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Entries in IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report (10)


From WiFi to Community: What Millennials Want From Their Health Club

What’s next on the horizon for the health and fitness industry?
A revolution sparked by millennials, suggests Stephen Tharrett, the cofounder and principal of ClubIntel, an industry consultancy based in Highland Village, TX.

“Millennials—those individuals who were born between 1980 and 2000—are poised to dramatically change the industry, as they’re introducing a whole new purchasing mindset,” he says in the September issue of Club Business International. “Club operators are well advised to take note.”


The new issue of the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, produced by IHRSA and ClubIntel, supports Tharrett’s assertion. This annual best-selling research publication provides detailed information on participation trends among both health club member and nonmember consumers at U.S. fitness facilities.

The report identifies numerous new opportunities for club operators, but the one that shines brightest—because of the large size of the group and the small size of the current penetration rate—is the one offered by millennials.

Clearly, this group represents a promising, largely untapped market for the industry, prompting operators, equipment suppliers, and marketers to pose the question: “Who, exactly, are the millennials, and what do they want?”

Free WiFi and Intelligent Exercise Equipment

“Technology,” is the first word out of Dan Schawbel’s mouth when he’s asked what attracts millennials to a club. Schawbel is the founder and managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Boston-based research firm, and a New York Times best-selling author.

“They want free WiFi wherever they are. They’re the most connected generation in history,” he says. “So clubs should focus on having modern equipment, a strong online network, and a solid social media presence.”

The affinity these individuals have for technology is hardly surprising, since they were born and grew up with it. The Internet, smartphones, and social media have been an integral part of their daily lives.

Continue reading "What Millennials Want from Their Health Club."

Click to read more ...


What You Don’t Know About Our Industry …

The 2015 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report does!

Whether you’re a newcomer to the health and fitness club industry or a grizzled veteran. Whether you’re a novice or an acknowledged authority. Whether you’re a developer, investor, observer, or supplier, or simply a “fan” of all things exercise-related …

… you share one thing in common with everyone else in the industry: You have much to learn from IHRSA’s newest research publication.

The 2015 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report: The Story behind Members and Their Health & Fitness Clubs is an exhaustive, nearly encyclopedic, 67-page document that clarifies, expands, and improves upon its 2014 predecessor.

Learn more about the 2015 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report.

Click to read more ...


Game Plan with IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report

If you’re new to the health and fitness club industry, you should read the 2014 edition of the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report.

And, if you’re an industry veteran, you don’t have to be told that you need to read the 2014 edition of the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report.

Recently released, this 113-page, PDF- format, research publication - the product of a joint effort by IHRSA and ClubIntel, a member and brand insights firm based in Highland Village, Texas - provides the most thorough, comprehensive, insight- ful, and up-to-date overview of the industry available.

“I’ve read the new 2014 edition of the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report cover to cover,” wrote Brent Darden, IHRSA’s ex-officio and principal in Brent Darden Consulting, of Dallas, after reviewing an advance copy. “There’s tons of useful information in the report. I plan to make use of several of the findings, and recommend the report to anyone wishing to better understand the health club consumer and club business.”

Like its predecessors, the new IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report provides a wealth of the most up-to-date data (for calendar year 2013) on industry growth, membership demographics, club utilization, business models, price points, personal training, equipment usage, and other issues.

Read on to learn more about what is included in the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report. 

Click to read more ...


USA Today Uses IHRSA Research in One of its Infographics

USA Today's bread and butter has always been its colorful and informative graphics. It is the reason many of its readers purchase the paper - quick and easy understanding of the subject.

One of the graphics in today's paper (Oct. 2) uses information from IHRSA.

Check out the USA Today graphic here.

Of course, the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report has this data and plenty more.


Health Club Consumer Report Delves into Studio Consumer Behavior 

More than 52.9 million Americans belong to health club, according to the recently released IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report. This report provides comprehensive data on health club consumer activity and participation trends. Produced in collaboration with ClubIntel, The IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report provides analyses, insights and applications clubs can glean from member behavior. 

“I’ve read the new 2014 edition of the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report cover to cover,” says Brent Darden, IHRSA’s ex-officio and principal in Brent Darden Consulting. “There’s tons of useful information in the report. I plan to make use of several of the findings, and recommend the report to anyone wishing to better understand the health club consumer and club business.” 

