FOR GYM OWNERS AND HEALTH & FITNESS PROFESSIONALS
ISSUE 5 // AUGUST 2016
ses i c r e x e 8 p To t ly c e r r o c n i e don
T I K T I F
Keeping fit on vacation
Y E S, YO U CA N B E AT T H E H O L I DAY B U LG E !
G E A R TO T S E B E TH UR GYM O Y N I K S TO C
REMEMBER YOUR MEMBERS How to provide an amazing member experience
‘It’s easy to persona have a thriving l trainin g busine ss’ F ollow o ur seve n tips t becom e a suc o cessfu l PT
5 M U S T- H AV E EXERCISE CLASSES Spice up your timetable with these new trends NE WS / / REV I EWS // T EC H NOLO G Y / / TRE N DS / / EQU I PM E N T / / I NSIG HT
ReNegaDE AIR BIKE THIS IS NO ORDINARY AIRBIKE IT’S AN ENDURANCE BUILDING, WOD FUELLING, GUT BUSTING, POWER CHARGING, ROGUE OF A MACHINE Built to withstand anything that’s thrown at it, the Renegade is one tough competitor and is fully kitted out with industry leading gear: • Industrial grade, endless Poly-V drive belt oﬀering faultless load transfer and increased life span • Double sealed bearing set in the central hub of the 56cm diameter super steel air fan • Multi-direction, sealed cartridge bearings in the push and pull arms for long lasting durability • 3mm main frame structure for superior strength
Contents T R E N DS 7
NEWS The latest news and hot topics in the industry
OWNER OF THE MONTH We talk to Sean Thornton, owner of 3-1-5 Health Club in Lancaster
TOP 8 Gym exercises done incorrectly
H E A LT H 20
PERSONAL TRAINER’S VIEW Michael Warren on how to become a high earning PT
GET INTO GEAR What are the hottest bits of tech and gym equipment this season?
FIT KIT The best fitness kit around for you and your clients
S P OT L IG H T BEATING THE HOLIDAY BULGE
Ben Coomber on how to enjoy your holiday without losing your fitness
THE BIRTH OF THE PARALYMPICS
We look at how accessible fitness began
F I T N E SS 10
5 CLASSES TO ATTRACT NEW MEMBERS What’s hot on the group exercise scene right now
ASK THE EXPERTS Got a problem you need solving? Our team of experts are here to help
FIT AT 50 Chris Zaremba looks at the definition of functional fitness
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Welcome... to the August issue of Gym Owner Monthly. With Euro 2016 now behind us and the nation braced for the Rio 2016 Olympics, this summer has truly been the summer of sport. It’s fantastic for encouraging people to get active, improving the fitness of youngsters and families, and getting people into a healthy habit. What’s more, getting into a good fitness routine now can take years off your life and reverse some of the signs of ageing. But for those new to the fitness scene, going to the gym can seem a bit daunting. That’s why it’s important to include group fitness classes as part of your offering if you can. As well as giving people a good reason to improve their fitness level, it’s sociable and enjoyable, too. Read more about the top five group exercise classes sweeping the nation on page 10 – are you running these at your health club? Attracting new members is one thing, but keeping hold of them is a different thing altogether, as gym owners well know. So just how do you retain and excite members once they’re inside your door? Turn to page 24 for the lowdown on retention – see if you can pick up any new tips. One thing that’s guaranteed to keep members interested and coming back for more is a gym filled with all the top equipment. Gym-goers crave new gear, new classes and new exercise techniques, as it’s easy to get bored and stuck in a fitness rut if you repeat the same circuit time after time. Find out what’s new on the gym scene (page 10) and how to keep your gym techsavvy (page 14). Elsewhere, Stuart Dunne continues his look at making gyms accessible for all on page 35, while Chris Zaremba discovers the merits of functional fitness on page 30.
Have a good month!
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© Gym Owner Monthly Magazine 2016 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.
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What’s hot in the fitness industry
Sunshine vit in a spray BetterYou has welcomed new advice
BetterYou believes that even during
BetterYou is supporting Vitamin D
by Public Health England (PHE), which
summer months in the UK we are not
Awareness Week (24-30 October 2016) and
recommends that everyone should
getting enough vitamin D, and recommend
aims to eradicate vitamin D deficiency in the
year-round supplementation. It has
UK by 2020.
take a daily vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms (400IU) to protect bone and muscle health during autumn and winter. The advice, which sees the supplementation advice broaden from ‘at risk’ groups to everyone, is based on the recommendations
developed a vitamin D oral spray range (DLux) to ensure optimum delivery and guarantee absorption levels all year round. The DLux range is priced from £5.95 and
of the Scientific Advisory Committee on
is available from Holland & Barratt and
Nutrition (SACN) following its review of the
independent retailers across the UK, and
evidence on vitamin D and health.
Buzz of excitement for Matrix
New Life for Ayrshire Hotel
Matrix Fitness is now the official gym equipment supplier for rugby union team, Wasps. Through a new partnership, Matrix will supply an extensive range of advanced fitness equipment – including CV equipment – with live data functions, plate-loaded weights and Olympic-standard free weights. The installation will be used for strength and conditioning training, as well as injury rehabilitation and prevention programmes.
Life Fitness has installed a new gym and fitness suite at the iconic Marine Hotel in Troon, South Ayrshire, which was completed in time for golfing’s 145th Open Championship in July.
Gemma Bonnett, director of strategic marketing EMEA & UK for Matrix, said: ‘To be associated with Wasps, not only as a professional rugby team but also as a true corporate social responsibility organisation who has vision and direction, fits perfectly with our own strategy. ‘This collaboration fits naturally with our other top sporting teams and continues to secure Matrix as a market leader and true partner.’ It is hoped that the new equipment will play a key role in the development of players to help them to achieve an enhanced performance on the pitch. The state-of-the-art performance equipment will provide live feedback, ensuring that training progress can be measured in detail and workloads can be adapted where appropriate.
Ryan Johnson, leisure manager at the Marine Hotel, explains: ‘It has been a great experience to work with Life Fitness, who have designed a gym that has exceeded our expectations. The old gym was a great offering for a hotel leisure club, but the new gym is more than worthy of the four stars we pride ourselves on.’
The Marine Hotel, which stands next to the 18th green at Royal Troon, awarded the contract to Life Fitness to refurbish the Bodysense Leisure Club & Spa after a competitive four-way tender process. In addition to a newly-refurbished 120sq ft gym and fitness suite, Bodysense Leisure Club & Spa offers a heated indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, spa pool and squash courts to hotel guests and members. The £130,000 investment in premium Life Fitness equipment has seen the introduction of 14 stations from the Discover SE Cardio range, including upright Lifecycle bikes, PowerMill Climbers, FlexStrider VariableStride Trainers along with Insignia Series selectorised strength equipment and HD Elite Power Rack and Lifting Platform.
BeeZee Bodies, which runs weight management programmes, has adopted a new specialist software solution from ReferAll in a bid to improve efficiency for staff and clients. Established in 2012, BeeZee Bodies previously used a basic spreadsheet to input client data, but having won a new contract in Bedfordshire the company wanted to improve productivity. ReferAll’s specialist software allows BeeZee Bodies to have a dedicated Weight Management Hub where all the client information can be entered, collated and exported for reports. Standard and bespoke questionnaires have also been added to the system to ensure additional data collection. BeeZee Bodies also has access to facilities such as SMS messages with appointment reminders and access for external referral partners, creating a truly joined up approach. Helen Mayhew, operations director for
Continued on Page 8… August 2016
News BeeZee Bodies Ltd, explained: ‘We have an enormous amount of data which, until recently, was input into a spreadsheet. Our rapid expansion meant we needed to make all our systems as efficient as possible so our staff could focus on spending time with clients, rather than on paperwork. We needed a data hub and one that was intelligent enough for us to search and question our data.’ ReferAll is currently working with 116 service providers to power lifestyle services that, to date, have seen more than 100,000 referrals.
Jordan’s fit for adventure The return of the Bear Grylls Survival Race in Cambridge this August will mark the introduction of their new official equipment supplier – Jordan Fitness, Europe's leading independent supplier of functional fitness equipment and educational programmes.
plyometric boxes to test agility, balance and lower body strength; and gym hammers for upper body strength and co-ordination.
the south-east was named as the winner of the Next Level accolade for the significant improvements it has made in the past year.
To see Jordan Fitness equipment in action, the Bear Grylls Survival Race will be in Cambridge (August 20), Edinburgh (September 3), Manchester (September 24) and London (October 8-9).
‘We are absolutely delighted to have achieved the status of Operator of the Year for the fourth time,’ said managing director of Sports and Leisure Management at Everyone Active, David Bibby. ‘All of our staff from across the company strive to give customers the best service and experience possible, and I’m very proud that their hard work and dedication has been recognised by others in the sector.’
