This seems like a no brainer and you’re probably thinking that the answer is you simply clean your facility to maintain it. However, the cleanliness of your gym or fitness club goes a little deeper than that–a deep clean if you will. Not only does it affect the overall look, feel and brand of your gym, but according to Fitness Magazine, research says that members could be getting much more than flat abs at the gym, like fungi and Staph infections, the flu and even Hepatitis A and MRSA.
Even if you think your gym is spotless, it’s probably not. If you truly think about it, it’s no surprise that gyms are a haven for bacteria. Vast amounts of people with different health conditions carrying different germs, work out in your facility every day and sweat on your equipment.
Although you can’t control what people do, especially outside of your club, there are things you can do as a gym owner to make sure your facility sparkles because let’s face it: your members come to the gym to get healthy, not sick and a dirty gym is gross. Besides, people still try to stay active even when they have the common cold, which spreads germs but also the sicker a member is, the less time they are spending in your gym, and you don’t want that either. Here are some preventative measures you and your staff can take to minimize germs.
OFFER CLEANING STATIONS
Most gyms and fitness studios offer stations with paper towels and spray bottles filled with disinfectant solutions, but in case you don’t already, offering cleaning stations is a small preventative action you can take to immediately kill germs. You’re probably still wondering how many people actually use them, and unfortunately, that’s why gyms collect so much bacteria, because many people don’t, but that’s also because gyms don’t encourage it enough or in a way that they should.
Members are more likely to wipe down a treadmill after using it rather than a weight machine. According to Natural News, free weights are often used, but hardly ever cleaned. Exercise balls and mats are rarely cleaned either because people don’t always think about it, yet they carry bacteria like Staphylococcus.
If you have cleaning stations with signs that encourage and remind your members to wipe down equipment, you have a better chance of avoiding harmful bacteria, helping them in the long-run. Although you can’t force your members to actually use your cleaning stations, it’s better to have them than not at all. Besides, your members pay to work out in your facility, not clean it. So even though it’s common courtesy for them to wipe stuff down, it’s not their job to–it’s yours.
HIRE A CLEANING STAFF
Whether or not this is your general staff, make sure your employees are vacuuming, wiping down equipment that isn’t currently being used, maintaining bathrooms and locker rooms as well as picking up trash. We recommend you have a separate cleaning staff from your general employees because if you have your front desk person vacuuming when they should be welcoming people in, there’s a chance of missed opportunities for new members, and besides, you want different types of people running your facility, so that all member needs are met. It looks more professional for your overall brand to have employees walking around cleaning because it shows that you care about your club and that you care about your members feeling comfortable where they work out.
Simply relying on your members to get rid of germs by wiping down equipment is not enough. According to an experiment conducted by the TODAY Show, the buttons on cardio equipment at a New York gym carried a bacteria level of 2,134. Any bacteria level over 100 was considered a fail. Natural News says that even after people wipe down those machines, bacteria can still live on them for up to three days.
In other words, deep cleaning your facility is your best bet, plus members and guests definitely notice and appreciate those small details, which is vital to the success of your business. If you’re an owner of a boutique fitness studio that runs solely on group classes, like barre or yoga, it’s not a bad idea to have a cleaning staff, but you probably don’t need to worry about it as much since group classes are controlled and moderated by instructors, rather than the individual actions of members.
CHECK OUR DAILY SERVICE NOTES REPORT
Our Daily Service Notes Report is a good tool for ASF to inform your gym and staff of things you might not be aware of, like the cleanliness of it for instance. This could be anything like the bathrooms were dirty one day, or there was gum stuck to an elliptical. Specific complaints like that happen all of the time. Think about it this way. You don’t want your members exercising in a dirty environment. That’s unsanitary and embarrassing for you as a fitness club owner. Your members chose your gym for a reason. Whatever their deciding factor was, one of the worst things that could happen is a member cancelling their membership because they were grossed out.
The Daily Service Notes Report is perfect for very specific issues. Obviously, your club is a public place and public places will always carry germs no matter what, but the issues reach a whole level when it’s disrupting a member’s workout. Chances are when things like that happen, members will complain directly to your staff for an immediate solution, but either way, this report is imperative to check so that you, your staff and ASF are all on the same page and can resolve the issues when they arise.
USE OUR HOURLY ATTENDANCE REPORT
This report helps you determine the peak times and slow times of your facility each day, on the hour. You’re probably wondering how this report would help you clean your gym. If you have effectively determined your peak times, then you know that more people using your equipment also means more germs.
At the same time, you can determine your slower times to track when it’s okay to send your staff around to clean, especially if you don’t have a specific cleaning staff. Regardless, you should be cleaning your club or at least inspecting it every hour. This report helps you determine appropriate times to maintain it so that your members are always exercising in a clean environment.
CREATE A CLEANING CLOCK
Whatever this looks like or sounds like–whether it’s a reminder over the intercom or specific times all of your employees are aware of, everyone needs to be on the same page. With members and prospects coming in and out of your gym, asking questions and signing up for memberships, it’s easy to forget to clean, so simply setting cleaning reminders for your employees can resolve issues before they’re even a problem.
If people touch it, clean it. It’s better to be overly-detailed about the look and feel of your gym, than not enough.