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Way to Pivot: How Peak Zone Fitness Rebuilt their Business During a Pandemic

November 01, 20202 min read

The future depends on what you do today .” - Mahatma Gandhi

Way to Pivot: How Peak Zone Fitness Rebuilt their Business During a Pandemic:

“My whole schtick when I opened in 2013 was to provide the fitness industry’s first one-on-one personal training that’s done in a group setting,” says Donny Day, NASM-CPT, owner Peak Zone Fitness, in Lake Highlands, Texas. Pre-pandemic, his workout classes held up to 24 members, with each person receiving individualized medical testing, vitals tracking, motivational coaching, nutrition counseling and workout parameters (such as tempo, weight load and difficulty). Then on a Monday night, Day caught wind of the governor’s shutdown order. “I sent out an email right away and said, ‘Don’t worry about it. I’ll have a workout for y’all tomorrow,’” he says. The next morning, Day was livestreaming on Facebook…and he hasn’t stopped innovating ever since. Below, he shares some of the approaches that helped him retain most of his members, add new ones—and serve them all in half the time.

Don’t feel the need to go live. Soon after going online, Day switched to pre-recorded videos to provide higher quality (and fewer mistakes). They still have the feeling of a live class because members get to follow along with someone they actually know.

Move onboarding online. New members used to come in for a 2-hour consultation, but now they receive an email questionnaire instead. A trainer’s time is better spent creating and explaining individualized programming than doing paperwork, Day says.

Save time on assessments. Thanks to his video library, Day is able to shut down the club for a week (twice a year) for client assessments without stopping their program. (He used to do this year-round.) He also taught clients how to self-assess on a regular basis by taking photos, doing simple exercise tests or taking measurements.

Offer equipment rentals. During the shutdown, Day sent home dumbbells, medicine balls, mats and more—on a donation-only basis. This helped retain members, including ones who didn’t use what they borrowed. He is working with a third-party vendor to continue this popular service.

Challenge the status quo. In addition to creating a 56-day COVID-19 fitness challenge for members, Day created a 21-day version for the community. This, too was customized—per each person’s at-home equipment, fitness level and goals. By using existing videos and nutritional materials, Day was able to keep costs low while attracting new business.

“My plan was to start doing online training in two years, but [COVID-19] forced my hand,” he says. “We did lose a ton of revenue, but overall, I feel pretty blessed because now I have the ability to train people all over the world.”

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Way to Pivot: How Peak Zone Fitness Rebuilt their Business During a Pandemic
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