Career Connections


Christopher Tharp

Major: Kinesiology and Health


Minor/option/emphasis: Exercise Science

Company/Organization: Anytime Fitness
Company/Organization website: http://www.anytimefitness.com
Destination: Ames/ Iowa
Timeframe: Summer

Advisor/Coordinator Email: dpower@iastate.edu

I was responsible for...
- Provide personal training for group and individual training sessions. - Develop effective programs for classes, different muscle groups, and a variety of age brackets. - Conduct initial fitness assessments. - Create and implement marketing strategies to sustain and increase club membership. - Greet and converse with current members. - Instruct new exercisers about form and answer questions relating to their current state of fitness. - Attend local health fairs to encourage healthy behaviors and lifestyle choices. - Clean facility daily to include: Bathrooms, showers, trash removal, dusting, vacuuming, mopping, wiping down mirrors, and sanitizing equipment. - Troubleshoot defective or inoperable exercise equipment. - Conduct facility maintenance.

I accomplished...
My greatest accomplishment was making Anytime Fitness South Ames a more operational and organized facility. It was clear to both the new manager and myself that the South facility had been neglected for quite some time. It was our understanding that the South facility needed to be first functional and organized. To accomplish the task, we conducted a deep clean of the gym. Next, we went through troubleshooting procedures to get a parts list of broken or defective equipment. Once parts arrived, we immediately made our objective to replace or repair the equipment. By the end of the internship most of the exercise equipment has been repaired or replaced. The changes have been noticed by the patrons, staff, and ownership. Anytime Fitness Ames South facility has recently recorded increased membership, traffic and compliments. Knowing the patrons are satisfied rather than settling is a great feeling.

I learned...
The biggest takeaway from my experience at Anytime Fitness was learning how involved owning or running a gym can be. Training is only one small fraction of what a gym operation is. Many other pieces of the puzzle must be in place before training even can happen. Fitness entrepreneurs wanting to pursue their own business need to consider numerous factors before starting up. Interning at a fitness franchise helped me notice both the benefits and challenges of following a predetermined business model. I now have a better understanding for budgeting to make a gym successful. Lastly, I learned effective marketing strategies that are both budget-friendly and effective.

Advice for others...
Do not take gym ownership lightly. A gym operation is a multifaceted business. If it is your dream, be sure you conduct in-depth research. Analyze multiple fitness facilities and ask questions. Talk to professionals about how their business models are successful. Having the proper balance of being analytical and creative will have a huge impact on the success of your fitness facility.

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