Self Directed Fitness Not Working- A New Paradigm and New Opportunity For Your Offering

News bulletin – the stress on those operating fitness organizations is not stopping anytime soon.

Just last week, I received 2 calls from organizations which are, or will be, closing their doors and liquidating their assets.

But the news is not all bad.


There are fitness organizations prospering. One group is charging $250/month following a model that seems to be sustainable. Their marketing is stellar, and their leadership is outstanding. They create value at every turn, and guess what? People are paying.

There are a couple of options to consider that may help with this “sustainability challenge” – low cost/high volume or higher fees/low volume are the 2 most obvious.

We all have heard of CROSSFIT, probably the best example of the higher fee model.

What we know from that model is that it is based on getting results through coaching. It is, arguably not for everyone, however we cannot dispute their financial success. There are thousands in operation.

That model follows the “guided” fitness model as opposed to the traditional “self-discovery” model that most organizations use.

The guided fitness concept is one which a coach leads the workout sessions. Call them a coach, accountability partner, trainer, this person’s role is to help clients reach their goals by leading a workout.

CROSSFIT is one popular program that follows this model, but others are emerging.  Here is another example at how to take advantage of this new opportunity. There are a few innovative, safe, biomechanically correct, joint friendly and customizable pieces of equipment available in the industry today. The Precor Adaptive Motion Trainer is such a piece.

The features and biomechanics of the AMT are perfect for a coach to escort a paying customer through a series of workouts that will guarantee they reach their goals. The workout can use work/rest intervals or manipulate other variables like stride length, resistance, elevation or speed. (wide appeal across all demographics)

In an independent study, Dr. Len Kravitz 1, found that the Precor AMT delivered comparable weight loss results to a treadmill, traditionally the standard that measures all other exercise modalities.

The reality is, however, that most patrons or organizations will not take advantage of this tool. Patrons won’t discover it themselves. Patrons will not design a program by manipulating the above variables on their own. They won’t get the results they want, and that affects your business traffic.

The barrier for business traction with a tool like this, is not the equipment, or the research behind it. It is the approach of how we offer it to our customers.

A guided fitness approach can overcome these challenges.

As fitness leaders, we need to get away from letting the public at large attempt to figure out how to get results because it is not working.

Let’s connect on how an educational and financial model using a tool like this can work for you. (STAK Fitness)

Greg Lawlor

1 Kravitz et al., 2007, Exercise Modality Comparison of 7 exercise Modes. University of New Mexico.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *