January 10, 2013 | Vol. 116 -- No. 38

Around the clock workout

Cheney is test market for Snap’s Fitness On Demand program

Snap Fitness is offering a round the clock group fitness class option for local exercise enthusiasts, and the Cheney location is the first to offer it in the Inland Northwest, and possibly even the state. Fitness On Demand is an automated, pre-recorded workout program that gives Snap members the opportunity to take part in group fitness classes as their schedule allows, and without an instructor onsite.

John McCallum
Cheney Snap Fitness general manager/owner Jake Smith demos the new Fitness on Demand program while a workout routine plays on the workout screen behind.

“It’s a virtual instructor,” Cheney Snap Fitness general manager/owner Jake Smith said.

The technology is simple and nothing new. Smith said he saw it while at Snap corporate headquarters and thought to himself that it “was stupid” at first.

“Why not just have live trainers?” he asked rhetorically.

After seeing the success that other Snap locations around the country had with Fitness On Demand, Smith, who also owns four Snap centers in Spokane and two in Coeur d’Alene, decided to give a try.

“Gyms that have this have about 30 percent more memberships,” he said.

Installing Fitness On Demand required adding a 500 square foot workout room near the back of the Cheney Snap, complete with all the typical accoutrements. Snap also installed a new bathroom in the facility, complete with a shower, which was not provided before.

Snap Fitness members who sign up to use Fitness On Demand will have access to it 24 hours a day, seven days a week through their member access card. Mounted on the wall outside the exercise room is a large touch screen console where members select their workout.

After pressing “Start” members scan a list of workouts, over 30 Smith said, that include exercise regimes like Step and Advanced Step Aerobics, Latin Hip Hop, Kickboxing 1 and Kickboxing 2 and STRIKE – a boxing-type form of workout. Users can preview the classes for information such as the length of the workout, who the instructor is, difficulty level and whether or not additional equipment is required.

Once the workout is selected, users hit the “Active” button and a large, motorized viewing screen is rolled out along a wall. After a quick count down, the instructor appears and the workout, complete with music, begins.

Smith said his plan is to schedule regular classes using Snap’s instructors and the Fitness On Demand program, as well as leaving open time for personal use. Right now he has posted a whiteboard message asking patrons what kind of classes they’d like to see, and already has a list of 15 or so suggestions.

The benefit of Fitness On Demand is that Snap members can set up regular exercise classes that conform to their schedules. If the program goes over well in Cheney, Smith said he would install it in his other Snap centers. As for any costs, right now Smith said there aren’t any, but if demand is high it might be an extra charge to the regular $33.95 monthly membership.

“If not, I might just add it in as part of the membership,” he added.

Cheney’s Snap Fitness is located at 2726 N. First St. in the Cheney Plaza next to Safeway.

John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com.

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