<![CDATA[Wix Blog]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/exploreRSS for NodeWed, 06 Dec 2023 14:49:35 GMT<![CDATA[How much does it cost to open a gym?]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/how-much-does-it-cost-to-open-a-gym6269628528e201888ef6ef62Fri, 03 Nov 2023 17:36:58 GMTLauren Del TurcoHow much does it cost to open a gym?

Good news for aspiring gym owners: Even though at-home virtual workouts are here to stay, all signs point to hybrid fitness being the way of the future.

In fact, the gym and fitness center industry is expected to grow from its current $37 billion to $42 billion by 2026, according to market research group IBISWorld Inc.

That means now could be a great time to open up your own space, and Wix Fit can help you build, manage and grow your fitness business. (More: How to start a fitness business)

If you’ve got your sights set on opening a gym, familiarize yourself with the following costs as you create your business plan and hunt for the perfect space.

The cost of opening different types of gyms and fitness facilities

There’s no getting around it: Just how much you’ll need to invest in order to get your fitness facility up and running varies (a lot!) depending on the type of gym or workout space you want to open—and where you’re located.

If you’re looking to open a small studio (think 600 to 800 square feet) for yoga, barre, or personal training, you can probably do it for about $25,000, says Robert Linkul, a National Strength and Conditioning Association board of directors member and business coach. (More: How to become a yoga instructor in 7 steps)

However, if you’re looking to equip a medium-sized gym (anything between 1,000 to 2,500 square feet) for group classes or other sorts of training, be prepared to spend more like $50,000 to $75,000, Linkul notes.

And if you plan on opening an even larger space—like a 4,000-square foot small group strength and conditioning gym complete with all the fixins—know that Dan Kleckner, a fitness business consultant, has needed about $100,000 to get each of his gyms (which are all this size and vibe, and located in both the Seattle area and Montana) up and running.

If you’re interested in franchising, you can expect to dish out even more cash. To get an Orangetheory location off the ground, for example, be prepared to invest anywhere from $575,922 to $1,498,122. Orangetheory’s trademark equipment, software and branding will cost you.

Though other types of franchises offer different workout experiences, they generally come with similar hefty startup costs. Get in on the hot yoga trend with a CorePower Yoga franchise and you’ll need to dish out between $455,200 and $1,206,000 in initial investment dollars. And should you go the traditional box gym route with something like a Retro Fitness, you can expect to invest at least $1,500,000 at the outset.

The cost of opening different types of gyms and fitness facilities

Is opening a gym profitable?

Given the significant amount of cash required to get a new gym opened and established, you probably want to know how much you could make on your investment.

In general, the gym and fitness club industry has averaged a 9.6 percent profit margin throughout the past five years, according to IBISWorld, Inc. If you’re not super business-savvy, this number might sound awfully low—but, according to the Corporate Finance Institute, it’s actually pretty average. (FYI: A profit margin is a measurement of how much actual income you’ve earned after subtracting all of your costs from your total revenue.)

Again, though, there are plenty of variables that can impact how much you ultimately make as a gym owner—many of which are related to the type of facility you’ve got.

Linkul likes small studio setups that offer yoga or barre because they require little or no equipment. This means you typically won’t have as many expenses as you would opening a gym filled with equipment that needs to be maintained and replaced regularly. In these cases, more of your total profits may end up in your pocket.

Otherwise, your ability to make a killing may generally be greater with an independent boutique than a franchise—at least if you’re in a more metropolitan area or big city. “In many places at this point, you’re going to be ninth or 10th to market when [opening a franchise],” says Kleckner. “For instance, in Seattle, we probably have 10 of those group class-style gyms within two or three miles of us.”

Since franchises and bigger box gyms tend to have higher client turnover, you’ll have a harder time maintaining the membership numbers you need to make money as yet another one of these facilities in an already-saturated area, Kleckner says. In these cases, opening up an independent operation with a more personalized or niche approach is generally a safer bet. “While the average franchise group class gym holds onto clients for an average of six months, ours stay for closer to 30,” he explains. (Here’s how to increase member retention on a budget.) Plus, don’t forget that franchising means you’ll forever pay a percentage of your profits.

The costs of opening a gym

Sticker shock is completely understandable. Many aspiring gym owners think all it takes to get up and running is the right space and equipment. However, a slew of other necessary costs—some of which you may have never heard of before—ultimately drive up the expense of opening a gym. Here’s a list of all the checks you’ll need to write along the way. Don’t worry, we’ll get the big ones out of the way first.

The costs of opening a gym

01. Rent

Of course, one of your most significant costs will always be your rent. As with everything, just how much you’ll need to spend varies. You’ll pay a heck of a lot less in rent as a small yoga studio in the midwest than as a large strength and conditioning gym in the heart of a major city.

In some areas, you’ll pay just $1 to $3 per square foot in rent, Linkul says. For a 1,000-square-foot place, that puts you at between $1,000 and $3,000 in rent per month. In Montana, meanwhile, Kleckner pays $10 per square foot, which puts rent for a 1,000-square-foot place at $10,000 per month. Want to open a place in SoHo in Manhattan? Rates go for $150 per square foot.

If the rent costs in your desired neighborhood have you discouraged, a tip from Linkul: “Start small and overflow out of it. Then you’ve got the good problem of needing to expand instead of being in over your head in a larger space,” he says.

02. Building costs

In many cases, the space you lease (or buy) for your fitness facility will need at least some cosmetic construction to transform it into the gym of your dreams. Sometimes, it’ll take quite a bit of work to get it in working shape.

“Everything might look ready but then you have to raise a ceiling to fit a weight rack in and suddenly you’re spending five figures on building,” Kleckner says. To prepare for the unexpected, he recommends budgeting $25,000 for larger gyms, like his. (You’ll be able to renovate a simple studio for much less.)

To save some of your precious cash here, negotiate with your landlord as much as possible to have them make some basic improvements before you move in, or incorporate a few months of free rent into your lease terms.

03. Equipment costs

The workout equipment you’ll need for your gym—and how much you’ll have to budget for it—varies significantly based on the type of operation you’re opening up.

If you’re working on a small studio or gym set-up, you can fully equip yourself with about $5,00 to $10,000, says Linkul. If you’re loading up a bigger space (think closer to 4,000 or 5,000 square feet), though, you’ll need more like $25,000, adds Kleckner.

Regardless of your space or facility focus, Linkul recommends making “want” and “need” lists in order to keep your costs down and within your budget. “What do you need in order to open and start training or coaching?” he asks. “Once you’ve got yourself established, you can start to bring in some of the equipment that you’d love to have but can survive without.”

Something else to consider: Whether having the best-of-the-best brand names really matters to you. “A Woodway treadmill, for example, is going to run you up to $13,000, while a Precor might cost you $8,000,” says Mike Alpert, a longtime health club executive and member of the American College of Sports Medicine. Think critically about whether you actually need to splurge on the household name brands; it could make the difference between sticking to or blowing your budget.

04. Utilities

Be prepared to budget for at least a few hundred, up to a few thousand dollars per month, experts say.

CrossFit gyms, for example, might forego heating and AC and just have a giant garage door they open up so that fresh air can do its thing. “But it’s a different situation if you’re in the south and need to rock your air conditioning all day for nine months out of the year,” Linkul says. Same goes for a simple non-heated yoga studio versus a larger gym filled with treadmills and other cardio equipment. The Fitness Business Association lets you search by zip code to learn more about average utility costs and rent prices, he adds.

05. Insurance

Another must-have that can save you money down the road: the right insurance. “Good insurance that covers you per client and per incident will cost you $2,000 to $3,000 per year,” Linkul says. Just how much you pay, though, depends on the type of training you do in your gym.

Be prepared to have an in-depth conversation with your insurance rep about everything from the type of equipment you have (treadmills increase your cost) to whether your clients will be barefoot (yep, that’s a consideration) in order to figure out how much coverage you need—and what you’ll pay for it.

You’ll also want to get super specific about what you’re covered for, Linkul says. “What if there's a water leak? What if there's an earthquake? What if there's a fire? What if someone runs their car through the window? If your rep says your policy doesn’t cover it, tell them you want to tack it on,” he suggests. Otherwise, when the unthinkable happens, you’ll need to shell out the cash yourself.

Another important tip: “Buy your insurance from a company that’s reputable for selling fitness insurance,” adds Linkul. “Don't use your auto insurance or your home insurance company; it just isn’t their area of expertise. Do your research and go with a company like K&K or Philadelphia."

06. Marketing and advertising

If you want to keep it simple, start with $2,500, recommends Linkul. “This is a good starting point that can get you some swag like t-shirts, tote bags, and stickers for your members, who can be some of your biggest marketers,” he says.

That said, if you want to go all out with social media ads and SEO (think Google ads), you could end up spending upwards of $1,500 a month, Kleckner says.

Friendly FYI: You can use Wix's professional features to boost traffic to your site with a powerful suite of SEO tools and run targeted campaigns. Click the link to find the best plan for your needs and read more about effective fitness marketing strategies here.

07. Legal fees

Every fitness facility needs a slew of documents—from liability waivers to member contracts to employment agreements—in order to operate without risking losing everything to lawsuits or other legal issues. (Wix Forms, which comes with your Wix Fit account, can help you keep track of this paperwork.)

“Hopefully you won’t ever need it, but it’s worth hiring a lawyer to make sure you have all of your forms done right,” says Linkul. “You want to make sure that you’ve got your T’s crossed and your I’s dotted from the moment someone walks into your facility.”

Dish out about $1,000 to $1,500 on legal help now and it could save you millions (and your business) later, he says.

08. A business license

Since a fitness facility is a business, you’ll need a business license in order to operate legitimately, says Alpert.

Typically, you’ll apply for your business license at the state level. Every state has a slightly different process (and fee), but you can expect to pay somewhere around $100 to become a registered business.

09. Permits

In most cases, you’ll need to work with your county or city to obtain permits that allow you to make improvements to your building, hang up your outdoor signage or warm up in your parking lot, Linkul says.

What you do and do not need permits for varies pretty widely from city to city, which is why Linkul recommends getting involved with your local chamber of commerce and developing a solid relationship with your local government. Luckily, though, permits don’t typically cost the average gym owner too much, he says. They may be something like $25 per permit or $150 per year.

Of course, there are exceptions. New York City, for instance, has long been infamous for requiring fitness facilities to obtain a special 10-year permit that not only takes up to six months to actually get but also comes with a hefty price tag: $50,000. Much to the relief of gym-owning hopefuls in the Big Apple, though, the city has removed this major barrier in attempts to support small businesses in the wake of the pandemic.

Still, the moral of the story is to do your homework to uncover any surprise hurdles and costs involved in opening a gym in your city.

10. Air filtration and other COVID-era precautions

One major stipulation for many new and returning gym-goers in the age of COVID: They need to feel safe in your facility. And that means extra expenses for you.

“Between buying more equipment, installing air filters and going all-in on cleaning supplies, our monthly costs have increased by more than 30 percent,” Linkul says.

He recommends budgeting at least a couple extra hundred dollars per month to cover these costs—and asking your members to pay a small facilities fee so that you don’t end up in the red. “Everyone has been on board to contribute a few extra dollars so that we can have all of these extra precautions that ultimately help protect them,” he says.

If you’re still negotiating lease terms for your gym, Linkul recommends pushing the owner to make any updates needed to get the HVAC system in top-notch shape—an expense that typically falls on the tenant (and often costs thousands of dollars) but might be up for negotiation given the current rental climate.

11. Everyday maintenance and supplies

One sneaky expense you don’t want to forget: general maintenance and supplies, like towels and bathroom freebies (hair-ties, spray deodorant, toilet paper and cleaning spray). Set aside $200 to $300 per month to cover these things, Linkul says.

12. Scheduling software

Every facility needs a system to manage its bookings and memberships. The most streamlined solution: Add the Wix Bookings app to your site, or choose a fitness website template that puts your bookings front and center. You can read more about Wix's online scheduling software here.

Can I open a gym with no money? How do I pay for this?

Every fitness business advisor and consultant has a different opinion on the best way to raise the money you’ll need to make your gym ownership dream a reality. So, whether you decide to team up with a partner, accept investments from members or get a loan, you’ve got a few different fundraising paths to your goal.

“I really like our business mentees to be able to live and die by their success all on their own, so they’re not partnering, asking clients for a loan or borrowing money from family,” Linkul says. “Other business coaches will disagree and say that it’s great to partner with a client, but I prefer not to have anyone other than the bank tied to my success or failure.”

His preferred course of action: Save half of your total startup costs and seek out a small business loan or a private loan to cover the other half.

The U.S. Small Business Administration works with a variety of lenders to help small businesses score up to more than $5 million in competitive loans to support their goals. It’s also a great resource for free business counseling.

If you decide to open a gym or another fitness business, we’d love to hear about it. Use #WixFit on Instagram for a chance to be featured in a future blog article.

<![CDATA[How to become a Pilates instructor in 2024]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/how-to-become-a-pilates-instructor62683f6698443c9cea908463Wed, 01 Nov 2023 16:15:33 GMTJordan GallowayHow to become a Pilates instructor in 2022

When it comes to fitness modalities with staying power, few can compete with Pilates, an over 100-year-old practice that’s more in demand today than ever.

Pilates workouts are the third most successfully sold videos among our Wix Fit users, and Pilates lends itself well to hybrid fitness, or a blend of in-person and virtual workouts. The global market share of Pilates and yoga studios is projected to expand by 10 percent between now and 2028. As of 2021, it was valued at nearly $270 million.

So, how much do Pilates teachers make?

That’s all to say that there’s never been a better time to complete a Pilates teacher training program and start a fitness business, if you want to be a part of one of the longest (and strongest) performing sectors of the industry.

On average, full-time Pilates instructors make $67,596 per year in the U.S. and the average hourly rate is $32, based on aggregated job-listing data collected by the popular hiring platform Zip Recruiter.

If any (or all of this) is making you consider signing up for Pilates teacher training, then the next step is figuring out how to pick a certification program that’ll ensure you get a job as a Pilates instructor afterward. Here’s what to do and expect on your journey to becoming a Pilates teacher.

  1. Choose a Pilates teacher training program
  2. Consider the cost
  3. Carve out time in your schedule
  4. Establish your online brand
  5. Set up your business logistics
  6. Market your Pilates services to your target clients

01. Choose a Pilates teacher training program

It’s important to know that there are two types of Pilates to consider: modern and classical.

  • Classical mat Pilates adheres to the original 34 exercises—in the same order—that Joseph Pilates programmed.
  • Modern forms of the method have the freedom to create and iterate on sequences using whatever Pilates exercises they choose. They often incorporate functional moves from other strength-training modalities such as squats and lunges.

The one you choose will make the biggest impact on the type of training program you move forward with. If you go the classical route and want to become certified to teach on all Pilates equipment, consider finding a nationally certified Pilates teacher near you that offers a comprehensive training program. It should be a minimum of 450 hours and include education on mat, reformer, trapeze table, wunda chair, ladder barrel, spine corrector and magic circle. This will equip you with all the education you need to teach the method the way Joseph Pilates developed it starting in the 1920s. And if you decide to go in this direction, consider becoming accredited by the National Pilates Certification Program.

