ISSUE 49 // APRIL 2020
FITNESS BUSINESS SURVIVAL
AND MINIMISING CANCELLATIONS
BY GUY GRIFFITHS
HOW TO ADAPT AND EVOLVE DURING COVID-19
JOEY BULL ASKS THE QUESTION?
KEVIN LAMERS FROM VIRTUAGYM,
YOUR SECRET WEAPON
“IN RESPONSE TO A CRISIS” BY JAMES GRIFFITHS PAGE 66
GYM OWNER OF THE MONTH!
DAVE THOMAS page 18
PT OF THE MONTH! featuring
SOHEE LEE page 27 JUNE 2019
N E W S // R E V I E W S // T E C H N O L O G Y// T R E N D S // E Q U I P M E N T// I N S I G H T
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Welcome... to the April issue of Gym Owner Monthly Magazine. In the words of Clint Eastwood (Heartbreak Ridge) “Improvise, adapt and overcome”. Although we are living in times of uncertainty, as an industry we have shown that we are adaptable and pull together in a crisis. With COVID 19 in mind, this month we’ve got you covered! Read how The Foundry have adapted to lockdown on page 18, with Founder Dave Thomas as our Gym Owner of the Month. We have The Big Interview with Marcus Kingwell CEO of EMDUK on how they’re supporting instructors within a growing industry on page 22. Check out our PT of the month, internet sensation and PT Sohee Lee on page 27, be sure to catch her at the anticipated International Fitness Summit later in the year! Climbing the walls? Check out THE best workout apps on page 42, Ben Hackney-Williams shows us how to self motivate during isolation on page 49 and we look at the evolution of the combat class with Colin Lee Berry of Street Defence on page 57. James Griffiths of Wild Training writes in response to a crisis on page 66, Guy Griffiths tells us how to survive as a business and minimise cancellations on page 73, and Master Trainer Matt Gleed tells us how we can adapt and evolve during the COVID 19 pandemic on page 81. Finally, Don’t panic! Sound advice from Taz Dunston on page 85 regarding the COVID pandemic and Virtuagym’s Kevin Lamers tells us why emails are our secret weapon during the current crisis on page 90 and we bring you expert advice on how to get the most out of functional fitness from F45 co-owner Sam Gregory on page 92. Don’t forget we continue to offer our magazine subscriptions for free so get yourself signed up at www.gymownermonthly.co.uk Stay safe!
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COVER PHOTO CREDIT: EMD UK © Gym Owner Monthly Magazine 2020 Gym Owner Monthly is published by PW Media. Gym Owner Monthly is protected by copyright and nothing may be produced wholly or in part without prior permission. The acceptance of advertising does not indicate editorial endorsement. The opinions expressed in editorial material do not necessarily represent the views of Gym Owner Monthly. Unless specifically stated, good or services mentioned in editorial or advertisements are not formally endorsed by Gym Owner Monthly, which does not guarantee or endorse or accept any liability for any goods and/or services featured in this publication. We cannot accept responsibility for any mistakes or misprints. Unsolicited material cannot be returned. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. Please note that we reserve the right to use all supplied photographs/images elsewhere in the publication or on our social media channels.
Contents 16 42
30 33 51 54
47 16 18 22 27 30 33 38 4
Focus on Asia with Mark Cowell Regional Hospitality Manager SEARA International Ltd
gym Owner of the Month Dave Thomas is our Gym Owner of the Month
The Big Interview with Marcus Kingwell CEO from EMDUK ‘Supporting instructors, growing the sector’.
PT of the Month is Sohee Lee
Boutique Gym of the Month This month’s Boutique Gym of the Month is H1VE
Nathan Banq talks about Natural Bodybuilding
Fitkit Find the latest products from the Mana Essential Collection and Rogue
42 45 47 49 51 54 57
The Best Home Workout Apps Best Weightlifting Apps 2020 How safe is exercise during pregnancy? Self isolate? Self motivate Words: Ben Hackney-Williams
Gym Retail Design a Non-Dues Area Of A Gym By Cuoco Black
Who you gonna call? By Guy Griffiths
Evolving the combat class experience With Colin Lee Berry’s Street Defence by Colin Lee Berry
DUSTRY INSIGHTS - EDUCATION - PERSONAL TRAINING TRENDS
59 64 66 78 81 COVID-19 83 85 59 81 64 83 66 85 71 88 73 90 76 92 78
Ten best dumbbells Matt Gleed, Master Trainer, PT THE POTENTIAL TO OUR 2020 andKILL Educator
VID - 19 Explains the challenges he’s faced and had to INDUSTRY? overcome during COVID-19 C l o s u r e Rowing burnsOnmore calories Friday the 20ththan of March, with only a few hours notice we
at Have Done?
running, so get ready to stick told to close the Wild Training Gym to support the fight How Your Gym Needs to Handle your oar! were against the Covid - 19 crisis. CoronaVirus Explained by Daniel Nyiri ”In responseEvery to a crisis” gym in the country was fearing that this was coming. By James Griffiths
ential To nsform
ation of ld Live
How could we possibly hope to keepDon't ourPanic business alive if all by Taz Dunstan Joey Bull asks the question our customers cancel their direct debits because the gyms are A New Wave of Lockdown Inspired Gym Members closed?
Matt Gleed explains
How the industry turned digital overnight and
I have seen some horrible numbers,what like tosmall sub 500taking member consider when your service online Fitness Business Survival and independent gyms losing over 140 members in a day.
Minimising Cancellations By Guy Griffiths
We ask the question “Insurance are you covered??” Physical Health is not enough By Janet Thomson
Emails: your secret weapon during isolation By Kevin Lamers from Virtuagym
Ask The Expert How To Get The Most Out Of Functional Exercise, by Sam Gregory, Co-Owner and Head Trainer F45 Stratford
We're always seeking contributors, if you're interested in writing for us then please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org April 2020
What’s hot in the fitness industry
Hatton Boxing’s online instructor course to deliver at-home learning for fitness instructors and PTs Monday 30 March, 2020 - Hatton Boxing’s globally-recognised Fundamentals and Advanced combined course is now available online to encourage and support at-home study for fitness professionals. At a time when the fitness industry is turning to virtual instructing, fitness professionals are also seeking virtual learning opportunities. The Online Boxing for Fitness Instructor Course from Hatton Boxing integrates both practical and theory-based elements, delivered through an online platform, to provide individuals with the
opportunity to qualify as a Certified Instructor from home. Since launching in 2006, over 10,000 instructors have completed Hatton Boxing’s practical courses. The new online course is based on the practical course content, but delivered through a series of educational videos covering more than 50 lessons that learners can complete at their own pace. The qualification is achieved via multiple choice exams and progress videos which are uploaded and assessed by Hatton Boxing Master Trainers, who are also available to provide one-to-one feedback and support throughout the
duration of the course. Upon completion, instructors will receive downloadable editable session plan templates to support workout delivery. The Online Course is currently available at a special introductory offer – to find out more information visit https:// hattonboxing.com/academy/onlinecourse/. If you are a boxing for fitness instructor and have any questions or need any support during this time, please contact the team at email@example.com.
Joint statement released by CIMSPA, ukactive and Community Leisure UK
We also recognise that there are many self-employed people within our sector who will not be eligible for this scheme, especially those who became selfemployed within the past 12 months, along with those who are directors of small limited companies. CIMSPA, ukactive and Community Leisure UK will continue to work together on behalf of the sector to seek clarity on these issues and will continue to provide our members, and the wider workforce, with as much clarity, advice and support as possible during this challenging time.
We welcome the measures announced by the Chancellor yesterday (26 March) to support the millions of self-employed workers in the UK, via a direct cash grant of up to £2,500 per month, for three months. This support will be hugely reassuring for the estimated 60,000 selfemployed people working in the sport and physical activity sector, with a recent survey showing that 95% have already experienced significant financial losses as a result of the COVID-19 crisis – with many having little or no financial reserves to fall back on. We do, however, have concerns about the delay until June in getting these payments into the hands of selfemployed people, many of whom will need immediate financial support.
Co-Founders Claudia Newland and Nicola Addison comment: “We have been proud to support our fitness facilities and our GEX instructor community during this worrying time. With uncertain times upon us, we are pleased to have helped both gyms & instructors fulfil the vast numbers of covers that been posted on the platform. We will continue to support our users with their recovery whatever the next few months bring”
Cover Ninja, the group exercise class cover app, is busier than ever supporting gyms and instructors during these uncertain times With new measures introduced to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and many instructors being required to self-isolate meaning they are unable to teach their classes, gyms have been faced with the added burden of sourcing and managing
During the first two weeks of March, Cover Ninja has seen record numbers of covers posted on the app and is currently presenting a 100% fulfillment rate across all class covers throughout the UK. Not only is Cover Ninja seamlessly sorting cover for its gyms, it is also helping instructors pick up extra work. With instructors facing the possibility that their income could be cut, Cover Ninja has seen instructors keen to pick up any extra cover work on the platform while they can.
Tara Dillon, CEO, CIMSPA Huw Edwards, CEO, ukactive Cate Atwater, Chief Executive, Community Leisure UK
TOP UK PRIVATE GYM BRANDS
increasing numbers of class covers.
To find out more or to register with Cover Ninja, visit www.coverninja.co.uk For further information, images or interview requests please contact Claudia: firstname.lastname@example.org | 07876 3333732.
3 ÉNERGIE FITNESS
Source: The Leisure Database Company - 2019 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report
MATRIX PARTNER WITH NHS DIRECTOR TO MAKE BOUTIQUE PERSONAL TRAINING COMPANY A REALITY
Wanting the highest quality of gym equipment for their clients but at a competitive price, Matt reached out to a number of leading suppliers, including Matrix Fitness. “I contacted three major suppliers, and Matrix Fitness were the only ones that came back to me the same day.” Matt explains. “I was put immediately in touch with Paul Cocksedge, Regional Sales Manager, who gave me so much confidence in moving forwards with them for our equipment install. Paul took time to talk through all our options, came to visit our site throughout the build and supported us through every step of the journey. He even arranged storage of our equipment when our build faced delays.”
learn about how Matrix Fitness can transform your fitness experience visit www.matrixfitness.com/en
PUREGYM ENHANCES MEMBERS’ DIGITAL EXPERIENCE WITH FUNXTION DIGITAL INTEGRATION
“I have used Matrix Fitness equipment before and was so impressed that they were the first on my list of preferred suppliers but it was their rapid response and my initial conversation with Paul, which he even continued during a busy planning period for us over the Christmas holidays, which really sealed the deal.”
After over 20 years of service in the NHS, Matt Broad, a clinician and Director of a large NHS organisation, saw an opportunity to completely change his career and follow his passion of a new venture in the fitness industry. An interest that he shared with wife Nicki, who is a Paramedic and GB age group triathlete. Having left the NHS, and completed their Personal Training qualifications, Matt and Nicki began to formulate the idea behind what would become Energise Personal Fitness, a boutique approach to personal training. “When researching the area, we found that many local PT’s and studios had moved away from 1-1 personal training in favour of small group training.” Matt Broad, Director Energise Personal Fitness comments. “Despite seeing the financial value in this model, we wanted to offer 1-1, personalised and bespoke, boutique-style personal training for clients wanting to train in an exclusive studio.” 8
The install included a Matrix treadmill, ascent trainer and suit of CXM indoor bikes. Alongside the CV equipment, Matt and Nicki also ordered all of their Jordan weights and racks through Matrix for ease. In addition, the Matrix design team collaborated with Matt on the gym layout. By combining the technical drawings with some 3D imaging, the team were able to bring the concept of the end product to life. Paul Cocksedge, Regional Sales Manager, Matrix Fitness adds: “At Matrix, we believe in working with our clients as partners. This involves supporting them from the start, right the way through to completion. It’s not just about installing gym equipment, but about supporting an innovative gym design and layout and helping individuals bring their company concepts to life.” Energise Personal Training officially opened its doors to the public in October 2019, after a four month build. The company provides 1-1 personal training in its private studio equipped with the latest in gym equipment. To find out more about Energise Personal Training visit www. energisepersonalfitness.com or to
As part of its strategy to create an unrivalled digital member experience, PureGym has teamed up with FunXtion, experts in interactive digital fitness, to deliver a vast number of workouts through personalised training plans direct to members via the PureGym app. Ranked second in early January under ‘Health & Fitness’ in the IOS App Store, the PureGym app enables its 1.3 million members to tailor their fitness experience based on personal preferences, goals and schedule.
In addition to booking classes and tracking gym activity, the app offers instant access to thousands of exercise tutorials, personalised training plans, and digital support. “This new integration is an important step in our digital development,” explains Lucian Weston, Head of Business Development at PureGym. “The exercise tutorials, created by FunXtion, are a fantastic feature which provide our members with specialist support 24 hours a day, helping ensure they train effectively and safely, even when they are not under the supervision of our gym floor trainers. “FunXtion has been a great choice of digital partner based on the quality of provision, ease of integration, and shared vision on future innovation. I am confident that working together will enable us to continue to deliver an industry-leading product that enhances the experience of all our members.” The integration went live in January. Ernst De Neef, FunXtion CEO, adds: “We are delighted and excited to announce our partnership with PureGym. Our integration enriches the PureGym digital member experience creating an environment that encourages loyalty.” For more information on FunXtion’s digital fitness solutions visit www.FunXtion.com
Lifeguards dive into online learning
With the closure of swimming pools, health clubs and gyms across the UK and Ireland, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) has been quick to offer their lifeguards and customers, the opportunity to keep their knowledge and training bang upto-date with free online learning. Only launched on Wednesday 25 March, over 2,000 people have already completed the first of the online learning modules
available, in the comfort and safety of their own homes. The online training is completely free of charge and offers holders of the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) and others, the chance to keep their skills, training and knowledge valid, with Continuous Personal Development (CPD) that actually counts as recorded evidence, towards their NPLQ renewal. COVID-19 (coronavirus) is causing widespread disruption across the country, with the leisure sector hit particularly hard, and whilst the health and well-being of family and friends is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, job security and potentially missing mandatory training, is also a worrying issue. “This is a very difficult time for our industry, it’s customers and employees. RLSS UK is totally committed to supporting all our customers, including lifeguards, who are an integral part of swimming pool operations across the UK and Ireland,” says Jo Talbot, RLSS UK’s Commercial Director. “Free online training is just one of many ways we’re looking to provide support and add value to our offering as a Society. This first NPLQ online training module is one of 10 in total, each worth 0.5 CPD points. Their aim is to keep people engaged, qualified and motivated, whilst their places of work are closed. “We are already looking to the future: our legion of highly-trained lifeguards are ready and waiting to go back to work and back out into their communities - when normal life resumes, this band of dedicated and passionate lifeguards and Trainers, will be fully prepared and raring to go.” RLSS UK members received an additional boost, with an unprecedented online training package of 16 leisure sector-specific courses made available to them with some of the courses, offered in partnership with Creative Sport & Leisure and provided by EduCare, endorsed by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) and provided further CPD points. The message from RLSS UK is clear, miss out on RLSS UK membership and miss out!
Incorpore Ltd and MoveGB Ink Groundbreaking Partnership to Transform Corporate Wellness Offering Incorpore Ltd and MoveGB are pleased to announce they have entered into a landmark partnership, combining the UK’s largest provider of corporate gym memberships with the nation’s biggest network of activities and classes. From April 2020, MoveGB’s membership to thousands of activities and classes will be rolled out as an option across Incorpore’s corporate platforms which provide millions of employees with discounted gym memberships throughout the UK. Typically, a company’s gym offering is centred around discounts at a single gym but now employees will also have access to a huge variety of classes and activities. These include parkour, rabble, twerk, rock climbing, aerial yoga and much more. With variation playing an increasingly important role in keeping adults active, this partnership enables employers to offer staff access to more fitness activities than ever before to boost productivity and reduce absenteeism. “In order to create a happier, fitter and more productive workforce now and for future generations, we must provide choice for employees to help them find a wellness routine that fits in with their routine and keeps them active”, said Emma Vivó, Director at Incorpore. “Adding activities such as climbing, martial arts and dance to our portfolio of gyms makes perfect sense.” The UK’s fitness industry is at its healthiest with more members working out in more gym locations than ever before. Variety in training has been proven to keep adults active for longer so this partnership is the perfect solution for companies wanting a long-term solution to keeping their workforce active. “Our mission at MoveGB is to move people for life. There is compelling evidence that providing consumers April 2020
with variety and convenience is the way to get them active, and keep them active” said Justin Mendleton, Commercial Director at MoveGB. “In fact, data from our 250,000 users proves that consumers are twice as likely to stay active if their workouts are varied. We’re thrilled to extend our proposition to the UK’s workforce through our partnership with Incorpore.” This collaboration might just be the revolutionary moment for the employee wellness sector that shakes up the nation’s corporate wellbeing offering.
Sport for Confidence launches ‘Stay Connected’ to support vulnerable adults whilst self-isolating
On Friday March 20, a government directive enforced closure on all leisure centres putting an end to ‘business as usual’ for thousands of workers and third party partners. In response to this, Sport For Confidence has re-deployed its entire staff team of occupational therapists and sports coaches to deliver a specialist ‘at home’ service to support thousands of vulnerable adults in Essex isolating due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay Connected launched on April 1 and is fully funded by Essex Country Council. In addition to supporting the 2,500 Sport for Confidence clients, the service will closely align to the Essex Welfare Service, accepting referrals across the 14 Active Networks from learning disability and autism social work teams and Supported Living 10
providers, widening the reach to a significant number of vulnerable adults across the county. “Sport For Confidence is a social enterprise which places occupational therapists alongside sports coaches in mainstream leisure venues to deliver inclusive physical activity sessions for those who face barriers to participation’ explains Lyndsey Barrett, Senior Occupational Therapist and Founder of Sport For Confidence. “When the leisure centres closed their doors, our principle concern was safeguarding our participants. Typically, participants include adults with learning disabilities, people living with dementia, poor mental health, physical disabilities and long term heath conditions. Whilst we fully support the government’s social-isolation strategy, we were also acutely aware of the negative impact this could have on such a vulnerable group that already face challenges to getting involved in physical active. So, we immediately went about building a solution which would enable us to continue to offer a person-centred support solution despite the challenge of physical distancing. Stay Connected will offer each and every participant a weekly, highly personalised telephone support call from one of the eight Sport For Confidence occupational therapists. For Sport For Confidence participants, the call will take place during a time they would usually be attending a group at the leisure centre. This maintains a degree of familiarity and routine. Those referred via Essex County Council will agree a weekly time slot directly with a Sport For Confidence staff member. Calls will give guidance aligned to that provided by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists relating to social distancing and the occupational disruption experienced during this time. Topics covered will include: how to establish a daily routine; the importance of self-care, healthy eating rest and physical activity; goal setting and alternative ways to engage with family, friends and neighbours. Lyndsey adds: “Participants are allocated to an occupational therapist based on geography, so each of our 8 occupational therapists will take responsibility for their own caseload. In addition, our team of 5 specialist sports coaches will support through the provision of highly personalised physical activity home workout videos to keep participants active.
The specialist telephone support service is backed up by the provision of information, advice, video workouts and signposting to other support services, posted on a dedicated Stay Connected page on the Sport For Confidence website, with selected materials also pushed out through Sport For Confidence social media channels. Jess Stewart, Head of Commissioning at Essex County Council, says: “There are many members of our community who have the potential to really suffer as a result of being isolated. We identified a need to offer a specialist, professional service to help them through the next few weeks and months. Sport For Confidence has a team of allied health professionals and sports coaches ready and able to deliver exactly the service we need so I am very confident that, together, we will steer the most vulnerable in our society through these unprecedented times.” Stay Connected has capacity to support thousands of vulnerable individuals across Essex with funding secured at least until the end of June. At this point funding will be reviewed based on the wider COVID-19 situation. The Sport For Confidence team will not offer any medical advice relating to the Coronavirus. For information relati ng to this, participants will be directed to call 111.
Boutique fitness concept, TRIB3, takes its community experience outside of the fitness studio 1 April 2020: Boutique fitness concept, TRIB3, is bringing its community ethos outside of the studio to support people across the nation amid the COVID-19 crisis, with the launch of a variety of initiatives. Inspired by the way communities, globally, have come together in times of need, the fitness boutique has set up their #OneTRIB3 community group on Facebook which has attracted almost 300 members to date, as people come together to support those who need it most. The group is a hub for both TRIB3Rs and the wider community to get involved with outreach activities for those self-isolating who need support and to suggest causes that TRIB3 can get behind.
TRIB3 is a global collective of boutique workout studios, offering the ultimate group HIIT workout underpinned by digital and performance monitoring.
more. Integrated shifters allow riders to change gear or resistance as well as toggle ride modes and screens without lifting their hands from the handlebars.
For more information about TRIB3, visit: www.TRIB3.co.uk
Having received hundreds of entries from 31 countries, 50 industry leaders from sports, technology and business spent approximately 25 days collectively determining which were the best. Once again, the full shortlist comprises some of sports biggest organisations as well as many of its most visionary, to contest the coveted Sports Technology Awards trophies.
2020 Sports Technology Awards Shortlist Wattbike for Innovation of the Year
Members of the group can download TRIB3 Kindness Cards. Available to print at home, people can complete the card with their details in order to offer their time and support for those more vulnerable; whether that be picking up shopping, gathering urgent supplies or simply offering a friendly phone call. To ensure that people stay fit and active from their homes, the fitness boutique is now offering free, live training sessions led by TRIB3’s coaches via its Instagram channel, @ TRIB3UK, every day. The free sessions deliver full body workouts through proven High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) training methods, alternating between periods of high and lowintensity exercises to keep your heart pumping, your muscles working and your body burning calories. Every workout features regressions and adaptions for the exercises featured, so that no matter your current fitness level, everybody can take part. TRIB3 at Home is available to everyone – whether current customers or new to the brand – to ensure TRIB3 can keep as many people as possible physically active from their homes. Matteo Cerruti, Chief Experience Officer at TRIB3, commented: “During times like these, people need to be able to come together, and as community is at the heart of what we do, we want to extend our support to our TRIB3 family and anyone else who is trying to stay active during this difficult time. Our community group and our TRIB3 at Home workouts are for everyone, and we encourage you to get involved and share with others who might also benefit. We are strongest together.”
