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Adam Kiani ISSUE 41 // AUGUST 2019

The Top Ten


THE MAN BEHIND PT ACADEMY and his 10 year journey!

V e n o m Gy m D e s ig n s ig n

a n d H ow a d es ca n M a k e- o r -B r ea k y ou r Gy m !


Luxury Gym Changing Rooms


Laura Hoggins

JUNE 2019



Welcome... to the August issue of Gym Owner Monthly Magazine. Whilst you’re still all away enjoying the sun, we are hard at work and as you can see we have put together a SPICY issue for you.... Front Cover And The Big Interview (pg 23) Adam Kiani The Man Behind PT Academy and his 10 year journey. Page 20 We talkto Gym Owner of the Month, Terroll Lewis of Brixton's Street Gym. Page 29 Lift Yourself by Laura Hoggins strength training coach. Page 30 We Visited 9 of the Best luxury Gym Changing Rooms in London, you'll be amazed at what we found. Page 33 We look at Gym Design How It Can Make - Or - Break Your Gym. Page 37 The Top 10 Gyms around The World I've visited. Be warned: Once you see these fitness venues, you may get serious workout envy. Pages 44 Tap into the personalisation power of virtual training by FunXtion. And a big thank you to all our contributors. Enjoy the issue.

The GOM Team




Jane Grandena

Janine Edwards

Paul Wood Tel: 07858 487 357

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COVER PHOTO CREDIT: @rahatart_photography | RAHAT ali Shah © Gym Owner Monthly Magazine 2019 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.

August 2019


Contents 20



30 33 20 23 26 29 30 33

Gym Owner Of The Month Terroll Lewis of Brixton's Street Gym.

37 37

The Big Interview We speak To Adam Kiani CEO PT Academy The 10 Year Journey

PT Of The Month


How It Can Make - Or - Break Your Gym. Venom Gym Designs.

TAP INTO THE PERSONALISATION POWER OF Virtual Training The fitness market is evolving, and the digital based in the Netherlands offers interactive digital fitness solutions, which have gained traction offering virtual training innovations.


Make The Right Hiring Decision Part II Daniel Nyiri, founder of 4U Fitness talks about the correct hiring process, and how crucial it is,

They will put your bathrooms to shame.

Gym Design

Be warned once you see these fitness venues,

revolution is well under way. FunXtion, a company

pT's View Point We Visited 9 of the best luxury Gym Changing Rooms in London

The Top 10 Gyms around The World I've visited you may get serious workout envy.

Franky Robinson.

Lift Yourself by Laura Hoggins


especially in the services industry.


“The honours and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action”– Aristotle Adam Kiani, Founder and CEO of Personal Trainer Academy


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54 52 54




56 Peeling back the layers of obesity and exposing some underlying reasons for this epidemic.



Ask The Expert Rob Straathof, CEO at Liberis Finance, an awardwinning funding provider for small businesses – with a second consecutive win of Alternative

Taz Dunstan from XL Personal Training

Lender of the Year (SME category) at this year’s


in the health and fitness industry.

Credit Awards – talks about the funding landscape


Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers

Matt Gleed, Senior Master Trainer and Education Specialist

We're always seeking contributors, if you're interested in writing for us then please contact:

August 2019




What’s hot in the fitness industry

Ascenti becomes chosen physio provider of Bannatyne Gyms Leading independent physiotherapy provider, Ascenti, last week announced a partnership with national health club operator The Bannatyne Group, which will see them become their physiotherapy provider of choice. Ascenti now operates across nine Bannatyne sites: Leicester, Peterborough, Chingford, Colchester, Chester-le-Street, Darlington, Durham, Cardiff and Barnsley. Further expansion this month will also see Ascenti operate in six more Bannatyne sites: Grove Park London, Russell Square London, Rotherham, Orpington, Weybridge and Sutton Coldfield. Bannatyne members will benefit from instant access to highly-skilled, onsite musculoskeletal physiotherapists, who specialise in sports and fitness-related physiotherapy, including manual therapies and sports massage. Members will be entitled to a £5 discount for their first appointment. Ascenti is the leading provider of physiotherapy and associated services in the UK and is a trusted partner to more than 40 NHS organisations and 400 private businesses.


August 2019

With extensive national coverage, Ascenti’s network of 300 highly-trained and directly employed clinicians deliver upwards of 52,000 treatment sessions every month. Ascenti therapists combine physiotherapy practices with contemporary hands-on techniques in order to achieve the best results and high quality clinical outcomes, fast. Ascenti’s CEO, Stephanie Dobrikova, commented, “We are delighted to announce this partnership with The Bannatyne Group and to become its physiotherapy provider of choice. “Bannatyne’s is one of the UK’s leading health club operators and we are excited to begin working with its members across 15 sites nationwide. “Our values complement each other perfectly. We are both passionate about our shared purpose: helping people to elevate their health and live active lives.” A spokesperson for Bannatyne said: “Our health clubs are dedicated to providing the very best health and wellbeing facilities and the partnership with Ascenti will complement the services already offered.” For more information visit


EGYM WELCOMES 5 NEW JOINERS TO SUPPORT UK GROWTH STRATEGY In a bid to keep pace with growing interest in eGym’s connected training solution across the UK, the German-based company has grown its team on Concept Consultants and has announced the appointment of a new marketing manager. Tanya Hall joins eGym as Marketing Manager fresh from her role as Fit&Well Brand Manager at Broxbourne Council, based across the Laura Trott Leisure Centre, The John Warner Sports Centre and The Cheshunt Park Golf Centre in Broxbourne. “In 2017, The Laura Trott Leisure Centre installed an eGym strength circuit to encourage a higher percentage of the local population to lead an active lifestyle which included an element of resistance training”, explains Hall. “As a result, I was privy to the success of the investment from a customer engagement perspective. I became incredibly passionate about eGym and when an opportunity to join the team presented itself, I jumped at it. Tanya joined Broxbourne in 2012 and, prior to her role as Brand Manager, Tanya fulfilled several central leisure roles for Broxbourne Council, including Sales Manager, Swim School Operations Manager and Golf Sales Manager. Speaking of the appointment, Kerstin Obenauer, Country Director at eGym, says: Tanya’s operational experience in the leisure sector and her first-hand experience of eGym makes her the perfect candidate for this role.” Joining Tanya are four new Concept Consultants, each responsible for driving growth and supporting operator

partners within their defined geographical territories. Mark Web, Concept Consultant, UK North, Including Ireland and Scotland For the last decade, Mark has been working for the NHS. In his most recent role as a Public Health Specialist, Mark was responsible for the design and implementation of a district-wide initiative, Living Well, which launched last month, to introduce interventions which address unhealthy lifestyle issues such as smoking, drugs and alcohol, physical inactivity, mental health, long term health conditions and poor nutrition. Mark’s experience in the health sector, coupled with his MSc in Public Health and Health Promotion, will be invaluable as eGym continues to provide effective solutions which enable physical activity professionals to work more closely with health professionals to deliver a prevention rather than care health care strategy. Darren Frost, Concept Consultant, London and South Prior to his appointment, Darren worked with Precor for 8 years, first as a regional sales consultant and more recently as public sector strategic account manager, looking after clients which included Parkwood Leisure and Places Leisure. It was during this role that Darren was first introduced to eGym. Precor enjoys integration with eGym and through the partnership, Darren became increasingly interested in eGym’s focus on providing solutions to address nationwide health issues - developing products and services which help individuals to live life to the full through the maintenance of mobility and strength long into their later years.

total number of sites

total number of pools


4,559 Source: 2019 State of the UK Swimming Industry Report

August 2019



Mark Mansfield, Concept Consultant, East of England Mark joins eGym from Premier Global NASM where he was a tutor for more than 10 years. During this time, he supported hundreds of people as they studied for their personal training qualifications and also wrote and developed a number of CPD courses. With a degree in Sports Science and a first-hand experience of playing rugby to a professional level, Mark brings a wealth of fitness and performance experience to the team. James Else, Concept Consultant, Midlands and South Wales James brings with him a wealth of commercial sales and management experience. Following more than 5 years as Commercial Sales Manager at Birmingham City Football Club, James joined the NEC Group as Head of Sponsorship, responsible for driving commercial partnership engagement at the NEC, the Genting Arena, Arena Birmingham, the ICC and the Vox.

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Kerstin Obenauer, adds: “These new appointments, working in partnership with our growing operator network, stand us in excellent stead to deliver our concept to new communities across the UK.

Haverhill Leisure Centre Transformation Punches Above its Weight

“eGym offers a solution which enables operators to work much more closely with health care professionals to deliver the government’s new prevention rather than cure health care strategy. Our technology makes physical activity accessible and effective for all and we now have the resource to really grow our influence. Exciting times ahead.”

Abbeycroft Leisure, working in Partnership with Alliance Leisure, has achieved an incredible leisure centre makeover in Suffolk. The seven-month transformation project has seen a tired and underused facility reworked into a modern activity hub, all within the existing footprint, all within a budget of £1.5 million, provided by West Suffolk Council.

The UK’s most popular Gym Mirror company just got better They now offer PAY MONTHLY on all mirrors. With buy now pay later *subject to status, you can add this facility to your gym hassle-free and you have two options to choose from.

“The images speak for themselves”, says Tom Fairey, Senior Business Development Manager and project lead at Alliance Leisure. “Working closely with Abbeycroft Leisure and West Suffolk Council we have created a vibrant, modern environment which caters for the whole community and stands out as one of the county’s leading leisure destinations.” Forming part of West Suffolk Council’s Indoor Sports Facility Strategy, 2015-2031, the investment has been provided to create a resilient, healthy and active community whilst also providing opportunities for economic growth. The project was managed by Alliance Leisure and procured through the 8

August 2019


and Scott café has been incorporated to create a social hub where families and individuals can enjoy a wide selection of quality food and beverages. Speaking of the development, Warren Smyth, CEO Abbeycroft Leisure, says: “The leisure centre has been completely remodelled to reflect the needs of our modernday community. Since the development completed in January, we have attracted a 32% increase in footfall and revenue is up 16 per cent for the first quarter. We are also seeing uptake from a much wider demographic. “Based on our experience, I would encourage any Local Authority with an ageing leisure stock to explore opportunities. Tired facilities with a disconnect to the community are a huge drain on already limited resource but we have proved, even with limited capital investment, it is possible to create a sustainable environment which reengages the community and delivers economic, health and social benefits. “In these times of austerity, we need to look for creative ways to better serve our communities and, working with Alliance Leisure and West Suffolk Council, this is exactly what we have done here.

UK Leisure Framework. Tom Fairey, continues: “It is incredible what has been achieved through a reallocation of space across two floors of the 3,097 square foot building. We retained 2-courts in the sports hall and the rest of the space – equivalent to 3 courts, has been remodelled to create a vibrant XHeight Adventure Climbing facility and soft play zone like nothing else available locally. The community was lacking a facility where families could enjoy time together. This development has successfully addressed this issue.” The development works have also incorporated the Self Centre Health and Wellbeing facility. This area is served by its own, dedicated waiting space and houses three studios, used mainly for holistic classes such as Pilates and Yoga, plus 5 therapy rooms. The facility’s main occupier is Allied Health Professionals (Suffolk) who are the NHS commissioned provider of MSK physiotherapy services. In addition to enhancing the community wellness offer, this provides a rental opportunity for Abbeycroft Leisure, creating a consistent, new, revenue stream. The gym has been relocated, extended and kitted out with Matrix Fitness equipment plus a large, new studio space has been created which can be separated into two by a central, sliding wall. Space previously dedicated to two under-used squash courts has been reallocated to house a dedicated group cycle studio and modern ‘hot desk’ office space for staff. Male and female changing rooms have been completely renovated to create a modern ‘changing village’ and a Paddy

Pioneering wellness and biohacking gurus from around the globe, including Bulletproof’s Dave Asprey, John Gray and Paleo f(x) headline London's first Health Optimisation Summit Best-selling author, John Gray (Men Are From Mars), and Dave Asprey of Bulletproof coffee fame join some of the world’s smartest minds, technologies and brands from the biohacking, health, fitness, medical and nutrition fields at a new ground-breaking Biohacking & Preventative health care conference in London, September 14-15th. This two-day Biohacking event will focus on optimal and preventative health care, bringing together likeminded people keen to learn and discover a host of cool “biohacks”, tools and techniques to optimise their mind, body & environment. As well as an expo hall stacked with cool brands, products John Gray and biohacks - talks, keynotes, breakout sessions will provide the space for people to challenge the way we look at, and optimise health, providing a place to share knowledge and learn from thought leaders who are pioneering this new, sometimes controversial approach to a healthier way of life. The world-class, forward-thinking speakers, scientist and August 2019



Virtuagym’s health platform technology will power High Five’s Connect platform, which will be the central place for fitness facility management and employee health management services. High Five and Virtuagym plan to have High Five’s first customers up and running on the new platform in this quarter already. "We are very excited about this new step and look forward to a successful partnership with Virtuagym." says Eric Boer, CEO at High Five Health Promotion.

pioneers include Dave Asprey, the father of biohacking, Dr Harry Adelson (full body Stem Cells), Aubrey De Gray (Longevity), Prof. Gerald Pollack (4th phase of water), Dr Nasha Winters (Integrative Oncology), Dr Mark Atkinson (Flow State & Psychology), John Gray (“Men are from Mars, Women from Venus”), and many more. Tickets are available now from the Health Optimisation Summit website.

High Five Health Promotion Chooses Virtuagym as Health Technology Partner Virtuagym and High Five Health Promotion, two of the biggest players in health & fitness space in the Benelux, today announced a new partnership agreement. Virtuagym and High Five will be working together to provide High Five customers with Virtuagym’s awardwinning holistic health platform technology to run their in-company fitness facilities and provide an engaging employee wellness management solution. After careful review of available technology providers, High Five have selected Virtuagym as their partner to make the next step in innovation of their company wellness management services. As the largest provider of corporate fitness services in the Benelux, High Five believes working with the best technology available is essential for their future success and leadership in the market. "We are very proud that High Five have identified us as the best partner to work with," says Hugo Braam, CEO and cofounder of Virtuagym. "The employee wellness market is in development and we believe Virtuagym can help support High Five in their ongoing success." Enable employee health through technology 10

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About Virtuagym Virtuagym is an internationally leading provider of health & fitness technology. Its platform technology is a comprehensive ecosystem with integrated brandable mobile apps with solutions for exercise and nutrition guidance, progress tracking, online coaching, business analytics, member and staff management, scheduling, lead management, online signup and payments, access control, and more.. With 200+ employees and offices in Amsterdam, Latin America and the US, Virtuagym supports more than 12 million consumers, over 5,500 health clubs and 30,000+ trainers worldwide, including Basic-Fit (NL), Xercise4Less (UK), and XSport (USA). For more information, please visit www. About High Five High Five Health Promotion is the leading provider of corporate fitness management with over 400 corporate clients in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Based on their 4 pillars of vitality services High Five Gyms, High Five Fitness Network, High Five Health and High Five Progress they move over 80.000 employees on a daily basis towards a more happy and healthy lifestyle. For more information, please visit:

Jack’s gym hits the ground running Jack Plummer has opened a gym in Portsmouth. Hampshire’s newest gym has hit the ground running by bringing the latest Los Angeles’ techniques to the south coast. Former Portsmouth FC academy player Jack Plummer returned from the


US to open the business that already has 100 members. Based in the Fratton area of Portsmouth, Jack Plummer Gym is the first in what the owner believes will become a chain. Jack, 30, has invested a large sum in the venture that puts emphasis on psychology, nutrition, lifestyle and mental health. It has been designed so users never feel uncomfortable and there is a strong US-style customer service culture. Jack said I spent six years in LA, playing football and studying for a degree in Kinesiology at the University of California Irvine – a wide-ranging subject centred on sport. After graduating I built up a business as a personal trainer specialising in helping women. When I decided to return to Portsmouth I wanted to open a gym that included all the elements of modern training that I had learned. Jack Plummer Gym is especially designed so people always feel welcome – I meet all interested new members face-to-face and show them around. Nothing is intimidating and we can cater for highly experienced gym users as well as complete novices. It’s a friendly place and everybody talks to each other. As well as having top-of-the-range equipment we look at the whole structure of the body and include nutrition, supplements, lifestyle and mental health. The speed at which we reached 100 members really surprised me – it took just two weeks - but word has got around very quickly. Another success has been our women-only seminars on a Monday night at which I explain how the equipment works and how they can use the gym for the best results. Women’s seminars have been hugely popular “The aim is to create even more jobs and then open a chain of gyms.” Membership of Jack Plummer Gym is also highly competitive at just £25 a month.

