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ISSUE 29 // August 2018

Gym Design Time to E m b r a c e Digital Learning ACTIVE AGEING




Gy m O w n e r o f the Month -

Peter Howe

Why Most Gyms Fail to Hire the Right People and How to Avoid It

E A HEALTHY LIFESTYL !! WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE Steve Bam shares his extensive battle, and g how his body is gettin him through it.

Scott King

Roadmap to Competing AUGUST 2018



LO O K I N G FO R A GY M EQ UI PME NT MANUFACTURER? We are the manufacturers of some of the best strength training equipment in the world. Everything is custom made to order and built to last a lifetime.

PROUD TO BE BRITISH All Watson Gym Equipment products are manufactured in our factory in Frome, England. We are passionate about the equipment we produce and take pride in every product we send out. Manufacturing the products ourselves means that you get exceptional build quality, custom built equipment to suit your needs and a short lead time.


Welcome... …to the August 2018 issue of Gym Owner Monthly Magazine. I hope you’re still enjoying this heatwave everyone keeps talking about! We have another fully stocked issue for you this month. On pages 26 - 28 our Cover Model Scott King shares his Road Map to Competing, a must read if you’re looking to prep for a competition! Pages 40 - 49 contain our rather large feature on Gym Design, and on pages 36 - 37, Master Trainer Matt Gleed shares his Top Tips on the old classic - running, something I should probably take to heart with my next obstacle race being on the horizon! Enjoy the sunshine, I have already heard the C-word (Christmas, of course) being mentioned, and it is probably closer than we all care to know. We hope you enjoy the issue!!

Nicky & The GOM Team




Nicky Sefke

Janine Edwards

Paul Wood



pw@gymownermonthly.co.uk Tel: 07858 487 357

 www.gymownermonthly.co.uk  @GymOwnerMonthly  gymownermonthly

 @GymOwnerMonthly  gym-owner-monthly-magazine

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© Gym Owner Monthly Magazine 2017 Gym Owner Monthly is published by PW Media. Gym Owner Monthly is protected by copyright and nothing may be produced wholly or in part without prior permission. The acceptance of advertising does not indicate editorial endorsement. The opinions expressed in editorial material do not necessarily represent the views of Gym Owner Monthly. Unless specifically stated, good or services mentioned in editorial or advertisements are not formally endorsed by Gym Owner Monthly, which does not guarantee or endorse or accept any liability for any goods and/or services featured in this publication. We cannot accept responsibility for any mistakes or misprints. Unsolicited material cannot be returned. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. Please note that we reserve the right to use all supplied photographs/images elsewhere in the publication or on our social media channels.



Contents TRENDS



20 55






News The latest news and hot topics in the industry.



Movement, Consistency, Intensity Peter Howe on his facility The Box Reebok.


PT of the Month We meet Aimee Burrows.


FIRSTLIGHT - A New Dawn in Cycling Studios We meet FirstLight Cycle Studio founder and former PT Mark Anthony.


A Healthy Lifestyle Will Save Your Life!! Steve Bam shares his extensive battle, and how his body is getting him through it


40 4




Why Most Gyms Fail to Hire the Right People and How to Avoid It Daniel Nyiri on the importance of hiring the right person and a creative hiring process.


Active Ageing How Are You Engaging the Older Population?



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



If I Don’t like the Way Gyms Are, I Will Create One Myself! Meet Stephen Birkby, an Aspire InstructAbility graduate and founder of DAWS.






33 36


Ask the Expert




Protein & Weight Loss



Better Together: Why Group Exercise Keeps People Coming Back for More


Road Map to Competing Scott King shares how he prepares for a show.


Virtual Indoor Cycling Virtual Training continues to grow, and Indoor Cycling enjoys its ongoing popularity - have you combined the two?


Running Top Tips Matt Gleed shares his tips on an old classic.


26 60

Creative Dumbbell Exercises For Abs Chris Zaremba shares three dumbbell exercises to work on your abs.



Time to Embrace Digital Learning It’s time to take advantage of the benefits that digital learning offers the sector.

We're always seeking contributors, if you're interested in writing for us then please contact: pw@gymownermonthly.co.uk






What’s hot in the fitness industry


Leisure sector leaders joined forces to develop industry-first qualification for Duty Managers who are amongst the next cohort to lead the leisure industry The first group of apprentices have been signed onto the new leisure specific apprenticeship management qualification at Places Leisure. This apprenticeship programme has never been done before, yet the industry has been eagerly waiting for there to be a substantial, recognised training programme for the management level. This is the first large scale apprenticeship standard for the leisure industry that has been driven by the apprenticeship Trailblazers and CIMSPA; and developed by leading operators in the sector including Places Leisure, Everyone Active, GLL and Fusion. The 15-month apprenticeship course is supported with online e-learning and webinars in addition to organised workshops and covers eight different topics. Topics include leisure facility management, personal development, customer service, front line people management, legal and compliance, business support, finance, project management, pool plant and First Aid at Work. Matt Robinson, Operations Director in Active Leisure and Retail at Lifetime Training says: ‘The new Leisure Duty Manager Apprenticeship standard is ideal for first-time managers looking to develop their knowledge, skills and leadership behaviours. Management apprentices will learn the core elements of managing and leading successful teams and operating a high performing leisure facility. This is the ideal combination for people wanting to develop a career in Leisure. This month we welcome a cohort of 30 managers from leading leisure operator, Places Leisure.’ This Leisure Duty Manager Apprenticeship can be fully funded using the Apprenticeship Levy which allows employers to offset the cost of mandatory qualifications such as Pool Plant and First Aid at Work. Kiira Gamble, Training and Development Manager for Places Leisure commented, ‘Providing professional development for our teams of Duty Managers is important to us at Places Leisure, as there are 6


key skills to learn for working effectively on the front-line of a high performing leisure facility. The new Level 3 Leisure Duty Manager Apprenticeship qualification in partnership with Lifetime means our Duty Managers are now able learn core leadership and customer service skills. With the addition of five workshop days, they also have the opportunity to practice their new skills which increases their confidence in managing and leading successful teams back at their own leisure facility. We are delighted to be the first operator to sign up a cohort of 30 managers to this programme and plan to extend this management development opportunity across Places Leisure over the next 2 years.’


The Michael Carrick Foundation has partnered with Trafford Leisure and Manchester City Council for a boot amnesty this summer The Michael Carrick Foundation has teamed up with Trafford Leisure and Manchester City Council to launch a boot amnesty this summer to help encourage all children to participate in football. As part of the Carrick Boot Room Campaign, from the 26th July until the 3rd September, local people are invited to drop off football boots and astro trainers at Trafford Leisure’s and Manchester City Council’s leisure centres. The boots will be cleaned, bagged and redistributed to children at local community football sessions, groups and grassroots clubs. Michael Carrick is one of the most decorated English footballers of all time, and has 701 career appearances for club and country. Carrick is best known for his twelve year career at Manchester United. Following his retirement from professional football in May, Carrick has joined the coaching staff at Manchester United. He launched the Michael Carrick Foundation in Spring 2017, with the objective to invest in sporting, social and educational programmes that will improve children’s life chances. Michael Carrick says: ‘The foundation’s work is predominantly based in areas of poverty in Greater Manchester and Tyne and Wear and being able to join in our football sessions means so much to the local children. It's really important that whilst children are playing sport and having fun that they are safe and have the correct, undamaged footwear. We want to ensure that all children have the adequate kit they need to fulfil their full potential, and that any barrier to participation is removed. Donating boots is a simple and effective way of getting the appropriate footwear to local children and ensuring that their experience is a positive one.’ ‘Children’s feet notoriously grow quickly, needing new astro trainers and football boots every six months, well before the shoe is actually worn out. So we decided the best way to address this was to encourage anyone with unwanted or outgrown boots to recycle them by giving them to The Michael Carrick Foundation and letting us pass them onto someone who needs them more.’ Jo Cherrett, CEO, Trafford Leisure says: ‘My team were delighted to welcome Michael Carrick to Trafford Leisure’s Stretford Sports Village to launch the Carrick’s Boot Room Campaign and to meet with some of our team. Both the Michael Carrick Foundation and Trafford Leisure are committed to increasing the long term participation in sport of disadvantaged children. Trafford Leisure firmly believes that sport must be accessible to all. Health and fitness is so important for our young, we need to ensure that all children can reach their full potential and we must create opportunities for them to feel valued and inspire them to achieve.’ Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure, Manchester City Council, says: ’This is a match-winning idea that we're really pleased to help with. We already do our bit to help people stay fit and healthy by creating and maintaining amazing sports facilities across the city. Now there's a chance for everyone else to get involved and do their bit to help make sure all our children and young people are able to take full advantage of them by donating their old boots when they get too small.’ Michael Carrick continues: ‘It’s fantastic that Trafford Leisure and Manchester City Council can support the work of the Michael Carrick Foundation and the Carrick’s Boot Room Campaign. I’m confident that the boots you donate will make a real and meaningful difference to the kids in our local area. The Foundation would also

like to thank our sponsor MLILY for supporting this campaign and the work that we do.’ The Michael Carrick Foundation has provided funding for the next three years for the Carrick’s Street Reds football club which runs at Trafford Leisure’s Old Trafford Sports Barn, every Monday and Friday evening for children aged eight to nineteen. Michael Carrick concludes: ‘So many children grow up in poverty lacking positive role models and safe places to play and we are committed to changing this.’

WEXER SUPPORTS CLUB W IN ITS BID TO HELP OLDER WOMEN ‘LIVE LONGER, WELL’ A first-of-its-kind health club concept has opened its doors in Sydney, Australia – a women-only, virtual-only club designed with the Baby Boomer generation in mind. Positioned as a lifestyle space, the 400sq m club targets what de Leede calls the “forgotten generation” – older women who have never really engaged with gyms and fitness in the traditional sense. ‘Club W is a modern space where women can recharge, restore, connect with others and immerse themselves in wellness,’ says de Leede. ‘I refer to it as a second home – a home that’s based on community and activity, and where you feel comfortable and safe.’ The $650k club is based around a wellness lounge area, where members can relax and socialise. Employed hosts and volunteer ‘club ambassadors’ are also on-hand to make members feel welcome, comfortable and to buddy them in activities within the club. In addition to the social spaces, there’s also a strong focus on movement, with four virtual studios offering Move123 classes. These cover nine distinct categories – Yoga, Pilates, Barre, Stretch, Strength, Dance, Fight, Cardio and Meditation – and range in length from five to 30 minutes. A new category, Move Breathe, is also planned. All classes are delivered exclusively through the Wexer platform, with the timetable featuring an impressive 200+ classes a day. De Leede is confident that virtual classes are appropriate for, and indeed appealing to, the older Club W target market. ‘The Baby Boomer generation has already embraced social media platforms and so on – they aren’t afraid of tech,’ he says. ‘Also, anyone visiting our club quickly sees the benefits of the classes being virtual: it’s this that guarantees so much choice. The sheer size of our timetable means you’re guaranteed to find something that interests you within minutes of arriving at the club.’ Complementing the four virtual studios is an ‘active education’ room – a small gym space kitted out with treadmills and recumbent bikes, where four large screens at the front of the room allow members to access a pre-set schedule of Mind123 educational programmes. These videos, between three and 15 minutes in length, offer lifestyle advice on a wide variety of topics: Health, Nutrition, Self, Relationships, Wealth and Beauty. There’s also a massage room, plus three consultation pods where local lifestyle businesses – offering services ranging from nutrition to naturopathy, life coaching to manicures – can come in and offer complimentary 20-minute appointments for members. ‘I wanted to create somewhere I could imagine my mum or my sister coming to get out of the house – a place that offers not only movement, but also community,’ says de Leede. ‘Club W isn’t about being fit. It’s about living longer, well.’

2018 International Standards Meeting (ISM): Future proofing the fitness sector This year’s ISM will put a real emphasis on the involvement of delegates through group discussions and technical sessions. We are keen to listen if you are ready to get involved in the debate! With the theme, ‘Future proofing the fitness sector – assuring quality in a diverse European environment’ we will emphasise the importance of securing the quality of the fitness industry workforce. The event takes place on 15 and 16 November in Warsaw, Poland. AUGUST 2018



It’s all about building a better future at this year’s International Standards Meeting (ISM). This annual conference has already become the most relevant occasion for cooperation in improving the education, recognition and social impact of exercise professionals, but we would like to take it all a step further.

Europeans to participate through five themes: fitness, education, sport clubs, outdoors and workplaces.

‘You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement, and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity.’ - Marie Curie, Polish-French physicist and chemist  Have your say Inspired by Polish native Marie Curie we will focus on improving both individuals and the sector as a whole toward a healthier and more active European society. This year, involvement by delegates will be more important than ever. We’ve planned for small group discussions, offer extended networking possibilities and will ask our attendees to cook up a ‘recipe for the perfect training course’. Julian Berriman, the Director of the Professional Standards Committee, will also give an update on our (future) plans and bring the latest news on accreditation and Standards.  Why not join us? If you are a fitness education / training provider or an employer from the fitness industry, we would be delighted if you could join us in beautiful Warsaw. Limited places are available for suppliers and representatives of national associations. This is a unique opportunity to meet with a selected team of experts in an open and inspirational environment to discuss strategies on how to communicate and implement the standards and to ensure the European health & fitness sector remains at the cutting edge of professional development. For more information and registration, please see our webpage: http://www. europeactive.eu/events/ISM18

EuropeActive’s National Fitness Days 2018 (NFD): The annual event to celebrate fitness and physical activity across Europe! National Fitness Days (NFD) is a EuropeActive initiative which represents the contribution of the fitness sector to the European Week of Sport. The National Fitness Days will take place in different countries across Europe from 23rd to 30th of September 2018. The event is part of the EuropeActive’s main mission ‘towards a more active Europe 80 million fitness club members by 2025’. It is an opportunity to raise awareness on the benefits of healthier and active lifestyles, to present the economic and social potential of fitness and demonstrate how our sector makes the difference in making Europeans more active more often. The European Week of Sport 2018 is a European Commission initiative which promotes sport and physical activity across Europe. The Week is for everyone, regardless of age, background or fitness level. The media campaign is called #BeActive and encourages 8


In 2017 the European Week of Sport confirmed to be the biggest sport event in the continent 32 countries, with 34,000 events and 12 million participants. The Week will keep growing together with the financial commitment of the European Commission. EuropeActive branded events in 11 different countries, which involved 5,000 fitness clubs and 44,000 fitness professionals were reached by our media campaign. The entire fitness industry is encouraged to take part in the National Fitness Days. Fitness associations, fitness chains, individual clubs, and fitness professionals - are all welcome to participate! JOIN US and discover all the advantages of taking part in this huge event! More information on the EuropeActive website and in the national fitness days guide.

Getting to Know Your Customers Feedback from customers, whether it be compliments or criticism – and how you act upon it – is one of the most important elements of good customer service.

But it can be hard to know what customers really think of their experience, which is why Leisure-net Solutions, the leading provider of Customer Insight, Business Intelligence and Consultation services to the active leisure sector, launched its feedback-Focus™ software, to help operators keep track of their customers’ views. ‘Learning what we’re doing right and wrong with our service and how we can do it better is crucial to business success,’ explains Mike Hill, Leisure-net Solutions Director. ’But we’ve found that when an operator doesn’t have a high-profile, easy to use comments system, only the negative comments from determined customers get through.  When you introduce an automated, online system you get more comments and a better range of the spectrum, which is more representative of what the customers really think.’ Powered by DataHub, the online comments and complaints system is currently used by almost 400 sites across the sector, generating over 28,000 comments annually. It enables operators to easily keep on top of all forms of customer feedback, whether they come in via the web, email, phone or face-to-face. By logging all comments in one place, managers can track the source and number of comments, what they are about, whether they are positive, negative or neutral, and, very importantly, how quickly managers respond to and resolve them. ‘feedback-Focus allows operators to keep track of every customer comment they receive, all in one place,’ says Hill. ‘The software allows users to analyse all customer comments, as well as track their responses and whether the complaint/comment is resolved and in what time period.’ Quick Fire… An automated, online feedback system puts operators firmly in the 21st Century in customers’ eyes, something they expect in this age of social media and the ability to interact 24/7. It also makes it easier to respond faster and track actions against comments, but not all operators are taking advantage of this opportunity, which is particularly worrying, according to Hill, given the public’s expectations of speed of response are so much higher than they were 10 years ago.


K K C C A A B B D D FEE FEE ‘Whilst a letter could typically be responded to in 7-10 days, customers now expect a response to an email or social media comment within 24 hours, if not sooner,’ he says. ‘Add to that the fact we know just how much a fast response impacts positively on the whole service recovery period.’

Happy Campers? Research published in the Journal of Consumer Behaviour found that ‘a key influence on loyalty is the offer of unique, value‐ delivering advantages not provided by competitors. Thus firms need to develop positive, value‐based exit barriers to achieve loyalty. When service failures occur, the recovery process is likely to have a greater impact on loyalty than the original service failure. The key to successful recoveries was found to be the customer's perception of fairness'.

S S U U C O O F F CU How well are leisure centres collecting and responding to their customers’ feedback?

So, says Hill: ‘Recovery programmes must get it right first time. The speed and the way you respond – with understanding, appreciation and empathy – has been proven to be equally as important to someone complaining as whether you actually solve their complaint. If you take longer to respond than they expect, their frustration will just grow.’ Resolution isn’t necessarily about giving the customer everything they want and sometimes complaints are about long term (and sometimes insurmountable) problems, such as larger car parks or a new swimming pool. ‘In these cases resolution means reaching a mutual ‘understanding’ of the issue,’ says Hill.

powered by DataHub


In the last two years more than 57,000 feedback forms were received by operators using the service, and 98% of these were resolved. And in the last year alone, compliments have risen by 8% and complaints have fallen by 5%.

But even more encouraging is the way operators are handling these comments. The average response time fell by four days in the last year, meaning customers now receive an initial response within six days. The initial resolution period has also fallen, from 9.9 days in 2016-17 to just 6.2 days in the last 12 months.

‘We started using the Leisure-net system to better track feedback from customers and how these comments were being actioned within our teams,’ says Steele. ‘With such a large team and shift work in place, being able to search a customer name to see what stage a complaint is at is a vital feature for us.’ ‘When submitting, the customer must choose an area of the business their comment relates to and an email is automatically sent to the relevant Head of Department with a link to view the comment, effectively meaning we can be on the phone to the customer before they reach their car!’ The platform also enables Sportspark to track the resolution time of each comment, so if a comment requires further action from a Head of Department how quickly this is done is being tracked too. To make sure this happens, the feedback-Focus statistics are reported on at a monthly senior managers meetings. And to give customers confidence that they are being listened to, Sportspark even displays the statistics on their public noticeboard. ‘The statistics shows our customers how quickly we have responded to and resolved their comments over the past month, but also how invested we are in listening to their feedback,’ continues Steele. ‘Our comments have increased year on year since 2013, which is excellent. They’re a mixture of complaints, compliments and


leisure centres are using feedback-Focus

feedback forms collected

of all feedback comments resolved










7,451 6,000

Last 12 months

Previous 12 months

-5 %


% -1estio n








Sportspark has well over 13,000 members. Roughly a quarter are students, with the rest made up of the staff and local community. The facility has received 3,462 comments to date and has developed a customer feedback policy committing to a response within five days of the original submission - an impressive 77% of all comments are responded to in under 7 days. But, as Phil Steele, Director of Sport points out, the platform enables them to action an issue immediately.


AN HOW HAVE THE COMMENTS CH Number of comments

Sportspark at the University of East Anglia (UEA) has been using the feedback-Focus for the last five years; it was one of the test sites before the platform even went live; enabling customers to comment via a link on the website, cards in the centre or faceto-face with staff that are trained to verbal comments, as well as collating comments from social media.

- JUNE ’18)



Getting It Right The good news is that data from the feedback-Focus shows that not only are the number of compliments rising and the number of complaints falling, but generally operators are getting significantly quicker at responding to and resolving customers’ issues.

