CONTENT BROUGHT TO YOU BY: Les Mills
As an industry, we know our biggest challenge is member retention, yet we tend to focus more on new member acquisition. Every New Year, thousands of well-meaning rookies join gyms and fitness facilities with their resolutions top of mind. By the end of 90 days, 33 percent of them are back to square one, defeated, discouraged and no closer to a healthier life.
Are you seeing evidence of this drop-off in attendance at your facility? Rather than focusing on bringing new members through your door to fill that void, start to think about how you can keep your current members coming back for more.
We know that group exercise is the number-one factor within our control when it comes to keeping consumers interested and returning to our facilities. Let’s explore the three key considerations for ensuring members engage with and adhere to group exercise.
1. Onboarding. By introducing members to group exercise slowly, you will increase the likelihood that they will stick with it, remain a member and even refer others. Too many people make the mistake of leaping into exercise when baby steps are what’s needed. A slow start that builds gradually and incorporates a variety of exercises is an approach that’s scientifically proven to work. Consider training your staff on how to use this group exercise prescription approach when onboarding new members.
2. Convenience. We already know that the mindset of members is often that they “have to” workout rather than “want to” workout. It’s important to make your group exercise offerings convenient for members, so that inconvenient scheduling or a lack of variety in your offerings doesn’t become another excuse. Factors to consider when designing your schedule are peak operator hours and the possibilities for offering 30-minute classes. You could also offer virtual programming, in which you don’t need to have instructors scheduled for live classes. In looping back to onboarding, we know that most beginners prefer to ease into group exercise with virtual classes, without the pressure of an instructor or other participant
3. Results. Let’s say that you successfully onboard and motivate members to participate in group exercise. You’ve also created the perfect group exercise schedule for members, providing the recommended variety of classes they need and want. What if they still aren’t coming back? Fitness is hard work, and if people don't see results, they won't stick around for long. That’s why it’s important to provide the right mix of science-backed workouts that are proven to provide results and that are taught by certified instructors who can deliver those classes safely and effectively.
We know that group exercisers are 26 percent less likely to cancel their membership than gym-only members. We also know that it takes less effort to retain members than to constantly acquire new ones. Get started with these three considerations to improve your member retention this year.
Brian Gagne, chief executive officer of Les Mills United States, has more than 20 years of health and fitness experience. He previously served as chief operations officer for Health Fitness Corp., where he provided leadership for the delivery of health and fitness management services for one in five U.S. Fortune 100 companies. Gagne holds a bachelor of science in kinesiology and a master of science in exercise physiology.
Les Mills delivers a variety of group fitness classes that provide cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training for your members. Fresh class content is provided every three months to motivate and support engagement of both instructors and members which in turn reduces the attrition rate of your members. Our tried-and-tested group exercise classes deliver real physical results. Learn more about the tools and resources you need to improve your members’ experiences in their workouts, in the group studio and across the entire facility—all of which contribute to increased member engagement and retention. For more information, email [email protected] or call 844-LES-MILLS.