A few months ago, I embarked on a new workout plan that led me into new territory I previously feared: Weightlifting. Prior, I had done most of my strength work via functional training. The main reason for this is because honestly, I was intimidated to go into the weight area. Despite my knowledge of how good weightlifting is for you, even I often forgoed it due to fear and lack of know-how.
However, three months later, I now enter the weight area with confidence. I know how to work both my upper body and lower body with free weights, and am unafraid to try any piece of selectorized equipment in the gym (even if some make me feel like I’m getting strapped into a roller coaster — here’s looking at you Seated Leg Curl).
The reason I share this story is because some of your members were just like me three months ago. Some wouldn’t dare set foot into the weight area, instead sticking to just cardio equipment, push ups and situps out of fear or intimidation. Fortunately, there’s a way to find out if this is something they’re struggling with, and it starts with onboarding.
In my opinion, no member should set foot on you gym’s floor without first having a free consultation with either a personal trainer or onboarding coach. During this consultation, fears such as mine can be revealed. Don’t be afraid to ask: How do you feel about weight lifting? How do you feel about group exercise? If you sense they’re uncomfortable with a particular activity, ask why. If it’s because they just don’t know how to do the activity, that’s something that can be easily remedied by your instruction or advice.
Helping your members overcome their fears is important, because these fears can prevent them from seeing the results they crave — an important factor for retention. At the end of the day, a lack of interest in your members’ comfortability in your gym can be detrimental to their success, leading you to eventually lose them as a member.