Lockdown Leader: How U.K. Gym Added and Retained Members


Mike (00:03):

Terrible retention. Wait a minute. I’ve got that backward. Gareth Wayt has lots of members and great retention despite a pandemic. How do you do it? Wayt the Great tells all next.

Chris (00:15):

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Mike (00:48):

It’s Two-Brain Radio and I’m Mike Warkentin. Over the last month, I’ve been fascinated to see incredible data from Two-Brain gyms that are weathering harsh lockdowns around the world. Gareth Wayt runs Second City Fitness in Birmingham, United Kingdom, and his gym was in our top 10 for total members in January. Total members don’t mean a thing without retention and Gareth has that too. In the United Kingdom, they’ve been through varying degrees of lockdown over the last year. Gareth is in his third lockdown and we’re going to dig into some of the things that have kept Second City’s citizens squatting. Gareth. Welcome to the show. How are you doing today?

Gareth (01:22):

Doing good. Thank you. Yeah. A nice sunny day here in the UK, which is a perk, compared to usual.

Mike (01:28):

I hear it’s a little bit rare, especially during COVID times. You guys have been under a bit of a dark cloud for the last year. But I understand that you follow the Two-Brain plan of assigning members to your staff and having them make daily contact, provide workouts and tips and so forth. Listers can get our second shutdown guide in the free tools section of if they want that info, the plan that you’ve been following, but you’ve done some really interesting stuff. And I want to know about that. So what’s the app, you’ve been using that and I’ve heard that you had some groups in WhatsApp and Teams in your gym. So what’s up with WhatsApp?

Gareth (02:01):

Yeah. Cool. So, we realized quite early on when lockdown started back in March, 2020, the gyms that were doing well in the Two-Brain’s brain group had been locked down a little bit longer than we had. So we were beneficial to see what those guys were doing. And we realized fairly early on the accountability was the main thing we were selling to our members and the thing that worked well to keep them interested and keep them active and keep them moving. So we kicked off something back in March called the quarantine games, which was where we assigned all of our members a coach.

Gareth (02:46):

Some of our guys would use WhatsApp and send messages. Some of us would send videos, but the main purpose was to customize the daily workout for them, make sure they could do a version of it with the equipment that they had. And generally just make sure we were checking in. We’ve all coached classes. We know what it’s like; half the time you coach them half the time you’re checking in on them, you know, how’s your kids doing? How’s your mom’s operation gone. The relationship is what we do. I mean, we sell fitness, but we build relationships. So we knew that this concept was important. So we started on a one-to-one format, like you said, but then we found actually that the members were missing that group interaction a little bit as well. So we created these WhatsApp groups. Now they were big, we were talking sort of 75 to 90 members in each WhatsApp group.

Gareth (03:39):

We made sure that we put two coaches in each group. So the coach didn’t need to be a hundred percent energy all the time. There was always someone else for them to feed off a little bit. And what we found is that those groups served really well to help keep the conversation going, keep us current with the members. We would be fielding questions about daily workouts, fitness about nutrition, right? The way through to did anyone see Boris’ announcement last night, Boris Johnson’s our prime minister here in the UK. So they really helped keep the group dynamic field of a CrossFit gym going during lockdown when we were all stuck at home individually.

Mike (04:22):

Now this is really cool. Because when this whole thing happened, you know, Two-Brain did the research. And what we found was that the individual contact between coach and member was what kept that member going. And some gyms pivoted to zoom classes. And what we found was that the burnout rate on that was fast, where it was a kind of a novel thing at first, but it didn’t work for that long. And it was just because all of a sudden, people are competing with Peloton, all these like high-end studio productions for free workouts and stuff. It’s very difficult for a gym to maintain those zoom workouts forever. Some have done it successfully, but it’s not the core offering. The core offering is that connection between the coach. But the lure of the zoom class was always seeing faces. And for the first little bit we ran some of those.

