Gym Owner Monthly - December 2016

Page 1






o The tescfacing indo e advanc running

Dan Edwardes, owner of the Chainstore Gym




The growth of indoor cycling

The latest virtual classes and download music systems


Indoor rowing, we check out the latest models


The £1 coin is changing, find out how you can update your lockers

Not so fast



THE YEAR AHEAD Industry leaders share their thoughts on the big issues that gym owners are likely to face in 2017

Press play!

Using online video marketing to attract new members


Welcome... …to the December issue of Gym Owner Monthly magazine. Whilst not wishing this year away, this month we’re very much focused on 2017 and what the year ahead will mean for the fitness industry. A number of industry leaders have shared their thoughts, ideas and visions, take advantage of their insight on pages 22 & 52. Elsewhere, check out our features on indoor cycling (page 18), indoor rowing (page 27) and indoor running (page 36) – what does the future hold for these methods of training? On page 32 we welcome Paul Swainson, Head of Future Fit School of Personal Training. Paul writes his first column for Gym Owner Monthly and shares his thoughts on the speed of personal training qualification. Check-out our practical features; adjusting to the new £1 coin (page 57), how will this affect your lockers? Top tips on using video as part of your marketing strategy (page 44) and on page 64 you’ll find the very latest in flooring technology. TRX’s Gavin Whelan talks all things functional in the Big Interview on page 48 whilst our ‘Owner of the Month’, Dan Edwardes, talks to us about his Chainstore Gym, parkour and movement training (page 12). It’s been a great year for us as we continue to grow and develop this publication. Thank you for your continued support and we wish you a very happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year ahead!

Have a good month! The GOM team



Nathan Page

Paul Wood Tel: 07985 904 549 Tel: 07858 487 357

Keep up to date   @GymOwnerMonthly  gymownermonthly  @GymOwnerMonthly  gym-owner-monthly-magazine

© 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.

December 2016


Contents 12


28 & 52



46 38 TRENDS

07 News The latest news and hot topics in the industry 12

Owner of the month We talk to Dan Edwardes, founder and owner of the Chainstore Gym and Parkour Academy.


The year ahead Industry leaders share their thoughts on the big issues that gym owners are likely to face in 2017.


52 than just a treadmill 36 More Rachel Glew comments on the technological advances facing indoor running. around the corner 38 What’s Ben Coomber shares his predictions for the coming year.

68 Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers 4

December 2016

30 EXPERIENCE importance of an excellent 46 The induction Matt Bolam on how to create an amazing first impression and get your induction training spot-on. the experts 67 Ask Got a problem you need solving? Our team of experts are here to help

GEAR power 18 Pedal The growth of indoor cycling and what’s next for 2017.


Different Strokes Indoor rowing continues to be extremely popular in gyms up and down the country, we check out the latest models.

Kit 30 Fit The best fitness kit around for you and your clients.




50 44



new heavy duty wave battle rope 47 The Test your strength, core stability and grit!

55 64

Sound and vision Find out about the latest virtual classes and download music systems.

Taking it to the floor Check out the latest developments and solutions in gym flooring



Not so fast Paul Swainson shares his thoughts on the speed of PT qualification.

Big Interview 48 The We talk to Gavin Whelan, Senior Sales Director at TRX.


Change the locks The ÂŁ1 coin is changing, find out how you can update your lockers.

60 FITNESS Viewpoint 50 PT Hayley Madigan shares her top 3 high intensity training methods. over fifty 60 Fitness Chris Zaremba tells us about two gym visits that were memorable for the wrong reasons.

HOW TO play! 44 Press Mike Arce outlines three ways to use online video marketing to attract new members.

We're always seeking contributors, if you're interested in writing for us then please contact: December 2016


a Email

t invitation to request an even

the cloud-connected fitness solution developed to improve member communication, club retention & increase member uptake eGym strength training equipment with its digital software interface uses workout data to track training and create a personalised, connected member experience that achieves better fitness results for users.

" eGym helps us to fundamentally sell our

gym packages, but it also helps to keep our members with us long-term "

George Stylianou, Operations Director Touchstone Health & Wellbeing Centre

- Automated equipment saves individual setups, pre-sets speed and reps to the training method and ensures full range of motion for effective training. - Continuously increases the tension across the muscle with regular strength tests and periodised training variations. - Provides direct feedback to reward the users and shows instant progress of the training programme.

eGym UK | Medius House, 2 Sheraton Street | London W1F 8BH | |



What’s hot in the fitness industry

Are these health and fitness startups the answer to UK’s £20bn inactivity crisis? ActiveLab unveils 12 physical activity disruptors confirmed for startup accelerator which aims to revolutionise the way we move. A virtual reality chair to get computer gamers active, a wireless circuit that inspires movement in the workplace, a ‘Fitbit for strength training’, and a fitnessthemed community hub for older people. These are just some of the 12 innovative concepts to have made it through to the final of ActiveLab - a new accelerator from not-for-profit health body ukactive which matches physical activity startups with an array of leading investors, influencers and coaches. With the UK’s physical inactivity epidemic costing £20bn each year and causing 37,000 deaths, the need to find innovative ways to inspire active lifestyles has never been more pressing. Backed by founding partners AXA PPP and Tech City UK, ActiveLab aims to stimulate scalable health solutions that can help to overcome one of society’s biggest challenges. Developments in data, social media, virtual reality and wearable tech are having a major impact on the physical activity landscape, which is expected to grow by £1.1bn (17 per cent) according to a recent ukactive report. ActiveLab will harness the sector’s latent potential through its first cohort, comprising firms from across the UK focused on improving customer experiences, mobilising inactive populations and reimagining facilities. As part of the initial selection process, ukactive engaged with over 150 potential entrants and received 70 full business plans. The 12 companies to be supported through the accelerator’s first cohort are:  imovesdance - Online tools to get kids active in school and home  Connected Fitness Labs - An app breaking down the four walls of the gym by supporting a health club operator to become a true fitness brand by offering digital support to consumers  EveryMatch International - A white-label mobile Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for building fitness member communities  Gymetrix - The first company in the world to start attaching sensors to gym equipment to measure customers usage of

the equipment and then use the data to optimise operators equipment purchasing  Shapelog – Described as ‘Fitbit for strength training’  Amaven - An online platform to help measure, track and improve the physical development of everyone through fundamental movement skills and sports skills  iPrescribe Exercise - An app that uses an algorithm to provide the user with an automated, yet individualised activity programme that will gradually build them up to their optimal but safe level of activity  LiveSmart - UK wide, dynamic, evidence based health assessment and improvement programmes  Stepjockey - Smart signs and gamification platform to enable employers to quickly make their buildings healthier and more active  VRGO Chair - An active chair that can be used for movement within virtual reality  Open Play - Online booking system and marketplace for sports facilities and activities  Silverfit - Weekly Fun And Fitness sessions for older people ActiveLab aims to identify, nurture and accelerate the growth of truly innovative products and services that will shape the future of the health and physical activity sector. The 12-week programme will accelerate startups and put them on the path towards revolutionising health and fitness, following in the vein of global success stories such as Fitbit and MYZONE. Over the course of the programme, these companies will receive a series of networking opportunities with investors and leading physical activity firms, as well as tailored mentorship and expert workshops on the challenges of scaling a business.

December 2016


News Rugby star Leon Lloyd to speak at active-net 2017

enterprise that helps sporting organisations and individuals fulfil potential through and beyond sport. He said: “Retirement came unexpectedly for me and tore apart the world I knew. I wanted to share these experiences to make clear the issues such a huge shift in a player’s life can have on their mental health and well-being. The educational element of the 2017 conference will be themed around workforce development and includes a panel discussion with Stephanie Maurel, the Strategic Lead for People at Sport England, CIMSPA CEO, Tara Dillion and Marcus Kingwell, Managing Director of AoC Sport. For further information or to book your place visit

HFE announces new partnership with Your Personal Training

Former Leicester Tigers and England International rugby player, Leon Lloyd will tell active-net 2017 delegates how he made the difficult transition into the ‘real world’ when injury ended his career in 2008. The now highly successful businessman will address delegates as the after dinner speaker at the two-day education and networking event, which takes place on 2930 March at Eastwood Hall in Nottingham, a beautiful period property set in 26 acres of spectacular grounds. Launched in 2014 and managed by Leisure-net, the leading customer insight provider for the active leisure sector, active-net brings together leading operators and suppliers for business-focused, pre-selected meetings, together with informative educational slots, networking lunches and an evening meal, where Lloyd will tell his inspiring story. After playing rugby at the highest level with some of the world’s best players, Lloyd identified a number of transferable skills and relevant experiences that have lead to his new career as a highly successful businessman, public speaker, author of ‘Life After Sport’ and ambassador for both The Prince’s Trust and the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation, which works to alleviate child poverty in Vietnam and Mongolia. Lloyd is also a Director at Switch The Play, a social


December 2016

Award-winning health and fitness training provider HFE has announced a new partnership with leading personal training management company Your Personal Training. Having operated for over 10 years, HFE have always been very selective when choosing partners to collaborate with. After meeting with YPT founder Joe Oliver however, forming a partnership became the obvious choice. Both Your Personal Training and HFE strive to help personal trainers 'become more', focusing first on career development and unrivalled support. To kick off the partnership, HFE will provide their graduates with the latest Your Personal Training career opportunities - a first for the company. Rather than establishing a guaranteed interview scheme, this move will give graduates a clear choice when deciding what to do next. In return, HFE will work closely with YPT's extensive PT roster to provide discounts on CPD courses and access to a range of benefits and resources normally reserved only for HFE students. This is the first step in what will be an incredibly exciting and fruitful partnership, with the next phase of the

News collaboration to be announced in early 2017. Speaking about the partnership, YPT founder Joe Oliver said: "Your Personal Training are delighted to have created a partnership with HFE whom we consider to be one of the leading education companies in the UK fitness Industry. As part of our partnership, Your Personal Training will be providing a career pathway for HFE graduates across our national network of leisure facilities. At Your Personal Training, we believe in sustainable career opportunities for personal training graduates along with ongoing training and development; HFE certainly share our philosophy." HFE Managing Director Lee Cain added: "Everything we do as a company is in service of our students, from providing unlimited support, the most comprehensive learning materials, and the best career opportunities. Your Personal Training are clear leaders in their field and their commitment to nurturing a personal trainer's career fits perfectly with our ethos. We're looking forward to working closely with Joe and the rest of the YPT team over the next few months, years and beyond." For more information visit,

Olympic champion, Zac Purchase MBE, launches fitness brand

and intimidated by the unfamiliar machinery and wall to wall mirrors. We want to break down these barriers, helping people discover the joys and benefits of exercise without feeling any anxiety. “Instead of bulky resistance and cardiovascular machines our studio employs basic functional training kit such as kettlebells, resistance bands and suspension trainers. Mirrors are not installed, helping participants relax. It is the role of the instructor to correct poor physical form not the participant.” In addition to the four principle classes, Zacs will also offer one to one and small group personal training as well as a selection of more traditional classes like Yoga. DNA testing will also be available to ensure every individual’s training plan remains motivating and results driven. Zac adds: “We have created an environment where everyone, regardless of shape, size or physical ability, feels comfortable and has access to world class physical training advice and instruction. Functional training has the potential to improve the lives of all who participate through its ease of application in everyday life.” In addition to the studio, Zac Purchase has also designed and launched Zacs, an own-brand range of fitness equipment. Products include kettlebells, resistance bands and suspension trainers, all available for purchase from the studio. An e-commerce function, accessible via the website,, is currently under development.

Matrix announces new construction partner Love Build has been announced as the official construction partner for gym equipment manufacturer, Matrix Fitness UK

Olympic and World Champion Rower, Zac Purchase MBE, has launched his first fitness studio in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Investment has also been secured for further studios to be rolled out across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire over the next five years. Zacs – Exercise For Life, is based on a series of 40 minute, pay as you go classes all bookable online and based around one of four themes: strength, stamina, speed and stability. Each session has been cleverly designed by Zac Purchase, MBE and employs the principles of functional training. Zac, says: “It is very important that people feel comfortable and welcome in our studio. Many people shy away from attending traditional gyms because they feel self-conscious

By working together, Matrix Fitness and Love Build can now offer customers an individualised construction solution and equipment installation, including both the design and build of new leisure facilities or the refurbishment of existing ones. A team of highly qualified and experienced professionals work closely with customers at every stage of the journey, from initial planning through to project completion. To compliment this, Love Build’s comprehensive offering also includes a reliable fast-track process, design and build service, vibration and noise solutions, flooring, AV, mechanical and electrical engineering, entry systems and mezzanine floors – which increases the capacity of the facility and offers the potential to boost memberships. Having worked together on several projects in the past, formalising the partnership became a natural progression for the two businesses. Director of Special Projects at Matrix, Doug Bell, said: “Matrix is constantly looking to improve the

December 2016


News range of products and services available for both existing and potential new customers, hence the appointment of Love Build as an official construction partner. “With developers requiring more support with projects, it’s an obvious step for Matrix to become the ‘go-to’ company for a turnkey solution. So we are delighted to be working with LoveBuild to be a total solutions provider for all market sectors.” Matrix worked with Love Build on the £1.25m refurbishment of the Sir Stanley Matthews Sports Centre at Staffordshire University. Head of Sports Development and Active Lifestyles, Jonathan Pace said: “From start to finish the team showed a real understanding of what we wanted to achieve.

fitness fanatics as well as those who simply just want a healthier lifestyle. Feedback has been very positive and the team at PBN value all forms of feedback from customers (good or bad) whilst they strive to achieve perfect customer satisfaction. For more information visit www. or follow them on instagram prepboxnutrition.”

Wexer announces acquisition of ClubVirtual

“With such a quick transformation, the communication needed to be spot on and was, on a daily basis. From planning to completion every deadline was hit and the end product exceeded any of our expectations.” Love Build General Manager, Hazel Martin said: “Having worked alongside Matrix Fitness on many projects during the past few years, officially partnering with them as their construction partner is the perfect fit for us. “We specialise in carrying out construction projects for the leisure sector so having Matrix as our official partner enables us to provide a ‘total solution’ for the customer.”

Clean eating straight to your door

UK based fitness technology company Wexer has acquired Dutch based company ClubVirtual. The combination of Wexer and ClubVirtual will create a new industry market leader leveraging Wexer’s recognised position as a global pioneer in virtual fitness, with ClubVirtual’s well-known brand in Europe. With virtual installations in more than 40 countries, Wexer’s mission will remain the same after the acquisition: making world-class exercise accessible to more people through technology. CEO for Wexer, Paul Bowman states that this acquisition is part of the overall growth strategy.

