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In Print The Essentials

Fall Back into Fitness


Summer is a great time of year — members use our clubs and spend time by the pools, almost like a staycation. However, the problem with summer is that the old, lazy habits creep back in. We procrastinate, we indulge a little bit more, we eat ice cream. We go on vacation from our work and also from our fitness routines. We have fun all summer long and then fall hits us out of nowhere and the reality of daily life starts to set back in.

The early mornings, getting the kids to school, driving in busy traffic again, running the kids all over town. All of this just creates chaos for our members, and it’s the moment when members are once again most fragile. The risk to quit is ever present. What is a club to do?

Help stop it. End the cycle with what I call the 4Rs: Reconnect, Refresh, Reignite and Recommit.

Reconnect: First it’s time to reconnect with all of our members who may have dropped their usage or even stopped. Reconnect them to their “why.” Why did they originally join and what are their goals?

Refresh and Reignite: Meet with them and refresh their fitness plans — and reignite the passion for why they want fitness to be a part of their life. Determine what matters to them and then redesign a program for them. Reintroduce them to training, to classes and connect them with various team members.

And yes, do it complimentary. Think of them as a new member — onboard them, make them feel special and valued. Remember, it costs less to keep a member than to acquire a new one.

Recommit: Lastly, and probably the most difficult thing we need to do, is recommit them to using the club. We have to help them reestablish the habit of regular exercise. We have to break down the new bad habits and resync the old productive workout mindset.

It is our job to reconnect with them before it’s too late; to refresh and reignite their programs, passions and desires. Then we need to recommit them to a lifestyle where fitness matters.


Mark Miller is the vice president of Merritt Clubs. Email him at mmiller@merrittclubs.com.

Mark Miller

Mark Miller is the vice president of Merritt Athletic Clubs. For questions on retention, he can be reached at mmiller@merrittclubs.com.

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