August 2018

SPEED OF RESPONSE Initial response time

Initial resolution time





10.2 days

6.2 days

9.9 days

6.2 days

Response time reduced by


Resolution time reduced by


DataHubClub.com #DataHotSpots




comments, but it means customers are becoming more aware of how to leave their feedback, feel like their issues will be listened to, and know when to expect a response.’ ‘feedback-Focus is the easiest way to record all customer feedback, see what is being actioned by our team and breakdown common issues our customers are dealing with. The system’s interactive graphs and pdf reports help us to easily communicate the information to wider staff and the public. This year we were also awarded Excellent for our Sport England quality assurance and continuing development programme, Quest Plus, and our communications process was taken into account as part of this.’ Closing the Loop Alongside feedback-Focus, Leisure-net Solutions’ Customer Insight online platform, allows Net Promoter Score (NPS) customers to ‘close the loop’ and track their engagement with people after they’ve completed the survey. The NPS asks customers just one question on a 0 to 10 rating scale: ‘How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?’ Based on their responses, customers can be categorised as Promoters (9-10 rating), Passives (7-8 rating) and Detractors (0-6 rating). The percentage of Detractors is subtracted from the percentage of Promoters to obtain a Net Promoter Score. ‘Closing the loop allows more dynamic recording and increases the functionality around our NPS surveys,’ says Hill. ‘The system ensures companies can track how they’ve interacted with people after they’ve completed the NPS survey and so see if they’ve moved them up from detractors to passives or promoters.’ To find out more about the feedback-Focus platform or NPS visit www.leisure-net.org.

Impulse Leisure Case Study Belhus Park Changing Areas Impulse Leisure has overhauled the changing areas at its Belhus Park Leisure Centre in South Ockendon, West Thurrock; the first major revamp of the facilities in almost 40 years.

pool entrance ensures additional pre- and post-swimming hygiene. ‘This much-needed investment has made a huge difference to the experience of our customers and brings the changing areas up to the standard of the rest of the centre. It also allows us to welcome school swimming groups to Belhus Park for the first time and we are looking forward to working with our first four schools this September,’ says Rangel.

New Research Shows There’s No Such Thing as ‘Girl Push-Ups’: Why Knee Push-Ups Can Be Just as Beneficial as Toe Push-Ups The long-standing attitude that knee push-ups, or ‘girl pushups’ as they are commonly referred to, provide no real benefit is unfounded according to new exercise research published this month in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics. Les Mills, the world’s largest group exercise provider, supported a study looking at the differences between knee push-ups and toe push-ups and found that ‘girl push-ups’ are a valuable way of building upper body strength. Jinger Gottschall, Associate Professor at Penn State University and lead researcher of the study says knee push-ups are in fact beneficial for building and maintaining strength; ‘Knee push-ups have been considered the poor relation to the toe push-up for too long but it’s time to push that old myth aside,’ Gottschall says. The study found that the ratio of upper body muscle activation is the same when you do toe push-ups and knee push-ups. This is very good news for people who struggle to do push-ups on their toes with a full range of motion. ‘What we’d say to the many people for whom this is the case – don’t leave push-ups out of your workout because you can’t manage them on your toes. Be reassured that knee push-ups are a valuable alternative to toe push-ups in order to give your pecs, shoulders and triceps a good workout, at the same time strengthening the muscles of the core,’ Professor Gottschall says. The researchers also concluded that if a person performs enough knee push-ups to reach a point of fatigue, they will eventually become strong enough to do push-ups on the toes – again because the muscle activation pattern in both types of push-ups is similar.

The project formed part of a wider refurbishment of Belhus Park, which cost more than £2.5 million and was funded by Thurrock Council and Impulse Leisure. ‘The centre required some essential maintenance and improvement works, including replacing the roof of the pool hall, installing a new pool filtration and circulation system and new air handling units. We decided to take the opportunity to upgrade our changing facilities at the same time, which were extremely tired having remained largely unchanged since the centre opened in the 1970s,’ says centre manager, Juan Rangel. Both the male and female changing areas were stripped back, remodelled and refurbished to offer cubicle changing for the first time alongside open plan changing. The cubicles not only offer a new level of privacy for users, but allow the centre to accommodate school groups, something it was unable to do in the past with its open plan changing areas. The lighting has been replaced with energy-efficient LED bulbs, which have a longer lifespan than traditional lighting and also consume far less energy to help reduce costs. Anti-slip rubber flooring has been installed throughout along with new showers, toilets, vanity units as well as new wooden lockers to replace the old metal, coin operated lockers. To meet the needs of families and those with disabilities, each changing area now offers a baby changing area and a disabled/family change room, and the installation of new communal showers at the 10


Gottschall recommends that once a person is confident doing 16 push-ups on the knees, he or she is then ready to try push-ups on the toes. ‘If you can comfortably do 16 knee push-ups, just start trying to do a couple on your toes and see how you feel. If necessary, revert back to the other style until you gradually build up your strength over time to be able to do more on your toes than your knees,’ she says. Steve Tansey, Head of Research and Development and Regional Training Coordinator at Les Mills UK is pleased with the research findings; ‘When doing an exercise class, it’s easy to feel intimidated by others doing more intense versions of certain moves. We always encourage our instructors to help everyone in the class develop and feel they’re being catered for, no matter their level of experience. With this research, there’s real proof to show gym-goers that they’re still getting a great workout from knee or toe push-ups.’ Interestingly, the study also found push-ups to be more effective as a functional exercise than the bench press. Participants experiencing 51 percent more activation of the abdominal muscles when completing push-ups versus bench press repetitions. Functional exercises such as push ups train muscles to do everyday activities safely and efficiently. Les Mills International supported this research study at FITOLOGY, a group fitness and cycling studio located in State College, Pennsylvania. The Study: In the study, 12 healthy male participants who completed strength training twice per week were measured using electromyography (EMG) signals while performing push-ups on both the knees and the toes. EMG records the electrical activity of muscle tissue using electrodes attached to the skin. The study participants completed a fiveminute warm-up on a stationary bike and then completed a series of push-ups on the knees and toes and bench presses.


MENTAL WELLBEING FRONT OF MIND FOR NEW WATERLOO GYM A new boutique fitness club will soon open its doors on a Waterloo high street, designed to encourage users to develop their mental and emotional health, in addition to honing their physique and fitness. Located on Westminster Bridge Road, less than a five-minute walk from London’s Waterloo Station, ‘Mindset’ will offer a range of five bespoke group training classes across its 3,500 sq ft. training space. Each session is designed to ‘build the best version of you’, promoting total fitness and wellbeing. Opening Monday 13 August, the facility, which is made up of two large studio areas for hosting the classes, also includes a nutrition bar, designer showers and changing rooms, a welcoming reception and a lounge area. The concept has been designed and developed by personal trainer and director of Mindset, Darren Sealy, who wanted to create an environment where users could enhance all aspects of their life, as oppose to just doing a physical workout. ‘Our training philosophy is based on the belief that no matter how physically fit and strong you are; your mental fitness is just as – if not even more important,’ said Darren. ‘With the demands of life and other stressors seemingly increasing all the time – particularly with the long working hours associated with city working - it has never been more important to ensure people take the time to invest in their state of mind.’ ‘After working in various roles across the fitness sector for a decade, I wanted to create a space where people could develop their mental strength – to enhance their confidence and empower them to improve their lives as a whole.’ Origin Fitness assisted with the design of the new space and completed the fit out, which includes strength, cardiovascular, functional and HIIT equipment, in addition to specialist fitness flooring. Euan Millar, Senior Sales Manager at Origin Fitness, said: ‘It’s been a great pleasure to see the 3D visuals and walkthrough videos we created come to life and I’m excited to see the public’s reaction once the space opens in August. There’s no doubt that members now want to feel part of a community when joining a gym and Mindset’s training philosophy compliments that perfectly.’ The five classes have each been designed to improve your overall mindset, and comprise of five main components – social, emotional, nutritional, physical and mental fitness. Options include its ‘Reset’ class – a hybrid of yoga, meditation, core strength and calisthenics and ‘Asset’, a body sculpting session that has been designed exclusively for females. Darren adds: ‘We can’t wait to reveal Mindset to London in a few weeks’ time. We felt Waterloo was a prime location for people to realise the benefits of the boutique fitness concept that has already proved very popular in other areas across the city.’ For more information about Mindset, visit www.mindsetfit. co.uk or visit its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for the latest news on its opening.

NEW Matrix S-Force Performance Trainer proves hard to resist


805 London clubs


penetration rate

Matrix Fitness, the commercial division of Johnson Health Tech, is redefining athletic training and HIIT with the launch of its S-Force Performance Trainer. This unique cardio product delivers scientifically-proven magnetic resistance training to challenge elite athletes and fitness facility members in high-intensity, low impact interval training on the gym floor, in circuits and small group training. With S-Force, Matrix has mastered a smooth and quiet magnetic resistance motion system, specifically designed to provide a highintensity, low-impact workout. Magnetic resistance increases the harder the athlete works, creating challenging and progressive workouts for everyone from beginners to elite athletes. S-Force can be set to enhance athletic performance or deliver individual and group HIIT training. It has five resistance levels and is pre-loaded with the exclusive Sprint 8 20-minute HIIT workout. Quick keys offer instant access to popular training programs at the touch of a button and all activity is monitored on the adjustable backlit console making it easy to see complete workout data to help users measure their improvement. Scientifically Tested S-Force has been scientifically proven in an in-depth study (1) by a professional biomechanics consultant to progressively improve fast-twitch muscle fibres – the key to explosive athletic power and performance. Validated testing procedures revealed that the upright position targets the calves and hamstrings, while the acceleration position focuses on the shins and quads, building strength in the muscles athletes need for explosive drive-phase sprinting. ‘S-Force hits two major markets – athletic performance and HIIT training – in one piece of kit making it versatile and valuable to fitness facilities,’ says Matt Pengelly, Managing Director Matrix UK. ‘It can be used by individuals following one of the pre-set challenges, incorporated into a PT session or added into a group training circuit session. Completely unmotorised and flex-free, it can be wheeled into place in moments to fit the facility space and usage.’ Put to the Test by Wigan Warriors Matrix invited the renowned Wigan Warriors Rugby League squad to put S-Force through its paces. ‘We have a reputation for hammering kit with players around 120KG going all out to build fitness gains,’ says Mark Bitcon, director of performance at Wigan Warriors. ‘The S-Force arrived mid-season so rather than change up our training of the squad to accommodate it, we used it for recovery and rehab for our injured players. The low-impact aspect was key to this but don’t be fooled: even an injured rugby league player will pack a punch on equipment and it’s fair to say our players have been smashing out some seriously tough sessions on S-Force. The initial results look great and it will definitely feature in our pre-season squad training from November,’ he says. ‘S-Force taps brilliantly into the competitive mindset of elite athletes,’ adds Mark. ‘The feedback in terms of power outputs and distance is just what you need when trying to condition and push elite athletes and get them where they need to be. The S-Force really challenges our players – they can’t get a rhythm on it like a motorised treadmill or stepper and the more they push, the more it pushes back. S-Force is truly different, genuinely challenging and will be an asset to athletes and gym members who want to take their training up a few notches.’ For pre-orders or more information visit https:// uk.matrixfitness.com/en/cardio/s-force/s-force

£1.2bn estimated total market value

Source: LeisureDB 2018 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report




MOVEMENT, CONSISTENCY, INTENSITY Peter Howe, who graced our cover for the June issue, introduces his facility The Box Reebok. Gym Owner: Peter Howe Gym Name: The Box Reebok Location: Unit E, Monument View, Chelston Business Park, Taunton, TA21 9ND Email: info@thebox.uk.com Web: www.thebox.uk.com # of members: 284

How did you become a gym owner? I was medically discharged from the Royal Marines. After an injury ended my career, I worked in Close Protection as a Celebrity Bodyguard, I was enjoying a very privileged life with the clients and the families I was providing protection for and though I have felt extremely humble to experience the VIP lifestyle it required too much sacrifice of my own life - having to leave my partner and my kids, and it also seriously affected my training as it was hard to maintain consistency when I was at work. I decided that I should follow my passion and open my own facility at that stage, I was a little naive and thought if I was to open my own CrossFit Box (a facility) I would be able to train with some consistency and hopefully make it to the regionals! I was clearly mistaken.

How many gyms do you own/operate? I have one facility in Taunton, Somerset. The Box Reebok was the first CrossFit facility in Somerset, and at that time 4943 deg 239592 34-0 3-=323 4943 deg 239592 34-0 3-=323

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our schedule. We also offer Sports Massage Therapy.

How many staff do you employ? We have four coaches that offer full time regular coaching hours and a couple more coaches that provide cover when they can outside of their daily jobs.

How important are PTs to your business? PTs are always important, but with CrossFit I believe we provide excellent coaching to all of our members during our classes. Our classes are capped at a maximum of 15 people to enable the coach to keep their eyes on everyone and give quality quest and coaching points to every individual in the class. If you haven’t had the coach give you a correction or a tip you are either an exceptional athlete, or our coaches haven’t done their job (this does not happen). We teach that you as an athlete (at The Box Reebok all our members are athletes) you should follow these three steps: Movement, Consistency, then Intensity.

there weren’t too many in the south west of the country. That has changed now, and we have a thriving CrossFit community in the West Country which is great for us and the continual growth of CrossFit.

How long has your gym been operating for? We have been open since 2012. We actually became affiliated in 2011, but the first location was snatched from under our noses so we had to find a new location, which took a while.

Aside from the gym, what other facilities do you offer your members e.g. cafe, classes, crèche etc.? We are currently in the process of setting up ‘The Fuel Box’, which is our community café/chill out area. We offer over 80 CrossFit classes a week, sport specific classes such as Olympic Lifting and Competition Training, and we have recently added a new Bootcamp Circuit class to


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about them - walk into a box and you are walking into a facility that has been built from passion, love, desire, commitment and persistence. Your box has to represent your personality. When you are taking a class, it is your time to shine, coach, teach and have a laugh. People are here to get fit, but they want to do it with a smile on their faces. I like to believe that my members look forward to coming into The Box and we try to make it the best hour of their day.

What advice would you give to other gym owners just starting out? Don’t do it! No seriously, I think you need to really consider the impact it has on your life and your family. It is a 24 hour a day job, as most other owners would agree, it is very difficult to shut off and relax as your brain moves at a million miles an hour. There is always something you want to do to improve, what you offer your members. Some things you will get right, and others you will get wrong. I would say don’t be afraid to try new things - if it doesn’t work you can always change it.

PT is often focused on skills and personal development over trying to increase a client’s fitness capacity - our classes will take care of that.

How do you motivate/incentivise your staff members? I try to treat my staff how I would like to be treated. I trust that they can do a good job without me having to watch over their every move. I am extremely lucky to have coaches at my facility that choose to coach because they are passionate about coaching and improving people’s lives. I don’t think there is anything more empowering than knowing you are helping make people’s lives better day by day.

Do you provide any financial assistance for your staff with regards to their training & development? All of my coaches have paid for their own CrossFit Level 1 Certification. As the Box continues to grow, it is my intention to help my staff get further qualifications and experience.

What makes your gym unique? Every CrossFit Box is unique, that is one of the great things

What are the biggest challenges facing your business today? I think the biggest challenge that faces my business is also the best thing that is happening for my business, and that is the growth of CrossFit, the positive effect that this has is endless more boxes popping up everywhere, and the global CrossFit community continuing to get stronger. This does also have a negative effect on us smaller facilities. People watch YouTube, or read articles that sell CrossFit as hardcore and for fitness freaks. It is the next level of fitness and they have the fittest men and women in the world and this is great, but that is the sport of CrossFit. I feel that we have two styles of CrossFit - one is the sport of CrossFit and by definition is the pursuit to find the fittest man and woman on the planet, the second is CrossFit as a fitness programme that is aimed at every single child, teen, mum and dad, gramps and gran on the planet. CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program performed at high intensity, but if we go back to what I said previously, our coaches focus on movement, consistency and then intensity. What is intense for a 21 year old fit guy is different to 30 year old mum of two, but with effort, commitment and consistency, everyone can become the best version of themselves.

What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years?

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Growth of the 24 hour globe gym and large corporation gyms. In this fast paced world we live in, we seem to struggle to organise our time and prioritise the important things in life like our health! I have been involved in the fitness industry my entire life, and I still find that trying to reach out to people to offer your help and advice is very difficult. I don’t think that these facilities are helping with this problem at all. It takes a very dedicated and experienced individual to be able to go into a gym on their own and train with the intensity and quality it takes to make a difference. The truth of the matter is that it is only a very small percentage of the population that can do that successfully.

How do you engage with your members? Everyday. To be honest, I don’t get to see all my members half as much as I would like to. Being the boss and the owner on top of having a family, it is very difficult to be able to be at The Box all the time, 24/7, and engage with everyone, but we try to put on events and social evenings and encourage our members to get involved with as many events as possible. Quite a few of our members compete regularly, so it is great going away for the weekend together having a laugh, training hard, and sharing in that experience.

How do you retain your members? Our retention is key to our survival and I believe it is not about me, it is about the atmosphere created in The Box by my coaches and the other members. They are the ones that drive the business on, bringing friends and family to share in the experience and the benefits that they get from what we do at our box.

How are you promoting your brand and marketing your gym? We don’t do much marketing, but it is something we need to work on. We find word of mouth really important in promoting The Box. We want our members to bring like minded people, family and friends. We want to grow our community, develop strong friendships and often relationships!

What is your biggest success story? I think our biggest success story is that we survived having to move our facility just over 12 months ago and start all over again. Our members continued their ongoing support and bared with us when times were hard - showing just how strong and resilient our community is. It also makes me feel very proud to know that we have created such an environment that people see as an important part of their daily lives.

Finally, if there were one thing you could change in the industry, what would it be? I personally think that to open a fitness facility there should be a minimum requirement of credentials, experience and qualifications. I have seen many facilities opened by people with little to no experience in the fitness industry. I don’t believe you need to have been a world class athlete as many coaches have studied to become just that, a great coach, but I do believe that if you have experience in training hard and getting results, you know how hard to push people, and what the correct advice is to give people. At the end of the day, you are the coach and should be the subject matter expert, this means in all aspects of fitness.


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PROTEIN & WEIGHT LOSS It’s become clear of late that protein is a potent nutrient for those seeking to lose weight and trim off fat. There are a variety of reasons as to why proteins are beneficial to someone who is looking to drop a bit of unwanted fat and develop a leaner body shape. Let’s look at these reasons in a little more detail.

INCREASED SATIETY Higher protein diets tend to decrease appetite and reduce the amount eaten to a greater extent than carbohydrates and fat. Protein has also been found to reduce the amount eaten in conditions where you have free reign (ad libitum dietary conditions for those who like technical jargon!). Basically, if you’re left to eat whatever amounts you want and whatever foods you want, those who have a higher ratio of protein will likely eat less overall compared to those who eat carbohydrates or fats (Tannous dit El Khoury et al 2006).

INCREASED THERMOGENESIS Higher protein diets tend to increase your bodies energy expenditure as protein requires more processes to metabolise (Raben 2003). This means one of the components that determines how many calories per day you use (what’s termed total energy expenditure or TEE) can be elevated and in short, this means you will be burning more calories. In this instance you will have two options – either lose weight faster as you’re expending more energy, or potentially eat slightly more for the same rate of weight loss. Either way, it’s a positive for those who are trying to lose fat and develop a leaner, more toned physique

IMPROVED BODY COMPOSITION Higher protein diets are linked to better lean muscle tissue maintenance. An increase in lean muscle will have positive effects on metabolism leading to better fat loss over time. 16


What this basically means is as you diet and lose weight, your body is likely to lose more fat than lean tissue with a higher protein diet. Lean tissue is important, as it is a vital element of the greatest contributor to your total energy expenditure which is your basal metabolic rate (BMR). In short, the more lean tissue you have, the more energy your body burns just to keep up the basic functions of living without things like activity levels. So, when losing weight, look to increase the proportion of muscle to fat, don’t worry, it’s highly unlikely that you will end up looking like Arnie!

BUT WHAT TYPE OF PROTEIN IS THE BEST? As can be seen, protein for the dieting individual can have a positive effect on fat loss and assisting the person on their pathway to becoming leaner. As such, what should a person be looking for when selecting a protein aimed for dieting? Currently there are so many on the market all claiming similar things. Here are some thoughts on what makes a good protein to support your weight loss plan.

