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.



From educational tools and events to promotional programs and public policy initiatives, IHRSA brings you success... by association!

Join | Renew
Pledge Your Support

Search IHRSA Blog

Welcome to the IHRSA Blog

The Online Home of news.

Blog Home |  Subscribe to our RSS Feed

Entries in summer (12)


Reduce Your Gym’s Electricity Costs on Summer Peak Demand Days

This post was originally published by APPI, an IHRSA group purchasing supplier.

The pool at Active Sports Clubs

You can greatly benefit from reducing energy consumption on the five days of the year when the highest demand on the electricity grid occurs. Peak demand typically arises in afternoon hours during summer months.

Continue reading "Reduce Your Gym’s Electricity Costs on Summer Peak Demand Days."

Click to read more ...


Best Practices: Leveraging Outdoor Activities During the Summer

The following post was written by Scott Lewandowski for our Best Practices series. 

Question: How can we use outdoor activities to keep our members coming in all summer long? 

Scott Lewandowski: My suggestion is to position your club as an indoor facility that also offers seasonal outdoor programming. Your outdoor activities should include both indoor and outdoor training days; doing so helps keep your members connected to the facility during the warm weather. 

Running programs, triathlon-training classes, outdoor yoga, and boot camps are just a few of the types of offerings that can enhance the results of your efforts. 

In the case of running, you might want to consider complementing the outdoor component with a structured, indoor strength-training regimen or a Pilates-apparatus class.

As you might expect, a triathlon-training program requires a pool and an indoor cycling studio, in order to effectively provide the sport-specific training, and teach the required techniques to larger groups. Your yoga and boot camp programs can take place indoors throughout the year, but, if the necessary space and equipment are available, be sure to offer a class outdoors as well. 

A yoga class outside in the early morning or at dusk can be pretty spectacular! You may want to restrict participation in these activities to members only. But, if you permit nonmembers to take part, they should pay for the cost of the program, plus the dues rate applicable during its duration. This will prevent members from canceling to participate in the program and, then, rejoin upon its completion. 

Scott Lewandowski
Senior Director of Fitness
Orangetheory Fitness
Fort Lauderdale, FL


Get the full story on summer gym memberships

For gym owners and managers, it is a story they never want to see. Even though they know it is not 100% accurate, and there is another side, it always comes up during the summer months.

We are talking about the summer tale of how it is wise – both financially and physically – to take your workouts outside, and, thus, cancel your gym membership. 

The writers and their sources will often look at being able to run along the lake or buy a couple kettlebells , in order to feel the cool breeze and smell the fresh grass as great alternatives to a stuffy gym (their words, not mine).

We all know that is not the case.

For more, read on.


Summer is a good time to join a gym

For those considering a gym membership, and clubs looking to boost numbers, the summer is a good time to get, and offer, a deal.

With the hot and long days up on us, now is the time to tone your swimsuit body. There are, of course, many considerations when making the choice.

Check out a Chicago Tribune story on what to think about and the best route to take.


Camps can add revenue, expand your brand

Powerhouse Gym in Webster, Mass., offers a Speed Camp.Who doesn’t love a 2-for-1 deal? Essentially, you are getting something for free.

For clubs that offer off-shoots from the gym – seeing it is summer, camps are a great example –while the camp is not free in the sense that it is doesn’t cost the host club, there are areas where the dividends are gravy.

How you may ask? 

When a club hosts a camp – with its name in it or not – those attending know who is running it and thus your club’s name is out there. It is 2-for-1 in the branding, advertising and even sales arenas.

Click here to read more



After-summer shifts need to be addressed


Summer is a crazy time, and I am not talking about vacationers and drivers.

For the fitness industry, summer means odd shifts and swings in memberships and visits to the club.

Read about how some clubs deal with it here.


Many options in This Week in the Fitness Industry

PHOTO COURTESY OF TRIPADVISOR.COMThere is certainly is some diversity in This Week in the Fitness Industry:

  • The popularity of stand-up paddling
  • Tips for staying on course in summer
  • Zumba Love introduced
  • Fitness chain for sale

Check out This Week in the Fitness Industry.


Tips to keep training during summer

Summer is a busy time for everyone. In many areas, it is short and weekends and nights after work fill up quickly. That shouldn't mean you should forget your workouts, though.

Stephanie Mansour, CEO of Step It Up with Steph, is a nationally known health and fitness expert and body image and confidence coach, has laid out five tips to follow in order to not slip during the summer ... or any season, really.

Click here to see the tips.


Check out some of the top headlines this week

This Week in the Fitness Industry:
- inaugural events combines fitness and well-being
- top gadgets
- summer gear
- club's new website is user-friendly
- Circle-rules Football


Don't get burned this summer with low membership sales

Christine Thalwitz, Scott Lewandowski and Jim Worthington tackle the issue many gyms and clubs face: the summer membership slump.