The STA Group announced the shortlist for the 2020 Sports Technology Awards and revealed that Wattbike had been shortlisted in the Innovation of the Year category for its new, industry game changer, the Wattbike AtomX. The Wattbike AtomX is the new smart bike for the commercial market that will revolutionise indoor cycling for the health, fitness and studio environments. It is the pinnacle of indoor cycling excellence and builds on the huge success of Wattbike’s award winning consumer product, the unrivalled Wattbike Atom, the first smart bike in the world. With patented technology and innovative new advancements, the AtomX gives riders a fully connected, immersive cycling experience. With in-built, interactive workouts, tests, training plans and climb mode all accessible from the Performance Touchscreen, the AtomX allows riders to automatically change resistance to follow structured workouts, simulate gradient changes and mimic real climbs from around the world including Alpe d’Huez and Mont Ventoux. AtomX smart technology enables seamless third-party connectivity so members can train their way. They can connect to the Wattbike Hub app or via their own smartphone devices to use apps including Zwift, The Sufferfest, Trainer Road and many
Rebecca Hopkins, STA Group CEO, said: ‘The range of technology showcased this year, as well as the caliber of organisations participating, has been outstanding. The Sports Technology Awards are a highly prized, internationally respected mark of excellence but this has only been achieved thanks to our amazingly knowledgeable, committed judges and the support of visionary brands across the global sector. Consequently, it is reasonable to claim that this shortlist is a comprehensive, unique and authoritative representation of what innovations are important in sport. We look forward to announcing the winners at our ceremony on June 25th at The Londoner, Leicester Square.’ Richard Baker, Wattbike CEO, comments: “As a company, we are hugely excited that the Wattbike AtomX has been recognised by industry professionals as a nominee for such a prestigious award. We strive to create the best products, utilising the latest technology and the most advanced software. There has been a shift to sport-specific training, a trend to ‘train like an athlete’ with a focus on accurate, data driven training. This has enticed a whole new consumer into the gym and now there is a Wattbike for every Wattbiker. We have a history of innovation; our mission is to continue leading the market with our advancements and technology. We stay ahead of market trends and develop products that can serve our core customers. With an obsession for performance, we plan to continue to evolve our offering, disrupt the industry and enhance innovations.” The 2020 ceremony will be held on 25th June 2020 at The Londoner. Tickets are available through the Group’s Global Ticketing Partner, Ticketmaster Sport, on its Universe platform. To find out more about Wattbike AtomX visit www.wattbike.com April 2020
INTERNATIONAL NEWS New date: EHFF 2020 to be held on 30th September in Cologne
As a result of the current event, we've had to postpone our 7th European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF). It will be held on September 30th 2020 in Cologne, Germany, at the Congress Centre East. If you've already booked your tickets, they will remain valid for the rearranged event. We have also reopened our event registration to reserve a seat for this new date. The date was decided together with FIBO, which officially confirmed its trade show for fitness, wellness and health will take place from 1st to 4th October 2020.
2020 Employer Skills Survey results
previous years which provided the result that 26% of all fitness trainers are selfemployed, and that in the future 50% of employers expect this percentage to increase, whilst 25% were undecided.
#LetsBEACTIVEathome to gather positive stories on how operators and fitness professionals have actively engaged with members and clients to keep them safely and effectively exercising.
Johnson Health Tech Receives International Service Excellence Award
These positive actions aim to show the European Commission and national governments how, during challenging times, the fitness and physical activity sector continues to proactively benefit the health of our citizens – no matter where they are.
Covid-19 Update: EREPS membership extended by 6 months free of charge Johnson Health Tech has become the first-ever fitness manufacturer to be recognized by the Customer Service Institute of America. "This award is a testament to our hard-working assembly, installation, service and store employees who continuously strive to exceed customer expectations.” said Rich Derks, Vice President of Quality and Customer Experience for Johnson Health Tech North America
#LetsBEACTIVE EuropeActive's campaign to remain active
Employers representing over 2,000 clubs across Europe took part in EuropeActive's 6th edition of the annual skills survey where the findings and trends help provide the evidence and direction for future qualification and skills development of fitness professionals. Results were received from employers across 22 different European countries. The 2020 survey included some additional questions from 12
Brussels, Belgium, 26th April 2020 In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the strain this is putting on the fitness and physical activity sector, the European Register of Exercise Professionals (EREPS) have decided to extend all existing EREPS Memberships by 6 months, FREE of charge. Julian Berriman, Director of Standards, confirmed, "The Coronavirus is affecting the global community and, in the Fitness and Physical Activity Sector lots of people’s income and employment is under considerable strain. Supporting our EREPS community through these challenging times is our top priority and this gesture will help to ease some of the financial burden instructors may be facing and give them one less thing to worry about".
EuropeActive renamed the European campaign #LetsBEACTIVE to
To further support the EREPS community, a dedicated information
page for members is being created for the ereps.eu website. This will be regularly updated with the latest information, discounts and offers to members to support them through this period. This will complement the EuropeActive Covid-19 page which details how the sector is responding in a positive manner to the pandemic. https://www.europeactive.eu/covid19 Detailed information for press and commercial use can be requested to Carlos Fernández, via communications@ europeactive.eu. Photos, logos and other materials supporting this press release are available via the said email address as well.
EFAF Roundtable Actively building the future of fitness
Brussels, Belgium, 25th April 2020 The first Roundtable meeting was convened by EuropeActive on Tuesday 24th March and bought together 12 national associations as part of the European Fitness Association Forum (EFAF) concept. The weekly virtual meetings are addressing the need for a coordinated response to the Covid-19 situation. Participants were informed of the measures that are being taken at the EU level and pointing out that the European Commission is supporting the Members States in addressing this crisis, by providing fiscal flexibility and redirecting some of the existing funds. EuropeActive is collecting data on the current position across Europe, and the delegates gave updates on the current situation as effecting the fitness sector and support being offered by their governments. All national governments are taking
measures to limit the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis including many similar measures such as the suspension of rent payments, contributions to staff salaries and payments to self-employed workers. Many participants pointed-out that many fitness operators, training providers and personal trainers are moving their activities online to stay in contact with their members and customers. Participants reacted positively to the message of #LetsBEACTIVEathome campaign, stressing that it is important that the general public understands that the fitness centres might be closed, but the fitness and physical activity sector is still very much “open” and adapting to the circumstances. The campaign will help to heighten the visibility of fitness. There was solid agreement for the need to plan for the future and to focus on a combined and unified campaign to promote fitness and physical activity when the COVID-19 restrictions are over. This could potentially be tied into the National Fitness Days, and the European Week of Sport campaigns in September, and possibly under the umbrella of the already successful #LetsBEACTIVE. David Stalker, Acting CEO said “The EFAF Roundtable is a demonstration of the coordinating role that EuropeActive has in working with our key partners to show solidarity, but also to reinforce the immense collective power we have. By working together and giving clear and concise messages we will achieve much more. I am deeply impressed by the commitment our national associations have towards their members, and in the ambitions to provide solutions and concrete support as we work our way through and eventually out of this crisis.” The delegates supported the development of a Manifesto or Memorandum for the European Fitness sector to use as a unified statement to help the sector speak with a strong voice with policy-makers and politicians, and as a sign that the sector has a vital role in promoting the ongoing health and mental wellbeing of European citizens. Detailed information for press and commercial use can be requested to Carlos Fernández, via communications@ europeactive.eu. Photos, logos and other materials supporting this press release are available via the said email address as well.
Technogym donated 1 Million Euros to hospitals in the Romagna region
Technogym donated 1 Million Euros to support the urgent need of purchasing intensive care units for the hospitals in the Wellness Valley in Italy. "In the emergency we are living, it is more than ever important to support our health system and the incredible work that our doctors and nurses are doing to stem the impact of Covid-19" commented Nerio Alessandri, CEO and Founder of Technogym
EuropeActive's website offers a 'Working through Covid-19' information service
EuropeActive has successfully put together an online information service to provide members and stakeholders with a set of publications/articles on how the fitness sector is reacting the coronavirus outbreak and how digital transformation can help you engage the community through the current pandemic. We are also gathering official updates from National associations and practical information from fitness experts, as well as putting in motion our supportive European campaign #LetsBEACTIVEathome. April 2020
These are unprecedented times, but we are not alone, we will overcome COVID-19 together. To further strengthen our community, we’re hosting the world’s first online, live, interactive Summit for fitness, wellness and hospitality. We invite you to join us as our guest on Wednesday 15 April at 2pm (Singapore) / 7am (GMT) for a twoand-a-half-hour event discussing the impacting of COVID-19 on our industry. Speakers include: Emma Barry, Author, Advisor and Global Fitness Authority Simon Flint, CEO, Evolution Wellness Sean Tan, Director, True Group This is not a webinar. You will be fully immersed in an online event which includes guest speakers, real-time questions, face-to-face networking via your webcams, interactive virtual roundtables and a virtual exhibition. The event allows you to engage and meet executives from the comfort of your home/office. You can watch the proceedings, or, participate more interactively – the choice is yours. You can register your complimentary tickets online here: https://hopin.to/events/fitsummitcovid19
in the current business year," says FIBO Director Silke Frank. "We are therefore very pleased to have found a date and space solution in the talks with Koelnmesse Ausstellungen at short notice.
On the new date, FIBO will take place in a new hall constellation and occupy the southern parts of the Cologne Exhibition Centre. Access is via the East, West and South Entrances. Trade show tickets already purchased remain valid. To kick off FIBO, the European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF) will take place on the day before on 30 September. FIBO and the EHFF organiser EuropeActive have agreed on this. Cornelia Tautenhahn Deputy Spokeswoman email@example.com +49 211 90191 182
The nominees for the FIBO INNOVATION & TREND AWARD have been selected
FIBO with new date from 1 to 4 October 2020 EHFF takes place one day before the start of FIBO FIBO, Leading International Trade Show for Fitness, Wellness & Health, which is scheduled to take place in Cologne from 2nd to 5th April 2020, has been postponed until 1st to 4th October 2020. This is in line with the current situation regarding the epidemic spread of the corona virus. The Cologne health authorities had also recently recommended not to hold any trade fairs with high internation-al participation for the time being. "With the new date in autumn we are responding to the wish of many exhibitors to offer an alter-native date 14
From respiratory muscle trainers to the production of sustainable cold to membership management with artificial intelligence: 22 products have made it and can look forward to a nomination for the FIBO INNOVATION & TREND AWARD 2020. This year, the prize will be awarded in the six categories "Digital Fitness", "Health & Prevention", "Lifestyle, Life-Balance & Wellness", "Performance & Efficiency", "Start-Up" and "Ecology & Sustainability". An international jury of experts will again decide on the quality of the submissions in 2020. The jury
includes Prof. Dr. Ingo Froböse, University Professor for Prevention and Rehabilitation at the German Sport University Cologne, Dr. Niels Nagel, Office Manager of the DIFG e.V. and Prof. Dr. Thomas Rieger, Professor for Sport Management at the University of Applied Sciences Europe. This year, the jury will also be complemented by Natalia Karbasova, founder of FitTech Summit and Anja Beverwijck, communications manager and event director at EuropeActive. As official media partner Bodymedia accompanies the award. Find details on all nominated products here: www.fibo.com/en/ award
EuropeActive and Deloitte publish European Health & Fitness Market Report 2020 • Brussels, Belgium, 2nd April 2020 • European fitness market continues to grow • European health and fitness club memberships grew by 3.8% to 64.8 million in 2019, strengthening fitness as the #1 sports activity in Europe • Total fitness club revenues were € 28.2 billion (+ 3.1% at constant currency) • The number of facilities increased by 2.3% to 63,644 • Consolidation continues; The top 30 European fitness club operators accounted for 17.2 million members (+11.9%), representing 26.5% of all memberships • Merger and acquisition activity was strong in 2019 with 17 major M&A transactions in the operator market identified for this report According to the report, the European health and fitness market continued to grow strongly in 2019 as the total number of health and fitness club members increased by 3.8% to almost 65 million. In total, the sector welcomed 2.4 million new members. With a membership growth of 5.1% to 11.7 million members, Germany strengthened its position as the country with the highest number of members ahead of the United Kingdom (10.4
Top 5 European fitness markets by membership Rank
Growth (vs. 2018)
Notes: Figures as of 31.12.2019
million), France (6.2 million), Italy (5.5 million) and Spain (5.5 million). In terms of market penetration, Norway and Sweden rank highest with 22.0% of the total population holding a fitness club membership. Other countries with high fitness club penetration include Denmark (18.9%), the Netherlands (17.4%), Finland (17.2%) and the UK (15.6 %). Overall, 8.1% of the total European population were health or fitness club members, with a penetration rate of
9.7% for people aged 15 years and older. Thus, the high penetration rates in most Northern and Central European countries were partly offset by lower market penetration in many Southern and Eastern European fitness markets. With 2.22 million members, Basic-Fit became the number one operator in Europe, both in terms of members and clubs, ahead of RSG Group with 2.05 million members. Pure Gym (1.35 million), clever fit (950,000), and The Gym Group (794,000) completed the top 5.
Top 5 European operators by membership Rank
Growth (vs. 2018)
RSG Group (McFIT, High5, JOHN REED)
The Gym Group Notes: Figures as of 31.12.2019
Top 5 European operators in terms of revenues Premium operator David Lloyd Leisure again generated the highest revenues with EUR 587 million. Low-cost operator Basic-Fit (EUR 515 million) came in second, followed by SATS Group (EUR 405 million), Swiss operator Migros Group (EUR 367 million), and RSG Group (EUR 365 million). Herman Rutgers, EuropeActive board member and co-author of the report, commented: “2019 was another year of continued growth for the sector. It was good to see above average growth in the three largest markets. It was also interesting to observe strong growth in franchise concepts in both convenience clubs as well as boutiques. We remain confident to reach the industry goal of 80 million members by 2025.” The European Health & Fitness Market Report 2020, the ninth joint publication of EuropeActive and Deloitte, represents the most comprehensive report on the European health and fitness market and serves as a valuable source of information for industry stakeholders. This report was made possible by the generous support of Basic-Fit, Exerp, GO fit, FIBO, IHRSA, Myzone, Technogym, Virtuagym and YANGA Sports Water. The full report (134 pages) is available for EUR 299 (EuropeActive members only EUR 149,50) and can be ordered through EuropeActive’s Knowledge Centre.
Focus on Asia with Mark Cowell Regional Hospitality Manager SEARA International LtD Author:
Regional Hospitality Manager
Sports Engineering and Recreation Asia Ltd. (SEARA)
Kimpton Maa-Lai, Bangkok.
78 Soi Tonson, Khwaeng Lumpini, Khet Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
What Makes Kimpton Maa-Lai different to other Hotel gyms: From an early stage, we knew that Kimpton wanted something different to other properties in Bangkok. Whilst there are many beautiful high-end gyms situated in the abundance of 5 star hotels, the majority are single branded set ups which limits the functional offering of the facility. As Intercontinental Hotel Groups first Kimpton in Thailand, conveniently located close to Lumpini Park and in one of the main hubs of the City, it was made clear by the owners that they wanted a wellness hub of multiple activities, 16
Whatâ€™s next for SEARA Hospitality team?
whilst not sacrificing on luxury or design. With a vision to open to external memberships in addition to hotel guests, we needed to offer as much variety as the many big box and 24 hour gyms in the area, whilst remembering the luxurious feel and design which comes as part of the global Hospitality brands.
What key aspects did you focus on when designing the facility: Unlike many suppliers in the industry, SEARA offers a complete turn key solution when it comes to working with fitness projects. Our internal design team and hospitality account managers worked closely to ensure we create the perfect aesthetics to match with the brand requirements, whilst offering a wide variety of equipment and accessories for individual workouts and group exercise classes. This had to be partnered with a standout flooring solution which could handle robust weight and functional workouts, therefore an obvious choice was the Rephouse Neoflex 800 series with a customised tank lane.
What equipment and exercises are on offer at the gym: Kimpton only wanted the top
brands and equipment on the market available to their guests, and therefore trusted SEARA, who currently distribute 34 equipment brands across the region, to offer a complete training solution. We broke the facility into 4 areas, consisting of Cardio, Strength, Functional and group training, and selected a full range of Life Fitness Elevation Cardio series, equipped with the latest Life Fitness On Demand workouts to ensure users have instant classes available to them regardless of the machine or time of day they were training. Life Fitness pin loaded strength machines covered the initial brand standard requirement for strength training, however we then added a customised Hammer Strength rack to allow lifting areas and storage for an abundance of functional accessories. We used a large range of Escape Fitness accessories to cover the functional workouts and to bring more vibrant colours to the room.
As the regional market leaders in Fitness design, construction and equipment supply, we are currently working on a large number of Hotel projects with the biggest hotel brands in the world. As wellness begins to be seen as the new luxury in the Hospitality Industry, we are excited to continue to develop and think out of the box for each and every project we work on in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Bangladesh and the Maldives. With ever changing markets and demands, our teams are fully committed to not following the crowd and encouraging Hotels to be more flexible on brand standards to meet an ever changing requirement. We will continue to create unique training environments for each and every customer we work with. Sports Engineering And Recreation Asia Ltd., is the regional leader specialising in the design, development, equipment supply and installation of international standard sports, recreation, and fitness facilities in Southeast Asia and beyond. They provide high quality products and services to many market sectors including private homes, health and fitness facilities, private clubs, education institutions, hotels and resorts, property developments, commercial clients and governmental clients.
The group training room allows for suspension, yoga and aerobic training, whilst also fitting in to the local culture by offering Thai Boxing and MMA coaching and group classes. In addition to the fitness equipment, the gym also has a rock climbing wall for low level bouldering and is located right next to a beautiful lap pool with relaxing green views over what normally seems a bustling city. April 2020
GF Y I TMN EOSW SNER OF THE MONTH
20 Ayres Close, Plaistow, London, E138BN
www.foundryfit.com The Foundry: Where The Strong Belong. Ben Gotting, Dave Thomas and Laura Hoggins.
# of members: 400
How did you become a gym owner? After attaining that well known fitness qualification, a degree in Philosophy and Literature, I moved to London and began work as a conference director, curating corporate events within the transport and logistics sector. I had very little business knowledge but my role covered everything from sales and marketing to recruitment and managing budgets. Looking back this was the best possible education for running a business. I had previously played semiprofessional rugby for various teams, but sport fell by the wayside as the London lifestyle caught up with me and I began drinking and smoking. Everything changed one day in the gym when I noticed a personal trainer working with someone. This was in the early nighties, when
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personal training was still a relatively new career so I had never seen this before and it blew my mind. Within a month, I’d quit my job and signed up to do my PT qualifications. I worked freelance for two years; in and out of people’s houses, local rugby clubs and in parks. Then came the financial crash of 2008. My wife was made redundant and retrained as a massage therapist. I had thirty clients by then but after travel expenses, was making close to minimum wage. We were wandering through Liverpool Street in London one day and came across a great gym space. A few weeks later that gym went on the market. And we took on the lease.
How many gyms do you own/operate? Since 2010 I’ve opened and run 6 gyms but currently The Foundry has three central London gyms which I founded and run with my business partner Ben Gotting.
How long has your gym(s) been operating for? We launched our first gym, The Foundry Vauxhall in January 2016
How many staff do you employ? We employ 27 full time coaches and guest services managers.
From a business perspective what are your main concerns during the current Covid-19 pandemic, both long term and short term? Short term, cashflow is king! We have
applied for payment holidays and all available assistance which has hopefully secured our short-term future. Long term we’re expecting a revenue hit. We are still taking membership payments from 99% of our client base, and these sessions will need to be extended down the line. The longer the doors stay closed, the more this will hit future revenue.
What measures have you had to put in place for your staff? Before we voluntarily closed, we met as a board and worked out how long we could retain our entire workforce on a reduced
salary. One of our core values is “we get each other’s backs” so the only ethical decision was to ride this out together rather than making job cuts. This decision was vindicated a week later with the announcement of the Coronavirus job retention scheme. We now have 5 full time employees running the business, and the rest of our team are furloughed on 80% of their salaries. I hope this crisis demonstrates to fitness companies that there is an ethical and commercial benefit in looking after your team with full time employment contracts, pensions, paid holiday, sick leave and profit share. Our decision to take this step in 2017 was terrifying, but it has constantly proved to be the right one.
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How are you using social media and technology during this time? Step 1 - We called all members on the phone and told them we needed their support. We have only had a handful of suspensions from 100s. This is where you quickly learn if your â€˜communityâ€™ is real or just a buzz word you throw in your marketing. Step 2 - We sold open-ended gift cards for future services and had an overwhelming response. One of our members even set up a crowdfunding page for us off unprompted. Step 3 - We took our whole offering online via video conferencing technology and social media, and we were running over 100 virtual semi-private training sessions and classes a week within a few days.
What challenges have you faced? Aside from a few minor technical hiccups, and the challenges of managing a toddler full time who decided to projectile vomit as I began a coaching session, the process has been surprisingly smooth! The biggest concern is capacity. We are running a skeleton staff so as sessions become more popular it may limit our ability to meet demand.
What support have you found within the industry/ from governing bodies? I think the industry was very slow to react to this. I flagged the risk of Coronavirus internally in February. This was partly instinct listening to expert reports, and partly my experience of living in Asia during the SARS pandemic. At the time no one took
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these concerns seriously, which I completely understand, but it means the entire industry is now playing catch up. We communicated regularly with our partners, such as ClassPass and MyZone, and third-party providers such as Mindbody online, and they have all offered generous and effective support.
Is there anything you feel the government should be doing differently to support the fitness industry at this time? I am not a natural fan of the current government, but I think they have managed the situation extremely well. Rishi Sunak had risen to occasion and acknowledged the essential impact the fitness industry has on the physical and mental health of the nation. I do hope this crisis triggers a longterm review and reform of business rates. Surely more than ever we appreciate the social importance of physical spaces as well as virtual ones.
As a business where do you see yourself in 3/6 months time? The fitness industry, especially in London, is saturated, so I think a contraction is inevitable. However, I am extremely positive about the future health of the industry and The Foundry. People will come out of this crisis frustrated and eager to move, but more importantly, they will also have spent time reflecting upon their priorities. This crisis has hammered home the reality that all that matters is health. People will need guidance and support in how to make their health the foundation of everything they do. They will need us more than ever.
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Marcus Kingwell, CEO from EMDUK ‘Supporting instructors, growing the sector’ How did you get into the fitness industry? I started working in the physical activity, sport and leisure sector 23 years ago. I began in local authority sports development in the late 1990s before moving into leisure consultancy, working with local authorities, Sport England and governing bodies of sport. In the last decade I moved into chief executive and managing director positions with the Institute for Sport Parks and Leisure, Welsh Cycling, London Sport and, most recently, the Association of Colleges Sport. I started my role as CEO for EMD UK last October. There’s a lot to learn about the world of group exercise but the EMD UK team have been fantastic in helping me understand the industry, as well as the challenges many instructors face.
Tell us more about EMD UK EMD UK are the national governing body for group exercise. We’re funded by Sport England with the remit of increasing participation in group 22
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exercise classes across the nation, making it as simple as possible for the public to find classes near them. We project was funded by Sport England and we worked with the Open Data Institute to make the platform open data enabled, meaning classes can be shown across numerous activity feeds. Large leisure operators, such as Everyone Active and GLL, are already utilising the platform, with more gyms opening up their timetables to be displayed. Over the years, we’ve worked with a variety of organisations on projects to get people active. We’re currently partnered with This Girl Can, where we have created a group exercise class concept for less active women. Since launching, the This Girl Can campaign has got over 3.5 million women and girls engaged with physical activity, and now we hope that the project will attract even more women. The project launches later this year so watch this space!
