In nearly every industry, there are one or more associations dedicated to promoting the welfare of a given vertical.
In fitness, that association is the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). The IHRSA has fulfilled this role for more than 30 years in the fitness industry.
Today, the IHRSA serves as the focal point where the health and fitness industry come together to support common goals. The National Health & Fitness Alliance provides financial support for the organization.
This support enables the IHRSA to fight for the fitness industry. It also enables the group to lobby against legislation that can do damage to the field.
Furthermore, the IHRSA works to promote better health for society. They do so by advocating for the success of the fitness industry.
Keep reading to learn more about the IHRSA and its fitness passport gyms.
What Is the IHRSA?
The IHRSA is a global community of professionals in the health and fitness industry. They’re committed to building the fitness industry and improving the health and well-being of communities.
There are thousands of IHRSA member clubs. What’s more, there are millions of IHRSA members. Together, they work toward helping people lead a more active lifestyle.
The IHRSA is committed to the protection, growth, and promotion of the health and fitness field. Specifically, they work to promote the success of members. In fact, this is the mission of the organization.
The IHRSA supports many kinds of facilities. These facilities include:
- Fitness facilities
- Health clubs
- Sports clubs
The IHRSA also works with other fitness industry partners. The collaborative is dedicated to making the world healthier by encouraging exercise.
In addition, the IHRSA works toward promoting the fitness industry in many ways. For example, they promote universal inclusivity in the fitness industry. The group also partners with other fitness organizations around the world.
IHRSA Fitness Leadership in the New Normal
In 2020, the United States government put together an economic relief package for many businesses and industries affected by the pandemic. The IHRSA sprung into action immediately to ensure support for the fitness industry.
The group started by contacting Congress in March of that year. They then met with the IHRSA lobbyist team to form a concrete plan of action.
The IHRSA works to support the fitness industry, even during this uncertain time. They remain committed to their goals, no matter what the circumstances. Even in the face of the pandemic, the group continues to take steps to help the fitness industry thrive.
The IHRSA emphasized to Congress that club, studio, and small fitness center employees only get paid when they work. They can only work when fitness facilities are open.
The IHRSA implored Congress for direct relief. They explained that, without support, many fitness facilities would close.
Resultantly, these businesses may have to lay off more than 425,000 fitness professionals. That number surges to 800,000 people if you include independent instructors, personal trainers, and other staff members. With this in mind, the IHRSA has asked Congress to provide vital support for the industry.
How IHRSA Fitness Passport Gyms Boost Membership
To date, Congress has not passed a bill that directly supports the fitness industry. However, it has passed another round of funding for which gyms can qualify.
Furthermore, there’s hope on the horizon as operational restrictions are lifted and the pandemic slowly subsides. However, owning a gym today means putting forth extra effort to promote patronage.
One way to go about this task is to participate in the IHRSA Passport Program. The program gives the guests of IHRSA member clubs privileges to international member clubs around the world.
Resultantly, participation in the IHRSA Passport Program enables your patrons to work out when they travel. Furthermore, they can receive a 25% discount on one-day passes at participating facilities.
Also, the IHRSA Passport Program is reciprocal. Club owners in the program must accept passport visitors from other clubs up to 50 miles away. They must also extend the 25% discount on one-day passes to participating patrons.
The IHRSA Passport Program is a great way to provide added value to your members. At the same time, it can generate revenue for your business. Revenue is exactly what’s needed as gyms reopen and work toward resuming operations.
Joining the passport program is easy. The TrainAway app handles everything.
With the app, guests can check into other clubs easily. Likewise, the app makes it easy for visiting guests to check into your facility. You can choose to receive funds by direct deposit to your business bank account.
How Clients Sign Up for the IHRSA Passport Program
The client-facing side of the IHRSA Passport Program is remarkably straightforward. First, guests will need to confirm that their club participates in the program.
Next, you need to provide your guests with an invitation code. Patrons will use the code in the TrainAway app. Now, they can set up a profile, and they’re ready to purchase passes at clubs around the world in mere minutes.
When guests arrive at the club, they’d simply show the active pass to the front desk using their phone. For guests, participation in the IHRSA Passport Program is that simple.
Again, only IHRSA member fitness clubs can participate in the passport program. If you have yet to do so, you can visit the IHRSA website to learn more about membership.
The IHRSA Compels Gym Owners to Broaden Their Horizons
Participation in the IHRSA Passport Program will expand your client base. However, the IHRSA has compelled member facilities to expand their client base in another way.
The group urges facilities to broaden their business model by considering people of all ages and abilities. Whether people are young, old, healthy, disabled or chronically ill, everybody can benefit from fitness.
61 million individuals in the United States live with a disability. Many of those people want to exercise. However, they face barriers.
For some, the cost is a barrier to participating in fitness. Affordable gym memberships are one way to help the disabled overcome this obstacle.
Others face obstacles such as time or transportation. Yet other disabled individuals may feel nervous or unwelcome at a fitness facility. Alternatively, they may perceive a lack of social support in their desire to use fitness centers.
Gym owners can help individuals overcome these sentiments by promoting a culture of inclusion. This kind of culture is right from a moral perspective. It’s also good for business.
Even before the pandemic, those with disabilities were more likely to live an inactive lifestyle. Since the pandemic, however, physical activities among all kinds of people have declined dramatically.
Accordingly, the IHRSA encourages gyms to welcome and include people of all abilities actively. Owning a club is an opportunity to provide a highly beneficial service to a large and previously underserved market by promoting an inclusive environment.
The Latest Advice From the IHRSA
The pandemic is slowly subsiding. However, it persists.
Social distancing guidelines remain in place. Still, people are learning to use technology to stay connected as we continue social distancing. Accordingly, many fitness clubs are developing creative solutions so that they can continue to promote community health.
Now is a challenging time for many businesses—including the fitness industry. However, innovative technology may help you to overcome today’s challenges.
For example, you may want to consider what services you can offer online. It’s also a good idea to figure out how to use technology to promote new member offerings.
Gym owners will need to develop a new strategy. As more gyms reopen, operators will need to consider how to incorporate technology into their planning.
You may also need to reevaluate your current staffing structure. Today, we operate in a new normal. Accordingly, you may need to rework some roles within your facility.
By meeting the current needs of patrons and adjusting your operating environment, you can promote service excellence. You’ll once again rebuild your client ranks. More importantly, you’ll get people in the door—and get them to stay.
Tech to Help Your Business Thrive and Grow!
Now you know more about IHRSA fitness passport gyms. If you’re looking for technology that can help your business grow, Styku is a powerful solution.
Our body scanners go beyond the function of a weight scale. You can use our technology to show people how their body is changing. This service is a phenomenal benefit that your members cannot access at home.
Today, fitness patrons want data and automation. With Styku 3D body scan equipment, you’ll have access to the best commercial fitness tools on the market. Furthermore, you can create a VIP experience that exceeds your guests’ expectations.
Contact Styku today at (323) 372-2628 or connect with us online to request a free demo.