US - Blog.
The latest news, videos and workouts from the Escape Fitness Team.
How clubs are turning weekend nights into super-social fitness events
Forget a night on the town: more and more of us are swapping hitting the bar or dancefloor for an end-of-week workout. And clubs are responding by staying open into the early hours on weekends.
A late-night workout can provide much of the same things as a night out: thumping music, a great social experience and even a post-club buzz. Best of all, exercise leaves people motivated and ready for a great weekend, and not tired or hungover the next morning.
So let’s dive into why the gym is replacing the club or pub for millions of people. We’ve also got some quick tips on how clubs can get going with a buzzing late night experience.
Move over exercise die-hards, late nights are for everyone
Now, more than ever, people are discovering that getting fit can actually be an enjoyable experience - fun even. That’s one of the reasons why late night workouts aren’t just for die-hard fitness fanatics.
They used to say alcohol was a social lubricant. These days, for millions of us it’s sweat! Working out together is a great way to build friendships that last. After all, everyone in the gym instantly has something in common: they all want to get fit (or fitter).
Working out together creates a bond and feeling of shared endeavour that nothing else can quite match. This social aspect is key, and it’s the communal experience that makes a night time workout an essential part of the week’s social calendar.
There are plenty of people who are rejecting the idea that they need alcohol to be sociable. Instead of looking to booze for a buzz, they get a lift from the endorphins that exercise releases. Having these naturally-occurring happy chemicals pumping through the body brings you to the peak of your social powers too. (And let’s face it, once a group of gym friends have seen each other sweating their faces off in a frenzy of final reps, there really isn’t any space for social anxiety.)
How can clubs become the perfect late night hang out?
Savvy clubs are working hard to tap into the social side of an after-hours workout. So what does it take to become a destination of choice for the late night crowd? Here are three things to take on board…
Lights and music. OK, it might be a bit of a cliché, but a glitter ball gives a gym space an instant nightclub feel. Add in some disco lights and glow sticks and the effect is complete. To go with the lighting you’ll need the right music, and there’s nothing better than a resident DJ to guarantee your club will sound as good as it looks.
Healthy food and drink. Instead of a few beers, or half a bottle of wine, fitness-conscious millennials are more likely to want a post-workout smoothie, juice, salad or healthy treat. If you don’t have the facilities to do that in-house, talk to local caterers about providing it onsite. Alternatively, partner up with a nearby restaurant that might be interested in offering healthy meals to your members post-workout. (And you can think beyond traditional healthy options too. In London, 1Rebel serve up Champagne alongside the smoothies as part of a trend picked discussed in this Evening Standard article.)
Superb training leadership. Fun fitness experiences don’t run themselves. And what users really want on a weekend night is someone who can help them forget all the week’s frustrations and make them work hard, sweat harder, and get the maximum endorphin rush. So you need to make sure your PTs are happy to be there, and not resenting the fact that they are missing out on a night out.
Put these ingredients together and it all adds up to a fantastic experience. And of course, the social side of things is just part of the motivation for swapping nightclubs for fitness clubs. Health and fitness is front and centre for many night time gym users. For some it’s an ‘extra’ session in their schedule, for others it’s a time to put in more minutes than they have time for on week nights.
Going FunXtion for self-led group workouts
For clubs that don’t have a crowd-pleasing PT to guide their users through late night sessions, all is not lost. Clubs are increasingly investing in technology to bridge the gap. One such solution is the 55-inch FunXtion Interactive Station that takes people through hundreds of functional training workouts and challenges.
The social aspect of FunXtion is great too, as it offers the option of setting up groups who can work out together. By syncing up to wearables and people’s phones, FunXtion lets users share their exercise data with friends and challenge them to beat their best scores. You can even programme lights and music to create a vibrant, crowd-pleasing session without the PT.
Embracing people’s changing fitness habits
We can all learn some of our most valuable lessons from our clients. Their changing habits can (and should) influence the service we provide. So let’s treat the work-out-night-out seriously. This is a great template with the potential to attract a whole new type of user into your club – and to add something extra for existing users.
If you want some fresh ideas for ways to deliver the perfect after-hours workout - including the FunXtion Interactive Station - let us know. We can talk you through some of the ways clubs and studios are turning this slot into the most vibrant part of the workout week.
You can email us at [email protected] or give us a call on:
UK: +44 (0)1733 313 535
USA: +1 (614)-706-4462
Germany: +49 (0)2921 590 10 70