“2017 Gold’s Gym Challenge – Finish STRONG!” By: Dave Kenyon


Okay all,

The time has come, and man did it fly by!  The first flight of the Challenge is finishing this week.  Is it me, or does every year seem to go a little faster??  Maybe it was the blizzard here in the northeast that we had to deal with, right in the middle of it!

Now that it’s upon us, don’t forget why you started it and got all those members excited back in January.  This is the score card of how well your members did in the Challenge; The results!!

Make sure your team is on point in calling every participant and getting them to finish, even if they didn’t do as well as they would have liked.  Hit your social media posts and get them as excited about finishing as they were to start.  As part of this preparation, be sure that you have the same people in place for the end measurements and photos that were there in the beginning.  Consistency is the key for them to get good results, so we should be consistent in our approach to document them.

Speaking of documenting things, I hear and see lots of social media posting in the document your journey contest. Keep your participants going with this as they get their results and brag on social media about how well they did.  People love to see and hear what others are doing as inspiration, so encourage everyone who finishes to post and talk about their experience in the Challenge.

This was only a sprint in the marathon of their healthy lifestyle journey.  Remind them of that and let them know that it’s okay not to be perfect in a short 12 weeks.  They worked as hard as their life and circumstances would allow, and they should be proud of what they accomplished.

Each year we see amazing changes in people’s bodies as well as their lives, and we can’t wait to see what this year’s results will bring.

Dave Kenyon

Thank you,
Dave Kenyon
Gold’s Gym Challenge Chairman, Gold’s Gym Dutchess County

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“IHRSA Will Be Next Week In Los Angeles and It’s Going To Be Great !” By: Bryan O’Rourke

imgThe many benefits of attending IHRSA, outside of GGFA’s awesome reception of course, include connecting with colleagues, seeing friends, meeting vendor partners, hearing great speakers and learning about the latest and greatest trends and exciting ideas that the health club industry is pursuing today.  For #IHRSA2017, this year in Los Angeles from March 8-11th, it’s going to be even better.

First check out the keynote speakers including Seth Mattison, Martin Lindstrom , Johnny Earle , and Soraya Dorabi . From brand marketing to technology and creating great experiences, these folks understand a lot and will be sharing valuable insights with all of us. There are also going to be some great educators and presenters from within our industry space (please consider attending my networking and technology roundtable on Thursday from 11:30 am – 12:45 pm, or you can attend one of my multimedia presentations Thursday afternoon from  3:30 – 4:30 pm or Friday morning at 7:40 am). Some great folks are going to be sharing details about how to, what to, and why to regarding everything in the health club industry.

Second, see the array of vendors available for you to peruse and explore, offering everything from new classes, different and innovative equipment, cool technologies and a host of other items and services to make your club become even better. This year there are more vendors than ever, so no matter what you’re interested in seeing or learning about, it’s at #IHRSA2017.

Third, check out the Industry Leadership Council (“ILC”) meetings at IHRSA this year. You may want to contact Meredith Poppler of IHRSA about it in advance. The PHIT ACT has a shot at passing this year, which I recently wrote about, and the ILC along with other organizations are behind this legislation. The meeting can fill you in on how gym memberships being tax deductible could be a huge windfall for us all. Get behind the #PHITACT so we can #PASSPHIT.

Finally, the GGFA hosts a cocktail reception for its franchisee members and as an appreciation celebration for its supplier members.  This is one event I love attending and really enjoy seeing all of you and sharing our love for the Gold’s brand and for the industry.

On a final note, of course we all support the Bash for Augie’s Quest to fight ALS which will be Friday evening at 6, and I know many of us will be there. What a great and important cause to support.

