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How do gyms make money? (Bonus: 33 Ways Gyms Make Money)

How do gyms make money? (Bonus: 33 Ways Gyms Make Money)

Gyms make money through gym memberships, personal training sessions, fitness classes, merchandise, and other products. Smart gym owners can learn how to create multiple gym revenue streams. So how exactly do gyms make money? While the answer might seem obvious, the reality is a bit more nuanced. Yes, gyms make money from membership fees, but that’s just the beginning. Classes, personal training sessions, and merchandising also play a part (often, a large part).

Fitness Income Ideas

Whether you are just learning how to open a gym or how to start a fitness business, or maybe you are a long-time gym owner and are always willing to learn and up your game, then check out this guide to learn all of the ways how gyms make money. Then read through our gym owner guide, and learn how to make more money in the fitness industry with our free guide on how to make money from fitness, learn how to make a gym profitable with our guide on how to increase gym revenue and profitability, learn just how profitable are gym businesses exactly, and then let us help you manage your gym with the best gym software to run your entire gym.

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Gym Money-Making Sources

If you’ve just opened a new gym (or are considering doing so), you’ve probably asked, “How do gyms make money?” The money earned from membership fees seems like the easy answer, but there’s a lot more to it than that.

  • Membership fees are only the beginning of your gym’s income potential.
  • Classes and personal training packages are perfect upgrades for members.
  • Selling extra goods and services will help take your revenue to the next level.

As it turns out, gyms make money through a variety of methods, including retail, education, and technology (using tools like a gym CRM platform, a custom branded fitness app and a gym POS solution). Ready to maximize your gym’s earning potential? Get ready to offer multiple products and services to increase gym profitability. (Read more: How profitable is owning a gym?)

Read More: How to Create Multiple Gym Revenue Streams

How to Make Money with a Gym

There are three primary ways that gyms make money: from membership fees, from selling classes and personal training packages, and from selling extra goods and services.

Gym Membership Fees

The average cost of gym membership in the US is $507 per year, but every gym has its own income strategy. With memberships starting at $10 per month, Planet Fitness aims for a low-cost-high-volume approach. On the other hand, Life Time Fitness utilizes a more exclusive strategy, with memberships starting at $79 per month. According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the average monthly membership fee for a gym in the United States is $58.

So, how much do gyms make from gym membership fees? The short answer is: it depends. The pricing structure you choose for your gym should make sense for your financial needs, but it should also compliment your company’s branding. It doesn’t make much sense to open a casual, fun, family gym if families can’t afford to frequent it. Conduct a gym SWOT analysis to decide how to make your gym stand out, and where your gym may intentionally choose not to compete.

Just because you set your gym’s membership fee at, for instance, $20 per month, it doesn’t mean you can’t play with that number to your advantage. If members are willing to pay for a year upfront, you could drop the cost to $15 per month.

Additionally, you could offer discounts for families or seniors. Conversely, in the name of reducing crowding during peak hours, you could charge a small fee to members who wish to use the gym during “premium hours”.

Whatever fee structure you choose for your gym, be sure to apply it consistently and fairly, and communicate any changes well in advance.

Classes/Personal Training

Memberships may get customers in the door, but your gym’s earning potential does not stop there. Personal training packages are a perfect upgrade for members who may be new to working out, or for those who wish to maximize their results.

For other members who may be bored with their routine or who wish to have a more well-rounded fitness approach, classes are a great option. Yoga, pilates, and kettlebell classes are just a few examples that would fit well in nearly any gym. According to the IHRSA, group exercise classes are the most popular type of class offered at health clubs, with an average of 10 classes offered per week. And the average revenue per class is $10-15.

Depending on your market and on your gym’s focus, you could even go a little more outside the box with your classes. Nutrition plans are a natural accompaniment to personal training packages. You could move your class outside to create a fitness boot camp.

With sports-specific training packages, you could attract high school and college athletes by helping them stay in shape for their sport during their off-season. You could even appeal to other fitness professionals by hosting fitness instructor training classes.

Read More: Personal Trainer Marketing

Extra Goods and Services

There is a whole world of goods and services that your gym can offer to enhance members’ experiences. If you have the space for it, you could include a smoothie bar, tanning beds, or a daycare area. If your gym has sports amenities, such as a basketball court or racquetball court, you could rent out equipment.

