Kinetisense vs. Exercise.com’s All-in-One Fitness Business Software


Manage and Grow Your Fitness Business Better with Exercise.com. Learn more below.

Kinetisense vs Exercise.com. Choose Exercise.com’s All-in-One Fitness Business Management Software. Review our head-to-head Kinetisense software comparison and see for yourself. Get a custom web and smartphone app designed for your brand with additional customization available throughout your custom-built software. Grow your business, turn leads into clients, and increase revenue. 

Kinetisense calls itself a “markerless motion capture analysis system” to assess and analyze movement in active individuals. The system can be used by biomechanists, physical therapists, chiropractors, researchers, athletic trainers, or other health professionals to assess active individuals or athletes. There are features to analyze balance, exercises/activities, posture, and joint range of motion.

An impressive feature aside, Kinetisense does not stack up as a fitness business management software system when compared to Exercise.com’s all-in-one software.

If you’re ready to manage and grow your business more easily, schedule a demo with Exercise.com.

Read on to find out why.

Kinetisense Company Overview

Kinetisense logo

Kinetisense is based in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, and was founded in 2013. Dr. Ryan Comeau is CEO and Co-Founder and David Schnare is Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Kinetisense Inc. There is no further information online about the business structure, revenue, or organizational details. 

The Kinetisense website says the company has sold 650 licenses for the Kinetisense system worldwide.

Kinetisense Features vs Exercise.com

This motion-capture tool and software system is capable of assessing biomechanics in active individuals, as well as posture, joint range-of-motion, balance, and functional movements. You will need a Windows 10 computer and tripod to use this hardware, which are not sold by Kinetisense.

As an assessment tool, Kinetisense’s features hit the mark. However, as a business management software tool, Exercise.com’s features prove to be superior.

Compared to the limited offerings provided by Kinetisense, Exercise.com’s features include performance health assessments as well as the features that are necessary for running a fitness business smoothly, like:

  • Workout creation, management, and delivery
  • Automated emails, texts, messages
  • Automated payments
  • Fully customizable web and smartphone applications
  • E-commerce capabilities
  • Nutrition tracking
  • Endless integrations
  • Staff roles, permissions, and schedules
  • And more…

Needless to say, it’s no surprise that some of the top brands in the industry have turned to Exercise.com for their business management software needs:

Exercise.com Industry Professionals

– Fitness Business Management

Kinetisense has limited workout management features available with its system. The only workout features are suggested exercises and strategies that may lessen the risk for injury.

There are no options to custom build workout or fitness programs for clients outside of the suggestions built into the system based on the assessment results.

In comparison, Exercise.com has robust workout management features, like a workout plan creation tool, a customizable exercise library, workout logging, progress tracking, automation options, and more. Personal trainers can create and deliver custom workouts for their clients and send reminders. updates, or workout summaries automatically or as they prefer.

FBM will also empower you to track visits, book classes and sessions, engage your clients with recurring appointment reminders via email and text, and provide calendar integration with google and apple for easy management.

With FBM’s calendar, you can also sort by:

  • Trainer
  • Location
  • Service
  • Recurring
  • Time
  • Availability

There are also no options for nutrition planning, tracking, or goal setting in Kinetisense. Exercise.com does have a number of features for nutrition, including rest day nutrition goals vs. training day nutrition goals, macronutrient (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) goals, and nutrition tracking. Trainers can also upload meal plans, files, or pictures to help their clients meet their nutrition and fitness goals.

You can also easily manage sales, staff, clients, or data logged falling between the cracks with reporting at your fingertips in your custom web and mobile apps. Managing a staff of any size is time-consuming but FBM saves you time with assignable staff roles, so you can put staff management on autopilot.

Plus all your reports can be run in a single software. No more safaris for which software has which reports. Exercise.com’s Fitness Business Management (FBM) software makes reports easy — sales, business, appointments, class, and payroll reports all in one place. Plus you can also sort reports by:

These reports empower you to have your finger on the pulse of your business and if you’re bringing on new trainers you’ll know how much to pay staff based on commissions. For your business’ marketing, automate your efforts by connecting to MailChimp, ConstantContact, ConvertKit, Zapier, Google Analytics, & Facebook Pixel

– Custom-Branded Web & Smartphone Apps

The Kinetisense app is only available via the Microsoft Store and can only be installed on Windows devices.

There is no mobile app available for Apple or Android devices.

In comparison, Exercise.com offers fully customizable mobile and online apps, which allow scheduling, check-ins, billing, point of sale, workout delivery, calendars, and workout logs, which are useful for personal trainers, health club owners, and active individuals.

The customization is not just a logo and colors; you can include integrations, verbiage, and other custom dev options. Technology is an important part of our daily lives, so Exercise.com makes the mobile app and online app simple, adaptable, and useful.

http://www.exercise.com/

Our custom-branded apps have helped us continue to make progress when training athletes, tracking their performance, and managing our business.” – Damon Goddard, Co-Founder, AMPD Golf Performance

An added bonus is that our world-class development team will work with you until you are satisfied with the end product. You don’t speak to bots but to human experts, and you don’t need to be an HTML pro in order to have applications that match your level of expertise. We build with your brand, and only your brand, in mind so that you can focus on building your business.

– Workout Creation and Delivery

Kinetisense does not have workout creation or delivery options. There are no features available in Kinetisense to develop exercise programs or deliver workouts.

Kinetisense only shows where the dysfunction or asymmetry is occurring and whether they are related to stability or mobility, but recommended strategies based on the assessment information are not available. There is no option to create or deliver exercises, stretches, or workout plans to clients.

If a professional wishes to create or deliver workouts after using the Kinetisense program to assess movement, they must have a separate system or software to do this.

Exercise.com has numerous features available for workout creation and delivery like an exercise library, workout logging, progress tracking, challenges, and automation options. Personal trainers and fitness professionals have access to a toolkit of options to design and deliver the workouts they clients want and need. The key factor is that these features can be personalized to help exercisers meet their fitness goals and they are included in the all-in-one software package.

exercise.com workout builder

“Exercise.com makes my life easier by providing an all-in-one solution and the opportunity to help those who otherwise would never have access to my programming!” – Tony Gentilcore, Founder, Core Online

Exercisers can view workouts, view workout summaries, view exercise libraries, or log workouts from anywhere — home, office, or the gym. The workout options via the mobile app make workout details available 24/7 and on the go.

http://www.exercise.com/

– E-Commerce/Point of Sale

Checkout system ecommerce with exercise.com

Kinetisense does not offer any e-commerce or point of sale features within its hardware or software system.

In comparison, Exercise.com clearly has the advantage because it offers capabilities to sell training packages to gym members or online clients, memberships, or single workout plans. All of these e-commerce features are included with Exercise.com, so it is not necessary to have an extra system for billing, payments, or purchases.

Your customers can pay you quickly and securely through your custom mobile app or through integration with your website.

In addition to receiving payments quickly, you are also able to automate payments for things like recurring memberships. Our e-commerce offerings also come with a Business Dashboard that provides financial data and helps make navigating the not-so-enjoyable parts of running a business, like dealing with any past due subscription payments, simple and straightforward.

Here are a few examples of fitness professionals and how they sell workouts.

  • Gym to celebrities like Ryan Reynolds – Don Saladino – sell single workout plans.
  • Gym to athletes like Jordan Spieth – AMPD Performance – sells single workout plans and delivers custom programming.
  • Gym to NBA pros like James Harden – PJF Performance – sells single workout plans and delivers automated monthly programming.
  • Barbell Physio offers a database of workout plans for a membership.
  • Madeline Moves offers a workout of the day membership and runs workout challenges.
  • Personal Trainer – Dean Somerset – offers individual programming.

– Performance Health Assessments

Performance health assessment with exercise.com software

The entire focus of Kinetisense is the biomechanical analysis of movement. Their 3D modules include:

  • Joint range of motion analysis
  • Posture data in the three cardinal planes of movement (frontal, sagittal, and transverse)
  • Functional movement of an exercise or activity
  • Balance, which can also be used for concussion baselines or elderly risk of falls

This system comes with functions to track performance over time and includes charts and graphs to show changes or improvements when re-testing; but here’s the caveat:

If a business or health club owner was using Kinetisense to screen clients or for assessment purposes, they would still need another system for business and management functions, workout delivery, and e-commerce. Two or more systems add more to one’s plate and add unecessary business expenses.

This is where Exercise.com’s all-in-one software can combine all the features that a fitness facility or health club would need, including performance health assessments, e-commerce, workout creation and delivery, customization options, and automation options while reducing costs and simplifying many processes into one system.

 

Manage workouts and clients easily using Exercise.com’s all-in-one business management software

– Client Engagement

Shapewatch and Kinetisense formed a partnership and launched ShapeKAMS. This program combines the capabilities of both systems and includes biometric screening, a view of an individual’s body shape, and completion of the KAMS functional movement assessment.

That’s where Kinetisense’s client engagement offerings end.

In order to ensure that you retain clients, it is important to engage with them regularly. Performing a movement assessment is not enough to fully engage your customers.

Exercise.com has many tools available in its all-in-one software for businesses to engage with their clients, increase brand loyalty, and generate revenue. Features like workout challenges, assessments, goal setting, trainer and client communication, reminders, customizable mobile apps and website options, workout delivery, and automation tools are all at your disposal.

http://www.exercise.com/

– Automation

The only automated option within the Kinetisense system is that reports are developed based on the results of the biomechanical assessment. Those are created by the system based on the results of the assessments and list dysfunctions in mobility or stability, or asymmetries to improve movement or lower risk for injuries.

There are no automated options for automating payments, reminders, notifications, scheduling, or workout delivery. However, Exercise.com offers all of those features and more. Health club professionals and personal trainers can set up the automation options they prefer and let the Exercise.com software make their life easier by collecting payments, sending workouts, and sending reminders.

For example, personal trainers can send automated appointment and workout reminders to clients:

Automation Screenshot

Kinestisense Pricing

There are two components to the overall cost of using Kinetisense. First is the purchase of the Kinetisense hardware, which includes the sensor (with the camera and microphone) and adapter. In addition, you also need a Windows laptop and tripod, but those are not sold by Kinetisense.

The second component is the license and yearly subscription (which does include software updates) to use the Kinetisense assessment program. Kinetisense is not upfront with their pricing structure, they request that you contact them via their website for the price details. However, some digging yielded a few details and additional pricing information.

The regular price for Kinetisense software plus the camera is $2094. The only information online refers to a yearly premium subscription of $996. The only other pricing information about the Kinetisense systems is pricing for the KAMS software at $3,984 for a four-year subscription.

Top Direct Competitors

The top competitors of Kinetisense are Functional Movement Systems and Fusionetics. Both offer movement analyses that have been tested and are reliable and valid measures of functional movement. The major differences are that FMS and Fusionetics (which uses FMS) are subjective measures and rely on a person to score, whereas Kinetisense uses objective measurements from the computer-based system.

The Bottom Line: Pros and Cons

Kinetisense is a fantastic performance assessment tool, but that is all that the program has to offer. For fitness professionals looking to streamline their services and lessen the amount of time required for everyday business needs, Exercise.com has Kinetisense beat.

– Exercise.com Pros

Web and smartphone apps that have been custom-made by our world-class development team are only the beginning of what Exercise.com has to offer fitness business owners. From a long list of features like nutrition tracking, workout creation, delivery, and management, performance assessment tools, e-commerce capabilities, automation, and endless integrations, Exercise.com has everything you need to smoothly and successfully run your business.

Because Exercise.com’s software is an all-in-one business management platform, you won’t need to subscribe to other programs, as is the case with Kinetisense, to fully manage the day-to-day operations of your business. This gives you more time to focus on the needs of your clients, customers, and staff.

