FOR GYM OWNERS AND HEALTH & FITNESS PROFESSIONALS
ISSUE 11 // FEBRUARY 2017
P M A C BOOTRGYM Ufits of offeringp YO bene t cam The ial boo your t n e d i a res ience for exper mbers me
OWNER OF THE
MONTH Simon Kennedy,
from The Club Gym, Glasgow
ZAC PURCHASE ‘I wanted to create a space where personal trainers are truly valued’
E M B R AC E I T O R G O B U ST !
EQUIP YOURSELF New versus used equipment - the new gym owner’s dilemma
Help your clients achieve long-lasting results
Robert Stevenson - why semi-private training has been a huge success WHEN YOU’RE NOT THERE PA U L S W A I N S O N C R A C K S T H E B E H AV I O U R C H A N G E CODE
AD TECH s
Why all fitnes studios should be using YouTube ads
Live The Brand
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE BRAND WITHIN THE FITNESS INDUSTRY
DIRECT HITS Direct Debit solutions
NE WS / / REV I EWS // T EC H NOLO G Y / / TR E N DS / / EQU I PM E N T / / I NSIG HT
Welcome... …to the February 2017 issue of Gym Owner Monthly magazine. We hope that your business is continuing to thrive and you’re successfully retaining the majority of new visitors to your premises. It’s at this time of year when your systems come under increased pressure and it might be a good time to review what processes you have in place? With that in mind our lead feature tackles the subject of Direct Debit solutions. But what do you need to know? Gladstone’s senior product owner Tom Vian outlines all the options on page 18. Elsewhere, we take a look at the importance of your brand - are you creating the right messages (page 30)? We also put the spotlight on YouTube advertising (page 50), it's hands-down the most underappreciated advertising tool today - are you using it? For new gym owners, the dilemma of whether to buy new or used equipment is a huge subject, Sharon Young from Craig Young Consulting, highlights the pro's and con's on page 24. When the time is right, you should consider organising a boot camp experience for your members - Mark Hooks, owner of Reboot Dorset, explains the benefits on page 32. Finally, be sure to check out a new columnist Jochen Michaelis, eGym UK CEO he discusses the impact of digital technology on the fitness sector. In his words, ‘embrace it, or go bust’!
Have a great month! The GOM team
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email@example.com Tel: 07858 487 357
Keep up to date www.gymownermonthly.co.uk @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.
54 61 TRENDS
News The latest news and hot topics in the industry
Making waves We talk to Eduardo Ferré, MD and founder of Swimming Nature, about swimming tuition and how gym owners can encourage water-based training as part of an overall fitness programme.
‘I wanted to create a space where personal trainers are truly valued’ Zac Purchase, Olympic and World Champion rower, opened his first fitness studio last autumn in Marlow. We asked him about his first few months as a fitness studio owner.
63 Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers SPOTLIGHT
Owner of the Month We talk to Simon Kennedy from The Club Gym, Glasgow.
Direct hits Tom Vian from Gladstone outlines all the options with regards to Direct Debit solutions.
Equip yourself New versus used equipment - the new gym owner’s dilemma.
Big Interview 46 The We talk to Philip Halls, MD at Physical Company.
Wellness coaching Integrating a more well-rounded approach in your facility can help your clients achieve long-lasting results says Adriana Albritton.
We're always seeking contributors, if you're interested in writing for us then please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 4
37 44 52 30 EXPERIENCE
60 Got a problem you need solving? Our team of Ask the experts
40 32 50 – embrace it or go bust! 40 Digitalisation Jochen Michaelis, eGym UK CEO, discusses the huge impact of digital technology on the fitness sector.
experts are here to help.
Time to get Physical You’ve got your workout in the bag, literally with the new PBX bags from Physical Company.
Kit 44 Fit This month’s round-up of kit, products and extras you can stock for your members – boost loyalty, retention and your revenue.
BUSINESS the brand 30 Live Andy Kidd, MD of fitness marketing agency Hattrick Marketing, outlines the importance of the brand within the fitness industry.
Fitness over fifty Chris Zaremba, our specialist fitness for the over fifties writer, looks at nutrition and gives an insight into his 10% System.