Visit www.beargryllssurvivalrace.com for more details.
Let’s get Physical Physical Company, provider of complete fitness solutions, will be unveiling 16 new products at Leisure Industry Week (LIW) 2016 on 20-21 September. Expanding its evergrowing portfolio, Physical Company is launching a new range of strength kit and extending its functional equipment lines. New to the expanded strength line are the improved PU Fractional Plates, which have been manufactured from tough yet tactile polyurethane to ensure they stand up to the toughest environments. The Fractional Weight Plates also come with a competition colour-coded non-scratch PU.
Entering its second year, the Bear Grylls Survival Race is fast becoming the ultimate test of fitness and endurance in the UK. Four events are scheduled this summer, each including a 5k and 10k survival race, a Kids Survival Race and an Outdoor Festival, culminating in a one-off epic 30k survival race in London on October 9. The Bear Grylls Survival Race takes the growing genre of adventurous obstacle course challenges to an entirely new level. With a focus on real life scenarios and tough terrain running across jungle, mountain, desert and arctic environments, the Bear Grylls Survival Race offers so much more than the standard ‘muddy’ run. Jordan Fitness is supplying a wide range of equipment, tailored to the individual challenges in the races. Highlights include rope balls, for working the core, shoulders, arms, back and lower body; new functional training ladders, which use instability to ensure an extreme core, balance and proprioceptive workout; training ropes, for shoulder and upper body exercise;
Fitness professional and award winning PT, Katie Bulmer-Cooke, will be demonstrating the products on the stand and putting visitors through their paces with the new kit.
For more information visit www.everyoneactive.com
Trio launch National Fitness Network Three industry professionals have launched a new network for individuals working in the UK fitness sector. The National Fitness Network gives fitness professionals and enthusiasts exclusive discounts and deals on their favourite and most frequently used products and services, ranging from clothing, trainers and equipment to music, supplements, education, and more.
Awards trio for Everyone Active Everyone Active, the trading name for Sports & Leisure Management (SLM), is celebrating after taking home three awards at the annual ukactive and Matrix Flame Awards, which was held in Telford at the end of June. The most coveted accolade of the night, Operator of the Year, was presented to the sports and leisure provider in recognition of its continuously high levels of performance across the organisation. It is the fourth time Everyone Active has achieved this title, having won the award on the three consecutive occasions in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Everyone Active’s Lincolnshire-based West Lindsey Leisure Centre also won the prestigious Leisure Centre of the Year (multiuse) award, before Epping Sports Centre in
It’s the brainchild of former club operator and founder of the acclaimed LFX network, Graeme Hinde. Hinde approached fitness entrepreneur Katie Bulmer-Cooke and award-winning operator Neil Hutchinson to join him as directors, and the new network will launch during summer 2016. Hinde explained: ‘For many years I have listened to industry colleagues talking about how we should pay our people more for the fantastic work they do on the front line, but things don’t seem to have improved. I decided that it was time to give something
News back and so we are creating a fantastic range of exclusive member offers and discounts.’
New partnership for Wexer Virtual and Move 123
As commercial director, Katie has secured sponsorship from Reebok Fitness who will support the National Fitness Network throughout year one and will offer discounts to members looking to purchase Reebok products and accessories.
Move 123 will be available on all Wexer Players from the beginning of August. For more information, please contact Paul@ wexervirtual.com
The National Fitness Network will launch with a special offer price of £25 for a oneyear membership. For more information, email theteam@ thenationalfitnessnetwork.co.uk, search ‘The National Fitness Network’ on Facebook or call Graeme Hinde on 07946 411 854.’
Get ahead for 2017 Workforce development has been announced as the theme for active-net 2017, with bookings already being taken for the fourth annual two-day conference. The 2017 event will take place on 29-30 March at Eastwood Hall in Nottingham, a beautiful period property set in 26 acres of spectacular grounds, just a short drive from Nottingham City Centre. active-net brings together over 100 leading operators and suppliers within the active leisure sector for businessfocused, pre-selected one-to-one meetings, together with informative educational slots, networking lunches and an evening meal. Dave Monkhouse, director of Leisure-net, the leading customer insight provider for the active leisure sector and organiser of the active-net event said: ‘Sport England’s Towards an Active Nation five-year plan aims to transform delivery through a new workforce strategy. Couple that with the first anniversary of CIMSPA’s Affiliate and Practitioner scheme and active-net’s new link with the AoC Sport, and it made perfect sense to theme the entire conference around workforce development.’
For further information or to book your place, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit active-net.org’
into the high standard of content production and specialisation for the industry. It is without doubt that the unique design of Move 123 delivers exactly this.”
Tax back for gyms Leading industry professional Tony de Leede has announced a new venture as he launches Move 123 and enters an exclusive partnership with leading virtual fitness provider, Wexer Virtual. Move 123 produce motivating and highquality online fitness content, designed specifically for clubs, by clubs. Their extensive library includes a range of cutting edge videos across six different categories, with low intensity classes such as Yoga, Stretch and Pilates right through to high intensity classes such as Cardio, Strength and Dance. All move 123 content has been designed with both the member and club in mind. Their unique class length format breaks down time barriers and makes timetabling easy! Tony de Leede said: “We’ve been fortunate enough to build a team of experts with a combined knowledge of over 100 years in the fitness industry. Together we shared our skills from a diverse range of global markets and created a library of innovative, motivating and high quality exercise classes that cater to all fitness levels and club types. Our partnership with Wexer Virtual will now enable club groups to deliver worldclass virtual content that has been designed with both the member and club in mind.” With installations in more than 30 countries, Wexer Virtual is the most globally spread provider of virtual fitness. Paul Bowman, CEO for Wexer Virtual said, “We are incredibly proud to be partnering with Move 123. Being truly international and having worked with some of most innovative and fastest growing health clubs in the world, has given us valuable insight
Go nuts This month sees the launch of four new flavours in the Dr Zak’s High Protein Peanut Butter range – Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Orange, Banoffee and an Original version in both Smooth and Crunchy varieties, 450g for £4.50.. Each of the new flavours contains next generation whey protein isolate, which means it’s easier and faster for your body to absorb the 35g of protein each 100g of the nut butters contain. For more details,
Recent interpretation of HMRC guidance means that gyms could be entitled to reclaim thousands of pounds worth of VAT on their current membership offering, where members are charged a greater overall price for an annual subscription than members who choose to pay a single upfront fee. It doesn’t apply to ‘pay as you go’ or ‘rolling no contract’ memberships; however, there are opportunities for VAT reclaims over the last four years if the gym's documentation supports the scenario. This amendment could potentially save the industry significant sums. Nicola Parkinson, solicitor in the Walker Morris tax team commented: ‘Recent interpretation of HMRC guidance means that gyms could be owed thousands of pounds in reclaimed VAT. The amendment to the tax regulations means that gyms can reclaim potentially significant sums on their current membership offering where members are charged a greater overall price for an annual subscriptions than members who choose to pay a single upfront fee. ‘Take an example whereby a gym charges £450 for a single annual fee membership and £40 per month on an annual membership paid in monthly installments. The difference between the two is £30 and is known as the finance charge. The change means that the finance charge is now exempt from VAT. ‘Claims for the “overpaid” VAT can be made up to four years retrospectively, which could result in significant sums. I'd urge gym owners to contact a tax lawyer for further guidance so they don't miss out on this opportunity.’
visit www.dr-zaks.com, or buy them go to www.musclefood.com
Pedal power A 100-strong group of David Lloyd Club staff and members rounded off a fantastic year of fundraising by pedalling 54 miles from London to Brighton to help the British Heart Foundation (BHF) beat heart disease. Funds raised by Team David Lloyd sees the David Lloyd Leisure fundraising total top over £112,00 for the research charity, since the partnership started in August 2015.
More fingers on the Pulse Pulse has appointed Neil Mosley, former director of sport at Imperial College London, as its new director of education. Mosley has more than 20 years’ experience in the education sector, and will be tasked with supporting further growth within this area. Jason Clemson has also been appointed as business development manager, bringing more than 30 years’ sales experience in the leisure industry to the team. August 2016
CLASSES GU ATTRACT NE
We look at what’s hot on the group exercise scene right now, how gym owners can use these trends to attract new audiences and, most importantly, keep everyone coming back for more! Words: Emily Williams
This year has been an exciting year for the group exercise scene, with an array of new fitness brands coming to the forefront, the ever-growing success of dance fitness classes and the launch of FitgroupUK (the first body to bring together the group exercise industry to educate, excite and energise more of the inactive population). With all this going on, now really is the time for you to stand at the front and review your current group exercise offer. How can you differentiate yourself from other providers? How can you attract new members whilst keeping current ones inspired? How can you be a part of the bigger picture and help to get more people active? Well, here are some ideas to get you going – and spice up your timetable with these must-have classes!
