May 27, 2020
Today, I have guest Mel Tempest
talking to me about the fitness industry; how she saw an
opportunity 17 years ago and grabbed it with both hands.
We discuss the ever-changing
market of fitness, some of the struggles it faces and what the
future holds for gym owners.
Mel started a health club in
2003 and is constantly on the hunt for new ideas and opportunities
to make her club a safe, comfortable environment for everyone.
While being an event speaker and podcaster.
Tell us about your journey in the crazy world of fitness
explains she opened up the club in 2003 after a mentor told her
that she would never aspire to be anything more than a circuit
was in her mid 30’s and wanted to be more than a real estate agent.
She wanted to be a gym instructor. She had no real experience, but
along with her husband decided to open a gym
first club was in a 450 square meter church hall. It was having
numerous people come up to her and telling her that they were
looking for a non-intimidating environment, that made Mel realize
she needed to change her business model.
been changing her business model for the past 17 years to meet the
demographic in her community.
years later, and Mel reports that they are still going strong in an
1800 square meter facility of their own. And their goal remains the
same; to create a safe, comfortable environment for
You said you shifted the way you did business to fit
your demographic. Expand on that? (04:15)
says the first thing she banned in her clubs were crop-tops.
Trainers were to wear regular shirts at all times.
tried to create a less intimidating environment by using her own
staff as an advertisement for her business, rather than the image
set by the media. She feels the graphics in the media were
- For a
larger person, walking into a club where everyone is wearing crop
tops and tank tops would be uncomfortable. Her aim was and has been
for 17 years, to make the club a safe place for
some members, coming to the club is the best part of their day. So
she pays attention to the small things like greeting people and
knowing their names.
What expectations did you have for your podcast?
says she wanted to interview people that she felt would help the
industry, and she thought it was a simpler way of getting the
knowledge to other club owners.
much focus is placed on high and mid-level achievers, so
entry-level businesses are left behind; that became her target
could include new businesses or business owners that have been in
the industry for 10 to 15 years but are frightened of developing
technology. Her goal was to assist those who are too afraid to ask
next step was getting the right speakers for the show. They have
been very fortunate so far, and they are currently standing strong
at 860 000 hits.
knows they are sharing the right information, as people approach
her on a regular basis to tell her how much her knowledge has
How do you look for collaborations in this industry?
states that her main focus is to look for people that can offer
something that she can’t, and if she can’t do something, she will
get someone who can.
uses her female leaders as an example, saying that some of them
excel in speaking about mindfulness and self-care. This, however,
is not her strong suit.
in the health and wellness industry have a responsibility in
creating positive mental health.
you do not treat your peers with respect, it will have a negative
mental impact on them. We don’t want anyone in the industry
thinking that they are not valued as a speaker or
- Everyone in the industry must be held
accountable for the impact they have on their peers and teams.
Everyone has to treat each other as part of a team, rather than the
What are some of the biggest opportunities in the
fitness industry? (23:25)
makes a great point in arguing that those who do not grow with
technology will get left behind. There are new products coming out
on a regular basis, products that are meant to make life easier -
like running your front desk.
- People over the age of 45 are frequently
overlooked, but this age group has money to spend. They want one on
one sessions and help with nutrition.
club has four business models under their roof; group fitness
programming, technology, the gym with the actual equipment, and the
practice. Don’t promote your business as a whole, promote it as
individual business models.
fitness industry is ever-changing. Attend events, listen to
podcasts, do some research on how to improve so you can extend your
stay in the industry.
Connect with Mel on
Visit Mel Tempest