After you’ve completed your Pilates teacher training (prices will vary at the discretion of your instructor), you can sit for its standardized exam. It costs $295, and if you pass, you’ll be added to their directory of nationally certified instructors. You can also receive a Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher (NCPT) through the Pilates Method Alliance, a nonprofit network of resources for teachers.

Joseph Pilates never patented his method because he hoped people would iterate on it and make it their own.

The main benefit of this type of national cert is that it validates your credentials with people who may not be familiar with the studio or instructor where you completed your Pilates teacher training. It’s not a necessary step, as studios typically require an audition process to confirm you have a comprehensive understanding of the practice prior to hiring you. But it could be beneficial to have a national, standardized credential if you plan to be self-employed, as it offers an extra layer of verification for potential clients.

But you don’t need to be nationally accredited to teach Pilates. For what it’s worth, Joseph Pilates never patented his method because he hoped people would iterate on it and make it their own.

If your ultimate goal is to teach a more modern Pilates method—perhaps even where you take classes as a client—then the best thing to do is to look into whether or not your studio offers Pilates teacher training. You’ve got a better chance of getting hired by the studio that’s trained you because they’ll feel confident that you’ve received all the education they require of their teachers. They taught you, after all. (Related: The best personal training certification for you)

If you take online Pilates workouts and really love the teaching style of an instructor, ask them about their personal Pilates teacher training journey. They may be able to recommend a certification program, and several studios now offer remote learning options. Also look into how to be an online personal trainer.

Pilates teacher website homepage

02. Consider the cost

How much does Pilates teacher training cost? Well, the cost and length of your Pilates teacher training will depend on a few factors. It’s possible that you’d find a cheaper online training program, like Power Pilates Mat Academy, compared to one conducted in-person because the overhead is lower, for example. Location also plays a role in cost, so you’ll need to do your research. But in general, you’re looking at a minimum of $1,200 for a mat certification in a city like New York, upwards of $7,000 for a comprehensive course.

The duration will depend greatly on what type of Pilates you want to teach. Mat certification, either classic or modern, tends to be the quickest, around 100 to 150 hours, and the more equipment you become certified on, the longer it will take—hence why a full, classical certification is at least 450 hours. (The duration of a modern certification will depend on the studio but will likely be similar in length.)

I completed both my mat and reformer Pilates teacher training in person in New York City last year (though my mat training was also offered remotely). In total, I paid about $3,000 and it took me nine months to complete their combined 200 hours. And if you are wondering whether it was all worth it? Yes, I’ve since been hired by the studio where I did my certification and teach group classes twice per week. I’ve already made back the cost of both my certification programs in wages, so the return feels well worth the investment.

03. Carve out time in your schedule

Pilates teacher training is an investment, not just of money, but of time. In general, you can expect to have a portion of your Pilates teacher training dedicated to lecture hours (at least 40–50) spread out over several weeks where you’ll receive instruction from the teacher (or teachers) running your program, plus self-practice hours, and teaching hours. There will also likely be a final exam that includes a written and practical test, meaning you’ll need to program and teach a sequence to your proctor.

To prepare for your test, remember that your instructors don’t want to see you fail—they’re rooting for you to succeed. Most likely, you’ll receive quizzes, study materials and homework assignments that give you an idea of what the final exam will look like. The format for your final exam will vary—online, in-person, open- or closed-book—so it’s worth asking in advance when you’re considering courses to ensure you can meet the requirements. Every academy or instructor can make up their own exam (there's no universal one), hence why the national certification exam can come in handy if you’re planning to seek employment outside of your studio. Though, first, it’s worth checking in with the new studio you’d like to teach at to see what prerequisites they’re looking for—it could save you both time and money.

04. Establish your online brand

It’s important to establish your online brand whether you plan to teach online or in-person. That means you’ll need to build a fitness website that includes the following:

05. Set up your business logistics

You’ll also need to protect yourself as a business owner. Get Pilates instructor insurance to safeguard you and your business in the event someone gets injured while training with you. Your best bet is to compare rates in your market and pick the most comprehensive plan you can afford. If you’re not sure where to start, check out the Pilates Method Alliance.

Aside from insurance, consider establishing an LLC or other business entity that keeps your personal income and property separate from your work as a Pilates instructor. Again, this is about protecting you and your assets against potential liability which is an inherent risk of owning a business and working with people.

06. Market your Pilates services to your target clients

The sky (or rather, your time) is the limit when it comes to building your brand.

If building community and growing your business organically are your primary objectives, team up with fellow entrepreneurs in the wellness and fitness space. These partnerships could take different forms, but essentially, you’d engage with each other’s audiences through virtual events, discounts, fitness challenges and the like. (Check out some fitness challenge ideas to get started.)

You can also reach out to relevant organizations. For example, I teamed up with a nonprofit in my neighborhood to teach free Pilates classes, and now some of those students have become my regular clients. (Read my piece on accessibility in the fitness industry for more on this topic.)

Many people use Instagram to build an online brand, but beware of spending all of your time there if your goal is to get more in-person clients. (Read more in this interview with Jonathan Goodman.) If you’re not social media savvy—or don’t have the funds to hire someone who understands algorithms and best practices—don't feel like you need a huge following to be a successful Pilates instructor.

When starting off, your best bet is to spread your advertising and marketing money across a few different channels to attract customers and see what works best for you. Then, you can adjust based on what’s doing well.

<![CDATA[9 ways to make more money in fitness]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/how-to-make-money-in-fitness61df245fa9f3010016fd8435Tue, 24 Oct 2023 14:56:16 GMTWix Fit Editors9 ways to make more money in fitness

This post was updated on December 7, 2022.

Running a gym is difficult under the best circumstances. The margins are tight, the turnover is fast and there’s always a puddle of sweat that needs to be wiped up. So, how do you make money in fitness?

For starters, Wix Fit can help you build, manage and grow your fitness business. You can host virtual classes, accept credit card payments and experiment with different fitness marketing strategies. Here are some more specific ways to increase your gym revenue and make money in fitness.

  1. Charge an enrollment fee (but not for the reason you think)
  2. Create a small snack section
  3. Sell gym bag essentials
  4. Plan a mini wellness retreat
  5. Switch up your free-trial strategy
  6. Build a video library
  7. Host workshops and seminars
  8. Schedule an event
  9. Maximize your time

01. Charge an enrollment fee (but not for the reason you think)

A one-time fee may help you in the short-term, but it's the long-term memberships that keep you in business. An enrollment fee helps with both.

Industry research suggests that people are less likely to cancel their gym memberships once they’ve paid an enrollment fee because they don’t want to pay another fee if they want to sign up again in the future. Smart strategy, right? (Related: 8 ways to increase gym member retention)

02. Create a small snack section

You might not have space for a full-on juice bar or smoothie side business, but it’s worth making room for a small section of snacks: the mark-up on protein bars, for example, can be as high as 50 percent. Research also shows that people are more likely to spend money when they’re hungry, say, after a particularly hard workout. Remember: Everything you sell reflects on you and your brand, so make sure you stand behind your products and their claims.

03. Sell gym bag essentials

Make special equipment, like boxing gloves or wrist grips, available to purchase on your website. Thanks to dropshipping, you don't even need to manage the inventory yourself. If you want to flex your design muscle a little more, start your own fitness clothing line. Branded items will double as a source of advertising for your gym and can bring in serious cash. The athleisure market is expected to be worth over $455 million by 2026.

04. Plan a mini wellness retreat

Don’t overlook special events, like retreats. Wellness tourism was worth $639 billion before the pandemic. And while travel has taken a hit because of COVID-19, the interest is still there. And in some ways, it's easier to tap into this trend thanks to the emphasis on local adventure.

Could you partner with a nearby B&B and create a mini staycation for the members in your town? Or plan a day trip to the mountains? This strategy is also a solid option for fitness professionals who train virtually but want to adopt a more hybrid approach so their members can meet in person from time to time.

05. Switch up your free-trial strategy

Potential new members may be reluctant to commit to a contract that lasts a few months (or a year), so give them time to use the facility. The free-trial sweet spot? One to two weeks. If you offer a trial that’s too long, potential members may lose momentum and fail to sign up. You want to catch sign-ups when clients are the most enthusiastic, and as every fitness pro knows, enthusiasm can wane. Read more in 8 ways to price gym memberships like a pro.

06. Build a video library

People are working out at home more than ever, and personal trainers can capitalize on this shift by shooting high-quality workout videos. Use an online video editor to produce your own virtual fitness classes, upload them to your fitness website and put them behind a paywall. You could also film popular in-person classes or create a members-only section on your website.

07. Host workshops and seminars

Is there something clients seem interested in, but you can’t justify a full class for it just yet? Offer it as a workshop, seminar or online course. Whether it’s a weekend-long event or just a 90-minute refresher, these supplementary courses build excitement while also increasing gym revenue. This allows you to make money on the workshop itself and also gives you insight into classes you can create in the future.

08. Schedule an event

Your athletes and their friends may be more competitive than you realize, and you already have the space and equipment to host a friendly throw down. Sell healthy snacks and smoothies, then commemorate the competition with branded swag. The benefit here is twofold: You make money on the event itself, but you also encourage new members to join your gym by opening the event up to the community.

Depending on your activity, an annual recital could offer a similar benefit. Upside Aerial, an aerial arts studio in North Carolina, hosts performances that (a) give her students something to work toward and (b) elevate her brand in the community.

09. Maximize your time

The math is easy: more clients = more money. Patrick Cole, a trainer and Wix user in Germany, was able to triple his client list by offering more back-to-back virtual sessions for his corporate clients. Less time driving to different companies meant more time for the workouts themselves.

Of course, your specific strategy will depend on your business model and clients, but ask yourself: how can I tap into the new world of virtual fitness? Read more about how other professionals are adapting to our hybrid fitness landscape.

<![CDATA[Which personal training certification is best for you and your team? ]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/best-personal-training-certifications61df245fa9f3010016fd843bTue, 17 Oct 2023 14:07:58 GMTKarla WalshWhich personal training certification is best for you and your team?

This post was updated on December 1, 2022.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a full-time gym owner or a part-time personal trainer: certifications are an important part of your fitness business.

“Fitness certifications show the credibility of a trainer,” says Katie Kollath, CPT, a personal trainer in Golden, Colorado. While a certification shouldn't be the end of your education as a fitness professional, having one implies a baseline understanding of program design and injury prevention. Unqualified trainers can design less-than-efficient programs, which hamper health gains and motivation, and may tarnish the reputation of a fitness facility. Plus, lack of knowledge poses a safety risk: people can get hurt.

The physical fitness market is growing fast. There are more than 370,000 personal trainers and group exercise instructors across the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the industry is expected to grow by 39 percent over the next eight years. Now, more than ever, you need to earn your clients’ trust, starting with the right certifications. (And that's whether you train clients in person or use the latest fitness software.)

What to look for in a personal training certification

The associations below are all recognized by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), an independent, non-governmental agency that sets the standard for professional certifications. Any certification nationally accredited by the NCCA will typically fit the bill for training clients in gyms or virtually. These certifications imply that you’ve studied up on current training best practices and have a basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology and safety, but they differ in how deep they dive into kinesiology and how much continuing education you'll need. Some certifications are also tailored to special populations.

Each will require CPR and first aid certification. (Find a Red Cross-approved CPR class near you. You can complete one in half a day or less.) You typically need a high school diploma and must be at least 18 years or older to sit for any of these exams. Beyond that, you don’t need advanced education, but it can give you a leg up in the job market. Many employers allow those with college degrees in a related field (say, kinesiology or exercise science) to jump to the top of the potential-employee line. You may also make more money for your expertise.

As you’ll see below, most personal training certifications cost between $99 and $1,500, which covers your study materials and the test itself. Cost also depends on where you take the test. (For example, even the best online personal trainer certifications cost less than in person ones.) Regardless, the investment is real, so you’ll want to choose the best one for your needs.

The best personal training certifications and group fitness certifications

  • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  • National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)

American Council on Exercise (ACE)

Best personal training certification for: personal training and group fitness

How to prepare: ACE is a strong choice for those seeking to extend their credentials. Their personal training certification offers a comprehensive guide that covers the essentials to start training clients and includes guidance about coaching strategies tailored to behavior modification. That means this is one of the best personal training certifications for those who want to support clients who are just easing into a fitness routine. (Beyond the personal training certification, ACE offers a group fitness certification add-on that overviews class sequencing, instruction and inclusivity. Read more about the group fitness option here. The details below focus on the personal trainer certification.)

To prepare, ACE offers a textbook—Exercise Professional’s Guide to Personal Training—which focuses on anatomy, exercises for each muscle group and how to perform assessments.

The test: Choose your own adventure. You can take the exam at home through a remote proctor, or make an appointment at a testing center. The test includes 150 questions, which you need to complete in three hours or less. You need 62.5 percent or higher to pass.

Pass rate: Approximately 70 percent of those who sit for the exam pass on their first try.

Price: The basic package is $509, which includes access to online study materials, the exam, one practice test, a study companion and digital version of the textbook. The full package, including additional study materials and support, costs $899. Retests are $249.

Continuing education: You’ll need to recertify every two years, which means you need 20 continuing education units (CEUs), equal to 20 hours of live or online courses or workshops. This costs up to $139.

Learn more at acefitness.org.

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

Best personal training certification for: trainers across the globe

How to prepare: As one of the most well-known, respected and universal personal training certifications, NASM is recognized by all major gyms to set trainers up for career success and diversity. They’re also one of the best personal training certifications internationally: NASM partners with Premier Global to offer certifications in countries far and wide. The academy offers a self-study, premium self-study option and a guided study program (which includes a 10-week instructed course). A 700-page textbook will guide you through everything necessary for the exam—and a personal training career. Similar to ACE, you can add a group fitness certification separately. This is available through a separate body, however: the Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), which is also highly respected.

The test: Answer 120 computer questions within 2 hours. You’ll pass if you answer 70 percent or more correctly.

Pass rate: The 65 percent pass rate makes this one of the more challenging certifications.

Price: The $559 self-study package includes the online course, exam fee, digital textbook, learning videos and practice quizzes. For $769 to $1,559, the package also comes with bonus study materials, guided study courses, a 90-day job guarantee and the option to retest for free. Without that option, retests are $199.

Continuing education: Like ACE, NASM also requires 20 credits every two years, which costs $99. Or, for $299 up front, NASM will cover the biennial recertification cost forever.

Learn more at nasm.org.

National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)

Best personal training certification for: a budget-friendly investment

How to prepare: The NFPT is one of the newer certifications recognized by NCCA, but it’s growing in popularity for its diverse range of test prep options. The average person takes 60 to 90 days to get ready for the exam, although you have one year from the package purchase date to sit for the test. Like the other best personal training certification programs here, you can prepare completely at home, then book your exam at a proctor-monitored testing center. For additional support, NFPT offers two-day in-person workshops for hands-on practice.