Lift Yourself | Laura Hoggins Penguin Life Thursday 25th July 2019 9780241385913 Trade Paperback | £14.99 It’s time to ditch the quickfix diets and step off the cross-trainer. There's another way to get results and feel empowered, and it's all about lifting weights and developing your strength. In Lift Yourself, Laura Hoggins, a qualified personal trainer and expert in strength training, takes you on an honest journey of her struggles with body confidence and discovering lifting - from being a self-conscious, cardio junkie who was

a slave to the scales to a strong and empowered strength and conditioning coach who is training for life - not for Instagram. In the book, Laura discusses how to sustainably pursue health and fitness, whatever your goal may be. To enable to the reader to gain an understanding of the benefits of strength training, not just physically but mentally too, breaking down the ‘gymtimidation’ and dispelling myths on getting strong, ready to embark on their own strength-training journey. None of which include licking broccoli, spending days on the treadmill, being a member of a hi-tech gym or buying the latest equipment. With the opportunity to not only improve your strength but also your life by following Laura's ten strength commandments, this book will look to improve your body confidence and leave you feeling empowered and energised. Because visible abs does not necessarily equal health, she asks you to find YOUR version of fitness and reminds you, there are no disadvantages to being strong. Nothing looks as good as strong feels. Born and raised in Surrey, Laura Hoggins developed her passion for lifting after discovering CrossFit over five years ago. Inspired by the community of individuals whose priority was athletics and not aesthetics, Laura quit her office job and moved into fitness full time to share with others what she discovered. Now a fully trained coach and personal trainer, Laura delivers her own concept class, LIFTED, at Ministry of Sound Fitness which focuses purely on strength development, form and technique. Laura has over 18,000 Instagram followers and has worked with British Weight Lifting, Women in Sport and This Girl Can to spread a campaign that she supports that 'strong is not a size'. She rewrites the rules of fitness and truly is an ambassador of ignoring the stereotype and focusing on YOU, without comparison to others. Team Lifted Laura also has an exceptional community and hosts a private FB group ‘TEAM LIFTED’, of over 250 highly engaged participants, which readers of the book are invited to join. Laura posts in this group regularly and shares information on her upcoming projects and events. They are a group of individuals (men & women) from all over the UK and afar who inspire and educate each other, and share elements of their journey with each other. The book shares some inspirational insights into how they too changed their lives via getting strong. From Lift Yourself – Technique School In this chapter, Laura takes us through an essential range of functional compound movements; how to master the movement pattern, ensuring you are moving safely and encouraging control of execution by engaging the correct muscles. Below is an example for the King (or Queen!) of compound movements, the Deadlift, an effective but relatively technical exercise that requires the correct form to truly be beneficial: For each exercise (supported also by YouTube videos) Laura will take you step by step through: What is it? How to do it. Which muscles are you working? Great for . . . (why it’s beneficial) August 2019



Laura also includes her top training tip for the exercise, as though you have her there coaching you through the exercise and inspiring confidence when you are ready to give it a try. For further information please contact Corinna Bolino / 020 7139 3728

organisation has chosen Origin Fitness as its supplier of free weights, accessories, functional training and studio equipment across 300 sites in its full health and wellbeing estate. The contract will run for three years during an exciting time during in which Nuffield Health are refurbishing and modernising the gym floor at many of its consumer fitness and wellbeing clubs.

Make Yourself at Marriott is launched by Dinosaur

Marriott Fitness Clubs has launched ‘Make Yourself at Marriott’ designed by creative agency Dinosaur to encourage visitors to use the premium Marriott Fitness Clubs as an extension of their summer holiday. Created to attract new customers during the traditionally quiet summer weeks, the campaign shows Marriott Fitness Clubs are more than a gym – they’re the opportunity of a holiday without the hassle. Make Yourself at Marriott shows how members feel ownership of their space. They use the clubs as a community and social hub and a place revitalise too. Marriott clubs are for more than exercising – they’re places you can swim, do a class, have a sauna and massage and then get some food with friends. Members treat the clubs like their own – many using the function rooms for celebrations. Mark Beaumont, Executive Creative Director adds: “No one can really ‘get fit’ in 6 weeks. And we know that current members don’t use the clubs to get shredded anyway. They come to stay healthy and enjoy all the extras that make it a great place to relax. Six weeks in a Marriott Club is a break away from home. We asked people to join for a summer holiday and use the facilities at their leisure” Activated locally by each Fitness Club manager, Dinosaur combined its deep knowledge of the health and fitness sector and its understanding of the diverse gym community to create a series of localised campaigns. This was supported a wealth of assets to run across social, in-gym and offline – making Marriott the go-to destination of the summer. And you don’t need a passport to get there.

Nuffield Health Extends Contract with Origin Fitness as Equipment Partner Origin Fitness is proud to announce that Nuffield Health, the UK’s leading not-for-profit healthcare 12

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Origin Fitness was initially awarded this contract in 2015 after having worked on several corporate projects prior to this. In each of the last three years over 100 sites across the estate have been equipped with Origin products. Paul Bodger Managing Director at Origin said “the Nuffield Health contract was one of the first major national contracts we secured as a business, so it means a lot to have held onto it this year. It’s a testament to the great work our team have put in but also to the improvements we have made along the way, continually driving our level of service forward. We look forward to supporting Nuffield Health in their future successes however we can.” “After a thorough evaluation process we were pleased to be able to re-award this contract to Origin Fitness. We have built a great relationship over the past three years working alongside their team and have delivered countless successful projects on the consumer and corporate sides of our business. We’re confident Origin will offer us the best quality and value across their product categories going forward into this important period for the organisation.” – Rick Crawford, Head of Commercial Development at Nuffield Health. In 2019 Nuffield Health will continue their ambitious refurbishment programme which saw 20 sites completed in 2018. Over the course of the next three years Nuffield Health will aim to carry out refurbishment projects at almost all 112 consumer fitness and wellbeing clubs. About Nuffield Health Nuffield Health is one of the leading not-for-profit UK healthcare organisations, looking after people for more than 60 years. Today, we run a network of hospitals, medical clinics, fitness and wellbeing clubs and diagnostic units across the UK. We also support businesses in looking after their employees by operating their fitness and wellbeing facilities services. Through our experts, we link our sites and services up to offer connected healthcare provision, including nutritional therapy, emotional wellbeing, occupational health, comprehensive health assessments, and personal training


and hospital treatments. We also offer access to the largest network of physiotherapists outside of the NHS. As a trading charity, we do not have investors or shareholders to answer to – our customers and patients come first. All our income is invested back into operating and developing our health and wellbeing services and pioneering new models of care and delivery so that more people can benefit. To date 94% of our hospitals have been rated good or outstanding by independent regulators.

don’t have a clue what foods they should be eating to support their hard work • Experts say that nutrition is as important as exercise to achieve fitness goals • Over 40% of consumers don’t know which foods are and aren’t healthy • While 30% would like to get nutritional information from their personal trainers

Find out more about us and our pioneering models of care: or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn About Origin Fitness Origin Fitness is the trading name of Anytime Leisure Limited. Origin Fitness specialises in providing the best in fitness equipment along with an expert gym design and installation service. As well as offering a wide range of equipment and flooring Origin Fitness is proud to be a supplier of some of the fitness industry’s leading brands. Our own ranges of free weights, accessories, flooring and functional training equipment from Origin Fitness are designed and created by our in-house product team and manufactured to the highest quality. To find out more visit: https://www.originfitness. com/about-us

Optimum Nutrition The new Optimum Nutrition For Health & Performance Course Launches this week: The Optimum Nutrition For Health & Performance Course launches online and is available for PTs and fitness experts who are looking to further their nutritional education to provide a deeper understanding and nutritional advice to clients and consumers. The course provides a certificate of nutrition certified by the Association For Nutrition (AFN), counts toward Continued Personal Development points, costs £99 (£59 for REPs members) and is completed over the course of 10 modules.

[London] Sporting and endurance events are hugely on the increase in the UK, as seen by the rise in numbers taking part in gruelling physical challenges like the Human Race series, Tough Mudder and Spartan. However, while Brits are pushing themselves harder than ever in the gym and on the track, it looks like they’re falling at the first hurdle when it comes to diet and nutrition. The saying goes that abs are made in the kitchen, and the experts agree that good nutrition is a crucial element when it comes to hitting those fitness goals and reaching peak performance. With so many more people in the UK pushing their fitness levels, it’s more important than ever that alongside a robust training programme, they’re taking appropriate steps in their nutrition, too. And so it’s food for thought as new research reveals that there’s a nationwide lack of understanding around eating for fitness, which means lots of our hard work in the gym is put at risk through improper eating. Optimum Nutrition, who this week announced the launch of the Optimum Nutrition For Health & Performance course, commissioned in-depth research polling 2,000 adults who exercise regularly and discovered that a staggering 80% don’t understand what foods they should be eating to support a healthy lifestyle. The results are even more shocking when the average respondent works out on average 4 times every week, and nearly 90% of consumers agree that diet is equally as important as exercise. Furthermore, over a third don’t know how long before exercise they should or shouldn’t be eating in order for it to be beneficial and 38% are also confused about nutrition post-exercise.

• Fitness-focused Brits are missing out on their goals, and it’s all down to nutrition • Strength and Endurance training is on the increase, with the public more engaged in fitness training than ever • Yet over 80% of Brits who exercise regularly admit they

Seven in ten believe that consumers, in general, are puzzled by what makes up a good diet: 44% get their nutritional information from an internet search, which leaves them vulnerable to poor or even dangerous advice, rather than evidenced-based nutrition when it comes to what to eat, or what not to eat. Just 15% seek information from books while August 2019



less than one in 10 will seek advice from a personal trainer. However, 3 in 10 would like to be able to source nutritional advice from a personal trainer in future, which is why Optimum Nutrition has created the Optimum Nutrition For Health & Performance Course. Paul Coppin UK Marketing Director for Optimum Nutrition, said: "It’s surprising to see a large number of consumers so confused about nutrition when it comes to training for sporting goals, with many consumers potentially using unreliable sources for their nutritional information. With more than 30,000 Personal Trainers in the UK, they’re at the frontline of consumer queries on physical advice and we believe that this group of experts are well-positioned to offer even more support to their clients through nutrition. Many PTs qualify through programmes with very little and often outdated nutrition instruction, therefore we’re launching the Optimum Nutrition for Health & Performance course, which aims to arm PTs throughout the UK with the nutritional advice that consumers are looking for and need.” When it comes to fuelling bodies before a workout, one quarter will get energised with fruit however some consumers admit to indulging in crisps, chocolate and sweets pre-exercise. Crionna Tobin, Head of Science and Education for Optimum Nutrition who created the course, said: “As a Performance Nutritionist and creator the Optimum Nutrition For Health & Performance course, I understand the importance of great nutrition to achieving fitness, weight loss and sporting goals. The new course addresses the most common queries and nutritional myths, from the principles of weight loss, demystifying diets, to how to eat to support performance. It’s built on solid evidence along with addressing the practicalities of applying this knowledge in a real World setting. We want to empower PTs and fitness pros to coach their clients on how to change their nutrition habits.” Almost a tenth of consumers have admitted that they look to influencers on social media for nutritional advice, despite whether relevant qualifications being held is clear. One in seven consumers have purchased a nutrition product after seeing it advertised by an online influencer. However, despite this, just a quarter believe that those with a strong social following are a reliable source for nutritional advice. 72% of consumers believe food advertising can be misleading in regard to how healthy it is – so it’s no surprise there’s so much confusion. This lack of nutritional knowledge could even be having a detrimental effect with two-fifths recalling times they have felt lightheaded, shaky or dizzy during a workout. Of those who have suffered a moment of unease during exercise, half believe they didn’t eat or drink enough, and nearly a fifth believe they ate the wrong things. The study also discovered that as little as one fifth are confident that they understand the benefits of protein and carbohydrates in relation to exercise, yet two-fifths wrongly believe taking protein before a workout can boost energy levels. The Optimum Nutrition For Health & Performance Course launches this week online and is available for PTs and fitness experts who are looking to further their nutritional 14

August 2019

education to provide a deeper understanding and nutritional advice to clients and consumers. The course provides a certificate of nutrition certified by the Association For Nutrition (AFN), counts toward Continued Personal Development points, costs £99 (£59 for REPs members) and is completed over the course of 10 modules. John Byers Business Development Manager, Register of Exercise Professionals comments: “REPs members know and understand the importance of healthy nutrition when it comes to their customers’ goals, so staying on top of their knowledge and understanding of the fundamental nutrition principles is essential to helping their customers. This comprehensive, evidence-based course is great for REPs members who want to improve their knowledge and refresh their understanding in the area. Thank you to the Optimum Nutrition team for pulling it all together.” For more information on the launch of the Optimum Nutrition For Health & Performance Course head to the website or contact Keep up to date on @optimumnutrition_uk #ONproven

PREMIER GLOBAL NASM APPOINTED EXCLUSIVE UK FITNESS TRAINING PROVIDER BY PURE GYM In a bid to create a clear route to market for personal trainer graduates and to provide seamless access to quality Continual Professional Development, Premier Global NASM has partnered with Pure Gym, the UK’s largest gym chain and recruiter of fitness professionals. “Pure Gym currently engages more than 2,300 personal trainers across our 230 sites,” explains, Rebecca Passmore, COO at Pure Gym. “Over the next five years, we plan to grow our portfolio to more than 500 sites, creating a huge challenge to attract and retain large numbers of job-ready fitness professionals. We have partnered with Premier Global NASM to create a supply chain of fit for purpose personal trainers, ready and able to serve our 1,000,000 plus members. As part of the partnership, Premier Global NASM will actively market to Pure Gym members. Passmore, adds: “More than 40 per cent of the personal trainers working on our gym floors are past Pure Gym members. Through this new partnership, we provide a clear access route for members to qualify as personal trainers, becoming educated in Premier Global NASM’s globally acclaimed Optimum Performance Training (OPT™) model. Once qualified, these individuals can then re-engage with our brand as a member of our fitness team.” The strategic partnership is also supported by insights gained from a recent YouGov survey, commissioned by Premier Global NASM, which reports more than 5 million adults have expressed an interest in entering the UK fitness industry in the next two years. The survey also highlights


the need for flexible learning, with 50 per cent of those expressing an interest admitting a need to fit study around existing work and family commitments. “The YouGov findings are encouraging,” states Brad Tucker, Vice President and General Manager - International Fitness, Premier Global NASM. “There is a significant appetite amongst the work-aged population to enter our sector, provided we can create the right study environment. The Premier Global NASM Level 3, Personal Training qualification is based on our flexible online distance learning model enabling students to earn whilst they learn. “The 2019 State of The Fitness Industry Report by The Leisure Database Company also reports year on year sector growth in terms of number of facilities (plus 7,200), membership (plus 10,000,000) and economic value (£5 billion). This growth is only sustainable if we can continue to attract and retain professional talent to our workforce.” The partnership offers Pure Gym personal trainers exclusive discounts on Premier Global NASM’s portfolio of CPD courses to encourage continued learning and education.

for business owners. We know that music can have a profound effect on our levels of motivation and determination whilst training- and that the type of music we listen to can affect the intensity and enjoyment of any gym session. The platform has a specially dedicated fitness section, categorised into playlists suited to Body Pump classes, the gym floor and yoga, amongst others. All songs are scientifically researched and selected to optimise the experience of the gym goer and compliment the atmosphere of the brand. For the creative entrepreneur, users also have the option to explore the platform and build playlists themselves choosing from an extensive catalogue of songs. The library consists of thousands of songs, all of which come from underground professional artists, rather than recycling the top 100 hits like other streaming platforms often do. The curated playlists change daily, as the music library continues to grow with professionally produced music by the label's list of signed artists from around the world.