Prepbox Nutrition are a meal preparation company providing fresh healthy meals straight to your doorstep. Their goal is to provide fresh healthy convenience food to people whom are training, competing or have little time to cook. PBN believe in avoiding processed, refined foods, and food with high sugar and salt content. Put simply, PBN believe food should be eaten as close to its natural state as possible. “When eating clean , it’s about quality as well as quantity. It’s important to know your portion size and stick to it.” PBN offer macro counted portions ideal for intake of certain carbs intake etc. You choose a choice of protein, carb, and vegetable. This creates over 500 combinations. And if you have special dietary requirements these can be noted at the time of order. Trading for less than 4 weeks, the company has acquired a huge following on social media from celebrities, high profile 10

December 2016

“Over the past eight years, we have been able to secure a very strong market position across all continents. Predominantly by helping operators transform dead studio space into active space through the use of virtual classes.” he said. “Now, we are additionally helping clubs expand outside their four walls through streaming and mobile technology. This acquisition will allow us to empower more club groups faster when it comes to creating digital ecosystems to engage their members.” The fitness industry is undergoing a period of intense change that is rapidly redrawing the competitive landscape and breaking down barriers between brick-and-mortar and technology. Through a number of strategic partnerships as well as constantly developing products and services, both Wexer and ClubVirtual have successfully helped club groups operate more effectively in this new and more technologycentric market. “The thinking between our two companies is very aligned and becoming part of Wexer is a great next step for us as well as an incredible opportunity for our clients. We really look forward to continuing to support key operators in their endeavours to be of value to their members 24/7 through the use of technology, and excited to be on the forefront of this transformation of our industry” said CEO for ClubVirtual, Laurens de Kock.

News ClubVirtual will continue to operate their company to produce high quality virtual fitness content, which will continue under the ClubVirtual consumer facing brand”

Physical Company launches range of Atlas Stones

Physical Company, provider of Complete Fitness Solutions, has recently designed and launched its own range of Atlas Stones. Giving the iconic and well-loved strongman Atlas Stone a modern twist, Physical Company has a range of four stones in 15kg, 25kg, 35kg and 45kg, to help release the inner caveman in fitness enthusiasts. TMore forgiving and smaller in diameter than the traditional cement stones, the Physical Company Atlas Stones are made of durable, dense vinyl which is textured to improve grip. They can be used in the gym without risking floor damage and will also stand up to the rigours of outdoor workouts and bootcamp sessions. Atlas Stone training is the ultimate way to build strength in the core, back and legs. A range of moves can be completed with the Atlas Stone, including Shoulder Lifts, Stone Thrusters, Platform Lifts, Deadlifts and Clean & Press. Lunges, walking lunges and squats with the Atlas Stone take these classic moves to a whole new level. “Atlas Stone training is certainly coming into the mainstream fitness arena now and we have designed a more gym-friendly product to encourage its inclusion in workouts and bootcamp sessions,” says John Halls, Managing Director for Physical Company. “Atlas Stones will forever be associated with strong man competitions but by introducing a choice of weights and more manageable dimensions and tactile texture, we believe our range will literally bring this style of training within reach of fitness fans, instructors and personal trainers.” Visit to purchase and for more information.

reliability and quality, and the new Precor EFX® 800 with converging CrossRamp® provides exercisers with an even more personalised fitness experience. The patented converging CrossRamp® is designed to mimic the normal converging path of motion as a person walks and runs, making exercise feel more natural. Its unveiling follows three independent research studies with a public university in Washington State, US, to rigorously test and optimise the design. Studies were also commissioned on diversity of motion paths and the impact on the body, such as how muscle activation patterns can change depending on the training angle of the ramp. “When we created the elliptical category in 1995 with the original EFX, there was nothing like it on the market,” said Jim Birrell, Precor’s Chief Innovation Officer. “Operators loved the EFX because it attracted new members, and exercisers were drawn to it because it offered an unmatched fitness experience. The newest EFX takes all the science and business insights we’ve collected over the past two decades and incorporates them into this unrivalled, updated version.” Other premium features include a more personalised workout with the touch screen console, a modernised design and a sleeker frame. The machine is also easier to clean and maintain as it has a covered ramp, rear cover and pivot joints. It’s faster to service due to many tool-less detachable panels, and the active light™ status alerts staff when it needs attention. The EFX can also be adapted to feature either fixed or moveable handlebars, as well as Precor’s new P82 console, which includes Android-based technology, faster processing speeds and embedded Wi-Fi. The converging CrossRamp® can be used to train in a number of ways, from a forward direction with the ramp angle between 13-20 for maximum glute impact or by training in the reverse direction at high and low CrossRamp® levels to target quadriceps. Training backwards with the CrossRamp® at any resistance or angle will help increase heart rate as this is an unfamiliar movement. Calves can be trained in a forward movement with the CrossRamp® level at 12 to 15, and at level 20 knee flexion is similar to running on a treadmill. When training forwards the ramp is actively pushed down and when training backwards the ramp is actively pushed up. Train at a steady cadence and, as the CrossRamp levels increase, so does heart rate and calorie consumption. Lower CrossRamp® levels can be used for recovery periods. The low impact, fluid movement of the Experience Series EFX 800 with converging CrosRamp® contributes to exercisers’ perceiving a lower rate of exertion, making the workout more enjoyable despite the training challenge.

The evolution of an industry classic Leading fitness equipment supplier and manufacturer Precor has launched the Experience Series EFX® 800 with converging CrossRamp®. The first Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer, invented and launched by Precor in 1995, has become one of the most iconic pieces of gym equipment, with more than 300,000 installed globally since conception. Precor now has over 21 years of category leadership and a heritage of proven December 2016


Owner of the Month

A place to live, not just work

Dan Edwardes tells us about the UK’s first and only indoor parkour and movement training facility

Gym owner:

Dan Edwardes Address:

London E14 0JY

Gym name:

Academy Chainstore Gym & Parkour Email: contact@parkourgeneration No. of members:


om/chainstore/facilities www.parkourgenerations.c


December 2016


How did you become a gym owner? My company, Parkour Generations, had been teaching parkour in the UK and internationally since 2005, running classes, workshops, seminars and events of all sizes and in every kind of place – gyms, sports centres, schools, parks, city streets, wherever. We had also designed and built around 40 outdoor parkour park training facilities across the UK in that time. In 2013 we decided to take an unprecedented step and open the UK’s first indoor parkour and movement training facility, and the Chainstore Gym was born.

How many gyms do you own/ operate? There’s only one in the UK, it’s unique. We operate several others internationally as well, in places like the United States, South Korea, etc. But Parkour Generations headquarters is the Chainstore Gym in London.

Aside from the gym, what other facilities do you offer your members?

It’s a unique space that combines an incredible strength and conditioning zone, including squat racks, free-weights, kettlebells, sleds, ropes, tyres, etc, with a modular parkour/ movement training zone that reshapes itself every few months, meaning an endless cycle of new challenges and possibilities for our members. It’s awesome.

We offer daily classes in parkour and movement and practical fitness/strength & conditioning. We also offer weekend classes called Obstacle Course Training, which help people prepare for OCR events like Spartan and Ninja Warrior. We’re an officially recognised training venue for Ninja Warrior UK, for example.

How long has your gym been operating for?

We also run youth parkour classes every weekend and youth parkour camps in the school holidays, which are always fully booked. We think it’s important to include a younger audience in a movement space, to allow them to be

Almost 3 years now.

December 2016


Owner of the Month

inspired by the older athletes and feel they can be part of this kind of training from a young age.

How many staff do you employ? We have around 20 team members in London who run the classes and events, as well as perform as professional parkour athletes for media work such as TV commercials, marketing campaigns, stunt work, movie action, etc. Most of them train in the Chainstore Gym every week to hone their skills and inspire the community.

How important are PT’s to your business? All our coaches are part of Parkour Generations – we have incredibly high standards for coaching and all of our coaches spend years learning how to move and how to coach movement and parkour. They all coach internationally as well, gaining vital knowledge and experience from the world’s best coaching standards in different countries. The team is vital to the success of everything we do.

How do you motivate/incentivise your staff members? We see Parkour Generations and the Chainstore Gym as a place our staff come to live, not just to work. It’s a family and one that is constantly striving to improve itself across every aspect, meaning everyone drives everyone on to greater and greater heights. The aim is always to be the very best 14

December 2016

we can be, for our members and our students everywhere. So we include all our team in the decisions we make, the direction we go in, everything. They’re the beating heart of the organisation and we do everything as a collective. Making people feel valued and that they belong is the most important thing there is.

Do you provide any financial assistance for your staff with regards to their training & development? Yes – we have an ongoing internal Coach Development Programme through which we provide regular access for our staff to education courses, expert seminars, coaching skills workshops, movement training, etc. Their development means our development, so we’re very focused on this.

What makes your gym unique? It’s the only dedicated, fully-modular indoor movement training space in the UK, as far as we know! It gets completely redesigned every 3 months or so, meaning a whole new set of movement opportunities and challenges. Our members can come in and sharpen their skills whenever they like, and the range of parkour classes on specific areas of movement we run is also unique. Most importantly it has an incredible community of excellent, dedicated individuals looking to become the best they can be without any sense of ego or competition. From

Owner of the Month

the coaching team through to the newest member, everyone is very relaxed, great fun to be with, but hugely committed to mastering their movement and constantly improving.

believe you need to earn the right to teach anything, which means years of dedicated practice yourself before you even begin contemplating becoming a coach or trainer.

What advice would you give to other gym owners just starting out?

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

Quality, always quality. Ask yourself what message, what service, do you want to put out there and how are you going to improve people’s lives. The answer to this question will drive everything you do and will decide the quality you bring. If you’re thinking of making a quick buck by offering outdated machine-based training and poor quality coaching, maybe think again. Be authentic and sincere and only offer what you believe in. Bring passion.

What are the biggest challenges facing your business today? The band-wagon. We’ve been teaching parkour and practical movement skills across the world for around 15 years now, it’s our passion, our way of life and our expertise. The world is now coming to understand the importance of healthy movement practice and particularly holistic, bodyweightbased movement skills, and with that you get a lot of unskilled people jumping on the band-wagon trying to teach something they clearly don’t know much about. That’s dangerous for the public, who often don’t have enough information to discern the good from the bad, and you see lots of injuries and expensive time-wasting going on. We

The move towards bodyweight-based movement training is inexorable and picking up speed, both in Europe and the USA. And this is filtering to other regions now as well, meaning we are travelling all over the world to teach our education courses and concepts. It’s a great thing as we’re seeing movement being restored to the centre of the fitness industry, which is exactly the way it should be. Fitness isn’t about completing numbers of reps of an arbitrary and isolating movement, it’s about having a body and mind that can carry out all the tasks it has evolved to carry out over millions of years – running, jumping, climbing, crawling, vaulting, rolling, brachiating, carrying, lifting, etc. It’s about being able to adapt to any physical or mental challenge that comes your way and that responsive resilience is exactly what parkour builds.

How do you engage with your members? As much as possible and via as many mediums as they need/want. We have great social media channels and email connection with our members, and we provide December 2016


Owner of the Month

regular community events in London and at the gym for them to take part in. Most importantly we have our staff round the clock at the gym ready to answer any questions, address any issues or needs and provide any guidance. Our central philosophy is always how can we help you improve yourself? It’s always about the members.

How do you retain your members? By providing the best damn coaching and customer service we can! People are savvy and willing to work hard if they are shown results and can be confident of the coaches. Everyone finding the Chainstore Gym soon realises what they’ve stumbled across and gets down to business. We then support them as much as we can and do what we can to facilitate their journey and their personal development. We know the value of our offering and we provide exactly that.

How are you promoting your brand and marketing your gym? A lot is done by word of mouth. Of course we have social media channels and the website, etc., but we find that quality promotes itself and word soon spreads. We only want members who are dedicated to their own improvement and serious about making movement, training and health a significant part of their life. We prefer that growth to happen organically and naturally as the ‘right’ people find their way to our doors.


December 2016

What is your biggest success story? We’ve had quite a few that would make a list of honourable mentions! Canary Wharf Business Innovation Award winners, UKActive Small Training Provider of the Year Award, European Public Affairs Award, Children and Young People’s Services Award, Westminster Mark, to name just some of the ‘official’ recognition we’ve achieved. Our education programmes and certifications have been delivered in more than 25 countries and in 12 languages, and are accredited by all the major fitness bodies worldwide, including NASM, ACE, YMCA Awards, etc. I guess we’ve ticked a lot of boxes. However, I’d say our biggest success is the amazing community that has built up around this group of fantastic coaches. It’s a community of humble, dedicated, extremely capable and strong individuals who are welcoming to absolutely everyone who steps foot in the gym and inclusive of all. There’s no sense of ego or competition, just great people looking to improve themselves every step of the way and willing to share their experiences with every other member. That’s awesome to be part of and we’re very proud to have created something that has snowballed into something so positive and powerful. Our community is our greatest success, hands down.

For more information visit


Motivate your members and empower your staff with a Wattbike Zone Integrate a Wattbike performance zone into your functional area to add a new, dynamic element to your members workouts. Give your staff the data they need to design programmes that really get results. Contact our sales team today on 0115 9455450 or and make Wattbike part of the workout.




December 2016




The growth of indoor cycling and what’s next for 2017

Indoor cycling has continued to prove itself with another successful year in the sector, with more studios launching, each bringing new innovations, alongside operators seeking new ways to bring cycling zones onto the gym floor. Steve Newell, Sales Director at Wattbike, comments: “Cycling has become so popular because of its inclusivity and accessibility; anyone can do it regardless of ability and age. Cycling, regardless of whether it’s outdoors or in a studio, is followed and supported by an avid fan base who create a real community.”


December 2016

Gear The landscape is diversifying But the indoor cycling landscape is diversifying. Over the last 10 years what we call ‘indoor cycling’ has taken two very different routes. Spinning has continued to grow in status; with loud music, low lighting and an encouraging environment. Other studios have opted for performance driven, data-led cycling with a community feel, which tends to be smaller groups with more of a coaching setting. Both show benefits, and both attract their own niche of user. Steve continues: “Indoor cycling has proved its endurance, it’s a trend to stay rather than a fleeting phase. The question is, what’s next? Undoubtedly there will be many bike advancements, in terms of real-ride feel and aesthetics but there are more exciting enhancements to come in user and virtual experience. There will be more to come in terms of audio, virtual worlds and syncing resistance to real terrain, all aspects that will draw in even more outdoor cyclists. Companies such as Zwift are already leading the way for the ‘gamification’ of indoor cycling. Sufferfest videos, Apps and

data collection are already present, but personal touches will be added so that users will be carrying virtual coaches with them wherever they go.” Looking ahead to 2017, there will be more of diversification between the two emerging streams of indoor cycling into the two streams; performance-led gyms and studios, and spinning. We’ve also continued to see a marked interest in Wattbike Zones, presenting new and alternate options for gyms or studios to bring the atmosphere of indoor cycling out onto the gym floor, which is set to grow.” Boutique studios have transformed how consumers approach fitness, offering a destination for exercise that’s motivational, cathartic and inspiring; all the benefits that come from working in a group setting. Wattbike have been working closely with both operators and independent studios to find the best fit for each, by helping them bring Wattbike ‘Zones’ and their small group training out of the studio and onto the gym floor or individualising their bespoke boutique space.