Must-have class #1:
Must-have class #2:
For some of you this may be an obvious one, but if you aren’t running Clubbercise classes, then where have you been for the past year?
Perfect if you are looking to give your centre that edge!
What is it? Fast becoming the queen of dance fitness concepts, Clubbercise offers energetic routines to club anthems with the added fun of glow sticks and disco lights. The lights are switched off and inhibitions are left outside. Who will this attract? Women (and some men) of all ages who love to party, they’ll most likely bring a friend or five along, too. The high and low impact options also mean you can attract a mix of abilities. For more information visit www.clubbercise.co.uk
What is it? POUND is a 45-minute workout for rock stars that combines light resistance with constant simulated drumming, using specially made drumsticks called Ripstix. The workout fuses cardio, Pilates, plyometrics, isometric movements and poses. POUND claim that participants can burn up to 600 calories and work muscles they almost forgot they had. Who will this attract? Music lovers, beginners and people who aren’t into tuck jumps and burpees – participants work hard, but they never leave the floor! For more information visit www.poundfit.com
UARANTEED TO EW MEMBERS Must-have class #3:
When your timetable only has space for one more! What is it? New kid on the fitness block, Block Fit has been created by my favourite thing to come out of XFactor – Chico Slimani. Block Fit is a one-stop shop fitness brand; a fusion of dance, combat, HIIT, yoga inspired moves, and meditation. It is a mind, body, and soul approach performed in simple to follow blocks of choreography. Who will this attract? A wide range of fitness tastes (unsurprisingly), Block Fit gives the participant everything: HIIT to burn some fat, combat to sculpt, dance to have fun and yoga to stretch and relax. The HIIT section is pretty hard-core so be mindful that this probably isn’t the one for absolute beginners. For more information visit www.blockfit.co.uk
Must-have class #4:
Must-have class #5:
Why not take a step on the wild side?
Because your group exercise classes can be sassy, too!
The Jungle Body
What is it? Australian-born The Jungle Body is a global fitness company who offer the world’s most fierce workouts. There are currently five Jungle Body programmes: KONGA has everything from dance to boxing, cardio to core work. VYPA is pitched at a more intense level, fuses boxing, cardio, plyo and resistance exercises. JAGUA is inspired by Musical Therapy, a strength and stretching class to some dancefloor classics. TYGA is a dance fitness class which mashes up Hip-Hop, pop, Dancehall and Afro styles. BURN! is a strength and conditioning class using dumbbells, participants curl, squat and fly to their favourite Hip-Hop tracks. Who will this attract? Anyone who wants to push their own limits whilst shaking their booty to Beyoncé. Although, BURN! and VYPA would cater to more experienced participants who enjoy it hard, fast and hot.
What is it? Burlexercise classes are split into two – one half cheeky Burlesque-inspired dance fitness routines, and the other half strength and resistance with, guess what… a weighted feather boa! Who will this attract? Burlexercise is very female-friendly, but you do see the odd showboy too (good on them)! Burlexercise introduces the benefits of weight training to a whole new audience, because, as many of us know and understand, a lot of women (and men) feel too intimidated to lift weights in the gym. The varying intensity and options throughout make it a great class for anyone to let loose, de-stress and have fun. For more information visit www.burlexercise.co.uk
Continued on Page 12… August 2016
Thinking outside of the box So, you’ve nailed your timetable and found the perfect blend of classics and fresh trends, which (of course) you regularly review and refine; hurrah! Now it’s time to take this even further to maximise your membership sales and retention.
Getting techy with it! Let’s face it, we’re living in a very virtual world, but this does hold exciting opportunities for the fitness industry! In recent months we’ve seen companies like LES MILLS and Nintendo embrace the digital era and think innovatively about changing, arguably, a cause of inactivity to a potential answer. LES MILLS have launched their new virtual reality spin class THE TRIP, and Nintendo have unveiled their super cool and ever growing PokémonGo app which has taken the world by storm. So, how can you use technology to give your members a whole new experience? Is it a simple dance mat in the corner of the gym? A silent disco spin studio? To be continued on that one.
Make it more personal Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer; whoever they are, they are likely to be busy and have other commitments which sit above going to three classes a week. You can make your timetable as varied and cool as you like, but if you can make it easy, convenient and specific for them too then you are onto a winner. Whether you’re an occasional gym user or haven’t taken part in exercise for some years, coming to your first group exercise class can be extremely daunting. So, make it clear what level the class is set at and what to expect; people feel a lot more comfortable if they are prepared for something. Think back to basics too; what’s it like when they arrive? Are there greeted nicely by the instructor? Are the rest of your gym team friendly and approachable? Creating a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere will keep them coming back and encourage them to tell their friends. And speaking of friends, why not introduce a ‘Bring a Friend’ system? This is a great way to encourage new people to try classes and for you to showcase your talents. Remember, first impressions can be deal breakers so ensure you make every class count. Not every class has to be an hour – have a go at trialling some 20-30 minute classes (at a variety of levels). Some people may find it hard to commit to a whole hour or may be doubtful about coping with the duration so this could help reduce those barriers.
Your timetable – more than just classes The first thing to consider are events. What events can you put on and what events can you go along to? Flash mobs, world record attempts, themed open days, fundraisers, community events, and family days – the possibilities are endless. Your timetable also doesn’t have to fall within the hours of 9am and 8pm; Morning Glory, for example, wakes up the busy folk of London by offering early morning fitness raves. Could you do something similar? Have you ever thought about local businesses too? Could you offer some kind of workforce project or incentive? Why not check out the Workplace Challenge (www. workplacechallenge.org.uk) now to see how you could get involved?
Invest in your workforce A strong, skilled and empowered team is key when increasing your membership. They are the face of your product so it’s imperative they have an up-to-date and extensive knowledge of your clients, your business, and the wider industry. A good way of upskilling staff is through CPD opportunities; the Exercise Move Dance Academy, for example, provides a wealth of courses for staff to gain extra knowledge and skills as well as training bursaries to help expand their class repertoire. Check out what’s available at www.emdacademy.org. Ensure your instructors are supported every step of their career, too. Teaching can be a lonely job, going from place to place on your own, so make them feel a part of your team by involving them in updates, creative meetings, decision making and socials. Give them the tools they need to do their job well, from supplying equipment that works to helping them find the best deal on insurance. The Exercise Movement & Dance Partnership membership packages are a one-stop shop for instructors, offering very competitively priced insurance, discounts on PPL and REPs and expert advice on the end of the phone. Find out more at www.exercisemovedance.org
Emily works as communications manager for the Exercise Movement & Dance Partnership, the national governing body for dance fitness and group exercise in the UK. Emily is also a qualified dance instructor, fitness and nutrition blogger, mygroupfit ambassador, keen runner and women’s sport advocate. She is truly passionate about fitness, especially dance fitness, and aims to inspire more people to be active. Emily is currently training to be a personal trainer and looks forward a long and rewarding career in the fitness industry. Find out more about Emily’s work at www.exercisemovedance.org
Keep up to date www.exercisemovedance.org @EMDForLife @exercisemovedance Exercisemovementanddance
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Get into One of the biggest challenges faced by the gym operator is the expectation to keep up to speed with the latest trends and technology in the fitness world. Staying on trend guarantees a steady influx of new members, as well as retention of existing members. It is therefore vital that the gym owner’s facility is up-todate with competing establishments.
Keeping connected Investing in the latest cardiovascular integrated technology is one sure-fire way to get ahead of the game. Members can collate their fitness data, access entertainment, social media and the most visually stunning workout environment on a console much like their own personal tablet. You, meanwhile, can promote services, products
Functional training is here to stay and communicate exciting initiatives so that your members keep coming back for more. Integrated technology enables you to motivate and mentor your clients, forging special relationships with them. The aim is to enable them to feel that they don’t just exercise at your facility, but that they belong there.
frames from a decade ago, we now need to consider compact, multi-functional solutions for facilities where space is at a premium. There couldn’t be a better time to adapt your studio, as there is some magnificent kit on the market at the moment.
On the wall
Uptime to the max For the gym operator, it is crucial that such advanced technology is working to its full capacity, and this is where Asset Management comes into play. Asset Management systems can revolutionise the way you handle your equipment, facility and data, and ensure you maximise machine uptime. With Asset Management, you have instant access to product information, individual equipment activity and usage patterns, and can even manage multiple facilities.