Jason Hussain, Employer Engagement Manager at premier Global NASM, says: “Our CPD provision is constantly reviewed to ensure we educate trainers in topics relevant to the evolving market. For example, this month (June, 10) sees the launch of our Level 2 qualification in Mental Health Awareness, accredited by Active IQ. “According to the World Health Organisation, 1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental health disorder at some point in their life, therefore fitness professionals are likely to encounter individuals seeking support in this area. Our CPD course explores how to reduce stigma and discrimination associated with mental health problems whilst teaching methods to manage and improve mental wellbeing through exercise and effective listening.” Pure Gym trainers will also be encouraged to attend live OPT™ workshops hosted by various Pure Gym sites around the UK where Premier Global NASM tutors will conduct practical hands-on sessions, based on the principles of NASM’s world-renowned OPT™ training model. Hussain, concludes: “Attracting and retaining quality fitness professionals continue to challenge the sector. There is a danger that, unless we can find a sector-wide solution, future industry growth may be inhibited. Premier Global NASM welcomes any opportunity to collaborate with operators keen to work in partnership to tackle this issue.” The Pure Gym and Premier Global NASM partnership launches today (July 15).

Rehegoo Music Launches Background Music Streaming Service for Businesses New Interactive Streaming Platform Provides RoyaltyFree Background Music and Playlists for Fitness venues. Rehegoo Music Group, one of the world's fastest growing record labels, has launched a new streaming platform providing curated playlists and an array of moods and genres

The platform launched in Italy, the U.K., and the USA in early May 2019 and will continue to roll out across the globe throughout the year.

Last-minute cancellations cost PTs over £9,000 in lost annual income Personal Trainers are losing more than £9,000 – and the fitness industry £239 million – per year due to clients cancelling their pre-booked PT sessions, according to new research. Clients’ top three excuses for failing to attend a pre-booked session include tiredness (62%), lack of motivation (59%) and forgetting other commitments (52%); according to the ‘Survival of the Fittest’ report, conducted by booking management platform, fibodo. The research reveals the serious financial implications and wider issues that no-shows have for fitness professionals. With lost earnings of more than £9,000 annually, many find themselves struggling to make ends meet, with their August 2019



only option being to leave the profession altogether, despite their time and effort spent training. This is supported by the research identifying that more than a quarter (27%) of fitness professionals worry whether their business will last more than a few years. On average, personal trainers report five no-shows or last-minute cancellations every week. A fifth are even let down 6-8 times per week by clients who had committed to a session. It is unsurprising then that a huge 58% of PTs believe this is having a negative effect on their business. Latest statistics reveal that gym and studio memberships are currently at their highest-ever level in the UK, with personal or group training becoming an increasingly popular option. But the figures highlight a discrepancy between the number of sign-ups and those actually engaged – something which may be negatively impacting public health, as well as PTs’ pay packets. Anthony Franklin, CEO and founder of fibodo, commented: “These cancellations are crippling for fitness professionals whose livelihoods rely on clients attending their pre-booked sessions. People wouldn’t expect to book a holiday without pre-paying so it shouldn’t be any different for people wanting to book professionals’ time. “We regularly speak with personal trainers who have reduced no-shows by using fibodo which ensures clients pre-pay for sessions. Not only does this reduce wasted time and lost money for trainers, but can reverse the trend of professionals leaving the career they love and help the UK get fitter, too.”

Read the Survival of the Fittest report here.

Entrepreneurs flex their muscles with Nottingham gym opening Results-driven gym, Code Fitness, has opened its doors on William Hall Way in Newark, with the support of a six-figure funding package from NatWest. Entrepreneurs and personal trainers, Steve McClory and Luke Watson, have used £593,000 of finance from NatWest to build a bespoke 10,000 sq ft gym, focusing on training and educating people on all aspects of their health. The funding has enabled the pair to purchase land at Fernwood Business Park and construct and fit-out a purpose-built facility, which includes a weights floor, boot camp areas, an indoor track and a 3,000 sq ft AstroTurf area. Steve and Luke have over 14 years’ combined experience working as personal trainers and wanted to open a gym that bridged the gap between elite personal training and gym membership. They work on a full health basis, educating people on nutrition as well as physical training. The pair will run the gym alongside a team of 8 personal trainers and two gym instructors, on hand seven days a week to help members. All staff are trained to the highest standard and regularly undertake new courses to stay up-todate on the latest health advice. Steve said: “Our gym is a completely new venture for us. Code Fitness was formed on the basis of supporting and educating our members on fitness and nutrition, rather than them joining a gym chain and not making any progress towards their goals. “We started off as personal trainers working at a gym, NatWest supported our vision to open the original Code Fitness by financing the refurbish and kit out of a building in Newark which we leased for five years, now with the backing of NatWest we’ve opened a £1m facility” Helena Procter, Relationship Manager at NatWest, said: “Steve and Luke are passionate about helping people through fitness and it is rewarding to support their business venture. We wish them the best of luck look forward to watching the business grow.”

The Top 10 most-common excuses Brits use to cancel an exercise session 1 I was tired 2 I just didn’t have the motivation 3 I forgot that I had other commitments 4 I was going with my friend/family member and they cancelled so I did, too 5 I got a better offer 6 I was injured or unwell 7 I wanted to stay in 8 I didn’t want to get sweaty 9 I forgot my kit 10 I worried it would be too difficult 16

August 2019

PEDALLING YOUR WAY TO PEAK FITNESS Bupa Health Clinics partner with world-renowned indoor cycling brand, Wattbike Favoured by Anthony Joshua and Andy Murray, Wattbikes can now be accessed at over 30 high-street locations Wattbike provides patients with a 12-week training plan to improve health and fitness A new partnership between Bupa Health Clinics and Wattbike will give customers access to the world’s most advanced and indoor training bike at more than 30 Bupa sites across the UK. Developed to meet the needs of the world’s most elite


(CRF) score, maximum minute power, functional threshold heart rate and functional threshold power. These results provide patients with a measure of aerobic fitness and state of their respiratory, cardiovascular and skeletal muscle system which can be used to identify heart rate and power training zones. Wattbike can also provide a structured 12-week training plan from beginner to advanced level, which complements the lifestyle coaching offered by Bupa’s team of qualified health and lifestyle advisors.

athletes, including Anthony Joshua and Andy Murray, Wattbike is well established among the sporting elite. However, this new partnership means that the bikes are setting a new standard for training and testing tools for the consumer health and fitness industry. The bikes will be used as part of Bupa’s Peak Health Assessment, which is designed to both identify current health concerns and potential future risks, with tailored lifestyle coaching to help customers improve their health. It also includes male or female health checks for the early detection of gender-specific cancers, with a doctor consultation of up to 60 minutes. The Wattbikes are set up based on recommendations by British Cycling, meaning they can be adapted to specific body shapes in order to help maximise performance and prevent injury. Their introduction means customers will now benefit from a fitness assessment without the need for an uncomfortable mask or mouthpiece. The Wattbike test will predict a V02 max score, maximum heart rate, Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Richard Baker, Wattbike CEO, comments: “Testing to benchmark health and fitness is vital. It’s how we establish a starting point on which to improve. We are extremely proud to have partnered with Bupa on this. We’re providing them with an advanced, non-invasive fitness test to measure physiological responses to exercise which offers practical guidance towards improved levels of health, fitness and performance. “By providing this style of personalised lifestyle coaching, the support tools help people set a benchmark that can be reviewed and improved upon, encouraging them to make necessary lifestyle changes to lead healthier lives.” Sarah Melia, Director, Bupa Health Clinics adds: “Health assessments are a fantastic way of getting a snapshot of your health and we are always looking for new ways to take them to the next level. Our partnership with Wattbike is really exciting as it gives our customers the chance to trial cutting edge technology which was previously the reserve of elite sportspeople. It’s an exciting addition to our offering and will help people take control of their health and lifestyle.” For more information or to book your Peak Health Assessment visit health-assessments/health-peak

INTERNATIONAL NEWS FIBO USA 2019 in Miami Sun, sea, art, culture – and fitness: FIBO USA could not have picked a better place. Miami Beach, which attracts fitness enthusiasts from all over the world with such hotspots as its Muscle Beach, where locals exercise at a plethora of fitness clubs and companies invest in a healthy lifestyle, will host the second FIBO USA from 17 to 19 October. In a study, Miami was just recently declared the “healthiest destination in America” with its diverse fitness clubs, spas, yoga and Pilates studios, wholefood stores and vegan restaurants. The venue for FIBO USA is the newly designed Miami Beach Convention Center located at the heart of South Beach.

The plan is to also bring the strength of FIBO in Germany to bear in the USA: by connecting all market players – manufacturers and club operators, but also public institutions, all types of companies and, of course, the many fitness fans. They will be given the unique opportunity to be the first to put market innovations to the test at the trade show, to network on a global scale, to consult experts and be instructed by top trainers. FIBO USA is a trade show, convention and fitness festival – all in one. This is where the industry is booming A quarter of all fitness clubs in the USA are based in the South East of the country. This is one of the reasons for FIBO USA to offer a trade show platform that thrills both professionals and consumers alike. In greater Miami 11,000 people are employed August 2019



in the fitness industry and 142,000 have gym memberships. “This enormous potential has convinced us that Miami is the perfect location,” Silke Frank, Event Director for FIBO global says and she adds, “With FIBO USA we are entering one of the epicentres of the American health and wellness industry and expect that it will bring new energy to the FIBO brand and fitness community at large”. New target groups Be it cruise ships, fully serviced residential complexes or country clubs – fitness permeates more and more areas of life. “We are now entering the Fitness 4.0 phase, a better connected, holistic and health-oriented sector, that serves the bigger picture and with greater relevance to society,” Herman Rutgers, FIBO International Ambassador, in charge of organising the second American Health & Fitness Forum at FIBO USA underlines. “Fitness is no longer limited to the “four walls” of the gym.” This is why such vertical markets as enterprises, fire brigades, police forces, tourism, leisure and home fitness are in focus when canvassing visitors. Miami is home to numerous big players like cruise lines (Carnival and Royal Caribbean), NASA, Real Estates as well as many universities, colleges, country clubs, youth organisations, and the armed forces. FIBO works with ambassadors from all of these areas. These companies will join the fray Exhibitors include international market leaders who wish to expand their visibility in the USA but also American enterprises wishing to address new target groups at FIBO. Taking part in the premiere in Miami will be miha bodytec, Aktiv Solutions, Keiser Corporation, Ziva Fitness, MYZONE, Zumba, LesMills, POUND, XBody, and Beachbody. “We need more interaction among consumers, fitness enthusiasts and the B2B sector in the USA. FIBO USA has the potential to become the “big gorilla” in the USA that serves the complete fitness and lifestyle market,” Petra Robinson, Fitness Industry Adviser at ZUMBA, remarks and goes on to say: “FIBO USA stands the unique chance of closing the gap between professionals and enthusiasts and to create a monster event like FIBO in Germany.” Other companies that have already booked their stands include Evolt 360, Cryo Innovations, Fitlight Corp, Blazepod, Ultimate Instability, Dollamur Sport Surfaces, Yogafit, and Alignment Essentials. What’s more: the trade show is supported by American trade associations – including ACE, the American Council on Exercise, AFAA, the Athletics and Fitness Association of America, which has already certified over 350,000 trainers and instructors, NASM, the National Academy of Sports Medicine as well as WIFA, the Women in Fitness Association. Learn and experience FIBO USA also means continuing education, networking, workouts and shows. Club operators should already arrive a day prior to the trade show opening, because 16 October will see the second American Health & Fitness Forum being held in cooperation with Herman Rutgers. This forum is all about global industry trends, best practices and success philosophies. Top personalities from the global fitness industry such as David Long, co-founder and CEO of Orangetheory Fitness, Phillip Mills, founder and CEO of Les Mills, Diogo Corona, COO at Smart Fit, one of the leading fitness chains in Latin America, Todd Magazine, CEO of Blink Fitness USA and Marianne 18

August 2019

Orderud, Marketing Director from SATS – the leading operator in Scandinavia are expected to speak. Club operators, trainers and private visitors will get their money’s worth for the FIBO FitPass with some 120 workouts, workshops and lectures. Here, visitors will find great content on topics such as marketing, member engagement, digitization or corporate culture. Celebrity workouts and competitions in physique, strength, callisthenics, and functional training round off the ranges.

About FIBO Global Fitness From Cologne to Shanghai and from Johannesburg to Miami: FIBO is present with activities on the target markets. FIBO in Cologne is the world’s biggest trade show for fitness, wellness and health attracting some 1,200 exhibitors and 145,000 visitors to Germany. Since 2014, FIBO China has been the central meeting point for the Asian fitness industry. In 2017, the first FIBO event “joined the fray” in South Africa, today’s FIBO Global Fitness Africa. 2018 saw the first HEAT MX powered by FIBO in Mexico as well as the launch of FIBO USA. FIBO is organised by Reed Exhibitions, one of the world’s largest trade show organisers.

Fitness Pop-Up in Amsterdam, powered by FunXtion, provides taster of first SportCity Premium Club SportCity, all-inclusive fitness and health club, has partnered with FunXtion, experts in interactive, digital fitness to create a fully operational pop-up studio, providing a taster of what to expect when the operator launches its first Premium Club in


Amsterdam later this year.

boutique experience in the main premium club when it opens.