What sets EMD UK apart from its competitors? As a not for profit organisation, we’re able to put the instructor at the heart of everything we do and create value for money products that make professional development as smooth as possible.
exercise. There are currently 4.86
Our team are made up of PTs, group
million people taking part in group
exercise instructors, dance teachers,
exercise every week: one million more
and sports coaches so we understand
than 2016. In fact, fitness activities
what it’s like to take your first steps
are also the third most popular
into the industry and build a career. We
physical activity in the UK. Increasing
also have a dedicated support team
participation is no mean feat and there
who look after instructors once they
are a variety of ways to do this, from
have qualified. The support includes
instructor training and support to
answering questions about setting up
projects and partnerships.
classes, which insurance package they
Increasing participation starts with a highly skilled and qualified workforce. We’re an endorsed CIMSPA training
need, how to advertise their classes and what CPD options would best suit their career goals.
provider and deliver a range of
Of course, people can only go to classes
nationally recognised Level 2 and Level
if they know about them. Visibility and
3 qualifications, awarded by Active IQ,
communication are key, which is why
including Group Training for formats
we created classfinder – the UK’s largest
like HIIT or bootcamps, Group Training
directory of group exercise classes. The
to Music (formerly ETM), and Pilates.
site currently lists over 44,000 group
We work for the instructor community. During this coronavirus pandemic, we are working with Sport England and the Government to ensure self-employed fitness professionals are not given a raw deal. Through surveys and lobbying via CIMSPA and Sport and Recreation Alliance, we are ensuring the whole instructor workforce is represented and cared for, not just those on contracts. Our insight has shown that cost is a major barrier to study, which is why we offer a £200 Sport England bursary on our qualifications, reducing the cost of training. Once qualified, the instructor also receives a year’s instructor insurance (our PT package is £84 per year with £10 million cover) and a library of resources, including PAR-Q forms and business bits, to help them get set up as quickly as possible. April 2020
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Being an instructor, especially a new instructor, can be daunting and lonely. We want instructors to know they’re not alone; we don’t leave them as soon as they’ve qualified. Whether a member of EMD UK or not, any instructor is free to contact us regarding their career. Our dedicated team, industry experience, and helpful resources are available for all. In light of the current COVID-19 situation, we would like to remind readers that our insurance covers instructors to deliver online classes. These can be via two-way video platforms, one-way video platforms, or even face-to-face. These are testing times for the fitness community and we can support instructors to get online to reduce their loss of income.
What are your biggest challenges you face in your business? Group exercise is a widely undervalued activity, which can have huge impacts on gym businesses. In our 2019 white paper, entitled Sweating Your Assets: The value of group exercise, we identified the true value it can bring. For example, gym members who attend group exercise classes are 26% less likely to cancel their gym membership than members who only use the gym. When you consider that clubs can lose 50% of members every year, promoting an activity that can improve retention makes complete business sense. Aside from business, the group exercise workforce has historically been undervalued too. A great instructor can make or break your members’ exercise experiences. If they feel their needs are not being met and their voices not heard, they are less likely to be club promoters. An instructor doesn’t just turn up and teach a class; they spend hours programming the classes, learning the choreography, and creating a progression pathway. They’re as much a fitness professional as a personal trainer. Operators can learn a lot from the boutique model, where instructors 24
are the heart of the business. We welcome the opportunity to talk to operators about how group exercise can increase their retention and boost their income. For too long, the fitness industry has had very little regulation, with few minimum requirements for people to become instructors. As the national governing body for group exercise, we strongly advise that all group exercise instructors (and those staff who step into classes at short notice i.e. gym instructors) are qualified to the minimum of Level 2 in a group exercise related qualification, for example, Group Training to Music. Understandably, gyms are wary of training their gym floor staff due to costs. After talking through these concerns with Heads of Group Exercise from a variety of operators, we created a group training CPD product that upskills gym instructors and personal trainers to deliver group exercise classes, without the cost and length of a qualification. Instructors from Frame and Virgin Active have already utilised the training, taking the stress out of
finding cover staff.
What’s the most valuable lesson you've learned from the fitness industry? That fitness is not limited to studios and gyms! As an industry, we tend to limit our conversations to what’s happening in clubs, but this is wholly short-sighted. There are thousands of instructors that teach community classes in local halls and have a rich history in getting people active. They are a key asset in increasing participation and, more importantly, keeping people fit for life. Our three founder organisations FLexercise, the Keep Fit Association (KFA), and the Medau Society have been teaching community classes for decades. In fact, FLexercise are celebrating their 90th birthday this year. How many studios can say they’ve been going that long? As much as we speak about the growth and strength of the industry, we must ensure conversations are inclusive of the whole workforce and recognise
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the success community instructors have in reaching people who have no inclination to step inside a leisure centre or gym complex.
What’s next for EMD UK? We’re currently reviewing how group exercise can make a wider social impact. We have already run a wealth of successful projects getting different communities active through group exercise, including older adults, hospital patients, and teenagers. We will continue to seek out a run projects that make a positive social impact and make communities healthier. A large part of our future lies in educating educate both the public and the industry on the benefits of group exercise and assisting businesses in upskilling their workforce. In the past year, we’ve worked with such boutiques as Third Space London to broaden their
timetable by upskilling their instructors to deliver Pilates classes, giving them the opportunity to increase their earning potential as a business. We are also opening up our consultancy services for health clubs, boutiques and fitness brands. We have delivered successful consultancy in areas such as timetable reviews for maximum impact, identify areas for staff development, and delivering insight sessions for businesses to understand the impact of group exercise.
an increase in 1 million people doing
If any of your readers would like more information on our work, please get in touch!
better living throughout life, which
In your opinion, what is the current state of the UK's fitness industry? The industry is in a strong position with a peak penetration rate of 15.6% and our own National Survey showed
group exercise compared to 2016. However, there is still work to be done in achieving a healthier nation through exercise as the majority of the population need to be more active. Part of this work involves how we talk about fitness and the imagery we use. We cannot expect continued growth if the public cannot see attainable bodies. Fitness has become synonymous with the ‘body beautiful’. We should be promoting fitness as a means to would reduce social care costs and strain on the NHS. Furthermore, we need to ensure that group exercise is accessible and attractive to all which means having instructors who are representative of the communities they serve. I’m keen to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to join the group exercise family and help get the nation more active.
April 2020 25
sP pT oOt Fl i TgHhEt M O N T H
Ps Tp oOtFl iTgHhE t M O N T H
MS in psychology, CSCS*D (certified strength and conditioning specialist with distinction), CISSN (certified sports nutritionist)
# years as a qualified PT: 10
Where you work (town/city): Los Angeles, California
Your Twitter: @soheefit
Your Instagram: @soheefit
How did you become a PT? I become a certified personal trainer in 2010 when I was in university. I had started lifting weights two years prior and loved everything about it, to the point where I would find myself spending several hours a day lurking on different fitness forums and reading fitness blogs in my free time. While I didnâ€™t intend to become a full-time personal trainer, I thought it would be sensible to at least become certified just in case. I first started out training a few friends and family members sporadically here and there, and then fully dove into the training world in the summer of 2012 when I took on a strength and conditioning internship. From there, I worked at a few different gyms before eventually
opening my own studio for about two years.
What was your experience of the training/qualification process? In general, the barrier of entry to become a certified personal trainer is low â€“ but that depends entirely on what organization you are trying to get certified through. Currently, I am a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, which is considered here in the US to be the most prestigious certification you can have. This one involves a rigorous exam process, not unlike having to pass a university course. I studied full-time for
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two months before sitting down for this exam and passed in March of 2013.
What is your opinion of CPD?
Do you (or do you intend to) specialise in a particular type of fitness?
I specifically work with every day women who want to learn how to lift weights and eat well while reaching their fitness goals and optimizing their quality of life. A lot of my passion for what I do stems from my own personal struggles in the past with body image, not understanding exercise or nutrition, feeling overwhelmed and confused by all the misinformation in the industry – so much of my focus is on clearing up the misconceptions and providing easy-tounderstand instruction.
Do you work with gym owners? What’s it like? N/A
You spend your working hours motivating others, how do you motivate yourself? I don’t believe that relying on motivation is a lasting strategy to success. A lot of why I do what I do stems from my inherent love for educating others, for lifting weights and chasing strength, and for eating nutrientdense meals. As well, many of my daily healthy behaviors have become habit at this point, so I no longer have to rely too much on motivation or self-control to live the life I want. With that said, we are heavily influenced by the people we surround ourselves with, and oftentimes, we find ourselves copying the behaviors of those around us. Knowing
this, I make sure to fill my inner circle with individuals who inspire me and make me want to be better – whether it’s with workout consistency, work ethic, proper nutrition, or what have you.
What advice would you give to other PTs just starting out in the business? Never stop caring about your clients. It’s easy to think of yourself as someone who simply prescribes a training program and counts repetitions, but you are oftentimes far more than that to your clients. You can become their confidante, their friend, and training with you may very well be one of the highlights of their week.
What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years? I’m noticing more and more women on the training room floor, which I couldn’t be happier about. Ten years ago, it was far more unusual to have even one woman there. I’m thrilled that the tide is changing.
How do you promote your services? Marketing makes me squeamish – it always has! – but at the same time, I know how important it is to grow a business. I like to rely more on organic marketing. I’ll share testimonials from clients on my social media platforms, demonstrate my expertise, show that I personally walk the walk. Plus, word of mouth is a fantastic way to get new signups.
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It's hard to pinpoint just one! The past year has been a huge year for me in terms of connecting with more like-minded colleagues and continuing to find my own voice in this industry. Speaking at the first International Fitness Summit in Barcelona in August 2019 turned out to be crucial, not just in terms of career opportunity but also meeting some extraordinary humans.
What was the turning point in your career as a PT? Why?
How often do you train yourself? I’m currently lifting weights 4-5 days a week. I’ve gotten into the habit of heading to the gym every morning before lunch, and I take rest days whenever I feel a little beat up. On days I’m not lifting weights, I’ll do some stretching and maybe film some educational content at the gym.
If there was one thing you could radically change within the industry, what is it? I’d love for people to be more open-minded about changing their views in the face of sufficient evidence. It’s easy to feel like you have all the answers because some x, y, z formula worked for you – but that doesn’t mean it’ll work well for everyone. This industry is rife with misinformation, and it’s important to realize that we think of as fact today may turn out to be incorrect
years down the line. Our knowledge base is continually evolving as more research comes out, and not being so dogmatic about our exercise and nutrition beliefs will allow everyone to learn.
Do you see yourself still working as a PT in 10 years time? While I love training clients, I’m actually gravitating towards taking on more of an educator role. I love public speaking and educating other trainers and nutrition coaches.
What is your biggest success story? N/A
What has been your career highlight of the last 12 months?
I've always been a risk taker with my career in that I've been willing to move to new cities and take chances on new connections in hope that it will lead to something bigger and greater. There hasn't been a defining turning point per se; I think my success has come more as a result of continually putting in the effort and showing up every day, as dull as that sounds. I want to highlight that very rarely is anyone a true overnight success. Rather, you climb your way up through consistent work ethic, year after year after year.
Where can we see you in 2020? I've just moved to Los Angeles, which I'm very excited about, as it's such a huge fitness hub. It feels like I'm meeting new people every single week! Besides that, I'll be pursuing my PhD in sports science and also making a push towards more speaking engagements (both at conferences and putting on my own independent events) in an effort to further educate the masses while growing my online coaching team. I'll continue to stay active on social media, and the plan is to keep spreading the word about all things fitness.
April 2020 29
Stockport’s H1VE -
positioned as a “high-tech, boutique-style fitness studio with a twist” – officially launched in January this year. Owned by Life Leisure Group, but operated and managed as a stand-alone entity out of Stockport Sports Village (SSV), the facility is a visual spectacle packed with all the latest kit any group-exercise devotee would want. But what exactly is the special “twist” which makes H1VE so different. Life Leisure caught up with H1VE’s head coach (and former Olympian) Andy Turner, and Life Leisure’s head of health, fitness and communities, Ruth Lynch, to find out. 30
Welcome. Firstly let’s find out a little more about you both. How did you guys first get into the fitness industry? A: I guess my path was a little different to some. Initially everything was very much about my athletics career. Training and competing. Training and competing. By 2011 I’d taken part in two Olympics and won gold in the 110m hurdles at the 2010 European Championships…it was around this time that I’d started to think a bit more about ‘what next?’. Fitness was my real passion so qualifying as a PT made sense to me at this point. After 2014 when I officially retired from athletics, I mixed PT stuff with fitness modelling and also got into boxing – I had my most recent fight just last year. What these two (very different!) activities had in common was that they gave me a reason to train. I love having that reason. Then, last year…completely by chance I happened to see the advert for head coach at H1VE. I thought ‘what if that could be my new reason?’. Better still, what if I could help others find their reason to enjoy fitness and training. And here we are!
R: How do you follow that story?! Less medals in mine I’m afraid. When I left school, like a lot of teenagers I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Then I went on a work placement at a leisure centre and that was when my passion for the fitness industry grew. After my placement, the centre manager helped me to get an apprenticeship to be a fitness instructor. Fast-forward 20 years, and my love for it hasn’t faded one bit. While my role now is a lot more on the business and development side – from mentoring other instructors and driving forward new growth ideas, to researching ways to help people with low self-esteem or mental health issues to get involved in exercise – I haven’t ever lost that pure passion for fitness. In fact I still deliver one class from when I first started out!
Tell us more about H1VE A: Firstly it looks amazing, I’ve honestly never seen anything like it. The layout, lighting, everything. It creates a unique atmosphere for members. And that state-of-the-art feel is matched by the equipment. I’ve trained in a lot of places throughout my career, from spit and sawdust type gyms to boutique offerings but this
place has really got everything. These things are all great of course. But in a way that’s not really what H1VE is. Yes the proposition is boutique gym experience – and all the equipment that you’d associate with that - but I’d say it’s much more about community. About coming together a group and achieving as an individual. R: That’s absolutely right. And creating that feel was really important to us in making this idea a reality.
How have you gone about achieving this? R: In a number of ways. So, every week we offer a series of classes – designed by Andy and the team - which combine cardio, functional, strength and conditioning training. These are delivered in a group exercise format so that members can take strength and encouragement from each other. A twist on this, however, is that we’ve also integrated MYZONE technology, which allows participants to digitally (and visually) monitor their workouts as they go, set their own benchmarks and track progress against personal goals. We also utilise stuff like group chats to share experiences, news and ideas as a community. Another thing is that we are deliberately aiming to keep membership numbers capped so that this sense of ‘togetherness’ doesn’t start to become diluted.
Would you say all this is what sets H1VE apart from competitors then? R: That and the fact we’ve got a former Olympian heading it all up! A: Haha! I don’t know about that, but I do know that this approach is working. Let me give you an example. So at the moment I’ve got a got a 70-year-old pensioner who’s coming 3 times a week to keep active, and an 18-year-old who’s training to join the Marines. I’m not sure I could have made up two more difference examples if I’d tried. The thing is though, they are both able to take something different away from the same experience. How cool is that? The thing which goes hand-in-hand with this is not being elitist. Anyone April 2020
and everyone can do this and that’s what we want. I had another lady, for instance, who started a few weeks ago. She suffers from incredibly bad anxiety so at first, I brought her into the studio - just me and her - to get her used to what would happen and to know exactly what to expect. Now, because of that and the approach we take here, she is flourishing. It’s incredible to see things like that happen.
What are your biggest challenges you face in your business? R: Not standing still. I think in the fitness industry there is a danger that you can think you’ve found the ‘magic formula’ and leave it at that. Assume it will keep on working. It’s not true though. You have to keep moving. Take launching H1VE as an example. Over the past couple of years, Life Leisure has won an incredible haul of awards – not least SSV being named ‘National Leisure Centre/Health Club of the Year’ at the 2018 ukactive Active Uprising Awards. Clearly we were doing something right. And that’s great. But we didn’t want to use this success as an excuse to stop looking at what else we could do. And certainly not use it as an excuse to avoid trying something very different. Which is exactly what H1VE is, in look, feel…even membership structure, H1VE being non-contract based. What’s hugely important though is that while this is a totally new venture for Life Leisure, so much so that it has its own identity and will be run as a completely independent entity, the ethos behind it is still the same. We’re about finding approaches that help people make positive changes to their lives – if H1VE hadn’t ticked this box for us….if it has just been ‘something new’…we wouldn’t have done it. Which is why when I hear Andy talk about member stories like he mentioned earlier, it just makes me have a big grin!
On the subject of moving forward then, what’s next for H1VE? A: We only launched in January so it is still early days but as Ruth says, 32
you have to keep looking at ways to develop, improve and innovate. As head coach at H1VE, that’s my responsponsibility so for me it is a case of working with members to see what they like, need more of – what inspires them most etc., and pairing that with new developments I can make to the classes to make us better this week than we were last week. We’ll be gradually expanding the timetable but importantly that process will be an evolution rather than revolution. As I said earlier, community is at the heart of H1VE and so this really will be a collaborative process with members rather than me just deciding to introduce something new for the sake of it.
Well we certainly wish you all the best with this venture. Before you go though, we’d just like to ask you about the fitness industry as a whole – what kind of state do you think it’s in right now? A: I’m perhaps not as well qualified as Ruth to answer that, me being relatively new to the fitness industry… in this kind of capacity anyway…but I’ll just chip in with something which leads on from what I just said.
I think there are a lot of operators out there who forget that their ultimate goal is to help people and so they deal in ‘fads’ and introduce new fitness crazes that, yes, look cool, but don’t actually make a difference. They don’t make a difference to members. New for the sake of new, is nothing. New because it improves on what went before is something. Get it right, and it is something very special indeed. R: He’s done it again, how can I top that answer?! I agree, there is a lot of this in our industry right now. But what I’m also seeing, and what’s more encouraging, is that there are also an increasing number of operators committed to the idea that we can no longer be insular if we really do want to help people. We all know that inactivity is a national trend linked to a wide range of physical and mental health problems – problems the NHS is under pressure to deal with. As an industry, we have a unique opportunity to help relieve that pressure in any way we can by looking more closely at how and what we offer and seeing how we can work with colleagues across healthcare, sport, and the third sector, to make sure we are all playing our part and working collaboratively where possible. That’s now happening much more which is fantastic. Thank you both.
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NATURAL BODYBUILDING By Nathan Banq As soon as you mention the word Bodybuilding, the countdown has begun. It’s only a matter of time until the conversation diverts to the subject of steroids. The IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) is Bodybuilding’s equivalent to Football’s FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) or Track and Field’s World Athletics (formerly the IAAF). The aforementioned are all governing bodies for their respective sports. Athletes competing in these organizations are generally among the best in the world and hold professional status. Where Bodybuilding differs to most professional sports is the fact that the IFBB doesn’t test its competitors for performance-enhancing drugs. Just how wide-spread PED use is, will most likely never become public information. Nevertheless, from Boxing to Gymnastics, Athletics to Cycling, Swimming, American Football and pretty much any other sport you can name, failed drug tests are a fairly common occurrence. With that being said, the end result of a cyclist taking EPO (increasing red blood cell production for improved endurance) is a lot less “in your face” than a bodybuilder injecting HGH (Human Growth Hormone) until their biceps are larger than that of a cyclist’s quadriceps. In my humble opinion, this is a major contributing factor as to why Bodybuilding doesn’t benefit from the same sponsorships and endorsements prominent in other sports. It likely also plays a part in the general public’s perception that muscles and drugs must go hand in hand. I mean “if they’re April 2020
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allowed to take them then, of course, they all take them” right? Wrong! There are numerous drug tested federations where Natural Bodybuilders compete on a level playing field. Of course, a “Natty” is also eligible to compete in a non-tested federation (and some do). As a Lifetime Natural I’m probably not the best source of information on the subject of steroids, but here’s what I do know. An Enhanced athlete is likely to take a number of drugs to: • increase muscle protein synthesis • increase metabolic rate • burn body fat • train harder and recover faster • remove subcutaneous water • make skin visibly thinner • make muscle tissue visibly harder I’m sure that’s not a conclusive list but it should serve its purpose as a reference. Many will disagree, but in my opinion, both Natural and Enhanced athletes are perusing the same goal in the same sport by essentially doing the same things in regard to nutrition and training. There are, however, a few key areas where a different approach becomes necessary for a Natty. Let’s
take a closer look: Training Intensity = The Same Whether you’re Natural or Enhanced if you want your body to grow you need to progressively overload the stimulus. The human body is resilient, you must push it past its limits forcing it to overcompensate in response. For hypertrophy, a rep range of 8 – 15 is a good place to start. 5 or fewer reps will mainly increase strength as your central nervous systems learns to cope with the extreme load. 20 or more reps is technically classed as training for muscular endurance, although there is an exception to this rule. Techniques such as drop sets, cluster sets, and negative reps are ways of increasing intensity without increasing the overall load. Training Frequency – The Same Some studies show that although elevated by resistance exercise, muscle protein synthesis can return to baseline in as little as 24 hours in trained athletes. PED’s enhance protein synthesis (thus inhibiting protein degradation). A popular way that some Natty’s attempt to replicate this effect is by training full body 5 x per week. Unfortunately, we don’t grow in the gym. What we do in the gym is cause
trauma to muscle fibres through highintensity training, but they can’t grow back thicker and larger unless we give them ample time to rest and recover. Both Natural and Enhanced athletes can benefit from training their stronger body parts a minimum of 1 – 2 times per week and their lagging body parts a maximum of 2 – 3 times per week. Off-Season Diet – Different Many bodybuilders bulk during their off-season (eat in a caloric surplus) then cut during contest prep (eat in a caloric deficit). When you eat in a large surplus for a sustained period of time, you not only gain muscle mass but also excess body fat. As a Natural, our two protocols for cutting subcutaneous fat are reducing caloric intake and increasing energy expenditure. While in a deficit, although the body prefers to use carbohydrate and/or fat for energy, if these macronutrients aren’t available in abundance it will happily utilise protein as an energy source. You will literally catabolise your hard-earned muscle tissue in order to get rid of the unnecessary body fat that you gained. We’ve all seen people bulk through the winter only to look exactly the same (or smaller than when they started) by the following summer. Enhanced
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athletes have means of avoiding this scenario as detailed in the following section. Getting Shredded – Different You’re deep in a deficit and cardio is high but you’re no longer able to lose weight or drop body fat! This nightmare scenario is caused by metabolic adaptation. As a survival mechanism, the human body will lower its basal metabolic rate in order to stay alive when food is scarce. At this point, the Enhanced athlete has tools at their disposal to ramp up their metabolism and hence continue burning calories. The natural athlete has no such options, but a good coach will know how to effectively break these plateaus through manipulation of key macronutrient groups. Timing is crucial here. Muscle Mass – Different As a generalisation, the maximum amount of muscle mass attainable by an Enhanced athlete surpasses that attainable by a Natural. That’s not to say that everyone who takes
steroids will by default get bigger than everyone who doesn’t. Only that with all things being equal (genetics, training and nutrition) the Enhanced athlete has a significant advantage. While I would say it’s unrealistic to expect to win your Pro Card in the Men’s Open Class as a Natural, I do believe it’s possible to be competitive in Men’s Physique (and possibly even Classic Physique). The FFMI (Fat-Free Mass Index) further supports the notion of the Enhanced athlete’s superiority in this area. The scale correlates muscle mass to weight and height then calculates a numerical score. The scale can be interpreted in different ways but essentially, a score of 25 – 26 is generally considered to be the natural limit where the individual would have near perfect genetics for muscle building. Scores higher than 26 are deemed suspicious whereas scores of 28 and above are categorised as having a very high likelihood of steroid use. It’s worth noting however that while based on research, the FFMI is
still only theoretical. In summary, taking steroids will allow an athlete to get bigger, stronger and leaner in a shorter amount of time. There are, however, a multitude of health risks involved with going down this route, and the speed at which the strength gains come will greatly increase susceptibility to injury while training; especially when performing compound movements. At the same time, being Natural doesn’t make you any nobler a human being. While it may hinder you from winning the Men’s Open Class at Mr Olympia, with the introduction of Men’s Physique and Classic Physique there has never been a better time to aspire to be a Lifetime Natural IFBB Professional Bodybuilder. Online coaching: www.nathanbanq.com Instagram: @nathanbanq April 2020 35
Fit Kit This month’s round-up of kit, products and extras you can stock for your members – boost loyalty, retention and your revenue!
