Fitness Matters: “Balance is Critical to Success”
By Bryan Green Founder & CEO, Advantage Fitness Products | April 01, 2010
Undoubtedly fitness, and the naturally positive energy created by an effectively planned and well-operated fitness amenity has proven to be a successful means of creating happy, satisfied guests. Unfortunately, the negative repercussions arising from poor and incomplete planning seem to be an all- too-common dilemma in the hotel business environment. Typically, the error resides in the failure to account for the "evolving" and "living" nature of every fitness facility due to daily use and resulting wear and tear, and the continually changing trends in fitness. There's no exception. Every successful fitness amenity must include an ongoing facility management component that consistently revisits, refreshes and rebalances the offering; ensuring that it's well prepared to meet the daily needs and ever-changing expectations of guests.
Part and parcel to capturing the attention and satisfaction of guests is also a mandatory daily level of attention. Often the importance of maintaining a safe, clean, and current fitness center is underestimated. Here are several considerations to keep your facility up to speed:
Equipment – Err on the Side of Cardio
In general, "the more cardio, the better" is a rule to live by for fitness facility operators. The most common complaint by guests is that when they go to use the hotel fitness facility at peak times, they are left waiting because all of the machines are in use. This pertains most often to cardio equipment. Not only is it the most commonly used equipment, but it also commonly monopolized by users for anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. While strength, stretching and abdominal training areas are equally important to cardio from an exercise balance perspective, they are occupied in intervals of merely 30-45 seconds necessary to perform a set, versus the more lengthy "sessions" required with cardio equipment. So make sure you beef up the cardio to accommodate this need and avoid guest complaints.
Within the cardio offering, maintain a balance that's equal parts treadmills and ellipticals as your primary offering, in addition to a healthy dose of recumbent bikes. You'll want to consider leaving room to compliment these pieces with one or more upright cycles, stair or step climbers or perhaps an upper-body ergometer or another engaging exercise alternative for variety sake. These are the basics.
With the increased focus on core training and flexibility thanks to the popularity of yoga, pilates and other contemporary exercise trends, today's guests will expect ample room for stretching, as well as space and equipment necessary for an effective abdominal and core training regimen. Finally, a modest free weight offering should be available.
And when it's all said and done, all of this must be executed in a footprint that allows ample room to move safely and freely so that guests aren't on top of, or tripping over, each other.