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Marketing

Personal Training Program

Introduction

The owner of ABC Fitness Center has contracted a professional fitness trainer to design and implement a for-profit personal training program for his 1,000 member gym. The plan for the fitness program is to be submitted to the owner of the facility for review within a specified timeframe of two weeks. The program must consist of a mission statement, ideas for the hiring process for fitness center trainers, stipulations for payroll criteria for trainers, daily trainer schedule, new member initiation protocol with sample workout plans, private personal training protocol with sample workout plans, and a marketing plan. Additionally a review is included to support the information in this report, to further assess the relevance and importance of implementing a structured personal training program for ABC Fitness Center.

This report will outline the entire layout of the personal training program and will focus on developing an effective and efficient training program for ABC Fitness Center, to the satisfaction of its owner. The report will also offer a background about fitness training and some of the best methods of implementing a new program within an existing facility, to attract and retain fitness training clients and maximize fitness center profits.

The Business of Physical Fitness

Today’s consumers are decidedly becoming more health-conscious and are looking for ways to help them improve their health and chances of longevity. Although, much of the U.S. population is overweight or obese, there are still many in the population who want to change or prevent this. Along with diet, exercise is important for losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight. According to Blair (2009), regular physical activity helps reduce the risk of many chronic illnesses and conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Additionally, regular exercise can stave off decline in cognitive reasoning for older persons and is directly related to good brain health and good health for the rest of the body as well. Unfortunately, there are too many people in America who are not getting enough exercise and this has actually been labeled a public health problem (Blair, 2009).

Fighting obesity is a public health concern for which a need is created. Therefore, satisfying this need is an opportunity for increased business revenue for ABC Fitness Center. Many people find it difficult to work out on their own and will often start a fitness routine only to quit it a short time later. This is where the ABC Fitness Center personal training program can fill a niche. Having a personal trainer allows people to relax and be taught and shown what to do to jump start and continue an effective fitness routine. Personal trainers are also good sources of information and education for people who may not be aware of how to eat healthier or how to change bad eating habits. With a personal trainer, they have someone to coach them, encourage them and help them through their fitness plan, and when they start seeing the results from their efforts, then their needs are satisfied and they will associate that satisfaction with ABC Fitness Center.

ABC Fitness Center can promote physical fitness with a personal trainer to all age groups, including older persons who have specific fitness needs and requirements, particularly in lieu of the fact that the baby boomers are all reaching retirement age and need to stay as healthy as possible, and also have something that they enjoy doing. As reported by Nied & Franklin (2002), older adults can definitely benefit from regular exercise. Older adults have specific ailments that can be improved by exercise. These ailments include osteoarthritis, lipid profile issues, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis and neurocognitive functioning problems. Additionally, regular exercise to include strength training, aerobic and anaerobic exercise helps combat these health problems and is associated with reduced risk of age-related deaths and morbidity in older persons. According to Nied & Franklin (2002), as much as 75 percent of older adults in America do not get enough exercise to increase health benefits and to contradict preventable conditions.

Having a personal trainer can motivate people, particularly the older age group, to reach fitness goals and eliminate many concerns related to mental and physical health. This is an excellent selling point and can lead to increased fitness center member retention and increased new memberships.

Following is the proposed personal trainer program plan for ABC Fitness Center, beginning with a mission statement.

ABC Fitness Center Personal Trainer Program

Mission Statement

The mission of the ABC Fitness Center Personal Trainer Program is to offer existing and new members an opportunity to meet their health and fitness goals in a safe way, with the assistance of one of our qualified personal trainers. Additionally, ABC Fitness Center will strive to promote the success of our members in accomplishing their fitness goals and assisting them in establishing and meeting new fitness goals (Physical Fitness Gym Business Plan, 2013).

Our mission is to help our members enhance their health conditions and improve their quailty of life. We strive to help our members develop good health habits that enable them to grow in their knowledge of better physical, emotional and spiritual health. The personal training program at ABC Fitness Center is designed to assist and encourage members in increasing their overall health status by enhancing their levels of flexibility, strength and endurance through practical, effective and safe exercise programs (Personal Training, 2013).

Additionally, we guarantee the expertise and qualifications of our certified personal trainers who will provide all members with education, guidance and encouragement, along with indivdualized instruction and exercise programs tailored to their unique immediate needs, as well as ongoing needs as their fitness levels and objectives change (Personal Training, 2013).

We, at ABC Fitness Center, promise to abide by the principles in this mission statement, as we understand the importance of fitness in the lives of our members, and we also understand the importance of our members to our success.

Fitness Center Trainer Hiring Process

Stipulations and guidelines for the hiring process for ABC Fitness Center trainers for the new fitness program are as follows, but are subject to revision and improvement according to any ongoing analysis of the process flow as it is implemented.