LOW IN CALORIES You don’t want a protein powder which is fortified with lots of added calories in the form of carbohydrates and fats. As such, be wary of many that market themselves as meal replacements as looking at the ingredient list you will see many have simple sugars and fats added. This will just negate the benefits of a low calorie, convenient protein shake.

SUPPORTED WITH ACTIVE INGREDIENTS Certain compounds and ingredients lend themselves to assisting in the fat loss process such as Caffeine, Green Tea , CLA and L-carnitine. Some of these compounds are more proven than others, and some products lend themselves better to being included in a convenient diet protein (loading up on caffeine when you are looking for a bedtime protein treat isn’t a great idea for obvious reasons).


As such, looking for something which has research backed ingredients will assist in your fat loss process.

and pea protein with its solid arginine profile to support the immune system, result in a well balanced protein bite. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a shake.


So there we have it, protein is a solid choice for those looking for weight and fat loss. Choosing the right protein product shouldn’t be that difficult either – choose one which is low calorie, rich in whey for the BCCA content, and has research backed ingredients to assist the process. Our recommendation is our Informed Sport tested and research validated Diet Protein.

Many products these days use a combination of different proteins. Typically the companies cite a variety of reasons why they use a blend over pure whey, but most of this is a way to decrease their costs as whey protein is expensive compared to cheaper protein sources like soya. We have already said the most abundant part of your daily energy expenditure is your basal metabolic rate which is closely linked to lean tissue and the retention of this throughout the dieting process. We know that BCAAs play a vital role in the maintenance of lean tissue in dieting (Dudgeon et al 2016) and as such, choosing a product which has high levels is a smart move in choosing a diet protein. Whey Protein has a significantly improved concentration of BCAAs compared to soya and other protein sources, so it makes sense to choose a product rich in BCAA through the use of whey protein.

Whatever you choose, give it some time to give you results. Protein isn't a ‘feel’ type of supplement, you aren't going to see and feel results immediately. The improved health benefits are vast and will support your weight loss goals, so give it at least a month or three and then evaluate your results and go from there. EQ Nutrition - Inspired by Excellence - Dedicated to Quality

VEGAN PROTEINS It is worth mentioning that poorly constructed vegan diets may predispose some individuals to macronutrient (protein) and micronutrient (vitamin B12 and vitamin D; iron, zinc, calcium, iodine) deficiencies (Appleby 2016). This is of particular concern if little attention is paid to the nutrients that are excluded due to the elimination of animal products from the diet (Craig WJ 2009). However, a vegan diet could offer potential performance benefits due to the antioxidant (polyphenols), micronutrient (vitamin C, E) and carbohydrate-rich foods typical of plant-based diets assisting training and enhancing recovery (Fuhrman 2010) (Venderley 2006). Empirical research validating this claim is either equivocal or missing. What is clear is that you can get a great vegan protein to supplement and support your weight loss plans, however, the best thing to do with vegan protein sources is to combine them to get the best of all worlds and meet the essential amino acid profiles. Combining soya protein which is loaded with glutamine to help with recovery, rice protein which is hypoallergenic so doesn’t irritate your stomach,

REFERENCES: Tannous dit El Khoury D, Obeid O, Azar ST, Hwalla N. 2006 Variations in postprandial ghrelin status following ingestion of high-carbohydrate, highfat, and high-protein meals in males. Ann Nutr Metab Raben A, Agerholm-Larsen L, Flint A, Holst JJ, Astrup A. 2003 Meals with similar energy densities but rich in protein, fat, carbohydrate, or alcohol have different effects on energy expenditure and substrate metabolism but not on appetite and energy intake. Am J Clin Nutr Dudgeon et al 2016. In a single-blind, matched group design: branched-chain amino acid supplementation and resistance training maintains lean body mass during a caloric restricted diet. Journal of the International Society of Sports NutritionThe long-term health of vegetarians and vegans. Appleby PN, Key TJ Proc Nutr Soc. 2016 Aug; 75(3):287-93. Health effects of vegan diets. Craig WJ Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May; 89(5):1627S-1633S. Fueling the vegetarian (vegan) athlete. Fuhrman J, Ferreri DM Curr Sports Med Rep. 2010 Jul-Aug; 9(4):233-41.Vegetarian diets : nutritional considerations for athletes. Venderley AM, Campbell WW Sports Med. 2006; 36(4):293-305.




Keep members for life with a mobile app for your gym Call now to get your FREE gym app preview!

01642 967 907

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Hear what our customers have to say... We appreciate that we are there for members and strive to make things easy for them which is where the OneGym app comes in.... Members and potential members can now view our services, join the gym, and book classes at the touch of button. The app also allows us to promote forthcoming events, classes or the latest workouts.

The app has made our lives as the operators as well as our members lives so much easier. It's very simple to use but highly effective. Paul Pearson Director, OneGym

Highly Recommended

appsforfitness.co.uk AUGUST 2018



Be Different, Be Unique, and Give It Time NAME: Aimee Browes

WEB: www.thehappinessbootcamp.com

QUALIFICATIONS: Level 3 Sport and Exercise Science, Level 2 Fitness Instructor, Pop Pilates Instructor and currently studying for Level 3 Personal Trainer

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/ thehappinessbootcamp


NSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/aimeebrowes

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/aimeebrowes

WORKS IN: Sheffield

What is The Happiness Bootcamp?

How did you become a PT?

The Happiness Bootcamp is a project using fitness to educate on mental health through weekly fitness classes, public workshops and training days for the education, fitness and corporate sectors. The Happiness Bootcamp teaches people the reason behind why they feel the way they do while providing a community of others with similar experiences all connecting through the incredible release of endorphins. The Happiness Bootcamp also created the #BEFITMENTALLY scheme, using sponsorship from companies and its profits from training days, to give those suffering with their mental health free fitness classes and one-to-ones.

I started in the fitness industry when I was struggling most with my mental health. I was suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder and severe anxiety disorder and had dropped out of A Levels. I wasn’t sure what to do since I was under 18 and had to go back into education so decided to do my fitness instructing qualification as it was all that was available, and little did I know it was about to start my biggest passion in life!

The Happiness Bootcamp has been seen on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio Sheffield, BBC Newsbeat, The Tab, The Sun, The Telegraph, led talks at the Women in Leadership Conference 2018, a finalist for Enterprise Nation’s Student Start Up of The Year 2018, as well as running a class at this years BE:FIT London Festival 2018 and a speaker for Bodypower Expo 2018. 20


What was your experience of the training/ qualification process? I studied with Envisage Training in Sheffield and was nervous as I didn’t know anything surrounding fitness or exercise, but adored doing the training. I was given books and diagrams to follow and was given so much help and opportunity to ask questions on anything I didn’t understand. I loved it so much I’m doing my Level 3 Personal


mental health strategies, confidence and self-love within my sessions, for you it may be tailoring to injuries, sports or even a certain body part. Be different, be unique and give it time, your hard work will pay off - don’t give up.

What are the biggest challenges facing your business today?

Training with Envisage too!

Do you (or do you intend to) specialise in a particular type of fitness? I specialise in using fitness to educate on mental health. Through my project The Happiness Bootcamp I use fitness and exercise to help more people engage in talking about and understanding mental health and making it less of a taboo subject. I do this through fitness classes, public workshops and training days for gyms, schools and businesses. It’s something completely new to this industry and my techniques are proving to be extremely popular.

What’s it like working with gym owners? I think it depends massively who the gym owner is! I’ve met a variety of wonderful and not so great gym owners, but the ones who put the effort into knowing their staff and helping the gym become a family rather than just a million-pound business succeed more! I tend to work with larger companies in the fitness industry to teach my positive fitness classes and training days too, and if anyone wants to get speaking to larger brands go for it too, always put yourself out there!

What is your opinion of CPD? I am a HUGE believer in constantly updating my knowledge and techniques to keep up with both the latest trends and to keep my methods as beneficial as possible. I think as a Personal Trainer or anybody in the fitness industry, we must understand that we don’t know everything, but strive to learn as much as we can. I’m always trying to learn new trends, new beneficial ways of training and I am always tracking my progress. Its important to recognise your development.

You spend your working hours motivating others, how do you motivate yourself? Being someone who uses their work and job to empower and motivate others, there are times I don’t feel motivated myself. I try to keep it as real as I can online, and show both when I’m motivated and when I’m not in the best place. I keep motivated by reminding myself how far I’ve come but also remembering that its ok to take a few steps back if it can help me mentally.

Running a business using fitness to educate on mental health can be difficult as it’s not something many people speak about still. I constantly face the problem of approaching new companies who don’t understand the importance of speaking about something that affects their staff, families and themselves in different ways each day. But, that’s the fun of it for me, I feel it’s my calling to change the way the fitness industry sees mental illness.

How do you promote your services? I promote everything I do through my website, facebook and Instagram. For me they have shown to be the best ways to get clients and directly connect to them to create a supportive community. To build that trust network and presence in the industry, you must be confident enough to post across social media, try all methods before deciding what works best for you!

How often do you train yourself? I train 3-5 days a week, but usually first thing in the morning to get myself motivated. I love training using circuits, HIIT and anything that makes me super sweaty. It’s become a stress relief for me and a way of connecting my mind and body before I work.

If there was one thing you could radically change within the industry, what would that be? I’d love to change the way mental illness is seen, that not everyone exercises for a six pack but many exercise because it clears their mind, de-stresses them and helps contribute to a better lifestyle. Exercise has been proven to help stress, depression and anxiety so much that some doctors say that if it was a pill it would sell out in seconds. I would love to see this industry change from being known for just looks to how beneficial it is. That’s why I do what I do, exercise saved my life.

Do you see yourself still working as a PT in 10 years time? In 10 years I see myself setting up a physical ‘The Happiness Bootcamp’ building across the UK and teaching a new way of fitness to more people. I know I’ll always be in the fitness industry changing how exercise is taught.

What advice would you give to other PTs just starting out in the business? Don’t worry if at first, you’re not earning thousands with a full client list. Find something different about how you PT and give people a reason to train with you that others don’t do. For me, I create something completely different using AUGUST 2018



Better Together:

Why Group Exercise Keeps People Coming Back for More


Jean-ann Marnoch

Group exercise has come a long way since the days of Jazzercise and Jane Fonda’s Buns of Steel. Nowadays, we find ourselves inundated with a huge selection of new and exciting group fitness classes – including variations of yoga, HIIT, cycling, and strength-based sessions. There is something to suit everyone on most gym timetables. However, few fitness facility managers truly understand how to offer a stimulating group exercise experience that will continue to keep members engaged. Perhaps it is because group exercise members are often the regular, motivated attendees already, so efforts are placed elsewhere. The studio becomes an arduous scheduling task rather than a key area of focus. But what happens when you put group exercise at the heart of your offering? How can operators really maximise the potential of group exercises in their clubs?

Using Research to Revolutionise Group Exercise Les Mills has been making group exercise classes for the last 50 years. Behind every class is months of research and testing into trends, techniques and exercise effectiveness to ensure the safest, highest quality workouts possible. Their research has shown that members want motivation, inspiration and opportunities to be in a social environment. When exercise is fun, individuals forget about the hard work and are more likely to feel positively about their experience, both mentally and physically. This results in them coming 22



back for more. The latest research from ukactive looks at how attendance at Les Mills classes has grown over the last three years, and what the key products driving this success are. It also examines the wider impact on the length of customer membership and the overall exercise behaviours of members that attend classes. Upon following 323 UK sites from 2015 - 2018 that offer Les Mills classes, the study showed positive correlation between class attendance and engagement rates. There was also an overall increase of 13% to all Les Mills classes. Members who did not attend any Les Mills classes had an average length of stay of 23.4 months. Those who attended Les Mills classes once, twice and three times a week, showed impressive membership rates of 25 months, 31.9 months and 35.3 months respectively – demonstrating improved engagement levels. Those attending three times a week or more also had higher overall visits to the facility (5.9 per week in total) than any other customer group.

The Value of the Instructor Evidently, the impact of offering group exercise can be instrumental in increasing retention rates, but this isn’t necessarily as straightforward as ‘more classes equals greater member engagement’. Les Mills believe the answer lies in the quality of service being provided, which comes down to the instructors who are delivering the programmes. The instructor, in many group exercise classes, has risen to


near celebrity status. Les Mills recognises the importance the instructor plays in retention and as a result, invests heavily in their training and continued professional development. They invest in ‘touchpoint’ opportunities throughout the year, for instructors to attend events and training sessions, where they have the opportunity to delve deeper into the science behind programming, work on technique and build confidence and knowledge to deliver an effective and safe workout – all in the presence of a master trainer. Such is the level of their training procedures, that Les Mills were awarded an impressive Level 5 status in the Nesta Standards of Evidence Review by ukactive for their continued review and enhancement of evaluation and improvement processes. On top of running workshops and wider industry events, Les Mills believe their specially developed ‘AIM’ training modules are influential in ensuring long term retention and engagement of instructors and club members. They recently implemented a partnership with 29 Village clubs, whereby all Les Mills instructors attended their AIM 1 and AIM 2 trainings. The results were unprecedented, with occupancy in the most underperforming clubs up from 45% to 62%, and occupancy in the highest performing clubs up from 78% to 96% after instructors attended AIM 2. When members attend a class with a top-quality instructor, they are more likely to come back and encourage their friends to do so as well. The subsequent impact is a marked upswing in attendance levels. ‘We understand the importance of the instructor in ensuring a positive member experience and that is why we work tirelessly to provide our instructors with ongoing training to help them feel confident and knowledgeable in the classes they deliver,’ says Jean-Ann Marnoch, Head of Instructor Experience at Les Mills. ‘We like to keep things fresh by producing new content every quarter and, whilst it is the instructors job to bring this to members in a fun way, it is our role to ensure they have the tools to do so. Through our work with partners such as Village, we can see the impact that ongoing education has on member engagement.’

Raising the Standards of Group Exercise Instructors

Les Mills are not alone in recognising the importance of providing instructor training to maximise member engagement and retention. Active IQ, the UK’s leading awarding body, undertook research and worked closely with EMD UK, the national governing body for group training, to update the original Exercise to Music Qualification. The new Level 2 Group Training Qualification provides instructors with the skill set to deliver effective and compelling group exercise training in line with the ever-changing market. Following feedback from both participants and operators, the new qualification includes modules that encourage the soft skills needed to engage and retain class participants, such as understanding behavioural change, barriers to exercise and delivering a great customer experience. This should have a positive impact on the quality of session new instructors are delivering and on member engagement levels. Sarah Edmonds, Active IQ’s Director of Quality and Standards says: ‘The Level 2 Group Training Qualification ensures specific, tailored and fit-for-purpose training for group exercise instructors, helping to meet the demand from operators and CIMSPA for more robust training and rigorous assessment.’ The qualification is currently exclusively delivered through EMD UK and will be made widely available to the rest of the industry from January 2019.

Out with the Old, In With the New Everyone Active, the longest established leisure operator in the UK, understands the importance of investing in group exercise for their business. Boasting an impressive average membership length of six months or more for those attending group exercise than those who do not, the brand believes that offering a quality group exercise programme is vital to the success and happiness of members. The team devotes a significant amount of time and effort to making their timetable in each club as effective and appealing as possible. They look to offer a range of classes, including spinning, mind and body sessions and speciality classes to entice new members. By offering the latest classes, and making sure to keep up with industry trends, the clubs AUGUST 2018



position themselves as an attractive and modern solution to prospective clients. By offering a range of live and virtual classes, gyms can stand out from other providers, as new members know they have a wide variety of services available. Whilst this is a key priority for Everyone Active, they also know the value of keeping their current members happy, ensuring they feel valued and catered for. The challenge comes with balancing the need to update and reinvent their timetables to appear ‘on-trend’, whilst ensuring they still offer old-time favourites. Group Exercise Coordinators and instructors are encouraged to build a rapport with members, understanding what they want, as well as keeping tabs on classes which are not as popular. The team works hard to provide alternative solutions, moving timings and classes around, as well as running virtual versions of classes where appropriate, to ensure they maximise time and space and provide members with the classes they want. ‘Group Exercise is a vital part of our offering throughout our Everyone Active Centres and is definitely one of our biggest drivers in terms of recruiting new members and engaging current ones,’ says Angela Ioannou, South East Area Fitness Manager at Everyone Active. ‘Group exercise offers more than just a training session, it provides a social environment for people to engage with each other, have fun, and revel in an amazing community atmosphere. We want our members to get excited about working out and enjoy the time they spend in our facilities. By offering a wide variety of classes at times which suit, we feel confident in our ability to cater for and bring this opportunity to as many people as possible. The rest falls into place from there.’

Experience is Everything Speedflex built their business on the premise of group exercise, offering high intensity interval training to members. Their machines work by generating personalised resistance levels, so every individual can train at their optimum level. These have the added benefit of reducing post-exercise pain, as they are responsive to the user’s force, rather than the addition of weight. From the minute participants walk through the door to taking part in the session, the team aim to create an experience that will ensure members return week on week. The key is around helping participants feel comfortable, providing an inclusive atmosphere where they enjoy working out and want to return. To ensure the experience is consistent, trainers are put through a comprehensive programme before they start teaching, ensuring they can attend to the group collectively, and have the soft skills to engage with individuals on a relatable level. Trainers are knowledgeable in the different exercises and their benefits, which is important when it comes to offering progressions and scaled versions. A standout to the Speedflex offering is their use of ‘tracking technology’. Each participant wears a MYZONE heart rate monitor, which shows their live heart rate and percentage work capacity on the screens. By breaking down their workout into several components and sending their results to their inbox, the enjoyment and satisfaction members get 24


from the experience is increased - both inside and outside the studio. Matt Bolam, Training & Operations Manager from Speedflex comments, ‘Keeping members engaged and working towards their goals is a priority for us because if they are happy and seeing results, they are more likely to return. Tracking can be an outstanding enhancement to the member experience and it’s a great tool to show the benefits of training with us. We offer In Body Scanning as part of the induction process here, so members can monitor their progress and see how they improve over time. We offer incentives for the number of MYZONE effort points hit in a specific time frame, including discounts at local restaurants. This helps to create a friendly but challenging environment, which our members thrive off and enjoy coming back to.’

What does this mean for operators? To maximise your group exercise offering, take the time to focus on understanding what members want, utilising both time and space in a facility through a range of live and virtual classes, but be careful not to do away with the classics on your timetable for the sake of leveraging the latest trends. Listen to members and programme your timetable accordingly. Spend time hiring the right instructors. They are at the heart of a group exercise experience. Great instructors drive retention and easy word-of-mouth marketing. Finally, group exercise is all about comradery and using the power of teammates to push people to achieve. This process begins as soon as someone walks through the door, and it is important they feel welcomed into an inclusive environment. By adding extra incentives such as competitions and tracking technology, operators can capture members’ interest, keeping them engaged and returning. With the loyalty of group exercise members driving improved retention rates, and with it, profitability, it makes commercial sense for operators to put group exercise at the heart of their offering. When done well, it can retain fans, attract new ones and increase the overall value of your offering.








Ultimate Adonis Male World Championships

Ultimate Fitness League World Finals

Ultimate Diva Female World Championships



 Ultimatefitnessleague  @Ultimate_Fitness_League  Ultimatefitnessleague2018@gmail.com  07504 665 226


Road Map to


P r o A t h l e t e S c o t t K i n g s h a r e s h o w h e p r e pa r e s f o r a s h o w Your journey is very personal and is varied to each individual. Here is a brief outline and guide to how I usually prep for a show and get into world class shape. Follow these guidelines and you can’t go far wrong.

12 MONTHS OUT  Develop your off-season training program.  Eat quality foods in the off-season, eating every two to three hours and pounding down protein, lots of protein!  Do cardio two or three times a week for 20-30 minutes at a time.  Keep accurate records in your training journal (get a journal if you don't have one).  Find a couple different songs you like.  Think about your posing routine. SEARCH FOR A COMPETITION IN YOUR AREA.

6 MONTHS OUT  Start working on your mandatory poses.  Change your workout routine, with a focus on anything that might be lacking, but do not neglect the size exercises either.

where you are going to get it, because many places get backed up on making them.