The test: Field 120 computer questions within two hours to complete the exam. To pass, answer 70 percent or more correctly. Exam questions fall into these categories: human anatomy, human physiology, fitness components, training program development, implementation and modification, and communication skills.

Pass rate: About 72 percent of exam-takers pass on the first try.

Price: Online exam prep ranges from $199 to $349. In-person weekend workshop training is $329 to $778. This includes the cost to take the exam, two practice tests, CPR certification and a digital copy of the trainer manual. The pricier packages come with practice tests, exercise videos and one-on-one test prep support from NFPT trainer experts. Retests are available for $119.

Continuing education: You’ll need to renew every year. One of the big things that makes this best personal training certification stand out? CEU courses are free. (FYI: You’ll need 2.0 CEUs annually.)

Learn more at nfpt.com.

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

Best personal training certification for: training already-fit clients

How to prepare: The NSCA offers certified personal trainer exams, plus Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) to train athletes, Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitators (TASC-F) to train military and first-responders, Certified Special Population Specialists (CSPS) to work with individuals with special needs, and Certified Performance and Sport Scientist (CPSS) to train athletic teams. Here, we’ll focus on the certified personal trainer certification, but you can learn more about the other options on the NSCA website.

This certified personal trainer certification is more focused on active and healthy individuals, but will help you train clients of all skills and abilities. Many of the study products are published by Human Kinetics, the leading publisher of textbooks in subjects relating to exercise science. These reference books will come in handy throughout your personal training career. Attend a live in-person exam preparation clinic or study on your own. Either way, depending on your education level and experience, the NSCA suggests dedicating three weeks to nine months to studying.

The test: Complete 155 questions within three hours. You’ll pass by answering 70 percent or more correctly.

Pass rate: The most recent data suggests 72 percent of exam-takers pass their first attempt.

Price: Including the $300 to $435 exam fee, as well as study materials, the all-in investment ranges from about $500 to $900, depending on if you’re a NSCA member and how many study prep materials you choose to purchase. The in-person exam clinics are $155 to $395; this varies based on student status and time of sign up (save by booking early).

Continuing education: Brush up with 20 hours of continuing education every two years to stay certified. Enroll in online courses or webinars or attend approved clinics, conferences and symposiums. The web-based continuing education classes from Human Kinetics (courses cover exercise science, athletic training, physical education and more) also work for CEUs.

Learn more at nsca.com.

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

Best personal training certification for: trainers who want to work in clinical settings or in the medical field

How to prepare: Recognized as the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization worldwide, ACSM is recognized by the NCCA and all major gym brands. It’s also the preferred certification for personal trainers employed at major hospitals and wellness centers. In addition to studying online, you can attend a two-day in-person workshop or a six-session (nine hours total) online webinar for study assistance. Many free study prep resources are available online, including an exam outline and private Facebook study group.

The test: Answer 120 computer questions in two hours. Rack up 550 points from the possible 800 points to average 68.75 percent correct (or more) to pass. New in 2020: Remote proctors can now monitor exam-takers via webcam.

Pass rate: The first-time pass rate for the ACSM certification is 69 percent.

Price: The exam fee is $349, and retests cost $175. Both the textbook, ACSM's Resources for the Personal Trainer and the online study question packages are fairly affordable, at around $60 each.

Continuing education: You'll need 45 CEUs every three years. One hour of continuing education counts as one CEU. Choose from in-person conferences, online workshops or seminars, or roll over CEUs from other approved health and fitness courses. The recertification fee is $45 every three years.

Learn more at acsm.org.

National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)

Best personal training certification for: trainers who plan to work virtually

How to prepare: You can access all study materials, content and testing online. NESTA also stands out for their training technology integrations, including overviews on heart-rate tracking and digital exercise logging. Plus, a NESTA certification comes with a post-exam kit that includes a business guide to implement once you’re certified; ideal for entrepreneurs. Test questions cover kinesiology and anatomy, exercise physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, client assessments, exercise programming, injuries and safety, psychology and behavior, and professional responsibilities. You have 90 days to pass the exam once you’ve purchased a package.

The test: Answer 125 computer questions in two hours. To pass, you’ll need to answer 69 percent or more correctly.

Pass rate: About 71 percent of test-takers pass their first NESTA certification exam.

Price: The NESTA PFT certification program, including training materials, costs $477. The exam only is $349 and the exam with a digital manual for test prep is $399. Retests are $199 and require a 30-day waiting period between tries.

Continuing education: Pay $149 and complete 40 hours of CEUs every four years to stay certified. CEU courses cover a range of topics, like mind-body fitness, green living, online coaching and core conditioning.

Learn more at nestacertified.com.

The bottom line on the best personal training certifications

You can’t make a bad choice, as long as you choose at least one and continue learning throughout your career. “Experience will make you the best trainer you can be,” Kollath says, “and there are always new skills and techniques you can learn.”

<![CDATA[How to create and sell online fitness programs clients love]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/how-to-sell-fitness-programs-online62693551e2abab537f7a6047Thu, 08 Dec 2022 13:20:18 GMTLauren Del TurcoHow to create and sell online fitness programs your clients love

This post was updated on December 8, 2022.

Trainers and their clients were tapping into online fitness programs long before COVID-19 shut down gyms and fitness studios across the globe. Now, it’s one of the biggest movements in fitness.

Online training was the number-one fitness trend of 2021, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). To put that in perspective, online training ranked 25th in previous years.

So, chances are you’re familiar with the kind of online fitness programs you can build with Wix Fit. But if you’re not sure how to make this virtual fitness solution work for your particular fitness business, read on for some expert tips.

What’s an online fitness program, exactly?

In many ways, online fitness programs are very much like the programs you design for your in-person clients. Exactly how you’d like to manage an online program is up to you, but it’s typically either a scheduled series of workouts (like a 7-day core challenge) or a self-paced one (like a 30-day beginner’s strength training program with three sessions a week). You can include videos that clients follow along with, or write out steps and include images that demonstrate proper form. (Related: How to shoot workout videos like a pro)

Either way, online fitness programs are a progressive, intentional series of workouts that help clients work towards specific goals, as opposed to doing a string of random sessions. (Find the Online Programs app in the Wix App Market.)

A brief history of early online programs: Australian trainer and Instagram sensation Kayla Itsines first started selling her program, then known as the Bikini Body Guide or BBG, as an e-book for a flat fee back in 2014. Trainers Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn founded Tone It Up, another brand known for online programs, in 2009. (More: How to be an online personal trainer)

There’s a lot of freedom to create a program that works for you and your clients. Ahead, we’ll review:

  • How to create an online fitness program
  • How to sell an online fitness program
  • How to market an online fitness program

Check out Wix Learn for more on building online programs.

How to create an online fitness program

Building an online fitness program is a lot like building an in-person fitness program. You need to find your niche and deliver quality workouts. But here are a few online-specific best practices to keep in mind.

Program appropriately

Of course, any online fitness program you create for a large number of customers won’t have the same level of personalization as a plan you create for a one-on-one client. Since customers will be following the program on their own, you’ll also need to account for the fact that you won't be able to monitor form or provide cues as needed along the way.

With that in mind, make sure the difficulty is appropriate for your intended customer and clearly spell out who each program is designed for (beginner weightlifters, advanced runners and so on).

Also important in the age of at-home workouts: Make sure you’re clear about the equipment people will need in order to complete the program; list required and optional items right in the description before people sign up (you can do this with the Wix Online Programs app).

Even still, you’ll want to incorporate equipment as efficiently as possible. For example, if most of your movements use dumbbells, program dumbbell swings and goblet squats instead of throwing kettlebells into the mix, too.

From there, provide detailed instructions for each exercise and workout, and include visual elements and key form tips whenever possible. The goal is for your clients to be able to confidently execute whatever you program, so, when in doubt, keep it simple.

Deliver what you advertise

It’s important to consider what performs well in Google search and on social media, but make sure you deliver what you promise. Some people will stuff keywords into a workout program for SEO purposes, but is your program really delivering on the keywords you’re using?

“Your program name, description, and focus must live up to expectations so that clients are satisfied,” says Kehinde Anjorin, CFSC, NCSF, founder of Power In Movement. “If you say it’s a HIIT program, it should truly be a HIIT program.”

Determine the length of your program

Offer a few different programs of different lengths that serve different purposes. For example, quick challenges (think: 7 days) can be a fun way to invite new customers to test the waters or re-engage existing clients. But longer programs (anywhere from 30 days to three months) will often be the meat and potatoes of your business. You can price these programs at higher rates and give clients the opportunity to see significant results.

Now, how will you keep customers engaged and accountable over the course of your program? Consider daily reminders for short programs or a weekly fitness newsletter for longer ones.

Focus on value

“It’s easy to find fitness content that appeals to the fears and insecurities of consumers—think deceptive marketing about losing belly fat in 10 days or slimming your inner thighs,” says Anjorin. “But providing sound training principles, sustainable programming and long-term tools that support their journeys leads to lasting value and change for clients, rather than preying on their emotions.” Let your online program be an empowering voice in the industry.

Build your program

You’ll need to build a fitness website to host your online fitness program, and many of Wix’s fitness website templates already include an online programs app. If not, simply download Wix Online Programs from the App Market. FYI: Clients will also be able to follow your programs from the Fit By Wix or Branded app. You can update your programs from the Wix Owner app.

Embrace feedback

As you hone your online fitness programs, consider customer feedback your greatest asset. “I make different types of content available and then assess how each type of content is received by my clients,” says Renché Seyffert, founder of New Zealand-based FIT BEST training, who uses Wix Fit to build online fitness programs. “I create more of what gets the best feedback and make tweaks to ‘misses’ to make them more appealing and successful.” Note: If you build your online program with Wix, clients will be able to submit feedback after each step.

Keep your content fresh

Make new programs regularly so clients keep engaging with your services. Think about the client journey: Someone who just finished a beginner program may be ready for a more challenging version next. Of course, you’ll want to communicate updates with your clients so they always know their options.

Build a more powerful fitness business

How to sell an online fitness program

You can sell your online fitness programs as a one-time purchase or as part of a subscription or membership. You can offer both with the Wix Pricing Plans app, as well as free trials to engage new clients.

“Subscription models tend to be the better call for coaches who want something sustainable that has higher levels of retention, while one-off programs can be nice for sales and specific launches,” says Jake Boly, MS, CSCS, founder of That Fit Friend. But one-off purchases are a great way to target new clients who want to start with less financial commitment. You can consider these programs one of your marketing strategies. “One-off purchases set clients up to make future purchases when they are able,” says Seyffert.

Of course, if you only offer one-off purchases, you’ll need a plan for how you’ll retain customers, Boly says. “Create a funnel or framework for what comes next,” he suggests. “For example, if you sell someone a powerlifting beginner program, create a funnel that suggests a follow-up program when they have one or two weeks left.”

No matter which plan you choose, do not (we repeat, do not) sell yourself short when it comes to pricing. “I made the mistake of pricing way too low and learned the hard way that it's better to have less volume with price points that make sense than to spread yourself too thin by creating many products that are priced way too low,” says Seyffert. “Don’t undersell how much work it takes.”

If you’re not sure where to start with pricing, Boly and Seyffert both recommend checking out how trainers or competitors price their offerings. “Make sure your prices are in line with the average prices of others in your field,” suggests Seyffert.

Some quick references for inspiration:

  • The SWEAT fitness app runs off a subscription model in which members pay $19.99 per month for access to a suite of training programs.
  • The Tone It Up app works similarly but also offers discounted pricing for those willing to pay for longer-duration memberships upfront. (Members pay $14.99 for month-to-month access, $12.66 per month if they pay per quarter and $8.33 per month if they pay for the full year at once.)
  • One-off workout programs and challenges may be more varied in pricing depending on their length or duration. Instagram sensation Katie Crewe offers a variety of different programs. Her 9-week The Building Blocks introductory strength-training program costs $69. Her “Mom Crewe” prenatal strength-training program offers 36 weeks of workouts, plus bonus content (like recipes and breathing exercises) for $99.
Online fitness programs built with Wix

How to market an online fitness program

The best online fitness content in the world can’t reach its full potential without marketing. As you build out your online programs and other offerings, make sure you’re also building out a plan for getting your brand in front of potential customers and converting them. Use the broad range of marketing tools provided by Wix to create social templates, promo videos and targeted campaigns.

A few best practices to keep in mind:

Show up often

“Your post or email is only a second of someone’s incredibly detailed day,” Boly says. “You absolutely cannot post once and expect everyone to sign up. You need a strategy to create frequent exposure that delivers value.” Basically, be prepared to show up on social media, in emails and through whatever other channels you plan to use consistently. Yes, that means finding a slew of new ways to talk up the same program. Be creative.

“You absolutely cannot post once and expect everyone to sign up. You need a strategy to create frequent exposure that delivers value.”

Show up thoughtfully

Of course, the quality of your marketing—especially your social media posts—is just as important as its frequency. “Before you post, always ask yourself if you’re providing value to your audience,” says Anjorin. “Your current followers are all potential buyers.” Are your posts giving followers something they can actually use, in addition to advertising your product? For example, instead of simply promoting your beginner’s strength-training program in a post, share a proper form breakdown for an exercise they’ll often encounter in the workouts.

From there, “thoughtfully engaging with others is an easy way to boost engagement,” Boly says. Your DMs and comments are a great place to answer questions about your offering, provide more details about the program content and help followers get a sense of whether it’d be a good fit for them. A little bit of genuine interaction goes a long way.


Make your efforts work double-time

Once you’ve identified where you want to spend your marketing energy, look into how you can maximize its reach and impact. The more sales you can score per YouTube video, Instagram Story or Facebook post, the better. Check out the video above to see how Wix's AI algorithm can optimize your Facebook and Instagram campaigns for you.

Anjorin also recommends seeking out opportunities to collaborate with fitness brands. “This has helped me get so much exposure,” she says. “Brands are always looking for great trainers and content so don’t be afraid to reach out.” Whenever possible, time partnerships around new content launches and utilize your partners’ platforms to highlight your programs to potential new clients.

The bottom line on online fitness programs

The world of online training might seem like a busy place, but don’t let the saturation discourage you.

“You don't need a huge following to be successful and a lot of great coaches will fare way better building an intimate community,” Boly says. “A community of 50 to 100 people is more than enough for most coaches to make a living and scale.”

Now that you’ve brushed off the notion that you need to be an internet star to find success in selling online fitness programs, “start small, find your niche and focus your efforts on your strengths,” Seyffert says. “Define success on those you’re personally helping and you’ll create more intimate relationships and build a more tight-knit community, which others notice and want to to be a part of.”

Read more about how you can build your online fitness business with Wix Fit.

<![CDATA[The fitness trends every professional should memorize]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/fitness-industry-trends61df245fa9f3010016fd8433Sun, 04 Dec 2022 17:22:09 GMTWix Fit EditorsThe fitness trends every professional should memorize

This post was updated on December 4, 2022.

