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Entries in New Years resolution (24)


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Merritt Athletic Clubs Unveils New Brand Identity 

Merritt Athletic Clubs Unveils New Brand Identity  
Merritt Clubs, formerly Merritt Athletic Clubs, marked its 40th anniversary by launching a new brand identity that better communicates the continual evolution of the company’s fitness facilities and programs. In addition to the new name, Merritt now has a new logo, messaging, website, and signage that is already installed in its nine locations. “Our mission is to change the way people think about fitness,” COO Mark Miller said in a release. “To us, fitness means strengthening your body and mind in the comfort of a place that feels like home, with a friendly staff that feels like family. Our new brand is helping to tell this story and it truly captures our purpose of being the best part of our member’s day and the spirit of our clubs.”   

TRX Named IHRSA Associate Member of the Year
We’re excited to announce that TRX, a leading producer of functional training programs, education, and equipment, is our 2017 Associate Member of the Year! "We are delighted to honor our good friends at TRX for their ongoing support of IHRSA and for their work to grow the industry,” said Joe Moore, IHRSA's president and CEO. “When Randy Hetrick launched the first Travel X, the precursor to the TRX Suspension Trainer in 2004, he foresaw what the future of functional training would be for millions of fitness consumers. Since then, TRX has been a leader in delivering innovative products and programs designed to not only inspire people to be more active, but more importantly, help them achieve their fitness goals.” The Associate Member of the Year Award is presented annually to recognize an IHRSA Associate Member for their significant contributions to the advancement of the health club industry, as well as their support of IHRSA, its members, and its mission through program and event participation, advertising, and sponsorship. The award will be presented during IHRSA 2017 in Los Angeles, CA, March 8-11. Read the full “TRX Named 2017 Associate Member of the Year” press release.

Blink Fitness Offers Amazon Lockers in 7 Manhattan Clubs
Blink Fitness announced Wednesday that seven of its 11 Manhattan locations are now home to Amazon Lockers, which offer members and the community a self-service delivery location to pick up and return packages from Amazon Lockers are cropping up nationwide and there are more than 100 in and around New York City and, according to Blink, this is the first time Amazon Locker has worked with a fitness club. "Blink's collaboration with Amazon is a natural fit to benefit both our members and the community at large," said Blink Fitness President Todd Magazine. "Our member experience comes first, so we're thrilled that members will no longer have to worry or go out of their way to receive a package. Secondly, the Amazon Lockers will help introduce our state-of-the-art facilities to a new audience and hopefully encourage them to make their fitness resolutions with Blink."

Equinox CEO Talks Trump, Company Growth

Last week, Equinox CEO Harvey Spevak spoke to CNBC about how President-elect Donald Trump may affect business, and shared his thoughts on company growth and the SoulCycle IPO.

33% of Canadians Resolved to Improve Physical Fitness in 2017
One in three Canadians said improving their physical fitness and eating habits was their top New Year’s resolution, according to a new Ipos survey that was conducted on behalf of GoodLife Fitness. The survey also found that 21% of Canadians said they would focus on financial goals; 13% wanted to dedicate more time to travel and leisure; 11% planned to put a stop to bad habits, like drinking and smoking; and 10% will try to spend more time with family and friends. “It’s great to see more Canadians choosing fitness and nutrition as their number one resolution for 2017 because it suggests people are making positive choices when it comes to eating well and being active, with the goal of feeling better overall,” said David ‘Patch’ Patchell-Evans, founder and CEO of GoodLife Fitness.


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Real Members Feature in Blink Fitness Ad Campaign 

Blink Fitness’ 2017 Ad Campaign Features Real Members
Earlier this week Blink Fitness launched its 2017 marketing campaign, “Every Body Happy,” according to a release. This year’s effort features 16 Blink members who auditioned for the campaign on social media in the fall by flaunting their confidence. From more than 2,000 submissions, 50 semi-finalists were called back for an in-person casting call event where they shared their personal fitness stories in front of an influential panel of casting agents.

A survey commissioned by Blink Fitness and conducted online by Harris Poll last month showed the following sentiments, which Blink says illustrates that it is onto something greater:

  • Roughly eight out of 10 Americans (82%) say their relationship with their body could be improved.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents said they find it discouraging to work towards unrealistic body images they see in the media.
  • Almost nine in 10 Americans (89%) who currently work out at a gym feel more confident about themselves when they leave the gym than when they first walk in.

