Which Skills Do You Need to Become a Gym Manager?

A career in fitness is something that lots of people dream of, but few people take the steps to pursue. While excellent health and fitness are obviously desirable qualities for any fitness professional, there is a lot more to starting your career than just knowing how to work out your own body. At PT Academy, we educate fitness enthusiasts to take that next step in their careers in order to become fitness professionals. 

Though we specialize in educating personal trainers, we offer programs to help professionals from every area of the fitness industry to improve their knowledge and advance their careers. One track our students can choose to take is to work towards becoming a gym manager, a role that is integral to the success of virtually every gym and fitness center. 

Gym managers oversee the daily operations of their facilities, organizing the programming, scheduling training sessions and group classes, managing business promotion, coordinates maintenance and facility care, and so much more. The role of gym manager can be highly rewarding, especially if you have a passion for organization and creating experiences for other people. Gym management can also be stressful, however, so it takes a certain set of skills to become successful in this line of work. 

What Does a Gym Manager Do? 

If you’ve never heard of a gym manager before, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many gym-goers may never come in contact with their gym’s manager, at least not knowingly. Gym managers are often doing work behind the scenes to make sure everything is running smoothly, but that doesn’t mean that they never have the chance to interact with clients or followers. To give you an idea of what a career as a gym manager entails, here is a brief overview of the position: 

 

  • Programming: Gym managers are often charged with creating and scheduling programming for the facility. This can mean both finding talented trainers to hire for individual and group classes, and taking the time to coordinate everyone’s schedules. Having regular programming that clients can rely on is key to keeping a gym open, and ensuring that everyone has their schedules ahead of time is equally important for the sake of your employees.

    Along with regular daily and weekly programming, gym managers are also tasked with setting up special events like guest trainer classes, masterclasses, special workshops, and so on.
  • Hiring & Supervision: As briefly mentioned, gym managers are often in charge of finding and hiring qualified trainers, receptionists, nutritionists, maintenance, and any other employees that might be needed to help the facility run smoothly. Hiring can be a tiring process, but it doesn’t end once a candidate is selected. 

 

Being in charge of the hiring process often means having the responsibility to help integrate new employees into the workplace, providing quality training, and ensuring all employees are kept safe and happy in their positions. Sometimes, supervising employees can mean having uncomfortable conversations, enforcing rules that your trainers may not agree with, or even making tough decisions for the safety of both your employees and your clients.

  • Safety & Maintenance: Another important function of the role of a gym manager is to ensure the facility is safe and well maintained. Gym managers need to know what resources their facility needs to have, should ensure all areas are in good working condition. Similarly, gym managers are in charge of scheduling and organizing regular maintenance of the facilities, which could include janitorial work, regular repairs, and so on.
  • Marketing: Though the majority of your day as a gym manager will likely be spent, well, managing the gym, the task of advertising and marketing the facility’s services also often fall on the shoulders of the gym manager. Marketing for a gym can take many forms, and could be as complex as hiring advertising professionals and as simple as posting the occasional image on Instagram.
  • Budgeting: To hire staff, keep maintenance and repair services on call, and offer the best programming and most comfortable facilities, you are going to need to make sure you have the money. Budgeting is one of the most important roles of a gym manager, but also happens to be the one that most people overlook. Staying on budget is not only important for ensuring that all employees are paid and you can keep your machines running, but is also important in the event of an emergency. 

Skills & Qualifications

As with all careers, there are certain specific skills you are going to need if you want to qualify for a position as a gym manager. PT Academy can help you get started through our continuing education courses, but you are going to need to work hard to develop the skills you need beyond the basic certifications and courses. Here are some of the key skills you will need to become a gym manager: 

Customer Service

Though your role as a gym manager may not always require direct communication with customers, that doesn’t mean you won’t need strong customer service skills to flourish in this kind of position. Gym managers often have the responsibility of handling major customer complaints, resolving payment issues, or even discussing/enforcing policies to ensure the safety of your staff. 

Communication

Just as you will need to communicate clearly and effectively with customers, the role of gym manager also requires strong communication skills for the sake of your staff. Working closely in any environment can be stressful, but as a manager, you need to be able to keep a certain level of professionalism and be able to keep your employees feeling happy, productive, and similarly professional. Future gym managers must be comfortable working closely with their employees and enforcing rules and regulations. 

Leadership

While basic communication can go a long way, no gym manager can do it all, which is why having strong leadership skills is so important. To make sure that things run smoothly and are done promptly, gym managers should be able to delegate and instruct staff to allow them to take over some regular responsibilities.

Organization

There is a lot to get done in an average day as a gym manager, which is why it is essential to have strong organization and time management skills. As a gym manager, you will need to coordinate and manage many different moving parts, which can not only be stressful, but extremely time-consuming. With things happening all day, every day, losing track of time or forgetting a piece of the routine isn’t really an option, which is why you should only consider a career in management if you thrive under pressure and with a time-limit. 

Adaptability & Creativity

Finally, in your role as a gym manager, you will be in charge of looking for ways for your organization to improve and expand. A good candidate for this position is one that is able to take in feedback, make careful observations, and perform research to determine whether a change is necessary to create a better environment. Adaptability is vital to keep a gym moving forward, and with a little creative thinking, you could be part of creating an innovative fitness experience. 

Begin your gym manager education by visiting PT Academy online and learning about our fitness and continuing education courses. 

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