Club Insider

The Fitness Industry Has Hit Rock Bottom

A Blog Post By Thomas - May 5, 2009

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Thomas PlummerThomas Plummer

Publisher's Note: Thomas Plummer continues to produce his excellent National Fitness Business Alliance Seminars around the country, and he's added frequent blogs to his website ( The following blog appeared on May 5th and Club Insider thought it might be interesting to you because he makes his case about our industry's need to reinvent itself. Club Insider will follow these blogs in the future. Stay Tuned!

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Every person who has ever suffered from a drinking problem knows the old adage that there is never change until you hit bottom. Then, and only then, can you admit you have an issue and rebuild your life.

In this industry, we have hit bottom, and we're floundering on the floor like a bunch of wet monkeys in a hot tub. We have found the bottom, and we now have no way to go but up.

How do you define bottom in the fitness business? We, as an industry, track the national membership numbers every year. Then, we bend them until they break, and we still show flat growth. We track new clubs opening, and when the truth finally emerges from this recent alleged recession, we will find that we probably shrunk in total club numbers with the biggest hits occurring in the circuit club and dinosaur classes (dinosaurs are generic box clubs left over from the 80's that still have the same old business practices and probably the same original equipment, that give us all such a bad name in this industry).

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