Read IHRSA’s interview with Blink Fitness President Todd Magazine.

Fitness Industry Poised to Benefit from 2017 Resolutioners

The fitness market is one of the top industries poised to benefit from New Year’s Resolutions, Media Center reports. The article cites a Facebook/Wall Street Journal survey that found the number of gym check-ins on the social media platform increases by 50.0% from December to January. However, the largest decline in check-ins each year occurs in February, when check-ins drop by an estimated 10.0%. Athletic events are also positioned to grow from the influx of resolutioners in 2017. “With the aid of social media, popular outdoor events including the Iron Man, marathons, bicycle competitions and obstacle courses have become a key growth opportunity,” the article states. “The Athletic Event Organizers industry is expected to increase an annualized 2.4% over the five years to 2016, followed by another increase at an annualized rate of 1.7% over the next five years, reaching a projected $2.0 billion in revenue in 2021.”

IHRSA Webinar Preview: Capturing the Resolutionist Year-Round
On Thursday, January 12, Amanda Konigsberg, general manager for Active Wellness, will present “Capturing the Resolutionist Year-Round,” a webinar focused on membership sales and marketing strategies. To avoid your club’s slow season, Konigsberg recommends that you study the cycles in the health club industry and your own demographic area, and use that knowledge to build alternative income streams to counteract the off-season. “Just do not let attention to the alternative stream overtake a focus on the primary business,” she says. Read the full “Capturing the Resolutionist Year-Round” webinar preview.

Genesis Health Clubs Grows as Largest Club Provider in Midwest
IHRSA member Genesis Health Clubs purchased an additional Omaha area club from Nebraska Elite Sports and Fitness Complex in late December, making it the largest health club provider in the Midwest, according to a release. Nebraska Elite Sports and Fitness Complex is a 108,000-square-foot facility that includes a fitness floor, indoor running track, cycling studio, weight and cardio machines, spa, dry sauna, steam room, tennis, basketball, volleyball, and a full-service day care. “This is a very exciting time for our company,” said Rodney Steven II, owner/president of Genesis Health Clubs, “We are so excited to continue to grow in Nebraska. With 10 locations in the state, it’s now our second largest market. We are a locally owned and operated business and we aren’t going anywhere. We plan on remodeling this club to bring in our brand and to transform it into one of the nicest facilities in the Midwest.”


Capturing the Fitness Resolutionist Year-Round

Attracting new members to your health club can often be feast or famine. During the first few months of the year members sign up in droves, but by the summer months membership sales tend to drop off.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

“As a health club operator or owner, you do not only want to rely on your three busy months out of your year to achieve your membership sales success,” says Amanda Konigsberg, general manager for Active Wellness. “While it is incredibly important to achieve your performance expectations during the busy time, goals are budgets and not real numbers. You need to have a plan to achieve during the slowest months as well.”

Konigsberg will share her membership strategies in our Thursday, January 12 webinar, “Capturing the Resolutionist Year-Round.”

How Club Operators Can Avoid Their Slow Season

To avoid your club’s slow season, Konigsberg recommends that you study the cycles in the health club industry and your own demographic area, and use that knowledge to build alternative income streams to counteract the off-season.

Continue reading "Capturing the Fitness Resolutionist Year-Round."

Click to read more ...


What Makes Health Club Weight Loss Programs Successful? 

By now health clubs are experiencing an influx of people ready to get healthy and lose weight as part of their New Year’s resolutions. 

According to a recent Nielson survey, respondents indicated that their top two New Year’s resolutions were to: 

  • “Stay fit and healthy” (37% of respondents)
  • “Lose weight” (32% of respondents) 

The question for clubs often becomes: how do you get these new (or re-committed) members to keep coming back and reach their goals?

Continue reading "What Makes Health Club Weight Loss Programs Successful?"

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3 Simple Strategies for the Post-New Year Workout Rush

The New Year always brings a flood of new health club members. To help you retain them without overworking your staff or elbowing aside your most loyal members, we offer this trio of New Year's resolutions. 

1. Remind yourself that this is a good problem to have.

Considering how much time, energy, and resources a health club owner devotes to adding new memberships, the idea of fretting over too many new members seems crazy. And on some level, it is.

