How to Be a Good Gym Manager: 7 Tips for Success

how to become a good gym manager

If you’re looking to excel in the fitness industry, you may be wondering how to be a good gym manager and offer exceptional service, so we’re here to share some secrets on how to achieve just that.

Below are 7 rules to follow that will help you along the way to becoming a respected gym manager and running a gym smoothly.

Before we get into it, the best gym managers will have plenty of health and fitness qualifications. Enquire about our Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course now or grab our free downloadable prospectus to learn more about our health and fitness courses.


Continue Your Fitness Career with OriGym!

Continue advancing your career in the fitness industry with our Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course.

How to Be a Good Gym Manager: 7 Rules to Follow

#1 Respect Your Employees

how to be a good gym manager

There is a huge responsibility that comes with being a gym manager and keeping a positive relationship between you and your employees is one of them.

You can only expect respect from your employees if you also respect them. In a working environment, everybody has to work together and feel happy with their job in order to keep a consistent functioning workplace.

This being said, you should remind your employees that the work they do doesn’t go unnoticed. You’re their manager, but you’re also expected to mentor them along the way, especially in a gym when the industry is constantly evolving. 

Personal trainers who are new to the industry need guidance and if you’re wanting to know how to be a good gym manager in a commercial gym, often you will be expected to take your new employee through training. For example, you may teach them skills they can use in the future to make money as a personal trainer.

In order to gain respect and create a good work relationship, you should get to know your employees on a personal level while also keeping the relationship professional. For example, ask your employees things like:

  • What did you get up to over the weekend?
  • How are you finding the training process?
  • How are the kids?

Avoid talking about work 24/7, you want your employees to feel like they want to do good work for you because you have a mutual respect for one another increasing overall productivity for all. 

Ultimately, this is how you keep a happy work environment. Not only does respect make your employees feel appreciated but they will feel inspired to get their own personal training clients creating a healthy business for themselves and in turn, for your gym.

#2 Treat Your Facility With Care

good gym manager

Next, you must keep your facility in the best possible condition and this means treating everything with care.

Common gym owner problems is they're not cheap to build or stock, therefore keeping equipment and the facility as a whole in good shape is vital no matter if you’re managing a small gym or a huge commercial gym. Thus, you should delegate tasks to your employees and do a quality control every day to check everything is how it should be.

No one wants to show up to a dirty gym or have to look around for weights scattered about in the wrong place so it is your responsibility to make sure all of it is in the correct place. 

People who pay for a gym membership should be able to walk into an environment where things are kept on top of, they simply don’t have time to waste looking for misplaced equipment.

A good way to tackle this is a cleaning schedule, it could look something like this:

how to manage a gym well

It is an easy way to keep on top of things and to delegate tasks fairly to your staff. Afterall, nobody wants to be on toilet duty everyday!

#3 Improve Your Marketing Efforts

marketing to be a gym manager

In such a competitive market, you must make your gym stand out from the masses. The way to do this is by concentrating on marketing efforts and making your gym noticeable in the industry.

One way that you can do this is by pitching a suggestion to the gym owner to include paid advertising techniques that can make your gym more visible immediately. This cuts corners when it comes to waiting for your brand to build itself.

Gaining attention does take time, but it doesn’t always have to. This is when gym marketing ideas like Google Ads and Google My Business come in handy.

When people are searching for a new gym, Google is typically their first port of call, so your business needs to be at the top of the page when they search for gyms in their area! 

For example, take the search term “gyms in Liverpool” as an example.

Below you can see an estimation insight to how many people are searching for this monthly and more importantly, the ‘cost per click’ which is what you will be interested in finding for your area.

become a good gym manager

This ‘cost per click’ is what you could expect to pay to be the top result on the search engine results page (SERP) which makes you the first name anybody interested will see. 

For example, once you type in your keyword, in this instance, 'gyms Liverpool', your gym would look something like this on the results page:

how to be a good gym manager

Similarly, you can also get to the top of the page by creating a Google My Business page. 