20 WEEKS OUT (COMPETITION DIET STARTS!)  Set-Up Competition Diet: This is different for many. I was taught and truly believe that starting 20 weeks out eases you into this process rather than many other contest prep people starting to do things 12 weeks out from the show - TWELVE weeks out! Isn't that pretty close?! We want less stress, not more. But, we all have our preferences.  If possible, have an experienced judge or experienced competitive bodybuilder assess your physique - or someone who is close to the industry and knows what to look for.  Start working on your routine and doing mandatory poses, holding each mandatory pose for 10 seconds. Do this after a workout.  Order posing suits (remember to order two sizes smaller than what you are now for contest day).  Take pictures doing each mandatory pose.

 Up your cardio to 30 minutes a day.

 Start doing timed mandatory poses after your workout three times a week to start, and then every day the closer you get to your show.

 Continue to eat quality food and 1.5 - 2 kg of protein per pound of body weight.

 Every week or two, take pictures. This is a great monitor for your progress.

 Eat regular meals all week and ‘Cheat Meal’ on Sundays.

 Contact the organisation for which you are going to compete in, or the state chair of that organization, and get a copy of the rules. You don't want to be unprepared.

 Now is really when you want to give serious thought about your Trunks/Bikini (for women), and




8 WEEKS OUT  Register for competition and keep your receipts. This cannot be emphasized enough - you've put in the hard work. Don't let something as simple as forgetting to register ruin your big day.  Also, make sure you have paid your membership fees for the organization for which you will be competing.

6 WEEKS OUT  Make travel arrangements if the competition is not local.  Choose hairstyle, accessories, and make-up.  Start tanning.  Purchase competition items such as lunch cooler, body lotion, tanning products, and nail accessories, make-up, etc. for you ladies.

3 WEEKS OUT  Stay focused!  Stick to your diet; practice, practice, practice those mandatory poses and your routine!

development. Since dieting will help refine your physique, make sure you prioritise your weak points during workouts. Yes, you have weak points, everyone has one or two, and you will need to work overtime on them. Muscle proportion, separation and size should be your main priorities. To get the best definition possible, you will need to concentrate on that diet and cardio too. Being FULLER and THICKER is every bodybuilder's goal. If this is your first contest, you may have a ton of questions, and consulting with a coach will help eliminate your fears and help you reach your goals. So what do I do to start burning off body fat? Weigh yourself before breakfast because this will give you your true body weight. As you can imagine, if you weigh yourself later in the day, you will be heavier due to the meals and fluids you have consumed. Many people cut back on their carbohydrates and continue doing this along with their cardio, but, this is stupid and will make them look stringy! What is bodybuilding about? It's about building muscle and being ripped. How on earth can anyone expect to keep muscle if they are constantly cutting back on their food? Aerobics - I do between 2-3 sessions of 30 minutes on the stepper per week. My body weight is stable with this, so my stage is set so that I have everything in place to work from.

 Tan.

LAST WEEK  Practice mandatory poses and go over your routine in all your costumes.  Make a competition checklist to ensure you have everything you need. For example: posing suits, tanning products, two copies of your music.  More Tanning.

Let’s Summarize: STAGE 1 Start off your diet with clean foods. If you are eating a fair bit of junk, work out your calories etc. and replace with quality foods, so it resembles the diet I mentioned previously. Do this about 4 weeks before you start your contest run in. If you do a 12- week diet, start the clean up phase 16 weeks out, come the 12-week stage you will have your stage set.



Get to venue early - that doesn't mean an hour or two before check in, unless you live around the corner, but that doesn't always work. There could be a car accident or construction, so get in a day early and check-in. After all the work you put into this competition, go out there and have fun - you've earned it!


Find out schedule of events and be ready.



Next, when things start to slow down, increase your aerobics by 10 - 15 minutes per session.

Competition diet, weight training, and cardio are the most important pieces of your competition preparation. Your workouts should be tailored for growth, size and shape

Do aerobics 20 - 30 minutes, once a day, everyday, especially when most don't do aerobics in the off-season or very little, obviously, you have got to lose body fat. When weight loss slows down, the next stage is to increase aerobics on non-training days, only do two sessions.

STAGE 5 The next step you can consider to keep things rolling, is to increase aerobics by doing 2 sessions everyday.





weeks out, whether this is the best condition you've

When weight loss slows down again, drop your carbohydrates intake by 50 - 200g on non-training days (the amount will depend on your diet and some people will be competing in lighter weight classes, so use your judgment).

ever been in, or if all your supporters think that the


‘Bodybuilding is about creating the illusion of reality

If you need to, you can reduce your carbohydrates by 100g per day, as there is only so much aerobics you can do. This should be the first time you reduce food across the whole of your diet, as you have exploited every other avenue. If you still need to get that extra off, repeat stage 7. Your goal should be that you are in contest condition, around 1-2 weeks out from the show. This will allow you to eat up slightly into your show, and at the very least level things off so you can relax knowing that the hard work has been done. I am very lucky to have a very fast metabolism, but year after year, your body changes and something that worked a year ago will not necessarily work the next year. Regarding pumping the iron - I do not lift weights like most other bodybuilders. I do not do more sets, reps or supersets the closer I get to a show. But rather, one body part a day, and I do 3 - 4 exercise and 3 - 4 sets per exercise for each body part, and my reps do not drop below six or go over 20. Everyone's body is different and peaking is always hit or miss. Your water and electrolyte intake is a big thing the day before and the morning of the show. I always see other competitors drinking water prior to getting on stage and the night before, then they wonder why they smoothed out - or they ask why their legs were not as cut. I also up my dosage of multivitamins. Multivitamin and mineral supplements are perhaps the single most important supplement that can be consumed by bodybuilders and athletes. I stop doing all cardio and leg work about 10 days before the show, this gets rid of all the excess lactic acid, enabling my legs to get the sharpness needed to compete on the national level. The most important part is to realize that nothing matters except how you look. It doesn't matter what your body-fat percentage is or how strong you are, or even how much you weigh. You have to have good skin tone, a good haircut, and for you ladies out there, make sure the make-up is just right too, do not go out with ‘Ghost’ face, know how to pose like a veteran, and be cut and muscular.

PRO TESTIMONIAL ‘Competitive bodybuilders must come to realize and accept that they will be judged based not only on how they look when standing alone, but how they look in comparison to the other athletes on stage that day and at that particular time.’ ‘The higher up you go, the more this becomes evident. It doesn't matter what you looked like in the gym 2 28


show was yours to win or lose. It only matters how you measure up to the rest of the field.’ and convincing the judges that your physique is far above the other competitors with regards to symmetry, conditioning, muscularity and stage presence. In other words, those individuals that have the least amount of weaknesses will be the ones, most likely, that come out victorious.’

LEARNING FROM YOUR MISTAKES In bodybuilding, learning from one’s experiences is very helpful, it is a good idea to attend shows (this is a must). Talk to the competitors and ask the judges questions. The latter is something I readily tell people not to do, especially after the show they've competed in. If you ask more than one judge at the competition, you'll get two different answers. I learned quickly to not ask them the day of the show or around others. Competition is a part of life, we compete against one another every day, but the most difficult thing to do is to compete with yourself, to push the boundaries of your own physique and your own psyche. Stepping on stage can be one of the most frightening and difficult experiences that you may ever go through, but it is also something that you can walk away from with a great deal of personal satisfaction, knowing that you have accomplished something that few of your peers will ever have the guts to do. Remember, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. If a bodybuilding competition is something you've been thinking about, my advice is to use the directions provided in this article and make your competition goals a reality. Even though competing for bodybuilding may be tough, if you maintain your focus and put in the hard work then everything will pay off, and soon you'll be holding that overall trophy high over your head. Good luck, have fun, and compete! At the end of the day, if you do your best you will reap the rewards of your hard work in other areas of life that may come in different forms. The real reward comes in the journey to your desired look. Finish what you started and step up to the plate to see what you're made of. Stay the course, understand it's all subjective and you'll at least win in the most important game - the game of life!




AUGUST 2018 29


FIRSTLIGHT A New Dawn in Cycling Studios We meet FirstLight Cycle Studio founder and former PT Mark Anthony

How did you get into the fitness industry, and what has been your journey? I grew up with sport and fitness. My family were all athletes in different sports, so I had a love affair with exercise from the tender age of 10. By the time I was 16, I had started weight training, and by 26, I became massively involved with it. It was at that stage that I knew exactly what I wanted to do. At that time, Personal Training was still very new, so I enrolled in an intensive 12 week course which allowed me to become a qualified and certified Personal Trainer. 30



Times were hard, and I had a young family to support. Following my passion was a huge sacrifice, but it was something I truly believed I could do. I remember my first pay cheque of £16 for the week as a part time instructor, then moving to a full time instructors salary of £8000 per annum. Ouch... Then I started to train people, then more people, and then even more people. I burnt myself out four times over the following six years due to the enormous amounts of personal training I was doing back then. As difficult as this was, it meant that I mastered my trade. It’s a big step going it alone, leaving a top job with Virgin Active and deciding to make that decision, but that was exactly what I did. I opened my first PT Studio in Holland Park, and my price went up to £100 per hour - this was in 2004, and it continued rising. £125, £150 and finally £165 per hour in 2006. I had a fantastic eight years of meeting the most amazing people that I loved very much. Motivating and inspiring my clients became second nature to me. In 2013 l saw the graph decline in regards to top end training. I decided to change what I was doing, so I flew out to New York to check out the booming group fitness scene. A mere five trips later I fell in love with indoor cycling. The scene back then was so incredible, and the rapid growth in the boutique sector was obvious. I retired from Personal Training in 2014.

My fondest memories of my time growing up were playing in the garden of my family home, and the most amazing family holidays to Cornwall and Devon as a boy. As an adult, running on the beach with my son in Antigua, playing with my daughters in Barbados, and visiting Ashford Castle for the first time with my wife. Happy memories, memories that always make me smile - but all those memories had one thing in common: sunshine and the power of the sun to produce happiness. I was on my last trip to New York and it was really early in the morning. I was standing in a hotel lobby on the 39th floor looking out onto the Manhattan skyline, breathtaking in itself. It was then, at that precise moment that I witnessed sunrise bursting through the skyscrapers - absolutely amazing! I thought to myself: ‘If I put an indoor cycle in front of this, I want everyone to see what I can see. The power of the sun at FIRSTLIGHT, and empowering the human soul to ride beyond the horizon.’ In order to make this a success, I needed to learn how to operate health clubs, so I purchased my very first one in Uxbridge, then in Southend, and finally in Aylesbury. I successfully operated this cluster of three 24 hour clubs over the next three years to develop the skills and the knowhow to make an operation of this size (15,000 members) work successfully. I sold the business in 2017 to focus on FIRSTLIGHT Cycle Studio, something I felt had to do, and here we are now.

I founded a cycling boutique in London which now is growing very well, unfortunately it didn’t work out with the shareholders.

Tell us more about FIRSTLIGHT CYCLE Studio

At the same time, I founded something remarkably special and unique.

Light motivates us, it creates focus and energy, it creates happiness. Scientifically, we know it helps to fights against AUGUST 2018



What are your biggest challenges you face in your business? Bringing together the perfect team, and getting the business right. Here at FIRSTLIGHT, everyone is treated as an equal, with every employee having a distinctive role to play within the business. Everyone shares FIRSTLIGHT’s ethos, goals and vision. We all have to belief in the concept and everyone has to fall in love with it, otherwise it won’t work.

What’s the most valuable lesson you've learned from the fitness industry? To understand people. I’ve worked closely with 2000 individuals, and it’s been an incredible journey to really understand human behaviour and how, through health, fitness and mindfulness, you can achieve extraordinary things. It’s been an incredible journey which has brought me to this remarkable fitness brand.

What’s next for FIRSTLIGHT CYCLE Studio? To successfully launch FIRSTLIGHT’s 2nd genre of exercise, which will be a strength and boxing concept. Studio 3 is another Cycle studio which will produce Live Digital Streaming for everyone at home, together with the launch of our retail bike also for home use.

depression, mental illness and other ailments.

FIRSTLIGHT CYCLE Studio in Westfield, London, opens on 4th September 2014. Bookings are open, visit https://www.firstlightcycle.co.uk/ to book and for more information, including class timetables.

FIRSTLIGHT CYCLE is one of the largest boutique offerings in Europe with three individuals studios spanning 9000 sqft. It’s a fully immersive experience, guiding the consumer through scent and sound. There is an awakening before a class and a calming after the class - finding your very own amazing experience. I wanted to create a journey through the movement of the sun. We link the power of music and its beat to the movement of sunshine, revealing a themed destination on Earth. Each signature class is 45 minutes or 60 minutes long, and includes upper body weight training using a body bar.

What sets FIRSTLIGHT CYCLE Studio apart from its competitors? Its clear and visual brand identity, its concept and its definitive vision. Of course, the workout which has a unique thread which every Maestro Instructor delivers meticulously in every class further sets us apart. Clear instruction, pure sound, amazing playlists, motivation through the journey of the sun from FIRSTLIGHT to sunset, and taking the audience to a parallel universe using themed destinations with the help of our technology all at the same time. 32


"Times were hard, and I had a young family to support. Following my passion was a huge sacrifice, but it was something I truly believed I could do."


Virtual Indoor Cycling Virtual Training continues to grow, and Indoor Cycling enjoys its ongoing popularity - have you combined the two? Virtual Training isn’t new to the fitness industry; gyms have been incorporating virtual classes into group exercise timetables for a number of years. However, technological breakthroughs have now made the concept more accessible than ever and not only in a group setting, but also with immersive experiences for the solo exerciser, too. With members seeking new training methods and demanding more flexibility from their gym’s offering, virtual training has fast become an achievable solution that can address these challenges and provide extensive benefits for members and facilities alike. A leading supplier of indoor cycling bikes, Indoor Cycling Group® (ICG) combines state-of-the-art equipment with programming and technology to deliver immersive cycling experiences. ‘For many members, exercise is much more about the experience than ever before; it’s not just about the results that they’re achieving, but how they’re getting there,’ says Doyle Armstrong, Core ICG® Business Manager. ‘Members want facilities that offer holistic and engaging fitness experiences - not just a room full of equipment – and programming and technology are now huge factors in the decision making for many of our customers.’ ICG® was the first to design a truly interconnected user experience between its bikes and their technology. From immersive forward-motion video that makes riders feel like they are cycling together through scenic landscapes, to competitive data representation that allows a group of riders in a class to compete against each other, digital is at the core of ICG®’s offering. AUGUST 2018



experience that permits sites to get the most out of their studio spaces. Combining immersive video-based instruction with advanced data accuracy and scenic footage, Myride® delivers a highly motivating workout for members of all abilities. Its Tour Coach app incorporates terrain-focused footage with music and voice-over coaching, so riders experience a guided workout against a backdrop of interactive scenery. Myride® Studio Coach also offers on-screen coach workouts from world-class instructors in three different programme formats. University of Glasgow Sport is just one of many gyms experiencing the benefits of a virtual training offering; its Revolve indoor cycling studio was launched in 2016 and now operates a timetable with 50% of its classes based on Myride®. ‘Since introducing Myride, we’ve definitely seen an increase in new members trying out indoor cycling,’ says Calum Hill, Active Lifestyles Lead at University of Glasgow Sport.

Ride the Colour ICG®’s virtual experience is underpinned by Coach by Color®, a unique training system that combines accurate zonal training with stimulating colour to help coach a member’s effort during the workout. Five coloured training zones are assigned to the user based on power or heart rate identified through completion of a Functional Threshold Power (FTP) test, to not only improve the rider experience but to also encourage greater maximum effort and enhance instructor-to-user communication. ‘Indoor cycling remains incredibly popular in gyms yet for many, the training experience isn’t bespoke and consequently, members won’t be getting the most out of their workouts,’ says Doyle. ‘Through FTP and the Coach by Color® training system, facilities can offer a truly inclusive group exercise experience that is entirely unique and targeted to the member.’

Going Virtual Adding any new programme or training method into a facility can be a challenge and a targeted implementation plan can be the difference between success and failure. However, when introduced correctly, it can bring about huge benefits to the club and its members. First and foremost, virtual training significantly expands a gym’s offering. With the fitness market ever-competitive, members are seeking more from their gyms than ever before and keeping up with industry trends and being responsive to member demands is a must for many facilities. In group exercise, virtual training helps clubs to maximise timetables without the requirement for additional staff or resource; virtual classes can be held at any time and provide a flexible solution for gyms to meet member demand.

Ride Anywhere, Anytime ICG®’s Myride® VX Group is a unique virtual training 34


‘Some even prefer it to instructor-led classes and a lot of members comment on how engaging the virtual element is as a means of distraction; it’s a great way to lose yourself in a workout and some feel they’re actually working harder as a result.’ The increase in class access that virtual training provides is also an important factor for the University: ‘We no longer need to rely on instructor availability to run an indoor cycling class; we can schedule virtual classes at any time, and from a budgetary perspective this is a huge plus, as we’re able to maximise the studio’s use without incurring extra staffing costs.’ As virtual training seeks to engage a wider member demographic, it’s not just in a group exercise environment where users can benefit; Myride® VX Personal gives facilities the opportunity to provide the same instructor-led workouts via the bike’s own screen. Recently introduced to Anytime Fitness Peterborough, the new offering has been a positive addition to the gym: ‘Myride is exceptional,’ says Tom Fletcher, Club Manager. ‘The virtual trainer coaches you in such detail; from foot placement to workout intensity. The performance-level


output of data, combined with the scenery and footage users can enjoy through Myride, makes for a really exciting rider experience.’

achieve from the outset. The new studio also helped to drive a rise in site visits, with almost 500 more people visiting the facility in the month after the re-launch.’

A Connected Cycling Experience

Fitness of the Future

Gamification – the process of adding game or gamelike elements to a task – is proven to encourage participation, engagement and loyalty; results that can also be achieved when the concept is applied to virtual fitness training.

As with any new training solution, the decision to implement virtual needs to be well thought-through and planned. From programming to studio design, staff training and member education, there are multiple elements to be considered by gyms when delivering a quality virtual experience.

ICG® Connect is a digital platform that combines gaming and data-visualisation to unite riders by tracking group performance, providing team competition and rewarding group leaders whilst celebrating individual achievement. Participants can ride for, with or against each other to meet the group target, win team battles and achieve personal bests. The immersive qualities of this interconnected experience therefore drive greater training engagement. This is something that Freedom Leisure’s Withdean Sports Complex has reported since the re-launch of its studio in February 2018, as General Manager Ross Philipson, explains: ‘At Withdean we made the decision to move away from traditional indoor cycling classes, so our timetable is now solely made up of ICG programmes, of which ICG Connect is proving very popular.’ ‘Almost every class is at maximum capacity and we’ve established a devoted following who all enjoy the competitive challenges; the classes are also made up of a wide range of members which is what we were aiming to

However, the potential of virtual training is hugely compelling. It presents a solution to maximise return on investment in studio spaces, it engages new and existing members and boosts a gym’s offering significantly, and no longer comes with an unachievable price tag. It can also provide a route for members to live classes by building confidence in a group training environment, whilst solutions such as Myride® VX Personal encourage individual exercisers to experience the same benefits of virtual training. ...and it isn’t going anywhere. Virtual fitness continues to enjoy significant growth and seeks to solve many of the challenges facing gyms in today’s competitive market. As the popularity of indoor cycling shows no sign of slowing - it was recently identified as the most popular group workout in the UK* - now is the time to tap into these two in-demand trends. *Moving Communities: Active Leisure Trends 2018 – ukactive and DataHub, July 2018

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AUGUST 2018 35


Running Top Tips Matt Gleed, Master Trainer and Education Specialist, shares his tips on an old classic.