As with any human resources hiring process, hiring personal trainers for the center should be focused on employing qualified, experienced, trained and certified trainers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, it is common for organizations who hire fitness trainers to hire those who are certified in the field (How to Become a Fitness Trainer, 2012).

Personal Trainer Hiring Requirements

As suggested by information reported in How to Become a Fitness Trainer (2012), it is the recommendation that ABC Fitness Center only hire certified personal trainers and instructors for its facility to meet the overall needs of facility members. Required certification includes certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In addition, each trainer must be certified by a reputable qualifying organization such as those listed by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). An excellent personal trainer certification program that is well-known and has a reputation of successful, long-term certification administration such as the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). They specialize in certifying personal trainers in the areas of “anatomy, kinesioology, nutrition, weight management fundamentals, training special populations, fitness assessment, wellness programming and exercise programming” (Personal Trainer Certification, 2012).

Additionally, it is required that all trainers being considered for hire with ABC Fitness Center show proof of passing all certification exams, written and practical. Candidates for hire must also have a thorough knowledge of human physiology, proper exercise techniques, how to assess client fitness levels and how to develop appropriate and effective exercise training programs based on indvidual needs. Special consideration will be given to candidates who have earned an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a health and fitness related field of study such as exercise science, kinesiology or physical education, especially since these programs teach nutrition, group fitness an exercise technique courses (How to Become a Fitness Trainer, 2012).

According to Malek, Nalbone, Berger, & Coburn (2002), a degree in health science education is beneficial to the occupation of personal fitness because it broadens the trainers’ knowledge of nutrition, health screening initiatives, fitness testing protocols, exercise prescription, and knowledge about the fitness needs of special populations such as the elderly or the morbidly obese. Knowledge in these areas are essential for the trainer to effectively develop fitness programs which is optimal to an individual, based on health status, fitness level and fitness goals.

Of course, another important requirement of the personal trainer candidate is that he or she be physically fit. It is the intent of ABC Fitness Center to make sure its trainers set an example of health and fitness and in order to train someone else in fitness awareness, trainers must exhibit a high level of commitment to fitness as well.

Personal Trainer Qualities

Additionally, since it is a given that personal trainers will be giving face-to-face, one-on-one attention to members, it is important that they are courteous, professional, patient, positive, personable and are able to coach and motivate others to reach their health and fitness goals. ABC Fitness Center personal trainer candidates must show adequate experience working with people in their resumes. This experience can include customer service skills and sales skills. It is a must that members feel they are being treated politely and with respect by the trainers before they will be motivated to pay their money to hire the trainer to assist them and to retain them as clients. Candidates’ resumes should also show they have previous experience that utilized their motivational and problem-solving skills such as previous lead or supervisory experience and dealing with subordinates.

Personal Trainer Payroll Criteria Stipulations

As projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for personal trainers is on an upward trend. In 2010, labor statistics reported just over 250,000 fitness trainer and instructor jobs were occupied and the outlook for growth over the next decade is projected at 24 percent, which is faster than the average growth of other occupations. This speaks to the rise in demand for this specialized service industry (Job Outlook, 2012). As people become more health conscious and aware of the benefits of staying fit, they will seek ways to achieve this. Also, the baby boomer population is reaching retirement age and healthcare professionals are encouraging them to maximize their health potential and include health and fitness routines in their lives. In addition, businesses and insurance organizations offer incentives and fringe benefits for employees taking advantage of health and fitness programs (Job Outlook, 2012). These are all reasons why competition for qualified personal trainers and instructors will continue to increase in complexity, and ABC Fitness Center should be willing to offer competitive salaries to potential personal trainer candidates.

Currently, the median pay, based on 2010 statistics, is $31,090 per year or $14.95 per hour for personal trainers. Pay (2012) reports “The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $17,070, and the top 10 percent earned more than $63,400” (para. 1).

It is recommended that ABC Fitness Center offers starting base salaries slightly above the median to attract and retain the most qualified, educated and experienced personal trainers available.

Daily Trainer Schedule Guidelines

A personal trainer is responsible for ensuring all clients have well-rounded exercise routines built into their health, wellness and fitness programs. According to the Mayo Clinic, a well-rounded fitness routine includes five elements for optimum health, which are aerobic exercise, stretching, core exercises and balance training. In order to facilitate this well-rounded routine, personal trainers are required to develop individualized training schedules with all members to help them reach their health and fitness goals  (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2012). Figure 1 (Waddington, 2012) is an example of a workable daily training schedule that can help manage a member’s fitness routines.

