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Growing the Hendrick Health Club


The Hendrick Health Club located in Abilene, Texas, was created in 1996 after it branched out of the Hendrick Center for Rehabilitation. 

The club was created for two reasons. First, it provides a way for the people who no longer needed rehab services to be able to exercise in a controlled environment. And two, it gives the community and hospital employees an exercise facility with well-trained staff in a safe and fun environment.

“Originally the health club housed Cardiac Rehab and a community exercise component,” said Ron Richert, the director of the club. “In 2004, Cardiac Rehab moved to a separate location and the health club expanded for the first of several expansions to accommodate the growing number of community and corporate members.”

The club’s location has been its biggest challenge. It is more than three miles from where most of its members live. So, the staff had to figure out how to run a good business, remain unique in their marketplace, and survive and thrive in their community.

Despite this challenge, Richert explained the health club remains on the cutting edge of exercise programming and is a leader in all types of exercise needs.

Because of this, their exercise programs are the club’s most popular offerings. “They are so successful because we have an amazing team who believes in our mission,” said Richert. “It also does not hurt we have over 400 classes programmed into our schedule a month — from water exercise classes to virtual cycling classes at non-peak times.”

The club’s amazing team doesn’t just help make programs successful. Richert credits them for its overall success as well. 

“We have several employees who have been with us over 15 years, and we have an extremely low turnover of group fitness instructors and personal trainers,” said Richert. “Our health system has been named by the Gallup Organization as an award-winning facility and one of the best places to work for over 13 years.”

The Hendrick Health Club not only focuses on hiring team members who want to help people transform, but also on giving them tools to help clients.

The club has utilized Les Mills group classes, with over 60% of its members attending those classes. “We have three group exercise rooms, including the cycling cinema, a team training area, a Pilates studio and a pool,” said Richert. “All offer different options for people of all fitness levels to participate at the same time — from an elite athlete to a beginner exerciser.”  

One piece of advice Richert would give to other club owners is: Be willing to work with a consultant or vendor that has more experience than you do, learn from them and never stop growing. He has personally worked with Thomas Plummer as a fitness consultant to help craft their training services. Additionally, he works with Les Mills, Myzone, ABC Financial, Netpulse, FreeMotion Fitness and Matrix Fitness to help make his club the best it can be.

“I have learned a lot from lots of people in this industry, and I hope to continue to learn and grow,” said Richert. 

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com

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