How to Run a Year-round Speciality Course

I’ve never been a fan of continuing to run a specialty class as a regular offering. In my experience, on-going weightlifting and the like often become overlooked or taken for granted, leading to a deterioration in value, which can leave clients, coaches, and gym owners frustrated.

Today, I’m going to show you how to deliver any specialty course year-round while ensuring attendance, maintaining value, and helping your coaches build a more sustainable career. 

We’ve been offering specialty courses since opening Arsenal Strength in 2015. Our first was Winter Strength Camp, a six-week powerlifting course. We still run Strength Camp today, but we’ve also expanded to beginner/advanced gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting, endurance, and a few others. 

One of the most common questions we hear during our after-action review is, “Can we turn this into an on-going class?” 

Generally, this question comes up for two reasons:

  1. The coach loves coaching that specific area of fitness (which is fantastic). 
  2. A few people in the group say they would attend regularly. 

Both of those are high-class problems. I want my gym to be filled with coaches who are eager to pursue their passions and clients who want to improve their fitness. 

In 2019, we sat down to rework our specialty course offerings to make it easier for clients and coaches to continue working one-on-one past the initial four to six weeks. What we came up with was a simple hybrid model for specialty courses using a tiered combination of classes and personal training. 

Here is an example of how we structure a 4-week (2x class/week) hybrid specialty course. Price is set at $20/class and $50 per 30-minute PT session.

Tier 1: 4-week Course + (1) 30-minute Skills Session – $210

Tier 2: 4-week Course + (2) 30-minute Skills Session – $260

Tier 3: 4-week Course + (4) 30-minute Skills Session – $360

Below is the breakdown we generally see for tier selection for courses capped at ten:

Tier 1: 7 Clients 

Tier 2: 2 Clients

Tier 3: 1 Client

Total Revenue = $2,350

A few things to note:

  1. Consider giving your clients the option to make two payments—one when they reserve their spot and a second halfway through. 
  2. Personal training sessions purchased with the specialty course must be used before the course ends. 
  3. Encourage clients to use at least one of their sessions within the first week. Doing so will give them a specific focus for the remainder of the course and may lead to an upgrade in membership if they are on your Tier 1 option. 
  4. Sit-down with your clients for a post-course goal review. A few will still want more and have the desire to continue working one-on-one. 

Bonus: Two-Brain Programming provides quarterly DONE-FOR-YOU specialty course programs complete with marketing materials. Sign up for a 30-day free trial to download our 4-week Gymnastics Open Prep Course.