Premium Partners

Team Fitness Challenge; The Big 100; Breast Cancer Aquatics Class

These innovative ideas implemented by fitness facilities across the country help to motivate members to obtain their fitness goals.

Team Fitness Challenge

Harvard University Recreational Facilities, Cambridge, Mass. Accountability and a support system. These are two elements the Team Fitness Challenge has, which are vital to helping members stick to a fitness program. Now in its second year, the eight-week challenge, conducted at Harvard University's recreational facilities, consist of teams competing to accrue the most workout minutes. Held between January 10 and March 7, 2007, teams of six to 10 Harvard affiliates competed. Individuals were encouraged to recruit team members and designate a team contact person to handle the registration and communication, and act as team motivator. Team members submitted "tracker slips" - pieces of paper that included individual name, team name, total workout minutes accrued that visit, and time in and out of the facility - at the front desk each day as they left. Any fitness activity in the facility counted, from weights to cardio, classes, stretching, basketball, etc. Team minutes were tallied and announced each week. A graph of the results was emailed to each team captain, posted online and posted on a bulletin board in each facility. In addition, the team captain received a spreadsheet at the end of each week to show each member's minute totals for each day. Members were permitted to work out up to 90 minutes, but not more than that, so as not to encourage excessive exercise habits. At the end of the challenge, more than 300 members on 39 teams accrued more than 350,000 minutes. The first-place team, the Mighty Morning MACers, won with 35,998 minutes. Prizes included gift certificates for two semesters of towel service or class access, a personal training session or a summer of class access. Second- and third-place teams received Team Fitness Challenge 2007 T-shirts, a well as gift certificates. "Our members loved ... the support and accountability, and cited this program as key in meeting their New Year's fitness resolutions or sticking to a workout routine for two months for the first time ever," says Jana Micomonaco, senior operations manager. "We were especially excited about the plethora of department- and office-based teams. We loved the idea of entire departments encouraging each other to leave work at a reasonable time and go to the gym."

The Big 100

Lifeworks of Southwest General, Cleveland, Ohio Holidays are hectic. So, while members are shuffling work, family, holiday shopping and guests, how do you convince them to also fit in their workouts? That was the challenge LifeWorks of Southwest General decided to tackle with its The Big 100 member incentive program. Held during the final 100 days of 2006, The Big 100 promotion kicked off in September. "Terms of the promotion were simple," says Karen Raisch-Siegel, executive director. "The daily prize was a deluxe LifeWorks gym bag. A new winner was chosen each day, and added to The Big 100 board." Then, at the end of the program on December 31, the grand prize winner was chosen from the 100 names on the board to receive six months of free membership dues. The Big 100 contributed to higher facility usage versus the same time last year. "More than 1,000 visits were recorded during the promotion," says Raisch-Siegel. "Watching The Big 100 board fill with winners helped build excitement and enhance our members' daily experience." And, the added-value incentive, the gym bag, also helped "warm" the environment for upcoming member referral programs, not to mention the lasting impression a premium logo item makes. "The gym bags were so well received," says Raisch-Siegel, "that our members asked if they were available for purchase - in case they didn't win."

Breast Cancer Aquatics Class

Westerville Athletic Club, Westerville, Ohio Based on her own experience as a patient, a nurse and a certified Water Safety Instructor, Catherine Shade created a water exercise class targeted to the special fitness needs of breast cancer survivors. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998 and going through a course of treatment that included a mastectomy, chemotherapy and a TRAM flap reconstruction, creating this class was a logical step for Shade. The class helps her and the participants manage their Lymphedema, which often afflicts breast cancer survivors long after their physicians have determined them to be cancer free, according to Shade. "The majority of exercise classes are land-based, which are too jarring for people recovering from breast cancer surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatments," Shade says. "A water-based class is gentle but rigorous. We work on strength, mobility, flexibility and endurance." The class lasts for 10 weeks, with a one-week break after five weeks. The first class was held November 21 through Dec. 23, 2006, with more than a dozen participants. The fitness center charges $60 for non-members and $40 for members. Since the first class was held, other classes are being conducted as pool time allows.
AB Show 2022 in Orlando
AB Show is a solution-focused event for athletics, fitness, recreation and military professionals.
Learn More
AB Show
Buyer's Guide
Information on more than 3,000 companies, sorted by category. Listings are updated daily.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide