20 September 2023

Accountability: Is it time to learn a second trick?

For the last few years, an entire generation of training gyms have made a very successful living with delivery based around the A-word: Accountability.

Like “Abracadabra” and “Sim Sala Bim”, Accountability is a “magic word” that fits almost every situation. Gym owners tell their members that they need “accountability” in order to achieve their fitness goals. Those same gym owners, looking for assistance with running their operations, are told by the mentors that it is “accountability” that they need to succeed. A metaphorical “silver bullet”, by all accounts, in recent times, Accountability has been the elixir of the fitness market.

All joking aside, accountability is an essential aspect of assisting an individual in meeting their goals but as a mainstay of delivery, the approach is starting to get a bit long in the tooth. It works great for the Gen Zee’ers but are we, as service providers, missing the bigger picture?

The world in the second decade of the 21st century is challenging. People are juggling complicated lives. For those beyond 30 years of age, telling them that they require “accountability” is verging on condescending. The chances are that they are seeking a wholly more holistic approach to overall well-being.

Here's why:

1. The Changing Landscape of Health and Fitness
Modern wellness is not just about how many hours one clocks in at the gym or the number of pounds shed. People are increasingly aware that proper health encompasses physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual facets. By offering services and resources that address this multifaceted approach to health, gym owners can ensure they stay relevant and appeal to a broader audience.

2. Enhancing Member Retention
While many gym-goers start with a burst of motivation, this can often wane. However, when members feel their gym is a sanctuary for their overall well-being - a place where they can practice yoga, learn about nutrition, meditate, or attend a workshop on stress management - they are more likely to maintain their membership. This deeper sense of connection and value leads to greater retention rates.

3. Differentiating in a Competitive Market
The fitness industry is saturated. For gym owners, differentiating their space from others is crucial. By offering holistic wellness services, they can stand out and attract members looking for more than machines and workout classes. It gives them a unique selling proposition in a crowded marketplace.

4. Enhancing Overall Member Satisfaction
The holistic approach to wellbeing ensures that members leave the gym feeling better in multiple aspects of their lives. They'll associate your gym with holistic upliftment rather than just a place to sweat. This positive association enhances overall satisfaction, leading to positive word-of-mouth, reviews, and referrals.

5. Cross-selling Opportunities
When you expand the range of services, your gym offers to encompass a more holistic view of health, and you also create opportunities for additional revenue streams. Workshops, courses, or consultations on nutrition, mental health, and other areas of wellness can be offered at an additional cost. Members benefit from the convenience of having these services in one place, while the gym benefits from increased revenue.

6. Reflecting a Modern Philosophy
A holistic philosophy is not just a trend; it reflects a modern understanding of health and wellness. By embracing this approach, gym owners send a message that they are forward-thinking, updated, and responsive to the evolving needs of their clientele.

7. Building a Community
A gym that supports holistic wellbeing becomes more than just a workout space; it becomes a community hub. Members can connect over shared interests, support each other in their holistic health journeys, and create deeper relationships. Such a sense of community can be a powerful tool for member retention and satisfaction.


While accountability will always be an integral part of the fitness equation, gym owners stand to benefit significantly by broadening their horizons. By embracing a holistic approach to overall well-being, they can offer more value to their members, differentiate in the marketplace, and create a more profound sense of community – more likely across a more diverse slice of the population. As the line between gym and wellness centre blurs, those who adapt are poised for success in the new age of health and fitness.

Written by Chris Windram.


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