After the tumultuous year that was 2020 – or the year that shall henceforth be known as the ‘year that shall not be named’ – many Australians would be forgiven for starting 2021 feeling slightly cynical, forgoing much hope for fitness resolutions. In fact, some of your new clients may have even considered dropping their fitness aspirations already. And who could blame them? With the world in such disarray, committing to a new fitness regimen can seem insignificant.
If calling it quits is on the mind of any of your clients or members, they’re not alone in their thinking. According to research conducted by Strava using over 800 million user-logged activities in 2019, January 19 is the day most people are likely to give up on their New Year’s Resolution, a term they’ve coined ‘Quitters Day’.
This isn’t surprising. Resolutions often result in clients going too hard, too quickly and it’s simply not sustainable. Moreover, committing to a huge fitness goal can seem daunting, particularly when we’re all so fatigued from the impacts of a global pandemic. So how do we, as a fitness industry, turn this around?
According to Fitness Australia, at the height of the pandemic 70% of fitness businesses reported a 100% decline in memberships. With government mandated restrictions and forced closures, many Aussies who relied on their local gym or leisure facility were left without their fitness outlet, and their routines and goals fell by the wayside.
However, as lockdowns have lifted and Australia (for the most part) has returned to a ‘new normal’, gyms and fitness clubs have reopened across the country and now have a real opportunity to keep our members on track.
Communication is key
Everyone needs encouragement, and none more so than those who break out in a sweat at even just the thought of setting foot in the gym. A great way to offset this is by establishing a clear and consistent channel of communication with your clients via SMS or social media platforms. Here, you can provide examples of members who are reaching their fitness goals, encourage them to sign up for fitness challenges or even provide discounts, freebies and giveaways to encourage them to take that first step through the door.
It’s also important to identify those members or clients who have joined since 1 January and offer them tailored support and communication.
- reaching out to establish how their induction or first class has been
- offering incentives for them to come back to your facility week on week
- allowing a friend or partner to accompany your client for free (at least during the early stages of their fitness journey) to help keep them motivated and accountable to their goals.
An integrated approach
The health and fitness industry has evolved and so too has the range of options available to clients old and new. Classes have diversified and environments have changed to welcome people of all ages and abilities. From group training sessions to yoga, now in 2021, there is a fitness experience to suit everyone.
It’s also never been easier or more convenient to engage and access fitness services. Advancements in technology means booking and paying for a class is as simple as a few clicks or taps of your device. This means clients can set up recurring bookings and payments to help them establish a routine. Further, many gyms are utilising technology to host virtual classes, filming classes they are already hosting and sharing online for those who do not feel comfortable coming to the gym. Integrated payment and booking technologies, as well as the introduction of virtual classes, is enabling gyms to retain members and increase revenue for your facility, enabling you to focus on what you do best; provide exceptional member experiences.
We know that fitness is a long term game – It has to be folded into your client’s daily life. Technology plays an important role in building these new habits around existing ones and can help you help your clients be a starter this ‘Quitters Day’!
Michelle is a qualified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and remedial massage therapist and Chief Commercial Officer, Health and Fitness, Australia/New Zealand for TSG, a fitness technology company.