– Kinetisense Cons

Kinetisense offers options for performance and sport assessments, as well as some recommendations based on the results, but does not go beyond that with additional features. The entire focus is on the analysis of movement. For those who manage their own businesses, this niche focus is simply not enough to run a business effectively.

For fitness professionals, personal trainers, or health club owners, a fitness management software that has the functions necessary for managing their business would be more appropriate. Exercise.com has an all-in-one package that includes workout software, management software, e-commerce software, and performance health assessment software that would be more useful for fitness professionals.

Hopefully, you see the benefit of not waiting to have a system and software in place that allows you to manage and grow your business for years to come.

What features are most important for your business?

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business with a software that can be customized to your business, book a demo with Exercise.com.





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Omnify vs. Exercise.com’s All-in-One Fitness Business Software


Manage and Grow Your Fitness Business Better with Exercise.com. Learn more below.

Omnify vs Exercise.com. Choose Exercise.com’s All-in-One Fitness Business Management Software. Review our head-to-head Omnify software comparison and see for yourself. Get a custom web and smartphone app designed for your brand with additional customization available throughout your custom-built software. Grow your business, turn leads into clients, and increase revenue. 

Omnify claims to be an all-in-one health club and business management software for use by fitness centers, yoga studios, tutoring or education courses, sports coaching or clinics, spas, salons, churches, and other small businesses, but how does it stack up to the all-in-one fitness business management software from Exercise.com?

Don’t need convincing? Book a demo with the Exercise.com team today.

Omnify Company Overview

Omnify logo

Omnify, Inc. is a fairly new company, founded in 2016, and has between 11 and 50 employees. The founder and CEO of Omnify is Manik Mehta. There is also a core group of employees that work in engineering, growth, or development listed on their website.

Omnify has two main locations, one is located in Mountain View, CA and the other is located in Bangalore, India.

Omnify Features vs Exercise.com

Omnify is a cloud-based business management software with features for scheduling appointments and classes, booking classes or appointments, collecting payments, automation, managing clients and staff, and personalizing websites. They market their software to many different types of businesses, from counseling services to sports classes to spas.

Exercise.com provides all of the features above, however, our software is fully customizable and does not stop with the basics. In addition to offering a fully-customizable experience, Exercise.com also provides our customers with:

  • Workout creators
  • Data tracking
  • A customizable exercise library
  • Nutrition tracking
  • Automated workout engagement
  • …and more

– Fitness Business Management

With Omnify, clients can book and manage classes, as well as add themselves to a waitlist, but customization is limited.

Customization is the key when it comes to the workout management features of Exercise.com. You have the ability to set up calendars and schedules, send reminders to clients, view or manage workout plans, and customize and save any workout plan for clients.

For managers, directors, and owners, you can set up access and permissions for your staff, view reports, set up commission and payroll options, and manage your software from anywhere. Staff can view their schedules, send reminders or notifications to their clients, access their client information, and edit their bio and personal information.

For those who love tracking their workouts, you can easily send workout summaries for clients to view and track progress. The cool thing is that your clients are able to look at workout summaries and performance health assessments over time to see the progression toward their fitness goals.

Exercise.com makes it easy to manage your entire fitness business in one place from scheduling appointments and processing billing to completing client assessments and delivering workouts in your custom-branded apps.

– Custom-Branded Web & Smartphone Apps

Custom app for MBSC

The Omnify GO mobile app is available for Apple and Android devices.  It is important to note that the Omnify GO mobile app and the web check-in app are not available for clients or class attendees to use to book classes or appointments. 

Omnify allows for website customization with all plans. There are buttons, widgets, and WordPress integration for fitness business websites.

As a comparison, Exercise.com offers several mobile app options and website options and Exercise.com offers website and mobile app customization. This customization is not just the colors and logo, but also verbiage and custom dev options so that your branding is consistent across all platforms.

Clients can book and manage classes and appointments, view workouts and an exercise library, get reminders or notifications, and more with the use of your customized and branded mobile app.

 

The best part? You don’t have to be tech-savvy to enjoy a fully-customizable platform. Let our dev team take care of the coding, so you can get back to running your business.

– Workout Creation and Delivery

http://www.exercise.com/

Although Omnify does promote its software as useful for fitness centers, health clubs, and yoga studios, it does not have any workout creation and delivery options. There is no exercise library, workout creation features, workout delivery, workout logging, or any options to track workout progress.

This is where Exercise.com has a clear advantage with our workout software. There is a large exercise library with videos, instructions, and muscles worked, with the option to add additional exercises that may not be in the library.

Clients or trainers can view or log workouts from anywhere with the mobile app. They also have the option to track attendance and view workout progress 24/7.

Personal trainers and fitness professionals can deliver workouts for any training scenario whether the clients are in your gym, anywhere in the world, pro athletes on the road, or in-between sessions. Even better, Exercise.com includes the workout software as part of their all-in-one system – no additional software needed.

 

“With Exercise.com, I’m able to reach people around the world with the programs that I design, implement, and push out. You don’t have that opportunity working in a local gym. So that’s been huge.” – Kellie Davis, Fit Thrive

– E-Commerce/Point of Sale

http://www.exercise.com/

Omnify allows payment via credit card, debit card, and wire transfers. They have integrations with Stripe and Paypal for ease of crediting payments to and from those platforms.

Exercise.com has numerous e-commerce features built into its all-in-one software. Exercise.com has features to sell memberships or training packages to clients in your facility as well as virtual clients that may be from across the nation. Payments can also be automatic or recurring, as well as in-person or online.

Another great feature of Exercise.com is the option to sell specialized or customized workout plans to anyone, anywhere. Let’s say you are a personal trainer and you have had excellent results with a golf strengthening and conditioning program that you developed locally, but you are ready to take it to the next level. Exercise.com has the option for you to sell this specialized program for anyone in the world to purchase, view, and complete on their own if they desire.

Personal trainers can also deliver customized training programs to their clients, set up recurring workouts to be delivered as the client chooses, and set up workout challenges for current or new clients.

“I sold a workout program and matched my yearly salary of in-person training within two weeks of selling to my community!” – Paul Fabritz, PJF Performance

Let the team at Exercise.com show you how to grow and manage your fitness business better!

– Performance Assessments

http://www.exercise.com/

Omnify has no performance assessment features built into its software. If a personal trainer or fitness professional was using Omnify for scheduling, e-commerce, and selling, they would need a separate system for performance assessment. This is one of the limiting factors of Omnify for use in fitness facilities and health clubs.

However, Exercise.com has a multitude of performance health assessment options. Trainers can perform and record a number of performance assessments on their clients, include body metrics and measurements, power, strength, and endurance assessments. Trainers can then use the assessment information to plan appropriate workouts and nutrition recommendations for their clients so the entire training experience is customized to each individual.

Clients can track their assessment data over time to see progress toward their fitness goals. Clients can also write notes or information in a journal and the trainer can view and comment on their journal.

 

Users are also able to track assessments using graphs and charts. Trainers and health professionals can also add custom assessment information to the system, giving a tremendous amount of flexibility to meet the needs of all clients and athletes. The great news is that the performance health software is built into the all-in-one Exercise.com setup, so no need for additional systems or programs.

– Client Engagement

Product analysis

Omnify has limited features for client engagement. There is very little interaction between clients and professionals using this software.

Exercise.com offers the ability to engage with clients both near and far. It’s easy to engage with clients that you see at the gym regularly, but there are also options to engage with your online and virtual clients using the features of Exercise.com. You can send workouts, notifications or reminders via email, app, or text, send assessment information, tips or motivational tools, and set up challenges or leaderboards to continually communicate with your clients.

Exercise.com offers fully customizable options within websites, mobile apps, and dashboards. These options are a beneficial way to engage with clients to help build your business, enhance your brand loyalty, and generate more revenue. 

– Automation

http://www.exercise.com/

Omnify offers limited automation options. It allows professionals to send auto-invoices to clients and to send payment links via email. Clients can set up for auto-payment or recurring payments for packages or memberships.

Exercise.com, however, offers numerous automation options. Personal trainers can send workouts and performance assessment data to clients automatically. For example, if a fitness enthusiast wants to workout two times a week from their office gym, the trainer can set up those workouts to send automatically to the client.

Fitness professionals can also set up automatic reminders and notifications via email, app, text, or the website. Exercise.com also has endless integrations and continues to add more regularly. Power your business by connecting to Zapier, Stripe, YouTube, Vimeo, MailChimp, ConvertKit, ConstantContact, Refersion, Intercom, and more. 

Omnify Pricing

There are two options for pricing – a single location or multiple locations. The single location options vary from $79 a month for the essential package (billed yearly, increases to $99 a month if billed monthly), to $199 month for the plus package (billed yearly, increases to $249 if billed monthly), or $499 a month for the pro package (billed yearly, increases to $599 a month if billed monthly).

The multiple locations plan starts from $99 month (billed yearly) per location, which is ideal for businesses with two to 20 locations. For a business with more than 20 locations or more than 100 staff members, the enterprise package would be a better fit.

Top Direct Competitors

The biggest competitors to Omnify are Trainerize, MindBody, Exercise.com, ZenPlanner, Virtuagym, Vagaro, and Pike13.

Trainerize, MindBody, Exercise.com, ZenPlanner, Virtuagym, and Vagaro are focused on fitness facilities and health clubs and they do include some of the workout creation, workout delivery, client engagement, and performance health assessment features that Omnify is missing. Pike13 is similar but does not have performance health assessment features.

The Bottom Line: Pros and Cons

Choosing the right software to run your business can mean the difference between success and failure, but it doesn’t have to be a hard choice because Exercise.com just makes everything easier.

– Omnify Cons

The big features that Omnify is missing are features that many fitness business owners need: the ability to engage with clients, develop and deliver workout programs, full customization, and the use of performance health assessments within the software.

For fitness professionals, fitness facilities, and health clubs, all-in-one software like Exercise.com would be a better fit. It has all the features they need in one system, for one price. Exercise.com users get all the functions that Omnify offers. In addition, they receive workout creation and delivery options (even for virtual clients), client engagement features, performance health assessment options, and fully-customized websites and smartphone apps.

– Exercise.com Pros

Customization is incredibly important when you’re looking to attract new clients and retain current clients. From building web and smartphone apps with your brand in mind to Exercise.com’s fully-customizable workout plan creator, our world-class dev team has ensured that managing your business will be a breeze.

In addition to Exercise.com’s long list of benefits, we also provide users with the option to track their nutrition. Trainers can adjust caloric needs based on whether a client is currently on a training day or a rest day and can add notes; another automated feature that we are happy to provide!

Hopefully, you see the benefit of not waiting to have a system and software in place that allows you to manage and grow your business for years to come.

What features are most important for your business?

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business with a software that can be customized to your business, book a demo with Exercise.com.



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ASF Payment Solutions vs. Exercise.com’s All-in-One Fitness Business Software


Manage and Grow Your Business Better with Exercise.com. Learn more below.

Review our head-to-head ASF Payment Solutions software comparison to see why Exercise.com has a leg up. Get a custom web and smartphone app designed for your brand with additional customization available throughout your custom-built software. Grow your business. Turn leads into clients. Increase revenue. All with Exercise.com’s All-in-One Business Management Software

For small businesses and large corporations in the fitness industry, forming the right systems and processes is crucial to success both day-to-day and long-term. The lynchpin in a gym’s systems that drastically affects operational efficiency is their management software. In most cases, it is the key to scheduling, payments, and membership management.

Gyms and independent fitness pros increasingly favor all-in-one software solutions; those which house the services mentioned above plus specialty fitness features like workout design, workout delivery, and nutrition planning. Doing so allows for an increased range of services to clients and much greater efficiency than dividing up these tasks between numerous platforms.

