Successful onboarding

The benefits of free assessment sessions for your fitness center

The benefits of free assessment sessions for your fitness center
Written by COSMIN Published on 2021-01-26 6 minutes read

Assessment sessions are more than the first impression for members. These sessions are sales and member onboarding tools so they can remain loyal for as long as possible.

Usually, assessment sessions are included in memberships. If the member requests it, a trainer will give them a short walk-through and some tips on how to work out. Unfortunately, many trainers miss this immense opportunity to convince the member of the quality of the services they have purchased and entice them to buy new services, like PT sessions.

If the trainer knows how to do their job, the member will invest more in their experience at the gym, both financially and time-wise. That way, you can easily create a connection between the club and the member, gaining their loyalty and ensuring their renewal.

What is an assessment session

Generally, an assessment session is coordinated by a trainer. Sometimes, they will take measurements of the member, like their weight, height, etc. Then, depending on their objectives, the trainer can suggest a particular workout routine and show them how the gym equipment works and how they should use it. Ideally, the trainer will also persuade the member to purchase PT sessions.

However, this assessment can be more complex. The trainer should take time to answer all the questions the member might have. There should also be a difference between an assessment session for a new member and one for someone that renewed their membership. The needs and questions will be very different.

Assessment session for new members

This is the most crucial session because it represents the member’s first impression. Therefore, this session should first focus on the member’s questions. Expect queries about what equipment they need, if they need to bring towels and indoor shoes, and other questions about how things usually work. You can also email all this information to members when they first purchase a membership so they can have it on hand.

Preferably, an assessment session should occur during the member’s first visit to the gym. Then a member of your team can greet them and explain the check-in process, particularly if you have an access control system, and how to reach the locker rooms. Then they can show them the gym area, the class studios and any other facility your gym might have, like pool, sauna and so on.

During this time, the member should be made aware of all the services included in their membership, and those available online, like the member app, the online portal on your website, and so on. Of course, these details can also be sent via email. Still, it’s important to explain all of these face to face, particularly if they have questions or encounter any technical issues.

Only after can they have a proper chat with a trainer. They should talk to the new member about why they joined the gym and their goals. Then, together they can set a precise goal that is not very difficult to reach.

People often join the gym to lose many kilos or look like bodybuilders. And if they don’t reach their goal in the first few weeks, they become disenchanted and drop out. The trainer’s job is to help them set realistic goals and advise them on how to reach them. That could be a set of exercises, a routine, nutrition advice, or what equipment they should use.

This is also the perfect moment to talk to the new member about personal training. They can show them what that entails and how it can benefit them. The trainer can show the member how they would be able to help them during PT sessions, depending on their goals.

At the end of an assessment session, the new member should not have questions about the club’s services, the check-in process, and what apparel they need. They should also know how to train the next time they come to the gym. 

That way, the next visit will be a lot easier.

Depending on the new client, the trainer can also introduce them to other gym members. One of the main benefits of a gym membership is the community that helps you and motivates you to visit the club more often.

Once the new member truly joins the community, retention will be natural. The trainer will encourage the new member to take this step faster by making this introduction.

Trainer app

Assessment session for an existing member

The situation is different when loyal members renew their membership and receive a free assessment session. Most likely, this member already knows the rules at the gym, how to check in, and what they need during workouts. That means the first part of the session is no longer necessary if the member doesn’t ask for it.

However, you can talk with them about the services they haven’t tried before or about the new classes in the schedule.

During the meeting with the trainer, the member’s workout regimen should be reviewed, and they should update their measurements. They should both have a better idea of the member’s evolution at the gym. Now is when the trainer should discuss personal workouts, more so if the member hasn’t tried them before.

The assessment session for loyal members is an excellent opportunity to review your club’s services. You can ask them to fill in a short questionnaire, or the trainer can help them fill it in on the spot. This would be a chance for the member to make various suggestions or complaints based on their experience at the gym. If something is not in order, a member of your team should help them.

These interactions will make members feel valued and part of your community. It’s essential to keep in touch with your members after they renew their membership as well, not just when you want to persuade them to make a purchase.

What are the benefits of an assessment session

The main benefits of this service are easy to guess – loyalty and retention.

An assessment session should not be perceived only as a friendly gesture for your members but also as an essential transition from recruiting to retention.

These sessions are the only way to encourage new members to use their membership. Otherwise, these members will have no reason to renew their membership if they haven’t used the first one. No matter the excellent price you offer.

However, suppose you help them during the first few weeks to get into a workout rhythm and feel comfortable at your club. In that case, the member experience will evolve on its own, and so will the renewal.

On the other hand, an assessment session, as I mentioned above, is the perfect method to check on your “old members” to see what you can improve. You can also find out your members’ preferences, so you can scrap the services that don’t attract too many members.

All these key moments contribute to an excellent member experience that will positively impact your retention rate.

How to convince members to use the assessment session

After you lay out a strategy for assessments, all you have to do is persuade members to actually use them. This should not be too difficult!

Don’t expect them to reach out and ask to use it. More often than not, they won’t do it, particularly if they are new.

Therefore, instruct your reception desk team that when someone (new or old members) buys a membership, in the end, they should schedule the assessment session. Preferably during the member’s next visit.

Agreeing on a date and time will make the member less likely not to show up. And in the case of new members, you’ll have the guarantee their next visit will happen in the next few days. Don’t forget to email them the confirmation for the assessment session so that the member has all the relevant details on hand.

If you already have members with unused sessions, ask your team to talk to them about this the next time they check-in. It’s very possible that many don’t even know they have this service or what it entails.

An unused session is also a great opportunity to contact members that haven’t visited your gym in a while. You can call them to discuss this benefit and schedule the session on the phone. That way, your chances of reactivating them increase tenfold.

A quick catch-up...

Many gyms offer assessment sessions to their members, but that doesn’t mean they actually use these services for the gym’s benefit. An assessment session should take more than a few minutes to weigh the member and discuss exercises. It should be an essential process that turns a new member into a die-hard fan.

This session is a fantastic opportunity to inform members about your club’s services, rules, and responsibilities. It should also be an excellent reason for trainers to promote their PT services.

At the end of a session, the member should leave with a workout plan, and they should feel like part of your gym’s community. That way, the transition from recruiting to retention is seamless.

Assessment sessions are useful not just for new members but also for your loyal base. In this context, members can evaluate their workouts, keep track of their progress, and receive further advice on how to reach their fitness goals. On the other hand, the club can find out more about the members’ complaints, and which of your services actually bring you money.


Cosmin has the unique ability to provide not only the best solution for his clients but also to help them make the most of the tools they have. He spends his time in gyms and fitness centers, not only training but also observing and researching every operational aspect of this business.

Fitness Business Romania
Fitness Business Romania

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