Sportsmith Blog

How to Properly Align a Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Fan Cage

This video will show how to align the fan cage on a Schwinn Airdyne AD6 to fix a rubbing fan.

There are two things that can cause the cage to rub the fan on this bike:

  1. The fan cage is bent or the mounting is off due to loose hardware or damage to the cage. If you have recently relocated your bike this is the most likely fix for your bike.
  2. Bad axle alignment in the frame causing the fan to be crooked inside the frame and fan cage.


This video will address fan cage issues. For more about axle alignment issues see our video about how to align the Airdyne 6 fan axle.

  • If the rubbing is minor or the fan cage has visible damage you may be able to bend the cage out of the way as shown in the video.
    • Make small adjustments to the ribs until you have clearance for the fan.
  • In some cases you may need to loosen the cage hardware and align it around the frame.
    • You will need to remove the shrouds from both sides. There are six Philips head screws in each shroud. Remove the upper center screw last to easer removal of the shrouds.
    • Loosen the cage hardware.
    • Make small adjustments to the fan cage and test until the problem is fixed.
    • Re-attach the cage to the frame.
  • Replace the shrouds.
    • To ease shroud installation put the pedal in the position seen in the video on each side.
    • Put the shroud in place and install the top center screw first to make installation easiest.


Additional Resources:

View all Airdyne 6 Parts


How To Restore or Maintain Leather Indoor Cycle Brake Pads

This video will show how to restore or maintain your leather indoor cycle brake pad.

( Note ):  If your pad looks glazed over and will not accept lube try roughing them up with a wire brush. If the pad is too worn down they will need replaced.

These are the most effective ways to prolong the life of your indoor cycle brake pad.
We begin with the pad removed to show the most effective procedure.

Method 1:

  • Soak the leather pad in a vessel with Three in one oil for one hour.
  • Wipe the pad before placing them back on the bike.
  • With the pad back on the cycle, spin the flywheel and engage the brake several times.
  • Wipe off the excess oil from the flywheel before returning the cycle to service.
  • This will prevent excessive lube running off the pad.

Note: The following two methods will need to be done regularly to prevent squeaking.

Method 2:

  • With the leather pad on the indoor cycle. Apply lubricant directly to the flywheel.
  • Spin the flywheel while pressing and releasing the brake. This will load the pad with the lubricant.

Method 3:

  • With the pad on the cycle load a rag with lubricant and hold it on the flywheel by the brake pad.
  • Rotate the flywheel while pressing and releasing the brake to lubricate the leather pad.

Additional Resources:

Indoor Cycling Brake Pads

3-n-1 Multipurpose Oil


How to Program the Concept 2 PM5 Monitor


What is the cause for static on my treadmill?


static on my treadmill

If you are a frequent user of the treadmill, it is most likely that you have received a shock from it once or repeatedly. Treadmills are powerful machines capable of generating static electricity. This static electricity is responsible for the shocks and, even though they won’t hurt you, they may damage the treadmill’s electric components.

Most cases we receive regarding static electricity on treadmills are in the winter season. But the good news is, you can easily overcome static build-up on the treadmill to reduce the risk of being shocked and have a comfortable workout session. Here are some of the sources responsible for static problems and their suggested solutions.


  1. Problems that the gyms have control over;
  • Worn out motor brushes, belt and deck. If any of these parts on the treadmill are worn out, replace them. A motor brush should be replaced if it has cracks, nicks, signs of wire wearing through, or if it’s less than a ½ inch length. Determining whether your treadmill’s walking/running belt is worn out can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. Common signs that the belt requires maintenance or replacement include discoloration, fraying edges, sluggish belt movement, and loosening. Check your treadmill deck for signs of wear or cracks and have it replaced. If the problem seems complex or severe, always consult a professional to have the machine professionally serviced. Replace belt and deck together.


  • Lubrication maintenance. Lack of, or poor, lubrication maintenance of the treadmill can result in excessive friction created by the repetitive motion. This friction creates static electricity leading to shocks. However, with proper lubrication on the belt, deck, as well as all the moving parts of the treadmill, this static electricity can be controlled. Loosen the belt. Then lift it up to apply the lubricant on the deck as per the instructions on the bottle. Always refer to the owner’s manual for the type of lubricant recommended by a manufacturer. Place the belt back to its position and re-tighten the screws. Turn the treadmill on and allow it to run for 5 minutes at a low speed. This allows the lubricant to evenly penetrate into the moving belt.