This month’s article gives me a chance to share advice on one of my favourite sports - to help support you organising Running Clubs, reaching clients’ running goals or even advising friends and family wanting to get into running. Running is something that many start young, and some grow into it as a sport, while others move away from it as soon as they can. Although, as a backbone of sports, running is often something members of gyms and the general public wish they had kept up. It’s also something that many turn to when working back into fitness, and if you want to improve, there are many ways you could make your training more efficient:

RUNNING FOCUS Training Plans – It doesn’t matter what your standard is, but if you want focus, it starts with a plan. A training plan is great for many reasons; it will motivate you, give you confidence if you’re working towards a specific race target, and gives you the ability to analyse why you are running well or if there are changes your need to make. Progressive 5km Ladder – If you are a regular 5km runner and you know your route, have a go at increasing your average speed every 1km to push yourself to the finish line. Having a strategy like this will bring focus in the pursuit of your finish time. Chase a Negative Split – If long runs are your thing and you are looking to push your tempo, then get used to negative split training. It simply means at the halfway point, check your time and get yourself set for ‘self-competition’ to push yourself harder in the second part. Many people naturally do this as they are in their running stride and add a sprint finish towards the end. Taper Time - If you want to give yourself the best possible chance of running a fast 10km, or longer distances, then you should taper your training. This means in the week before the race you should cut down the length of your runs, and your last speed session should be 4-5 days before the race. Shorter and less intense runs can be done to keep you moving but be mindful of the intensity. Warm Ups – If you are in the summer, and doing a long run, the heat may well get your muscles prepped and ready just by moving around. But, getting your neuromuscular activation primed with some balance drills and mobility moves would be helpful. In the winter, when the weather is colder, a longer warm up could be vital for performance, so get yourself moving through some lunges, gradually getting deeper, and maybe even build up your running speed.




lower back and a whole bunch of stabilising muscles in between. Resistance Bands – A lot of runners do a lot of work moving forwards and backwards, but courses and the variable terrains that people run on can often bring challenges or corners, cambers and uneven surfaces that can challenge the tracking of your knee. So, get a band around your ankles and try a crab walk sideways it will help you strengthen your glutes and abductors. Lifting Platform – Getting to the bar regularly has a different meaning in some circles, but to improve your running potential get into a habit of putting squats, deadlifts and glute bridges into your programme.

BODY WEIGHT EXERCISES Planks – This easy to perform exercise is a foundational movement, meaning it’s the start point of many progressions. Firstly it is done by having your feet and elbows/forearms on the floor lifting your mid body up in a straight back position. Try to do 5 x 10 seconds holds with 3 seconds rest in between. Side Planks – Progress the plank onto your sides, because as it has less support, it will challenge your stability and more importantly work through your oblique muscles which are needed in your running action as you rotate through your mid section. Walking Lunges – Taking a 15-metre distance with big steps and lowering down the back knee towards the floor, alternate through each leg. Step Ups – It could be on a bench in the park, the bottom couple of stairs at home or a platform in the gym, but stepping either alternating legs or the same leg repeatedly then swap after a set is a great way to recruit more muscles working. Supermen – On the floor with hands and feet in contact, lift opposite arm and leg up and away from each from the centre of the body then return and alternate to the other arm and opposite leg. It’s good for core stability and balance, plus works the muscles down the back from arm to foot.

EQUIPMENT LEAD EXERCISES Rower – Hitting 85% of your muscle mass and non impact, the rower is a leg dominant exercise that will get you in great condition on non-running days. With the ability to monitor splits, work to distances and focus on endurance or intervals, it might just be a runner’s best friend off the ground.

FOOD FOCUS Almonds - Almonds are high in protein and fibre as well as being low in the Glycemic Index, which shows the amount of carbohydrates is high but it won’t affect your blood sugar levels in a bad way, a good source of magnesium and rich in vitamin E. Altogether, they are an antioxidant so think along the lines that they are a clean fuel for your running. Avocado - A super food because of fantastic oils, vitamins and minerals. It’s rich in vitamin B6 which is a mood booster, vitamin E which helps protect cells in your body, high in great fats and a good source of potassium. Avocado on a slice of wholemeal toast is a tasty, high fibre, low-GI snack, and if you like chilli flakes sprinkle a few on. Honey - When it comes to 10km races, the main source of energy is carbohydrates. The night before there is no need to carb-load but aim to eat an easily digestible carbohydrate based breakfast such as toast and honey. Eggs - Eggs are great to help build muscle, but also the benefit of eggs before a workout can be in particular excellent. Eggs are high in proteins and are used more quickly by the body than any other protein source. So, smash up an omelette or maybe a morning/afternoon snack by itself, with other foods such as breads or salads. Banana – Possibly the best because it’s readily available and requiring no preparation, the banana is the healthy equivalent of fast food. It is ideal for fuel and comes in its own biodegradable wrapper!

Skipping – From kids in running clubs using a running skipping race to get technique work like rear leg lift, through to sprinters using double jumps to get ballistic conditioning into calf muscles, the role of a skipping rope can help more than you might think. TRX – Try the TRX Hamstring Runner exercise to work on posterior chain of muscles from heel to shoulder blades. This exercise will develop weak links in the way your body uses the calves, hamstrings, glutes, AUGUST 2018



Fit Kit

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

TrueStart Cold Brew Coffee Range Normal is boring. Awaken your senses with TrueStart Coffee's incredible new bottled Cold Brew. Available in 3 flavours - Original Black, Vanilla Coconut and Chilli Chocolate. All sugar free, 100% natural, zero calories, vegan and hyper-sustainable. These innovative drinks are naturally energising and ideal before and after a workout. RRP - £2.75-£3.25 www.truestartcoffee.com Get 5% off when you mention Gym Owner Monthly Magazine when ordering

TrueStart Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Extraordinary TrueStart Cold Brew Coffee, infused with nitrogen for a wildly smooth, refreshing coffee drink that will change the game forever. TrueStart Nitro Coffee is served cold straight from the tap. The cold brewing process brings out the subtle flavours of 100% Arabica coffee, and the infused nitrogen adds a natural, creamy smoothness, so there is no need to add milk or sugar. Made purely from premium Arabica coffee beans, it's the healthiest energy boost in town, the ultimate pre-workout WITHOUT the bull... RRP - £3 per cup www.truestartcoffee.com Get 5% off when you mention Gym Owner Monthly Magazine when ordering

TufNut Unique to Jordan Fitness, this alternative to the classic tyre, is ideal for a more authentic, raw, full-body workout. With a hexagonal sturdy steel frame surrounded by super resilient foam and covered with a strong PVC cover, it can take as much as you can give. Focussing on strength and power, you can jump, flip, roll, lift, push, pull and farmer’s walk it until your heart and muscles are content. Available in 40kg, 60kg, 80kg and the almighty 100kg www.jordanfitness.com




Customisable Jordan Urethane Dumbbells Jordan provide quality, customisable dumbbell sets, either fully branded or partially (dual branded with Jordan). Tailored to your vision, customising your dumbbells can offer increased media visibility and further build upon your gym family community. This all in one design is made from solid steel, with the ends encased in heavy duty, odourless polyurethane. Extremely durable, they are available in various sets between 2.5 – 50kg and come with a 3-year extended warranty. www.jordanfitness.com

Jimbag The canvas holdall - where it all started with Jimbag. Large and roomy, this is the ideal bag for more than just your gym kit. Big enough to carry your sports kit, weekend trip luggage and all gym accessories, the Jimbag Holdall is a versatile and stylish accessory you can use time and time again. Features a hidden inside pocket to safely store your phone or valuables and strong handles in addition to a removable shoulder strap - carry it your way. https://www.jimbag.co.uk/

Nautilus Glute Drive We developed the Nautilus Glute Drive to safely and smartly isolate glutes, build power through a strong hip bridge motion, improve hip and core stability. The Glute Drive gives users the full benefits of the hip thrust exercise, simply, safely and with proper biomechanics and balanced load curve. A padded belt secures the user to the back pad which supports the full length of the spine for added safety. Users have the ability to load up to four plates on each side which gives the machine a max weight of 360 lbs or utilise the built-in band pegs to modify the max load to their ideal load curve weight. UPPER BODY PIVOT BENCH PROVIDES FULL SPINAL STABILISATION AND SUPPORT PIVOT POINT UNDER SHOULDERS TO SUPPORT PROPER BIOMECHANICS OVERSIZED ANGLED FOOT PLATFORM TO ACCOMMODATE USERS OF ALL SIZES corehealthandfitness.com




Gym Design 40



Boutique Fitness Gym Design Abigail Harris, Communication Specialists for the Fitness and Leisure Industry at Big Fish Public Relations, looks at how best to design a boutique experience for your members, and what is on offer. As the boutique gym phenomena continues to grow, facility owners are considering ways in which they can design their gym with functional fitness in mind, to accommodate this trend.

Psychology and Analysis of Gym Design

Whether it’s a new gym, rebuild or a refurbishment to an existing one, Peter Bolam, 3D visualiser at leading fitness equipment manufacturer and supplier Precor, comments: ‘There are lots of questions that need to be asked before any design considerations can happen. Understanding local demographics, target market, types of training that will take place and any future development plans are all key aspects that need to be contemplated.’

Research from the retail sector has proven that the layout of a space can affect the responses and behaviour of its occupants. If the layout is bland or predictable, the occupants will use it with very little emotion or thought. Good design and layout is needed to create an inspirational environment that gives exercisers a great fitness experience.

‘Providing members with a memorable exercise experience and accepting that functional training has changed the way gym space is now used, is all part of the process. Knowing the customer base will allow you to determine what equipment is required and where it needs to be positioned.’ Chris Phillips heads up sales in the Sports Intelligence practice at 4global, responsible for the award-winning DataHub. The DataHub, founded in 2013, is a virtual repository for sports and leisure data, holding information from more than 90 operators and their visitors at more than 2,000 sites. By sharing up-to-date intelligence, those investing within the sector can benchmark and make more informed decision. He agrees: ‘If a facility is going to invest in a refurbishment or even a complete redevelopment, they need to know what equipment and facilities that site should have, what members will be like, where they’re likely to come from and how long they’ll stay.’

What works for one location may not necessarily work for another site so, what’s important and where do you begin when designing a boutique gym?

DataHub’s latent demand service uses data from almost 500 million visits to leisure facilities to provide the sector with standardised, robust information about existing and potential sites. It provides an unprecedented level of insight, allowing board members to make data-led decisions on the size, location and facility mix of new leisure sites or the redevelopment of existing ones. The service ranges from ‘off-the-shelf’ latent demand reports, to full site, multi-facility analyses, with a selection of outcomes. These include the expected number of unique individuals that will use a facility on a regular basis, as well as the amount of throughput this will generate, and the optimal number of stations (or ‘size’ for other facility types) for health and fitness. These parameters define the most efficient allocation of investment, given the local demand. The analysis can also predict expected social value generated via the investment, quantified in pounds and pence, as well as the expected catchment size of the facility and where participants are likely to travel from. Most importantly, it encourages benchmarking against the rest of AUGUST 2018



the sector, providing insight as to whether operators should focus on member acquisition or retainment. Precor also understands about behaviour and the importance of designing a space that works for your customers, as well as one that will achieve business objectives and create a facility with the atmosphere you want to represent your brand. Precor’s research-based support service, ActivDesign - Making your space work harder, is based on market trends and IHRSA and ACSM research, alongside insights from worldwide shopping giants. It takes into consideration all aspects of fitness facility creation, including everything from fitness and exercise trends, interior design, flow-through, zoning, colour schemes and lighting to flooring and ceilings, climate control, audio-visual (AV), walls and mirrors, power and the internet.

so fully understand what’s involved in managing a club. Brian Thompson, Createability’s Commercial Director says: ‘Operators often ask for the costs next week and to start work in three weeks, but we need to ensure there is appropriate preparation time to plan for what they really want to achieve, so that it’s right first time. That’s why we’ve designed a flowchart to help operators visualise the processes involved and give them a realistic idea of timeframes.’ ‘It’s managing the processes in this structured, professional manner that enables us to come in on time and on budget with every project. Once the design is agreed, we work up exact finishes and costs well ahead of going to site. That way the budget or timeframe will only change if the client wants it to. Ultimately, it means we can guarantee to deliver the project quicker and within the agreed budget.’

Dr. Paul Bedford, world renowned retention expert, says the theory used by retail outlets is all about the art of persuasive behaviour. ‘The idea is to shape our environments to change our behaviour,’ he says. ‘It’s used in so many aspects of our everyday lives, from the layout of airport duty free with its smooth flooring so you don’t have to look down, and the bright lighting over areas they want to draw you to, to Wagamama’s placemat menu that shows you a combination of things that go together; we buy with our eyes, and even Schiphol airport’s toilet bowl target that, which I challenge anyone to ignore,’ he says.

After the initial enquiry has been received, Createability will visit the site for a free scoping consultation, developing a GIFA (Gross Internal Floor Area) cost plan and a simple base drawing of the project.

The leisure, design and build specialists at Createability have been developing leisure facilities for 25 years and know a thing or two about creating the ideal customer journey. Their in-house team of technical experts are able to offer a ‘one stop shop’ service, taking initial concepts from the design and planning phases right through to construction and beyond. Many of the team have been operators themselves, working in both public and private facilities, and

Cost certainty stage is where the budget is fixed. This is accomplished through further definitive and intrusive surveying, covering anything that hasn’t been considered before, or that requires further investigation. Finishes are agreed and a full and final programme of work is drawn up, including start and end dates, along with the client confirming if the work is to be carried out in a live, fully operational site.



‘If this is within the operator’s budget, we then move to cost confidence stage, where we carry out the initial and essentials surveys and investigation work, to fully understand what can be achieved,’ says Thompson. ‘This is where we look at whether the floor can take the load, whether there is enough power to support the new facilities etc. It enables us to draw up much tighter costs.’


members a boutique experience, these personalised solutions can help increase revenue without reducing floor space. What’s unique about group training using the Queenax™ is that time can be dedicated to an individual’s goals whilst still training in a group environment, using a variety of training apps and stations. This enables ultimate use of gym space, providing a driven, exciting and profitable group training offer, based on progressive systems and categories of movement. With a variety of configurations to choose from, along with additional training apps and a wide range of tools and accessories for different exercises, Queenax™ allows you to bespoke your training space.


Work cannot begin until a purchase order has been received, but as soon as this is in hand the Createability team move to the pre-construction phase, when the clock starts ticking and the internal team get to work to ensure everything is in place ready for commencement on site. This 4 - 8 week window is vital for ordering materials, staffing up the project, installing the site cabin and office, as well as hoarding off the work areas on site to protect the public. ‘There’s so much work that goes on behind the scenes to get a project to site,’ concludes Thompson. ‘It’s not just about materials and construction plant machinery. We have to take into account the welfare and safety of our staff, the facility staff and the customers, as our redevelopments always take place in a live environment, alongside customers using the facilities.’ Once you’ve decided what you want to do with the space, it’s then over to a design team to analyse the information and determine the best use of that area and range of equipment for inclusion.

Versatility Versatility is fundamental in order to maximise a boutique space. Alongside the vast range of cardiovascular and strength equipment, a functional training system such as Precor’s modular Queenax™ units can help operators create a functional training space without losing floor space. With lots of configurations to choose from, along with additional training apps and a wide range of tools and accessories for different exercises, Queenax™ allows you to bespoke your training space and, when it's not in use, utilise the same space for other classes. For instance, Spinner® bikes can be wheeled in for a dedicated Spinning® class. Whether you’re a small boutique gym or a larger facility wanting to offer

Let’s not forget that technology plays several important roles on the gym floor too. From showcasing your brand on the console screens and enabling members to receive in-workout messages promoting new classes and offers, to tapping into exercisers’ needs to ‘be connected’ and track their workouts. Along with entertainment that will encourage them back for more, such as RunTV, Netflix and Spotify, it’s available on Precor networked fitness P82 and P62 consoles. The real-time equipment usage data insights provide valuable feedback on the gym layout too, enabling operators to monitor and manage the use of their kit via the Precor networked fitness Preva Operating System and Preva Business Suite. Real-time status updates on the CV equipment tell the operator if the machines are in use or idle, if a service is required or if an inspection is needed because the machine has not been used for more than 30 mins in any 72-hour period. Operators are encouraged to check the equipment status every morning, and the system also provides essential information about the individual products, such as serial numbers and lifetime usage data. Preva networked fitness can be accessed from any internetconnected computer and allows operators to run reports showing daily use of equipment, cumulative use and trends by time. They can also see what equipment is and isn’t being used, enabling them to move kit to optimise the layout, if they see the configuration isn’t working or even swap overused treadmills for underused ones to regulate usage for extended wear and tear. Reports can be utilised to assist management with staff resourcing levels based on busy or quiet times, and can help proactive operators encourage new user groups into their gym when it’s quiet and/or develop new classes and activities to persuade people away from the CV area during extremely busy periods.

Character and Style Character and style also play a part in the overall look and feel of the design. Choosing colours that reflect the brand image and create a cohesive appearance AUGUST 2018 43


across the gym floor can help attract members, as can the style of equipment installed. Responding to customer demand, Precor has updated the colourways of its cardiovascular products. For operators that prefer a more traditional look, Gloss Metallic Silver provides the perfect option, whereas those looking for a modern bold image, Black Pearl provides the answer. This also enables a cohesive look on the gym floor with matching frame colours across the cardiovascular and strength range. Precor’s strength range has also benefitted from new upholstery colours - New Purple, Hunter Green and Blue Jay. Doug Durnford, Senior Product Manager responsible for Commercial Cardio for Precor, comments: ‘The key driving force behind the frame colour changes is our customers. Over the last five years, 80% that requested a custom-made piece chose either silver or black. We listened to what they are asking for and responded with stylish changes. The new frames are bolder, and the neutrality of the colourways means they will blend into any gym environment.’ According to Peter Borchert, Senior Product Manager at Precor, customisation is extremely popular right now, leading to Precor’s new upholstery colour introductions. He says: ‘While educational institutions generally require custom colours, we are now also seeing more enquiries from budget gyms and in particular boutique operators, who are looking for specific colours to coordinate with their brand.’ Bolam concludes: ‘There’s been a huge shift away from the core cardio and pin selectorised strength offerings, and we are now seeing a lot more dedicated functional training space. There’s so much more to designing the space than 44


cramming as much equipment in as possible! In fact, the maximum amount of kit installed should not exceed 80% of the space, and if it’s a boutique offering then this could well be even less. Ultimately the gym space determines the layout, but the membership base defines the story.’

Top Tips from Precor  Don’t start with choosing equipment, start with the zones or areas you want to have in your gym and the percentage of space you wish to allocate to each zone. Then think about the types of equipment you wish to put into each zone.  Washing walls with an even layer of light seems to push them outwards, expanding the space, and if the wall is light-coloured, the effect is greater.  Consider integrating light panels and runway lights into your flooring scheme for decorative and guidance purposes.  Avoid placing mirrors on opposite walls as this will cause a disorientating ‘infinity’ effect.  When choosing colours for walls, flooring and furnishings, keep the goal of the space in mind. If a space is planned for energetic exercise, consider using warm, exhilarating tones, whilst cool tones may be more appropriate in the areas where relaxation and calm is needed.  Consider adopting a heat recovery system. It’s not only energy saving, but will help to reduce running costs because it recycles the heat produced by the facility and introduces it back into the building as clean, warm air.


DID YOU KNOW?  Cool harsh white lights make muscles appear more defined.  Offering specialised classes can cut attrition rates and increase revenue because you are creating social networks within your gym.1  Research shows that to avoid a decrease in athletic performance dynamic stretching is better when warming up. So, ensure you leave enough space for movement whilst members stretch.2  The real evolution is the non-exercise space. Lounges, cafes and juice bars provide non-exercise spaces where users can interact, socialise and have fun. When this happens, members are more likely to want to renew their subscriptions.3  Preva™ is Precor’s networked fitness solution and it gives you tools to manage your facility efficiently. It also allows your exercisers to enjoy exciting new workout experiences Source: 1.Benefits of Group Exercise by Shawn Dolan, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) – Jan 2012. 2.Current concepts in muscle stretching for exercise and rehabilitation by Phil Page, International Journal Of Sports Physical Therapy - 7th February 2012 3.Social Environments Help Health Clubs with Member Retention TRP-adverts-Jan18.pdf




by Paul Steinbach, Athletic Business – April 2011


Creating Happy, Loyal Members Through Effective Engagement








Customer Engagement Software for Health Clubs, Leisure Centres and Gyms Visit www.trpcem.com

AUGUST 2018 45


INDIGO FITNESS: W E C R E AT E T R A I N I N G S PA C E S As well as being a proud UK manufacturer of strength training equipment, with a production facility in the Midlands and more than 20 years of experience under their belts, Indigo Fitness also have a wealth of experience in designing gyms, or ‘creating training spaces’ as they like to call it. Working with either an empty room or an existing training space in need of a re-vamp, the team at Indigo Fitness deliver the whole package; from designs and visuals, to flooring and equipment choices, and finally installation – applying the same ethos and design principles no matter the size of space, from a small studio room to a full new build with multiple training rooms.

