How to Cultivate a Winning Gym Atmosphere and Attract More Referrals

Ever walk into a restaurant, house, or even a school and feel…something?

Before you did anything, you felt a vibe.

Think about the last concert you went to. You probably felt exciting energy pass through the crowd as the singer or band on stage played their most upbeat song.

And I bet that got you on your feet, waving your hands like a madman to the rhythm of the music…concert

We feed off the environment around us.

That’s so important for you to understand for the sake of your business. The vibe of your fitness business is vital to your business’s appeal.

Listen, working out isn’t comfortable for most people. Many people loathe the idea of exercising in front of others. They feel like every gym is impersonal, daunting, and a waste of time.

THAT’s why they’re apprehensive.

Now, it’s your job as the fitness professional to communicate with them and show them that your gym is different. And as they say, first impressions matter…

So when a prospect steps into your gym for the first time, before they even shake your hand and listen to your spiel about how awesome your programs are, they’re going to do one thing.


I see it all the time. Their eyes bounce everywhere, from your equipment, to your classes, to your staff, to your shoes, to your walls (even the empty ones).

Man, I’ll tell you what. THAT’s their first impression of you.

These prospects don’t fall in love with your gym because they love your equipment or because they really dig the sign out front. Maybe that will get them in the door, but it certainly won’t keep them there.

When you were at the concert, the nice seats and the good drinks were nice, but they weren’t what got you belting songs from the pit of your lungs, right? It was the overall feeling, the atmosphere, that happened when every part of the experience came together.

That goes for any interaction you have with prospects and clients, online or offline. They need to feel that you understand them and care about them every step of the way. That feeling comes from your attention to detail.

What will motivate them to go all-in and commit to your fitness family?

The atmosphere of your gym, which is the sum of all the little things you make sure you and your team get right.

It’s powerful to watch a group of motivated members push each other to not back down in the gym. When someone encourages you through a workout, calling you by name, giving you specific feedback based on your goals, you feel like you can accomplish anything.

THAT’S what you want prospects to see when they visit your gym. You want them to think, “Man, this is a community I can really fit in with.”

“There’s some serious positivity running through this place.”

“I never knew you could connect with people just by working out together.”

That’s your aim. Now how do we get there?

It starts with you and your staff. If you can’t bring 100% energy and excitement to every workout, fitness probably isn’t the line of work for you.

Yea, we all have our off days, but your obligation is to deliver a killer, superstar experience for your clients every time.

Culture isn’t something you force. It’s your identity. It’s the values you choose to center your business on.

If you and your staff commit to teach every session with love and support, something special happens. That love and support becomes contagious. 

That’s what you want to drive home in your marketing. That’s right—the atmosphere in your gym counts as marketing too, because it’s part of the message you are sending every day to your community.

Gary Halbert, known as “the greatest copywriter who ever lived”, once said that you can’t create desire in your marketing. You can only appeal to the dreams and desires that your prospects already have.

And, chances are, your prospects want a safe place to work out. They want a trainer who will both push and support them.FBBC SM1

That’s what you have to appeal to in your emails, in your snail mail, in your Facebook advertisements to them. You want to let them know they’re joining a family of awesome people who care about each other, even outside of the gym.

See, when you commit to making those values your culture, the rest just falls into place.

That makes it so important to maintain that culture at your facility.

When an employee brings negative energy into your gym, it hurts everyone. You don’t want those crabs pulling you and your clients down…Either help them deal with their issues or fire them.

Now, I’m not saying your gym needs to be all sunshine and roses, like Willy Wonka’s factory or something…

But you should be REAL with your clients. They should trust you enough to come to you with their concerns and questions.

The reality is that fitness business, or any business, isn’t always easy. You run into issues and complications that can crush the morale of your team.

It’s up to you, the leader, the general, the man or woman in the driver’s seat, to set a positive, healthy tone in your gym.

That means handling conflict with attention and care. If a gym’s culture is toxic, imagine what happens when things start to spiral out of control…

You need to be the light of your business. But how do you do that?

That comes from humility, man. Ever seen a business owner on a power trip?

It always ends up splitting the business into two factions: the owner, and everybody else.

No one in your gym is better than anyone else. That’s true for your clients, your staff, and most importantly YOU.

At the end of the day, you want a gym atmosphere that people on the street will NEED to stop by.

You want an atmosphere your clients look forward to going to all the time. One they will rave about to their friends who are still looking for their fitness solution.

Ultimately, you’re in the business of changing lives.

How does the environment at your gym help get that done?

Committed to your success,