New Member Initiation Protocol

New members to the fitness center and to working with a personal trainer may be a bit apprehensive about all of the equipment and workout schedules put before them. Some of them may be joining a health club for the first time and may be a bit intimidated. This can often lead to a member feeling stressed and ready to leave before they even get started. ABC Fitness Center’s New Member Initiation Protocol is designed to help eliminate stress for new members. As suggested by Applebaum (2009) of IDEA Health & Fitness Association, following are the protocol guidelines that are to be adhered to by all center trainers, followed by Figure 2 which is a sample workout plan for new members (Your Workout Plan, 2013).

  • New members will receive their first fitness appointment on a complimentary basis to get acquainted with their new personal trainer and with the fitness center facility.
  • New members are to submit a pass from their primary care physician stating they are cleared to start a fitness program safely.
  • New members will schedule a fitness evaluation and health assessment with their trainer.
  • New members will be educated on basic health and fitness information by their trainer, according to their specific needs, based on the results of their fitness evaluation and health assessement.
  • The trainer will design a custom fitness program for each new member and schedule workout times.
  • Members will receive ongoing re-evaluations to keep up with their changing needs.
  • New members will schedule group exercise class appointments as suggested by their personal trainer.
  • Each new member will receive a welcome basket with health and fitness related items and perks such as a free massage session, nutrition bars, protein drinks, or coupons to a local health store.

Private Personal Training Protocol

It is important for members to feel comfortable with their assigned personal trainer and following are guidelines for ABC Fitness Center’s private personal training protocol. Each trainer will reinforce confidence in their clients, within this facility, to instruct, lead and motivate them to success in the exercise endeavors. The trainer will coach and train each member to workout within their heart rate safety zones to maximize their progress.

Additionally, the personal training protocol for members includes (What Fitness Trainers and Instructors Do, 2012).

  • Complete demonstrations of how to properly use fitness equipment and how to incorporate exercise routines into both equipment workouts and floor workouts.
  • Assessment of starting and ongoing fitness and skill levels with workouts and having them adjusted according.
  • Education and training on safety guidelines
  • Thorough information on nutrition, weight control and lifestyle issues that affect health and fitness.
  • Information on what to do in an emergency situation while working out.

Following is a marketing plan designed to assist ABC Fitness Center to carry out its persoal training program implementation successfully.

ABC Fitness Center

Marketing Plan

An effective and efficient marketing plan is essential for the success of ABC Fitness Center’s new personal training program. This marketing plan includes market segmentation information, a strategy and implemenation summary and marketing strategy information. This marketing plan also includes demographic information for ABC Fitness Center’s analysis of the immediate area population which is located in Wake County, North Carolina in Raleigh.

Population information, as reported by City-Data.com (2010), is as follows:

  • The total population for Wake County, North Carolina is 882,362 persons.
  • The median household income for the population is $63,770.
  • Non-family households in the population make up 39.8% of the total, while family households make up 60.2% of the total.
  • The median age of the population is 34.
  • The gender demographic distribution equals 48.8% male (430,592) and 51.2% female (451,770).

This demographic data is significant to developing accurate and relevant market analyses and market segmentation analyses as well. Based on the above data, it is clear that Raleigh, North Carolina is a city of residents who are upwardly mobile and family oriented. While the median age for the target population is only 34, ABC Fitness Center will aim to target the age range of working adults between 21 and 65 for its personal training program. Additionally, ABC Fitness Center’s marketing plan will include specific targeting to women and men, according to their unique needs as the population is relatively equal in both genders.

Market Segmentation

As sampled by Bplans (2013), ABC Fitness Center will focus on general marketing initiatives to males and females to include gender-specific target marketing for the next three years, based on a population growth rate of 5 percent per year, as shown in Figure 3 below (Physical Fitness Gym Business Plan, 2013).

Based on a look at the potential growth of the population of Wake County, North Carolina over the next three years, an focused strategy and implementation plan has been developed for ABC Fitness Center’s personal training program, including a competitve advantage analysis and sales forecast as follows.

Strategy and Implementation

ABC Fitness Center will use a multi-channel marketing strategy to include social media, radio advertising, and email marketing. Additionally, the center will market onsite at the fitness center with promotions and special events which will facilitate word-of-mouth advertising by existing clientele. Additionally, as a special promotion, all new personal training program signees will receive their first month of membership free. This offer is extended to both existing and new members of the fitness center.

Competitive Advantage

ABC Fitness Center’s competitive advantage goal is to gain more marketshare than its competitors by attracting and retaining more of the available customer-base in the specificified area. An advantage that ABC Fitness Center possesses is being the first fitness center in the area to develop a comprehensive personal training program, complete with a staff of at least 20 personal trainers who will manage an entire separate division of the facility.

Sales Forecast

Sales for the first month of the promotion for the new personal training program initiative will be down, due to the first month free offer. However, it is forecasted that sales will increase, marginally, beginning in the second month of the first year with paid memberships increasing, as illustrated in Figure 4 below (Physical Fitness Gym Business Plan, 2013)

Sales include fitness center membership sales, personal trainer fee sales, as well as upsales of added-value products and services by personal trainers. Fitness Center membership cost is $90 per month, per member and personal trainer program fees are an additional $25 per month. There are discounts for family memberships that are accounted for in the projections.

