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, January, 22, 2013
    Despite Discomfort, We're Intrigued By Enhancement Fees

    To charge a fee, or not to charge a fee, that is the question. Enhancement fees - one-time annual charges collected from every member of a health club ...


  • Tuesday, September, 18, 2012
    Rob & Barry: We Couldn't Care More About Our Members

    Imagine that you've just tested your pool water and found it to be - the actual numbers are irrelevant to the story - just fine. A member approaches you 10 minutes later, still in her bathing suit, dripping water on your shoes, and says, "The pH in the pool is high." You say, "I just checked it and it seemed fine, but I'm happy to look into it," even though you'd rather say, "Really? You must be a human chemical testing kit, because the water is actually perfect!" At that moment, would you rather be in the fitness business, or on a beach someplace?


  • Wednesday, June, 20, 2012
    Five Questions to Ask When Purchasing Fitness Equipment

    After years of trying out new fitness equipment, weighing the many options out there and regularly pulling the trigger on breathtakingly high-priced purchases, we feel like we have a handle on the process.


  • Saturday, May, 26, 2012
    The Challenge Faced by Mid-Priced Clubs

    So, let's say you operate a fitness facility that's about 15,000 square feet in size. You offer a little bit of everything — weights, cardio, personal training, classes of all kinds.


  • Wednesday, April, 18, 2012
    Capitalizing on the 'Strongman' Training Trend

    Many years ago, before age and injury took their toll, one of our favorite pastimes was strongman training. Actually, it was one of Rob's favorite pastimes.


  • Tuesday, February, 14, 2012
    Why Health Club Members Are Not Always Right

    The customer is always right." How many times have you said this to your staff - or when you were the customer, felt this yourself?


  • Wednesday, December, 07, 2011
    Universal Truths in Fitness Facility Management

    We may be showing our age here, but we regularly invoke Bill Murray from Groundhog Day, the 1993 film in which his hapless weatherman, Phil Connors, relives the same day over and over until he gets things right.


  • Monday, November, 28, 2011
    How to Succeed in Membership Sales

    Your club is terrible at selling memberships. We know this because we're all terrible at selling memberships, and even if you think your club isn't, you are best served by thinking you are.


  • Monday, July, 11, 2011
    Health Club Owners New Believers in Prepackaged Group Fitness Programs

    Group fitness is vital to our business. We know that members who take classes come in more often, keep their memberships longer and bring us more referrals than those who don't.


  • 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.


  • 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.