The SportCity Hit Club Pop-Up opened in June offering

Jan-Willem Dockheer, SportCity and Fit For Free CEO comments: “Traditionally we support a new club opening with a standard pre-sale but to launch the first SportCity Premium Club, we wanted to create a fully immersive taster of what is to come. The SportCity HIIT Club, is a fully operational replica of the high-end fitness and wellness experience our Premium Club will offer but in a much smaller footprint.

efficient, effective and engaging 30 – 40-minute instructor-

“To create a truly interactive experience in the HIIT Club pop-up, we partnered with FunXtion. Utilising the brand’s impressive multi-screen Experience Stations we have been able to offer each and every user a digital coach, providing exercise technique guidance and real-time heart rate measurement. This enables our trainers to focus more on motivation tactics than exercise correction, enhancing the experience and driving results.” The SportCity Premium Club will provide a high-end, bespoke fitness experience and environment for all ages and abilities: from young to old, from Dutch to English speaking and from experienced gym-users to complete beginners. The new club will offer an all-around luxury including a laundry service, high-speed Wi-Fi enabling working professionals to remain connective and responsive throughout their visit, plus a licensed lounge and bar for socializing and relaxing. SportCity has appointed TANK, specialists in creating a relaxed, wellness spaces, to design their first Premium Club which is located in the beautiful building at Cornelius Schuytstraat in Amsterdam-Zuid. Jan-Willem continues: “Thanks to the latest in innovation, members will be able to keep track of all of their fitness data in the cloud on the latest ARTIS fitness equipment from Technogym and experience the future of interactive fitness through our FunXtion multi-screen solution. Engaging FunXtion has enabled us to combine HIIT with the latest in technology to take the experience to the next level. I believe in real-time, hyper-personalised support and we have been able to create, thanks to these digital solutions. If this is what we can create in a pop-up, just wait to see what the Premium Club will have to offer!” The Club will include a team of Personal Trainers to motivate, inspire and fast-track members towards their goals. Certified English-Speaking coaches will also be available for expats and English-speaking residents. These are extra steps taken to ensure the highest level of personal attention and engagement for all members. There will also be a full, diverse timetable of group exercise classes including Yoga, Indoor Bootcamp and SuperCycle. SportCity Premium Club will launch in December 2019. SportCity already operators 3 other clubs in Amsterdam and 22 across the Netherlands. Assuming all goes well in Amsterdam, the brand has the ambition to develop more Premium sites in the future. led workouts fully supported by FunXtion’s unique, digital coaching system. The concept will then transform into a

To find out more visit funxtioninsportcitypremium/ August 2019



Your name(s):

Brixton's Street Gym

Name of owner: Terroll Lewis


6 Somerleyton Road, Brixton London SW9 8ND UK





 and :


How did you become a gym owner? Ten years ago I was in a very different position to where I am now. When I came out of prison, I never had any money to go to the gym and workout. I remember going to a commercial gym in Brixton and they told me I needed to pay by Direct Debit, coming from the streets I wasn't used to having a bank account and I didn’t even know what a Direct Debit was. From there on I started working out in my local park and published a YouTube video which gained thousands of views. People were interested in me using my own environment to work out and train. From there, I literally just started doing sessions in the park with young people from the estates and that is how we started. I had dozens of people from all backgrounds working out with me and learning what I was learning. The local authorities took notice and recognised that we were doing amazing work for the community and they offered me a space to create a hub for these young people and for the community. Brixton Street Gym was born.




How many gyms do you own/operate? One at the moment in Brixton, South London. It’s currently going through a massive refurbishment and the whole community is excited in seeing the end result. Expansion plans are lined up to open a further two gyms in London and one in Birmingham.

How long has your gym been operating for?

Do you provide any financial assistance to staff members? Be it training or becoming a Master Trainer, things like that? We create and try to give as much help as we possibly can. This means we can create more jobs for our trainers to support them financially. We also help our trainers build their platforms on social media and we collaborate with a lot of sport brands.

Brixton Street Gym has been operating for 4 years now.

What makes your gym unique?

Aside from the gym, what other facilities do you offer your members e.g cafe, classes, creche etc?

The energy and atmosphere, its more than a gym, its a hub and its all about what it gives back to the community and we are making a positive impact within the community. Having a gym in the heart of an area such as Brixton could have been difficult as in the past, the area has had a very bad reputation and also has a lot of work that needs to be done on the streets, within the estate and within these young people’s minds. Many people think that changing things involves pushing stuff under the carpet, but that doesn’t do anything and also does not change anything. We need to lift up the carpet, with a clear mind and make the community look better.

There are up to 19 different classes which include boxing, dance, yoga and circuits. We have also incorporated education classes such as CV writing and interview skills. We even have a free book club to encourage people to read. You don’t need to be a member to take part in the classes or book club.

How many staff do you employ? I have 11 members of staff that are employed at this moment in time, all of my staff have come from troubled backgrounds even including prison.

How important are PTs to your business? PTs are very important to my business. It means I can create job opportunities for those who have got themselves into difficult situations, debt, prison etc.... Also, there are a lot of people that require my support. Not only am I training these people physically, but I am

What advice would you give to other gyms? It depends, you have to ask yourself why. Why do you have a gym? I have my gym to change lives and to create jobs and help the community. It’s to find out your why! My why, is also to take people off the streets, support as many people as possible and create a different brand. I think you should do as much as possible to support your clients.

What are the biggest challenges facing you today?

here to deal with and strengthen their mental state.

The biggest challenge I have is finding the balance between business work and community work.

How do you motivate/incentivise your PT's staff?

How do you engage with your members?

Put simply, I lead by example!

I engage with my members through conversations, through activities and I build a personal relationship with all my clients. Due to this being a




community based gym, building relationships is so important. Keeping clients engaged is the main thing.

How do you retain your members? I retain my members by giving them a service that is too good and that makes them always want to come back. I pride myself within customer service and client relationships. I also make sure all my clients in the gym have the same ethical values; the relationships that we have developed with our customers make sure they return week in, week out. You can take a look at my social media and see our classes in the winter are just as busy as our classes in the summer.

How are you promoting your brand and marketing your gym? For example word of mouth, Facebook, Twitter etc.. Word of mouth and positive results are the main promotion for my brand. We have a very strong social media platform and we also work with sports brands such as Nike, Under Amor, JD Sports and Gym Shark. These brands have taken a sincere interest in the work we do and want to contribute to giving back.



What is your biggest success story? My biggest success story, well, at the moment we are still climbing and working on the brand. However, the biggest success story so far is working with a group of people from all different backgrounds and people that have come from different upbringings. These peoples lives, I have changed and are now more like family rather than members, which is a blessing in itself. We have created a hub where we have zero tolerance on discrimination. It does not matter what the colour of your skin is, what your religion is, where you are from or your class of living, once you step into the gym it is like everyone is focused on positive energy only. The aim is to grow mentally and physically.

Finally, if there is anything you would like to change in the industry what would it be? l’d like to get more affordable training sessions and more support for community and sport projects within the business and community. Even if that means it’s a commercial gym supporting local youth clubs. Also, local youth clubs being able to go into these commercial gyms, at a community price, even if it is one day a week.


pt academy the 10 year journey We speak To Adam Kiani, the man behind PT Academy, and his 10 Year Journey How did you get into the fitness industry? I’ve always had a passion for health and fitness since childhood. I played cricket, rugby and chess for my school. I took up boxing at 16, first training at Small Heath amateur boxing club and then training with Freddie Barr at Kingston amateur whilst I was at university. I was hooked with the high intensity and fast-paced training lifestyle and the passion mutated from boxing to Muay Thai to Kickboxing. I competed often and had several bouts. My career highlights were winning the prestigious Ringmasters tournament in Kent and representing England in Paris in 2012. After graduating and running a successful telecommunications company, I wanted to go back to my fitness roots where my passion lay. I became a club manager for LA Fitness and was then headhunted by a company that recruited and mentored personal trainers. I had a large region - west midlands to south wales and any time could be managing and mentoring up to 100 trainers. It was during this time that I realised there was a fundamental need for a change in how trainers were educated. The industry had an awfully high attrition ratio and I felt that there wasn’t being enough done to prepare the trainers when they got into the clubs. It was at this point I decided to start PT Academy, a company that would operate from a grassroots level

Tell us more about PT Academy? We are an award-winning company for trainers by trainers. PT Academy was founded in 2009 based upon our perception of what we believed the industry needed at the time. We introduced a nationwide "mentor" based system where learners would be taught and mentored by active personal trainers and fitness professionals. PT Academy was, and still is, the only fitness education company to use AUGUST 2019



only active personal trainers as part of its expert delivery team. From the beginning, our philosophy has always been that our students learn best from qualified personal trainers. Personal trainers know exactly what it takes to grow a successful personal training business as they’ve done it themselves. This firm belief has resulted in the development of our flagship learning method, the Flexi-Learner programme, where students are assigned an active trainer in their local region who guides them through their Level 2 and 3 personal trainer qualifications. This is something we put in place 10 years ago and is still in place now. The success of the Flexi-Learner method has meant that in just a few years our team expanded. We now have over 320 active trainer mentors across the UK and the highest number of assessment centres, making PT Academy the largest fitness education provider in the UK. All the qualifications we deliver are Ofqual regulated and certificated by NCFE, 1st4Sport and VTCT. This ensures full recognition from employers, the Register of Exercise Professionals and CIMSPA.

What sets PT Academy apart from its competitors? We are always innovating and moving forward. Our innovative approach led to a prestigious award last year



from the Institute of Directors - an independent organisation with a royal charter. We don’t copy or replicate what our competitors do, this gives us an amazing competitive edge and forces them to watch what we do and inevitably copy it. We set the trends and the rest tend to follow. We also don’t give in to pressure and change our methodology to that which goes against our company ethos. Recently we had a partner (a large corporate gym chain) that wanted us to scrap our mentor system and do an online-only training platform to get people through quickly. We politely declined as we aren’t a "bums on seats" company and for us, quality of graduate is much more important than volume. How can you teach people how to become personal trainers without face to face training - it really is comical and you see big training providers switching to that. It's a shame because you will see a whole generation of trainers even more ill-equipped than previously. We also give back. We are all about our learners and highlighting their success - not just our own.

What are your biggest challenges you face in your business? The biggest challenges come via opportunities. Praise to God, being as successful as we are, everybody wants to work with us. Trying to distinguish those that are genuinely wanting to better the industry from those that just want to ride off the back of our success and make a name and a quick buck for themselves can sometimes prove to be difficult.


What’s next for PT Academy? We are always expanding and I'm so gassed at the genuine opportunities we get given. We recently have acquired premises and will be opening our own state of the art gym facility in Central London. This is off the back of acquiring a share of Ruthless Strength - where we have pledged a 1.2 million investment over the next three years.

Who are Ruthless Strength? Ruthless Strength is a British gym equipment manufacturer based in the Midlands. The equipment is second to none. The dumbbells we manufacture are solid steel, unbreakable with a lifetime warranty and have an innovative design feature. We securely dropped a 17.5kg dumbbell from our firstfloor window and nothing happened - in fact, the concrete chipped in our carpark. The video is available to see on the company’s Insta page @ruthlessstrength The company has just secured a huge international manufacturing contract so there are some very exciting times ahead. Keep your eyes peeled for the press release.

In your opinion what’s the current state of the UK's fitness education? Unfortunately, it needs a lot to be desired for. With two training providers - Discovery learning and Fitlearn both recently going into liquidation - their learners were left in the lurch as these companies disappeared overnight with no warning at all. This is something we will see more often now as many small providers are popping up everywhere claiming to be all singing and dancing the same way Fitlearn did. You would be shocked to see how easy some of the more common awarding organisations are making it get set up. One of the main reasons we opted to work with NCFE is their approval process is tried, tested and solid, we love that about them. They won’t just give centre recognition to anyone. They are the UK's oldest established awarding organisation and have their qualifications delivered in every University and College across the UK. As a result, there’s no originality, the companies just end up plagiarising. You only have to look at the marketing material

In your opinion what’s the current state of the UK's fitness industry? Absolutely amazing, the industry has seen an unprecedented boom, it’s great to see. Most importantly as the rise in fitness will no doubt contribute to the improved health and fitness of the population of the UK which up until recently had an obesity ratio of 24%

of some of the larger companies and they are almost word for word copying us. From our Facebook campaigns to our Instagram content and layout - we did it first and we did it right. It certainly feels good being a trendsetter. It would actually be nice to see a training provider do something innovative and disruptive in a way which would benefit the industry overall – watch this space!

AUGUST 2019 25


Your name:

Franky Robinson


Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training

# years as a qualified PT: Almost 2!

Where you work (town/city):

DW Fitness First, Ipswich, Suffolk.

Your Facebook:



How did you become a PT? I had been training for years and over a period of time, people started to approach me for help and guidance. I wasn’t happy with my job at the time so I took the plunge and decided to become a qualified PT instructor which allows me to help individuals achieve their goals.

What was your experience of the training/qualification process? My training was a 6-week intense course. The trainers were great but the course itself was very intense and actually made me feel quite ill. “Imagine 6 hours of solid circuit training!” If I could do it again, I’d do it very differently by going to university or maybe an apprenticeship.

Do you (or do you intend to) specialise in a particular type of fitness? I really enjoy training women. In society, people are so conditioned to be, act and look a certain way which really makes me mad. I see so many younger girls subject to a certain expectation and so many other women who have just lost their way. My mission is to help women rediscover their strength, stop caring so much about what other people might think of




their appearance and start caring about their own self-care, mental and physical health.

What’s it like working with gym owners? Coming from a corporate world I prefer my professional relationships to be kept within a professional box; based on mutual respect and written contracts, especially with people whom my business has some form of dependency. Because of this practice. I’ve never had issues with gym owners.

What is your opinion of CPD? The more you know, the more you know how much you don’t know! Continuing Professional Development is absolutely key in keeping your knowledge ever-expanding. I’ve had SO many clients who have come to me with ailments and issues that I haven’t dealt with before and I’ve had to really do my research. I’m currently studying towards becoming a specialist in Fitness Nutrition, once that is completed, I’m planning on scheduling myself in for as many workshops as possible. (Phil Learney is at the top of my list).

You spend your working hours motivating others, how do you motivate yourself? I actually have a coach who I’ve been working with since January this year. I’m not someone who can balance every spinning plate seamlessly and sometimes I need a bit of help. My coach Sammy Simmons helps me adjust my macros and training plan to suit my ever-changing schedule. We are taking a break at the moment until I get my business back up on its feet as I have recently moved gyms. It’s great having a coach that is as concerned with overall health as I am with my clients.

What advice would you give to other PTs just starting out in the business? Aim to inspire Learn from as many people as you can Focus on helping people and the quality of your service rather than quantity/money No two clients will ever be the same so make sure you treat people as the individual they are …and drop the ego!

What are the biggest challenges facing your business today? I have just started at a new gym, DW Fitness First in Ipswich, I am so excited and it’s such a motivating environment but everyone knows it’s always hard to get yourself noticed when there’s already an established and successful team in place. In my last gym the challenges where just time constraints; I’ve always worked hours in exchange for zero rent and when you’re a busy PT, balancing clients around an everchanging rota can be a challenge!

How do you engage with your clients (active and inactive)? I like to find common ground with my clients, usually, that helps to build trust and when clients trust you, they really start to work hard and reach their goals. I won’t lie, I don’t click with everyone and it can be really hard to train someone that you just don’t see eye to eye with, but it’s made me look at my communication skills and learn from my mistakes. Inactive clients, I like to keep friendly and keep them focused on their mental health and staying active when they’re ready they always come back.