Mike (05:04):

We obviously follow the Two-Brain plan at our gym. And we connected with our members, assigned coaches, the whole thing, exactly what you did and that worked. And we ran a few zoom classes and it was more just to see each other smiling and like interact. And I love what you’ve done here, because that was the part that some people noticed was missing was the interaction. You can do it in a private Facebook group or in different places. But the What’sApp thing is really cool. Tell me, like what kind of conversations and what kind of stuff happened in there, interactions between members? Like how did that dynamic go?

Gareth (05:35):

It was really interesting to see. I mean, obviously, I’d love to sit here and tell you that absolutely every single member was in those groups and was replying regularly, but they weren’t, but we did get the vast majority of members. The conversations that would happen, we would be chatting about the workout that happened that day. Maybe people were comparing notes, did this, or I’m going to do it later. People would sometimes say, Oh, you know, I’ve only got a single dumbbell. What shall I do today? It enabled the coaches to be able to have feedback with them on a wider scale. Like we would do if we were coaching a class. We also use it as an opportunity to share nutrition tips. It also worked as a way to keep the information from the gym flowing to the members in a slightly more personal way.

Gareth (06:23):

So we obviously would always post updates on Facebook, Instagram, and email, but something about those slightly smaller groups meant that the members felt that they were getting a direct line of access to all of us all the time. It actually, after about three, four weeks morphed into this format where the members were all helping each other out. So the actual interaction from the coaches and the team kind of dwindled a little bit because the guys are all helping each other out. And that was, for me, it was the best part to see when they were able to sort of keep building each other up and keep each other motivated, going through the workouts through lockdown and stuff like that. So it was really cool to see.

Mike (07:02):

You know, and that syncs up perfectly with something Chris has written about lately, Two-Brain founder Chris Cooper, written about triads, and that’s the concept of three different or two different links between your member and something else. So meaning your members’ linked to the coach of the gym, but another link to create three points is essential. And that third link here was to other members. And that’s such a cool thing where, you know, you’re basically using your entire membership as a retention driver at that point and take some of the pressure off the coaches. So it’s exactly what Chris is talking about. And you found a really cool way to do that with WhatsApp, beyond some of the technical workout stuff, was there a lot of like banter and just heckling and you know, all this stuff that you normally see in classes, did that show up in WhatsApp?

Gareth (07:45):

It did. Yeah. And that was always enjoyable. We had a quick chat as a team before we set these groups up about anything that we would not get involved in. Everyone loves a bit of banter but sometimes it can go a little bit too far and nobody wants to be on the wrong side of the banter. You know, someone says somebody else exactly right. Generally stay away from politics and vaccines, anything like that. So as a team, we did have a quick chat before we started these groups about anything that we would stay away from. But fortunately throughout the six, seven months that these groups were going, we didn’t have any issues with anything like that. And yeah, there would be various jokes going round. Everybody seemed to be able to start making their own memes. So memes flying around left, right and center in these groups.

Gareth (08:32):

One of the cool things that we saw would be somebody would throw a message out. Guys. I can’t make the zoom work out today because kids, work, whatever their commitments might be. Does anyone fancy jumping on a call and doing it at seven o’clock tonight with me? So it was really cool to start seeing people, going to use the phrase like their own mini groups and doing their own classes inside the gym, which effectively they were, you know, there was five or six people getting together to do things virtually. So that was really cool to see, which yeah, kind of goes onto what Coop’s saying about having those extra points of contact for people as they go through.

Mike (09:13):

You’re in the middle of lockdown three and apparently April, there’s going to be some changes to that. We hope of course, but are you going to continue with this WhatsApp or how will this situation evolve once you’re out of lockdown? Any plans to continue it?

