As a gym owner, you won’t be surprised to see an influx of new membership sign-ups at the beginning of every new year; this is because losing weight is the most popular New Year’s resolution, with getting fit also being relatively high up on the list after getting organised, spending less money, and generally living life to the fullest. (source)
However, most people aim to get fit and lose weight in time for their summer holidays, and although they’ll be very motivated when they first set their resolutions in January, the majority of people have been shown to give up on their goals to get healthier and fitter by around June.
In fact, a poll by Bupa in 2015 also concluded that 63% of people that set New Year’s resolutions failed before they felt they achieved them.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to help keep your gym members engaged and motivated in summer. Here’s how to regain their interest by setting clear goals, providing a varied workout through a range of classes, and offering incentives…
Keep members engaged with their goals
As we explained in a previous blog about achieving your fitness goals, resolutions need to be realistic, specific, and measurable in order for them to achievable. For example, people should set a target of losing 5 pounds in 2 months, rather than just aiming to be slimmer in a few months’ time; otherwise it will be very difficult to keep motivated in summer.
However, we all know that setting attainable goals can be tricky to achieve without the right guidance, and your gym’s members will want to enlist the help of your Personal Trainers to do this. Therefore, your focus should be on encouraging your PTs to be friendly and supportive, and ensuring that they’ll provide a personalised service (with specific goals, timelines, and plans) to suit the needs and lifestyles of each individual member.
This not only means determining exactly what they want to achieve, and helping them to set a realistic way of doing this with the right classes and workouts, but also charting their progress. If members can see small, yet frequent changes being made, then they’ll feel like they’ve already achieved something and be more motivated to continue with their goal.
However, another thing you need to take into account is keeping your members motivated after they’ve achieved their main goal. Matt Swierzynski, Personal Trainer at Matt Swaz Fitness, advises: “Re-design their training plan with extra challenges, and make it progressive. You should also celebrate the great progress they have made to date, and plan in rewards for maintaining that. Some examples include buying a new outfit or new training clothing for hitting targets.”
Encourage them to interact with other members
Engaged members are much less likely to quit. If people feel part of the community, then they’re more likely to look forward to seeing their friends, and feel a responsibility to come back and help everyone achieve more and progress.
The most important aspect of this, is to make everyone feel part of the team. Where appropriate, try to roll in some partnered or team exercises, and ensure everyone is supporting everyone else; do this by approaching members of the class as a group, and encouraging them to interact with each other both during and outside of classes. Your fitness trainers should try to get members to learn each other’s names, as well as a bit of information about each other. Get everyone to introduce themselves and share a fun fact when new members join the class.
Encouraging members to create a messaging group (or using Ashbourne Management’s YourApp+ to message other members) is also a good way of boosting communication, as this can be used as a way of planning meetings outside of your gym classes, and sharing any fitness progress they’ve made and are particularly proud of; people will bounce off of other’s success, happiness and motivation, and be inspired to reach their own targets. In fact, as well as encouraging members to share their goals, the class leader could also set group goals for everyone to work towards.
These should take into account the various fitness levels of each member of the class, and be realistic and achievable.
Re-engage members with seasonal classes
As well as not being able to see progress being made, getting bored of their routines is one of the main reasons people stop going to the gym before the summer, and give-up on their fitness goals after just a few weeks or months after signing up for their membership.
To combat this, ensure your gym offers a variety of classes to suit all workout styles and fitness levels, and that their fitness trainers have the skills and qualifications to teach these at a high standard; these should include intensive, sweat-busting workouts, such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), circuit training, spinning, boxing, kettlebells, MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), and aerobics, as well as lower impact exercises, such as Pilates and yoga.
Another thing to do is to make the most of the warmer weather, and offer seasonal classes; these can include taking classes that use less equipment (such as Pilates, yoga, kettlebells, and aerobics), outside when the weather is suitable, and even introducing new classes that can be done outdoors, such as a run club. Sunlight is an instant mood booster, and being close to nature is proven to boost productivity and motivation.
Offer incentives to members
If a member hasn’t visited your gym for a few months, and you feel they could be at risk of cancelling their membership, then you need to regain their interest by offering the right incentives; especially so close to summer, when many people have given up on their hopes of achieving the ‘perfect’ summer body.
One way you can do this is by offering members the chance to attend a free class of their choice, and making sure that this promotion has to be redeemed within a certain timeframe. However, you should encourage them to choose a class they’ve never tried before; you never know, they may just find that trying a different class or workout style is just what they need to get motivated again!
In a similar vein, your PTs could also run trial sessions for classes; these can be shorter than a regular class would be, though they ensure members have an opportunity to try the workout, as well as find out more about how this particular class can benefit them, and help them to achieve their goals. If a member enjoys the trial class, then it could be just the thing to kickstart their motivation.
Additionally, encouraging members to bring a friend along won’t just increase their desire to go to the gym (as they’ll have someone to track their progress with), but you can also offer incentives for new member referrals. You can do this by granting access to a class for free, or providing a cash reward for each new referral; whichever suits your budget!
Bring the great outdoors, inside
Incorporating real plants into your gym space can have a number of positive effects on your members and overall environment. The guys at Pulbrook and Gould know a thing or two when it comes to flowers and plants: “They don’t just make you feel happier, however; plants can also increase your productivity levels. This is highly beneficial for gymgoers as they’ll be more motivated to attend gym sessions and classes, as well as put more effort into their workouts and get more from them!”.
Another advantage of indoor plants is that they improve air quality by reducing mold, dust, and bacteria levels, as well as removing formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, and other toxins which are present in a number of everyday materials.
My members can sign up online through the fully branded page that Ashbourne provide. If any of my members have a payment query they deal with Ashbourne direct, allowing me to concentrate on running my club.
I have used Ashbourne for my payment collection for 10 years now. The software they have provided keeps improving and they work with the clubs to make it better. It’s easy to use and packed full of features.
At McCaulay’s Health Clubs and Gyms we utilise the full suite of Ashbourne services, including the latest Membership Validation Till System, which really is helping to boost our secondary spend. Their core service of payment collection is utterly reliable and professional.