Club Insider

About Jeffrey Pinkerton

Jeffrey PinkertonJeffrey Pinkerton

Jeffrey Pinkerton is the Business Development Manager for MOSSA.

Phone: (770) 989 - 4737
Email: jeffreypinkerton@mossa.net


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"Why Would I Do A Group Fitness Workout?"
April 2022 - That is precisely what I said when my wife asked if I wanted to do a class with her. "Why would I do a group fitness workout?" To get the full effect, imagine me fifteen years younger, a year or two fanatically into the super-hobby of triathlons, heart-rate monitor worn for most workouts, and when I replied to my wife's request, I put an unnecessary emphasis on the word "I" while shaking my head and raising my eyebrows. "Why would I do a group fitness workout?" I can't remember every detail of our interaction, but I do remember that it was chest and tris day. Read Article...

Are Instructors Your Influencers?
They Should Be.

May 2023 - Are you liking your likes? You may have noticed over the past few years that your Facebook Business posts are getting drastically fewer likes and comments than in the past. Here's why: In 2018, Facebook announced that it would reprioritize its newsfeed to make sure that friends and family remain at the "core of the experience." And while that sounds nice for your personal use, Facebook's algorithm has reduced the visibility of posts from the businesses, brands and media that were, in Mark Zuckerberg's words (or the words of his copywriter), "crowding out the personal moments." Reading between the lines, for a business to show up in people's newsfeeds, the business needs to pay for advertising. But, I have a better solution. Read Article...

Are You Being Reactive, Proactive or Inactive?
December 2021 - In chemistry, as far as I can recall from my college career as a Biology major, activation energy is the amount of energy required to trigger a reaction. These reactions require more energy to start than they do to sustain. They are made easier with catalysts and made more difficult, slowed or stalled with inhibitors. This is true in chemistry and in business. And, as it turns out, it's true in human behavior as well. Read Article...

Are You Up For A Challenge?
Keeping Members Engaged.

January 2022 - A recent study published in Nature released the findings of a multi-scientist, multi-university, "megastudy" set out to determine what interventions could increase gym visits. There were 54 different intervention strategies tested: everything from personal scheduling, text messages, email reminders, short surveys to reinforce values, to positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, earning points for certain actions and losing points for not taking other actions. So, what did they learn? They learned what my mom has always known. Read Article...

Conversation
Common Courtesy? Or, New Non-Talkative Norm?

May 2022 - Here is an interesting experiment you should try: Walk into a business (a grocery store, a big box store, auto parts store, etc.) and don't say anything to anyone unless someone first says something to you. If someone talks to you, the experiment is over. Shockingly, it is pretty easy to make it through the grocery store without saying a word. You find what you need, use the self-checkout, bag your own items, swipe your card and head out the door. Is this a good thing? Read Article...

Designing the Ultimate Member Experience
October 2022 - If you were going to design the ultimate member experience in group fitness, how would you do it? And, just for the sake of clarity, I am not asking you how you would design a single group fitness workout. I think we can all agree that different people gravitate towards different styles of training. Among my family of six, we all have different favorites when it comes to getting strength, cardio and mobility into our workouts. What I mean is: If you had unlimited resources and you could put together a team to craft the ultimate member experience in group fitness, where would you start? Who would you hire and who would you consult? What would be the primary objective and the must-have ingredients? What expertise would be required? Read Article...

Digital Deluge or Delusion
Is the Virtual World Becoming a Real Reality?

April 2021 - As the world cautiously reopens from a global shutdown, the future of fitness seems to be very much up for debate. With an influx of digital platform providers, the industry has been flooded by technology companies sponsoring virtual conferences, contributing to publications and hosting webcasts. It would appear that "everyone" is talking about digital fitness and the necessary and novel pivot of providing both live and digital fitness experiences for your members. It's hard to wade through the muck of the moment and think clearly about what the future might really look like. Maybe looking to other industries could shed some light on the road ahead. Read Article...

Digital Workouts
Sustainable Solution or Expensive Experiment?

October 2020 - As health and fitness clubs continue to adjust to social distancing guidelines and even the possibility of future closings, many operators are searching for digital solutions to keep members moving at home. Developing and delivering a platform of high-quality digital workouts can be a challenging and costly venture, so when everything does return to normal, was the effort a sustainable solution or just an expensive experiment? Read Article...

