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How Elevate Fitness is Changing the Industry, One Exercise Class at a Time

Over the next couple of months, we’ll be introducing you to “Innovation by Cortland,” a series that highlights how Cortland is changing the traditional multifamily housing industry as an owner/operator. We’ve spent years developing new and innovative ways to provide our residents with the best living experience we can — from how we build our communities to the lifestyle we create within them. First up is an exploration of Elevate by Cortland, our unique approach to community fitness and health.

The Elevate Origin Story

In 2017, we launched Elevate by Cortland in 101 of our communities across the country. Our decision to own and manage the programming in our fitness centers was a no-brainer for us — at Cortland, we already insource our property management, construction, design, and product manufacturing, so it didn’t feel right to present a product (in this case, our fitness centers) that wasn’t truly ours. We wanted to have full ownership of our fitness programming, so that residents could have a cohesive experience throughout all aspects of community life.

A Unique Approach to Fitness

Elevate is not your average apartment gym — you won’t find this level of programming or involvement at other apartment communities. From the equipment we provide, to the design of our gyms, to the types of programming residents can find in each community, all facets of Elevate exist to provide our residents with the tools they need to live a healthier lifestyle. Whether an ideal workout is a few laps around the pool, a group fitness class, or an empty gym late at night, there’s an Elevate program for you.

Karl Smith, Director of Fitness & WellnessWhether you live in Dallas or Atlanta, you’ll find Elevate, and every community can enjoy free classes, access to educated trainers, and top-of-the-line equipment. Everything we do is tied into one vision: making our residents feel comfortable and empowered to reach their fitness goals.

A Cohesive Experience

We build our programming around four main tenets of wellness: physical fitness, emotional wellbeing, social activities, and healthy environments. This allows us to create a consistent experience across all of our communities, even when the specific programming varies. One community may focus on outdoor activities, while another may offer more indoor yoga and zumba classes — but both communities provide integrated wellness programs that fit our residents’ lifestyles. And our residents can always access professional, experienced personal trainers who can help them along their fitness journey.

Programming Backed by Data

When we decided to launch Elevate, we wanted to make sure it was useful for all our community members. We started by asking our own residents about their fitness goals and the programs and classes they’d like to see in their community gyms. Because each Cortland community is unique, we understood the importance of creating programming that was specific to each of our communities across the country — so we used these survey responses to launch pilot programs in specific markets that catered to those residents’ wants and needs. Now, Elevate can be found in over 100 communities, and all the programming is determined by residents, including which classes we offer to the days and times we host them.

Karl Smith, Director of Fitness & WellnessWe’re scientific about the programs we offer, and that’s not going to change. The goal has always been to make fitness accessible in a fun and safe environment that’s just steps from residents’ homes. Our residents should expect more fitness options in 2018 that will rival offerings from local fitness studios or big box gyms.

A Huge Benefit for Residents

Our residents love having access to free state-of-the-art equipment and fitness classes any time they want. Because the Elevate program offers a comprehensive approach to wellness, it allows residents to give up their traditional gym memberships and still meet all their fitness goals — which can save them anywhere from $20 to $100 per month depending on the type of gym and number of family members that have memberships. The cost savings, combined with a built-in way to meet and interact with their neighbors, is a main benefit our residents enjoy by living in a Cortland community. And we love to see our residents at our Elevate classes time and again because it means we’ve created something they love.

Experience Elevate by Cortland

With one step inside our Elevate fitness centers, it’s apparent that this program is unlike anything else. The fitness center design is strategic and impactful, so everyone has space to enjoy their workout and navigate around equipment pieces. Personal trainers can provide guidance and help design personalized exercise plans. And the variety of programming, from group classes to 24/7 training with Fitness On Demand virtual classes, is designed to meet the varying fitness needs of all Cortland residents. Come explore our communities and see the difference for yourself.