As featured in Fitness Business Pro
By Bryan Green, President, Advantage Fitness Products
There’s been a lot of buzz recently about Acceleration Training, also commonly known as “whole body vibration” or “vibration training.” Whatever the case may be, it’s become one the more rapidly emerging and expanding fitness categories in quite a while. As with any new modality, there are a variety of benefits and challenges that health and fitness center consultant professionals should consider before making the investment in Acceleration Training devices:
Versatility. Acceleration Training products are arguably the only training devices that can truly bridge the divide between fitness and wellness. Considering how much emphasis the industry is now placing on wellness and longevity measures, this becomes all the more valuable. A significant amount of science and first-hand professional experience support Acceleration Training’s ability to yield fitness center consultant benefits such as increased strength, flexibility, weight loss and bone density while simultaneously yielding beauty/wellness benefits, including cellulite reduction, skin enhancement, detoxification and even deep-tissue massage. Furthermore, one of the most basic and valuable qualities is Acceleration Training’s role as a highly effective and efficient warm up tool. Many elite pro and college sports teams have literally done away with conventional and lengthy stretching regimens in exchange for 60-90 seconds on an Acceleration Training device for both warm up and cool down.
Opportunities. In addition to the wide variety of applications and benefits inherent to Acceleration Training, the innovative training method also offers several unique and significant opportunities:
Increased revenue. Acceleration Training is proven to elicit anywhere from 25 to 50 muscle contractions per second. That’s not debatable. It’s a fact. This incredible volume of muscular activity in such a short time frame results in full training sessions recommended to last no longer than 15 minutes (not including rest periods between sets), three times a week. Shorter training sessions mean trainers can schedule more daily sessions, resulting in increased revenue. Furthermore, card-key software allows clubs to sell time-based packages to members, providing another means of increased revenue.
Reaching elusive membership audiences. For years, health clubs have searched for ways to penetrate the fitness-conscious senior market. Acceleration Training presents a virtually custom-made alternative for seniors due to its low-impact, non-invasive nature and its significantly shorter training sessions. Acceleration Training also provides a unique alternative for anyone reluctant to taking on conventional training whether they’re professionals strapped for time, obese individuals without realistic training alternatives, or even lazy individuals who won’t engage in higher-impact training methods.
Increased Retention. Adding one of the most talked about modalities on the market sends a clear message to members that your facility isn’t resting on its laurels. New innovations keep your club and its members on the cutting edge and keep them coming back enthusiastically. And if your club doesn’t offer Acceleration Training, another club will.
Challenges. While the versatility and benefits are significant, there are challenges that should be considered before committing to this new modality.
Significant Costs. Acceleration Training products don’t come cheap, ranging in price between $7,000 to $12,000. So you’ll need to make sure you’re fully committed to Acceleration Training to maximize the potential return on this significant investment. The means of recouping the investment are there. But to realize them takes nothing less than full commitment.
Staff Training. Acceleration Training devices aren’t self explanatory and require concentrated staff training before introducing them to your members. Without adequately trained and educated employees and trainers, maximizing member use and related revenue potential will be a tall order. While most manufacturers offer training programs that provide continuing education credits recognized by leading training associations, they certainly aren’t free.
Member Training & Management. Considering your staff is fully trained in Acceleration Training methods and applications, there still is the challenge of training club members. A simple instructional poster just won’t get it done. As with all commercial exercise equipment, improper use can result in over-training or generally negative experiences for members. Members should be effectively trained, before being allowed to use Acceleration Training machines independently. In addition, the use of the products needs to be managed to ensure that untrained members aren’t using the products. Many manufacturers, including the category originator Power Plate, offer card-key software that limits use to those members who’ve been trained and have purchased Acceleration Training session packages.
These are just several of the aspects of Acceleration Training that should be considered before making a commitment at your club. Few modalities are as dynamic in targeting such a wide variety of fitness benefits and appealing to such a wide array of audiences. However, with these opportunities come considerable challenges. As with any new product introduction, a true commitment success can yield significant returns. Just make sure you’ve done your homework.
Bryan Green is President and CEO of Advantage Fitness Products, a company dedicated to providing fitness solutions to non-fitness companies. AFP offers a full complement of services including Planning, Design, Supply, Service, and ongoing facility Support to help make fitness a valuable and profitable offering for clients across several industries including: Hospitality; Professional & Collegiate Sports; Education & Recreation; Property Management; Corporations; Municipalities & Government Organizations; Medical, Health & Wellness Organizations; and Private Clubs. For more information regarding Advantage Fitness Products and our solutions, please call us at 888-895-0547.