"In this economy, some facility owners have been forced to take a more fiscally conservative approach, supplementing private sessions with group or Matwork-based programs," explains Lindsay G, Merrithew, President & CEO of Merrithew Health & Fitness™. "However some owners are still hesitant to implement Pilates into their facilities as a whole because of the perception that this can only be done with large, expensive equipment. But this is not the case."
Many facilities that implemented successful Pilates businesses have established their offerings as a specialty program by charging members extra for the classes outside of the Group Exercise programs. With your own Pilates studio you can offer internal and external instructors part-time or full-time positions according to the studios' demand. Facility owners will ultimately increase non-dues revenue, while instructors have the ability to earn more income. Consider recruiting and training your existing quality personal trainers and group exercise instructors to be Pilates instructors. Personal trainers can subsidize their current client base with alternative training methods and grow their personal training clientele.
Much of the growth in the area of Matwork-based exercise is due to professional trainers gaining knowledge of and confidence in the results they are achieving with their clients. In fact, highly skilled instructors can bring a plethora of exercise variety to your facility and cater to those who may feel intimidated to try Pilates. Qualified instructors will also look out for the safety of your clients, which is pertinent to the owner and exerciser.
By implementing Pilates mat programming, a new method of exercise can be introduced to members. Even the most basic of moves can be intensified by adding props. High-quality Mat-based training appeals to a wide audience because they're affordable and can cater to various target markets. Courses can be tailored for Golf or Athletic Conditioning, Pre- or Post-Natal clients, Active Aging, or those looking for post-rehab with Pilates.
"We're seeing the trend that more and more facility owners are offering lower prices than their regularly scheduled programs in their Pilates studios so they can bring in more patrons watching their budgets and its working," adds Merrithew. "Such facilities are also realizing the benefits of creating extra attention to their location which is bringing more people through the doors. By offering mat-based programs, clubs are offering members something different with the opportunity to streamline their target demographics."