Group Fitness Is Back: 3 Tips to Adapt to Your Members’ Needs

Our relationship with fitness has been forever changed by the recent pandemic. Although 25 percent of health and fitness facilities permanently closed between March 2020 and December 2021, according to IHRSA, thousands endured and even evolved — with gym-goers enjoying more workout options than ever before. The necessary pivot to digitally stream our workouts on various virtual platforms such as Zoom, IG Live, and Facebook allowed Chuze Fitness to remain engaged with our fitness community and provide our members the support they needed during an uncertain time. Since lifting COVID restrictions, we’ve found that our members are returning to the gym more motivated, more driven and excited to be back in our clubs.

Our team at Chuze surveyed more than 5,000 of our members and found that 65 percent are focused on achieving and surpassing their fitness goals in the upcoming months. In particular, we’ve found an increased interest and participation in group fitness classes, especially formats such as Zumba, Les Mills Body Combat and yoga. We’re seeing consistency in our members who are showing up for classes multiple times a week as fitness has become an integral part of their daily lifestyle.  According to McKinsey’s Fitness Consumer Survey conducted in 2021, 40 percent of the population considers wellness a top priority, and we consider it our responsibility to support these members in whatever way we can to help keep health at the forefront of their routines.

Below are tips that have helped us properly prioritize our members and support their needs.

Offer a variety of group classes. At Chuze Fitness, we offer a variety of classes and pride ourselves on our ability to serve all fitness levels and interests. Whether members are looking for a zen experience with yoga, aiming for cardiovascular gains with our Zumba, HIIT or kickboxing offerings, or whether they are seeking a more community-based and strength-focused class with team training, our commitment to offering something for everyone is key.

We’re experiencing a clear demand for group-based classes, which necessitates a high level of class variety, availability and quality. With these options, we’re actively assisting our members to reach their goals safely and effectively in an inclusive and non-intimidating environment. 

Listen to your members. We are strengthening the line of communication with members through surveys, asking how they are feeling, what their favorite classes are and what they are most looking forward to this summer. Actively listening and making adjustments based on their needs increases both the personalization gym-goers look for, as well as our members’ trust that we are there to facilitate their needs.

Our most recent summertime-themed survey revealed that our members want to “crush it at the gym.” So how do we help them achieve that goal? Knowing that they are going to be spending more time at the gym this summer, we make sure to prioritize our key strengths: hospitality and kindness. The first thing someone experiences when they walk into one of our locations is a warm welcome and a genuine smile. From there, we let our facility do the talking with impeccable cleanliness, a large array of available equipment, extensive class and session offerings, and innovative recovery options. Fitness is truly a service industry, and we acknowledge that by ensuring our members that we’re listening and implementing the changes needed to keep them happy and engaged.

Foster a welcoming community. As members make their way back to the gym full time, we know that most are seeking a sense of community in addition to addressing their individual fitness needs. With group fitness, members are able to find community by getting to know one another and by receiving the encouragement and inspiration to attend regularly. From our survey, we found that members especially appreciate the personalized shout-outs they receive from their instructors. Creating an environment where people can come together with their shared fitness interests is one of the most special things you can do for your members. Our team strives to create an inclusive, judgment-free space, which goes back to the Chuze ethos. We prioritize the importance of creating a positive and welcoming environment at the gym, acknowledging that for many people, it's a sanctuary.

The fitness industry is being driven by the changing needs of our members, so hearing our community is crucial to both keeping members happy and health clubs relevant. With summer now here, our members are going to be looking for a haven to de-stress and focus on themselves. With group fitness participation increasing, offering our members options to try something new and expand their fitness regimen could be a game-changer. Additionally, offering the opportunity to be part of a community and giving them access to coaches and instructors who will lead them to reach their goals will ensure that our members feel valued and supported. The Chuze Fitness team is dedicated to championing our members by ensuring that they are heard and cared for throughout our communities.


Ani Oksayan is vice president of fitness at Chuze Fitness.