Efficiency Versus an Experience
January 2024 - I love time-saving efficiencies. I am always searching for ways to streamline things, automate tasks and be more organized. I fume when businesses have poorly designed systems and unprepared or untrained staff. To these businesses, I don't usually give second chances. I don't check back in a few months to see if they've sorted themselves out. If giving a business my money feels like a chore, or a waste of time, I find an alternative solution. But, if it's an experience that is worth the wait, worth my time... now that's a different story. Read Article...

Engagement
Building Your Club's Real Social Network

June 2021 - Driving engagement. Growing followers. Encouraging comments. Gaining likes. If you have a presence on social media, your team has no doubt discussed these metrics. And, for the purpose of the platform, each of these is important to understand and track when measuring the effectiveness of your social media reach. But, is online engagement (now highly driven by a somewhat-mysterious, ever-changing, self-serving algorithm) giving us all a false sense of connection? Has the hot-topic conversation of "virtual" and video fitness clouded the core importance of personal connection, shared experiences and building your club's real social network? Read Article...

Engineering the Bitterness Out of Exercise
December 2022 - Do you remember trying brussels sprouts as a kid? Boiled. Bitter. And, bleh. But, apparently, they're really good for you, or at least that's what I was told. Have you tried them recently? They taste amazing, especially grilled in the oven and served with a drizzle of olive oil and a dowsing of Parmesan cheese. So, what happened? Did our taste buds really change that much? Read Article...

Goal Setting For Your Group Fitness Department
December 2023 - This month is the perfect time to finalize your goals for the new year - plans for upgrades, budgets and benchmarks. I assume you have metrics and goals for your sales team and your personal training department. And, if you have a savvy marketing team, they've laid out their plans for new campaigns, upcoming promotions and a content calendar for social media. But, what about your group fitness department? Any goals for the new year? If not, let me offer up three categories - participation, programming and people - to help you build a better plan for 2024. Read Article...

Group Fitness Should Run Like a Restaurant
April 2023 - We often use the analogy of a restaurant when talking about all things group fitness: the menu (the schedule), the ambiance (the room), the main courses and specials of the day (the workouts), the staff (instructors, of course), and even, the marketing (promoting your menu and selling the experience). If you are frustrated with the inconsistencies of your group fitness department; if it's an ancillary service more than a staple of your business; if it's not performing to your liking; or if it's just a pain in the neck to manage, here are some lessons we can learn from restaurants, minus the curse-laden celebrity chef intervention. Read Article...

Have I Ever Thought About Being an Instructor? No. But Also, Yes.
September 2022 - In 2005, a friend invited me to do a sprint triathlon with a few other guys. Thanks to busy jobs, young families and the traffic of the Atlanta suburbs, part of our training was to meet at the gym for a 5:30AM indoor cycling workout a few times a week. I loved the energy of the group, the accountability of getting the workout done early, the motivation of the music and the friendly competitiveness of it all. After a few months and a few triathlons, I was totally hooked on both. Indoor cycling was solidly built into my life schedule... until we got some bad news. Read Article...

Is Group Fitness Driving Your Business or Driving You Crazy?
October 2023 - Group fitness should be driving your reputation, driving your guest traffic, driving your web traffic and driving your new member onboarding traffic. If it's driving you mad, driving you crazy or just driving you to wonder if things could be better, you've parked in the right place. While I am certainly no car mechanic, these analogies for helping you get your group fitness department running at optimal performance are easy to diagnose but tougher to fix. Some are do-it-yourself fixes, and some will need some professional intervention. So, if it feels like your group fitness department is a car running on four flat tires, if it's sputtering out when you try to accelerate or if you're just slightly embarrassed about its outdated appearance due to lack of general upkeep and maintenance, read on. Read Article...

Is it Time for a Reboot?
March 2023 - In simple terms, rebooting your computer can clean out unnecessary processes and free up space so that the computer can run at optimal performance. A reboot allows your computer to reprioritize its assets so that it can carry out its most important responsibilities. When you stack multiple programs with no clear end-goal, and when you try to load and launch too many things at once, and when you ask your computer to be great at everything, it gets stretched and strained. Eventually, it will crash. Now, imagine that the computer is your Group Fitness Department. Read Article...

Is Selling Your Team's Strong Suit?
February 2022 - When my college-aged son was in his junior year, as a Christmas gift, we decided to give him a new suit. We have always been practical gift givers, and this one fit the timing of life quite well, as we knew that fraternity formals, upcoming job interviews and future friends' weddings were on the horizon. We were also fairly certain that he was done growing. I took him to a well-known, brand-name, somewhat ordinary men's store; however, the sales interaction that we experienced was anything but ordinary. Two hours later, as we left the store, energized from the experience and a little face-sore from laughing and smiling, my son looked at me and said, "Is it just me, or was that guy an INCREDIBLE salesman?" It was a masterclass in service and in selling. Read Article...

