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The Fitness Retention Podcast

The Fitness Retention Podcast

By Alex Armstrong
Where industry leaders chat about how to keep members, employees, and clients happy and paying.
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Currently playing episode

Episode 28 - Giovanni Roselli - National Trainer of the Month

The Fitness Retention Podcast

Episode 64 - Travis Barnes - Journey Fitness
This episode features one of the most interesting guests we've ever had. We learn all about Travis, his history, and operational excellence. Enjoy!
May 29, 2019
Episode 63 - Amy Bond - SF/Oakland Pole and Dance
What is a pole dancing studio doing on the Fitness Retention Podcast? Teaching all of us something we need to know - that great ideas come from everywhere - all we have to do is look for them. Amy Bond and I discuss building a business and a community from the ground up. 
May 21, 2019
Episode 62 - Mark Miller - COO Merritt Clubs
I first was introduced to Mark after he gave a great presentation at IHRSA 2019. His session was easily one of my favorites. This episode focuses great stories and lessons he has learned from 18 years of leadership in the fitness industry. 
May 13, 2019
Episode 61 - Rose Bentley - CloudCherry - Outside the Fitness Industry
Rose Bentley has been ahead of the "Customer Experience Wave" for years. She is extremely skilled in helping companies understand what data to collect and what to do with it. This episode focuses on what the fitness industry can borrow (or steal) from other industries with the capabilities we already have to measure key metrics.  For more information on CloudCherry visit
May 07, 2019
Episode 60 - Paul Roberts - MyCustomerLens
Paul and I chat about the next wave of "customer understanding" and how companies can turn data into insights. Paul is extremely smart, so if you are curious about what it really means to understand your customers - look no further.
April 29, 2019
Episode 59 - Tyler Glenn - Life Time
Tyler and I sat down to chat about his rise through the ranks at Life Time. Tyler truly cares about the industry helping his team give their members everything they can.  This episode features a ton of practical tips and lessons for anyone who is looking to be promoted while also being a team player. 
April 23, 2019
Episode 58 - Kelly McCauley - Complete Fit Pro
With over a decade of experience on both coasts of the US, Kelly is an industry vet who is reinventing herself as a leader in the management and coaching space. Complete Fit Pro is a name you'll be hearing more and more about in the next year. 
April 17, 2019
Episode 57 - Lyndsay Lew - Orangetheory Fitness
Lyndsay is a sales leader for OTF in Canada. This awesome episode focuses on the main difference in the sales process in big box and boutique gyms. With over a decade of experience and a killer attitude, you'll see why she and OTF have made a big footprint in the Toronto Area.
April 15, 2019
Episode 56 - Greg Lacy - Momentum Fitness Australia
Greg is an expert sales coach working with Anytime Fitness franchisees throughout Australia. He's smart, funny, and a great listener. AKA he knows a thing or two about selling Personal Training, and if you listen to this episode, you will too. 
April 09, 2019
Episode 55 - Jeff Helfgott - Excel Fitness Holdings / Planet Fitness
Jeff is the head of Strategy and business development of Excel Fitness Holdings - which operates and helps 60+ Planet Fitness locations run as smoothly as possible. Jeff is a systems and people whiz, if you are looking for sound advice on how to grow your club/s, this is the episode for you.
April 07, 2019
Episode 54 - James Patrick - A different angle to serving customers
James is the founder of the FitPosium conference and Podcast. He helps businesses and fitness entrepreneurs increase their income and efficiency. He's also the author of "Fit Business Guide: The Workout Plan For Your Brand". This is an awesome episode for anyone who wants to think outside the box when it comes to running their business. 
April 02, 2019
Episode 53 - Mike D'Angelo - Founder - BodyEvolver
Mike has been in the industry 25+ years and has always been 100% focused on results. His passion led him to found BodyEvolver as a way to help clients and gyms remain accountable to their customers. His software has helped thousands of trainers make the industry better, and he's continuing to pursue results with more gusto than ever before.  
