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Valerie Applebaum



Article Archive

How to Prevent Overtraining

April 27, 2016

While the majority of exercisers are healthy individuals with a positive view of themselves, a few use fitness as a means of perpetuating compulsive, obsessive exercise patterns. In fact, according to the American Council on Exercise, about 1%–3% of the population experience some degree of exercise addiction (Matthews 2009). Overtraining—or overexercising—is fairly common.

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Upgrade Relationships and Upgrade Retention

August 28, 2013

Many fitness facilities focus on getting new members in the door, providing a basic orientation and setting them free—free to slowly lose interest in attaining their fitness goals and coming to the gym. This pattern occurs frequently, affecting the facility’s attrition rate.

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Focus on Fitness Assessments

May 23, 2013

As a facility owner or manager, you know that ongoing monitoring can be essential if you want to contribute to your members’ fitness and wellness for the long term (Goldman 2012). A significant way to help people succeed in their fitness goals is to provide ongoing fitness assessments: measurements and tests that combine to determine an individual’s physical fitness.

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Purchasing Used Fitness Equipment

March 21, 2013

Exercise equipment ranks high on the list of fitness facility costs. From navigating the maze of manufacturers to negotiating price and financing options, purchasing equipment for your club is a complex process.

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Goals + Incentives = Client Loyalty

January 24, 2013

Retention, retention, retention. The fitness industry is continually seeking better ways to retain members. The problem is that many facilities simply bring new members in the door, provide a basic orientation and set them free—free to slowly lose interest in attaining their fitness goals and coming to the gym. This occurs frequently. In fact, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, the membership attrition rate is currently 34.5% a year (IHRSA 2012)!

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Prevent Overtraining

January 21, 2013

While the majority of exercisers are healthy individuals with a positive view of themselves, a few people use fitness as a means of perpetuating compulsive, obsessive exercise patterns. In fact, according to the American Council on Exercise, about 1%–3% of the population experience some degree of exercise addiction (Matthews 2009). Overtraining–or overexercising–is common at nearly all health clubs.

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Operation: Motivation

November 9, 2012

Retention, retention, retention. The fitness industry is continually seeking bigger and better ways to retain members.

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Raising Happy, Healthy Kids

September 5, 2012

You have probably read a lot about how today’s children are more overweight and obese than kids in past generations. But hearing actual statistics about the United States’ childhood obesity epidemic can be shocking.

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Fresh-Air Fitness

June 1, 2012

Treadmills, ellipticals, indoor cycling classes—sometimes the same old thing becomes, well, old. To alleviate the boredom that can set in—and that ultimately reduces members’ motivation to exercise—many facility owners and managers are shaking up their programming by taking their clients outdoors.

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Give Your Facility a Mind-Body Makeover

April 3, 2012

Your club has cardiovascular equipment, free weights, fitness classes, experienced personal trainers: everything anyone could desire for achieving an optimal physique. That’s great! However, it is now time to go beyond just yoga and Pilates.

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Multicultural Marketing

January 30, 2012

The United States is experiencing profound demographic changes, and if fitness centers want to remain successful they must take these changes into account. Minority groups are increasing in size?on their way to becoming the majority of the American population.

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Managing Peak Crowds at Your Facility

January 25, 2012

Peak exercise times occur both seasonally and daily. How do you keep your members happy during these busy periods? Seasonally, the most crowded times are from January through March, when individuals are working on their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, and again from September through October, when children are going back to school and many mothers have time to start a workout program. On a daily basis, fitness facilities tend to be most crowded before the regular workday, during lunchtime and after work.

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Managing Peak Times at Your Facility

November 22, 2011

We’ve all seen it. The eye-rolling, the foot-tapping, the loud sighing as the member who is waiting in line for the much-sought-after cardio machine stares at the clock. This scene is all too common during peak exercise times at any health club. The lines for the treadmills and elliptical machines get longer and longer, and the group exercise classes get more and more crowded.

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Staffing for Success

September 6, 2011

The high turnover rate among fitness industry staff is not news. In many cases, staff seem to be coming and going through a revolving door! Having a high-end fitness center with fancy amenities, décor and equipment is ideal, but if your staff is unable to meet client expectations, you will struggle to maintain memberships and meet your revenue goals. The good news is that your facility doesn’t need to operate like this.

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Turning Pools Into Profits

May 30, 2011

Fitness centers invest a significant amount of their budgets in maintaining the pool, but they do not necessarily receive an adequate return on this investment. In some cases, the pool is viewed as merely a value-added amenity to reinforce a positive member experience. Other than for occasional lap swimming and water classes for older adults, most gym pools are not being used to their full potential. It’s time to focus on the profit-generating power of the pool and increase pool usage.

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Risk Management

March 28, 2011

We all understand that accidents happen. Unfortunately, in the fitness industry, lawsuits happen as well. And it takes only one small incident to put you out of business.

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Optimizing Amenities

January 31, 2011

Look around your facility. All fitness center operators want to keep pace with advances in our industry and, in doing so, operate a diverse facility that appeals to a broad demographic. Establish your facility as a unique place to work out by making available the newest amenities—specifically in the areas of equipment, flooring and the locker room.

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Maintaining a Competitive Edge

November 18, 2010

As fitness professionals, we must provide our members with the best and most innovative environment in which to achieve their health goals. This mission means keeping current on all the latest in equipment, training aids, operational systems and facility design. Ideally, the environment and the particular tools and equipment you offer should motivate people to behave in certain desired ways&mdash:specifically, to spend more money, stay longer and refer friends to your club. By assisting members in achieving their own fitness goals, you in turn achieve your business goals.

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Guerrilla Marketing: Strategies and Benefits

October 21, 2010

Business competition is at an all-time high, and traditional marketing isn’t getting the response rate it used to. The good news is that guerrilla marketing can help. It is a low- or no-cost form of marketing that can reap substantial profits if implemented correctly. It often involves unconventional and nontraditional ideas that cost very little to execute, so there is not much risk involved.

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