People walk into their gym each day with a fitness goal in mind, but often supported with little confidence in achieving it. It is no shock to most that retention within the fitness industry is an ongoing challenge. When people yearn for results but don’t enjoy the process, it is only a matter of time before members feel their efforts are invaluable and give up.
Understanding how to increase retention means understanding why members left in the first place.
Millions of people around the world frequently admit to being intimidated by the space of a gym. A recent government study claimed that almost 80% of the population do not meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity each week, often due to the feeling that the environment within a gym is intimidating and overly competitive.
Transform your club and create the right environment using technology.
The fitness industry is evolving and always responding to new perceptions of exercise. With technology on the rise, actively monitoring workouts using wearables provides immediate performance summaries that make accountability to the workout, the trainer, and to one's self, a significant motivator.
Wearables provide a basis within facilities that extend beyond the technology platform. It is the means that brings people together with the same goal in mind, to simply be better than the day before. Fitness technology doesn’t stop after each workout. It provides the rewards, the accountability, and the community that keeps people coming back day after day.
If the only person who knows, or cares, that a member put in time and effort to exercise is him or herself, it is easy for them to make the choice not to. Not only are fantastic trainers and club staff essential, but it is crucial to create the right, highly supportive environment for all members, too.
Take your fitness programming beyond the walls.
Offering wearable technology as a platform within a facility allows clubs to build a community of friends and encourage friendly competition amongst members during workouts. The technology provides the visual, real-time feedback that ultimately pushes members to see who can burn more calories, or get their heartrate up the fastest, promoting a fun and positive workout environment that keeps members engaged and coming back to the gym longer.
It is important for club operators to create an atmosphere that allows absolutely anyone to feel good about exercise, whether it’s before, during or after the event. Gyms can make wearables an integral part of a member's experience by integrating their use in group classes, personal training sessions, and by inviting members to connect with each other on social platforms associated with the devices. Wearables can also be used to make the gym a social space for gym goers, encouraging members to connect with each other inside and outside of the physical space.
What do studies say?
Research shows that members who make friends at their club are 40% less likely to cancel. Myzone users are also shown to deliver 41% more activity when they have four or more social connections in their app in comparison to those that have zero social connections.
Why? Because giving trainers the opportunity to connect with their clients on the app and monitor their workouts serves as an accountability tool to keep their clients motivated to exercise outside of their scheduled sessions. Exercise can be intimidating and when members can’t overcome their fear of the gym, they often quit. The Myzone app allows members to feel as though they are a part of a community, whether inside or outside of the gym, breaking down their barrier associated with exercise.
According to a study conducted by the International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), 90% of studio members admitted they value consistent communication from staff. Technology is simply the connection that makes bridging the gap within a trainer/client relationship easier than ever. With a strong community culture, coaches and gym staff can invest interest in the success of their members.
Upgrade your strategy and take your club to the next level.
Most members in a gym are not intrinsically motivated, meaning the process of working out consistently can be very difficult. Today’s gym goers are looking for exercise entertainment. Fitness games motivate clients to ramp up their exercise efforts, either because they have a competitive streak or because they don’t want to let people down.
Adding the aspect of gamification to any gym strategy can effectively engage members, driving them to be more involved and more present in the community. Gamification comes in different shapes, but gyms can start by introducing interactive challenges creating an inclusive vibe inside the facility that will motivate members to stay connected, embrace competition, and overall enjoy training at the facility.
Customers' demands are more complex and harder to meet than ever before, which means that clubs are constantly up against a diverse range of competitors. By implementing a wearable technology strategy like Myzone, clubs can deliver experiences that better empower, drive, and reward members for their effort.
Wearable fitness technology continues to climb its way through the industry. Devices are only going to get more accurate and consumers will only become more dependent. Once people get past looking at technology as simply a high-ticket price, they will see the opportunity beneath that will ultimately take their club to the next level. Technology is ever-changing, so embrace it, invest in it, and make the most out of the platform because wearables are here to stay.
Grace Kerr started her fitness journey in campus recreation as Northern Illinois University’s Graduate Assistant of Fitness & Wellness. Following her graduate degree from NIU, she took on the role of Fitness Director for LifeStart Corporate Wellness where she was introduced to Myzone. Grace joined the Myzone team in 2015 and currently serves as a sales associate. In addition to her role at Myzone, she enjoys teaching cycling classes at Midtown Athletic Club Chicago.