"We change our mindset and don't look at it as 'dealing with it' but as, 'this is awesome,' and we encourage it," said Maria Miller, regional programs manager for Merritt Athletic Clubs in Maryland.

Continue reading "3 Simple Strategies for the Post-New Year Workout Rush."

Click to read more ...


Keep Your Health Club Members Engaged Over the Holidays

The months of December and January can be both a blessing and a curse for health clubs due to the many holidays that fall during those winter months. 

Holiday Barriers to Working Out 

Many of these holidays revolve around family and community celebrations, food, and travel, and tend to be a time where people feel stressed and pressed for time. It is widely recognized that during “the holidays” people often let healthy habits slide—regular habits like coming to the club, packing lunch, and getting enough sleep can be superseded by holiday celebrations, shopping, or travel.

These challenges are a big reason January ends up with a prominent focus on weight loss and “getting back into shape.” On average, people gain two pounds during the holiday season and the habit changes that accompany it.

How to Help Members Make the Gym a Priority

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Health clubs are well suited to help their members and communities continue to maintain healthy behaviors through busy and festive times of the year, whether through challenges, community events, or leveraging technology to help people stay on track. 

This December issue of “12 Months of Health Promotion” provides tips and resources to help clubs keep their members motivated and engaged during the winter holidays. Resources include: 

  • 7 Tips to Keep Members Engaged During the Holidays
  • Strategies from the “Wearables 2.0: Leveraging the Evolution of Digital Health Technology for Fun and Profit“ webinar
  • Relevant articles and blog posts to read and share

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This Week in the Fitness Industry: Health Clubs Benefit from 30 Day Fitness Challenges

Health Clubs Stand to Benefit from 30 Day Fitness Challenge Trend
Thirty-day fitness challenges continue to grow in popularity, with many using them as a more manageable alternative to exercise-related New Year’s resolutions, The Wall Street Journal reports. Birkram Yoga NYC is capitalizing on this trend by encouraging members and potential members to participate in a 30-day challenge at their four Manhattan locations. “Those who finish a challenge receive two guest passes, discounts on future classes, and, sometimes, a round of applause from classmates,” The Journal reports. “The challenge costs $39 for Bikram Yoga NYC newcomers and $145 for members. The owners estimate that a few thousand people have completed the challenge since they launched it in 2002.” 

Study: High Fitness Levels in Middle Age Tied to Bigger Brains
A new study has discovered yet another benefit of exercise: larger brains. For the study, researchers looked at 1,583 men and women who didn’t have dementia or heart disease and found that those who weren’t as physically active in midlife had smaller brains than their more-active peers 20 years later. “The brain scans revealed that people with a lower exercise capacity — defined as the amount of time people could exercise on the treadmill before their heart rate hit a certain threshold — in midlife were more likely to have smaller brains years later, compared with people who had high fitness levels in middle age,” Time reports. “They also found that people whose blood pressure and heart rate went up more during exercise were more likely to have smaller brains down the line. Higher-than-average blood pressure and heart-rate spikes could indicate a lack of physical fitness.”

Resolutioners’ Commitment Falters After February 9 ‘Fitness Cliff’
This year’s “fitness cliff”—the turning point where New Year’s resolutioners stop exercising regularly—occurred on Tuesday, February 9, according to research by Gold’s Gym, CBS News reports. "What we see from Gold's Gym's proprietary research is that Tuesday, February 9th is the Fitness Cliff—the day when New Year's Resolutions go astray, gym check-ins begin to steadily decline and members begin to lose focus on their goals," the company said in a statement,” Gold’s Gym said in a statement. The company created a mnemonic device to help members recognize when their health goals are at risk: C (Can’t find the time), L (Lacking a game plan to keep you going), I (Ignoring your commitment and falling into old patterns), F (Frustrated with lack of early results), F (Forgetting why you started).

Study: Good Weight Loss Programs Are Hard to Find Online
High-quality weight loss programs are difficult to identify online, a small U.S. study suggests. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD, found that fewer than one in 10 websites gave enough information to suggest the programs they promoted followed widely accepted medical guidelines for weight loss by including elements such as regular in-person meetings, daily food and activity tracking, calorie reduction, and increased exercise. Once researchers conducted phone interviews with some of the programs, they found some where more adherent to medical guidelines than they appeared online; they rated 19% as high quality based on their meeting guidelines for weight loss, up from just 6% when the businesses were evaluated based on their websites alone. “Weight-loss programs that follow the expert guidelines exist, however, they are few and far between,” the study's senior author told Reuters. “To identify these programs, patients will need to be proactive and call to verify that the components offered meet the recommendations before signing up.”