So what are you looking forward to at #IHRSA2017? If you need to see me there to catch up just tweet @bryankorourke and I’ll connect with you. Safe travels to LA and we’ll see you there!

unnamed-3Bryan O’Rourke is an executive, advisor, keynote speaker, author and investor, who has successfully consulted to and driven global brands for over 30 years. He is widely published and quoted in periodicals like Inc. Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and is CSO of a well-known Houston based health club chain. Join him at the IHRSA 2017 convention in Los Angeles March 9th and 10th where he will be presenting on the fitness and health club industry. Bryan along with the Fitness Industry Technology Council support the Fitness + Technology Podcast . Check it out today. He and his partners launched Vedere Ventures, a boutique private equity firm in 2016 . Get his recent book, 9 Partnership Principles, written with his partner Robert Dyer and other top fitness industry leaders. To learn more visit bryankorourke.com or follow him @bryankorourke .

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Gold’s Gym Challenge Message By: Dave Kenyon, Challenge Chairman


Dave Kenyon

Hello everyone,

All of your Challengers should be on their way and things should be “buzzing” in your clubs. There should be lots of members walking around with their Challenge shirts on, working out a little harder and a little longer to make changes.

Make good use of the different offerings that our sponsors have given us, as every tool will help our members make changes.

One of the tools is social media and the new “Document Your Journey”. This is a great addition to the Challenge as it brings technology into it and gets members to see each other’s progress and struggles. Nothing is better than knowing you are not alone in your pursuit of improvement. This makes the journey more tolerable for all involved as they see others going through the same things they are. The other great thing about the “Document Your Journey” campaign is that is keeps more people from quitting as they see how others are dealing with the exact same things as them and not giving up.

All of the other tools are helping also, as I see people with their Mio watches on, as well as utilizing the great products from Gambia.  Thank you to all the vendors involved this year! I’m hearing and seeing very good things.

This is our time to shine! Show them how good you are; get them involved in the club. This is who we are and what we do, Changing People’s Lives!!

Ya’ll are killing it!! Sorry that was Ginger coming out a bit.

Keep it up and stay tuned for more.

Thank you,

Dave Kenyon, Challenge Chairman



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“3 Ways To Retain Gym Members After the New Year’s Rush” By: Stephen Wilson, Marketing Manager, ASF Payment Solutions

ASF logoIt’s no surprise when a flurry of new members comes through the doors after the New Year. Whether it’s a resolution to lose weight, or a challenge to start the New Year healthier, it’s hard for new members to build the habits they need to keep coming to the gym. That new year’s rush is an opportunity for every gym to convert members who may not have the determination to keep going after the first few months and for you to create a healthy lifestyle for them. Let’s look at three ways to retain gym members after that rush.

Offer the right type of memberships2017keyemailimage

When setting up memberships for the New Year, consider that many new members will back off from their routines and fall to the wayside. Begin with a fitness assessment to determine a level of membership that best fits them. Be ready with several membership options that you can offer. It would also be good to include some incentives such as a limited number of hours with a trainer or group class. This is especially true because you want to get them quickly engaged, building habits, and get them into the workout mindset to continue as a long-term member instead of “3 months and done.” Once you both understand the incentives, goals and the commitment, you’ll be able to offer the appropriate gym membership level.

Encourage your members to set goals

From the moment a new member walks through the door, work with them to create a safe and comfortable environment. Start by talking to them about their goals, expectations and time commitment. Set three and six-month goals, regardless of how long their membership lasts. Re-evaluate these goals as they begin to make strides; change goals as necessary; and invest time in the personal relationship you’re establishing with your members. Introduce them to other members and make them feel welcome into your club community. You can also have trainers give them feedback on their goals that can turn into future training sessions down the road and additional club revenue.

Ongoing Member Engagement

Continue engaging members after they’ve been coming to your gym. Review their personal training sessions, group classes and general health club attendance through ASF’s My Reports to check their frequency of visits. Review their goals and cross-sell them on classes and personal training that compliments what they’re working on. Educate them on other equipment in the gym that gives them variety and makes sense with their workouts. Help them to fine-tune their workout plan. Members left alone tend to drift away and lose interest. You’re providing the “juice” and coaching to keep them engaged. This does not require an inordinate amount of time by your staff. Look at the member’s file when they check-in. Have the brief conversation, be sincere and give them the time they need.


