Sport keeps you fit, makes you beautiful and has a positive effect on your mood. For healthy people, there is really no reason to skip regular physical activity. Nevertheless, many people do not exercise enough. Lack of motivation is usually the main reason for lack of exercise and thus all we are often left with are good intentions.
The fitness industry is faced with the task of motivating more people to participate in a healthy lifestyle and to make exercise a part of everyday life. To this end, it is constantly developing new trends, which are then presented at major fitness fairs such as the FIBO in Cologne, Germany. Ultimately, there is only a small selection of products and services that can be described as real innovations that can also be sustainable.
Whole-body EMS Training (Electric Muscle Stimulation training) has succeeded in the last 10 years to conquer the German fitness market and position itself firmly.
What makes EMS Training so successful? How did a training programme turn into an independent market segment in the German fitness market? If you look closely, you can see the simple answer: Efficiency – Motivation – Safety!!
Full body EMS Training is a highly effective and time-efficient training method for increasing muscle strength and mass as well as for reducing body fat.
A training unit takes only 20 minutes and is always carried out with a personal trainer who monitors the training as well as the training success. One session a week is sufficient to achieve individual goals reliably. The effectiveness is demonstrated by a large number of scientific studies. Renowned researchers, such as Prof. Kemmler (University of Erlangen/Nuremberg) or Dr. Kleinöder (German Sport University Cologne), have been studying the topic of EMS for many years and thus give the method more and more credibility.
The training always takes place at a specified day and time. Once a week – for 20 minutes! EMS Training can therefore be regularly scheduled and personally supervised. Week after week, this creates significant training excitement. This efficiency ensures that the goal is met!
At the same time, the personal support turns it into ‘personal training’. The trainer plays a significant role here. On the one hand, he has the task of finding the balance between the level of performance and the objective of the customer and he has to provide individual motivation for the successful realization of these wishes. Making sure that deadlines are met is also one of the main tasks of the trainer. Through this commitment, the initial fitness motivation becomes a lasting and holistic behavioural change towards a more active lifestyle.
A well-researched medical technology that has been fully established for many decades in conjunction with a specialised licensed trainer are the basis for safe use. From the very beginning in Germany, the responsible application was conveyed and taught through specially created training structures. Through a regular exchange between practice and science, guidelines for safe use have been developed and implemented. This set of rules is used, among other things, as the basis for the certification of the EMS suppliers by the Technical Inspection Association TÜV Rheinland.
The individual training targets can be reached with a small amount of time and with personal support - that is precisely the zeitgeist! This is why this is considered a success storyline, which can be successfully implemented in many ways and can thus be multipliedm professionally: Efficiency – Motivation – Safety.
FROM MOBILE APPLICATION TO BOUTIQUE
Due to the wide range of diverse application possibilities, EMS Training is suitable for target groups of various kinds. In competitive sports, fitness, wellness, beauty, or therapy, it supports individual training and application goals and delivers results at the push of a button. This results in numerous possibilities for the use of full body EMS Training. It can be integrated into existing facilities as‘ device-assisted personnel training’ or it can be used as a stationary or mobile stand-alone solution.
Initially in Germany, particularly the mobile use convinced a multitude of personal trainers who visited their customers at home with their whole-body EMS device. The training has also been integrated into a wide range of facilities.
As a service concept, the successful operation of EMS Training does not depend on a large infrastructure and exclusive premises. The focus is on the customer. Since the training is always carried out 1:1 or 1:2, it can be clearly structured and implemented in a small area. That is why the first EMS boutique studios were established early in Germany. Due to its manageable investment size, it is an excellent business model, especially for new entrepreneurs. However, the set-up and operation of an EMS studio are much more complex than may seem at first sight. Site search, contract negotiations, employee recruitment and training, marketing, pricing, sales, organisation, hygiene, legal and tax ... – seldom is a single ‘founder’ expert in all areas. This is why franchise and licensing systems have been developed, which provide turnkey concepts and professional support for the rapid spread of the training form.
First and foremost among them the BODYSTREET brand, which recognised the potential of EMS as early as 2009. With a groundbreaking linking of technology and a microstudio concept and powerful franchising system, Bodystreet achieved a real success story in recent years: over 250 locations make the brand the clear leader in the German-speaking market.
In addition to BODYSTREET, other professional licensing and franchising systems were established, contributing to the momentum of this new market. These include, among others, ‘Körperformen’, ‘25 Minutes’, ‘Terra Sports’, ‘EMS-Lounge’, and ‘Fitbox’. Through their individual marketing approaches and the turnkey concepts, they enabled a great number of new enthusiastic operators to run several studios at the same time. In addition to the growing number of boutique studios, there are now various types of EMS concepts in Germany. From shop-in-shop models for fitness clubs or retailers to licensing models that integrate the full-body EMS Training in physiotherapy practices.
The sustained growth in Germany shows that EMS Training is not just a short-lived passing phase. The German EMS market grew by around 12 per cent in 2016, which corresponds to almost 1,700 EMS providers. Currently, around 200,000 people work with EMS in Germany, which corresponds to a growth of around 50,000 new EMS trainees since 2016.
GROWING DEMAND DUE TO HIGH CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
From the customer's perspective, the fixed appointment and the personal support ensure the necessary routine and motivation. Personal training goals are achieved. This is reflected in the positive overall customer satisfaction, which has now been demonstrated for the first time in an empirical survey. The customer survey of EMS-Training.de comprises responses from more than 1,300 participants. 63.3 % of them are female and predominantly between the ages of 40 - 59 years (48.4 %).
The results speak for themselves: 95 % of customers said they would recommend EMS Training. Nearly 100 % were of the opinion that the training can be integrated well (73.7 %) or mostly well (25.3 %) into the daily routine.
The results in the field of perceived target achievement were similarly pleasing. EMS Training was considered to be particularly effective: 27.6 % of customers said they saw positive results in the first month. For 46.1 %, the first changes in their body were felt after one to three months, and for 17.4 % of the customers it took three to six months until a positive effect of the training became noticeable.
Asked about specific training goals, the most popular answers were ‘body tightening’ (66.1 %) ‘muscle build-up’ (65.2 %) and ‘general fitness’ (55.8 %). And precisely in light of these specific objectives, the customers indicated right away that they had already made progress. 53.2 % noticed their body tightening. The corresponding value for 'general fitness' was 46.9 %. Even more than 61.5 % of the customers confirmed an increase in muscle mass.
One of the major known problems of the fitness market is the high fluctuation or poor customer loyalty. This is why the results in respect of customer loyalty are particularly interesting for operators. For 70.6 % of the EMS customers, it was already clear at the time of the survey that they would renew their contract after its expiry, whereas only 3.4 % had decided against it.
Equally relevant is the question as to what customers expect from a good EMS studio. The desire for competent trainers, good availability and a pleasant ambience are at the forefront. In addition, parking and shower options as well as frequent body analysis are positively received. The recently introduced TÜV certification (TÜV Rheinland) for EMS studios was also mentioned as being one of the desired standards.