The Gym Model That Improves Every Major Metric

Sticky notes with the words "quality" and "efficiency" stuck to a blackboard, with upward arrows indicating improvements.

What happens when people who join your gym don’t understand the value of your services?

They leave—and fast.

This is bad for many reasons.

The worst of the bunch: Clients who try something and leave after six or seven months don’t develop a fitness habit that will meaningfully change their lives. You’re failing people who need your help.

Beyond that, the gym suffers financially. Yes, you lose recurring revenue when people leave.

But there’s more: When you’re always bleeding clients, you put huge strain on your team and your systems. Instead of serving clients, you must spend a lot of time and money trying to acquire clients, and then you have to onboard them.

This problem is very common in gyms that run the big-group model: You try to pack as many people as possible into large group classes.

This model has major flaws. I know: It sounds amazing to have 20 people paying $10 a class so you can make $200 an hour, but most gyms struggle to fill big classes. It’s more common for gyms to have one larger class a day and several others that barely bring in enough money to cover the cost of the coach.

And there’s a trap: Big classes increase churn—big time.

Our data shows that retention is best with one-on-one clients. Larger group classes have worse retention, but churn is limited if classes have between seven and 13 clients. When classes are larger than 13, retention plummets.

So if you’re chasing huge classes, you’re setting yourself up for churn, marketing, onboarding and stress. And you aren’t changing as many lives as you could.

A Better Way

If you want to hold clients for a long time and make a difference in their lives, you must build value as they learn about your gym before they join, you must solidify that value when they become members, and then you must remind them of that value all the time.

The best way to do that: The Prescriptive Model. You can find the full details here, but I’ll give you the short version below.

Every client needs a goal, a plan and someone to hold them to the plan. So when you meet with a prospective client who’s seen your media and learned about your services, you ask about their goals and present your expert plan to accomplish them. (This alone will set you well apart from other gyms.)

Then you provide coaching and accountability to ensure the client sticks to the plan. At intervals, you get clients into goal review sessions in which you review progress, highlight successes, offer congratulations and optimize the plan to ensure additional progress at high speed.

This process holds incredible value for the client, and it’s been proven to increase revenue and retention. The stats: About 30 percent of clients who do goal review sessions will spend about 30 percent more on your services. And all gyms that implement this model see improved length of engagement.

There’s more: Gyms that use the Prescriptive Model in combination with PT and semi-private/small group training often have average revenue per member per month in the $500-plus range.

If you don’t use this model and just chase huge groups, your coaches will see clients for about an hour a day every couple of days. That’s not enough contact to hold someone to a plan. And 60-120 seconds of coaching sprinkled throughout a group class holds limited value.

If you start using the Prescriptive Model today, your clients are going to see your value, they’re going to stay longer, and they’re going to get better results.

They’ll win. And so will you: Your retention, average revenue per member, gross revenue, lifetime client value and profit will all go up, and your marketing budget and onboarding costs will go down.

To hear more about how a mentor can help you build a solid business model and improve all key metrics, book a call here.


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.