Retaining members after the New Year’s rush doesn’t have to be difficult for your gym. By supporting these members in the subsequent months, you can build personal relationships by simply connecting with them the moment they enter your club. By doing so you’re demonstrating that you care about their health, their wellbeing, and want to help them achieve a more fulfilling lifestyle. When you engage members and start to build a relationship, you’re not only establishing good will, but also club community, which only increases your membership retention after the New Year rush.

 swsmallStephen Wilson
Marketing Manager

Click to download a FREE Trends in Member Enrollment eBook

Steve joined the ASF team as a veteran of marketing communications where he was Director of Creative Services at an advertising and public relations agency focusing on branding and strategic communications. He has worked in a wide variety of industries and concentrated on health and wellness for a number of years. His work on national marketing and advertising campaigns has earned him many accreditations and awards.

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“Consistency in Sales Skills Makes a Good January a Great January” By: Karen Woodard Chavez

There is no doubt January is busy. Sooooo busy that at times it feels like you can’t fully do your job. Which means certain elements may get missed or be omitted. That is a big mistake for your sales success.

Make sure you are consistent with the following 5 tools with each and every prospect/member. Consistency is the key to making a good January a great January and a great January a strong February, March and April.

  1. Complete pre-tour – in every selling conversation there is the pre-tour, tour and post-tour. The pre- tour sets the stage for success in the tour and the post tour. If you do not do it well and completely the rest of your selling conversation will be adversely affected. A complete and well done pre-tour reveals to you precisely what will make the prospect say yes to joining and what will make them hesitate to join. Thus, you know precisely what to discuss/show them on the tour and how to build in solutions to their hesitations and have it feel more naturally conversational versus the strong-arm technique of “overcoming objections” at the end of the selling conversation. A complete pre-tour includes questions that reveal the prospect’s Interests, Needs, Urgency and Motivation – all the reasons they will say yes. It equally includes questions that reveal the prospect’s potential hesitations such as Eagerness, Decision Making Ability, Time Availability, Financial Availability and Other Limitations.

You can see that if you ask these questions and take good notes on the answers then you will be able to create a sales presentation that is about the prospect and not just about the club. Far more compelling for them then the boring club tour.

  1. Early and often – the concept of early and often relates to anything you want to have happen in the sales presentation today you need to bring up early and often. The things you want to have happen include having the prospect join today, having the prospect feel comfortable enough with you that they want to participate in your New Member Guest Privilege program, as well as purchase an intro program to personal training/pilates/swim lessons/small group training, etc. The mistake we make is that we may present these elements at the end of the selling conversation in a harried manner because we are just trying to get through all the joining documents, and the importance of getting involved in these programs gets lost and you do not earn the sale or the commission. Begin the conversation about these points while you are on the tour and do it multiple times. By doing so, you eliminate the “let me think about it” response that you likely get by presenting it only at the end of the conversation.
  1. Zip up the next step – if your prospect does not join today (this assumes you have had a discussion about their hesitations) then you need to have the follow up plan zipped up. What that means is that before they leave the club you have invited them to be your guest to do something they expressed they would like to be doing as a member. If their Interest is Yoga then you will specifically invite them to the 10am yoga class tomorrow or the following day as your guest. They will agree and you will now have an appointment with them. Most membership sales people simply give the prospect a guest pass to come back to the club without scheduling a specific time or event. By giving a guest pass, you give away all of your influence and ability to manage your time and leads. By scheduling a specific activity at a specific time you will shorten your sales cycle, manage your time more effectively and provide a better experience for the prospect to become a member.
  1. NMGP – the New Member Guest Privilege is something that should be done early and often with every prospect. There needs to be a value difference between a NMGP and regular guest passes. For example, the NMGP might be three-day access for three of the new member’s friends that allows them to participate in small group training and is only active for the first 30 days of their membership. This is different than a guest pass for up to three people. It has value and urgency. You can arrange this in several ways – either through a link that you send your new member or the good old fashion way of having them write down the names and contact info of the folks they would like you to arrange the privilege for. The latter creates a lot more work for the sales person. The link sure makes it easier.
  1. Set appointments – please, please, please avoid the mistake of having people “stop by” when you are responding to their web inquiries or phone inquiries. It places you in a position of providing potentially terrible service when you have to make the prospect wait as well as does not allow you to manage your time well when someone just “stops by”. As discussed earlier, January, February and March are a verrrry busy time of year and you want to maximize every opportunity you can as well as provide the best service you can. Set yourself up for success by finding out very early what the prospect’s Interests are and what time of day they prefer to exercise. Then, you invite them in to do what they want to do at the time they like to do it as your guest. Let people know that, “We are in our very busy season and we want to provide the best service to you possible, therefore, we are scheduling appointments”, and there you go…you have an appointment. If they buck and ask for a guest pass instead of scheduling an appointment, then you will respond by saying, “Yes, we do have guest passes and I can leave one for you. However, they are $25 per day. If you would like to be my guest, which is by appointment only, then there is no fee. Which would you prefer?