  • Lack of Humidity in the air. Dry air in the workout area leads to a bigger risk of static shock. And that is why you are most likely to feel the slight sting of static when working out indoors or in areas with dry climates. This is because indoors, air conditioners and heaters suck out all the moisture in the air leaving it dry. Therefore, the only way to banish static shock is by placing a humidifier in the room to bump up humidity levels. A humidity level of 40 to 60 is recommended.


  • Dusty Climate. Dry and dusty environments amplify the presence and intensity of static electricity on treadmills. Treadmills that are not cleaned regularly experience dirt buildup and increase your chances of being shocked. To prevent this, add a weekly cleaning routine to your workout and this will not only prevent static buildup but also increase the lifetime of your machine. The clean-up is simple. Just remove any accumulated dust from the belt using an anti-static duster. Dust around and beneath the treadmill to avoid any buildup. Then wipe down the belt with a slightly dampened cloth and dry with a paper towel. Ensure that you rotate the belt to reach the entire tread surface effectively.


  • Bad Ground. Failing to plug your treadmill into a grounded, dedicated outlet can also increase the risk of static shocks. Check the ground where the machine is placed to see that the power cord, power outlet and drive motor are fine. However, the metal and electrical systems of the machine may be well grounded, but the rubber tread is a good insulator and therefore the static charge may build up because the tread itself is not grounded. Another common grounding problem would be in relation to motors. If you experience static shocks, consider adding an additional ground wire to the motor of your treadmill.


  • Treadmill placed on carpet. A treadmill placed directly on carpet is more vulnerable to static electricity. Static electricity could build up as you get on and off the treadmill. A great solution to this problem would be to install a rubber treadmill mat under the machine. This mat will not only protect your treadmill, but also the carpet under the unit from scratches and dents by the unit’s feet.


  1. Items that the gyms have no control over;
  • Dehydration of the user. If a user works out a lot and gets dehydrated, their skin dries and this poses a chance for static energy to build up. Dry skin increases the friction generated between the user and the machine when running or holding onto the treadmill rails. Encourage users to take in more water to avoid dehydration.


  • Dry skin of the user. Encourage the users to use an adequate amount of lotion when coming for a treadmill workout. Lotion softens the skin and acts a lubricant when they are holding on to the treadmill surfaces. It reduces friction and thus lowers the risk of static electricity buildup. Ask the users to combine this strategy with higher water intake so as to keep their skin hydrated.


  • Use of wool or synthetic materials when working out. Materials such as nylon, polyester and spandex are more susceptible to static build up. Synthetic fabrics build up more static charge than clothing made from natural fibers. So, if a user complaining of shocks has been working out with such gear, ask them to change. Recommend to them clothing made of cotton or any other natural fibers.


  • Run pattern of the user. The running pattern of a treadmill user can contribute to static buildup. If a user is shuffling their feet instead of having a smooth stride, they are likely to generate excessive friction which results in the creation of static electricity. They are most likely to get shocked. If you notice such, advice the user to change their running pattern to smooth strides.


  • Shoes. Advise the user to always check their shoes before hopping onto the treadmill for a run. Tell them to clean the bottom of their shoes to remove any dirt, dust and other items they may have collected on their way to the gym. Such materials create more surface area for friction to buildup and give you some static shocks. Also encourage the users to wear good fitting shoes. Old shoes may be too worn out and hence cause friction buildup. Users should also avoid shoes without nylon mesh.

If all else fails, consider using an anti-static spray that you can apply to your clothes and the treadmill’s running belt. The spray moistens the area and hence helps to diffuse static shock. It also makes the surface area less conducive for electrical charge build-up.




Why Your Treadmill Belt Maybe Slipping


With a treadmill, one of the most common issues people experience is a belt that's slipping. There are a few reasons this might happen. Luckily, there are also a number of fairly simple ways to fix this issue that you can do on your own, without calling anyone to service the machine.

Why Your Belt Might Be Slipping

There are actually two belts on a treadmill - there's the belt most commonly talked about which is the walking / running surface of your treadmill. And then there's the drive belt which connects from the motor to the front rollers. In this case, we're discussing the walking surface of your treadmill.

There may be a few reasons why your belt is slipping. Before trying to figure it out on your own, or even with general instructions like these, you want to check the manual produced by the manufacturer of your machine.

This is especially important if your machine is newer or still under warranty because the warranty may limit what repairs you can do yourself. Many warranties specify that only a repair service authorized by the manufacturer can perform certain repairs, so that's something to keep in mind before moving forward.

