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Incentives to Improve Client and Member Motivation

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When executed properly, clever contests and incentive plans can provide effective means for keeping customers focused on their goals. That means greater success for clients—and a healthier bottom line for you. Here are some contest and incentive success stories from your fellow IDEA members:

  • This year the most successful contest I ran at the worksite was the Make It Happen Team Activity Challenge. The Make It Happen team could be 3–5 people who had to exercise for at least two 15-minute bouts a day to receive 1 point—or 30 minutes or more once a day. Workouts could be walks, strength training or any cardio modality. Anyone who worked out for 30 minutes in 1 day logged 1 point. If teammates worked together, they each got an additional point, depending on the number of teammates working out together: double points for two people, triple for three people, etc. In the end, all individual points were added for a team total. Players soon discovered the value of teamwork and began to hold themselves accountable for working out with the team. It drove workouts, team spirit and trust. Each winner received $50 cash. The contest lasted 8 weeks. The next contest I ran, people signed up without my having even announced the incentive.

    Danielle Vindez,

    Redondo Beach, California

  • We have our own version of The Biggest Loser, but we call ours the Biggest Winner 12-Week Challenge, based on the same formula the TV show uses. The winner receives a lifetime family gym membership and a $1,000 personal training package; second prize is a $500 clothing allowance; and third prize is a $250 American Express gift card.

    Susan Singer,
    Southampton, New Jersey

  • I have offered community weight loss contests where the winner kept
    all the money raised. To enter, everyone paid a registration fee. We then had weekly weigh-ins where everyone paid a nominal fee. The “biggest loser” of the week didn’t have to pay. At the end of the set period, whoever lost the greatest percentage got to keep the pot! The first winner won over $1,000. The next time I did it, the winner won over $700—and he gave back everyone’s registration fee for helping him be competitive and win.

    Shari Rutner Kalkstein,

    Davie, Florida

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

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