Nevertheless, there are still those companies which operate one-dimensionally, choosing to specialize in a particular facet of business operations. One such example is the subject of this review, ASF Payment Solutions. For busy businesses, one-dimensional software programs probably aren’t going to be as valuable as an all-in-one business management software like the software offered by Exercise.com.

If you don’t need convincing, book a demo with the Exercise.com team today.

Read on to find out why. 

ASF Payment Solutions Company Overview

ASF payment solutions logo

ASF Payment Solutions is a company based in Colorado and was established in 1973. The company was founded by martial artist and entrepreneur Richard Reed who also co-founded the American Tae Kwon Do Association. Reed founded ASF when he was unable to find a company that fulfilled the billing and contract management needs of his martial arts schools and fitness facilities.

While ASF’s methods have adapted to exist in the digital world, their essential purpose has remained the same: providing payment processing and support for businesses in the fitness industry.

ASF Payment Solutions Features vs Exercise.com

The software created by ASF Payment Solutions is called My Club Business. Throughout this review, there will be references to ASF, the company, and My Club Business, the software.

The company describes their product as a software suite in which multiple components work in tandem but may also be subscribed to separately for businesses that don’t need the whole package. What this translates to is companies needing to secure features like full web and app customization elsewhere.

With Exercise.com, you don’t need to pay multiple companies so that your business is managed well. Our all-in-one fitness business management software has many features, including:

  • Full customization for webpages and smartphone applications
  • Endless email marketing integrations
  • Automated payments
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Automated email, text, and app reminders
  • Performance health assessments
  • A full exercise video library
  • Workout planning and delivery
  • Nutrition tracking
  • And more…

– Fitness Business Management

Schedule Screenshot Closeup

My Club Business offers a detailed scheduling system for managing a gym’s group classes and personal training sessions.

Exercise.com does as well.

– Calendar and Booking

With Exercise.com’s all-in-one software you can manage all appointment types from classes to in-person training to workouts your clients perform remotely. Easily set up recurring events and set your available times so that clients using your custom-branded app can book appointments conveniently without the old-fashioned phone tag process.

We bet you’d rather be spending your time working on growing your business. That’s why we’ve developed our All-in-One Fitness Business Management (FBM) software.

How many more clients could you onboard, engage, and retain if you had an easy to use software to schedule and book clients?

Plus what if that software was built into the same platform you use to build workouts, sell plans, and deliver assessments?

  • No more learning a dozen different software to run your business.
  • No more teaching a bunch of different systems to your staff.
  • No more confusion and fractured experiences for your clients.

It’s the same unified experience for your staff and clients from web to apps.

FBM will empower you to track visits, book classes and sessions, engage your clients with recurring appointment reminders via email and text, and provide calendar integration with google and apple for easy management.

With FBM’s calendar, you can also sort by:

  • Trainer
  • Location
  • Service
  • Recurring
  • Time
  • Availability

– Accept Payments Securely & Easily

We know accepting payments securely and easily takes a lot of time, especially using one software for booking, another for workouts, and another for payments.

That’s why we came up with a Fitness Business Management (FBM) software where you can access all of your payment tools in the same custom-branded web and mobile apps, so that professionals like you could spend less time tracking down failed charges, taking payments, and managing payment details and have more time for growing your business.

FBM makes it easy to set up packages for your training where clients can pay a one-time or recurring price with cash, check, or credit card. Plus accept direct deposits and allow online purchasing of packages — all in one easy to use software.

And you’ll have sales and business reports for all your clients, classes, and workout packages to make managing your business easy.

– Increase Business Efficiency & Revenue

Never worry about sales, staff, clients, or data logged falling between the cracks with reporting at your fingertips in your custom web and mobile apps.

Managing a staff of any size is time-consuming but FBM saves you time with assignable staff roles, so you can put staff management on autopilot.

Plus all your reports can be run in a single software. No more safaris for which software has which reports. Exercise.com’s Fitness Business Management (FBM) software makes reports easy — sales, business, appointments, class, and payroll reports all in one place. Plus you can also sort reports by:

These reports empower you to have your finger on the pulse of your business and if you’re bringing on new trainers you’ll know how much to pay staff based on commissions.

For your business’ marketing, automate your efforts by connecting to MailChimp, ConstantContact, ConvertKit, Zapier, Google Analytics, & Facebook Pixel.

Are you catching the pattern?

  • Implement systems that save you time
  • Have all your management tools in one software
  • Manage your business from anywhere

Now you might be able to do these things on your own, but that’s the hard way. Exercise.com makes it easy.

– Custom-Branded Web & Smartphone Apps

Sample of an Exercise.com custom app

My Club Business offers gym owners the ability to perform certain limited customizations to the software in both the web app and mobile app. The account holder can upload their company logo to be shown in the header along with a primary and an alternate color that matches their branding.

Exercise.com, on the other hand, offers complete custom-branding which far exceeds simple color changes. We fully customize your web and smartphone app to meet your appearance and functionality needs. Your company’s app even displays with your own branding in the App and Google Play Stores, another customization feature that My Club Business does not provide.

Despite their attempt at modernizing with the member app, one can’t help but feel that ASF is well behind the times with their marketing and general presentation.

When it comes to ensuring client retention, it’s important to partner with a software service that understands the importance of marketing in the digital space and knows how to present your brand in an aesthetically-pleasing way. Exercise.com’s world-class dev team does just that. 

– Workout Creation and Delivery

Workout creation screenshot from Exercise.com

ASF’s My Club Business lacks any workout-related feature such as building, logging, or tracking performance. It follows, obviously, that gym owners cannot use the software to deliver workouts or related products within the member app.

To put it bluntly, My Club Business does not have any component indicative of a platform for use in fitness over any other industry. Other than the company’s marketing of the software to the health club industry, there’s nothing which distinguishes it from tools used to sell any general product or service.

If you’re looking for powerful and flexible workout software for your gym or online business, you’ll find it with Exercise.com. Our platform lets you design programs for any goal and easily build workouts using a vast exercise library.

Your custom programs are then delivered to clients automatically through the mobile app designed to give them the best workout tracking experience available while keeping your brand front-and-center.

Professional coaches are using Exercise.com every day to create and deliver workouts for their face-to-face and online clients. Mike Boyle, one of the country’s foremost experts on sports performance training, gave this feedback after implementing our software at Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning:

“The Exercise.com team is amazing and their web and mobile workout technology is more than we ever expected! Not only can clients watch exercise video demonstrations, but they can also select alternative exercises, log workouts, and track their performance. All of this is made possible by a high-quality platform and tremendous team!”

– E-Commerce / POS

Checkout system ecommerce with exercise.com

My Club Business software is capable of billing and accepting payments for services you provide in-person at a gym or studio. As a web-based platform, it supports online membership enrollment but potential subscribers should be aware that the platform is not designed to provide services online.

Business Management Software from Exercise.com offers all the tools you need to accept payments online for your training and other products. Your customers can pay you quickly and securely through your custom mobile app or through integration with your website.

Whether you want to sell training packages to clients in person or digital products like e-books to remote clients, our software helps you get paid and elevates your company’s professional appearance in the process.

– Performance Assessments

Performance health assessment with exercise.com software

While My Club Business enables the delivery of documents like liability waivers and PAR-Q forms within its online enrollment system, it noticeably lacks the capability to perform fitness assessments or track progress data. While this is not an important feature for those in industries outside of health and fitness, having the ability to track client data and to conduct various health and fitness assessments is crucial for an owner of a fitness facility or online training program.

Exercise.com goes beyond basic paperwork by letting you create customized client assessments in which you’ll collect physical measurements and performance data to help you build the most effective fitness program for your client.

 

Using detailed and accurate data on your client’s performance, you can even deliver pre-designed training programs automatically based on their current ability and needs. Exercise.com helps you provide better training and helps you retain clients with follow-up assessments that prove the effectiveness of your coaching.

Let the team at Exercise.com show you how to grow and manage your fitness business better!

– Client Engagement

One of ASF’s unique offerings is the ability to outsource your gym’s payment collection and the discomfort that often comes with it, to their team in what they euphemistically call Member Support. While they claim to build relationships and “ensure member satisfaction”, let’s be honest about their role: performing collection calls on your clients who have past due bills.

No matter how they phrase it, any interaction your clients have with them is not a pleasant experience:

“I had never even heard of ASF before a few days ago when I tried to cancel my gym membership. Long story short, they charged me for dues that even my gym agreed I didn’t owe. They lied and they stuck to their lie even when called out on it.” – Wylie W., Yelp

“Do NOT use any gym that uses ASF for their payment solution. [The gym I attended] closed in December 2016. I tried to cancel multiple times and was still charged in December. I had to have my bank reverse the charges. I’ve been harassed by ASF ever since for December payment and late fees FOR A GYM THAT HAD CLOSED!” – Tammy V., Yelp

“The software presents itself as a full health club management and billing software. It is nothing more than a merchant service company with a very poor attempt to wrap a health club management around its merchant services.” – Jeff B., Google

On Google, the company has a rating of 1.9 / 5 and on Yelp 1 / 5. The biggest concern for gym owners is the astounding number of reviewers who advised others “don’t go to any gym that uses ASF.”

Client engagement means something else entirely to Exercise.com and the gyms who use our software. We provide a way for you to efficiently interact with clients through in-app messaging on your custom-branded smartphone app. You can also build your community by hosting workout challenges and generating digital leaderboards which fuel clients’ motivation.

– Automation

The limited scope of My Club Business means that there are few actions in which automation is even relevant.

Some examples of automations that benefit gyms and members they serve are those available from Exercise.com:

Exercise.com Automations

  • Automatically send fitness assessments and deliver training based on your client’s results
  • Have clients receive their next workout plan automatically upon completion of their current program
  • Send clients workout reminders on each day they have a scheduled activity and reminders if they miss a workout
  • Send clients reminders about one-on-one appointments for in-person training or via the web
  • Automatically send follow-up assessments when clients reach a training milestone or designated date

Because our software automatically sends assessments and uses those assessments to generate your client’s workout plan, you are able to provide clients with training that evolves as they do.

For example, when Exercise.com sends your client their initial fitness assessment based on your specifications, you can have another assessment sent automatically every 2 months. This will test their progress and will then adapt their training program accordingly. The end result is that your client continues to progress, and you have more time to keep advancing your fitness business.

Automation Screenshot

ASF Payment Solutions Pricing

ASF offers three service plans at different price points based on their level of involvement with your business beyond providing the My Club Business software.

  • Process-Only – Access to the MCB software suite, Basic payment processing
  • Economy – Access to the MCB software suite, Payment processing with auto-retry for failed payments, Payment collection services up to 90 days past due.
  • Premium Access to the MCB software suite, on-call Member Support, Payment processing with more auto-retries for failed payments, Payment collection services up to 120 days past due.

The My Club Business software alone costs $249 per month and there is also a monthly fee to integrate the basic software with the My Member Connect app; $59 per month. Keep in mind that the additional fee for payment processing will be charged in addition to these set monthly fees for software and customer support.

Top Direct Competitors

Exercise.com, offering the most complete custom branding for your business’s online platform and mobile apps. Our software is an all-in-one solution that provides specialty fitness features in addition to billing and scheduling operations.

ABC Financial, providing similar services to ASF in the vein of billing and collections for corporate gyms.

MindBody, a widely-used platform for small and large businesses with scheduling, billing, and a lengthy list of integrations with other software and apps.

The Bottom Line: Pros and Cons

Le’s boil this down into the Pros and Cons:

– ASF Payment Solutions Cons

ASF Payment Solutions is used by large health clubs for the primary purpose of billing and collections. For small businesses, particularly those engaging in online services, ASF is not the solution to your needs since it cannot fulfill all the tasks expected by those who provide high-quality fitness training.

