How to Retain Your New Gym Members after the New Year’s Resolutions Wear Off


With the first part of 2015 behind us, it’s time to assess your gym membership. Many health clubs and fitness centers see an annual spike in new memberships in December and January, mostly due to one fleeting, often-failed idea: the New Year’s resolution.

Your gym probably experienced an increase in activity since January 1st. Which is great news! However, the trick is to sustain the higher-than-average membership rate even when those resolutions turn south – and, for a certain percentage of associates, the resolutions always fade by March and April.

How grim is the outlook for those bold fitness resolutions? One study calculated that, overall, only 8% of New Year’s hopes are maintained for the entire 365-day run. That 8% includes the “easier” resolutions, not just the fanatic fitness types. Which means that 8% for gym members who joined to due to a personal health promise is probably a bit high.

In the fact of such discouraging stats, what are gym owners to do? We’ve compiled a helpful & handy list of incentives, programs and more to keep the spark alive for any members who might be on the fence between another year of disastrous resolutions and a fitter future.

Create Buzz

With Facebook, Twitter and a ton of other ways to promote your gym, nobody really has an excuse anymore to NOT attempt extra publicity. How does this translate into retaining those new members who are thinking about throwing in the towel? You can post inspiring stories of weight loss (however minimal; remember, every small step counts) or even tout a new person as “Member of the Month.”

Make it Pay to Workout

With small weight loss incentives, you can realize big returns on keeping new members. Some gyms set up a monthly discount based on how many pounds lost, while others run door prize-type contests, with those exercisers logging big minutes & hours given a greater chance to win.

Get Personable

Often times, newbies arrive at your gym confidently enough, but soon despair over lack of personal attention to detail. Without the human connection, the fanciest butterfly machine or latest treadmill can only retain so many new members. Consider hiring extra help from January through April with the sole purpose of making it as comfortable as possible for those fresh faces.

Think Beyond Physical Activity

It may sound counterintuitive, but consider your clients’ main concern away from the treadmill: weight loss. Cardio is primarily a sugar-burning activity. To get those stubborn pounds off, they’ll also need a sensible diet plan in place. Offer advice. Discuss lifestyle habits. Tell new members what worked for veteran gym rats. Be as comprehensive as possible in discussing creative ways to lose weight.

Upgrade Your Gear

Let’s be honest: it’s simply more fun & productive working out on a fancy treadmill with the latest technology (iPod connectivity, built-in TV screen, etc.). If your newer associates are to remain firmly focused on their goals, give them the best possible exercise equipment. This includes free weights, cardio machines, weight benches, and even smaller accessories like jump ropes.

Used Gym Equipment can assist you in regards to the last point. If you’d like to give your current exercise machine an overhaul, give us a call at (800) 884-1446. We’ll get your gear to the next level – and that just might help you keep those associates wavering with their New Year’s resolutions.

Thanks for reading the UGE blog – be sure to check back for more useful information, exercise news, industry analysis and much more!