  • Too Much Friction. In some cases, the belt may need to be lubricated because the friction may be causing the belt to slip. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for the compatible lubrication.
  • Tension. Most often this is just a case of needing to adjust the tension of the belt. With use and age, the belt can naturally stretch, losing some of the tension and causing the belt to slip. There are a number of methods to correct this which we'll discuss in detail below.
  • Drive Belt. In some cases, the running belt may be stopping because the drive belt needs to be tightened on some models. This can be performed at home, though you'll want to check your manual. This type of repair will usually void the warranty if there is one.

Adjusting the Tension in Your Running Belt

If your belt is slipping, it's usually a matter of adjusting the tension. There are three different methods to repair this issue, which work on new belt installations as well as repairing existing running belts.

Stomp Test on Front Roller

The stomp test is a great way to test the retention on your running belt and repair an existing belt that's slipping.

  1. Check the rollers and underneath the belt to make sure there is no debris or wax buildup.
  2. Verify that belt centering is correct or true.
  3. Stand on machine and set to 3 mph.
  4. Attempt to stop the running belt from moving by bracing your feet on the running belt and your hands on the bar.
  5. If the belt slows or slips and the rollers are still moving, your tension needs to be adjusted. To do this, turn the adjustment tools on both sides of the rear roller to tighten, about a quarter of a turn to start.
  6. Repeat test and adjust until the rollers stop moving when you stop the belt.

Using Belt Gauges

For most belt replacements, using calipers would be a preferred method. It can be done without gauges, though this does make the process slightly simpler. Gauges can also be used to adjust machines with existing belts.

  1. Using belt gauges or calipers, you're going to stretch the belt according to the manufacturer's specifications.
  2. This method is usually used on  a new belt but can be performed on a machine where the tension just needs to be adjusted. In the case of an existing belt, you need to release the current tension before applying the gauges.

Without Using Calipers

  1. In the case of an existing belt, release the current tension before proceeding.
  2. Using a tape measure, put two marks on each side of the belt, 36 inches apart in the length.
  3. Then adjust the side bolts on both sides to 36 and 3/16 inches.
  4. Test the machine and adjust if needed.

There are a few reasons that your treadmill belt might start slipping. It could be a simple matter of age and use. A lot of activity on the machine or heavy running can also cause the belt to stretch faster than moderate use might. Armed with this information, you should be able to diagnose the issue. Some repairs may be more advanced than what we've detailed here and it's always advisable to check the manufacturer's manual before attempting any repairs.

Additional Resources:

Treadmill Running Belts




How to Use a Multimeter for Electronic Testing

Digital Multimeter

A leading cause of failure in fitness equipment is insufficient power to the internal components of a machine or no power at all. Knowing the basics of using a multimeter will be a great help in your troubleshooting efforts.


How to Use a Multimeter for Electronic Testing

Digital multimeters come in a variety of forms for use in electronic testing. For most situations be sure your multimeter can handle:

  • DC and AC volts
  • Ohms
  • Continuity
  • AC and DC current

Manual range meters are the most common, but auto range meters are easier to use. You need to set your meter to the correct setting, on manual range meters. The scale will adjust automatically to the necessary range for the values you wish to measure, on auto range meters.



If your multimeter has settings or symbols different to the ones we discuss, consult your owner's manual to verify its ability to test the circuit you want to test.

You need to know what circuit you are testing and the value you want to verify. Otherwise, you may damage the circuit or your meter. Never touch the exposed metal part of the probes or any metal surface that may be carrying a charge.


Continuity Testing

Continuity is a good way to test for any shorts in a circuit. Continuity testing shows whether there is or is not a complete connection. To indicate a connection, the meter will indicate:

  • “beep” and/or any value other than 1 on left of display.
  • no beep and/or 1 on left of display

This test should be done while the circuit is disconnected from any source of power. Be sure the red lead is plugged into the continuity socket. If your meter doesn't have a continuity socket, use the Ohms socket. The black lead should go into the Com socket. Some meters only have two sockets. Connect Black to the Com socket, and connect Red to the other socket.

If you cross the leads, the meter will show a low value or beep. This means there is continuity. It does not rule out the possibility of shorts.

EXAMPLE: If you have a piece of wire that you want to test for breaks, this can be done easily using the continuity meter, you can test for breaks by touching each end of the wire with a probe.

Suppose that same piece of wire is a wire loom, meaning several pieces of wire are inside the same insulator. You can use your continuity meter to check that the wires are continuous. You can also check for any shorts by touching both ends of any conductor. Touch both ends of each wire with your probes. You should hear a single beep or see a value displayed.

  • No beep & no value = circuit is not continuous
  • Beep & value = a short


Resistance Testing

To test for resistance; be sure the Red lead is in the Ohms socket, the black lead is in the Com socket, and the meter is set to Ohms.

IMPORTANT: test the resistor with one end disconnected from any circuits.