PT Viewpoint Robert Stevenson, winner of the 2016 Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Personal Trainer award, tells us why semi-private training has been a huge success
When you’re not there... Paul Swainson, Head of Future Fit School of Personal Training, talks about cracking the behaviour change code.
Boot camp your gym Mark Hooks, owner of Reboot Dorset, explains the benefits of offering a residential boot camp experience for your members.
tech 50 Ad Mike Arce, from Loud Rumor, explains why all fitness studios should be using YouTube ads.
A gripping mixture of insight and entertainment. Business and success strategies for the digital connection of the training floor. An invitation-only event. Places are limited!
tion today! Request your invita o.uk l email@example.com T-UK or emai
HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR eGYM NEXT EVENTS Discover the opportunities digital offers businesses in the ﬁeld of health and ﬁtness: Conferences: seminars by experts in digital and ﬁtness.
20. 4. 2017 LONDON
Workshops: utilise digital tools to improve acquisition and retention in your club. Evening: canapés and cocktails in a stylish location. eGym UK | egym.co.uk/business | firstname.lastname@example.org
27. 4. 2017
What’s hot in the fitness industry
ukactive’s Sweat event to bolster boutique fitness sector ukactive has unveiled details of a dynamic new event designed to fuel the fire of Britain’s redhot boutique fitness sector. Sweat, which takes place on 2 March at The Warehouse Studio Space in east London, is a one-day workshop aimed at educating and empowering all those engaged in this rapidlydeveloping sector. Inspired by boutique pioneers in New York and Los Angeles, boutique fitness studios have taken London by storm in recent years and have been among the physical activity sector’s biggest areas of growth since the recession. And with operators like Barrecore and TRIB3 now taking boutique fitness beyond the M25, there is every indication this sector can become a nationwide success story. Through Sweat, ukactive is bringing together influencers, entrepreneurs and business owners from around the country for networking, lively discussion and expert insight on taking boutique businesses to the next level. Who will emerge as the UK's answer to SoulCycle? Can big established operators effectively execute a boutique model? How big could the boutique sector grow? These are the big questions up for discussion at Sweat. The event will feature a host of boutique sector superstars,
including BOOM Cycle co-founders Robert and Hilary Gilbert, Train Fitness titan Richard Scrivener and Elle UK Fitness Editor / boutique instructor Bangs. There will also be investment insight from Bivek Sharma, Head of KPMG Small Business Accounting Services; design advice from leading architects Kyriakos Katsaros (Studio C102) and Mark Goldstein (Goldstein Ween Architects); plus killer marketing tips from Joe McEwan, Head of UK Brand at Innocent Smoothies. In addition, Technogym – the event’s headline partner and a leading supplier to boutique fitness studios – will share an array of insight and analysis from its research and innovation teams. Comprising electrifying keynotes and thought-provoking panel debates, Sweat will be split into two parts. The morning sessions will cover key aspects of owning a boutique business, such as inspiring operational excellence; expansion and investment; as well as maximising your market. Meanwhile, the afternoon session will centre on the practical side of boutique fitness, creating serious consumer love and the future trends shaping the sector. For more information on Sweat and to book tickets, visit: http://ukactivesweat.com
Elite Sports Expo team announce new partnership with Gym Owner Monthly
and source the very latest in innovative technology and equipment from over 150 suppliers and exhibitors.
Elite Sport Expo will be returning to the ExCel, London on the 7th & 8th of June to bring you two days of education, interactivity and innovation.
50 seminars hosted by industry leading professionals will help you find the 1% difference between winning and losing, so that you can perform and recover better, faster and stronger.
