Bootcamps for Boomers
March 18, 2013
Bootcamps for Boomers
The Boomer and senior market will be the fastest growing “niche” if you can call the soon to be dominant market a niche in the fitness industry. In fact the Boomers are finally starting to get more and more attention in all areas of marketing. I am not sure why so many have been late to catch on. On the news this morning (Feb 6th) I saw reported that Boomers are 26% of the population but control 75% of the wealth! I don’t know about you but setting up shop where the spending/buying power lies seems like a pretty good strategy. Boomers are turning 65 every day at an alarming rate! 10,000 every day!! I won’t bore you with stats, but I think you can see adding a unique twist on fitness bootcamp for the over age 55 crowd could really ramp up your business.
I often get the question from younger clients, ones in their 30s and 40s…..”So how do you train people of different levels and you aren’t going to stick with me with old people are you?” I try not to laugh, but can’t hold back a smile when I say I tell you what we will put you in training groups appropriate for you, and then as you are ready to move up we will look at moving you into more challenging groups. Then I ask so do you think you can do 30 pushups on your toes, with good form and no rest? One of our 82 year old….and female clients in small groups can do that? The reality is our clients in their 60s, 70s and beyond are inspirations to all the clients younger than them, and actually create a more relaxed non-threatening environment for all those younger women who honestly are terrified of a gym, a bootcamp or a training facility. They see women older than them and realize good grief if they can do it, and kick my butt doing it…..I gotta get going.
Okay so how do you do this for bootcamp? Well I suggest you consider offering a bootcamp session during your dead times with a boomer/senior focus. So this might be 10am, or 11am or 1pm, 2pm, 3pm. Those times typically bootcamps are hard to fill. You may have the opportunity to double your business if you can strategically design your mid-day bootcamps with Boomers/Seniors in mind. This does not mean you are doing chair based boring Senior Fitness…..far from it. In fact it can almost be your regular bootcamp but here are a few basic tips to think about.
You need to reduce the impact. This doesn’t mean you can’t do burpees or squat jumps or jumping jacks, but you might need to think about modifying them to reduce the high impact forces. Squat jumps can be done without the hop, jumping jacks can be done by keeping one foot on the floor. Consider reducing the quantity of knee stress and shoulder stress, you probably are not going to get 100 squats and 100 pushups out of this crowd. I would strongly suggest shorter sessions this clientele is ideal for 30-40 minute bootcamps.
You need a slightly different angle for this so I suggest offering a slightly different name and here are several but you need to pick one right for your place that matches what you do. Many people like to use the terms Silver or Gold, but I think they only work if really used wisely, otherwise avoid them altogether. I know one gym has a SilverBack program for men…but it is modeled and designed with SilverBacks (Gorillas) in mind an image of mature men, the dominant strong male. (A SilverBack is the older strongest male in Gorilla packs) You want to stay away from any association with Silver Sneakers. Ageless Bootcamp, Never Grow Old Bootcamp, Bootcamp for Gramma’s, Grandparents Bootcamp, In some cases just the name bootcamp may need to go as it will intimidate many older clients since they have a vision of what typical bootcamp looks like. So you might come up with a name that doesn’t have bootcamp at all. Ageless Fitness, Ageless Explorers, Timeless Training, Training for Life, Training for function. If your Bootcamp has a known brand name, use that name but drop the bootcamp and add something else. Fit Body after Fifty. Fitness Forever. Fitness for Function.
Don’t get too caught up in the name just yet. You might use your exact name and just say 11am is for 55+. Keep in mind all your current clients have parents! Easy referral source. They all know older people that need to exercise, they already know like and trust you……but they probably won’t refer their parents or older clients to your current bootcamp, because if your bootcamp is really intense they will be afraid you might kill mom and dad! But now if you just throw in a small wrinkle saying you are opening up a bootcamp for those over 55 or 60, pick an age that is appropriately older than your average bootcamp. This bootcamp will be special as we will focus less on weight loss and more on functional fitness. It won’t be as long or as intense. You should ideally have all your clients bring you at least one referral of someone over 60. Think about it they probably all have 2 parents or even 4 grandparents (your clients in their 20s). Many have 2 in-laws, they all have aunts and uncles, neighbors, mentors at church, etc.
Keep in mind these older clients probably have more financial resources so you might be able to actually charge more for this new premier/premium fitness program and have shorter sessions 30 minutes. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an extra two or three 30 minute time slots with 10-15 clients each paying $200-300/month? It could be much bigger than that, but odds are you have the open space and time to start serving this clientele and you have a large client base that will easily and eagerly refer you clients to grow it.
Learn How to Train and Market to the Baby Boomer Client:
Check out Train Mature Clients