I’ve always had a passion for group training. The music combined with movement as a group has always been so fun for me. Ever since high school I’ve taught group fitness classes, but felt there was a disconnect. Then Pilates came into my life. Truly an amazing way to fine tune the body and bring attention to form, stability, and much more.
5 years ago I decided to combine my passions into a studio setting. Of course I was going to offer Pilates in a private and small group setting, but I also wanted to offer fitness training. I didn’t want clients working out on their own, and this was a way to keep the fun “class” setting in a smaller more controlled environment. Truly the best of both worlds.
One of the studios challenges is not only competing with fellow Pilates studios, but also other smaller fitness studios that offer boutique style group classes. Although I’m not one to follow the latest trend, I must accept that these newer shiny looking studios do financially affect my bottom line if I’m not competitive. Clients have always said how amazing the Pilates method has been. Of course they will continue to take the method and our Pilates program continues to grow. I cannot, however, turn a blind eye to the amazing fitness opportunities that exist. The studio will never be a 50 indoor bike studio, 12 reformers all lined up or a workout until you puke warehouse. We focus on our sharp point which is a client who wants to participate in Pilates sessions, along with fitness offerings in a small group setting, allowing for our equipment to never be overbooked and the quality of instruction and focus on each client to remain high.
Here’s What’s Working!
We focused our energy on being the only studio in greater Cincinnati area that offers Pilates privates and/or group, as well as Bodhi suspension circuit classes and CoreAlign/Cycle circuits. Our Bodhi circuits truly bring the fun into small group training.
Suspension Circuit Format:
We utilize 5 Bodhi stations, along with an ever changing circuit in our fitness room that could include SmartBells, Orbits, battle ropes, BOSUs, kettlebells, and more! The number of stations depends on the attendance for that session. We also incorporate a “Tabata” type timer along with fitness music to keep everyone moving and grooving.
BONUS: We’ve also found that this class is a great way to introduce the Pilates method to new clients who may not be “sold” on Pilates equipment sessions yet. With that said, the fee for this class isn’t as high, but still not deeply discounted. After offering this class for a while, we have seen clients get interested in Pilates and have eventually added Pilates sessions into their routine. A great way to grow the business from within!
CoreAlign & Cycle Circuit Format:
One of our newest additions to the studio has been our CoreAlign & Cycle circuit class. Although fairly new to our offerings, we have seen clients who have joined these classes stay in them. We have two indoor cycle bikes along with two CoreAligns. The class structure: 2 clients on the bike while 2 others on the CoreAligns for 10 minutes, then they switch until the 60 minute class ends. Each client gets to cycle for 3 sets of 10 minutes and CoreAlign for 3 sets of 10 minutes. We use an ongoing timer for the clients on the bikes and keep them in very simple drills that need less attention from a trainer. This way, at the CoreAlign station clients are cued through and perform challenging full body integrated movements where the trainer can provide more detailed cues and supervision.
If you are a boutique studio owner who incorporates a variety of offerings, I hope you’ll feel encouraged to freshen up your formats and be inspired to keep clients coming in your door for more.