Zoned out As early adopters of the Wattbike, David Lloyd has been using the bikes across their portfolio in several ways, experimenting to find the best fit in each facility. In 2015, they opened their first Wattbike Zone at their Southampton club, which includes six Wattbikes with a separate screen that visually offers; power training workshops, an introduction to Wattbike sessions, Wattbike testing and virtual Sufferfest classes. Michelle Dand, Group Health & Fitness Manager at David Lloyd comments: “All of our Wattbikes are on the gym floor, some have their own Zones and some have been mixed in with other equipment to form ‘Performance Zone’ areas as part of our gym innovation programme.”

We run live workshops in these Zones that create a great atmosphere on the gym floor, and this works to increase the interest from other members observing. Outside of these sessions there are always people using the bikes. From the cycle enthusiasts to the triathletes, to just normal men, women and teenagers; the beauty of the Wattbike is that it can be used for all ages and abilities.” On the rise of popularity of Wattbike Zones and bespoke studios, Steve adds: “One of our priorities is to work with the operators and studios to ensure that they are getting the most out of the bikes. There's a higher need and demand for power training and we want to equip those delivering and undertaking this with the knowledge and skills to make the most out of their workout.”

For more information, visit December 2016


Gear Spinning® it’s way to success The new Spinner® series from leading fitness equipment manufacturer and supplier Precor Spinner® Rally™, Spinner® Shift™ and Spinner® Ride™ - are designed to have a premium fit and feel, with geometry and adjustments to suit a wide range of riders while providing a personalised experience, while also being durable and reliable with a founding in education. The top-of-the range performance Rally™ includes brand new engineering and design components featuring an aluminium frame, a solid fit and feel and show-stopping aesthetics. The Shift™ is designed to suit any level rider, while the Ride™ offers a starting point, entry-level bike. GymWorks, an independent gym in Lancashire, has built on its success since opening in 2013 and replaced its existing 26 cycles with 31 new Spinner® Rally’s™. With bike space always in demand the gym has added additional Spinning® classes to the timetable, now offering three a day, and feedback has been extremely positive since the upgrade.

Peter Guy, Director at GymWorks

Raising the bar Peter Guy, Director at GymWorks, comments: “The new Precor Spinner® Rally™ bikes really raise the bar of the fitness experience we offer members. They love the riding position, as well as the cadence, RPM, data feedback and distance features. Members love knowing how fast they are going, how far they are riding and how long it’s taking them. It’s one of the key features of the bike, along with the smooth ride, that they comment on. “The buzz they’ve created is extremely favourable and they’ve even led to members re-joining the gym. We’re also benefitting from raised attendance levels, which will have a positive impact on retention in the long-run.”

Authetic ride Experienced cyclist and certified Spinning® instructor at GymWorks, Graham Brock, explains: “The bikes provide an authentic ride which is smooth and exciting for members and instructors alike. As a proficient cycling competitor and certified Spinning® Instructor I’ve been able to use the Spinner® Rally™ bikes to provide ‘race night’ classes, which enable participants to feel what a road cycle race is really like. These have been really well received and are fun for all abilities.” Each bike at GymWorks has been fitted with a Spinning® Studio console, which automatically pairs with any ANT+™ compatible heart rate monitor. The console also features a large backlit display indicating cadence (pedal RPM), heart rate/pulse, time, distance and calories along with a low battery indicator. For more information, visit 20

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GEAR UP YOUR FACILITY AND MEMBERS WITH SPINNING® Spinning® is the original indoor cycling offering that has gained its reputation and world-wide community through the very highest quality of programming. Precor are proud to announce the official launch of the new reliable and durable Spinner® bikes, designed to offer a personalised ride with an uncompromising fit and feel. To experience the new bikes, or for more information, please contact or 03334 149774. December 2016



THE YEAR We talked to a number of industry leaders about 2017 and the big issues that gym owners will face in the new year

Steven Ward, Executive Director, ukactive “Next year looks set to be hugely exciting for the physical activity sector as we carry forward strong momentum from 2016. Despite the anxiety surrounding Brexit, many expect that we will see further expansion of the sector as the importance of physical activity becomes increasingly clear to investors and the public alike. ukactive’s Rise of the Activity Sector Report, predicted the value of our sector to grow 17 per cent in 2016 driven by successful IPOs from the likes of Basic Fit and Technogym. This upsurge seems likely to continue and I think there’s a strong chance we'll see at least one IPO this year among the big-name UK gyms and possibly more. The next 12 months will see further alignment between the health agenda and the role activity providers can play in driving this forward. In NHS England CEO Simon Steven’s speech at the ukactive National Summit he called for activity providers to proactively seek out local hospital, community

trust and ambulance services, and the gauntlet is now there for our sector to pick up and run with. Regional and local operators geared to the needs of local people and embedded within those communities will be best-placed to prosper from these opportunities. Success delivering these strategies offers greater independence for local trusts in terms of attracting wider public investment and building their own future framework for growth. Finally, technology will continue its journey into the heart of the physical activity sector, increasingly sophisticated trackers and the first steps towards integrating virtual reality into classes. Gyms across the UK are already beginning to use virtual classes to widen the availability and variety of their offerings, and I can only see that trend accelerating, with ever-more imaginative options. Meanwhile, wearables will enable gyms to gather far more data than ever before, leading to greater understanding of the changing demands of their client base.”

Martin Franklin, CEO, Les Mills UK “Lower tech costs will continue to have an effect; I recently saw a heart rate watch in a petrol station for £10 with a tank of fuel. As insurance companies like Vitality are giving discounts for activity tracking evidence in annual statements, it is something more people will get used to incorporating into their lives. Wearables allow people to track ‘their’ performance in real time and share it in a community platform – essential for the Millennial generation. We’ll see an increased demand for ‘At Home / My Time’ workouts, so whether it’s a run along a woodland landscape on your treadmill or engaging in a group exercise class 22

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on the other side of the world, workouts on demand will continue to grow and clubs can offer this with virtual programming. Giving access to exercising five times a week for 30 minutes is key. As pioneer of IMMERSIVE FITNESS™ with THE TRIP™ class, we know that Virtual Reality (VR) is here to stay. There’s a large growth in all our markets globally for this workout which crosses all sectors. People can buy VR glasses for their smartphone for under £15 on eBay and get free apps to experience it. Clubs will need to embrace this form of experience if they are to keep fitness within their four walls and remain relevant.


R AHEAD There is a growing variety of competition races and charity events on most Facebook timelines. 10 years ago, it was mainly 10km races and the odd intrepid Marathon. Now the fad is a trend and is booming part of the yearly plan for many a fitness enthusiast. Anthony Wall, the director of strategic partnerships for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) commented recently: “Part of it is driven by a desire for greater intensity in exercise regimens, but it’s also being fuelled by a huge social component. Increasingly, club members want to participate with like-minded people and share their experiences online.” Combining this into a challenging and rewarding programme for some people is the difference between a goal they would like to achieve and one they actually do. It’s a date,

it has other people doing it and it involves doing something different and engaging. It talks to all the things that boost motivation and cohesion to a goal. With the increasing focus on a holistic view of wellness for the more aware Gen Y or Millennials, operators should be placing more emphasis on mind/body and indeed, mindfulness in the next 12 to 18 months. This is not just the boom of Yoga studios in London. That happened 20 years ago. It is a general acceptance that it is key to a rounded and positive health profile. At Les Mills, we are currently trialling this concept in a few clubs around the world and will bring it to the industry over the coming year which trains instructors on how to incorporate this into the programming of their members and participants. Watch this space.”

Rob Jones, UK Head of Core & Vertical Sales, Life Fitness “The areas of indoor cycling, small group training and performance spaces will continue to expand and develop in a constantly changing and highly competitive environment. This will be driven by exercisers seeking more unique experiences from operators, who need to respond by providing specific areas to meet their members’ training needs. In 2017, we can expect to see a transition from connected devices towards more unique experiences, tailored to exercisers and their fitness requirements. To keep pace

with the personalisation of applications and data capture, operators must consider how exercisers interact with their digital platforms and the experiences they receive. Workplace wellness will see an increased focus as people are encouraged to be more active at work and more employers adopt positive changes in workplace environments and attitudes. As discussed at last month’s ukactive Summit conference, physical activity should be embedded into every aspect of society and working environments must allow people to move more within the workplace.”

Paul Ferris, Managing Director, Speedflex UK & Ireland Ltd “The face of the health and fitness industry is continuously evolving, with new innovations and concepts launching on a regular basis. As a result, customers are becoming more demanding and have even higher expectations, which operators need to work towards to improve retention rates. Measurement and Evaluation- Health and fitness is playing an increasingly important role in consumers’ lives and technological innovation has changed the way in which

they evaluate their health and fitness regimes. With the rise of wearable technology, customers are demanding more and more feedback on their exercise and training sessions. Not only does this help them assess outcomes, including calories burnt, heart rate levels achieved and distance covered, but it also helps to motivate and set realistic goals to work towards. Wearing heart rate monitors during exercise is also a great tool for Personal Trainers as it helps them prescribe recoveries and to individualise and December 2016


Trends tailor their sessions to the customer’s needs, which in turn will help with retention. Nutritional information- Customers are beginning to realise that exercise is only 20% of the equation when looking to lose weight or change their body shape. A healthy nutrition plan will help with overall goals and assist with recovery time between sessions, as well as improving general health and wellbeing, as people start to feel more energetic and less lethargic. However there is so much conflicting advice, which has in turn led to general confusion and apathy. The expectation is to be provided with sound nutritional advice alongside exercise from their fitness facility - from either Personal Trainers or a dedicated, expert member of staff. By providing this service, you can help customers to adopt a more 360 degree approach to health, fitness and wellbeing, which will in turn assist with retention as they achieve their specific goals.

Group training – Group training is on the rise, with more and more people wanting to get involved on a regular basis, outside of their conventional training. Not only is group exercise a cheaper option to personal training, it is also fun, very sociable, and extremely motivating as you work alongside others to reach your personal best. With the rise of dedicated, group exercise studios, gym owners need to ensure that they keep up to date with the latest trends to keep their current customers engaged. At Speedflex we are constantly striving to meet the changing demands of our customers and have integrated measurement and evaluation as part of our offering through a state of the art heart rate monitoring system that all customers use during sessions. Nutrition advice is provided through an expert 3rd party, enabling us to give our customers the personalised meal plans they need to achieve their specific goals.”

Rob Johnson, Managing Director, Future Fit Training “The results of our Raising the Bar 2016 report give a strong indication that this coming year will see a move towards greater demand for longer, in-depth training and qualifications with employers calling for more comprehensive training to be taken over a longer period of time and to include genuine, real life case study work. This is in response to their changing customer base with gym members no longer just being healthy people looking to get fit but, increasingly, people with obesity, heart disease, diabetes and disabilities. The workforce needs to upskill to meet their needs. 2017 will see more employers moving towards raising the level of what they deem to be the minimum standards of entry for their personal trainers and training providers will see greater demand from trainees for in-depth courses including practical gym floor experience and case study interaction. This will result in a trend towards more robust and reputable training courses as employers and prospective

employees realise this is what is needed to ensure tomorrow’s trainers are ‘work ready’. I believe that the next year will also see the momentum pick up of employers, awarding organisations, training providers and fitness professionals getting behind CIMSPA. Both the government and Sport England have formally backed its plans to develop a new workforce strategy. The key areas that will be addressed in 2017 include the finalising of the Physical Activity Trailblazer apprenticeship scheme ahead of the implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy, a possible review of the sector’s children’s fitness qualifications to ensure they are fit for purpose to help our industry address the childhood obesity crisis and continued efforts to raise the bar in terms of quality training and CPD provision to raise standards in our industry. The desire to improve and innovate is definitely there and I think 2017 will see action – not just talk - towards achieving these goals.”

Jenny Patrickson, Managing Director, Active IQ “2017 will see technology continuing to be a major influencer: it remains fast-moving so we must remain flexible with the content and delivery of our qualifications. We’ve already responded to the opportunity that technology represents by developing qualifications that give individuals a grounding in networked fitness, social media, health and fitness apps and wearable tech, plus the research 24

December 2016

skills they will need to keep abreast of technology. For those already qualified, we are developing standalone, individual CPD courses which will allow us to respond quickly to technological advances and allow fitness professionals to top up their skills and knowledge as technology drives forward. There is a risk with the technology trend too, however, which is that the soft skills can be overlooked. Fitness

Trends instructors need empathy and people skills to run alongside their use of technology. If we’re not careful, ‘trendy technology’ will overshadow basic communications - the art of really listening, empathy and personal face-to-face feedback. We must tread carefully…. Another trend we are seeing is the need to bring more ‘special populations’ knowledge into exercise referral qualifications. Increasingly people with conditions such as mental health issues, diabetes, obesity and heart disease are coming into the gym either of their own volition or referred by their GP. This is great – as we know the industry is well placed to help people with these conditions - but

ONLY if the trainers are sufficiently trained, knowledgeable and empathetic. Not so long ago, people with health issues were rare in the gym environment: they were a ‘special population’. Now you could argue that while they still have particular needs, rather than being a ‘special’ or niche sector of the population, they are representative of an everyday population that is growing in number. Gyms must therefore ensure their fitness staff are qualified to help these members exercise safely and effectively to overcome their health issues. I think 2017 will start to see a shift towards qualifications including ‘special population’ learning as ‘standard’.”

Sue Anstiss, Managing Director, Promote PR “Women’s strength training will become more mainstream, with increased equality in gyms and weights areas will no longer ‘off limits’ to female members. This will be achieved through increased awareness of the vast benefits of strength training for women, a wider range of kit available and improved education for instructors and members. The popularity and effectiveness of functional training will undoubtedly result in a decline of space allocated to traditional CV equipment. Innovative operators will lead the way for the sector fully embracing ‘wearables’ and incorporating digital tools to measure, motivate and share member data. I think we’ll also see swimming ‘re-invent’ itself to become a more engaging and social form of exercise.

Today’s consumers demand variety and choice in all things, leading to a reluctance to commit to annual memberships at one venue. This is reflected in the growth of companies such as PayAsYouGym and ClassPass and the increased popularity of boutique facilities offering pay as you go workouts. The industry’s general lack of highly qualified fitness instructors - a result of poor pay, ease of access and ever shortening training courses - means the sector is not respected by healthcare professionals. At a time when Sport England has £250M to spend moving 'inactives to actives’ are our gyms and health clubs really offering accessible venues, programmes and staff to attract the inactive market, or in reality are we just churning the ‘active’ 12% of the population across our venues?”

Steve Newell, Sales Director, Wattbike “In 2016, and moving into 2017 we’ve been seeing a rise in performance-led gyms and indoor cycling studios, separate from spinning. There’s been marked interest in Wattbike Zones, with focus on Watts, technique, visual feedback and Power Cycling. There will continue to be a diverse mix of classes, but shorter, HIIT themed sessions will continue to grow as fast, results-driven, atmospheric and motivational sessions out-do the more ‘traditional’ classes. Next year budget operators will continue to grow, both in the UK and internationally, however their provision and service levels will need to increase to fight competition; offering varied classes, functional training and indoor cycling in many instances. Essentially the original ‘budget’ sector will become the new mid-segment, putting pressure on others to keep innovating and adding value to members – most likely through technology advancements which are still playing a key role in engaging members.