Gareth (09:29):

I don’t think we’ll continue it once the gym reopens. It’s—a lot of things that happen in lockdown do experience some fatigue. And I do feel that these groups have worked perfectly over the last year, but I feel that once we get back to the gym and we’re checking in with people face to face, we won’t need it as much. We’ve got a fantastic culture at Second City on our social media, on our Facebook, we’ve always done bright spot Fridays, which was Kaleda’s very, very early ideas for us, which we love. Our mentor. Very fortunate to have her. So yeah, one of the very first things we did when we started working with Two-Brain back in 2019, early 2019, was start that bright spot Friday chat. And it’s important. It works perfectly on that Facebook group. So I think we’ll be leaning more heavily on that once we do get reopened. OK.

Mike (10:31):

So that’s WhatsApp is an interesting, if you’re listening, that’s an interesting idea. If in a lockdown, we don’t know if it’ll work or if you should continue it afterward, but we do know that you should be regularly connecting with your members in person and some sort of digital forum like bright spots Friday, and a private Facebook group is a wonderful idea. Now if I’m looking at a list of amazing stuff you did during lockdown, I’ve seen like coffee mornings, pub quizzes, extra SugarWOD tracks, quarantine cookbooks, quarantine games, all sorts of stuff like that. The question that I want to know is how did you manage all that? Because it seems like a ton of extra stuff during a very stressful period.

Gareth (11:04):

Yeah, that’s a good question. The easiest answer is I didn’t, my team helped me, divide and conquer, right? There’s six of us at Second City that are full-time and six of us at Second City that are part-time. So we’ve got a team of 12, so it’s a big team, and there’s lots of us. And my part-time guys, I’ve got everything from teachers to engineers. We’ve got physicists, so they’ve got things that they’re really good at. So we leant on them to help the rest of us in producing all of this content. So yeah, getting everybody involved and giving everyone their own little projects is how we managed to do so much and keep it all going. Very early on in the lockdown, we knew that keeping people accountable, like we spoke about with groups, but getting something Second City branded in front of them was key.

Gareth (11:59):

So if they were doing a zoom class, cool, but if they were using our cookbook in the evening, sweet, we’re still in front of them. We’re still in front of their faces. They’re still using our products. That we found massively helped us because it really increased our social media spread as well. So I think it was an old, maybe even been one of your old podcasts where they talk about direct and indirect marketing. So if I put a post up on our gym’s Instagram page, sweet, it’s going to hit 3000 people. Well, if I get 20 of my members to put the same post up, suddenly that spread reaches much further. So a lot of these products we did, we sent to everyone, we sent them out for free. We encourage them sharing. So that when we did reopen all of a sudden, this indirect marketing that we’ve been doing for so long, it spread really far and was really helpful, but yeah, the team were fantastic and continue to be fantastic during the whole process. And it’s really helpful for us that they each took on their own little projects and ran with it, which is why we managed to do so much.

Mike (13:07):

Divide and conquer and rely on the strengths of your staff members. Now you mentioned something and I got to dig into this. Were you able to acquire members during lockdown and if not, what happened after lockdown, when it was lifted in those periods?

Gareth (13:20):

Yeah. Good question. We didn’t manage to get any members during the initial lockdown. And I’m going to hold my hands up and say that was completely my fault.

Mike (13:29):

That was March to Sept 2020?

Gareth (13:29):

Yes, correct. Yeah. So at the time, I was kind of wearing an operations manager hat as well as a CSM client success manager hat and sale. And I’ll be honest. It was just a little bit too much for me to manage, to sort of be looking for new members as well. I regret it a little bit. I think it could have been a time that we could have capsulized and found some new members. But we managed to get a lot done in lockdown. We switched our a website to Gym Lead Machine. They run our back of house software if you’ve not seen those guys check them out.

Mike (14:06):

Yeah, I use them as well.

Gareth (14:06):

Yeah. I noticed that. 204, isn’t it?

Mike (14:11):

That’s right, CrossFit 204, 204 Lifestyle, we use the exact same plan.

