When it comes to retaining new members, it’s logical to assume that the more they financially invest in their fitness at the outset, the more “invested” they’ll be in maintaining it.
It stands to reason that the more you can persuade them to invest in the retail fitness items you sell at your gym – particularly when their initial enthusiasm is high – the better chance you have of retaining them as members. Not only because of the financial investment they’ve made, but because these items can help them achieve their fitness goals and maintain them over time.
Here are three products you should recommend, ranging in price from low to high.
Protein powder supplements
New members – especially those who aren’t used to working out – need more protein in their diets as they become more physically active. Without sufficient dietary protein, the body can start breaking down its own muscle tissue for energy (which is self-defeating for anyone hoping to build muscle).
Ordering protein powder supplements for retail purposes is a smart move any time of the year. These items are specifically formulated to prevent what we described above – and to offer other benefits as well.
For example, your members might also find themselves hungrier than before they started working out, and tempted to consume carbs, putting back all the calories they worked so hard to burn off. Protein powder offers a great defense, since it dulls hunger pangs and offsets sugar cravings.
Nor is it just for people hoping to get “ripped.” Sure, it strengthens muscles and bones. But in the long term the amino acids in a high quality protein supplement can help stave off diabetes, heart disease and certain other age-related issues.
Suggest protein powder as a convenient way to make sure all of your members reach their daily protein intake goals. It’s particularly good for time-crunched members who may not be able to get 3-4 servings of protein-rich whole foods each day.
A gram of protein per pound of body weight is the norm, but talk to your member about their goals (building muscle and/or losing weight) and how active they plan to be. Offer your expertise to help them calculate the optimum amount.
Heart rate monitor
A heart rate monitor, typically more affordable than an elaborate multi-function fitness tracker, is a great tool for keeping members engaged in their cardio fitness and maximizing their workout effectiveness.
Explain to your members that maintaining the correct target heart rate during a workout is crucial to them getting the most benefit. A heart rate monitor makes it simple and they sell well in a retail space when recommended by a trusted advisor. Models such as EKHO’s E-15 have an audible and visual target alarm to let the wearer know if they are under or over their target heart rate zone, so they can speed up or slow down as necessary.
Although there’s no agreement on exact numbers, the general consensus among professionals is that training between and 50 and 70 percent of maximum heart rate is good for promoting general fitness. Beginners are advised to stick closer to that lower number, maintaining a heart rate that is 50 to 65 percent of their maximum. (You can offer your assistance helping new members determine their maximum heart rate.)
Users can also monitor their resting heart rate. With regular exercise, over time they should see that resting heart rate go down, evidence of a stronger, healthier heart (which needs to pump less to circulate the blood).
It’s not unusual for a gym member to purchase a Vitamix blender for their own pleasure but best of all, it’ll boost your profits! Your goal as an owner or manager is to have them buy it from you – providing them not just a great blender, but a source for nutritional advice (i.e., you and your staff), and a built-in support community. Your business enjoys the profit from the sale, plus ongoing opportunities to sell related items such as protein powder.
With its price tag, a Vitamix blender is not an impulse buy. But when you help a member visualize the health benefits of owning one – reinforced with examples from your own life – they’ll see the expense is well worth it.
You can also explain to a new member that juices and smoothies (such as a morning smoothie with whey protein you may also be selling) are just the start of the healthy foods they can make with a Vitamix blender. People use them for everything from chopped veggies to DIY flour to dessert toppings.
Help your members realize that a Vitamix in the kitchen transforms healthy food preparation from a cumbersome chore into an exciting learning experience and, eventually, a lifestyle. Which will complement, not undermine, all the hard work they’re doing at your gym.