It’s true that the fundamentals of fitness rarely change. Deadlifts work. Consistency is king. You can’t spot reduce.

But the platforms, technology and equipment professionals use to train clients shift over time, and the COVID-19 pandemic forced fitness into a new era of at-home workouts. Many people invested in new equipment, took up running or got used to sweating with on-demand or Zoom workouts. (Just so you know, Wix Fit can help you host these workouts on your site.)

That means even your most dedicated clients may have developed new habits over the last two years, so it’s important to know the latest fitness trends. These are the ones professionals are buzzing about now.

  • Hybrid fitness is here to stay
  • Wearables are on fire
  • Personal training is on the rise
  • People want anti-anxiety workouts and active recovery sessions
  • More people are running and hiking
  • People are enjoying "workout snacks"
  • Brick-and-mortar gyms need to be squeaky clean
  • Community is everything

Hybrid fitness is here to stay

Online fitness is the number-one workout trend of the year, confirms an industry survey of fitness professionals. What may have seemed like a temporary solution at the start of the pandemic has become a long-term part of the fitness landscape, even when gyms reopen around the world. Many fitness professionals are embracing a mix of in-person and digital workouts, known as hybrid fitness, in order to adapt to their clients’ new needs and schedules.

To capitalize on this trend, you’ll need to learn how to build a fitness website that can host videos, accept payments, and allow members to book classes. Check out the best fitness websites for some inspo.

Wearables are on fire

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts have been tracking their sleep, workouts and recovery for some time now, and the trend isn't slowing down. The industry is expected to grow 30 percent annually through 2023, according to BCC Research. Some ways to incorporate wearables into your training sessions if you haven't already:

  • Create step challenges to keep your clients motivated and moving
  • Show them how to monitor their heart-rate during workouts
  • Encourage them to consider their sleep data when determining their workout intensity

Personal training is on the rise

The personal training industry grew by 2.2 percent in 2021, according to IBIS World, and it's expected to expand as people become increasingly health-conscious and wary of large groups. Personal training strikes the ideal balance of minimal social interaction and max fitness benefits. Still, keep in mind that people might not want to see a trainer multiple times a week during the pandemic, so be sure to work with your clients to develop a plan that helps them stay on track in between sessions.

To reach more clients, offer a discounted rate for new members and small groups of friends. And don't forget the word personal. If you employ multiple trainers at your gym, include bios on your site so potential clients can find someone they vibe with.

People want anti-anxiety workouts and active recovery sessions

“People are burning out and realizing that rest needs to be a priority,” Bre Williamson, yoga teacher and founder of Mindfully Bre, told us for the story, the new rules of training clients during the pandemic.

Many athletes are realizing that fitness is a lifelong pursuit and needs to be one part of an overall healthy lifestyle. That means two things:

This could translate to different offerings for different fitness businesses. For your business, it could mean including breath work at the end of a HIIT class or creating a special session devoted to stretching and mobility. You can also send a fitness newsletter featuring a recovery routine people can do at home on their rest day.

More people are running and hiking

Outdoor exercise was the most popular fitness trend in a recent RunRepeat survey, and almost 60 percent of people said running and other forms of outdoor training were the best ways to stay fit in 2021. Keep these new workouts in mind as you train your clients. How can you best support their running and hiking goals and help them avoid injury?

two men running outside, on blue

People are enjoying "workout snacks"

Hybrid fitness allows people to do several, smaller workouts throughout the day, instead of carving out time for one long workout. These workout snacks are ideal for people who (a) work longer hours during the pandemic and (b) stay in leggings all day anyway. Consider offering different workout lengths in your video library to meet this new demand. (Read more about how to shoot a workout video here.)

Brick-and-mortar gyms need to be squeaky clean

COVID-19 concerns gave way to an emphasis on cleanliness. You’ve probably already made accommodations to sanitize your gym—but make sure you communicate them to your members. Have a FAQ on your website that explains all of your COVID-19 policies, train your staff to address the most common concerns and post signs describing your cleaning schedule and procedures, especially in sensitive, high-traffic areas like locker rooms and showers.

Community is everything

People are more likely to stick to a workout program when they have social support, and people are craving connection more than ever. Who wants to be alone anymore?

But clients may still need help joining your fitness community. If your studio offers group classes, either in-person or virtually, consider starting with an icebreaker, especially if you’re seeing an influx of new members who don't know each other. Also consider an ambassador program, like the one My Fitness Suites has. They connect every new member with a gym veteran so they see a friendly face in class and make an instant social connection. Brilliant.

<![CDATA[Fitness challenge ideas that will keep clients engaged every single day]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/fitness-challenge-ideas6268394998443c9cea9083edFri, 02 Dec 2022 13:21:07 GMTJordan GallowayFitness challenge ideas that will keep clients engaged every single day

This post was updated on December 2, 2022.

Spend enough time around the top fitness professionals in the world and you’ll notice a pattern. They do more than sell memberships. They build communities and bring out the best in those who joined. This means their spaces—whether brick-and-mortar, digital or a hybrid—aren’t just where people go to sweat. They’re where people go to socialize and challenge themselves physically and mentally.

Dedicated fitness challenges can hit all of these notes for your fitness business. They encourage camaraderie and help people achieve a shared goal. You can create lots of different fitness challenges with Wix Fit by downloading Wix Online Programs from the App Market. (If you know challenges will be a big part of your business, you can use a fitness website template that highlights online programs from the start.)

Build a more powerful fitness business

What’s a fitness challenge, exactly?

A fitness challenge is an organized workout program that offers a consistent, progressive (meaning it gets harder as it goes on) exercise plan performed over a specified period of time, often 30 days.

The first (and longest running) fitness challenge dates back to 1966 when President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced the President’s Fitness Challenge, an exercise program that encouraged Americans to incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives. It was only discontinued in 2018.

In more modern times, fitness challenges are a type of online fitness program. They're closely tied to social media extensions like hashtags and online groups, which encourage members to post about their progress and keep the momentum going in between workouts. The more you create moments to engage with your members online—like reposting their sweaty selfies—and encourage them to engage with one another, the more likely they are to enjoy the experience and see it all the way through.

When it comes to program design, there are few rules when making fitness challenges. The length and overall goal (think: strength or endurance) can vary, but the objective is generally the same: to offer guidance, accountability and motivation to members while increasing engagement. Everything you want in a workout program.


Check out Wix Learn for more on building challenges.

The benefits of fitness challenges

Fitness challenges encourage community and hold client interest with less financial investment than traditional marketing. Often, these types of programs encourage people to use your facilities or website multiple times a week, ensuring consistent traffic and opportunities to connect with clients in an organic way. They can help you build trust, loyalty, and community—all things that can increase gym member retention.

Challenges are instantly engaging, says Nardia Cunningham, MSE, CPT, who runs a series of successful, online fitness challenges through Wix Fit and on her Instagram account, @getupwithnards. “People just hear the word and want to do it.” Essentially, people are always up for a challenge.

Aside from an opportunity for a little friendly competition, prizes for participating are often nominal (if any) and typically include badges, a free class or discounts. When clients complete a challenge hosted on Wix Fit, for example, they receive a badge they can share on their social accounts. Read more: 7creative ways to get your clients to share their workouts on social media.

They also tend to be a more approachable way to use a gym or studio than independent workouts, where the client needs to create and execute exercise programs on their own. “People sign up for challenges so they have support,” Cunningham says. “They need to be told what to do, when to do it, and they feel better when they know they're doing it with you.”

Even better if people sign up together. Research shows that people achieve better health outcomes when they exercise with others, rather than on their own. They tend to be more motivated and push themselves for longer periods of time. “A fitness community can be very motivating,” Cunningham confirms.

Fitness challenges built with Wix

What to think about when creating a fitness challenge for your members

When creating a new online program, you’ll need to consider the frequency and intensity of the workouts. The lower the impact and intensity of a workout, the more frequently you could schedule sessions. A walking challenge, for example, could have a prompt every day. But if you were doing a HIIT challenge, you should plan for at least 48 hours in between workouts. So, two or three times per week.

If the challenge features a single move—like a pushup, plank or burpee—you could do daily drills but for less time. These types of challenges aren’t necessarily designed to replace full sweat sessions but are more of a quick exercise snack people can add to the end of workout.

No matter the format, it’s important to program challenges that appeal to participants at different fitness levels. The easiest way to do this is with an RPE scale, which stands for rate of perceived exertion. This means a person assigns a number to their effort level between one and 10 (with 10 being 100 percent effort) based on how difficult they find the exercise. By individualizing intensity this way, you can program workouts that challenge everyone from beginners to advanced exercisers.

On that note, Cunningham says sustainability is crucial. “If people go from not exercising to working out five or six times per week—or go from zero minutes to exercising for an hour at a time—they may be unable to stick with it,” she says. “It’s better to start with 15 to 20 minutes, then build on that.”

And remember, people are more likely to stick to workouts that they enjoy and have fun doing. “A lot of times people see fitness as a chore or they just jump into it just for weight loss,” Cunningham says. “I'm trying to get away from that and make it an overall lifestyle.”

That’s also why Cunningham is a big believer in building social-media components—specifically group chats (included with Wix Fit)—into her fitness challenges to help people connect. “It's a big community where people can talk with each other,” she says. That helps to boost commitment and accountability, which in turn lead to greater satisfaction and retention.

Ultimately, the more you can do to create an inclusive atmosphere both inside and outside of the gym or studio through your challenges and social media platforms, the greater chance you have of developing meaningful engagement with your members.

Fitness challenge ideas to get you started

These Wix Fit users, trainers and editorial sites took different approaches to their fitness challenges. Take a look for some inspiration before building your next program.

A month-long challenge: Barre by Emma’s Monthly Challenges

Barre by Emma has challenges for the months of May, February and November, which is a great way to encourage participants to do a challenge at the same time. This approach lends itself to solid social media promotion—like Instagram Lives—since you’ll know that your followers are already doing the challenge together.

A year-long challenge: Peloton’s Annual Challenge

Research shows that long-term challenges of 90 days or more lead to better results than shorter ones. And this one from Peloton is a prime example of how to program an extended challenge in a way that still feels motivating and personal. They do this by focusing on total minutes of exercise, rather than individual classes—every 1,000 minutes earns participants another badge. The goal is to collect all 10 badges, and the gamification element makes it more fun than daunting.

A single-move challenge: Shape’s Pushup Challenge

Focusing on a single move can be highly motivating, especially if it’s a functional exercise that pops up in pretty much every other workout. Case in point: the pushup. This 30-day pushup challenge still keeps it interesting with related moves that complement the classic.

A muscle-group challenge: Get Up with Nards’ Get Peachy Challenge

You can also focus on a specific muscle group—chest, abs, back, legs—and program workouts that target these muscles. This one’s all about the lower body.

A running challenge: Runner’s World’s Running Streak

This running challenge has a simple design—running one mile everyday—making it easy for people to remember and follow.

<![CDATA[4 important ways Gen Z is changing the fitness industry]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/gen-z-fitness629f44d492ba38f7c07574a3Mon, 27 Jun 2022 14:28:14 GMTMike Simone5 important ways Gen Z is changing the fitness industry

Remember the phrase “beach body”?

A decade or two ago, everything seemed to revolve around those two words. Fitness, it seemed, was more about aesthetics than anything else. In other words, it was about how you looked, not how you moved.

Then, around 2009, CrossFit seemed to flip the script. Functional fitness and the ability to move like an athlete were deemed more important than just having visible abs.

And today, things seem to have shifted again, with the fitness world being more about holistic wellness. People are more open to talking about mental health, and fitness isn’t just about hardcore workouts anymore. People are starting to understand and preach the importance of mobility, recovery and self-care.

The bottom line: fitness evolves. And while it’s tough to say with certainty what direction we’re heading in, there might be some insight to gain from what we know about Generation Z, or those born roughly between 1997 and 2012.

Below, what you should know about the new generation of fitness, and what these shifts could mean for your Wix Fit business.

Gen Z is tech-savvy

Gen Z grew up with the technology that wowed previous generations. Members of this generation have little to no memory of life before smartphones, according to Pew Research, and the average Gen Zer got their first smartphone before they turned 12, Insider recently noted. And 31 percent of Gen Z feel uncomfortable when separated from their phones for half an hour or less, per a 2018 study conducted by the Center for Generational Kinetics.

What you can do: “Tech is everything,” says 23-year-old NASM-CPT Cara Carmichael, who adds that one of the first things people her age do every day is consume content (usually on TikTok or Instagram). To appeal to Gen Z as a fitness professional, you’ll need a social media presence. “Be on there, be consistent and be you,” says Carmichael.

In addition to having a social media presence, you’ll want to build online programs and shoot workout videos to meet people on their screens. NASM also offers a virtual coaching specialization, and you can read more about how to be an online personal trainer here.

Gen Z believes in social impact

Gen Zers hold businesses to a higher standard than members of other generations. They’re three times more likely to believe that the purpose of business is to support society, according to a 2019 brief on MarketingDive. They also see purchasing decisions as an opportunity to express their values, per a 2021 article from The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Insider also notes that Gen Z “eclipses all other generations before it in embracing diversity and inclusion.”

What you can do: This is just one of many reasons why representation is crucial for your fitness business, and this generation may expect more from fitness professionals and businesses than just helping them attend to their health. Reflect on a cause that you feel connected to and consider hosting a fundraising event (or multiple events) to support it. But a word of caution: Don’t fake enthusiasm for something you don’t actually care about, because…

Gen Z values authenticity

It’ll benefit you to be as authentic as possible when you’re supporting a cause, Carmichael confirms. You’re not going to attract everyone, she notes, but your message will speak to people who appreciate how real you are. And more generally, outside of the social impact realm alone, we know that Gen Z spends their time and money with authentic brands.

What you can do: One thing you might try, according to Forbes, is breaking down some of the barriers between what you share about yourself as a fitness business owner and what you tell the people you love and trust. So, if you’re learning a new language or loving a new show, consider sharing with current and potential clients. Forbes also noted that storytelling is a powerful way to convey authenticity, whether you’re sharing your own stories or those of your employees and clients.

Gen Z has struggled with mental health

Members of Gen Z are the most likely of all generations to report having poor mental health, according to a 2018 report from the American Psychological Association. The report notes that significant stressors for this generation include “high-profile issues, such as sexual harassment and gun violence.” It was also noted that they’re much more likely to seek professional help for mental health concerns.

What you can do: It stands to reason that Gen Zers have a broader view of wellness that extends beyond the physical realm, and Carmichael believes this to be true. Some advice for trainers: Understand what you can offer—while staying within your scope of practice as a trainer—if and when mental health comes up. As Carmichael points out, you can provide a listening ear for what they’re going through, but providing recommendations and advice crosses a line if you don’t have the appropriate credentials. For more information related to mental health and scope of practice, check out 5 ways personal trainers can help with the mental health crisis.