The event will host elite sport expert speakers, specialising in aiding recovery and improving performance, and feature cutting edge technology and equipment. As the UK’s biggest sports expo, Elite Sports Expo will attract over 1,500 trade, consumer and professional visitors and its two-day run, each one attending the event to find
Providing comprehensive news and information to it readers, Gym Owner Monthly exerts the ideals held by Elite Sport Expo, to improve knowledge and practice amongst its audience. Both the Elite Sport Expo and Gym Owner Monthly teams look forward to welcoming you to the ExCel, London on the 7th & 8Th June 2017. Visit www.expoelitesports.co.uk. February 2017
News UK’s Strongest Man Eddie Hall becomes a new ambassador for Pulse
Leading leisure solutions provider Pulse has announced the ‘UK’s Strongest Man’ and third ‘World’s Strongest Man’ Eddie Hall as their newest ambassador. Leading leisure solutions provider Pulse has announced the ‘UK’s Strongest Man’ and third ‘World’s Strongest Man’ Eddie Hall as their newest ambassador. Hall joins Pulse as an ambassador at an exciting time for the organisation, with Pulse Fitness recently launching both brand new strength and plate-loaded lines as well as the creation of the Pulse Sport and Performance division. The new division, under the leadership of Jake Saunders is responsible for designing and creating innovative high performance facilities complete with Pulse’s top of range equipment. As a professional strongman, Hall has been involved in sport from young age as a national swimming champion, before turning to body building and strength training. In his role as an ambassador, Hall will be hoping to inspire others to get into what is a growing popular style of training and share his wisdom onto others. “Having been going to the gym from about the age of 13, Pulse has always stood out to me as brand with longevity and quality,” says Hall. “I am delighted to become their newest ambassador as they are an innovative and exciting organisation that is able to adapt quickly to the latest gym equipment trends. I see Pulse as a strong organisation and strong is certainly my business! So for me joining Pulse was simply a no brainer. I’m looking forward to supporting them and for us working together.” Hall will be supporting Pulse on both a local and national level to inspire the next generation through various events. “We are absolutely delighted to have Eddie Hall come onboard as our latest ambassador,” says Chris Johnson, Managing Director. “The strength and conditioning sector has seen a huge growth in popularity, particularly with the strongman style of training becoming more and more mainstream in the gym environment. We look forward to welcoming Eddie as part of the Pulse family and believe he will be a fantastic edition to our growing ambassador programme.”
Wattbike and Hilton partner to offer unparalleled indoor cycling experience Wattbike, indoor cycling innovator, has announced a global partnership with Hilton Worldwide that will 8
see the performance indoor bike rolled out to luxury hotels across the USA.
From mid-January, guests using the fitness centre at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts in the USA will have the option to meet their fitness goals using the world’s leading indoor training tool. On the partnership, Ryan Crabbe, Senior Director, Global Wellness at Hilton, said: “No matter how determined people are about making healthy decisions while at home, the ability to replicate those choices are often not as accessible as they should be whilst travelling.” Wattbike has revolutionised indoor cycling and become the training bike of choice for cycling champions and professional conditioning athletes around the world. We’re delighted our guests at Waldorf Astoria and Conrad can now enjoy the world’s most highly engineered training bike.” To answer the demand for fitness and health to sync with social and digital experiences, Wattbike offer an open digital platform, from which users can access workouts and training data from anywhere in the world. They can save their data to analyse later, can sync to the Wattbike Hub app or share through apps including Garmin Strava, as well as popular motivational gaming programmes such as Sufferfest, Zwift or TrainerRoad. The Wattbike is an effective training tool for both occasional cyclists and regular riders, offering an individualised experience for users of all fitness levels. Richard Baker, Managing Director of consumer business at Wattbike, adds: “Vastly different to a traditional stationary or spinning bike, Wattbike replicates the smooth feel of the road or what we call Real Ride Feel. This makes it a smooth and comfortable ride ideal for beginners who want to improve their general fitness through to the most elite athlete.”