You can see below what this looks like for gyms that have done just that.

how to be a good gym manager

Creating a Google My Business account is a convenient way of not only being found much easier, but establishing your place in the industry some more. This way, you can gain reviews and sit among the reliable and top gyms in your area.

Alongside this is the ability to take advantage of other marketing techniques like:

The list is endless, you can get creative with your marketing which takes time, but these two tools make getting your name out there easier than ever. It may take investment, but it is certainly worth it.

#4 Create a Community With Your Customers

how to be a good gym manager in big gyms

If you want to have a successful gym space, you need to be introducing community aspects at every given chance. 

A gym is a place where people go multiple times a week. With that in mind, you want to make them feel at home in a place that can often induce anxiety for many.

You can do this by bringing your community together and utilising your gym as a space for people who want to socialise with like minded people.

This not only makes your current members feel included and appreciated, but it also sets a good reputation for anyone nearby who may be on the search for a gym to join. Ways that you can bring the community together in your gym include small practices like:

  • Talking to members on the gym floor
  • Running charitable events 
  • Celebrating national holidays e.g Christmas, Halloween etc.
  • Maintaining contact over email and on social media

Below, you can see how relevant awareness months can help keep you involved with current affairs and awareness months that can heavily impact your relationship with clients and induce a sense of community among those who suffer with particular conditions that could be improved by exercise. 

become a good gym manager

Ultimately, showing your enthusiasm for relative awareness months and conditions makes your members feel seen and heard if they suffer from anything of the sort.

PureGym have highlighted their #heartmonth with a lighthearted awareness post. You should be keeping an eye out for this sort of thing and acting on it when necessary to ensure your members are seeing how you care for their health and wellbeing.

This can show your clients that you go the extra mile for them and care about more than the membership money. For example, gym anxiety can be very hard to overcome for new gym goers, however, if potential clients hear that your gym boasts a comfortable and community feel - you’re going to be a much more likely choice for them.

You’re ultimately going to be a gym manager that is running a centre that is beneficial for everyone, you, your employees and your members are all going to be a part of a gym with a much wider meaning when you take care of your community.

- - - - 

If you want some extra resources on how to be an above average fitness professional, head to our articles below:

#5 Keep on Top of Your Duties

how to become a good gym manager and owner

The benefits of managing a gym are endless, but with all of these perks come huge responsibilities that can not go overlooked or ignored. 

The key to keeping your club running smoothly is to keep on top of your admin. If you don’t, your gym will face the consequences. 

Neglecting tasks such as:

  • Paying bills
  • Admin
  • Risk assessments
  • Health and safety checks
  • Hygiene checks
  • Breakages

Will leave your gym in a place of deterioration. You could do all of this yourself, but if you’re busy there are external companies that can help you ensure that you don’t forget such important tasks. 

For example, any finance related jobs could be handed off to an accountant, while any legal matters could be dealt with by an in-house solicitor. 

how to be a great gym manager

Similarly, administrative tasks cover a lot of ground, thus, you should hire an admin team to sort through these jobs. Of course this depends on the size of your gym, if you’re managing a small gym and you can handle the tasks yourself then organise your time wisely and dedicate a portion of your time to getting these jobs done.

In other instances, for example working for a big commercial gym, they will almost always already have these members of staff in place.

Nonetheless, if you’re managing a smaller or independent gym, as it grows into a bigger business, you can slowly add these professionals into your work space or outsource to help you run your gym more efficiently.

Find out more about the positives and negatives of owning a gym by checking out our article 'The Pros and Cons of Owning a Gym'.

#6 Adhere to Industry Trends

be a good gym manager how to

Running a gym means keeping on top of industry trends to compete with your competitors in your area. 

For example, if there is something going on that other gyms are acting on, you need to be aware of that so that you can do the same, or implement something that is similar but better!

There are always new fitness trends popping up across the world, so you should take advantage of these opportunities to get your gym members involved with some exciting activities. 

