Small Space Big Impact
One of the biggest challenges facing the fitness industry is SPACE. One of the single largest fixed costs for a fitness club or studio operator today is rent. Because space is so expensive we have seen a shift in the way many clubs are designed. Every square foot is carefully planned to maximize efficiency and eliminate waste. In fact, this was one of the key drivers to the rise of the Studio Market! Operators figured that if they could eliminate low usage areas and include only those that produce the most profit, it would be a win! They were right! In fact, according to IHRSA, since 2010 boutique studios have become the fastest growing segment of the industry.
Ask any fitness equipment manufacturer what one of the most common objections they hear is and they will tell you “I dont have the SPACE”. However it’s not about the space - it’s about the space for the RIGHT THINGS. If you knew that a piece of equipment or program was what your members wanted, you’d find the space - or they will go somewhere that did!
In the last 5 years or so the industry has also been overtaken by the FUNCTIONAL TRAINING movement. Functional training is supposed to mimic activities of daily living and provide exercisers with the strength and mobility to be more active and productive in their everyday tasks. It’s certainly great exercise, but because of the dynamic nature of functional training, it requires a lot more of that precious SPACE! Examples include Medicine Ball Throws, Tire Flipping, and Battle Ropes. When exercise is done on stationary machines the space requirement is fixed and predictable. Functional training throws all of that out the window and the space needed can be massive.
The payoff can be there, but you have to consider the amount of space you are giving up for one or two people to do one movement. For example, if you have members looking to flip tractor tires - a very popular exercise - you might have to devote 30-40 yards of space to ensure that they can get an effective workout and not endanger your other members who may be using the space for stretching or core work. Battle Ropes can pose the same challenge, requiring 20-30 feet of distance for just the rope! This type of training is certainly EFFECTIVE but from a space perspective it certainly is not EFFICIENT! What’s a club to do?
Fortunately for the industry certain manufacturers, like The Abs Company, recognize this dilemma and are focussed on equipment and programming that addresses these critical issues. In short they are focussed on equipment that requires a SMALL SPACE but makes a BIG IMPACT! Additionally such products solve the three biggest issues surrounding functional training: SPACE, SAFETY and FACILITY DAMAGE.
Exercisers have been flipping tires for decades. This type of training is extremely dynamic and provides users with strength, power and aerobic fitness in one exercise.
It’s one thing if you have the ability to use tires outdoors but when you bring them inside it’s another story. The TireFlip 180 and TireFlip 180XL require a space that is only 5 feet wide and 4 feet long! In less than 20 square feet you can perform all of your Tire Flipping movements! That is a huge space saver! Additionally the anchor points on either side of the unit allow you to perform battle rope or elastic resistance exercises allowing you to set up a 3-4 person circuit training workout in a fraction of the space you would normally need. Finally, the ability to add plate loaded resistance eliminates the need for multiple tires in a facility by giving you a training range of 100-240 lbs !
Another innovation from The Abs Company revolves around the ever popular Battle Rope exercise. Again this dynamic workout is extremely effective but you have to devote 20-30 feet of floor space just for one person to train! The all new Battle Rope ST® solves this issue with its revolutionary design (see inset)
One of the biggest challenges with functional training is safety. The moves are not typical for the average user and without proper instruction, injury can occur. Tire Flipping is no exception with most injuries occurring when the unstable tire starts to roll away from the user. They can get injured as their body ends up in an awkward position trying to regain control. Additionally there is always risk to the unsuspecting exerciser who can have the tire fall or roll on top of them while they are simply lying down to stretch! Again, the TireFlip 180 solves this issue by moving in a defined and fixed path of motion. Safer for both the user and the exercisers around them!
Finally, many of the functional moves today put the actual facility at risk for damage! When tires are leaned up against a wall or continually flipped onto the floor it can’t help but damage the surfaces, leaving your beautiful facility looking worn! The TireFlip 180 solves this issue because the tire never hits the floor, instead landing on the raised bumpers which also help users get a comfortable grip on the tire for more effective flipping. When members are launching the medicine balls into your walls and onto your floor damage ensues. The Ab Solo allows users to fire the medicine balls into a padded return for a fun safe and effective functional core workout!
It’s no secret that today’s members are looking for something different. They want functional movement and they want an experience. Whether you own a big box club or a boutique studio it’s imperative to find a way to give them what they want while keeping the realities of the business and facility in place. Products that require a SMALL SPACE but make a BIG IMPACT are the answer!