Pulse Fitness sets sights on global expansion with first appearance at IHRSA
News Leading leisure solutions supplier, The Pulse Group will be attending this year’s International Health, Racquet & Sports club Association show in Los Angeles, 8-11 March 2017, showcasing their range of innovative and dynamic fitness equipment and services. This is the first time the British supplier will be attending the show in their own right. Pulse’s attendance at IHRSA will see them bring 35 years’ experience to new territories as they continue their global expansion. Having attended a variety of both national and international trade shows throughout 2016, including their debut at FIBO China Pulse will be looking to establish their position as in innovative and leading global supplier with a strong British Heritage within the US market. Pulse will be actively looking for new distributors to help support growth plans. Pulse Fitness have selected their internationally bestselling equipment from across their CV and strength lines to showcase on the stand. This will also be the first official look for the US market of Pulse’s new strength line since launching the range at FIBO Germany in 2016. “Having enjoyed significant growth in the UK market we are also addressing our growth internationally and major trade shows like IHSRA are a key part of our strategy,” says Chris Johnson, Managing Director for Pulse. “With two new roles recently created in our international sales team to manage the increase in international business we are well placed for success on this new stage and exhibiting at IHSRA is a logical next step. Our newly redesigned strength line was well received at both FIBO Germany and at FIBO China and we look forward to unveiling our equipment to the US market at IHSRA.”
TRX® launch functional training partnership with Fitness First Marking the first partnership of its kind in the UK, TRX® launches a year-long training partnership this month with leading health club, Fitness First, to deliver its best-in-class education; the TRX Functional Training Course (FTC) to all the clubs’ personal trainers and fitness teams.
kettlebells, battle ropes, medicine balls, sandbags and more. A course will be held every two weeks with 15-20 trainers in each session. Skills developed through the course include learning to lead several movement-based circuit workouts using multiple training tools, for groups of any size. Trainers will also learn how to use other modalities to change training conditions to improve strength, speed, power and endurance. Commenting on the partnership, Lee Matthews, UK Fitness & Marketing Director at Fitness First, says, “We are looking forward to strengthening our functional training offering and team education. Functional training continues to be immensely popular with our members but we’ve recognised the need for quality training for our team to ensure our Freestyle areas are maximised. This partnership enables us to deliver a more progressive functional training offering for members, ensuring that they stay motivated towards their goals, and diverse in their training.” Gary Novak (pictured), TRX® UK Commercial Sales Manager, adds, “A partnership with such a well trusted and established operator as Fitness First enables us to deliver our Functional Training course to help fitness professionals learn correct TRX training techniques and understand the full diversity of the product. Functional training has evolved, it’s about finding synergy with all functional tools to build the most effective, and engaging workout for members. Together, the education teaches trainers to move better, train better, and ultimately coach better. “Internationally, TRX supports a network of over 115,000 trainers globally in Suspension Training, Functional Training, Rip Training and Group Training. We believe in training movements, not muscle, and producing best-in-class training equipment, workout programmes and education courses to help clubs, trainers and clients achieve peak performance, reach their goals and get the targets they want.” The TRX FTC is also complemented by a new line of TRX functional training tools which have launched to expand the TRX training experience. New products include medicine balls, slam balls, kettlebells, strength bands, plyo boxes, conditioning ropes, training mats and foam rollers.
Les Mills marks group fitness milestone with 25 years of BODYPUMP™ On 14th January 2017, global fitness leader Les Mills marked the 25th anniversary of its flagship exercise programme BODYPUMP™ when thousands of gyms and fitness clubs around the world came together to simultaneously celebrate the 100th release of the programme.
