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Wellness and Fitness Testing:

Key Service Concepts

2006: Volume 3, Number 1

Rob Rideout

Vice President, MicroFit


Rob Rideout, Vice President of MicroFit, Inc.

Thirty years ago, I tested twenty police officers a day for three days and charged $75 per officer. I earned $4500 and quickly learned that I could provide a valuable service. Ten years later, I co-founded MicroFit and for the past twenty years, we have refined our programs to assist wellness centers to improve their service.

Facility Tour – Where First Impressions Count
A proper tour of your facility is critical in establishing your credibility. Here is a time-tested idea: Start your tours with a “quick test,” usually blood pressure or body fat. This will change your guest’s mindset away from the “fear of being sold!” to “how can I improve?” They will be more receptive to your tour, resulting in increased membership sales and sustained participation.

Standards and Liability
Many facilities require a fitness assessment before members can begin participation. By adhering to these standards, facilities maintain a professionalism that sets them apart from other fitness centers. One size does not fit all in your facility. Fitness assessments provide a baseline from which every exercise recommendation or fitness therapy can be tailored to meet the goals of each individual. Fitness assessments will eventually play a key role in identifying a “red flag” that warrants caution before a client is allowed to begin an exercise program. In addition to saving a facility from a potential lawsuit, a professional fitness assessment can actually save a life! Fitness assessments should meet the guidelines set forth by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and your compliance will create an atmosphere of trust and confidence.

Educate and Motivate Members
Education plays an important role in retaining members! MicroFit provides
your staff with reliable fitness data, adding value to all your programs. The goal is to motivate your members and users toward healthier lifestyles. The outcomes will be increased participation, member retention, and quality referrals.

Program Marketing
Personal training and testing can build relationships and improve user retention. Fitness assessments not only motivate members, they help to create a relationship between trainers and new clients.

Consider this approach: Promote an assessment package with three 1/2 hr. personal training sessions. This helps to upsell personal training. Trainers get a chance to “audition for their job.” Selling a package with at least one follow-up assessment will increase retention by helping to set realistic short-term goals, helping members to “jumpstart” their exercise/nutritional programs. A $150 package with the first assessment in the first of 3 half hour training sessions is a great value for new members and an excellent way to sell the benefits of having a personal trainer.

Should fitness/wellness centers or trainers provide free fitness assessments? Does your dentist give away free fillings and follow-up office visits? Why should it be different for a qualified wellness or fitness professional? In some states, health and fitness assessments qualify for insurance reimbursement.

Fitness Testing can be a powerful marketing tool when using fitness assessments for community outreach. Health fairs, sporting events, and open houses are great. Offer free blood pressure or body fat screenings. Learn about the prospective member and provide attractive reports, as well as information about your facility. Invite them to visit with a complimentary one-day pass. Having a structured fitness assessment program also allows you to build a testimonial portfolio. Standardized fitness assessment tools also provide outcome measures that allow you to negotiate with managed care organizations and corporations for wellness contracts.

When approaching local companies, you must be able to show outcome results. Aggregate fitness assessment data can be given to the corporation to monitor employee progress. Statistical outcome reports help employers identify health and fitness problem areas within their employee population. In turn, the corporation can establish a baseline from which a course of improvement can be planned and measured, using your facilities and services.

Fitness/wellness centers are seeing more 45-60 year olds joining because doctors are beginning to prescribe exercise for disease prevention. Offering standardized health and fitness assessments positions you to partner with outpatient and rehabilitative healthcare services. Health fitness and wellness assessments, can legitimately promote your services to doctors and other health professionals who can provide a steady stream of referrals.

For more information visit MicroFit.


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(C) 2006 The Medical Wellness Association