So, alongside this latest cardiovascular equipment, what other innovative solutions should you be looking at? Let’s consider functional training. It isn’t just a fad – it’s here to stay a little longer. While we recall images of bulky, cumbersome
Of all the tools Asset Management can provide to lighten your load, possibly the most appreciated are the service alerts to help keep your machines running smoothly. Asset Management automatically notifies facility staff and customer service of any maintenance concerns that need to be addressed. This allows you to take action immediately, as well as prevent the frustration and disappointment that the gym-goer feels when that preferred piece of equipment is out of service.
Regardless of the budget and space you have available, there is a solution for you. Every gym operator has four walls to work with, and by investing in a solid, bespoke, wall-mounted structure you can maximise fitness opportunities and utilise your wall space to full effect. Wall-mounted systems can be installed as a single unit, or linked together. They can be configured identically for a class, or several unique stations can be created for small-group training and circuits. Wall training solutions enable the user to work the lower limbs and upper extremities together, while maintaining postural control.
They are perfect, not only for building strength and stamina, but also for stabilising the core in pilates and yoga exercises. Training walls even incorporate storage options, which are invaluable for the smaller facility. Multiple anchor points allow for swift transitions between exercises, and a whole variety of tools and accessories can be added to offer unrivalled versatility. They are, without a doubt, providing the smarter approach to functional training. Wall solutions are delivering inspirational fitness experiences, building loyalty and driving revenue.
Want to know what the hottest bits of gym kit are this season, or what the must-haves are for your gym? Read on to find out… Words: Craig Young
Nobody puts steppers in a corner We are hearing more and more that the trusty stepper machine is not always being used to its full capacity. However, we are experiencing a re-birth of the stepper with the soaring popularity of the stepmill, the stair-climbing cousin of the flat treadmill. The idea for an exercise imitating the physical movements of climbing stairs was launched by Lanny Potts in 1983. His stepmill closely mimicked actual stair-climbing motions with an escalator-style platform, instead of individual pedals. It is from
his model that some amazing equipment has evolved. Potts’ concept was transformed into a compact, efficient exercise machine. The stepmill provides a workout that burns more calories at a lower impact rate and lower speed than most other exercises. Climbing stairs is on trend, and has never been so much fun. The latest stepmill designs are being described as the queens of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), which involves repeated bouts of high intensity effort followed by varied
recovery times. Over the past six months, we have seen increased demand for the stepmill, as its benefits are astounding. The stepmill has less impact than a treadmill, but produces higher cardiovascular results. It raises the heart rate almost immediately, even when set at the lowest level, and makes the user work hard without it being hard on the user. The stepping motion keeps the foot flat and secure while climbing, and uses nearly every
leg muscle, thus providing the lower body with most strength gain. Calves, hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteal muscles are trained by lots of repetitions, which have been proven to build lean muscle and burn fat. Core muscles are engaged by stabilising balance, which is more challenging than on other similar equipment, and endurance is improved by increasing the levels of speed and resistance on the stepmill.
Enviable curves Another key player in the HIIT
walking, jogging or sprinting,
The innovative, curved design
phenomenon is the self-powered,
with just the right amount of
conforms better to the user’s
curved treadmill, which both
spring and shock absorption.
stride by encouraging running
gym owners and members are
The tread-belt is supported by
on the balls of the feet. This
falling in love with for its sheer
precision ball bearings, toothed
significantly reduces joint impact,
simplicity. This beauty requires
pulley and rollers, and can last
and improves performance. By
very little maintenance and zero
up to an incredible 150,000 miles
landing on the ball of your feet,
electricity, as the user is the
without a single change or deck
the body is pushed forward and
motor. This completely manual
swap. It is no wonder that it’s
uses more muscle groups at one
treadmill has a unique curved
already hugely popular with gym
time than the traditional heel
surface that can be used for
strike first method used by many
As the runner powers the curved treadmill 100 per cent of the time, the knock-on effect on calorific burning is tremendous. You can burn up to 30 per cent more calories on a curved treadmill than on a flat one. So, with no buttons or bounds, your members can let their body – and gravity – take complete control.
Challenging the traditional dumbbell A final innovation that has really caught our eye is the circular free weight, pioneered by the team of specialists at NuFit. Even distribution of weight around the entire hand compliments the kinetic movement of the athlete. Circular weights work naturally and more efficiently with the
body to reduce common training injuries that arise with the use of more traditional equipment. Golfers and tennis players in particular are benefiting hugely from the ergonomic design, which eliminates torque in the wrist and elbow.
Craig Young is managing director of Craig Young Consulting. Visit www.craigyoungconsulting.co.uk
Owner of the month
First class service Sean Thornton owns 3-1-5 Health Club in Lancaster. Here, he tells us what makes his club unique, and how he encourages his members
3-1-5 Health Club was launched in 2013, and has more than 4,500 members. Sean has 25 years of experience and an established track record in the health and fitness industry, including as national sales manager for Star Trac UK – establishing them as one of the top three suppliers in the UK with sales exceeding £7million – and in 1997 he won ‘Gym Manager of the Year’ at the ukactive Flame Awards. Following this, he led Eze Fitness from a new start 12 years ago to an operation that encompassed nine operational outlets. In 2013, the group acquired a former Total Fitness site in Lancaster, and after a multimillion pound refurbishment, Sean successfully launched 3-1-5 Health Club. Within eight months of opening, it served more than 4,500 members. The studio offers 100 classes per week, three pools – including a hydro pool, sauna and steam room – a cafe, two squash courts and table tennis. So how important are PTs to his business? ‘It is our ultimate aim to put customer service, knowledge and expertise of the fitness professional back at the
forefront of the industry, and this is where so many organisations fall down and lose business,’ says Sean. ‘Giving that extra attention to detail can be the difference between a member staying or losing motivation. All members receive five one-to-ones – this is to engage and excite the member at the commencement of their journey, and then they get a sixth personal training session free. The health challenge of the nation and individually tailored client programmes is paramount to the long-term success and growth of our sector.’
'It is our ultimate aim to put customer service, knowledge and expertise of the fitness professional back at the forefront of the industry'
Getting more out of life Sean’s aim is to create an experience that helps people get the most out of life and inspire them to become their best. He believes that the role of the fitness professional is to educate, encourage, motivate, support and celebrate the journey of success for each and every member. So how does he motivate and incentivise his staff members? ‘We encourage our staff to earn extra money by instructing classes, small group training or PT sessions,’ explains Sean. ‘We incentivise the management team for successful achievements of their departments KPIs, which are reported on a central balanced scorecard each week/month. ‘Every year we lay on a Christmas do for the staff to say thank you for their loyalty and dedication. We’ve recently just taken 12 of the team to the ukactive Flame conference, which always educates and inspires them to get better at what they do. They return each year motivated, excited and ready to integrate fresh new ideas into the club. It’s a win-win situation!’ Sean utilises national funding organisations to offer training and development for the growth of his staff where available, and each year organises training courses to be held on site for new and growing trends including functional training or studio-based classes. So what makes his gym unique? ‘We are the showcase facility for X-Force training, which is a game changing negative strength training concept,’ says Sean. ‘X-Force machines consist of a patented tilting weight stack that unloads the positive phase and overloads the negative. X-Force supplies negative-accentuated exercise – 40 per cent extra negative resistance compared to the positive. Most researchers agree that a combination of concentric and eccentric work is most beneficial. One workout every seven to 10 days delivers time-effective workouts which creates life-enhancing results. X-Force maximizes training benefits putting the focus of muscle conditioning at the forefront and turn's bodies into fat burning machines.’
Owner of the month
Good advice With Sean’s experience, he has plenty of good advice to give to other gym owners just starting out. ‘Always ensure you have a contingency fund for the unexpected moments, and understand its never going to be as easy as you think,’ he advises. ‘Ensure your family is fully supportive in your venture because you will need their support in times of need, when you’re working long working hours, and financially. Legally and financially, ensure you have good guidance around you and a passion and willingness to change people’s lives. Shop around and procure what you want at a price you can afford – there are deals to be had and pitfalls to manoeuvre. ‘Every new member receives five one-to-ones with a trainer in their first six weeks after joining. This is essential to a new member to encourage them to tell us about them, their goals and how we can help them to achieve them. We do new member calls every week to
see how they’re doing, and also non-user calls to encourage dormant members to get back being active. ‘3-1-5 Health Club aims to reinvent health and fitness, one lifestyle at a time. Our club has not been created to be a place that people go to spend their free time; instead, we want our members to view the club as an extension to their lifestyle, a place where the entire family can be together, doing things they enjoy, in an environment people want to return to. We are a club that brings people together and celebrates the best of life. ‘Our speciality is injecting an inner glow of happiness into every members life through creating people’s “third space” and enhancing their wellbeing so they are in balance physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.’
