PJ Stahl

Increasing Member Retention Through Innovation

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Creating member retention plans are extremely important for building a business and creating a sense of longevity within a fitness community. I have tried many different types of member retention plans, but there were a few that were of low cost and worked very well for me. When thinking of member retention, I typically think of what my members specifically want and need.

If I can create more value for my customers, then leaving does not seem like an option.

Below are two easy ways to increase your member retention without extreme overhead costs.

Step 1: Science Based Programming

First, I recommend creating science based programming that has exercise variety, workout layout diversity, and coach’s continued education on current equipment exercises. Adding these tools will increase the experience throughout your fitness center in classes and sessions to create a higher value for the client. Lets break this down a little further.

Exercise Variety

I challenge my coaches to incorporate a new exercise in every workout. Whether it is a new dynamic warm-up exercise, agility drill, mobility or strength exercise it is important to continue to teach new exercises to your clients. This will challenge your members in creative ways with new movement patterns and strengths to continue to build on their progress and goals. It will also keep your clients from becoming bored and/or causing a plateau in their fitness levels.

Workout Layout Diversity

At my fitness center we have a variety of classes and within each class we create a variety of workout styles. We incorporate different sections. For example; a strength training circuit in “Part A”, skill work in “Part B” and finishing the workout with metabolic conditioning in “Part C”. Each day has a new layout with varied time constraints on each section. This provides an exciting new experience in every class giving the clients challenge every day they workout. Continuing to offer variety in programming will keep clients longer because they will never get bored and they will be physically challenged in new ways to reach their fitness and aesthetic goals.

Coach’s Continued Education

At Lock Box LA we have continued education every other week for the entire staff. I teach my coaches new exercises, biomechanics, and the exercise physiology behind each of these movements. Within our education system our coaches must apply what they learn into their classes. I believe in “Motivation through Education” and I have my coaches implement this strategy in every session. We are not class monitors; it is our job as coaches to teach. As we coach through a class we can educate our clients and motivate them through science.

Step 2: Innovative Equipment

Secondly, I recommend adding new innovative pieces of equipment to your facility on a continual basis. It is easy to invest into a few pieces of equipment every quarter to continue to increase exercise variety and diversity. Every month I have money set aside in my business account to save up each quarter. At the end of each quarter I select 1-2 new pieces of equipment to order for the facility.

Great examples of pieces of equipment are; the Axle, PowerWave, and/or the Premium Slam Ball. These pieces are very cost effective and have expanded our exercise library and workout diversity by tenfold. Clients get excited when they see new pieces of equipment in the gym. They also feel challenged and accomplished when they get to do new exercises in their workouts. It is worth the investment to be able to provide a new and exciting experience for your clients.

As one can see, it is through providing a valued experience every day for your clients that continues to create member retention. As you offer new exercises, new programming, and new equipment your value increases. When value increases, retention increases. Keep challenging yourself to invest in creating these positive changes in your facility and you will continue to see the benefits.


The axle

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About PJ Stahl

Power Systems Master Coach, PJ Stahl, MA, CSCS is creator of PROJECT STEEL and a Reebok Ambassador. His background in competing in collegiate level Division I gymnastics paired with his experience coaching professional athletes, he was naturally led to become a fitness performance coach. PJ utilizes over 20 years of experience and over 25 certifications as a well-rounded elite fitness expert in personal and group training. PJ currently resides in Los Angeles where he owns and trains out of his studio, Lock Box Fitness & Performance Center.