April 01, 2019
Episode 52 - Ashley Selman - Independent PT studio excellence
IHRSA speaker Ashley Selman is the owner of Evolution Trainers in Mountain View CA and also an expert in helping small business owners maximize profits and efficiency. This is a great episode if you are looking for tips on employee retention. 
March 25, 2019
First 50 Episodes + IHRSA
Going to my first IHRSA was a great learning experience. In this episode, I look at the first 50 episodes of The Fitness Retention Podcast through an "IHRSA Lens" and offer what I think is the key to evolving the fitness industry.   
March 19, 2019
Episode 50 - Real Member Interviews! Lisa Reither - Visual Manager
Today we chatted with Lisa Reither - long time fitness consumer, loyal member of United Barbell, and visual manager for Williams Sonoma. So many awesome nuggets in this episode around how customers perceive your business from the ground-level. 
March 17, 2019
Episode 49 - Bill McBride - CEO Active Wellness
Bill McBride joined me to discuss language, leadership, and understanding customers. Listen and Learn!
March 08, 2019
Episode 48 - Real Member Interviews! Ruth Galpin - Pacific Strength
In this new segment, we'll be talking to fitness consumers who are loyal to a single brand. We'll learn about what makes them so devoted to a single brand. We'll also learn about their day-to-day lives and what they do in their job. (And what we can borrow to make our industry better)
March 07, 2019
Episode 47 - Dr. Paul Bedford - The Retention Guru
If you are listening to this podcast, you probably already know about Dr. Paul Bedford's work. Sit back and enjoy!
March 04, 2019
Episode 46 - Josh York - Founder GYMGUYZ
Josh founded GYMGUYZ which is now the fastest growing fitness franchise business of all time. 10 years and 200+ locations later, Josh is building the Amazon of fitness, and when you listen to this interview, I bet you'll walk away thinking he's fully capable. 
February 27, 2019
Episode 45 - Tim Lyons - ProFit Marketing + Pulse Fitness
Tim is a gym owner and marketing specialist. He helps gyms around the country solidify their online strategy. We chat about the best ways to attract new clients, keep existing ones, and build your client base through referrals and excellent service.
February 25, 2019
Episode 44 - Blair McHaney - CEO MXM
Blair and I dive into the details of what makes businesses repeatedly successful. Does your business do things FOR the customer or TO the customer? Find out here...
February 21, 2019
Episode 43 - Jack Thomas - BASE - Asia's Best Gym
Jack joined me to discuss the immense value of creating an experience, not just a gym. In three years BASE went from being an idea to winning the title of Asia's best gym. If you want practical advice on how to build a culture from the ground up, this is a must listen. 
February 19, 2019
Episode 42 - Chuck Kelly - CEO of Movati Athletic
Chuck and his team grew Movati Athletic from one gym to 15. With over 100,000 members, Movati is one the the premier experience fitness brands in all of Canada. Chuck focuses on how to grow his business well, not just quickly.
February 13, 2019
Episode 41 - Lars Scofield - Orangetheory
Lars owns 6 Orangetheory locations throughout New York and Florida. He is also a territory developer for Brooklyn and Queens. This conversation was extremely interesting because Lars came into the fitness industry from corporate America and has found massive success by building his business with a primary focus on his team and empowering them. This is a great episode for anyone franchising or starting a gym from the ground up. 
February 11, 2019
Episode 40 - Pat Rigsby
Pat and I talk about the value of coaching, being there for your customers, and why gyms should view sales as the beginning of a relationship and not the end of a transaction. 
February 06, 2019
Episode 39 - Casey Conrad - Sales Training
Casey Conrad is one of the top sales trainers in the fitness industry. She also happens to be one of the most energetic people I've ever talked with. She shares some incredible questions that will move people from prospects to members in no time. 
February 04, 2019
Ashley Hiben - ClassPass Instructor of the YEAR!
This is a repost because one of my first guests just won an award that shows that she practices that she preaches. In this episode you'll hear why Ashley won the ClassPass instructor of the year award. This episode is a must-listen if you are looking to improve your team. Ashley exhibits the qualities an individual can bring to raise an entire group up.