<![CDATA[“Fitness beers” might just be the thing your community is missing]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/non-alcoholic-beers-fitness62ab1f42c633cfb99f7a8f70Sun, 19 Jun 2022 12:54:11 GMTKarla Walsh“Fitness beers” might just be the thing your community is missing

If the phrase “fitness beers” sounds like a contradiction, you just haven’t heard of the trend yet. The non-alcoholic (NA) and low-ABV beer markets are booming, giving rise to workout-beer combos fueled by community and recovery.

The market for non-alcoholic (NA) beers is expected to grow by nearly 9 percent every year between 2021 and 2025, according to January 2022 data from Research and Markets. New players like Athletic Brewing Company brew alcohol-free IPAs, lagers and stouts for a fit audience of people who want the post-run beer without the hangover. They’ve hosted virtual fitness classes and opened a taproom/gym in Austin. Even classic beer brands like Michelob Ultra have hosted running challenges and sponsored marathons. (Related: Fitness challenge ideas that will keep clients engaged every day)

This trend is more than a marketing strategy, though. Some formulas are infused with electrolytes or are lower in calories. Studies also show that beer can boost recovery after a workout.

But is there really any benefit to this fitness trend, or should you and your clients just drink responsibly at your local brewery when the craving calls? Wix Fit spoke to industry experts and a sports dietitian for the details.

Build a more powerful fitness business

Why beer and workouts often team up

People were throwing back post-workout pints long before brands starting launching so-called fitness or wellness beers. (See: cyclists everywhere.)

Since August 2014, Dirk Manley, owner of KegFit in Boise Idaho, has been hosting events that combine this classic pairing. Attendees sweat together through circuits using empty kegs at a local brewery, then crack open cold ones to raise a glass to a workout well done. “The ‘recovery beer’ was an added bonus after the circuit,” he says.

Beyond being a way to cool off after a hard workout, it’s also a way to build community. “What better way to bring people than getting their heart rate up and being social after?,” Manley adds. “As we get older, it can be hard to make new friends. Adults want to hang out with old friends, meet new friends, and have a beer, wine or cocktail. Being social is so necessary for humans, and sometimes it's hard to find a ‘third space’ that’s less intense than meeting new people at a bar.”

That's why North Carolina-based Mel Fox launched Work for Your Beer in 2016 to promote ale/exercise events. The Instagram account has since amassed more than 30,000 Instagram followers. “Breweries are always looking to build community—not just brew beer—and fitness classes are a great way to get folks out on a regular basis,” Fox says. She echoes Manley’s sentiments about the social benefits. “It's tough to make friends as an adult, and attending a brewery fitness event means you already have two things in common with everyone there: enjoying beer and fitness. There’s also the element of the beer tasting slightly better when you work for it a bit.”

That said, More Americans are forgoing alcohol in the name of their physical and mental health, which is where these alcohol-free options come in. Or, as Fox says: “Sometimes you want a beer without wanting a beer.”

So is beer a healthy post-workout drink?

Beer is usually brewed from grains, hops, yeast and water. Each can or bottle delivers a moderate amount of carbs (about 13 grams, equal to half a banana or one slice of toast).

“Beer contains carbs, which will help replenish glycogen stores after a workout,” says Natalie Rizzo, M.S., RD, a registered dietitian in New York City. “But drinking an alcoholic beverage after a workout doesn’t have more benefits than drinking a sports drink or protein beverage.”

Alcohol has some downsides for the fitness crowd. “The alcohol in beer can increase the risk of dehydration,” Rizzo says. Anyone who’s waited in line for a restroom at a bar can confirm any sort of boozy beverage can make you need to pee more than usual.

That’s what makes these low-or-no-alcohol options so appealing. One of the first scientific reviews in this arena found that low-alcohol beer (below 4 percent ABV) and sodium-infused beer may be more effective at rehydration than traditional beer. Any beer with less than 2 percent ABV shouldn’t negatively impact hydration status, another small study reported.

As for the beers with added electrolytes: “These wellness beers may not have a nutrition facts label, so it’s difficult to know exactly what's in the can. Is it enough electrolytes and fluid to help with recovery? I’m not sure,” says Rizzo. “If you’re dehydrated from an intense workout and you need electrolytes, you may be better off with a sports drink,” where you can peek at the nutrition facts panel to be aware of carbohydrate, calorie and micronutrient composition.

That said, you probably don’t need to overthink it. If you and your clients enjoy a post-exercise beer, savor one alongside at least that many ounces of water, and enjoy. If you’re working out for longer than 60 minutes, switch from water to a sports drink with carbs and electrolytes, Rizzo suggests.

Emphasize community over calories

The main benefit of merging fitness with happy hour is that clients will engage with each other outside of the workout. This is important for your fitness business because community is one of the best ways to increase gym member retention.

“These NA and wellness beer trends are fun for our audience because it gives them additional options to choose from, and I think everyone loves having options that can be slightly healthier for them,” Fox says. Meaning, everyone can participate, regardless of whether they want an alcoholic beverage.

Of course, happy hour isn’t the only way clients can interact outside of the gym. Wix Fit user Sweat FXBG, a gym in Virginia, encourages community engagement by heading to a smoothie shop nextdoor, and Upside Aerial does so with community events. Planet Fitness famously does the same with a monthly pizza party.

“Your heart and muscles will get their workout, but my heart also craves community and social interaction,” Manley says. These fitness-focused happy hours offer exactly that.

<![CDATA[The science of gym lighting can make or break your member retention]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/gym-lighting622783a39066492320cb31f3Tue, 14 Jun 2022 13:23:45 GMTLauren BedoskyThe science of gym lighting can make or break your member retention

Few design choices can instantly upgrade the look and feel of your fitness business like light, so if you’re looking to hold onto more members, it’s time to give your lighting situation some reflection.

“Lighting, like music, can significantly impact the focus, energy and mood of a fitness space,” says Carlos Davila, M.A. in developmental psychology, member of the Association for Applied Sports Psychology and a trainer at Fhitting Room in New York City. The right lighting can boost mood and workout performance, and the wrong lighting can tire your members or make a high-energy class feel lackluster.

Essentially, optimizing the lighting in every corner of your club will elevate the member experience, and if you can give your members a stellar experience time and time again, they’re more likely to stick around. (Read more about gym member retention here.)

The science of lighting

Lighting is important because it affects the body’s circadian rhythms, which affects energy levels, says Rudy Fabiano, founder of Fabiano Designs, a New Jersey-based interior design firm that specializes in community-based facilities like fitness centers. “If we’re talking about exercise and optimizing people’s performance, then we need to understand that lighting affects our bodies.”

Circadian rhythms are natural processes in your body that follow a 24-hour cycle. The sleep-wake cycle is probably the best-known, and it’s mainly affected by the light in your environment. Sunlight helps you perk up in the morning, whereas darkness lulls you to sleep at night. But even artificial light affects your circadian rhythms, which then impacts your mood and energy. See: the sunlamps people use to treat seasonal depression in the winter.

Certain types of artificial light have stronger effects than others. Blue lights tend to be the most energizing, whereas red lights are more relaxing. Blue wavelengths (found in sunlight and your smartphone screen) actually suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that tells your body it’s time to sleep, according to a 2019 review in The Journal of Biological and Medical Rhythm Research.

Build a more powerful fitness business

How light affects exercise

So, what does light have to do with your workouts? For starters, check out this PLoS One study: Researchers exposed a group of men to bright light (roughly the equivalent of a typical office) and another group to dim light for 160 minutes. During the final 40 minutes of exposure, the men hopped on an exercise bike and pedaled away while researchers kept tabs on their total work. Both groups came back on a separate day to repeat the test in the other lighting condition. Both groups generated significantly more power per minute after they were exposed to bright light than they did following dim light.

But don’t write off other types of light just yet. Red lights, for example, may not have the same effects on your circadian rhythm as blue, but they still have a place in exercise. (Just go to a boutique fitness studio like Barry’s and Rumble.) Namely, red lights can give you a burst of energy by stimulating your “fight-or-flight” response. (Related reading: How Barry’s pivoted to digital during the pandemic.)

Case in point: When University of Rochester researchers showed a group of students the color red on a computer monitor, they squeezed a handgrip harder and faster than they did after seeing the colors blue and gray. Researchers speculate that students reacted so quickly and forcefully to the color red because they saw it as a danger cue.

Notably, this type of lighting works best in group fitness studios, where classes are less than an hour long. If you incorporate red lights into a general gym area, where members work at their own pace, this strategy could backfire and make people tired, Fabiano says.

Woman doing yoga in well-lit studio

How to use light to your advantage

Now that you recognize just how important lighting is to the mood and energy of your fitness facility, it’s time to figure out how to make it work for your members.

If you own a boutique studio…

Have fun with colors

Multi-colored lighting is having a moment in fitness, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t get in on this trend. Bright colors can liven up group fitness classes.

If you’re lighting a spin or rowing class, try synchronizing the colored lights with the music to transform the studio into a nightclub. “This inherently cues the rider or participant that they’re about to have fun and takes the focus away from insecurities and anxieties that tend to accompany boutique fitness spaces,” Davila says.

Blue and red lights are popular choices, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other colors, like greens, yellows and pinks, Fabiano says. (Read more about the latest fitness trends.)

A cheap way to experiment with lighting is to buy some color-changing smart light bulbs. Simply screw the bulb into a lamp or other light fixture and choose your colors. The Phillips Hue bulb, for example, offers a whopping 16 million colors and 50,000 shades of white. You can download the accompanying app and easily switch colors from the app over Bluetooth. One bulb costs about $50.

If you own a large gym...

Encourage natural light as much as possible

Natural light is the most under-appreciated type of light you can have indoors, says Fabiano.

If you have the budget, incorporate more windows or skylights into your main workout space. This not only brings in natural light—proven to improve mood and energy levels—it also lets members quickly touch base with the world outside in between sets or hard intervals.

“You need to make some decisions about the number of windows and where to put them for maximum benefit,” Fabiano says. “But I haven’t heard anybody say, ‘we shouldn’t have put them in there.’”

If windows are in the cards for your club, Tim Welsh, senior vice president of development at Crunch Fitness, recommends building them higher off the ground (at least eight feet up). This way, you can keep wall space free for mirrors and equipment, while still allowing natural light to come through. This will also offer good lighting for any workout videos you plan to shoot in your space.

If windows aren’t an option, install LED light sources that mimic the sun throughout the day. The Alcon Color-Changing Linear Slim LED Pendant Light allows you to change the lighting in your space from a remote control or an app on your smartphone. “People are going to feel good without even knowing why,” Fabiano says.

If your gym has different rooms for different classes...

Use light to set certain areas apart

If you have an open-gym concept—that is, few doors and walls—you can still create the illusion of separate spaces through the strategic use of lighting. And with the right lights, you can transform the energy within those “spaces.”

Crunch gyms, for one, are designed to feel open. However, they use different lighting to minimize or draw attention to various spaces, or zones, throughout the club. For example, the space where their HIITZone class takes place becomes brighter when a class is in session. Other spots in the club are dimmed to keep the energy in the HIIT space higher and to make that class the focal point, says Welsh.

You can achieve a similar effect by using brighter lights in high-energy areas of the club. Colored lights can help set these areas apart even more.

Sometimes, Fabiano will take a dual light fixture (a fixture that has two lights side-by-side) in a functional training area that also hosts group fitness classes and place a blue light bulb in one fixture and a white bulb in the other. Then, he’ll point the blue light toward the ceiling so it creates a halo effect. The blue light lends a blue tone to the space, which then intensifies when you turn off the white light fixture and leave the blue fixture on. Gyms can use this approach to change the identity and mood of that space when it’s time for a group fitness class.

<![CDATA[8 ways to price gym memberships and fitness classes like a pro]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/how-to-price-gym-memberships61fc1c3aeaf885feb9689f07Tue, 07 Jun 2022 13:38:56 GMTPerri O. Blumberg8 ways to price gym memberships and fitness classes like a pro

Pricing your gym memberships or fitness classes isn’t just a means to make money, it’s a way to position yourself in the market and encourage members to book your services—and keep booking your services.

If you’re wondering if you should offer a free trial, how your prices should compare to the competition and whether you should charge an enrollment fee, you’re in the right place. (By the way, Wix Fit can help you manage your online scheduling and payments.)

Here are the smartest pricing strategies from finance, fitness and marketing experts.

  1. Offer the ideal number of pricing plans
  2. Create a smart free-trial program
  3. Stand out from your competitors
  4. Charge a fee at enrollment
  5. Be clear about your charges
  6. Team up with a charity
  7. Give your members monthly coupons
  8. Plan a few giveaways

01. Offer the ideal number of pricing plans

Three is the magic number when it comes to pricing plans. “Three options empower people with a choice but not so many that it’s overwhelming, confusing or difficult to decide,” says Joyce Marter, a licensed psychotherapist, yoga teacher and author of The Financial Mindset Fix: A Mental Fitness Program for an Abundant Life. “Think of Goldilocks and offer one that’s too high, another that’s too low without enough perks and something in the middle that is just right.”

Marter says the highest plan should be uncomfortably high in price. If you create a high benchmark, your other prices will appear reasonable in comparison. In that top-tier plan, you’ll also want to include some bells and whistles that won’t appeal to everyone (say, discounts at the café, extra guest passes and a few free personal training sessions).

Make the middle plan the one you want most people to choose. “It should be your ideal price point and offer comprehensive benefits, so people see real value in it,” says Marter.

As for the cheapest one: “The lowest price point shouldn’t be much lower and should exclude some benefits that people are going to really want.” As a result, the package priced in the middle feels like a good deal, but customers also feel good about not paying the premium price. See? Sweet spot.

02. Create a smart free-trial program

You want to tap into the power of habit, without making your free trial so long that people lose steam and decide that a membership isn’t worth it. “How many people actually follow through with consistent workouts throughout a month?” asks Marter.

That’s why Marter likes a seven-to-10-day trial to capture potential customers at the height of their excitement. This way, she says, people will have enough time to go to your facility at least three to four times, muster up some motivation, embrace the good vibes and sign up before they drop off.

03. Stand out from your competitors

It’s not just about being cheaper. “Your price should be in line with your competitors’ but provide more perks and better facilities,” says marketing expert Jon Buchan. “If your competitor charges $50 a month, you should set your price at $45 to $55 and offer more at that price.” For Buchan, the most important thing is to make customers feel satisfied with what they’re getting.

Buchan stresses the importance of paying attention to what your competitors don’t offer. If nearby yoga studios charge for mat storage, then offer the same thing for free. Or, if a local gym charges an introductory rate for personal training sessions, then offer three free personal training sessions just for joining. You can do the same thing digitally with complementary one-on-one video consultations or workshops.

This all ties back to providing customers with a great value proposition, which matters more to most clients than saving $10 or $20 a month. You want them to have a positive experience every time they interact with your business.

