Tips From Petra Robinson

Petra Robinson is a fitness guru. She is the face of Strong by Zumba and explains how adding a group fitness curriculum to your school can be very successful.

A recent survey put out by Century Martial Arts shows 45% of martial arts schools are now offering a group fitness class. Fifty-two percent of students in those classes are new to the school. Petra says this is because group fitness and martial arts go hand in hand.

Adding a group fitness class can seem overwhelming but Petra says it can be done by following a few key guidelines.

She says the first thing you need to do is find out what your members want. Talk to them and find out what they are interested in and what type of classes they would take. The last thing you want to do is offer a class nobody is interested in.

You’ll also want to evaluate the space you have at your school to help decide what classes you can offer. Do you have enough room to offer one class at a time or two? Do you have the proper flooring to accommodate the class you want to offer? Do you have the equipment needed for each class? These are all important things to consider when deciding what will work best for your school.

One of the most important things you’ll need to do is hire qualified instructors. In the fitness world that means certified individuals who have taken fitness courses. They don’t have to be experts but they need to know enough to put a proper class together, to make sure it’s safe, effective and fun.

Petra suggests being open to creating your own authentic martial arts workout. You probably already have some good staff that can put together a good program, but make sure that they get some group fitness education because it is slightly different than if you are just putting together a kickboxing class.

Like with many new programs a free demo class is key. There are so many programs out there where you can actually hire the instructor or they might even come and do a free master class for your members. Let your members try it before you commit to an entire program. That will help you decide if your program will be successful.

Petra also suggests using a turnkey program where you do not do any thinking, you don't do any heavy lifting, everything is done for you. From the creation of the program, to the choreography, the music, the instructors, the marketing materials, all if it is done for you. All you need to do is to bring the instructor into your facility.

When adding a fitness curriculum convenience is huge. Try to make it convenient for the parents to stay, or make it convenient for the moms dropping kids off at school. Offer a 9am workout they can come to. Convenience will help your class succeed.

These are just a few of the vital steps to successfully adding a group fitness class to your school. We’d be happy to give your more tips at this year’s MASuperShow.