Rob Bishop
Rob Bishop is the co-owner of Elevations Health Club in Scotrun, Pa. His award-winning health club column debuted in the March 2010 issue of Athletic Business, with partner Barry Klein, and Rob has been a regular contributor ever since. You can hear insight from Rob in person at the Athletic Business Conference & Expo where he's been a speaker since 2007.
  • Tuesday, December, 20, 2016
    Knowing When to Seek Marketing Help — and from Whom

    If you read this column on a regular basis, you know that we've been in business for a long time. And over the years, I'd like to think we've tried just about everything when it comes to advertising and marketing: billboards, direct mail, email, social media, TV, radio and member-referral programs. Some things were successful, and some weren't. Some things worked great the first time and not so great the second or third time.


  • Thursday, December, 01, 2016
    Cultivating Corporate Membership Programs

    I'm not sure there is a health club out there that doesn't target local businesses with offers of a corporate membership for their employees. Some employers simply want to add such memberships to their checklist of employee perks while others are truly interested in improving the health and wellbeing of their workers.


  • Tuesday, October, 04, 2016
    Five Steps to a Cleaner Health Club

    This article appeared in the September issue of Athletic Business. Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.


  • Wednesday, June, 15, 2016
    The Pros and Cons of Personal Trainer Business Models

    This article appeared in the June 2016 issue of Athletic Business. Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.


  • Thursday, April, 14, 2016
    Adjusting Market Expectations Amid Falling Gas Prices

    This article appeared in the April issue of Athletic Business. Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry. Click here to subscribe.


  • Tuesday, November, 24, 2015
    Like 20 Years in Business, Our Anniversary Celebration Brought Challenges, Rewards

    Please allow us to paint a picture for you:


  • Wednesday, November, 04, 2015
    Our New Day-to-Day Approach to Member Retention

    For 20 years we've been telling people and writing about how there are two kinds of gyms — those that are "sales" focused and those that are "retention" focused. We put ourselves squarely in the second camp since we've never had salespeople, we use no high-pressure sales techniques and our entire business model is based on the premise that we need our members to actually use our clubs and thus continue their memberships.


  • Thursday, September, 24, 2015
    Five Things the Presence of a New Competitor Has Taught Us

    We've often written in these pages and spoken at the Athletic Business Conference about "the big squeeze." And now, after 20 years in business, we are the orange.


  • Tuesday, June, 23, 2015
    Avoid These Six Health Club Design Mistakes

    When it comes to great architecture and design at fitness facilities, we defer to former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's standard for obscenity — we know it when we see it.


  • Tuesday, May, 19, 2015
    How to Brace for the Many Responsibilities of Health Club Ownership

    Recently, we were at a financial education seminar for small-business owners. The speaker was discussing how marriages are often impacted when a business owner is able to sell and finds himself or herself with free time. Their spouse is suddenly faced with a partner who is around more than ever before. Maybe too much. "Their spouse discovers that they really weren't a workaholic," the speaker said. "They were just doing what they had to do for all of those years."


  • Wednesday, April, 30, 2014
    Blog: Does Wearable Fitness Have Legs?

    Wearable fitness tracking technology is the future!

    Such excitement was so early-2014. We saw articles in The Wall Street Journal that described how corporate CEOs were big users of wearables and how they were competing against each other to see who could sleep better or walk more. BusinessWeek ran a story earlier this year that discussed the possibility — the likelihood? — of wearables putting gyms out of business. The New York Times ran a piece two weeks ago today about how wearables were being used in gyms.


  • Thursday, June, 27, 2013
    Blog: Why Calling 'Obesity' a 'Disease' Is So Troubling

    Jerry Seinfeld does a bit during which he discusses topics that make people whisper. Cancer is one of them. "Did you hear about Bill? He has (whispering) cancer."


  • Monday, May, 20, 2013
    Blog: SoulCycle Lawsuit Could Hurt Fitness Industry

    The recently filed class-action lawsuit against the indoor cycling chain SoulCycle for allegedly violating California and New York wage laws could have a huge impact on the health and fitness industry. We're fascinated by it and are watching to see how it progresses. The complaint, filed by a former SoulCycle instructor, claims that SoulCycle instructors - who are paid only for the classes they teach - are "required to work above and beyond the time instructing a class." Their duties include training, preparation, communication with customers, meetings, special-event classes and assisting with marketing.


  • Friday, April, 19, 2013
    Blog: After a Sad Week, Count Your Blessings

    "This is just like New Orleans."

    In the wake of the tragedy in Boston this week, we were reminded of that quote from 2005. It came from one of our health club members and is seared into our brains. And it reminds us never to become the kind of people who would say that. Such a statement colors our opinion of customer service and how we respond to difficult situations.


  • Wednesday, February, 27, 2013
    Blog: 'Low-Price' Doesn't Necessarily Equal 'High-Value'

    So, who started putting the words "high value" after "low cost" when describing health clubs that we all know and love (and we hate) as the "low-cost providers"?


  • Monday, February, 18, 2013
    Blog: Calling All Catch-Phrase Professionals!

    If there is one area of our business that we know is deficient, it is this - our catch phrases.

    They're getting better. Can you guess what we used to call our new member introductory program that provided three workouts with a trainer, a fitness evaluation and a free consultation with a nutritionist? We called it "our new member introductory program that provides three workouts with a trainer, a fitness evaluation and a free consultation with a nutritionist." We were nothing if not descriptive.


  • Wednesday, April, 13, 2011
    Blog: Zumba's Great - Just Not for Us

    We're going to come right out and say it, and then go hide behind something sturdy in anticipation of the response.