MANA - ESSENTIAL ROGUE 12-SIDED COLLECTION URETHANE GRIP PLATES
ROGUE WOMEN'S 4" RUNNER SHORTS BLACK CAMO
Our range of gym accessories is specifically designed to cover the essential needs of the modern gymgoer. As a niche brand we believe in providing high quality and innovative products, from fresh smelling orangescented liquid chalk, to wrist wraps without pesky thumb loops, we do things differently. Same is lame, and lame training accessories won't help you grow your business or help your customers achieve their goals. We want to work with Gym Owners and PT’s that are passionate about the experience of their clients. If you are interested in growing your range of products and overall customer offering, drop us a line at info@manacollection. co.uk Included 750ml Stainless Steel Water Bottle Orange Scented Liquid Chalk 7-16KG Resistance Band 18” Wrist Wraps Lifting Straps Gym Diary Wristband Check us out… Website: www.manacollection. co.uk Instagram: @manacollection_ 38
Rogue’s new patent-pending 12-Sided Urethane Grip Plates feature a solid cast-iron core, impact-resistant polyurethane coating, and a unique dodecagon shape with angled edges to help prevent rollaway when a barbell’s on the floor. A re-engineered ledge grip design (on the 25 LB and above) also introduces tapered, recessed handle cut-outs on both sides. This allows athletes to quickly grab and pick-up from the centre of the plate—no matter which side is facing out— rather than having to reach their fingers under the plate’s edges when it’s flat on the ground. All of our Urethane Grip Plates come standard with a black matte finish and white Rogue branding. The tolerance is +/- 1% for the 25 LB and up, and +/3% for the smaller change plates. The minimum thickness of the protective urethane coating is 3mm. Please Note: The Ledge Grip feature is NOT included on the 2.5 LB, 5 LB and 10 LB plates. Fast Rogue Shipping Follow the progress of your package online via the Rogue See More: Weightlifting Plates Available from Rogue
Available here in Black Camo, Rogue’s 4” Women’s Runner Shorts deliver comfort, breathability, and a free range of motion while still ensuring stability and coverage through every sprint, hurdle, lift, and climb. The design includes a wide comfort waistband, built-in liner, small accessories pocket, and exclusive “ROGUE” branding on the front + the “R” logo on the back. Please Note: The built-in liner runs a tad on the small side, so if you're inbetween sizes, we recommend sizing up for the best comfort. Specifications: Women’s Running Shorts 87% Polyester / 13% Spandex 4” inseam Wide comfort waistband for a firm fit with no slippage Built-in liner Small key pocket
ROGUE RANGER SHORTS BLACK Our Military-inspired Rogue Ranger Shorts are made from lightweight, 100% nylon tricot with a liner brief
and inside key pocket. These shortcut men’s running shorts, sometimes known as silkies or military shorts, offer a free range of motion with optimal airflow and no snag or drag. Available here in Black with Rogue branding on the left leg. Check out the Fit Guide below to determine your correct size, and browse the order menu for additional colours.
Specifications: Men’s Military Running Short 100% lightweight nylon tricot Liner brief Inside key pocket 2 - 2 1/4” inseam on all sizes Colour: Black
WOD GEAR CLOTHING LONG PANT WITH POCKETS MILITARY GREEN Our full-length women’s athletic pants are made from a comfort-flex Poly-Spandex blend fabric, with convenient side pockets for small item storage. The material is both breathable and moisturewicking-keeping you cool and dry--and the uniquely contoured seams create a flattering look without limiting your range of motion. Specifications: Fabric: 90% Supplex / 10% Spandex
Women’s Athletic Pant / Workout Leggings Wide Comfort Waistband 2 side pockets Colour: Military Green
WOD GEAR CLOTHING LONG PANT WITH POCKETS BLACK Our full-length women’s athletic pants are made from a comfortflex PolySpandex blend fabric, with convenient side pockets for small item storage. The material is both breathable and moisturewicking-keeping you cool and dry--and the uniquely contoured seams create a flattering look without limiting your range of motion. Specifications: Fabric: 90% Supplex / 10% Spandex Women’s Athletic Pant / Workout Leggings Wide Comfort Waistband 2 side pockets Colour: Black
ROGUE NO-SHOW SOCKS Cut for comfort and performance, Rogue NoShow Socks are made from a specially woven, cotton/ polyester blend—ideal for wicking away moisture, maintaining breathability, and fighting odor. This exclusive Rogue version of
the CoolMax No-Show is available as a single pair, 5-pack, or 10-pack, and features an all black design with the Rogue logo at the bottom of each sock in white. Specifications: One Size Fits All Sold as pair, 5-pair pack, or 10-pair pack Ankle-length Moisture-wicking CoolMax hybrid fabric Colour: Black with Rogue logo in white
ROGUE MONSTER FL-2 FIXED LEVER ARMS
Rogue’s fully updated Monster Fixed Lever Arms now include two length options—Short (35") and Standard (48")— along with the choice of a standard or articulating handle design. This is a direct bolt-on system designed exclusively for Monster Series racks or rigs and does not feature the adjustable trolley component of our LT-1 50 Cal Lever Arm unit. The American-made FL-2 Fixed Lever Arms offer superior value and space efficiency without sacrificing functionality. They’re built using the same 3x3” 11-gauge steel as the Monster Series racks themselves, and enable the development of upper-body explosiveness through a multitude of movements, including incline bench presses, rack pulls, squats, deadlifts, bent-over rows, snatches, lunges, etc. Customers can securely mount the Monster Lever Arms to their rack/rig using the provided 3/8” thick steel mounting brackets and 1” hardware. The brackets feature laser-cut Rogue branding and interior UHMW plastic to protect your uprights, and their April 2020
pin-and-bushing design ensures a consistent, smooth movement at the hinge point, allowing the arms to be pushed or pulled both unilaterally and bilaterally—with no stalling or hitches. Both the arms and brackets are finished in our MG Black powder coat. Handle Options: Standard Handle Offers high-grip, low-grip, and neutral grip options using texture black 1.25" diameter tubing. These handles can easily be adjusted up and down on the lever arms, as they simply pin and swing down into position, with an included knurled knob locking them in place. Each handle features 11.75" of loadable space on a stainless steel weight post. Articulating Handle Set Creating a truer barbell feel, the articulating handle set upgrade includes (2) pin-and-swing stainless steel weight posts and (2) hinging knurled stainless handles. The knurled handles hinge in place allowing for less restriction when doing movements such as rows, deadlifting, etc. The 1.125" diameter steel includes dual knurl marks and is 12-7/8" long. A set of (4) knurled knobs are included with this selection to lock the weight post and the articulating handle into place (2 per side). Both the weight posts and handles feature UHMW plastic to protect the finish of the lever arms when installing/uninstalling. Important: Rogue Monster Lever Arms should only be installed on units that are securely fastened to the floor. Specifications: Designed and Manufactured in the USA Compatible ONLY with Rogue Monster Series Rigs and Racks (UNIT MUST BE BOLTED TO FLOOR) Space-efficient Bolt-On design Arms: 3x3" 11-Gauge Steel Arms with laser-cut holes, MG Black finish Arm Length Options: Short (35”) or Standard (48”) Mounting Brackets: 3/8" Thick Steel Mounting Brackets with pin and bushing design, MG Black finish Handles: Choice of Standard or Articulating Weight Posts: 11.625" loadable length Safety: Arms are capped at the 40
ends and feature rubber bumpers along the edges to protect both the user and the rack/rig. UHMW Plastic further prevents damage to uprights. See More: Monster Series Attachments Available from Rogue
MONSTER RM-8 BANSHEE
The RM-8 Banshee is simultaneously the Rolls Royce and Monster Truck of Rogue power racks. Combining our top-grade 100" RM-4 rack with the innovative Rhino Belt Squat System and tons of extra storage capacity, this fully decked-out configuration is also the first Rogue rack to include Cerakote finished uprights and cross members, available here in a unique “Super Matte” Black. The laser-cut nameplate, storage pins, pull-up bar, and trolley also feature Cerakote Red accents for an extra pop of colour. All units are manufactured with pride in Columbus, Ohio, USA, and include 3x3” 11-gauge steel uprights, arms, and cross members, plus 1” black zinc hardware and a set of Monster 1” wrenches for assembly. The Rack and Rhino portions of the Banshee are connected via a 24” top cross member, and the full set-up comes complete with all of the following attachments: Rhino Belt Squat: ⅛” thick Diamond-Tread Platform + Cerakote Red Roller Housing Plate Loadable Weight Trolley: Cerakote Red Trigger + Texture Black Lever Arm Handles with Laser-Cut Rogue logo and Red backer Knurled Socket Pull-up Bar: Cerakote Red w/ Rogue logo in black
Custom Rogue Nameplate: Cerakote Black w/ Inset Red Panel 6 Long Plate Storage Pins w/ Cerakote Red centre 4 Short Plate Storage Pins w/ Cerakote Red centre Set of Monster 2” Sandwich J-Cups (MG Black finish) 4-Pack of Monster Band Pegs (Black Zinc finish) All Required 1” Hardware (Black Zinc finish) Specifications: Made in the USA Configuration for Belt Squat + Barbell training FIRST Rogue Rack with Cerakote uprights and cross members (Super Matte Black) Cerakote Red accents: Pull-Up Bar, Storage Pins, Nameplate, Trolley Includes Monster RM-4 Rack: 3x3" 11 Gauge Steel, 100.375" tall, 24” depth, 43” cross members and Knurled Socket Pull-Up Bar Drop-In Rhino Belt Squat: 3x3” Arms and Crossmembers, MG Black Finish 3x6” Tower: 78.5” height from floor, MG Black finish ⅛” thick Diamond-Tread Platform: 7” height from floor, Texture Black Finish Extension of Unit from Uprights: 21.5” Unloaded Trolley Weight: 27.5LB (+/- 1LB) Total Footprint: 10' 6" x 53"
ROGUE RML-690C POWER RACK 3.0
Optimized for rock-solid stability and space-efficient plate storage, the latest version of our RML-690C Monster Lite Power Rack also includes
a wide range of custom colour finish options, a new back-nameplate, the Slinger-compatible cross members, and your choice of either numbered or unnumbered uprights. The Monster Lite 690 series was originally developed to combine the 3x3” 11-gauge steel construction of the RM-6 Monster Rack with the 5/8” hardware of the Infinity R-6, and it remains among the most versatile and customizable power racks in the industry. Each unit is manufactured in Columbus, Ohio, and comes standard with (6) 90” uprights, 5/8” bolts and fasteners, (2) Monster Lite J-Cups, (2)
pin/pipe safeties, (4) band pegs, (1) 43” single pull-up bar, and (8) plate storage posts for the back section of the unit. The laser-cut holes on each upright are spaced in the Westside pattern: 1” through bench and clean pull zone, 2” spacing above and below. Once set up, gym owners can completely customize their rack by selecting any number of compatible Monster Lite attachments and add-ons, each sold separately. Popular additions include the Monster Lite Matador, Safety Spotter Arms, Slinger, and Long Plate Storage.
The RML-690’s durability, customization options, and storage capacity make it equally suited as the centrepiece for a garage gym or as a dynamic addition to a larger collegiate, pro, or military training facility. Each rack is also backed by Rogue’s Lifetime Warranty. Fast Rogue Shipping Follow the progress of your package online via the Rogue Shipping Tracker. *The satin clear finish is a transparent finish. This will show any blemishes or marks from the manufacturing process that are present in the steel.
The best home workout apps at a glance AAPTIV // FITBIT COACH // ASANA REBEL // ADIDAS TRAINING AND RUNNING BY RUNTASTIC // NIKE TRAINING CLUB
1. Aaptiv Thousands of voice-guided workouts at your fingertips Platforms: Android, iPhone, Apple Watch g Motivational coaches g No need to use a screen g Huge choice of workouts g Rather expensive
The first time you log in, you'll be prompted to set a goal (such as running faster, losing weight or just keeping fit) and provide a little information about your current fitness level and exercise habits. You'll also be asked what equipment you have access to, so you'll only be recommended workouts you can do with what you already have. Workouts are split into categories such a strength training and stretching, and each one comes with an estimated duration and difficulty level, plus star ratings from other users to help you make your choice.
2. Fitbit Coach Fun, video-led workouts to follow, without a Fitbit Platforms: Windows 10, Xbox, Hololens, Android, iPhone, iPad g Free option available g Doesn't require a Fitbit device g Clear video instructions g Lacks training plans
All trainers featured in the app are relentlessly cheerful and encouraging as they encourage you to push yourself, which can really help when you're working out alone away from the buzz of a real gym.
While most home workout apps use videos to demonstrate what you should be doing, Aaptiv talks you through every activity, which means you don't have to prop up your phone or tablet and peer at your screen mid-stretch. It features licensed music too, so you don't have to worry about setting up a playlist in a different app. 42
All this comes for a monthly fee of $15/ÂŁ13 (about AU$26), with a discount available if you pay for a whole year up-front. That's quite a financial commitment, but there's a lot on offer here, including over 3,000 classes to ensure you never get bored, plus group challenges to keep you motivated. Interested, but want to try it first? Each subscription begins with a free trial period, and you won't be charged if you cancel before it's over.
Workouts in Fitbit Coach are led by professional, enthusiastic instructors (you choose yours before beginning the fitness test), who guide you through each movement with clear video instructions. Not sure how to perform a particular exercise? Just tap
it, and you'll be shown exactly how to do it safely (an invaluable feature when you're working out alone). The first time you launch the app, you'll be prompted to sign up for a Fitbit account (or log in with your existing one), then run through an eightminute fitness test. After that, you'll be able to get stuck in properly and take your pick from a range of programs designed with different goals in mind. You can sign up for Fitbit Coach Premium, which offers more workouts, personalised plans based on your progress and goals, audio coaching for running and walking, a wider pool of trainers to choose from, and several music stations. It costs $9.99/£7.99 (about AU$15) per month, or $79.99/£79.99 (about AU$122) if you pay annually. You don't need a Fitbit device to use Fitbit Coach, although if you do own one, connecting it is a piece of cake. The app can also link to Facebook and Google Fit, allowing you to share your efforts with friends; another great motivation to get up off the couch and moving.
3. Asana Rebel Makes yoga accessible and encourages healthier habits Platforms: Android, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV g Create your own daily plans g Huge choice of workouts g Beautifully designed g Assumes you want to lose weight Asana Rebel is primarily a yoga app, though it's also packed with tools to help you develop better sleep hygiene and other lifestyle habits. As with most home workout apps, you'll need to start by registering for an account and entering a few details about yourself (including height,
weight and age). There's an assumption that you're aiming to lose weight - it prompts you to enter a goal - but you can always just make this the same as your current weight. While you can download the app and browse through its scores of yoga practices free, accessing them all requires a premium subscription. This will also unlock meditation sessions, regular reminders, and guided meditations to help you sleep better. Membership costs £9.89 per month, or £47.88 for a full year if paid up-front, making it one of the most affordable home workout apps around. Workouts are broken down into categories, such as core work and relieving tension, with detailed descriptions to help you pick one that suits your current mood. It's very much about picking something that meets your needs right now, though you can add any practices you particularly enjoy to your favourites for quick access later. Videos are beautifully shot, and while many yoga classes and apps seem to be aimed primarily at women, Asana Rebel's developers have made sure to include plenty of guides from male instructors as well, plus options for all abilities.
4. Adidas Training and Running by Runtastic A home workout app packed with free audio and video guides Platforms: Android, iPhone, Apple Watch g Great range of free content g Clear audio directions g Can create custom workouts g Lacks motivational coaching Adidas Training and Running by Runtastic has one major advantage over most home workout apps: it offers a decent range of free features. As you might expect, the Adidas brand is heavily promoted throughout, but
this isn’t just a marketing tool – it’s a seriously good app when you peel back the three stripes. There are plenty of ready-made workouts to choose from, and if you can’t see anything that appeals to you, you can create a custom one by selecting body parts and setting a duration – a thoughtful feature that could save you a lot of scrolling. You’re led through workouts by videos and audio narration. There’s little in the way of motivational speaking here; you’re simply told what to do and for how long. It’ll help to have your phone at eye level the first time you try a new exercise so you can check your form against the video provided, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be able to get by with the voice instructions alone. Paid subscriptions are available for $9.99/£7.99 a month (about AU$15) or $49.99/£39.99 (about AU$75) for one year if paid up-front if you want to unlock premium training plans, but for basic fitness, the free app has a lot to offer.
5. Nike Training Club Over 190 completely free home workouts to choose from Platforms: Android, iPhone, Apple Watch g Completely free to use g Easy casting to TVs g Highly customisable g Workouts must be downloaded Like Adidas Training and Running, Nike Training Club offers an impressive archive of free content in exchange for burning the sportswear brand into your consciousness – and it’s another impressive app below the branding. There’s no paid-for tier, either; everything is completely free. Registration is straightforward, and after entering just a few details about yourself and your current activity levels, you’ll be presented with a helpful set of workouts (complete with timings) that might suit your needs. Can’t see what you want? You can also browse for options by muscle group or April 2020 43
workout type (endurance, strength, mobility or yoga). It’s also possible to limit your scope to short workouts, or ones that can be carried out without any extra equipment. There are over 190 available at the time of writing, with more added regularly. The videos in this home workout app are well made (though not quite as polished as some premium offerings) and offer lots of customisation options. Like working out to music? There’s a switch to toggle it on. Want to turn off the audio guidance and just be told the
drill timings? That’s possible too. You can even switch off audio entirely and just use the visuals. Many of the apps here can cast a video to your TV, but Nike Training Club is the easiest to use, letting you send workouts to a big screen with a couple of taps. The only real downside is that each workout has to be downloaded before you can start (they're not all included when you install it) so you'll need an active internet connection, but this does mean the initial install size is smaller.
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Best Weightlifting Apps 2020 It seems like there are a million fitness apps out there all boasting new features, new workouts, and a myriad of different exercises. With apps tailored to running, yoga, pilates, and everything in between it can be hard to find an app that is tailored to strength training and weightlifting. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the best weightlifting apps of 2020 so that you can hit the gym with some of the best tech in your pocket.
BEST WEIGHTLIFTING APP FOR PLANNING WORKOUTS – JEFIT
workouts at your local gym or onthe-go. To unlock certain training programs, you’ll need to pay for the JEFIT Elite subscription. This all-in-one app contains powerful fitness routine planning and tracking tools that help you target your workouts and keep easy track of your progress. Plan a routine—you can build whole workouts around individual body parts if you like—before you hit the gym. Once you’re inside, JEFIT takes over, telling you what’s next (including animations) and even timing rest periods between exercise. It stores your info for later reference, plus packs more than 1,300 instructions and animations to help you find new exercises to achieve your goals.
BEST OF JEFIT This app is one of the most popular ones out there for strength training workouts and for a good reason. The JEFIT app comes with a ton of features but some of the most helpful are the ones that allow you to effectively plan your next workout. With a big library full of different exercises organised by body part, along with suggestions from the app on how many sets and reps you should do you are sure to put together a killer workout in no time. This no-nonsense weight lifting app provides both an efficient way to track your lifts and a ton of strength training programs to follow. Not only can you use JEFIT to record your goals, along with your weights, sets, and reps, but to track body measurements, rest time, and more. You can even use the app to calculate your one-rep max for big lifts, like squats. It offers programs for everyone from weightlifting newbies to weight room vets who want to try bodybuilding, powerlifting or circuit training.
BEST WEIGHTLIFTING APP TO SMASH PLATEAUS – STRONGLIFTS 5×5
The PR tracker and weekly progress reports will keep you motivated, whether you’re pencilling in those
The 5×5 workout is very simple: five sets of five reps of no more than a handful of compound movements.
StrongLifts 5×5 is an app that is exclusively built for strength training. It uses the popular 5×5 workout routine and tracks your progress as you go. Some of the other features include a set timer, a calendar for tracking, Wear OS support, and some other neat stuff. You do workouts several days a week for about 45 minutes at a time.
With the StrongLifts 5×5 workout, you perform just five compound exercises each week: the deadlift, squat, bench press, overhead press, and barbell row. Like your own personal Bob Harper, StrongLifts 5×5 tells you what exercises to do, how much weight you should lift (making on-the-fly adjustments when you plateau or fail) and congratulates you when you put in a solid effort or achieve an important goal. You get cloud backups in case you switch devices, A/B workouts to shake things up, and there are a ton of workout videos to show you how everything works. It’s better for exercise routines than it is for tracking, but it’s very effective for strength training.
BEST OF STRONGLIFTS 5×5 One of the main benefits behind utilising the 5×5 workout set up is that it is a known method to increase strength and see results in training in a relatively efficient way. So, because the StrongLifts app hones in the benefits of 5×5 and also has the added benefit of the app automatically upping your reps or weight, you are sure to blast past those plateaus you may be hitting.
BEST WEIGHTLIFTING APP FOR CHALLENGING WORKOUTS – FITBOD Artificial intelligence has gained quite a bit of attention in 2019, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Fitbod is a weightlifting app April 2020 45
BEST WEIGHTLIFTING APP FOR PB TRACKING – STRONG
BEST WEIGHTLIFTING FOR GETTING INTO WEIGHTS – BODYBUILDING. COM ALL ACCESS
The name of this app is pretty selfexplanatory. The weightlifting app, Strong, is an app that was designed specifically with the weight rack in mind. It’s easy to use, even when you’re exhausted mid-workout. With the free app, you can create three workouts, and check off your sets as you complete them.
that embraces AI technology. No, the app can’t exercise for you, but it does learn from your past workouts to provide a personalised regimen based on a myriad of factors such as your equipment, past struggles, goals, and much more. Driven by a super-smart algorithm, Fitbod uses your personal fitness information and goals to progressively adapt your workouts to help you get stronger and fitter. This weightlifting app provides recommendations for which exercises to do and how much weight to use and then adapts based on your performance. It also incorporates new exercises at the right time to provide your body with the change-of-pace it needs and to keep you mentally motivated.
BEST OF FITBOD It’s beginner-friendly (with more than 400 demo videos), and also estimates your calorie-burn and awards you when you knock off new fitness achievements. The main feature of this app is it’s AI capability and adaptability to you and your specific fitness goals or progress. With that in mind, this app would best serve someone who is really looking to amp up their workouts in a methodical and challenging way. So if you are feeling like your current strength training regime is getting a little routine, then it might be a perfect time to shake things up with a little help from one fit algorithm. 46
The app fills in your previous weights and reps so you don’t have to fiddle with numbers every time. It syncs with Apple Health and Google Fit, meaning that if you spend 45 minutes logging exercises on the app, you’ll automatically get credit for a 45-minute strength workout. Strong also keeps track of your personal bests, and it calculates your theoretical onerep max of each exercise based on the reps you do. For example, if you bench 90 pounds five times, it lets you know that you could probably do a single rep at 100 pounds. The pro version is worthwhile if you’re in the gym a lot. You also get a plate calculator, which tells you how many plates and what size to add to each end of the bar to reach your desired weight. So, for that 90-pound bench, you’ll add two 10-pound plates and a 2.5-pound plate to each end of a 45-pound bar. The subscription also unlocks a calculator for warm-up sets, a body measurement tracker, and a bunch of analytics to monitor your progress.