January 29, 2019
Episode 38 - Mike Arce - Loud Rumor
Mike Arce founded Loud Rumor to help fitness studios attract and acquire more customers - and now they're the #1 Lead generation company for fitness studios and wellness companies. We talk in depth about how to keep clients once you get them through your doors, and the value of creating a system for everything you do. This is a MUST LISTEN if you are in the fitness business.
January 28, 2019
Episode 37 - Justin "JT" Tamsett
Justin Tamsett of Active Management joined me in the middle of 5 workouts in 48 hours. He's an industry leader who keeps his finger on the pulse of what's new and what's working. One big theme from this episode is the opportunity fitness companies have by borrowing proven successful customer experience strategies from other industries. I guarantee you'll learn something in this episode.
January 23, 2019
Episode 36 - Ian Mullane -
Ian Mullane founded Keepme to better understand why members leave the gym. This tool  incredibly powerful and has the potential to transform how a gym can empower their staff to change the culture and success of their business. 
January 21, 2019
Episode 35 - Guy Griffiths - 2018 Review and 2019 Predictions
Guy Griffiths and I chat about what we saw in 2018 and how  gyms should continue their progress in 2019. We discuss solutions and three different price points and how brands can improve their strategy with small tweaks in both the short and long term. There are some extremely valuable nuggets in this episode. 
January 15, 2019
Bonus Episode: Alex Armstrong - When to Jump Podcast
I was lucky enough to be a guest on the excellent When To Jump Podcast to chat about finding your calling and turning it into a career.
January 10, 2019
Episode 34 - Billy Polson - DIAKADI + The Business Movement
Billy is a founder of Diakadi - With over 100 Personal Trainers working out of his facility, Billy knows a thing or two about running a fitness business. Diakadi has been names the best personal training gym in San Francisco for 13 years in a row. He also founded The Business Movement to educate and prepare personal trainers to create their own businesses and thrive within the fitness industry.
January 02, 2019
Episode 33 - Greg Mack - Sales trainer + CEO
Greg Mack has been in the fitness industry for over 28 years and has trained hundreds of gyms on how they can sell fitness more effectively. He's seen sales strategy evolve over the years - but he knows it still has a long way to go. This is a great episode for people who are afraid of "selling" to overcome their fear. 
December 26, 2018
Episode 32 - Joe Cirulli - Gainesville Health and Fitness Center
Joe is a legend. He started a gym 40 years ago and has grown it to 28,000 members with an annual retention rate 10% higher than his closest competitors. This episode is helpful not just for retention and fitness, but also life.
December 17, 2018
Episode 31 - Craig Patterson - Madlab
Craig and Madlab work with hundreds of gyms to help them optimize their business for both employees and members. As a former engineer, he looks for ways to make systems and people more efficient. Stabilizing the employees has a similar effect on the members and creates a win-win situation in CrossFit's competitive landscape.
December 10, 2018
Episode 30 - Jason Ackerman - CrossFit + Own Your Eating
Jason opened and (profitably) sold 3 CrossFit gyms. He now runs a successful nutrition coaching business with his wife. We talk about transitioning from employee to owner, and taking the lessons learned from gym ownership and applying them to new businesses. Great episode for anyone interested in boutique vs. big-box gyms and how they operate.
December 03, 2018
Episode 29 - Alex Armstrong - Gymotion
In this episode, I make my BIG prediction for the market in 2019. I take a deep dive into the data, opinions of my guests, and my own hypothesis for what will happen in the next year.
November 28, 2018
Episode 28 - Giovanni Roselli - National Trainer of the Month
Giovanni Roselli joined me to chat about his path from pro wrestler, to master instructor, regional PT director, and nominee for national trainer of the year. He shares a ton of practical knowledge and breaks down how to set goals with your business and on behalf of your employees and clients.
