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, August, 12, 2014
    Lessons from Our Club’s Response to an Onsite Fatality

    Please read this column.


  • Monday, July, 14, 2014
    Six Strategies for Selling Club Memberships

    Let's take it as a given that most consumers assume that the process of buying a health club membership will be sales-intensive. Our entire industry has been painted as having high-pressure, lock-people-in-a-cubicle-until-they-sign methods, and consumers enter most clubs with their guard up, waiting for the hard sell.


  • Tuesday, July, 01, 2014
    Lessons in Club Design Learned After Years of Renovation

    They really need to make paint color samples bigger.


  • Monday, June, 09, 2014
    Assertiveness is Key to Running a Fitness Business

    You know how being physically fit and strong is supposed to make people confident and self-assured? Then please explain to us why we're an industry of wimps.


  • 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, March, 27, 2014
    Flood Emergency Provides Lessons in Crisis Management

    As a gym owner or manager, there's one phone call, above all others, that you do not want at 1 a.m. — a call from your alarm company.


  • Wednesday, February, 19, 2014
    Customer Service Targeting the Club Membership Majority

    No good deed goes unpunished. Said differently, we’ve decided that at times we provide customer service that is too good.

    We don’t mean that arrogantly. What we mean is that we can’t care about things that aren’t important to the majority of our customers. It’s just too hard, and it takes a toll on us financially, professionally and emotionally.


  • Friday, January, 17, 2014
    Looking at Your Club Business Through Fresh Eyes

    Welcome to the new year! The days are shorter, New Year's resolutions are inducing guilt, much of the country is in the depths of winter, and there's nothing for a lot of folks to do but go off and join a gym. Everyone knows they have to get in shape. Now's the time.


  • Friday, December, 20, 2013
    Everything You Need to Know to Work for Rob and Barry

    We wrote last month about suggestions we'd offer to young prospective job seekers. That got us thinking about our column from October 2011, "19 Rules for Dealing With Generation Y Employees." It seems that rules, advice and management checklists have become a big part of our lives as owners and managers. We accept the responsibility that we often have to teach our staff members things that we used to assume everyone knew, such as how to shake hands and look someone in the eye to say "hello."


  • Sunday, October, 20, 2013
    Words of Advice for Millennials Seeking Jobs in Fitness

    At the 2009 Athletic Business Conference & Expo, we gave a talk called "Your Business Is in Their Hands" in which we discussed the impact the Millennial Generation is having on the fitness industry.


  • 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.