Keys to a successful launch of new material

It’s that moment four times a year that Les Mills instructors look forward to – the launch of new material. Heck, when we check the mailbox for those new releases, it’s like Christmas to us instructors. When BodyPump 83 showed up in my mailbox the day before my wedding, the CD instantly went in my car stereo and a bridesmaid and two groomsmen were tortured with the music en route to the rehearsal.

Then comes the long process of actually learning the material and preparing for what we call a launch. Typically, most gyms with Les Mills programs in them will make a party out of it, showcasing their new programs in one weekend-long party.

Of course, there are keys to make a launch successful and preventing it from turning into a mega-disaster.

The first thing you want do to is promote, promote, promote! At Union Street Athletics, we announce our launch dates FAR in advance – at least four weeks – to get the members excited and wanting to try this new material. The best things to do are hang some banners around your club, or put sign-up sheets at the front counter for classes such as BodyPump and RPM that require equipment. If it’s a new program, the room is bound to be packed!

Another thing is to make it fun. For instance, don’t sweat about having to learn a whole release, because chances are you’re going to be teaming with one or two teammates, so think about choreography first, and fitness magic second! An example, last winter, we had a launch on Super Bowl weekend, and hung Patriots jerseys on the back wall behind our stage.

Finally, think of a cool theme that will attract members. With fall on the horizon and group fitness classes filling up again – hey, it’s not easy living in a state where folks would rather go to camp than work out during the summer – we have to keep the members interested. Maybe have some sort of raffle and give away some small prizes, such as a month-long membership, a gas card, that sort of thing.

Team USA will be showcasing the new material at the end of this month, so who knows what we’ve got cooked up for our members! Hey, I’m not one to give away any secrets!!

On a side note, I’m strongly considering adding RPM to my Les Mills teaching resume. There is a training coming up in mid-October that I may choose to go to, so stay tuned for further details!

New England Patriots jerseys line the back wall as Ryan McLaughlin (right) and Scott Kahkonen lead the warmup track during a BodyPump launch at Union Street Athletics in Feburary. The Pats jerseys lined the wall in a Super Bowl-themed launch of new material at the Bangor gym.

Ryan McLaughlin

About Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective with BDN readers about what's happening on the Boston professional sports scene.