However, if space is tight, you can still sell things like supplements, bottled drinks, and branded merchandise (such as t-shirts and water bottles with your gym’s logo) using gym ecommerce software. And don’t forget about supplemental services like body composition testing and VO2 max testing.

According to the IHRSA, the average health club makes $2,600 in additional revenue from retail sales per month.

With the Exercise.com platform, we offer lightning fast online booking, one-click upsells to increase your average order value, and gym payment processing that will help you grow and manage your gym’s earning potential to the fullest.


Ways to Increase Gym Income

While it can be tempting to start selling everything you can think of, it’s better to focus on a few additional gym revenue streams that make the most sense for your gym. Choose things that are easy to manage and will bring a great return. Dial in the best gym KPI metrics and then concentrate on what is most important to increase your gym income.

One simple tool that will show instant results is gym management software. Find one that can help track your revenue streams while also serving as an all-in-one information center, member portal, and online store. Streamline your gym with gym automations that send marketing messages to members and leads.


Bonus: 33 Ways Gyms Make Money

The fitness industry has expanded significantly over the years, allowing gyms and fitness centers to diversify their revenue streams. Here are 33 ways gyms can generate income:

  1. Membership Fees: The primary source of revenue for many gyms.
  2. Personal Training: Offering one-on-one training sessions.
  3. Group Fitness Classes: Such as yoga, pilates, spin, or Zumba.
  4. Specialty Workshops: Weekend or one-day events focusing on specific fitness topics.
  5. Certification Programs: Training individuals to become certified fitness instructors.
  6. On-site Child Care: Charging for babysitting services while parents work out.
  7. Merchandise Sales: Selling gym-branded apparel and accessories.
  8. Nutrition Counseling: Offering sessions with nutritionists or dietitians.
  9. Café or Juice Bar: Selling health drinks, protein shakes, and snacks.
  10. Spa Services: Offering massages, facials, or other relaxation services.
  11. Tanning Services: Providing tanning beds or spray tans.
  12. Locker Rentals: Charging for premium locker spaces or services.
  13. Equipment Sales: Selling gym equipment for home use.
  14. Day Passes: Allowing non-members to use the facility for a day.
  15. Guest Fees: Charging members a fee for bringing a guest.
  16. Online Workouts: Subscription-based virtual classes or training sessions.
  17. Fitness Retreats: Organizing fitness or wellness retreats.
  18. Affiliate Marketing: Collaborating with health and fitness brands.
  19. Corporate Memberships: Offering discounted memberships for company employees.
  20. Rental Space: Renting out gym space during off-hours for events or classes.
  21. Vending Machines: Offering healthy snacks or drinks for purchase.
  22. Private Lessons: Such as martial arts, dance, or gymnastics.
  23. Swimming Lessons: If the gym has a pool.
  24. Health and Wellness Seminars: Charging for informational sessions.
  25. Selling Supplements: Offering a range of health and fitness supplements.
  26. Mobile App Subscriptions: Offering a branded gym app with premium content.
  27. Sponsorships: Collaborating with brands for events or challenges.
  28. Physical Therapy: Providing in-house physical therapy services.
  29. Sauna or Steam Room Access: Premium access or packages.
  30. Birthday Parties: Hosting fitness-themed birthday parties, especially for children.
  31. Boot Camps: Intensive workout programs for members.
  32. Fitness Challenges: Charging entry fees for weight loss or fitness challenges.
  33. Corporate Wellness Programs: Offering fitness and wellness services to corporations.

Diversifying into multiple gym revenue streams can help gyms maintain financial stability, especially during times when traditional memberships might wane. With the increasing interest in health and wellness, there are numerous opportunities for gyms to monetize their services, especially when paired with comprehensive platforms like Exercise.com, which can manage multiple revenue streams effectively. You can sell workout plans online to make money, learn how to run a fitness challenge, offer online memberships in your custom-branded fitness apps, and much more—all from the best gym management software platform: Exercise.com.

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Read More:

How profitable is a gym?

The profitability of a gym can vary depending on various factors such as location, size, target market, competition, and effective business management. While some gyms can be highly profitable, others may struggle to generate significant profits. Offering additional services, such as personal training, group classes, or specialized programs, can contribute to increased revenue. It’s also essential to implement efficient business strategies, manage expenses effectively, and continuously adapt to meet the needs and preferences of the target market. Utilizing software solutions like Exercise.com can help streamline operations, automate tasks, and optimize revenue generation, leading to increased profitability for gym owners.

