If you could write a message and put it in a box that gets delivered at a future date, what would you say?
Most people don’t stick with fitness for long.
I’ve seen the numbers. More than 50% of new gym members on January 1st will quit before April 1st. Most of those remaining will attend the gym fewer than three times per month. And most of those people will say they’re “frustrated with their lack of progress” on surveys.
All of these people start out with great intentions and try their best to develop a new routine.
It’s the gym owner’s nightmare and it’s something we have thankfully managed to avoid at WSF. As we’re now in April I’ve been thinking about how we avoid this unfortunate trend.
Last week I sent an email out to some long standing members asking if they could recall their first session with us. Were they nervous? Who was there?
The replies were amazing and it was great to read how far some of these people had come. One particular reply struck me though. Lorcan went back and actually found the data from the first class he ever attended. He knew the coach, the exercises, the weights he used and every other person in the class.
Only two of them are no longer members. The other 9 are still in every week to this day even though the class took place 4 years ago.
Even the two who left went on to pastures new and only left because they left Wicklow altogether. It reminded me how many people we’ve worked with over the years for a sustained period of time.
People who have moved away but are still in touch through social media or emails. All the ones who still come to visit.
It’s more than a client-coach relationship, we know their families and we know their friends. Some joined single and are now married with kids. I’ve attended weddings, birthday parties and Christenings and I have more in the calendar coming up.
I’ve seen teenagers grow up here, move on to college and start their professional careers.
I’m going to give you some data. I’m a bit of a numbers nerd (and general nerd to be honest), so I track everything I think helps me plan for the gym’s future.
If a member stays with us beyond 90 days, they stay with us for an average of 54.5 months. That’s nearly 5 years of training. Some are now in their ninth year training with us and everytime I measure this number that average gets longer.
We don’t deal in short term fixes, we deal in long lasting relationships that bring about long term results.
That’s why when I opened the replies to the email I sent last week, I read all about the amazing things people had achieved. I read their stories about their favourite memories here and reminisced about them myself.
So I said at the start of this that 50% of people who join gyms in January are gone by April. Why? I guarantee the people who joined us didn’t just “want it more”. They probably joined for the exact same reasons the people who drop off do. They had the same goals of being fitter and healthier versions of themselves.
This is where I’m blessed. It’s a cultural thing we have fostered over the years and I can honestly say it’s not down to me it’s down to the members themselves.
One of the responses I got said the following;
“everyone of them came over to say hello”
Our team of coaches will do our best to provide accountability but the best form of it comes from the people you train alongside. The people who have attended the weddings, birthdays and all the rest alongside me. It’s the fellow clients who have the same mission you do. The same “why” for being with us. We’re regularly called a cult and it’s a thing I embrace.
If giving a shit about people makes us a cult then bring it on. The cult of giving a shit is something I’ll gladly be a part of.
To any of my current or past members reading this, I’ll just say thank you for bringing who you are and making the gym what it is.
And to members and non members alike, I’ll ask;
If you were to put a message in a bottle to yourself in the future, what would you write? If you had 30 seconds to scribble it out, what would you tell your future self? What are your fitness goals and why?
Write it to me.
Open an email draft, type it in, and send it to me at email@example.com
And if five years, or five months, or five minutes from now, you need to hear your words again, ask me for them. I’ll keep them all.
If you want to have a chat in person we always have room in the calendar for people looking to make positive changes in their lives. Click here to book an appointment any time