'Less January More Zumba' Digital Campaign Targets Resolutioners 

Zumba® is reaching out to people who made New Year’s resolutions to get in shape with its "Less January More Zumba®" campaign. 

The global multimedia digital effort suggests that gym-goers trade dull workouts, strict diets, and short-lived resolution goals for more fun and dance. 

"We know that Zumba is a powerful movement that has brought health and happiness to millions over the years," said Carolina Moraes, vice president of marketing for Zumba, said in a release. "We also know that most people have a tough time sticking to resolutions that mean depriving themselves of things they enjoy and/or engaging in exercises that they find unpleasant; but it doesn't have to be that way. We want to break consumers from their resolution habits to show them Zumba is something fun that they'll stick to way past January." 

The campaign encourages fitness enthusiasts to watch and share the "Less January More Zumba®" anthem video, create customized animated short using a GIF generator, and share their class experience on social media using the hashtag #LetItMoveYou. 

Zumba also created posters, videos, and other marketing materials for instructors to personalize and use to promote their class. 


Positive Media Coverage for Health Club Industry in 2016

Did you know that IHRSA handles hundreds of inquiries every year from from various journalists and media outlets? And, of course, one of the busiest times of the year is late December and early January as New Year's Resolution coverage kicks into high gear. 

I am happy to report that this year's new year's coverage has been extremely positive. While there will always be coverage this time of year that says, "Save money and quit your gym membership," the majority of coverage this year is saying, "It's a new year, clubs are there to help you achieve your fitness, health and weight loss resolutions, and in the process this is their make-or-break season."

Take the interview that ran on American Public Media's Marketplace about seniors coming to the clubs in droves.

And here's my favorite article of the month so far, since it refutes the incorrect myth that club operators don't want their members to show up: Fiscal Fitness: Gym Owners Get Their Businesses in Better Shape in January

How do you feel about the health club coverage you've seen in your local news this year? If you've seen anything interesting, please share it with me.


4 Tips to Engage ‘Resolutioners’ Year-Round

During January and February, health clubs experience a rush of members looking to fulfill their resolution to get in shape. But as the year wears on, the crowd thins out due to a loss of motivation and engagement, which can lead to cancellations.

We asked three experts to share their advice on the best ways to engage this group of members year-long. Here are their four top tips.  

1. Help new members set goals and create a plan to achieve them. “There also needs to be a follow-up shortly after they start to make them feel that they are a valued customer and also to ensure that they have all of the tools and means necessary for them to be successful,” says Fred Hoffman, M.Ed., owner of Fitness Resources Consulting Services. “The club should make all possible efforts to guarantee that the members see results, as we know that when members see results, they continue to be motivated and engaged. But in the majority of cases, they need to be monitored and followed closely to keep them on track.”

2. Jumpstart member engagement during the onboarding process.Our onboarding process is very motivating and educates our members on the benefits of exercising year-round,” says Shawn Stewart, chief operating officer for O2 Fitness. “After the initial two program design sessions, we offer monthly and quarterly reviews.”

3. Identify and connect with returning members who’ve had a long absence. “Knowing that existing members who may have been absent for a while are now returning, there should be an alert that pops up for the reception staff when this person checks in, and they need to be welcomed in a special way,” Hoffman says. “They need to feel that they are a valued member and have been missed. Additionally, it would be good if a staff member could invite them to have a short conversation about their goals for the coming year, and how the club could assist them in achieving those goals. I would suggest that the club propose one or several follow up appointments or e-mail exchanges to help keep them on track (if the member is open to doing this).” 

4. Create special programs to promote engagement and boost retention. Merritt Athletic Clubs has several programs to keep members motivated year long, according to Regional Programs Manager Maria Miller. They include: 1) Fit Camp: a small training program that welcomes members to have an accountability partner, and 2) Power of 9 Program: a free program that encourages members to work out nine times a month, every month-prizes. Special perks are awarded to members who participate.