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How Personal Trainer Software Affects Retention Rates

Retention rates are key to the success of any business, and especially any fitness business. A statistic I have used in many articles and will continue to reference is that a 5% increase in retention increases revenue anywhere between 25% to 90%. In other words, increasing retention rates in fitness centers directly correlate with their long-term success.

So the big question is how do you increase retention rates across all fitness businesses?

Well, a ton of options exist. One we will cover in this article is the effect of personal trainer software on retention rates. Now, let’s discuss how personal trainer software increases the retention rates for fitness business memberships and personal training clients.

How to Calculate Retention Rates

Fitness business retention rates measure the number of customers who remain over a given time period. Most often, retention rates are calculated on a yearly basis. In other words, how many members attend fitness clubs or continue training with personal trainers measured annually.

Calculate retention rates by identifying the percentage of members or clients who have remained over a year. Subtract the number of clients acquired throughout the year from the number of clients at the end of the year and divide that by the total number of clients at the beginning of the year.

How to Get Users and Grow: Alex Schultz | by Eugine Kang | Medium - Using Retention Rates
Comparison of good and bad retention rates on a retention curve.

Retention curves help visualize what points in the year more members fell off. Average retention rates for the fitness club industry hang around 71.4%. For studio gyms, retention rates average at 75.9%, and personal trainers average an 80% retention rate.

A Comparison of Revenue Through Retained Members and Lost Members

For gyms, onboarding a new member costs 3x more than retaining an existing member. The money spent on marketing mediums and the actual acquisition process outweighs the money spent on retention. Retention increase methods are loyalty programs and other methods for increasing retention. The retained members continue to generate revenue through their memberships, class sign-ups, and product purchases. Whereas, the members who leave might not generate enough revenue in the time they spent to compensate enough for the amount spent on acquiring them.

For example, we set up a campaign with the goal of getting 200 people to sign up this month. 175 people sign up, and of those 175, you retain 20% of the members for at least a year. Now, say we spent $2000 on marketing efforts for that month. That comes out to $10 a head for sign-ups if 200 people became members.

However, only 175 signed up so that roughly comes out to $11.42 spent per head for acquisition. Now, half may quit after 3 months. Membership prices start at $9.99, and those who quit were paying $9.99. Then the profit margin is only around $18.55 for the 3-month long paying customer. Yet, that is not calculating the cost for hosting those members in the gym for the time they were attending, if at all.

The 20% retained for at least a year continues to build on that profit margin. Over a year, the 20%, or 35 people, will provide $4,195.80 in revenue for the fitness center at the $9.99 price.

Overall, a member who stays longer is more valuable over time. In addition to that, members who become loyal to the fitness center will also find more value in upgrading their membership status. In turn, that increases the member’s value.

What is personal trainer software?

FitSW Personal Trainer Software - Increasing Member Retention
FitSW’s YouTube channel and personal trainer software.

Personal trainer software, or fitness tracking software, bundles useful tools for personal trainers, fitness coaches, and studio gyms. This type of software allows users to build workouts, nutrition plans, and employ habit coaching with in-app features. Better yet, this type of software automates and increases the efficacy of coaches, trainers, or gym managers in managing clients and tracking compliance.

Those who use this type of software have libraries of foods, exercises, workouts, and nutrition plans to pull from and use as they wish. Moreover, compliance is easy to track as well as progress.

One could compare personal trainer software to a Swiss Army knife.

  1. The software acts as a time and energy-saving multi-tool like the Swiss Army knife. You do not have to work with multiple tools to accomplish multiple different tasks as a coach or a trainer. With a Swiss Army knife, you can cut your steak for dinner and pick the pieces out of your teeth with the toothpick.
  2. Swiss Army knives are often handed down through generations and act as a metaphor for a bond or connection between family members. Grandfathers often give these to their kids as gifts or rewards and teach them how to safely use them. Training software helps to build better connections with clients through quick, direct communication. Trainers can efficiently share information clients need to succeed in their goals and bridge a large gap between trainers and clients.

With more time saved on mundane business tasks, trainers can be more present and communicative with clients. If anything, a better system of communication, tracking, and management allow trainers to service more clients. This can be beneficial for increasing retention and growing fitness businesses.

How do you use software to increase retention in personal training clients?

Retaining fitness clients requires that trainers and coaches can understand and help them tackle their fitness goals efficiently. This requires clear and effective communication between clients and trainers. It also requires that the trainer have all the tools and resources they need to successfully build out programs and plans for their clients while easily tracking progress. These tools help trainers give far more attention to clients through virtual means and leave more room to meet with clients in person.

Personal trainer fitness retention rates rise when clients feel their needs are met and they are challenged to reach their goals and beyond. Throughout a fitness journey, it can become difficult to stay motivated. That’s why progress tracking and regular assessments are vital. Using this software, trainers can easily employ progress tracking features that clients can use to visualize their milestones.

People are 42% more likely to achieve their goals if they regularly make note of them and write them down. The use of personal training software allows clients to write down their goals on an integrated platform. The integrations with other features, like multi-day fitness programs, allow the client to write down their goals, then be assigned actionable methods for achieving those goals.

Fitness Instructors Positively Influence Member Retention in Gyms

Fitness instructors have an enormous effect on member retention in gyms. People who regularly attend the gym often run into the issue of the inability to progress any further than they have thus far. Many factors that play into progress can be difficult to define if you are not an expert on fitness and nutrition. The average person might not know how the body functions to properly vary their exercises and avoid becoming stagnant.

Fitness instructors or coaches can offer gym members insight into how to continue progressing and help them create new goals. In just about anything, education makes the world of a difference. When gym members have personal trainers or instructors to help educate them through personalized sessions, then they become more apt to stick with the gym.

Gym Client Management

With that said, personal trainer software can help instructors manage multiple clients at once. It can help them easily track their influence on how well their clients, or gym members, are progressing. In turn, they can track how they influence the overall member retention rate for their gym. The general take on this is that more educated members will have a more pleasant experience in the gym. Their membership at that gym holds more value if they can attend on their own accord and learn as they please through help from the staff.

Additionally, fitness instructors in the gym can help reduce the risk of injury! This keeps gym members safer and less likely to stop attending the gym. With personal trainer software, instructors or trainers can actually record any injuries or previous issues that could affect their members’ gym workouts and routines.

With better profiling of members using fitness software, the gym floor staff can begin to build better connections with members. This generates a more helpful, safe, and welcoming environment for all members who walk through the doors.


Technology has the power to automate and eliminate the small, tedious tasks that take up an immense amount of time for personal trainers and fitness business managers. We all know you have a million and one things to accomplish on a daily basis, so let’s make work easier with the power of personal trainer software.

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