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Member Behavior Has Changed, Will You?


It’s no secret 2020 has hit the fitness industry hard. However, it has been a time of reflection and learning on how to best serve members for the future.

We know even pre-COVID, 85% of gym members were also working out at home. Now, club owners are safe to assume most of their members have adopted an at-home workout routine. While we all know it’s not the same as visiting a gym, your members are benefiting from easy access and variety. They can take advantage of virtually any type of workout, using an app, on-demand subscription, YouTube channel or live streamed class from anywhere in the country. 

For club owners, a member engagement strategy must mean reaching those in your facility and at home. Consumer habits have been changed for the long run and so should the offerings you provide as members return to the club. 

Here are three ways you can adjust your offering to cater to adjusted member preferences:

  • Research shows 28% of at-home exercisers are doing strength-based workouts, 18% are doing martial arts-based workouts and 9% are doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. Strength and martial arts formats are already very popular among club schedules, but HIIT workouts are a surprisingly rare class on the schedule for most clubs. As members begin returning to your facility, schedules should be reevaluated to ensure these new habits are being met.
  • With many people now working remotely, with more flexible hours, members are no longer boxed into a few hours a day before or after work to workout. What does this mean for scheduling? Monday is the most popular day to workout and Sunday the least, so you might consider your timetable density to cater to these trends. Also, day-time classes will see increased attendance and peak hours will be a thing of the past. 
  • Members continue to expect more flexibility, which means clubs must offer a 360-degree fitness experience. This means live classes, virtual in-club programming, on-demand options and live streamed classes for those who are working out in your facility and at home during the day. 

The future of group fitness and member engagement must adhere to the new norms by providing unlimited options for members, including location, schedule and format options. With these shifts, instructors will need to be extremely flexible in the way they teach, their programs, the times and the way they connect, in order to align with the ever-changing needs of members. The more of these options and benefits members can get directly from your facility, the more engaged, loyal and profitable to you they will be. 

Ashley St. Jules

Ashley St. Jules is the vice president of marketing at Les Mills United States. Contact Les Mills to learn more about future-proofing your business by emailing business.insights@lesmills.com or by visiting their website.

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