Looking at issues, I’d advise a focus on staff and the quality of their training. There has continued to be some questions raised about ‘quick-win’ education courses and the capabilities of staff qualifying from these. Your staff are the most important asset you have as they are the ones that will deliver the service needed to attract and retain members, so it’s key to invest in them. Competition is only increasing, so we need to continue to innovate, but recognise that sometimes the best results come from just doing the small things exceptionally well. Suppliers will also need to look at how products are best integrated into clubs, and supporting the industry with quality education. It’s not always about the newest, funkiest looking product, it’s the results they deliver! Create experiences, not gyms… in the UK only 12% or so of the population visit gyms, and of those 12% only a few enjoy visiting them. Create an environment and experience that they enjoy, and want to come back for!” December 2016


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December 2016

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Different strokes Indoor rowing continues to be extremely popular in gyms up and down the country, we check-out the latest models.

“Rowing is enjoying a resurgence of interest and there is certainly demand for these in gyms, studios and larger clubs,” says John Halls, Physical Company Managing Director who has recently signed new deals with Concept2 and WaterRower to meet his customers’ demands.

Certainly no gym seems complete without a rowing machine. They can be relied upon to give a highly effective cardiovascular workout to help increase fitness levels and improve physique. A low-impact option which allows users to work to their own level, rowing machines are universally popular pieces of gym kit that suit people of all abilities: from beginners to fitness enthusiasts to those on rehab programmes. December 2016




the moving water, reduce slippage and produce an unrivalled simulation of the benefits of rowing. The WaterRower Natural is built from sustainably sourced hardwood which helps to absorb sound and vibration. It provides a realistic rowing stroke, using a belt and tank of water to provide the resistance, as opposed to the chain and air resistance of conventional rowers. It comes in different wood finishes to suit the gym environment.

One of the most familiar perhaps is the Concept 2 Model D - the world’s best-selling indoor rower. Recognised by competitive rowers as the standard for indoor training and known for its durability, it has a sophisticated Performance Monitor 5 to provide users with accurate, comparable data for every row. The Model D’s sleeker brother is the Model E rower which has a nickel plated chain and double powder coat with glossy finish to protect against scratches. Also with the Performance Monitor 5 technology for an unparalleled fullbody workout, its 20-inch set height makes it ideal for less mobile exercisers.

The WaterRower M1 Series requires no plug for power so can be easily placed anywhere on the gym floor. It has a choice of LoRise and HiRise legs and comes in a brushed stainless steel finish. The GX Studio series includes hybrid wood/ aluminum models with a monorail. Designed for use in fitness clubs and ideal for group-x rowing classes it features a simplified quick-start workout performance monitor making it easy for users to get going on their rowing.

Total Gym® Row Trainer™


The WaterRower rowing simulators have been established for 20 years and their stylish design, hand crafted workmanship and ethically sourced materials have certainly stood the test of time. The WaterRower’s unique WaterFlywheel design uses a specially formed paddle to cup

A rather different take on the classic rowing machine is the new Total Gym® Row Trainer™. The only row machine that uses adjustable bodyweight resistance on an incline, it is designed for multi-planar movement. It has over 20 different exercise options - including alternating side to side row and biceps curls - and can target all the muscle groups simultaneously. By providing both concentric and eccentric loading, it effectively trains prime stabilising muscles and boosts proprioception making it a great all-rounder. Available in the UK from Ethics Leisure.

For more information see and 28

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December 2016



Fit Kit

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

Niche Tea

Virtue The Niche Company are launching their first collection of six beautifully crafted Wellness Tea Blends for Mind, Body, Hair and Skin. Using a specially designed formula of medicinal natural herbs,

Niche Tea has premium health and wellbeing at its core. Over a number of years, Niche Tea have researched global herbal techniques and explored over 130 teas estates to create a collection of teas designed to improve hair, skin, sleep, energy and digestion. Visit:


A pioneering new range of positive energy drinks with their natural energy waters. Containing zero sugar, zero calories, no added sweeteners and as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, Virtue is the first of its kind in the UK – a clean fuel to hydrate and refresh, keep you alert on the go and give you the edge for your next workout. For each can of Lemon & Lime or Berry Virtue bought, Virtue will donate 500 litres of clean drinking water to communities in need. Visit:


Recovery footwear designed specifically for runners and

are available in nine colours online at and

The Reflective FlipBelt running and exercise belt is made with high quality moisture wicking micropoly fabric and stretch-friendly, ultra-reflective 3M materials. The innovative large-pocket tubular design allows you to easily and securely carry large phones, keys, IDs, cards, cash, small medical devices and more without a backpack, running pouch or running armband. Whether you're on a run, riding a bike, working out at the gym, with the Flipbelt, there´s no bulk, no chafing and no riding up.

specialist sports retailers.


fitness enthusiasts to soothe and reinvigorate the feet, allowing a faster recovery time. The shoes absorb 37% more shock than other foams and feature a patented footbed design that cradles your arches and reduces stress on sore feet, knees and backs, enabling more natural motion. OOFOS recovery footwear is available in the UK with three styles for men and women - thong (pictured), slide and clog. OOFOS


December 2016


PACK’D Smoothies

Wild Power Wheatgrass Fuel

Functional frozen Smoothie Kits, designed with nutritionists to give you a targeted health hit - Energy, Defence or Detox. Each original recipe has the precise whole fruit, vegetables and superfoods to create the ultimate smoothie in under a minute. Just add your choice of liquid and blend. Founded with the help of the Princes Trust and Virgin Startups, PACK’D is now stocked nationally by Sainsbury’s, Tesco, As Nature Intended, Planet Organic and Whole Foods.

Highly commended in the Free From Food Awards, these 60ml "FUEL" shots from Wild Power Wheatgrass combine the powerful benefits of Wheatgrass and Beetroot. Wheatgrass is jammed packed with essential nutrients and enzymes and the nitrates in Beetroot juice increase your blood flow capacity and lowers the amount of oxygen your muscles need. Combined, these two alkalising superfoods give these shots a powerful punch and are a must have item for every well-stocked gym.


Contact for more information.

TRX Plyo Boxes Physical Company, provider of Complete Fitness Solutions, has launched a range of HD Resistance Tubing with four resistance levels to offer a fast, effective and simple way to stay in shape in the gym and on-the-move. Offered as a lightweight, portable alternative to dumbbells and kettlebells, the tubes have plastic handles for improved grip and sturdiness, priming them for heavy duty use. The range comes with a number of accessories to maximise workout options. Visit:

Protein Drive Bars

Protein Drive Bars are a blend of low GI carbohydrates, healthy heart-kind fats, protein and high fibre. Protein Drive gives you a combination of great tasting ingredients that provides you with a high protein and energy snack for any occasion or it just helps you through the day. Whether you’re at the gym, on the golf course or running around in your daily life, Protein Drive is there to sustain energy levels and provide sufficient protein for efficient recovery in your daily life. Contact

December 2016



Not so fast! In his first column for Gym Owner Monthly, Paul Swainson, Head of Future Fit School of Personal Training, shares his thoughts on the speed of PT qualification We live in an ‘instant access’ world – everything’s at our fingertips, just a text, call, instant message away. No-one has any time to waste any more. That sense of urgency and the want-it-now culture can focus the mind and get things done. But it can also be stressful and can see things getting done too fast and without due care and attention. 32

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Spotlight Take the current state of training for a Level 3 Personal Trainer. You realise you could finish reading my ramblings here, book yourself on a Level 3 PT course and be qualified by Christmas. Does that excite or worry you? As a gym owner or professional working in our amazing sector, I would suspect (and hope) it worries you. It worries me. And it worries the vast majority of the employers Future Fit spoke to when compiling the Raising the Bar 2016 report. In fact, 84% said they believe the personal training qualifications should take no less than six months to complete and 48% went further to say they should take a minimum of 12 months. Every single one of them said that the practical assessment should be done using real clients and didn’t accept remote assessments or those done with simulated clients (aka their mates on the course!) Of the employers we spoke to for Raising the Bar 2016, 88% demanded that a minimum number of work experience hours within a gym should be included in a trainee’s assessment and 76% wanted evidence of case study work on real people. Separately in the report, 100% of the employers said they have to provide additional training to ensure fitness staff are work ready and 88% believe PT staff are not currently adequately equipped to engage with special populations including older adults, pre & post natal clients or those who are diabetic, overweight or obese. Well, considering the increasing demands on gyms and clubs to help people with these conditions improve their health I’d say that’s unacceptable. And it’s no coincidence employers need to top up training before their PTs are ‘work ready’: if you train someone too fast, pass them on a disingenuous practical assessment and let them turn up to a gym with a Level 3 Personal Trainer certificate with just a matter of weeks invested in their training what do you expect?

Quite apart from the fact gym members are potentially being let down by not having access to people with sufficient knowledge, expertise and skill to help them, the PTs themselves are being let down. How scary must it be to find yourself in front of someone who is seeking your advice and trusting you to help them when, deep down, you know you’re not sufficiently qualified or experienced. Ok, you say, newbie PTs can simply hand these clients over to someone else who does have the experience. Fair enough. But, actually, wouldn’t it be better if all Level 3 PTs start their work with six to 12 months’ training, practical experience with real case studies and the confidence that comes with studying, consolidating knowledge and building up real-life experience over many months? As a sector we need to change our attitude and start to value the longer training courses, invest in meaningful case study work and robust practical assessments and give our PTs all the training, help and support they need. I’m not averse to some of life’s quick fixes: internet banking, Amazon Prime and Uber are all very welcome. But when it comes to training the next generation of PTs to be my colleagues and fellow ambassadors for our precious sector, I’m saying ‘not so fast’ please. Some things take time and are worth waiting for.

Paul has a BSc(Hons) in Psychology including Exercise and Sport Psychology, Health Psychology and Biopsychology of Human Appetite. He has over 10 years’ experience as a gym instructor, personal trainer and course tutor, and has created a successful PT business as well being a writer and published author. Read the Raising the Bar 2016 report in full. December 2016


Advertising Feature

Find Your Finance Fit Managing Director of Johnson Reed, Mark Johnson, explores the pros and cons of capital purchase, leasing and venture capital funding.

When it comes to making a large business investment, the different methods of raising finance can understandably seem a little overwhelming. The leisure industry is attracting investment from all areas, and at a time when cash savings have zero interest, the returns can seem attractive. Whether you’re a start-up, growing or established business, it’s important to weigh up the different options and carefully consider your financial position before deciding upon the best course of action. CASH PURCHASE Parting with capital to cover a large purchase can be a very risky move, and can cripple your cash reserves or sacrifice the funds you might have otherwise invested in more proactive areas of the business, like recruiting more staff or increasing your marketing efforts. However, as is with any cash purchase, when it’s yours, it’s yours! You have full ownership of your equipment, and you needn’t worry about any ongoing contract agreements. This is also beneficial when the kit is at the end of its working life, or you wish to upgrade. You can sell it on, if you wish, and invest the money back into your business or your new purchase. LEASING A lease allows you to gain access to the equipment immediately, rather than when your budget will allow. The cost of the assets is spread through regular fixed repayments over an agreed term, each 100% allowable as a taxdeductible expense. One supposed disadvantage of leasing is that the accumulation of all the repayments will exceed the original value of the assets, but in some instances, the tax savings outweigh this. Furthermore, making the repayments whilst you’re using the kit and making profits on membership, you’re likely to break even sooner.

Technically, the lease company or lessor would be renting the equipment to the you throughout the agreed period, so you wouldn’t have ownership of the goods. Depending on the type of agreement, you may have the option to purchase the title for a sum similar or equivalent to one of your repayments, or alternatively, the goods can be returned for no extra cost. Whilst the lessee is in a fixed contract and would not be able to settle the outstanding amount sooner than planned, some agreements allow an upgrade option. In an industry of constantly-evolving technology, providing high quality is key to member retention. VENTURE CAPITAL FUNDING Venture capital funding refers to investors who seek private equity in a business, usually at start-up or SME stage. Starting your own business is a long and gruelling process with a lot of gambles involved, and that financial security can help you grow and get your vision off the ground much more quickly. There are also government incentives, like the SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme) for example, that provide tax-efficient investments. In both cases, investors usually have a wealth of business expertise you can benefit from, alongside useful resources and connections. However, once you’ve opted into a contract, you’ll be sacrificing a proportion of your ownership and future profits indefinitely. In some cases, you can risk losing management control completely. These ventures are often referred to as ‘high risk, high return’, and whilst it can be a great comfort to have financial backing at the ‘high risk’ stage, parting with a portion of your ‘high return’ can be bittersweet.

Decisions within hours, exceptionally-high approval rates and best rates guaranteed, Johnson Reed’s Fitness Finance can help you with equipment leasing and loans. To find out more, visit


December 2016


JUST LEASE IT. EQUIPMENT FINANCE TO HELP GROW YOUR BUSINESS Working in association with the UK’s leisure and fitness industry, Johnson Reed offers a quick and simple method of financing gym equipment. Unlike traditional banks we are able to fund all of your installation, thus maximising your tax position and cash flow.








Call: 0161 429 6949 | Bridge House, Newbridge Lane, Stockport SK1 2NA | F: 0161 429 6959 December 2016



MORE THAN JUST A TREADMILL Expert comment from Rachel Glew on the trends and technological advances for indoor running Today’s gym members are seeking increased variety, technological connection and opportunities for social interaction. To create an upsurge in running participation gym owners need to differentiate their offerings by wrapping multiple experiences around their treadmill area. Putting a treadmill on the gym floor is not enough. Members need to be able to easily identify the personal benefits of running for themselves, and instructors need to be educated to gain competency in designing and delivering treadmill sessions that appeal to all ages and abilities. 36

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Trends Outdoor preparation At Strength In Motion Fitness we prepare clients for obstacle course races year round. When the weather and dark nights prohibit outdoor sessions a treadmill is a vital training modality. OCRs typically require participants to be able to run up to 12 miles so it’s important to combine running with functional strength training to replicate realistic end demand. By choosing a performance-based 5k or 10k treadmill workout program in place of quick start, runners can immerse themselves in treadmill-determined gradient changes that best match the undulating surface of outdoor mud terrains.

Active workplace

Running with the pack With 1,100,000 registered runners, parkrun has gone from strength to strength since it launched in 2004. Parkrun’s success demonstrates our intrinsic human desire to be part of a larger social ‘pack’, motivating and supporting one another. The emerging boutique sector (Barry’s Bootcamp/ Orange Theory) provides group-based indoor treadmill runs alongside strength circuits to create high intensity sessions with cult followings. At Life Fitness Academy we have been delivering group-exercise running CPD courses for the last ten years. By combining instructor education with creative gym-floor layouts gym owners can recreate the running pack experience indoors.