November 26, 2018
Episode 27 - Hayley Edwards - Anytime Fitness
Hayley is a multi-site Anytime Fitness owner in Australia. She was extremely honest about interviewing, hiring, and retaining her employees. After a period with high turnover, she began looking internally at how she needed to develop as an owner rather than blaming her staff. This episode is great for anyone who runs a team or is in charge of staff development.
November 21, 2018
Episode 26 - Andrew Carignan - Localfit
Localfit is a MoviePass style fitness membership program for fit travelers. We chat about how independent gyms can benefit from increased exposure and ancillary revenue as a result of the large portion of the workforce that travels and wants to stay fit.
November 19, 2018
Episode 25 - Tahnee Donkin - Goodlife Heath Clubs
After my conversation with Tahnee, I'm sure that Goodlife Health Clubs have the best support systems for employees and members of any gym I've talked with. This is a MUST listen if you operate a health club or are wondering how to reduce both employee and member churn.
November 14, 2018
Episode 24 - Shai Neiger - CoachAi
Shai is the Co-founder of CoachAi, an automated, AI-driven solution that helps improve health club member engagement and retention. As fitness professionals, we forget what the health club/gym experience is like for our members, and a reminder of simple ways we can add value and create positive habits is always refreshing. Check it out!
November 12, 2018
Episode 23 - Andy Petranek - Whole Life Challenge - CrossFit LA
Andy is the Co-Founder of the Whole Life Challenge and the former owner of CrossFit Los Angeles. We cover the importance of building a gym from the consumer's perspective, catering your services to your audience, and taking away friction points to ensure increased spending.
November 05, 2018
Episode 22 - Brian Tschida - Barry's Bootcamp
Brian joined me in between teaching classes at one of the biggest rising stars in the fitness industry. The main thing I got from this interview was how much the brand cares about their customers and how they create experiences with customers in mind. Barry's is going places, buckle up.
October 30, 2018
Episode 21 - Jekka Kuhlmann - Zenrez
Jekka Kulhmann joined me to discuss how technology-driven, targeted retention efforts can drastically increase package purchases. As head of Studio and Franchise Partnerships at Zenrez she works with studios to provide compelling offers for customers to drive higher usage and attendance.
October 29, 2018
Episode 20 - Alex Korchinki - Outside The Fitness Industry
For my 20th episode, I wanted to do something different. My good friend Alex Korchinski joined me discuss the opportunities gyms have to adopt what works in tech-based subscription businesses. As a product manager at a tech company and a member of a big-box gym, he discusses tried and true onboarding and engagement methods to increase the length of membership in a business.
October 23, 2018
Episode 19 - Justin Dyer - Former Director - ABC Financial Services
Justin is the former Director of Franchise Integration for ABC Financial Services. He's extremely knowledgeable of the capabilities, limitations, and potential for software in the fitness industry. In this episode we dive into the opportunities all companies have to pair software with people to increase retention.
October 22, 2018
Episode 18 - Shaun Zetlin
Shaun Zetlin is a trainer, author, speaker, and shining example of what it means to be a fitness professional. We focus on how he's kept clients for 10+ years and how he consistently delivers value to improve their lives. This episode is especially powerful if you are looking to hear WHY a lot of trainers get it wrong, and how the best ones get it right.
October 16, 2018
Episode 17 - Kelly Kidd - eGym
Kelly joined the show to spread the word on the connection between equipment, on-boarding, and retention. She shares awesome insights on value selling, teaching, training, and understanding employee motivation. We look at how smart equipment can help mid-market gyms get ahead of their competition.
October 15, 2018
Bonus Episode: Alex Armstrong
Every once in a while the tables are turned and someone interviews me. I want to give a shout out to Doug Holt and his team for having me on "The Author of Your Own Story" podcast. Check it out!
October 12, 2018
Episode 16 - Sierra Kellogg - Sierra Training
Sierra Kellogg joined me to discuss how moving to a new market doesn't have to mean starting over. Sometimes our best new customers are our old customers serviced in a new way.