Read More: How profitable is owning a gym?

Do gym owners make a lot of money?

The earning potential for gym owners can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the size and success of the gym, the location, the target market, and the owner’s ability to effectively manage and grow the business. While some gym owners can generate substantial profits, it’s important to note that success is not guaranteed and can require significant effort, dedication, and strategic decision-making. Utilizing powerful software solutions like Exercise.com can help gym owners streamline their operations, automate administrative tasks, improve member engagement, and optimize revenue generation, ultimately contributing to the potential for increased earnings in the fitness industry.

Read More: How much money do gym owners make?

How do gym owners get paid?

Gym owners typically earn income through various revenue streams, including membership fees, personal training sessions, group classes, retail sales, and additional services offered by the gym. The specific payment structure may vary depending on the business model, membership plans, and pricing options. Gym owners may receive payment through direct member payments, monthly or annual contracts, electronic funds transfer, credit card payments, or other payment processing systems. Effective financial management, including accurate tracking of revenue and expenses, is crucial for gym owners to ensure a stable and profitable business.

Read More: Gym Owner Average Salary Chart

Can a small gym make money?

Yes, a small gym can make money and be profitable. The key to success lies in effective management, strategic planning, and providing value to members. By focusing on providing high-quality services, cultivating a strong community, and implementing efficient business practices, small gyms can attract and retain members, leading to consistent revenue generation. Utilizing software solutions like Exercise.com can help small gym owners optimize their operations, automate processes, enhance member experience, and streamline revenue management, contributing to the profitability of the business. Learn more about how to start a small gym and be sure to use the best gym management software platform with Exercise.com so that you can grow and scale your gym.

What gym makes the most money?

The revenue generated by gyms can vary significantly based on several factors, including the size of the facility, the location, the target market, and the business model. Large fitness chains and franchises with widespread locations and established brand recognition often have the potential to generate higher revenue. However, it’s important to note that the financial success of a gym is not solely determined by its size or brand name. Effective business management, innovative services, strategic marketing, and a strong focus on member satisfaction are all factors that can contribute to a gym’s financial success. Utilizing software solutions like Exercise.com can help gym owners optimize their revenue generation and business operations, regardless of their size or brand.

Read More: The Most Successful Gyms in America

How many members does a gym need to be successful?

The number of members required for a gym to be successful can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the facility, the pricing structure, the operating expenses, and the target market. While there is no fixed number that guarantees success, gyms typically aim to attract and retain a sufficient number of members to cover their operating costs, generate profit, and sustain long-term growth. The specific membership count will vary based on the business model and financial goals of the gym. Effective marketing strategies, exceptional member experience, and utilizing software solutions like Exercise.com can help gyms attract and retain members, contributing to their overall success.

Do gym franchises make money?

Gym franchises have the potential to be profitable, but success is not guaranteed solely by being part of a franchise. The profitability of a gym franchise depends on various factors, including the specific franchise brand, the location, the market competition, the quality of management, and the ability to attract and retain members. While some gym franchises may be highly successful and generate significant profits, others may face challenges and struggle to achieve financial success. Effective business strategies, strong brand reputation, exceptional customer experience, and utilizing software solutions like Exercise.com can help gym franchises optimize their operations and revenue generation, increasing the potential for financial success.

Read More:

How much does it cost to open a gym?

The cost of opening a gym can vary widely depending on several factors, including the size and location of the facility, the equipment and amenities, lease or purchase costs, interior design, staffing requirements, marketing expenses, and other startup costs. The total investment can range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. It’s essential to conduct thorough market research, create a detailed business plan, and secure adequate funding to cover both startup and ongoing operational expenses. Utilizing software solutions like Exercise.com can help gym owners optimize their financial management and streamline operations, contributing to cost-effectiveness and financial success.

Read More:

Is there immediate revenue when opening a gym?

Generating immediate revenue when opening a gym can be challenging, as it takes time to attract and retain members, establish a strong brand presence, and build a loyal customer base. The initial period after opening a gym often involves significant investment in marketing, infrastructure setup, and member acquisition efforts. It’s crucial to have a solid business plan, financial reserves, and a realistic understanding of the time it takes to reach profitability. Leveraging software solutions like Exercise.com can help streamline operations, automate administrative tasks, and enhance member experience, contributing to revenue generation and accelerating the path to financial sustainability.