Quick fire questions What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past three years? ‘The increasing use of technology. It’s nice to see engaging technology that better aligns the activity levels against the health needs, increasing public awareness as to the importance of physical activity. How are you promoting your brand and marketing your gym? We have our own in-house marketing team – 3one5 marketing – who take care of brand and design, and we make full use of free social networking platforms, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to reach out to our local communities and partners. However, our service sells itself with raving fans participating regularly and referring friends.
'We are a club that brings people together and celebrates the best of life'
Visit www.3-1-5.co.uk August 2016
This month’s round-up of kit, products, and luxury extras you can stock for members – boost loyalty, retention, and your revenue
Words: Nicola Joyce
Aduna raw energy bars Add some all-natural options to your protein and energy bar stock with these raw bars from Aduna. Combining organic nuts and fruits with Aduna’s signature African superfoods, they contain no wheat, dairy, gluten, or refined sugar. Popular with vegans, Crossfitters, yoginis and healthy eaters who care about ingredients lists. Currently three bars in the range: cacao, baobab, and moringa. Retail price £1.89, trade orders can get up to 30 per cent discount (contact email@example.com ) www.aduna.com
CocoPro protein coconut water Give your members a hydrating protein option that’s more natural than mainstream sports supplements. CocoPro’s protein coconut water combines whey protein isolate with pure coconut water. Available in two flavours, and made with 100 per cent natural ingredients, it will appeal to members who might be wary of protein supplements but understand the benefits of a post-workout drink. CocoPro can also provide you with POS and display options. Retail price £2.75, trade price £1.50 (contact firstname.lastname@example.org). www.drinkcocopro.com/
Gym Chef seasonings These delicious, macro-friendly seasonings will revolutionise your healthy-eating clients’ approach to food 18
prep. Ideal for any client trying to eat better (and perfect for bodybuilding members). The range has lots of flavours including peri peri and cajun spice, and your members could buy just one or the whole lot from you. Retail price £3, trade price £2, larger discounts for pallet orders (contact email@example.com). www.shop.thegymchef.co.uk
Legacy gym clothing Stock t-shirts, hoodies, and gym kit they’ll really want to wear. Legacy’s retroinspired gym and street wear is hand-printed in the UK and every line is limited edition. Your members will love the look of this brand, which was brought to life by real gym lovers and is steeped in the Old School gym ethos. Trade orders can save 30-50 per cent on retail price (contact brian@ legacygymclothing.com) www.legacygymapparel.com/
PROMiXXTM Mixer Shakers Everyone carries a shaker bottle for their workout drink or postworkout shake. So give your members something special. PROMiXX™ vortex mixer bottles do a superior job of mixing powders without lumps and clumps - at the
touch of a button. They look great, too. The 2.0 version features a NUTRiPOD supplement storage element. Trade prices of £9.55 (original) or £19.75 (2.0) plus VAT and delivery. www.promixx.com/community/contact
The Ultimate Proteinpow(d)er cookbook The original protein baking cookbook is still a firm favourite with healthy eaters who want to whip up macrofriendly versions of their favourite cakes, cookies, muffins and savoury snacks. It’s a fun, accessible recipe book, which shows how exciting protein can be. Stock the ProteinPow(d)er book if you educate clients about healthy eating, or use it as part of your client reward system. It’ll look great in your reception area. Retail price £14.99, trade discounts for bulk orders (contact firstname.lastname@example.org). www.wwnorton.co.uk/books/9781581572537the-ultimate-protein-powder-cookbook
Healthy scale with app Help your clients get to grips with healthy eating, calorie counting, and even macro management with this scale and accompanying smartphone app. This scale accurately measures liquid, powders, granules and meats, and connects to the app so clients can record their daily intake. A clever way to help clients who feel tracking their macros is too time consuming, confusing, or complicated. RRP £39.95, but you can get 10 per cent off orders of 12 or more (contact email@example.com) www.prezzybox.com/healthy-scale-with-app.aspx
Symagrips These unique gym grips can be used on bars, dumbbells, and cable attachments. Inspired by the design of bike handles, they provide the ultimate grip (and the added bonus of cleanliness). The grips will allow your members to perfect their setup and form for every set. Ideal for busy free weights areas and a great addition to anyone’s gym bag. Trade price £10 per unit (contact firstname.lastname@example.org) www.gymaccessories.net/
GymTote bags If your facility offers luxe fitness to female clients, GymTote’s famous gym bags could help you stand out. Show your ladies that you really understand the type of accessories they lust after – and then stock them. You’d be the first UK gym to do so (they’re stocked in US facilities). These stunning bags look like high-end handbags and function as a gym bag. Ideal for city gyms, yoga studios, or gyms with busy female members. Or perhaps your male members could buy them as a gift? Retail price from £135, trade prices on application from email@example.com www.gymtote.co.uk
Two Brothers cold brew protein coffee We know that most gym goers love quality coffee and care about their protein intake. Two Brothers (yes, they really are two brothers) products are the first of their kind. The protein cold brew and mocha pro take pure high quality cold brewed coffee and blend it into a high protein RTD. The result is a highcaffeine, high-protein but low calorie drink, which is totally delicious. Perfect for members who train early or need a pick-me-up. Retail price £2.50, trade price £1.50 (contact firstname.lastname@example.org) www.twobrothersbeverages.com
‘It’s easy to hav personal train It’s not difficult to become a successful, high earning personal trainer, says PT Michael Warren With nearly two decades experience in the fitness industry, I have witnessed first-hand the growth of the personal training industry. Looking back to the early days when I first started, personal trainers were a rarity – you were deemed exclusive and only for the rich or famous.
Over the last five years, the number of PTs has grown massively. There are now more PT course training providers than ever before, more PT opportunities within gyms and health clubs and also the growth and opportunities of online training. While personal training should be viewed as a success and growth occupation within the UK economy, one alarming statistic was revealed to me last week, which was a report from the HSE. It said that 70 per cent of personal trainers will no longer be involved in the fitness industry in four year’s time. This is alarming for a number of reasons – firstly in that the UK’s obesity rate is at its highest rate ever, and it is showing no signs of slowing down. So on the one hand we have an evergrowing population in need of fitness
help, and yet many people are leaving the fitness industry. The fundamental reason why people leave the fitness industry is financial – many personal trainers are struggling to make ends meet and pay the bills, and so they leave and seek employment outside of the industry. I find this not only sad but also frustrating, as I know the number one reason why people fail to make a living is because they are so overly focused on gaining knowledge and certification in fitness, but that in the vast majority of fitness qualifications, there is no aspect on business and marketing. The simple fact is that qualified personal trainers have the knowledge to help the vast majority of general population; they just lack business skills and acumen.
'We have an ever-growing population in need of fitness help, and yet many people are leaving the fitness industry'
ve a thriving ning business’ Training game There are a vast number of trainers who only see their clients during the actual training hours – they make no contact at all outside of that time. I want to share some simple steps to help teach personal trainers some business skills that will pay dividends in keeping clients longer, helping get more client referrals and being able to charge more.
1 Immediately upon signing up
4 30 days after joining
6 90 days after joining
A gift package for signing up makes the client feel welcome. This could include important items you want them to have, such as a foam roller, a nutrition guide/cookbook, a branded t-shirt, etc.
Schedule a ‘First 30’ check in with them to sit down, review their progress, and troubleshoot any issues they are having. Also you can follow up the referral cards that you sent.
Firstly, as a lot of personal trainers are selfemployed, my first advice is to ensure you have client contracts. This not only protects you as a trainer, but also clearly outlines your policies with the client as they enter into the business agreement. This can include aspects such as cancellation policies, lateness, payment, moneyback guarantees (this one is more complex) and image rights.
2 First Session after joining
5 60 days after joining
Take the client to lunch or coffee as a special treat to let them know how much you appreciate them. This is a great chance to interview them on their experience to find ways to make it better.
Text or email the client to say how well they have done on their first session.
Schedule a sit-down coffee or drink with the client to review their progress towards their goal and discuss their experience so far. Troubleshoot any issues that they might have and give them a free gift (supplement or book). You can also get them to commit to their new upgrade membership/ package.
Once someone has signed up and agreed to become a client, there are a number of steps that can really help to make a personal trainer more successful and essentially have a thriving personal training business.
3 7 days after joining Send a welcome letter to the new client’s home with referral cards and an offer to have them bring their friends in for a workout.
7 120 days after joining: Client receives a ‘swag/ goodie bag’ in the mail and a special offer to join a program that will enhance their results. This program will be an upsell on your current training plan/ programme.
About the author Michael Warren is a national award-winning
and coaching site Michael Warren Performance
personal trainer, having won UK Personal
Education. He has been working in the fitness
Trainer of the Year at the 2014 National
industry for nearly two decades. He has an
Fitness Awards. He was shortlisted as a
honours degree and HND in sport science
finalist at the 2015 National Fitness Awards,
and has completed numerous industry
and was a top 10 global finalist for the Life
qualifications, including being a Westside
Fitness Personal Trainers to Watch 2015.