October 09, 2018
Episode 15 - Will Pickering - VillaSport
Will Pickering, GM of VillaSport San Jose joined the show and elucidated why VillaSport has such a low churn rate. They focus on allowing their team to develop relationships with members. They also stress the value of community as a tool to help members stick with their fitness plans and hit their goals. This is a great listen if you're wondering how to give members a great experience at a large club.
October 08, 2018
Episode 14 - Nicole Thompson - 24 Hour Fitness
Nicole Thompson joined me to discuss how 24 Hour Fitness develops their personal trainers and programming. With over 400 locations in 13 states, 24 Hour Fitness has recently been focusing on partnerships with Spartan Race and The US Olympic Committee to bring more value to their members.
October 02, 2018
Episode 13 - Evan Mather - Custom Fit SF
Evan Mather joined me chat about the transition from trainer to business owner. He recently opened his second location for his personal training only gyms. We chat about starting a business, growing it, and providing the tools for your employees and clients to achieve success.
October 01, 2018
Episode 12 - Natalie Carey - Barbell Blondie
Natalie Carey AKA the Barbell Blondie is a rock star personal trainer who runs her own training business in San Francisco. We stress the value of finding your niche as a fitness professional and how new trainers can work to set themselves apart from the pack.
September 25, 2018
Episode 11 - Robert Connors - Signum CrossFit
Robert owns Signum CrossFit. Robert and I take a look at discovering your niche, creating value for your private clients, and the importance of staying involved in your clients' goal setting process.
September 24, 2018
Episode 10 - Guy Griffiths - GGFit
Guy Griffiths is the creator of GGFit a consultancy working with health clubs, gyms and personal trainers to maximize the value of their data reporting. We cover how gyms can start using data if they haven't been, and how the best organizations continue to improve based on the trends they see.
September 20, 2018
Episode 9 - Ned Arick - VertiMax
Ned and I dive into how hiring will drive your business forward. Hire all-stars, develop them, and give them a reason to stay and they will reward you by building relationships with your members. Less staff churn leads to less member churn.
September 18, 2018
Episode 8 - Andy Sweet - Former CTO ClubReady
Andy Sweet (former CTO of ClubReady) and I discuss how AI can enhance a gym's ability to connect with their members. He sees a future in which smart technology makes our relationship with our gym significantly better. He's the man.
September 17, 2018
Episode 7 - Troy Macfarland - Fitness SF
Troy has helped Fitness SF expand as their director of marketing over the last 4 years. We dipped our feet into unifying the customer experience, empowering staff to keep and develop them, and personalization at scale.
September 11, 2018
Episode 6 - Ashley Hiben - Basecamp Fitness
I sat down with Ashley Hiben of Basecamp Fitness. Basecamp is a rising star in the group fitness space and Ashley is in charge of onboarding members and employees at their SF location. She reduced new member churn by 10% by taking the extra steps to show her customers and team that she cares about them like family. She's an all star - hope you enjoy!
September 07, 2018
Episode 5 - Alex Buffington - Reunify
Alex Buffington (besides having a great fitness name) is the VP of Sales at Reunify - an industry leader in retention software. We chat about the future of retention and how data and a personal touch can increase a member's LTV.
September 05, 2018
Episode 4 - Butch Santucci - Wreck Room CrossFit
Butch is the owner of Wreck Room CrossFit and Glen Burnie Fitness and Nutrition in Maryland. He's mastered systematizing his business and also has a great outlook on life and helping others.
September 04, 2018
Episode 3 - Doug Holt - Fitness Professionals Online
Industry veteran Doug Holt dives into how to help your employees grow within your business. We also discuss the value of coaching, mentoring, and modeling fitness businesses after other industries.
August 30, 2018
Episode 2 - Eric Malzone - Fitness Marketing Alliance
Eric Malzone is elevating the fitness industry. He ran a gym for eight years then decided to sell it. He has two podcasts, a digital marketing agency, and runs mastermind groups. He's probably someone you want to listen to...
August 29, 2018
Episode 1
The Fitness Retention Podcast dives into how gyms keep their members, trainers keep their clients, and how bosses keep their best employees. Won't you join me?
August 29, 2018