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Women & Fitness: Attracting Women to Come Back to the Gym – Enhancing Membership Beyond the Walls

December 2021

Since the pandemic, women have been slower to return to the gym than men.

The Next Fitness Consumer Report, a study undertaken in June 2021, showed that women are statistically returning less to health clubs/big-box gyms, in-person personal training, sports activities, and studios. However, they were still wanting to maintain fitness, enjoy exercise and get their daily reps in.

As gyms and clubs closed, the world adapted to in-home activities. People purchased and used equipment in their homes, attended online virtual and broadcast classes, and used the outdoors as their natural gym. This enabled members to abide by COVID-19 regulations and saved them $’s every month. As gyms re-open, how do gym owners encourage members, especially females, to come back?

For gym owners gaining and retaining female members looks different than it did two years ago. Encourage women to return by demonstrating that you understand their changing needs and are willing to adapt, grow, and create a membership that works for them.

woman takes virtual fitness classThe survey results showed that women like the social aspect of attending a gym, so when welcoming women back through the doors, gyms, and clubs must instantly create a welcoming atmosphere – it’s a key initial factor for new membership uptake and member retention. In addition, the survey highlighted that many women stated a digital membership trial would also encourage them to join.

Creating a community that delivers physical and mental wellness can deliver growth.

Offering ‘woman only’ classes that allow female members to participate in the gym and from their home reassures female members that their chosen gym is meeting them where they are. Aside from delivering a 24/7 element of fitness, offering a multitude of in-person and at-home social activities showcases a nurturing side of a gym membership. Demonstrating that their club of choice is not just about physical wellbeing but also offers an element of mental wellbeing.

Your members often enjoy social activities that deliver fun interactions. Developing a fitness program that means members can have community while enjoying a cardio workout encourages participation. Consider themed sessions using music or calendarial dates, add a social element to the after hour of a class, invite health and wellbeing speakers to the club.

Gyms cannot sustain on ‘what’s worked in the past’ but need to take charge of their future. Creating a community hub that delivers physical and mental wellness to all its members, whether they’re coming in person to the gym or working out at home, is vital to increasing membership in 2022.