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The Microgym Microscope: Additional Revenue Streams

A closeup photo of a person inspecting a $100 bill under a microscope.

Not everyone wants personal training. Or group training. Or nutrition coaching.

But some people want each of these services. And a few clients want all of them.

If you don’t offer them, clients might not join—or they might go buy them elsewhere.

Your average revenue per member per month (ARM) is the total revenue you collect divided by the number of clients you have. Some clients want more than the average client does, and the best gyms in the world give high-value clients these options.

For example, some people might want to do CrossFit, but not in a group. Some parents might want their kids to work out with their whole team. And some people might prefer to buy their supplements from their coach instead of the teenager down at the Gear Garage.

ARM is a measure of value: The amount of value you provide to your clients is reflected by the value they provide to you (in money). Below, you’ll see what the top gyms in the world do to help clients more and boost ARM.


Personal Training

Top gyms give their clients a 1:1 option. When paying for 1:1 training, a client is buying scheduling flexibility, customized programming and a high level of accountability. They’re also buying a relationship with the trainer.

Many of these clients don’t want to sign up for CrossFit groups or boot camps, but they do want to do high-intensity workouts. Many clients also want to start 1:1 in any new program, from CrossFit to Brazilian jiu-jitsu to Pilates.

On Page 35 of our annual State of the Industry Report, you can see that personal training accounts for a large percentage of top gyms’ revenue, regardless of sector.

If you’re a CrossFit, HIIT or martial-arts gym, personal training represents your biggest opportunity—it’s at least 4x more important than any of the other options.


Group Coaching

Almost all gyms offer some kind of group-coaching option. When priced appropriately, group training can be a good way to scale personal training. As an add-on option to an access gym, group training can guide clients with some coaching or even some novelty.

Gyms offering group coaching alone, though, usually have a low ARM because of competitive pricing pressure. The best-case scenario seems to be semi-private training (three to six clients training at once, paying personal-training rates and doing their own programs) or small-group training (up to six clients paying a premium but doing the same program).

Group coaching’s contribution to total revenue has declined significantly in the last two years. That means the same number of gyms are offering group training, but they’re getting more of their revenue from other sources than they were before.


Hybrid Programs

Hybrid packages are a combination of group training, online training, 1:1 training and nutrition coaching—all elements or just some. These programs are sometimes called “high-ticket packages,” but for many clients, they’re just a tailored solution that provides exactly what they need to get results.

Using the Prescriptive Model to solve clients’ problems provides an easy way to boost ARM: You just tell the client exactly what they need to accomplish their goals and add services together to come up with the price. Like everything else on this list, hybrid programs are for anyone but not for everyone.


Nutrition Coaching

A guided nutrition plan, accountability plan or diet fits here. Depending on their location and staff credentials, gyms can add short-term nutrition challenges or recurring memberships to their offer. However, the percentage of total revenue derived from nutrition coaching is small compared to that provided by other options.


Access

This is “open gym” time for clients, including key-card entry. While access-only gyms have the lowest ARM, selling “guided access” as an add-on is a growing ARM booster for personal-training, group-coaching and other gyms. The key is to sell it as an add-on instead of as an alternative to coaching. Give your clients homework to do instead of allowing free-for-alls.


Kids Programs

As a percentage of total revenue, contributions from kids programs declined significantly from 2022 to 2023. The exception would be in sports-training gyms (or “strength and conditioning” gyms), and in martial-arts gyms, which are shifting their focus toward kids more and more. Interestingly, coaching gyms that focus on kids (cheer, gymnastics, etc.) often have higher ARM than coaching gyms that focus on adults.


Supplements

While the same number of gyms seem to be selling supplements, a reduced percentage of their total revenue comes from these products.

For me, the value of selling supplements is really in providing my clients with quality options instead of sending them to see the teenager at the supplement shop down the street.


Honorable Mention: Over-55 Groups

While we didn’t break this revenue stream out specifically this year, many Two-Brain gyms have been noticing their over-55 groups are growing quickly.

At my own gym, this is a great demographic that reminds me of the early days of CrossFit: They all recruit their friends, they all want T-shirts and hoodies, and they all pay more than our average group rate. They’re also very fun to coach.


The Breakdown


Here are the revenue streams presented as percentages of total revenue in various gyms (note: the percentages sometimes don’t add up to 100 due to small input errors made by respondents to our survey, but clear trends are still obvious):

A table showing the contributions of various revenue streams that make up gross revenue in an average gym.

These numbers come from our “State of the Industry” report. We have data from more than 13,400 gyms in that guide, and the trends are clear:

  • Keep your group-training rate high.
  • Add personal training.
  • Possibly add one other revenue stream after those two are running well.


To get the full guide click here.

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One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.