In this featured spot, David Matthews, Owner of Quality Fitness Mukilteo shares some key information about how going green with SportsArt equipment has taken their business to the next level.
AFS: Tell the audience about your background and how Quality Fitness Mukilteo came to be?
DM: I came from a very athletic background, playing multiple sports through High School; in every year and each season (Football, Soccer, Baseball, Basketball, Track & Field, etc.). I’d always competed in different sports, even “double-sporting” in college while training to maintain a heavy credit-load (never do that by the way). But even with the always-changing style of sport, I was still always training. Off-season and In-season, I was able to gain a very broad spectrum and understanding of training styles/use of equipment; working towards so many different goals for each sport while trying to surpass my own. Through my training in so many different facets of fitness and sport, I’ve been able to branch out and work with a much wider variety of clientele, not just in sport-specific movement, but also in rehab & recovery.
Working with others has always been a passion of mine, but owning a gym was a goal realized 10 years earlier than I anticipated when I took over ownership of Quality Fitness in 2016. Since then we’ve increased the number of our group classes, as well as the capacity of each class (while keeping the instruction personal). We also recently relocated to a bigger location, allowing us space for an open gym. We weren’t limited to just Group Classes and Personal Training anymore. This gave us pause as to what type of equipment we’d be outfitting the gym with, and who we’d be using. This is where SportsArt came in.
AFS: What makes Quality Fitness Mukilteo different from the competition - what makes you stand out?
"The idea in mind was to offer “Something for Everyone”, with multiple training styles for multiple ages and fitness levels; to broaden the demographic base and work with a wider variety of clientele." - David Matthews, Owner of Quality Fitness Mukilteo, BS - Fitness/Wellness Management ACSM CPT
DM: Originally the gym had been primarily focused on group classes with only a few training styles (i.e. Reformer Pilates, Yoga & Spin/Cycling). I took that Group Class model going in and threw in a few more class types along the way, adding TRX, Anaerobic & Aerobic Circuit Training, Sport Specific training, etc; turning to more of a functional training style.
The idea in mind was to offer “Something for Everyone”, with multiple training styles for multiple ages and fitness levels; to broaden the demographic base and work with a wider variety of clientele. Not only do we offer classes that appeal to all age groups (from Kid-FIT to HIIT-Fit; to Gentle Yoga, etc.), but we’re also one of the only gyms in Washington state that has Reformer Pilates classes, giving us a more rehab-based approach for those looking to get back into training. On top of all that we’ve now opened our doors to the ever-growing “Green energy movement”. A few gyms may be able to conserve water, or even shut off some lights for some yearly “corporate energy week” promotion...but how many can boast about actually generating electricity for their gym and cut back on their electric bill? We knew we wanted to keep things familiar for incoming clients, while also trying to remain original with our equipment choice. This is how we made our decision to outfit the gym using SportsArt equipment.
AFS: When choosing the equipment for your fitness studio - why did you decide to go with the SportsArt ECO-POWR™ cycles and VERDE™ treadmill?
DM: Two years ago, I’d never heard of SportsArt’s “ECO-POWR” line, or even knew what “sustainable fitness” was. Now we have 9 ECO-POWR™ machines, and our clients have benefitted so much because of it. We’ve done away with belt-fed treadmills and standard studio cycles and shifted to SportsArt’s more ergonomic and energy-friendly models. We may currently be in the “Tech Age”, but SportsArt is bringing back the Energy Age in a whole new way with this equipment line. They’re pioneering a new trend of fitness by using human bodies to create Green Energy. You’d think someone might have thought of this before...We wanted to be at the forefront of this trend before it even began because we knew it was going to be more than just some fad. It makes perfect sense to harness wasted energy and use it to your client's and gym's advantage.
AFS: What is it that separates SportsArt's equipment from the others?
DM: SportsArt’s equipment doesn’t just end with their ECO-POWR™ line. That line itself is already top-tier and gives one heck of a workout. I love the fact that their treadmills have both a “Run” and “Push” mode for both Strength & Conditioning. But aside from what we brought with us to our new location, we have fully outfitted our gym with SportsArt Strength Training and Cardio machines.