How do you promote your services? I do A LOT of social media marketing. I’m all over Facebook and Instagram, social media has given me a wide reach




within my area and helped my client base grow. It’s great to see my clients support each other online and then follow up with each other within the gym.

How often do you train yourself? It can vary from 3-5 days per week. I like to practice what I preach and that isn’t just training, it’s taking care of yourself. If I need to take some time off so that I can focus more on work and rest rather than training, then I’m going to do it. Then a week or so later I’ll be back in the gym raring to go.

If there was one thing you could radically change within the industry, what is it? How easy it is to be qualified. I completed a 6-week course to gain my qualification and have come across many newcomers within the industry since; we were taught how to train people, but the courses rely on you having a good knowledge of fitness, training and nutrition in the first place. I don’t think it’s appropriate for people to be qualified that quickly if they do not have much experience in gym-based training themselves.

It’s the reason that there’s a high PT turn-over within the industry and the reason why so many potential clients struggle to trust new PTs. The short courses are a gateway into the industry which can be a great tool and certainly was for me, but I really wish they could be tailored for an individual’s requirements.

Do you see yourself still working as a PT in 10 years time? By then I’d like to own a private studio. As well as being a PT, I love teaching HIIT, BOOTCAMP and LBT classes so a boutique class and Personal Training studio is something I’m working towards.

What is your biggest success story? My biggest success story is one of my best friends and former office-work-wife Emily. Emily has suffered from mental health struggles, weight gain, lack of interest in exercising and a rather unhealthy relationship with food. She was my first ever client and has had a rollercoaster journey with her transformation. Emily has turned her life around, changed her career, coming off her medication and is now a strong and healthy woman. She has learned so much about herself and looks incredible, I am so proud not just as a PT but also as her friend of how much hard work she has put in and what we have achieved together.


August 2019


L i f t Yo u r s e l f by Laura Hoggins LAURA LOGGINS, AUTHOR OF 'LIFT YOURSELF' When I discovered lifting weights at CrossFit, I remember one of the first things I noticed was that I lost body fat. A lot of body fat. People were constantly telling me I looked amazing, so athletic and healthy. I lost so much weight and body fat in those first couple of months that my body didn’t know what had hit it! Granted, I did go in headfirst and I was going four or five times a week, but the difference was incredible. No one had ever stopped me before to tell me how good I looked, even when I was clocking up hundreds of miles of running. That’s because cardio training alone doesn’t give you the body composition you might be after. Yes, it will burn calories and if you are consuming fewer calories than you’re using overall, you will lose weight. But where are you losing that weight from? Some of it will be fat, but some of it will be from what scientists call your ‘lean body mass’, which includes your muscles. So the scales may tell you that you are lighter, but you’ll end up ‘skinny fat’, as I did. What I mean by that is you might be slim but you’ll be weak, with no tone or shape (and probably aching joints from all that cardio). When you are strength training, you may not lose that much weight because you are gaining healthy muscle mass, but you will sure as hell burn fat. Which is the stuff everyone wants to lose, right? The science is now proving what people who lift know instinctively: lifting really does torch body fat. Take this recent study on obese adults, for example.1 All the volunteers were put on a low-calorie diet. A third of them were then given cardio workouts to do, a third were given weight-training exercises four times a week, and the other

third were told not to do any exercise. So, who lost the most weight? Well, they all lost weight over the 18-month study, but the ones doing the lifting lost the most weight. That’s not all. In the cardio group, a significant proportion of the weight they lost came from their lean body mass (the tissues in your body that include muscle). But the lifting group lost far more body fat while maintaining their muscle. So, while cardio burns both fat and muscle, weightlifting burns almost exclusively fat. And there’s more good news on the fat front. Strength training may even help women, especially, burn tummy fat, which has to be good news as weight around your middle puts you at greater risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

‘Lift Yourself’ by Laura Hoggins is available from Penguin Life | 9780241385913 | Trade Paperback | £14.99 AUGUST 2019 29


We Visited 9 of the Best luxury Gym Changing Rooms in London Okay, so luxury gym changing rooms with so-soft-you-could-die white towels, topend shower products and deodorant and moisturiser on tap aren’t strictly essential but they do make one heck of a difference to your fitness motivation. When your gym alarm goes off what feels like 30 minutes after you hit the hay, the last thing you want to be doing is dragging a bag overflowing with every beauty product under the sun to your HIIT class. Instead, spare your poor hunchback and enjoy eucalyptus-scented steam rooms, mani-pedis available on request and—wait for it— coffee on tap in the changing rooms. Game-changing. Keep scrolling for Nine luxury gym changing rooms that’ll put your own bathrooms to shame. Just try not to be late for work.

boutique gyms. Enter the changing rooms and you’ll be greeted with freshly laundered robes and towels alongside all-you-candrink Nespresso coffee on tap, warmed towels and lockers with fresh fruit available every day, alongside a wealth of fancy Khiel's ointments, toiletries and sprays. You’ll leave feeling like you’ve been to a spa. What more could you want? Oh, and not to mention the gym kit laundry valet service—no more sweaty kit for you.






A members club frequented by celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kylie Minogue, the KX gym and spa has some serious amenities— so many, in fact, that you might just find yourself setting your alarm an hour earlier so you have time to squeeze in a trip to the sauna, steam room and plunge pool.

Located in an old bank–think marble pillars and polished oak floors—this all-new members club is the most elite of London’s 30

August 2019

Expect to be greeted by shelves full of Kiehl's products on hand for your enjoyment and aromatic Bella Freud candles. Although you have to pay more for access to both the gym and spa, the proximity to the spa means more premium products like the


Malvina Fraser Skincare range often make their way into the changing rooms. If you’ve chipped a nail, manicurists are available onsite, making it effortlessly easy to pop in for a post-workout mani-pedi.



moisturisers, scents and sprays. Oh, and upstairs there’s a salon, cafe (try the beetroot and chocolate cake) and apothecary bar, naturally, plus doctors on hand for all your medical needs.


If nothing else, head to 1Rebel for the painfully Instagram-friendly rose gold luxury gym changing rooms. But there’s so much more on offer than copper showers. Take, for example, the towels, which come in three different temperatures—cold, ambient and hot, naturally—and the benches, which are slightly heated for your enjoyment. Ooh la.



This women-only members club is not just a gym, but a private space that describes itself as “dedicated to the art of living well.” The changing rooms class as luxury gym changing rooms for the range of goodies available to you. Think high-end shampoo, conditioner, and JK7 natural skincare


Whether you’ve headed there to complete a few laps of the Olympic-sized swimming pool or to simply sweat out toxins postworkout in the juniper log sauna, it’s the luxury gym changing rooms that we’re sure you’ll be most excited about. Post-session hair frizz won’t even be an issue —there are Cowshed products available for when you’re done, plus blow dryers, curlers and GHD straighteners.

Add the luxuries of deliciously powerful showers and Aromatherapy Associates skincare and you can slip from your postwork spin class to the bar feeling like a Queen. As you should.



But the real piece-de-resistance? The floorto-ceiling mirrors. Perfect spot for a postworkout selfie, if ever we saw one.



Think a Scandi palette with a minimalistic and chic white, grey and timber interior. If you’ve forgotten your hairband, you won’t be spinning with your hair in your eyes—there are stacks of hair-ties available on request. Post-workout, pamper yourself with the August 2019



luxury of Bumble + Bumble products and eco-friendly hair towels made from recycled cotton materials. There’s also an extensive range of speciality products available on rotation each week, from muscle gels to soothe your DOMS to high-end moisturisers. Dreamy.





Molin + Goetz moisturisers, shampoo, conditioner and exfoliator greet you in what are surprisingly spacious showers for central London. Dry yourself with one of their Scrummy hair towels, which are ecofriendly, biodegradable and better for the environment than regular towels. What's more, the ladies beauty stations are roomy, with bowls full of hair bands at your disposal





You know a gym changing room is good when it features twice. E by Equinoxes little brother, Equinox, is equally luxurious. Postworkout, unwind in a eucalyptus-scented steam room before sprucing up with Kiehl’s toiletries and other essentials including mouthwash, hairspray and razors - perfect for impromptu stray hairs and leg shaving needs.


to make sure you avoid any awkward sweaty HIIT hair unnecessarily.

August 2019

Olia Sardarova of Bergman interiors, who designed BXR and its changing rooms, wanted people to "train like a champ and recover like one, too." And that you will— relax in the luxury of freshly laundered towels, soft lighting and sleek, marble counters. BXR's changing rooms are a luxury in part due to their design—the team at Bergman interiors have worked tirelessly to create an ambient and luxurious space with all the right amenities and that they have. The perfect place to relax and unwind after a high energy stint in the ring. Oh, and the mirrors have quotes scrawled on them to remind you you're looking gorgeous today.


Gy m D e s i g n How It Can Make O r - B r e a k Yo u r G y m . Venom Gym Designs

Designing and equipping a custom gym is a bit like solving a puzzle with dozens of potential solutions. Just because one combination of equipment, storage and open space might work logistically doesn’t mean it’s the best option for your particular needs. That’s where the new Venom Gym Builder comes in. This advanced layout tool gives you the ability to turn any plan or whim for your future gym into an interactive and customisable 3D model, utilising any bespoke equipment as your puzzle pieces. Working with the exact dimensions of your real-life space, you can experiment with the arrangement of different machines and making sure you have the budget too. One of the most important elements in setting up your new fitness facility is the design and layout to ensure that your gym is both functional and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. Thus, one of the most important things to consider is the Design of Your Gym because it is very evident that a lot of people want to feel connected to themselves as well as the environment where they are working out in. This surprisingly adds up more than you would think to the overall impact of the gym or leisure centre. Many gyms today have been forced to step up their game from the classic “warehouse feel” circa 1980’s Gold’s Gym to a much more modern feel that mixes well with their target customers psychographic profile. An effective and satisfying Gym Design should always be applied to boost the gym’s appeal towards your target audience. Here are the 5 general impacts that great design can contribute to a gym's success and why it matters: AUGUST 2019



A Great Gym Design Creates Great Atmosphere and Retains Members According to market research, a person’s psychological well-being is greatly related to the environmental factors which include colours, ventilation and relaxing appeal that provides a significant impact. It is also pointed out that a good atmosphere can boost the businesses appeal making it more productive and of course that may lead to a greater range of prosperity via memberships and word of mouth is always a great testimonial in itself. Additionally, a good gym design can contribute to the member's comfort and confidence in engaging in physical activities. Since we are dealing with body engagements, it is also important to build a gym that will complement the physical needs of the members which include appropriate ventilation, maximised space,



suitable temperature and relaxing appeal. Providing a good atmosphere is a fundamental factor in having a gym business. It is due to the fact that a gym business serves as a home for gym-goers who want to alter their habits and develop a healthy lifestyle. Aside from that, the gym should also be spacious. It’s important to have moderate space between each piece as people will obviously not be comfortable working out in a cramped gym. A gym business becomes productive due to the existence of gym-goers. This means that maintaining a good environment for members, incorporated with consistent maintenance is essential for every gym.

Provides Impact Towards Potential Gym Members Great gym design can be a major differentiating


factor between you and others that are in this space. Obviously, those looking at a gym are worried about appearance and you want your gym to set the best first impression on your facility as a whole as well as the results that it will drive. The right blueprint for your gym design is crucial in getting that great first impression and closing new business to fuel growth. However, if a gym has not yet invested or developed a good design, then now must be the right time to call the best gym designers to intervene. Also, you do not need to worry about seeking designers for there are a lot of them who can offer project-based services. The challenge is on finding the best and most dedicated gym designer for you and your gym. That's where we come in. Venom Gym Design, we take on board every tiny detail and bring it to life. No Gym is the same we are bespoke and everything is tailored around you.

There's no one brand, that fits all. We've found that the UK is limited in sourcing good hand made Gym Equipment. So we look outside of the UK and you'll be amazed by what you can actually achieve with any budget. You don’t need to have all Precor equipment but best practices would be to have all Precor ellipticals and Life Fitness treadmills as opposed to a sporadic mix of everything. A good commercial gym design can help the business gain people’s trust. For instance, if we will relate it to the food business, once a restaurant is known for having a good interior design, amazing ambience and clean surrounding. Then, more people will come and trust them. Customers trust is not just earned by the owners or front desk officers attitude, but also by the great atmosphere of a gym.

Promotes Collaboration and Innovation Builds a Trustworthy Appeal A developed and strong physical design appeal will enable a gym to build trust with their members and potential clients. This provides a perspective of being detail-oriented which is a strong sign of a good business establishment. Being trustworthy can also be judged through business deals and strategies that are being exemplified by the business. Commercial Gym Equipment should be grouped by models and brands.

Achieving the goal of having the best gym interior design needs collaboration and innovation with pleasant decor. This means that along the process of having a good design for gym, there’s a great need for transaction and sharing of ideas that may uphold collaboration among the staff of the gym, which is a big factor to consider. Do you have an awesome check-in experience or a space for members to hang out before or after a workout? AUGUST 2019 35


There is a particular balance that is required when designing gyms decor. Too busy and bold will make your gym feel small and crowded. Too clean and neutral will make your gym look boring and lifeless. We utilise subtle design techniques to bring your gym to life without overcrowding it. We take into consideration the equipment position and the nature of each zone when designing gyms. Different zones evoke different atmospheres; therefore the decor of each zone should reflect that atmosphere while keeping continuity throughout your gym.

Upholds Visionary Perspective Visionary perspective is a person's long-term and strong vision in the future. Conceptualising the designs for gyms significantly needs creativity. When a gym invests to great designs, this opens up a long-term goal. It is because renovation and building great designs will require money which needs a big risk and sacrifice.



However, one must always remember that great prosperity comes into those who are risk-takers. Also, successful business owners are risk-takers, so think of it on a positive note. Any way that you can increase your conversion rate is well worth the initial costs in the long run. Investing in a great gym design draws an individual to a visionary perspective because investing money at present is beneficial to attract members in the future. Gym business owners must think of their decisions impact towards their business. Also, rational thinking accompanied by a strategic mindset must always be applied when setting up your facility. There is a lot of impact that a good gym design can have. Investing the time and energy Your Gym Design will definitely promote the advancement of the gyms overall status and help the business achieve continuous growth and success. Venom Gyms great designs from start to finish. Gym designs by VENOM


The Top 10 Gyms around The World I've visited Be warned: once you see these fitness venues, you may get serious workout envy.


Brooklyn Zoo, New York

Guaranteed to take your ‘floor is lava’ game to the big leagues, New York’s Brooklyn Zoo is a parkour paradise. Spread out over two floors and festooned with padded mats and enough foam pits to rival Ninja Warrior (which is also the name of one of its classes), by all accounts the staff are a deft hand at teaching novices how to jump, tumble and navigate the obstacles in the speediest way possible. The ultimate urban jungle gym.


A Thai boxing hall that packs a visual punch © LA BELLE EQUIPE Looking every bit as boutique as the shops on the Champs-Elysees, gyms rarely come as chic as La Belle Équipe, located just a stone's throw from Gare du Nord station and specialising in Thai boxing. Even so, it’s hard to deny the Parisian charm that fills its cosy walls, from neat wooden shelving to light paint and uncluttered décor evoking calmness, serenity and a certain je ne sais quoi few other fitness clubs can match. People battering each other senseless aside, there are also classes tailored to help busy clients deal with stress, fatigue and self-confidence and other knock-on effects of hectic working lifestyles.


