Group Strength Training. Part 5

Strengthen and Contour offers more of a total-body conditioning class. Started one year ago, it tries to work every muscle group. Group Fitness Program Director Catherine Robinson rotates with other instructors, and teaches her class like it is the only introduction to group fitness that her participants get. “I try to approach it like it’s the only class people attend, because for most, it is.” Richardson has members perform a series of exercises to target each muscle group. Using equipment, the class focuses on covering as close to every muscle as possible for a complete body workout. Robinson incorporates body bars, steps, Dynabands and Resist-A-Balls for upper-, lower- and mid-body training. Participants perform lunges and squats on the steps, sometimes holding weights for a top-to-bottom workout. The class ends with a stretch that incorporates yoga relaxation techniques and focuses on breathing.

Strengthen and Contour started with 10 to 15 people. The participants grew bored, so instructors changed the format and added “toys.” It now attracts 18 to 20 people. The Hills has an older clientele ages 35 to 60, but mostly younger members attend the strength classes. “The classes are challenging,” says Robinson. She encourages people to try her classes: “I’m 42 myself, so I always try to give people options.”

To market the classes, the facility advertises on fliers with class descriptions. The Hills also publishes a bimonthly newsletter that includes class descriptions. The weight-training classes are popular, says Robinson, and advertise themselves through word-of-mouth.

Give it a try

Group strength-training classes offer the benefits of weight training, along with the support, feedback, positive reinforcement and other social advantages of working out in a group. They are especially effective for women, who frequently feel threatened and intimidated in a traditional weight room. If your gym doesn’t already have a group muscle conditioning class, adding one to your schedule could increase the fitness levels and abilities of your members, and have a positive effect on retention rates and revenue.

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