Immerse yourself Earlier in the year, we saw British Astronaut Tim Peake complete the London Marathon on a custom-made treadmill with an in-built anti-gravity harness to overcome space weightlessness. Using the virtual reality technology of Run Social, Tim created his own avatar to compete digitally with other runners around the world, in real time, whilst also orbiting the Earth two and a half times.

One of the trends we have seen in recent years is a growing interest from the corporate sector into how they can build activity into the workplace and reduce absenteeism through conditions such as back pain. The InMovement range from Life Fitness, aims to readdress the balance of an active lifestyle at work through their range of treadmill and standing desks. Treadmill desks help boost productivity, metabolism and overall health, combining form and function in an office environment.

Speed it up HIIT also remains a dominant trend among gym goers. By educating both instructors and members on the variety of programs treadmills offer, gym owners can encourage a move away from default quick starts. Runners have to monitor their own speed and gradient changes during outdoor HIIT training or utilise wearable technology to assist with cues to change. By combining the Life Fitness Discover treadmill and LFconnect app it’s possible for members to create pre-set and pre-timed speed and incline programs instead leaving them free to just focus on enjoying the experience.

From New Zealand’s North Island to Yosemite National Park in the US, Run Social and Life Fitness LifeScape courses allow treadmill runners to run routes around the world that time and access barriers may prevent them experiencing otherwise. Immersive courses appeal to those members seeking both a mental and physical connection as they help to focus the mind and provide a visual distraction from the task in hand.

Staying connected Seamless compatibility with wearable technology and tracking apps like LFconnect is an increasingly common requirement for the modern gym user. With options to post and share running results to social media technology can help to provide a greater level of accountability for runners and create engagement with like-minded individuals. Instructors can also use real time data on pace and heart rate to educate members on specific ways to improve their performance.

Backed by a decade’s practical experience Rachel Glew is a REPs Level 4 Personal Trainer with additional qualifications as a Tutor, Level 1 British Olympic Weightlifting Coach, Level 2 Training for Warriors Coach and Leader in Running Fitness. Alongside her role as a Life Fitness Academy Master Trainer Rachel runs Strength In Motion Fitness®. For more expert advice from Rachel Glew, visit:

December 2016



WHAT’S A THE COR Ben Coomber shares his predictions for the coming year One thing I love about working in fitness, health and nutrition is that it is such a fast-paced, constantly changing beast. Each year new tech, new research and new trends alter what we are all doing in some way or another, and that makes for a really interesting career!

Wearable lifestyle trackers

Sure, the fundamentals of our practice never change, nor should they. To lose fat you need a calorie deficit, to improve your lactate threshold you have to perform given exercises at a given intensity for a given amount of time, to get stronger you have to lift weights and eat a bunch of protein. It is what it is, but we can look at different trends year on year, and we can also predict what will be the ‘in thing’ in years to come. Remember when ‘functional fitness’ was in, and everyone bought a TRX for their gym, and started training clients on balance boards and BOSU balls? That was in part just a swing away from the trend which went before it: true bodybuilding style training (chest on Monday, concentration curls for a peak, and whatnot). Every year the trends change, and I don’t think 2017 will be any different. Here’s my predictions for the coming year – let’s see if you agree. 38

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Noticed that just about everyone has some kind of step-counting thing on their wrist nowadays? Whether it’s a FitBit, Jawbone, Apple watch, MiBand or other bit of kit, it’s hard to ignore just how many people are sporting a lifestyle tracker.


AROUND RNER? It’s fair to say that they’re a pretty big ‘step up’ (sorry) from the old pedometers which were given out years ago when ‘do 10,000 steps per day’ was first put forward as a health initiative, too. Not only are they WAY more accurate, they track your sleep quality, they buzz to remind you to move and they can be hooked up to a smartphone app which will give you other tips for healthy living. They look fashionable, tell the time in place of a watch and can be used to read text messages. Perfect, smooth integration into your life. The reason I think these are going to be so popular is because they are amazing at creating habits. They allow you to set and meet goals, which makes activity more like a game than a chore which you ‘have to do because it’s good for you’. After that, you have a physical thing on your arm which buzzes to get you to do what you planned to – that makes it really difficult to forget to go for that afternoon walk. Finally, when you have performed your target amount of steps, your phone showers you with praise which provides a reward response in your brain to make you feel good. Hey presto – a cue to perform a task and a reward for doing it. Before you realise what’s going on you’ll be craving that reward, and leading an active life will be something which you actually want to do. For the general population who are generally largely inactive, this can lead to significant weight loss and general health improvements, which is really, really cool. I predict that these will be the big present this Christmas, and I definitely consider that a good thing!

A return to ‘healthy eating’

10-15 years ago, eating ‘clean’ was just what you did. You ate clean to get or stay lean, and if your progress slowed you just kind of….ate cleaner. An interesting thing happened because of this which takes a little explanation. The thing that we need to appreciate is that what ‘we’ fitness people do is often what we either intentionally or unintentionally promote as the thing which is necessary to make progress. What this meant in this case, is that highly dedicated fitness professionals and athletes who are so involved in their healthy lifestyle that eating organic, natural, whole foods 100% of the time (typically low carb or low fat), started advocating it to ‘regular’ people who just wanted to shrink their wobbly bits and feel a bit healthier. We set them up to fail, because when fitness and healthy eating isn’t your life, the thing that IS your life gets in the way of spending 2 hours per day in the kitchen cooking quinoa and sautéing organic kale in grass fed butter. Fortunately, the industry got its proverbial head out of its proverbial rear end and flexible dieting became a lot more December 2016


Trends popular. Suddenly the fitpros who used to eat ‘clean as a whistle’ were weighing and tracking food to the gram, while also loosening up their food choices a lot. As always happens, this then got promoted to clients.

The popularity of Lean in 15 by Joe Wicks is testament to this. People are getting results because they have easy to follow, healthy eating advice, which advocates ‘a little of what you fancy’ in the context of an overall wholefood approach.

It’s easier, because you can eat whatever you want!

Calories in vs calories out is what matters, but there are a lot of ways to skin a cat, and I think that fitpros are soon going to stop asking clients for MyFitnessPal tracking and food weighing, and start asking them to just start basing meals on whole foods and being mindful of food portions again, perhaps this time around with an understanding that calories matter, and that a little flexibility is no bad thing.

Except it didn’t work. Some folks did great, of course, but many people don’t want to weigh and track food, and most people who come to a coach actually want to start eating healthier. They aren’t sick and tired of restriction to the point that they are dying for a Big Mac, because they never stopped eating them. In fact, they’re a bit sick of eating whatever they want, and they’re ready for a little healthy refrain when it comes to food choices.

Clean eating happened, scientific junk food eating happened, let’s go back to the middle, please?

Obstacle course racing (OCR)


I remember when Tough Mudder and Rat Race were first emerging in the UK. I thought ‘Huh, that’s a pretty cool gimmick. Might have a go at some point’ and that was about it. Never would I have predicted that OCR competitions would grow to the size they are now.

Crossfit has been called a fad, a ‘flash in the pan’ and a sideshow for over 10 years now. I think it’s time that the mainstream fitness world just accepts that it’s a legitimate sport, a massively popular training modality and a force to be really reckoned with.

With hundreds of local events, a number of global competitions and hundreds of thousands of people racing through mud, water, fire and electricity every year this weekend challenge has evolved into a sport all in it’s own right. I think that the success of programmes like Ninja Warrior along with the rise of the next point on this list will only tie in to bringing adventure racing right up to the level that it honestly deserves to be.

Crossfit is everywhere, even if you don’t necessarily do Crossfit. I don’t remember the last time I went into a commercial gym and DIDN’T see at least one person squatting to proper depth. I don’t remember the last time I spoke to a girl who didn’t want to lift weights because it would make them bulky. Puregyms are starting to install lifting platforms and get bumper plates.

It’s fun, it’s hard and it’s a unique challenge which you can really train for. What more do you need? 40

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I could be wrong, but I think Crossfit did that. Crossfit is showing us that you can be fit AND be in incredible

Trends shape. It’s showing us that you don’t need to do endless amounts of kinda dull machine training and isolation work to look incredible, and it’s showing us that normal people with normal jobs and normal lives can be athletes, too. With it’s increased popularity I think that the historic ‘issues’ surrounding Crossfit including a stereotype of poor form and poor coaching will go away. Coaching quality, competition regulation and overall organisation of the sport will get better. Perceived injury risk will decrease to go alongside this, and a greater range of scaled movements/workouts will draw in a wider crowd. It’s just one training methodology in a sea of many, and I’m not for a moment taking away from pure Olympic lifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding or any other training modality, but I certainly think that the community feel, the constant coaching/attention during each box visit and the attractiveness of the colourful leggings will draw in far more of the non-training population while the improved standards will attract athletes from other disciplines, too. It’s going to be an exciting year! Ben Coomber is a performance nutritionist (BSc, ISSN) speaker and writer. For more information visit:



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December 2016



Time to get

with the NEW HEAVY DUTY (HD) WAVE BATTLE ROPE There’s no quicker way to raise your pulse, get your head in the zone and your muscles engaged than with a battle rope. And with the new heavy-duty HD Wave Battle Rope from Physical Company that challenge just got more exciting. Incorporating resistance tubing that elicits muscle contractions throughout the entire body and up to three training planes simultaneously, this great piece of kit will tax your clients’ strength, core stability and grit in double-quick time. These 20ft ropes are encased in a protective nylon sheath for excellent durability and have comfortable handles with safety webbing to help clients get a grip on the exercise. Available in three resistance levels – Level 1: 50lbs; Level 2 75lbs; Level 3: 105lbs – you’ll be sure to find one to suit the task and client in hand.

Alternating Slam Stand facing the anchor point with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Engaging the core and holding the Battle Rope, raise alternating arms up and down to shoulder height. Continue as rapidly as possible. 42

December 2016

Don’t be boring with your HD Wave Battle Rope and try this blast of a workout from Kelly Edwards, Physical Company master trainer.

Gear Jumping Back Slam Stand facing the anchor point with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Engaging the core and holding the HD Wave Battle Rope, raise both arms, bent at the elbow, drive the battle rope up and down. Continue the slams while simultaneously jumping back 3 paces and return to your original position by jumping forward 3 paces.

Skater Slam Stand facing the anchor point with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Engaging the core and holding the HD Wave Battle Rope, raise both arms up and slam the battle rope up and down to the floor. While doing so, raise your right leg, and leap laterally to your left leg in a skater motion, taking the left leg behind, whilst balancing, then repeat to the other side. Once finished, return to a neutral position.

Find out more at or call 01494 769 222 for expert advice. December 2016


How to

Press Play! Mike Arce, from Loud Rumor, outlines three ways to use online video marketing to attract new members Video is a huge influence when it comes to marketing your gym or fitness studio. At Loud Rumor, we include video for every single one of the studios we work with. It’s a must. In an industry that’s so visually focused, there’s no end to the creative possibilities with this. Whether you’re just starting your fitness business or you already have an established gym, here are three ways to use video to bring in more paying members.


Video Testimonials

Testimonials are a huge part of any great marketing strategy, and the best ones are captured on video. On average, 65% of new business comes from referrals, which makes these testimonial videos one of your best ways to bring in new people through your doors. Most gyms fail at video testimonials because they simply don’t ask their members to do them. Have a process in place for getting this done: Determine what criteria you’ll look for before asking someone to do a testimonial, and assign someone on your team to stay on top of this. Find members who have had a completely fantastic experience … the kind that you want every member to hear about. Here are some things to look for: 44

December 2016

 Body fat loss percentage  Inches lost/gained (depending on their goals)  Improvement in mood  Improvement in self esteem  Difference in nutrition intake  And so on Video testimonials give more credibility to your gym and make people feel more connected to your place. And don’t worry. You don’t need to have a professional camera for this, you can film these with your phone. The important thing is to capture your members’ success somehow. Then upload them on your website where you’d like to host a whole collection of these testimonials.

How to


Facebook Live Video

Facebook Live is the newest and most personal way to do video marketing. Not only does it harness the massive reach that Facebook offers — about 1.71 billion monthly active users — but it also shows your audience the real you. Facebook Live is raw and uncut, and that’s a major attention-grabber: according to Social Media Today, people watch a video for 3 times longer when it’s live.

During the live broadcast you can see and respond to comments to keep your viewers engaged.

Facebook Live is one of the easiest ways to put out a ton of marketing content for your studio or gym. Open the Facebook app on your phone and follow these steps:

 What to eat before and after a workout

Once your Facebook Live is over, you can edit the video description, boost it to more people, pin it to the top of your page so it’s the first thing your audience sees, tag people, and more. Want to go live but not sure what to talk about? Here are some topic ideas:  Best ways to fit more cardio into your workout  Your favorite exercise (you could even do this with each of your trainers)  What’s new at the gym  How to put together a great meal plan

'In an industry that’s so visually focused, there’s no end to the creative possibilities with this'


Video Ads

Facebook’s Video Ads show up in your target audience’s newsfeeds just like a regular status, but they come with the added benefit of Facebook’s autoplay function. So as someone scrolls through their Facebook feed, your ad really stands out. They don’t even have to click to watch the video - it plays automatically. Video ads should show footage of your gym space, workouts, and group classes so people know what to expect before they even visit your location. The great thing about this video is that it’s super versatile. Aside from your paid ads, you can also include it on the landing pages you use in your campaign as a way to increase conversions (by as much as 80%). You can also push it out on social media organically or embed it onto your website’s home page. You can even include it in an email blast to your current members as a way to upsell them on a new program or service. And again, this can be filmed with just your phone. The important thing is to just give your audience more visuals. Video marketing is one of the best ways to get your gym out there to more of your ideal members. Test these strategies out and let us know which ones performed the best for your gym!

Mike Arce is the Founder and CEO of Loud Rumor, an online marketing agency that helps fitness studios grow and get more customers. Through their proven program Fit FLAVER, Mike has been able to combine his passion for both the fitness industry and marketing. For more information see December 2016



The import excellent in Create an amazing first impression and get your induction training spot-on Words: Matt Bolam, Training Manager, Speedflex UK & Ireland

In an increasingly competitive market, it is important to ensure you provide customers with additional services to help you stand out from the crowd and to assist individuals in achieving their health and fitness goals. Offering a great induction not only provides a good first impression to potential customers, but also helps you to initially find out more about the individual and the specific goals that they want to work towards. For a lot of new customers, it might be the first time they’ve stepped into an exercise environment, and naturally, some apprehension and nerves will be in play. This is one of the reasons why it is crucial to make each person feel welcomed and valued as soon as you meet them. The customer needs to feel like the time you spend with them really matters and that you care about making them feel at ease. In order to provide this great service at Speedflex we keep our inductions to a maximum of two people, which differs greatly to those provided by the majority of standard multi-national gyms, who often offer more generic inductions for larger groups of people. In a larger group induction it can be difficult for each individual to get the attention they want and need. We feel that being able to offer smaller size inductions gives our customers a much more personalised experience. 46

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tance of an nduction Ascertain a start point Before embarking on a new fitness regime or making any changes to a training routine, it is essential to ascertain someone’s starting point – i.e. their baseline, in order to set goals and recommendations. By using a measurement tool such as an Inbody body composition analyser which is part of the Speedflex induction process we are able to obtain an accurate picture of our customers’ body composition and provide a baseline for goal setting. We focus on key areas such as body fat, muscle mass and visceral fat and how the relationship between them all relates to general health and overall wellbeing. We always offer feedback on the results and help customers to set realistic goals, using this information and encouraging them to book in for follow-up assessments after a certain amount of time in order to see tangible progress. Being able to set goals and see real results is one of the main reasons why our customers stay with us for a longer period of time and remain engaged on their Speedflex journey.