Testing for DC Volts

  • Connect the black lead to the Com socket
  • Connect the red lead to the Voltage socket
  • Set the dial to DC voltage (one range above value you are checking for)
  • Do not to cross the leads - it will short the circuit

If you get a zero reading, check the setting on your meter, as it may be set to AC.

You can check voltage without disconnecting it from the machine if you have a battery installed. To do this, probe the positive and negative ends on the battery.


Testing AC Volts

Set your meter to the AC Volt setting and range (one range above the reading you’re looking for). Insert the red lead in the “V” socket, and the black probe in the “Com” socket.

Do not short the leads during testing. It will short the circuit and may damage your meter.


Spin Bike Maintenance Means Happier Customers

Keeping your spin bikes up and running smoothly requires a daily, weekly and monthly maintenance schedule.  This will help save time, money and will help keep your spin bikes running at optimal performance resulting in happier customers for your facility.

Tools and supplies needed:

Tool kit with various wrenches, sockets and screw drivers.

Equipment polish

Chain degreaser

Lubricants such as silicon spray and chain wax

Daily Maintenance:

Once spin bike classes are finished this is an optimal time to wipe all the equipment down. Sweat is very corrosive and may cause long-term trouble for parts replacement later in the month. Wipe down the seats, frames and handlebars to remove excess sweat from these areas.

Pay special attention to the seat post; handle bar post and chain guard.  Next, get on the bike, engage the drive train, and pay attention to any vibrations felt through the pedals.  If vibrations are felt, you may need to tighten the pedals, bottom bracket, or adjust the drive chain tension. Lastly, you should torque the pedals. You will need a pedal wrench.  Tighten the pedals until they are secure.

Weekly Maintenance:

Weekly maintenance requires tightening down hardware and inspecting various moving parts. Inspect the pull pin frame fittings making sure the fittings are snug. Loose frame fittings over time may strip out the threads causing sever damage. Second, clean and lubricate the pull pin assemblies by pulling on the pin spray a small amount of lubricant onto the shaft. Third, torque the seat hardware making sure the seat is level and centered.

Fourth, brush and treat the resistance pads.  Remove any foreign material that may have collected on the pads and spray the pads with a silicon lubricant.  This helps in reducing noise caused from friction between the pads and the flywheel. Finally, visually inspect the bottom bracket, top clips and toe straps.  If any of these items are loose or disconnected re-attach and re-tighten.

Monthly Maintenance:

Monthly maintenance is a time for re-lubricating most moving parts and a basic hardware check. First, recheck all hardware such as water bottle holders, flywheel nuts, chain guard bolts, brake caliper lock nuts and brake caliper tension rod nuts are secure. Second, lubricate the drive chain.

This is accomplished by using the red straw on the chain wax can and looking for a small hole towards the back of the chain guard on the top side. Rotate the crank slowly while lubricating the drive chain. This will help to distribute the lubricant more effectively. Third, clean and lubricate the brake tension rod while inspecting for signs of wear such as missing threads.  Finally, clean and lubricate the seat post, handle bar post and seat slider removing any build up of foreign material at the point of insertion.

In summary, this is only general information about maintenance items that should be performed on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

A qualified technician should perform any maintenance procedures. Always check your manufacturer’s recommendations and maintenance materials before performing any work on the equipment.

Additional Resources:

Indoor Cycling Parts

Indoor Cycle Felt Brake Pad Restoration


Fast & FUN Ways to Stand Out in Your Community on National Family Health & Fitness Day

National Family Health & Fitness Day

Local fitness centers can help form the bridge between generations by showing families how they can be physically active as a team. National Family Health and Fitness Day, occurring this year on September 26, 2015, will be the 19th year in a row that the United States has devoted a day to events promoting family fitness.

The goal of National Family Health and Fitness Day is to make fitness fun and to show ways that families can remain active at all ages.

Fitness centers are in a unique position to promote a lifetime of healthy decisions when they can support a family’s goals, show ways to incorporate fitness into the everyday life of a family, and create a family-friendly workout environment.


Although the benefits of healthy eating and exercise can be found in every magazine and on numerous television shows and podcasts, America’s youth still struggles with getting enough activity.

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, approximately half of America’s young generation between the ages of 12 and 21 do not regularly participate in vigorous activity.

Part of this is due to the removal of physical education classes from many school districts. If the classes have not been removed, they have been decreased to where only 19 percent of high school students participate in a 20-minute PE class five days a week.