Das Gym, Vienna

La Belle Équipe, Paris Das Gym: Europe's answer to Muscle Beach © DAS GYM You know you’ve walked into a serious gym when you encounter a chin-up bar in the shower. Welcome to Das Gym, a meathead mecca that also features a ‘strongman’ area, mammoth grip building section and more motivational posters than you’d find on your network marketing friend's Facebook wall. Yep, it’s all about weights here – no August 2019



Pilates, no spinning classes, just iron that must be pumped – and it’s fast on its way to becoming Europe’s answer to Muscle Beach.



Third Space, London

The fitness room is bathed in natural light © AQUA EXPEDITIONS Of all the locations that would make you want to put on your running shoes, the Amazon Rainforest would rank quite highly. Don’t fret though, for aboard the sleek Aria Amazon River Cruiser, you can work up a sweat in a jungle setting without constantly looking over your shoulder for ravenous wildlife. Its gym, while compact, offers stunning views up and down Peru’s Amazon River. And with an evening food menu courtesy of renowned national chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, something tells us you'll have ample reason to use it.

Feeling more swanky members club than a corporate gym, Londoners have been truly spoilt by the rise of Third Space, a luxury chain of fitness clubs dotted across the capital, including Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, Marylebone and Soho. Not only do members get their own concierge, but those feeling flusher still can opt for VIP access entitling them to private massage chairs and even laundered gym kit. Imagine that: not having to heave your sweat-laden shorts and briefs around in a holdall on the commute. The dream, basically.


Illoiha Omotesando, Tokyo

Pretty as a picture © ILLOIHA OMOTESANDO There are climbing walls and then there’s the climbing wall which will level your jaw inside Tokyo's Illoiha Omotesando fitness centre. Intricately designed by local firm Nendo, it's all a bit Salvador Dali, resembling a giant, oddly morphed art gallery that sees participants clamber upholds designed as picture frames. This vast space runs between two floors of the gym and isn't short of visitors. Just don’t slip and hit the canvas, yeah? 38

Aqua Expeditions, Peru

August 2019


NFC Court, San Francisco

San Fran's NFC helps locals avoid costly gym fees © NATIONAL FITNESS CAMPAIGN Overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco’s Fitness Court may well be the most scenic gym in North America. It's also the first of its kind, having been opened in 2013 as the testbed for a series of free urban fitness points which are now starting to spring up across the US. Locals have been known to head down for circuit training or yoga, with the option of finishing with a run through nearby Presidio National Park or towards the famous Fisherman’s Wharf district. The sunrises alone would make it worth a bleary-eyed jog.



Remember when you took your mate from work to that little-known hipster coffee place? The man never touched a Starbucks again. By the same token, it's easy to imagine gym lovers discovering Melbourne’s 5th Element and instantly finding themselves losing their appetite for the big chains. As well as a cool crowd and top-notch equipment, there are tonnes of fitness programmes, a climbing wall, infrared detox sauna, and – like you even needed to be told – an organic coffee and juice bar. 'Strewth' doesn't cover it.



'Where indoor cycling meets team competition' © SWERVE FITNESS Another US inclusion – this time amid New York’s bustling Midtown – Swerve Fitness is a place where 'indoor cycling meets team competition'. In 45-minute rhythm rides, bikes are arranged into three teams, each pushing the others on with competitive distance racing. Between the neon-clad darkness and tropical pop soundtrack, it'll feel a little like being in Ariana Grande’s Side to Side music video, except – you know – you’ll actually break a proper sweat and you won’t find Nicki Minaj making a commotion in the sauna.

5th Element Wellness, Melbourne


Oxygen Gym, Kuwait

Swerve Fitness, New York


Started by Bader Bodai more than a decade ago, the Oxygen Gym is so large that just taking a tour of the gym would be like breaking a good sweat on the treadmill. Bodai now has four Oxygen Gym centres in Kuwait, each of them well equipped. No wonder Bader Bodai has been able to turn the Kuwait Bodybuilding team into one of the best in the world. Besides cardio and free weight training areas, it also has sauna rooms, prayer rooms, and a parking lot.

August 2019



Fit Kit

This month’s round-up of kit, products and extras you can stock for your members – boost loyalty, retention and your revenue!

BAM ORGANIC Bam Organic has launched a 25g High Protein Chocolate Shake. The recovery drink will join Vanilla and award-winning Banoffee. Certified by Informed Sport, the shakes contain 25g of protein, essential carbohydrates for post-workout recovery, less than 1g of fat and has none of the artificial after-taste often experienced with high protein sports drinks. Clean label, ethical and sustainable ingredients without compromise on taste! Bam Organic products are available from:

Row Handle Promotes correct position through the movement, distributing the pressure through the hands for a secure and comfortable grip.

Tricep Handle Promotes correct form and posture of the arms through the movement, fully engaging the muscle for maximum benefit.




Freemotion i10.9b Incline Trainer The Freemotion i10.9b Incline Trainer has the design runners want, with the incline to boost calorie burn for those who prefer to walk. With an impressive 30% incline and -3% decline, users recruit more muscles, targeting their quads and glutes. Workouts are brought to life with iFit®, the incline-matching technology that simulates routes from around the world, with users able to connect their smart devices to access thousands of workouts filmed in exotic locations. 1-STEP™ Controls allow users to quickly adjust speed, incline and decline, making this treadmill ideal for HIIT workouts and functional training, while the tough lift motor ensures reliable deck movement and stabilisation. For more information, contact or phone 020 7272 0770.

W8 GYM The W8 GYM is the World’s most versatile, multi-functional, portable ‘GYM in a Box’. Inside = 10kgs of removable dumbbells + 3 sets of different strength resistance bands with attachable handles and straps, door anchor. Change the weight NOT the equipment. Perform over 200 exercises. Save Time - no travelling to the gym or waiting. Save Space – compact, easily stored. Save Money - no Gym fees, travelling costs, FREE workouts. Exercise Anytime, Any Age, Any Fitness Level and Anywhere there’s a 2m x 2m space. RRP £149. enter discount code GYMOWNER20 for 20% off.



• Membership Management & CRM • Member Self-Service Access • MemberMe+ - Branded Mobile App • Extensive Reporting • Front Desk Check-In • Billing & Payment Tracking • And so much more!

Cut back on clutter with an all-in-one software solution to manage your gym.



Limited stock available, contact our sales team on 0115 945 5450 or today

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ELEVATE YOUR BUSINESS Members that attend group exercise classes

are 26% less likely to cancel their gym membership than members who only use the gym* *(The Retention People (TRP) 2013)

UPSKILL YOUR GROUP EXERCISE WORKFORCE AND BOOST YOUR revenue. As an Active IQ training provider, EMD UK run a variety of nationally recognised qualiďŹ cations including Level 2 Group Training, Level 2 ETM, Level 3 Pilates and more. Bespoke options available to meet your needs.

Contact our instructor development team today on 01403 266 000 or email and quote GOM for our latest offers.

What is the true value of group exercise? We recently revealed all at Elevate 2019. Download your copy of Sweating Your Assets: The Value of Group Exercise now, brought to you by EMD UK. Contact EMD UK, the national governing body for group exercise to find out more.

01403 266 000


TAP INTO THE PERSONALISATION POWER OF VIRTUAL TRAINING The fitness market is evolving, and the digital revolution is well under way. FunXtion, a company based in the Netherlands offers interactive digital fitness solutions, which have gained traction offering virtual training innovations. A functional training company, founded by Ernst de Neef and Mendel Witzenhausen in 2011, had the goal to develop a fully integrated solution which, through intelligent digital solutions creating engaging, motivating workout spaces. Today, Funxtion delivers a complete, 360-degree member experience. Utilising the very latest in digital technology, FunXtion enables operators to provide members with round-the-clock support, extending brand influence way beyond the walls of their facility. Ernst de Neef, CEO of FunXtion says: “In this modern world, where connectivity is king, being able to stay in contact with your members 24/7 and not limit yourself to just the four walls of the gym, is a necessity and no longer an option.” “Working with us makes this possible. Members receive a totally bespoke, high quality virtual fitness service which fully integrates into their daily life and doesn’t end when they leave the gym. We deliver a complete, wrap-around member experience. Utilising the very latest in digital technology to enable the delivery of quality fitness content to members anytime, anywhere.”

Digital Solutions FunXtion has been creating more versatile, digital functional training concepts to make its solution more social and interactive, and this 44

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year has launched additional equipment and software to leverage its virtual training content. “We recognise that every workout space is unique.” Ernst continues. “To reflect this, our offer provides multiple content delivery options to suit a wide array of environments, budgets and needs. FunXtion delivers quality fitness content to the gym floor, creating motivating, virtually instructed workouts that engage members and support trainers.” In-club, the interactive FunXtion Experience Station (FES), delivers content such as instructional exercises, workouts, challenges, timers and virtual classes, supporting members with progressions and regressions whilst also demonstrating correct exercise technique. This allows the trainer to spend more time with individuals who need additional support and enables individuals to access a huge selection of standardized workouts any time. Also revealed to the UK market this year is the FunXtion Experience Station BoxConnect, which is a more compact and enhanced version of the FES and can be connected to a large screen or deliver content directly on its own display. This enriches the tailored, virtual solutions delivered by FunXtion, providing unrivalled flexibility to display content in a way that most suits the environment. In small spaces, the box itself can deliver content whilst, in larger spaces, an independent, cinematic screen can be connected to create a more immersive experience shared by any number of users. Both the FES and the Box Connect can display pre-loaded programmes, which are built in the Workout Creator, allowing operators to load their own personalized routines, to ensure they meet the requirements of a variety of users. “Through seamless integration with the FunXtion Interactive Content Management System, the FunXtion Experience Station provides access to a huge range of preloaded, inspiring, on-trend content.” Ernst adds. “Operators

also have the option to load their own content, creating a totally bespoke offering that delivers quality instruction and training support without the need to increase gym floor staffing levels.” ‘ The experience for the member does not end there, the mobile app has all the great content FunXtion provides, enabling them to workout anytime, anywhere, and extends the operators engagement capabilities into the daily lives of members, encouraging an active lifestyle which extends beyond the physical bounds of the facility walls, thus offering the flexibility members expect for their fitness routine today. The app enhances social interaction between members also enabled by the gamification which is integrated by the ability to connect and challenge other users. Exercise content and Online Coaching intelligence can be offered through the Funxtion app, white labelled into the club brand or integrated into the own club app, allowing members to enjoy features like training & nutrition plans, personal calendar and chat with their personal coach. It can also integrate with Member management software systems, which makes it perfectly suitable using it as the club’s main member app. This solution is further enhanced by the new FunXtion Experience Multi-Screen Solution, enabling the virtual delivery of exercise content to be streamed to multiple screens programmed to run concurrently, creating the perfect digital coach for small group, gym based programmes. “With three of four screens in your functional training area, you have virtual training support for small group training,” says Mendel Witzenhausen, CEO of FunXtion. “The multiscreen option comes with customized lighting and music to make it more immersive. The idea is to offer engaging digital support, leaving more time for the instructors to connect with members personally.” August 2019 45


Operating an open platform, FunXtion also fully integrates with third party Apps, fitness trackers and CRM systems providing the member with a totally connected, fitness ecosystem where they have full fingertip control over logging, tracking and prescribing activity.

Trainer Benefits FunXtion solutions are designed to support, not replace the trainer. The platforms are packed with high quality content to help personal trainer work more efficiently and effectively, ultimately to increase the time and value of their face-to-

Operator Benefits

face contact time with clients.

Looking at the benefits to the operator of offering digital, virtual training solutions, Jo Rich, Head of UK Sales at FunXtion explains: “Clubs can deliver a superior customer service whilst providing more efficiency at a lower cost. Clients across all demographics are living busier lifestyles, but are more demanding when it comes to their fitness experience. They want professional, personal support that is affordable, results-focused and delivered digitally at their fingertips.”

“Virtual training shouldn’t be seen as a threat to trainers, it’s

These solutions can be branded to reflect the gym chain and are designed for easy set-up, increasing the efficiency of time management. Operators can use these solutions to offer added value, drive extra revenue streams and help their members feel more motivated and connected, leading them to better results and higher retention rates. “Digital solutions help you connect and engage with members at all stages of the customer journey, even outside of the gym environment.” Jo adds. “Utilising these tools helps your members stay connected with their trainer, exercise programme and fitness goals, whilst also supporting your staff in providing efficient quality of service.” “Operators can grow by making their offering more personal, and we’re highlighting how digital solutions can actually help drive and grow this increased personalisation. Human contact is still the most important factor between trainer and member, but technology can support and improve this individualised fitness experience.”


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an opportunity. Technology is changing how we exercise and it’s here to stay. A personal trainer’s role is based around communication, motivation and rapport built over time with a client,” explains Matt Gleed, FunXtion Master Trainer. “Members still want to have contact time, a real conversation about their fitness goals but in today’s digital age, this has to be supported with increased connectivity through digital solutions.” With pre-built, formatted training plans and the option to tailor or create new plans, FunXtion allows the trainers to focus more time connected with their clients, be it an individual or in a small group training setting. Matt adds: “These methods help trainers stay connected with more members, more efficiently. Acting as a timesaving tool to help create more flexibility for trainers to give more value and contact time to their clients along each stage of their fitness journey.” FunXtion can be found in over 21 countries and expanding rapidly worldwide. The current system currently contains 720 workouts and over 1300 single exercises, with continuous updates, features and new monthly trainings and can be custom-branded to enable full brand integration. To find out more about how FunXtion solutions could benefit you, visit


Make the RIGHT hiring decision PART II Daniel Nyiri, founder of 4U Fitness talks about the correct hiring process, and how crucial it is, especially in the services industry

“Never hire someone who knows less than you do about what he’s hired to do” – Unknown If you have read the previous article I have written last month you know that this article is the take action article and the one before was a very important pre intro to this. So if you have not read it yet. You need to pause this and go back. 1. Once you have several good candidates to meet with, it is time for the screening. Set some rules and make sure you are ready. 2. We set the rules in job postings and we write down exactly what we want them to do. For example, we might ask a personal trainer to send me a resume and cover letter to 4U Fitness, explaining why we should read the resume. We tell them to send it to this email address and do not call us and put in subject XYZ. We also state that if we pick you, you will hear from us in two weeks. When they see our hiring posts then they see tons of instructions. From the video, requirements to add us on Instagram and message with the following info by XYZ. 3. If people just send a resume, then they go in the discard pile. It doesn’t matter how good the resume is – if you can’t follow the rules, then you are not getting hired. (I have not read a resume for 5 years, anyone can make August 2019 47


up an amazing resume and can be book smart… I want to see you take charge and action.) 4. I f they send their resume and cover letter but it is not directed to me or 4U Fitness, I also hit the delete button. That means they didn’t even take the time to update one. They are just hitting copy and paste. (This process have changed to our hiring manager now, but still the same rule) 5. I f they email the wrong email address, I won’t even open it. If they call my receptionist, he or she would tell them to follow the instructions which clearly states no phone calls. So whoever calls us is not getting hired. 6. W hile following-up does show initiative, if they start calling or emailing again within the two weeks I mentioned, it shows that they can’t follow instructions. This is really important. 7. O nce we successfully get to the next stage, We will pass on the resumes/cover letters that we like to our personal trainers, who will then set up a four-step interview process. I recommend that you let your employees also meet the new candidate for evaluation. We have a system that rates all these candidates and if one of the candidates receives two or more B’s, they won’t be hired, no matter what. It shows that I trust and value my employees. 8. N ext, three of my trainers meet with the future candidates for formal interviewing, asking a variety of questions and then grade them while the candidate gets homework. If the candidate chooses not to complete this homework, they will not be hired. Once homework is completed, they have the final step, which is writing a 1,000-word essay to me about why we should hire them and why are they the best fit for us. Once I read that essay, I decide whether to meet them. ( This would be the first time I am even aware there is a future employee coming on board. We get 100s of these coming through each month so I, unfortunately, can’t spend the time going over each one. But once they get to this stage it shows me they are very serious so I am too. ) 9. Always hire less and pay them more! There are so many companies that hire fewer people and pay them more than the industry average; this way they attract the right people to their business and they are able to keep them. On top of that, these businesses also save money because their employees are more productive and they also have a very low employee turnover rate!

