Encouraging Gym Members to Take Advantage of Personal Training

If your gym's members say they don't have time for personal training, a 30-minute program might be just what you need to get more people signed up.

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The following post was written Brent Gallagher, owner of Avenu Fitness, for our Best Practices series.

Question: We want to convert more of our members into personal training clients. Do you have a suggestion?

Brent Gallagher: How about offering 30-minute training sessions, if you’re not already doing so?

Back in 2007, when I was offering hour-long sessions, I began to realize how busy everyone was. My clients were telling me that they no longer had enough time for personal training.

Also, I was working so much that I’d lost touch with friends and family, so I stepped back and wondered, “What if I cut the workouts in half? Does more time necessarily mean better health?” I realized that a 30-minute model could help my members make better use of their time. I could do the same—and work with even more people.

Since then, I’ve also observed that, when a session is 60 minutes long, people pace themselves; in a shorter session, they tend to focus and give 100%. That said, if you’re going to offer half-hour sessions, be sure to emphasize the importance of eating well and getting adequate sleep. Sleep deprivation can contribute to overeating, and, over a 30-minute session, members aren’t likely to burn enough calories to counteract the effects of poor habits.

“Think about it. Time is the most valuable asset we all have, so it’s important to use it wisely—and to create a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.”

Brent Gallagher, Owner and Performance Coach

Avenu Fitness, Houston, TX

Let me ask you this: Does more time equal better health? Let’s see who’s healthier:

  • Client #1: Trains 60 minutes, sleeps 6 hours and eats ‘healthy’ 50% of the time
  • Client #2: Trains 30 minutes, sleeps 7.5 hours and eats ‘healthy 80% of the time.

Hands down it’s Client #2. Why? Because they have built a foundation around the basics of living fit: Sleeping more, eating better and training less. When you build a lifestyle around these fundamentals, we begin to truly transform the communities we serve for the long-haul and can literally cut workout times in half.

The magic of the 30-minute program is that it simply gives you, your team and your clients their #1 asset back: Time. Nothing is more valuable than an individuals time.

Think about this: What’s the biggest cost for a client to train with a trainer? Money? Sacrifice? Sweat? Nope. It’s their time. It’s time out of their already crazy, stressed, jammed packed to-do list, busy day.

If we can help our communities accomplish their goals in a more efficient manner, we become the go-to fitness destination for any one who’s strapped for time and still longing to live a fit and healthy life—which is basically 99% of the population!

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This article was a team effort by several IHRSA experts.