Further, the negative reviews online paired with bare-bones customization points toward a software “solution” that is anything but a solution.

If you’re looking for a platform that offers the whole package, check out Exercise.com’s Business Management Software, the all-in-one solution for your fitness business. Get started with a demo call with our team and learn how we’re helping our clients manage some of the most successful fitness businesses in the country.

– Exercise.com Pros

Exercise.com not only acts as a payment processing tool; our software also acts as a one-stop-shop for all of your business management needs. From building web and smartphone apps with your brand in mind, to seamless integrations, performance health assessments, nutrition tracking, workout creation, management, and delivery, and a world-class dev team at your disposal, Exercise.com has you covered.

If you need custom features, easy integration, and engaging performance health software, contact us today for a demo. Our development team will work with you to create software for your business that not only works but that works well.

Hopefully, you see the benefit of not waiting to have a system and software in place that allows you to manage and grow your business for years to come.

What features are most important for your business?

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business with a software that can be customized to your business, book a demo with Exercise.com.



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Kinduct vs. Exercise.com’s All-in-One Fitness Business Software

Kinduct vs. Exercise.com’s All-in-One Fitness Business Software


Manage and Grow Your Fitness Business Better with Exercise.com. Learn more below.

Kinduct vs Exercise.com. Choose Exercise.com’s All-in-One Fitness Business Management Software. Review our head-to-head Kinduct software comparison and see for yourself. Get a custom web and smartphone app designed for your brand with additional customization available throughout your custom-built software. Grow your business, turn leads into clients, and increase revenue. 

Kinduct is an athlete management system used by many professional organizations and sports teams to keep their data in one central location.

Does Kinduct deliver on its promises and is it a useful tool for sports professionals and athletes? How does it stack up to the all-in-one business management software features that Exercise.com offers? Let’s find out!

Kinduct Company Overview

Exercise.com Industry Professionals

Kinduct Technologies Inc. was founded in 2010 by Dr. Travis McDonough, who currently also serves as the CEO. Dr. McDonough has a background in kinesiology and chiropractic care. He also has a few NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) certifications. It offers a data-driven, athlete management platform that serves as a central platform to view and analyze data for athletes in one location.

Exercise.com has also been around since 2010 and has secured many notable clients, including:

Kinduct Features vs Exercise.com

Because Kinduct is primarily for athletes, it lacks the range of features many fitness business owners need to run their businesses smoothly.

Exercise.com, however, provides business owners with all-in-one software that equips fitness professionals with the tools they need to manage their companies in an easy-to-use, fully-customizable way.

You won’t have to purchase an additional software platform to perform performance health assessments and to run your business, as our software meets both of those needs. Additionally, your app will feature your brand, not the brand of the software that you’ve paid to use.

Let the team at Exercise.com show you how to grow and manage your fitness business better!

– Fitness Business Management

http://www.exercise.com/

There are features within Kinduct for sports performance staff to develop and schedule workouts for athletes. They can add, edit, or create exercises and training, workout, or rehabilitation programs with the ability to add documents such as videos, pictures, or other files. Athletes can view and log workouts using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. They can also log their workouts offline.

Exercise.com delivers on another level for Fitness Business Management software.

– Scheduling & Booking Made Easy

I bet you’d rather be spending your time working on growing your business. That’s why we’ve developed our All-in-One Fitness Business Management (FBM) software.

How many more clients could you onboard, engage, and retain if you had an easy to use software to schedule and book clients?

Plus what if that software was built into the same platform you use to build workouts, sell plans, and deliver assessments?

  • No more learning a dozen different software to run your business.
  • No more teaching a bunch of different systems to your staff.
  • No more confusion and fractured experiences for your clients.

It’s the same unified experience for your staff and clients from web to apps.

FBM will empower you to track visits, book classes and sessions, engage your clients with recurring appointment reminders via email and text, and provide calendar integration with google and apple for easy management. With FBM’s calendar, you can also sort by:

  • Trainer
  • Location
  • Service
  • Recurring
  • Time
  • Availability

Exercise.com makes my life easier by providing an all-in-one solution and the opportunity to help those who otherwise would never have access to my programming!” -Tony Gentilcore, Founder, Core Online

– Accepting Payments Easily and Securely

I know accepting payments securely and easily takes a lot of time, especially using one software for booking, another for workouts, and another for payments.

That’s why we came up with a Fitness Business Management (FBM) software where you can access all of your payment tools in the same custom-branded web and mobile apps, so that professionals like you could spend less time tracking down failed charges, taking payments, and managing payment details and have more time for growing your business.

FBM makes it easy to set up packages for your training where clients can pay a one-time or recurring price with cash, check, or credit card. Plus accept direct deposits and allow online purchasing of packages — all in one easy to use software. And you’ll have sales and business reports for all your clients, classes, and workout packages to make managing your business easy.

– Increase Business Efficiency & Revenue

Never worry about sales, staff, clients, or data logged falling between the cracks with reporting at your fingertips in your custom web and mobile apps.

Managing a staff of any size is time-consuming but FBM saves you time with assignable staff roles, so you can put staff management on autopilot.

Plus all your reports can be run in a single software. No more safaris for which software has which reports. Exercise.com’s Fitness Business Management (FBM) software makes reports easy — sales, business, appointments, class, and payroll reports all in one place. Plus you can also sort reports by:

These reports empower you to have your finger on the pulse of your business and if you’re bringing on new trainers you’ll know how much to pay staff based on commissions. For your business’ marketing, automate your efforts by connecting to MailChimp, ConstantContact, ConvertKit, Zapier, Google Analytics, & Facebook Pixel

– Custom-Branded Web & Smartphone Apps

PJF Performance screenshot collage

The Kinduct software and mobile app are only available to athletes and professionals who have purchased the software. Neither is available to the general public.

In comparison, Exercise.com has a fully customizable mobile app available for trainers and clients to create, track, and log workouts, as well as options for billing, check-ins, health performance assessments, and automated features. Exercise enthusiasts can use the mobile app to track workouts, view the exercise library, book classes, purchase memberships, and set goals using assessments or challenges.

The key features for the mobile app and website are customization and flexibility. Professionals can choose the features that are most useful to their business. The app can be customized to match your logo, colors, voice, and brand so your clients are able to easily recognize it.

For a while now, we have been looking for a great way to provide an all-encompassing experience for basketball players. The customization features of the web platform and custom-branded apps have allowed us to do that, creating the perfect marriage between our expert content and all of the really cool features that help separate us from the rest of the competition.” -Kyle Ohman, Basketball HQ

– Workout Creation and Delivery

Workout plan

Kinduct has features for strength and conditioning staff and personal trainers to develop workout and training programs for athletes. The most notable features are a training program builder, strength cards, logs, load calculations, and fitness testing and assessments.

Exercise.com also has numerous features available for workout creation and delivery, like an exercise library with exercise descriptions, videos, muscles worked, and instructions, plus tracking features, logging features, customization, and organizational features. The best part? You don’t have to be a professional athlete to use it.

Exercise.com has workout software to power your training. Deliver workouts for any training scenario whether your clients are in your gym, anywhere in the world, pro athletes on the road, or in-between sessions.

– E-Commerce/Point of Sale

http://www.exercise.com/

There are no e-commerce and point of sale options via the Kinduct software, so there is no ability to sell training packages or memberships. Revenue generation is a feature that is not included with Kinduct.

On the other hand, Exercise.com has many features available for e-commerce, including membership sales, personal training packages, and workout challenges. The options include:

  • Sell memberships or training packages
  • Sell individual or custom workout plans (sport-specific or goal-specific) for use online, at home, or in the gym
  • Sell individual training options to online customers or gym members
  • Run workout challenges to motivate and encourage clients while increasing revenue
  • Sell recurring workout plans, such as weekly workouts or assessments

– Performance Assessments

http://www.exercise.com/

Kinduct uses data from performance assessments such as the Functional Movement Screening (FMS), Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), and the Y-balance test (YBT). All of these assessments are stand-alone and do not have to be used in conjunction with Kinduct. Kinduct has integrated with these assessments to include them with their system.

These assessments are certainly impressive. However, it is important to remember that these assessments are not exclusive to Kinduct and can be used without signing up for Kinduct’s software; as such, they are not unique to Kinduct’s software system.

Exercise.com has health performance assessments that are unique to our software and helps clients meet their fitness goals and track progress along the way. No need to pay for or learn another system for billing, e-commerce, or marketing. With Exercise.com, you have everything that you need in one software package.

Some of the performance health assessment features available include tracking measurement data, injuries, and custom assessment notes. Some of the measurements and assessments include weight, height, activity level, distance runs, power output, range of motion measurements, and others.

 

You are also able to track assessments using graphs and charts. Trainers and health professionals can also add custom assessment information to the system, giving a tremendous amount of flexibility to meet the needs of all clients and athletes. The great news is that the performance health software is built into the all-in-one Exercise.com setup, so no need for additional systems or programs.

These features allow you to turn leads into clients by gauging their health and fitness levels and re-engage existing clients by showing them how they have progressed over time. More importantly, the data collected by these assessments are fully customized to the specific needs of your clients.

Let the team at Exercise.com show you how to grow and manage your fitness business better!

– Automation

Automation Screenshot

Kinduct has a feature that allows triggers and alerts to be sent via email or text to athletes and performance staff when certain parameters are either too low or too high. Another automation feature is the use of athlete questionnaires.

Exercise.com allows for questionnaires and follow-up with active individuals based on performance assessments or workout goals. Trainers are also able to automate marketing, email, messages, appointments, billing, and workout delivery (see image above).

We also have endless integrations and continue to add more regularly. Power your business by connecting to Zapier, Stripe, YouTube, Vimeo, MailChimp, ConvertKit, ConstantContact, Refersion, Intercom, and more.

Kellie Davis, trainer and owner of FitThrive, had this to say about the endless integrations made available to her through the Exercise.com all-in-one business management software:

Exercise.com has allowed a lot of flexibility with integration, so I can better connect with my customers. They developed a way to integrate with my CMR so I can send email sequences after purchasing, and they also created an upsell option on the sales page that offers exclusive products to customers.”

http://www.exercise.com/

Kinduct Pricing

There is no information posted by Kinduct about the pricing structure. Some information online indicates different pricing packages for various team sizes and desired features.

Top Direct Competitors

Other athlete management systems, platforms, and software that are competitors of Kinduct include CoachMePlus, SMARTABASE, AthleteMonitoring, and EDGE10.

Regarding fitness business management software, Kinduct cannot compete with a majority of business management software companies, because Kinduct is not able to offer most features that businesses need to thrive. For an all-in-one package that incorporates performance health assessment software in addition to the features needed to run a successful business, Exercise.com is the best choice.

The Bottom Line: Pros and Cons

Those that are considering Kinduct are likely not looking for a fitness business development software program, as Kinduct does not provide the features required to run a successful business. Exercise.com, however, boasts a wide range of features that make running a business easier.

– Kinduct Cons

When comparing the features of Kinduct vs. Exercise.com for fitness management software, Exercise.com clearly has features that are more appropriate to fit the needs of personal trainers and health club owners. Kinduct focuses more on athletes and performance data, whereas fitness professionals are working with a variety of active individuals, not just athletes. Fitness clubs and personal trainers have very different needs which an athlete management software does not have available.

First, Kinduct is missing many of the management software features and e-commerce features that Exercise.com has, including customization, scheduling, automating payments, class booking, and marketing integrations. If you are looking for a fitness business software, Exercise.com would be a better fit because of its benefits for fitness professionals.

