GFAA Best Practice: Implement Effective Programming in a Limited Space

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

Shannan Hunt on the importance of implementing effective fitness programming in a limited space:

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 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 to conduct classes when it is closed for the winter. 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 here. 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 to drive health and wellness at our club, our management and ownership teams look to us as the experts to bring them the data needed to make the vital decisions regarding expansion.

Shannan Hunt on the business impact of implementing effective fitness programming in a limited space:

Communications with members remains strong in promoting our current programs and tools, a key barometer in gauging the demand for growth and investment in the fitness infrastructure of our facility. As such, member participation in 2021 was 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 expansion 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.

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