Member retention is constantly on the minds of most club owners. I recently spoke with management at one club that takes member retention very seriously. The Manasquan, N.J.-based Atlantic Club has a cost-effective, member-centric focus that uses a “road map” to help them with member integration. The road map includes goal-setting sessions and personalized fitness assessments; initial exercise program development and equipment orientations; personal training; sports conditioning services; and group exercise programs.

While the club's road map has helped improve retention from 65 percent to 70 percent, the Atlantic Club is always looking for additional ways to reinforce its competitive advantage. The club hopes that its new program called KINESIS, which it introduced at its two New Jersey locations in April, will increase its retention rate to 80 percent.

The program is being used to reinforce the Atlantic Club's member integration, customer relationship management (CRM) and member retention programs — and to add value to the club member experience. By incorporating the program into the club's road map, the club would like to stimulate a synergistic effect between all programming options at the club. The cross promotion and use of all club programming options will guarantee that members will never plateau but instead will reach their goals more quickly.

Members' needs are individual and always evolving. KINESIS addresses these evolving needs in the areas of balance, flexibility and strength. The program is a “high-touch” concept that requires proactive staff interaction, guidance and direction for each member. What better way to manage your club's retention program than by having your staff proactively interact with your members?

From a member perspective, the program is being positioned to provide additional programming support so that the Atlantic Club can help its members reduce their cholesterol, body fat percentage, blood pressure and girth measurements while improving their joint range of motion, joint stability and mobility, skeletal posture, muscular strength and endurance, and other health benefits. From an ROI perspective, KINESIS is projected to increase revenue per member, member revenue per square foot, nonmembership dues revenue (e.g. personal training revenue), membership referrals and group exercise studio utilization.

The Atlantic Club trained 27 personal trainers and Pilates instructors to teach the four KINESIS programs in either a one-on-one or small group training setting. The programs, which are all fee based, include:

  • The Foundations Program, which is an introduction to the KINESIS Training Method and consists of more than 250 exercises.

  • The Flow Program, which is a mind-body focused class that fuses yoga, Pilates and functional training to help improve balance and coordination.

  • The Intense Program, which is a core-focused class that offers a blend of circuit training and calisthenics to create a heart-pumping, calorie-burning experience.

  • The Transform Program, which incorporates a nutritional component that helps members redefine their mind and physical self.

The program includes the Life Enhancement Center and Junior Fitness Studio in Manasqsuan, NJ, and the Studio in Red Bank, NJ. The Life Enhancement Center's primary service option is an eight-session, small group training package (two sessions per week for four weeks) for groups of four. Each session is a 30-minute circuit program.

The Junior Fitness Studio is designed for children ages 6 to 9 years old and juniors ages 10 to 14 years old and features a training room that offers circuit training classes. The center will host nutrition classes to emphasize the importance of combining healthy eating with workouts and sports-conditioning training.

“Our goal is to create health solutions that will last a lifetime,” says Patricia Laus, owner/founder of The Atlantic Club.

Because the KINESIS programs have a strong fusion of personal training and Pilates, the Studio at the Red Bank, NJ, club has ensured that the program is being provided by a qualified group of personal trainers and Pilates instructors.

The Atlantic Club's experience just goes to show that regardless of how successful your member retention efforts might be, it pays to keep your eyes open to new opportunities that can add to your bottom line while helping members attain results.


Bob Esquerre, MA, MES, NSCA-CPT is a fitness consultant and owner of the Esquerre Fitness Group. He is a Reebok Master Trainer with certifications as a medical exercise specialist from AAHP and personal training from NSCA.