Maximise Your Functional Training Zone

In the second of a two part post on Functional Fitness, Paul Murphy of Get Results Fitness explains the best way to promote your functional training zone and highlights the most important factor for overall success after introducing functional training equipment into your gym.


Create Your Vision
As with all projects it is vital that you have a clear vision of what you want from your functional zone. Will it be a stand-alone area? Will it be used for timetabled sessions? Who will deliver sessions - gym staff, Personal Trainer’s or group fitness instructors? Where will it fit into your current members’ journey?

Well Designed Area
Before ordering any kit for your functional zone it is vital that you take some time and design a floor plan of how you would like the area to look. No matter the size of your space, you must make sure that you have maximised its potential and have a room that will allow sessions to be delivered smoothly and effectively.

Promote Functional Training as Latest High Tech Fat Loss Solution
A large percentage of members join for fat loss and we must sell functional training from the fat loss perspective. Many of your members will be joining with the dysfunctional belief that cardio training is the best mode of exercise for fat loss. You must educate them on the reasons why Functional Training is more effective than cardio at fat burning. Do not bamboozle them with science; present the information in a way that will make clear sense. Talk to your members about the after burn effect when comparing cardio to functional fitness; speak about the importance of building muscle and aim to dispel common myths surrounding resistance training (bulky muscle, only for rugby players and body builders etc.). Let them see how closely linked lean muscle tissue and metabolism are and make them aware of the hormonal effects of doing these big dynamic workouts (sex hormones versus stress hormones).

Make Sure Your Message is Consistent
This should start from their very first visit where your sales team should be drip feeding the benefits of FT into members’ needs analysis. Relate it to their end goal (fat loss, sports performance, increased mobility, reduced risk of injury). Their induction should focus largely on the functional training zone and its benefits. Encourage them to book a session where an instructor will show them appropriate exercises to allow them to gain confidence in using the allocated space and functional equipment. It is vital that your staff provide reassurance as members leave their comfort zone of cardiovascular training.

Educational workshops are a crucial addition to the journey where you can discuss the metabolic effect of cardio training versus functional training. Discuss the importance of lean muscle for fat loss and the hormonal difference between each mode of exercise.

Reinforce this message in all marketing materials so that the message will make its way through to your members.

Staff is Key To The Success of Your Functional Zones
The success of your functional training zone will be almost exclusively down to your fitness staff. If they buy into FT’s benefits and advocate it to your members, your club will be well on its way to having a profitable, reputable and successful functional training zone.

You will need enthusiastic staff that is keen to educate and challenge your member’s stale beliefs. Setting challenges to see how many cardio junkies they can convert over to FT is a great way of motivating them and creating a little competition between staff or teams (fitness professionals love a bit of competition).

In order for this to occur your staff must be appropriately trained on all functional equipment. Investing in the latest training courses will mean that your staff will have a large and current tool box of exercises to work with and will be confident when it comes to introducing FT to your members.

Make sure you stay ahead of the game and deliver the latest in fitness evolution to your members. Remember that happy members who get results will stay with you longer and tell their friends how great your club is!