COVID-19 and Gym Memberships: How to Keep Your Members Engaged Outside of the Gym
Current coronavirus measures are impacting gyms and health clubs. In some areas, governments have mandated that gyms need to close temporarily, along with restaurants and certain other businesses. Also, we are seeing guidelines to stay away from gatherings larger than 10 people, which could be interpreted as a call to stay away from gym classes and busy times at the gym. Your gym may even voluntarily decide to close like many others have done.
For these reasons and members’ own preferences of staying away from the gym right now, it’s likely that gyms will face reduced activity at best or have to close their doors temporarily at worst. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to lose your members. Instead, try these creative ways to keep your members engaged while they’re away from the gym.
(If your gym does remain open, follow our post on gym cleanliness to prevent the spread of coronavirus.)
Provide Online Classes
If your gym has the means, you could continue to provide services to your members in an online capacity, just as schools are teaching children from home. This strategy gives a way to keep your staff working, by creating the videos or live streams, and to keep your members engaged, by following the videos at home.
If you decide to follow this approach, provide workouts that are easy to follow at home without equipment, such as floor exercises and bodyweight resistance training. You could decide whether to offer videos broadly through social media or your gym’s website, or whether to create private access for members only.
Offer Online Coaching
Consider providing fitness and nutrition coaching to your members at home. You could offer one-on-one coaching specific to each person’s needs and goals, which could be offered through video chat, phone calls, emails or other digital means.
Another option is to put together a course that many members can work through at the same time. You have the choice to create your own format for distributing it to members or to use one of the services designed to create and sell courses, such as Thinkific or Teachable.
Of course, the options are endless. You could provide both a course and one-on-one coaching. You could have more than one course with different focuses. What you do with this is up to you.
Provide Community and Support
One of the main challenges people are beginning to face is isolation from others and the reduction of social support. You can help provide a sense of community and support to your gym members in an online capacity. Keep your members interacting with each other and with your gym staff through an online community such as a private forum or Facebook group.
This tactic will help your members support each other on a social/personal level and also provides a platform to offer support, motivation and accountability while they exercise and work to stay healthy at home. You may even want to offer some sort of games, contests, competitions or other activities they can interact with to keep them engaged and connected to each other.
By providing ways to engage your members while they stay at home, you can help them get through this difficult time and keep them on as members of your gym. Also, you’ll increase the likelihood that they’ll feel a connection to your gym in particular and want to return to it when life goes back to normal.