The Number One Reason People Join A Gym

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Everyone Thought That After Lockdown Gyms Would Struggle To Get People To Rejoin


Well, there’s a slight exception to that.  Some gyms, big commercials mainly, have seen a drop off in their membership numbers, while independents have seen a near record rejoin rate.  Some have even had to close their doors to new members as the gym was getting too crowded.


Why has this happened?  What dictates if a gym is successful in not only attracting members, but also keeping them.


Commercials have big join rates but also big attrition rates where members leave.  Independents tend to have lower attrition rates.  Why?

It's not the equipment and not the price that determines if members stay at their gym

Although both of those answers were present what was really interesting was that all the high scoring answers included this factor…


The community of people that went to the gym and the staff there

  • In fact 30% of people ​said they spent more time chatting to other members than working out
  • 48% of people said that their reason for remaining was positive interaction with staff.​​​​
  • 50% of people said location was the main factor so this was the number 1 factor but only just.

Source – runrepeat

Are you surprised by this data?

When I was competing and didn’t own my own gym I travelled across Bristol 5 days a week to train at a gym which was a 30 minute journey, that’s an extra hour of travelling as well as my 90 minutes training.

There were other gyms close to me but they didn't have the right atmosphere despite having similar equipment. I didn't feel at home.

biceps and triceps workout

I did have a membership to a local commercial gym as well for my morning cardio and as a ‘make do’ option when I couldn’t get to my main gym but the workouts there weren’t as good.

They didn’t like bodybuilders there, but ironically it wasn’t me leaving the weights out everywhere or being overly loud and obnoxious and hogging machines while texting like many of the people there.

That atmosphere just wound me up and despite that gym having good equipment it was populated by weapons grade belters.

I don’t remember anyone there being in decent shape, despite having the money to afford good nutrition and a PT for every session.  The community just was not geared towards results.

30 minutes away at a much smaller, independent gym and pretty much everyone was in decent shape.

They were all focussed on the goal – a better body

So they helped each other out, spotted when needed, made room on machines when people wanted to work in, gave each other a kick when motivation was flagging.

build a better body

Not everyone was a bodybuilder, but they were all focussed on building a better body.

That gym wasn’t short on members and had been there for over 15 years

The other gym is shut now

Community is such a powerful element, it can be the measure of your success (or failure)

While the right community lifts you up, the wrong community becomes the bucket of crabs

If you’ve not heard of this metaphor, put a load of crabs in a bucket and watch if one tries to get out.  All the other crabs will pull them back in.

They don’t want that crab to escape, to be better than them, to succeed where they have failed.

week of workouts

Instead of them all supporting each other to escape, they prefer to stop any forward thinkers or motivated individuals.

When I built my coaching community I focussed on creating a supportive online environment where everyone supports each other.  Because often it’s hard to find a community local to you. 

The online world has made this possible and with so much online negativity it’s nice to have a place that you can go to where everyone gets your journey.

That’s why the community members have such a high success rate (or part of the reason).

Is your fitness community supportive or limiting to your goals?

If it isn’t then make it your business to find one and watch your results and motivation go through the roof.



  • Seek out a gym that supports your efforts and creates positivity
  • Join an online community where everyone is focussed on the group doing well.

Check out my YouTube channel for more videos.

Use my Calorie Calculator to work out your calories for fat loss and get a free macro guide

Find out more about my coaching program to get you into your best shape ever

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testimonial jessica

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