Barbell certified strength coach.
Michael is the owner of Michael Warren
Michael has worked with a number of
Performance Training and online educational
professional athletes and teams. He has had
more than 40 magazine articles published and has also featured on world renowned fitness sites such as T-Nation and Muscle & Strength. Michael is a presenter and speaker and has presented seminars and workshops at various fitness events, most recently presenting at the SFN Expo and at the National Fitness Conference.
www.michaelwarrenpe.com August 2016
FITNESS & FASHION FOR MEN & WOMEN WWW.SKINNYCHIMP.CO.UK
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Q. How can I get better results on social media?
Q. How do I achieve maximum ROI for each sq foot of my gym space?
Rob Hudson, London
Sean Goodward, Manchester
Dan White, digital marketing manager (www.danieljameswhite.co.uk) answers:
Andy Gill, managing director, Ethics Leisure, answers:
First thing’s first – ensure the channels you choose align with your ideal customers. There’s little point wasting time double tapping gym selfies on Instagram if your customers and audience don’t use the platform. Focus on the channels your customers are using and invest your effort there.
Firstly, you need to understand your aim and have the end in mind. Consider how many members you want, understand your local demographic and plan what to offer them that’s different from your nearby competitors. Research into areas like latent demand, market penetration and competitor analysis will give you hard data and dictate your gym fit. Don’t stray from it.
It’s clear that gyms and PTs alike feel pressure to be on every social media channel under the sun, but it doesn’t mean you should be. Only pick the channels that you have the time and energy to manage. A dormant account with out of date information doesn’t help anyone. Remember – managing a single account well is far more effective than managing multiple accounts poorly.
When you know what your members will look like, you can design the gym floor to attract them. For years, gyms applied the 60 per cent cardio:40 per cent strength formula, but this is no longer the go-to calculation. Reducing cardio provision in favour of small group training zones on the gym floor will engage more people with more impact. Small group training, training in pairs and 1:2/1:3 PT sessions will maximise this space. HIIT workouts and Tabata workouts also tick ROI boxes as training groups in less time gets results for members without taking up the gym floor for the standard hour-long class.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t experiment. Social media changes fast with new updates, tools and channels. Look at the rise of businesses using Snapchat over the last year, for example. Keep up-to-date with the latest changes and keep talking to your customers about how and why they use social media. Finally, measure your progress! Just as you record your client’s activities keep a log of what’s working and what doesn’t when it comes to being social. Do exercise videos get more engagement than nutritional articles? Does Facebook generate more enquiries than Twitter? If so, then invest in what’s working and ditch what’s not performing.
Furthermore, these highly visible functional zone sessions ‘sell’ your key equipment brilliantly. People seeing it in action will use it in their workouts, thus protecting your ROI by avoiding the common problem of new kit gathering dust because people don’t know how to use it. Equipment that can be stored neatly and moved easily also helps: good use of racks combined with innovative machines such as Total Gym that fold flat and upright when not in use will ensure every square foot of the gym floor is accessible and usable.
Three ways to keep your clients coming back Want to keep your membership strong and clients loyal? Here’s how to boost your value and your client numbers Words: Sean Greeley
As a fitness business owner, you likely invest lots of time, money, and energy into finding members and clients for your facility. And after putting in all that hard work and effort, the last thing you want to do is see them walk away and leave your business. Retention is an issue that every gym must consistently work at across the globe. Keeping members and clients comes down to providing them with value. The more value they receive, the longer they’ll stick around. But how do members get value?
Well, here’s a powerful equation we share with our clients: V = ME + R + R Value = member’s experience + the relationships built + the results you provide.
How to provide an amazing member experience The value you bring to those you serve is based first and foremost on the experience you provide. But what makes up your members’ experience? It starts before they ever walk into your gym. If someone were to call your gym, how would the phone be answered? You put all kinds of effort into getting a person interested in your business, they finally call, and then they hear, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ It’s not really appealing for a potential member, right? It puts a bad taste in their mouth, and you’ve already set yourself up for failure. Once you get someone into the gym, there are a number of factors that can add or take away from their overall experience. It’s critical that your gym looks professional.
This obviously means that your space should be clean and well maintained, but there are tons of other appearance factors that greatly affect your members’ experience. Things like lighting and paint color can have dramatic effects on the experience of your members. Your space should be bright and energetic, otherwise coming in could be draining and a big turn off. All these things are critical to ensuring that you’re keeping your members happy, but people don’t choose their gym based solely on how it looks. They want a place where they feel welcome and accepted.
Building relationships Your members choose you because they trust you and connect with you. You need to do everything you can to strengthen that relationship and build upon it. This starts with showing your members that you care. What are you doing that goes above and beyond for each of your members? There are a variety of things you can do, from client appreciation events to sending out holiday cards. It’s the little things that mean the most, and every action you take to show your members that you care strengthens their bond
to you and your gym. The appearance of your gym and the relationships you build are critical to your success, but people go to a gym because they want to improve their health and fitness.
Getting the best results
Putting it all together
Think about your gym like a restaurant: great restaurants do all kinds of things to set the experience – lighting, music, ambiance… but if the food that comes out of the kitchen sucks, no one is going back to that restaurant. The same thing applies to your gym. If the coaching and results are under par, people won’t come back. So what can you do to ensure awesome results?
It’s important to remember that everything reflects on everything. Member experience, relationships and results combine to equal your value to your members, and none of them can be successful if the others are lacking.
Consistency is key. If you’re not delivering all the coaching at your gym, you should take steps to standardise what your coaches are doing. This starts with the onboarding process for your coaches, where you should set clear expectations. You also need to meet with your coaches regularly to ensure that they are giving consistent instructions and looking for the same keys in each training session.
If you’re struggling with keeping your members, you need to take a step back and look at the experience you provide, the relationships you’re building, and the results your clients are getting.
Ultimately, people are looking for a gym that helps them achieve their fitness goals, so you need to make sure you’re providing them with that.
You can do a great job marketing and be the best sales person in the world, but if your product doesn’t live up to your members’ expectations, you simply won’t keep them.
There’s always more you can do to increase your value. Focusing on improving one (or all) of these is the best way to keep your members happy and coming back month after month.
About Sean Sean Greeley, CEO of NPE, has an unrelenting passion for supporting entrepreneurs and growing businesses. For nearly 10 years, NPE has grown to serve more than 24,000 fitness business owners in 95 countries. The company has three offices in Orlando, London, and Sydney, and has been listed 6x on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing, privately owned US corporations. You can find out even more about how NPE is helping fitness business owners across the globe at www.NetProfitExplosion.com.
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Beating th holiday bu It’s holiday season, and that means that people in their thousands will be packing their bags and jetting off to enjoy some time in the sun. It’s a time for relaxing, unwinding and spending time with family and friends. And for a lot of us, it’s also a time to gain an appreciable amount of fat. Everyone knows that feeling – you’re full of confidence, gym progress is awesome, and you might have even dieted in the run up to your holiday to be in the best shape you can be…and then when you get home two weeks later you’re 7-10lbs heavier, feeling bloated and unfit, and that first gym session back is a real killer. If you’re reading this, it means that you take your exercise and nutrition at least a little seriously. You have a lifestyle that you enjoy, you’re fit and healthy, and you’ve made progress in terms of body composition changes that you are justifiably proud of. And it’s my firm belief that you shouldn’t have to give that up when you’re on holiday. Now, I want to say from the outset that I would never, ever tell someone
to sacrifice fun, friends and family for their abs. Health, fitness and nutrition are supposed to enrich your life rather than take it over, and if fitness is taking someone away from the things that really matter to them, in my opinion, their priorities need readjusting so that they can lead a more balanced life. (If you’re competing on stage in a few weeks then you may be an exception, but that’s an article for another day.) Living a balanced life doesn’t mean going off the rails all the time. Being fit, healthy and in the kind of shape you want to be does require work and some sacrifice. What I want you to take from this article is to understand that you can have both. You can have a holiday from the gym and still stay in shape, and you can relax your food without getting out of shape. And here’s how.