Second, Kinduct is geared toward athletes, whereas Exercise.com is geared toward personal trainers and fitness facilities and their clientele. Many of the features that Kinduct uses for athletes, such as sports statistics, player tracking (GPS), and rehabilitation programs and plans are not useful for personal trainers or fitness facility staff.

– Exercise.com Pros

For anyone interested in all-in-one fitness business management software that will allow them to grow and manage their business with ease, Exercise.com is the clear choice.

From building custom web and smartphone apps with your brand in mind to e-commerce capabilities, workout builders, nutrition tracking, endless integration possibilities, and a world-class development team that is focused solely on you and your needs, Exercise.com provides business owners with all that they need to get back to what they love most: helping clients become the best versions of themselves.

Hopefully, you see the benefit of not waiting to have a system and software in place that allows you to manage and grow your business for years to come.

What features are most important for your business?

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business with a software that can be customized to your business, book a demo with Exercise.com.



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How to Manage Your Gym (The Complete Guide)


Get the Basics…

  • Market your business in a way that holds true to your long-term vision for it, not what’s expedient at the moment.
  • Make your gym a community and members will stay loyal and promote it.
  • Invest in developing your employees for their benefits and your gym’s.
  • Close more clients with two strategies that help you overcome sales anxiety.

If you manage a fitness facility, or particularly if you own one, the stakes are too high to depend on trial-and-error learning for how to optimize the business and make it a place where physical and financial success is achieved. You can take valuable insights from others in the field to instantly upgrade how you operate.

In this guide, I’m sharing the best advice to help new and existing gyms run smoother, increase revenue, and ultimately have a positive effect on more of the people who work and train there. You won’t want to miss any of these unique tips!

If you’re ready to manage your gym better, schedule a demo with Exercise.com.

Marketing

#17 –  Set an identity and stick to it

What sets your gym apart from the many others a prospective customer might join? Before you can communicate it to them, you have to know the answer yourself! Think of how you want to be perceived and what will give you not only financial success but also satisfaction.

An identity can be based on a certain type of methodology, the atmosphere you create, or the population you serve. You could be anything from a Pilates studio to a blood-on-the-bar hardcore powerlifting gym, but once you determine who you are stick to that so that people can clearly identify what you do and how your gym is different from the competition.

Check the video above where Dean, Kellie, and Tony talk about the importance of finding your niche and identity.

#16 – Advertise selectively

When you own or manage a gym, you’re flooded with pitches for advertising opportunities. From spots on the local high school scoreboard to radio ads, many organizations will approach you to sell advertising; be prepared to say “No” most of the time.

Just because you’re offered the spot doesn’t mean it’s a good call for your business, it’s just the salesperson’s job to ask as many businesses as they can and sell ad space to any who bite. Contrarily, it’s your job to be selective and only commit money to ads which have a high return on investment.

Don’t be sold on how many people will potentially see an ad, decide based on whether the potential viewers will be high-quality leads for your business. Case in point, if your potential clientele is a narrow group, broadcast advertising like billboards or radio ads are likely a waste. Instead, you should narrowcast by aiming ads only where you have potential customers.

#15 – Leverage professional help

Gyms just getting off the ground or struggling financially need to do as much free DIY marketing as possible but if you have the room in your budget, getting the help of an advertising agency can be a worthwhile investment. Before you think, “What can they do that I can’t?” consider this:

As a fitness professional, you can provide a superior result for clients compared to what they’d achieve on their own even though many people likely ask themselves, “What can a trainer do that I can’t?” They simply aren’t aware of how much more you know about training than they do. Now, the shoe is on the other foot with you as the client. Remember that an advertising professional knows their game every bit as well as you know the fitness game.

Find a reputable marketing agency with a track record of success, preferably one that has worked with fitness professionals in the past, and do a consultation with them to learn what they can offer you. This day and age, online digital marketing is the gold standard, and professionals in this arena can precisely target your audience with ads and implement processes for turning viewers into clients with much more control and sophistication than any form of print media.

#14 – Represent your business with a well-designed website

Far more people will research your gym online than will walk in your door to ask for information. It is highly likely that your website will be where they get their first impression and it’s up to you to make it a good one!

Because many small business gyms are falling far short of their potential when it comes to the perception they create through their website, you can quickly gain a competitive advantage by investing more effort into yours. Your site should be visually appealing, user-friendly, and clearly convey information all while expressing your gym’s identity as mentioned earlier.

How do you make sure you have a website that’s up to par? You can enlist professional help as with advertising if your budget allows, or, if you have an eye for design, take it on yourself. With inexpensive, easy-to-use tools like Wix and Squarespace which have great-looking templates to simply drag and drop your content into, there’s no excuse not to have a respectable site that makes a good impression.

Of course, you can always enlist the help of Exercise.com for all of your custom-branded website and smartphone application needs.

Get custom-branded web and smartphone applications through Exercise.com!

#13 – Don’t rely on cheap pricing promotions

Free, Cheap, and Easy. You may expect these words to attract people to your gym and sometimes they will, but what happens every time is they lower the perceived value of what your gym offers. Think about it: If you ascribe a cheap price to something, what are you telling customers about the value of it?

I’m not saying never give a trial class or a reward for referrals, but don’t make it so often or so easy that people get the impression it isn’t worth much. If you do that, particularly as their introduction to your gym, it may be impossible to raise their opinion or their price of membership up to the level it really should be down the road.

What’s more, you need to consider who you’re attracting. Low price or No Commitment advertising attracts people who either don’t take fitness seriously enough to invest in it or people who are already looking for a way out as soon as they start. These members are of little value to your gym as they don’t contribute to the community, don’t refer others, and are the most likely to give you payment collection problems.

Particularly if you’re a small business, you don’t want to get into the discount price war. That’s the battleground of big-box gyms who choose the high volume-low quality strategy. The best way to compete is to offer a premium service and make sure it’s perceived as such.

Sales

#12 – Make your pricing clear and simple

In the modern marketplace for nearly any type of product or service, customers are used to having instant access to information. Giving them the run-around on pricing or making them go through several steps to get information can lose them before you even have a shot at making a sale.

You can avoid this pitfall by making your pricing and service options easy to understand and remember. For example, rather than tiered pricing for personal training sessions (1 per week – $70 each, 2 per week – $60 each, etc.) decide on the single figure your training is truly worth and charge a flat fee.

Gym owners and managers also must inevitably decide on whether or not to make their prices public. I strongly suggest you do for two reasons:

1) It eliminates the risk of losing good prospects who just want to know a price before coming in physically,
2) Anyone who sees the price and thinks it’s too expensive was not a qualified customer for your business anyway. You’ve allowed them to filter themselves out before any time is wasted on a fruitless consultation.

#11 – Pitch the Pros of your business, not the Cons of someone else’s

As tempting as it can be to put down your competition when speaking to a prospect, resist that urge! Sure, at the time you might get a head nod or an “Oh, I didn’t know that,” but in the long run, you’ll only hurt yourself.

Regardless of the validity of your criticism, prospects will remember you as being negative and will possibly perceive it as insecurity; especially if they’ve shopped around and had a good impression of the competitor.

Clients want to have a positive experience during their consultation appointment and during their hopeful future participation at your gym, so set up the situation in a way where they’ll remember you as the positive person who made them feel confident and capable.

What if the prospect asks you directly to compare yourself to the competition, how do you handle it?

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples which show the wrong approach and the right one:

The WRONG Approach

Prospect: To be honest, I’ve been shopping around and the other place I’m considering is BestBody Fitness. What do you know about them? How is this different?

Manager: Well, to begin with, I think they’re overpriced for what they’re offering. I see their videos on Instagram and it doesn’t look like anybody there knows what they’re doing – I honestly don’t see how they keep any clients. We do things totally different and, actually, a lot of our clients left BestBody to come to us.

✓ The RIGHT Approach

Prospect: To be honest, I’ve been shopping around and the other place I’m considering is BestBody Fitness. What do you know about them? How is this different?

Manager: I’ve heard both good and bad things from people who’ve been to BestBody, but since I haven’t been there personally, I don’t want to speculate or spread rumors. I just focus on trying to constantly improve what we do here and make sure everyone we train is on track to their goals. The important thing is where you see yourself being the most successful.

#10 – Maintain Price Integrity

Price integrity means two things:
1) Holding true to the value of what you offer by not undercutting the price
2) Every client that registers for the same service pays the same price

Thinking specifically about point number two, if your first thought is: “Of course everyone pays the same, don’t they always?” you likely have a good ethical compass but haven’t spent much time working in the fitness industry.

Unfortunately, it’s common practice for gym managers and salespeople to let their hunger for the sale override their sense of fairness and many companies support the practice of charging full price for some members and discounting for others. For both moral and practical reasons, this is bad business.

When members know they’re not being charged equitably, it drastically reduces their respect for and trust in your business. In turn, they won’t recommend you to anyone they know and likely won’t even consider renewing their own membership down the road.

What’s more, it is incredibly taxing and stressful for a staff member to keep secrets about the different prices people are paying. As a manager, you and your staff will be much happier and more satisfied working in a place with no secret deals where you can openly answer any question that arises concerning pricing.

Now you may be thinking, “What about sales and special promotions? When someone joins under those, can’t I give a discount?”

Yes, you can, but do so carefully and pay attention to how your full-price members will view the deal new members are getting. The last thing you want to do is alienate members who’ve been loyal supporters and there are two reliable ways to avoid that:

First, if you want to offer a new member discount, make it only on their initial costs at sign-up, not their ongoing monthly fee as this is what existing members will want to compare most. It will sit a lot better with them knowing they only missed saving money once, not every month.

Second, and preferable to the first option, is to not offer a discount, but an added value instead like complimentary personal training sessions. The key is to then offer the same bonus to you’re existing membership as well. This not only keeps things equitable but also lets members know they are valued. As an added bonus, you may even upgrade more members to personal training from standard memberships.

#9 – Get comfortable talking about money

Some gym managers are natural salespeople, the kind with charisma and self-assurance to spare who don’t get nervous in the sales situation. However, for many of us working in fitness, this does not come naturally and we have significant hurdles to get over when it comes to the monetary side of closing a sale.

It’s an all-too-common scenario: you’re in a consultation with a prospective client and the conversation has been going great, you’re totally comfortable talking fitness and goals. Then the moment comes when you have to transition to asking the person to sign up and pay you, now you lose your nerve and the confidence you had moments ago is gone.

It’s not just you who feels it, the customer sees your discomfort and reflects it too. The sudden awkward turn in the conversation can be enough to make them lose their excitement and fall back on the objections they already had in the back of their mind. Ultimately, the appointment ends with “I’m gonna think about it” or “I want to visit some other gyms before I decide”.

If that sounds like a situation you’ve experienced, you’re not alone. Many of us got into this field for our love of training and never cared to get involved in sales at all. But before you resign yourself to the thought, “I’ll just never be good at selling”, know that there are ways to get over your anxiety about discussing money. Here are the two most valuable strategies:

First, don’t project your relationship with money onto the customer. So you’re struggling to pay off student loans, pay rent, and keep the lights on; it’s understandable that money is an uncomfortable issue for you but don’t assume it’s the same for the customer. They could have money to spare and are ready to invest it in fitness if they find the right gym or trainer.

Second, you may lack confidence in the service you’re selling and need to step it up. To put it simply, you need to increase the quality of what you provide until you stop thinking “Is this worth the price?” and start thinking “Why wouldn’t they sign up?” (watch the video above where Kellie Davis talks about setting prices for your business).

When you know that you’re always going to give more value to the client than the price they’re paying, it will become much easier to ask them to pay it.

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Financial

#8 – Keep a buffer in your budget

Think a gym can be successful in business just by being passionate about fitness and providing good training? Think again.

