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Les Mills Asia Pacific spotlights three potential dangers to fitness clubs

Les Mills Asia Pacific spotlights three potential dangers to fitness clubs
May 17, 2022

Les Mills Asia Pacific has highlighted that while many fitness businesses were thriving pre-pandemic, suddenly many are closing from having lost the battle with the ever-changing uncertainties, due to an inability to 'pivot', or a lack of response to its members’ new needs.

In the Les Mills 2021 Global Fitness Report, Les Mills Executive Director Phillip Mills notes “across every industry, COVID-19 has forced businesses to re-think their go-to-market strategy. For fitness providers, this has meant ripping up the rulebook and using the pandemic as the catalyst for a completely new approach to meeting people’s fitness needs.”

The Global Fitness Report found that tapping into consumer demand for live fitness experiences by funnelling more members into group fitness can level-up a club’s recovery. Previously, the Les Mills Groupness Study found members’ experiences increased levels of individual enjoyment, exertion and satisfaction from fitness classes – dubbed ‘the group effect’ – explaining why group fitness participants are among the most valuable type of member that clubs can have. By staying longer and pulling in more new members, group fitness members form the bedrock of a successful club – driving both retention and acquisition.

In the current pandemic-affected landscape, fitness clubs need to be aware of the following three key dangers they may be at risk of, this year (and beyond).

Danger 1. Your classes are not available in the way your members want them to be

Insights from the 2021 Global Fitness Report showed 65% of gym prospects say offering quality live (in-person) or virtual (on-demand and/or live-streamed) classes would encourage them to join a facility. Among members, 85% are interested in trying a live group fitness class in their facility, while 80% aim to use both digital workouts (40% of the time) to complement their live classes in the gym (60% of the time). It makes sense therefore, that the way you do things and what you offer must also change, in order for your fitness business to succeed in this new landscape.

Danger 2. You’re not retaining or attracting ‘Rockstar Instructors’

When it comes to winning new members, 30% of club prospects say “a good atmosphere” is a key factor in choosing a gym to join, while 59% say staff are also a consideration. Two-thirds of prospects say the presence of quality classes would encourage them to join a facility.

Live fitness classes are the single most popular gym-type activity and for members, the quality of the Instructor is the single most important factor when choosing a group fitness class; 40% of class participants look for an Instructor who coaches intelligently. Additionally, the presence of a great Instructor makes members 2.5 times more likely to refer their friends to the club.

Les Mills Asia Pacific suggest that what this illustrates, is that the quality of your team has a direct impact on member attraction and retention, as well as class attendance. As such, Les Mills Asia Pacific asks “what are you actively doing to recruit and retain the ‘cream of the Instructor crop’?”

Danger 3. Your equipment is letting you down

Research has shown that great equipment is considered one of the top two reasons as to why people attend their fitness facility, with 33% saying equipment is a key factor for choosing a gym and 22% saying the quality of equipment is a key factor for choosing a class. This confirms that your fitness equipment plays a critical role because its quality directly impacts your members’ group fitness experience; clarifying that equipment is not a sunken cost but rather, an opportunity to grow your business by enhancing the member experience.

Les Mills Asia Pacific provides the Ultimate Group Fitness Solution to help avoid or overcome all of these dangers. To explore these solutions in more depth visit  or contact your local Business Partnership Manager in Australia or Southeast Asia.

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