TED talks are a great way to learn something new in a short amount of time. If you’re looking for business ideas or inspiration, then these powerful, bite-size talks will do the job.


In this article – we share 7 of the best TED talks for gym owners, health club operators, and fitness professionals.


Running a gym usually involves wearing a lot of different hats… Sales, HR, marketing, operations, customer service, and of course… training. But finding time to build expertise in all these different areas can be tough.


So, we’ve collated seven of the most useful talks for gym owners and fitness professionals. Below you’ll find inspiring presentations on a range of topics, from team leadership to health promotion, and habit development to recruitment.


#1 – Team Leadership – How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Strong leadership ensures your team is as committed to your business as you are. The latest fitness equipment and stylish interior design simply won’t matter, if your staff isn’t inspired to deliver great service.


“People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.”


In this talk, Simon Sinek explains how most businesses motivate staff and customers in the wrong way. And how turning the usual approach on its head, can inspire your team and clients to remain motivated and loyal.



#2 – Working With Clients – Why Some People Find Exercise Harder Than Others

If you’re passionate about fitness, then it can be difficult to understand why others hate it. Why do they dread the gym or procrastinate with workouts? Why aren’t they excited by Spin classes or refreshed by running?


This talk provides insights into how people perceive exercise differently. It not only helps us to empathise and understand an alternative point of view but also suggests a practical strategy for making exercise feel easier for people!



#3 – Habit Development – A Simple Way To Break Bad Habits

Helping members achieve their goals isn’t just about what they do in our clubs. It’s about helping them develop healthy habits for the long-term, and ditch the bad ones.


Trigger ⇒ Behaviour ⇒ Reward


This talk explains exactly how habits are formed and discusses a simple strategy for breaking bad ones. Instead of fighting the brain, and trying to ignore cravings, it suggests that we get really curious about them. By focusing on being aware of the bad habit, people disconnect from it, and then naturally let go.



#4 – Team Incentives – The Puzzle Of Motivation

This talk will have you rethinking whether commission is really needed to incentivise membership sales. In it, Dan Pink makes the case that financial incentives actually reduce productivity, based on overwhelming evidence from scientific studies.


 “There’s a mismatch between what science knows, and what business does.”


Instead of encouraging success through external motivation (i.e. using the carrot and stick approach), he argues that internal motivation leads to better results. Pink also discusses practical ways for fostering this kind of internal motivation, that you can apply in your own business.



#5 – Health Promotion – How An Obese Town Lost A Million Pounds

This is a fascinating talk for anyone interested in health promotion. In it, the Mayor of Oklahoma City describes how they went from being one of the fattest cities in America to one of the fittest.


Oklahoma went beyond the usual health initiatives, and redesigned the entire city around people (instead of cars). They improved walkability by building hundreds of miles of sidewalks, making the existing streets more pedestrian-friendly, and creating a large central park for locals. This cultural shift towards making health a priority, lead to the city lose over a million pounds of weight collectively…



#6 – Recruitment – Why The Best Hire Might Not Have The Perfect Resume

The average gym has a pretty high turnover of staff, which means recruitment is an on-going task. Finding those all-star team members who’ll stay for the long term can be pretty tough, but this talk will help. In it, Regina Hartley explains why people who don’t have the ideal resume, often have other, more valuable characteristics…



#7 – Nutrition – Why Dieting Doesn’t Usually Work

This talk discusses the neuroscience related to dieting, and how our brains are wired to limit weight loss. It describes how our hypothalamus regulates body weight, by adjusting hunger, activity, and metabolism to push the body back towards what it considers normal.


“Diets may seem harmless, but they actually do a lot of collateral damage.”


It also discusses the concepts of intuitive vs controlled eating. According to research, intuitive eaters who eat until they’re full, are less likely to be overweight. By contrast, controlled eaters (who count calories and restrict food intake) are more vulnerable to overeating. This talk also includes mindful eating strategies that you can use with clients and members…



So there are seven inspiring TED Talks that we think every gym owner should watch. Hungry for more fitness-related business training? Then check out our marketing blog for practical ideas and strategies.


TED Talks For Gym Owners Pinterest