East Bank Club’s TRX MAPS Success Story
Since East Bank Club opened with 3,000 members and 100 employees in 1980, it has grown to more than 10,000 members and 600 employees, and become a cornerstone of Chicago's River North neighborhood. As it looks to build on this rich history, East Bank Club is continually exploring new ways to move boldly into the future. One of these is to provide the club’s trainers with the latest technology to help its members meet their health and fitness goals.
This is reflected in the equipment the club offers – such as TRX Suspension Trainers – and in digital solutions like TRX MAPS, which was selected by Director of Fitness Gretchen Collins. By performing three overhead squats in a kiosk with a small footprint, this intuitive system conducts a complete body movement scan in 30 seconds or less. It then delivers scores out of 100 for Mobility, Activation, Posture and Symmetry (as well as an overall rating) and provides a set of customized corrective exercises that help users improve their movement quality.
“We were looking for a way to quickly and easily assess our members’ movement and give them immediate feedback that enables them to make positive change,” she said. “That’s exactly what TRX MAPS provides.”
Initially, some of East Bank Club’s 70 trainers were skeptical about TRX MAPS, as they weren’t sure how it would change their day-to-day processes and interactions with new and long-time members. Collins was able to head their questions off at the pass in a brief training and Q and A session. During this, she explained that trainers would still have the flexibility to do their own movement assessment of choice during personal training sessions. Rather than replacing this, TRX MAPS has become a beneficial complement that is used during the free session to assess every new client’s movement and suggest ways for them to start improving from the get-go.
“We had the trainers use TRX MAPS so they’d get the corrective exercises emailed to them and would see what our members see when they do a scan,” Collins said. “They soon realized that it was another useful tool to use to their advantage. On their own initiative, some of the trainers began scanning new members at the start and end of each new introductory session. When someone can see such a quick improvement, it’s easier to convert them to a regular personal training client.”
Another consideration for East Bank Club was where to put the TRX MAPS kiosk. Initially, Collins and her colleagues thought about putting it at the back of the cardio room, but soon recognized that there wasn’t enough traffic in that area. They also wanted someone to always be on hand if a member had questions about the system, was apprehensive about using it or was discouraged by poor scores.
“We put the TRX MAPS kiosk right outside my office and the trainers’ office so there would always be someone there to help members when they came up to it,” Collins said. “It doesn’t require a lot of oversight from me or the trainers, but we get better engagement than if we’d positioned it in the cardio room.”
In addition to walking every trainer through how TRX MAPS works and suggesting how to use it, Collins also educated the member services staff. Now whenever they’re giving a tour to a prospective member, they point out the kiosk and explain its benefits. It’s not just newbies who are enjoying the benefits that TRX MAPs provides, but also long-time members. Collins believes that some of East Bank Club’s regulars are intimidated by more rigorous and in-depth assessments and even if they agree to do them, come away feeling like that’s their workout for the day. Not so with TRX MAPS, due to its ease of use, how quick the scan is and the fact that people can see immediate results that guide what they should do next to improve their movement.
“I have a couple of older clients who are very self-conscious and wary of doing anything that might make them look bad in front of others,” Collins said. “They’ve always been very suspicious about doing a longer movement assessment but had no issues with the TRX MAPS scan once I explained that they’d just do three quick squats and then be done. Another benefit is that often the system highlights an issue that I or another trainer has mentioned several times – like an asymmetry in the hips. When someone can actually see something like this up on the screen it validates what we’ve been telling them, gives us more credibility and provides an opportunity to make a positive change.”
Since TRX MAPS delivers feedback in four different components of movement - Mobility, Activation, Posture and Symmetry – East Bank Club’s trainers have several different ways to target improvements among the member base. So far, one of these four areas seems to offer the easiest win.
“Some of our fittest and strongest members were surprised by how low their mobility scores were,” Collins said. “That’s probably because they don’t spend much time on staying mobile. Once our trainers gave them dynamic movement activation exercises and some tips on foam rolling, they said their scores went up and their big lifts really improved as well.”