We are committed to serving you with valuable, actionable content through this challenging time period. From partner panels to real-time industry data, we are exercising every possible resource and connection to help you lead your community right now. I recently interviewed Zen Planner clients from a few different fitness markets to see how they were doing and navigating COVID-19. Let’s look at how these fitness businesses are leading their communities while their facilities are temporarily closed.
What are you doing to engage and retain your members while temporarily closed?
Chris Wade and Haley Hill, Nexus Fitness
We had a full day of allowing members to come to the gym and take one piece of equipment home. We ask the members to tag us in their workouts and the response has been humbling, amazing and inspiring. We have also shared our Spotify playlists so they can have that familiar sound and feel of the gym.
Trinity Wheeler, Rhapsody CrossFit
We have divided our membership database between all of our coaches for daily check-ins with every member. We are using various methods (text, calls, FaceTime and short videos) to vary our touchpoints. This outreach includes personal check-ins, coaching, tips, scaling, stimulus and mindset all in an effort to keep the personal connection alive in the community.
David Osorio, CrossFit South Brooklyn
After we closed, we did an adopt-a-KB/DB program where each member took one DB or KB so they had equipment to follow along with our now remote programming. We’re creating virtual classes on Zoom that meet daily at specific times. We think it’s important for people to have some “appointments” where they and other people feel somewhat connected as a community and have a specific time to do something. They can otherwise do the workouts on their own given that the programming is on our blog.
Kimmer Yoo, White Tiger Martial Arts
We are offering online training videos. We had originally thought of doing all live through Zoom, but we believe we will be quarantined to our homes for at least two weeks, so we are filming five weeks of classes for all belt levels. We will also have them fill out a worksheet for daily one-minute totals of: sit-ups, push-ups and speed snap kicks with a signature from the parent confirming the student practiced and followed the video training. We already have our curriculum on videos on our YouTube channel up through 2nd Dan. The classroom videos will be uploaded on Monday each week.
Are you offering any kind of at-home workout option or programming?
Chris and Haley
We have online warm-ups, demos, workouts (accommodating with/without equipment), mobility and nutrition tips.
We added a “Home WOD” track to SugarWOD and are making daily whiteboard coaching videos on YouTube to accompany each workout. The videos are embedded right into SugarWOD with the workouts. These can be done with minimal or no equipment.
We have five days a week of WOD programming, two days a week of gymnastics/core strength and skill plus three days a week of endurance workouts for people who want to run. We’ll be trying to do something with our kids and masters programs as well!
What tools are you using to provide remote programming?
We are allowing members to take a dumbbell, plate, band and jump rope home. This allows for endless Home WOD programming options. In addition, we are doing virtual CrossFit classes on Zoom throughout each day. Members are provided the meeting code and the schedule is done through Zen Planner. These classes help keep the community connected.
We use Zoom for a once-a-week meeting and technique check-in by level. Beyond that, we do the uploaded weekly class videos on our YouTube channel.
For memberships, are you keeping current pricing or placing holds and discounts?
Chris and Haley
We are offering a discount on April memberships and also offering a free upgrade to each member in May. Whatever package they currently hold, we will automatically move them up to the next level of membership at no charge.
If someone wants to cancel, we call them directly to attempt a hold instead. Also, if someone wants to go on hold, we are explaining all the added value of Home WOD, constant coaching staff communication, virtual classes and of course the future of the gym. Most have said “Great!” and keep their memberships active. Obviously, we are working with everyone as an individual because each case if different. Some people have been laid off and simply don’t have the income to support a membership. We keep their accounts active because we are playing the long game. This crisis will end. People will remember what you did to help them in a time of need.
We told members we would continue to pay our coaches while closed if they kept their memberships active. We have had a ton of members keep their memberships, buy gift cards, buy months in advance and more. It’s been incredible. If people want to hold or cancel their membership, they’ll need to email us and we’ll do it.
We offered our customers a choice. They could continue to pay and remain as active students and receive credit, or if they are not comfortable with paying we are allowing them to hold without paying. Most belt colors don’t want to pay, and we don’t blame them as we don’t know how long this will last. We have always put people before money. It is our black belts that don’t mind paying and luckily, we have enough of those to sustain us, keep the lights on and pay the rent.
Watch our COVID-19 planning webinar to see how other industry leaders are handling these abnormal times.
Strategic Relationship Manager
Jonathan started with Zen Planner in December of 2018 as a Customer Advocate and moved to the Strategic Relationship Manager position in August of 2019. With over nine years of account management experience in a variety of industries, he works closely with Zen Planner clients on best practices for their businesses.