If we ever needed a jolt to remind us about the connection between health and fitness we got it in the pandemic. For years and years, only a small % of people prioritized health and fitness, or daily movement as part of caring for themselves.
We know the stats right? According to Participaction only 16% of Canadians are getting enough activity in their day to day to get the benefits. That is 8 out of 10 Canadians not getting enough.
As fitness professionals, business operators, finding ways to make a difference means finding ways to attract new clients. Those perhaps who are beginning or older in life who have not had much experience. Putting clients into burpees, and functional work will need some ramp up time and is often intimidating for many, not to mention high risk.
So how do we simplify so we can attract more clientele to our services?
Let’s focus on strength training.
It starts with our language. Bridging the gap between health and fitness means we need to incorporate some health terms into our day to day discussions.
Not much is said in the fitness industry about Sarcopenia.
Sarcopenia is the loss of muscular mass and strength. Inactivity is one of the leading causes.
In offering fitness services and in our own workouts, we have an obligation to make strength training accessible and inclusive.
Here are the facts:
After 48 hours 1.7% of muscle mass can be lost due to being sedentary. After seven days, 5.5%.
This is in “Young Adults”!
Imagine what it is in the older demographics?
While much of the fitness industry is focused on aesthetics (nothing wrong with filling out our t-shirt!), the significant underlying issue is how we are wasting away. And this is not confined to those over 80 and 90 years old.
Up to 40% of Canadians suffer from Sarcopenia, depending on demographic.
The call to action for the population in general is to start today with some strength training!
However, what folks see on social media may keep them away.
Let’s think about the barriers to strength training. We mentioned intimidation but here are a few more:
- Lack of knowledge: on everything from what to do (information overload) to improper assumptions (getting bulky).
- Fear: the no pain no gain concept of the 70’s bodybuilding era has kept many away.
- Learning curve can be steep.
These are just a few.
As fitness professionals, it is our job is to break down the barriers and make strength accessible.
Some resources to help your offering along? Find some tools that will help you deliver a simple and sustainable experience.
As a fitness equipment manufacturer, Matrix Fitness leverages deep market research and a spirit of continuous improvement to create innovative fitness equipment, including designs that are easily accessible to everyone.
Usually, this means developing low step-on heights for treadmills, step-through designs for indoor cycles and cardio consoles that are easy-to-navigate.
But what about strength and circuit training equipment?
One of our product lines called the Go Series is designed to have minimum adjustments while accommodating users of different sizes. We created a line of equipment that used the same technology that are found in our more expensive models so users could feel the progress as they used the equipment over time.
Small things became big in terms of feedback in its development.
Example: By developing long, neutral-position grips and extending the seat, we eliminated the need for seat adjustment on most modalities. That meant that whether the user was 150 cm / 59″ or 193 cm / 76″, they could sit down and comfortably start a workout immediately.
Once we developed the concept, we solicited some feedback.
We called on their trainers and staff first, since they often work with beginners in their facilities, and collected their feedback. We also reached out to key club partners to see how the series would work as a circuit program. They were thrilled, because with less time needed to adjust the equipment, anyone could move through the circuit quickly and get a total body workout in less time.
We then implemented our test location, and the initial feedback from members of the test location was phenomenal. The Go Series was particularly popular with beginners, women, seniors and deconditioned users, with almost everyone using the equipment effectively without any instruction.
Our test location reported that Go Series was in use all day, every day.