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Home » Health » Vision » The top 8 priorities to make sure you have the right fitness equipment for your studio

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The top 8 priorities to make sure you have the right fitness equipment for your studio

Submitted by OllieStamey
Mon, 10 Dec 2012

Making sure your personal training studio has the right fitness equipment to fuel your services is an important step in the launch and growth of your business. Most often equipment decisions are made quickly and without much research. A stability ball is a stability ball right? Well, err, no..they are not all the same.
Think of the fitness equipment in your studio like a skilled tradesperson would think their tools. They should enhance your ability to best serve your clients. Is it possible to not have much or any equipment, you bet. Does no equipment or low quality equipment help you increase your appeal, and rates? No.
Good, reliable, clean and properly functioning fitness equipment can help you vary programming to keep your clients engaged. Can be adapted to different fitness levels, help you attract more clients and leverage your time. It can also help you attract trainers to work under you in your studio.
Equipment can also cast a grey cloud over your business , looking inexpensive, unprofessional and out of order can really hurt your credibility.
So let's look at the top 8 things you need to consider in choosing the right fitness equipment for your studio:
1. Make sure your equipment best serves your target market - skipping ropes for someone over 50 may not be the best solution. There are hundreds of training tools available, think through the type of training that you will be doing and with whom. Elite athletes do not need a treadmill, and those over 60 don't need plyo boxes.
Note: don't fall prey to the opinion that you do not need any pieces of cardio. Many industry "gurus" talk about being able to get results without it.
2. Get some help - Businesses spent thousands of dollars on fitness equipment every day, and I can tell you , very few have a criteria in place on what to consider in the acquisition process. A good local commercial fitness equipment supplier, who uses the equipment themselves and has lots of testimonials will work for you as a consultant. All of their recommendations have to be based on understanding your needs, so you must have a criteria on what you want the equipment to do. No one will know more about what you require the equipment to do for you , and for whom than you.
3. Work within your business plan - many times fitness leaders get only the equipment they can afford. Getting a treadmill at a big box store is akin to a doctor getting an examining table at the grocery store. Decide which pieces of equipment best highlight your services. You may not need a treadmill, a good recumbent bike might be better for your clientele. If you are on a bootstrap, pick equipment that is versatile enough to serve all of your clientele or potential clientele. Medicine balls, strength bands, commercial toners with handles, stability balls, TRX all are examples of what falls into this category. Your equipment should be the investment that allows you for the maximum return. Your fees are based on the value you provide. Your equipment should help you enhance that value so you can charge higher than average rates. (you are a higher than average trainer right?). Prepare an ROI plan, and don't make the mistake of assuming it will "all fall into place".
4. Pick equipment that has strong educational programs. The above mentioned tools all have good educational resources for this purpose. There are even those available for larger equipment such as elliptical trainers.
5. When you have your list, and your budget , invest a couple of extra dollars for commercial grade equipment. They will last longer and is safer. There is a race to the bottom going on with suppliers, meaning that many are trying to find the cheapest equipment they can provide. Stability balls with anti-burst rating over 500 lbs for example are safer for those using dumbbells on them. Bosu makes a commercial and consumer version, the consumer not being built for multiple users in a given day.
Bigger pieces need a financial plan - to get a proper bike, treadmill or elliptical …biomechanics, ease of use and durability are critical and cost a little more for something that looks and feels professional.
6. Make space plan - if I had a nickel for every facility I have seen in 20 years that had dumbbells, plates on the floor, equipment jammed on top of each other, and generally no flow to the space - I would be very wealthy. Take the time to plan out your space. There are some consultant layout consultants that can help, and some tools are available free on line - for example as a free space planner.
Note: factor in storage for your small training tools - often overlooked, and yet inexpensive and makes everything look professional.
7. To charge like a professional, your facility must have Training on conversion on the equipment. To be able to differentiate your services, and your studio, your clients must see an expertise there that is tough to duplicate. Example: There are 70 000 trainers certified in TRX worldwide right now (a great tool), but how many of them use TRX and strength bands with an elliptical that has an elevation change all as part of their unique offering.
8. Link to your marketing plan. If you have a unique offering , make sure you have it linked to your outreach program. Those studios that are 100% booked with low cancellation rate have positioned themselves in the community as experts, and part of the expertise links what they do to telling people about it.
The tools for your business is your fitness equipment.
They reflect on every aspect of your customer experience.
Like most aspects of your business, mapping out an execution plan is the most effective way to enhance the value of your services and get you the results for your patrons and your bottom line.


Greg Lawlor is a devoted husband, father and the Chief Customer Officer at STAK Fitness Int'l Inc. STAK Fitness is a commercial equipment supply company that services health clubs, municipal and university recreation centers, hotels, police, fire, military and any group that offers fitness services - from corporate to high schools and condos.

Read more about Fitness Equipment.

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