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The value of physical challenge for a fitness centre

Over the years, fitness has undergone multiple evolutions in terms of style, types of training, and exercise learnings. These changes have led to an evolution of the gym equipment, giving new facets to what a gym can actually offer. Nowadays, it is unthinkable that a fitness centre should not massively use some, if not all, of these key words:

  • Fitness
  • Wellness
  • Physical exercise
  • Slimming
  • Muscle tone
  • Remise en forme
What we often tend to forget in the face of all this segmentation is that training, regardless of the methodologies applied and the results proposed, is a sport in every respect. Yet, traditional fitness lacks a fundamental component of sport, which should not be seen as an impediment to the enjoyment of training and all the benefits it brings, but as a spur to achieve even better results; in other words, what fitness lacks is the element of challenge, that thing that drives us all to excel.

Sport means to get involved, to put oneself to the test, to challenge one another and to be challenged.

The value of the physical challenge lies in awakening in every member or possible member of the club a sense of competition towards everything and everyone, as well as a sense of belonging to their team (if it is a team challenge) and to the fitness centre.

3 key points that cannot be overlooked in a gym challenge

We will try to analyse three key points for which you will have to (and want to) organize challenges inside and outside your club.

1. Take into account the strength of the community.

There are three basic types of competitive challenge:

  • Team challenge - team Vs. team
  • Personal challenge - me Vs. me
  • Challenge to all others - me Vs. all over the world

All 3 of these types of challenge have pros and cons that depend on the content and objective of the challenge.

In a team challenge, a group of people come together to form multiple teams, which then compete with each other. This is often the most exciting and popular type of challenge, as it involves more people and brings out the adrenaline of teamwork. It can also prove to be the most profitable kind of challenge for the centre, since the latter can build entire strategies for promotion and sale subscriptions based on the success of the challenge. For example, trial periods for outsiders who are involved by members of the gym and who can lead to a real subscription.

The other two types of challenges involve both members and potential members with individual participation.

It is important not to fall into the trap of believing that a challenge at the individual level may not be appreciated or be unhelpful within the fitness centre community.

Any kind of challenge must take into account its social component, i.e. the admiration for the best and the respect that is generated towards those that are less good or capable, or towards the "novices" of fitness who put themselves to the test.

Challenge quindi significa aggregazione, che in termini commerciali equivale a maggior fidelizzazione e passaparola positivo.

2. Target on target. Not (always) every challenge is for everyone

Not all goals can, nor should, be addressed to all targets and members.

It would be a mistake to give up too difficult challenges or, on the contrary, too bland ones, because they do not involve the entire gym audience.

On the contrary, it will be useful to provide during the year different types of challenges targeted and defined precisely to a target and (why not?) to objectives related to the various activities of the gym:

  • Free body circuit challenges for a public under 30
  • Challenge of MOVES accumulation for a period of time, to motivate various types of targets to attend the gym more regularly.
  • Challenges set for women, to make them attend classes during the month.
Specific objectives will ensure that your pre-selected target identifies with the challenge. We can classify 3 types of challenges by objective:

  • Physical performance: In this case, the challenge must be structured with a final ranking that will reward the best, the fastest or, even, the strongest. The judgement must always be measurable and we can consider kilometres covered, weights lifted, time or number of repetitions of a given exercise.
  • Quantity of activities: the most classic and famous challenge of this type is certainly Let's Move For a Better World, an accumulation of movement in a given period, the same could be for a number of classes to attend, types of activities to complete or attendance at the club.
  • Involvement and participation: this last type of challenge leaves the physical and sports activity component in the background. The participation of users is the main objective, even with mental games, skill or simply for participation, how to reward the largest team, just as often happens in resorts.

3. Challenges have great potential if wisely premeditated

This last point aims to emphasize the "whys" a challenge deserves to be organized, studied, communicated and valued within each club.

The value of a challenge often goes beyond the numerical concept, as it creates an avalanche effect in the medium run that is hard to measure.

However, this does not mean that setting numerical objectives does not help to measure the success of the event. At the same time, quantifying the economic return of an event in the short, medium and long term is certainly more rewarding and incentivising for the club, which will then be more willing to organize new editions of the same challenge or engage in others.

What is not measurable is precisely the avalanche effect of the challenges, the movement that can generate rumour and a positive word of mouth both internally and externally to the club, which then guarantees the growth of the gym’s brand and reputation.

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