How to Succeed in the Fitness Business

These are just a few of the more creative ideas that some very successful club owners, studios, trainers and health coaches have shared with me.   I just love this stuff…!


I hope you can use some of this creativity for your own business…



  • “Why are you here?”  Asked of all prospective members at a club in Portland, Oregon:  

Did you come here to join a room full of equipment or are you REALLY serious about changing your body?  Because, if you’re really serious you’ll want to take advantage of our personal training and nutrition programs to ensure you’re getting the most effective and efficient use of your time and effort.  If not, you’re better off at that $10 per month club down the street!”


  • Turn it In:  Dolores C. in Florida requires each new member to “turn-in” his/her bathroom scale upon membership.  That’s right, you have to turn in your scale and she keeps it for 12 weeks.  She says it drives home the concept of body-composition over pounds-on-the-scale.


  • Weight Doesn’t Mean Anything:  “If you gain 3 lbs but lose two dress sizes… would that be O.K.?  Then why are you using the scale as a measuring tool?”


  • Selling Weight-Management?   Rob G. at Forever Fit, MD requires all new staff members to enroll in his facility’s weight-management program.  It’s a condition of employment.  


Says Rob:

“How else is the staff going to really understand what it is we do around here?  Whether it’s weight-management, fitness or sports conditioning, it’s still about proper nutrition and exercise in a structured format.”  


Since implementing the staff requirement, his weight-management and other “up-sell” programs have tripled.  A little knowledge goes a long way.


  • Numbers Crunch:  When met with price resistance, Dennis Foley, NYC, simply asks his female clients to put things in perspective by asking this question:  “How much do you spend each month on hair, skin and nails?” Multiply that number by 12 for the yearly total.  Most spend well over $1,000 for less than 5% of their body.  So, almost any membership or PT package comes in under that price tag – and generally affects 100% of the body – including hair, skin and nails.


  • The Lifestyle Quotient:  Do your clients think they’re really working out hard.  They probably are.  But, if they workout for one (1) hour, five (5) days a week, that’s less than 3% of the time. (Divide 5 by 168 hours)  That’s why nutrition and other lifestyle factors are so important…. yes, including sleep.


  • No Guts / No Glory:  Want hard core?  Here ya go.  After a one-hour weight-management presentation (including footage of open-heart surgery) Lenny Glasgow in Sheridan, VA., advises clients NOT to enroll in his weight-management program unless they’re ABSOLUTELY SERIOUS about making a financial, emotional and time COMMITMENT.  And for good reason.  He requires each new Weight-Management Client to sign a 7-page document that, among other things, stipulates an additional $250 cancellation fee if you fail to make all your appointments and complete his 12-Week program.  That’s in addition to the up-front $399 enrollment fee.  Has he ever collected?  Yup.  Is it legal?  I don’t know.


  • Driver’s Ed:  Shelly Cohen wants her clients to understand the rationale behind her training protocol.  So, she asks her clients if they remember taking a Driver’s Ed course before they applied for their driver’s license.   Then, she explains that before she trains anyone, her ONBOARD 101 course is a requirement and should be completed in one week ($49).  She says this: 

“Training you without a knowledge base is the equivalent to giving a 12-year old the keys to the car!” 


  • Getting to the Bottom of It:  One of our top fitness partners is an independent trainer with a 2,000 sq. ft. studio who earns 6 figures annually.   Here’s how his conversation starts with each new prospect:

So, you’re here because you’ve known for years that you need to make some changes in your health… so, what’s been getting in the way?  Is it work?  Is it family?  Is it self-motivation?  Is it an injury?”

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