There are many very talented fitness professionals whose businesses have failed not because of failure to achieve fitness goals, but because of failure to prepare for financial hardships and unexpected expenses. You can minimize this risk by always leaving some buffer room in your budget.

Let’s start at the very beginning: you have a brand new business with a facility still being built and no equipment yet. Whatever funding you’ve received from a loan, investors, or personal savings, don’t assign a duty to every dollar.

Specifically, if you have a $75K budget to start the business, it’s a mistake to commit it all right away on $40K for renovations, $30K for equipment, $5K for rent and utilities. What will you do when the contractor ups the cost of his work from the estimate or you find out there are building code violations you’ll have to pay to fix?

The best way to prevent an unforeseen problem from derailing your business before you even get off the ground is to leave money aside that covers the inevitable unexpected challenges.

Keep the same thing in mind even if you manage a more stable business with a few years of operation under your belt. Never exhaust your bank account on discretionary spending; you never know when an A/C unit could break or a high-value client could move away and cancel their membership.

#7 – Use software that streamlines your business

All-in-one App Screenshots

If your gym is going to operate efficiently, management software is a non-negotiable necessity. Without a platform that tracks memberships and billing, you would need another full-time employee just to do all the manual record-keeping and payment processing.

Fortunately, business management software has become sophisticated enough that you can do far more than the bare minimum of billing and membership sales. All-in-one software like that offered by Exercise.com combines everything you need to operate your business from a financial standpoint plus specialty fitness features like workout creation and remote delivery.

With Exercise.com’s software, you can integrate your in-person business with your online presence giving members the ability to sign up for services on their own and even purchase additional products to add revenue without any extra work by you or your staff.

What’s more, clients will interact with your business through a custom-branded mobile app which opens up entirely new benefits your business can offer like performance health assessments and customized training that clients receive directly on their phones.

 

BONUS TIP: Always Know Your Numbers

Be sure your software can provide you with insights into the financial health of your company through instant access to reports. You should always know your gym’s monthly revenue, average member value, and member retention rate. These are equivalent to vital signs for your business and staying on top of them ensures you’re in the driver’s seat and not just along for the ride.

#6 – Keep records of everything

None of us got into a fitness career with dreams of handling accounting, taxes, and legalities but just like any other business entity, these are a necessary part of operating a gym. To pursue what you’re passionate about, you have to take precautions to protect the business from litigation and stay on the right side of your state’s Dept. of Revenue and the IRS.

Store membership contracts, waivers, cancellation letters, and even complaints; make sure you have a process for documenting and saving every bit of information on anything that goes on in your gym. On a routine basis, you’ll need financial records at minimum to file annual taxes but every business also has some degree of risk for more serious legal situations to arise.

Keep all the evidence you can to show that you’re doing everything in your gym above board. If, for instance, a member decides to dispute whether they gave you permission to draft their bank account, their signed authorization will be a handy document to have.

As another example, if a former client takes legal action against your business accusing you of causing physical injury to their back, their signed Health History Questionnaire where they indicated they had back pain preceding their training with you could save you from a major liability.

The point is not to expect the worst, just to be prepared for it. At the end of the day, it’s better to have and not need than to need and not have!

Client Relations

Depending on the market you live in, customers could have dozens or even hundreds of other options for where to accomplish their fitness goals. How are you going to stand out when the new customer is shopping around? How are you going to ensure your current members are with you for the long haul?

The answer is giving your gym a sense of community.

Most people enjoy and benefit from working out with others and even those who prefer to be independent will still like the positives that come from a people-focused approach to fitness:

  • Gym staff and members know each other by name
  • Members help hold each other accountable to keep up their consistency
  • Members look forward to the social aspects of visiting your gym
  • Members identify with the gym community and take pride in it

These benefits add up to one major takeaway that the business gains from most: members who form relationships and think of themselves as part of a community stay longer, promote your gym, and are more successful in achieving their goals.

Think about it: if your selling point is just the facility and its great equipment, what happens when a newer gym opens with nicer equipment? If people were only attracted to your gym because of low membership cost, what happens when another gym undercuts your price?

The answer in both scenarios is the member jumps ship because there’s nothing you’re providing that they can’t get somewhere else. Now factor in the emotional draw of being part of a community. The member will not leave their friends who count on them nor trade a coach who’s seen them through obstacles just to save $10 a month or to use a new toy.

#4 – Create processes for check-ups and testimonials

Keeping your members engaged and on track is critical to their success and your business’s. Don’t leave this to chance or think, “People will just come to me if they want to talk.” As the leader of the gym and its community, you should initiate those conversations and keep your finger on the pulse of your member base.

Do this with check-up appointments and have a process in place for making sure they’re done consistently and no one falls through the cracks. A check-up is a consultation with an existing client where you ask questions to find out about their progress, their outside life, and their overall satisfaction with your gym.

This shouldn’t be just another conversation during their workout, set aside time that is focused only on what they have to say and it will show you care and take their feedback seriously.

When it comes to implementing a process for check-ups, your goal should be to have a systematic method without your clients realizing it. Let me explain:

For efficiency and consistency, you should have a pre-planned schedule for when check-ups take place and set up a reminder or mark your calendar for when each member will have one. For instance, you could set one to be 60 days after they join, then every six months afterward for the duration of their membership.

A set schedule for these appointments makes it almost automatic on your end, but don’t reveal this schedule to members; from their perspective it should be a casual, organic moment when you ask them, “Hey Ryan, I want to sit down with you soon and hear how things are going. Do you have 15 minutes after your workout on Thursday?”

The check-up process naturally flows into a process for receiving testimonials and online reviews, which are crucial for attracting new members. These are something you must ask for and not assume members will think of doing on their own to help you. Here’s what you do:

During your check-up with a member, if they are enthusiastic and report being very satisfied with the gym, ask them in a natural way if they’d leave you a review on Google, Facebook, etc. You may say, for example, “That’s awesome! I’m glad things are going well for you. Would you be willing to share that story as a review online? When people see a 5-star review it goes a long way to helping us grow our community.”

The client who’s excited about the gym and grateful for your help will be more than willing to return the favor by taking a few minutes to give you a good rating. Also, note the mention of 5 stars, you’ve implied that’s what you need without awkwardly asking, “Will you give us 5 stars?”.

In the event that the member you see for a check-up isn’t very happy with their progress or excited about the community, of course, you will not yet ask them for a review. Instead, take their feedback and try to improve their experience between now and the next conversation so that you can get the great review then. Just taking the time to ask and pay attention to how they feel will already put them on the road to a better experience at your gym.

#3 – Encourage referrals organically

While many gyms have a system which encourages members to refer friends and family by rewarding them, there is a better way for small businesses to operate their referral program. It all comes down to making it organic rather than transactional.

Here’s the typical process:

The gym has an ongoing program with an advertised quid pro quo trade such as “Refer a friend and get 1 month free!” This is displayed on posters in the gym or sent by mass email to every member. Then, when a member refers someone, they come by your office to ask if you’ve credited their free month.

The problem is that this is nothing more than a transaction to the member; when they send a person who then joins, a reward is expected and you oblige. This does nothing to enhance the relationship with the member or their loyalty to your gym. What’s more, some members will just spam an invitation to everyone they know to try to gain more shots at their free month reward. That leaves you with getting visitors who are not the right fit for your community or what you offer.

Now, here’s the better way:

Offer your members something of value they can gift to a friend like a $50 gift card to the gym (not to be used by the member). Because it has value and scarcity, the member will not give it to just anyone; they’ll select the person who is most likely to use it and will be a viable candidate for inclusion in the gym community.

Thus, you don’t merely get junk leads, you get pre-qualified prospects your members filtered for you who are highly likely to join since they have the gift card and stay long-term because they’re a good fit. Additionally, you’ve given the existing member an opportunity to be the awesome friend who hooked-up the new member and will have a vested interest in their success and integration into the community.

There’s one more important step: you still reward the existing member for helping you out with the referral. The trick is that it’s not expected. It could go something like this, “Hey, Ryan, thanks so much for sending Josh our way! He’s a cool guy. He’ll fit in great here. I just wanted to return the favor so I got you a tub of that protein powder we talked about, enjoy!”

You can fill in any reward you like, the more personal the better, but you can also just discount their next month of membership. Because it’s a surprise and a personal interaction, it furthers their relationship with you. All in all, you’ve helped their friendship, gained a member, and built loyalty. Everyone’s happy, everyone wins.

Employee Management

#2 – Empower employees to bring out their best

When you manage a gym and hire staff, sometimes you hit the jackpot and get a rockstar employee with enthusiasm for the job and a head for business, but this is the exception, not the rule. Most employees come in as middle-of-the-road performers who need your leadership to get them from average to good or from good to great. Here’s the best strategy to upgrade your people:

When you see a spark of potential or skill, call it out and amplify it. It can be a small thing and the employee doesn’t have to be great at it, the trick is when you recognize them for it they’ll begin to think of it as a unique strength and invest more effort into making it even better. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that works due to one’s natural desire to build esteem and garner respect.

For instance, let’s say you employ a high school student part-time to do cleaning and upkeep at the gym. So far, he’s meeting expectations but doesn’t seek extra responsibility or show ambition to do better. On his way out one day, you say the following:

“Before you go, Brad, I just wanted to say thanks for the work you’re doing. Keeping the gym in good shape makes members happy and it makes my job easier knowing I can count on you.”

To Brad, this will make a huge impression and even if he’d never thought of his job as that important, he’ll want to grow into the image you have of him: the dependable guy whose work is important to the gym’s success.

You can utilize this strategy with staff members of all levels and duties. You’ll see improved performance and, in some cases, make a significant impact on the employee’s future.

In my personal experience, I have managed multiple gyms and now own one. I trace my career path back to a moment 10 years ago when, as a personal trainer, my manager told me that she thought I had leadership potential and asked for my opinion on a group of new job applicants.

#1 – Create a plan for employee development

It’s important to the success of an organization to have capable employees and keep them around. You can’t rely on chance to make this happen; great employees may be hard to find and the ones you do have could leave for greener pastures if you don’t develop loyalty. This is where employee development comes in.

You should create an organized path for employees to learn new skills, upgrade existing ones, and stay inspired to improve. This is particularly relevant to anyone who works as a coach or salesperson.

If your business can afford it, it’s great to send trainers to seminars or contribute money to pay for a certification. Because of the expense, gyms that do this often set requirements on the trainer to ensure they’ll benefit from their investment. For example, a minimum of twenty PT sessions per week and at least a year of employment.

But don’t think that the learning experiences have to be formal and end with a certificate; you can create content yourself and give bi-weekly or monthly presentations on business, fitness, and leadership that will greatly benefit staff who have the desire to learn. You can also involve them in the process by having them share skills with each other.

This education combined with one-on-one mentorship will level-up your employees and promote loyalty. After all, talented employees are much more likely to stay with you if the environment of your gym supports their growth and development.

Conclusion

Like me, you’re probably a fitness pro who got into gym management or ownership to advance your career and have a bigger impact. With the tried-and-true advice in this guide, you can upgrade your gym’s performance in business and your members’ success by taking what other leaders in the industry have learned from years of experience and applying it right away.

One of the biggest steps you can take to elevate your gym is to manage it with Exercise.com’s all-in-one Business Management Software. Take what’s already working in your business and make it even better with a platform that streamlines how you operate and improves your presentation with custom-branding that makes your website and mobile app truly yours.

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Interview: Tyler Carpenter, Pitt Athletics [Tips + Education]


Get the Basics…

  • Discussing the psychology of sports and its effects on performance and recovery
  • Educating and mentoring within the sports performance industry
  • Building and maintaining a shared vision and culture in a collegiate athletics program
  • Incorporating technology in sports performance training

Working at an institution of higher learning for a high stakes athletic program can bring about high stress, can’t it? Today we’re talking with Tyler Carpenter who will share his insight that will help you to navigate the pressures you face in your high stakes (for you) business.

We’ll discuss his work with student-athletes at the University of Pittsburgh and how proper preparation and education are vital to the health and culture within a collegiate athletic program. Tyler also will share his tricks for making safety, rehabilitation, and the student-athletes’ ability to return to play his top priorities.

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business better, schedule a demo today.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay. This is a Schimri Yoyo with exercise.com and we are continuing our interview series with fitness experts. And today we have the pleasure of having Tyler Carpenter who is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Pittsburgh, Pitt Athletics.

Tyler, thank you for joining us.

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Schimri Yoyo: I want to jump in and talk a little bit about your background in sports. What sports did you play growing up?

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, growing up, since I was a young one, I actually grew up in a small town. We did not have a whole lot to choose from. Some of the more just like simple ones, but I actually played football and basketball and baseball from a young age. And then when I got into high school I ran track and field, particularly the pole vault event and the hurdles and then I actually just focused on football outside of that and then lifting in the wintertime.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, and during that time, is that when you would say you developed a passion for health and fitness?

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, without a question. I don’t even know if it was as much of like a passion for health and fitness as it was recognition of the impact that a strength and conditioning coach or that an athletic coach, in general, could have on a life. So I, yeah, that was probably—I came into high school weighing 95 pounds and for me to be any sort of successful athlete at all, I knew I couldn’t weigh 95 pounds, especially if I wanted to play football to a high level.

So I spent a ton of time in the weight room. Like I said, I gave up my winter sport just so that I could put on some size and they made a huge investment into me, and I recognized that investment and I recognized the impact of the weight room could have on me, and that’s kind of where my love began.

Schimri Yoyo: Did you start using a personal trainer or a strength conditioning coach when you were in high school?

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, no, I actually did not. And the reason why is that, I actually come from a town of about 1,500 people and we don’t necessarily have resources around us like that. You know, our physical education teacher, I don’t even know if he made any money. He just, you know, hung around after school and kind of was a weight room monitor.

I didn’t have a strength coach at all. We ran on Bigger, Faster, Stronger and that was a pretty simple plan and we just continue to repeat that throughout the course of four years. But no, actually never had a strength coach or a personal trainer in my life.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay. As you developed in the industry and started working, did you have, who are your mentors when you started working in the sports performance industry?

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, I would actually probably lean on the fact that they were just generally sports coaches initially. So going back to when I got to Ohio State as an undergraduate, I started working for the football team and kind of a manager in an intern role.

And again, in that position I was exposed to, you know, the impact that guys, like a former football coach Jim Tressel could have or you know, or Darrell Hazell, who would go onto Kent State and obviously to Purdue. Coach Luke Fickell who is at Cincinnati now—and some of the impact that those men were having on other young people. So those were some of my mentors or, at least, people that I would look to in terms of how they kind of conducted themselves in life and then the impact that they were trying to have on others. So that was a huge component for me.

And then once I got into strength and conditioning, my next stop actually was at the University of Tennessee and I was introduced to Heather Mason down there and one of her assistants by the name of Holly Frantz.

Heather and Holly are, to this day, two of my biggest mentors. I am on the phone with them frequently in contact with them pretty regularly and they’re outstanding. And then there are all kinds of people that are connected to them. Again, Clare Quebedeaux, who is now the director at Ohio State and then my boss at Ohio State when I was there, Coach Anthony Glass. Those would be some of my mentors.

Schimri Yoyo: Well that’s good. That’s awesome that you’re able to keep that network of professionals and keep that collegiality even as you’ve moved on to different stocks.

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, no doubt about it. And I know this is going [a continuation of your previous question about mentors], but I would have to say coach Ron McKeefery, I would be remiss if I did not mention Coach McKeefery as well as having an impact.

Schimri Yoyo: Now, what else do you do outside of training for fun? Are there any activities that would surprise us?

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, so I actually, I’m really big into archery. This passion that started about a year ago. I do a ton of archery just in my backyard, but at the end of the day, it’s all to get better so I can, you know, get out and do some hunting.

But just generally I love the outdoors. So archery is what it is right now. And I love to golf and both of those things—my master’s degree is in Sports Psychology and Motor Behavior and the kind of the psychology that those two focus cue skills—it’s really, really fun for me—but it requires me to be totally immersed in what I’m doing if I’m going to be excelling at it. And so I kind of have to wash my brain away from everything thinking about work and I really have to hone in on those two skills.

Schimri Yoyo: That’s fun, man. I used to go to a day camp when I was younger and they [had] an archery range. And I did that for a little bit and I’m kind of sad that I didn’t keep up with it, but I enjoyed that.

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, it’s a blast, man. It’s actually become an addiction. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper than golf. Well, the initial investment, probably similar, but then, you know, once you got your arrows, man, you go down range and grab them. You don’t [have to] keep hitting all these golf balls and lose them in ponds and stuff.

Schimri Yoyo: Now, let’s talk about your training philosophy and methodology a little bit. If you had to describe those things in one word, what would it be?

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, not easy to describe in one word, but if I had to come up with one, I would say just, I mean, preparation. I think what it all comes down to is that we have to be prepared as professionals.

But what are we ultimately doing? We are preparing these athletes for competition, for life, or whatever it might be, physically, mentally, emotionally, right? We’re going to challenge them every day that they come in here and we talk to them about, you know, “Man, what temperature does your steel bend?” It has got to be harder tomorrow than it is today.

But at the end of the day, it’s all about general physical preparation and then introducing them to some adversity, you know, testing the limits and pushing their comfort zone to a place it has not previously been.

Schimri Yoyo: Oh, that’s good. Now, a two-part question. Why is the sports medicine staff so important to collegiate athletes? And then secondly, how do you think they impact the overall culture of the athletic program?

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, so speaking both about sports medicine—athletic trainers and then us as strength coaches entirely—I think that the number of conversations that we have one-on-one with our student-athletes, they’ll come to us as they get comfortable with us.

I mean, we break them down and we build them up physically. And I think that there’s something to that. They come to us and they share a lot with us—whether it’s “How do I approach this conversation with the coach?” or we honestly get a lot of life questions and things like that. And then that really just shows them our serious investment in them. But where that kind of comes into play in terms of total culture is we’re trying to take care of the 360 athletes.

So there are a lot of entities and units within our athletic department that are better equipped to handle different topics, right? And [within those] different units, we all kind of stay on our patch and in [regards to our specific specialties], but I’m able to make sure that the information that I get from the athletes gets to where it needs to ultimately.

Unless it’s something that’s just like, “Hey, I’m going through a tough time. I need somebody to just come and talk to you about this.” or whatever it might be. But I think in terms of: “What is our role?” At the end of the day, we’re trying to keep them healthy from both sides. We’re trying to do it proactively and the athletic trainers do some preventatives and things like that.

But certainly, reactively, when injuries go down, they’re the ones that are taking care of the athletes as well. So, you know, together collectively, we’re trying to keep the athletes on the field and make sure that we’re maximizing, their human performance.

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Schimri Yoyo: You also have a background in sports psychology. How does that help you when you’re training the student-athletes?

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah. In my opinion at the highest level, the physical disparity becomes more marginal and what’s between your ears is what’s going to take you to the top. So I think it’s a really important aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked. A part of some of the things that we can do simply—without kind of jumping [too far] into that as far as psychology realm—we can just be talking to athletes about goal-setting honestly and about the self-talk.

We notice body language in here all the time. We know what their self-talk is just been based on what their body language is after they miss a rep or they miss a sprint time or whatever it might be. Talking to them about their mindset as they come back in a return to play and they’ve got some anxieties in terms of return to play protocol:

“I’m not sure if this injury—whatever it might be—is going to hold up the next time I step back on the field.”

And a lot of that stuff we will definitely forward along to our mental health and our sports psychology team. But those kinds of conversations come up and just even being educated to say, “Hey, there’s actually a resource that can help you get over something like that. You’re not alone in that.”

[Even having those kinds of conversations with student-athletes] goes a long way. And then being able to really communicate effectively with the athletes. It’s better to draw the lines and say like—process orientation. So help them to understand like, “We’re not just squatting to get better at squatting. This is going to help you run. If you’re better, you’d be more effective in your sport.”

But that process orientation that I learned a lot about in sports psychology instead of just being so outcome-driven, it has been a huge benefit to that degree.

Schimri Yoyo: Helping them understand that connection. That makes sense.

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah.

Schimri Yoyo: Now, how prevalent are body image issues among collegiate athletes and how do you promote healthy and positive body image at Pitt Athletics?

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, body image issues are definitely a real thing and I guess I could probably just leave it at that. They definitely exist. They don’t discriminate at all, right? They know—like male, female, any athlete—they’re all a susceptible to body image issues.

So for us, it’s a lot about language, the way that we’re approaching topic matters. Who has the conversations? Is it the originator a dietitian that’s having those conversations? Is it our mental health people? Is it our athletic trainers who are, maybe, more equipped to have those types of talks?

We also do some education. We have our coaches, we have policies in place to where our coaches are not able to know body composition numbers. So even just having policies and procedures in place to make sure that we’re not going into that sensitive topic matter and kind of writing it off.

But yeah, I would say there are definitely a real, and then just being cognizant of language and having the awareness to pick up on things when there are changes in demeanor or there are changes in energy levels and things like that. And honestly changes in what their actual body looks like. You know, the red flag kind of goes up and we got to go talk to the athletic trainer and let them be kind of the center of that Sports Med. We’ll let them get that information to where it needs to go.

Schimri Yoyo: That’s a good answer. Thank you for sharing that. Now in your opinion, how are speed, strength, and mobility all related? And which of these is most important for an athlete?

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, I think I would probably have a hard time saying which one is most important other than the fact that we always say speed kills. But at the same time though we talk to our athletes all of the time. But yes, we want to be bigger, faster, stronger at all of these things.

But if you’re not healthy then you’re parked on the bench, right? And a Ferrari is great, but if it’s parked in the garage all the time and it can’t do what it’s there to do, then it’s doing us no good. So we definitely still spend a ton of time on the flexibility, the mobility, all these things.

I would say for us it’s about sports-specific ranges of motion.

You know, if you’re a track athlete, I’m not saying you need to be all bound up and tight. I’m not going to get into the whole flexibility debate, but what I would say though is that there’s definitely a sports specific range of motion.

Like we need great front-side mechanics. Therefore, you have to be able to get into the hip flexion. We know what our hamstrings need to be able to do as well. So if you are in gymnastics, those things mean a lot to us. But I would say sport by sport, just being aware of the needs and kind of moving up our bodies in terms of what joints need to be mobile, which ones need to be stable and working through it that way.

Schimri Yoyo: Alright. It sounds like it’s a sort of contextual in that sense, right? Depending on sports.

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah. I would agree with that.

Schimri Yoyo: Alright, so what’s the relationship between strength and conditioning, injury prevention, and rehabilitation? And how do you help your student-athletes to be proactive in their training and in their recovery?

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, so to begin with the relationship, we know there’s a direct correlation, right? So, we talk about joint integrity. We’re trying to keep these athletes stronger so that they’re more durable all the time. But at the end of the day, our first primary goal is to minimize the risk of injury to reduce the risk of injury.

Cause, again, we can make them more elite athletes, we can make them stronger, more fit—whatever it might be—well, I should say more well-conditioned. And our athletes can—our coaches can work with them on their technical abilities but if they’re on the bench, then it doesn’t matter.

So we’re definitely cognizant of the injury prevention piece and that’s always in our mind. So whether that means—for some sport, maybe it’s just a lot more single-leg training or it’s a sport that has a lot of posterior chain issues and just hammering that posterior chain, things like that. We’re constantly thinking about it.

In terms of the rehab piece, we definitely take that and we’re a big piece in that as well. I think that a lot of times where re-injury occurs is in the transition from okay, you came out of your rehab setting and now you’re going through the return to sport [protocol].

You go straight from running on a treadmill, right to playing soccer. No, there has to be a return to sport before there’s a full return to play and so we’re very fortunate here at Pitt that we’ve got great relations between sports medicine staff and ourselves that we’re constantly meeting and saying, “How can we progress this athlete’s load and get them back in a more well-thought-out way, right?” When do we introduce the ball and moving, are they controlling the drill or are they reacting to something in the drill, but even being more thoughtful and thorough in those regards.

Schimri Yoyo: And so we sometimes hear about high school or collegiate athletes having serious heat-related illnesses. What can athletes and professionals do to prevent this from happening?

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, those are definitely scary topics. I think that the shortest answer that I can give you is that recently as in, you know, within the last couple of months, NCAA released a document, talking about the recommendations to the prevention of catastrophic injuries and death.

[Editor’s note: The document Tyler is referring to is called Interassociation Recommendations: Preventing Catastrophic Injury and Death in Collegiate Athletes and was released by the NCAA in July 2019]

I forget the exact name of the document, but working to achieve all of the checkboxes—the checklist that they’ve included with that document—to make sure that transition periods are appropriate, that we’re being mindful of that vibrancy, nothing for six weeks during summer session one, and when they come in that I’m not going to crush them right away. Right?

Our work-to-rest ratios have to be accommodating to the fact that we haven’t seen athletes right away. Are they playing pickup on their own? Are they not during that first week back? But those transition periods are really important to be mindful of. And then just general sensible progressions in terms of how you’re overloading the athletes.

Schimri Yoyo: And so how do you measure progress and success for yourself and for the student-athletes?

Tyler Carpenter: So for myself to begin, I would say for our strength and conditioning staff and profession as a whole, this is definitely oftentimes like a highly discussed topic. I think that it’s a multidimensional or factorial approach. I think that injury rates to a degree. But again, there are going to be contacted injuries, there are going to be non-contact injuries, right? There are extenuating circumstances. Wins and losses, does it all come down on that note? No is the simple answer. No, but we want to make sure that we’re all here to win, so we want to make sure that we’re accomplishing those things.

I think one of the best answers that I heard someone give recently is: Are your athletes coming back excited to train for the right reasons every single day?”

I mean, we sell pain for living. That’s a quote from one of my mentors that I mentioned, Heather Mason. She says that we sell pain. We don’t sell tickets, we don’t sell abilities. We sell pain.

But if you can get the athletes excited to come back every single day, then that says something about the way we’re doing things. Like, “Hey, we’re doing things right.” But again, they have to be excited for the right reasons, not coming in here just to mess around. They know like this is a place to work, this is a place where I know I’m getting better and we’re getting after it every day.

Schimri Yoyo: Oh that’s good. And now in keeping with that, what ways do you help the athletes push themselves to their physical limits or push themselves to their peak potential without burning them out or putting them at risk for injury?

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, so I would say like simply like planning, right? Like periodization planning, being systematic about it. We [actually] educate our athletes a lot cause our athletes don’t always understand why we have unloaded weeks. So getting them to understand that, we might go five weeks forward, one week down, five weeks up, one week down rather than pushing for 10 weeks straight. And then on that 11th week, we go five steps back, right?

So we always account for every fourth or fifth week or whatever it might be to reduce volume or intensity or whatever it might be and then, or change the exercises and then jump back up again.

If we preplan for that, then we shouldn’t experience any of those things. We’re constantly educating our athletes about it cause they don’t always love when we unload them. But that’s what I would say. It’s just being systematic, planning those things in advance.

Schimri Yoyo: Alright. You mentioned that prior to your time at Pitt, you spent some time at Ohio State and also at Tennessee. So you’ve been a part of of the Big 10, the SEC and now the ACC. What are some similarities and differences between the universities that you’ve been at and between the athletic conferences?

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, I would start simply by saying similarities would be all extremely highly competitive. I’ve been very fortunate to work in each of these three highly competitive conferences with great resources. And I’m surrounded constantly by great coaches who want to do big things as well. And they, they do it for the right reasons. They care a ton about the development of the student-athlete.

But, again, they’re here to win. I think that the differences are, honestly, it’s kind of splitting hairs, but I think every conference is kind of known for—like the ACC, that’s the best soccer conference in the country, right? You know, there are different things.

The SEC, from the time I’ve been young, I’ve been told that’s the conference of speed, you know? So there are different conversations that go around and around about that. But I would say it’s less about, you know, one’s better than another, but all the conferences are just kind of better at different things. But they’re all highly competitive and top tier. You can go one way or another any given day.

Schimri Yoyo: That’s right. Well, it looks like the ACC guys have also been pretty dominant in basketball recently.

So, we know that athletes and coaches are creatures of habit. So what is your gameday routine?

Tyler Carpenter: Hmm, great question. Oh, to be honest with you, in terms of gameday routine, it looks a little different for every sport. And that’s one of the cool things about working with the Olympic sports is that every game day looks totally different.

Women’s soccer might take the field 35 minutes before kickoff and men’s soccer might take good field 27 minutes before kickoff. And wrestling has weigh-ins. And then they have to eat and all these other things, right? Every sport is so different.

But for me, it’s just being available to do what the athletes need. So somebody needs a quick stretch. Right. Somebody needs a set of plyometrics cause they’re feeling lazy, lethargic, whatever it might be, and we need to get them activated and primed and ready to rock and roll, then I’m going to be there for them for that.

There are days that certain coaches want jogs or stretches in the morning cause they have a 7:00 PM kickoff and we got to get them up and out of bed and moving around the hotel or whatever it might be. It could be pool recovery sessions. It could be running the group that’s injured.

So everyday kind of looks different and just—you have to wear a lot of different hats and be ready to do anything. So I don’t know that there’s necessarily set schedule and I definitely don’t have any superstitions when it comes to pregame routines.

Schimri Yoyo: How does those travel affect you as the strength and conditioning coach with the different teams that you work with?

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, so it’s definitely becoming more of the competitive norm that strength coaches in these Power Five Conferences are definitely traveling. Baseball, it’s pretty much a no brainer. This year, we’ll be traveling a strength coach full time with volleyball as well. Moving in that direction with soccer, absolutely. And again, when one of the coaches need a strength coach to travel that works out [the student-athletes], we want to make sure that 15 other teams are not suffering cause that strength coach is traveling with that one team. Then, we’re going to make that happen.

But it just takes a lot of organization on the back end to make sure that the teams that are still home and training, they’re able to train hard, they’re able to be pushed and they’re not— there are no lapses in training at all, but I think there’s the organizational piece that’s important. But we definitely think there’s tremendous value in training.

I’m sorry. There’s tremendous value in traveling for the purpose of running the athletes who did not contribute or helping, maybe, [to gather] sports science information—the jogs, stretches, the recovery, getting lifts in. If your Friday night guy pitched and you’re going to lift hard on Saturday, we want somebody at CSCS or CSCCA to be there, to be the one that puts them through the workout.

And also just the relationship that comes from being on the road and the athletes getting to see you outside of the weight room and being vulnerable and things like that. That goes a long way into their willingness to want to go to battle for you.

Schimri Yoyo: Well, that’s good. And what are the differences have you seen in training graduate student-athletes, upperclassmen student-athletes, and then the first-year student-athletes?

Tyler Carpenter: Definitely just, I would say body awareness for one. Honestly, even just some incoming student-athletes, there’s a ton of variety of there. Some of them have much higher training ages. Their parents got them personal strength conditioning or performance coaches when they were 14 years old and they’re coming to us with four years of training under their belts and all that training always looks different.

Some of them come here highly trained and technical in the weightlifting group and some of them come here highly trained in technical on the powerlifting movements and some of them have no idea any sort of speed mechanics. But for us, you know we definitely run a block zero or we want to make sure that we get the athletes’ bodies moving in the right way, that we’re tackling any sort of deficiencies upfront.

We’re laying a really solid foundation and groundwork so that over the course of the next three years we can build on them. But we definitely consider long-term athletic development as something that’s a really important principle for us.

But as they get more advanced, it may be as something as simple as a freshman year split squatting and then you go from that into a reverse lunge into a forward lunge or a walking lunge and do a step up. We’re always trying to find ways to progress them that as they get older in their careers, we’re still able to overload them and challenge them in different ways.

Schimri Yoyo: Makes sense. Now, how, if at all, do you use technology or social media to engage with your student-athletes and with other coaches?

Tyler Carpenter: I would say, I would put those in two totally different realms. I would say social media, the athletes definitely love the little bit of a pump up that they get from seeing themselves on our social media account, the retweets, and the likes and all those things of them hitting a heavy squat or doing something with an agility drill. So that’s really fun and we like to get them charged up through those methods.

But at the same, on the flip of that though, the technology piece, we’ve been fortunate here at Pitt to make some serious investments. Whether it’s Sparta, the software that we’re running for our force plates, that’s been a huge tool for us. We’ve got multiple teams here that are using Catapult. It’s able to do some great things with GPS and we’ve got a couple of teams that are using Polar and Firstbeat [Editor: See GPS watch comparison video below], some different heart rate technologies.

We’ve actually got a lot going on. We’re about to make an investment into general wear. I don’t think any one of these individual technologies is the end-all, be-all on their own. But what kind of really brings it all together is when you’re able to overlay some of the information and draw the correlation and say, “Hey, well we saw this how the bod pod or the Dexa, and we saw this out of Sparta, and we saw this out of Catapult, and this was a common theme, right? We’ve got some correlation going on here. What is there to this?”

But we’re definitely using technology. We’re pushing in that direction, like it or not. A strength coach is like—it’s coming and it’s coming at us fast and we’re having to become more 21st-century than what the field was for a long time.

Schimri Yoyo: Well that’s good. And again, thank you. Tyler for your time. This has been great. You’ve given us a lot of good information, a lot of good things to chew on, so I know our audience is going to appreciate that.

So the final question: What are some resources, either books, magazines, podcasts, that you would recommend for our audience and any of those who are interested in sports performance training?

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, I would say personally for me—maybe it’s the background in sports psychology, I’m not sure—but I love mental training books. I love books about leadership, culture development, things like that. So that’s probably the direction that I would go.

But the first couple that comes to mind is a book by Bob Rotella. It’s called How Champions Think, sports psychology book. I think that’s phenomenal. That’s the first one that always comes to mind when people ask me for a book.

A second one that I just read recently that was given to me by our head men’s soccer coach, Jay Vidovich is actually called The Captain’s Class. It’s written by Sam Walker. It’s a tremendous read. And the one that I’m actually working my way through right now, I saw that a colleague was reading it on Instagram, actually, and I picked it up. It’s been great so far, but it’s called Peak and it’s by Dr. Marc Bubbs.

I’m not a huge podcast guy, but I think the one that I probably look at the most, that I listen to the most is the Jocko Podcast, Shaka Willing’s podcast, gets you pretty fired up. Again, talking about communication styles and true adversity, personal development and human development, leadership development, culture development, things like that.

Schimri Yoyo: That’s great. Well, thank you for your time and thank you for those resources. I’m sure our audience will appreciate that. Again, we look forward to meeting with you again and good luck with all your upcoming sports seasons this year and hopefully we’ll see the Pitt Panthers win a lot of postseason awards this year.

Tyler Carpenter: Yeah, we’re definitely hoping for that and we’re working towards that. Thanks so much for having me and Hail to Pitt!

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