As shown in Figure 4, sales are projected to be relatively steady over the course of the next three years. Projections also indicate that ABC Fitness Center is poised to enjoy a positive growth rate in membership and personal trainer program sales over the next three years as well, based on projected population growth rates of the local area of Wake County, North Carolina.

Conclusion

The owner of ABC Fitness Center will be presented with this in-depth analysis and projected personal training program plan for implementing a for-profit personal training program for its 1,000 member gym facility. As outlined in the fitness center’s mission statement, hiring process summary, and new member and personal trainer protocol analyses, ABC Fitness Center is poised to grow in the marketplace and gain a significant competitive advantage over its competition.

The focus of the plan is the implementation of a highly structured personal training program for ABC Fitness Center that will encourage existing members to join the program and also to attract and retain new fitness center members that will also join the fitness program. ABC Fitness Center’s goal is to reach as many members as possible and train them in the ways of better health and fitness, so that they may lead better quality lives and also encourage others to join them in this endeavor. This will facilitate the growth in memberships for the center and thereby increase the bottom line profits of the facility.

To help jump start the personal training program at ABC Fitness Center, there will be a certified trainer symposium at the center to attract the interests of qualified trainers and introduce them to the facility. To get the word out about the symposium, ABC Fitness Center has opened social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to draw attention to the center’s openings for personal fitness trainers and to attract the attention of prosepctive members who may be interested in joining the fitness center.

In addition, ABC Fitness Center has developed several 30-second radio advertising commercials that will be aired throughout the day seven days a week. A complete budget package was offered by the local radio station and this is how the center has offset the cost of such extensive advertising. The spots will run through the entire first month of the new promotional timeframe for the opening of the personal training program, and then sporatically every month thereafter.

Contingency planning for the personal training program implementation has also been put into place to ensure smooth transitions of initiatives in the event of obstacles that may arise. The management of ABC Fitness Center will meet regularly once a week during the implementation phase to assess any problems along the way that need to be dealt with on an ongoing basis.

The grand opening of the new personal training program division for the center is scheduled for April 25 and will include a celebration inside the fitness center along with an open house, and the public is invited.

This plan is respectfully submitted to ABC Fitness Center on this first day of February 2013, and will suffice as a reference document during the planning stages of the program implementation.

References

Advameg, Inc.(2010). Retrieved from City-Data.com: http://www.city-data.com/

Applebaum, V. (2009). Conducting a Winning Orientation. Retrieved from IDEA Health & Fitness Association: http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/conducting-a-winning-orientation

Blair, S. N. (2009). Physical inactivity: the biggest public health problem of the 21st century. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 43(1), 1-2.

How to Become a Fitness Trainer or Instructor. (2012). (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor) Retrieved from Occupational Outlook Handbook: Fitness Trainers and Instructors: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm#tab-4

Job Outlook. (2012). (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor) Retrieved from Occupational Outlook Handbook: Fitness Trainers and Instructors: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm#tab-6

Malek, M. H., Nalbone, D. P., Berger, D. E., & Coburn, J. W. (2002, February). Importance of health science education for personal fitness trainers. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research , 16(1), 19-24.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2012). Fitness training: Elements of a well-rounded routine. Retrieved from Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fitness-training/HQ01305

Nied, R. J., & Franklin, B. (2002, February 1). Promoting and Prescribing Exercise for the Elderly. American Family Physician, 65(3), 419-427.

Pay. (2012). (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor) Retrieved from Occupational Outlook Handbook: Fitness Trainers and Instructors: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm#tab-5

Personal Trainer Certification Program by AFAA. (2012). Retrieved from Aerobics and Fitness Association of America: http://www.afaa.com/Personal-Fitness-Trainer-Certification-Program.html

Personal Training. (2013). (The George Washington University) Retrieved from GWellness: http://gwired.gwu.edu/gwellness/fitness/PersonalTraining/

Physical Fitness Gym Business Plan. (2013). Retrieved from Bplans: http://www.bplans.com/physical_fitness_gym_business_plan/executive_summary_fc.php#1.1_Mission

Waddington, T. (2012). Home info. Retrieved from The British Alpine Ski & Snowboard School [Image of Training Schedule]: http://www.britishskischool.com/articles/111506.shtm

What Fitness Trainers and Instructors Do. (2012). (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor) Retrieved from Occupational Outlook Handbook: Fitness Trainers and Instructors: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm#tab-2

Your Workout Plan. (2013). (PCE Fitness) Retrieved from LifeSpan: http://www.lifespanfitness.com/article_weight4