If your introduction to lifting weights involved perusing the bajillion training plans on Bodybuilding.com, you can now satisfy your inner gym bro. All Access contains more than 60 weightbased training programs, along with nutrition guidelines, supplement recommendations, and advice from the trainers themselves. Plus, the app’s tracking tools make logging your reps, sets, and weight—and monitoring your progress—easier than ever. The customisable expert training plans offered in the Bodybuilding. com All Access subscription service are an excellent way to get started at bodybuilding or to take yourself to the next level. If you’re really busy, you might find that it’s hard to get an appointment with a trainer.
BEST OF ALL ACCESS
BEST OF STRONG
You might also be new to bodybuilding and aren’t sure where to start. It’s great to be able to ask the other people at the gym, but sometimes that’s not possible. You might be shy or unfortunately might not have a friendly person to ask.
The Strong app is great for those who hit the gym with exact numbers of sets and reps in mind for their workouts. Because the apps stores your previous workouts that you have completed, you can look back at your progress and also recognise if you are zoning in on beating your Personal Bests or “PBs”. Think of this app as the ultra-smart replacement for that tattered old gym note that you used to tote around.
Personal training isn’t exactly cheap either. Lots of people would love to see a trainer but just can’t afford it. If any of this sounds like you, you’ll love the customisable expert training plans. These are the next best thing to having a trainer with you or on speed dial. Real bodybuilding experts put together plans that you can customise and follow on your own to get started or to take yourself to the next level.
How safe is exercise during pregnancy? Two lines on a home pregnancy test, a flickering heartbeat on the ultrasound, and suddenly your world has changed: you’re pregnant! Regardless of where this new path takes you, you may start to examine your daily decisions in a new way as you discover an intense drive to protect the growing baby inside you. Even your exercise routines may come under scrutiny, particularly if latenight Googling has you secondguessing everything that you believed you knew.
Just how safe is exercise during pregnancy? The short answer? Exercise during pregnancy is not only safe, but it’s also encouraged. An overriding principle for pregnancy is: what is good for mom is good for the baby. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the US Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion note that exercising during pregnancy may reduce: • weight gain
• risk for gestational diabetes, particularly in overweight or obese women • risk for cesarean delivery. Plus, it helps pregnant women prevent or manage inevitable aches and pains. Regular physical activity during pregnancy may help psychological well-being and possibly even reduce depression and anxiety during the postpartum period. Additionally, women who exercise during pregnancy may recover more quickly after the birth.
How active should you be? Best-laid plans aside, the ACOG recommends engaging in moderate activity for 20 to 30 minutes on three to seven days per week throughout your pregnancy. It is safest to avoid exercising for longer than 45 minutes in one session to prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). The best time to boost your activity level is before you conceive. Generally, you can safely continue to exercise at the level of strenuous activity you practised before your pregnancy. So, if you enjoyed moderate activity, stick with that rather than ramping up during your pregnancy. If you enjoyed vigorous activity, you may be able to continue this, though it’s safest to check with your obstetric team to be sure. Of course, many women become pregnant without an established exercise routine in place. If this is true for you, start slowly and ramp up gradually. For example, try walking a few more times per week, then April 2020 47
add to the amount of time you walk. Finally, you might step up intensity by walking more quickly.
What types of exercise can you do? The best exercises to engage in are activities you actually enjoy doing. Pregnant women can generally do brisk walking, swimming, stationary cycling, low-impact aerobics, yoga or Pilates, and running. Most of these activities can be modified for your growing belly. There are some activities you should avoid, including: • contact sports that could cause injury, such as basketball, hockey, or soccer and sports that are risky or likely to cause falls, such as skiing, surfing, or gymnastics, scuba diving and hot yoga or hot Pilates, because increases in body temperature might harm the fetus. 48
What if you have a high-risk pregnancy? What if your pregnancy is not straightforward? High-risk pregnancies come in a variety of forms. Often, they occur when women have complex medical conditions (such as epilepsy or lupus), develop a condition that could affect the pregnancy (such as a short cervix or placenta previa), or if the fetus has a complex condition (such as a heart defect). Usually, doctors recommend mild activity like walking or stretching, because it isn’t linked to poor outcomes, such as inadequate growth or preterm delivery. Even if you have a high-risk condition where vigorous activity is discouraged, you and your doctor can come up with an individualised plan for light, safe activities. Although bed rest was advised in the past for certain high-risk conditions, it hasn’t been shown to improve
outcomes. And unfortunately, bed rest can put you at a higher risk for blood clots, loss of bone density, and deconditioned muscles, which could further complicate your pregnancy. The mood-boosting benefits of exercise may be even more critical in high-risk pregnancies.
The bottom line Whether you are new to exercise or a lifelong athlete, physical activity is generally safe and well-tolerated in pregnancy. With rare exceptions, mild to moderate exercise offers physical and psychological benefits. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, your obstetrician can help you choose activities that will be safe for you and your baby. Pregnancy is the first step along the journey of parenthood. Let regular physical activity now become part of a lifetime of dedication to good health for your family.
Self isolate? Self motivate Fitness communities around the world are coming together against COVID-19. Here’s what we can all learn… It’s a horrible time for many, and my thoughts are with everyone affected by recent events. However, the messages of support and positivity coming through since COVID-19 have been so uplifting. A chain reaction of goodness out of hardship – it started when I found a video of a PT leading an isolation workout. Gonzalo from Sano Sevilla Los Bermejales in Spain can be seen on a rooftop, encouraging self-isolated residents to work out from their windows and balconies.
Meinhof phenomenon or a genuine rise of positivity in the face of adversity, I started seeing more and more entrepreneurs, owners and managers in the community stepping up to see the bright side of a bad situation.
gym closures were announced. “Firstly, we offer the club operators extra servicing for their equipment when the clubs are free of people.
What to do with your time after closures.
“We will record more video in home environments so clients of the clubs can work out at home with the same equipment. And our team will use this time to clean and refresh our customer database and also invest in our CRM system.
From a distributor’s perspective, Miroslav Jirčík, CEO of 3D FITNESS explains how they set out a plan of action as soon as
“More strategy will come in the next days. Don’t stress. Use this time for extra work that you can’t find time
It wasn’t just me that appreciated the community spirit and corona-beating efforts, though. “That’s brilliant – people are amazing!” exclaimed Kevin Yates, CEO of TRIB3, taking a heart-warming view of society during this global challenge, despite the minority such as product hoarders making it harder for others. “The toilet roll warriors make me sad,” Kevin continued. “They are the pillars of selfishness when things are tough. I believe 99% of people are like this guy!” Andrew Perry, CEO at Preserve Health in Australia echoed the statement, saying: “This is fantastic and wonderful to see at this time. Instead of panic buying, giving to the community is a wonderful gesture,” while Debbie Bellenger, senior VP of healthy living at YMCA of South Florida, optimistically looked to the future. “Love it! I think creativity in these times is magical,” she commented. “The sky is the limit for us as fitness professionals to shine!” Whether it’s a welcome case of BaaderApril 2020 49
for on regular days. Let’s be strong, creative and happy.” As far as direct owner and manager responses are concerned, it’s always sensible to turn to Retention Guru Paul Bedford. He’s created a video about how operators can keep customers using these three phases, where he detailed ways to overcome the challenges of members staying away from the gym and how we, as an industry, can recover from the pandemic when we’re starting to emerge on the other side. The coronavirus outbreak will change how people act. Whether it’s your infrastructure as a business or whether it’s customer behaviour and members using their traditional gym time, pre-COVID-19, for something else once the isolation is over. Whether through digital comms, a fitness app, or any other initiative… Be prepared.
Staying safe and staying together, even in isolation. However we tackle these challenges as an industry, as a community and as a society in general, it’s important to remember that we’re doing it together. It’s more than just about the bottom line. Mark Lock, engineering services director at Escape Fitness highlighted the need for altruistic care and thought to ensure that we’re not divided during these times. “Together we will beat this. Keep communicating so we can learn from each other and make informed decisions,” he said. “It’s time for us to 50
support and payback to the elderly what they have done for us and our world. Remain positive, consider and create other opportunities to sustain this great industry.” Many messages of solidarity are coming through, and we should be proud to be part of these intercontinental communities spreading hope and love instead of fear and separation. Like Mark, Michael D’Arezzo, director of international franchise development at Gold's Gym also highlighted the importance of looking after the vulnerable as well as ourselves. “Pray and help the elderly. This is a global situation and it is much bigger than us individually. Together we can do much more. Blessings to you all.”
Don’t let digital scare you. It should come as no surprise that bricks and mortar facilities can benefit members with support in the home. Amen Iseghohi, founder of THIS by Amen, has been hosting online workouts for his client base since closing his Montreal facility on the advice of the Canadian government. These virtual classes have allowed him to motivate isolated members, giving immediate instruction and feedback via video link. “This is a global situation,” Amen explains. “With your back against the wall, what are you going to do about it? Fear is contagious. It’s gone around the world faster than anything. But we have to be cognisant and responsible for the situation.
“It’s so important that you see yourself on the other side of it. You’ll become stronger from this. If you focus on possibility, you’ll be amazed at how well you can come out from this. This is a wake-up call. Don’t fall asleep.” • Ben Hackney-Williams is head of content at Escape Fitness and has been a journalist for over a decade. He has worked in the fitness industry as a consumer-facing content creator for international bodybuilding and MMA publications, driven engagement in supply-side gym design and equipment manufacturing, and helped produce over 100 episodes of the Escape Your Limits podcast.
G Y M R E TA I L DESIGN
A Non-Dues Area Of A Gym
Why does a gym retail area, a non-dues revenue-generating area of your club, need to be thought of differently in terms of design or renovation? Because youâ€™re asking the member to spend more in your facility above the monthly fee for membership, on products and offerings that are not directly related to the fitness modality they have come to buy when joining your gym. As well, youâ€™re competing for a disposable income they might otherwise invest on commodities, consumables or indulgences across their netmonthly spend.
Gym retail environments often occupy their own real estate in a facility and must be integrated to reflect and reinforce your brand platform, but blended with a different marketing strategy. You will need to hone-up on skills of retail merchandising, graphic design and savvy advertising parlance in order to amplify your product offerings, hopefully with some branded products that promote your gym and brand logo. These spaces need to be inviting and seductive, almost magnetizing if you will, triggering consumer interest, and ultimately, greater spend on the items for sale. Non-dues areas of fitness facilities
must amplify the gym brand and should never be reduced to a second or third-tier design priority. Every fixture, feature and finish of a gym retail environment should back-link and reinforce the brand concept. The retail area of your facility should exploit these features with a high level of marketing savvy. Regardless of their proximity to other amenities within the gym space, retail areas should provide a seamless brand experience for members who patronize your club. Additionally, the pedigree and effort afforded to the design in the retail area can elevate the perceived value of the offering presumably enabling higher price-points for the products, and in turn, facilitating a long term revenue stream for your club. In summary; leave no marketing opportunity on the retail table because itâ€™s the continuity of the member experience that will enhance the effectiveness of your retail marketing. Some of the specific design considerations to take into account when designing or renovating for retail spaces might be a unique ambience. Integrate the same design features used throughout your gym in your retail area but perhaps add a little something different as well. Also consider the proximity, good or bad, with respect to other club areas of your club. Do lines of sight from the reception desk or juice bar provide some degree of visual custody over the retail area in order to inhibit theft? Do circulation paths or foot-fall-flow move members past retail displays that catch their attention? Do aesthetics, April 2020
acoustics, textures, materials and strategic lighting design turn the retail space into an exciting distraction beyond the other offerings in your club? These are some of the utilitarian strategies that should direct the development of your gym retail nondues area of your club. Another area to investigate when designing gym retail spaces are the displays, props, signage, fixtures, mannequins and lighting used to amplify product offerings. There are display industry trade shows that exhibit all types of retail display and merchandising systems which one can attend, and obviously, the Internet has most all manufactures of these systems a mouse-click-away. Be aware that you should stay on brand language when designing your retail spaces. If your gym aesthetic incorporates wood, organic and natural materials it is logical to integrate these types of materials in your display and merchandising design. Display and props is an area where you can have fun and explore dramatic and theatrical design ideas, ideas that might not be available when designing the other features of your club. Again, the retail area of your gym should be an exciting distraction within your club in order to seduce members into purchasing your offerings. Be ingenious and 52
inventive, even thematic, and create playful yet sophisticated spaces that trigger emotional responses that make shopping fun for your customers. Another useful idea would be to spy on retailers who do merchandising right. Make it an exercise to study the design techniques of the retailers you personally shop and communicate your findings to the creative agency who is designing your retail spaces. Did you see good displays, merchandising or graphics that might be incorporated into your own retail area? How did they use lighting design? Lighting is a key benchmark in determining the success or failure of retail product offerings. Lighting should always be a first principal design strategy in the development of retail areas because itâ€™s the rendered lighting that nuances our perceptions, positively or negatively, of the item being marketed. Savvy lighting design can make products and offerings jump out at consumers, or conversely, poor lighting design can undermine the same resulting in dismal, uninspiring retail-non-events. So study the display and marketing of luxury retailers and youâ€™ll in short order begin to understand how they do it, why they do it, and how you can do it for your gym brand. Finally, and in summary, retail gym
merchandising areas should bring every marketing tool to bear on the design including but not limited to; graphics, signage, text and content messaging, lighting, display systems, background music, flooring transitions and finishes. Follow Me on Instagram At www.Instgram.com/gymdesigner Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.fitnesscenterdesign.com
Hunting for the perfect finance? Keeping your gym equipment up to date will assist in attracting and retaining members. To sustain a fitness business in this modern, fast paced, industry you need the very latest equipment and an environment to keep your members engaged. CF Capital Plc specialise in all aspects of commercial finance. Whether your requirement is financial assistance with leasing of fitness equipment or general building refurbishments, we have a wide range of options to suit any budget.
We can finance a diverse range of equipment or requirements essential to any gym, our list includes: FREE WEIGHTS, ROWING MACHINES, EXERCISE BIKES, RUNNING MACHINES, RESISTANCE MACHINES, SPINNING BIKES, FLOORING, AIR CONDITIONING, EPOS SYSTEMS, MEMBERSHIP SOFTWARE SYSTEMS & MUCH MORE.
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Who you gonna call? By Guy Griffiths, Author of Stick Around (strategies to keep your gym members motivated) time and effort but is worth it for the return. The wow factor of a call will be appreciated as great customer service, and shared with family and friends. Sometimes members won’t answer because they don’t recognise your number (and sometimes because they do!), but you can leave a message, and show that you’ve reached out to them personally. If the first time you call a member is about being absent, a missed payment, or cancellation, it’s going to be a more difficult call. So, put in the groundwork now, and you’ll reduce the chance of making those difficult calls in future! When a member joins, you might want to tell them they’ll be getting a 7-day call so they’re expecting it. The phone has become such a vital part of our lives, we sometimes need reminding where it started. Your members might have an app (or several) that track their fitness, enable them to book classes, stay in touch with their PT, or receive a reminder about their next appointment. But did you know you can also make and receive phone calls? Despite privacy concerns and worries over app addiction, the fitness industry is racing along on the wave of social media and internet, particularly for sales and marketing, but also for member engagement. In September 2017, the average person scrolled through 300 feet of social feed per day [socialmediaweek], which is the 54
same size as the Statue of Liberty. (The article talks about engagement in a faster flowing social stream). I’m a big fan of technology, and have published some compelling case studies showing the positive effect of apps and software on member retention. But I want to show you that we shouldn’t forget the old methods too. I encourage you to take a step back and make phone calls to your members. Phone conversations are like hugs; there are not enough of them these days. We rely on email, messages, or push notifications, which have their place, but they just don’t have the same effect as a phone conversation, or even a well-intended, succinct voicemail. In the same way that a postcard or letter can have a bigger effect due to its rarity, a phone call will stand out. It takes
Start with why Before you start to dial, think about why you’re calling the member. What are they going to get out of it? How will you make them feel more motivated after the call, and what will they tell their friends? You need to make the call positive and think about giving rather than getting… after all, the person you’re about to speak with is paying your wages (even if they’re absent or about to leave). Give them some of that amazing customer service we were talking about last month!
7-day call Many organisations claim to make the new member welcome call at 7-days, or sometimes in the first few weeks.
Calling cancellations gives you the chance to get the member back, or at the very least, get some feedback that you might use to save a member next month. Try to make time to call them all; the more you call, the more you’ll learn, and you’ll get the chance to save more members. If you’re leaving a message, use a checklist to make sure you’re concise, mention all the relevant points, and give them a number to call back (preferably the number you’re calling from), so you can have the conversation. Follow-up with an email or SMS if it’s a critical call.
Who’s gonna make the call? Very few do it well, or consistently, and that’s a great loss. As a gym owner, you must call your new members in the first couple of weeks as a common courtesy. Thank them for joining, ask how they’re getting on, have they had an induction/booked a class/downloaded your app. Check their expectations are being met (or exceeded), talk about their goals and the staff and members they’ve met so far. If there are any issues, establish how you can sort them out. Make a note to call them back to check the issue has been resolved. If the conversation’s going well, ask when they’re bringing a friend, or check they don’t want to cancel.
Absentee calls Some people still advocate not waking sleeping members because they might cancel. They are wrong. The trick is
to call members who are recently absent, rather than those who’ve not visited for years. We offer member communications services to message absentees, but phone calls are by far the best way to get them back. A small percentage of absentees will cancel, but the rest always appreciate the call. In recent analysis of over 1,500 absentee gym calls we found the word ‘back’ mentioned in 76% of calls, ‘busy’ and ‘thanks’ was said in 53%, ‘soon’ 34%, and ‘away’ 31%. There’s a big drop off, and lots more common comments before you get to ‘suspension’ at 11%.
Finally, who is the best person to make each call? Should the 7-day call be made by reception or the salesperson, or is the instructor best placed? It depends on your club, but the best person is the one most likely to actually do it. Which is often you, the gym owner. So, don’t be a stranger, or allow your members to become ghosts. Pick up the phone, make the call, and really get in touch with your members today.
Cancellations Let’s bust another myth; not all members who want to leave hate you. Some can be saved, but if you don’t call them, you’re unlikely to save them.
Guy Griffiths is a coach to independent gym owners, and a member retention specialist. His mission is to help more people to be fitter and healthier by turning clubs into highly successful businesses with super loyal members. Guy co-founded The Collective - a platform for fitness professionals to share, collaborate and grow. Find out more at facebook.com/groups/ thefitlinkscollective. Book a coaching call with him at ggfit.com/gom April 2020 55
A SMARTER, MORE STABLE TAKE ON HIGH INTENSITY GLUTE TRAINING The Matrix Glute Trainer uses advanced biomechanics to maximise activation of the glutes and hamstrings, mimicking bar-hip thrusting without the difficulty and discomfort of free weights. Accessible design and refined ergonomics accommodate users of all sizes, while maximum resistance (227 kg) and band hooks challenge even the most powerful athletes.
Discover more, and see the Glute Trainer in action at matrixfitness.com
E v o lv i n g t h e combat class experience With Colin Lee Berryâ€™s Street Defence By Colin Lee Berry Following over 12 yearsâ€™ experience of delivering Street Defence classes, workshops, and courses across the UK, Street Defence is now a CIMSPA endorsed self-defence/fitness programme and is in the process of growing partnerships with gyms across the UK.
What is Street Defence? Street Defence is a self-defence/ fitness system that offers a completely accessible experience for people of all ages and abilities looking to learn how to defend themselves in a variety of street situations. In these globally uncertain times, our purpose is to empower people to understand how to protect themselves in street situations by helping them to develop the skills and confidence needed to be street-smart hence our slogan 'Defence Not Attack'. There are many martial arts training models available that in reality require years of commitment to master one particular style. Martial Arts classes were taken up by approximately 232 thousand people in the UK in 2018. However many people that I have spoken to over the years, do not find many martial art classes accessible due to the intimidation factor and not wanting to buy the outfits etc. Many people just want to learn enough in defending themselves and love ones. Due to the current climate with crime April 2020
"This system is easy to learn, practical in its application, builds confidence and I found it to be invaluable when faced with violent confrontations" Paul – MET Police Sergeant "A well put together system". Peter Consterdine - Joint Director & Chief Instructor of The British Combat Association
on the streets and bullying across the UK on the increase, self-defence has never been more important as a life skill but is something missing within the Health & Fitness industry. Street Defence’s aim is to bridge the gap between the health club/gym chain and self-defence.
learning to defend themselves.
How does Street Defence stand out?
The first self-defence/fitness concept to enter directly into the Health & Fitness Industry
As the founder, I have created the Street Defence system to incorporate elements of the many martial arts and self defence systems that I have studied over the years. This is delivered in a fun, easy-to-learn and accessible way for people of all ages. Also, as a personal trainer over 20 years, I have also added a functional fitness element which also reinforces the techniques learnt within the system. Street Defence is a licensed concept which includes staff instructor course training, so the model is designed to be taught as a licensed concept to reach people on a national and international scale. One of our core values is that we believe in making self-defence fun and inspire confidence in a supportive setting. We also strive to make the classes as non-intimidating as possible. This achieved by the way the classes are taught all the way through to the colours of the instructor tops. Street Defence classes use techniques that are quick and easy to learn and no previous martial arts/self-defence knowledge is required. Classes also integrate a conditioning element for those looking to get in shape whilst 58
The Street Defence concept is constantly evolving. I believe that no system should ever stand still. If we find a technique that is more
What do gyms/health clubs receive with this concept?
Teaching plans for – weekly classes (children & adults), optional grading days, workshops, corporate team building events Access to the Street Defence Instructor portal via the Street Defence website
"Colin's Street Defence service was absolutely ideal for what I was looking for. I hadn't taken any Martial Arts classes before and was looking for someone to teach me practical self-defence skills that would be easy to learn and effective. I was quickly impressed with Colin's unique system that combines the most practical elements of various Martial Arts forms, helping you to know how to defend yourself in any street situation. Training with Colin has been a really enjoyable experience - it has built my confidence and most importantly, has equipped me with invaluable skills in self-defence. I would highly recommend his services!" Tania Diggory - Dance Instructor, Founder & Managing Director of United Grooves
Potential to white label the concept to fit in with their current branding
What do people say that have studied Street Defence? “Colin has worked at Haileybury for two years delivering a five week self-defence course for year 11 students. He has an excellent relationship with the pupils, balancing the informality of the nature of this type of session with the need for there to be order and clarity of purpose. The students enjoy the sessions and gain a great deal from them. Colin is reliable, punctual, and well organised. He comes highly recommended.” Ann Spavin - Teacher at Haileybury and Imperial Service College
How do I find out more? Contact: Colin Lee Berry (Street Defence Director) Tel: 07919350290 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.streetdefenceuk.com
10 BEST DUMBBELLS REVIEWED IN 2020 – COMPLETE GUIDE AND REVIEW You can decide on an individual free weight or a fundamental set. Another alternative is movable dumbbells, which give a few unique loads in one advantageous place. In case you’re thinking about a unit you’ll need to remember factors, for example, the material, the instrument that holds the loads set up, for example, a clasp, and the general weight limit. Notwithstanding your wellness level, you will profit most from having both lighter and heavier arrangements of dumbbells to use amid an exercise. The heavier loads enable the form to bulk while the lighter loads bolster ligaments and joints. At present, everyone is over the long haul to keep up a solid way of life.
