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101 Tips, Tricks and Ideas: 1-20

101 tips


Tip 1: Have You Tried Aqua Kickboxing?

Kickboxing, which is a staple of many Group X programs, is not limited to the fitness studio. With a little creativity, kickboxing can be incorporated into aquatics programming as well. Cherry Creek Athletic Club in Denver, Colorado, offers a wide variety of aquatic-based classes, with one of the most recent additions being Aqua Kickboxing.

“It is a very unique class that you don’t see offered at a lot of places,” said Jeffrey Olson, the fitness director at Cherry Creek. “It has definitely been a more popular format for us here.”

101 tipsIdea 2: Family Fun Zone

In July 2013, Newtown Athletic Club in Newtown, Pennsylvania, built a new four-acre outdoor aquatic complex featuring a 25-foot waterslide, splash pad and a lazy river, as well as a full-service restaurant and bar.

“We definitely feel like our outdoor complex gets more use now because of its resort-like features, than if it had just been a rectangle in the ground,” said Brandi Perkovich, the youth programs and aquatics director at Newtown Athletic Club. “Do things that a typical swim club wouldn’t do, so members don’t feel the need to go other places to get the same kind of fun and enjoyment that we can provide for them as a club.”

Trick 3: So Long Chlorine

Many clubs in the U.S. have turned to alternative forms of pool maintenance other than chlorine. There are simpler and safer options such as making the chlorine at your facility with an on-site chlorine generator, or switching to a saltwater chlorination system. “The benefit to all of this is safety,” said Steve Pearce, the vice president of ChlorKing Inc. “Safety to the staff not having to deal with chlorine, increased safety not having chlorine stored in the facility, and it is more of an environmentally friendly footprint. These are self-contained machines that use salt to make a very powerful oxidizer. You are replacing the need to buy chlorine, to transport it, store it all by putting a machine that does all of that for you.” » If you’re considering saying so-long to chlorine, keep this advice in mind.


Idea 4: Sustainable Design Concepts

101 tipsYour gym is full of equipment; why not take advantage of it? Consider retrofitting your gym equipment so that the motion of aerobic exercise is captured and converted into productive, renewable energy that feeds back into the building’s electrical system. This is precisely what Tony Calhoun, the owner of AC4 Fitness with two locations in California, did. “We use an ECOMill Treadmill [from Woodway]. The kinetic energy that exercise produces is captured, or harvested, and converted into useable energy by an Inverter. The whole system is produced by a company named ReRev, based in Florida.”

Trick 5: Using an Architecture Firm

Larry Conner, the general manager at Stone Creek Club & Spa, shares a few pieces of advice when it comes to choosing an architecture company.

  • “Use an experienced club architect. Too many particular details are needed for efficient and effective club design, while keeping the look you want. Details behind the walls are as important as what is out front to make it all last. Only architects with experience in club design can know all (or most) of these important details.”
  • “Most architects are artists by nature and may want something to look a certain way, but the operator’s vision must be followed in every area. That doesn’t mean the operator is always right, but a good architect can compromise and keep everyone happy, while making it work. Look for this trait.”
  • “Choose an architect experienced in reliable cost projections and time estimations. You do not want to get too far into the project and then learn it is too expensive or will take too long and cannot continue.”
  • “Choose an architect who is there for you. One that returns calls quickly and will handle issues or changes on a timely basis. Time is money.”
  • “Last but not least, check references. Architects may say they can do all of the above, but due diligence is important on the owners/operator’s side to make sure it will be a good relationship.”


Trick 6: The No. 1 Retention Factor

Each year, survey services like Medallia, The Retention People and Listen360 gather data on the top factors that lead to member satisfaction and retention. And, one factor that consistently makes the list is cleanliness. So, the next time your member attrition is on the rise, take a look around. Could cleanliness be making a negative impact?

101 tipsTip 7: Easy Cleaning

“Members desire and deserve to work out on the cleanest and most ‘sanitary’ equipment possible, and will gladly be consistent and active participants in the equipment cleaning/sanitizing process if you locate equipment cleaning supplies as close as possible to every piece of equipment — both cardio and strength — ideally within one step or one arm’s length.” — Bruce A. Sherman, Ph.D., President, GymValet/B & D Specialty Concepts, Inc.

Tip 8: Pay Attention To Detail

When a member walks into your club, one of the first things they notice is the atmosphere. Is it fun, open, welcoming and most importantly, clean? According to Todd Beisch, the general manager at Cheetah Gym Wicker Park/Bucktown in Chicago, when it comes to cleaning, it is essential to pay attention to the small details. “A clean atmosphere — that is one thing I always hear about our gym, is how our maintenance staff does a really good job of cleaning,” said Beisch. “Whether it is the physical cleaning, like the floors are mopped and all the machines are dusted off, to things like the weights being picked up.”

