EMD UK launches consultancy service to improve health clubs’ group exercise offerings

EMD UK, the national governing body for group exercise, is targeting UK health clubs with a brand-new group exercise consultancy service.

The service is aimed at owners and operators with either individual or multiple sites and offers a full review of the current group exercise proposition, as well as recommendations on improvements and repositioning and optimising group exercise timetables to cater for its members.

Group exercise participation is at an all-time high with over one million new weekly participants in the past two years and EMD UK believes many health clubs aren’t capitalising on its ability to both attract and retain members. This belief is backed up by September 2018 research by TRP that showed group exercisers who visit clubs just once per week are 20 per cent more likely to be loyal members than those who visit three times per week and only workout on the gym floor.

Ross Perriam, EMD UK CEO, said: “It’s evident that despite group exercise’s popularity continuing to rise, a lot of UK health clubs are still getting their offering completely wrong by not optimising the use of their studio space or the skills of their instructors. Group exercise is a great way to attract new members as it provides a welcoming and supportive environment for people. There are 11.5 million people out there who do not exercise at all and we know from our research that group exercise offers an attractive entry point for them to start their fitness journey. With wide-ranging expertise within our team, our consultancy service will work with both individual club owners and operators on their strategic or operational challenges and design the exact solution that they need to capitalise on their group exercise offering.

“It’s important that clubs keep on top of current trends and we’re looking forward to working with them and showing them the benefits they’ll enjoy with a more effective and targeted group exercise timetable.”

An operator who has already benefited from the consultancy is Sweat! Gyms, which currently has six sites across the UK.

Laura Edge, Group Fitness Leader at Sweat! Gyms, said: “When we were creating the Sweat! concept we wanted to have a strong group exercise element included across all our facilities. We recognise that group exercise has a loyal following and attracts an increasing number of participants, so it was important to get our offering right.

“Working with EMD UK has been very easy. They quickly understood our vision and their advice and support has enabled us to achieve it. Their knowledge and insight has been invaluable as well as the support they have provided since the timetable launch.”

The service is broken down into six key segments which provides an in-depth review of clubs’ group exercise solutions, followed by a plan to help them improve and optimise:

Review of current group exercise proposition – EMD UK compares a location’s current offering against current industry trends and local needs to identify gaps and opportunities. It also reviews instructor standards against the national average to ensure staff delivering group exercise have the necessary qualifications and are delivering effectively.
Recommendations on improvements and repositioning – EMD UK offers guidance on development needs of the instructor team and how to effectively integrate classes online to maximise visibility.
Timetable development – Advice on optimising timetables to attract new members and support member retention as well as aligning with new group exercise trends both locally and nationally. EMD UK also advises on cost models for group exercise programmes and how to cater for the volume of classes required to support an increase in revenue.
Group exercise instructor and front-line staff training – EMD UK can deliver on-site training for instructors across a range of disciplines. This training can also support training of front of house staff to improve group exercise understanding and customer service delivery.
Operational support – EMD UK can support instructor recruitment by advertising through it database of instructors, with the assurance of quality via EMD UK’s membership system.
Industry insight – Unique insight on group exercise trends and styles, popularity of group exercise styles across regional areas, participant behaviour and preferences and engaging with currently inactive people.
For more information or to discuss how EMD UK can support your business, please contact Emma Forward on, or Gillian Reeves,, or call EMD UK on 01403 266 000.

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