How NOT to Sabotage your Members’ New Year’s Resolutions

  • New running shoes… Check!
  • Super cute workout gear that coordinates with new shoes… Check!
  • The perfect playlist for bringing sexy back… Check! 

Your New Member has all the essentials for an epic workout… until your gym sabotages her very first workout in your facility. Chances are whether you are a mom-and-pop facility or kind of the industry, your gym is guilty of some of these common but completely avoidable issues that could sabotage your members’ New Year’s Resolutions.

#1– Equipment

If your chest press machine is so rusty it looks like a tetanus shot should be issued prior to use, or your Stairmaster looks like a fitness relic that is better suited for The Smithsonian than the workout floor, then it may be time for an upgrade. Structuring your cap ex budget to stock your club with new equipment at the New Year is a smart way to allocate funds and make a great first impression that keeps new members coming back.

If you change your toothbrush more frequently than your broken treadmills are fixed, then you may want to review your maintenance procedures. Speaking of maintenance, PM doesn’t just mean evening, it also means preventative maintenance. PM done on a rotating schedule is the best way to keep your equipment running smoothly and will prolong the life of it. If you are already on a PM schedule, BRAVO! Chances are your members notice and will be loyal to you for it. If you aren’t on a schedule, then now is the perfect time to get a system in place before the New Year.

#2– Cleanliness

Bunnies are cute and cuddly, hair bunnies scurrying along on your group fitness floor are not. Ever been mid sun salutation and greeted by an old band-aid stuck to the floor as you fold forward. Ew! I think you get the point. Your group fitness room should be busting at the seams from January to March, full of new members, but that cannot be an excuse not to work your cleaning schedule around class times. Check out your group fitness schedule and ensure that the floors are being swept before your busy morning classes and before your peak evening hours.

Slip and slides are fun outside in the summertime, but not when you’re trying to do walking lunges in the gym. With more bodies dripping sweat on the floor, extra TLC is needed throughout your club, especially in the early part of the year. Locker rooms are the place for dirty jokes, not dirty showers or toilets. Your management staff should be doing a walkthrough of the club (including locker rooms) on a regular basis at a minimum of every two hours. Inspect what you expect- a clean facility.

#3– Friendliness

There is a reason Norm kept going back to Cheers – everybody knew his name! Same goes for your members. Welcome your members to your club by name, make eye contact and smile while doing it. This sounds like a total “duh” point, but you would be surprised how few clubs make a point to welcome each and every one of their members this way. You want your members to feel like more than just a barcode number.

One of the best General Managers I ever worked with would bring his wagon from home and fill it with bottled water. He’d wheel that wagon through the cardio area once a month and hand out free water to the members and chat with them. While I am not encouraging you to require your staff to bring their own Red Wagon from home and pay for water out of pocket, I am encouraging you and your staff to think outside of the box in making your members feel welcomed and appreciated in a way that fits your brand and culture.

  • Equipment ready… Check!
  • Club clean… Check!
  • Staff friendlier than ever… Check!

Now you’re ready to make this the year your members make those resolutions and stick to them and stick with you.

Erin Gray

About Erin Gray

Erin Gray is Co-Owner and Manager of 865 Fitness. She is a CrossFit L-1 trainer, CrossFit Kids coach, and yoga instructor. She is certified in all nine MOSSA group fitness programs. When she isn't leading CrossFit classes you’ll find her running, or blogging.