Let's Do the Math
How Social Is Your Club?

February 2023 - On a scale of 1 to 100, how social is your facility? If you were to measure the social energy of your club, including your staff and members, how would it rate? If a number is too difficult to quantify (more on that later), just consider this: When you walk through your facility, do you see mostly headphones and heads down, or is your facility packed with "Hellos" and high-fives? If you are looking to grow a socially buzzing, ever-welcoming, always engaging, people friendly business, there are decisions and investments you need to make to your people, your processes and your programming. Read Article...

Life Lesson from an Outdoor Cyclist
Just Keep Moving

August 2021 - In 2005, I decided to pick up a new hobby, outdoor cycling. To be accurate, I actually decided to get back into cycling. I had ridden a road bike as a teenager (although back then we called it a 12-speed), but it was a mode of transportation more than a fitness-related hobby. I hadn't ridden in years, but our church was planning a Men's Retreat to Calloway Gardens, and one of the possible activities for the weekend was a 20-mile bike ride. With only a few weeks to get organized, I nervously set out to restart this new hobby. The goal? Not look like the new guy. The result? Hey everybody, take a look at the new guy. You may see where I'm going with this. Read Article...

Question: How Do You Set Up Success?
July 2023 - I am sure you want your members to be successful at your facility. But, how do you define success? Here is a speculative stab at an answer: A successful member is someone who uses the facility regularly; is on a pathway of improving their physical, mental and emotional health; appreciates the features and benefits offered; enjoys the experience; and values what they receive in return for their monthly membership fee. Now, the more complicated question: How do you ensure success? And, if you could increase your members' chances for success, how much energy and effort would you invest in setting them on and keeping them on the right path? Read Article...

Solving the Retention Riddle
November 2023 - The more social interactions your members have in your facility, the more likely they are to stay. Most operators agree, and every bit of research confirms it. Interactions not only create a more social culture at your club, but in addition to retention, it massively affects your reputation. But, are all interactions equal? Of course not. Just like all experiences are not equal, i.e. working out on machines alone is a totally different experience than working out together in a group. And, even in a group, one experience may vary drastically from another depending on your instructor team, training protocols and delivery standards. So, how do you solve the retention riddle? Read Article...

The Perfect Pickleball Workout
September 2023 - Yes, I consider myself a Pickleball fanatic. I'll spare you my opinion on the playability of one ball type over the other or my indifferences on the current updates to our rating system. Instead, I want to talk about what it takes to play Pickleball, my experience getting "Pickleball Fit," where I see people's mobility and agility lacking, and how hours spent in your facility can help people spend more --and better-- hours on the court. Because, yes, your programming can prepare members to be more active in life and in sport... including, and for the purposes of this article, Pickleball. Read Article...

The Rocky Road That Got Us Here
July 2022 - In early March of 2009, when my boys were ten and thirteen, I coerced them into mountain biking. By that, I mean we bought them new bikes, helmets, gloves, and I convinced them it would be a ton of fun. I had been a road cyclist for a few years and was looking for a way to spend more time with them and less time on the busy roads of the Atlanta suburbs. All smiles on a Saturday morning, we set off with a few snacks, a few water bottles, a map of the park and a can-do attitude; we were ready and excited. Things were looking pretty good. Read Article...

Well, What Questions Should You Be Asking About Group Fitness?
July 2021 - Most successful operators know that group fitness is an important part of their business. It improves engagement, influences retention, and when done well, can drive reputation. Most agree, inside the group fitness room, cool stuff happens, instructors do what they do, and members really enjoy it. Most admit they wouldn't run their business without it. Big picture, it's important. But, often, when diving into the details (scheduling, programs offered, key metrics, etc.), many owners don't have a solid strategy for managing that component of their business. Of course, to be a great leader, you don't need to have all the answers, but you do need to ask great questions. Read Article...

What if the Apple Store Sold Health Club Memberships?
November 2020 - From conversations with customers and potential customers, the typical sales process often goes something like this: (1) meet, greet, ask a few questions and complete a needs analysis; (2) give a tour of the facility showing various features; (3) highlight specific features, explain benefits, present price and discuss personal training; (4) ask for their business, leading with personal training. If yes, book appointment with personal trainer. If no, sign up under standard membership; and (5) give key card, welcome pack and (possibly) one free session with a personal trainer. Read Article...

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