Gym’s can be a scary place.
I can sometimes take for granted how intimidating the gym can actually be. It is a common occurrence that certainly has awareness within the industry, but I cannot help but feel that some of the major health club chains aren’t doing enough to make their clients more comfortable.
Granted, induction processes and staffing in general have improved in health centres. I would hope that many of you feel confident that you are gaining the correct advice suited to your goals, and that the staff at your facility are approachable and friendly. I do feel however that the industry as a whole needs to pay greater attention to the needs of members.
I have recently joined a new gym in Hull. As part of a recent re-development of this centre an interactive computing interface was installed alongside the centres resistance and cardiovascular machinery. This system is linked into 2 central computers that contain masses of information on various exercises and progression tracking tools. Upon joining the club you are granted a unique user identification code. With an instructor you can develop an exercise program that can be stored to your user database and accessed via this code.
Inevitably this means you can turn up for a gym session, log into a central terminal then head to your first exercise, the leg press for example. You then enter your pin code into the terminal at the leg press and in front of you is an interface that advises you how much weight you need to be lifting, how many times you need to lift it and even the speed by which you lift it. Once you have completed the information, the data is sent back to the central computer which logs what you have done.
This technology is easily understood and very user friendly. It represents a positive shift in the industry in my opinion. It will certainly encourage more phobic exercises by providing them with more on-demand knowledge, this will in turn increase their motivation and exercise adherence.
It may be expensive, but I am confident that such systems will become more widely recognised in the industry over the next few years, in large part due to their likelihood of increasing membership retention.