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Fitness Challenge: Getting Members Back on Track

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After facing a global pandemic, people are ready to make their health a priority. However, this may lead people who haven’t worked out in a long time — or ever — into your facility. 

A great way to get them off on the right foot and help them create a new healthy habit is to get them involved in a fitness challenge. 

For Joel Tallman, the CEO and president of MÜV Brands, a major part of MÜV Fitness’ overall fitness focus comes through their MÜV It & Lose It challenges. “We offer three challenges per year, two 90-day and one 60-day,” he said. “We have awards and prizes for numerous categories related to weight-loss and muscle.”

Whether it’s weight loss or muscle gain, the MÜV It & Lose It challenges offer a fun, team-oriented environment for their members. During a recent challenge, some members lost 18 to 41 pounds during the 12-week program. 

In order to offer a successful fitness challenge like this, Tallman said you must have staff buy-in. Having a team to help you plan, deploy and support the challenge is vital. “We’ve had clubs where the staff buy-in was minimal,” he said. “This directly affected the success of the members and the event as a whole. The energy of the staff directly affects the energy and participation of the member for the challenge.”

Another key to success for offering challenges is marketing and advertising the event throughout the club, staff interaction and social media.

“We use traditional in-club collateral such as posters, banners and flyers,” explained Tallman. “Staff wear promotional buttons. We make regular announcements over the PA system. Our MÜV TV — Club Com — is also a great tool to promote the challenges.”

The final fundamental piece to a successful challenge is recognition of achievement by the members, the fitness staff and the overall impact of the challenge. Many of the participants register for numerous additional challenges after completing one, so the member referral component becomes a big part of on-going success.

There are a plethora of benefits in offering a fitness challenge at your facility. One of those benefits is members seeing changes in themselves. “Certainly, physical changes but also the psychological and emotional effects are huge,” explained Tallman. “It is not uncommon to see winners of the 90-day challenge lose 100 pounds or more.”

Additionally, fitness challenges create a community built around fitness. Individual workouts inspired by trainers are huge, but also the group workouts and group competitions build strong relationships that sometimes last for years. These relationships can help keep your new members coming back again and again.

Like any other program offering, fitness challenges require work and come with obstacles. But if done correctly, they can make an impact in your members’ lives and help new members create healthy habits. 

“Fitness challenges can be an undertaking, but the rewards can be well worth the effort to the members and your team,” said Tallman. “If you don’t get staff buy-in and support, don’t bother. It will result in a failure and disappointment for all parties. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel as many good operators run great challenges. Ask for their help and suggestions.” 

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Taylor Brown

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

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