Practice these 5 tools consistently and you will close more sales, shorten your sales cycle and create more guests that turn into members for the months to come. If you would like 5 more tools to create a great January, February, March and April please join Karen in a free webinar hosted by Matrix on January 18 at 2p MST. To register please click on the following link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1741224376624596482

Karen WoodardKaren is President of Premium Performance Training in Boulder, Colorado and Ixtapa, Mexico. Karen has owned and operated clubs since 1985 and now consults and trains staff throughout the world on sales, service, management and leadership. These services are offered on-site, online and through her books, manuals and DVDs. Karen can be reached at karen@karenwoodard.com or 303.417.0653.

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“How Does the Trump Presidency Impact the Club Industry?” By: Rick Caro

All of us found the recent U.S. Presidential election process too long, much too negative and — in many cases — too emotional. However, there are a wide assortment of lessons that we can learn and apply going forward in the club industry.

We need to put aside our party affiliations (or in my case, my label as an “independent”). What we can agree to is that the media had difficulty interpreting the campaigns along the way and the pollsters got it all wrong. Now, new research has been done on Wall Street and words of guarded optimism, challenging and different times, and worried transitory periods are ahead. Trump pronouncements, a Republican party not perfectly in sync and new appointees from a set of unusual backgrounds are all being studied.

The lessons from the Trump victory should remind us that the club industry is a numbers game to be a winner. Simplified themes work, especially if they can resonate with the targeted audience. Spending your marketing dollars wisely is key. Selling your own story over and over works, especially if broken down into simplistic terms. The need to be interesting is paramount. Obviously, understanding a club’s strengths locally and then capitalizing on them is the goal. Getting others to tell your story and developing conversations locally are ideal key steps. Then, tracking goals becomes a necessary step. But, the real message is to commit to regular changes.

Separate from the lessons the Trump election has taught us, the challenge is to anticipate what the future will look like with a Trump Presidency and a Republican Congress. Specifically, the focus is on what this all means to the club industry. Actions will be studied given all of the previous rhetoric to determine what changes will really occur. Some of the areas of focus will be: Obamacare, inflation, interest rates, taxes, regulations, private equity, capital expenditure costs, U.S. growth rate, State laws and unemployment. All will be reviewed in the upcoming webinar on January 18th. Twenty seventeen will be a truly different year ahead.

Rick Caro

Rick Caro
President of Management Vision, Inc.,
GGFA Think Tank Panel Expert

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2016 Good Deeds

Ginger CollinsAs we get ready to welcome the New Year, we would like to continue our GGFA tradition by taking this opportunity to share some of the extraordinary things that some of our franchisees and suppliers have been doing in their communities. We wish everyone a wonderful and prosperous New Year!