Fitness Products

Physical Activity Recommendations

The U.S. Surgeon General recommends daily participation in moderate physical activity and suggests that youths aim for a 30-minute walk or 15 to 20 minutes of higher-intensity sport play. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ups the ante slightly and says adults, teens and children should aim for 60 minutes of daily exercise.

This can be divided up into smaller durations and does not have to be a continuous time period. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity each week, which can easily be achieved with 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.


Family Fitness Fair

Local fitness centers can promote these minimum fitness requirements by showing families that exercise is fun. A family fitness fair is a way to encourage members and nonmembers to use the health center, plus local health experts can be on site to provide wellness tips and testing with regard to:

  • Body fat
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Weight
  • Blood sugar
  • Heart rate
  • Body mass index
  • Posture
  • Foot health

Many local hospitals can send a nurse to perform some of the health tests. Other local professionals, such as chiropractors, physician assistants and podiatrists, are delighted to share their services with the community.

By working with local health providers, fitness centers increase their networking, boost membership and show locals that they are invested in the health of their community members. Local fitness participants will choose to purchase memberships at health centers that invest in their families' wellness.


Enjoyable, Safe, Confident

Local businesses can easily support family efforts to achieve and maintain health. Adults and children alike should learn that exercise is enjoyable when it is performed safely. Plus, participants should feel confident in their ability to perform workouts and know that their bodies will do what they ask.

Trainers are an in a wonderful position to provide safe exercise instruction and help adults and children build their self-confidence. When an exercise routine is adapted to each fitness level, adults and children learn to work within their limitations yet push forward and reach their goals.

A family fitness fair on National Family Health and Fitness Day is the perfect chance for families to speak with a trainer without the pressure or intimidation of an intense sales pitch.

Trainers can be available for fitness consultations, fitness testing and to give examples of how personal training sessions benefit families. Family sessions can be scheduled as a way to maintain the family bond and keep each member accountable to the new routine.


Fun Run

At a family fitness fair, a health club can organize a fun run for families of all ages. The goal of the run is to finish the race, and families can run as individuals or perform a team relay if needed. Walking is encouraged and can be set up as a separate event.

A competitive atmosphere is not encouraged, as the goal is to make exercise fun and for each family member to feel confident in his or her abilities. A way to reduce the competition is to award everyone a t-shirt or to let families start and finish the run as they arrive instead of starting all the runners at the same time.



If the facility has a pool, an indoor triathlon can be set up — again, without competitiveness but simply to show participants an example of the three different sports. For instance, ask participants to swim for 20 minutes, ride an indoor bike for 20 minutes and then run or walk on a treadmill for 20 minutes.

Exercise sheets can be passed out and filled in the way one would fill in a bingo card. As family members complete each exercise station, they mark that square on their sheet.


Obstacle Course

One of the biggest and most popular physical challenges of the past few years is an outdoor obstacle course. Fitness centers can set up an outdoor obstacle course using available items such as chairs, aerobic steps, hula hoops, exercise balls, weight benches and more.

Imagine a course in which you walk the balance beam on steps, run tires through hula hoops, crawl under weight benches, jump rope for 20 yards and roll over the tops of balls. This fun way to exercise is something that parents can set up at home in the backyard, and health clubs can inspire this passion.



Cake walks are fun events at many family gatherings and are a version of musical chairs. Participants walk around on images of goodies that are arranged in a large circle, and whoever lands on the predetermined image wins a cake. While fitness centers do not want to promote sweets, images of fruits and vegetables could be used, with participants receiving apples instead of cakes. Other games that encourage movement and are easy for fitness trainers to lead are:

  • Mother May I
  • Red Light, Green Light
  • Simon Says
  • Duck, Duck, Goose — standing, with participants marching or doing jumping jacks in place


Big Events

A way to draw in more community members is to include a large event at the family fitness fair. Schedule a strength team to perform eye-opening feats such as tearing phone books, ripping license plates or squatting with four people on their backs. These teams typically have a health-promotion message that will reach audiences of all ages. Members and nonmembers will arrive to see what the club has to offer.



To prepare students for the Presidential Fitness Test, stations can be arranged at a family fair that include pushups, sit-ups, stiff-arm hangs, pull-ups and flexibility testing. Handouts can be provided to identify the preferred ranges in each of these categories, and trainers can help set up a mini workout that improves a student’s ability to do the exercises.

Fitness Products

Family Group Exercise

Fitness trainers can lead group classes for families by team-teaching a sample session. For example, four instructors can stand on each side of the room, as if it were divided into north, south, east and west. The instructor in the north position leads the warm-up and a portion of a kickboxing class; then, participants turn to the instructor on the east side of the room for 15 minutes of Zumba.

