Member retention is a slippery slope. When it gets out of hand, it makes marketing your gym feel like a losing battle. You know how it goes; you bring in five new members this month, but you lose three. Next month, you bring in eight new members, but you lose five. This pattern can go on and on if not properly addressed. Besides life changes like moving or getting a new job, it’s usually the same five reasons that cause members to quit your gym. In today’s post, we’ll share the most common reasons why members leave a gym and give you easy-to-implement suggestions for combating them.

Members Don’t Feel Like They’re Making Progress

Working out consistently is hard. It takes a steady supply of motivation to keep showing up each day. With that, once someone starts to see progress or results, motivation comes a little easier. More motivation drives better results, and better results drive more motivation.

In the beginning, too many gyms expect members to find their own motivation. Unfortunately, that’s a mistake. Gyms that know this have better member retention because they help their members set personal fitness goals. Then, they give their members workout tracking tools to make monitoring progress easy.

Since workout tracking displays historical data of a member’s workouts, it’s easy to show your members they are making progress. With workout tracking, coaches and trainers also have access to member data and can help members monitor their progress. With these tools in place, members have a much better chance of maintaining motivation and staying with your gym.

Members Don’t Feel Like They Belong

Another one of the many reasons why members leave a gym is they feel like they don’t fit in. One way to help members stay motivated is by helping them feel like they belong within your gym community. A strong, inclusive and welcoming community improves retention by adding an element of accountability and support. Gym owners who know this work to strengthen their communities so members feel like they belong. In turn, their member retention improves.

Your Class Times or Gym Hours Don’t Meet Their Needs

It’s not uncommon for someone to want to join your gym even though your class times or hours aren’t optimal for them. They usually plan to leave work an hour early a few times a week to make the class they want. Unfortunately, they’re rarely able to get out on time. Or, they hope to set their alarm and get a workout in before getting the kids up for school, but the reality is they just can’t.

Of course, you can’t meet the needs of everyone, but gym owners who monitor their business metrics with their gym membership software can see trends in class attendance. Shifting class times and staff coverage when needed can often help you better serve your members and improve retention.

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Members Don’t Feel Like You Appreciate Them

As a gym owner, you are a service provider. Just like any other service-based business, customers will form their opinion of your gym based on how you make them feel. If they feel valued and appreciated, they will see your gym much more favorably than if they feel like they’re just a number. Gym owners who know this work to make their members feel important.

One way you can do this is by taking the time to get to know your members. Even better is to find reasons to celebrate them. It’s easy to use your member management software to run reports for member birthdays and gym anniversaries. You can also use workout tracking to recognize and celebrate important fitness accomplishments. By being in tune with your members, you’ll help them feel important and keep them around longer.

Payments are a Hassle 

Your members are busy. They don’t want to track you down to pay their monthly membership fees. Instead, the process of paying you must be easy and automatic. If you haven’t automated your billing and payment collection process yet, you have to do that immediately if possible where you operate. Automated billing saves you time and money while being extremely convenient for your members. Gyms that move from a manual payment process to an automated one collect more money and keep their members happy.

Member retention is always a challenge for gym owners, but it gets easier to manage when you know why your members are leaving and work to address those issues and the best gym software can help.


Explore our free guide to learn more about member retention strategies at your gym.

Gym Member Retention Warning Signs