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Why Your Health Club Should Be Run More Like A Dojo

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Andy GrahamAndy Graham

Why your health club should be run more like a dojo... or, "I'll rest when the IHRSA statistic of '2-4% of members' represents the percentage of members not working with a coach/trainer."

I'm positioning the conclusion of this article at the very beginning so I have your full attention. If you want greater profitability per square foot in your health club, a greater return per training dollar, much higher retention, a community that loves you, members who want to become your employees and ambassadors and to know that the vast majority of people who walk through your door are physically better and more capable than before they entered, then your club should be run more like a dojo.

What is a dojo, just in case you don't know? Wikipedia says a dojo is, "a school or practice hall where karate, judo, or other martial arts are taught."

Disclaimer: I realize that people join clubs for a myriad of reasons; training, weight loss, community, stress-release, and each of these reasons are valid. This article is not suggesting that large clubs cannot serve their members as well as small clubs. What this article is suggesting is, whether large or small, by far the majority of all new members signing a membership agreement in almost every fitness facility around this globe have specific goals in mind and specific needs required to meet those goals. For that same vast majority of members, the money and time invested has little or no return. Or, maybe I should say the psychological benefits of their memberships greatly outweigh the physical benefits.

Does this describe your club? "Everyone that walks in our door has one or more fitness goals in mind, and they've come to us because they don't have either the knowledge or discipline to do it on their own. What kind of business would we be if we simply gave them access to the tools but left them alone to figure it out? How successful would they be? How successful would we be?" This quote came from Rick Mayo of NorthPoint Fitness, but the same message (almost verbatim) came from the lips of everyone that I interviewed on this subject. For the record, that would be:

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