In 2019, the total number of gym memberships in the UK broke 10 million. LeisureDB reported that, in 2018, 1 in 7 UK citizens had a gym membership.
So, it would be natural to assume that gym retention should be higher than ever. However, this is not the case. Mintel estimates that 50% of gym members are being lost every year. This is probably due to the increasing prevalence of gyms, as well as gym alternatives.
The gym and fitness market is becoming more crowded, meaning that attracting new members and retaining current members is more difficult than ever. We have a solution.
It’s time for you to consider body composition.
What Is Body Composition?
The most common way of monitoring weight has, traditionally, been through the use of bathroom scales. They’re relatively cheap and can be purchased from a number of locations. Fitness centres typically offer these scales for free use by members and Slimming groups promote weekly weigh-ins to keep on top of progress.
But, body composition scales offer a more complete picture of a person’s profile. We’ve written an in-depth guide to body composition scales here.
To summarise, by using bioelectrical impedance analysis, body composition scales can return results such as Body Fat Percentage, Total Body Water and more.
Why is that important? Because BMI and weight alone do not provide any indication of the distribution of body fat and muscle. This means that, while someone may have a healthy BMI, there could be hidden fat that’s causing damage to their body.
A healthy harmony between fat and muscle is important, and can lead to a longer lifespan, protected bone health, increased energy levels, and a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Given that body composition is becoming increasingly popular, we’ve also come up with 5 ways you can use body composition scales to increase member retention:
How Can You Use Body Composition to Increase Member Retention?
1. Provide an Initial Consultation With New Members
When new members arrive for their first session, they’re usually only given a brief induction. But most of them will have no idea what to do at this point; the vast range of machines is daunting. Do they go straight to a treadmill for some cardio? Or do they try out the leg press for some weight training?
This is where body composition comes in.
By offering new members a free initial consultation, you can guide them in the right direction. Curves found that one of the top 10 reasons people quit the gym is because it’s too complicated.
Simply by taking new members through their body composition results and suggesting some activities, you are providing them with a more focused workout. It also helps them to understand and strive towards achievable targets.
Not achieving fitness goals is another main reason for people quitting the gym, according to Women’s Running. Humans desire instant gratification and not hitting your goal can be disappointing. With body composition scales, you are giving your members not one, but several goals to strive towards, which makes them more likely to hit one. If you also provide them with a simple training plan, then they’re not only likely to achieve a goal, but they’re also likely to achieve it quicker.
Hitting goals is a great motivation and is useful for increasing member retention. By having a longer, more personal, starting session with a member, you’re also establishing a personal relationship with the client. This encourages trust and loyalty, which is vital for member retention.
Members that feel like they fit in will be more motivated to stay.
2. Advertise Free Trials to Bring in New Members
People love free stuff, it’s a proven fact. A great way to get new potential clients into the gym is to offer free body composition trials every few months. It costs you nothing and gives you the opportunity to show potential members how helpful and friendly your fitness centre is. Plus, if you emphasise the fact that it only takes 30 seconds, then they really have no excuse not to.
When they come to try it out, take them through the process and explain what each feature means. The chances are that this will be the first time that many of them have ever used a body composition scale, so their results aren’t likely to be too positive. However, this may encourage them to sign up.
To continue establishing that personal relationship, you could also offer a check-in after a couple of months. This would involve offering them another (potentially free) trial, but by showing them the progress they’ve made so far could motivate them to stay longer. It would also seem like you’re personally invested in their success.
Did you know that 73% of consumers fall in love with a brand because of friendly employees or customer service representatives? Capitalise on that by adding a personal touch and making members value your gym.
3. Improve Your Classes by Targeting Body Composition Goals
You could also utilise this, and go a step further by offering a wide variety of classes. Each class could specifically target body composition areas where your members are looking to improve. For those aiming to increase their muscle mass, offer them a weight-orientated circuit. Or for someone looking to reduce their body fat mass, something like a spin class would be ideal.
By identifying which classes target which body composition area, your trainers can design the classes to meet member’s goals. This is bound to raise attendance. Plus, you’ll also be increasing member morale as they are more likely to hit their goals when working out in a targeted manner. It also gives you another opportunity to bond with your members and show them you’re invested in their fitness journey. Finally, members that are in the same group will have more in common, so they’re more likely to bond as well. If they have friends in the classes, then they’re not only more motivated to attend more often, but are also likely to feel more comfortable.
It’s important to vary the routine of the classes every now and then, as they can get repetitive. But, by investing time into this area, you are likely to increase member retention.
4. Charge for Body Composition Scale Usage and Analysis
After you’ve built an interest in your body composition scale, you can start charging your members for their body composition results. Once they’ve seen their results on the body composition scale, members will be motivated to keep track of their progress. A bathroom scale does not show these values, so they will need to come to you for their weigh-in.
It’s important to give them a full analysis when they do pay for this session. Compare their new results with their previous results and see where they’ve improved and where they haven’t. This gives you the opportunity to develop that personal relationship and help push them towards their goals. If they haven’t hit their targets, explain to them why that might be. You could recommend some classes or some workouts that might help them to improve in the future, which will show them that you really care about their progress and their goals.
5. Build a Strong Community
We keep talking about belonging, but it’s such an important part of member retention. Community building is a solid member retention strategy and should be a key part of your plan. Many gyms do this through offering free drinks or free classes, but you could also use a body composition competition to improve this.
Fitbit has its step challenge and you could have your goal leaderboard. This will not only motivate members, but will reward them as well. Members can strive to achieve their goals and, when they do, put their names on the wall for everyone to see. You’ll be developing that personal relationship further and, when they see their name up there, they may be even prouder than they were when they actually achieved their goal.
It will also encourage members to talk to and congratulate each other, which will improve interpersonal relationships between members.
This is just 5 ways that you could use body composition to improve member retention in your gym, but there could be many more.
Do you want to find out more about body composition? Take a look at our helpful guide about understanding your results.
If you’re not sure which scale is the scale for you, then try our Buyer’s Guide: Gym scales for a bit of clarity.
Whether you manage a gym, are a personal trainer, run a slimming group or a fitness class, it’s important to choose the right scale for you. This blog post aims to help with that.