A TAILORED APPROACH Every training space is different; there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. The team at Indigo are more than happy to come and visit your space and discuss your ideas and requirements. Indigo Fitness know that getting a training space right is essential - it can be the difference between a good workout and a great one.

FLOORING AND EQUIPMENT CHOICES An often overlooked, but ultimately crucial, aspect of designing a training space is choosing the most appropriate flooring. Many different types are available – with the type of training determining what you’ll need. Mixing different flooring types throughout the same space is often the best solution, and Indigo have installed many floors combining rolled rubber, weight training tiles and astroturf, to create a seamless training surface. Indigo Fitness have a wide strength equipment product range to choose from, plus being a manufacturer, they can easily design custom pieces of equipment that suit

your exact needs and training space, incorporating your choice of colours and branding. They are also approved distributors of Life Fitness, Hammer Strength and SportsArt equipment and UK distributors of RAZE strength and conditioning equipment, so finding an equipment mix that’s right for you should be no problem.

DESIGNS & VISUALS The next step is to visualise the space – which Indigo Fitness present as a series of 2D and 3D images. It’s great to see ideas laid out in this way and often throws up a few things that hadn’t been thought about or might prompt a change to layout or equipment. Once you are happy with your layout, there’s the option to move onto a full video walk-through, created using the latest in-design software. This will give you a true feeling of how the space will feel and perform, allowing you to get right in amongst the equipment and be fully confident that the training space is just right.

INSTALLATION The final piece in the process and in some ways the most important – the installation is the delivery and execution of the ideas, discussion and plans. With a team of experienced, professional installers Indigo will complete the flooring installation, equipment build (including any floor and wall fixing requirements) and final checks, making sure the training space is clean, tidy and fully operational before they leave. Whatever you are looking for in your gym environment, Indigo Fitness will help you get the most out of your training space. Contact info: Info@indigofitness.com 01455 890 100 www.indigofitness.com




Is It Possible to Create the ‘Perfect Gym’? Ellen Rowles, Account Manager at Action PR, spoke to a range of experts to find out what the key considerations are when it comes to designing your gym, how you can make your facility stand out from the competition and the common pitfalls to avoid.

Matt o'donnell

ben steadman

The UK fitness industry has shown no signs of slowing down, with the 2018 State of the industry report revealing that over the past 12 months, the number of fitness facilities has increased by 4.6%. With 275 brand new openings, there are now over 7,000 gyms in the UK.

Demographic Is Key When it comes to designing your facility, the single biggest thing to consider is your target audience, says Ben Steadman, Business Development Director for leading bespoke equipment manufacturer EXF Fitness. ‘Having your demographic in mind will help you decide what the look and feel of your gym should be and ensure you can create a facility that matches it. You’ll also want to think about the exact aesthetic you’re trying to create and ensure that your budget is realistic to match it.’ Matt O’Donnell, CAD team leader, for Matrix Fitness, also

matt adey

agrees. As the lead CAD designer, he has over 10 years of experience in designing facilities for operators. ‘As a designer, the first thing I would always ask an operator is who their target audience is and what their core offering is. This will then inform everything we do, right down to the colour scheme to how we lay out a facility. You'd be surprised by the number of new gym owners who can’t always give you a straight answer, so it’s really important that you have this in mind when actually creating your club.’

Go with the Flow Ensuring your club has the right layout and flow is another really important factor in the design process. Over the past two years within the industry, there has been a big shift in view on how a site should flow according to Steadman. ‘Operators are putting much more thought into the flow of their gym now than they used to. Rather than just having rows upon rows of machines, equipment is now being placed by muscle groups and even by the type of workout. For AUGUST 2018 47


instance, we are now seeing specific HIIT areas in gyms, so you may even find a self-powered running machine next your functional training rig as gym owners are giving more thought as to how each machine flows into each other.’ He also adds that you should use your flooring as a way to guide your members on a journey through your facility. ‘For instance, using different colours, or even textures can be a good way to do this. Make sure each area of your facility stands out.’ You’ll want to consider where you're actually going to place your equipment as this can have a huge effect on how your gym is perceived by prospective members says O' Donnell. ‘We would never advise a client to place their weights section right at the entrance of the gym itself. It can feel quite an intimidating area for some members, particularly those that might be stepping into a gym for the first time, so it’s something we try to avoid when designing a new gym.’ O’Donnell also adds that you'll want to think about where you're placing your star pieces of equipment, for instance, if you've got a state of the art functional training rig, make sure it’s in a prime position for members to see and try. Don’t hide it around a corner.

Create Enough Space during Peak Times There’s nothing worse than getting to the gym and finding there’s not enough space to use the facilities on offer properly. To ensure you’re not cramming your members in, Matrix Fitness leave one metre around each piece of equipment as working space. This allows a member to use the kit, step off, step to the side and towel it down without feeling crammed in, says O’Donnell. With an ever-increasing number of accessories now available to create a dynamic functional training space, 48


storage is becoming a problem for many gym owners. Steadman adds that having bespoke storage options for equipment will help with this issue. ‘You’ll want to keep your gym floor as clear as possible and having the right storage solution will set you up for the long term. Every inch of space is at an absolute premium, and our in-house team works closely with our clients to come up with new ways to store equipment. We know that ill-fitting off-the-shelf units rarely work as they don’t fill the space precisely, particularly if you have an unusual shape or dimensions in your gym or studio.’ He adds that gym storage has evolved into a far more detailed discussion point when discussing gym design with clients. The need for bespoke, made-to-measure solutions is becoming the standard and they are seeing a growing demand for this.

Brand It Up To ensure your facility stands out from a crowded marketplace, try and ensure a consistent brand identity throughout. Steadman points out that its something they are asked about frequently by clients. ‘As more and more studios and clubs are popping up, we always advise our clients to stick to a strong brand identity and to try and tie it into their club. We specialise in custom designing everything we make, so we are able to match our rigs and flooring exactly to any specific colour you might need.’

Plan for the Future ‘Once we know the heart and soul of a brand, there are a few other really important factors to take into consideration in the design process. You’ll want to ensure your gym has longevity and is able to grow,


so it’s crucial to factor in enough things like power sockets. This is so important as your business grows, as you may find you want to increase the number of pieces of equipment that are performing well. It’s much harder to add things in and rewire your club once you’ve got all your equipment in, so make sure you plan for the future.’ Steadman also adds that when it comes to selecting your equipment to try and choose pieces that can be easily upgraded or added to when the time arises. For instance, having a functional training rig that is a modular system could be a good fit as you add or take away from it as required. ‘You want to make sure what you are choosing is the right solution for you, fit for purpose, but also flexible. Don’t always be led by the manufacturer,’ says Steadman.

Keeping up with Technology As equipment evolves, you'll need to ensure your club does too. For instance, Matrix Fitness offers the ability for users to track their workouts not just on CV kit but also on strength equipment too. So, make sure you factor in a strong Wi-Fi connection and wired internet solutions and plug-in points if needed.

‘Without mirrors, group exercise participants can just focus on the instructor and the moves,’ says Matt. ‘They’re no longer self-conscious about seeing their reflection in the mirror. They can completely immerse themselves in the workout.’ Matt adds that removing mirrors is a way to remove the barriers that take away from the experience of the class. ‘Group fitness is all about connection and motivation. Mirrors only appeal to a small percentage of a class and removing them can sometimes be all that’s needed to get new people involved.’ You’ll also want to think about the lighting in your studio, as the lighting scheme is one of the easiest ways to create the right atmosphere. In the past, all types of classes used the same bright lighting, however, a small investment in costeffective adaptive LED lighting can go a long way. ‘You want different lighting for HIIT vs. a mind/body class,’ says Matt. ‘The easiest way to do this is to install a dimmer which is extremely cheap.’ If you’re looking to create a totally bespoke experience, then why not consider more innovative lighting systems including coloured lights or ones that pulse to the beat of the music. Or, why not place LED strip lighting on pillars and along roof beams to create a warm, motivational feel to the room.

What to Avoid

Ensure Your Facility Is Inclusive

All three experts agreed that the biggest mistake to make is just having rows upon rows of CV and strength kit, as well as packing your gym too tightly.

With over 11m people in the UK registered as disabled, it's important to ensure your facility is as inclusive as possible. There a few simple things that can be done in the early stages of the design process that will ensure you aren't marginalising a whole group says O'Donnell.

‘Remember, people won’t want to come and use your facility if they are feeling like a sardine whilst working out, so make sure you’ve really thought about space and layout,’ says O’Donnell.

‘From the outside going into your facility, you'll need to make sure your gym is easy to access with ramps and wider doors. It's not just about the disabled member, you'll need to make sure there's enough space for a person's carer too.’ ‘When we are designing a gym, we also try to keep our IFI equipment in a nice big open area that’s in a highly visible location. You’ll also want to make sure that you’ve got the right needs in place in your changing rooms for disabled members.’

Don’t Forget About Your Studio

When it comes down to it, a gym should be a fun and exciting place to come and workout. It's far too easy to join a gym and then just leave if you're bored. As a gym owner, try and create a facility that's innovative but also welcoming.

Top Three Tips  Be true to yourself and your brand  Don't scrimp on quality as it will usually come back to haunt you in the long-term  Be willing to push the boundaries to provide an experience that will keep your members coming back for more.

Whilst you may have the best-looking gym floor, the studio can often become a place of neglect. For a long time, most studios looked very similar: bright lights, shiny wooden floors and plain walls with one covered in mirrors, however, there are in fact a vast array of new trends emerging which operators should be taking notice of. Matt Adey, Customer Experience Director at Les Mills UK says that the traditional design of many studios in the UK can actually be a turn off for gym goers. ‘For many people, going to the gym is motivated by a weight loss goal,’ he says. ‘Surrounding them with bright lights and mirrors does not create a very welcoming environment.’ As a result, one of the major trends Matt is seeing is studios doing away with mirrors altogether. AUGUST 2018 49


HEALTH AND DATA: HOW DIGITAL FITNESS CAN REVOLUTIONISE THE MEMBER EXPERIENCE EVERY SECTOR IS EMBRACING NEW AND INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND THE HEALTH AND FITNESS INDUSTRY IS NO DIFFERENT. WITH THE NEED FOR QUANTITATIVE, MEASURABLE RESULTS BECOMING EVER MORE IMPORTANT FOR CLIENTS AND TRAINERS ALIKE, THE MARKET FOR CALORIE TRACKERS, VIRTUAL CLASSES AND FITNESS ANALYSIS EQUIPMENT IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY COMPETITIVE. FitQuest, a state of the art concept in fitness measurement, brings full bio-mechanical lab technology to the gym, helping gym goers assess their own fitness progress through relatable and understandable measurements. By offering benefits for both operator and customer, FitQuest is an excellent digital solution for member engagement, keeping the service offering relevant and on-trend in a rapidly changing environment. The FitQuest platform offers unrivalled digital services, with a cloud-based system to ensure measurements and results are globally accessible. Data can be accessed through a web-portal, FQscore, helping users to track their progress through their desktop or smart devices, no matter their location. There is also the chance to customise and integrate the product into existing member areas or white label FQscore with a gym’s own branding. FitQuest provides an easy and effective way to track clients' progress online, helping to demonstrate the value of a PT through measurable data trends. It offers special administrative access for Personal Trainers to log in and track the success of their customers, providing visibility

on clients’ progress and helping them to update training plans accordingly. The system is completely user friendly and engages members from the off-set. Individuals receive personalised encouragement emails after each session, stating their best results and helping them to focus on making effective improvements. It also provides the opportunity for peer-based comparison, offering ‘FitQuest Leaderboards’, so users can see where they compare to those of a similar age, gender and demographic. Brian Firth FitQuest CEO comments, ‘In a data driven world, our aim is to provide gym goers with the opportunity to measure and monitor their progress in a tangible manner. Our machines are designed with the user, operator and trainer in mind, combining a digital platform with state of the art technology to bring results to life and help boost engagement levels. We are continually looking to stay on top of the latest technological advances and offer our customers an unrivalled experience helping to set them apart from their competitors.’




Unrivalled Fitness Measurement FitQuest brings full bio-mechanical lab technology to your facility providing scientifically robust fitness and body composition measurement with an easy to use, sophisticated measurement tool with a user friendly interface. Drive member engagement and support your members to achieve their goals with an innovative, data-driven, digital solution. Our research programmes and product development continue to drive measurement solutions forward for the industry. Contact our team at infogm@miefitquest.com or call 020 7518 7323 to be part of the fitness measurement revolution.

www.miefitquest.com FitQuest Division, MIE Medical Research Limited 51 AUGUST Tel. 2018 infowo@miefitquest.com 020 7518 7323


IF I DON’T LIKE THE WAY GYMS ARE, I WILL CREATE ONE MYSELF! Meet Stephen Birkby, an Aspire InstructAbility graduate and founder of DAWS. Stephen Birkby doesn’t mince his words when he reflects on the shortcomings of how the fitness industry caters for disabled people. As someone who has always known what he wanted, training as an Instructor on Aspire’s InstructAbility programme, gave him the tools and impetus to create an inclusive fitness environment for disabled people.

STEPHEN EXPLAINS, ‘The InstructAbility programme was a catalyst for me to set up my own enterprise to create better inclusive opportunities for disabled people to exercise. InstructAbility not only enabled me to become a qualified fitness instructor, it also made me realise that disabled people could play a role in changing the industry.’ ‘I remember my experience of going to the gym as a wheelchair user and it was horrendous. I plucked up the courage to go to a local authority gym but I hated it. People stared at me, I didn’t fit in, I felt like an outcast! I was told that there was nobody suitably qualified to help me. I tried private gyms and I had the same negative experience, I just felt people didn’t want to know.’ ‘My hospital physiotherapy sessions had come to an end, and I really needed support to be physically active, but there didn’t seem to be any help, it left me feeling very depressed, and at times suicidal.’ Today, as Stephen talks about DAWS, (Disability Awareness with Sport) based in Sheffield, which he founded in 2014, his demeanour could not be more different. He is a man filled with enthusiasm, pride and a positive outlook on life. He is also surrounded by family, friends and an ever growing community of people that he has helped to bring together. The path has not been a smooth one for Stephen, but maybe that is where he gets his unwavering determination, and his vision and enthusiasm seems to infect people along the way. Initially after recovering from a life changing injury, he considered a desk based career, ‘suited to a wheelchair user’, and went to Sheffield Hallam University to study computing. At this time, he was also introduced to wheelchair basketball during rehabilitation sessions at the spinal injury unit.

HE REFLECTS, ‘I was encouraged to try a range of sports, I tried archery but it didn’t really appeal and wheelchair rugby scared the hell out of me, but I found I really enjoyed wheelchair basketball.’ 52



Stephen went on to play for ‘The Sheffield Steelers’ and in the process of getting into disability sport, he challenged the university to create more opportunities for disabled students. He succeeded in leading a wheelchair basketball team to bronze medal success in 2014 at the inaugural British Wheelchair Basketball University Championships. Shortly after graduating, Stephen completed the InstructAbility programme, which was to change the course of his and others’ future. He setup inclusive fitness sessions at a local authority gym based at Westfield School. An initial twelve week project was extended for a further three months due to its success. When Stephen saw his approach was working, he founded DAWS and with the support of the centre manager he gained further qualifications in Personal Training and GP Referral. A grant was awarded to develop the centre, but the new contractors did not have the same vision and Stephen was left seeking a new home for DAWS. The quality of service and demand from the local community for inclusive fitness had not gone unnoticed. In 2017, local councillors saw an opportunity to relocate DAWS to a permanent home within the new state-of-the-art gym and soccer hub, St. George’s Park Westfield. DAWS gained charity status in October 2017 and is a thriving community setting where people come together to exercise and socialise. In addition to sessions at the gym, DAWS also delivers inclusive exercise for people at Hackenthorpe Community Centre, to cater for people who are unable to get to the gym or find the environment too intimidating. Typical activities include mobility and stretching exercises and chair based aerobics. The sessions have not only proved popular but have also provided a stepping stone for the ‘gym phobic’ to build confidence, with many transitioning to sessions at the Westfield gym. A sense of community is at the heart of the DAWS mission, with regular social outings that bring together participants from the gym and community centre, as well as their friends and partners. Activities and equipment are designed

to promote inclusion, such as the wheelchair trainer that enables wheelchair users to join in spin classes. DAWS has benefitted from home grown support, with Stephen’s wife, Tracey, volunteering as Safeguarding Officer and daughter, Shelby, training as a fitness instructor to work at DAWS. The experience shaped Shelby’s career ambition, which led her to take up a post leading sport for young people in special school settings. Many in the local community are willing to give back to the organisation that they or their loved ones have benefited from. A case in point is that of Mrs. Morris, who now volunteers as a DAWS charity trustee after seeing the impact the sessions had on her husband.

SHE SAYS, ‘Stephen is able to inspire the uninspired! My husband, who was diagnosed with high blood pressure, became depressed and withdrawn. I took him to see Stephen and ten months later he is both physically fitter but more importantly mentally fitter too. I now deal with the charity’s administration and am also due to train as a coach to help deliver inclusive sport sessions.’ The positive health impact of attending the sessions are starting to be seen with other clients, Stephen expressed his surprise and delight, ‘Recently we have had four people tell us about coming of medication for Type 2 Diabetes. It is amazing that such a dramatic change can occur with a bit of exercise and guidance on lifestyle and eating habits.’ DAWS and the local disability football initiative at the St George’s Park centre are also working in partnership, signposting disabled people to take up football or get fit for football in the gym. DAWS looks set to expand its services with a recently awarded Sport England Grant that will enable Stephen and his team to deliver inclusive activities such as Boccia and New Age Curling to pupils in local primary and secondary schools. AUGUST 2018 53


SPORT ENGLAND’S HEAD OF DISABILITY, LINDSAY GAMES, SAID: ‘We were delighted to be able to support Stephen, initially though the InstructAbility programme, and more recently with a Lottery Grant to develop DAWS. Research has shown that disabled people are twice as likely to be inactive as non-disabled people, but also that 70% of disabled people want to be more active. Stephen’s work is making the fitness industry more inclusive and accessible for everyone, and it is a pleasure to be able to help Stephen to achieve his ambition, and support other disabled people to enjoy the benefits of physical activity. We wish Stephen and his clients every success.’ Stephen is not someone who spends time looking backwards and has a clear focus on the future. However, his backstory is an important one to share as it helps to explain why people with such experiences, are so well equipped and driven to support others. This is how he sums it up:

limb syndrome and other weird pain I could not describe. Judy, my Physiotherapist, noticed that my residual limb was twitching and it was discovered that the pain was due to nerve impulses in the residual limb.’ ‘Under the physio regime, I worked to improve the strength in my back muscles which led to a development in the muscle of the residual limb. A further challenge was set to strengthen the residual limb to a level where I could use a prosthetic to enable me to walk. Eighteen months later, I was walking. Even though I still have bad days with pain and the need to use a wheelchair, the experience has left me with a determination to succeed in everything I do. I understand that recovery and fitness go together, and I hope I make a real difference in the way disabled people cope with impairment and become more active in their daily lives.’

