For Gym Operators


Gym owners, managers and personal trainers exist in a whirlwind of industry information, so it's easy to forget that most gym-goers aren't getting the same bombardment of exercise science and workout facts. Or if they are, they might not have the background to really make full use of that information, or to parse the good science from the bad.

You're in the perfect position to act as a middle-man filter, giving your customers bite-size pieces of easily assimilated information. It's a win-win proposition: they get the information they need to be confident and successful in their fitness endeavors, while you get a more confident, engaged client out of the deal.

Here are six can't-miss opportunities for passing on fitness information to your customers.

1. At Sign-Up

There's no escaping the paperwork involved when you sign up a new client -- so take advantage of it by providing an educational brochure that covers the basics of your facility's equipment. Better yet, create one-sheet "survival guides" that explain how to do a simple first workout in the weight or cardio rooms, or how to dress and prepare for popular group fitness workouts.

2. Signage on Machines

Well-informed gym-goers stride confidently up to the machine of their choice and hop right on. Uninformed novices are more likely to wander the gym floor, scoping out the different machines and wondering: "What is that thing, and what is it going to do to me?"

Of course, you should have trained floor staff ready to leap in and give those new folks a helping hand, but you should also put signage on or near each weight machine that explains what it is, which muscles it works, and the basics of using it. Or, buy equipment like the Precor Discovery™ line of strength-training machines, which has QR codes your clients can scan to access instructional videos.

Cardio machines should get a brief guide that explains how to use the machine, how to gauge workout intensity, and any facility rules about workout duration or signing up in advance.

3. Open Houses

Not every person that wanders through an open house is going to end up signing up -- but the more informed and relatable your host staff are, the more likely those prospective clients will walk away with a positive impression of your facility. Getting educational brochures in their hands – preferably quick hits of easily digestible information – also gives them a tangible reminder of the experience and your facility.

4. Free Seminars

Free seminars are the perfect way to promote your services to a captive – and receptive – audience. If you open the seminar to the general public, you might even bring in some new clients.

The seminars can be on anything health or fitness related, from the latest news in exercise science to how to work a specific muscle group or use an interesting piece of equipment. Choose your topics by expanding on already-popular offerings at the gym, sending out surveys via social media or when your clients first sign up, and encouraging your front desk staff to actively solicit input and suggestions from customers.

6. Social Media

Email newsletters are a great way to keep your customers up-to-date on your latest offerings, schedule changes, or new equipment in the facility. They're also a golden opportunity for some low-key education. Include at least one educational article, or several articles around a common theme, in every newsletter.

6. Social Media

Think of social media – Twitter, Facebook and the like – as a real-time newsletter service. It's the perfect means of not only disseminating quick tips to your current clients and prospective customers, but promoting engagement that will build trust in you as a brand and keep your clients coming back for more.

Anticipating Your Clients' Needs

At its most basic, keeping your clients informed and engaged starts with seeing your own facility from the perspective of a brand-new exerciser. Ask yourself: What's new, different or intimidating in here? What do our clients want out of the facility? Once you have those answers, you can take proactive steps to put information – or in other words, power – in front of your clients when they want and need it the most.