“Understanding each member and what motivates them, and then developing relationships to help them connect the dots of fitness, lifestyle and sport, will create a unique experience and move your program from general provisions to specific, personalized interventions,” says Keke Lyles, Director of Fitness and Recreation, The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe (Calif.).
Most clubs have a handle on the general ways to meet the fitness needs of their clients. Programming that includes fitness and wellness programs such as yoga, Pilates, boot camps, circuit training, or spin classes are commonplace in the average country club.
Nutritional initiatives focusing on healthy selections at various dining options on site, as well as access to cardio equipment, weights and amenities that encourage an active lifestyle such as tennis courts, pools and a golf course, are also staples of what an attractive club can offer. But to make real change in an effective way, a club needs to provide personalized programs that are focused on specific interventions to optimize individual health and wellness.
These personalized programs can come in many different forms, but the key is to always understand that each person who comes through the doors will have a variety of different strengths and weaknesses. And the most effective way to address an individual’s goals is to provide specific programs built around their unique attributes.
The best example of this is an individual with the goal of losing weight. If they attend general group-fitness classes on a regular basis, there’s a chance they might reach this goal. But if your sport and fitness team spends time to really understand clients and what the true limitations are in their diet, get a basic understanding of their metabolic systems, and learn what kind of exercises they are able to tolerate, a program can be designed for them that will likely ensure their success. And this can be done in a way that is far more efficient and engaging.
While it may seem overwhelming to ask a club’s fitness team to design individual programs for a few hundred members, the good news is that it all really starts with a system that is set up to screen and assess each individual. When starting from the ground up, the first thing is to establish a standard operating procedure for what exactly the assessment will entail.
Next, set up specific times for when members know they can come in to meet with the fitness team to receive their initial and complimentary assessments. This is a critical step in educating each person about their specific weaknesses. It’s also an opportunity for the fitness team to learn more about the client and connect with them personally.
The more of a connection there is with the client, the more effort they will give and the more accountability the fitness team will be able to provide. At any club, the member wants to be known and feel like they are receiving special attention.
Over time, the fitness team will eventually be able to assess most members and place them on some type of program that’s based specifically on their goals and “raw materials.” The great thing about understanding members’ weaknesses is that they can then be placed into larger cohorts. This will allow the fitness team to develop group-fitness solutions that are tailored for a specific cohort, and open doors for members to take full advantage of what comes with group training, while still getting a specific intervention.
Understanding the membership and what motivates them, and then developing relationships to help them connect the dots of fitness, lifestyle and sport, will create a unique experience that will keep all of them coming back to utilize the club and all of its facilities. With a system that is transparent and easy for members to understand, the fitness team can profoundly improve the overall experience for each of them, while getting predictable results based on individual goals. And by moving from general provisions to specific, personalized interventions, a club’s program will go from average to elite.
Keke Lyles is recognized as a leader in human performance, with experience with professional athletes and Navy Special Warfare operators. He now leads fitness initiatives at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe.