As we moved into this new year, with so many changes afoot, I felt it was important to check in with you, our loyal clients, to see how we could serve you better.
We asked, you spoke, we listened!
Now, I would like to share some responses we received and our solutions to the requests or issues you raised, because after all – we do what we do for YOU! This is YOUR EMPOWER.
**These are paraphrased, and similar requests combined.
How Can We Improve In-studio Sessions?
- Feedback 1: Would like an area where I could warm up before an appointment.
- Our Response: We have two rooms (the smaller and larger group fitness rooms) that can be used for general warm up. The small room has a Peloton bike, ankle bands, and foam rollers. The larger room has a row machine, ankle bands and foam rollers. Please, just notify your trainer that you would like to arrive early to warm up and they can tell you which room is available.
- Feedback 2: Would like general access to the studio at times I am not working with a trainer.
- Our Response: We have taken the COVID-19 pandemic seriously and have tried to create the safest possible environment for our clients and trainers. With this goal, we created workout area “pods” for each client (or client small group) – so we could limit the amount of space sharing. Therefore and likely until positive test rates drop below 4% and the vaccination rate increases significantly. If we were to allow open studio access, we could not maintain our workout pod set up. However, we have other ways to help you stay active on the days you are not working with your trainer. Please see Your Off-Day Workout Options section below.
- Feedback 3: I would like to come in to use the treadmill on days I am not working with a trainer.
- Our Response: Our team has decided that we can make a special case for clients who would like to come in on an off day to use a piece of stationary cardio equipment with a few stipulations. Please contact your trainer to “reserve” time on a piece of cardio equipment. They will make sure someone will be present at the studio to let you in and be there for the duration of the time you are exercising. You must use the screens to create a workout pod around the piece of equipment you are using and if another client is in the studio working out you must keep your mask on. Again, our number 1 goal is your health and the safety of our community.
How Can We improve Virtual Sessions?
- Feedback 1: I get better visuals when my trainer uses an iPad or computer versus a phone.
- Our Response: Luckily, Empower supplies all trainers with an iPad and we addressed this issue in our last team meeting. The only time trainers might need to use their phone instead of an iPad or computer is if the Wi-Fi signal is weak or breaking up and they need to use the cellular signal on their phone to connect with you.
- Feedback 2: It would be nice if the trainers had a better set up for the virtual appointments.
- Our Response: We agree and as we recover from the financial effects this pandemic has had on our business, we imagine creating space within our studio with better visual and audio tech for virtual appointments. However, currently many of our trainers are training using this format and often are doing it from their homes. We will keep you posted as we improve and evolve our virtual training services.
- Feedback 3: I worry about my form and getting injured if I am not doing the exercise correctly and my trainer can’t see me from all angles.
- Our Response: This is definitely a concern of ours because seeing you on a screen makes you 2 dimensional and not 3 dimensional and sometimes clients go outside the camera view while exercising. Giving good cueing and helping to ensure suitable form is tougher when we are not in person, but we have addressed this issue at multiple team meetings and believe that a couple things can help. For starters, your trainer can give both verbal cues AND visual cues – so if you are not sure what to do, please ask for them to demonstrate the exercise. Also, our trainers will make sure they have a good view of how you are performing the exercise and ask you to reposition the web cam if they cannot see you. Hopefully, with a focus on form and diligence, all workouts will be safe and effective.
- Feedback 4: Need more low-intensity workout videos.
- Our Response: Oh, just you wait! We are completely revamping and reorganizing our Empower On Demand video library, and it will be so much more user friendly. And we will definitely add more moderate level and lower intensity workouts in all areas (yoga, strength, cardio circuit, mobility, balance). Stay tuned!
- Feedback 5: I would like to know ahead of time what equipment I need for my workout, so I don’t waste time gathering things once the appointment has started.
- Our Response: We totally get it, and anyone who feels this way just needs to let your trainer know. They can easily send you a quick text before your appointment so you can be set up and ready to sweat when the virtual sessions starts.
What other service or offerings would make us (more) excellent fitness partners for you in your health journey?
- Feedback 1: Would love water-based workouts or if Empower had an affiliation with a local pool.
- Our Response: This is a great idea! Empower will probably never have a pool of its own, but partnering with a local pool is definitely doable. This is something we can investigate later this year when COVID-19 is less of a threat and other organizations may be more amenable to having outside members coming into their facility. Thanks for the suggestion!
- Feedback 2: Would love partner-based workout videos on Empower On Demand (both exercise and stretching videos)
- Our Response: We love this idea – partners working out together at home! We are adding this to the list of videos to produce and will post them when they are ready. Again, we will upgrade the whole Empower On Demand service – stay tuned!
- Feedback 3: Would love full locker rooms, sauna, steam room, cold baths etc.
- Our Response: You might remember that just a few short weeks before this pandemic hit, we had just signed a lease extension that included an expansion and renovation of our studio. We were hoping to do a big locker room make-over. However, with months of forced closure and decreased business, it would not be fiscally responsible for us to take this on at this time. Our focus turned immediately to our employees and keeping their income stable. That remains the number one goal, but hey it never hurts to dream and put big goals out into the atmosphere. While we might not be adding a steam room soon, see the next section about recovery sessions.
- Feedback 4: Would love boxing classes or individual workouts
- Our Response: Boxing workouts are great exercise, fun and allow you to vent any pent-up frustrations (which we all have after a year of Covid-life). Almost any trainer should be able to create a fun but serious boxing workout for you, but we have a couple trainers in particular who have great experience and love this style of fitness. Please just let your trainer know this is your jam and they will either serve you up some hard-hitting boxing workouts or get you scheduled with Chuck or Amanda.
- Feedback 5: Would love mindfulness or meditation videos
- Our Response: YES! We all need more peace in our lives, and this could definitely help. I will reach out to three fabulous meditation guides I know to see if they would take this project on. Stay tuned, I will let you know what I get worked out.
- Feedback 6: Would love recovery sessions where a trainer spends a full 30 minute passively stretching me and using the Thera-gun massage tool on problem areas.
- Our Response: You read our minds! We are converting the small fitness room into more of a Recovery Zone and all of our trainers are already proficient or training on passive and PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) stretching techniques. Soon you will be able to purchase add-on Recovery Sessions to make your workout experience complete. If you need pain relief, increased range of motion, reduced muscle stiffness and soreness, or faster recovery from workouts these sessions, that incorporate corrective exercise techniques, total body stretching or massage gun percussive therapy, are just what your trainer ordered.
We are launching a new Nutrition Services arm of Empower in 2021 – would you be interested in working with an Empower dietitian to bring more focus and attention to how you are fueling your body?
- Feedback 1: 43% of survey participants said “Yes, please!”
- Our Response: I am excited about expanding our Nutrition Services and I am meeting with a potential Registered Dietitian partner tomorrow! Again, stay tuned for details coming soon.
Thank you to all who took part in this survey. Your thoughts and opinions mean so much to us and we strive to provide the very best service possible. I always have an open door and ear so please email me anytime: Jessica@becomepowerful.com.