Gareth (14:16):

Exactly. l thought I recognized. We completely rebranded from Second City CrossFit to Second City Fitness. We completely reviewed our onboarding process. So we did a lot in lockdown, but one of the things we didn’t manage to do was get any new members. So coming out of lockdown, we decided that we needed to find a CSM. So client success manager. So we actually brought on a lovely member. So we inquired within by the name of Sophie. She came on board in September of 2020. So just as we were coming out of lockdown and October, 2020 was our best month ever at Second City in terms of new member sign up, ARM increasing. So it was definitely well worthwhile bringing Soph on. And she’s done sort of fantastic work. She is much better than I am. We had a lockdown in November where she managed to sign up members and she’s also signing up members right now, whilst we are still locked down as well. She’s much better than I am.

Mike (15:22):

That’s really interesting. So you had basically three tests and found that in the first lockdown, you didn’t sign anyone up. Then you hired someone whose specific goal was to manage your customer relationships and your client relationships and relationships with leads and in the next two lockdowns Sophie actually signed up members.

Gareth (15:44):

Correct. Yeah. Part of that process was some of the back of house work that we did in that first lockdown. So, like I say, we switched over to Gym Lead Machine. We worked really hard on content creation. Something we’ve worked quite hard on in 2019 was assigning roles to everyone. So everyone knows what their job was. Mike, who’s another one of the owners of Second City. He took on the social media role. He did a fantastic job all through last year of making sure that we’re current. On top of people’s feeds members, were reposting us so that when we did reopen and throughout the last two lockdowns, we’ve just been constantly in front of people. Having Gym Lead Machine there means that we get people off our socials onto our websites. Once they’re on our website, they’re through a call to action. And then they’re on Sophie’s radar. And not many people escape Sophie’s radar, she’s knocking out no sweat intros faster than anyone I’ve ever seen before. We spent some time slicking up our onboarding process. So the whole process is just smoother. And working like a much more oiled machine than it was previously.

Mike (16:57):

You know, that’s fascinating and like, I wish you hadn’t had to go through and are currently going through three lockdowns, but I love the fact that you were able to look at the first one, make some adjustments and then thrive in number two and three. That’s so cool. And you know, I got to dig into this question because this is a really important one. You know, you’ve mentioned some of those changes that you made from lockdown to lockdown. I understand you actually made changes to like big changes to pricing and membership during lockdown. Tell me what you did and why.

Gareth (17:27):

Yeah. Cool. So the changes actually date back a little bit to the start of January, 2020. We sat down as owners. There’s three of us, there’s myself, Mike, who I mentioned previously, and then Fergus Lally. We sat down and we looked our products and we though what’s the best product we can offer to help our members achieve their long-term goals. And what’s the best thing we can do to help our staff grow because the business has to serve three people. It has to serve the members, the staff, and then the owners. So we spent a long time looking at this and kind of thinking, do we need to come away from this generalized class format? Is it selling more PT? What’s the best thing going forward. So we switched to a hybrid model and now our hybrid model at Second City means that you have your classes.

Gareth (18:24):

So you have your, whatever that might be three, six, nine, 12, 16 classes a month, but then you also either have a PT session or a nutrition included in your membership. So the idea there was we wanted to try and get people towards their goals as quickly as possible and their long-term goals going forward, as well as growing the staff pool kind of thing. Growing the amount the staff could make. When lockdown happens, we knew that this was what we wanted to happen. And we knew that we wanted to convert all of our existing members to this hybrid model. We knew it was a slightly sensitive subject to be changing prices. And there was a lot of conversations around it, but we arrived at the decision that we want to help first. That’s our main priority.

Gareth (19:17):

And we were confident that this hybrid model was the way to help people better. So fortunately Fergus is a spreadsheet whiz. Fergus is our other owner, sitting in our CFO role. He worked on some projections for us, and we realized that to continue serving everyone as best as we could, we did need to do a small price increase, which wasn’t a lot, it was five pounds for the majority of our members, but the big thing was swapping them over to this hybrid model. So now they would have their classes and their skill session or nutrition bolted into their membership. And what we found is that extra skill session that they get once a month means that we’re able to work on anything that they can’t get to individually in classes. It helps them keep focused on their goals. It means that the staff can earn more all of a sudden, there’s now this pool of almost 200 clients to share around the staff. So yeah, it was a big change. And it was one that was definitely the right move to do. And I think we put it off and we just made the decision in lockdown that we wanted to reopen with this being the future. So that’s why we did it.

