Tracking personal “fitness data” is the hottest thing out there right now. The App Store is full of tools that range from allowing coaches to capture instant play-back video of their clients, to wearables that track every step you take. Fitness professionals know these tools are helpful, but what is the real value you gain from tracking data? What data should be tracked and what are the best practices for using it to improve your fitness program?
To help answer these questions, we’ll explore the main reasons workout tracking is vital for the success of fitness businesses. We’ll also provide a quick overview of the cool features available in our Premium Workout Tracking to get you excited about using them.
Individual Athlete Gains
Most fitness businesses exist because the owner wants to help change lives and clients want to improve in some way. Maybe the client wants to look better in a bikini, or maybe the client wants to compete in a fitness event. Either way, fitness businesses exist because people want to improve their physical fitness.
The problem is we all know that’s easier said than done. Staying motivated for the work associated with change is hard. When it comes to losing weight and getting fit, more people lose their motivation and give up than actually reach their goal. Even elite athletes have to work hard to stay motivated.
“Sometimes it’s just miserable, especially when you get tired or emotional… Some days you feel like, on paper, you did suck.” ~ Camille Leblanc-Bazinet
In their book, “Switch. How to Change Things When Change is Hard,” authors Chip and Dan Heath talk about the necessary ingredients for successful change. One of their main areas of discussion is around motivation. They say that to effectively motivate, you need to “shrink the change” and “ grow the person.”
Specifically, they say:
1. Shrink the change:
Big change happens through a succession of very small changes. It’s not uncommon for the first little change to be “almost trivial.” It’s still critical because it gets the person moving towards their goal. One little change after another, and they are on their way to accomplishing their very big goal.
2. Grow the Person:
People are able to form new identities “through small beginnings.” Or, once someone makes those baby steps towards their goal, they slowly begin to see themselves as the person who’s achieved their goal.
(The gym member starts logging their diet into My Fitness Pal, brings healthy snacks into work, goes for a walk on lunch with their office friend, and before you know it, they start seeing themselves as that person they want to be)
The great news for gym owners is that workout tracking will help you motivate your members by shrinking the change and growing the person. The act of logging a workout helps reinforce the accomplishment of the workout and starts laying the foundation for building a new identity. Each time your athlete logs a new workout, they are one step closer to the goal, and the momentum is building with each action. Being able to look back and see each of the baby steps on the screen brings the client one step closer towards shrinking the change.
Successful coaches and business owners in the fitness industry can tell you the basic formula for how to retain members:
1) Ask a client for their goals
2) Set baseline performance measurements
3) Track improvement over time
4) Show the client how they’ve improved
Personal Trainers have been using this method for as long as they’ve been around – following clients around with a clipboard, documenting incremental gains on each movement of a workout, and diligently recording scheduled body fat measurements. When the client finishes their last session and is deciding whether to buy back in for another round, the trainer has all the ammo they need to re-sign the client: “Your body fat has decreased by X%, and you’ve only got X left to get to your goal” or “Your squat has increased by X…” etc.
Tracking Workouts in Zen Planner takes this concept to the next level. Digitally tracking member data is more convenient and provides an in-gym experience that is cutting-edge and professional. Most importantly, we’ll compile the data and show it back to members and coaches in an engaging way that gives insight into member historical performance and highlights progress over time.
When that day comes around when your members choose whether or not to renew their membership, Workout Tracking is a powerful tool for retention.
No matter where we look, we find evidence that the communities found in fitness businesses have become a place we find our sense of belonging. We’ve written about it, as have countless industry experts like Dr. Allison Belger. The takeaway is that gyms that do not provide a good sense of community will lose members to gyms that do.
Workout Tracking also builds community by rallying members around their shared experience of a workout. It gives members a way to celebrate and encourage one another and builds a sense of accountability within the community. Whether members are congratulating each other on their latest personal records, exchanging some friendly trash talk over their current rank on today’s leaderboard, or simply laughing about their choice of profile picture on our Faceboard, the Zen Planner in-gym experience truly embodies community because it reflects the diverse group of people who push themselves daily to achieve their goals.
Our Workout Tracking
Zen Planner focused on building an industry-leading Workout Tracking tool because we know it’s critical for your success. Our vision was to take the classic whiteboard to the next level by bringing Leaderboard to your gym’s projector, big screen TV, or tablet devices.
You can show members cool graphs of their past performance and PRs on today’s movements. Or you can display today’s workout and Leaderboard in the gym, your website, and on your member’s personal devices. The Progress and Results page gives coaches a “log book” view of each member’s activity and progress, which really helps your coaches narrow in specific on skill coaching.
No matter how you chose to do it, workout tracking allows you to give your community a truly fun and engaging experience.
Getting started with Premium Workout Tracking is now easier than ever. You can import your member’s results from excel or other programs and get set up with our more than 200 pre-made workouts and movements built into the skills library.
And that’s just the beginning. Coming soon we’ll release a completely re-designed mobile experience for members, including a workout calendar and progress summary view. We’re also working on a feature that will allow members to comment on other members’ results.
If you are not currently using our Premium Workout Tracking, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and our support team will enable it for you. Or, if you’ve activated it but aren’t using, give it another look. As always, our support team is available by email or phone and would love to get you up to speed!
Zen Planner is a management and billing software for boutique fitness businesses.
We help gym, school, and studio owners streamline their day-to-day tasks so they can get back to doing what they love — helping their members. Enjoy all the features you need to manage your fitness business, including robust reporting dashboards, automated payment processing, skills and belt tracking, attendance history, and online retail.