Fitness buildings for sale

Fitness, Asiakaspito | TekijŠ: Jan Middelkamp

15 February 2015 1 Vastaus

Paying not to go to the gym is the title of a US study in 2006 showing that consumers (members of fitness or health clubs) experience difficulties visiting their club regularly. The result of this could be that owners of fitness clubs should sell their buildings or at least a part of it. This statement needs some explanation. 

It is known for a long time that member retention is a challange to fitness clubs. The bright side of this is that adherence or retention is not only a problem in fitness behaviour. A long list of health behaviours are problematic in terms of adherence. We (human beings) do not take our prescribed medicines, we do not stick to diets and often stop smoking does not last long.

The same for visiting a fitness club. A recent study demonstrates that about 50% of the new members do not visit the club in the first month, despite the positive intentions. And almost 20% of the new members do not visit the club in the first 24 months. But what if members did show up, let’s say twice a week. What would be effect on their health? Not much, because even when members excercise two hours a week, the other 166 hours have a much bigger impact.

But why do all the members have to visit the club when the effect on health is marginal? Perhaps because owners of fitness clubs have build big buildings full of equipment, often many years ago. Yes, it is still fantastic to exercise in a well equipped facility! But we have to doubt if the visit to club is what we really want. Perhaps we need to evaluate our conceptual thinking of the product fitness.


The real challange is to help the consumer to improve fitness and health to live longer with maximum quality of life. So what is needed to achieve this? We need a much broader approach. For example, exercising one hour every day, but sitting still for the rest of the day (in car, office, etc) is unhealthy and gives many opportunities for improvement. Sitting is killing. Of course exercise is important, but health behaviour in general is more important.

Let’s take nutrition. If a fitness professional would only influence the nutrition of a member for two hours a week, everybody will understand that the effect will be almost zero. The programme has to be 168 hours a week. Other health-related behaviours are stop smoking, decrease stress and a balanced usage of alcohol. Much of these behaviours should be influenced in the daily routines of the customer and not limited to the club environment.

A new conceptual idea for fitness clubs: the center for education and motivation! Customers in general and more specific members of fitness clubs should be supported in all kinds of settings. But they will be educated and inspired from the team in the fitness club. This means: buildings for sale! It is not by coincidence that growing segments of the fitness industry are chains with smaller facilities, like soulcycle-type of indoor cycling, orangetheory-type of concepts or personal training studio’s. We need to go out there!



: 2015-03-30 23:43:21

yes! Maybe we should change the name fitness center into motivational centers. Les equipment more motivation and inspiration.