Club Programs for Couples

Every club has its own personality, which is dependent upon its demographic profile (singles, families, seniors, etc.) and its emphasis/environment (corporate sites, senior centers, rehab centers, etc.). Yet, no matter what the personality, most clubs have one thing in common: People come in, work out on their own and off they go.

To retain members on a long-term basis, to encourage adherence to a fit lifestyle, we must offer people a way to create more of a connection with other people, lifestyle habits and/or staff at our facilities. One way to create a long-term relationship is to offer programs that help people bond. Try any of these programs to see what happens in your club!

For Romantic Couples
* Candlelit massage classes where a massage therapist teaches people how to massage a spouse/mate
* Couples yoga classes
* Couples stretch programs where people learn how to use each other to accentuate the stretch
* Couples group cycling classes to take an imaginary ride on a romantic country road

You might focus on offering these programs around holidays (Valentine's Day) or you might create a "couples night" at your facility where each month you offer a different program for couples. (If you're a family club, you might want to host kids programs or babysitting in another area simultaneously.)

How about a "Workout Date Night" (with a live DJ and a dance floor in the fitness area) or couples aerobic class? Add some candles to soften the lighting and serve sparkling cider. There's nothing more scintillating than getting sweaty with the one you love (or lust for)!

Host a walk-to-run six-week training program to condition couples to enter a 5K couples race, or perhaps a long-distance three-legged race.

For Creating New Couples
* Singles workout nights. Play a game called "Nuts and Bolts" in which males take a bolt and females take a nut, and everyone tries to find their match to determine their workout buddy. After 15 minutes, all nuts go in one box and bolts in another. Everyone draws again to find a new partner. This way each person works out for one hour and meets four different people. You can vary this program any way you like.

For Networking
* A corporate tennis/racquetball/squash/ basketball tournament (two vs. two). You bring a client and compete against other teams.

Older Adults
* Host a "century" event where the two people competing must total in age to be one hundred. It can be used for any sport that can be played as a two-person team.

Support/Friendship
* Create workout buddies. A member and his/her partner register as a team. Each person works out and logs in on a chart. Both partners agree to complete three one-hour workouts per week (these are random numbers you can change), and they get points only when both partners achieve the goal each week. They can work out together or separately, but they get prizes as a team. This provides accountability and motivation to keep members on track.

These are just a few ideas to spark your own creativity. Brainstorm with your staff to come up with more ideas.

-Fern Pessin, president of Retention Resources and author of Over 5 Dozen Ways to Add Fun & Creativity to Your Environment for the health and fitness industry, can be reached at (800) 250-9543.