So, let’s get on with the review… Even though simple, dumbbells are multi-functional workout accessories that work well for both male and female workout enthusiasts. Apart from toning triceps, biceps, and upper body muscles in general, they are also perfect for doing squats and fat burning lower body exercises such as leg raises to name a few. Dumbbells are among the most widely recognised exercise hardware pieces on the planet and for valid justifications thinking about how oversimplified yet
profoundly productive they are. You can discover dumbbells in any open or home rec centre on the planet, for the most part, the standard sort that a significant number of us are now acclimated with. Nonetheless, the ascent in the fame of customisable dumbbells discloses to us that individuals are getting to be mindful that albeit genuinely fundamental, dumbbells can likewise be very flexible. Presently, we should call attention to that discovering great flexible dumbbells isn’t actually simple, not with the wide assortment accessible available today.
At the point when the word solid is specified, generally what sticks in our brains is an adjusted eating routine. Other than this, practising is an essential errand encouraging whole body wellness and action. Flexible dumbbells contribute working out: give quality preparing encounters. Albeit, numerous would loathe their utilisation believing it’s about muscle development. A quality instructional meeting is critical. They enhance the body adjust, consume calories; upgrade weight reduction and for the most part, you get an ailment free surety. Several professional-grade brands are attainable in Web stores. Even though most work great, read on for a detailed analysis of the 10 best dumbbells sets in the market that offer users value for years April 2020 59
Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
Do you enjoy doing regular exercises? Are you looking for a well-designed dumbbell set that supports a range of routines and exercises? This 105-pound adjustable dumbbell set by Yes4All might be the best product for you. It is affordable, made of gym-quality cast iron, and has solid and textured chrome handles that stay comfortable and non-slip whilst working out. With each purchase, you get four 2.5-pound plates, sixteen 15-pound plates, four 1.25-pound plates, four 5-pound collars, and 1.25-inch bars. Yes4All is a lot of 2 dumbbells that are made by utilising a fantastic cast press. It has a 16-inch finished chrome handle that ensures you have a non-slip and secure hold. Besides, its strung finishes have star-bolt collars to permit helpful plate alterations. It is an ideal thing for individuals who are keen on quality activities, center wellness, and overwhelming lifts. These are dumbbells that are customisable up to 105 pounds influencing them to ideal for the individuals who work out to pick up muscle. The collars are strung to safely fit the handles, and the chrome handles are finished for grasp. The 50-pound set accompanies four collars at 8 pounds, four 3 pound plates, and four 7.5 pound plates. The openings on the weight plates fit the standard bar with a breadth of 1 inch.
Unipack Adjustable Dumbbells Kits
Unipack is a pair of two 100-pound adjustable dumbbell kits made of high quality cast iron. This kit contains eight 10-pound plates, two 2.5-pound plates, two 5-pound plates, and two 5-pound collars. It also has textured solid chrome handles that do not slip not irritate users whilst in use, and a simple no-tool system that sets up in minutes. Its adjustable design supports custom workouts. Threaded edges guarantee a secure fit, while itâ€™s safe and easy to use design makes it a must-have by all workout enthusiasts. Unipack Adjustable is the best decision for the general population who are searching for a reasonable choice close to 100 pounds. This movable free weight set accompanies four 1.25 pound plates, four 2.5 pound plates, and sixteen 5-pound plates. So as to anchor this item, the organisation has included two screws collars. The plates are produced using high caliber strong cast press. Besides, there is a chrome covering the free weightâ€™s handle. I wonâ€™t go into the particular measurements of this movable dumbbells demonstrate, in light of the fact that they are to some degree variable because of the accentuation on plate increases. Despite everything they come in at under a foot and a half, so they stay smaller and sensible as a decision for restricted exercise center space.
Pros: Well-designed dumbbell. Affordable Chrome handle.
Pros: Simple to use. Robust Good max weight per hand at 100 pounds.
Cons: Uncomfortable grip.
Cons: Minor paint flaking issues.
Universal Selectorized 445 Dumbbells
Universal Selectorized 445 by Nautilus is a gym-grade exercise accessory designed for use in home environments. It is affordable, attainable as a pack of two adjustable (in 5-pound increments) 45-pound dumbbells that supports an array of exercise routines, and has a compact and space saving that does not clutter space when not in use. Each dumbbell is ergonomically-design for comfort and better control. The thermoplastic rubber used to manufacture handles is non-slip, while the workout guide that people get has detailed instructions and impressive workout routines. Pros: Designed for use in homes. Very affordable. Very comfortable. Cons:: The grip of the handle is not good.
CAP Barbell 40-pound Adjustable Dumbbell Set
SPRI Deluxe Vinyl Dumbbells are affordable and attainable in an array of interesting colours.
Pros: Non-slippery. Universal design. Available in interesting colours.
Designed for doing light and high-impact exercises, this dumbbell set by j/fit is a pack of two 32-pound dumbbells that serve users well for years.
Cap Barbell is a reputable brand, best liked for the quality workout accessories it has manufactured over the years. In the exercise niche, for instance, this 40-pound set is among the best around.
Da Vinci Dumbbells
They are durable, manufactured using durable neoprene-coated steel, and are attainable as pairs of 8-pound, 5-pound, and 3-pound plates that boost their versatility. Even though cheap, this dumbbell set is functional.
Dumbbells are rust and maintenancefree. They have comfortable handles with ergonomic grips for better control.
It is easy to use and comes with a sturdy triangular-shaped storage rack.
They are also adjustable, have threaded collars for safety, and rubber trim collars that protect floors from damage. With each purchase, you get five 5-pound plates, four 2.5-pound plates, 2 handles, four collars, and a plastic storage case. Pros: Very comfortable. Simple classic design. Cons: Expensive
SPRI Deluxe Vinyl Dumbbells
These hardcore dumbbell weights are intended for substantial preparing. They will enhance your stamina levels and help you condition the entire body from making a beeline for a toe.
If you are among those looking for new dumbbells and functionality and ease of use to your list of wants, Da Vinci is a pair of neoprene dumbbells that meet this threshold. Each dumbbell is durable, slip-proof, and has a unique hexagonal design that does not roll on floors when in use or during storage. They also have comfortable and wellgripped handles, universal designs that are perfect for fitness and conditioning, and colourful themes.
SPRI Deluxe is a set of two vinyl dumbbells that have taken the concept of rubber resistance to a new level. Their non-slip vinyl coating, for instance, is comfortable, non-marring, and therefore, ideal for use on delicate floors. Their universal design serves step and aerobic workout enthusiasts well, while their ability to improve the intensity of workouts makes them ideal sculpting and calorie burning accessories.
j/fit Dumbbell Set
This neoprene secured dumbbell can offer the purchaser what they require. They have a without slip grasp for solace and wellbeing. It has the hexagonal shape for comfort from rolling and is sold in sets.
You have to attempt these dumbbells with twofold neoprene covering that wonâ€™t scratch or piece off. The dumbbell set is made of strong iron to give it a tough nature that will keep going for quite a while. Each set has an alternate shading to enable you to distinguish the correct size you require effortlessly. Additionally, this set likewise accompanies a sturdy rack for simple stockpiling and to keep the place clean. Pros: Designed for light exercise. It is durable. Very easy to use. Cons: Expensive
These dumbbells offer the purchaser an awesome wellness moulding choice. Pros: Slip-proof. Durable Well-gripped handle. Cons: None April 2020
Tone Fitness Hourglass Shaped Dumbbell Set
Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell
Considered among the best in this niche, Bowflex SelectTech 1090 is a single adjustable dumbbell that adjusts in five-pound increments. It is easy to set up, recommended for strength and body toning exercises and has durable moulding that guarantees smooth and quiet lift off whilst in use. Recommended for both novice and professional workout enthusiasts, Tone Fitness is a set of two hourglassshaped dumbbells, each weighing 20-pounds. Although non-adjustable, both dumbbells work well. Their compact design is travel worthy and their ability to support a range of exercise routines invaluable, particularly to those that do strengthtraining exercises often. You also get a storage rack. This is an arrangement of mindblowing esteem. Ideal for a purchaser on a financial plan, it offers flexibility in this bundle. These dumbbells are extraordinary for indoor and outside exercises on account of the neoprene material. It has an hourglass shape for the sharp purchaser.
The Bowflex dumbbells are no doubt, probably the best movable dumbbells the market brings to the table as of right now. Because of their flexible plan, they empower you to quickly switch between activities at some random time. Strangely enough, these dumbbells join 15 sets of loads into one utilising a novel dial framework. In the meantime, they wipe out the need to utilise different dumbbells because of their adaptable nature, which is certainly something you need from a lot of flexible dumbbells. You also get a durable Secret of the 4-Step Rep DVD to get you started. Pros: Comfortable grip. Flexible setting. Extremely simple weight.
It comes furnished with the rack and three sets of dumbbells. There is a set that is 2 pounds, 3 pounds, and 5 pounds.
Cons: Fragile in some ways.
Pros: Very professional Compact design Made of great material
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
Cons: Slightly expensive
With an original model, you will also transition easily between exercises, and eliminate the need for multiple dumbbells that often clutter living spaces and or gyms. Bowflex offers a free Secrets of the 4 Step Rep workout DVD with this set. The 552 changing framework is magnificently done when contrasted with other flexible dumbbells in our rundown. Set the weight you need, turn a dial to bolt the dumbbell, and you’re ready. Dial based frameworks are a portion of my top picks, as they speed the procedure of change up and don’t require fiddling with gets and hooks. The grasp of Bowflex 552 is both exceptionally all around moulded for the hand and fixed with studded edges to enhance hold quality. This is a stage up from the “metal grate” style of finished grasp, as it’s at the same time more agreeable to use for delayed periods and similarly as secure as the more conventional choice. It has a huge effect amid a long exercise when my grasp tires, or in case I’m completing an activity where my hold isn’t exactly as solid. Be that as it may, there are a few disadvantages of Bowflex 552. Other than the high value, I was astounded that something made out of cast iron could be so delicate. I am not precisely inclined to dropping my weights, but rather mishaps dependably happen. The dial component is delicate to stun, so if dropped from too high or time and again, they can be harmed. Luckily, Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells accompany a multiyear restricted guarantee. In the event that you are searching for some genuine exercise, these are the best movable dumbbells for lifting weights.
Top of the list, Bowflex SelectTech 552 is a pack of two 52.5-pound dumbbells that adjust in 2.5-pound increments (up to the first 25 pounds). Each dumbbell is durable, dynamic, and has a simple yet well-designed system that accommodates a range of exercises. 62
Pros: Very comfortable. Great design. Simple use. Cons: None
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Rowing, by Rower: Rowing burns more calories than running, so get ready to stick your oar!! air-based resistance give off the most noise, while rowers offering magnetic resistance will be quieter. Many machines offer a combination of both, which can enable a greater array of workouts. There are also water-based machines, which offer a greater sense of realism and minimise noise thanks to the wooden construction. Last but certainly not least, there is a wild range of price-tags to consider. You can spend anywhere between £250 and £6,500, though you can get the world’s top-selling machine for under £1,000. So you really get what you pay for in the end.
Integrating rowing into your workout can rapidly improve fitness, burn fat and build lean muscle. Studies have shown it provides a better cardio workout than a treadmill or exercise bike session, burning almost 400 calories in half-an-hour with a full-body workout that’s great for tone too.
rowing machine that’s perfect for you. However, there are many key features to consider before you splash out on a machine for dry land.
Jumping on a rowing machine doesn’t necessarily mean shelling out for a costly gym membership either. There are plenty of budget and space-friendly options for bringing some lung-busting boat race training home to you.
It’s also important to consider where you plan to keep your rowing machine when you’re working out and when you’re not. Some rowing machines can be folded up for compact storage, while others require adequate floor space. Noise is also a consideration if your machine will live, and be used, in the main areas in your house or flat
Whether you’re new to rowing, or experienced with the oars and seeking additional out-of-water training ahead of the competition, there’s a home 64
What training features does it have? How much information does the display provide? Are there means of connecting a heart rate sensor or to fitness apps in order to gain more insights into your workout?
Traditionally, rowing machines with
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IN RESPONSE TO A CRISIS 007
WILD TRAINING MONTHLY ARTICLE FROM JAMES GRIFFITHS INDUSTRY INSIGHTS - EDUCATION - PERSONAL TRAINING
THIS MONTH'S FEATURES
COVID - 19 Gym Closure What Have We Done? Potential To Transform
Creation of Wild Live April 2020
COVID-19 THE POTENTIAL TO KILL OUR INDUSTRY? On Friday the 20th of March, with only a few hours notice we were told to close the Wild Training Gym to support the fight against the Covid - 19 crisis. Every gym in the country was fearing that this was coming. How could we possibly hope to keep our business alive if all our customers cancel their direct debits because the gyms are closed? I have seen some horrible numbers, like small sub 500 member independent gyms losing over 140 members in a day.
There are plenty of gyms that have lost or had to pause all of their memberships. Our industry really is built around a monthly income. That DD run is everything, so to lose it for even 1 or 2 months can destroy even established gyms as they aren’t cheap businesses to run.
"WE LOVE OUR JOBS TOO MUCH, AND OUR MEMBERS LOVE WILD TRAINING TOO MUCH FOR US TO EVER EVEN THINK ABOUT GIVING UP"
A brand new interactive workout experience called Wild Live where we deliver both group exercise classes and personal training. We have invested in technology that gives our members high quality video streaming that not only lets them see and hear the instructor, but we can see and hear them. This is the only way to get uncompromised interactive coached exercises sessions that I have seen during isolation. The motivation. The results. The fun.
Personal trainers lose their place of work. Their customers are self-isolating and because of social distancing means you can’t responsibly ask people to come out to a park to exercise with you. Zero technical training and a saturated market makes it very hard to instantly transition your business to online workouts, so for a lot of personal trainers, most of which are self employed this is a very scary time. We could have let this be the end of the Wild Training Gym, the end of our service to our gym members, and potentially the end of the Wild Training brand, but in true Wild Training style, we worked and innovated like no one else in the Fitness Industry can.
So what have we done?
"IN 2 DAYS, OVER THAT WEEKEND, WE SUCCESSFULLY TRANSFORMED OUR BOUTIQUE FITNESS BUSINESS INTO A DIGITAL ONLINE GYM"
We launched a new class time table, 14 new classes specifically designed for home training with minimal equipment, all with completely new programming and descriptions ready to be booked on to from our Wild Training app. Classes have a maximum capacity of 7 people, so our members get plenty of attention from our trainers. Fun, social and our trainers always bring the motivation to the live classes. There is a sense of accountability. You book a class. We call you. You don’t have to rely on your own motivation to press play on an online workout video.
www.wildtraining.co.uk | www.wildonlineworkouts.com | James@wildtraining.co.uk
Wild Live Classes are in a different league to online workout videos and the video system makes Zoom conference calling look like caveman tech.
"SO THE WILD TRAINING GYM IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS, AS A BRAND NEW DIGITAL ONLINE GYM, WITH ALL THE SERVICES YOU'D GET AT THE GYM THAT WAS VOTED BEST GYM IN BUCKS" Covid - 19 - The potential to TRANSFORM the fitness industry? When Covid-19 ends, and it will end, everyone will value their health and fitness more. Value the freedom we have to be active and appreciate the joy in movement. We are being forced to appreciate how much social spaces add to our quality of life. That all sounds like good news for the gym and fitness industry. The impact this virus will have on life and the economy is terrible, but I think most people are already aware and anxious about the impact Covid-19 will have on the mental health of our world.
In the week after we were told to close our gym doors we lost less than 8% of our gym membership, but the thing that really shocked us is we were selling new memberships at our full £55 per month price by Monday.
"SHUT YOUR GYM FRIDAY AND THREE DAYS LATER START SELLING NEW MEMBERSHIPS!" When our gym opens back up we will keep Wild Live going. Currently we have 8 trainers set up who can deliver professional Wild Training classes from home. That means we can run 8 classes simultaneously so our membership capacity has more than doubled. We’ve also had feedback from members that simply think the Wild Live Classes are better for them. It’s easier for them to wake up, do an awesome workout before they start work, all because they don’t even have to travel to the gym.
The fitness industry is perfectly positioned to support people get back to their health and feeling good about themselves. Nothing is more powerful for your mental and emotional wellbeing than physical activity, and we know people need our help to get an effective fitness routine into their lifestyle. This week has shown me that a digital live service enhances what our gym can offer to our members, and dramatically increases the reach of our gym. We can even have people join our classes from Australia! 68
They see no drop off in the quality of the instruction they get from our coaches and so far everyone has been really impressed by the creativity and variety of our programming.
www.wildtraining.co.uk | www.wildonlineworkouts.com | James@wildtraining.co.uk
"MAYBE THAT IS WHY GETTING THE BOUTIQUE FITNESS EXPERIENCE ONLINE IS SO HARD. YOU NEED THE QUALITY. THE PROGRAMMING. TRAINERS THAT UNDERSTAND GOOD PROGRAMMING AND HOW TO COACH IT"
We set them up with everything they need to coach to our standards and deliver high quality interactive video exercise sessions and they benefit from our training and our client base.
I’ve said that for a long time, I think it’s a mistake that big gyms invest more in their facilities than their staff. New facilities and equipment will always become old. Your staff being the best trainers in the area will never get old.
Support our community. This is not a time to give up on fitness. You don't need to feel isolated and alone. We have created an online community to keep exercising at home fun. All the motivation of a gym class without leaving your home.
Now that gym facilities are closed, having well trained staff - and maybe the real key is staff who are aligned with your brand and are just as motivated and passionate as you are is more important than ever.
It's such an important time to stay active and healthy.
The great thing about our new technology is it also enables me to train my coaches online effectively. This saves us all time and ensures our members continuously get new exciting training from top level professionals.
Testimonial from Kate
The other thing Wild Live has allowed me to do is recruit great trainers that aren’t local to the Wild Training Gym.
We already have a lot of trainers booking 1-1 and small group personal training as well as specialist seminars.
What is our focus right now?
Try our Wild Live Classes. The feedback from our members has been incredible.
Just did my first Wild Live Class from home. Thanks Kurt Hicks for your awesome instructions. The technology was really easy to use, and a great workout even without any kit! James Griffiths and all at Wild Training - thank you!!”
www.wildtraining.co.uk | www.wildonlineworkouts.com | James@wildtraining.co.uk
Testimonial from Emma "Wild Training are doing an amazing job to keep us all moving during this lockdown! I really struggle with motivation to do exercise even if I have a home video to follow, so having a live class that I book on to, that is in my diary makes a huge difference!
This will keep up my motivation to train in between the classes too. Thank you for keeping Wild going in exceptional circumstances, I’m really grateful”
I've done two now and am super impressed at the set up and quality.
OVER A WEEKEND WE HAVE SUCCESSFULLY DIGITALISED THE BOUTIQUE GYM EXPERIENCE AND TAKEN THE GYM VOTED BEST IN BUCKS ONLINE. CAN WE HELP YOU DO THE SAME WITH YOUR FITNESS BUSINESS?
www.wildtraining.co.uk | www.wildonlineworkouts.com | James@wildtraining.co.uk
A NEW WAVE OF LOCKDOWN INSPIRED GYM MEMBERS POST COVID-19? Photo Credit: Simon Howard www.snhfoto.com.gdoc
By Joey Bull
I canâ€™t help but see the irony. People like me, with a lifetime of trying to instruct, inspire, cajole, inform and motivate the public to be fit and healthy; appearing in magazines for 25 years, on TV, radio, writing columns in papers and fitness publications, writing a book, releasing a library of workout DVDs and generally doing what it takes to spread a valuable and positive message and imageâ€Ś Yet takes the closure of gyms, sports clubs, leisure centres and activity hubs to pique peoples interest in fitness and trigger them to do something about it. As I write this we are a little over a week into Covid-19 lockdown. The terrain of our lives has changed in every sense. Work, home and social life have gone through a mangler. I have two children, my partner has the small matter of five. That makes nine of us to feed three times a day, keep an eye on, sort laundry for, find shoes and oversee the homeschooling - and all seven of them are school age! Oh yes, and we are living in a temporary set-up while we renovate a new family home. Good timing eh? But I am lucky that I work in a field that is important, now more than ever. Not only that, thanks to modern tech, I still have a way of delivering my work - a luxury many people do not. And April 2020
more familiar format? And what of the gyms? Will the nation’s gym facilities welcome all their old clientele back in a tidal wave of reunion PLUS eager new converts to working out? It’s no secret that some novice exercisers are put off joining gyms because of the intimidation factor. They feel they need to be fit before they join. Well now a lot of them will be!
Photo Credit: Simon Howard www.snhfoto.com.gdoc
thankfully I was already set up for and practised in the art of broadcasting remote sessions and classes. I’m not claiming I was ahead of the curve through any outstanding vision or gift for prescience, it was a basic necessity, nothing more and nothing less. I’ve had international clients for many years and for over a decade I lived in the Swiss Alps before moving back to the UK in 2019. All of which means clients and global geographic distances are something I am used to working around. Suddenly it doesn’t matter whether a person is 12,000 miles away or 1,2oo feet - the same approach is required. Although in some spaces a flat roof and a loud hailer will do a reasonable job. Like many other trainers I am reaching new people, getting whole families involved, turning people onto morning bursts of activity perhaps for the first time and, seemingly, I’m part of a new national consciousness about fitness and exercise at home.
So we have a clear upsurge in home exercising and armies of people now hooking up with people like me to energize and entertain them and, let's face it, give them something to do. It has just been announced that £195 million of National Lottery funding is being channelled into the sports and physical activity sectors of which a £55 million portion will support “new and innovative ways to keep people active”. This is wonderful for now but what lies beyond? These are uniquely difficult times but the challenge lies ahead. The country and the planet will be quite different when we emerge blinking into a post-coronavirus world. Some form of ‘normality’ will have to be reverted to efficiently and effectively. And with that normality comes a potentially huge new audience turned on and tuned in to exercise. Will fitness professionals hold onto an expanded client base or will those people all fade away once the end of the free session, school runs kick in and work adopts it
Will gyms be proactive when it comes to capitalizing on what could be three or four months of a nation doing physical jerks behind private closed doors? What forms will we action and initiatives take? Surely it can’t be enough to open the doors and carry on as we were just a few weeks ago? People, companies, corporations are currently stepping up to help out, offer expertise, free services and supplies. Expectations are likely to be different alongside the possible cultural shift towards physical exercise. Families are joining my morning workouts as they are many others, and some of the most rewarding feedback comes from the kids. Do we need to focus on family fitness classes, facilities and events? Another factor for consideration is that the online PT sessions and group workouts being enjoyed by millions each day are largely equipment-less and low-tech. We’re likely to have weeks and months to think about and plan for ‘normality’. We will be foolish not to take learnings from limiting times that could be profoundly expansive for our industry. www.joeybull.com
Whilst there is no defense against Covid-19 and no cure there is little doubt that being in your healthiest, most fortified state is the best way to face down the virus if you do contract it. In fact, the Centre of Perioperative Care has stated that people should prepare to fight coronavirus like they would surgery, by being as fit and healthy as they can be. Deputy Director Scarlett McNally pointed out that the CPOC Fitter, Better, Sooner advice is “immediately applicable to Covid-19 infection”. 72
Photo Credit: Simon Howard www.snhfoto.com.gdoc
Fitness Business Survival and Minimising Cancellations By Guy Griffiths, Author of Stick Around (strategies to keep your gym members motivated)
The global fitness industry has taken a massive hit from COVID-19. But health and fitness are now trending keywords, and everyone is talking about being more active, from Boris Johnson to Joe Wicks. If youâ€™re ready, being a gym owner or personal trainer is about to become the new astronaut - one of the best jobs ever! Gyms have had to close their doors, but the transition to online digital solutions is incredible. The industry was slowly heading in this direction, but now our hand has been forced, and weâ€™re adapting quickly to change. At the same time as adopting tech solutions, we also need to keep a positive mindset, be more kind, and talk more. Membership sales focus is out of the window. Now is the time to work harder than ever on your member retention. Here are 3 tips for fitness business survival and coming out the other side fighting fit with as many members as possible.