‘In 2003 I sustained a spinal injury due to an accident at work. I was told by the medical team that I would spend the rest of my days in a wheelchair. Coping with the injury and the loss of my job sent me into a downward spiral of depression. But, when my six year old daughter said that there are other people worse off than us, it gave me a major kick up the backside! But, as I was starting to come to terms with my situation my left foot became infected, leading to three bouts of MRSA and Septicaemia. I fought infections for three years until a deep bone biopsy revealed cancer in the bottom half of my left leg.’ ‘The idea of dealing with cancer scared the living crap out of us, and so, after some careful consideration, I elected for the option to have an above knee amputation. Following surgery and recovery I had a false limb constructed a as vanity option to make me feel better while in a wheelchair. Vanity – yes men have it too!’ ‘A little while later I had a very serious fall in my wheelchair, injuring my spine further. At this point, I was faced with the option of more surgery, but there was a chance of it causing further pain and loss of mobility. I concluded that at present, surgery was not an option for me, but a change in lifestyle could help me improve my quality of life. Out of depression and on to a new start in life, I decided to go back to college and brush up on numeracy and literature. Another bad fall led me back to hospital and back to intensive physio. I experienced severe pain with phantom 54


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Why Most Gyms Fail to Hire the Right People and How to Avoid It Daniel Nyiri, Founder of 4U Fitness, on the importance of hiring the right person and a creative hiring process.

"When employees belong they will guarantee your success" When you find the right people for your business, they won’t be working hard and looking for innovative solutions for you, they will be doing it for themselves. What all great leaders have in common is the ability to find good fits to join their organisations, the ones who believe what you believe. Southwest Airlines and Apple are great examples of this. Their ability to find people who embody their cause makes it much easier for them to provide great service and enjoy doing it. Herb Kelleher said: ‘You don’t hire for skills you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills.’ While that is 100% true, what if their attitude is not the right one for your culture? When I meet gym owners and I ask them who they hire, most just say they hire passionate people. But how do you know during the interview process that they are passionate about the work they are going to do, or just passionate about the new job opportunity and the interview? Almost every person on this planet is passionate, just not about the same thing. Starting with the WHY will help you to find people who are passionate about what you believe. Simply hiring someone based on resume, work ethics and background won’t work at all. For example, the best engineer at Apple would be miserable if he was working at Microsoft and the best engineer at Microsoft would be miserable at Apple as well. Both engineers are hard workers, crazy passionate, with tons of experience and love for their job, however each engineer does not fit your culture! AUGUST 2018 55


We could say that we want to hire people from Orange Theory because they are so passionate about fitness and Orange Theory, however they would not fit our culture at all whatsoever. Same is true to our employees, they would not fit theirs. So what do you do? Firstly, find at least 20 candidates per job opening. Statistics show that you need at least 20 candidates to find one good hire. Sadly, many gym owners hire the first person who walks in their gym solely based on if they look the part. That is a recipe for disaster. Hiring in need is a huge problem and you must avoid it! You need to hire way before you need someone, otherwise you are going to make a horrible mistake or decision. You should have giant signs everywhere on the internet that you are hiring to keep the doors open and anywhere and everywhere you go you must keep your eyes open for you next hire. When you see the RIGHT person you don’t think, you hire. If you truly find the RIGHT person who can take your business to the next level, you get that person. Because first is the WHO, then it is the WHAT. So first find the RIGHT person, then figure out what he or she is going to do. If you have the RIGHT people in your business no matter what happens, you can always figure it out. Sometimes you grow too fast and you need to find a trainer as soon as possible, or one of your trainers leaves and you are stressed out about finding a new one, so you hire the first candidate that seems good enough. Please do not do this. I did it one time and had a horrible experience; our business ended up losing thousands of dollars because 56


clients left and, on top of that, we lost thousands of potential dollars because these people started to talk about our trainer and what was happening. It took us about six months to recover from that bad hire. I can only blame myself since I was the one who hired the person. When I did not have a hiring process and didn’t know who I was really looking for, my trainer retention was horrible. They would only stay about three to six months and I had to let them go or they left themselves. Once I created our process and figured out what I need to secure our company’s future and who I need to fill up each one of these roles, everything changed. Now we don’t hire for a job anymore. We hire for a career, a calling! Yes, we are saving the dolphins at 4U Fitness and you should, too. Our trainers are part of our family and they are not here just to collect a paycheck. They are contributing to our future and, most importantly, they believe in our business and they know where we are heading and have no reason to leave. Most of our trainers have been with us for years now, and we just keep adding new ones as we grow while retaining the best in the business. You have to have a documented hiring process and be willing to look at lots of applicants. I have learned from Google because they have used some very creative ways to find new talent. In 2004, they placed a billboard by a busy highway next to Yahoo’s headquarters. They put a mathematical riddle on the billboard – it didn’t include any mention of Google, its logo or any type of branding. No one knew who did it, until someone cracked the riddle. It generated a huge amount of media requests and


posts, as well as increased interest in this competitor to Yahoo. The billboard read ‘{ first 10-digit prime found in consecutive digits e}.com’. The answer 7427466391.com would lead to a website with another equation to solve, with no sign of branding or any trace of Google. If someone solved this equation, it would lead to a page on Google Lab which read: ‘One thing we learned while building Google is that it’s easier to find what you’re looking for if it comes looking for you. What we are looking for are the best engineers in the world. And here you are.’ Now THAT is creative hiring. Not to mention it will only attract the people they were actually looking for – not just smart and skilled in math/engineering, but the ones who willing to do the extra work and to figure out things on their own. Like Google, we don’t want someone who will just sit there and look at you if something breaks or the music system in your studio isn’t working. We want someone who will take charge and figure it out. What do we do to stand out? We used social media to post funny and goofy pictures of our trainers with a title like: ‘Are you an entrepreneur stuck in a Personal Trainer’s body? Would you rather work for David or Goliath?’ We also have pictures of our trainers in lab coats and glasses standing around Miss Olympia, who is in the middle wearing our workout equipment with a caption of ‘4U Fitness where science meet fitness.’ We aren’t afraid to have fun. At fitness expos and conferences, we give out black envelopes to Personal Trainers that we really like. These

envelopes have nothing on them; they are just very heavy and thick and feel expensive in your hand. When they open it, they see a specific time and place to meet for an interview. When they show up, they see that there are other trainers there as well, but we like to keep it to only about three to five Personal Trainers; this way, we let them know that they are the elite of the elite. We were like a trendy coffee shop or bar like a speakeasy where you have to know the answer to get in. If you can find a place nearby that requires you to know the password to get in, that adds extra credit to this process. Once they arrive for the interview, we ask as many questions as needed to find out as much as possible and give out very minimal information to keep them interested. Being very secretive in a FBI style meeting is a cool experience. After this process, we leave and we don’t have to do anything since the good candidate will definitely follow up with you. Luckily, we also receive many job enquiries monthly. We even have Personal Trainers who fill out our free trial form to get an inside view on our studio; this often leads to them following up by asking for a job. I have a collection of resumes on my desk as well, since we receive several each week; we aren’t hiring now, but I do save these for future hiring sprees. Once you have the right hiring system in place, you should attract at least 20 candidates per job post. You will have to narrow them down to the final three, which should be easy if you have the right system. Once you reach the final three candidates, then it is time to get down to the details!

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A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE!! Steve Bam shares his extensive battle, and how his body is getting him through it. It all started when I was a teenager. I fell 15 feet, and landed with my head on concrete, which resulted in me cracking open my skull. My Doctor at the time told me that if my neck had been just half an inch smaller, I would have either been paralysed, or I would have died. Then, years later, on Christmas Eve 1995, I was bouncing at a bar in Schaumburg, Illinois. A customer was drunk and passed out. When he came around, he asked me to keep an eye on him as his ex had been messing with him. I, of course, told him I had his back. He passed back out, and when he came back around the second time, he pulled a 357 snub nose with hollow tips on me. As he laid there, waving the gun around, my training kicked in, which taught me to go for the gun. As I did this, he looked directly at me, and started to fire five times. I took the gun off him and held him down until help arrived. Only then did I realise I had been shot. The bullet had gone straight through the right side of my chest. This experience is what caused my PTSD. Fast forward two decades, it was 17th July 2015, and I was working on equipment in a field in Indiana, completely swarmed with mosquitoes. I started to get a headache, but kept going and kept working. At the end of the day, I got



on my motorbike to get home, however, the headache had gotten so bad, I had to pull over and call two friends of mine to come and collect me and my bike. For two weeks the headache continued, and I just wasn’t getting any better. I headed to the hospital where I was admitted. The doctors couldn’t figure out why I had this head pain for so long, and so bad. After further blood work was done, they found AML - Acute Myeloid Leukemia, the beginning stages. This resulted in me starting these Vitamin C treatments, and the hospital released me with medication, Dilaudid, to keep down the pains I was experiencing. However, the pain didn’t go away, so I went to another hospital, and again, I was admitted. After a few lumbar punctures and further blood work, I met Dr. Wilson. Great man, best bedside manner ever. He sat down and looked at my mother and I. As he was sitting there, in his Hawaiian shirt, he told me he knew what I had, that he had seen it before. He told me I had something called St. Louis Encephalitis - and inflammation of the brain that is transmitted by mosquitoes. He couldn’t tell me when the pain would subside, and that it could take up to four years. I was still in pain and they switched me to Oxycodone, 5mg every six hours, to keep the pain at a level 5 (out of a scale of 1 - 10). At the same time, I started seeing a Therapist and Psychologist as my PTSD was going through the roof.


loosen up and start moving, and by 6am I am at the gym, six days a week. I hit the weights and do cardio. I was told walking only. In the last six months, my weight has only changed by 1oz. I eat low fat, low carb, low sugar, but I still need around 3000 - 3500 calories to maintain. I can’t even begin to tell you how expensive it is to eat the way I eat, but, it is saving my life. Once I manage to get the remaining money together, I will be able to get the bone marrow transplant, a couple more rounds of Chemotherapy, and my Doctor thinks I can beat this. He said, the biggest thing is me. I fight to beat this every single day. I stay active for as long as I can.

I went into remission, by February 2016, I was told I was out of remission, and I received Chemotherapy treatment. My insurance was being a pain, but luckily the Cancer Society picked up the costs all the way until April of the same year. During my treatment, I received a blood transfusion, and something went wrong. My heart rate went up and suddenly dropped. The Rapid Response Team were called, and I flatlined twice.

Now, due to all the medication i had to take, I have acute kidney failure, which just started. I just need to keep an eye on it, and keep eating right. If I slip, in ten to twenty years I'll be on dialysis. I won’t let that happen. Healthy living is the key to making your body fight off all the bad things that can happen. I have been through five hospitals, trying to figure out my head pain. I could never do a MRI because of the metal in my head. I’ve had 15 lumbar punctures and about 25 CT scans. In the lumbar punctures, I found out my protein levels in my spinal fluid are high, so I need to get an MRI done. For me to get an MRI done, I need to remove the metal out of my neck. On 11th June 2018 I am going into surgery to remove that metal. That is my battle. Why am I telling you this? Because it is important to exercise, whatever your battle may be. Keep your body strong and eat right - your body will do the rest. To help Steve with his battle, and for further pictures, visit https://www.gofundme.com/leukima-battle

In April 2016, I re-entered remission, which lasted two months. In June my cells were back up. In the meantime, I had gone through four different Therapists, one of which put me on Clonazepam, 75mg, three times a day. My Doctor told me that due to my healthy lifestyle my body could endure higher levels of Chemotherapy, which would give me a greater chance of beating the disease. As I was going through this, my gallbladder gave up. The hospital had me on only ice chips and I dropped 50lbs. Three days after my gallbladder was removed, I asked to be released, the food sucked and I couldn’t eat because of the cancer. I went on a baby food diet to get my body to eat and allow it to hold the food down, as I was still training at the gym, except for when I was in hospital. In hospital I could only do push ups, curl my bag of clothes and shrug my bed. My cells dropped and I was getting to a good spot, but I was told I needed a bone marrow transplant. A lot of people got tested and I found a donor. This time, the treatment wouldn’t be covered, it would be out of pocket. My Doctor discounted it due to my situation, and I sold everything I could, whilst my family pawned what they could. We still haven’t managed to fully cover it, which is why I started a GoFundMe page. A couple of months ago, I was told my cells were back up, due to the needed bone marrow, so my doses of Chemotherapy were upped. My head pains are still there, and now there is the added pain of from the Chemotherapy throughout my entire body. Everyday, I wake up at 5am. It takes me around an hour to AUGUST 2018 59


TIME TO EMBRACE DIGITAL LEARNING It’s time to take advantage of the benefits that digital learning offers the sector, says Brad Tucker, Vice President & General Manager of Premier Global NASM. Whether we like it or not, we are living in a digital age. Digital is all around us and extends to every aspect of our lives, including education. Digital learning is already taking place in schools, colleges and universities, so it’s no surprise that its presence is being felt in our sector too. Yet, many people are still uncertain about digital learning. The existence of some inferior online training products may have helped to fuel these fears, but we shouldn’t let this overshadow the real benefits of quality digital learning.

STUDENTS PERFORM BETTER A review of digital learning for the U.S. Department of Education found that, ‘on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.’ The report examined the comparative research on onlineversus-traditional classroom teaching over a 12-year period.

It found that, on average, students doing some or all of the course online would rank in the 59th percentile in tested performance, compared with the average classroom student scoring in the 50th percentile. Digital learning doesn’t mean an end to face to face education. Live workshops complement our digital programme to provide blended learning that meets the need for the face to face experience.

ATTRACTING NEW LEARNERS One of the key advantages of digital learning is its accessibility. Content and study materials can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which means that students can learn at their own pace and at a time and place that suits them. Whether they are commuting on the bus or the tube, students can access the learning material with their mobile devices or laptops. The reverse is also true; no longer does bad weather or cancelled trains mean that students are unable to attend class. This flexibility is hugely attractive and opens the doors to a host of new learners and future recruits for the industry. 60



MEETING STUDENTS’ EXCLUSIVE NEEDS People learn in different ways, but the traditional classroom environment expects students to adopt the same approach. By contrast, digital learning meets each student’s exclusive needs by providing a variety of learning materials that cater to their individual system of learning. Content, curriculum and materials appeal to different learning styles: auditory, visual, kinaesthetic, reading and writing. Regardless of the knowledge or skill of the student, the structure of the programme allows them to consume learning material in a way that aligns with their level of proficiency.

EARN WHILE YOU LEARN ‘When I studied to become a PT, I had to give up everything to pay for the course and to support myself while I was studying for 12 weeks,’ says Michael Dempster, a Master Trainer with Premier Global NASM and PT for 15 years. With digital learning, students are no longer forced to put their lives on hold, give up their jobs or go into debt to become qualified. This is more difficult with classroombased learning, which has fixed venues and fixed schedules. Digital learning is often more affordable too. For face to face courses, students must also factor in the costs of commuting to the venue and investing in study materials. Digital learning students don’t have to incur these additional costs and can continue to work while they study.

CONSISTENCY OF DELIVERY One of the challenges of delivering face to face education on a broad scale is that the consistency of delivery of the materials and curriculum often depends on the tutor. People are emotional beings; we have bad days, we have good days. An amazing teacher can have a huge impact on a student and make all of the difference to their success. But the opposite is also true. Delivering curriculum and content in a more controlled learning environment removes some of the variables that can negatively impact the student

experience and creates a more consistent experience overall, whether the student is enrolling from London or from the Outer Hebrides. Premier Training has always employed some of the best tutors in the industry. We still do, and their experience and skills continue to play a vital role in the delivery of our digital product, for example through live digital lectures.

RESPONDING TO CHANGE As training providers, it’s our duty to meet the needs of both students and employers to provide tomorrow’s fitness professionals with the skills and competencies required for the sector’s continued success. With a digitally built product, we can quickly adapt our programme to make changes as and when required by the industry. This ensures students always have access to the best and most up to date learning material based on the feedback we receive from the sector.

MEASURING SUCCESS We can measure the effectiveness of digital learning in a variety of ways. We can see how well students are engaging with the platform and learning materials, when and how they’re accessing the course and how often. We can assess and measure student progress to gauge how well they are accumulating the knowledge and skills we aim to deliver, which allows us to identify where students may be having difficulty. We can also measure content efficacy and effectiveness to determine how well or how poorly the content is being received and retained by students. Most importantly, we can measure outcomes related to the learning assessments, practical assessments, and theory assessments. These are just a few of the benefits that digital learning can offer to help improve training in the sector and complement face to face delivery. We need to embrace the growing opportunities that learning technology offers or risk being left behind. www.premierglobal.co.uk




Creative Dumbbell Exercises for Abs Chris Zaremba, our specialist on fitness for the over fifties, shares three dumbbell exercises to work on your abs.

I love training abs – I do so every morning, using three exercises from a range of over 60 that I use. The three I select are always: one primarily for upper abs (above the navel in most people), one mainly for lower abs (below) and one for obliques, or the side abs. I vary the equipment on a weekly basis – one week I will do floor exercises for abs, the next week I use a Swiss Ball, the next uses a bench, the following week I use fixed equipment such as a Roman Chair, and then a week using dumbbells – then back to the floor exercises for the following week. In this article, I’ll describe three of the exercises I use and recommend using dumbbells.

1. DUMBBELL-ASSISTED SIT-UP This is a dumbbell assisted exercise for the upper abs. In general, upper abs exercises involve moving the chest towards the knees, as is done here. Holding the dumbbell out in front of you is the easiest variant of this exercise, it is more difficult without assistance from the dumbbell. The dumbbell here assists in the exercise; the heavier the dumbbell, and the further forward it is held, the more assistance is provided – and the better for newcomers to the exercise. It is more challenging in turn to perform the exercise without the dumbbell, to cross the arms on your chest, and beyond that, to have your fingertips at your temples. How to Perform: Sit on the floor with the upper torso at an angle of about 45 degrees up from the floor, holding a dumbbell in your hands over your mid-torso, with a slight bend at the elbows - legs should be slightly bent with heels and hips on the floor, knees pointing upwards. From here, lower the torso until the mid back is just above the floor, 62


hold and tense the abs for a second, the return upwards to the starting position – using the assistance of the dumbbell in pulling the torso up to reach that 45 degree position. Exhale as the head goes up, inhale during the lowering phase. Resist the temptation to come up to far, not more than 45 degrees – and don’t let the upper back touch or rest on the floor between repetitions.

2. DUMBBELL OVERHEAD V-CRUNCH This exercise works the full rectus abdominis, the upper and lower abs, but I focus the effort on the lower part by making this the larger of the two body part movements involved. The work for the lower abs is primarily in lifting the legs from the floor – keeping them straight, and at the same time involving upper abs as you bring the dumbbell overhead to touch the knees. The percentage of effort for the lower and upper abs is set by the amount of leg raise. The further the legs are raised towards the vertical in each rep, the higher proportion of effort is from the lower abs. How to Perform: Lie flat on the floor, holding a single dumbbell in your hands on the floor behind your head with arms extended. From here, raise the legs slowly, and at the same time, bring the arms overhead and raise the upper torso, so that the dumbbell meets the legs in the area of the knees. Hold for a second, concentrating on the tension and further contracting the abs. Return more slowly towards the starting position, but don’t let either the dumbbell or your heels touch the ground – instead, hold them both off the ground a little and hold for another second before commencing the next rep. Exhale as you bring the arms and legs together, inhale as they descend. The slower you perform all aspects of this exercise, the better.


3. DUMBBELL SIDE BEND Obliques are worked by two movements – twisting and sideways-leaning. This is one of the leaning rather than twisting exercises. It focuses on the obliques and serratus anterior, with much more of an assisting role from the six-pack, the rectus abdominis. When you bend to the right side, it is the left obliques that are being worked. It’s tempting to do this with two dumbbells, one per hand, and also maybe alternate in pendulum fashion; this is to be avoided, the use of a second dumbbell assists in the return to vertical – it effectively counteracts the value of the first dumbbell. How to Perform:

See videos of these and Chris’ other ab exercises on http://fitnessoverfifty.co.uk/video/ev0/evm/

CHRIS’ AB ROUTINE: I spend 10 minutes on abs every morning (Mon-Fri) straight after 40 minutes cardio and before breakfast. I do my ‘Abs:100’ routine every day – this is a set of 30 repetitions of an exercise for upper abs, then a set of 30 reps of a lower abs exercise, then a set of 20 for side abs (obliques) each side – making 100 reps in total. I rotate through different equipment on a weekly basis – as described in the article above. I then finish with a two-minute front plank, then a one-minute side plank each side.

Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in one hand down by your side. The other hand should be behind the head to negate the counterbalance effect which would be increased with it by your side. From here, slowly lean to one side towards the maximum point of the dumbbell being alongside the knee, then slowly return to the vertical. Don’t rest at the vertical position, but start the next rep immediately, keeping the tension in the obliques on the side being worked. Do all the reps on one side before switching. It’s easy to do this incorrectly – any form of movement backward or forward takes some of the emphasis away from the obliques, as does any movement in the lower body – everything from the hips south should remain fixed. To check this, ideally position yourself in front of a mirror for the exercise.

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CONTINUED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Why not jump your way into the Careers in Fitness CPD club! Careers in Fitness Global (CIMSPA PARTNER) - A leading training provider in health, fitness and active leisure qualifications. As well as their large range of formal qualifications, Careers in Fitness have also launched a wonderful selection of CPD (Continued Professional Development) courses for Exercise to Music Instructors, Personal Trainers, Coaches, Pilates and Yoga Instructors to take advantage of. Continued Professional Development is widely recognised as fundamental to the improvement of standards and skills for individuals and their industries. Continued Professional Development exists to ensure that an individual enhances their skills and abilities to ensure they maintain and improve further knowledge and continually develop professionally within their field of expertise. Our courses are innovative, fun, interactive and interesting!



Learn on your: PHONE  I-PAD or  DESKTOP Click on this link to go direct to our CPD courses page https://careersinfitnessltd.co.uk/all-courses-2/

Why Not Try:

 Plyometric Training  Obesity Myths  Hypertension and Exercise  Tri Planar Kettlebells  Pad Work  Power Clubs  Medicine Ball  Nutrition for Young Athletes  Suspension Training  Fuelling Exercise for Physical Activity All of the above courses can contribute towards CPD and are absolutely beneficial as an addition to your CV. A selection of some of the CPD courses available for you to book onto on the Careers in Fitness Global platform. 64


Try out a course from our US partners ACE ACE IFT® Model: Personal Training Program Design – Enjoy this FREE, 1-hour online course providing a systematic approach to program design and introduction to the ACE IFT® Model. The ACE Integrated Fitness Training® (ACE IFT®) Model provides a systematic approach to program design that applies to every client as he/she progresses through each phase of fitness. From beginners to elite-level athletes, the ACE IFT® Model provides an innovative & systematic approach to achieving lasting results. The model provides the blueprint for Personal Trainers to design exercise programs that improve posture, movement, flexibility, balance, core function, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular endurance, and strength for all clients. Enjoy this free, one-hour online course as your introduction to the ACE IFT® Model for program design.


• Marketing • Sales • Selling Benefits and Solutions • Buying Signals • Communication • Follow Up • Data Protection • Data Management

You could book... World Jumping – Foundation Training Course OVERVIEW ENTRY REQUIREMENTS None

CONTENT • The components and variables of a well-designed exercise program to address both the needs and wants of a client. • A model for exercise program design with underlying principles of helping clients implement behaviour change strategies to reach healthy fitness goals. • How to design an exercise program for client progression, building the foundational elements of stabilization and mobilization before moving on to advanced power and agility drills.

Or the… Careers in Fitness Ultimate Business Launch OVERVIEW The Ultimate Business Launch course by Careers in Fitness teaches learners the fundamental business skills needed to establish a successful Personal Training business, and provides a springboard to increase client numbers and revenue. This is a specific fitness business course and the content has been produced by former Personal Trainers with experience in growing PT businesses. The course is undertaken online at your convenience from any mobile device, and covers a host of useful topic areas, such as unique business concepts, target markets, business planning, marketing and sales. The course is therefore ideal for any fitness professional who has recently qualified as a Personal Trainer and who wants to get the best start and to grow their fitness business as efficiently as possible. Personal Trainers with established businesses will also benefit from some of the useful tips found within the course, as will any other fitness professionals who may be in need of some direction and guidance in terms of increasing their earning potential.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS • None • Topics • Research • Your Unique Business Idea • Your Target Market • Smart Goal Principle • SWOT Analysis • Setting up Your Business • Your Business Plan • Planning and Testing Your Marketing • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People • Packaging and Pricing • Terms and Conditions

World Jumping is captivating fitness fans all over Europe and the US, and is now being performed in more than 150 fitness studios all over the world. The World Jumping training course teaches a highly coordinated system of exercises, and combinations of fast and slow jumps, variations of traditional aerobic steps, dynamic sprints and ‘power sports’ elements. Jumping is three times more effective than jogging due to the gravitational changes involving more than 400 muscles being tightened and relaxed at the same time. It is consequently more demanding than most other types of endurance sports. From a medical and physiological point of view, it has a very positive impact on all systems of the body and is therefore considered highly effective for body shaping and other healthrelated benefits. The World Jumping Instructor course involves comprehensive training consisting of theoretical and practical parts. The practical aspect consists of learning how to choose the right music, keep rhythm, appropriate warm-up & cool downs, strengthening, stretching, and motivational considerations, fitness terminology and body language. The theoretical component focuses on anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. At the end of the training and passing theoretical and practical tests, each participant receives a Professional Instructor of World Jumping Continuing Education certificate and the World Jumping program DVD.

Course Objectives • Perform each exercise and step techniques on the mini trampoline with correct form and technique. • Perform each exercise in time to the beat (and where appropriate) to the phrase of the music. • Recognize the importance of ensuring the health, safety and well-being of participants when teaching World Jumping fitness classes (including written and verbal screening). • Demonstrate how to instruct participants to perform safely and effectively (using clear, early cues, voice projection, non-verbal cues and motivating teaching styles). • Teach the appropriate structure of the World Jumping class and its principles. • Provide appropriate progressions and regressions in each block to suit different abilities. • Observe and correct participants and offer suitable alternatives. • Able to evaluate their teaching of World Jumping fitness class

CPD POINTS ENTRY REQUIREMENTS • Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instruction / Exercise to Music or above. • Dance Instructors who can deliver safe and effective Exercise to Music classes. AUGUST 2018 65


set out by CIMSPA are that each Trainer gains 10 points per year from Continued Professional Development courses - we make that easy for you.


3 CPD Courses per Year

• Planning World Jumping Exercise • Instructing World Jumping Exercise

Members of the Careers in Fitness Global CPD Club are entitled to undertake three CPD courses per year from our large selection of subject areas. For those that are registered, club membership provides the peace of mind of knowing that there is an annual commitment towards meeting CPD requirements.

Or… Physis4 Youth – Exercise Program for Kids and Teens

All fitness professionals enrolled in to the club are guaranteed to be consistently developing and updating their knowledge and practical skills. Our members remain at the cutting edge of advancements in the industry and can be assured that they are maintaining the highest possible quality of service for their clients.


Overview This course was created to help Physical Educators and sports professionals who work or intend to work with children and adolescents. The content is a combination of knowledge and previous experiences of the authors, including experimental research conducted in 2015 in England. The Physis4 Youth Method was used as an intervention protocol at Teesside University to evaluate aspects of physical activity and motivation in teenagers. After the research study, the protocol was upgraded and has been used by professionals in different contexts to improve physical activity levels in children and teenagers. This training is designed to provide learners with the knowledge and skills required to be able to plan and implement an exercise program for children and teenagers, within principles of Growth and Motor Development, Functional Training and Exercise Motivation.

CPD Points Entry Requirements This qualification is for individuals that have already completed their Level 2 in Physical Activity and Exercise for Children or equivalent, and are looking to improve their skills and knowledge to work with young people in different environments.

Units Involved • Principles of Physis4 Youth Method, Terms Commonly Used and Motor Development Stages • Childhood – Growth and Motor Development Characteristics and Fundamental Movement Skills • Adolescence – Growth and Motor Development Characteristics, Physical Capacities and Movement Patterns • Concepts and Principles of Functional Training – Motor Learning, Development and Integration of Physical Capacities, Development of Core Muscles and Applicability • Motivation – Self-determination Theory and Motivational Strategies in Different Age Groups • How to Create an Exercise Program for Children • How to Create an Exercise Program for Teenagers • Sessions and Variations

Progression Learners typically progress onto other courses and qualifications relevant to working with children and young people. For a simpler way to choose your CPD courses each year Join our club and have access to three CPD courses per year at the click of your finger, for just £ 29.99 per month. Current requirements to maintain standards and stay registered as 66


• No time off of work. • Learn on the go. • Stay registered. • Fun courses that keep you interested. • Fit around work, home and social life. Be the best Trainer you can be with all of our fun tools to assist you with reaching yours and your clients goals. We also have lots of tools and products available to assist Coaches and Fitness instructors/Personal Trainers such as Fitness Testing Platforms and EMS Training Systems. Helpful tools on the app/platform - we can assist and guide you from business set up to marketing, through to fitness testing and beyond.

Adding New Products to Our Platform • Do You Have an Idea or Outline for a New Exciting CPD Course? • Do You Have a Course/ Qualification to Offer to Our Platform? • Would You like to Promote/ Sell Your Products with Careers in Fitness Global? We are constantly searching for new, exciting and innovative qualifications, courses and fitness products to enhance our existing collection, and to promote and sell globally. If you would like to add your fitness qualification, course or product to our range, please do let us know and we will put you in contact with Philip Smith (phil@ careersinfitnessltd.co.uk) in the Careers in Fitness office who will coordinate the addition.

How about Having Your Own Branded App? The Careers in Fitness Global App was specifically built with the capability to provide white-label opportunities to other health and fitness organisations, enabling the buyer and owner to then create their own bespoke app that conforms to the current Careers in Fitness Global App model, and allows education, training and products to be offered globally in the same professional standardised format.

Why Not Collaborate with Us? We would love to collaborate with other health and fitness organisations or gyms chains to supply our high quality and diverse health and fitness education, whether that be face-toface or online. If following perusal of our range of qualifications and courses below you feel there is potential for us to meet an existing education/training provision deemed necessary within your organisation then please let Phil know and we can schedule a discussion. For any details on the Careers in Fitness Global app contact us: info@careersinfitnessltd.co.uk



ISSUE S E P T E M B E R i s s u e features include: Flooring Finance & Funding Vibration Training Club Procurement Indoor Cycling Indoor Rowing Wellness & Coaching Training Courses




ACTIVE AGEING – HOW ARE YOU ENGAGING THE OLDER POPULATION? The UK population is getting older. According to the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS), almost a fifth of the country (18%) is now aged 65 and over. This percentage is on the rise. Here, Area Concept Consultant Craig Worley, eGym UK, looks at the opportunity this creates for gym owners and explores ways to utilise new technologies to better engage this growing segment of the market.

SCENE SETTING The UK population is ageing at an astounding rate. The Office of National Statistics predicts that 75% of UK population growth between 2012 and 2040 will be in the over-60 age group, with increases from 14 to 22 million. Within this group, the fastest growing segment is those aged 85+. This is leading to an exponential rise in the number of UK Centurions with over 600,000 UK citizens expected to live beyond 100 by 2070. Unfortunately, the older population is also, largely inactive. According to the NHS website, many adults aged 65 and over spend, on average, 10 hours or more each day sitting or lying down, making them the most sedentary age group in our population.  As a result, this group is paying a high price for its inactivity, with higher rates of falls, obesity, heart disease and early death compared with the general population. In a recent report, ukactive estimated inactivity in this age group costs the already struggling NHS around £11bn per decade.

THE SOLUTION In order to turn around this sorry state of affairs, the physical activity sector has to find effective ways to encourage more of the older population to swap a sedentary lifestyle for a more active one. Maintaining health and functionality for as long as possible will have a profound effect on an individual’s quality of life and will save the health service, literally, millions of pounds, delivering 68


widespread benefits to the nation as a whole. The physical activity sector, working in unity, could have a hugely positive impact on the health and functionality of older adults. In a piece published by the Sunday Telegraph, ukactive Board Member and Advisor to Public Health England Professor Dame Carol Black, stated that: ‘Physical activity in older age is associated with improved overall health.’ The type of physical activity encouraged is also important. For many years, the focus has been on the relevance of cardiovascular fitness but, over the last decade a wave of scientific studies have documented the hugely positive impact regular strength training can have on an array of health and wellbeing indicators including: mobility, strength, bone density, mental health and long term metabolic conditions such as diabetes. In fact, the NHS website now recommends at least two strength training sessions per week for those aged 65 and over. eGym’s global data has evidenced that individuals completing 24 training sessions within a 12 week period on eGym strength equipment, on average, demonstrate strength increases of 16.2%. So, the physical activity sector has a huge opportunity to engage a growing market, but how many operators are truly offering a service tailored to the needs and motivations of the older population?


HOW IS EGYM HELPING OPERATORS CATER FOR THE OLDER POPULATION? eGym’s intelligent gym solution is ideally suited to the needs of older adults. In addition to each and every user being prescribed a bespoke and progressive training plan based on their individual capabilities and identified training goals, the equipment set up and exercise prescription on every visit, for every exercise, is completely automated and ensures optimal intensity. This automation has two key advantages for the older adult. Firstly, it is safe. The intelligent system remembers the machine settings and makes the adjustments automatically to ensure optimal ergonomic positioning every time. As well as this, it sets the resistance at exactly the right level and ensures progression is made with the reassurance of not over doing it. This helps prevent injury by avoiding the possibility of poor body positioning and the application of incorrect resistance levels. Secondly, it makes strength training easy and fun. Individuals do not need to have any previous training experience to enjoy varied and effective workouts. The individual only needs to focus on following the eGym curve, on the large visual display, to perform optimal movement patterns using the full range of motion and at the right speed - fast tracking them towards goal achievement. eGym has also replaced clunky weight stacks with an advanced electromagnetic system. This means, once logged in with a simple RFID, the system automates the resistance which is applied smoothly and silently, creating a nonintimidating, seamless experience for the user and creating a comfortable workout environment. Benchmarking and performance indicators have also been developed that specifically tap into the motivations of older adults. For example, following the performance of a single repetition strength test, the user is provided with a Biological Age. This can then be compared to the users Chronological Age. The aim is obviously to achieve a Biological Age below the Chronological Age. It can be really motivating for a 68 year old to be told they have a Biological Age of 78. They are then keen to keep training to

see whether they can lower this at least in line with their Chronological Age. Throughout the training experience, individuals are invited to advance through a series of levels, collecting points as activity is performed and increasing levels as point targets are met. The sharing of this information with other users via leaderboards also encourages social interaction and, for those that want it, introduces an element of friendly competition. Making the gym experience more social is likely to make the experience more enjoyable and is therefore likely to have a positive impact on engagement rates. eGym is evidencing hugely positive success engaging older adults. Global usage statistics show that after 12 months of training on eGym equipment, retention in the over 65 age category is averaging 65%, 10% higher than the UK average for the general population over the same time frame. More impressively, after 24 months, 55% of users aged 65 and over are still exercising on eGym equipment at least once per week. This suggests, over half of older adults who engage with eGym equipment have committed to a long term investment in an active lifestyle and will reap the many social, mental and physical benefits associated with being active. This is not only great news for the general well being of the population but also for gym owners, who will collect membership fees over an extended period.

CONCLUSION Old age does not have to mean ill health and a lack of mobility. Keeping physically active and performing regular cardiovascular and resistance training is scientifically proven to positively impact mental and physical health in older adults. So that’s good news for all of us – something we can all relate too. With eGym’s intelligent system, gym owners are able to support the health of our aging population to deliver effective, bespoke exercise prescription, ideally suited to older adults. As well as enabling gym owners to tap into and retain a large segment of the population currently not engaged. AUGUST 2018



Ask The Expert Do you have a question that you would like to see answered in this feature in a future issue? Email ns@gymownermonthly.co.uk

BEING A YOUNG GYM OWNER Jason Watson, Co-founder and Director of Fortitude Fitness, on the importance of ‘owning it’. Success - How do you define, measure and manage it? Success can be anything; big, small, financial, physical, mental, the list goes on. Love it and learn from it, enjoy the moment and be aware that it has happened, DO NOT be afraid to blow your own trumpet, however, don’t become arrogant as a result of it, you can always do better and you can always learn more, become more and achieve more. The point here though, and what I want you to firstly understand, is that you have to OWN IT. Shifting my mindset, and believing in the concept allowed my business to flurry, we broke even in our first 6 months, turned a profit by the end of year one. Year two has come to an end and we’re expanding to a whole new gym! It is possible, it can be done and you can do it. This concept of ‘owning it’ is what I first want you to understand and in my opinion it’s a hugely important factor to being a young business owner, of any sort. Now, when I use the term own it, I don’t mean literally own it, as I would assume and, like to imagine at this stage, as a young business owner you actually own your business! No, what I mean in this sense is you have to be fully invested in what you’re doing. I want you to live, breathe and dream about this business, it has to be embedded within your DNA, everything you do needs to be with the intent to conquer and 70


dominate the field you are in, specifically in this case we’re talking about gyms, however my advice here is transferable. If you own it, then people will feel that from you when you talk to them, regardless of their age, they will have no choice but to feel compelled by your passion and respectful of your drive. It can be a struggle to be taken seriously, especially in the fitness industry if you’re a young, likely to be Personal Trainer, who wants to open a gym. A lot of people may turn around and assume you’re just another gym freak with no clue about business.

SO YOU WOULD ASSUME and that already pre-set assumption in your mind is your first set back, and certainly doesn’t fit with my OWN IT concept. You might come across people who don’t take you seriously and don’t believe in you, but by taking those steps I’ve already mentioned above, and beginning to OWN IT then they will change their own judgment, they will see the focus in your eyes and hear the certainty in your voice. You own this business and it’s the best there is. Now you’ve grasped my OWN IT concept, I can guarantee you’re already feeling empowered by the idea of being invested, fully in what you’re creating. I’ll highlight some tips I’ve learnt that have allowed me to remove my younger age being a drawback in business.


We are in the millennial era, a golden age of social influence, self-empowerment and the uprising of young, savvy entrepreneurs - know this, and walk forward with confidence. Leadership - Gaining the respect from other entrepreneurs, business owners, directors etc. is one thing, but gaining the respect of your workforce is a completely different ball game. I’ve witnessed first hand in many of my jobs I had before owning my gym, the power struggle of a young boss/supervisor attempting to to tell their older staff what needs doing. Read, listen to public talks, watch YouTube videos, learn what you like and don’t like about other bosses and then read some more. This will help you craft your leadership skills. I have developed, in my own biased opinion, a great modern way approach to managing staff, so that my age never becomes a factor. It starts with the mindset of ‘I’m a leader, not a demander or dictator.’ Your workforce is integral to your success and they need to feel that from you. They are my team, my family and I care a great deal about them. I’ll lead the way, show them how I like things done, do it myself and create a workplace environment that they actually feel happy in and at home. In doing so, my team already has respect for me, they can see that I care about them, and in return they’ll care about my business.


Okay, so you’ve made it this far, and you’re ready to soak up some more advice, you’re a young business owner and you’re even more excited. Reflect on your business for a second and answer yourself this question; ‘What makes my company different?’ So at this point here, I’m referring to what is known as the ‘White Space’, this term identifies an area in the industry that is unexplored, something that hasn’t been done yet, or properly exploited and turned into a profitable business. I’ll use my gym as an example. Fortitude Fitness is a unique and atmospheric gym that has combined social influence and the effects of social media. It encourages creators to spend time there and join in with the social network of people that have come together through this company. So answer the question, what do you bring to the table? You want to be taken seriously, then have something so seriously unique to offer that the world will adore, and thank you for it. You’re the young business owner who’s made a difference, that’s powerful. I will leave you on this, take it how you will. The world as I see it, is full of wonderful opportunities. Go make financial gain and create a life you love, or go and help develop areas of the world that need it, love everyone and remember, you’re going full swing into what you do, you are invested in it, you live for it and you’re 100% ready to go to battle and come out winning. This is a powerful mindset, and it will positively influence everyone around you so that together, everyone wins and everyone improves. This brings respect to a degree that your age will no longer be considered.

"you can always do better and you can always learn more, become more and achieve more." AUGUST 2018





bringing gyms into a successful digital future Find out how call +44(0)207 701 4267, email info@egym.co.uk or visit egym.co.uk/business

GOM_Classified_eGYM_2017.indd 1

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Profile for Gym Owner Monthly

Gym Owner Monthly August Issue 2018  

The UK's No.1 Digital Magazine For Gym Owners & Fitness Professionals.

Gym Owner Monthly August Issue 2018  

The UK's No.1 Digital Magazine For Gym Owners & Fitness Professionals.

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