Which type of business model is right for your gym?

Are You Using the Proper Business Model for Your Gym?

« Blog | Written by Emily Duty | | (0) Comments |

Sandwiched in the middle of another pandemic year, fitness businesses around the world continue to grow and evolve. Everything the fitness industry knew back in 2019 is very different from what it knows in 2021. If you are a gym owner and haven’t done so already, now could be a good time to check in with your current business model. Find out what still serves you and what doesn’t, in order to stay on top of the competition and continue reaching your target audience. We’d love to help you get started in your search! In this post are some different membership models to consider for your gym.


Let’s start with a membership-based gym model because it’s what most people think of when they first sign up at the gym. It’s a monthly or annual fee in exchange for unlimited access to facility services. The pros are, it’s been around the block. So, it’s tried and true. It’s straightforward in what your members will receive for their fee. And when it comes to cash flow, it’s a steady and predictable revenue stream for business owners.

The cons are, because it’s an annual contract, members can sometimes feel locked in or locked down. Especially if they aren’t getting full use out of their membership like they want. Or, circumstances arise and they can’t. For example, when people were unable to access their gyms at the start of the coronavirus and couldn’t take full advantage of the equipment and classes they paid for. 

Tiered Membership Models

A tiered membership model is a membership based subscription with options. And who doesn’t love options, right? If members are anxious with a traditional membership plan, offer them a tiered plan. It will allow them more control over their pockets and fitness experience. Adopting a tiered membership shows clients you’re listening to their wants and needs. And that’s pretty cool.

Digital Subscription  

Everyone has watched the fitness industry dive into the digital work out space these last two years. Some businesses slowly added in online accessible features. Others went fully online. What’s great about a digital subscription during the pandemic is gym owners don’t have to fuss over social distancing, limited capacity, masks or sanitisation. However, the downside is members can miss out on the full gym experience. For most people, that’s a huge deal. A big pull of a physical gym is that group motivation. Plus, friendly competition and professional in-person guidance. 

Hybrid Fitness

Hybrid Fitness is somewhere in-between membership based and a digital subscription. By adopting a hybrid fitness business model, you can offer clients the best of both worlds. One with a mixture of in-person and online classes.

Your in-person clients will look forward to a more intimate class-size experience. Your online clients will still get the feel of being in your gym’s environment while working out from the comfort of their homes. Also, your in-person members have the flexibility to access a live-streamed class. Or, stop by a digital library whenever they are unable to make it there either, ensuring they still get in a workout.

Group Fitness

Speaking of group motivation and friendly competition, there’s a business model for that. One where members can pay for a bundle of classes, connect with other members and bounce off energy. While some people need music to pump them up for their workout, others enjoy having like-minded individuals to achieve goals with.

Pay As You Go 

A pay as you go plan can help attract members who are maybe on the fence about committing to a plan just yet. It lets them come and go as they please, and take what they need from your services. From a business perspective, sure, it might not have great cash flow. But, it could still be worth implementing into your business model plan. And remember, you can always mix and match business models until you find what works best for you. There is no right or wrong way to do your business, only what feels right to you.


Gym owners, remember this. Like you, some of the most successful businesses are the ones open to evolving. As you know, successful businesses don’t get stuck in their ways. They are always looking for ones to help grow their business. So, continue researching and learning. Listen to fitness industry trends, as well as your target audience and you will do well.  Start with these insights to different membership models for your gym. Then, keep digging for more information until you find your niche and groove. As always, we wish you well on your success journey.

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