Club Management Software

A guide to top club management software service providers. 


101 tipsTip 9: ABC Financial

Launched in 1981, ABC Financial has revolutionized software and payment processing for the health and fitness industry with its DataTrak software. ABC has become the choice of over 7,500 health clubs throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

800.551.9733. abcfinancial.comsales@abcfinancial.com.


101 tipsTip 10: Affiliated Acceptance Corporation

Affiliated Acceptance Corporation (AAC) delivers affordable payment processing, full-service billing and software solutions to fitness and martial arts businesses. We operate as your club back office support. Our services increase cash flow through consistent payment processing, fast collection of overdue accounts, reporting for cash analysis and customer management.

800.233.8483. sales@affiliated.orgaffiliatedacceptance.com.


101 tipsTip 11: ASF Payment Solutions

Increase Revenue by EMPOWERING MEMBERS. With ASF Payment Solutions club member portal, your members take control of their account and navigate through the options. Driving revenue into your club through online payments and purchases are just two of the benefits. Members can view the club’s class schedule, purchase personal training or classes and make timely payments, increasing revenue.

800.227.3859. asfpaymentsolutions.cominfo@asfpaymentsolutions.com.


101 tipsTip 12: Club Automation

Equip your staff with cutting edge technology to better serve your members and mission. Email us to see what motivates strategic operators across the country to partner with Club Automation.

847.597.1740. clubautomation.comsales@clubautomation.com.


101 tipsTip 13: Coral Springs Software

QuikChek-cloud handles all aspects of club management, and is accessible from any internet device. Benefits include check-in, point of sale, PT management, reporting, timeclock, scheduler, and automated billing. Email blast your members, countdown PT sessions, and store paperless contracts. QC-cloud customers include Gold’s Gym, Johns Hopkins University and Powerhouse.

954.575.7160. healthclubsoftware.netqc@healthclubsoftware.net.


101 tipsTip 14: CSI

Introducing CSI’s New Member Connect App: Member Connect allows your team to serve members faster and do more business. With the Member Connect mobile app, your trainers and instructors can connect with members through access to schedules, bookings and payment information from any mobile device. Download Member Connect and watch staff productivity grow.

800.247.3431. daxko.com/csi.


101 tipsTip 15: EZFacility

EZFacility’s Trainer Management System (TMS) provides a complete scheduling, membership management, recurring billing and financial reporting tool for any size fitness or sports facility. TMS is modular in its design, and is a web-based product, which means the user never has to buy, install or maintain software.

866.498.3279. ezfacility.cominfo@ezfacility.com.


101 tipsTip 16: FitnessEMS

FitnessEMS is a web-based asset management and preventive maintenance application designed specifically for the fitness industry. The system provides scheduling and management tools that give insight to the “equipment repair life cycle” reducing downtime, saving money and retaining members. Filtered dashboards focus on the individual’s responsibility in these processes.

770.807.3026. fitnessems.comrhosea@fitnessems.com.


101 tipsTip 17: Jonas Fitness

Jonas Fitness now offers a brand-new mobile app to help clubs build a mobile strategy that will provide an additional channel of member engagement. It provides club owners additional visibility to their members anytime, anywhere through location services and push notifications. Why not take advantage of the 6 billion phone subscribers by keeping them informed via SMS notifications? For a free demo, visit jonasfitness.com/demo.html.

888.590.0026. jonasfitness.comsalesinfo@jonasfitness.com.


101 tipsTip 18: ShapeNet

ShapeNet Software offers profit sharing with member late fees collected. Managing billing and collections is a headache for club operators. ShapeNet Software EFT billing manages everything from updating members’ financial information to sending delinquent accounts to collections. Go to shapenetsoftware.com for more information.

800.381.2082. shapenetsoftware.com.


101 tipsTip 19: Twin Oaks Software

Twin Oaks offers comprehensive, user-friendly software that makes day-to-day club operations easy to navigate. Our web-based software has every resource to register new clients, maintain prospect data and offers electronic paperless contracts. We utilize intelligent and intuitive programming to develop our features so that you can access and work from anywhere, anytime.

866.278.6750. healthclubsoftware.com.


101 tipsTip 20: Virtuagym

Virtuagym is an all-in-one fitness software solution for health clubs and personal trainers. Virtuagym’s completely branded system and integrated mobile apps provide tools for exercise and nutrition guidance, membership management, scheduling, invoicing, online payments, access control and more. Focus on what matters most: growing your business and helping your clients.

415.675.1469. sales@virtuagym.comvirtuagym.com/professional.

Click here to read Tips, Tricks and Ideas 21-34. 

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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