Next, participants turn to the back of the room, or south, for strengthening exercises, followed by a turn to the west instructor for abdominal work and a cool-down. Participants get a taste of each class in a fun and highly motivating atmosphere, which will encourage them to return for a complete group fitness workout.


Lasting Impression

Fitness centers can help families remember all they have learned by having handouts available. These can include healthy recipes, fitness tips and reminders of ways to incorporate exercise into everyday life, such as:

  • Parking away from the store doors.
  • Using stairs.
  • Walking the dog.
  • After-dinner walks.
  • Pushups or crunches during commercials.
  • Hula-hoop afternoons.
  • Dance jams in the living room.



Health Clubs should collect family contact information and keep communication open as to how they can best serve their members. This communication goes a long way toward helping people reach their health and wellness goals, especially in families.

According to research from the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at Iowa State University, parents who maintain open communication with their children are more likely to have children who make healthy food choices and participate in physical activity.

One way trainers can encourage this communication, say the researchers, is to provide role-playing opportunities in which parents have easy, natural conversations regarding healthy choices.

A family fitness fair on September 26, 2015, is a way to make fitness fun and promote National Family Health and Fitness Day. With a little preplanning, this day will be something that community members look forward to each year and to which they will return in order to see what new fitness trends have emerged.

SPORTSMITH™ has been supplying fitness equipment parts and fitness products to health clubs for 20 years, and by keeping up with the trends and technologies we have kept our customers engaged and satisfied with our customer service and wide array of products. Click here to learn more about how we can help your health club stay current and well stocked!

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12 Reasons People Quit a Healthclub

12 Reasons People Quit a Healthclub

Your bottom line isn't affected by whether or not people enjoy going to a health club; it's affected when they quit going to one. You can't save every customer, but if you know the top reasons why people leave a club, you can start trying to address the problems before they even start. As always, keep in mind that this is survey data with people reporting directly. Sometimes people won't say or don't even know the real reason that they actually quit. For example, they're not likely to admit that they're just far too lazy to work out, regardless of the consequences.

In this four part series we will examine ways you can use member interest to bolster your bottom line. Be sure to Subscribe to receive the upcoming articles in this series.

  1. The Cost.

It's a decent percentage that's taken out of members' paychecks each month for a gym, especially when you factor in all of the other expenses that can come up in a month. Considering they know it's possible to fill balloons with sand and buy an exercise tape, it's probably pretty hard for them to justify continuing to pay far heavier fees to keep going to a gym. Your biggest job in marketing is convincing them what they're getting for the costs. Whether it's equipment that is safe and easy to use, instructors for classes that will push them when they want to stop or a healthier lifestyle, make it clear that they can't get these things at home.

  1. Lack of Attendance 

If people don't get into a routine right away when they join your club, it's pretty much all downhill from there. They need to make the time during their busy work weeks, and often the gym is all too easy to skip. Excuses are incredibly easy to make, especially as an adult, but a true devotee will find a way to get their workouts in (even if they're in Siberia.) This can be a hard one to market against, but try putting up posters that help create reminders for them, such as, "After work, it's gym time to unwind." Once people have a response built up in their head, such as, "As soon as I turn the keys in my car to go to work, I turn left to go to the gym," you'll be able to keep your members for longer.

  1. Location 

You can't help it when someone moves, because at that point, the person's entire routine is disrupted — he or she will no longer be turning left to get to the gym anymore. This might seem trivial, but it really isn't. It can take a long time for people to recover from a change, and it can be very difficult for your business not to become the casualty here. Or sometimes, people sign up thinking that your gym isn't that far, but then after a while, even that 10-minute drive can just be too daunting to make. Again, your literature and materials should be focusing on creating a routine here as much as possible. Your club would be the one constant amidst change.

  1. Found a Free Place to Exercise

How can you compete against free? Well, exercise is always free, but there's a reason why people pay to do it. Equipment, access to pools, spas, classes and so forth are certainly one part of it, but a lot of people also won't do it unless they're somehow invested in the process. For example, if I don't go, then I'm just losing $30 a month. Remind your customers that they likely wouldn't stay on track if they had no financial incentive to work out.

  1. The Crowds

Having a crowded club seems like a dream come true, but it can work against you too. You obviously can't make more physical space unless it's gotten to the point where you absolutely need to construct an add-on, but you can rearrange your layout to fit in more machines. People don't like to wait, and if their favorite equipment or classes aren't available now, they might not want to risk that type of hassle the next time. Again, these can seem like trivial matters. Maybe it was only once that they had to wait, but that one incident can lead to a negative association with going to the gym.