Ginger Collins
GGFA Executive Director

Gold’s Gym Dutchess County, NY

-Miles of Hope: Each October, we support the local organization Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation. This year we sold staff pink t-shirts, had a special pink shake, and did a Personal Training raffle where the proceeds went to the organization. We raised over $1,000 for the organization this year.
-Adopt-A-Family: During the Holidays, we partner with the local organization, Family Services, to adopt a local family in need. The staff purchases gifts and items the family needs to help make the holiday bright for them!
– Angels of Light: Also during the Holidays, we place giving trees in our lobbies, courtesy of the organization Angels of Light. Members choose an ornament off the tree, purchase the gift, and place it back wrapped under the tree for the organization to give to the family in need.
-Veterans Wall: During the month leading up to Veterans Day, we place a Wall of Honor in our lobbies to honor all of the staff and members that are Veterans and Active Service members. We invite them to bring in photos to be placed proudly on display.
-BetterU: Every year we partner with the American Heart Association Go Red for Women BetterU campaign and provide memberships and personal training to 13 women in the community needing to make a healthy lifestyle change. This year was immensely successful with a great group of women who saw amazing results!

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Gold’s Gym Utah

I Give, Gold’s Gym Gives: October 3rd – November 2nd, every time a member attended any GGX class (including TRX, GFIT, & Water Aerobics) we donated $1 to the Susan G. Komen Utah Foundation. The instructors gave members a donation tag to write their name on. The GGX room had a table in the back with both Sharpies and tape to write their name and hang up the tags, as well as information on the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Breast Cancer. At the end of this program (Nov. 2nd) we had a Susan G. Komen representative at the Layton location to receive a large check for over $4,136.25. We also gave away FREE Gold’s Gym themed Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirts to anyone who donated $10 towards Susan G. Komen at the front desk of each location. In addition, every GGX Launch class during October had a PINK BCA theme and the instructor read daily Breast Cancer stats to help increase awareness for the disease.
The Gift of Fitness: October 15th – December 14th we will be accepting nominations for 50 FREE memberships that will be given to local (Weber /Davis County) residents who would benefit from a 1-year membership to Gold’s Gym. We are thrilled to continue the tradition of hosting our annual Gift of Fitness program membership giving away (50) 1-year memberships to local residents deserving of a free year. Anyone (including employees) can nominate someone who would benefit from a free 1 year membership, then nominate them by visiting www.goldsgym.com/utah . We will call the winning nominees the week of Christmas to help make their holiday season. Every year many of the winners are overjoyed to the point of tears, not only from winning the free membership but because someone thought highly enough of them to nominate the recipient for the gift of fitness.
Utah Food Bank Food DriveNovember 15 – December 24th we will have Utah Food Bank Food Bins located at each facility where our patrons can donate any canned or non-perishable food items to be given to local chapters of the Utah Food Bank.
Sub For Santa: November 7th – December 24th we will have a Sub For Santa Christmas Tree and donation box at every facility for patrons to help us collect gifts for local families in need. Last year, with the help of our members, we were able to provide Christmas presents for more than 120 children and 50 local families. All gifts and donations are sent to the Utah DCFS to be distributed to local families in need.   

