in order to stay ahead of the curve was a gym full of the latest fitness equipment and a team armed with clipboards, stopwatches and maybe a heart rate monitor or two. Now there’s a barrage of fitness technology, such as wearable activity trackers and mobile apps. Many fitness managers are contemplating if, when and how to formally integrate these new tech tools into personal training services.

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Lessons From the Trenches, Part Two: The Challenge of Leadership

By Krista Popowych | May 15, 2015 |

Great leaders don’t just point the way; they also give clear directions. However, it’s not always a simple task to inspire and motivate even the most willing of followers. Once you’ve thrown your hat into the leadership ring, you’ll be faced with new challenges. In part two of this series, we’ll expand on finding the leader within, and we’ll explore the best ways to handle challenging situations.

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Friendly Competition: We Can All Get Along

By Cathie Ericson | May 15, 2015 |

When Jack and Jenna Oliver opened Above the Bar, a CrossFit® facility in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, 2 years ago, they knew it wouldn’t be an overnight success. However, they didn’t expect the competition to be so fierce. First, they had to deal with a Planet Fitness grand opening (with $10 monthly memberships); then, another CrossFit facility set up shop just a few miles away. Despite the competition, their box was so successful that they moved to a larger location—only to find out that a 24 Hour Fitness® was opening up less than a mile away!

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GROOMing Habits, Part One

By Shannon Fable | February 23, 2015 |

Unless you’re extremely fortunate, quality instructors are not knocking down your door begging for work. Instead, you likely find yourself cycling through recently certified fitness pros who have little or no experience. They come, they go and you start over. The amount of time and attention you invest in staffing can take your eyes off the bigger picture, which is to help people get fit and healthy.

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Inspired Business, Part Five: Staff Buy-In

By Patricia Kirk, MS | February 23, 2015 |

At an inspired fitness facility, people are encouraged and motivated to generate a “positive vibration.” This business model makes members feel special, and it motivates people not only to join your facility but also to thrive in your fitness community. What happens when your employees are treated as well as your members?

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How to Cope With Change

By Stephanie Vlach, MS | February 23, 2015 |

Change is inevitable. Organizations restructure, fitness facility ownership turns over and managers come and go. Although change can be positive, for many people the mere thought of it breeds anxiety and fear. During times of job stress, productivity declines; in addition, the rumor mill ramps up, morale may deteriorate and valued employees may look for other opportunities. As a manager, you are responsible for guiding employees through these potentially difficult times.

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The Professional Development Conundrum

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | February 10, 2014 |

Experts agree that employers need to invest more in staff training and development to create stability, boost retention and improve the consumer experience. This is a particular challenge for many large-chain, membership-based fitness facilities. Rather than nurturing and training a newly hired personal trainer for exercise life- style programming and customer service skills, some fitness facilities orient trainers to be salespeople whose wages depend on commissions.

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Recruit Staff Like the NCAA

By Peggy Gregor, AFAA, ACE | November 13, 2013 |

When college football recruiters started taking an interest in my son’s skills on the gridiron, I came to a useful realization: When it comes to attracting talent and developing winning teams, head coaches and group fitness directors have a lot of parallel priorities.

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Phone Etiquette for a New Age

By Terah Shelton | November 13, 2013 |

Proper phone etiquette is essential in a health club environment. Many people prefer to call ahead to ask simple questions, rather than physically coming in. It’s their way of getting a “feel” for your facility. As a manager/owner, you want that introductory phone call to translate into a new membership. However, phone communication has degraded among young adults working the front desk, and it’s easy to see why.

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First-Session Success

By Casey Stutzman | March 1, 2013 |

“I’m terrified of change, even if it will improve my life.”
“I hate asking for help or admitting that I do not know something.”
“I avoid environments that are unfamiliar or that make me feel out of place.”
“I don’t believe that my own personal shortcomings are a source of my problems.”
“I will defend what I believe, even though it may not be right.”

For many people, those statements are true.

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