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How to Open a Gym 101: 10 Ways to Grow Your Fitness Classes

How to Open a Gym 101: 10 Ways to Grow Your Fitness Classes

Posted by Ardent Fitness on Jul 5th 2023

Welcome to our series, How To Open A Gym 101. In each post in the series, we'll take a look at different topics on gym ownership: how to budget for a gym, choose and maintain equipment, and maximize profits as well as membership retainment and much more. The team at Ardent Fitness stands ready to help you achieve your goals, no matter the size of the fitness space you're dreaming of creating.

Opening a gym and growing fitness classes is no small feat. It takes dedication, creativity, and perseverance to create a thriving fitness hub that not only attracts new members but also retains them in the long run. If you're looking to transform your gym into a bustling, successful community, we've got you covered. This ultimate guide delves into ten powerful, actionable strategies that will undoubtedly help you expand your fitness class and create an enthusiastic community of fitness enthusiasts.

How to grow your fitness classes


1. Establish a Bold and Memorable Brand

Developing a strong brand identity is crucial for your gym's success. Begin by choosing a unique, memorable name that reflects your gym's core values and mission. For instance, "Iron Paradise" conveys a gym that prioritizes strength training while still maintaining a welcoming community atmosphere. Next, create a captivating logo that captures the essence of your gym and resonates with your target audience. Having custom logo flooring is a simple and effective way to enhance branding. Your branding efforts should extend beyond the gym to your website, promotional materials, and social media presence, ensuring a cohesive image across all platforms.

2. Launch Attention-Grabbing Introductory Classes and Promotions

To entice potential members, offer introductory classes at a reduced rate or even free of charge, providing them with a low-commitment opportunity to experience your gym firsthand. Additionally, promotional offers such as discounted/no enrollment fees, flexible membership options like Class Pass, or reward points for referrals can encourage new members to sign up while also incentivizing existing members to spread the word.

3. Recruit High-Quality Instructors Who Share Your Vision

Great instructors make all the difference in your fitness classes. Seek certified, experienced trainers who possess excellent communication skills, an engaging personality, and the ability to motivate and inspire participants. For example, hiring a Les Mills-certified trainer can add credibility and excitement to your gym's group fitness programs.

4. Design Classes for Various Fitness Levels

Offering classes tailored to different fitness levels is essential for ensuring an inclusive gym environment. Alongside the more challenging classes, including sessions such as "Gentle Yoga" or "Beginner Bootcamp" to accommodate newcomers and people recovering from injuries. Provide class descriptions on your website and ask your instructors to offer modifications and progressions during classes, making them accessible to everyone.

Fitness Classes

5. Diversify Your Fitness Class Offerings

Variety is essential for keeping members engaged and coming back for more. Offer a wide range of classes, from strength training and HIIT to dance, Pilates, and functional workouts. This not only caters to different interests but also prevents workout plateaus and boredom. For instance, host regular themed classes like "80's Aerobics Night" or "Yoga in the Park" to keep things fresh and exciting.

6. Cultivate a Strong Community Atmosphere

A vibrant gym culture can boost member retention and satisfaction. Ardent Fitness offers facility buildouts to enhance your gym layout for optimal usage, flow, and style that will have members wanting to come back. Foster an inclusive, supportive community by hosting events such as member appreciation days, charity fundraisers, and workshops. In addition, create new member integration programs, like "gym buddy" systems or welcoming events, to make newcomers feel at home.

Social Media for Fitness Classes

7. Harness the Power of Social Media

Targeted advertising, such as social media ads, local print media, and co-promotions with nearby businesses, can effectively raise awareness and interest in your gym. Share content, such as class schedules, motivational quotes, member success stories, and trainer introductions, to pique interest and engagement while simultaneously humanizing your brand. Monitor and analyze your marketing campaigns' effectiveness, adjusting strategies as needed to maximize return on investment. 

8. Continually Improve Based on Member Feedback

Make it a point to regularly collect feedback from your members through suggestion boxes, online surveys, or face-to-face conversations. Use these insights to guide improvements in class schedules, equipment, and facilities. Demonstrating that you value your members' opinions fosters loyalty and trust.

9. Implement Loyalty Programs and Reward Schemes

Establish a loyalty or reward program to encourage member retention and referrals. Grant points for attending classes, referring friends, or participating in gym challenges, allowing them to be redeemed for compelling perks such as discounted memberships, merchandise, or events.

10. Prioritize Cleanliness with Zogics Cleaning Concentrates and Gym Wipes

Maintaining a clean and hygienic gym environment is essential for the health and satisfaction of your members. Incorporate Zogics cleaning concentrates and gym wipes into your cleaning routine to ensure surfaces and equipment are properly sanitized. Zogics offers high-quality cleaning products specifically designed for fitness facilities, helping to eliminate germs and prevent the spread of infections. Regularly wiping down machines, weights, and other high-touch surfaces with gym wipes can give your members peace of mind and contribute to a positive gym experience.

Building a prosperous gym with continually expanding fitness classes involves a combination of strategic branding, effective promotions, diverse class offerings, and fostering a dynamic community atmosphere. Putting into action the ten strategies detailed in this guide will undeniably help you cultivate a packed gym bustling with loyal, motivated members. So, let's kick things into gear and start growing your fitness class today, witnessing your gym community flourish as a result!


Q: What are the startup costs associated with opening a gym?

A: Gym startup costs can range from $50,000 to over $500,000, depending on factors such as size, location, equipment, and staffing.

Q: How can I ensure profitability for my gym?

A: Focusing on attracting and retaining loyal members, refining membership pricing, diversifying revenue sources, and efficiently managing expenses is key to achieving profitability.

Q: What fitness class styles should I provide?

A: Tailor your class offerings based on your target demographic, trainers' expertise, and current fitness trends. Popular options include strength training, HIIT, yoga, Pilates, spinning, and dance-inspired workouts.

Q: How do I maintain member engagement?

A: Consistently updating class offerings, providing challenging yet attainable workouts, nurturing a supportive culture, and acknowledging members' commitment through loyalty programs can help maintain member engagement.