How Gym Operators Can Keep the New Year's Resolution Crowd Motivated

For Gym Operators

How Gym Operators Can Keep the New Year's Resolution Crowd Motivated

Nearly everyone starts off the New Year with some hefty fitness resolutions, but keeping members of your gym motivated past January can sometimes be a challenge. Memories of cookies, egg nog, and heavy dinners have faded, and exercise is often left with the used wrapping paper. So how can you help your members remember, then meet, their health objectives? Below are 5 suggestions gym operators can use to motivate all those New Year's resolution exercisers.

Throw a contest

Many people are competitive by nature – and whether it’s a contest with a monetary objective, or merely the self-satisfaction they experience with a win – contests are a great way of keeping your members’ eyes on the real prize of wellness. Seattle-area gym Vision Quest holds a popular “Biggest Loser”-themed challenge, but you can build contests around more than just weight loss. “Most improved” and timed competitions built around various exercises are also effective, unique ways to keep members engaged. Giveaways can also prove valuable. For example, each time a member comes to the gym, they receive an entry into a drawing – the more times they exercise, the more chances they have to win a prize.

Celebrate publicly

Along the same lines as contests, publicly congratulating your members on their achievements also provides strong motivation – both for them and for their fellow exercisers. After all, if one member can do it, why can’t another? Consider posting a leaderboard prominently in your gym, including an exerciser of the month.


Incentivizing gym members for small wins can help them maintain their focus, momentum, and enthusiasm – an incentive could be as simple as lose a pound and get a few dollars discount on the next month’s membership fee.

Match members with ‘workout buddies’

Your members need to feel like they’re not in this alone; having a workout buddy – one who struggles and toils alongside them – can keep wary exercisers on the right track for achieving their fitness goals. Encourage willing members to exchange emails and contact one another when they’re feeling demotivated. (Keep in mind this needs to be an opt-in program.) You may also want to consider offering an official “bring your best friend to work(out)” day – it can provide motivation for your members and exposure for you.

Post a 'Workout of the Day'

Many members – especially those who’ve recently joined – don’t know what exercises to do, and they may become easily discouraged and disinterested. To avoid this workout malaise, develop an engaging, easy-to-follow workout to post daily. Challenge your members to perform the Workout of the Day a few times per week and provide feedback. And hopefully, these common exercise routines will build a sense of camaraderie among your members. If you’re a gym operator who has some suggestions for keeping members engaged through January and beyond, please feel free to share them in the comments!