Two traits of a successful gym

Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence – Vince Lombardi

One of the great things about working for Influx is that we get to visit hundreds of gyms and speak to thousands of owners, managers, coaches, and members. In doing so we get to see the similarities of successful gyms.

From our experience there are two ‘traits’ that every successful gym we have ever been to has. We have no evidence to suggest that these cause a gym to be successful, but our belief is that if they are present then they certainly won’t hurt!

The two factors are great coaching and great culture.

Great coaching is when members are given the right balance of instruction and autonomy in achieving their goals. Coaches are experts in their fields, succinct communicators, role model behaviour, and give excellent demonstrations. Coaches coach, and don’t workout while they are taking a class (although there are some exceptions to this – such as sessions that require a change in location – when the coach may join in with the run portion, or a Spin or Aerobics style class). Members are treated with respect, and receive positive and corrective feedback that is specific to them. Coaches are quick to recognise when someone is struggling and to advance someone who is coasting.

Great culture is a little harder to articulate. The culture of gyms we visit appears to be ‘set’ by the owners and foundation members. Great culture could be best described as this: members want to come to your gym, and enjoy it when they do. Members smile – a simple, but noticeable metric. They participate in out of gym activities (and at times even organise them).

What other factors have you noticed in successful gyms you have been to?