Instant feedback Once a physical starting point has been established we explain the basic use of the MYZONE heart rate system, which is integrated into all of our Speedflex sessions to give the customer a clear measure of their effort levels when exercising. The advantages of using MYZONE to track training intensity and volume over time (by using either the app provided or by email) is then explained to the customer. This encourages members to engage with heart rate training and HIIT as an exercise regime and shows them the benefits of receiving instant feedback during and after sessions. Utilising a heart rate system is a great way of retaining members as they can easily see and track their training progress and results. People really like to see for themselves that the work and effort they put in gets rewarded and offers motivation to continue with their training regime.

Open dialogue At Speedflex, we believe it is also crucial that our inductees experience a typical Speedflex as part of our induction process. This enables customers to get an insight into Speedflex training and how it differs to conventional training regimes, by trying it out for themselves in a real life studio setting. Customers need to experience the high intensity training methods we use on our Speedflex machines as it can often be a completely new way of training for a lot of people. The benefits of HIIT are highlighted to the customer along with the advantages of spending less time exercising, whilst still achieving great results. During the practical induction encouragement from the trainer, as well as the trainer’s ability to adapt the induction session is important. To have an open dialogue for questions during and after the practical session is also a great way of engaging with the client, which may not always be possible in larger inductions.

Key points The key points to providing an excellent induction are to keep the group small, focus on a couple of things that makes your offering unique and make it a personalised introduction to your facility, along with using measurement tools to set realistic goals. These factors combined will help engage the inductee and encourage them to return for more. December 2016



'Branded func are becom We talk to Gavin Whelan, Senior Sales Director at TRX How did you get into the fitness industry? I was a professional football player for eight years, but before and after that I was working in sales. A little over three years ago, I got the chance to enter the fitness industry when I started working for TriggerPoint and luckily, things have gone extremely well since then. I’ve recently moved from TriggerPoint, taking the exciting opportunity to work for TRX.

What sets TRX apart from its competitors? I believe it is the high quality of our education and programming that sets us apart. TRX are also a cool, desirable brand in the functional training space, with so many elite athletes and celebrities choosing to use and endorse our brand over the competitors in the same space.

How do you see functional training evolving over the next few years? I believe there will be a big move towards functional training education as operators realise that these spaces are only brought to life by educated and confident trainers. I feel that there will be multiple small functional training areas, or zones as opposed to the large spaces we are seeing at present. Small Functional training ecosystems are a great way to transform quiet gym floor or studio spaces into revenue generating small group, or personal training areas within a club.


December 2016

What is your vision for TRX in the UK and EMEA? My vision for TRX is to become the preeminent functional training brand in both product and education within every club in Europe. I want gym goers to think of a TRX workout as everything from slam balls to battle ropes, kettlebells, suspension trainers and every other functional tool in between. I want trainers to rely on TRX education to help them expertly coach their clients and program quality, effective workouts in their facilities which will help propel member experience within the functional training space to a higher level.

The TRX can seem intimidating to a new gym-user. How can you combat this? I agree it can be a little daunting, but like every piece of kit in a gym it is down to the internal fitness team to be educated and confident enough to take new members over to a TRX suspension trainer the same way they would a treadmill or a bike. Trainers and staff need to familiarise themselves with the basics and maybe integrate suspension training into the induction or initial gym program for members.

How are TRX maximising the growth of functional spaces on the gym floor? We have just launched our new Functional Training Course (FTC) which takes learners through multi modalities of functional training using our seven foundational


nctional zones ming popular' movements. It also contains a proven system on how to successfully cue and program clients through functional training style workouts. This course, along with our new line of functional accessories that include TRX slam balls, battle ropes, kettlebells, mini-bands and medicine balls, and our anchoring and storage systems are ways in which we’re maximising the possibilities of the functional space. We are also recognising that smaller, branded functional ‘Zones’ are becoming popular. These areas typically incorporate corner units and flat wall bays which work really well where space is limited.

What are your own personal fitness goals and how do you achieve these?

What are the biggest challenges facing TRX over the next few years?

I feel that the fitness industry has taught me to continually challenge myself, keep pushing boundaries, keep trying to get better at what I do in business and in life. Never be afraid to fail and always get back at it and try again.

I think the biggest challenge we face is continuing to level up and bring new innovative ideas, products, education and experiences to the fitness industry.

How do you see the gym market changing in the next few years (with the growth of budget gyms, boutiques and pay-as-yougo)? It’s tough to know exactly what will happen but I think the budget gyms will certainly force the premium chains to improve their standards and offer amazing customer experiences, whereas in my opinion the boutiques will continue to pave the way in innovation and trend setting. I’m not as confident in the pay-as-you-go model, it may well be squeezed out or taken over by the budget gyms as they begin to offer more classes at such low monthly rates.

I’m struggling with my fitness goals at present as I’m finding it very difficult to get into a routine with so much travel and work commitments. But, I try to play football at least once a week still and take my TRX everywhere with me to get one or two workouts in during the week when I’m travelling.

What’s been the best lesson you’ve learnt from the fitness industry?

'I want trainers to rely on TRX education to help them expertly coach their clients and program quality, effective workouts in their facilities'

December 2016


PT Viewpoint

The best hig workouts fo Hayley Madigan shares her top 3 high intensity training methods

By now the majority of gym goers have read or researched the long lasting effects of high intensity training and attempt to implement this type of training to their weekly gym routine. However, with considerable amounts of conflicting advice on what the best high intensity workout is it’s no wonder that many of us get confused and don’t perform these training styles in the correct way. From experiencing vast amounts of different workout regimes and to getting my own body fat levels to minimal whilst competing in natural bodybuilding competitions, I have explored the best high intensity training methods and wish to share with you my Top 3: Tabata Made famous by the Japanese professor Izumu Tabata, this high intensity protocol is often deemed elite due to its significant results on anaerobic capacity and VO2max levels. This method uses a simple approach by keeping rest times to a minimum and allows the exerciser to workout hard for short periods of time; it is extremely versatile and can be used with any exercise.


December 2016

The procedure is:  20 seconds - 100% Effort  10 seconds - Recovery and Rest  Repeat x 8 otal of 4 minutes (2 minutes 40 seconds of work; T 1 minute 20 seconds rest)

PT Viewpoint

gh intensity or fat loss PHA

Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) training isn’t talked about as often as it should be, it is vigorous in its requirements of intense exercise for a continued period of time without any rest and therefore this training programme is seriously intense. Made infamous by the 1960’s legend bodybuilder Bob Gajda this type of training is regularly used for bodybuilders during their cutting phases and competition prep because it not only burns significant amounts of fat but also preserves and builds muscle.

working at a high intensity for longer periods of time thus allowing you to burn fat at a higher rate after exercise.

This training style is specifically designed to keep the blood circulated throughout the whole body during the entire workout, where the smaller muscles around the heart are worked on first before the larger muscles around the body’s periphery. You then alternate between upper and lower body exercises which helps facilitate circulation to various muscles allowing you to not develop the ‘burn’ in one particular muscle group.

Attempt the following and adjust times and weights to suit your fitness levels:  Warm-up – 1000m jog or 5-minute gentle jog on the treadmill  Exercise 1: Incline Treadmill Sprints – Incline 10.0 Speed 16kphm – Sprint for 30 seconds  Exercise 2: Bodyweight Squat Jumps – 30 seconds  Exercise 3: Standing Shoulder Press (8kg dumbbells) – 30 seconds  Exercise 4: Bodyweight Lunge Split Jumps – 30 seconds  Exercise 5: Press up rows (8kg dumbbells) – 30 seconds  Exercise 6: Burpees – 30 seconds  Rest for 30 seconds  Repeat the whole circuit 5 times

So because your body doesn’t develop the lactic acid within just one muscle group, it has the ability to keep pushing and

Total time: 22.5 minutes (including 5-minute warm-up)

HIIT Sprints: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) refers to set intervals that are completed at a high intensity; my favourite type of interval training has to be sprints. Treadmill or bike, sprints are one of the most powerful and explosive movements you can do. When merging sprints with the HIIT protocol you gain one of the best high intense workouts there is and improve your fat loss potential vastly. Once again keeping your rest periods to a minimum will increase your oxygen dept. post workout (this is often referred to as EPOC which the phenomenon that is responsible for your after exercise calorie burn lasting up to 72 hours – this is dependent on the intensity of your workout). Therefore, you need to find a suitable interval pattern that will not only push you to your limits but will also allow substantial recovery time in order for you to be able to give maximal effort at your next interval – this will depend on your recovery rate and the fitter you get the better your recovery rate will become.

Try the following sequence:  Warm-up – 5-minute gentle bike spin – aiming for RPM: 60-70  Sprint 1: Increase resistance to a suitable level that you can maintain for 30 seconds and sprint full out but maintain pace for the duration of the sprint.  Recovery 1: Decrease resistance by 5 levels and recover ride for 30 seconds. Repeat this Sprint and Recovery sequence (30 seconds on, 30 seconds off) for anywhere between 15 to 20 minutes. You should choose a suitable resistance on the machine that pushes your limits and gets you out of breath within the first 2 or 3 sprints. For example: I would sprint at level 15 or 16 resistance and recover on level 10. As you become fitter you can decrease the recovery time or increase the resistance – or both!

Hayley Madigan is a Physical Education teacher in a secondary school in Hampshire as well as a personal trainer and professional athlete. For more information see or follow @tmchayley on Instagram. December 2016



THE YEAR AHEAD Gavin Whelan, EMEA Senior Sales Director, TRX “We’re definitely going to see a continued rise in small group training and boutique-style HIIT classes. Digital based workouts and self-guided fitness will become more prominent and I think yoga will continue to enjoy its surge in popularity as the wellness and fitness markets continue to merge and members become more aware of the importance of a healthy body and mind. I also believe mobility based training and functional training will remain on the rise as more member’s demand training for their everyday lives and activities. In terms of issues set to face the industry, it would be fair to say that advancement in technology and digital fitness applications will cause issues for clubs that don’t evolve and

cater to the demands of the younger generation. We are living in an on-demand era where information and results can be tracked and read instantly, and the fitness industry needs to be offering this level of instant service. In my opinion there are issues around customer service and experience within the sector. I think operators need to learn from brands like Apple, Emirates and Marriott who are excellent when it comes to providing great customer experiences and service if they want to attract and retain members. Another issue is how members’ consumer media. The platforms are ever changing and I think operators need to be aware of this and have the correct people or resources in place to stay current and engaged with members online. This helps create a sense of community and can improve retention.”

Richard Sheen, National Sales Manager, Pulse “The trend of Functional Fitness is definitely here to stay and we’ve seen a huge demand over the past 12 - 18 months in creating dedicated functional spaces. However, the move is now towards hybrid studios and gym areas that can be used for both functional fitness and traditional group exercise classes without compromising on space. We have seen great advances in gym design and layout to incorporate these types of spaces, bringing innovative new kit into the limelight.

The use of clever storage allows even smaller gyms to accommodate functional fitness kit and the traditional group class. This has created the need for bespoke, branded and zoned areas within the gym environment through the use of distinguished flooring to accommodate the different training methods. It’s something we are asked about on regular basis as operators and gym owners look to maximise on their facility usage.”

Richard Merrick, Group Fitness Manager, Freedom Leisure “With an ever-growing ageing and retired population, there has never been a more important time for the fitness industry to engage with and enhance its offering for older adults. Coming in at number 11 in the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual fitness trends survey, we couldn’t agree more that this is a 52

December 2016

vital area of fitness to focus our attention towards. We see this as huge trend in 2017, which is why we have already sent some of our staff on a Functional Fitness MOT course. The course, gives our staff the correct skills to review customers’ functional fitness levels relating to everyday tasks and will allow them

Trends to identify any risks such as falling or any muscular imbalances a member might have. The course is specifically aimed at older adults as a guide to help them identify potential issues early on before using it as a tool to encourage physical activity.

Across our fitness programmes for older adults we are also introducing a series of specific falls prevention sessions as well as lots of new walking sports programmes. We hope that by introducing slower versions of much-loved sports such as football, we can encourage the older generation to keep active and socialise within our local communities.”

John Halls, Managing Director, Physical Company “A trend we expect to see take off in 2017 is embedding Near Field Communications (NFC) tags into fitness kit to enhance users’ workouts and encourage greater interaction with their fitness kit. NFC is a method of wireless data transfer that detects and enables technologies in close proximity to communicate with each other. This allows smartphones and other enabled devices to communicate with NFC tags embedded in kit.

We have embedded NFC tags into our new Performance Rollers and PBX Bags which will be launching early 2017. The tags are loaded with key exercises to try with that kit so when the user holds their smartphone over the tag, the information uploads to show a range of ideas. With technology leading the way in fitness trends for 2017, we think NFC-enabled kit will become increasingly in demand and is most definitely coming to a gym near you in the next few months.”

Adam El-Agez, Founder, My Virtual Mission “Things have been heading the virtual route for a while now, but 2017 is the year that more and more of us will be competing in online races and challenges. The Conqueror Event Series is a series of virtual events that test the endurance of fitness fanatics. The famous 1,083mile Land’s End to John O’Groats route is the first event in The Conqueror Event Series and is designed for runners, cyclists, and walkers who want to add a sense of adventure and exploration to their regular exercise sessions. Users track their distances and plot them on a map of the UK to

see how far in real distance they have come. On track to be the world’s largest virtual fitness event of its kind, it is open to individuals and teams such as friends, business groups, sports clubs and gyms. The challenge is designed to help people stay motivated to workout, particularly during the cold winter months when many will be starting training plans for a spring marathon or other endurance event. The virtual nature of the event means that you can complete a fantastic challenge without having to train outside in the gloomy weather.”