Mike (20:33):

It’s so interesting because when you lay it out as a coach and any coach that’s listening, you it’s so obvious that, you know, the motivation of a group class, plus the personalized instruction of a one-on-one session, plus nutrition coaching that just, you know, that that’s going to get results. A hundred percent, every time that client is going to succeed with those three things in place, because it’s just such a perfect prescription. And yet so many of us, and I’m very guilty of this, hesitated to make that move because we were scared. I was definitely scared of changing the deal, right, from our CrossFit group classes to putting in personal training or putting in, like I thought about it, like membership plus nutrition coaching, right? That’s a great idea that would have helped the members, but I was scared to do it. So how did you get over that fear? And did you lose members or what happened? Like what was the reception of this change?

Chris (21:26):

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Gareth (21:47):

Yeah, it’s cool. So we, anyone who’s listening who thinks, Oh, that’s a really good idea, but I’m just a bit too scared about rocking the boat. We were fortunate. We started this process in January. So anyone who signed up from January to March when that lockdown happened was already in that. So we had some data to work off. So we knew that there was opportunity to work. This then left us with this slight pickle of a bit of a messy back of house situation, where some members were on this hybrid membership. Some weren’t, some where on some prices from three years ago. So that was a little bit of a driving factor amongst bringing people all onto a level playing field as well. So we made the decision because we were, as you say, nervous, and I would expect everybody to be nervous about changing membership prices, whether you did it now during lockdown, or whenever. We made a decision, Mike, the other owner and myself, we actually phoned every single member personally. Now some of those calls were 10 minutes. Some of those calls were an hour, but we use that time on the phone to explain why we were doing it and why it would benefit them first and help first.

Gareth (23:00):

We challenged ourselves to downgrade some members because some people were from memberships where they would have 20 classes a month and they didn’t need it. We’d look at their attendance and they’re only coming 12 times. So we challenged ourselves to downgrade some members, as well as upgrading members, because you can’t sit there and wave a flag if helping people is taking the most money you can out of them. If that makes sense, sometimes you do have to go the other way to help people as well. So it was a bit of a nerve-wracking time, but as soon as we started making those phone calls and started speaking to our members, we knew we were doing the right thing because they understood where we were coming from and why we were doing it.

Mike (23:43):

And these are hundreds of phone calls, right?

Gareth (23:47):

Yes. 225 phone calls.

Mike (23:48):

10 minutes to an hour.

Gareth (23:50):

Yeah. So yeah, it took the better part of 10 days. We hit it hard because the last, because we had such a tight community, like we spoke about, if I start, you know, ringing people in the A’s and then suddenly the people in the W’s start hearing about it, they get nervous. So, we did it as hard and fast as we could, but we wanted to spend the time chatting to every single member. And it was a really good, honest reflection for us, seeing where the business are and where we wanted to go forward with it.

Mike (24:24):

That is a hero workout, you know, a 10 day blitz to like talk to every single member in a heart to heart manner. But I’m going to guess that those conversations were probably unbelievably insightful. And I bet you probably strengthened the connections. Like, am I right on that?

Gareth (24:39):

Massively. We’re very close to all of our members. And it’s a point of performance in our staff review when we coach classes that you may need, you’ve got to know these people’s names, but you’ve got to know more than that. When a member walks in it’s, how’s your kid doing football this week, or did you manage to get that new car or did you get that promotion at work? Because that’s what sets us aside. And that’s not just us. That”s any gym in this sort of format that’s working with these personal relationships with people to keep them accountable. You’ve got to be invested in them so they invest in you and their future with you.