For example, one fitness trend that was successful was the 12-3-30 workout. 

This swept across the fitness industry fast, even publications like Good Housekeeping had their experts try it out, you can see below how it all started from one fitness professional and grew into a workout programme.

become a great gym manager

You can easily add these kinds of trends into your gym when the time arises and take advantage of the benefits of doing such. For example, you could create a competition around this trend, or encourage members to give it a go.

Doing this will provide you with a good avenue to get to know your members and encourage them to try something new.

Plus, being aware of and bringing relevant trends into your gym humanises the business too, reminding members of the people behind the business and increasing that sense of community.

Fun trends in the fitness industry can be a great way to get involved in some healthy competition between employees or members if they wish. It is again promoting the sense of community and pushing your gym to the top.

Combining both fitness trends that a younger audience may come across with awareness months for particular conditions ensures that you’re keeping your members' demographic varied and allows for them all to be heard and included in any sort of events that crop up in your gym.

#7 Pull Your Weight!

how to become a top gym manager

Finally, our last rule to follow if you want to know how to be a good gym manager is to go above and beyond. 

Don’t expect your gym to fall into place and for clients to come flocking with no persuasion - you have to put the work in to get members joining.

We have mentioned plenty of jobs that need to be completed when running a gym, from cleaning to admin and it is up to you to build this team that is going to work together in harmony.

That being said, you’re the sole person that is going to be responsible for pulling the weight and getting your gym ready to let members in.

You need to do more than the bare minimum for your business to take off and one way of doing this is to work alongside your fellow team members rather than simply instruct. Only you can decide how you want your business to be run and your employees need to see it in action.

how to be a good gym manager UK

In the aforementioned table we created as an example, you could add your name in there too. You should be familiar with all of the roles and expectations of your gym so that you know that you’re realistic. 

For example, if you manage a huge gym with two floors, you’re probably going to need more staff to help with cleaning and organising your equipment. By taking part in the same jobs, you will come to find out if your employees are being overworked or if they could benefit from extra training in certain areas.

Without putting yourself in your employees shoes, there is no way of doing this. It is incredibly important to keep working at your gym to make it the best it can be and to avoid plateau at all costs. 

There is always room for improvement and expansion so word towards it and with a supportive team acting with mutual respect you can do just that!

Before You Go…

Hopefully you feel confident in entering your role with our advice and feel as though you can make your gym one of the best in the business!

If you aren't already qualified, enquire about our specialisms such as our Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course or download a course prospectus for more information.


Continue Your Fitness Career with OriGym!

Continue advancing your career in the fitness industry with our Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course.

Written by Kimberley Mitchell


Having gained a B.A Hons degree in Media, Culture and Communications, Kimberley has gained experience in areas of web journalism, website production and marketing.

Alongside this, Kim expanded her knowledge and passion for fitness, by becoming a fully qualified fitness instructuor and personal trainer. Kim has also gained specialist qualifications in yoga, nutriton, spin and many more.

After working in the industry as a PT, Kimberley went on to study an MA in Digital Marketing and continues to expand her knowledge in the industry. Her main focus is to keep up with current trends and communications with a focus around health & fitness, writing and being creative.

Recommended Posts

How To Have A Successful Gym: 13 Crucial Tips

How To Have A Successful Gym: 13 Crucial Tips 

From hiring the best staff to defining what makes you stand out, many people wonder how to have a successful gym. We’ve broken down ou …
Gym Manager Job Description Explained

Gym Manager Job Description Explained 

We’ll explore all areas of the gym manager job description as well as how you can make your ideal start on this career path!This gui …
13 Helpful Tips For Gym Managers

13 Helpful Tips For Gym Managers 

With our gym manager tips, any gym is sure to go from average to exceptional. From advice on marketing to customer service, we’ll prov …

12 Ways You Can Boost Your PT Income!

Image of a kettlebell

12 Ways You Can Boost Your PT Income!

Image of a kettlebell