How can you make a gym profitable?

To make a gym profitable, several strategies can be employed. First, attracting and retaining members is crucial, so offering high-quality services, creating a positive and engaging atmosphere, and building strong relationships with members are essential. Second, diversifying revenue streams by offering additional services such as personal training, group classes, specialized programs, or retail sales can contribute to increased revenue. Third, effective cost management, including optimizing expenses, negotiating favorable supplier contracts, and leveraging technology to streamline operations, can improve profitability. Fourth, implementing strategic marketing and promotional campaigns to attract new members and retain existing ones is vital. Utilizing software solutions like Exercise.com can support gym owners in optimizing their operations, automating processes, enhancing member experience, and ultimately increasing profitability. Be sure and use the best white label fitness app software coupled with the best gym ecommerce software to offer a premium branded online experience along with your in-person gym experience for a diversified gym revenue stream.

Read More: Most Profitable Fitness Business Models

How can you make money in the fitness industry?

There are several ways to make money in the fitness industry. One common avenue is operating a gym or fitness facility, offering memberships and additional services such as personal training, group classes, or specialized programs. Another option is becoming a personal trainer or fitness coach, providing one-on-one or group training sessions. Online fitness coaching and digital products, such as workout programs or nutrition guides, have also gained popularity and can be monetized. Fitness professionals can also generate income through teaching fitness classes, hosting workshops or seminars, writing fitness-related books or articles, or becoming fitness influencers. Utilizing software solutions like Exercise.com can help fitness professionals optimize their business operations, attract clients, and maximize revenue generation in the fitness industry.

Read More: How to Make Money from Fitness

What are the primary revenue streams for gyms?

The primary revenue streams for gyms include membership fees, personal training sessions, group classes, merchandise sales, and rental fees for special events or facility use. Some gyms may also offer additional services such as spa treatments, childcare, or nutrition coaching to generate extra income.

How do membership fees contribute to a gym’s revenue?

Membership fees are the foundation of a gym’s revenue, with clients typically paying on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Offering different membership tiers and contract lengths can attract a broader range of customers, ensuring a steady flow of income for the gym.

How do gyms profit from personal training sessions?

Gyms profit from personal training sessions by taking a percentage of the fee paid by clients for one-on-one sessions with certified trainers. This revenue stream not only benefits the gym financially but also adds value to memberships by providing clients with tailored fitness guidance.

What role do group classes play in a gym’s revenue generation?

Group classes can be a significant revenue generator for gyms, as they often attract additional fees on top of regular memberships. Offering a diverse range of classes, such as yoga, spinning, or HIIT, can cater to different interests and fitness levels, encouraging more clients to participate and boosting income.

How do gyms make money from merchandise sales?

Gyms can generate income from merchandise sales by offering branded clothing, fitness accessories, supplements, and snacks for purchase. Providing high-quality products and ensuring they are prominently displayed within the gym can increase sales and contribute to the gym’s overall revenue.

How can rental fees contribute to a gym’s income?

Rental fees can be a lucrative source of income for gyms, as they may rent out facilities for special events, workshops, or sports competitions. Additionally, some gyms may rent space to independent fitness professionals, such as personal trainers or group class instructors, further diversifying their revenue streams.

How do gyms make money from additional services?

Gyms can generate extra income by offering additional services, such as massage therapy, tanning, nutrition counseling, or childcare. These services not only provide added convenience for gym-goers but also increase the perceived value of memberships, making clients more likely to invest in higher-tier plans.

What strategies can gyms use to attract and retain members?

Gyms can attract and retain members by offering competitive pricing, a diverse range of fitness options, and exceptional customer service. Additionally, creating a welcoming atmosphere, hosting member appreciation events, and implementing referral programs can help gyms maintain a loyal clientele and increase revenue.

How do gyms make money from corporate partnerships?

Gyms can establish corporate partnerships with local businesses to offer discounted memberships or wellness programs for employees. These partnerships can lead to a steady stream of new clients and provide additional revenue opportunities through group training or team-building activities.

The Bottom Line: How Gyms Make Money

At the end of the day, there is no one single way that gyms make money. Membership fees are just the beginning, and the possibilities are endless. So get thinking, because your gym’s earning potential may only be limited by your creativity.

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Co-Founder, AMPD Golf Performance

If you’re ready to add additional revenue streams to your gym’s operation, Exercise.com can help. Book a demo to learn more.

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