New to this year’s report is data and analysis of studio consumers. More than 11 million Americans utilize a fitness studio, including yoga/barre/Pilates, indoor cycling, bootcamp, boxing/martial arts/MMA, and sport-specific studios. Studio facilities capture roughly 20% of all members. Consumers spend more per visit at a studio than they do at multipurpose and fitness-only facilities. But as many as 90% of studio consumers also have memberships at other clubs. 

According to the authors of the report, “members are choosing to spread their fitness dollars among multiple facilities that are able to accommodate their particular interests and goals.” The report goes on to explain that club operators stand to gain from this trend as these diverse interests create niche opportunities. Larger clubs as well as smaller studios can target specific segments and populations to meet their unique needs and goals. 

The report also analyzes demographic profiles, utilization levels and membership fees for studios, multipurpose, fitness-only and corporate fitness facilities. To learn more, check out the Health Club Consumer Report at


Economy bounce-back means rise in club dues

Economic and industry conditions that began to improve last year are apparently still having a positive impact in 2014.

The demand for health club memberships and services rose last year, as consumers demonstrated a greater willingness to allocate more of their disposable income to their health and fitness wants and needs. According to the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, U.S. membership grew by 5.3% between 2012 and 2013, climbing to more than 52.9 million.

That positive momentum continued to build during the first half of 2014, as the unemployment rate continued to move downward. That gave some consumers more money to spend on a membership or club services, and owners and operators the opportunity to raise their prices judiciously.

Read on for more on club dues rising with the strong economy.

Click to read more ...


2014 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report is available

It’s a secret every club wants to discover - how to keep members longer.

According to the new IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report: 2014 Health Club Activity, Usage, Trends and Analysis, members who have been coming for at least 10 years, on average, will visit the club about 139 days a year.

Thus, identifying member engagement strategies and implementing relevant ancillary programs will help club operators facilitate regular attendance and long-term tenure

Well, IHRSA has good news for you. In addition to detecting trends and usage, the 2014 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report digs deeper into specific applications that can be used in order to have more 10-year members. Loyalty programs, customized training and small group training classes are among a few of what is in the new publication.

Check out more on the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report.


Take advantage of the IHRSA Trend Report series

The IHRSA Trend Report is report series free to IHRSA members. It examines health club consumer behavior and attitudes surrounding health clubs. This report series can help you better understand why members frequent/utilize health clubs, why they leave health clubs, and what barriers keep consumers from joining.

Each installment focuses on a specific topic/range of topics, including gender, generational groups, income level, sports participation, marital status, former members, and consumer leisure time and activity.

Here are some of the interesting facts in various reports:

  • Overall health factors remain primary reasons for being a member of a health club, but social aspects are increasing in importance.
  • Goals for joining a health club vary at each income level.
  • According to marital status, single persons are the highest represented in the member category at 18.5%.
  • Generations X and Y are more likely to join a health club than the Eisenhower and Baby Boomer generations. 
  • Cost is still the main reason people don’t join and quit health clubs.

"The IHRSA Trend Report is significant because it helps us understand why members join and keep using their health clubs," said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA's executive vice president of Global Products. "Results highlight the barriers to joining and reasons why former members leave. Along with the annual IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, this new report provides the ultimate toolkit for club operators to improve member retention and acquisition."

The report is brought to you by IHRSA and the Leisure Trends Group. 

IHRSA members can download the reports at the IHRSA Trend Report page. Non-members can purchase each installment at


Fee for club dues rose in fourth quarter

The news about the pricing of club dues and fees has been good for quite some time now.

Generally speaking, since September 2012, fees for lessons and instruction have increased each month at a greater pace than the fees for all items. That said, the trend did moderate a bit during the fourth quarter of 2013, when fees for lessons stabilized compared to the same quarter in 2012.

For more, check out CBI's Eye on the Economy.


Health Club Consumer Report on sale at IHRSA Store

All in all, U.S. health clubs have weathered the economic turbulence of the past few years remarkably well. In fact, the industry has not only survived, but has grown significantly, creating new categories of club members and reaching more consumers than ever before.

That’s one of the major conclusions of the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report.

This publication is based on an annual consumer study conducted by the Physical Activity Council (PAC), which researches health and physical activity among American consumers. The council conducted interviews with 38,172 Americans in early 2012, examining the behavioral and demographic changes taking place among the buyers of club services.

Pick up the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report.

The IHRSA Store Spring Sale runs May 1 to June 30, 2014 at Entry the promo code SPRING2014FS at checkout and save 15% when you spend $50. You will also receive free shipping to the continental United States.