"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships." – Michael Jordan

Success lies in the hands of your trainers and staff These individuals will be representing your business and brand on a daily basis. They are the face of your product. That is why it is of the utmost importance that an in-depth interview process is completed. This outline explains our interview process in greater detail. 48

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Interview process: a. 1 st interview: Candidate meets one of our trainers. (Facetime or Skype if the individual lives out of town/ state) b. 2nd interview: with another staff member c. 3rd interview: Candidate meets the staff and is shown their future working environment d. After the candidate has been chosen to move forward with the process, they will be issued a take-home assignment. e. After the completed home assignment, they are required to write the 1,000-word essay about why they should be hired. f. The last step is the meeting and interview with me.

Take-Home Assignment: Each candidate will be given three questions (see below). Upon the next scheduled meeting, candidates present their responses. Assemble your personal trainers who have been helping with the interviews and let them know that they should make notes during candidate presentations. Candidates can present their responses in any format they choose (i.e., written, verbally, on a display board or in a PowerPoint presentation). There should be no set requirement for presentations. During this in-person session, the top candidates will separate themselves from the pack. Top candidates will go above and beyond to show you their creative abilities. Remember, detailed presentations are not required, but we hope for the best and most creative! We are not looking for the right answers but rather how they think and where their focus lies! Question #1 - Strategic: Example: How do you plan on growing your clientele base? Question #2 - Tactical: Example: How would you overcome an overwhelming number of clients? If availability is limited and spots are getting tight, what would be your solution?” Questions #3 – Unconventional/Creativity: Example: How would you make your work environment engaging and enjoyable for your staff and clientele? Example: What would you do to ensure your business will stand out from the crowd? Specifically, how will you thrive against the stereotypical chain competitors? If the punishment for parking on double yellow lines were death, and therefore nobody did it, would that be a just and effective law? (They are not meant to give a right or wrong answer here. They need to demonstrate that they have recognized the various issues that arise. The answer to its effectiveness is already in question) These questions and their responses are the most important. At this point, a candidate should demonstrate his or her passion for what they believe in. What are their boundaries? Do they think “outside of the box”?


Extra credit: Ask your candidates to come up with their own title that signifies their persona. This title should encompass their attitude and the uniqueness of who they are and whom they want to be. This title demonstrates the flexibility that they will have at 4U Fitness, along with their ability to be inventive. Example: A former candidate dubbed himself as “Sales Master.” This name speaks volumes, especially if he lives up to his name. Unfortunately, it turned out that “sales” was actually his weakness and not his strength, but we liked the name and creativity. Candidate observations: What to look for throughout the hiring process and during presentations. Does the candidate seem well-prepared and confident?

the person they debated again, we know it is not the right person to hire since he or she is not open-minded.

c. H ow do they respond to instruction and constructive criticism?

MOMs have a great system for hiring. A few great examples of what they ask are “What did you spend money on as a teenager and where did you get this money from?” You will definitely not impress a MOM’s team member by saying by your parents gave it to you.

d. Are they receptive to the idea of learning new training styles and methods?

We also like to ask creative questions to see how potential candidates solve problems.

b. Are they interested in selling themselves or are they here to contribute to our core values and team?

e. D o they demonstrate a friendly and outgoing personality? f. Do they demonstrate a true passion for helping others? g. A re they willing to go above and beyond their “job description”? h. Do they appear to be a creative thinker? i. Would they stand out in a crowd? j. D o they seem to be well-rounded and versatile in their strengths? k. Do they fit into our culture? l. D o they have the ambition and drive to establish a career with 4U Fitness?

Check for culture and creativity Depending on your business, you will want to customize your questions to your culture. We adapted a great question from a company called MOMs. Since we need open-minded people, we need to ask the right questions and MOMs share some of their questions in the book of “Scaling Up” by Verne Harnish. For example, we ask our potential candidates, “Do you discuss politics, religion or fitness beliefs with people?” “When was your last passionate debate?” “Who was it with? And what was it about? How did it turn out?” If they say that they will never respect

For example How many gas stations are in the United States? Obviously, we are not looking for the correct answer. We are looking for creativity and to see how they solve problems, how they try to figure out things. If they simply say, “I don’t know” and give up, then they are not the right person for you. One of my favorite creative questions to ask is also used by Apple in its interviewing process: You have 100 coins lying flat on a table, each with a head side and a tail side: 10 of them are heading up, 90 are tails up. You can’t feel, see or in any other way find out which side is up. Split the coins into two piles such that there are the same numbers of heads in each pile. How do you do that? Just think about it. If you can’t figure it out, you can read the answer later in this book. The answer to the 100 coins again involves creative thinking and how to solve a problem. But it's simple. You divide them into two piles with 50 coins each and that is it. There is an equal number of heads in each pile. Since we never asked you to have them facing up or anything, you will have two equal piles of heads simply by having two equal piles of coins! Another creative approach is held by online apparel retailer Zappos; during their process, they ask a lowerlevel employee to interview the potential candidate. If the candidate gets irritated by this, then he or she probably lacks one of Zappos’ core values, which is being humble. It also gives that employee a chance to contribute and shine. If you want to read a little more about our hiring process, we have been featured in several blogs and magazines; you can check out this one: It is most important to remember to use your core values during your hiring process! This way you can always determine if someone fits in with your culture or not. Later on, in the hiring process, you can ask job candidates to talk more about what values resonated with them. If they are not as interested in our core values or they don’t feel motivated by this process, then they are not a good hire. August 2019 49


“The honours a n d r e wa r d s fall to those who show their good qualities in action” – Aristotle Adam Kiani, Founder and CEO of Personal Trainer Academy Employee recognition is essential for motivating, retaining and engaging our employees and will directly impact your staff retention. This is applicable in a gym as much as it is anywhere else. More specifically this is directly applicable to personal trainers. In a recent survey, we asked 500 personal trainers “Are you given any form of recognition for your achievements with clients within your gym ?” A massive 91% said No. We also asked them “Do you feel valued by the gym you work in?” 84% said No. Lets pause and digest that for a second.. Trainers are telling us that they don’t feel valued by their gym or recognised for what they do. With an incredibly high attrition ratio in today’s industry, it isn’t incredibly hard to show appreciation to staff. One of the biggest – and most common – mistakes made by organisations is confusing employee recognition with incentive programs. Recognition and reward don’t mean you have to start giving employees extra money as in some instances this may be counterintuitive and unnecessarily costing to you. This is due to what social psychologists refer to us the ‘overjustification effect’. Simply put, once you place an expected external 50

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incentive – such as money, prizes or rewards – on a task, a person’s intrinsic motivation to perform that task decreases. Remove or lower the reward that they were expecting, and the motivation and interest is gone: the reward becomes an expectation. There must be a better way… “82% of employees think it’s better to give someone praise than a gift” - OfficeVibe Recognition doesn’t necessarily need to cost you money; it goes beyond a structured and defined process. It should be part of the fabric of your culture as a business and it should be flexible and adaptable, depending on the individual and the circumstances. “Employee recognition is the acknowledgement of an individual or team’s behaviour, effort and accomplishments that support the organisation’s goals and values. Recognition is not one-size-fits-all. Thought needs to go into what would be appreciated by the person being recognized” - HR Council

member and charge you to enter. That’s right, let me repeat that – they charge you money to enter and if you want to enter more than one category you have to pay more. Imagine the BBC charging athletes to enter sports personality of the year. They will often sell tickets and tables and that can directly influence the organisers because you will inevitably create revenue for them by buying tickets. You can sponsor a category and enter other categories. Reading between the lines it enables you to have an indirect say in who wins that. So if you win, have you actually won because of your company or organisations achievements or but because of these external factors. Have you actually won – if all your competitors didn’t enter? You’re only competing against those that have. Worse still is bragging about being nominated when you have paid to enter and nominated yourself. “The ceremonies are a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons” – George C. Scott

Similarly, organisations love recognition and no better place to be recognised than by an Awards ceremony. A public award will enhance the stature of your business and give your employees and staff pride in the organisation they work for. Winning an award is fantastic to use in marketing and brand awareness and a great place to have your organisations achievements showcased. However, the trouble is in identifying are they really actual awards ceremonies for recognition or commercial and political business entities.

If you are looking for genuine recognition – apply for awards such as the Chambers of commerce and the Institute of Directors where you don’t have to be a member to be nominated, you don’t get charged to be nominated and will have to undertake a formal application process and a panel interview. You will compete against businesses and organisations across other sectors too. Then if you’re a finalist and win – you know your company has well and truly earnt that recognition and that is something to be proud of.

In our industry, the well-known awards organisations often don’t have a wide range of categories, require you to be a

Value your own organisation and your employees because they are the people that can make your business succeed!

Adam Kiani Founder and CEO, PT Academy. The leading and largest fitness education company in the UK. 0844 544 2484 | | |

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Peeling back the layers of obesity and exposing some underlying reasons for this epidemic Taz Dunstan from XL Personal Training discusses your emotional wellbeing and mental health, and how it's affecting your physical health. Stop treating the symptoms and address the real cause. Your emotional and psychological needs can not be met in a meal plan. Do you understand your cravings? This article is breaking down the barriers of "emotional eating" and exposing the underlying problem of emotional and psychological needs that are not being met through food. Is the growing obesity epidemic a by-product of a more serious issue? Have you ever stopped, mouth full of high calorie, low nutrient food [usual suspects are cake, ice cream, biscuits, chocolate, lollies, doughnuts, fast food] and thought: “What am I doing? Do I even want this?” Those moments of realisation I refer to as “mindful eating”- when you catch yourself making bad food choices and you ask yourself “why?” This anecdote may not capture the holistic health-focused intention of the term “mindful eating”, it is a contextual example that most people at one time or other can relate to. The irony of eating “junk” [Food that is usually; high in fat, sugar and additives devoid of any nutritional value] is that you feel like junk. This type of “food” does not meet your body's’ nutritional needs and as a result your body still craves nutrition, despite being “full”. As a society, we are taught to correlate behaviour between people who are overweight or obese with “overeating” and “inactivity.” In reality, people who are in an unhealthy weight range are often “starving themselves nutritionally”, but seldom is the underlying cause of this behaviour explored. Countless scientific studies have demonstrated the link between the desire for a specific food and the need for 52

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certain micronutrients. These micronutrients are used by the body to regulate our emotions, mood or physical conditions. This brings rise to the possibility of eating food that we know will release certain chemicals, as a substitute for an emotional craving, causing the body to simulate a response. We crave specific foods due to amino acids, neurochemical catalysts or vasoconstrictor catalysts. These act to recharge your body or relax the chemicals in your bran. When someone is exercising and they crave carbohydrates, potassium, protein or glucose they are craving food to satisfy a physical need. When people are depressed, anxious, stressed or feeling lonely they may start craving fatty foods for comfort, such as ice-cream, cheese, chocolate, deep fried food. This substitution of "feelings for food" is commonly referred to as "comfort eating" or "emotional eating." Arguably the most popular example of “comfort eating” is chocolate which contains the chemical: phenylethylamine (PEA) which is the same chemical our brain creates when we feel love/ loved. THIS DOES NOT MEAN WHEN WE EAT CHOCOLATE WE FEEL LOVED. This feeling is a simulated response which does not meet our emotional and psychological needs that generated the initial craving. It is important to note that cravings are generated from two different areas: Emotional hunger is generated in the mind and is influenced by emotions and thoughts. This craving is often sudden and specific, wanting one food. Physical hunger comes from the stomach, is comparatively slower and is open to a variety of foods, anything to fuel a physical need for nutrition. The need for human connectivity, feeling loved and valued cannot be replaced with food. For this reason "emotional eating" is a substitute, not a solution. The psychological triggers for “emotional eating” can be linked to various eating disorders and conditions including binge eating, Bulimia, Anorexia Nervosa and Body dysmorphia stemming from feelings of worthlessness, loss of control, depression, guilt, anger, frustration, shame and self-consciousness. The physical risks associated with unhealthy eating habits are widely known and warned against ranging from minor to fatal. Why is so much focus on the symptoms of this behaviour and not the cause? Our bodies' needs are expansive and interconnected, if we look good, we often feel good and if we eat well we tend to be well, there is a scientific reason for this correlation and instead of speculating how any nutritionists meal plan is expected to solve such complex needs, I asked an allied health professional and practising life coach: “Ferne Nicholson” from “Pheonix life coaching” to contribute her professional opinion to this phenomenon.

an ideal health that seems unobtainable or unaffordable due to time or financial constraints. I have lived through those challenges personally so I am able to work with my clients to bring self-awareness to the forefront of their minds to have a very real conversation about what they actually need. This is a confronting process for many as it addresses the underlying motives behind behaviour patterns. This exposes a vulnerability that is usually linked to concern of the unknown and fear of pain or loss in any form. I have devoted over 27 years to researching scientifically proven naturally formulated health solutions and have been able to compliment my life coaching strategies with specific products that I can personally and professionally vouch for, that achieve balance by realigning biomolecular composition, proven to: activate and strengthen the immune system, increase enzyme production, decrease inflammation, promotion of cell elasticity, improved vascular and hormone function. This has been an effective way for my clients to manage their needs as each craving can be recognised and then addressed on an authentic level of merit. Interestingly, weight loss often occurs when the emotional cravings are eliminated as these cravings are no longer being concealed or distracted by food. conversely when the nutritional needs are being met this removes any ambiguity of foodbased hunger and the actual issues can be resolved.” More information about Pheonix life coaching and overall health is available at The human body is designed to achieve health and balance. Our body uses signs to communicate its needs. When we are dehydrated we crave fluid, when we are hungry we crave food. This communication style is the same when we have emotional needs. When our body has a need to reduce levels of “cortisol”, “adrenalin” and other stress hormones (often brought on by stress, grief, anxiety, depression) it prompts us to take action by craving "happy hormones" such as endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. The most affordable and available means to achieve these “happy hormones” are through exercise. (Serotonin can be produced in the brain through foods that contain “tryptophan” such as salmon, eggs, spinach. Endorphins can be released from eating foods such as chocolate, strawberries, oranges, spicy food, ginseng, nuts and seeds and grapes.) In a nutshell, if you have an imbalance in your diet, you will crave certain foods. Once you've corrected the physical aspects of your food cravings with the nutrition they require, what is left are the emotional cravings which are best addressed without food but with the support of friends and the help from life coaches and other qualified health professionals who specialise in emotional and mental wellbeing.

