The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.



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Happy New Year R&D

Joe Moore, IHRSA President & CEOIt’s difficult to believe that 2014 is nearly over. If, like many club operators, you’ve resolved to improve on what and how well you do in 2015, IHRSA has two resources you simply can’t do without: the 2014 Profiles of Success and the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report

Profiles of Success: The Annual Industry Data Survey of the Health and Fitness Industry (see “Chart Your Course,” pg. 46), which was published in October, provides a detailed analysis of the annual performance of U.S. health clubs, including key metrics on such factors as revenue and membership growth, payroll, member retention, nondues revenue, and EBITDA.

The new edition of Profiles is based upon membership and financial data for 2012 and 2013 provided by 186 club companies, which, taken together, represent 6,819 facilities. The report addresses key indicators for several club types—fitness-only, multipurpose, independent, and multi-chain operations—as well as for facilities of different sizes.

A snapshot of club consumer participation, demographics, and psychographics is also included.

In general, the 2014 Profiles paints an instructive portrait of the industry’s performance. For example:


  • For the period from 2012 to 2013, the responding clubs posted net membership growth (median) of 4% and revenue growth of 5%
  • Fitness-only clubs reported greater net membership growth (+6.2%) than multipurpose clubs (+0.8%)
  • Smaller facilities generated less revenue per member ($630.80) than larger ones ($876.10)
  • Total payroll claims a median 41.7% of total revenue for all of the clubs
  • Clubs reinvest nearly 2% of their total revenue in fitness equipment
  • Over 90% of the respondents offer group exercise classes at no additional cost


Profiles informs you about how other companies are doing, but it’s equally important that you understand your members—their needs, desires, expectations, favorite fitness activities, etc. The IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report (see “The Game Plan for 2015,” November CBI, pg. 36), which was published in September, provides a wealth of up-to-date findings on business models, price points, industry growth, membership demographics, club utilization, personal training, equipment preferences, and other important issues.

The latest installment of the report, which covers calendar year 2013, constitutes a crash course in club user perceptions and demographics, and offers operators guidance on virtually every aspect of running their business. But it goes well beyond statistics and numerical results, spotlighting opportunities across various demographic segments, providing actionable information. It notes, for instance:

  • Many consumers now maintain memberships at more than one fitness facility
  • The current movement away from the traditional multipurpose model and toward boutique clubs and fitness studios
  • The correlation between both age and club usage with tenure (e.g., members who stay on board for at least 10 years utilize the club an average of 139 days a year; and older people tend to remain with their club longer)
  • The recent decline in equipment utilization by club members

If you study these two new IHRSA research publications, and then implement some of the ideas they suggest, 2015 will likely be a personally and professionally, as well as a financially rewarding year. Both reports are available at Profiles is priced at $249.95 for IHRSA members and $499.95 for nonmembers; the Consumer Report, at $99.95 for members, and $199.95 for nonmembers. 

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