Katie Matthews, Area Business & Training Manager, Swimming Nature “What has become increasingly evident is the rise of injury in association to HIIT style training, with more and more people seeking us out to incorporate swimming to their weekly fitness regimes and aid in active recovery. Adults are reaping the rewards by adding swimming as part of their HIIT regime, not only does it mean less time in the gym, but they benefit from active recovery by improving their endurance capacity and the ability to take in and use oxygen effectively. They do this whilst still gaining all the fat-burning, metabolism-boosting benefits of HIIT. We

have seen lots of fitness enthusiasts coming to us wanting to improve their stroke and reduce high-impact workouts for this very reason. If you aren't particularly keen on swimming itself, pool running (or aqua jogging) provides a great cardio workout without the impact, giving your joints a break from the hard pavement. Of course, correct technique is essential to secure maximum benefits. If in any doubt contact a specialist, at Swimming Nature our qualified instructors provide one-to-one tuition lessons and pointers about how to improve your strokes.” December 2016



Ben Beevers, Associate Director, Everyone Active “Digital Developments - The development of apps and fitness devices mean that people are used to receiving personalised data on their performance. Gyms need to mirror this, offering a tangible way for customers to track their progress and provide statistics on their achievements – was that workout a personal best, how does it compare to their last visit? Members expect instant feedback and our challenge as leisure operators is to replicate this in centre and deliver a personalised joined-up gym experience. For example, allowing members to set a goal and track their progress digitally. Providing a way to share that improvement is also key, so customers can let friends know about their PB or post the details of the great class they just participated in, via social media sites or community pages. Virtual Classes – the continued development of technology will see the virtual class offering become more and more sophisticated as suppliers bring new products to market and operators continue to seek new ways of differentiating their products. Strength training and functional fitness – continued growth

in this area. Members are increasingly aware of the benefits of strength training and are demanding a better provision of free weights and functional training equipment. Operators are now catering for this demand in the mix of equipment they provide. This will continue in 2017 as members across all activity levels and genders exploit the benefits of strength training. Personal Training – The number of people benefitting from Personal Training will continue to rise as we seek a more bespoke, focused and targeted outcome. Trainers will need to become more specialist and niche in what they offer to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded and growing marketplace of trainers. Exercise as Medicine - Growth in the awareness of the health-related benefits of exercise and exercise as an alternative to medicines will result in operators having to ensure they remain inclusive and non-intimidating. Further training for fitness instructors and colleagues will ensure that leisure centres can attract and cater for people with a variety of issues and conditions.”

Pete McCall, Master Instructor, Core Health & Fitness “We will see more alignment with popular professional sports leagues. UFC Gyms, which allow members to exercise in an environment that replicates how MMA stars train for competition, are experiencing rapid growth both in the United States and internationally. Reebok, a major sponsor of the UFC, licensed their name to Power Systems for a line of high intensity strength training equipment. The Stairmaster Gauntlet teamed up with Spartan Race, Inc. in a partnership that allows users to do Sprint, Beast or Super hill profiles and distances without leaving the gym. Clubs will be evolving their business models to offer a ‘studio-within-a-club’ workout experience. Health club companies are in the process of renovating their facilities to create distinct, unique exercise spaces to rival options offered by area boutique studios. We will see more

health clubs structure their group fitness programs and aggressively market them in an effort to win business back from the boutiques. In response to the rapidly aging population, clubs will relaunch machine-based circuit training workouts. High intensity strength training is safe for older adults but many may lack the mobility and foundational strength to perform the complicated barbell lifts popular in many high intensity programs. On the other hand, weight-training machines offer a safe way to help older club members experience the numerous benefits from strength training. It’s important to remember that circuit weight training on Nautilus equipment became popular during the health club boom of the 1980s, now that the members who first joined health clubs thirty years ago are retiring, we will see a nostalgic return to this format.”

For the very latest industry developments follow Gym Owner Monthly on


December 2016

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Sound & Vision Virtual classes and download music systems are all the rage at the moment, read on to find out more Words: Emma Wilson

It’s more important than ever before to make sure you stand out from your competitors and one way of doing that is to invest in new technology and set yourself aside from the gym down the road. Your clients will keep coming back for more and they’ll tell their friends to come along for the experience too. Virtual fitness classes and download music systems are hot topics within the health and fitness sector at the moment, so let’s look at them in a little more detail.

Virtual fitness classes Virtual fitness is still a relatively new concept. A class is run via a large projector screen in a studio, without the need for a fitness instructor to be present. Virtual classes offer the perfect solution to studio down time. It might be that fitness instructors continue taking all the classes they currently do in your gym, but in off-peak periods, when the studio is empty, a virtual class is run, giving new clients who maybe aren’t confident enough to do a live class, the opportunity to try one out. There’s also the clients who desperately want to do a class to vary their weekly workouts, but can’t physically make one due to timings. This alternative

class offers your clients a way of keeping their fitness interesting and therefore retains their custom. Virtual classes are becoming more popular with health clubs and gym owners, but can sometimes make fitness instructors feel a little uneasy. Whilst we understand their concerns, we don’t see virtual classes replacing live ones. We actually see the two working in conjunction and from a gym owners’ perspective, the two should be able to complement each other well. Virtual classes make everything possible, even making your gym a 24/7 facility if that’s of interest to you? They offer

December 2016


Gear variety to diverse gym members. They optimise space and offer a low cost way of running classes through traditionally quiet times of the day (or night). And, possibly more importantly, they give your clients an experience, similar to that in a cinema, escapism for the duration of the class. Through word of mouth alone, this addition to your gym

could boost attendance significantly. So, what’s needed to get started? There are various packages available with a huge range of classes to suit your gym perfectly. Picture a darkened room, a big screen, a thumping sound system, some cool lighting… the atmosphere’s set and you’re ready to go!

Background music download systems If you’d like a bespoke solution to make your background music run seamlessly, a music download system could be the answer. Sound Dynamics have installed these systems in gyms and they’re proving extremely popular with both staff members and clients. The download solution allows you to have music playing continuously throughout the day without the need to manually select the songs. Music can be set to start from opening time and carry right on through to locking-up at the end of the night. All you need to do is let us know the kind of music your clients enjoy working out to, and we’d take it from there. The genre of music can be tailored to different times of the day to suit your requirements. If there’s a pattern to the types of clients coming through your doors at particular times of the day, you can set the music to suit accordingly. High energy dance music could be playing during pre-office hours to wake everyone up and get them energised for their day ahead. Then things could slow down on the lead up to lunch with more chilled out music, or music from a particular

decade to suit the general age of the clients in the gym at that time. The choice is completely yours…you know your gym and you understand what your clients want to hear. Another big advantage of opting for this kind of background music system, is you can sell advertising space to local businesses. This bespoke solution allows you to help other companies drum up business within the community. Think of the MOT offer on at the local garage, or an offer at the hair and beauty salon next door. These kind of advertising opportunities are very appealing for local businesses as they’re going direct to the target audience… members of the nearby community. Alternatively, you could use the advertising to inform your clients about a deal in your café, an offer on your squash courts or another special discount you may have running in your club.

If you’d like more information about how the virtual classes or background music download systems could work in your gym, or if you’re after a new sound system, headset mics, lighting effects or installation services, please get in touch with the team at Sound Dynamics: / *Image courtesy of Wexer Virtual 56

December 2016


Change the locks From March 2017, we welcome the new twelve-sided £1 coin into circulation. Ashley Morrison, MD of Lockertek Ltd, explains what action leisure operators can take to keep their lockers operational. Counterfeiting is currently a huge problem in the UK and the £1 coin is the most popular choice with criminals. Experts believe that as many as one in thirty £1 coins in circulation are fake. That equates to around 50 million fake coins in the nation’s handbags and pockets.

amnesty period where the public will be asked to swap coins over at their local Post Office or bank.

The new coin has been designed to be very difficult to copy due to it’s new twelve-sided shape. The new coin will also be bimetallic - the outer ring is gold coloured (nickelbrass) and the inner ring is silver coloured (nickel-plated alloy), just like the £2 coin.

The coin change will only affect you if your lockers take a £1 coin, however it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to fix. All lockers are relatively easy to modify and they will take a range of different lock types without the need for a degree in engineering. In fact there are plenty of options to keep your lockers operational once the new coin is in use. I have listed a few below.

There will be a period of around six months when both coins will be in circulation, which will be followed by an

It’s great that the government are taking on the criminals, but what does that mean for us, the operators of equipment that will require modification?

December 2016


Spotlight Replace your coin locks with new compatible coin locks All the major lock manufacturers such as L&F, Assa, Ojmar and Kaba have all launched compatible coin locks. These locks take both the new and old coin and will replace what you already have seamlessly. The only downside is the price. Replacing all your locker room locks could prove expensive.

Convert your existing coin locks Assa have designed a conversion kit for their classic range of coin locks. This will convert your existing locks to take the new coin. This is a cheaper solution than replacing all your locks but only Assa locks will benefit and it could take quite a while to convert them all.

Change your locks to take a key or padlock A popular choice will be to remove your coin locks and replace with a lock that simply takes a key or padlock. Plenty of gyms and health clubs now use a padlock system and it will be a much more cost effective solution. Just ensure you buy your parts from someone who knows what they are doing as there are lots of locks out there that won’t fit.

Go Electronic With advances in battery technology, electronic locker locks are fast becoming the lock of choice for gyms and health clubs worldwide. You could go for a simple keypad which the user operates by entering their choice of code or if you want to truly utilise technology you could choose the RFID version where your members can operate a locker using their membership card. Prices are coming down fast too with some electronic locks starting from under £30. There are some poorquality locks on the market at the moment so if something either looks too cheap or it’s not from a major brand then it may best to give it a wide berth. It’s also worth noting that electronic locks don’t fare well in humid or chlorinated areas. If this is you then you should be looking at the L&F 3781 lock which has been designed specifically to deal with harsh environments.

Old £1 sized tokens If you are on a tight budget, then why not use a £1 sized token. It’s the cheapest way to keep your lockers operational after the new coin goes into circulation. You will need a decent stock of tokens and someone behind reception to hand them out. You will also need to put a sticker over the lock to show it takes a token or you’ll have lots of new £1 coins stuck in locks and unhappy customers. It would be wise for gym operators to charge for the use of a token as it offers an incentive to return the token after use. 58

December 2016

A word of caution As you can see there are plenty of ways to manage this change depending on your time and budget and it may be the ideal opportunity to get your lockers working better for you and your customers. We expect the market to be very busy from January 2017 onwards and lock manufacturers are suggesting that there will be extended lead times on some related products next year. One word of caution, there are lots of people entering the market claiming to be experts in locker parts and maintenance. We took the opportunity to mystery-shop a few of them and every single one that we spoke to suggested that changing locks for entirely new ones was the only solution. As you have now read, there are plenty of other solutions. The best way to save time, money and stress levels is to speak to company that sells locker parts and has experience in lock conversions and locker maintenance.

Ashley Morrison is the Managing Director of Lockertek Ltd, the largest independent locker parts company in the UK. Ashley is one of the leading experts in the locker and personal storage market and he has been responsible for numerous new products and ideas which have changed the industry. Ashley has also won several business awards and lectures at universities on business start-ups. For further information see:

THE COMPLETE LOCKER SOLUTION Garran Lockers have over 50 years experience in designing and supplying top quality lockers for the work place, education and leisure markets and the emergency services. The UK’s largest locker manufacturer

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December 2016


Fitness over 50

A PIT TO BE AVOIDED Chris Zaremba tells us about two gym trips that were memorable for him – for all the wrong reasons! I’m pretty comfortable when I’m in one of the gyms I use regularly. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I have a gym as a second home, but I reckon I’ve been to gyms close to 3,000 times over the past ten years. Many of those visits have been to the particular gym I am writing about here – so I’m familiar with it and being there doesn’t cause me any concern. But a couple of incidents made me realise that complacency is a dangerous thing, both in terms of the gym itself and the training being undertaken. Here are two true stories from my recent past – in both cases, the problem concerned regular gym-goers, people who know what’s going on. Both people learned lessons they will not forget. I was there in both cases, and I learned the same lessons as the two who suffered – rather less painfully than them, but I too have changed my behaviour as a result. The first incident happened to my wife, Jenny. She sometimes comes to the gym with me and we train with weights together. On this occasion, we were short of time – she got changed quickly and didn’t remove her wedding ring. And being short of time, we didn’t bother to tidy the area around the bench we were about to use – someone had left a pair of dumbbells on the floor at the sides of the bench – they weren’t really in our way, they weren’t the weights we needed, so we didn’t bother tidying them up. 60

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Fitness over 50 Emergency situation At the end of a set, Jenny put the dumbbells on the floor fairly heavily – but had forgotten about the abandoned dumbbells, and Jenny caught a finger between the dumbbell she was using with her left hand and the one on the floor. Had it been the right hand, or any of the other fingers, it would have smarted a little, but no bruising and all fixed in a minute or two. However, it was the ring finger, and something about the weight, the angle of motion and the relative positions of the two dumbbells caused the ring to be caught between the dumbbells in such a way that it deformed into an elliptical shape and jammed on the finger – which was obviously excruciatingly painful and caused the finger to redden and swell. This had become an emergency.

made it in three) and use the tools at home. Tom, our next door neighbour, has a vast toolbox and was able to use a pair of pliers, under maximum pressure, to re-shape the ring such that it could be removed.

The gym had no tools we could use to re-shape the ring, as it seemed to require a massive amount of pressure to get it back to a round shape so it could be removed. Phoning for an ambulance would have meant a 20 minute delay, plus time in hospital to try to fix it, by which time Jenny would probably have passed out from the pain and may have lost the use of the finger permanently. Time to make a dash home – it's a ten minute drive away keeping to the speed limits (I think I

From now on, no one training with me wears a ring, watch or neck-chain or necklace, no matter how short of time we are. Even though this incident involved a ring, I can easily see how a neck-chain could get caught, with even more scary results. There’s always time to mention outside the gym that these should be removed, and I always spend a second or two glancing at my training partner before the first exercise to make sure this has been done.

This process was very scary, as one slip of the pliers would have meant serious injury to the finger. Thankfully, Tom did a great job. The ring was reshaped sufficiently to remove it, and Jenny fully recovered from the fairly substantial bruising in a couple of weeks. Tom has our never-ending thanks for this. Jewellers reshaped the ring back to properly round and it is once again never off Jenny’s finger – except when we’re in the gym.

I heard a bump The second incident was on a particularly hot day when I was doing a back workout with my friend Dave, a regular gym-goer in his mid-50’s. Again, shortness of time came into it – although I did the jewellery check – but I didn’t review his state of hydration. It was his second gym trip of the day, having done an early morning cardio session which he told me (somewhat proudly) that he had left a massive pool of sweat - Dave doesn’t go to the gym as much as I do, but he’s not daft to do something so obviously stupid as not drink much water though that earlier cardio, and in the five hours between the gym visits on the hot day. Would he? 50 minutes into a tough workout, Dave had to visit the loo, said he was feeling a little ill. A few minutes later, I heard a bump – turned round and saw him slumped on the gym floor, about 10 feet from the loo door, white as the proverbial sheet and unconscious. The bump I’d heard was the sound of him hitting his head on a weight stack as he fell. I moved

him to the recovery position, tried to talk to him, and indeed he came around, but only after a few minutes. By this stage, it was obviously an emergency and the paramedics had been called. I firstly thought of very low blood sugar, I grabbed a bottle of Coke from somewhere and got Dave to sip it. Then I thought of water – I realised I hadn’t seen Dave drink from a water bottle at all during the workout. I got him to sip water, a process which the paramedics continued when they arrived. The first blood pressure reading from them, taken while Dave was in the early stages of recovery, was 81 over 51 – and he told me later that the systolic for him is usually around 130. And his pulse was down to 45 at its lowest. All figures that are far from ideal, especially at Dave’s age of over 50. Continued sipping of water got Dave back to a state capable of walking and normal conversation in around 30 minutes. We then went for a sugar-packed meal (something we would normally avoid) and Dave agreed to give the gym a miss for a few days. December 2016


Fitness over 50

Pre-gym chat

From the pit

He’s fully recovered now – and got a nice bump on his head to show for it. Dave later told me that he had been in a rush all day that day, and only had time for a few sips from the water fountain during his cardio, and forgot his water for the back session with me. Amazingly stupid of him, and pretty similar from me for not noticing that he hadn’t drunk any water during those 50 minutes. And the gym told me afterwards that this happens quite regularly too – the instructors there having to attend to similar incidents almost on a weekly basis.

