4 Ways to Help Your Gym’s Members Stay Fit While Traveling

When your members keep in shape while they travel, they’re more likely to return to your gym once they come home. Here’s how you can help them stick with it.

It doesn’t take much for your average member to get out of their workout habits. A stressful week at work may lead to a member skipping their regular group X class, and then the next thing they know they haven’t worked out in a month. After that they feel out of shape, and it isn’t so easy to come back.

This is a scenario you want to avoid at all costs because when members don’t visit your club, they’re more likely to cancel. In fact, an IHRSA Trend Report found that 23% of former health club members indicated leaving because they did not use the health club.

Of course, your members’ exercise routines are bound to get interrupted—especially when they go on vacation or travel for work. But that doesn’t mean they can’t stay in shape while they’re on the road.

Here are four ways you can help your gym’s members stay fit while traveling.

1. Create Bodyweight Programming

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Anybody can work out for free—but if it were that simple, no one would belong to health clubs.

“The reason people join your gym is because it can be hard to figure out how to get a good workout and motivate yourself to do it in your living room or backyard,” said Alexandra Black Larcom, IHRSA’s senior manager of health promotion & health policy, in an IHRSA Advocate Facebook video. “People can experience the same challenges when they travel.”

You can solve this pain point for traveling members by creating simple, bodyweight programming they can do anywhere. This is an opportunity to highlight your fitness staff’s expertise and have each trainer film a video demonstrating a workout members can do when they’re away. You can promote these videos on your website or social media channels.

2. Provide Extra Help with Coaching

“For members who need a little bit of extra help or who travel a lot, coaching is a good way to walk them through it a little bit more,” Larcom said.

Your club could offer a coaching service that provides members with healthy diet advice and tailored workouts they can do when they’re away. You can also include elements of telehealth by having trainers check in with coaching clients via email or text.

“You can really customize the package to what the person needs and what the expertise of your fitness staff is,” Larcom said.

3. Offer Virtual Programming

Wellness And Community Programming Wellbeats Virtual Fitness Woman Yoga Column

Virtual fitness programming has been an emerging trend in the industry, with chains like Gold’s Gym and Crunch offering high-quality out-of-club classes for people on the go.

“It can be a great way to expand access to some of your more popular classes as well as to give people an opportunity to fit something into their schedule a little better,” Larcom said. “What if your members could access their favorite spin class from the hotel bike or if they could login and follow along with a yoga class or HIIT class from their hotel room?”

Providing virtual programming would require a financial investment, but given the prevalence of fitness apps with on-demand classes, it may be worth considering as part of your club’s long-term plan.

4. Extend Worldwide Guest Privileges to Traveling Members

Not ready to invest in virtual programming just yet? You’ll be happy to hear that there's another way you can help members work out when they’re on the road—and it may even generate revenue for your business.

The IHRSA Passport Program, powered by TrainAway, entitles members of participating clubs to purchase discounted gym passes at a worldwide network of clubs when they travel.

Here’s how it works: Once your club is enrolled, your members can use the TrainAway app to purchase a one-day pass at a Passport club for a 25% discount. There are Passport clubs all over the world, in cities like San Diego, Las Vegas, Rome, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, Dallas, Moscow, São Paulo, Amsterdam, and… well, you get the idea!

Because the IHRSA Passport Program is reciprocal, enrolled clubs must commit to welcoming Passport visitors from clubs at least 50 miles/80 kilometers away and to extending them a savings of 25% on a one-day pass. That means in addition to the added value to your members, the IHRSA Passport Program can generate revenue for your business!

Want even more good news? Participation is free to IHRSA member clubs—all you have to do is enroll to start providing this benefit to members. Once enrolled, we’ll send you all of the materials you need to train your staff and inform your members.

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Marianne Aiello

Marianne Aiello previously served as IHRSA's Senior Digital Content Manager—a position focused on crafting and monitoring IHRSA’s digital strategy and covering IHRSA events.