Part Two of a Three Part Series: Get advice from Spinning® Master Instructors and successful gym owners on engaging your community through events, owning and operating your own studio, and getting the most out of your Spinner® bikes.
Last month, we profiled the triumph of Commotion in Philadelphia and how it fostered a stronger community of Spinning® enthusiasts. One of the key factors in this event’s success was its simplicity. Instead of complex equipment that can intimidate those folks who are new to fitness, Spinning® classes just asks students to hop on and ride at their own pace. As Tom Wingert, the VP of Marketing at City Fitness, mentioned in last month’s case study, “it’s as easy as riding a bike.”
However, this does not mean that studios only have one class format in which to generate revenue from bikes.
Spinning® Master Instructor Danielle Foster approached her bosses at the Natatorium – a community recreation center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio – about purchasing new bikes with power meter technology. “We had a pretty new fleet of bikes,” she explains. “But after I had this experience with power, I knew that our population could really take their fitness and knowledge base to the next level.”
First, she had to go to the finance director and justify the purchase of 20 brand new power meter-equipped Spinner® bikes. Adding to her challenge was that this facility is owned and operated by the city government, making the approval process for ordering new top-of-the-line bikes ever more difficult.
Her solution: come up with a weight loss program centered on indoor cycling classes called “First Step.” She was inspired by woman speaking at a fitness conference who had lost 100 pounds and was about to compete in her first marathon. She implored the audience to start with that “first step,” and that message inspired Danielle in her conception of the program.
“We started this weight loss clinic at the Natatorium using the bikes with power,” she says. “We charged $500 per person with 20 bikes, so we could bring 20 people in. They had all of their body measurements done, their blood pressure, their weight obviously! We had two nights a week; one night was lecture, the other was exercise. And what we found was that the group became very cohesive as we continued to meet. And it was peer-only. There was nobody else in that Spinning® class but them. And in the lecture portion they got to ask a lot of questions.”
With the watt-tracking technology on the Spinner® Chrono Power, Danielle and her students were able to see week-to-week how much strength they gained through measurements like watts per kilogram. Nearly everybody lost weight by the first two weeks, and because they came to the center at least two times a week, students got into the habit of attending more workouts and becoming full members. “Nearly 90% of the folks that enter this program are still members today,” Danielle enthused. “They’re all pretty healthy today, and it’s paid for the bikes and then some!”
The success of this program also garnered the attention of other clinics and organizations in the area. Another clinic paid a small fee to use Chrono bikes at the Natatorium between other Spinning® classes because the power meter technology guaranteed their students’ results. The facility also employed for indoor triathlons during the cold winter months because the computer and power meter delivered accurate metrics for the cycling portion of each race.
Danielle also advocated for virtual rides through programs like SPINtv™. By playing video featuring other Master Instructors like Danielle, owners can be assured bikes are never sitting dormant when an instructor is out or a sub is not available, and members can continue to receive the best instruction from the world’s best Spinning® presenters.
“With the Spinner® Chrono Power, they can come in and know exactly what they’re doing,” Danielle concludes. “When you see that wattage, you finally know what you’re doing on the bike. It’s great that we have these tremendous instructors with personalities, but to have that final layer of the work, the truth of what we’re really doing in this room, that's what brings the whole package together.”
Have you devised any specialized programs for your classes? Share your ideas in the comments! And check back in for the final part of this series, were we’ll look at strategies for hiring the best instructors for your studio!