Ben Coomber talks about bringing rational thought to health and fitness
Eat well Weight management is down to calorie balance, and calorie balance is hugely determined by the ‘calories in’ side of the equation. When many people go on holiday, they aren’t just having a break from work, they are having a break from their diet, too, but this can be a huge mistake. Overindulging on holiday is a surefire way
surplus, and this is where meal skipping can
Food that you eat on holiday over and above
to end up with unwanted weight gain, but
your need sticks just like food does at home,
avoiding the indulgences can be really hard to do. Enjoying the local cuisine is one of the best things about travelling to new places, because food is an huge part of human culture. Plus a lot of traditional foods from various countries are so delicious – Indian curries, French cheeses and breads, German sausages and beer, Belgian chocolate, Italian everything…. So, a balance must be struck,
Personally, when on holiday, I’ll have a very
so exercise control where you can.
light breakfast including some local fruit and
Another form of control that I’d recommend
a protein source (which can often be some
is alcohol time limits. It’s all too tempting to
protein powder that I take with me). This then
‘day drink’ when on holiday, especially at
leaves an enormous amount of calories for a
all-inclusive resorts where the alcohol runs
nice lunch and a grand dinner including alcohol.
free, but this is another mistake. Leaving
You may choose to skip breakfast entirely,
aside the risks of being drunk in the heat,
or do as some others do and have a large
drinking during the day is an excellent way
and here’s how you do it.
breakfast that carries you into late evening,
to skyrocket your calorie intake.
First, consider reducing your meal frequency.
barring a small snack or two throughout the day. Whichever way you do it, remember that
Set a limit on your drinking, like no
Many people eat three meals per day, and athletic folks will often shoot for four to five due to us needing a few extra calories per day compared to our less active counterparts.
many foods that you’ll want to opt for are going to be exceedingly calorie dense, and creating a ‘buffer’ lets you get away with it. This is not to mention that many caloriedense foods are, for the most part –unless
This is great, but it means that those meals
you’re chowing donuts and pretzels all day
need to be relatively low in calories in order
–pretty filling. Eating lunch when you aren’t
to spread them out. That sounds paradoxical,
hungry because you had a big breakfast,
but someone eating 2,100 calories per day
simply out of habit, is a waste of calories.
over three meals gets to have 700 calories
drinks before 7pm, only one drink in the afternoon or just two with dinner. Alcohol can be included in a healthy lifestyle, but moderation is very important.
'drinking during the day is an excellent way to skyrocket your calorie intake'
Second, as hinted to above, make sure you
On that same token, it’s a very good idea
have something healthy and relatively low
to make it a rule to stay hydrated. Commit
calorie to snack on through the day if you get
to drinking at least X amount (usually two
really hungry. Fresh local fruit, protein powder,
litres) of clean, fresh water per day. Doing
It seems hugely obvious and it is, but the
packs of deli meats and similar are usually
this alone will help curb hunger pangs and
fewer meals you eat, the larger those meals
available from nearby supermarkets, giving
also persuade you, subconsciously, not to
can be without putting you into an energy
you more control over what you’re eating.
drink alcohol during the day. Of course,
per sitting, whereas someone needing 3,000 calories per day split over five meals can only have 600.
Trends being hydrated also helps you be generally
eating, snack sensibly and stay hydrated
authentic, and have the dessert if you want
healthy, too, but I don’t need to tell you that.
by drinking water while limiting alcohol.
it. You’re on holiday and that’s important,
Overall, I recommend a mindful and
After that, have one ‘free meal’ per day.
and if you’re otherwise being sensible with
common-sense approach. Opt for lean
Look for something you wouldn’t have at
your intake, you’re going to cause minimal
protein and fruits/vegetables when
home, something freshly prepared and
destination has to offer.
think it can. In fact, after an expectedly large amount of initial water loss, you’ve probably not gained as much weight as you think you have anyway.
Get moving! Beyond that, it’s time to talk activity levels. A holiday is a time to relax, but unless you really want to I don’t recommend lying next to a pool for 14 days. That’s not particularly healthy, but it also limits your holiday hugely. Go and do stuff! Explore, walk around, swim in the sea or try snorkelling and surfing, and generally experience as much as you can. All that activity is great to keep your calorie burn high, but just as importantly it will help you create memories that will last far longer than your tan lines. While your brain needs a holiday from work, it needs stimulation – boredom doesn’t create a relaxed mind, enjoyable experience does. A daily step goal set with an activity tracker can keep you on the move, and is a cool incentive for exploring the local area and seeing more of what your holiday
Finally, if there is an option, try out the hotel or local gym. Do it during your downtime in the day, or while everyone else gets ready for breakfast. A 20-30 minute high intensity blast is a great way to blow out the cobwebs and also maintain some conditioning so that your return to the gym is a little less painful, while having a minimal impact on your holiday. Do I recommend sticking to your program 100 per cent and losing out on family time? Absolutely not, but hitting four to five sets of squats and some pull-ups doesn’t take very long and can be really effective.
So again, don’t panic and don’t go for a crash diet ‘reset’ in order to get those abs back in a week. Get back to your good eating habits while eating 10-20 per cent less than you were before you left. Stay this course, remain consistent and be as honest as you can with yourself. Within a month or so you’ll be right back where you started; no drastic measures, no quick fixes and minimal suffering, which is important. Nobody wants to suffer as soon as they come back from holiday refreshed and ready to go.
And after all this, if you’ve still overindulged? Don’t panic! Fat gain is temporary, and any weight gained in two weeks can be lost far faster than you’d
As a final tip, especially if you haven’t used a hotel gym, I recommend a light reintroductory gym week. Post holiday DOMS is a killer!
Fitness Over 50
Functional or n Chris Zaremba looks at the definition of functional fitness, and what uses the exercises have in the real world Most of my articles are designed to promote the grey matter into a little activity – nothing too controversial, but perhaps just a little thought-provoking. This one is different. I suspect it will prove more contentious than most, and I am ready to receive the disagreeing emails! And I think it’s appropriate to all ages, not my usual over 50’s. It’s hard to move far in the fitness world – in gyms, with trainers or in magazines – without coming across ‘functional’ exercises being promoted. I’m going to take a contrary view and promote the exercises that are nonfunctional. Not as a replacement to the functional ones, but as an addition to them.
based or not – is pointless. Every physical activity will use and/ or improve some combination of factors: strength, endurance, aerobic capacity, balance, flexibility, proprioceptive skills, energy (calorie) burn, mental focus and determination, for example. Improving some or all of that hardly counts as pointless.
The first point I looked at is what is actually meant by a ‘functional’ exercise. I didn’t get very far with the dictionary on the word ‘functional’ – it means ‘to have a function’, which is hardly surprising. The opposite, therefore, is ‘to have no function’ – which can be abbreviated to ‘pointless’.
Most activity is going to lead, over time, to medical measurement improvements including blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, resting heart rate and susceptibility to disease, such as osteoporosis and diabetes. If you agree that anything that improves those areas is hardly a pointless activity – which I hope you do – then all exercise activity has a function. Agree so far?
I find it hard to believe that any form of exercise – whether gym-
non-functional? What’s functional? A different definition of ‘functional’ is sometimes used in ‘functional exercise’; this one states that such an exercise comprises an action that simulates or reproduces a movement used in daily life. I checked this out with a couple of fellow personal trainers, and a cross section of the responses included that such exercises would be those such as woodchops, twists carrying a heavy plastic tube overhead (such as a VIPR) or kettlebell swings. Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember last time I did a woodchop or anything looking like those other movements in daily life – outside of doing the exercise itself. Kettlebell swings – an everyday movement? Really? Maybe they meant that these are exercises often undertaken without incrementing resistance over time, or that they specifically target the core area – if this is what is meant, then there are far better words to describe this concept than ‘functional’.
Another gym’s PT pointed out their dedicated functional training area, where a heavy emphasis is placed on suspension straps. Again, I have to say that I don’t hang around from suspended cables in everyday life. Don’t get me wrong, it is all wonderful exercise and I’d love a set of straps such as this at home – but I can’t see it being any more functional than doing something similar on a cable machine or with free weights. The PT pointed out that free weights are not supposed to be used in the functional training area, so they have to use alternatives – but the impression given is that this is just for the sake of being different rather than to have any real benefit. So let’s look at some free weight exercises – squats and chest presses to start with. Are these functional, using the definition of reproducing a daily life activity? Well I would say yes, but up to limited weight only. Going up stairs is a set of single-leg squats with your body weight – if you’re carrying a box, it’s a bit more – but the resistance is nowhere near the weight often used in gym squats, which develop leg strength beyond that needed for this daily life action.
How about a chest press? A use that I can think of in daily life is if you fall over and use a combination of chest and triceps as the prime movers in getting up again. So it’s functional. But the most you need for this movement is about half your body weight, as the legs take over the get-up process. So a chest press beyond that becomes non-functional, I assume. And perhaps pushing open a stiff door? A vital function – but 100kg on a bench press isn’t needed to reproduce that. Look at bicep curls. I pick up a shopping bag sometimes in a bicep curl-y kind of way, so I guess its functional. But at 20kg per side as resistance in the gym, that weight hardly reproduces daily life in my high street. The least favourite exercise of the functional fan is probably the leg extension machine. The main use in daily life would be to kick a ball (which I don’t do often, but I probably do more often than chopping wood). So why do I do perform this, plus the other exercises from the non-functional camp, and indeed also do those functional exercises but at weight levels that take them to nonfunctional?
