Local gyms look to retain members who stick with fitness plans

2013-03-30T11:14:00Z 2013-04-01T10:16:03Z Local gyms look to retain members who stick with fitness plansBy Diane Poulton Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 30, 2013 11:14 am  • 

A common New Year's resolution is working out to lose weight.

Often, as the weather warms in March, those good intentions melt away with the snow, causing attendance at local health clubs to dip.

Jane Bogordos, exercise physiologist and fitness supervisor for Franciscan Omni Health and Fitness, said its big boom in health club attendance is in January.

“In December, everybody buys memberships for their spouses or themselves, so January is our biggest and busiest month,” Bogordos said. “That is what frustrates our regular members because they can’t get on any equipment. By March we won’t see those people any more. They are all excited at first but then they die down and the regular members are happy.”

Bogordos said she doesn’t have specific numbers.

“But you can definitely see volume decrease from January to March,” Bogordos said. “It slows down a little, but we are always busy in here. People get gung-ho at first and they get busy in their days so that it doesn’t become a priority for them.”

Jared Tomich, who owns seven Fuel Fitness Centers in Lake County and Illinois, said the gyms’ biggest month is February.

“It used to be January with people making resolutions,” Tomich said. “As the weather gets a little bit warmer people start to go outside and attendance starts to drop. Last year when the weather was 80 degrees on St. Patrick’s Day, attendance dropped earlier than it normally would.”

Tomich said the answer to increasing attendance does not lie in a membership drive.

“It is trying to retain the members that we have and keeping them active,” Tomich said. “One of our philosophies is that if we keep members more active in the club, they are going to have results and they are going to stay active and remain members for years and not just for one season.”

Tomich said Fuel Fitness regularly switches the classes being offered and introduces some new classes.

“I think one of the biggest problems for folks with health, fitness and wellness is the daily monotony,” Tomich said. “People get bored. We try to have a wide selection of different activities; that is one of the biggest keys for us.”

At its seven locations, Tomich said, Fuel Fitness offers 530 classes a month.

Bogordos said Franciscan Omni has more than 68 exercise classes weekly including aquatics.

“What we do a re-launch every quarter on a Saturday,” Bogordos said. “It’s a four- or five-hour deal. We put out the new routines and if we have any new classes to offer we showcase them.”

Bogordos’ advice is for clients to reevaluate their goals.

“I think a lot of times people fail because their goals are too vague, like wanting to eat better or move more. You have to be more specific.”

Also, Bogordos said, people set goals that are hard to achieve.

“I say I want to lose 20 pounds by March and it is January,” Bogordos said. “If I don’t get there, I’m going to feel like a failure and I am going to quit.”

She suggests making smaller more attainable goals.

“This is my favorite thing to tell people,” Bogordos said.

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