“People are craving human contact that no screens can provide. Food has become an obvious substitution for many to curb cravings or distract people from the actual needs they are experiencing emotionally and psychologically. With this additional focus on diets now expected to address a whole plethora of issues, brings rise to further stressors such as nutritional deficiency and associated health problems. We are literally working ourselves into the ground through worry and stress, trying to achieve happiness and August 2019 53


AS THE SUN SHINES; E D U C AT E YO U R MEMBERS ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF KEEPING A CONSISTENT INDOOR T R A I N I N G R E G I M E TO COMPLIMENT THEIR O U T D O O R AC T I V I T Y Matt Gleed, Senior Master Trainer and Education Specialist With the summer season in full flow, runners are out in force enjoying the fresh air and beautiful views but there are still reasons they should be encouraged to keep to a training routine in the gym.

into the gym regularly. Many of the groups of exercises are set up to create mini circuits and could be used in Small Group Training by your PT’s too.

Regular strength training supplements a runner’s road work because it strengthens muscles and joints, which can improve race times and decrease injury risk. If your runners want to perform at full potential, you need to take a comprehensive approach to running. Adding strength to running routines, even one or two times per week, can actually be very beneficial to their training.


Although it’s easy to say to those who prefer to train in the great outdoors, that it’s beneficial to include some indoor strength training, the gym can be an intimidating place for beginners, the unfamiliar or deconditioned. So, to ease their fears, try changing their view on why and how weight training is important and what it can do for them. Remember as a runner, they are training for strength, not to ‘bulk up’ with massive muscle gains. And because of the number of miles they are putting in weekly, the chances that they would achieve a large increase in muscle mass are low. Below is a gym-based weight training and conditioning routine, the exercises are selected to help support runners get 54

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 Up and down dog mobility  World’s greatest running stretch with rotation of arm to ceiling  Aeroplane balance pose to knee lift  Rowing for 5mins working up to an intensity of 7/10 of effort  SPM 22-26  1a, Walking Lunges weighted 15 meters  1b, Skipping Rope 60 seconds  1c, Side Plank 30 seconds each side  2a, Single Leg Deadlift 10 reps each side  2b, Battle Rope Alternating Waves 60 seconds  2c, Hanging Leg Raises x20  3a, Hip Thrusts 10 reps  3b, Cable Pallof Press 10 reps each side  3c, TRX Leg Extension 15 reps each leg  4a, Prowler Push 15 meters out and back  4b, Kettlebell Sumo Squat 20 reps  4c, TRX Hip Drop 10 reps each side


in the sample workout above, or you could choose to roll key muscles in preparation too. My personal preference is to take 3-4 yoga moves and put them into a flow where I get the joints mobilized and muscles lengthening through progressive range. I can also add focus to each position my body is in and pause while I breathe into the movements allowing my mind and body to connect with how they feel about this preparation. If I find myself holding my breath or restricting it then I’ll move out and back into the position to see how it responds. If it feels better - great - I might challenge the range more but if not, I’ll reduce the range and be mindful about what might be feeling stiff so I don’t challenge it as much.

Bike training  1 min @ Zone 3 of your Training Zone  1 min @ Zone 4 of your Training Zone  Repeat x 5

Cool-down  10mins of a steady riding in a low effort zone with an RPM of 80-90. During the workout, the focus should be on strength work so ensure your runners use enough weight to challenge themselves and feel like the intensity was hard work. It can take your members a full day or two to recover from resistance training, which could be new for them in comparison to their recovery time after a run. Encourage members, even if keen runners, to vary their training – in the long run, to improve their overall performance. This is especially important for adults, keen runners who spend a lot of time sitting outside of their running schedule. Regular strength training—especially for the legs—can help to correct muscle imbalances and weaknesses that are common in modern life. It is important to inform them not to skip their strength training, stretching and injury prevention work but to maximize their potential needs to provide a more considered plan rather than just hitting the pavements all the time.

Stretching the benefits

Stretching After Running It is also important to stretch afterwards. If you have an area that still feels tight like calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, around the hips and quads tend to be tight after running a similar cool-down routine may be best. During this, I might pause in similar positions and hold them a little longer while breathing, again seeing if I can release tension, but also roll using a ball or cylinder roller to release tension and increase recovery through an area.

Benefits of rolling  Enhanced circulation and blood flow, particularly to extremities  By stimulating blood flow, dramatically more oxygen is delivered to sore muscles  Relaxation and the promotion of a feeling of well-being  Removal of scar tissue or muscle adhesions in the fascia that limits mobility  Reduction in stress hormones and inflammation  Better range of motion Rollers can be purchased in many styles and with everyone having different pain thresholds be sure to understand that pain isn’t good. You should be able to breathe as you roll and if this is difficult then take some weight off the roller and onto the floor with another hand or foot. You might find that a deeper roll is your preference and rumble roller or spiked balls to really work your area could be great.

Stretching has been a hot topic of debate for runners in recent years. There is no evidence that static stretching prevents injury or improves performance. In fact, you are inhibiting a neuromuscular contraction, so it’s not going to fire as quickly to tell the muscle to respond and perform. That leads to less reaction and in effect a slower response, so your speed will go down. When it comes to staying injury-free, functional range of motion is more important than flexibility. That’s where dynamic stretching, movement preparation and rolling comes into importance. Educate those members that time is better spent warming up with dynamic stretching for about 10minutes, and this could be a combination of movement and progressive exercise as August 2019 55


Ask The Expert Do you have a question that you would like to see answered in this feature in a future issue? Email

FUNDING OPTIONS Rob Straathof, CEO at Liberis Finance, an awardwinning funding provider for small businesses – with a second consecutive win of Alternative Lender of the Year (SME category) at this year’s Credit Awards – talks about the funding landscape in the health and fitness industry.

As revealed in the 2019 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report, the UK health and fitness industry, now worth £5 billion, is healthier than ever with increases of 2.9% in the number of fitness facilities, 4.7% in the number of members and 4.2% in market value. This means that more than one in seven people in the UK are now a member of a gym. It goes without saying that the opportunities in the market are therefore tremendous. But with growing markets comes heightened competition, including that from the growing at-home fitness trend, boutique studios and tech-enabled fitness. This means successful businesses need to innovate and offer members an experience they can’t find elsewhere. More often than not, the ability to innovate in this way relies on investment, and funding, particularly when using banks, can be difficult to access. It is true that the value of overdraft facilities available through banks has halved since 2011. And that, overall, banks have tightened their lending, preferring to go down a route of structured loans. Where overdraft facilities are offered, they can be extremely expensive, and this has naturally driven a need for extra cash. Traditional finance providers can be slow to embrace new technologies, and their forms of finance are not always agile enough to accommodate the rhythm and needs of small businesses. This has given rise to the Alternative Lending community, who can be quicker to 56

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respond and more imaginative in their proposition. Challenges facing the health and fitness industry The health and fitness industry will need funding for different reasons. For some, it is about investment and growth. For others, it is about cash flow; late payments from larger customers and indeed members is a continuing problem. But even when there is certainty of payment, there is still often a funding ‘gap’ that needs to be filled. A recent survey by Liberis Finance – with 400 SMEs from the health and beauty/fitness, retail, restaurant/ café, hotel/B&B, and arts and entertainment sectors found that while nearly two thirds (62%) of businesses see funding as a method to grow, only about half of them actually make use of the funding options available. And of those businesses using funding, 20 30% face a funding gap in not being able to borrow the full amount, or not being able to borrow at all. This not only puts pressure on working capital and growth targets but also on day-to-day business and recruitment. Businesses are not able to hire the people they need to succeed, buy the latest equipment their customers demand or invest in the marketing that gets their businesses known.

Funding options So, for a health and fitness business with the appetite to grow, what can the Alternative Finance sector


according to the money coming into the business. Seasonal businesses in particular – for example where gyms become busier in January or put on additional classes during the school holidays – benefit from this type of innovative option as their payments never balloon off-peak as they might do with a credit card or fixed loan.

Funding advice

provide? For a business struggling with late payments, Invoice Finance (typically factoring or invoice discounting) is often a cost-efficient and straightforward way to mitigate these challenges. With factoring, the Factor agrees to pay an agreed percentage of approved debts. The balance is paid when the customer pays, minus a fee and the Factor takes responsibility for the credit management and collections activity of the business. Similarly, invoice discounting provides immediate cash for the approved invoice, but the sales ledger and credit management activity remains the responsibility of the business. Businesses with high-value assets in their property or gym equipment may be suited to asset-based lending, where funding is provided and secured against the value of the asset. Peer to Peer lending platforms have also been developed to match lenders (these could be private individuals, businesses etc) to borrowers; and lenders will often provide lower-cost funding than ‘traditional’ financial institutions. Crowdfunding as a means for funding has seen a notable surge in popularity over the last 10 years, with technology and social media driving awareness and ease of use of its platforms. Each has its own rules and regulations to consider, and they also differ in fees, commissions and the sorts of businesses they specialise in. With necessity being the mother of invention, technology is being used to develop even more innovative funding platforms to serve sectors such as the health and fitness industry in new and exciting ways.

There is much the health and fitness industry can do to help themselves to better manage their cash flow and, in turn, maximise the funding options available to them. Best-practice credit management is essential, agreeing on payment terms in advance and not being afraid to ask for money that is rightfully theirs. Getting your house in order before seeking additional finance is also key to a better understanding of how much additional funding you need and exactly what you want to achieve. Credit scores are, of course, extremely important when accessing funding and it’s likely that both your personal and business credit scores will be looked at during application. There are numerous companies that provide this service including Experian, Equifax, ClearScore and Creditsafe; each will charge differently for their services. In terms of understanding funding options, there are numerous government schemes providing financial support for businesses, for example in support for sustainable investment such as the Grant for Business Investment and through the British Business Bank[CF2], which aims to make finance markets work better for small businesses. Aggregate platforms such as Funding Xchange and Alternative Business Funding can also provide useful tools in terms of assessing which funding option is best suited to a business. Our main message is a positive one, the funding is available, and there are numerous responsible and specialised alternative finance providers out there that can help support business growth in the health and fitness industry.

Liberis Finance, for example, provides a product called Business Cash Advance, a funding solution that’s designed specifically for card-taking businesses, with payments linked seamlessly to an agreed percentage of their customer card transactions. The payments happen automatically, perfectly mirroring cashflow. Health and beauty, retail and hospitality are amongst the many sectors that benefit from this form of funding, particularly as asset-based lending is often not an option. Through the Business Cash Advance, a business is able to manage its cash flow and financing August 2019



Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers We look at the Virtual aspect of the Gym Industry

FREEMOTION EYES EUROPEAN MARKET APPOINTS EUROPE SALES DIRECTOR Industry veteran, Apostolos Seintis, joins Freemotion to lead its European expansion. Friday 19th August 2019 – Fast-growing commercial fitness manufacturer, Freemotion, has appointed Apostolos Seintis as Sales Director for Europe. Hired to drive the growth of Freemotion in Europe, Apostolos brings with him a wealth of experience in the health and fitness industry. Having spent fifteen years at All Sport S.A, where he was instrumental in the introduction of a nine-brand portfolio to the Greek market, including Cybex and Trotter, Apostolos continued his career with a six-year stretch in senior roles at Cybex, followed by a year at Life Fitness. Most recently, he was Director of Sales for Physiolab, a UK-based, medical company specialising in soft tissue repair products. Also a decorated student, with degrees in mechanical engineering and sports science, and an MBA in business, Apostolos has a strong track record of growing sales throughout Europe and developing relationships while holding distributors accountable. The main focus of his role at Freemotion will be to develop the distributor network in Europe and build strong partnerships with key accounts.

Commenting on his appointment, Apostolos said: “The most exciting thing about my role at Freemotion is the potential of the organisation. With the excellent people and resources we have around us, Freemotion could become the biggest global player in the fitness industry and alongside my colleagues, I’m looking forward to helping it reach the top. “We want to be known as a company that helps people to build successful, profitable and reputable businesses, not just one that sells products, so a great opportunity exists to have a real impact and make a true difference in the European market and wider afield.” Apostolos will report to Chris McGill, who was recently promoted to Vice President of Global Sales, extending a nine-year career at the company which has seen him rise impressively through the ranks. Speaking on Freemotion’s future plans, Chris said: “We’ve seen double-digit growth at Freemotion over the last three years, well above industry average, which is phenomenal, but we want to be a more prominent brand internationally. We’ve done a great job domestically [in the US] but there’s still work to be done in the international marketplace. For us, it’s about the people, which is why we’re hiring great talent like Apostolos to help us drive more brand recognition, both through our direct and distributor channels.” As further evidence of Freemotion’s employment push and determination to significantly increase its presence on the world stage, Leopoldo Torres has also been added to the team as Sales Director for Latin America, following previous roles at BH Fitness, Technogym, Precor, and Bodytech Columbia. Leopoldo will be looking to build on his early success having joined the company in 2018, and Freemotion will continue to benefit from his extensive experience in sales, business strategy and public relations within the fitness sector. Now the hunt is on to find Freemotion a Sales Director for the UK, as the effort to strengthen its European team continues. Applications can be made by visiting:

"A decorated student, with degrees in mechanical engineering and sports science, and an MBA in business, Apostolos has a strong track record of growing sales throughout Europe"


August 2019


LIFE FITNESS NAMES CHRIS CLAWSON NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Steve Klyn Appointed CFO Founder Augie Nieto to Join Board ROSEMONT, Ill. [August 8, 2019] Life Fitness today announced the appointment of Chris Clawson as CEO. Clawson served as President of Life Fitness from 2010 to 2016 and most recently was Chairman of the Sports and Fitness Industry Association. He succeeds Jason Worthy, effective immediately. Jay Bernstein, a partner at KPS Capital Partners (“KPS”), Life Fitness’ majority shareholder, said, “Given his extensive fitness industry and leadership experience, we believe that Chris is uniquely positioned to once again lead Life Fitness and help the company succeed under KPS’ ownership. “We thank Jason for his many contributions during his tenure with Life Fitness, particularly his leadership during a time of change and transition, and wish him every success in the future.” Clawson first joined Life Fitness in 1994 in a product development role. After 10 years with the company, he went on to several fitness industry leadership roles, including President of Matrix Fitness Systems, before

returning in 2010. He holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University. Life Fitness also announced that Steve Klyn has been appointed Chief Financial Officer. Klyn worked with KPS since 2012 as CFO of one of its portfolio companies, International Equipment Solutions, a market-leading manufacturer of engineered equipment. It was also announced that Augie Nieto, founder of the modern-day Life Fitness company, will be a co-investor in the business and will be appointed to its Board of Directors. Nieto served as President of Life Fitness from 1977 to 2000 and helped transform the company from a single-product business to the market leader in the commercial fitness equipment industry. Bernstein added, “We are thrilled to bring Augie back as an investor and a strategic partner. We are confident that his experience and vision will help Life Fitness build on its leadership position and drive forward its legacy of being a strong, focused, and innovative global market leader.”

About Life Fitness Life Fitness is the global leader in commercial fitness equipment and game tables. The company manufactures and sells its strength and cardiovascular equipment, billiards tables and accessories, and game room furniture through its family of brands that includes Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, Cybex, Indoor Cycling Group, SCIFIT and Brunswick Billiards. Its equipment is distributed to 166 countries. Life Fitness is headquartered near Chicago, in Rosemont, Illinois. For more information about the Life Fitness family of brands, visit www.

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