  1.   Injury

There's not much you can do about this one. No matter how safe equipment is, people will still find a way to use it incorrectly. The main thing to do here is let them know that your policies are flexible and that they can ease back into working out and building up their strength again. Also, make it clear that staff is there to help people with technique so injuries don't occur.

  1. Didn't Fit In 

Some people go to a gym just to meet people, and some people want to remain entirely anonymous. If people feel like they can't talk to the other members, then you obviously can't force them to feel comfortable. What you can do is hire intuitive staff who can treat people the way they want to be treated. If they can either give people space or make them feel like a part of a family (whichever one they're more likely to want), then you can create a sense of peace around their visits.

  1. Lost Job

Again, you have no control over this one, but you can let people know that your policies are flexible for when they get back on their feet.

  1. Don't Like to Exercise

Exercise is supposed to release all these endorphins and make people happy, but if that were true for everyone, you'd see a lot more people working out. Adults understand that sometimes they have to do things in their lives that they don't want to do. Exercise is something they need to do to make themselves live longer, better and more fulfilled lives. Don't necessarily tout the reasons why exercise is good for them; they already know that. Have marketing materials that show that you understand where they're coming from, but that ultimately, they're better off continuing to do something they hate to do.

  1. Couldn't Achieve Fitness Goals

People have this image in their minds that they're going to become ripped or a supermodel after they start going to a gym. It doesn't help that impossibly attractive people are featured in the ads. Yes, it can help people become motivated to sign up, but it can also serve to discourage if people don't start looking like that sooner rather than later. This is the time to be specific. Any step is better than no step at all. This is the message you need to hammer into everyone with whom you're in contact. Your trainers should not be pushing extra sets on people or giving them goals they can't accomplish. It takes a special kind of employee to realize who needs to be pushed (because some do need that) and who needs to be encouraged just for doing something at all, but they're worth it. Little changes can lead to larger shifts in people's lives, but it takes time.

  1. The Intimidation Factor

Gyms can be intimidating for beginners. A person walks in for the first time and knows nothing. Others in the gym already know how to use the equipment, know the staff and have a routine. It can take people a while to feel comfortable, so the key is baby steps. You can encourage someone to just try one machine for the day. Test it out, and then go home. The next time, the person can try another machine or possibly even a class.

  1. Not Enough Help

Your staff members are working with people, so they need to be people-pleasers. Everyone wants something different, and it's a lot to ask of your employees to do a difficult (but doable) type of mind reading. Your employees should at least know the basics, such as when people are uncomfortable with attention or when they require more guidance then just a simple point of a finger if asked where the treadmills are.

These are all things that can be addressed with the right values instilled into your health club. It may take you some time to see the benefits, but your customers will appreciate the extra efforts put forth by your dedicated employees.

So often, it's hard to see the forest through the trees, but the truth is that it doesn't take a lot these days for a person to give up on a company. Just one broken machine or wrong comment can turn someone off forever. You won't be perfect, but a consistent and forward-thinking approach will always pay off.

SPORTSMITH™ has been supplying fitness equipment parts and fitness products to health clubs for 20 years, and by keeping up with the trends and technologies we have kept our customers engaged and satisfied with our customer service and wide array of products. Click here to learn more about how we can help your health club stay current and well stocked!

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Survey source The 2015 IHRSA Global Report


12 Reasons Your Health Club Members Stay

healht club membersYou probably know as a health club operator that it's easier to keep a customer than to pick up a new one. Your current client base already knows where you are, how you operate, the membership fees and what you generally have to offer to them. Making a switch takes a lot of effort and a disruption in their routine; however this advice is often lost to owners because they're far too focused on expanding business as opposed to keeping it. You don't have to make big gestures or a huge 'thank you' statement, but you should have a general idea of what exactly keeps them coming back into your doors.

Their primary goals in staying with a health club doesn't appear to be what you can do for them, the crucial factor is about what they can do for themselves. In this way, you just need to be the best possible vessel for them to reach their goals.

In this four part series we will examine ways you can use member interest to bolster your bottom line. Be sure to Subscribe to receive the upcoming articles in this series.

So let's look at the top 12 reasons stay at a health club, so you can make the right choices when trying to entice them to keep their membership with you.
  1. Toned Bodies

They already have seen what their history with you has done for their bodies. They've seen the results and just want to keep those results. Giving them constant reminders that simply by walking in the doors again and again, they immerse themselves in the idea of keeping their bodies as pure and strong as possible. They are likely already addicted to the endorphins, so it won't take much to please them so long as you keep giving them a reliable place to exercise.

