The existing women-only circuit training clubs have enjoyed a lot of success; can they possibly be improved upon? As we've studied the industry, we're finding that members of such clubs are becoming bored doing the same routine over and over and many women really don't mind working out with men.
With this discovery, we set out on a mission to improve upon existing popular circuit training concepts. As we analyzed the data it was obvious that everyone was focusing on women only clubs and nobody was offering a club for both men and women, so that was the governing assumption when we built our prototype club in Mississauga, Ontario.
Area employees like the concept of a 22-minute workout, it means they can do it during their lunch break.
A Single Circuit for Both Men and Women
A circuit for both men and women meant certain challenges in that we had to design machines with "management controlled", variable resistance settings for both men and women, and frankly could take the abuse that men can afflict upon a machine. We started design in June of 2003 and launched our club in December 2003.
Our primary demographic is 30-50, men and women with limited free time, who desire an inch loss, body-toning program that fits into busy schedules. Many members come from women-only clubs, but want to workout with their husbands as well. Our final product is a 20-station circuit comprised of 11 hydraulic machines interspersed with aerobic conditioning stations in which the exercisers complete twice in a total of only 22 minutes.
Why 22 Minutes?
Adam Sandler once did a skit that he would make a video called 7 Minute Abs, "After all" he said, "Why would anybody buy the 8 Minute Abs tape if the 7 Minute Abs tape was right next to it?"
Well, there is sound logic behind our 22-minute exercise protocol. We are located in both a residential and a small business industrial area. We get many locally employed people because they like the convenience of a 22-minute workout during their lunch hour.
Our prototype club is located in a strip mall where typical storefronts are available. In this case our club is 1,300 ft&178 and many storefronts range from 1,200 to 1,500 ft&178. The interior consists of a small reception desk, both men's and ladies changing rooms, a stretching area and 750 ft&178 of open gym floor.
To give the illusion of more space (without adding too many mirrors) we went with an open ceiling design. This is when you remove the dropped ceilings to expose the struts and HVAC system, which we painted them with exciting colors for a contemporary look. Our main colors are comprised of electric blue walls, terra cotta 22 foot ceiling with yellow piping accents -- definitely bright and energizing.
Our "look" is very different from what is normally seen in most "circuit training" facilities. During a recent member survey, words used to describe our look are: "bright", energizing", and "modern."
A Unique Fitness Experience
The Fix workout incorporates the use of 11 strength training hydraulic machines that allow the user to work two completely different muscle groups during the same exercise through the use of two-way resistance. The resistance is controlled by the speed and frequency of the movements.
Between the circuit machines is where the major departure of the Fix occurs over other circuit training systems. Instead of the standard walking board, there are specific aerobic & core conditioning stations consisting of an assortment of cardio and balance equipment such as punching bags, medicine balls, ,trampolines, jump ropes, fit domes and wobble boards that bring our members' heart rate into its "training zone" quickly and keeps it there. Each aerobic conditioning station has five levels of difficulty and virtually hundreds of exercise combinations, allowing members to set new fitness goals and have variety in their workout.
The Fix changes these pieces of equipment several times a year to keep the members challenged and interested. An audio cue tape alerts members every 33 seconds to change stations as they travel through circuit twice to make up a vigorous and energizing 22-minute workout. Essentially, beginners and fitness enthusiasts alike can work out right next to each other, utilizing the same equipment, and both enjoy a challenging and beneficial experience.
No Hard Sell Needed
Our sales approach is very simple. "Come in for a free workout and see for yourself first hand if this is something for you". The results: 90% of the people who have tried it -- have joined. Our motto is "The only high pressure at the Fix -- is in the machines." Our members are also very comfortable sending referrals knowing that they won't be forced into doing anything that they won't want to do.
Our marketing strategy is "Be everywhere". We began with a direct mail drop introducing the concept. Then we ran local newspaper ads, mobile signs, an advertorial, sponsored memberships to charitable events and a billboard. We have had great success with going into all the local businesses and offering free workouts to their staff along with a free promotional gift. We also utilize local business directories to send out a "corporate membership package to larger organizations.
During our off hours we are looking to offer our facility to sports teams (adult and teen) who wish to keep up their endurance and continue to train together in the their "off seasons" with a set number of session packages.
A club such as the Fix with low overhead, needs a base of just over 120 members initially, then along with a solid referral program, and strong customer service, it becomes profitable quite easily.
About Ron Warne
Ron Warne has 20+ years experience delivering government certification programs in the health, fitness and sports industries has collectively been put in front of thousands of students along with having taught and certified many professional and Olympic Team athletes and coaches. Ron has been involved with the creation of "The Fix Circuit", and will be the course conductor for it’s Franchisee Training School.
Back to Articles Home Page