CONTENT BROUGHT TO YOU BY: Les Mills
More than 15 million people joined a fitness facility last year while 13 million (nearly 86 percent) canceled.
We know that growing membership and profit is about providing people with what they want to get them through your doors more often. We're offering many great solutions in our facilities, yet we still face the same retention and acquisition issues.
So why do people exercise? Nielsen research shows that members exercise because it's good for them, provides a pick-me-up and helps them reach their fitness goals.
What opportunities are you providing for members to stay motivated and get results? You may be thinking of your small group and personal training programs, new cardio equipment, or the investments you've made on the weight room floor. But if you could engage more members for less and have them stay longer, would you do it?
Understanding what drives people into your facility is necessary in order to optimize resources and invest wisely. More than 90 percent of exercisers prefer to work out in groups. And research shows that great fitness classes are the number one controllable factor for why people choose a gym, followed by selection and maintenance of equipment. Members who attend group fitness classes use their facility an average of three times per week compared to IHRSA's figure of 1.9 visits per week for the overall member population. We know that the more a member visits the health club, the less likely they are to cancel. This is especially true for group exercise participants. They are 26 percent less likely to cancel than members who don't participate in group exercise programs.
Providing a quality, inspirational group exercise experience improves retention and reduces cancellations. But is it effective in increasing new member referrals? More than 84 percent of group fitness attendees recommend their current facility to friends and family. Compare this to the average of 76 percent of all gym attendees and we're on to something. It's not rocket science – when exercise is fun, affordable and delivers results, people want to be part of it. In fact, people who are new to exercise find group fitness activities almost twice as popular as other equipment-related options. Group fitness provides solutions for everyone. But you need to nail the programming.
Member engagement flourishes when the right group fitness programs are available, your schedule is optimized and inspiring instructors lead your classes. An optimal group schedule includes a combination of strength training, mind and body, martial arts and dance programming. It's important to note, however, that not all group fitness programming is created equal. Quality programming builds strength and tone and pushes members to their limit in every class – virtually ensuring results and, therefore, happy members.
A well-executed group fitness offering will engage more members more often, reduce cancellation rates and generate more new member referrals. It is one of the best ways you can ensure your business is set up for success for years to come.
Erin Myers is marketing manager for Les Mills United States. Les Mills is the creator of 13 global group fitness and team training programs for adults, including BODYPUMP (weights), BODYCOMBAT (martial arts), RPM (cycling) and LES MILLS GRIT Series (high intensity interval training). Les Mills recently launched, BORN TO MOVE, a series of age-appropriate classes designed to inspire a love of movement in young people. Another new program is Les Mills Virtual, a video-based offering that enables facilities to deliver group fitness workouts whenever there's demand. Les Mills offers an award-winning range of SMART TECH exercise equipment, including the SMARTBAR and SMARTSTEP. For more information, visit www.lesmills.com or call 844-LES-MILLS.