The collaboration will allow Fitness First personal trainers to complete the TRX FTC, a full day course which builds on the baseline standards of Suspension Training, to progress the application of foundational movement-based training techniques across other functional modalities; such as February 2017
News At the UK-based BODYPUMP event instructors also fundraised for the company’s charity; Les Mills Fund for Children (LMFC), which works with charities to inspire young people to be active and lead healthier lives. BODYPUMP is the original Les Mills group exercise resistance training program that propelled the company to worldwide popularity and was an integral part of the fitness revolution of the 1990s. From its humble beginning as a dumbbell class in a basement gym, the New Zealand based Mills family soon made BODYPUMP a global fitness phenomenon and now it can be found in more than 17,500 fitness clubs, across 100 countries worldwide. Devised by Phillip Mills, the founder and Chief Executive of Les Mills International, BODYPUMP revolutionised fitness classes, being the first group workout to be driven by modern music, using a strong beat to motivate and push participants to do more. The music is such an integral part of the workout that a different track list is created every three months and distributed to class instructors world-wide. BODYPUMP challenges all major muscle groups with squats, presses, lifts, curls and more. Using light to moderate weights with lots of repetition, participants can shape and tone muscles, protect bones and joints from injury, improve general fitness, get into shape quickly and improve strength. Research has shown that BODYPUMP can increase bone density in healthy adults up to 8 percent in the legs, pelvis, arms and spine, and individuals with osteopenia (low bone density) can see increases of up to 29 percent in the legs and pelvis. Martin Franklin, Les Mills UK CEO, commented: “The reason that BODYPUMP quickly shot into the international fitness stratosphere is because it was devised with a winning formula that people were looking for. The workout is designed for people of all age and abilities who want to get lean, toned and fit fast. Instructors motivate participants through the scientifically proven moves and techniques - and add to that great music – it really is the ultimate workout! 25 years on and it continues to be popular with people of all ages and fitness levels. “Our international launch of BODYPUMP100 on January 14th marked an amazing opportunity for clubs and instructors from around the world coming together for the first time to celebrate this famous fitness movement. It was also a fantastic opportunity to raise money for Les Mills Fund for Children to help the next generation get involved and enjoy exercise – a very fitting way to mark such a significant milestone.” To find out more about BODYPUMP100, visit: www.lesmills.com/bodypump100.
YourZone45 partners with MYZONE® for expansion The fitness studio franchise, YourZone45, is gearing up for the launch of its fifth site. The burgeoning business, which has partnered with MYZONE® for its UK expansion, is due to open a new studio in West Yorkshire this spring. YourZone45 studios offer comprehensive 45 minute interval training workouts designed to make members fitter, stronger and faster. Developed by personal trainer Chris 10
Elms, YourZone45 currently has four studios in Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester and Colliers Wood. The studios are 2,000 - 3,000sq ft in size with a target of 300 members per studio. Set in small group environments, YourZone45 sessions combine the energy and community of a group exercise class with the individual attention and guidance of a personal training session. Each workout is delivered by a YourZone45 Fitness Coach and guided by a heart rate system, with members’ heart rate percentages displayed on screens. The goal is for members to achieve 84-100 per cent of their maximum heart rate for at least 12 to 20 minutes so they continue to burn calories for up to 36 hours after their workout. “We started out using Polar as our preferred heart rate system provider. We thought it was similar to MYZONE®, but after a few problems we decided to look at MYZONE® in more detail and compare the two,” says Elms. “That’s when I realised I’d made a mistake not going with a product that has been designed specifically for gym operators. It was clear that our members would benefit far more from the product. We switched to MYZONE® and it’s been the best decision we’ve made; it not only looks better in the studios, but members are far more engaged in the workouts,” he says. MYZONE® is included in the cost of membership and approximately 95 per cent of members are using the technology. “As an operator, you need to continually improve your model to keep members engaged and encourage them to return. The value for money offered by MYZONE® is exceptional - the benefits you get from using the technology far outweigh the costs.”
New fitness suite for Bridgnorth Endowed Leisure Centre
News Leisure design and build specialist Createability has completed a £121,000 development of the fitness suite at Bridgnorth Endowed School’s Leisure Centre. The 67 sq m gym was massively oversubscribed, with the equivalent of 29 members per piece of equipment during busy times. The redevelopment was funded by Halo Leisure, a registered charity and social enterprise that manages Bridgnorth Endowed Leisure Centre on behalf of Shropshire Council, along with a 150,000 grant from Sport England. To rectify the problem, two of the centre’s original four squash courts have been coverted into a 107 sq m fitness suite, three times its original size, featuring 26-stations and Technogym equipment, along with a dedicated indoor cycling studio. Phil Moore, Group Technical Manager at Halo Leisure comments: “Working with the Createability team was smooth from planning through to completion. Their design and build package allowed us to turn two under-utilised squash courts into a light, airy, modern gym, which is attracting and retaining more members than ever. The gym forms part of a dual-use facility agreement that sees Halo working in conjunction with Bridgnorth Endowed School, Createability was sympathetic to the other users of the building during the construction phase, resulting in limited impact on pupils, teachers and other leisure centre users. The project was delivered on time and within budget – RESULT." Brian Thompson, Commercial Director at Createability comments: “As always, our aim is to analyse usage of facilities, provide a cost-effective solution and cause as little disruption as possible, especially where students are situated close by. The facilities at Bridgnorth Endowed Leisure Centre were in need of expansion and we transformed the underused facilities into a highly functional fitness suite that now caters for the needs of the local community as well as allowing the students to be more active.”