04. Charge a fee at enrollment

The real reason you should have an enrollment fee: “It’s a well-known and super effective marketing trick,” says Brett Downes, an SEO and marketing expert, who was a health club manager, personal trainer and swimming instructor before moving into digital media and founding Haro Helpers, Inc. “Its purpose isn’t to get additional money at the start of the membership; it’s to reduce turnover of gym members.”

Downes points to research showing that nearly 30 percent of surveyed gym members straight up said the joining fee was instrumental in their decision to extend their gym membership.

And it makes sense: “Those who paid an initiation fee might have a harder time cutting ties since they know they’ll lose out on the money they paid upfront,” he says. “It’s easier for someone to cancel a membership when they’re only paying a monthly fee.”

Downes adds that this specific strategy works better for smaller, boutique or non-franchised health clubs. People know large chains run promotions, so they can simply wait for the next “no sign-up fee” special if they want to re-join.

05. Be clear about your charges

Everyone likes to know where their money is going. If your membership costs $36 a month, and $30 covers gym use, $5 covers cleaning and maintenance, and $1 is an admin fee, explicitly spell that out for the customer. You can offer a similar breakdown for digital subscribers, too. What are they getting for their money, exactly?

06. Team up with a charity

Swap your enrollment fee for a charity donation. Example: For the Easter holidays, Downes asked new members to bring an Easter egg—which they donated to a local children's Easter egg hunt—instead of paying a joining fee. “Our tours and gym membership conversion rates would double every year for that month,” he says.

07. Give your members monthly coupons

First, include some coupons as part of a standard new membership package. To keep clients happy and engaged, continue to offer quarterly or monthly coupons for different services: personal training, nutritional consultations or special programs like bootcamps.

One more thing: Marter recommends including an expiration date on your coupons to incentivize action. “The expiration date creates a sense of urgency so people don’t forget about the offer,” she says.

08. Plan a few giveaways

Gift your customers low-cost swag. “Members feel like they are getting something free, even though the costs can be included in your business model, and the items serve as marketing when people use them out in the community,” says Marter. Branded hand sanitizer or face masks may be particularly timely freebies. Read more: How to start a fitness clothing line for your gym or studio

<![CDATA[Why a fitness community is so important and how to build one online]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/fitness-community628f99b89a34fb6f349eedf3Thu, 02 Jun 2022 13:39:43 GMTWix Fit EditorsWhy a fitness community is so important and how to build one online

Gyms are the original social networking platform. They connect people with similar interests, motivate members and encourage good vibes.

At least, that’s a fitness professional’s dream, right? This kind of close-knit community is great for your fitness business. If members feel supported by friends who are invested in their success, they’re more likely to show up, work hard, see results and keep coming back. (See how you can grow your business with Wix Fit here.)

Why you need a fitness community

Whether you own a gym, fitness studio or online training business, satisfied customers are your best brand ambassadors. They’re the people who will buy gear from your fitness clothing line, book classes through your fitness website and post online reviews about how they’ve never been to a better yoga studio.

Essentially, a strong community helps increase customer satisfaction. Everyone likes encouragement, whether it’s given virtually or in person, but in some ways, it’s even more crucial in digital communities. Here are some smart ways to establish a strong fitness community, no matter where you train your clients.

How to build your fitness community online

  1. Build an engaging website
  2. Meet your community on mobile
  3. Build online programs and challenges
  4. Introduce icebreakers at the beginning of class
  5. Learn everyone’s names—and say them
  6. Be active on social media
  7. Send a fitness newsletter regularly
  8. Sell branded merchandise
  9. Think niche
  10. Get outside the gym

01. Build an engaging website

If you want to build an online community, remember that your fitness website shouldn’t be a static page. It should engage your members with blog posts that inspire conversation, groups tailored to specific interests and forums that encourage discussion. You can use forums to ask questions about upcoming workouts or events so that members can weigh in with their preferences.

02. Meet your community on mobile

You can’t be in the studio at all times, so how can your members reach you if they have a question? Members can download the Fit by Wix app to interact with you directly (you’ll use the Wix Owner app to respond).

Use the Branded App by Wix to take the experience to the next level with your own branding. Nicole Carlile, a gym owner in Australia, uses her branded app to keep her community accountable in fitness challenges and online programs. “We can see who’s doing things and who’s not, so it works really well for those fitness challenges,” she says.

03. Build online programs and challenges

Speaking of online programs and fitness challenges, these formats lend themselves really well to community engagement. Build a 30-day program that people complete together over the course of a month to foster conversation and group support. With Wix Online Programs, clients will be able to message you after each workout, and you can build groups based on a specific program so that members can discuss among themselves.

Read more: How to create and sell fitness programs online and fitness challenge ideas that will keep clients engaged.

04. Introduce icebreakers at the beginning of class

Icebreakers may feel a little middle school, but they give your members something to talk about. Even a “question of the day” (what’s one thing you hope to do this weekend?) can bring shy athletes out of their shells and offer an excuse to approach others. This is especially helpful at the start of a Zoom workout since it’s harder to create conversation in this setting.

05. Learn everyone’s names—and say them

It’s easier to chat with someone if you know what to call them, so encourage your staff to address members by name. If you’re especially bad with names, you can have an easily visible board with everyone who checked in for the day (ideally with their picture, too). Steal a glance if your memory isn’t firing on all cylinders.

06. Be active on social media

Athletes reluctant to approach a stranger IRL may feel more comfortable engaging online. Post content you know will elicit a reaction (“I love burpees!”) to generate conversation, and if you’ve got photos of your clients crushing a workout, upload those too (with their written permission, of course). You can also repost your members’ photos in an Instagram Story, which will make them feel acknowledged by their coaches and excited to tag you in the future. Read more: 7 ways to encourage your clients to post their workouts on social media

07. Send a fitness newsletter regularly

Not everyone is active on Instagram, but it’s almost certain that your members have an email address. In fact, you probably have it on file already. That’s why a fitness newsletter is the perfect way to promote upcoming gym events, highlight new coaches and complement your social media strategy. You can also solicit success stories to highlight members who are reaching their goals.

08. Sell branded merchandise

Every team’s got to have a uniform, right? Selling merch, like a branded snapback or t-shirt, helps members recognize each other outside the gym. It’s also a way for drop-ins to commemorate their positive experience. Even better: Ask a member to design it, or present the community with a few options and ask them to weigh in via forums. Here’s how to start your own fitness clothing line.

09. Think niche

Brielle Collins, founder of Practice Shraddha, enjoys hosting wellness seminars that serve a niche audience, like her recent series on exercising after a miscarriage. “There’s more opportunity to serve your community,” she told us for a story on hybrid fitness. Zero in on your audience to connect people going through the same struggles (or victories), and they’ll bond over the things they have in common.

10. Get outside the gym

Transitioning from class acquaintances to friends outside the gym can be a process, but you can speed it along as the gym owner. Organize a social event at a nearby park or restaurant. Your members may not recognize each other outside of their athletic apparel, but thankfully, they’ve all got something in common: fitness.

<![CDATA[The marketing strategy that made pickleball so popular this year]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/why-is-pickleball-so-popular62979814c453d9a3eef185aaWed, 01 Jun 2022 17:38:24 GMTEmily AbbateThe marketing strategy that made pickleball cool in 2022

Adam Edery, a 25-year-old video producer living in Los Angeles, calls himself “the Pickleball Guy,” and creates content about the 57-year-old sport for Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. (Check out his YouTube channel here.)

But up until the summer of 2016, he had never played his now-namesake sport. At the time, he was working at a summer camp for University of Michigan alumni in northern Michigan, when the camp director asked if he’d be willing to teach pickleball to some of the older attendees.

“I taught pickleball for four summers at that camp and have been playing and teaching ever since,” Edery tells Wix. “Recently, I started making content for YouTube and social media, and it took off.” (Related: You can use Wix Fit’s built-in suite of marketing tools to promote your business.)

Build a more powerful fitness business

What is pickleball?

Pickleball is a hybrid of tennis, ping pong and badminton, created by three friends from Washington in 1965. By 1984, the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) was founded to grow the sport on a national level. By 1990, people were playing in all 50 states, according to USA Pickleball. Fast forward to 2022, and you’ll see that the sport has a new image—and audience—thanks to successful marketing efforts.

Why is pickleball so popular today?

The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) named pickleball the fastest growing sport for the second year in a row. Surprisingly enough, while about 17 percent of players are 65 and older, a third of all players are 25 or younger.

“For so long, people would say something like, ‘I used to play with my Aunt Sally,’” Edery says of his pickleball conversations. “Now, that’s not the case at all. I have people my own age to play with who really enjoy it, and it’s more competitive.”

Pickleball’s popularity is no accident. In 2020, USA Pickleball underwent a massive rebrand, led by then-chief marketing officer George Bauernfeind and current director of media relations, Laura Gainor.

Their goal: to broaden the audience and encourage everyone to play. “Pickleball is a multigenerational sport, and we want the whole United States to play it,” Gainor says. “It’s not for a specific niche. Pickleball is for everyone from grandparents to young adults.”

The sport now has a 4.8 million+ player base, according to Gainor, large in part to these marketing strategies. See if they might work for your fitness business, too.

01. Speak to your audience

Prior to the 2020 rebrand, USA Pickleball hired an agency that organized focus groups to chat with consumers about the sport.

“We asked them what words they associated with pickleball,” says Gainor. “The word that kept coming up was ‘community,’ so we focused on that in our initial ad campaign.”

But the quest to know your audience doesn’t stop with one campaign—it evolves as your audience evolves. Now that a large chunk of players (28.8 percent) are between ages 18 and 34, Gainor says they’ll do more market research to further cater to this crowd with their next round of marketing materials.

Notably, USA Pickleball's goal wasn’t to market the sport so aggressively to younger audiences that they lost existing fans. By centering their marketing efforts on just how easy it is to play with a minimal learning curve, USA Pickleball has had tons of success courting new players without isolating loyalists.

“We positioned pickleball as something that’s social, competitive and a great way to get people active,” Gainor says. “Something that literally anyone, anywhere could get into.” (More: The fitness industry needs to be more accessible and inclusive. What you can do about it.)

Tip: Know your current audience and know your target audience. You can add a Survey & Poll to your site to learn more about your demographic, and use Wix's business management features to optimize your ads and social media campaigns. The growth of pickleball also reflects a larger fitness trend: a focus on fun and community. How can you bring people together in your own fitness business? Community is one of the keys to gym member retention.

02. Refresh your branding

Fact: People want to be a part of something that looks cool. “We wanted people to want to be a part of our ‘club’ so to speak,” says Gainor. “We wanted people to be proud to represent USA Pickleball.”

That meant a more concise name and a cleaner look. They changed their name from the USA Pickleball Association to simply USA Pickleball. And they created a more modern logo and updated their website to make important information easier to find, including a “What is Pickleball?” animated video to introduce newcomers to the sport. The last time the logo or site had been properly updated was 2013.

Tip: Check out the Wix Logo Maker if your logo needs a refresh. If you’re not sure, ask yourself if you’d wear your own logo proudly if you weren’t financially (and emotionally) invested in your company, or ask a friend for their honest opinion. You can also use one of these fitness website templates to modernize your website with the most recent designs.

03. Keep your finger on the social media pulse

“Every morning, I search on Twitter for the keyword ‘pickleball’ to see what people are saying about the sport,” Gainor says. “Very quickly I find who is talking about it and ask myself, ‘where can we engage?’”

As the sport gets more and more press, the brand (and their spokespeople) engage and interact as much as possible. Every news article is highlighted on their website, and they follow accounts and hashtags related to the sport to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings, news and emerging brands.

Tip: Keeping a finger on the social media pulse at all times is a must for smart marketing, says Gainor. Even if you’re not engaging in every single conversation, you should know what people are saying about your sport or specialty. What are people excited about? What are they struggling with? Then, how can your business give them more of what they want or need?

04. Encourage enthusiasm

Rather than handing a racket to someone who isn’t interested in the sport just because they have a following, USA Pickleball keeps their eyes peeled for large personalities who are already playing the game. In other words: authentic partners.

From there, “we have no problem getting people rackets or other USA Pickleball swag to use,” says Gainor. “We love seeing big names playing, like the Kardashians, Savannah Guthrie and Jenna Bush Hager,” says Gainor.

Tip: Enthusiasm for your brand is crucial, and you should do everything you can to foster it. That means offering free classes to get people in the door, rewarding dedicated members with private sessions or starting your own fitness clothing line so people can proudly display your brand (around town and on social media). Freebies aren’t a loss—they’re a smart marketing strategy. Here are some creative ways to get your clients to share their workouts on social media.

<![CDATA[Creative ways to use Instagram Reels to promote your fitness business]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/fitness-reels-instagram6282a4c6382242314eb3cbc5Fri, 27 May 2022 12:45:47 GMTMike Simone7 ways to use Instagram Reels to promote your fitness business

Instagram Reels can be an effective marketing strategy for your fitness business, whether you’re a yoga instructor, Pilates professional or an online personal trainer using the latest fitness software.

You’ve seen Reels all over your Instagram feed, but here’s a little background: Instagram launched Reels in August 2020 in response to the growing popularity of TikTok. Reels are vertically oriented videos that range from anywhere between 15 and 60 seconds long. You can add music and text overlays, plus effects like time lapse to show longer workouts in less time, all within Instagram itself. (Interested in TikTok, too? Here's the fitness professional's guide to using TikTok as a marketing tool.)

Why use Instagram Reels to promote your business

Reels are perfect for quickly creating exercise tutorials, workout videos and transformation stories. Before TikTok and Instagram Reels, this type of content required other video editing apps or software. Now, gyms, studios and living rooms are production sets, too. (Read more: How to shoot a video like a professional producer)

Reels have another advantage as a marketing strategy: You’ll get more eyeballs on your Reel compared to other Instagram content because Instagram serves Reels to people viewing the Reels section of the app, not just to your existing followers.

How to create a fitness Reel for Instagram

As you’ll see from the fitness professionals below, there’s no limit to your creativity. Some accounts do well with simple overlay text, such as the workout name followed by the exercises, whereas others like to be more dynamic and expressive with different camera angles, transitions and pop-ups.

Without stifling creativity or forcing yourself into too much of a box, create Reels that have a similar look and feel to your gym or studio, following any brand guidelines you may have (colors, tone of voice and so on).

From there, planning is key. Once you’re ready to start producing Reels, think about how you're going to create them and be consistent in your delivery. Commit to one Reel per month to start, then you can increase to once per week or more depending on your ability to generate ideas and create them efficiently. Think about what clips you need to tell the story, create a shot list and capture what you need. Then, compile all the clips and make any creative edits before posting.

Whenever you’re producing content, you always want to think about how you’re going to convert viewers into clients or members. In addition to including CTAs (call to actions) in your videos and captions, like “Sign Up Today,” make sure your website is in your bio. If you think you might scare potential new members away with a CTA to buy something, you can always point them to sign up for your fitness newsletter if you have one. This will keep them engaged with your offerings for future purchases.

Use these fitness Reels for inspiration

The best place for inspiration is Instagram itself, but here are a few of our favorites from Wix Fit users and industry experts to get you started.

