It’s no secret that seasonal incentives can help bring new business to your fitness studio. You’re likely already running promotions around peak times such as Christmas and the New Year – but there are other calendar opportunities that you may be overlooking. One example? Valentine’s Day.
It’s the one day out of the year where people take a moment to show their partner some extra appreciation. Couples may be looking for a creative way to celebrate and spend time together outside of the box of chocolates, so why not inspire them to try a workout together? Bonus: you could potentially bring in a new client in someone’s spouse or significant other who might not have tried your workout otherwise.
We asked a few fitness studio owners to share their best tips for creating and promoting a couple’s workout class that’s sure to be a hit with your members. Here’s how to run a Valentine’s Day couple’s workout your clients will to look forward to year after year.
Determine the best way to modify your current workout for partner work
Running a couple’s workout class doesn’t mean that you have to come up with a class that’s a total departure from what your members come to you for. In fact, Adriane Abraham, owner of The Fit Shop, says a partner class works best when you take your class foundations and make them a team effort. “We run a high intensity training studio where we offer classes that consist of functional HIIT, cardio and circuit training,” she explains. “To create a partner workout, we took the typical circuits and moves and made them into team challenges. For example, instead of instructing the class to do 20 wall balls at one station, we’d have partner A complete 20 wall balls while partner B holds a wall sit for the duration it takes them, and have them switch off for a number of reps.”
Theme the moves and music incorporated in your workout
In addition to the added element of partner work, Noam Tamir, owner of TS Fitness, says having the moves and class tie into the theme of partner work can make for an even more empowering couple’s workout. “Definitely have some partner inspired exercises such as high five planks, and give the exercises different names – for example, ‘main squeeze squat jumps,’” he suggests. “Dim the lighting and play some uplifting couples music.”
Abraham says you can even get creative with the number of reps per station. “Have your partners do 14 reps per station to tie it in with the holiday,” she suggests. “Keep it light and fun, and come up with a cute theme name for your Valentine’s Day workout!”
Make sure your instructors are armed with modifications
Running a couple’s class means you’re likely dealing with pairs of people who are on different fitness levels. Peter Lombardi, owner of Elevation Fitness, says that for this reason, it’s essential that your instructors pay attention to the varying needs of teammates participating. “I would suggest other instructors be highly educated and experienced, as both partners may be on completely different fitness levels and the instructor will need to be able to facilitate a fun and entertaining class while simultaneously keeping the integrity of training and not allowing for any injury,” he says.
Abraham also suggests allocating reps to a number rather than a time interval. “A fast-paced partner workout can become strenuous, so you want to make sure both partners are doing an equal amount of work for the duration of class,” she says. “I’d recommend giving partner A and B an equal amount of reps and have them switch off. Being able to share the load together makes it a better workout.”
Spread the word
Once you’ve got a game plan for your couple’s workout, it’s time to spread the word to your members. “Although we encourage to bring ‘boys to the barre’ all of the time, we have a special ‘sweatharts’ class for Valentine’s Day,” says Amanda Cort of Xtend Barre. “Not only can clients bring their significant other for free, they can also bring a friend!” Court says she spreads the word about the promotion a few weeks before – both in class at the end of workouts, as well as via Xtend Barre’s newsletters and social channels.
Couple the class with an additional promotion
For an added incentive, Tamir recommends teaming up with small businesses in your area to make the couple’s workout into a challenge. “Create a partnership with local businesses, and have them offer competition prizes for your Valentine’s Day workout, such as the local spa,” he suggests. For example, having a first, second and third place prize for the team that finishes the workout in the shortest amount of time, or can do the most reps in a certain time frame.
Maximize your space
Depending on the size of your studio, hosting a couple’s workout can allow you to increase headcount per class – especially if your couple’s workout features intervals where one partner works out while the other rests. “When you do a couple’s workout, I can increase my numbers, because the equipment that I’m going to allocate is enough,” says Abraham. “For example, if we have 8 rowers and we’re partnering up, there can be 16 people at that station – 8 actually rowing while their partners are either resting or doing an active rest movement. Partner workouts are great for bringing in a big group because it maximizes our space.”