Tuesday, 6 October 2020

The Hybrid Fitness Model - Gym Owner Monthly Article October 2020

The future of the fitness industry is a combination of in-club and online experiences. This hybrid model has been forced on many businesses and members during lockdown. As clubs re-open, we are all adapting to new needs and uncertain about what is in store next. Health and fitness are high on many people’s agenda, but not everyone is willing or able to visit a gym.

What is Hybrid?

Hybrid is a combination of two different things. It is also a buzzword, covering everything from cars to bikes, golf clubs to genetics. It sounds cool, which is another reason why it is generating a lot of discussion in our industry right now. Hybrid fitness has been developing for years, the pandemic has simply accelerated things.

Get your members ‘Covid-Fit’ with Tanita (guest post 3/3)

This is the third guest post in a series from Simon Wilkison at Tanita

Following the great news that fitness facilities in England can reopen from the 25th July, it got me thinking about the vital role we play, as an industry in helping the country not only recover from the pandemic but also what we can do to minimise the effects of outbreaks in the future. 

Then like magic I came across this article by Dr Jenny Harries, the Deputy ChiefMedical Officer for the UK encouraging Brits to ‘get fit and lose weight this summer, in preparation for the predicted return of COVID-19 in the winter months.’ There are some eye opening statistics contained within this article including, ‘Research from the University of Liverpool has shown that being obese increases the risk of dying from SARS-CoV-2 by 38 per cent’ and ‘Data from the NHS also indicates that 75 per cent of people who have been hospitalised with COVID-19 were overweight or obese’. What is clearer than ever, is the message to the public is ‘get healthy’ and what a great message that is for us in the fitness industry!

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Tanita – helping you come back stronger (guest post pt2)

This is the second in a series of guest posts by Simon Wilkinson at Tanita

Why Tanita Body Composition Analysis? 

Successful fitness businesses all have something in common; they put the member at the centre of everything they do. There are a number of ways in which this can be done but one that is utilised by successful operators at a multinational level all the way down to single PT’s operating out of studios, is professional body composition analysis. 

There are many benefits of utilising professional body composition, too many for a short blog so we will focus now on two: the levels of engagement it helps to create with members, the knock on effect this has on retention and secondly the levels of personalisation you can offer across the whole business. 

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Health Over Aesthetics - Tanita guest post pt 1

This is the first guest post in a series from Simon Wilkison at Tanita

All signs are pointing towards the general public becoming more health conscious than at any other time. Many industry experts are predicting a surge in potential new clients for PT’s as people look to become more informed on improving their health and the role of body composition in health and immunity couldn’t be more directly linked.

In a society more health aware than ever following the Covid:19 pandemic, boosting their immune system will be high on many people's agenda. Awakening the public to the role body composition plays in this will be a key element to the success of your training and nutrition plans, adding great value to your packages. Many of the negative effects fat has on health are well known, in relation to this 'there is compelling evidence that both overnutrition and undernutrition negatively interfere with the immune system'
*Fat: A matter of disturbance for the immune system Alessandro Federico, Elena D’Aiuto, Francesco Borriello, Giusi Barra, Antonietta Gerarda Gravina, Marco Romano, and Raffaele De Palma.
However, less highly regarded is the role of muscle mass, a healthy muscle mass ‘plays a key role in the prevention of many common illnesses, conditions and diseases’
*The underappreciated role of muscle in health and disease, Robert R Wolfe.

Monday, 21 September 2020

Hybrid Member Journeys

In this extract from a recent webinar, Guy talks about how the traditional member journey evolved as the fitness industry accelerated online fitness during lockdown, and where it must develop to include hybrids of in-club and virtual fitness experiences.

There are many examples of hybrid journeys, we talk about Metabolic Balance and Exercise Referral here. Others include summer/winter split memberships, bootcamps, running/cycling clubs, relaxation, and meal prep.
Please leave questions or comments below.

Friday, 18 September 2020

How to Develop a Successful Customer Feedback Strategy

Here's the Elevate session that Guy chaired earlier this month with Andy Glover (Places Leisure), David Hopkins (Proinsight Mystery Shopping), Paul Roberts (MyCustomerLens) and Lucy Findlay (Elevate)

It was a great session with lots of learning for all.

Why is feedback so important? Andy talked about immediacy, expectations, prioritisation, and mindset at Places, and discussed their brilliant response rate to member surveys.

David explained how compliance and brand are as important as the process for a lot of Proinsight clients.

Paul said that succesful companies are now listening more, not only to customers, but to staff, prospects, and ex-members.

With emotions driving more behaviour, its more important than ever to be close to your key stakeholders - members and staff.

Feel free to add any more questions you have in the comments...

Wednesday, 16 September 2020


Imagine if all your clients had to complete a tiebreaker in a quiz or competition. How would they complete the above phrase? How do they see you? Why do they train with you? And does what you sell match what they are buying?

Good listening is one of the most important skills if you are going to be an excellent personal trainer. You need to listen to your clients’ needs, which are constantly changing. Let’s explore how you can learn more from them, and use this feedback to help your business to grow and evolve.

Understand your market and your clients

Wednesday, 9 September 2020


This September is going to be make or break for many fitness businesses. It is time to deliver value to your members, and this starts with removing the concept of free. 

Through lockdown, there has been a lot of free fitness. Many memberships were frozen or suspended. Clubs offered fitness for free through apps and online portals. Members and non-members alike have been following workouts and classes on Zoom, Facebook and YouTube.

The average UK club 12-month member retention was around 51% pre-lockdown. In other words, 51% of members typically stay for 12 months or longer. But member retention rates for free online fitness are significantly worse. Joe Wicks lost 50% of his viewers in just one month. Some say it was a fad, but so is joining a gym for many people. 

Friday, 28 August 2020

How can you boost the number of members coming back to your fitness business?

How many of your members have returned in the first month of reopening? Clubs we have spoken with range from 20% to 80% of members back. The lower figures are sometimes low because they are based on pre-lockdown total membership, and the top end are often based on optimistic feelings (or visits, rather than memberships).

Who has not returned yet?

Where we have accurate measures, the return rate after one month of reopening is around 50%. This immediately creates a segment of members who have not yet returned, who we need to campaign to get back into the club. One email will not suffice, but we will come back to these members in a moment, because there’s not so much an elephant in the room, as an elephant who’s NOT in the room…

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Getting back with your Ex… members

As gyms in the UK start to re-open, it might seem too soon to start thinking about ex-member campaigns. But as your loyal members return, and you start to measure your capacity, it is likely that you will need to get some ex-members back too, to boost your revenue. 

We’re going to explore when you should be getting in touch with members who have cancelled, how and what you need to say to them, and how to balance this message to ensure you keep your regular members happy.