Gym Management: How to Grow your Gym with a Proven Operating Routine

Gym Management: How to Grow your Gym with a Proven Operating Routine
By Justin Hanover

By Justin Hanover


If you want to become a better gym owner and manager then the first step is self-management. By learning to manage yourself then you will start to notice that the quality of your work is better, priorities stay at the top of your mind, and you can better manage your schedule/to do’s. It’s not always easy to learn and begin to self-manage, but it’s necessary if you want to build a thriving gym that your clients love. 


Once your employees start to see that the quality of your work has improved and you do what you say you’re going to do, then it’s going to set a precedent for how things are done in your business. Imagine if your staff always did the best quality work the way that you wanted it done. How would that change your business? 


It’s possible, but you have to be the example.


After all this talk about the benefits of self-management. You’re probably wondering what self-management actually is. The dictionary definition for self-management is: exercising self-control and implementing the structure needed to take control of your own work. And it’s actually a process. So you need to discipline yourself and learn to create boundaries so you can reach your goals. It’s very different from being an employee. When you’re an employee, typically, your employer sets up those structures for you. But now you are the owner of your own fitness business so you have to create that for yourself.


(Hint: Even if you’re not managing others right now it’s a great skill to develop for yourself and if you plan on hiring staff in the future.)


How do I Self-Manage?


Establish a weekly operating routine to create structure and direction for your work week.


A great way to start this is by creating a checkpoint system. Every Monday plan out how you are going to spend your week. Then every Friday reflect on how you spent your week and see what you can do better next week. Here are three things that you need to do to create a weekly operating routine.


1. Create time to actively set priorities and schedule around them. 

This means that you are in control of your schedule. You are not a victim to other people’s priorities for you. Make sure that you schedule everything else around your priorities and never give up the time to do the things you need. (That means that your owner’s priorities trump that client that you’ve been training every Tuesday and Thursday at 3pm for the last 4 years. If you have to move them, then move them.)


2. Consistent time to review/report important metrics

What this means is that you are setting aside time to review all of your important numbers. (Everything from lead generation metrics to expense reports). Set aside real time to understand, digest, and plan for the future. Don’t just glance at them! Do this to make sure that you are on track and hitting the goals that you set for yourself. 


3. Create a personal open-to-closed loop

Essentially, what this means is that you do what you say you’re going to do. If you don’t do this, this is how you end up with Post-It notes all over your office. It’s important to write down all those tasks that you want to complete but you need an existing system. What that means is you need something that’s going to ensure that you get these tasks done. So, every time you create a new to-do make sure that you set aside time in your schedule so that you can actually do it.


These are very basic ways to begin to self-manage. If you already have a staff then you will need a more advanced system. You can do this by creating a weekly operating routine.


What will a Weekly Operating Routine do for me?


A weekly operating routine will give you and your team structure. One example of the efficiency this will create is with your meetings. Imagine that you and your team show up for every meeting prepared. You don’t have to spend half of the meeting getting yourself and your team ready. All of a sudden your meetings become more productive and you start reaching your goals. 


How do I create a Weekly Operating Routine?


The operating routine is a consistent cadence for meeting, planning, reporting, and managing yourself and your staff. The weekly cycle enables constant communication and check-ins to ensure that everyone is involved in constant forward progress of the business. Not only does this help the business but it creates a sense of team. Meaning, you won’t spend most of your time supervising but rather helping people cooperate for the common goal of growing your fitness business. Consider your weekly routine to be the heartbeat of your business. A strong and consistent heart rate indicates good health.


If you have a clear and concise plan then all you need to do is work this weekly routine. This will help you stay on top of your yearly and quarterly priorities without having to micromanage your team. Having a weekly cadence ensures that you’re setting deadlines for action and communication on a manageable schedule to avoid procrastination and keep everyone on the team in sync. You do this by creating weekly meetings.


What Kinds of Meetings Should I Have?


Here are a few meeting types that you could consider making a part of your weekly operating routine.


Weekly Kickoff: Use this meeting to set your focus to manage the week ahead and not let it manage you.


Weekly Alignment Meeting: This meeting is where the Company/Dept leader manages the business/dept. Check on progress toward quarterly goals (and address it if off track), follow up on prior action items, and set priorities for the team for the next week


Weekly Individual Meetings: This is where the manager manages the individual Direct Reports and their development, assess priorities, and help them get ‘unstuck’. The focus is on the team member and his/her development.


Weekly Wrap-up: Close out the week by counting the wins and casting a vision of next week.


How do I Have Good Meetings?


It’s not just enough to meet with your team. Your meetings have to have structure and they have to accomplish your intended goal. If you’re just having meetings without structure and goals then you’re going to create confusion. Your staff is relying on you to be their leader and tell them where to go, what to do, and how to do it. How do you do this? Your meetings will be most productive and your team members will find that they contribute and receive the most value when they practice our 3 P’s for meetings.

The Three P’s:


1). Purpose: Every meeting should have a clear purpose. The meeting owner (you or your manager) is responsible for setting the purpose, all attendees are responsible for knowing the purpose.


2). Preparation: Every attendee is responsible for arriving at meetings prepared, based on the type and purpose of the meeting. You should never attend a meeting where you can just show up.


3). Presence: Everyone is expected to attend and be fully present mentally. Being free from distractions may include technology, surroundings, or other thoughts that may have someone preoccupied.


These three P’s will ensure that your meetings are successful. Your meetings are the structure of your weekly operating routine. So if they are strong your routine will be strong. This whole weekly operating routine will drive you towards your goals and help you and your team grow your business.

Fitness Revolution helps fitness business owners build and scale successful businesses they love running. Through Strategic Business Coaching, powerful tools and metrics, and live training events, FR is able to help these studio owners tackle their biggest, most pressing challenge. For more information, visit

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