Inside the Club: There’s Many Ways to Skin a Cat

shutterstock_179472182My father always used the line “There’s many ways to skin a cat.” It seemed like a weird way to suggest that there are multiple ways to succeed, but it stuck with me. This week we received a comment on a blog written by our own advisory board member Lori Lowell titled, “Group X: How Great is Your Group Fitness Department?”

Here was the comment from Lori Moody on our website:

“I’m an LMT opening a wellness center in a very small community that specializes in massage therapy, Spinning®, TRX® and group fitness classes (which I teach myself). It’s not a “gym” since I don’t have the traditional equipment. Other competitors (teaching in church basements, YMCA) are offering $5 per class with no membership fees. My community loves the no membership idea, which I’d like to implement as well since I’m not a traditional gym. My question is should Spinning® and TRX be more than the $5 we charge for the other group classes (Zumba, boot camp, aerobics, etc.) since those classes involve expensive equipment? I want our group fitness department to be amazing since it’s all we do. Thank you for your thoughts and feedback.”

This got me to thinking about all of the different ways a person could develop a fitness club/studio/gym. Here in Louisville, Ky., where Club Solutions Magazine is located, we have several cycling studios, as well as TRX, boot camp and Group X facilities. Some specialize in personal training and group boot camps, while others may host a myriad of classes.

One of our newest members of the CS team, Sarah Wallace, told me about her friend’s studio that has yoga, TRX and other group fitness classes. She doesn’t have memberships, but instead charges by the class. The studio has several options. A person could pay $15 for a TRX class, $10 for an express 30-minute class or purchase a bundle of classes for a nominal fee.

By following a per class method, it’s on the instructors to create enjoyable classes that make people want to return. Additionally, the facility is on the line to find top-of-the-line instructors to keep the members coming into the facility.

It changes the entire dynamic of a fitness facility, but if developed properly I believe they could be highly competitive and turn a substantial profit.

However, when larger facilities begin doing the same and undercut your price, it’s vital that your location differentiates itself and provides a greater experience than anywhere else. If you simply have a similar type of staff and location, you might be well on your way to closing your business.

Following a per class charge model might be scary. However, in the long run you will have better staff and a stronger client base. Just remember when you embark, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” regardless of how weird it sounds.


Tyler Montgomery is the editor of Club Solutions Magazine. Contact him at

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