Is Group Exercise the Answer to Your Retention Problem?


Member retention remains the industry’s largest challenge, with typical fitness facilities losing 50 percent of members every year. It is more important than ever to focus on retention as well as acquisition to protect your club and membership base. The answer for how to do this is already thereit's your current members. If you help your members fall in love with fitness and your club, you'll be able to tackle these challenges and make your business more resilient.

If you can motivate your members and help them love fitness, they will fall in love with your club, recommend it to friends and never stop coming back for more. This means new member acquisition will become much easier as well. To achieve this, every aspect of the member experience needs to be considered and enhanced. Follow this approach to get started:

  1. Engage members from day one.
  2. Focus on giving people the motivation, results and experiences they want.
  3. Use attendance as your key performance indicator.
  4. Adopt a zero-tolerance approach to lapsed members.

This is easier said than done. It takes time, resources and the right support from the right partners. However, by selling exercise instead of a facility, encouraging members to engage in assisted group exercise and creating relationships beyond memberships, you can combat the intense competition facing your business—from both inside and outside the industry—and build a healthier and stronger business.

A Nielsen study of more than 3,000 participants of group fitness classes around the world highlighted that more than 85 percent of class members visit their facility twice a week specifically to engage in group classes. Approximately 43 percent of members visit their facility four times per week for this purpose.

Group fitness classes enable your members to fall in love with fitness and want to exercise regularly. The result of this change in attitude toward exercise—from feeling they have to exercise to wanting to exercise—means they are much less likely to leave your gym if they are participating in these types of activities, according to this recent study

If gaining and retaining member numbers is important to you, group fitness is an ideal way to engage and keep your members. It's time to build a stronger business and motivate your members or somebody else will.


Brian Gagne, Chief Executive Officer of Les Mills United States, has over 20 years of health and fitness experience. He previously served as Chief Operations Officer for Health Fitness Corporation, where he provided leadership for the delivery of health and fitness management services for one in five US Fortune 100 companies. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology.​

Les Mills delivers a variety of group fitness classes that provide cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training for your members. Fresh class content is provided every three months to motivate and support engagement of both instructors and members which in turn reduces the attrition rate of your members. Our tried-and-tested group exercise classes deliver real physical results. Learn more about the tools and resources you need to improve your members’ experiences in their workouts, in the group studio and across the entire facility—all of which contribute to increased member engagement and retention. For more information, email [email protected] or call 844-LES-MILLS.