1. Member engagement You will have emailed all your members by now. Many (but not all) will have received that email, some will have April 2020
exercising with their partners or kids? Track these challenges as simply as possible; self-reported via social media, for example, then set up and share weekly leaderboards.
read it, and a few will have replied. Check your email stats – open rates, and either resend or send via another channel (sms, mail) to the remainder, if you can. Email can be very onedirectional communication. You can make it more interactive by asking questions or including surveys, but response rates are usually low. You’ll have also made some announcements on social media and got some comments and feedback. Social can be more interactive, but you’re still reaching a small subset of your members, and typically those are the engaged ones! You need to talk to as many of your members as possible. Ask them what they want of you at this time, and listen to their feedback now more than ever. Are the classes you’re putting out good for them right now, or just satisfying your instructors? Online / App based workouts Do they want workouts or programmes for home, and how would they like to receive them (app, email, or post?) Are they missing other members, and would a fitness challenge help them connect? Again, should this be on the app, or would a WhatsApp group or facebook page work better for them? There is a plethora of fitness apps and digital solutions out there, which your most dedicated members will have already found, signed up for, and be engaged with (so find out what these are from them!) But your less engaged members will need something simpler, and they’re the ones that need extra 74
support to ensure they return after this is over. It might be as simple as a call or SMS once a week to check in on them; easier, cheaper, and simpler for the member too! Challenges Set-up some simple challenges for your members to join and feel connected to your club and other members. Distance run, Calories burned, and Classes completed are all simple, but think outside the box. How about sending a protein bar (short expiry) to everyone who logs over 3 workouts per week, a coffee voucher (long expiry) for all those who upload over 3 exercise selfies a week, or a certificate to people who log over 10 family workouts,
Stay in touch Some members will need more support than others. Your club was their stress relief, so they might just want a chat, to let off steam, or to share their worries with you. Personal trainers are the modern bartenders, to some extent! Find out who is talking to other members, or if they are missing friends from the club, and see if you can put them in touch. You’ll get a bunch more feedback and ideas, get closer to your members, and might even adapt your member journey for the better as we come out the other side.
2. Staff engagement As well as talking to your members, this is a key time to ask your staff how you can help them, and how they want to help you. Lots of staff will need a sense of purpose at this time. Do they want to run online classes, would they rather setup workouts and programmes for members who need them, or do they want to build and manage (simple!) fitness challenges. Some will miss the member interaction (but not all!) They might like to help
possible before deciding on your options. If the majority want to keep paying, or to freeze, then there's your default. Next you must choose what other options you give them. Can they still pay in full (if so, what do they get in return), or will you take a small monthly fee? Your choices might also be defined by what you can offer in return, such as online classes, workouts through an app, and access to instructors or challenges. Or as mentioned above, regular, tailored touch points, or phone calls!
with member calls, perhaps with a basic script, but definitely with a log of calls made and feedback garnered. Finally, this is also an excellent time for personal development – would any staff like to complete some online training, become a mental health firstaider, for example?
3. Minimising Cancellations You might have frozen all memberships or had some great messages of support from your members saying they're going to keep paying. But some of your members will be cancelling without your knowledge or communication... how are you tracking this, and what's next in the process. Should you freeze Gym Memberships? There has been a lot of debate on membership freeze, understandably. Many large operators are doing the right thing and freezing or suspending all memberships, since members can't visit their centres, and while they provide an app, it’s largely self-service.
Reducing prices – the freeze charge If you decide not to charge full price still, then a freeze charge is a good idea. This shows you who's still engaged, or who's dropped off... if you just suspend all your members payments, then you will naturally lose a few when you resume, but you won't know until it happens. Monitor your DDs Whatever you decide, keep an eye on your Direct Debit reports. Full-service payment companies can provide a report of any cancelled instructions before it comes to payment day. You can jump on the phone to these members next day (assuming your DD provider isn’t doing this for you) and have a chat with the member, check how they are doing, see if they know what you’re still offering, and would they rather freeze or suspend payments.
your sales target spreadsheet clean, and set a target for cancellations, or saved cancellations. Timing is critical. Monitor your cancellation attempts daily or weekly, and try to talk to every member. Show that you care, get their feedback (there’s lot to learn from leavers, so make the most of this!), and see how many you can turn around. If you monitor this properly, you’ll soon learn what works, how to talk members into staying, and who’s best at it. Stand by Your Gym As an industry, we are in a great position to help everyone to be active through this crisis, and come out the other side as the good guys, and a part of the solution. You need to consider your needier members now more than ever. Talk to as many members as you can, every day and every week. Talk to your staff too, and check and action your cancellations regularly. Reach out to them, ask them to “Stand by Your Gym” and they will stick by you and bring their friends with them when they return. Keep a positive mindset, be kind, and let’s talk more! Guy Griffiths is a coach to independent gym owners, and a member retention specialist. His mission is to help more people to be fitter and healthier by turning clubs into highly successful businesses with super loyal members. Guy co-founded The Collective - a
If you’re with a gateway provider, it’s harder to get this information – we only really know they’ve gone when the payment fails.
platform for fitness professionals
Members are going to cancel It’s a fact. You might as well wipe
Book a coaching call with him at
to share, collaborate and grow. Find out more at facebook.com/groups/ thefitlinkscollective. ggfit.com/gom
Smaller operators and independent clubs are also doing the right thing, and taking membership payments to keep their businesses afloat. Many members at these clubs are saying they still want to pay because of the connection they have. It's a really difficult call, made tougher by the increased stress levels and financial hardship that nearly everyone is under at the moment. There's no right answer, it depends on your club and your members. What's important is to communicate with (talk to) as many members as April 2020
ARE YOU COVERED??? Whether you have been in the fitness industry for a few weeks or many years, insurance is an important subject. It’s one of those things that you hope you’ll never need but will be glad if something goes wrong. With many different policies available offering different types of cover, it’s important to know something about this essential topic.
Situations where you need insurance As a general rule, employed fitness professionals are covered by their employer’s insurance and so should not need to take out additional cover. Provided you work within the parameters of your qualification, only as an employee, and adhere to your employer’s operating procedures and code of conduct, you should theoretically be safely covered. If you are self-employed and pay rent for access to gym/health club facilities
or train people in their home, place of work and/or places such as parks, you need to have insurance. Insurance means that you are protected from legal action if there is an accident.
Professional indemnity insurance Also known as professional liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance covers you for alleged professional negligence.
Types of insurance
There are policies designed specifically for fitness professionals that combine both types of insurance and may also cover product liability, libel and slander, personal accident and sexual abuse liability.
Insurance is a sort of legal safety net designed to minimise your personal financial liability if you should be the subject of legal action. For example, if a client suffers an injury they may make a claim against you for compensation and/or medical costs. Having insurance means that the financial liability of meeting these costs should be met by your insurance, minus any excess attached to the policy. There are two main types of insurance that are pertinent to fitness professionals: Public liability insurance Public liability insurance covers you should someone be injured as a result of your business or if a third-party property is damaged by you or your client.
The need for insurance Not so many years ago, the current “blame culture” didn’t exist; accidents happened and in most cases, the parties concerned were able to come to an amicable agreement without resorting to the power of the law. However, many solicitors and law firms now specialise in handling personal injury claims and as exercise is not without risks, fitness professionals need to ensure that they are not only properly qualified but that they also are adequately insured in case a claim is made against them. Insufficient or complete lack of insurance could result in claims of tens of thousands or even millions of pounds made against you.
Insurance in a gym or health club environment As discussed, employed trainers and instructors are usually covered by their employer’s insurance whereas selfemployed professionals are not. As a self-employed professional, you will probably pay rent in return for access to the facilities. For instance, your client may injure themselves using a piece of equipment, even after being shown how to correctly use it. Having insurance 76
means that you are personally protected against any legal costs associated with the client’s injury and possible rehabilitation.
Insurance outside of the gym or health club environment If you train clients outside of the gym or health club environment and you use your own exercise equipment, insurance will cover your equipment against damage and theft. If, for example, you are training your client using a TRX suspension trainer which then breaks, replacement costs are covered by your insurance and so too would any resulting injury sustained by the client.
Insurance when giving advice Fitness professionals are often called upon to give advice to their clients e.g. nutritional and dietary advice. Providing such advice falls within the parameters of your qualifications, insurance will cover you against any ill-effects suffered by the client following your advice, such as a dietary suggestion resulting in a severe allergic reaction.
Waivers and medical forms While insurance does provide an essential legal safety net, trainers must also take steps to minimise the risk of a claim being made against them. The client should always be made aware of the risks of exercise and given the opportunity to decide for themselves if they wish to participate; this is called “informed consent” and is essentially a waiver. Additionally, the instructor or trainer should minimise medical risks by ensuring that all clients complete a screening form prior to exercise – a Pre-Activity Readiness Questionnaire or PAR-Q form. A verbal PAR-Q should also be completed before each and every training session to make sure nothing has changed since the original PAR-Q was completed.
What to look for in a policy? Insurance policies can vary significantly so make sure you read the small print to ensure that the cover provided is right for you. Details to consider include:
Liability – how much are you covered for?
activities for which you are qualified.
Exclusions – are you covered to train outside of the gym or health club environment (if required)?
you taught a studio class outside of
Excess – will you have to contribute toward a claim?
were technically doing something for
It is also important to note that insurance generally only covers you for
Make sure that you have the correct
As a qualified fitness professional, if your area of training and someone was injured, you may be found liable as you which you were not certified. cover, and don't leave home without it. April 2020
Physical Health is not enough Janet Thomson MSC Physical health is important essential for obvious reasons; however, there’s no point having a great body if you have weak emotional health. That would be like living in a palace and being depressed. Your emotional health is linked to and influenced by physical health, but it is an entity in its own right. Poor emotional health can have as drastic a negative impact on your wellbeing as poor physical health. Emotional health is not fixed, like physical health it depends on what you “do”. If you sit on the sofa all day you will be physically weak, and if you have a lazy mindset and don’t do anything to improve it, then you will be emotionally weak. Being emotionally healthy does not mean you stay happy and positive all the time. Emotionally healthy people still have good days and bad days, but they don’t take the bad days personally, they know that everyone has them. Crucially they understand they are not in control over some situations, (particularly relevant at the moment) but they do know they are in control over how they respond to any given situation. In simple terms, they don’t stress over things they cannot change or control and instead focus on things they can. The brain is a definable visible organ, but what flows through it is not. We have various ways of measuring brain activity and can see which parts are most active and in what situation, 78
but we can’t actually see thoughts or emotions. They are a dynamic yet invisible energy. Although we can’t see thoughts, we know they exist in the same way we know gravity exists, because of its consequences. If you hold your phone out in front of you and release your grasp, then you know it will drop to the floor you don’t question it because you understand it’s the laws of gravity in action. That’s a simple case of appreciating the consequence of an action. Likewise, many thoughts have
consequences yet most people remain oblivious or pay no attention to them. When you do a biceps curl you work the same muscle fibres each time, and if you rotate as you flex your arm then you recruit more fibres. Muscle fibres don’t exert a percentage of their potential force for light weights and more force for heavier weights, they either fire 100% or they don’t fire at all. What makes us able to lift heavier weights is the fact that more fibres are recruited to do the task. As you work the muscle ONLY the fibres you have
recruited get a workout, not the ones not involved. Have you ever gone to lift a bag you thought was light and couldn’t lift it because it was really heavy, a momentary adjustment and your second attempt lifts the bag easily. That’s because the amount of muscles fibres needed to perform the task was underestimated at first glance, and then quickly readjusted. Likewise, you may have gone to lift something you thought was heavy and almost thrown it into the air because you overestimated the load. It’s similar in your brain, every thought uses a unique combination of connections, and every time you have the same thought it recruits the exact same neurons; this is called a neurological map. In the same way, every repetition strengthens muscle fibres, every time you repeat the same thought it strengthens that unique neurological map. After a while, it becomes so embedded in your neurology that you can’t help but have that thought in the same situation.
the thought (internal dialogue) is “go on you deserve it” and the behaviour is to buy and eat the chocolate, resulting in a (momentary) feeling of reward. If you only ever brought one bar of chocolate from a vending machine then no neurological map would be established, but if it’s something you do regularly then the map is created and strengthened every time it’s activated. A thought is like a biceps curl for the brain, they make maps stronger and stronger. Each thought has the potential to generate a feeling, and that feeling has its own chemical make-up. If you could extract some “brain juice” when you feel joy or gratitude, then the chemistry would look very different from if you extracted some when you felt fear or anger.
I have talked about triggers and anchors in previous articles, but as a quick reminder this process simply means you activate the same response i.e. thought then behaviour, in exactly the same way every time you are exposed to the cue (see the previous article on “The Habit Loop”)
We will look at some of the chemicals involved in this process in part 2 of this article, but the negative side effects of sustained poor emotional health include an array of physical conditions associated with poor overall health and an increased risk of disease. The Mental Health Foundation states that people with the highest levels of self-rated distress were 32% more likely to have died from cancer and that depression has shown to be associated with an increased risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).
An example might be; someone sees a bar of chocolate in a vending machine,
The good news is that we can only produce enough neurochemistry to last
for 90 seconds. This means technically we can only feel bad for 90 seconds, unless we repeat the thought that instigated the emotion, in which case the loop is repeated as we generate another 90m seconds of chemicals. There are several ways we can change our own internal neurology and enjoy better emotional health, and some people do so instinctively. The good news that emotional health is something that, like physical health, responds well to training and can be improved drastically. As a personal trainer or fitness instructor how much of your training included improving emotional health? My guess is little or none. We know that by default regular physical activity brings about some positive changes in emotional health, but often they are temporary and in fact body dysmorphia is surprisingly common amongst many serious exercisers. The question personal trainers and all fitness professionals should be asking is, how can I add this skill set to my tool box. Trainers are quick to respond to the latest training for new innovations, for example when Kettlebells came out how many of us rushed to gain a qualification so that we can include it in our repertoire? If ever there was a time when our clients needed a more holistic body-mind approach to wellness it is now. April 2020
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HOW TO ADAPT A N D E V O LV E D I G I TA L LY D U R I N G THE COVID-19 CRISIS Matt Gleed, Master Trainer, PT and Educator explains the challenges he’s faced and had to overcome during COVID-19 courses have been cancelled and trade shows postponed. I usually spend my week driving from postcode to postcode delivering training to around 20-40 different trainers. It’s very social and very fulfilling, plus I get my own quiet time in the car listening to podcasts, radio and making calls to friends and contacts.
This situation we are in with COVID-19 is obviously affecting the world in a dramatic way. As I write this piece, none of my direct family, friends or close few circles have been affected other than boredom really. But as I write this, the worst is still to come. For the purpose of this article, I focus purely on the impact to the fitness industry. An industry that has had to turn itself fully digital almost overnight in order to survive.
Without getting into the medical or political side of the Corona virus, this last couple of weeks have been worrying as I have now, for the first time in my life, got no upcoming work in my diary, other than some Live Workouts I have been asked to do on Facebook and YouTube. To me, this is probably scarier than deciding to leave full time positions to go self employed 10 years ago. All my contracts from different companies have stopped, education
So now I have next to no income, little social time, no sport to listen or watch (that I miss a lot), but I find myself busier than ever! This is because I’m trying to adapt to the digital need. I’m used to screen time as I do write a fair bit and have lots of emails to coordinate my work bookings but the last week I have thrown myself into two specific digital-based projects.
Project 1 Self Development So, after the news of the lockdown happened I went to check my Microphone and Transmitters and got them on charge, ordered soft box lights and got an iPad holder for my tripod. I knew I was going to need to get more online. But I wanted to do my research April 2020
into the good, the bad and the ugly of what was already out there calling itself online training. I soon learnt what came across well and what didn’t. If you want the quick tip guide see below: Good
• Microphone • Always visual role model • Lead from the front • Clear voice • Smooth transitions • Edited post videos
• Talking to the floor • Excessive breathlessness • Stopping to say well done to camera • Too much wind noise blowing across the microphone • Checking a bit of paper for the next exercise
You won’t be a Rockstar online instructor overnight. It’s important to be ok with this as you learn. The number of videos I’ve started and messed up is high but each time they get better and I’m improving which is all I ask of myself. Public Self Development is going to be hard at times. Coming away from the online
workouts, I have also listened to lots of webinars and conference calls about digital training. Once I finish the work on ‘Project 2’ I will circle back to ‘Project 1’ as it’s an ongoing learning curve. My next step will be to get into online PT sessions. In recent years, I haven’t done this as my work has been so busy, so staying in my lane and trying to perfect it was my goal. I’d like to think I was doing well as I picked up the UK Fitness Award for Contribution to Fitness 2019, but could I take a learning from the digital footprint I create and support the 1200 trainers a year I meet with an insight there too? Well its an obvious answer, and if new trainers are not having a 82
digital footprint too then I feel they might not be setting themselves up for success. So, I learn and listen to the experts, ask the questions and prepare my system of online assessments, consider the platforms (I’m already down to a shortlist) and once I’m ready I will start with a sample group of friends that I know would support me and give useful feedback. I’m actually quite looking forward to see where this journey takes me.
Project 2 Content Creation As ‘Project 1’ started, I also had thoughts about all the online videos I was seeing being given out for free. This is a great way to help people stay active at such a difficult time but how can PTs who need to keep their business afloat monetise this? I called a business owner I knew who had an app company, now he isn’t new to this game as he is the backend operator for several of the biggest operators and educators in the industry. The call was fairly quick; I said that I wanted to help personal trainers with content that they could use during this time. Not surprisingly he wanted to do the same. So, to work we went, myself I’m now writing up 350+ Functional Training exercise descriptions with images and video and using an empty gym as a photo studio whilst the app content will quickly be brought together to support trainers all over the world. If this is a way I can use my knowledge and communication skills to help the industry, then my passion will have been worth the endless screen time
Future Business I will make some early predictions now, that the future of fitness will have jumped 10 years by the end of this. Never would the average trainer start all these Social Media videos, Conference Calls, Online Group Training without the social restrictions that COVID-19 has placed on us. Now they see the reach they can have, I would be shocked if they even try to go back to the same face-to-face methods as before. When operators build studios going forwards I think they will start setting up cameras and microphone equipment for the digital class too. It just makes sense and brings the industry into the current times. Are Peloton really the craziest of companies, Les Mills have both, think about the Cycle Studios using virtual reality screens and visuals in a class. You can stream all these and increase the income so far ahead! The merger of these two together methods of training will be the future of fitness, a way to connect with clients and members outside of the four walls of a gym and become an integral part of their daily lives.
How Your Gym Needs to Handle Corona Virus Daniel Nyiri, founder of 4U Fitness
“It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean” – Tony Robbins As the lockdown is getting worst by the minute, I thought this would be a good time to write an article to help you see a light at the end of the tunnel! By keeping your clients healthy and happy during this time of uncertainty, we can prevent and lower the number of cancellations and refunds we may receive. Another plus is that you can get even more clients virtually that will help you to pay for your rent and payroll. I am not going to lie, these are very scary times and many small businesses are going out of business. But be reassured, I am going to try to help as much as I can. The main way I am doing this is by donating 1 hour of my time every day to beable to brainstorm with other gym owners. If you have interest, please reach out to me on Instagram at @danielZnyiri, and we can set up a time to talk that will be absolutely free. I have good news and I have bad news. The bad news is that unfortunately, you might need to let go of your staff. As bad as it sounds, it might have to happen to have a business after the
VIRUS passes. Many Gym Owners have already had to pull the plug and let 100% of employees go. One fantastic company with over 70 locations just let go of 98% of its workforce go in order to avoid going out of business entirely. No one is safe, and once you realize and accept that then you can try to do something about it. Now to the good! Mark Fisher of Mark Fisher Fitness created an online platform for his clients where they can watch 3-4 live workouts streamed from their living room! By doing this they were able to sign up over 200 clients as soon as they launched! Here is their info: www.markfisherfitness.com/ online And here are some steps to follow: 1. Let all your employees and clients know what's going on and what you are going to do 2. Don't be a hero and close down your studio if your area is affected 3. Get ONLINE COACHING April 2020
4. Reach out to landlords, mortgages, bills, and to every possible expense you can and ask them to push it out or even pause, or if you have a great landlord, then ask them to add it on as a plus one month on the end of your lease. 5. If you are still open, ADVERTISE that you have a professional cleaning crew cleaning your gyms and not you and your employees!
What can you do Online? Lots of things, but you need to find out what is best for you. What type of gym are you? Are you 1on1 or group classes? If you are group classes, get on ZOOM and have one main trainer run a group class while the other coaches look on the screen and help the form of the clients who are following the lead trainer on their screen, so they still get that 1on1 attention and care.
you can as well.
If you think you can pull the above off LIVE go for it! Mark Fisher Fitness is doing amazing with it. If you think you can’t then do the same but record it, edit it and then distribute it to your clients.
You also need to ask your clients to tag your studio online on their social media while they are doing the classes with you so all the other people who are stuck at home and scrolling on Facebook can see that there is hope! They can get fit! Not only are your current clients happy, but they are getting you new clients and the best part is that no matter where they are in the world they can join in!
Then once your clients are giving you feedback and loving it you MUST ask them for a testimonial, then use this testimonial and run ads to them on social media and send out an email blast about how people are getting in shape during the lockdown and how
The easiest thing you can do is pick up a camera or use your iPhone as you can see some of the pictures in this article (big-name gyms like F45 and many others) just improvised and provided a service to their client's stock at home by using an iPad. Some people set up
a studio in their living room, and some create a whole online platform. Which one are you going to do? Stay at home and do nothing, or try to do something about it and maybe make money or create an entirely new business out of this negative thing. Make this negative, positive no matter how bad this is! Additional People to Learn From Throughout these times are Mike Arce and Alex Hormozi these two have been working overtime day and night with their team to able to have a solution for all gym owners out there! You can find Mike at www.gsdcovidupdates.com where he dedicated a website and his whole time to give you the best action steps to take during this time.