Mike (25:20):

You mentioned the help first concept, excuse me, listeners, if you don’t know what that is, Chris Cooper’s written a great book on it called “Help First,” we’ll put it in the show notes for you. The basic idea is that you are telling members or potential members exactly what they need to accomplish their goals. You’re helping them, you’re not selling. And in this case for you, you had some members who would have benefited from more, and you told them that you had some members that would have benefited from less. And because you believe in that philosophy of helping them, you told them, dude, you don’t need 20 classes. You’re only coming to 12, we’re going to downgrade your membership because it’s going to help you. And they obviously that must have built so much trust with those members. Like, they’re actually, like, you’re not trying to just take my money. You’re actually listening to my goals and you know what I need like that must have just been earth shattering moment for some of those clients.

Gareth (26:08):

Yeah, definitely. I think it was definitely, probably the ones that have been with us for a long time weren’t super shocked by it because it was something we’ve always done. Those who were a little bit newer to us, definitely, they were kind of commented, wow, I’ve never experienced this before. And, yeah, just growing that bond with the members was fantastic. And it was definitely, yeah, it was hard work. It was really hard work to make all those phone calls, but it was definitely worthwhile. And if anybody’s in a similar boat where they’re thinking about changing membership prices or anything like that, I definitely think the value is there in doing it, if you can, because you will learn a lot, you’ll learn a lot about your members. You’ll learn a lot about your business and your products and how they view it as well.

Mike (27:00):

And I’ll take you one further and just say that, you know, even if people aren’t thinking about making any changes, how powerful would it be to just pick up the phone and call your members? You know, it’s so incredible. Like you, you get these, you know, if you’re an owner, potentially you maybe don’t get all the conversations because you have staff members during class and so forth, but this is where client success manager can help too. But just talking to your clients and finding out are you getting what you need? It gives you an opportunity either to upsell or to solve, you know, prevent bad things from continuing or happening. And that’s where those three month goal review sessions come in. So if you’re not doing those guys, I would advise you to start doing goal review sessions every three months. And if you’re not just doing a pick up a phone today and call a few members and chat. The last thing I want to ask you is a prime minister Boris Johnson has said that a return to normal is coming in a few months. I really hope that’s the case. Politicians are not always true to their word, but I sure hope that comes for you guys. So talk to me about your new normal post-COVID. Like what has your mentor helped you prepare for in the period when I hope that we’re all back to normal?

Gareth (28:05):

That’s a really interesting question. As I say, we changed our business model slightly in January of 2020 to this hybrid theory or hybrid model where people are having classes and PT as well. So I think that we actually changed what we were doing before lockdown started. So a return to normal for us is a little bit different than most because we’re going to be returning to a new normal, if that makes sense. We’ve tried to maximize what we can get out of this lockdown. So, like I mentioned, we’ve brought in Gym Lead Machine’s that run our back of house. We bought in a CSM, we’ve rebranded. We’ve seen the additional products, personal training, nutrition, physio, sort of courses, as opposed to just classes work really well. So I think when we do get to come out of this lockdown and our new normal will be very different to anything we did before, because I think it will be classes, but with these additional services, I think our business will run slicker than ever before, because we’ve had the time to invest in these procedures and onboarding processes.

Gareth (29:20):

I mean, if you go back to pre lockdown, sort of Mike and myself, we would have been on the floor 20, 25 hours a week, coaching classes, doing PT. Now we’ve managed to step back a little bit more, bring some of the coaches into more of those hours for us, so we can concentrate on growing the nutrition side of the business or growing the physiotherapy side of the business. We definitely feel that we’ve managed to grow to a place where we can provide everything for our members, rather than just that class format that they are after. We can do your nutrition, we can do your PT, we’ve got your physio down, we’re even exploring psychological testing with members and stuff, but that’s a whole tangent that could take up another half and hour.

Mike (30:07):

Mindset work and all that, right?