We could have gone with the same standard that every other gym uses (Precor, Life Fitness, etc.), but we didn’t want to be just like every other gym. I’ve used all the other equipment; I’ve seen and felt the differences. SportsArt’s cardio machines are smooth, quiet, and allow for a natural running gait. Their strength training machines are just as quiet, not to mention comfortable, aesthetic, and easy to use. We’ve saved at least 30% more space in our gym using SportsArt's Dual Function Line, which is as effective at saving space in the gym as it is giving clients solid performance in their training.
AFS: What is the biggest challenge facing your fitness business today?
DM: One of the biggest hurdles we encounter (which is an ongoing problem for all studios and gyms) is simply getting folks just to walk through the door. I can meet with 50 different people, mention our “energy sustainable equipment”, “personable environment”, “experienced instructors”, “awesome location” and maybe 1 of the 50 will come in. The reason for this is simple; most people need a major change or wake-up call in their lives before they find the desire to walk into a gym; let alone a well-rated, popular one.
Far too many people wait until their doctor has to tell them, and too few lack passion for fitness that we see with our regular clients. If you have a decent training program, some amenities, a fun atmosphere, and quality instructors, people tend to stick around once they’re in. But there’s just too much of a negative stigma surrounding gyms and their trainers because, in all honesty, certain inexperienced trainers and fitness trends (especially ones that create their own certifications...) give gyms and quality studios a bad name.
One thing that has helped, however, is holding energy-related events, such as a “Watt Day” or “Watt Off” for members and non-members alike. The competition is simple: whoever generates the most Watts on one of SportsArt’s ECO-POWR™ machines wins a prize.
AFS: Have you been able to market your studio differently by leveraging the green element that comes with having SportsArt equipment?
DM: There is definitely an audience and a market for people who love anything to do with Green Technology, not to mention “fitness” and “green” in the same sentence. But timing is still everything when it comes to the “green approach”. Looking at year over year trends has helped with timing certain campaigns. For example, a mail-out in the early Spring may be twice as effective as one in the late Summer. Being able to claim that we’re a green business is certainly another notch on our belt, but our biggest asset has always been the reason why we’re still here: quality training and instruction.
One thing that has helped, however, is holding energy-related events, such as a “Watt Day” or “Watt Off” for members and non-members alike. The format is simple: whoever generates the most Watts on one of SportsArt’s ECO-POWR™ machines wins a prize. Give people a certain amount of time to use the machines and compete at the same time; very similar to SportsArt’s recent “Treadmill Challenge” campaign. The trick is making sure that spectators and participants take the time to check out the gym and its programs while attending the events.
AFS: What's been the member feedback once they learn about SportsArt's equipment and what it does for the environment?
DM: I have yet to hear a complaint about SportsArt’s ECO-POWR™ machines. I typically hear something along the lines of, “These are hard!” or,” I love the fans on these!”, and usually, “They’re so quiet.”. The machines themselves offer awesome workouts with a wide variety of programs, not to mention a very natural running feel with the new VERDE Treadmill. The best part is that they’re not belt-fed and non-motorized pulling little if any energy from the grid. When inconsistent use, they can pour some of the energy generated back into the buildings circuit. They use disc brakes and electromagnets so that you’re moving the ground instead of the ground moving under you.
Think more resistance and less assistance. Clients constantly rave about is the “Push” feature, which is like pushing a car when the resistance is turned up. It’s the perfect combo of Strength & Conditioning rolled into one treadmill (not to mention, energy-efficient).
AFS: How have you integrated SportsArt's equipment into your current programming?
DM: Several of our classes require that clients spend a couple of circuit rounds on the ECO-POWR™ machines. They have the option to choose between the Treadmill, Cycle, or Elliptical. But with 9 people on the machine all at once, it can be entertaining to watch the “Watt Meter” on the TV go up. Some people push harder just to see the numbers climb faster.
By putting them on the machines during class, they’re far more likely to visit them on their own later. It’s great to see clients using them for full workouts and not just a warm-up/cool down.
For any purchase of 10 or more ECO-POWR units AFS members will receive 50% off the SA Well+ Kit and Boards.
SportsArt is committed to building innovative, world class cardio and strength equipment that helps people find their best self.
Simply plug the bikes and ellipticals into the wall, and the excess energy goes back into the facility’s power grid. Club owners who replace all of their ellipticals and cycles with the ECO-POWR™ products will see significant power offsets savings.
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