Stressed After the Open? Two Tips for 2025

A tired, stressed woman lies on the floor of a functional fitness gym after a competition event.

So you got through the Open in 2024—congrats!

Now here are two business questions:

Did you generate any revenue with the Open?

Are you and your coaches feeling fresh and eager right now even after three weeks of extra work?

I hope you answered “yes” to both questions. But if you didn’t, let’s take a few steps today to make 2025 easier.

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

1. Create an After-Action Report (AAR)

When I ran the Open, I was frantic. In the chaos, I often thought, “I should do this differently next year.” But instead of writing a note down, I just judged another workout, handed a tearful athlete a roll of toilet paper and high-fived a happy athlete.

Take 30 minutes right now to put some bullet points under two simple headings: “Do This in 2025” and “Never Do This Again.”

Here are two examples of stuff I put on my after-action report when I finally started taking steps to get ahead:

Do this: “Before each workout, tell all competitors when scores are due and when they will be validated. Remind each person that you will not respond to special requests to validate scores on demand.”

Never do this again: “Enter Open season without buying backup toner for the printer.”

Little stuff like this is so obvious in the moment, but if you don’t log it, you’ll run up against all the same frustrations year after year.

Create this report today and make a calendar note to review it in December 2024.

2. Get Our 2024 “Intramural Open Guide”

Every year, we produce a playbook to help gym owners reduce stress and generate revenue in the Open.

If you didn’t get our 2024 edition before the Open, get it now and file it away. Put a note in your calendar to review it in early December. Then draw up a few plans so you’re well ahead of the game when the Open rolls around in 2025.

We’ll produce a 2025 guide with an exact timeline and updated calendar, but the core principles of the Intramural Open won’t change.

So if you review the 2024 guide in December, you can do stuff like this:

  • Tell staff that you have a plan to reduce stress in 2025.
  • Tell members you’re ramping up the fun in 2025 with an exciting new plan.
  • Lay the groundwork required to generate revenue from the Open in 2025.

In the gym business, if you aren’t planning three to six months ahead, you’re behind.

Plan Ahead!

It’s tempting to wash your hands of past events and move on.

But if you do a few simple things right now, you’ll have a much better experience in 2025.

Take a few minutes right now to fill out a short AAR and request our “Intramural Open Guide” so you can thrive next year!


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.