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Precor Logo

I want to share one of my favorite Precor stories.  It is a story about patriotism at Precor.
Approximately 350 ships comprise the Navy Fleet ranging from Trident submarines to awe-inspiring aircraft carriers.  Every cubic inch of space is valuable even on the largest floating fortresses and you will see fitness equipment crammed into the most unlikely of places onboard every one of these ships.  You see, fitness is deemed “mission essential” by Navy Command and the equipment is used around the clock.  Since the introduction of the EFX, the Navy Fleet has been buying our ellipticals for inclusion in their onboard fitness programs.  The only ellipticals available for years were built on large, welded, one-piece frames.  To get these EFX’s wedged into their desired locations, many had to be completely disassembled, cut into pieces and then welded back together.  The Navy has some of the best welders in the world, but let’s face it, this installation procedure was less than ideal for boosting sales.
About 15 years ago, I convinced senior management that an opportunity existed.  If we designed an EFX that could be disassembled to fit through a 23” hatch, then we would sell more units.  Thousands of units later, this ongoing program can be deemed a success.
During one of my visits to Precor corporate about ten years ago, the product manager who had helped me realize my Navy EFX dream had the terrific idea that I should visit the production team that was building the Navy EFX’s at the time.  Her idea led to one of the most rewarding and heartwarming experiences I have ever had while at work.
At that time, EFX’s were manufactured in “cells”, which were simply small teams of people focused on building one specific model of equipment.  The Navy EFX’s product manager’s idea was for me to visit production, meet the team manufacturing the Navy units and tell them about their model’s usage onboard the ships.  Well, as it turned out, this team was way ahead of me!
I was introduced to the 30 or so members of the team.  They consisted of about 20 Cambodian women who were recent immigrants, with the remaining ten workers being a mix of other nationalities and genders.  I thanked them for their help in making a personal dream of mine come true.  I told stories about how their Navy EFX’s were used and my impression of what I thought the lonely and dedicated life onboard ship was like for our sailors.  I talked about the young men and women who improved their health and found a temporary escape from their important missions while using the equipment that they built.  And as I said goodbye, I told them that I would like to humbly represent the sailors and thank them for their efforts.  The cell’s manager took me aside and told me that, without provocation from anyone, the women in this cell had taken it upon themselves to write notes inside the boxes in which these units would be shipped.  He told me that they wrote things like, “God Bless America”, and “We love you”.  “Come home safe!” and “Thank you for protecting us.”  I have not been this proud or moved in a long, long time…and still am.  (You know, sometimes we need to try to look at our wonderful Country through the eyes of a recent immigrant to break out of our complacency.)

Frank Palmer
Precor, GSA sales Director

2016 epsilon logo trans.png

A BIG United Way THANK YOU! It’s because of your generosity and caring for our community that this year’s United Way campaign was a success. Epsilon associates together have raised over $76,900 and with the Company match that’s over $153,900 for United Way!
Epsilon is now in the midst of a Toy Drive collecting new unwrapped toys.


Festival of Stars Toy and Donation
This is the 5th year we’ve teamed up with Arkansas Children’s Hospital to raise money and donate gifts to make the holidays a little brighter. From individual gifts for patients to gifts for the families of loved ones who are spending their Christmas in the hospital, we collect and donate each year.
Blankets of Love
We’ve partnered with a local gym, 10 Fitness, to hand out blankets to those in need during the holidays. While 10 Fitness allows the homeless to shower at their facility, we are also there to hand out blankets to those that come to take advantage of a warm shower on a cold day.

Gold’s Gym Stuart, FL

In August, we held a school supplies drive with all donations going to the Boys and Girls Club of Martin County.
Currently, we are holding a raffle to win a paddle board donated by the Flying Fish Paddle Sports with all proceeds going towards The Willow House, a safe place for girls. This is a little statement from their website:
The Willow House is a faith-based, specialized and therapeutic residential home for young at-risk girls who have been victims of abusive circumstances. Our emphasis is to build their self-esteem and lead them to believe and truly understand that they are worthy in the eyes of their Creator.
In 2015, Gold’s Gym of Stuart was the #1 donor towards the Salvation Army Angel Tree and this year we are sponsoring 200 children, which is more than last year! 🙂
We also donated several gift certificates throughout the year to different schools, sports teams, and events happening in our community.

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The employees at Life Fitness Headquarters in Rosemont, IL gather on a monthly basis to help at the Franciscan Outreach Marquard Center Community Café to serve more than 100 hot meals to those in need.    https://www.franoutreach.org/get-involved/

ASF logo

ASF Payment Solutions is a proud sponsor and supporter of Metro Denver Partners. This dynamic organization empowers at-risk youth through one-on-one mentoring and gang-intervention. MDP supports positive role-modeling and relationship development, which strengthens youth, their families and entire communities.
During the holidays ASF supports the delivery of food packages to families; helps to provide mentoring and advocacy; and also for youth to attend holiday events and activities, such as Christmas parades, theater, ice-skating and more.


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