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How many members does a gym need to be successful?

How many members does a gym need to be successful?

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®) on January 23, 2024 ā€” Updated on January 23, 2024

To determine the number of members needed for a gym to be successful and profitable, calculate your break-even point by dividing total operating costs by average revenue per member, considering that gym type and business model significantly influence this number.

How many members does a gym need to be successful?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all number of members a gym needs to be profitable, a gym’s success often hinges on hundreds to a few thousand members, depending on its size, location, and business model. The average number of gym members in a gym is 1,500, and varies heavily by type of gym and gym business model. For fitness professionals running gyms or yoga studios, understanding gym member lead generation and gym member retention is key to running a successful gym and increasing gym revenue and profit to be above the average gym profit margins.

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How to Calculate How Many Members a Gym Needs to Be Successful (Profitable)

Calculating the number of members needed for a gym to be profitable involves understanding your gym’s financials and the market dynamics. Let’s delve into how you can determine this crucial number for different types of gyms, using some example calculations and averages. Here are some example calculations.

Step 1: Determine Your Monthly Gym Operating Costs

This includes rent, utilities, staff salaries, equipment maintenance, and other expenses.


  • Rent: $10,000
  • Utilities: $1,500
  • Staff Salaries: $15,000
  • Other Expenses: $3,500
  • Total Monthly Operating Costs = $30,000

Step 2: Calculate Average Revenue per Gym Member

This is your total revenue divided by the number of members.


  • If you charge $50 per month per member and offer additional services, your average revenue per member might be around $60.

Step 3: Calculate the Gym Break-Even Point

Divide your total monthly operating costs by the average revenue per member.


  • $30,000 / $60 = 500 members

So, in this example, you need at least 500 members to break even.

Averages Based on Gym Types

Using the average number of 1,500 gym members as a reference point, it’s clear that gym size and business model significantly impact the number of members required to be profitable. Smaller boutique gyms can be successful with fewer members due to higher fees and lower costs, while larger gyms need more members to cover their higher operational costs.

Big Box Commercial Gym

  • Average Members: Can range from 3,000 to 10,000 members.
  • Break-Even Point: Usually requires a higher number of members due to larger space, more equipment, and staff.

Small Boutique Gym

  • Average Members: Typically ranges from 300 to 1,000 members.
  • Break-Even Point: Can be lower due to less overhead but might charge higher membership fees for specialized services.

Specialized Gyms (like CrossFit or Yoga Studios)

  • Average Members: Usually around 150 to 500 members.
  • Break-Even Point: Often lower but depends on pricing and service offerings.


  • Location and Rent: High-rent areas require more members to cover costs.
  • Gym Business Model: Membership-only models might need more members compared to those selling personal training and other services.
  • Market Dynamics: Local competition and target market size significantly influence the number of members needed.

To effectively manage and analyze your gym’s membership data and financials, utilizing a platform like Exercise.com can be incredibly beneficial. The software offers tools for financial tracking, member management, and business analytics, essential for understanding and growing your gym business. To learn more about optimizing your gym’s profitability and success, book a demo today.

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Leveraging Tools for Member Management

Exercise.com, the leading gym management software, offers robust tools to help manage and grow your member base efficiently. By utilizing the platform, gym owners can track member engagement, optimize retention strategies, and streamline administrative tasks.

Member Acquisition Strategies

  1. Effective Marketing: Implement targeted marketing campaigns to attract new members.
  2. Referral Programs: Encourage current members to refer friends and family.
  3. Introductory Offers: Provide special deals or trial periods for new members.

Member Retention Techniques

  1. Personalized Experience: Offer personalized workout plans and nutrition advice.
  2. Community Building: Foster a sense of community through events and social media engagement.
  3. Regular Feedback: Regularly seek and act on feedback from members.

Financial Planning and Analysis

  1. Break-Even Analysis: Calculate the minimum number of members needed to cover operational costs.
  2. Revenue Diversification: Explore additional revenue streams like personal training, classes, and merchandise.

Utilizing Technology

  1. Digital Presence: Enhance your online presence with a user-friendly website and active social media.
  2. Membership Management Software: Use platforms like Exercise.com for efficient member management and communication.

Local Market Understanding

  1. Competitive Analysis: Assess the local market and competition to set realistic membership goals.
  2. Community Engagement: Engage with the local community through events and partnerships.

The number of members needed for a gym to be successful varies, but the focus should always be on quality member experiences and efficient gym management. Exercise.com offers the tools and resources needed to manage your gym effectively, from membership management to marketing and financial tracking. To explore how Exercise.com can help your gym achieve success, book a demo today.

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How many members does a gym need to be profitable?

The number of members a gym needs to be profitable varies depending on factors like operating costs, membership fees, and additional revenue streams. Typically, small to medium-sized gyms require between 300-1,000 members to be profitable, but this number can vary widely.

How many members does a gym need to survive?

To survive, a gym needs enough members to cover its operating costs, including rent, utilities, staff salaries, and equipment maintenance. This number can range from a few hundred to several thousand, depending on the gym’s size and cost structure.

How many members does the average gym have?

