Longevity Tips for the Gym Owner

As we often say, ‘Gymmin ain’t easy.’

You thought it would be easy, but you didn’t realize there are 10,000 non-coaching-related tasks involved with being a gym owner. Time-consuming tasks that can take over your world if you let them. And you certainly didn’t realize how hard it would be to raise coaches who stick around for years!

You still love being a gym owner: You love your clients, your community. But sometimes you feel you’re nearing burnt out, right?

Alas, 5 longevity tips from long-time gym owners to help you ensure you’re laying the foundation for the long game:

5. Contract out your weaknesses

If there’s something you’re terrible at, or something that just sucks the life right out of you, contract the task out to someone else and give yourself a chance to flourish at what you do best in the business.

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4. Keep working out!

Long-time gym owners are notorious for letting their own fitness slide, and it just contributes to their increased stress and feelings of burn out. Though sometimes the last thing you want to do after a long day coaching is stick around to train, prioritize your own fitness, too!

Maybe that means turning a personal training session with a long-time client into a workout together (you’d be surprised how excited most clients are to workout with their coach especially when they find out it’s essentially a free workout). Or maybe that means leaving the gym and going for a run or a swim outside. Or maybe it means you get a gym membership at another local gym. There’s something freeing about training in a place where you can just be a athlete for once! Whatever you do, find time to train in some capacity. You’ll feel better about yourself.

3. Don’t get bullied!

Though you might feel like you need to accommodate all of your clients’ busy schedules, DON’T! Set your own schedule and stick to it. Tell your clients when you’re available, not the other way around. If Friday is your one day off, hold yourself to that. Don’t give in just because a client can’t do their normal Thursday afternoon PT. Your clients will only respect you and your time more if you give them their options, and it will stop you from resenting your decision to get bullied into training someone at 10 p.m.

2. Christmas Hours!

If your gym is quiet during Christmas time, like most are, reduce your hours considerably. If you have good relationships with your clients, they’ll understand. And not just from the 24th to the 26th. Reduce your class offerings for two weeks until the New Year. Many people are off work then and can easily shuffle their workout routine for a couple weeks.

1. When it comes to classes, more is less

I see this all the time: Gyms that brag about how many classes they offer each day and week. 12 classes a day is INSANE and totally unnecessary, unless every single one is at capacity. Similarly, if there’s a class that’s consistently small, get rid of it. And by golly, don’t go adding a 9 am class if the 8 am and 11 am classes are both consistently small.

Above all else, even if you feel you can’t get away, you can: Take a vacation!

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