Weight Loss Challenge

How to Run a Weight Loss Challenge at Your Facility

Interested in running a weight loss challenge at your facility? Read our own Case Study and get the inside look at how Team ELIVATE got healthy in 2015!

January can be one of the best months for you and your gym because of an influx of potential members with weight management goals for the New Year. Your current clients and their friends (Possibly your soon-to-be clients!) are already prepped and ready to hear about healthy weight loss and weight management goals, thanks to those delightful and inspiring New Year’s resolutions they’ve made.

How can you actively inspire commitment to your clients’ weight management goals? Step one is to make sure that your facility is clean, updated and ready to accommodate a rush of new members. To set yourself apart from other gyms, follow our advice for encouraging member camaraderie and healthy weight loss at the same time.

Advocate the “New Year, New You” Weight Management Resolutions

Want to set yourself apart from the competition? Get your clients excited about those weight loss resolutions with a “New Year, New You” weight loss challenge.

The competitive edge of a weight loss challenge is enough to get anyone going. And what better way to inspire your clients and their friends, than by offering a group activity that also involves a little good-natured competition where everyone wins by losing weight? Add in a grand prize for the overall winner and you’ve got yourself a sure-fire attraction for clients, friends and fitness newbies.

The added benefit of running a weight-loss challenge is bulking up your gym’s bottom line. By bringing in new members for the challenge, you can expose them to all the great things your gym has to offer like classes, personal trainers, massage therapy, a pro shop, and fitness equipment.

Bring energy and excitement to your weight loss challenge

To keep up new member morale, incorporate one free class or personal training session for all the weight loss challenge participants once a month as long as they’re losing weight. The participant not only succeeds in the challenge but also becomes willing to pay for continued personal training sessions when the weight loss challenge ends.

How to run a weight loss challenge – your essential checklist

Running a challenge can be a huge win for you, your clients and your gym. The key is preparation and making sure you’ve defined the challenge well enough for your participants. Set up your weight loss challenge using the following guidelines:

Make a clear schedule for your weight loss challenge

Is your challenge quarterly? Six months? A year? Whichever dates you pick, make sure you have enough activities and motivation from start to finish.

Running a contest for 2 consecutive weeks will not produce the same results as a three-month long challenge, so be conscious of your members’ goals and do your best to guide healthy expectations.

Clearly define weigh in and weigh out guidelines for members

The best way to measure success between participants is through body fat percentage versus a number on the scale. Whichever weight loss recording method you choose, it must stay the same throughout the challenge.

Be sensitive to members’ feelings and make sure that no one feels intimidated or left out by your recording method. Private weigh in sessions are necessary and your staff should keep records to themselves—sharing member information with other members or those not associated with the weight loss challenge should be avoided at all costs.

Explore a group weight loss challenge

Decide if your challenge will be held as individual participation or as teams. If you allow teams to join, define the number per team and how you will determine success. Talk to your clients and see if they have a preference between individual competition or team participation.

Determine a reasonable fee

Setting the fee for your weight loss challenge is important. Make sure it’s enough to cover any marketing (t-shirts, advertising, prizes, party) and any staffing (classes or training). The key is to make the price point low enough to bring in challengers, but high enough to encourage their commitment and cover your costs.

And the winner is…

So what will those prizes be? Consider making your grand prize a three-month membership or free classes, as those items will come at a lower cost to you than cash or gift cards. Whatever the prize, consider your audience—mostly female or male? Young or old? Adjust the prize to appeal to your demographic.

If you partner with local businesses or restaurants, consider asking for a prize donation and in return marketing their services throughout your facility and the duration of the weight loss challenge.

Spread the word about your weight loss challenge

Getting your local media involved in the challenge is a great way to get people talking about your gym. Find your local health magazine or dial up the health editor at your paper or online publication and ask them to cover your participant’s transformations.

Social media posts about your weight loss challenge will not only drive members to your door, but also inspire others with similar New Year’s resolutions. With your clients’ permissions, post success stories and fun training sessions as a way to share the experience with those outside of your facility.

Use this weight loss challenge as another opportunity to build your presence online: ask participants to share photos and stories of themselves while tagging your gym and personal trainers. Clients may be eager to share their successes and your facility will receive more publicity and potentially new clients.

Your challenge should emphasize healthy weight management goals as well as fun and active participation. Don’t lose sight of the fun aspect during the challenge—your facility has to keep spirits high despite results.

Start 2015 off right by running a weight loss challenge that blends in perfectly with your clients’ New Year’s resolutions. If you have had success with a past challenge in your facility, let us know any tips in the comments!

Looking for weight loss-specific products? Browse our selection of weight loss equipment members can use in personal training sessions or by themselves.
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