7 Great Fitness Chains and What You Can Learn From Them

Americans have never had a wider choice of gyms and fitness clubs. From Pilates to functional fitness and free weights training, you can find a fitness chain to suit your needs. The best fitness chains in the business provide a combination of convenience, ambiance, creative services, and technology-focused solutions. 

Fitness chains can vary massively. From budget-friendly big box gyms to more expensive boutique fitness options, what makes some of the best fitness chains so popular? There are many elements that contribute to a successful fitness business. Here, we look at 11 great fitness chains and what you can learn from them. Skip ahead to:

Fitness Chains: What Will the Future Look Like?

After a year where many people have been cooped up indoors, lockdowns continue all around the world. But the promise of a vaccine could ease restrictions gradually and open up the world to a little normalcy. Despite the coronavirus restricting gym capacity and, in some cases, shutting fitness companies entirely, the fitness industry continues to find creative ways to engage members and generate revenue. 

Virtual workouts, digital fitness, and online personal training have gained immense popularity and continue to grow. Fitness chains are fully aware of the opportunity digital fitness presents to the industry. The online shift in the fitness industry could be a permanent change. Many fitness chains have grown into a hybrid business and look to retain the virtual element of their business even after the coronavirus pandemic. 

The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the adoption of digital home fitness and acceptance of a hybrid business model. Fitness businesses who are struggling with declining gym membership numbers have quickly adapted to hugely popular on-demand and live streaming workouts. It’s time to go hybrid or get left behind.

The Fitness Founders Podcast has an interesting episode on how technology is shaping the future of fitness. Bryan O’Rourke, the President of the Fitness Industry Technology Council talks about the growing influence of technology in fitness, how major tech companies are moving into the space, and what operators need to do to stay competitive. 


What Makes a Fitness Chain Successful? 

Some of the most successful fitness chains are widely different from one another. They all attract and retain members in the long-term. They have loyal customers who choose to renew their membership. So, what makes a fitness chain successful and stand out from the competition? Here are four factors that contribute to that success

Member Experience 

Great gyms come in all shapes and sizes with varying specialties. As an increasingly health-conscious nation, the fitness industry has a big opportunity for growth. The member experience is often at the core of a successful fitness business: excellent customer service and member experience equal satisfied and happy members. Happy members are loyal and love your brand and services. 

Attitude and Mindset 

The business owner and employees’ attitude and mindset create the type of atmosphere that will attract your ideal members. It’s the foundation of a good fitness community and helps to create an inviting and friendly environment. Your mindset trickles down into all parts of your business. It’s what will give you the power to create the very best experience for your members. It goes without saying that fantastic fitness classes and equipment are attractive to members. But the way you deliver classes and how you operate your business will set the tone for how members feel when they visit you. 

Financial Management 

A good fitness chain needs to generate revenue. To build a successful business, you need to manage your gym’s finances. The financial aspect of your fitness center is key as you are running a business. Having a diverse range of services, meeting consumer demand, keeping your team motivated, and streamlining your sales and business processes all help to manage your finances in the long-term. During the coronavirus pandemic, many fitness brands shifted to a digital way of working to maintain memberships and continue to generate revenue. The ability to pivot and adapt to changing consumer priorities is essential for future success. 

Health Club Staff Culture 

Your employees are the heart and soul of your business. It’s the people your members are interacting with. The staff culture is incredibly important when it comes to your business. Great fitness chains have a fantastic working culture that members can feel. Something as simple as being greeted by name and seeing your staff interact in a friendly manner can improve the overall member experience. 


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