By Beth Gibbs-Bartel, Special AFS Contributor
The mindful movement revolution has dawned upon the world of fitness. Mind-body exercise is a multi-billion dollar industry with Pilates and yoga alone accounting for $10 billion annually, according to a recent study from IBISWorld.
With explosive, yet steady growth, is your fitness studio prepared to capitalize on this segment of exercise enthusiasts? Adding mind-body programming to an existing studio is an inexpensive way to increase revenue, strengthen member retention, and attract new clients.
The continued growth of boutique fitness facilities across North America provides exercisers with greater options on where to invest their fitness dollars. As the number of mind-body exercisers increases, so does the demand for private, semi-private and group training. For example, a Pilates studio offering private and small group Reformer training can generate additional revenue ranging from $70,000 to $215,000 annually, depending on the class capacity and frequency of training offered. Adding 10 group sessions with just four participants to your weekly class schedule can net an additional $6,000 per month.
Elite exercisers – From NFL and NHL athletes to mud runners to recreation league players, exercisers everywhere are taking note that mindful movement has the ability to significantly improve their game, on and off of the playing field.
New fitness enthusiasts – Those who are just being introduced or reintroduced to fitness should begin with mild to moderate workouts. Mind-body exercise is challenging, though gentle, and can often be far less intimidating than classes that use heavy weights or utilize a lot of choreography.
Injured/post-rehabilitation – Injured or post-rehab clients typically want to restore function and return to normal, daily activities and previous levels of functionality.
Pre/post-natal – Many prenatal clients engage in an active pregnancy to limit maternal weight gain, aid in prevention of gestational diabetes and improve psychological well-being whereas postnatal clients often want to redevelop the strength of the pelvic floor.
Active aging – Members of this demographic often seek out low-impact, functional, private one-on-one training that makes day-to-day activities easier.
By simply integrating mindful movement into your studio, prospective clients who may have otherwise overlooked your facility now have a new reason to consider becoming a member or taking classes. The principles of Pilates and other mind-body programs have found their way into mainstream fitness with the overarching ideology of an intelligent and mindful approach to all forms of exercise.
The continued growth of boutique fitness facilities across North America provides exercisers with greater options on where to invest their fitness dollars.
Many fitness facilities feel that space issues are one of the biggest obstacles when determining whether to incorporate mind-body programming. You can establish mindful movement programming in your studio with just 200 square feet.
With an array of equipment in the studio, instructors can work with clients that want to incorporate mindful movement to their exercise routines, as well as weekend warriors trying to avoid injury, post-rehab clients who want to return to healthy activity and mature adults who want to make getting out of bed easier.
As little as 400 square feet accommodates four Reformers and Accessories for private and group classes that broaden your business' appeal and help retain existing clientele while improving your instructors’ knowledge base.
You can create a profitable mind-body studio with minimal space. Some rough approximations of how space could be used to create a studio are:
- 200 square feet:
- 3 Reformers and some small accessories OR
- barre class for 4 OR
- mat-based class for 5
- 400 square feet:
- 4 Reformers and some small accessories OR
- barre class for 6 OR
- mat-based class for 10
- 800 square feet:
- 4 Reformers, 2 Cadillac Trapeze tables, 4 Stability Chairs, 2 Ladder Barrels and accessories OR
- barre class for 12 OR
- mat-based class for 20
With one of these, a revenue breakdown could look like this:
Space saving alternatives
If a permanent mind-body space is not in the cards, there are still ways to add these profitable services to your business. Consider adding Reformers with vertical stands to your facility. The machines easily store standing upright, making it a snap to combine different disciplines with Pilates in the same room. This might be a great opportunity for you to grow your program over time as you build up demand and a qualified instructor base.
Beth Gibbs-Bartel is the Vice President, Commercial & Retail Sales at Merrithew™
Beth plays a leadership role in building Merrithew’s video and retail products business and managing international account sales. She has also been instrumental in bringing numerous new DVD titles and retail products under the Merrithew brand to domestic and international markets.