Q. The inevitable summer slump: what are best practices to attract new members during the slow summer months?  What are some alternative revenue opportunities to make up for this decline in new membership sales?"

A. The summer season is an opportunity for our sales and fitness teams to be prospecting outdoors for new members. The best opportunities include neighborhood festivals, endurance events, and outdoor classes for both members and non-members.

Search for neighborhood festivals that allow vendors to host a booth during the event. Conduct demonstrations utilizing your fitness teams to attract people to your booth.  Activities may include body fat testing, push up contests, self-defense demonstrations, or face painting for children.  Have your sales team present to discuss membership. 

Contact event directors of charity walks and 5K/10K races in your area and offer your services to lead their participants in a warm-up. 

If your club is near a park, organize a yoga class for members and non-members for the summer. Obtain contact information on all non-members and hand to the sales team.

Summer revenue-generating programs include contests to keep members using the club and endurance training programs.

Keep your members active in your club by offering a 4–6 week contest. Charge a nominal fee to participate, provide a shirt, and reward participants with prizes for reaching goals. Convert exercise activity during the program into mileage or points and set benchmarks to earn prizes. Last year, we generated $24,000 on a program called Team Trek that ran for 6 weeks. 

Summer is also a great opportunity to increase club revenues with endurance running and triathlon programs.  Offer 1–3 coached sessions per week that concludes with a local race in your area. 

Use the summer season to showcase your club’s member experience outdoors to attract new members indoors.

Contact me directly if you have further questions.

Scott Lewandowski
Regional director
Fitness Formula Corporate


AConventional wisdom says that a summer sales slowdown is unavoidable. School breaks, travel plans and opportunities for outdoor recreation may lead potential members to postpone joining a gym - but it does not have to be a foregone conclusion. To help flatten negative seasonal trends, plan ahead to maintain a steady stream of guest traffic and tailor your club’s activities and promotions to meet the summertime needs and wants of your prospects.

1. Offer special memberships. Prospects who fear that their erratic summer schedules will keep them from getting their money’s worth may find it easier to invest in a lower-priced, short-term membership. Then, at the end of the season, offer an incentive for conversion to a regular membership. Targeting niche markets, such as teachers or families with school-aged children, may make your messaging and delivery more effective and keep from cannibalizing regular membership sales.

2. Plan member/guest activities. We are a referral business! Whether you offer a one-time B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Buddy) pass or a 30-day member/guest “Change Your Life” Challenge, encouraging members to bring guests to the club will help them stay engaged while keeping prospect traffic flowing. Continue the fun off the fitness floor, too, with ice cream socials or barbecues.

1. Create exercise incentives. Attract new members and help them commit to get fit by offering a special joining reward. Our “pay you to exercise” incentive called Healthy Rewards has been extremely successful. Members earn money for completing different activities around the club within the first 30 days of membership. Upon completion, they can opt to receive cash back or a club gift card that can be applied to dues, training or any other club product or service.

4. Boost peripheral profits. Summer camp, for example, is a huge opportunity. If facility space is an issue, put together a series of off-site field trips for campers. Consider offering special excursions or retreats for adults, too. If you have outdoor pool amenities, rent them out as a special after-hours venue for corporate events.

5. Choose a charity. Hold a 30-day membership drive in which your club donates a portion of every new member’s enrollment fee or first month’s dues to a local charity or non-profit organization. A successful partnership will have both organizations working hard to get the word out.

With some forethought and creativity, your club can steer clear of the dreaded summer slump!

Christine Thalwitz
Director of Communications & Research
ACAC Fitness & Wellness Centers


A. To drive summer membership sales we usually run a strong promotion in May which entices people to join, such as the summer for free with a 15-month commitment, or free Group training all summer (with restrictions, of course). This helps boost joins early in the season to get us through the summer. Luckily, since we are a family oriented club, we experience an upsurge in membership sales in August as that is when new families must join in order to register their children for programs, such as gymnastics, dance and Taekwondo. We also create revenue in the summer through programming such as summer camps and summer swim lesson intensives (short 4 week sessions) to get kids ready for their summer swim activities. To maintain excitement in our group exercise program and create revenue we run a Summer Sassy Series of 3–4 events which include fun classes such as Zumba combined with refreshments served in our Salon and Spa. Members pay a fee for the experience and can bring guests. Finally, we try to keep a steady flow of events going in the summer. These are generally geared around community events that we take a lead role in. There are 3-4 community days where businesses participate in carnival type street fairs and we provide games entertainment and prizes as well as a July 4th local parade and fireworks display that we sponsor. All of this allows us to remain visible throughout the summer.

Jim Worthington
Owner & President
Newtown Athletic & Aquatic Club


This post is a part of our weekly Best Practices series. We post a new question and answer every Monday. If you have a question you'd like our Industry Leaders to answer, submit your question today.

For past Best Practices questions, go