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November 20, 2023

How to increase gym membership sales during off peak seasons

In the dynamic world of fitness, every season presents unique challenges and opportunities for gym owners. While peak periods like January and September often witness a spontaneous increase in new memberships, off-peak seasons can prove to be a testing ground for the resilience of your gym's business model. The good news is that with the right strategies in place, you can turn these quieter months into an advantageous time for boosting gym membership sales.

As we delve into the intricacies of how to increase gym membership sales during off-peak seasons, we'll explore innovative approaches and practical tips to keep your fitness facility thriving, regardless of the time of year. From targeted marketing initiatives to creating irresistible promotions, this guide is designed to equip you with the tools needed to not only weather the seasonal lulls but also emerge stronger and more profitable. So, fasten your seatbelts as we embark on a journey to transform off-peak challenges into opportunities for unprecedented growth in your gym's membership base.

Understanding Off-Peak Challenges

Off-peak seasons in the fitness industry are characterised by a decline in gym attendance and a reduction in new membership sign-ups. To effectively address and overcome these challenges, it is crucial to conduct a thorough analysis of the factors contributing to off-peak periods. This involves examining historical data to identify patterns and trends in gym attendance during different seasons. Understanding when the decline typically occurs provides insights into the specific challenges faced during off-peak times.

Typically, off-peak seasons for most gyms happen during summertime and the Christmas holidays. This happens very likely because during these periods people feel like they aren’t able to maintain that consistency required when working out. Summer holidays or plans to go back home for Christmas might overshadow the need for a perfect body and lead people to cancel their memberships!

Different gyms take different approaches to handle off-peak periods: some gyms decide to go with the contract membership that might motivate their members to power through the times when they are less motivated, others offer flexible memberships which can be paused and resumed whenever they want. Either way, studying the strategies and promotions implemented by competitors can help you understand the landscape and identify your unique selling points. 

Once the contributing factors are understood, the next step is to identify specific obstacles that may hinder membership sales during off-peak seasons. This also includes recognising potential issues that contribute to member churn throughout the year. This could include dissatisfaction with services, lack of engagement, or the perception of insufficient value during slower periods. Investigating any operational challenges that might impact the quality of services therefore is crucial in order to get an objective overview of the situation. 

Gym Marketing Ideas From Real-Like Examples

After you research and figure out what makes your gym unique (USPs), pick a marketing plan that fits what you want to promote. To help you, we've collected successful gym membership ideas from real campaigns. These could inspire and improve your strategies to sell more memberships!

Once you have done your research and found your USPs, pick a marketing plan that fits what you want to promote.  To help you, we've collected successful gym membership offers ideas from real campaigns that have proved to be successful. It is always useful could help you boost your gym membership sales strategies!

Buy One Get One Free - Anytime Fitness

People love getting good deals, and the idea of receiving a free month pass (or even six, as in this case) is very appealing. The great thing about this offer is that it is clearly designed for delivery during the summer, yet it carries long-lasting benefits that could attract even those individuals planning to join the gym later in the year.

Moreover, this 6 + 6 offer appeals to another segment of the public: those who are contemplating joining the gym but are reluctant due to the long-term commitment that gym contracts often require. By paying the price equivalent to 6 months for the span of 12, these individuals might be more willing to make a one-year commitment, knowing they will only pay for half of it.

“12 Days Of Fitness” Christmas Challenge - 8Fit

Fitness challenges are also another great way to boost motivation and encourage new signups during off-peak periods.

8Fit, a subscription based health and fitness app, introduced a '12 Days of Fitness' challenge, urging members to complete a different workout each day for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. Similar to the famous Christmas song, the '12 Days of Fitness' is an accumulating challenge, featuring a new exercise every day. The concept involves adding a new exercise to the routine each day, culminating in 12 moves on the 12th day.

The concept of introducing a new exercise daily not only brought variety to the routine but also instilled a sense of progression. Participants experienced tangible improvement as they built upon their exercises, fostering a feeling of accomplishment.

Furthermore, the social aspect of the challenge played a pivotal role. Participants sharing their progress with friends and peers created a sense of community and accountability, reinforcing their commitment to the challenge.

During the promotion period, the gym witnessed a 20% increase in new members, as people were motivated by the challenge and the opportunity to kick-start their New Year’s resolutions early.

Holiday Themed Classes

Holiday-themed fitness classes provide a unique opportunity for fitness studios to attract new clients and boost sales during off-peak periods. 

The appeal of holiday-themed classes lies in their ability to provide a unique and festive twist to regular workouts. This uniqueness not only sets gyms apart from competitors but also adds an element of fun and engagement for participants. In addition, it is also key to offer the flexibility to attend classes either as one-offs or as part of a series. This ensures that the public has scheduling options that align with the dynamic nature of the holiday season.

Consider, for instance, the imaginative offerings such as "Santa's HIIT Extravaganza," a high-intensity interval training class infused with the holiday spirit, or "Holiday Yoga Bliss," which transforms yoga sessions into a winter wonderland with the soothing scents of cinnamon and pine. 

These classes are more than mere gimmicks—they provide a genuinely unique and enjoyable experience that can attract newcomers and keep regular clients excited. To sweeten the deal and maximise the holiday appeal, fitness studios can bundle these special classes with holiday-themed merchandise or nutritional guides, creating a holistic and festive fitness package.

By incorporating holiday-themed fitness classes into your offerings, studios and gyms tap into the spirit of the season, offering not just physical fitness but also a festive and memorable experience. This strategic approach ensures that fitness businesses not only thrive during the holiday season but also set the stage for continued engagement and success throughout the year.


In the ever-evolving fitness landscape, gym owners face distinct challenges and opportunities with each season. While peak periods experience spontaneous spikes in new memberships, off-peak seasons become a litmus test for the resilience of a gym's business model. Fortunately, with the right strategies, these quieter months can be transformed into advantageous times for boosting gym membership sales.

Different gyms adopt various strategies to tackle off-peak periods, ranging from contract memberships to flexible options that can be paused and resumed. Studying competitors' strategies helps gym owners understand the landscape and identify unique selling points. 

In this article, we’ve provided our readers with a few examples of successful marketing strategies for gyms and fitness studios that can help you boost your signups even during off-peak periods. If you are a business owner struggling to maintain a steady income throughout the year, get in touch to receive our tailored, expert advice!

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