Why Aren’t You Generating More Nutrition Revenue at Your Gym?

Gym owner Clark Hibbs smiles next to Shawn Rider and Chris Cooper.

“How many clients do we have?”

That question is probably costing you and your gym money.

Here’s why: It’s a flimsy metric that doesn’t tell you a lot about the status of your microgym.

And yet I focused on it for years. Maybe even a decade.

Here’s a better question that will make money:

“What else can we sell our current members?”

A head shot of writer Mike Warkentin and the column name "Pressing It Out."

I spoke to an upper-level gym owner on Oct. 19, and he told me 20-25 percent of his gym’s revenue comes from nutrition coaching.

The industry average, according to our recent State of the Industry survey, is 5 percent. And only 65 percent of gyms offer nutrition coaching.

Clark Hibbs of Yellow Rose Fitness told me he doesn’t do anything earth shattering to generate this revenue. He and wife Rachel simply use Google sheets and email to deliver tailored, effective nutrition coaching and accountability to clients.

Instead of focusing solely on acquiring more group training clients—something I did for years—Clark and Rachel created a program to help current clients move faster. Many of them wanted nutrition coaching, and he didn’t have to hammer Facebook with marketing dollars to connect with these people. He just had to tell them about the service. Many were interested, so his average revenue per member increased—and he didn’t have to spend money to make it happen.

He also acquired some new nutrition clients who just wanted nutrition coaching. I didn’t get into the details of how he did that because we were focused just on the structure of the program, not marketing. But Clark now has nutrition clients in his gym and all over the world.

Rachel runs the program from a spare bedroom in their house. No in-person check-ins, no office space, no huge expenses to get the program going.

And yet clients are seeing results, and they’re happy. Clark’s gym will sell about $8,000 of nutrition coaching each month (sometimes much more), so he and Rachel are happy.

He follows a similar plan with kids programs, which, again, drop right in the lap of current members who already love Yellow Rose Fitness.

During our chat—which you can watch on YouTube—I didn’t ask him how many members he has. Had we spoken between 2010 and 2019, that’s the first question I would have asked him.

But it was the wrong question then, and it’s the wrong question now.

If you aren’t considering what else you can do to serve your current clients, you’re leaving money on the table. And you don’t even have to think about what to offer current clients: nutrition and kids programs are obvious home runs. You can consider other programs, of course, but you don’t have to get creative if you’re struggling for ideas.

Remember: About 35 percent of gyms don’t offer nutrition coaching at all. If you’re one of them, you can definitely add revenue to your gym without spending money to acquire a host of new members who need more space, more rowing machines and more toilet paper. You can just serve your current members more. I guarantee some of them need and want nutrition coaching.

And if nutrition coaching is currently contributing less than 20 percent to your total revenue, remember that nutrition programs scale easily and don’t eat space and resources like fitness programs usually do. That means you’ll keep more of every new dollar of revenue you generate.

How do you grow a program? Clark’s advice is to start by talking about nutrition regularly on social media, in your blog and in your newsletters. Two-Brain mentors can supply dozens of additional tactics to help you generate more revenue from nutrition coaching.

So how many members does Clark have at Yellow Rose Fitness?

Who cares?


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.