'Most activity is going to lead, over time, to medical measurement improvements including blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, resting heart rate and susceptibility to disease' August 2016
Fitness Over 50
A broader view First, let’s broaden that by taking an excursion into athletics. How about training to throw the hammer or the javelin? Surely that’s not functional in the gym-designers definition (mankind in my neck of the woods hasn’t had to chuck a spear at animals for food for many years). They do it just to get better at the sport, to throw it further, to improve their performance and to compete with peers. And that’s why I do both machine and free weight resistance exercises – to get better at doing it – more reps, more weight, incrementing over time, competing against both my previous performance and that of others. Plus performing any of my regular exercises gives me pleasure, I like achieving the targets I set for myself, and enjoy like the feeling of being fitter and healthier. If you need me to prove real world function, then I can carry heavy things
around at home, cycle faster uphill, put heavy things into and out of aircraft overhead luggage compartments (OK, I should have checked them in) and even sometimes open a jam jar lid with my bare hands. All through strength gained in so-called non-functional exercises. And, yes, I like the fact that I look better, too. That made me wonder if it’s all a ‘pretend vanity’ thing. It’s easier to call something a functional exercise, as some people would react adversely if aesthetics was a stated reason for doing it. ‘Do this exercise because its functional’ sounds better to the gym punter than ‘Do this exercise because over time it will make your biceps look really good’. I say ‘pretend vanity’, because if it’s wrong to spend effort, money and time on looking good, can we all stop shopping for make-up and designer clothes? And that made me wonder if it’s all just those jolly marketing boys and girls up to their usual tricks. Whether it means anything or not, being functional just
sounds good – it’s a good buzz word. And I think that’s my conclusion – it’s just a marketing term to make gym membership sound more attractive. I believe all sporting activity and exercise is good and has a function – I haven’t found one that isn’t a good use of time physically, emotionally, socially and mentally. Every exercise activity has multiple functions, whether it’s called functional or non-functional. Finally, the really non-functional activities are those such as watching TV and playing computer games. These really do have no function at the level we are talking about, and I support anybody who shifts their time from these activities to movement. I’m happy to see them take on any exercise instead, wherever the activity chosen sits on the marketing functionality definition range. Right, that’s that off my upper chest and I’m off to do some ‘non-functional’ barbell presses, lat pulldowns, tricep pushdowns and leg extensions!
'I believe all sporting activity and exercise is good and has a function – I haven’t found one that isn’t'
Feel free to email Chris at Chris@FitnessOverFifty.co.uk 32
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The birth of the
Paralympics This month, we look at how accessible fitness began, and the need for more accessible gyms across the country Words: Stuart Dunne
To consider the growth of the need for accessible fitness, we need to take a step back into the history of the Paralympic movement. This was the brainchild of Sir Ludwig Guttman, a doctor at the spinal injuries centre at Stoke Mandeville near Aylesbury. Guttman first encountered a patient with a spinal cord injury in 1917, while he was volunteering at the Accident Hospital in Konigshutte. The patient was a coal miner who later died of sepsis.
Mandeville Games. As the annual event continued to grow, the ethos and efforts by all those involved started to impress the organisers of the Olympic Games and members of the international community.
In September 1943, the British government asked Dr Guttmann to establish the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire. When the centre opened on 1 February 1944, Guttman was appointed its director (a position he held until 1946). As director of the UK's first specialist unit for treating spinal injuries, he believed that sport was a major method of therapy for injured military personnel helping them build up physical strength and self-respect.
At the 1956 Stoke Mandeville Games, Guttman was awarded the Sir Thomas Fearnley Cup by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for his meritorious achievement in service to the Olympic movement through the social and human value derived from wheelchair sport. His vision of an international games the equivalent of the Olympic Games themselves was realised in 1960, when the International Stoke Mandeville Games were held alongside the official 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Known at the time as the
By 1952, more than 130 international competitors had entered the Stoke
9th Annual International Stoke Mandeville Games, and organised under the aegis of the World Federation of Ex-servicemen (an International Working Group on Sport for the Disabled), they are now recognized as the first Paralympic Games. (The term ‘Paralympic Games’ was retroactively applied by the International Olympic Committee in 1984.) In 1961, Guttmann founded the British Sports Association for the Disabled, which would later become known as the English Federation of Disability Sport. In the same year, he became the inaugural President of the International Medical Society of Paraplegia (now the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS).
A changing vision It was because of the work that Guttmann did that the world starting changing its vision and outlook of disabled people. And the Paralympians of today are no longer doing sport as part of rehabilitation, but are true athletes competing on a seriously high level. Many of these athletes are now household names – David Weir, Ade Adepitan, Tanni Grey Thompson to name a few of the publicly known – but at the beginning of the Paralympic movement in 1948 there were only 16 athletes. The movement truly changed in the 80s when there were thousands of disabled athletes competing. But, in fact, the event in 1984 was split, with wheelchair athletes competing at the international Stoke Mandeville games in Buckinghamshire, UK, and Les Autres (the others) competing in America. Today, the Paralympics is one event
combining all physical disabilities. So what is the point of telling of the story of the Paralympic movement? Well, the movement started at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium, which today is a fully inclusive facility. So if a centre that was solely focused on disabled athletes can open its doors to the general public, able-bodied and disabled alike, then the process to go the opposite way should be equally as easy. From the early days to today, the number of disabled people requiring fitness on a daily basis in accessible centres has exponentially increased. But the number of accessible fitness centres hasn't increased at the same rate. With Rio just around the corner and Channel 4 covering the Paralympics like never before, there is no better time to capitalise on the need for accessible fitness.
Today, we have upcoming athletes like Nathan McGuire, who is studying a sports science degree at Liverpool John Moores University. The Paralympic movement becomes stronger day by day.
Stuart Dunne is a supplier of equipment to the physically challenged see www.cyclonemobility.com August 2016
Top 8…exercises done incorrectly Everyone likes to think that they know what they’re doing in the gym, but it’s amazing just how badly some moves are performed... Read on to find out if you're doing it right Words: Tracey Lattimore
#1 Stomach Crunches
We all want a six-pack, but doing this move wrong could injure your neck and back. Plus it won't work the muscles you’re aiming for and will reduce the effectiveness of the move.
Brilliant for boosting your core strength as well as your thighs and buttocks, lunges can be done anywhere. But too many of us risk knee injuries by dong them incorrectly, such as stepping into the move and letting your knee extend over your toe.
DON’T: Tuck your chin into your chest, pull on your head or raise yourself too high off the floor. DO: Raise about three inches off the floor and contract your abs.
#2 Squat lift It’s really important to keep your back straight during this move and not to round it. Try to imagine you are lowering into a chair as you go down. Use a weightlifting bar in front of a mirror to ensure you’ve got the right technique, or get an expert to watch you. DON’T: Put pressure on your lower back or let your knees lean over your toes. DO: Keep your back straight, work your legs and contract your buttocks and core muscles.
#3 The plank A classic move to get wrong – but done correctly, it’s brilliant for strengthening your core. Make a mistake and you could damage your shoulders and back, causing lower back pain.
DON’T: Let your leading knee push past your toe or bend your upper body. DO: Step with one leg and lower until both knees are bent at 90 degrees.
#6 Chest press The main mistakes here are not keeping your shoulders back and down, and over-arching the lower back – this increases the risk of injuring your shoulders, and reduces the efficacy of the move. DON’T: Round your lower spine, raise your shoulders or lock your elbows. DO: Relax your neck and contract your abs as you life the weight.
#7 Bicep curls Gym-goers frequently go wrong here by trying to life too much weight. It’s far better to do the move properly with a lighter weight so that you engage the biceps instead of the shoulders.
DON’T: Sag your hips or lift your buttocks too high.
DON’T: Lean backwards or hunch forwards with your shoulders.
DO: Face the floor, contract your abs and keep a strong, straight line from head to toe.
DO: Lift weights that are within your comfort zone, keep your back straight and contract your abs.
#4 Leg press
#8 Lat pulldown
A common mistake is to start this exercise with your legs pressed too far into your chest, which can put lots of pressure on your lower back. Instead, you should start with your legs in a position of 90 degrees.
Believe it or not, many people pull the bar down behind their neck while trying to do this exercise, rather than pulling it in front of their chest. This can cause you to strain your neck as you bend it forwards.
DON’T: Push through your toes or lock your legs at the top of the move.
DON’T: Arch your back or pull the bar behind your neck.
DO: Keep your neck relaxed, press your head against the support and maintain the natural curve of your lower back.
DO: Keep your spine neutral, pull the bar down to your chest and lean slightly back.
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