Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Plummer warns of the dangers of low-cost fitness memberships

Plummer warns of the dangers of low-cost fitness memberships
November 11, 2011

Renowned US-based health and fitness expert Thomas Plummer has issued a warning to the global fitness industry about the perils of low-cost memberships.

Addressing delegates at the recent Leisure Industry Week (LIW) 2011 in the United Kingdom, Plummer drew on his extensive experience of the US market to reveal that budget models were a "micro-trend".

In his address, 'Global trends in the fitness industry that will change the game', Plummer told delegates that the USA "is in the middle of a micro-trend and it's going to spill over. You will get around three or four years of disruption and then it will fail. It's failing in the US.

"There is only so many members in a marketplace. Some of you over here are thinking I'll just halve my price (and become) a budget club. Some of you are already doing that (and) it will work for a couple of years."

Plummer stressed the need for operators to move away from a membership-driven model to a results-driven one in a bid to cope with increased competition that "is coming".

In his blog, Plummer has since expanded on what he sees as the current problems affecting low-cost membership clubs, which he suggests "will ultimately fail."

Plummer suggests that "the business plan for a low-priced model is based upon the ability to service a lot of people cheaply and quickly. The primary tool used by the low-priced players is the circuit line - single joint, fixed plane equipment - limit the free weights, load up on cardio and throw as much circuit style selectorised (equipment) at the client as you can stuff in the room.

"The reality is, however, that circuit training is dead. The clients have moved past it, athletes have moved past it, any trainer worth more than US$5 per hour has moved past it and there isn't a popular fitness magazine in the country that has ran an article on the benefits of circuit training in the last decade.

"Circuit training is done, gone, failed, worthless except for 1% of the population too weak to stand up and has been replaced by upright athletic based training.

"If your entire business model is based upon failing technology, in this case thousands of low-priced guys filled with circuit stuff, then what you are doing is not sustainable.

"Would you risk your fortune on opening a pager store? Would you open a bookstore in the era of E-readers? And how many businesses today are based upon technology that is over 40 years old, in this case Nautilus dating back to the late 1960's?

"Circuit training as a technology is dead; the members don't use it much in the clubs, and the only people still advocating this method of equipment or either the equipment companies that haven't seen the light or owners stuck in 1995.

"Think circuit training is sustainable as a business model? Ask the Curves guys how that is working for them these days or any other circuit based business model.

"Get over it people. If you are still setting people up on a circuit and giving them a big card kept in a box on the edge of the floor you have been warned that the end of your business is near. You simple cannot compete with out-of-date technology that does not work and that no one wants."

Plummer, whose first ever UK presentation was sponsored by MyZone, also told the LIW audience that he foresees a move towards smaller facilities and the advent of functional training 'as a tool'.

An industry legend with over 30 years of experience, Thomas Plummer has authored the most sold books on how to run fitness clubs.

Read his blog at http://thomasplummer.net

29th March 2011 - MYZONE: CHANGING THE FACE OF FITNESS AND HEALTH FOREVER

15th January 2010 - LES MILLS RELEASES ‘FUTURE OF FITNESS’ RESEARCH

9th February 2009 - 24/7 FITNESS CLUBS OFFER OBESITY SOLUTION

 


Support our industry news service
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

As an independent publisher, we need reader support for our industry news gathering so ask that - if you don't already do so - you back us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine and/or our online news.

Click here to view our subscription options.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

ProSlide Technology

ProSlide is the global leader in water ride design and manufacturing, supplying high-performance water attractions to new and expanding water parks around the world. For over three decades, ProSlide…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks

 
 

Aflex Inflatables

Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks

 
 

SLE WORLDWIDE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues

 
 

ICP

ICP is an Australian-based company focused on indoor climbing. ICP will manage your project from initial design to completion and beyond, whether you're building an international-level climbing…

read more

Attractions / Fitness / Recreation

 
 

Aussie Strength

We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

TICKETSERV

As of 2018, TicketServ operates as SeatGeek Asia Pacific Pty Limited, part of international ticketing platform SeatGeek. Click here to contact SeatGeek Asia Pacific via their entry in…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Events / Sport / Ticketing

 
 

Enta Australasia

As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd.  Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing.  19th July 2018 - ENTA…

read more

Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

XBODY Australia Pty Ltd

PROVEN BUSINESS CONCEPTS WITH XBODY XBody’s goal is to see you and your EMS business succeed. That is why we don’t just sell equipment, we provide know-how, expert knowledge,…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business