Both Jenny and Dave’s incidents are from the Pit. Jenny’s wouldn’t have happened if the wedding ring had come off, if we’d tidied up those other dumbbells and indeed that would have happened if we weren’t both being complacent and short of time. And Dave’s incident wouldn’t have happened had he properly hydrated in the cardio, and between both gym sessions, and it had it not been a very hot day, and we weren’t being complacent and short of time (again).

From now on, no-one trains with me unless I see them drinking regularly from water, and I have widened the pre-gym chat to ensure that they have eaten some carbs beforehand – I don’t want to deal with a low blood sugar incident either. Both instances were caused by complacency of the individual, and of the training partner (that’s me) for not spotting the potential danger. In my non-gym time, I instruct scuba diving and one of the things we teach is ‘the Incident Pit’ – meaning that an emergency usually won’t happen unless a whole series of adverse events take place – a series of slices of bread all have to fall butter side down. But once the first adverse event takes place, the potential slide into the Pit begins.

By the way, going to the gym with me isn’t always a recipe for such disasters – only two such incidents in those many hundreds of visits. But that is two too many, and I aim to reduce that number to zero for the next 3,000 trips. Jenny, Dave and I all learned from these experiences – I hope others do as well from reading this. Finally, I hope these stories haven’t put you off the gym (or off your dinner), but have alerted you to some of the problems that can happen if complacency takes hold – and you begin to fall into the Pit. Read more of Chris’s activities and his advice for Fitness for the over Fifties every month in Gym Owner Monthly, or see more on his web site Chris welcomes comments on

Chris Zaremba is 59, and has made a massive transformation in his life. He has lost over a third of his body-weight over the past few years, moving from being obese with medical-alert bodystats to becoming a fitness model and winning world championships as fitness model and muscle model for his age group. He has developed his own detailed workout system and package for this – which he follows to this day – and is available for you to purchase. It is called the ABC7 System, as the first three workouts are Arms, Back and Chest and the number 7 comes up frequently in the programme. It’s available from Chris for £49, which includes full documentation, spreadsheets, over 120 videos of different exercises and


December 2016

more than 250 photos. All suitable for whatever age you are! You may – or may not – want to follow in Chris’s footsteps all the way onto the fitness modelling stage. Either way, following the System should help you up-the-fit and down-the-fat, and achieve a real improvement in all your fitness measurements and activities. And see the difference too! Send an email to if you want to order the ABC7 System.

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DSC Nutrition: Sports Nutrition Backed By Science Unit 7, The Parkwood Centre, Aston Road, Waterlooville, Hampshire, PO7 7HT VAT no: 225093230

December 2016



Taking it to We explore the latest developments in gym flooring and speak to three leading experts to find out what to consider when buying flooring for your facility

As one of the UK’s only total leisure solutions companies, Pulse has found that an ever increasing part of their provision is to provide appropriate, cost effective and high quality flooring solutions. Pulse uses a number of suppliers to meet the budgetary needs of their customers. We spoke to Pulse’s National Account Manager for Government Services and Performance Sport, Ben Steadman to get his top three tips:

Cost should not be key! There are many flooring providers on the market today and very often they are happy to sell you a product that meets your budget rather than what meets your needs. Pulse will not provide a product that is either more or less than you require. If our recommendations are out of your budget, we will walk away! Make sure your provider has fully assessed the need, the sub floor, the usage and the acoustics requirements (if any). Failing to get the job done properly in the first instance could cost you in a huge way later.

Warranties Make sure you are 100% happy with warranties on both the product and the fitting. The flooring is the grounding of your whole facility. Warranties vary hugely from 1 year as a standard to 10 years with the correct use and maintenance. Check out the small print! We only use the best fitters as failure to fit properly costs us dearly in the long term.

Make the flooring solution work for you and your clients Use different coloured zones, thicknesses and markings to guide your clients through an amazing journey. The days of sweaty carpets and taped walkways need to be no more. Your clients will be drawn towards different areas and the right floor will revitalise your training space.


December 2016

Avoid upsetting your neighbours! Getting your flooring wrong could prove costly, says Toby Cart, Managing Director for UK Supreme Fitness, not just in regards to your profit margins and expenditure but also with your neighbours. “S&C facilities particularly get noisy! If you are operating during the day, neighbouring businesses may get fed up with all the banging,” he continues. “You want to choose a tile that reduces the risk of an upset neighbour. If you’re thinking of moving or expanding in the future, then tiles might be the best way to go as they can be easily pulled up and placed in new locations.” Paul Farrell, Account Manager for complete fitness solutions supplier Physical Company also agrees adding that as gym owner you will also need to consider what type of training is going to take place in that particular zone as your flooring requirements may change. For instance, in a weight’s area he suggests using nothing less than 25mm, as anything lower will not offer adequate protection for your equipment.


o the floor A spring from your step – Physical Company’s new flooring made from recycled Nike trainers Complete fitness solutions provider, Physical Company, is giving gym goers a spring in their step with its new RubberX flooring system. Featuring a dense rubber surface and an underlying 10mm SmashPad made from performance rubber and Nike Grind, this highfunctioning raw material is made from recycled athletic shoes and Nike’s manufacturing footwear byproduct. This flooring is designed to outperform your heaviest lifter; its 2.5mm wear layer, 8mm base layer and 10mm SmashPad combine to drastically reduce the transmission of heavy impacts in the body and sound vibrations associated with strength training, heavy weight training, resistance training, body weight exercises, explosive movements and flexibility. It comes in 20.5mm x 48” wide rolls and can be custom cut. A choice of 10 vibrant colours is available; from red to blue and green to yellow, give your gym floor a contemporary look. Visit for more information.

PAVIGYM injects some fun back into the floor with PRAMA PAVIGYM’s goal is to transform the fitness experience. Starting with the floor, they are injecting the fun back into every training session. PAVIGYM's new fitness flooring platform, PRAMA, combines functional training, LED enriched stations, pressure sensitive floors and walls, and different lighting options,It uses the latest cutting edge technology to encourage increased behavior change at all levels of activity. A PRAMA session trains all major muscle groups through nonstop movement, building endurance, strength, balance, speed, agility, reaction time, and overall fitness. The 45-minute high-intensity, circuitbased workout provides complete strength and cardio conditioning, burning up to 1,000 calories in just one session. Trainers benefit from being able to design each session in seconds and extract real time performance data. Because the entire portfolio of timing, music, lights, floors and walls are coordinated by the software, the trainer can fully focus on motivating members and ensuring correct movements. Visit for more information.

December 2016


Gear Tough Tech flooring from UK Supreme Fitness

GymKitUK launches top of range indoor sports turf and tracks

Specialising in flooring for strength and conditioning facilities and CrossFit Boxes, UK Supreme Fitness’ 15mm premium gym tile is perfect for covering large open areas. It provides excellent protection not just for your floor but your equipment as well. With its easy clean membrane layer, sleek modern coloured fleck appearance and excellent value for money, it is quickly becoming the S&C facilities first choice.

In response to an increased demand for artificial turf areas and an increase in users wanting to combine agility and speed running drills, GymKitUK are exclusively distributing high quality, custom design indoor sports turf and running tracks. They are seamlessly installed alongside a range of other floor types to give a unique gym floor layout.

If sound reduction is important to you when selecting your flooring, why not try their new 20mm interlocking strength tiles, made from recycled rubber granules and coloured EPDM flecks. They look great, offer superior protection to your equipment and minimise the sound of weights being dropped. Visit for more information


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Its soft cushioned base, durability and the option to create a bespoke design give the GymKitUK track a unique advantage in performance. The custom turf is available in all colours and can be manufactured to incorporate any design. For example, speed and agility markings, plyometric jump measuring rulers, numbered sprint tracks plus any bespoke design can all be provided in one single piece. For more information about the services that GymKitUK offer, email them at or call 01733 205551.


Ask the expert Got a problem you need solving? Our team of experts are here to help! If you have a question you’d like answered, get in touch – email

Best practice Q. As a gym that uses PAR-Q for new gym members, how do we ensure the health and safety of non-members who want to join a class without declaring any known medical conditions?

Learn to grow Q. How can I ensure my PTs are fulfilling their CPD requirements? Jane Crawford, Birmingham

Derrick Harris, Newry

Joe Ryan, Managing Director of RDHS Limited, answers: For well over twenty years, RDHS have provided health and safety advice for gyms and health clubs across the UK. Not surprisingly, we have encountered the extremes of good practice and bad practice and a fair number of challenges. Today, anyone responsible for running a gym or health club, or are thinking of doing so, needs to be fully aware of the challenges facing them. Demanding statutory obligations as well as the possibility of claims in this highly litigious society make it essential that operators remain legally compliant and implement suitable and sufficient risk control measures. The fitness industry is starting to change how we tackle both these points raised. In the past, all the industry knew was to ask each member to complete a Pre-Activity Medical Questionnaire (known as the Par-Q), if we were lucky, which placed great ownership and responsibility on the gym and health club operators to obtain this information, evaluate it and renew it annually. What we are now seeing is the strong emergence of the Health Commitment Statement (HCS), which was introduced by ukactive several years ago. Now, the relevance of this, which is also extending into civil cases now, is to place the ownership of the medical condition of members onto them individually. The HCS asks members to inform the gym or health club operators of any medical conditions which may be detrimental to their health and well-being through exercise. It is essential that members are encouraged to notify the fitness instructor of any ailments or medical conditions prior to commencing their class. To ensure this takes place, operators will need to ensure they employ competent fitness instructors, who understand this principle and are supported by good, clear and positive messaging for members.

Rob Johnson, Managing Director of Future Fit Training, answers: Continuing professional development (CPD) is the backbone of the fitness industry with CIMSPA recently tasked by the government to lead on increasing professionalism within the sector’s workforce, as outlined in the recent Towards an Active Nation Sport England strategy. Our industry is moving so quickly there is no shortage of courses, webinars and masterclasses on offer. Gym owners should encourage a culture where their PTs are asked to suggest the courses they’d like to attend so they feel involved in the decision. Ensure they plan a variety of options – a combination of online or webinar sessions and face-to-face learning will provide variety and balance. Getting out of the gym, attending live events and training with other PTs and master trainers are key to gaining a broader view of the industry. I’m a great believer in bringing together the PTs in the UK’s evergrowing fit pro community. This is when they can share best practice, bounce ideas around and offer mutual support. From the New Year PTs can access our ProZone online community which is designed to bring like-minded PTs together, give them a forum for discussion and debate, link them to experts to answer questions and boost their access to CPD programmes in the form of webinars, masterclasses and discounted courses. ProZone gives operators and individual PTs an accredited CPD structure for their staff as well as a ‘ready made’ community with advice and guidance from experienced fitness professionals. Finally, remember, CPD won’t just enhance your PTs’ careers: their boost in expertise and professionalism is a great asset to your members and clients too.

December 2016



Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers Performance Health Systems strengthens its marketing and sales team with three new appointments Performance Health Systems (PHS), which manufactures and distributes Power Plate®, has strengthened its marketing and sales team with the appointment of Julian Taylor as Marketing Director - EMEA, Christine Reeday as Regional Commercial Sales Manager and Andrew Lambourne as Head of Consumer Sales. Julian Taylor will take responsibility for the Power Plate marketing strategy across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Taylor has been with PHS for three years and was previously responsible for the distributor network across EMEA. Prior to joining PHS, he spent eleven years with Star Trac where he was responsible for marketing across the UK and Europe. “It’s a great opportunity for me to take on this role at a time when we are positioning the Power Plate brand across the fitness, leisure, health and medical markets,”

says Julian. “Having worked for three years in the EMEA territories I have a deep understanding of their respective markets and local needs. In the UK, my main objective is to drive education among trade and consumer buyers to understand why Power Plate can be an essential tool in today’s drive towards improved health, wellbeing, mobility and flexibility. The market here is diverse: from elite athletes honing their skills to fitness fans looking to improve their health and physique to care homes seeking falls prevention and circulation boosting solutions for their elderly residents.”

Christine Reeday has taken the role of Regional Commercial Sales Manager for the North of England and will report to David Williams, Head of Commercial Sales, UK. Reeday will be responsible for handling daily business issues, managing company associations and recognising new business opportunities. She has over 7 years’ experience in the leisure industry from Personal

Training to management level roles. Most recently Reeday

Andrew Lambourne has been appointed as the Head of Consumer Sales for the UK to help structure PHS’s Consumer Division and educate the UK population about Power Plate. A former Retail Bank Manager, Personal Trainer and Consumer Retail Fitness Specialist, Lambourne

has eleven years’ experience at Life Fitness where he

worked in Business Development at Search Laboratory gaining experience with established brands such as Ladbrokes, John Lewis and Les Mills. Previously she was involved in the startup of the first UK site for Anytime Fitness in 2013.

helped it become one of the UK’s leading fitness equipment providers. Lambourne will report to Matthew Pengelly, Senior Vice President, Performance Health Systems.

The Pulse Group appoints a new Executive Director for Pulse Design & Build


Leading leisure solutions provider, The Pulse Group, has appointed Matt Johnson as their new Executive Director of the dedicated Design & Build arm of the business. Under his leadership, the division is responsible for designing, constructing and fitting out state-of-the-art leisure centres as well as completing full refurbishments of existing facilities.

“I am delighted to have joined Pulse as Executive Director of Design & Build,” says Johnson. “Pulse has a fantastic reputation, with over 35 years of expertise behind them. I am looking forward to helping take the organisation into a new phase, broadening the range of projects that the business works on, and exploring opportunities for growth within the design and build sector.”

Johnson has over 15 years of experience working in the construction industry and as a chartered professional will be bringing a wealth of knowledge to his new role. Previously employed as Project Director at Balfour Beatty, he was responsible for the management of large projects and contracts in excess of £100 million.

“I am pleased to welcome Matt to the Pulse team,” says Chris Johnson, Managing Director. “Pulse has seen a significant number of Design & Build contract wins within the last few months, and I am confident that the knowledge and experience that Matt will add to the team will lead Pulse to achieve even greater success.”

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