The average gym has approximately 1,500 members. However, this can vary significantly based on the gym’s location, size, and type. Larger chain gyms may have several thousand members, while smaller, boutique studios might have a few hundred.

Read More: How many members do most gyms have?

How many members does the average LA Fitness have?

The average LA Fitness, being a large-scale gym chain, likely has several thousand members per location. Exact numbers can vary based on the size and location of each facility.

How many members does the average Planet Fitness have?

Planet Fitness, known for its low-cost memberships, often has a high member count, potentially in the range of several thousand members per location due to their widespread appeal and accessibility.

How many employees does an average gym have?

An average gym typically employs between 10 to 50 people, including trainers, front desk staff, maintenance personnel, and management. The exact number depends on the gym’s size and the range of services offered.

Are small gyms profitable?

Small gyms can be profitable if they effectively manage their operating costs and offer unique services that attract and retain members. Profitability also hinges on successful marketing, community engagement, and customer service.

Read More: Average Gym Profit Margins

What is the success rate of opening a gym?

The success rate of opening a gym varies, but industry data suggests that with a solid business plan and effective management, a new gym has a favorable chance of succeeding, especially in areas with a growing interest in fitness.

Read More: Is opening a gym risky?

What is the average profit from owning a gym?

The average profit from owning a gym can range significantly. Some small gym owners might see profits of $1,000 to $5,000 per month, while larger facilities can earn significantly more, depending on the location, membership fees, and additional services.

Read More: Average Gym Profit Margins

What percentage of gym members never go?

It’s estimated that around 50% of gym members rarely or never use their membership. This figure highlights the challenge of converting memberships into regular attendance.

Read More: Gym Membership Statistics

What percentage of gym goers quit?

Approximately 50% of new gym-goers quit within the first six months of starting. This dropout rate underscores the importance of engagement and retention strategies for gyms.

Read More: Gym Membership Statistics

What percent of gym memberships go unused?

It’s estimated that about 80% of people who join a gym in January (new year resolutions) will stop going by the second week of February. Overall, a significant portion of gym memberships, potentially around 20-30%, go largely unused.

Read More: Gym Membership Statistics

How many members do most gyms have?

Most gyms, especially those in urban and suburban areas, typically have between 1,000 to 2,000 members. This number can vary based on the gym’s size, location, and the type of services offered.

Read More: How many members do most gyms have?

How big is an average gym?

The average gym size ranges from 3,000 to 10,000 square feet. Boutique or specialized fitness studios may be smaller, while large commercial gyms can be significantly larger.

Read More: Commercial Gym Space Needed

How big is a professional gym?

A professional gym, especially those catering to high-performance athletes or offering extensive amenities, can span anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 square feet or more.

Read More: Commercial Gym Space Needed

What do gym owners struggle with?

Gym owners often struggle with challenges such as member retention, high operational costs, competition from other gyms, marketing effectively to potential customers, and adapting to changing fitness trends and technologies.

Read More:

How do cheap gyms make money?

Cheap gyms make money primarily through volume, attracting a large number of members with low-cost memberships. They also profit from selling additional services like personal training, classes, or merchandise, and often benefit from low overhead costs.

Read More: Planet Fitness Business Model

Is owning a gym passive income?

Owning a gym is not typically considered passive income as it requires active involvement and management. However, with a well-established system and reliable staff, some aspects of gym ownership can generate consistent revenue with minimal daily oversight.

Read More: What is passive income in fitness?

What sort of expenses does a gym have?

A gym’s expenses include rent or mortgage payments, utilities, equipment purchase and maintenance, staff salaries, insurance, marketing, and administrative costs. Additional expenses may arise from renovations, technology upgrades, and professional services.

How do gyms make a profit?

Gyms make a profit through membership fees, personal training services, group classes, selling merchandise and supplements, and sometimes through ancillary services like childcare, cafes, or spas.

Read More: Average Gym Profit Margins

What percentage of gym members actually go consistently?

About 20-30% of gym members go consistently. Regular attendance is higher among members engaged in specific programs or who have established a routine.

What are some gym membership statistics by month?

Gym membership statistics often show a spike in January due to New Year’s resolutions, with a gradual decline in attendance as the year progresses. Summer months can see a dip in new memberships, while there is often a smaller surge in the fall.

Read More: Gym Membership Statistics

What is the average gym membership cost?

The average gym membership cost varies widely, from as low as $10 per month for basic, no-frills gyms to $100 or more for luxury or specialized fitness centers.

How can Exercise.com help me manage my gym members and get more gym members?

Exercise.com can help manage your gym members and attract more members by offering comprehensive gym management software. This includes tools for membership management, online booking for classes and training sessions, marketing and communication tools, and detailed analytics to track membership trends and engagement. The platformā€™s versatility and user-friendly interface make it an ideal solution for streamlining operations and enhancing member experience, ultimately contributing to increased membership growth and retention.

Jimmy Myers Relentless Sports Performance
If you want to offer an elite service for the end user you need to get with the times and use elite level software that is intuitive, visually appealing, and effective. That is exactly what Exercise.com delivers to its clients.
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Owner/Trainer, Relentless Sports Performance

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Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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