  • Make a statement. Stax Cycle Club, a Wix Fit user and spinning studio in Canada, often adds text to a studio image to make a statement that’s both visual and inspiring. Take a look at this one for International Women’s Day or this approach featuring a motivational quote.
  • Give a gym tour. Sweat FXBG, a Wix Fit user and gym in Virginia, often uses Reels to show off their space and classes, whether it’s barre, rowing or cycling. If your goal is to get more members into your physical gym, this is a great way to give locals a low-pressure tour from behind a screen.
  • Drop knowledge. Dr. Joel Seedman is the owner of Advanced Human Performance. Dr. Seedman uses Instagram Reels to share professional athletes performing unique and unconventional exercises that he backs up with science and research. For example, in this post, Dr. Seedman explains and illustrates with overlay text how 90-degrees may be the optimal range of motion when performing many exercises.
  • Play with the speed. Yogi Josh Kramer speeds up a session for a quick glimpse at a full flow. Note how the location is beautiful and zen, so the overall effect of the video is still more calming than jarring.
<![CDATA[How to respectfully modernize a martial art with Hit House founder Tyler Scott]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/hit-house-nyc-tyler-scott61f977185650b3c3633df9acMon, 23 May 2022 12:57:33 GMTKiera CarterHow to respectfully modernize a martial art with Hit House founder Tyler Scott

The centuries-old practice of Muay Thai is a lot of things. It’s violent. It’s beautiful. It’s steeped in tradition.

Tyler Scott knows this because he’s been practicing for over ten years. But he also knew that boutique fitness was becoming a force. “The first time I went to SoulCycle with my wife and Hit House co-founder, Dana, I was blown away by the atmosphere,” he says. That’s when they thought, we could do this with Muay Thai.

Of course, Muay Thai is a different beast, one that demands another level of respect.

“We wanted to introduce the sport to a broader audience, while staying true to the basic practices,” he says. 'It's not easy to walk into a Muay Thai gym and say, ‘I want to take my first class.’ Muay Thai is a tough, violent sport, but it's not a violent community. Muay Thai practitioners are some of the most interesting, diverse, uplifting and sociable people.” he says.

But still, that first step can feel huge when you can’t find information about a gym online—even basic stuff like pricing plans and class schedules—which can be a big deterrent for beginners trying to learn more about a gym before entering a potentially intimidating environment.

Scott founded Hit House in New York City’s East Village to make that first step—trying Muay Thai—easier, and he used Wix Fit to build a fitness website that clearly features their class offerings and creates a welcoming vibe similar to that of their studio. “Muay Thai is a violent sport, but beginners can walk in the door and know there’s nothing to be afraid of,” he says.

Here, as part of our Wix Fit Spotlight series, Scott explains how they built a fitness business that serves fighters of all levels.

The Bishop bag at Hit House Muay Thai gym

When did you first have the idea for Hit House?

Tyler Scott: It started with a spreadsheet and the bag we utility patented: Bishop. It was about developing a new tool that would allow beginners to throw punches, kicks, knees and elbows. For beginners, it’s difficult to have a bag swinging from side to side. They’re trying to develop their own body mechanics—proper stance, balance, feet pivoting, hip rotation, upper body extension—and they’re usually doing it on an object that is working against them.

Bishop helps because it’s attached at the ceiling and floor with a flexible pole. So, when it's struck, it has a little bit of give but then immediately returns back to its starting position. No swaying or momentum from the bag to contend with. It allows the user to maximize time and repetition. I'm a firm believer in practice and repetition in order to see improvement.

How did you make the bag a reality?

Tyler Scott: After putting together some sketches and a breakdown of the bag, I contacted Century Martial Arts in Oklahoma City and told them about the idea. They said ‘interesting idea,’ and we went to work with their head of research and development, Kurt Hafeken. After the first prototype was produced, we went out to Oklahoma City and tested Bishop for the first time.

During installation at Hit House, we made functional changes to the prototype and continued to develop and improve it. Currently, the bag is featured in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa at two Hit House licensed studios, and we're pursuing sales with large fitness facilities. (If you're inspired to create your own gear, check out how to start a fitness clothing line.)

Tell us more about the Hit House studio.

Tyler Scott: The classes are designed not only to help people reach their fitness goals, but also to help them learn a skillset, which is empowering. We focus on correct form in class, both in the striking and functional strength-training portions of class. People can book private sessions with any of our trainers for a more detailed training experience. We also make it easy to sign up for a class with a friend to help anyone who may be shy. Wix Bookings makes it very simple for guests to sign up for sessions, removing barriers to entry.

"We always encourage our patrons to check out traditional Muay Thai gyms, and some of them have."

Who do you consider your competition?

Tyler Scott: I hope we're not competing with traditional Muay Thai gyms. We're looking to compete with other options for fitness like cycling, rowing, Pilates and other non-traditional boxing studios. We’re mindful about the words we use. We’re not a school or an academy. I'm not a former professional fighter with decades of experience coaching, like most schools and academies have. Our class format and equipment can only take you so far in learning the sport. Don't get me wrong, we show you the proper fundamentals of striking and the workout itself is challenging. But there's just so much more to learn outside of hitting a bag. We always encourage our patrons to check out traditional Muay Thai gyms, and some of them have.

How do your trainers embody your brand’s ethos?

Tyler Scott: All of our instructors come from the Muay Thai community. They've trained in various traditional gyms and almost all have competed on some level. The ones who haven't at least know what it's like to get hit in proper sparring with a training partner. We're not looking for social media "stars" who will learn Muay Thai, we want people who are already passionate about the sport. We'd like our presence and influence to grow organically from there. Our goal is to raise the sport as a whole.

Join the Wix Fit Community on Facebook for more inspiration from fitness professionals.

<![CDATA[The fitness professional’s guide to using TikTok as a marketing tool]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/fitness-tiktok-tips62750f3b4b5e23fd76756523Wed, 18 May 2022 15:07:56 GMTEmily AbbateThe fitness professional's guide to using TikTok as a marketing tool

At first, TikTok was mostly a platform teens used to post dancing videos. But log onto the short-form video-sharing app today, and you’ll see much, much more.

Unlike Instagram, where users are almost exclusively served content by people they follow, TikTok populates the home feed with videos from users all across the globe based on an individual’s personal location and interests.

In other words, fitness TikTok has a lot of growth potential, which could be a game-changer for personal trainers and fitness businesses. (You can also grow your fitness business using digital marketing tools from Wix Fit.)

“TikTok is a chance to expand upon your personal brand and get people into your classes and gym,” says Jera Foster-Fell, a social media coach and former SoulCycle instructor with more than 1.4 million TikTok followers.

TikTok can be a solid marketing tool even if you train clients in person, as opposed to being an online personal trainer. That's because TikTok often promotes content from users in your region, so trainers can use TikTok to secure local in-person clients. (Related reading: How to get your clients to post their workouts on social media.)

But Foster-Fell says TikTok is more than that. “Through TikTok, you can engage an audience, build a community and make a huge impact with your wisdom and advice,” she says. “And in the business world, this platform can also lead to opportunities like working with brands, being flown out to host an event or lead a fitness workshop.” (Check out Foster-Fell's TikTok here.)

Still, learning the ins and outs of a new platform can be stressful. We’ve got the tips and tricks you need to get in on the ground floor, without feeling overwhelmed.

Should all fitness professionals be on TikTok?

TikTok can bring about great opportunities for connection. Even if you’re not looking to use the social platform to expand upon your current fitness business, engaging on TikTok is an opportunity to connect and learn. Whether it’s exposing yourself to new fitness trends or connecting with other professionals, fitness TikTok is a resource for everyone—regardless of whether or not you go viral or build a massive following.

“For so long, we’ve been conditioned to use Instagram, an app that’s a highlight reel,” says Foster-Fell. “TikTok is more raw and gritty, and quality doesn’t necessarily matter. With it, you can share quick thoughts and musings, reaching loads of people to have important discussions.”

With raw and gritty also comes the hurdle of unsolicited (and difficult) feedback. For Alyssa Pannozzi, a Boston-based trainer and creator with over 200K TikTok followers, focusing on her mission to empower others on their own fitness journeys is what helps her overlook the naysayers. “I’ve learned to put feedback aside. I’ve had people comment on my appearance. Critique my form and my size,” she says. “But I’m in a group chat with about 100 other creators, and it helps me keep my eye on the prize. I know what I’m doing for a reason, and there are always going to be people who find a problem with what you do.”

Types of TikTok content

According to Foster-Fell, there are three main types of content on TikTok:

01. Trending content

When it comes to social media and fitness marketing strategies, pay attention to things that are trending or viral. And on TikTok? Well, there’s a new trend every day, like the wildly popular #GRWM franchise (which stands for “get ready with me”) and cultural moments. See: the viral #plankchallenge, for starters.

Hopping on trends is only going to get you so far, says Foster-Fell. “It could go viral, sure, but you also need to bring your own unique point of view and carve your own corner out of the internet. That won't happen if you’re only doing trends.”

02. Original content

Exactly what it sounds like, original content can be educational, inspirational/motivational or entertaining. This content should be unique to you, and offer your followers a service that they look directly to you for.

Pannozzi landed most of her TikTok followers using an original content series. “I started in May 2020 during the pandemic, and there was definitely a learning curve,” she tells Wix. “Someone challenged me to create a 30-day fitness challenge complete with one fitness move a day to add to your routine in less than 5 minutes, and things just kind of took off from there. Loads and loads of people starting to ask me for fitness content.” (FYI: You can use TikTok to promote the fitness challenges hosted on your website.)

03. Interactive content

The great thing about TikTok is the opportunity to interact with other users’ content, beyond just commenting and providing feedback. For instance, using the “duet” tool, you can create a video alongside another user’s video, making one piece of content. Using the “stitch” tool, users can clip and use scenes from other videos on their own (while retaining credit per video creator). Lastly, you can respond to comments with new videos, too.

What performs well on fitness TikTok

While there isn’t a singular yellow brick road to millions of TikTok followers, there are a few proven strategies that can help boost engagement and get your content noticed.

01. Have a clear point of view

“You are not for everyone, and that's okay,” says Foster-Fell. She offers a Social Media Saloon, a twelve-week coaching program that breaks down the mysteries of social media, and she always tells her students to avoid lukewarm positions. "I would prefer them to be red hot. You want people to say ‘yes, this is for me.’ Those are the people who will stay and engage.” Speak to the topics that are within your expertise, and be passionate about them.

02. Think short

Try to keep your content as short and succinct as possible. Watch time and retention are important. Foster-Fell recommends keeping videos 30-seconds or shorter.

03. Focus on the hook

The first three to five seconds of your video are imperative, especially because users are always one swipe away from the next piece of content. Rather than starting a story like, “So I was at the gym today…” say something that will really catch someone’s attention, like “these are three guaranteed moves to grow your biceps.”

04. Use text to your advantage

Layering text over your video is another easy way to engage your audience. Make sure the text is within the boundaries of your screen, is easy to read and stands out against the video background. Good news: There are loads of different fonts in the TikTok app.

05. Don’t worry about when you post, just post

“The amazing thing about TikTok is the potential lifespan of a video can be something like 90 days,” says Foster-Fell, comparing it to the 24-hour-or-so lifespan of Instagram content. That means that regardless of when you post, your video can grow legs.

<![CDATA[The fitness philosophy that helped Emily Samuel build a six-figure Instagram following]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/emily-samuel61fc1a51eaf885feb9689ed8Mon, 16 May 2022 12:29:16 GMTJordan GallowayThe fitness philosophy that helped Emily Samuel build a six-figure Instagram following

Trainer Emily Samuel has taught in some of the best gyms and studios in New York City and Los Angeles, but exercising at home is still one of her favorite ways to break a sweat. “I love how creative you can be,” she says.

Even before the pandemic, Samuel was gaining a serious following on Instagram—200K and counting—for the fun and engaging exercise videos she posts to her feed. “I wanted to create something for people who don’t have gym access or who can’t afford a membership,” she says. (Check out her Wix site Body By Emily.)

Still, it took several years of trial and error to figure out how to produce the type of workout programming people want to save and share. For our Wix Fit Spotlight series, Samuel shares tips for doing just that, plus the most important things to consider when filming a workout video of your own.

What do you like the most about at-home fitness?

Emily Samuel: There are so many different things you can do with household items. You can do hip thrusts or step-ups off your couch. A lot of people use brooms to do banded workouts or water bottles as hand weights. It’s really fun.

You can also wear whatever you want—sometimes I work out pretty much in my pajamas. And you get to pick the setting, too, which I think is really cool. You can be indoors or outdoors, in your living room or bedroom. You can choose whatever your vibe is that day. (Related: What is green exercise and how can it benefit your fitness business?)

Same for the music. You don’t need to listen to whatever the gym is playing. Spotify has a ton of different playlists. You can type in “treadmill” and treadmill playlists will pop up. I also use words like “get moving” when I search. I love that you can be your own DJ at home.

Build a more powerful fitness business

Your feed is so fun and engaging. How do you approach content creation for Instagram?

Emily Samuel: I genuinely want to help people stay active, so I give people workouts that I would want to do if I had minimal equipment or not a lot of space. I try to put myself in the viewer's shoes and think about their training needs. I make sure that the workout is fun, yet challenging because I can’t do workouts that are boring or unrealistic. There are a lot of online workouts that look impressive on Instagram but are there mostly for entertainment. I call that “entertrainment.”

"I learned to stay true to myself and my audience—rather than try and show off—and that worked."

I want to train people, so I listen to the people who follow me. I’ll ask them what they want to see next, and I’ll go through every answer, even if there are 200 of them, and make tally marks for each category. Then, I’ll create content in the order of popularity. It makes people feel like they have a say in what’s coming out on my Instagram, which they do. You can do this on a smaller scale, too, when you’re just starting out. It’s all about listening to your audience.

What are some other ways you connect with your community?

Emily Samuel: I learn about my audience by the videos they save. Booty-building videos always perform well. Same for anything with two people working out together—those videos do really, really well. I will also tell them to DM me if they have questions about specific things. I will go through 99.9 percent of them and answer them. I answer questions under my comments. I try to talk to people so that they feel like they have a voice on my platform.

Could you share a few tips for shooting workout videos?

Emily Samuel: My first tip would be to make sure you don’t have too much going on in the background because it distracts the viewer from the exercise. And wear workout clothes that pop against your background. You don’t want to blend in. (Related: How to start your own fitness clothing line)

Second, keep the camera at a 45-degree angle. It’s the best middle ground to see what’s going on in the front and the back of the body at the same time. For the caption, always include clear instructions and the name of the move, plus how many sets and reps people should do. Be very specific. And always have a really clear cover shot.

What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned about creating fitness content over the years?

Emily Samuel: Looking back, my video quality was crap—it was just so blurry, and I used way too many pieces of equipment. I also didn’t label any of the videos or exercises. I noticed that the simpler the better. (More advice: How to shoot a workout video like a professional producer and 8 ways to up your Zoom exercise game.)

