We live in an internet-centric era with well-informed members who have access to unlimited data about the best workout approaches. Recovery is quickly becoming a standard part of fitness routines. As high-intensity workouts continue to be on-trend, the importance of recovery continues to rise. If you own a gym or studio, discover how you can capitalize on this trend by creating a specific space for recovery area in your business.
What is recovery?
Recovery in fitness is basically an active cool-down period, where a person engages in low impact exercise while they give their body time to slowly cool off and return to its normal heart rate. Resistance training and high impact training does break down body tissues, and an appropriate recovery period coupled with proper rest days allows your body to put in the work to rebuild. Compression sleeves, cryotherapy, some simple yoga stretching sequences, and foam rolling are all forms of recovery.
What recovery area ideas could I explore?
A dedicated space for recovery is common to see in gyms and studios. The Mile High Run Club in New York, for example, created a recovery room with yoga mats, soft music, foam rollers and an option to buy compression sleeves. Another approach is to offer a dedicated class. ClassPass shows that there is a significant amount of recovery and restorative based classes available in gyms worldwide. No matter what your space looks like or who you service, offering some type of guidance for recovery can be beneficial to your members.
How much space do I need?
Depending on how large your gym or studio is, you can create a recovery space that correlates with the size of each location. For example, maybe a small corner big enough for a couple of yoga mats and mounted foam rollers would be sufficient in a small to midsize facility. If you run a primarily class-based studio, you could simply ensure that there is a short cool-down period at the end of intense classes, or you could add separate restorative classes to your schedule. If it is part of your class schedule, no additional space is required. Even if you have a large full-service type facility, you can have dedicated recovery hours available in the group fitness room when there is no class going on.
Should I add extra recovery features?
If you are wondering what approach you should take to capitalize on this trend, there are numerous options that would allow you to add some cool and creative new features to your recovery space. Some are a significant investment, while some are far more simple and cost-effective. There are pros and cons to each, and it ultimately comes down to how much you want to invest and what would be ideal for your club. The next factor to consider is if you want to create a profit center, or simply provide these tools as an exciting new feature to create a buzz in your gym. If you do determine to add a profit center, you can talk to your billing company about making the add-on service a part of the member’s monthly dues for ease of managing the service.
Cryotherapy is one of the more extreme types of recovery, that involves immersing the body in a cryo-chamber with extremely cold temperatures for a few minutes. It provides many health benefits and can help the muscles recover quickly while nearly eliminating soreness. Cost-wise – this is a larger investment with some models costing around $59,000. But with the right planning, you can also make it a noteworthy profit center that benefits your recovery area and your bottom line. Just make sure you prevent your members from injuring their feet.
Compression sleeves, wraps, and boots have been used by athletes in the recovery area for years. These tools can be offered for purchase inside your gym to members. You could even advertise them on social media or on deal sites like Groupon.
Foam rollers can be spotted in the majority of gyms and studios nowadays, but the trick is to market a certain area of your space as a dedicated recovery area and teach people how to use them. Myofascial release is a massage technique that can also be achieved through the use of a foam roller. It is cheaper, quicker, and can be self-administered, so having these available is often a win with your members.
A CVAC machine is a pressurized pod that boasts its ability to flush toxins and improve exercise performance through rapid changes in air pressure. If you have space, this could be another potential add-on service to offer your members.
In house chiropractic and massage services could be considered to have as an on-site option, should space allow. There are pros and cons to renting space to third parties. You want to ensure that they will provide your members with the same level of customer service you expect from your team, as members tend to still associate the two parties. On the plus side, the rent you collect can be added as an additional revenue stream, and you are providing convenient recovery options at your club.
The level of involvement you decide to have for the recovery area in your gym can be determined by square footage, member needs, and projected ROI. Recovery is becoming the norm in fitness routines, and should be considered for your members — whether it be as simple as adding a couple foam rollers, or as elaborate as adding cryotherapy as a service. For the same reasons you choose great fitness studio management software and awesome staff, you ultimately want to do what is best for both your members and your business.