Gareth (30:08):

Yeah. I think you could bury your head in the sand and be really annoyed at people and be really annoyed at the governments would be really annoyed at the world that the situation’s happened, or you can take it in a stride and use it as an opportunity to improve on everything. And whilst there has been mistakes along the way, and by no means, as we saw in March, 2020 with this grand plan of everything, we’ve kind of worked and pivoted on the fly, I definitely feel that the business has come out better and stronger because of lockdown.

Mike (30:41):

From the outside where I’m standing here. You’re not the first gym owner that I’ve spoken to that’s made a shift like this to dramatically upgrade services. And that doesn’t mean that the services beforehand were weren’t good enough, but you’ve made some amazing changes to offer more to your clients and to help them get to their goals faster. And it’s just incredible to see some of the changes that Two-Brain Business owners are making in this period because a lot of them are doing the exact same thing where they’re not looking at it as this, Oh, this miserable, you know, time where we have to just try and survive. And there are some people that are fighting and that’s, you know, there’s some tough circumstances out there, but there are others who are really making some incredible strong moves and using this period of like, you know, where the ant farmer is being shaken up to use an animal analogy.

Mike (31:25):

You’re really making some strong changes based on a period of reflection to figure out how can we really do better and that’s going to benefit your business, but it’s also going to benefit your coaches. Like you said earlier, where you’re going to have careers for these people, and it’s going to benefit, of course your clients who accomplish their goals faster. And again, like the analogy easy one is if a client was just coming to group classes and want to lose 20 pounds, how could you speed that up obviously by adding nutrition coaching, right? So you’re making these changes now and clients are going to benefit from it. I know your retention is very good already. Do you expect these changes are going to drive that even further, that number up even further?

Gareth (32:03):

I believe so. The data backs up that sort of statement that we think, retention will be improved. I mean, I got Fergus to run some numbers for me ahead of this call. And we’ve seen over the last 12 months have increased in both our ARM, as well as our LEG, engagement. Also, our LTV has increased as well. Yeah. So that’s really important to see. I don’t see how, if you’re coming into group classes and then you’ve got one of my doing your PT session once a month, one of my guys checking in on your nutrition, I don’t see how it can’t do anything but help retention. It just serves as more points of contact for those people, making sure that we’re doing everything we can to help them achieve their goals, because if you’re not achieving your members’ goals, then they’re more likely to leave. They’re more likely to go and try something else, because that’s what I know over in America you’ve got like you mentioned earlier, Peloton, Orangetheory, all these competitors out there, if somebody is not achieving what they want to achieve, that they are going to look elsewhere and that’s where they might try it. But if you’re ticking all the boxes for them, then unless they’re moving away because of their location or work or something else, we definitely think that this approach will help with retention.

Mike (33:31):

And you hit on my biggest lesson from the COVID period was as soon as it came, we pivoted to the Two-Brain model and we contacted all our members daily. And I immediately knew as soon as that started, that we should’ve been doing it all along. COVID no COVID, whatever. It was just so clear that increasing the contact points and just building that relationship would have been so much better at any point in our 10-year history of our gym. And when we shut down our physical location, we moved to an online model where we are emphasizing personal training and nutrition. But the thing that we’re doing is contacting members daily and our retention and ARM are better now than they were when we had a gym over the last 10 years. So it’s just, it’s incredible what COVID taught a lot of people, including myself. I did not know that, you know, so thank you so much for sharing the lessons with us today.

Gareth (34:22):

No, thank you.

Mike (34:24):

Oh, no, this was great. It was a brilliant, brilliant episode with a lot of great stuff for gym owners in here. And I want to circle back with you in about a year and see where you’re at after all this. Thank you so much for being here today, Gareth.

Gareth (34:35):

Thank you. Thank you.

Mike (34:40):

That was Gareth Wayt. I’m Mike Warkentin and this is Two-Brain Radio. If you have not done so, you need to join the Gym Owners United group on Facebook. Two-Brain Business founder, Chris Cooper, regularly posts articles, instructional videos, and advice in there. It’s the only public group he’s in and you can get access to him there. That’s Gym Owners United on Facebook, join today.


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