Gym Retention Strategies for Gym Owners

Learn how to keep the members at your gym satisfied, for fewer cancellations and more retention.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Gym Retention Strategies For Gym Owners


As the saying goes, it’s easier to keep current clients than it is to source new ones. Do yourself a favor, save yourself a lot of headaches, and implement gym retention strategies that will keep your current members 3 times longer.


Losing customers is the silent killer of businesses. No one likes talking about it, it’s not sexy, but it’s the reason why most gyms can’t scale past $50k/mo. So you’ll learn how we cut churn by 50% or more with these simple retention strategies..




The most common reason a person cancels their gym membership is because they’re not seeing results. There are 4 Pillars to retaining clients longer; Fitness, Nutrition, Accountability, and 1:1 Meetings.


The entire point of owning a gym is to change as many lives as possible, but you can’t do that without providing great results. These four pillars make up the gym retention strategies that will keep your members coming back.




To optimize your members’ results, and your profits, it’s ideal to have clients come in to workout three times per week. (not unlimited, not 5x/wk…just 3x/wk). This often gets push back because many gym owners believe the more classes they offer, the higher value a member gets. 


However, we have found the opposite. Three classes per week implies scarcity, which in turn creates urgency for the member to come in and not miss a workout.

Classes should be high energy, and fun. No one likes to workout in a small class with low energy. Make sure the 30-60 min sessions are well worth it to your members.




As a fitness professional, you know that nutrition is the essential piece that will make or break a client’s results. Unfortunately, it’s also the area people tend to struggle with most. With all of the misinformation, new diets, and overwhelming information, it’s a great gym retention strategy to give them everything they need to be successful.


We’ve found the highest success when clients give their members the following:

– Custom meal plan
– Shopping list
– Recipe book
– Eating out guide
– Shake recipe book
– Meal prep guide
– Baking guide


The best gym retention strategy is taking all of the guesswork out for your clients.




(How Can I Keep My Members Engaged and Motivated to Continue Their Gym Membership?)


Without this gym retention strategy, all others will fall short. Accountability is crucial to making the fitness and nutrition stick. There are three levels to accountability:


Social: The circle of people at the gym will help to encourage each other. To promote this, give your clients an exclusive group of people facing the same struggles and obstacles as they are. That way they can share tips, encourage each other, and build relationships that they will come to rely on.


Mentor: Your clients will get this through other members who have “walked a mile in
their shoes” and accomplished what a new client desires.


Expert: This comes from you, the Expert, who knows exactly why, what, when, and how
they should be doing the program.




If you don’t already track attendance for every class, start now. Then every Thursday call every client that hasn’t been in that week to get them scheduled for their next class.




This one is simple. Text every client at least 2x/wk to check in on them and build a relationship – regardless of how long they’ve been a client.


HANDWRITTEN CARDS (How Can I Personalize the Gym Experience For Individual Members?)


Who doesn’t love a handwritten card? Start sending them to every client once a month and include a small personal note about their performance or something you appreciate about them. This could be to acknowledge a birthday, to congratulate them on reaching a goal/PR, or life achievement.




The quickest way to build an amazing community is to bring all your members together for an event or internal play. Do these at least every 6 weeks throughout the year. Regardless of your budget, it’s a great idea to have a way to get your community together. Some examples of these events could be happy hours, potlucks, playing a softball or kickball tournament, etc.




Every client that wishes to cancel should first have an exit interview so you can find out why they’re wanting to leave and how you can save their business. Even if you don’t convince them to stay, you can implement their feedback to retain more clients in the future. This is a gym retention strategy that has saved hundreds of members from cancelling.




You’re not in the fitness business, you’re in the relationship/results business. There is no better

way to build a relationship and get better results for your clients than meeting for 15-30 mins at least once a month to:


● Review progress
● Adjust nutrition plan as needed
● Grab before/after pictures
● Get testimonials
● And simply get to know them better


Using these gym retention strategies, you will see your churn decrease, and your lifetime member value increase.




If you found this article useful, check out GymDash to manage your Gym and keep up with your data. If you’re wondering “How can I use data and analytics to identify members at risk of leaving and intervene to prevent churn?” Gym Dash was made for you.



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