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March 21, 2024

How to Run Boutique Fitness Challenges Like A Pro

Fitness challenges are a form of gamification designed to spark member engagement and thrill your community at several different levels. These are the key guidelines that show up in the most successful challenges.

Competition is woven into the fabric of fitness. From the professional athlete level all the way down to competing with yourself to achieve new goals. But the digital age has given boutique studios new ways to lean into healthy competition to build community, drive engagement, and help their members reach their goals.  

One way to do this outside of in-studio time is through fitness trackers, with permissions set and consent to access that data given clearly. Fitness trackers will show you vital metrics like steps per day, workout intensity, and heart rate. And this info is only going to get more useful as time goes on; Xplor’s research shows that 38% of US club members wear a fitness tracker during their workout. Plus, global wearable technology is set to grow nearly 16% every year until 2027.

Why Fitness Challenges Work

Fitness challenges are a form of gamification designed to spark member engagement, and indeed they thrill your community at several different levels.

1. Challenges Motivate Members

Whatever their reasons to come join a class and get their sweat on, challenges can give them the motivation they need to show up. This is particularly true if there’s an attractive prize at the end of it. Members who are motivated show up more, and members who show up more are more likely to spend more at your studio.

2. Challenges Drive Retention

Turning newer members into long-term members who commit to your studio is a tricky challenge; there’s a reason you’ve probably heard the term ‘retention’ thrown around often lately! But there is hope. A well-timed challenge will encourage members to take part and stay longer than they may otherwise—one great way to boost your studio’s overall retention rate.  

3. Challenges Boost Leads

These fitness challenges aren’t just for your established member base. Your leads or new members who are just trying things out can find encouragement in your challenges, too. A planned-out challenge to target leads is a great campaign idea to boost conversions heading into the next season of 2023.

Our client Sweat440 uses Mariana Tek’s customizable 5th tab app feature to run challenges in-studio, and found it drove consumer engagement and class attendance, helping brand overall. Read their story to learn more.

What Makes a Good Fitness Challenge?

Your fitness challenges can be, well, anything. And that’s the beauty of them! But there are key guidelines that tend to show up in the most successful challenges.

Good fitness challenges target a set goal, which may be set for everyone or be set for each individual person. This can include a certain number of steps each day, a daily amount of exercise minutes, a certain personal best surpassed, and so on.

Good fitness challenges don't have to account just for the work put in during class. This is where integrations with fitness trackers come in. Since fitness trackers keep track of all movements during the day, your challenge encourages a more active lifestyle.

Finally, good fitness challenges are exciting to be part of, not just an opportunity to get a good prize in the end. With that said, there should be a prize or reward for joining, regardless. You may motivate members to participate with the offer of a free year's membership, but the real reward is in them realizing they can finish the challenge.  

Download our new e-book, 3 Secret Strategies to Delight and Retain New Clients, to delight your leads and enrich them with new habits! Get your copy here.

Run Your own Fitness Challenges

You’ve learned more about running a fitness challenge, want to get started?  

Want to get started on your next fitness challenge? Download the Play to Win e-book to learn the winning strategies studios are using and how to apply them!

Spark your engagement with Mariana Tek

Who doesn’t love a bit of fun and healthy competition?

We’re always looking at ways to help fitness studios gamify their fitness experience with software. Mariana Tek is not only here to provide premium experiences for your customers, but we are your partners in growing your business.  

Take your in-studio challenges to the next level with our customizable 5th tab, and with world-class integration partners like Spivi, PerformanceIQ, IPStudio, and Tribe Fitness. Whether you’re focused on classes, personal training, or both, our Mariana Tek flexes to keep your staff and members organized, motivated, and on track.

Book your customized demo today to get started.

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