Greensboro (N.C.) Country Club drew on the popularity of CrossFit to develop its own spin: the Workout of the Week.
Fitness trends can be volatile, but CrossFit, a dynamic exercise program that encourages participants to push themselves through intense strength, plyometric and cardio training, has proven to be wildly popular, spawning hundreds of gyms across the country.
However, many of the program’s critics question its safety for non-athletes. At Greensboro (N.C.) Country Club, Fitness Director Lori Lennon drew from CrossFit’s popularity to develop her club’s own spin on a popular facet of the regimen.
“We were trying to think of something innovative, and CrossFit has a Workout of the Day that has been really popular,” says Lennon. “But they’re very competitive and it’s not safe for all fitness levels. So we wanted to draw on that [popularity] while keeping it safe for all members.”
Lennon worked with her staff to create the Workout of the Week, or WOW, about a year ago. Trainers take turns putting together short workouts consisting of five or six exercises that they record in the fitness center’s Mind Body Studio. The videos are edited and posted on YouTube, Facebook, the club’s website, and Instagram.
“We want our members to have the flexibility to do the workout at home or in the fitness center,” Lennon says, noting that the fitness center is often missing the “mom demographic,” as it does not offer childcare on-site. “Members can see the techniques on any device, and we also have directions printed on the WOW board in the fitness center.”
The program highlights each trainer on Greensboro CC’s staff, and serves as a marketing tool for both the fitness center and the individual trainer, Lennon says. Trainers volunteer their time to record the video—which takes about 15 minutes—and other trainers often borrow workouts from one another.
“Everyone is OK with borrowing each other’s workouts, so it has built a bit of a team-spirit thing,” Lennon says.
To keep fitness-center users engaged with the program, trainers do live demos of a WOW video for 15 minutes twice a week at the club, so members can come in on their own and learn the moves.
When members sign their name to the board to indicate that they’ve done the workout (whether in the fitness center or at home—it’s on the honor system), the club does a drawing and the winner gets a t-shirt with the WOW logo, which is styled like Staples’ “Easy” button.
For now, Greenboro CC’s fitness center staff is working on building up the cache of videos, and Lennon notes that their format has evolved over time from “silent films” to “talking pictures.”
“When we first did them, we tried to do them without speaking,” Lennon says. “I wanted to show the motions and type up the directions. But the marketing coordinator said the videos were lasting too long, and that we needed to start speaking in them. It’s worked out—everybody speaks in them, and at the end we include an announcement or promo for the live demo.”
In all, Lennon says, the program has proved to be a useful tool for getting people into Greensboro CC’s fitness center.
“I was working with a new client and they mentioned something from a previous video,” Lennon explains. “So it has brought new clientele to trainers and into the facility. It has really built a lot of energy.”