  1. Their Overall Health

These people aren't necessarily looking to win any beauty pageants. They just know how important it is to exercise, so they continue to come back to a place to keep their circulation, cholesterol and body fat in check within the recommended levels. Offer them information about the importance of exercise on every aspect of their health, both body and mind. They already know it, but since that's why they continue coming, it doesn't hurt to remind them.

  1. Location, Location, Location

People value convenience often much more than they let on. If you're in a place where people can easily find you or you're naturally in the middle of a large city, you have a huge advantage of both gaining the initial business and keeping it. As anyone in real estate can tell you, picking the right place for your business could make or break your future. It doesn't mean that if you find the perfect place you can just sit back and watch the money roll in, it just means that you're giving yourself a head start.

  1. Great Equipment to Target Different Areas of the Body

Having the right machines mean that you're giving your customers the means to get their workouts done faster and with fewer risks of injury. They'll work smarter and not harder with machines which help them with both their cardio workouts and cross-training efforts. Stress the benefits of each machine, and let them know that your club is set up to help a variety of different purposes. Some people want bigger arms, or a bigger butt. Tailor the information you give out to each person, or post a comprehensive and easy-to-read list by the machines. They'll appreciate being able to utilize your equipment in the most effective ways.

  1. They Came to Work, Not Make Small Talk

Working out with friends or joining an exercise club may be the only way for some people to stay on track. Others just want to be anonymous so they can workout and then get out. They come here so they won't have to spend time making small talk and awkwardly wondering if it's all right to just walk away from a conversation so they can finally tackle the next 10 reps they have to do before they have to get back to work. You can't do anything about customers who might chat them up, but make sure your staff knows who these people are so they give them every out to get back to their routine.

  1. Personal Goals

Your customers can't control how people feel about them at work or at home. They can only strive to be a better person in all that they do. Going to a health club means that not only are they trying to do the right thing, they're actually succeeding in it. This is one way they can feel good about themselves that they can depend on. They know that they've done something good for themselves by exercising and staying on track. You should be encouraging for this crowd, but not too demanding of them. They may not need a new goal every week.

  1. The Classes

Offering a wide variety of classes from Yoga to Spinning to Advanced Cardio means that you're appealing to the different types of people who may frequent your club. Sometimes learning and being coached through new moves can only be done by a qualified teacher, and if they don't have enough funds on hand to pay someone to do it one on one, this is the only way to get that tutorial. Also, you should really take some time in picking out the instructor for the class since that's going to make all the difference in whether or not people want to sign up.

  1. Fun

Ok, it's a little buried here, but exercise is supposed to be fun! All those chemicals being released make you feel alive and invigorated about your day. Upbeat music, smiling faces and great attitudes all just make people want to come back again and again to feel good.

  1. Their Friends and Family Go There

Endorsements mean the most coming from someone you know. If their loved ones already attend the club, then they're more likely to stay in a certain area. However, it's not a coincidence that all these people who know each other are all in your club. Impress your current customers, and their comments will go farther than any marketing campaign ever could.

  1. The Professional Fitness Staff

Everyone knows that personal trainers come at an additional cost, but sometimes just having access to knowledgeable, means that people are more likely to stick with their personal fitness goals. When you hire your employees, take into account not just how much they know, but also how well they're likely to interact with your customers. People should feel comfortable in approaching them with questions, comments and concerns.

  1. The Social Aspects

Ok, so some people do go to a health club to be able to meet with other people and share tips. Keep in mind that it's nearing the list, but it's definitely still a factor. Some people may just be encouraged to see other people working out. They know that if they're the only one who can't keep up in a class that it will motivate them to get better so they won't have to look like the outcast.

  1. The Money

They've already paid you at this point, so why not go? Some people need to make that investment first. It's not a terrible strategy, and not necessarily a reason you need to shy away from when you interact with them. Some people don't want to hide behind the fact that they want to stay healthy. It's entirely possible that they simply know that they have to exercise, they'll hate it every stage of the way and they need an external force helping them to complete their goals.

For whatever reason your customers keep coming back to you, keep an open mind and try to work approaches to your existing client base to meet their needs.

SPORTSMITH™ has been supplying fitness equipment parts and fitness products to health clubs for 20 years, and by keeping up with the trends and technologies we have kept our customers engaged and satisfied with our customer service and wide array of products. Click here to learn more about how we can help your health club stay current and well stocked!

Did You Enjoy This Article?

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Stay Up to Date on the Latest Fitness Equipment Maintenance Trends
Get Exclusive Money Saving Offers on Fitness Equipment Parts & Fitness Products
Be the First to Know About New Products
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Join Over 67,000 of Your Peers - Click Here to Join Now

Survey source The 2015 IHRSA Global Report