DON'T PANIC Taz Dunstan from XL Personal Training It is evident the world is in a state of panic after the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic on 11th April 2020. This is not the end of the world! This is an acknowledgement that a current illness, COVID19/ "coronavirus" (which if isolated to a specific region would be classified as an epidemic) is now widespread globally - thus what makes this virus a pandemic. While globally concerning, we can seek comfort that this issue is affecting all communities around the world, if not directly, then indirectly with a financial backlash and travel restrictions. As countries step up their measures to control the spread of the virus, restrictions on social gatherings are made and continue to decrease rapidly from 5000 to 500 to 50 and now down to 5 in some areas. This has seen major sporting events cancelled worldwide, the most recent blows for the Australian economy and fitness industry were the Arnolds due to be held 20th April 2020 which have had to be cancelled due to health and safety reasons. . Another major sporting event, "Filex" unquestionably one of the biggest fitness exhibition in Australia has April 2020 85
in Delhi, India. The gyms have already been forced to close by the Indian Government to contain the spread of COVID19. The same day closures were announced, he had begun conducting online training with clients to keep moving forward. This consistency is as important for the client's well-being as it is for any gym owners business security. Work together on a common goal and problem-solve solutions that will be achievable for each person. These are some safety measures he has suggested as a gym owner to ensure your responsibilities to your staff, members/clients and the general public are met: also been cancelled for this year, as has the Australian Fitness Awards, an annual event held by Australias' largest governing bodies of the fitness industry. While Japan remains hopeful, the reality is, with cancellations and postponements of all sporting events worldwide [inclusive of local sporting clubs meets] and countries now implementing extended periods of self-isolation, quarantine and travel bans. . .Tokyo Olympics 2020 has now been postponed until next year as well as the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix in Australia. COVID19, Like any other challenge, is an opportunity to adapt. As a fitness provider with people facing the confronting realisation of their mortality, their health has never been more important to them. The issue is not how viable your products and services are, people are desperately trying to improve their health and stay "safe" The real issue is how are you as a Gym owner [or any business] going to utilise the opportunities of the current climate and do your bit to reassure the public they are doing the best they can to beat this virus and associated panic. The world needs hope, helpful solutions and positivity right now! Invest in things that encourage growth, health and survival! If you want to Covid19 proof you’re business you have to get online! The government will impose lockdowns to prevent the spread, preempt this and start planning now. If you don't have wifi (wireless internet) INVEST if you don't have video capabilities or video calling apps such as "WhatsApp 86
" "Skype" "Messenger" download them and start practising now. Previously I had written articles about "freedom fitness" with streamed group fitness classes for people to access anywhere at any time being the future of fitness. . . the future is now! Are you able to open your gym to a virtual clientele? How can you help your clients achieve their goals from home? Can you on-sell some equipment for your clients to work with? What can you offer to at least maintain the club's cash flow? NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO SELL DISCOUNTED MEMBERSHIPS TO CLUBS PEOPLE MOST LIKELY WILL NOT HAVE ACCESS TO - DO NOT PANIC! People in a state of panic make impulsive decisions. Keep calm and calm your staff, clients and members down with reassurance and a stable, easy to follow plan to help them. Bundle packages and offer “self-isolation deliveries” online and door to door for products. Adapt to the climate, don’t be crippled by it. We as a community are strong. Fear comes from lack of understanding or information. Let’s educate ourselves and make smart choices to improve our health and protect those who are vulnerable. The old, those with compromised immune systems, people with diabetes, organ failure, anyone with respiratory issues. By being considerate of those around us we can make a big impact on improving this situation. I spoke with Manu Ruhail, Founder and CEO of "Madfit" and "Manu trains" based
g Take the time to compile a concise letter notifying your clients of the current climate (COVID19 pandemic). Empathise with their concerns. Reassure them that you will comply with all recommendations made by governing health bodies and complete compliance with government regulations surrounding this issue. Most importantly, reiterate how important they and their business are to you and how important their health is. Notify them you will keep them updated and will be providing solutions to suit their needs. g S et some safety guidelines reiterating the importance of good hygiene, consideration and respect to all clients and members: 1) Practice good hand hygiene: Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water or, if unavailable, an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. (singing a song to prolong the washing process has been promoted. . . or you could try 10-20 squats while you wash) 2) Practice good respiratory hygiene: This is really important and requires us to cover our nose and mouth when sneezing, coughing. This is ideally done using your elbow or a tissue to catch any droplets which should
be cleaned or disposed of immediately. This also means not sharing cooking utensils, drink bottles or any saliva especially if you are sick. 3) Respect personal space and maintain a safe distance of 1 meter wherever possible. When people breathe they produce micro-droplets into the air which can be easily inhaled if people are too close. If someone has any virus or illness, this can be contained in the droplets secreted through breath and can result in the spreading of infection.
informed without being consumed by the media hype. Chat to friends and loved ones, exercise self-care, meditate, keep active and stay hydrated, [The physical and psychological health and well being are interconnected] and the best defence against COVID19 financially is to be open to new ways of keeping your business open and available to your clients wherever they
are. Universal solutions for a universal problem. This is a useful real-time link to keep current with the COVID19 statistics worldwide: https:// www.kron4.com/news/world/ interactive-map-track-thecoronavirus-outbreak-in-realtime/
4) Be considerate and respectful to those around you. If you are sick it is okay. It is not okay to conceal that. Please be honest. let people know you are sick, take reasonable precautions to protect those around you. Wear a mask. avoid travel and do your best to self isolate until you are no longer contagious. This requires a medical check when you feel better. g Remain professional in your appearance and respect your clients time regardless of whether it is over a screen or in person. g Act as if you were with your clients and be completely engaged in each session. Your clients deserve your full attention while paying for your time and expertise. g Above all, reassure your clients this will pass. The best thing they can do is maintain and improve their health. Consistency with their training is paramount to them. The majority of people will be able to overcome this virus, like any other virus. (It is currently estimated 80% of cases won't require any medical treatment) There is no medication to treat the viruses, they will run their course. The best defence physically from COVID19 is a strong immune system and general good health, coupled with good hygiene practices. The best defence from psychological stress such as panic, anxiety and hysteria is to keep calm and stay April 2020
COVID-19 â€“ How the industry turned digital overnight and what to consider when taking your service online Matt Gleed, Senior Master Trainer and Education Specialist The digital fitness space became incredibly crowded overnight thanks to isolation and lockdowns. Make sure you really weigh up your options before jumping into the online space so that you provide the best service for your clients and members. While it can be tempting to go straight to the necessity part, which is selling your service, it's important to first nail down the basics to ensure you're set up to succeed with your digital home exercise plan. With that in mind, here are the steps to follow to create the best at-
home workout for you and your clients:
First, think about your delivery. How can you digitally deliver as a Fitness Instructor? 'Live workouts' are a fantastic way to ensure clients still feel engaged personally and you can train a whole community digitally, but making them live does limit the number you can do in a day. Pre-recorded workouts delivered via apps or downloaded files, referred to as 'On Demand', allow users to click play when it suits them. In addition, think about your 'Live Online' streaming options, will you Skype, FaceTime, Zoom Conference Call?
Define a clientâ€™s fitness goals. This step is often overlooked, but it's crucial because figuring out your exercise and overall wellness routine is about as personal as it gets. Determining what you are able to accomplish â€” be it losing weight, toning your arms or running a 5k again. All these are actually quite achievable at home and with minimal equipment. But what about building muscle or increasing size? Would you have a home workout for that without heavyweights and a room transformation? What about training active ageing populations, where the client might not be digitally minded? Maintaining your strength as you get older, or just trying to move more is a huge part of the fitness market will be in isolation for the longest time. I encourage you to think about your communication tone, speed and energy so the viewer can follow you with better success.
Step 2: Create your workout space. It's one thing to plan to set up a home gym, it's entirely another to actually know where that home gym is going to exist in your house. If the amount of space you need for a workout area doesn't align with the amount of space you actually have, it might be time to go 88
back to the drawing board — or get creative! For example: Want to do a morning yoga routine and the weather is nice, use the garden. Worried about the world seeing your house then get about de-cluttering the place. Wouldn’t be a bad thing for your own wellbeing to have a clear, home training space.
Step 3: Choose your workout equipment. This step depends largely on the steps before it, as the best home-gym equipment for you is going to vary widely based on your particular fitness goal, your clients as well as the amount of space you have to actually store and use that equipment. Alternatively, if you don't have the space or money for lots of exercise equipment, there are lots of ways to work out at home without equipment, so don't let that stop you from achieving your at-home workout goals.
Step 4: Get moving. Now that you know what you want to accomplish with your workouts at home, where you will do the workouts and which equipment you need, it's time to launch. Ask close clients to test out your delivery as beginner-friendly workouts can be easy but to motivate the already fit to keep working hard on the spot, in the lounge, with maybe no music can be hard. That’s right music isn't free to play over the internet! You will need to look at music licenses and broadcasting rights, as again that’s someone’s business too. If you're new to online coaching, it can be a bit overwhelming knowing where to start. I recommend recording your practices for general workouts and see how you feel about them. Do you get tongue-tied or out of breathe yourself. Think about having a mirror to see your form and maybe extra lights are needed too. Don't let these things put you off but think about them as you evolve your digital offering. Start with full-body, body-weight workouts that let you get used to the best delivery and think about the positioning for floor or standing exercises as you might need another person to do camera work too. Another great at-home fitness resource
is YouTube. See what is out there already and be inspired and learn from people who have got the digital workouts down to a fine art. Don’t feel like you have to compete against them but learn from them. We are all in this together and the best way to offer quality to your community may be to learn from the best.
Types of At-Home Workouts Pilates Lounge: If you love Pilates join me with some floor work, designed for lounge lovers. Viewers could follow your precise cues while working posture and core engaging muscles without the need of jumping around. CrossFit WODs: Workouts sent out in the morning using a mix of distance runs, cycles with potentially bodyweight exercises and challenges put in too. Distance and timed periods work well with this. HIIT: Quick intense rounds of exercises set to work & rest intervals. This could be best delivered without any equipment other than a mat and towel, to keep
transitions quick and easy. Body Weight Conditioning in the Garden: Buckets of water could be used in the garden or for weight or maybe plant pot deadlifts and squats its time to turn your view into your inspiration in a more practical way. Workouts for seniors: Regular exercise is good for you at any age. But if you're entering into the golden years of retirement and beyond, staying fit is even more critical, especially if you want to keep doing all the things you enjoy. You'll want to incorporate heart raising exercises, balance training and muscle strengthening into your routine — all of which can be done from the comfort of your own home possibly with a band. Strong and Smart Workouts: You don't need expensive gear when it comes to strength training at home. Basic tools, such as kettlebells, dumbbells and doorway pull-up bars, can be just as effective as the pricey machines you see at the gym. It’s about how you use them and the tempo of the reps could be the smartest thing to change. April 2020 89
Emails: your secret weapon during isolation Kevin Lamers is the Head of Content at Virtuagym the promotion of some alternative communication tool that has none of the drawbacks of email. Yes, there are drawbacks to using email. An obvious one is the lack of engagement. Email is a one-way street, so if you’re looking for a conversation, it’s better to start using social media for your business.
Communicating with your clients is essential in improving retention and revenue growth at the best of times. But you don’t need us to tell you that we’re certainly not living in the best of times right now. Having direct lines of communication to your audience during this period of isolation is one way to ensure that the connection remains intact. Especially right now while things are constantly in a state of flux, it’s more important than ever to communicate clearly the future news and developments of your fitness business. If you want to get the attention of a large group of people, the suitable medium is an oldie but a goldie, that’s right: email.
But isn’t email dead? Google email and the internet will tell you that email has had its heyday. This information will often be followed by
BUT there are still 2.5 billion email users worldwide, who are sending 122 billion emails every hour. Those numbers don’t lie; however much the early adopters wish it, email is alive and kicking.
How to use email for client communication First of all, you need to decide when to send out emails, this will be dependent on when you think your clients and members are mostly likely to be online. During this period of everyone working from home, open-rates may be higher than usual and choosing the best time may be a little different than usual. I suggest trying different times of day and figuring out what works best for you. Then you should consider the kind of email you are sending. What is the purpose of that particular communication? It could be: 1. Communicating News: right now this will probably include your main coronavirus updates, information on class changes this content is basically when
you share any big news clients 2. Marketing: do you have upcoming events (online of course), new classes, special membership offers? At this time this could refer to new offerings you may have such as the livestreaming of classes. If you’re not yet livestreaming classes, check out the Video On Demand service offered by Virtuagym. 3. Sharing cat pictures: because sometimes you just need a dose of the furry.
How to design Your Emails If you know your way around Photoshop and if you have a knack for visual design, by all means, go ahead and create email templates yourself. Otherwise, it would be a tremendous help to hire a designer/developer to help you create your templates. This way, you only have to worry about writing text. How to write an email (okay jokers, there’s more to it than just typing) For news, stick to the point. Have a clear subject line that says “I’m important, you should read me.” For example, if you have closed your gym until a specific date it should say something like “Important: Gym closed until [date here].” Don’t dress up your news too much, leave out the witticisms and keep it short.
When your goal is to promote a new service or event (like an online webinar including fitness or nutrition advice or online classes) it should take a different approach. Like before, the subject line should make it clear what the message is, but since people are not automatically interested in your new services, you will want it to be very catchy. Some tips: • Make a list of different subject lines for each email you send out • Send different versions to yourself as a test: which one would you open? • Research the interests of your audience - what do they want to see right now? You want people to respond to you call-to-action. The way you persuade them to act is by introducing the right images and words. Again, don’t make it too long since internet users these days tend to have an attention span of hey look! A YouTube video. After painstakingly creating the perfect message, create the perfect ending: a button for people to click on or a phone number to call. There’s a ton to say about calls to action, from the wording to the color of the button, but for now, let me just say that it has to be compelling. Make clear the benefits that can be gained by the client. Oh, and always, allways spell-chek!
How to track the performance of your emails
Sending out emails without actually seeing if they have an effect can be a mighty waste of time. It’s always good to keep an eye on the results of your emails. There are various metrics to consider. There’s the open rate – how many people opened your email. The click rate represents how many people clicked on your call to action. The bounce rate shows how many emails didn’t get delivered – it’s an indication of the quality of your email list. Also consider that a click is not the end of the line; if the goal of an email is to get people to sign up for an event, the amount of sign-ups is how you judge the success of an email. So always try and see how many of those clicks convert to actual sales/sign-ups/whatever. Keep all that data in an Excel spreadsheet, so you have a clear overview of your opening rates, click rates, conversion rates, bounces, and whatever other metrics are important to you. Once every couple of weeks, plan a moment for yourself to evaluate the results. If your opening rates are low, you’ll want to reconsider your subject lines. Click rates are more complex since it could be a variety of factors: text, images, call to action, etc. Evaluating your results will lead to insights into how to optimize your strategy. Use your findings to implement changes, and start the whole process over again. If your metrics improve, optimize it further. Keep trying out new things!
How to automate your emails Sending out emails can take up a lot of time if you do it by hand. Copying and pasting participant email addresses, tweaking the messages, adding the correct information – it could take up hours per week depending on the size of your business. You can automate your email efforts by creating workflows. A workflow is basically a series of emails that are sent when certain conditions are met. Let’s look at an example. Say you want to send emails to a new client about the various services you have, to help them get started and perhaps to persuade them to upgrade to a higher-tier membership, or sign up for a group class. Email remains a powerful communication tool in your arsenal, particularly in disconnected times like the one we find ourselves in now. So stick to a strategy, do everything in a structured way and keep improving your emails after evaluating performance for optimal results. Kevin Lamers is the Head of Content at Virtuagym. Virtuagym is a software provider for fitness professionals and provides digital solutions for gyms, studios and personal trainers impacted by the coronavirus. To learn more about livestreaming options go to https://business.virtuagym. com/virtuagym-at-home/
Ask The Expert Do you have a question that you would like to see answered in this feature in a future issue? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF FUNCTIONAL EXERCISE BY SAM GREGORY, CO-OWNER AND HEAD TRAINER F45 STRATFORD About Sam: Sam is the co-owner and head trainer at F45 Stratford with over 20 years’ experience in the fitness industry. He has a Sports Science degree as well as a host of industry-leading qualifications, specialising in strength and conditioning. Sam travelled the globe as a personal trainer to the worlds rich and famous but he’s now happily settled with F45 in their beautiful Stratford studio. He believes fitness should be fun, accessible and effective for all, irrespective of age, gender or ability. He teaches and trains most days of the week, is a devoted family man and a diehard Liverpool supporter of 37 years How To Get The Most Out Of Functional Exercise? Functional training has had a real renaissance over the last few years with more and more studios and gyms offering functional classes and training areas. So, what really is functional exercise and how can you get the best out of it? 92
As I best understand it, functional exercise is a method of training that makes you a more efficient and capable human being. With so much training historically focusing on machines, we’ve really slowed down the development of our bodies as a fully integrated machine. We’ve focused on just a singular training method, i.e. bodybuilding, running, powerlifting which has lead to us being a more all-rounded athlete. Functional exercise brings together various different training methodologies including strength, endurance, power, agility and mobility. If you’re keen to gain a more advance level of all-round fitness then functional training is for you. The best way to start is by adding some functional training into your current training regime. This may be using the designated functional training area in your gym or by signing up to a functional training class. This will give you a better understanding of what functional training really is and if its something you’d enjoy.
So what can I expect from functional exercise? Firstly, a much more integrated way of the body working, focussing less on isolation style movements and emphasising compound moves, i.e. less bicep curls and more pull up style moves. No seated leg extensions but plenty of squats. The human body is designed to work as a unified machine and should be trained accordingly. If you’re goal is to get bigger muscles a compound exercise is far more useful and productive than an isolation movement. If your goal is to get bigger quads, then a squat is more productive than a leg extension. This is because when the targeted muscle, quad, can call on other muscles to help it out it can produce much greater force and muscle requirement. This will create more muscle activation as well as a greater release in muscle building hormones leading to an increase in muscle size. Functional exercise can help you break through your hypertrophy plateau
and get bigger, stronger muscles. Secondly, functional exercise can help turbo charge your cardiovascular fitness and lead to unbelievable level of conditioning. This is achieved by using the whole body in your cardio training as opposed to just a single stimulus like running. Functional cardio uses body weight, kettle bells, sledgehammers, battle ropes, sleds, med balls, you name it, if you can lift it, slam it, throw it then you can definitely use if for functional cardio. The time you use each of these apparatus for is also crucial to the effectiveness of the training. HIIT is a much overused training phrase these days but it’s hugely effective in helping to build your cardio engine. Typically timings are short bursts of very intense exercise followed by short rests, here’s an
example of a traditional functional HIIT session: 20 on/10 off, 1 set of each exercise and 4 times through 1. KB swing 2. Battle rope singles 3. Sled push Not only will this massively help with improving your overall fitness it will also accelerate your body composition gains. A combination of resistance training and HIIT will inevitably lead to an increase in muscle mass and a decrease in body fat. This is the fabled “Lean Gains” physique that so many aspire to but are often mislead about how to achieve. By adding functional training to your routine you’re putting yourself in a much better place to help you achieve a more leaner and athletic physique. Lastly, functional exercise can really help when it comes to sport or athletic
performance’s. So much of our gym work these days relies on a singular plain of movement where a multi directional approach is laden with benefits. If you’re an aspiring footballer then you’re entire game is based of change of direction and moving in numerous different plains. If you integrate movements such as lateral lunges, bench hops, hurdle hops and bear crawls then your body will be more conditioned to move under load in multiple directions, replicating a real life match/game/fight. In conclusion, functional exercise is a multi disciplined approach to training that can add a new dimension to even the most battle hardened gym fanatic. Give it a go to see and feel the benefits for yourself but be warned, its very addictive and even more effective.
Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers We look at the Virtual aspect of the Gym Industry
E XC E L S I O R ADDS STRENGTH TO ITS D I G I TA L TEAM Excelsior has announced the expansion of its digital team with the appointment of Allan Collins.
to consume information in the process of education, training and development. Chris Rock, Managing Partner at Excelsior says “We are thrilled to welcome Allan into our team - our goal is to ensure that as a business we are at the forefront of learning and development from a technological and digital perspective. With Allan’s extensive experience we are well placed to meet the growing demand for microlearning solutions across the industry.” With a background in physiology working at Bupa Wellness, Allan is also a published author with Bloomsbury and has written and delivered hundreds of courses, workshops and seminars for leisure trusts, national operators, manufacturers and uniformed services in the UK and overseas. Collins adds “I have always been dedicated to delivering high quality education to and for the fitness industry and I am incredibly excited to contribute to the success of digital solutions at Excelsior.” For more information on Excelsior visit www.edt.education or email email@example.com
Collins joins Excelsior with 26 years experience in the fitness industry working in both private and public sectors in customer facing and teaching roles, before setting up multiple education businesses delivering CPD training for companies including Jordan Fitness, Cybex and D2F Fitness. Heading up technology and digital solutions, Collins will be responsible for investigating, creating and facilitating digital learning - a highly effective way 94
FITNESS BRICKS BOOSTS TEAM WITH NEW HEAD OF SALES
Monday 23rd March, 2020 – Fitness Bricks, specialists in gym design, equipment installation, financing and servicing solutions, is excited to announce the appointment of its new head of sales, Matt Leadbitter. A former PT, Matt trained as a teacher before embarking on a career in commercial fitness. With 15 years’ experience in the industry, Matt joins Fitness Bricks following previous sales roles with Jordan Fitness and Origin Fitness UK, and most recently as sales director at EXF Fitness. One of his most recent tenures also saw him lead a supply chain project to manage the sourcing and procurement of fitness equipment to London gym consultancy firm motiv8. Matt will join a growing team at Fitness Bricks, which was founded in 2018 by Josh Bicknell. Josh was previously director of international sales at Origin, together bring over 15 years’ industry experience to Fitness Bricks. Since launching, the company has procured clients from across the sector, including UFC GYM®, énergie Fitness, Westfield Health and Grenade UK. Last year, Fitness Bricks also partnered with Life Fitness to support the sales of equipment from its Cybex and ICG brands in the UK. Commenting on his new role, Matt said, “Over the years I’ve built up a great network across the industry and gained a lot of experience in senior business development roles. Combining this with the wealth of experience here at Fitness Bricks meant that it was an easy decision for me, and I’m excited to support the team in growing the business even further.”
Josh Bicknell, director of Fitness Bricks, said: “At Fitness Bricks, we’re much more than just a supplier of products; customer service and industry expertise are central to our offering and Matt’s appointment will further strengthen our ability to deliver for our clients. We have no doubt that he will be a great asset to the team.” To find out how Fitness Bricks can support your business, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
MATRIX APPOINT NEW HEAD OF REGIONAL SALES AND KEY ACCOUNT MANAGER Matrix Fitness, the fastest growing fitness equipment manufacturers in the world, has announced the new UK appointments of Simon Overing as Head of Regional Sales and Jo Paddon as National Key Account Manager.
knowledge and networks to their roles and their recruitment will strengthen our position in the UK market even further.” Overing has previously held positions at Wattbike as Commercial Sales Director, Commercial Sales Manager at Octane Fitness and Regional Account Manager at Core Health & Fitness. Having been responsible for market penetration, growing revenue and launching new products, Overing steps into his new role at Matrix Fitness to assess and implement strategy in order to support further company growth. “Matrix Fitness is seeing international success and is the fastest growing fitness equipment supplier in the world.” Overing explains. ”I am looking forward to implementing new strategies and ideas, exploring new ways to ensure further expansion
moving forwards.” After four years with Octane Fitness as Key Account Manager and with experience as an Area Coordinator and Manager for Fit for Sport, Paddon has strong relationships with leading operators and understands the industry from a sales, service and operational standpoint. Her new role will involve management of the Snap Fitness account as well as increasing key account contracts. Paddon adds: “There is a great team at Matrix Fitness at the moment and it’s an exciting time to be a part of it. The company is achieving a lot, growing at a fast pace internationally and I’m looking forward to the new challenge.” To find out more about Matrix Fitness visit www.matrixfitness. co.uk
Bringing a wealth of sales and industry knowledge to the role, with both Overing and Paddon each having worked over 17 years within the health and fitness industry, these appointments come at an exciting time of expansion and innovation for Matrix Fitness. Matt Pengelly, Managing Director at Johnson Health Tech UK, comments: “Investing in the right people, with the right attitude is the best ingredient for success. We are very pleased to welcome Simon and Jo into the team, both bring valuable industry April 2020 95
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