Cooper Fitness Center, Part 1

by on Dec.21, 2011, under Fitness

Innovation: “Stages of Readiness Profile” identifies factors that may prevent a new member’s success so individual support can be given.

The success of Cooper Fitness Center, now celebrating its 27th year in business, is bred from simple yet smart philosophies like “when our members succeed, so does our business.” While this is not an official creed of the Cooper organization, it’s a good example of the facility’s approach to doing business: Help members improve their overall health and well-being and the bottom line will improve as well.

Take the Stages of Readiness Profile, for example. Developed last May, it is a comprehensive approach to exercise programming that determines how ready a person is to begin exercising, and identifies factors that may prevent him or her from succeeding in a regular program. Using a behavioral assessment of the client, the Cooper staff creates a customized program that fits the individual’s needs while factoring any exercise obstacles into the equation. “[We] firmly believe in the philosophy that engaging in a lasting fitness program is more than just exercising,” says Andrew Gray, director of Cooper team building. “It requires the individual to make behavioral and lifestyle changes. By obtaining the information from the assessment, our staff can provide members with the opportunity to make these changes with a greater level of success.”

The behavioral assessment administered to new members consists of a series of questions aimed at determining where a person fits into the five stages of readiness — Pre-contemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action and Maintenance. In each stage, there are specific risks that may prevent an individual’s progression in an exercise program. “For example, in the contemplation stage, an individual has some knowledge of negative consequences related to inactivity and understands the advantages of change, but may not know how to get started on a regular exercise program,” explains Gray. The information pertaining to possible risks is then used as a guideline in creating and planning a personalized program.

According to Cooper general manager Brent Darden, the biggest obstacle clients cite in maintaining a regular exercise program is time. He gives the example of a person who is only able to come to the fitness center two times a week for 45 minutes each session. “Obviously that’s not enough time in terms of total activity, so we design a program that includes activities outside the fitness center,” Darden says. “We ask things like, ‘What about the weekend? Do you think you can find time to take a walk on Saturday afternoon?’”

And because it’s easier to do cardio exercise outside the gym than strength training, clients with time constraints often receive programs that focus on weight training in the club and cardiovascular exercise away from the facility, such as walking in the mall or a taking a neighborhood jog.

In addition to completing the behavioral assessment, Cooper also has new members complete a motivation quiz that measures individual interpretations regarding self-confidence, availability of social support, behavioral skills, thoughts regarding exercise, and the environment in which a person lives and works. These five areas are scored on a scale from one to five, with five being highest. If an individual scores low in an area, the fitness staff creates a program that focuses directly on the area needing work.

:, ,

Comments are closed.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...