Fitness & Performance Centers:
Effective Programming in Limited Space

Shannan Hunt is the Fitness Manager at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.

As the Fitness Manager at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club, I oversee the gym, as well as our calendar of fitness-related events, such as fun runs like our Turkey Trot every Thanksgiving. I also manage several online and in-person group fitness classes, with the latter increasing as COVID protocols are eased in our state.

With a fitness space of only 1,200 square feet, our programming options are somewhat limited, though we do house some cardio equipment (elliptical, rower, treadmill and stationary bike), weights, medicine balls, ropes, bands and several other tools that members utilize to focus on their physical fitness. We get creative in maximizing the usage of our current fitness amenities by following other fitness professionals online and seeing what they’re doing at their clubs and fitness centers.

We currently do not have a group fitness studio, so I utilize a room in our pool house when it is closed for the winter to conduct classes, relinquishing that space when the pool reopens in the summer. As a result, I conduct a lot of my group programming outdoors when the weather permits. In addition, with a beautiful pool onsite, aqua fitness has become one of several successful programs that are thriving – this one in its fourth season.

Prior to the pandemic, there were serious talks of building a new spacious fitness center. The pandemic has placed those plans on hold for the time being, hopefully to be revisited in the very near future. As fitness engagement with members continues, our club’s management and ownership look to us as the experts, and with the proper research, we bring them the data needed to make the vital decisions regarding expansion.

Meanwhile, as we proceed through 2021, communications with members remains strong to promote our current amenities and offerings, and ensure that demand for growth exists prior to any vast investment being made. As such, member participation in 2021 has been greater than ever, a promising sign for the future.

As the sole face of fitness at Fiddler’s Elbow, it is sometimes a challenge to put programming in place that offers many options to members. After all, growth in staffing will only come with expanded infrastructure and increased programming options.

For now, we are serving our members and helping them place a greater focus on health and wellness. We’re engaging them in person via group and one-on-one training, and we bring in special contractors to teach yoga, Pilates and the aqua fitness program mentioned earlier.

In addition to my group and private fitness instruction, both online and in person, I enjoy running with my clients to motivate them to be the best they can be, for a healthier lifestyle and increased mobility, balance, strength and stamina on and off the golf course.