Member Experience

Motivate Gym Members with Fun Incentives and Challenges

Use creative incentives and fun challenges to motivate gym members, creating a unique and profitable membership experience.

Sam Karoll
September 12, 2022
Motivate Gym Members with Fun Incentives and Challenges
Use creative incentives and fun challenges to motivate gym members, creating a unique and profitable membership experience.

Finding new and creative ways to motivate gym members with incentives and challenges is vital, especially after they’ve been coming to your gym for awhile. Ultimately, this will set you apart from the competition, reduce cancellations, drive referrals and increase revenue.

The key is to identify your members’ goals, preferences and opportunities. The possibilities to cleverly motivate them are endless and this is a great opportunity to think outside the box, or use existing ideas and make them your own.

Here are some fun ways to motivate gym members and increase participation:

1. Create a Rewards Program.

People love a good rewards program, whether they need motivation or appreciation for the things they’re already doing. It’s especially motivating from a company they love: Your gym. The setup can be simple, especially if you have intuitive gym management software. Make a creative list of ways they can earn points and think about rewards that would be beneficial to them. Don’t forget to mention the results of exercising consistently as a reward! Then simply launch the program and watch your attendance numbers grow.

Fitness challenges to motivate gym members

2. Celebrate Birthdays.

When it comes to birthdays, most people love to be showered with gifts. Offering an incentive for your gym members on their birthday is a small way to personalize their experience and shows that you care. Whether it’s bonus points in a rewards program or a discount on products, you’ve provided a positive experience and celebrate their day.

3. Offer Community Challenges.

Community challenges are an effective and easy way to motivate members and an opportunity to connect with other people at your gym. Challenges can be as simple or complex as you like, from attending as many classes as possible to body fat loss to performance-based milestones. Think about the products and services your gym offers, and get creative with how you can incorporate them into your challenges. Need some help? Here are some fun fitness challenge ideas for your gym.

4. Provide Fun Giveaways.

People love free stuff. One more time for the people in the back: People love free stuff. Chances are, if you’re giving something away at your gym, you’ll generate some interest. Focus on the things that really motivate your members: If they love your brand, give away things that have your name and logo on it. (Note that this also gets you some free advertising out in the community). If they love the supplements you sell, give away a gift card. If they want to invite friends, give away an extended guest pass for a buddy. With giveaways, you’re only limited by your imagination and your budget.

5. Engage the Environment.

Sometimes, you just need a change of scenery. The location and demographics of your gym may be a factor but every so often, if you’re able to motivate gym members by “taking your show on the road,” you can really have some fun. Whether you do an outdoor workout at a local park or choose a member’s place of business to host an on-site class, variety can often be a good motivator. In addition, this is sometimes a unique opportunity for members to invite friends. Since the environment is new to everyone, this can sometimes lower the intimidation factor for prospective members.

Change environment to motivate gym members

6. Build Healthy Habits.

What most people don’t realize is that a healthy lifestyle is so much more than just attending class at your gym. You can set yourself apart from the competition and motivate your members by helping them develop healthy habits around things like nutrition, hydration, stress-management, energy levels, sleep, etc. One of the simplest ways to start is to run a nutrition challenge. Build programs - and revenue - by conveying the importance of each piece of the wellness puzzle, not just class attendance. This is a game-changer for their fitness journey and will keep them at your gym for years to come.

7. Invite Friends and Family.

Statistically, people are much more likely to start - and stick with - a fitness plan when they do it with a friend. At first, it simply makes the new experience less intimidating. But down the road, the accountability of having a fitness partner is invaluable. Motivate gym members to bring a friend by offering an extended guest pass or incorporating the invites into a challenge. Create bring-a-friend events that are designed specifically around creating an unforgettable experience for visitors. These are simple and inexpensive ways to get your members’ friends and family as excited about your gym as they are.

Incentivizing and motivating your gym members can be extremely beneficial and profitable. Every gym is unique, so combine your specific products, services, culture, community and more to get creative and motivate gym members. Use the list above to come up with a strategy to increase participation in your gym and reward members for their effort. Find out what your customers want and what their barriers are, then design some fun options to create an extraordinary membership experience.

Sam Karoll

Sam is our Community Manager for PushPress. He also owns and operates Xplore Nutrition, a personalized nutrition coaching service designed "for your lifestyle and goals by a Coach who's always available."

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