I tried to do more impressive and difficult workouts, and over time, I realized that this wasn’t helping anyone because half the people who were following me weren’t at that fitness level. Again, it comes back to the question, are you trying to entertain people or train them? I learned to stay true to myself and my audience—rather than try and show off—and that worked.

Do you have a checklist you go through to make sure your at-home workouts meet your objective? Or is it more of a gut check?

Emily Samuel: I always ask myself: Is this relatable? Can the majority of my audience do this? Will they leave this post learning anything new? Does this provide value to someone else?

This extends to other projects, too. A few years ago, I launched a fitness kit with bands, sliders and a jump rope. My main focus was to keep the kits simple yet effective, and I wanted to make sure they worked for all fitness levels and people: college students, CEOs, models, anyone. That’s the core of my goal, whether it’s with merchandise, Instagram videos or anything I launch in the future. Once you know your values, you can apply them to everything you create.

Join the Wix Fit Community on Facebook for more inspiration from fitness professionals.

<![CDATA[7 ways to teach hot yoga at home (without installing a sauna)]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/hot-yoga-at-home62793ef6eebc3e27848b9b21Tue, 10 May 2022 14:44:20 GMTPerri O. Blumberg7 ways to teach hot yoga at home (without installing a sauna)

Yoga is one of the easier workouts to adapt to the new hybrid fitness world. All you need is a mat, some blocks, a bottle of water and the latest fitness software.

Hot yoga at home is a little harder because the practice requires advanced heating equipment, such as infrared (IR) heating systems, to make rooms as hot as 90 to 105 °F (32 to 40 °C). Fans of the practice say the benefits are well worth it. For those who can stand the heat, hot yoga may improve flexibility and reduce stress.

There's more good news for teachers who want to offer hot yoga to their clients virtually. It’s 100 percent possible to teach hot yoga at home if you keep these best practices in mind. (If you're not a yoga professional just yet, check out how to become a yoga instructor in 7 steps.)

  1. Know the risks
  2. Invest in a good heater
  3. Take a hot shower
  4. Get the humidity right
  5. Dress the part
  6. Teach on grid view
  7. Spread the word

01. Know the risks

If you teach hot yoga, you already know that a heated practice has specific considerations. But just in case, here’s a reminder on the populations who shouldn’t participate:

  • People with a history of heart problems, asthma or diabetes
  • Pregnant women

Anne Marie Herring, founder and owner of Austin Private Yoga, who’s been teaching hot yoga for the last six years, suggests these best practices to keep everyone safe:

  • Place a health and safety disclaimer on your website or send safety info in your fitness newsletter.
  • At the start of a Zoom workout class, tell students to message you privately if they don’t feel comfortable announcing their concerns or questions to the group.
  • Emphasize the importance of hydration throughout class.

One benefit of at-home hot yoga, though, is that people can skip the heat if they prefer, so everyone can participate in the flow. As always, be sure to speak with an insurance expert or your studio owner about liability insurance needs for teaching hot yoga at home.

02. Invest in a good heater

Herring says IR (Infrared) heaters are a must, and there's no shortage of options to choose from on Amazon. IR heaters typically run between $70 and $200 for a basic model.

As Herring points out, many IR heaters are portable, so if you're going to clients’ homes, you can bring your IR heater along with you for that extra boost of warmth. It’s easy to move the heater around, and there’s no need to invest in additional heating systems in multiple rooms.

If you’re teaching virtually, instruct students to point the heaters toward them while they practice. “Infrared technology is designed to heat objects, unlike your home's heating system, which is designed to warm the air itself,” says Herring.

03. Take a hot shower

You can still have a hot yoga experience without an IR heater. At-home hot yoga without all the specialized equipment can seem impossible at first, but it can be a very mindful experience.

First, consider your goal. “The point of adding heat to yoga in the first place is to facilitate and make the stretch safer while reaching for poses,” says Will Thomas, a Bikram yoga teacher and studio owner.

Another way to do that: take a hot shower before class. Warming up your skin can increase your body awareness, says Thomas. “If you're addressing a certain area in practice (e.g., shoulder or hip), direct the shower stream there a little longer to help focus your brain on it in a positive way." Again, you can include this type of advice on your fitness website, blog or newsletter.

04. Get the humidity right

It’s harder to sweat when it’s dry, says Donna Rubin, co-owner of hot yoga boutique brand Bode nyc, who began teaching yoga in New York City in 1998 and currently operates three studios in New York City. “Ideally, you want the room to be around 40 percent humidity.” (Clients will need to invest in a hygrometer in order to tell.)

Rubin says to use a humidifier in the smallest room in your house, adding that bathrooms can be an option for those with enough space. In this case, clients can turn the shower on to create some steam.

Admittedly, humidity—much like heat—is a matter of personal preference, so tell your students to find a mix that works best for them. That’s the beauty of an at-home practice: personalization.

05. Dress the part

Rubin says the right clothing can help you sweat, too. “We’ve seen clients practice in rubber suits.” Also known as “sauna suits,” these garments are designed to get you sweating faster. Look for a lightweight design and closed cuffs to seal heat in at your wrists and ankles. Rubin recommends the brand HOTSUIT, available on Amazon.

Woman teaching yoga virtually

06. Teach on “grid” view

Video conferencing platforms like Zoom allow you to select what view you have on your personal screen. Herring says this optimizes teaching since it allows you to keep tabs on all participants. “This will give you the opportunity to check in with any students who may have gotten a little overheated,” she says.

While teaching hot yoga virtually, Herring recommends clicking through each of the students within the grid and making their video full screen for a moment. Signs of overheating include:

  • A flushed face
  • Struggling to maintain a posture
  • Breathing through their mouth versus their nose
  • Exhaustion

“If you see a number of students struggling, check in with the group and ask how everyone is feeling, then remind them to drink some water, move into child's pose and take it easy,” she says.

Teaching hot yoga at home with a grid view may take a while to get used to. You’ll need excellent communication skills, says Herring, so that students aren’t only relying on physical demonstrations. (If you take a break from flowing with your class to approach your monitor and observe how your students are doing, they won’t be able to see anything but your face.)

07. Spread the word

If you couldn’t tell by the expert tips above, clear communication is crucial to teaching hot yoga at home. There are many ways to communicate your tips and guidelines to your audience. A summary of some of the best practices:

  • Create an FAQ section on your website
  • Create a how-to guide on your blog (or link to this one!)
  • Send a fitness newsletter to new clients with guidelines
  • Sell relevant gear on your website using dropshipping
  • Create an at-home hot yoga course for other instructors
  • Answer questions in an Instagram Live

If that feels stressful, remember: “Overcoming challenges with greater ease is at the heart of any hot yoga practice,” says Herring. “The same can be said for creating the perfect hot yoga setup at home. It’s a challenge, but there’s a myriad of benefits.”

<![CDATA[Why gym owner Nicole Carlile considers her branded app a form of lockdown insurance]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/nicole-carlile-freedom-lifestyle-fitness625ed7127ab7c49fe5c26a1cTue, 26 Apr 2022 13:42:45 GMTWix Fit EditorsWhy a branded app is the best pandemic insurance, with Nicole Carlile of Freedom Lifestyle & Fitness

When Nicole Carlile opened Freedom Lifestyle & Fitness in Toowoomba, Australia in July 2020, just after COVID-19 lockdowns were lifted, she knew she wanted to start something different—more importantly, that people needed something different.

“Fitness isn’t just about working out, it’s about support and community,” she says. “We know every member’s name, we know their goals and we know their needs.” And they feel welcome and supported. “It’s the complete opposite of walking into a gym and feeling overwhelmed because you don’t know the equipment. That’s not how we wanted to be here.”

Carlile wanted the gym to be personal, holistic and “not just about squats and burpees,” she says. To achieve a true 360-degree experience, she needed, well, freedom. “I owned a few gyms as part of a franchise, but it was super restrictive. We couldn’t do the dietitian and mindset stuff we wanted to do, and we wouldn’t have been able to make our own app,” she says.

Here, as part of our Wix Fit Spotlight series, Carlile explains how she created an environment that fosters gym member retention, plus how she uses the Branded App by Wix to support her clients in a hybrid fitness landscape.

Freedom Lifestyle & Fitness gym in Australia

How do you create a non-intimidating environment?

Nicole Carlile: We’re intentional about it. We worked with an interior stylist to get the vibe that we wanted. People walk in and instantly realize that we’re different from other gyms and it makes them feel at ease. We have areas with couches to promote community and motivational quotes on the wall. We also offer childcare, because that’s an important part of supporting parents.

Our staff is warm and welcoming, too, and this is something I talk to them about as our main point of difference. If our clients feel safe and supported, they're going to come back to their workouts, and they'll achieve their goals if they’re consistent. The clients are also more welcoming of each other because they've had a good experience with the trainers. We set the tone. Members have become friends through the gym.

Tell us more about your holistic approach.

Nicole Carlile: I didn't realize how important mindset was when I first started in the fitness industry. I get why people think, it’s just about my training, it’s just about my exercise. Then, three weeks in, they're struggling with motivation or a work thing that's affecting their goals. We wanted to address this.

That’s why we have a dietitian and mindset coaches on staff, and we have mindset videos of coaching on our branded app, Freedom Online. People can see a mindset coach each month to help with a mindblock that’s affecting their fitness goals, or if there’s stress at work that they want to talk about. We’re not counselors or psychologists, so it’s more about planning forward to include practical steps that they can implement into their lives right now to stay on track. (Read more: 5 ways personal trainers can help with the mental health crisis)

Freedom Online Branded App by Wix

How do you use the app to help your clients?

Nicole Carlile: I built my website on Wix when we opened 18 months ago, then we started using the Branded App at the end of last year. I jumped on the app really early, the first week or something like that.

I had been looking for white label app for ages. I wanted something Netflix-style with different videos people can watch, plus a way to complete fitness challenges and online programs. Before Wix launched a branded app, I had found a service that did the job, but it was ridiculously expensive. I also got quotes to get our own app developed, and it was hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So, I switched over to Wix, which saved us a lot of money, but it also suited us a lot more. (See your Branded App by Wix plan options here.) I love that the app and website are drag and drop. You don’t need to pay a developer. You can edit most of it on your phone, which is amazing, and you can see straight away how it will look. You can set up different programs people can do, so it was quite suitable for what we were looking for. (Read more about designing your own app.)

Our 10-12 week challenges are popular on the app, and we track clients for accountability. We also have an area where clients can access any type of content around mindset, nutrition, recovery, pregnancy, things like that. That part is self-paced, and members can watch the videos at any time. (More: How to shoot a workout video like a pro)

How does the app complement the in-person training experience?

Nicole Carlile: Most clients come to the gym in person, but I love that we have the app to offer them. The app helps with education and accountability. We can see who’s doing things and who’s not, so it works really well for those fitness challenges. For education, we often refer people to go watch a relevant video in the app, say, in a mindset coaching session.

The app also gives me comfort during the pandemic. I hope we don’t have another lockdown, but if we do, we’ll just put all our clients online for that time, and we can do the same if a particular client is in self-isolation. I’m so grateful that this exists.

Join our Wix Fit Community on Facebook for more inspiration from fitness professionals and learn more about the Branded App by Wix here.

<![CDATA[7 creative ways to get your clients to post their workouts on social media]]>https://www.wix.one/blog/fitness/creative-ways-to-get-clients-to-post-on-social-media625dbc8c1b60c364947865d3Mon, 25 Apr 2022 15:32:37 GMTMike Simone7 creative ways to get your clients to post their workouts on social media

Would you rather have a client with 50,000 followers post about your fitness business or a client with 500 followers post about your fitness business? The answer might seem obvious. After all, the client with 50,000 followers will make a bigger impact, right? Not necessarily.

The right answer is that both of these clients can support your marketing strategies. The one with tons of followers may mean broader exposure, but the client with fewer followers may have a stronger, more engaged community that really cares about what they support.

Bottom line: Client testimonials are gold. You want your clients posting about your Wix Fit business on their social accounts, regardless of whether they have a million followers or just a few. In doing so, they spread the message you’re putting out there, helping you reach new members in your target demo. (Related: How trainer Emily Samuel built a six-figure Instagram following.)

Below, seven creative ways to get clients to post about your fitness business on social media.

01. Engage with your followers

Show your followers that you care about them. Make them feel proud to be a member of your community, and they’ll be more inclined to show off that they’re part of it. If someone follows you, follow them back. If they comment on your post, respond. Make sure you have permission before posting any photos of your members, but once you have their sign-off, this is a great way to make them feel valued. No matter what you post—text graphics, pics, success stories—remember that social media should be a conversation, not a soliloquy.

02. Create merchandise

Give your followers something new to wear, and they’ll have another reason to post on social media. So, don't be afraid to offer discounts on branded gear in the name of marketing. Here’s how to start a fitness clothing line, and if you’d like some inspiration on this front, take a look at Wix Fit user Jolly Bodies’ online store, complete with trendy branded pullovers just begging to be shared on the feed.

03. Offer incentives for posting about your business

Consider instituting a tier-based reward system (5 posts get you a branded water bottle, 10 get you a t-shirt, 20 get you a free personal training session—you get the idea) to encourage people to post.

You can also use special events as opportunities to incentivize social posts. Let’s say you’re hosting a fitness challenge. You could ask participating members to post proof that they’re sticking with the regimen (and tag you or the gym), in order to potentially win a prize at the end of the program. FYI: When clients complete a fitness challenge built with Wix, they’ll be able to share a badge on their social channels.

04. Roll out the metaphorical red carpet

Create an “Instagrammable” environment that encourages picture-taking, say, by having your gym name on the wall in neon lights or a well-designed backdrop. Sweat FXBG, a boutique gym in Virginia, created murals in their space for this exact purpose. "Our Instagram Stories are sick because people are constantly tagging us, and it intrigues people enough to come in for a tour," says co-founder Robin Longley.

05. Hire a photographer

People want high-quality photos to share on social media, so there's no need to be subtle. That's why Grit Boxing in New York City has a dedicated Instagram night with a professional photographer. See if you have any professionals in your network who can take photos of your next special event or high-energy class.

06. Have a hashtag—and make sure people know about it

Having a hashtag for your gym will help clients craft their statement about your business, and ensure that at least part of it reflects your message. Like hiring a photographer, a ready-made hashtag takes some of the work off of your clients’ shoulders. SLT, a fitness studio with locations around the east coast, makes use of the mantra “better sore than sorry.” Instagram posts like this one put it in hashtag form along with others like #reSuLTs.

07. Host fitness competitions

If you tackled a big athletic feat, like running a marathon or finishing a triathlon, you’d post about it, right? Let a little healthy competition or the excitement of an event inspire your clients to post about your gym. For example, Upside Aerial, an aerial studio and Wix Fit user based in North Carolina, hosts seasonal showcases so members can show off their skills to friends and family.

Remember: These tips don’t need to stand alone. You can mix and match to find a combination that fits your vibe and inspires your community to stay active—in the gym and on social media.