Advice for Fitness Leaders: ‘If You’re Going to Expand, Do So Carefully’

Dave Bundy, owner of the Global Fitness Center, tells us the most fulfilling part of being a business leader in the fitness industry is "working in an industry where most people want to be there every day and are excited about helping more people get active."

The Lessons in Fitness Leadership series highlights IHRSA’s industry leaders and thanks them for their continued commitment to growing, promoting, and protecting the health club industry. By sharing their business expertise, we hope that you will get to know them, what they've learned along the way, and how they view leadership.

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Dave Bundy
Owner
Global Fitness Center
Stow, MA

What is the most fulfilling part of being a business leader in the fitness industry?

Running a business where you are able to see that most people are enjoying themselves. I feel lucky to work in an industry where most people want to be there every day and are excited about helping more people get active.

If you were able to go back in time, what is one piece of leadership advice you would have given your younger-self about working in the fitness industry?

My advice is if you’re going to expand, do so carefully. I made the mistake of rushing into opening a second club because there were a couple things that I had not realized before I made the decision to do so:

  1. I didn’t realize how much the industry had changed in the four or five years since I opened my first club.
  2. I misread how important convenience is to club members. Many people do not want to transition to using a different facility if it is farther away from where they have been accustomed to going.

“I feel lucky to work in an industry where most people want to be there every day and are excited about helping more people get active.”

Dave Bundy, Owner

Global Fitness Center​ - Stow, MA

IHRSA does a significant amount of advocacy work to Grow, Promote, and Protect clubs across the country. How do you feel that work benefits your business or the industry at large?

IHRSA’s legislative team has an incredible amount of patience and dedication to the cause. They work with a lot of stubborn legislators who try to enact some ridiculous regulations. It’s amazing to see the types of things these legislatures try to do to our businesses. So I’m very grateful for all of IHRSA’s efforts.

What prompted you to join the Industry Leadership Council? Or what has been your most memorable experience as part of the ILC?

It became pretty obvious early on that the government could interfere in my business and in our industry. An independent [club] has so little clout, so it was great to have someone speak on our behalf. With fewer and fewer independents, and many larger chains expanding to more cities and towns, it’s comforting to know that IHRSA looks out for the independent clubs—it’s great to have someone speak for us at that level.

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Shannon Vogler @vogler_shannon

Shannon Vogler is the Communications and Public Relations Coordinator for IHRSA. Shannon writes articles, press releases, and the IHRSA Advocate newsletter to make IHRSA members aware of policy issues that impact health clubs. She also speaks with media influencers about the benefits of working out and joining a gym. When she's not writing, Shannon enjoys running and cheering for the New England Patriots.