eGym bolsters gym offering in Hove CHANGE gym in Hove, Sussex, has undergone a £140,000 transformation including the installation of an 8-piece eGym circuit and a total rebrand throughout.
When a low-cost operator entered the market, forwardthinking owner, Brandon Harris, decided, instead of simply slashing his prices and entering a head-on, like for like battle, he would create a new workout environment that appeals to a much larger segment of the community. This would then differentiate CHANGE from any other fitness facility in the local vicinity. Prior to the transformation, CHANGE operated as Active4Less and a high proportion of the membership was made up of young people and students, exactly the target audience of the low-cost rival. Harris identified several demographic groups including the deconditioned, women and people who have never set foot in a gym, who might consider membership if he could provide an environment where they felt more comfortable. Harris also recognised that, not only did he need to change the look and feel of the environment, he also needed to adapt the gyms’ core offering, to be less intimidating, more results focused and more motivating. This meant making radical changes to the businesses approach and mindset, and offering new equipment, training methods and the latest technology. The eGym connected training system offered the perfect solution. Instead of using intimidating weight stacks to create resistance, the eGym system utilizes an electromagnetic resistance system which is automatically calculated and adjusted through regular strength tests to match the fitness levels of the individual user. In addition, the user does not need to manually adjust the equipment each time they visit, the system automatically adjusts based on the information pre-set by the trainer. This takes all the intimidation and uncertainty out of the process and enables the user to focus one hundred per cent on the performance of optimal movement patterns. In close consultation with the eGym team, Harris installed an 8-piece eGym circuit and says: “The eGym system helps us to support and coach every single member. Instead of individuals having to worry about how much weight to lift, what technique to use, how fast to perform each movement, eGym works all this out and guides individuals through an entire workout. Because of this controlled, yet progressive, method of training, our members are tracking their training and are experiencing incredible results, quickly. This is extremely motivating.” Since the installation of the eGym equipment in September 2016, CHANGE has delivered more than 1000 inductions. Each month, more than 570 unique users are undertaking 2,100 eGym circuit sessions. With a mixed member demographic, simplicity and motivation are the core reasons members are signing up to begin eGym strength training sessions. The gym has also benefited from a 30 per cent increase in memberships. Harris, adds: “The biggest change is the increased number of users who have never lifted weights, especially women, starting to use the equipment. We are also seeing improved member retention figures, which we expect will improve even further over the coming month.”
Send your news to: email@example.com February 2017
MOTIVATE Motivate your members and empower your staff with a Wattbike Zone
Integrate a Wattbike zone on to your gym floor to add a new, dynamic element to your members cycling experience. Give your staff the data they need to design programmes and deliver classes that really get results. Contact our sales team today on 0115 9455450 or firstname.lastname@example.org and make12 Wattbike part of the workout. February 2017
Owner of the Month
WE ARE A DESTINATION GYM Simon Kennedy tells us about Glasgowâ€™s finest, The Club Gym
Steven Rinaldi, Derek Brettell, William Wylie, Simon Kennedy
this interview) Simon Kennedy (author of e, Steven Rinaldi Derek Brettell, William Wyli Address:
, G1 1UL 56 Glassford Street, Glasgow
The Club Gym
www.theclubgym.co.uk February 2017
Owner of the Month
How did you become a gym owner? Myself, Derek and William all worked in the same gym for years and we toyed with the idea of opening a studio, but it never really came to anything. Derek decided he was going to move to Australia so he started the process of getting citizenship. This was going to take a few months and over this time myself, Derek and William got onto the subject of how good it would be to open our own gym. Then all of a sudden it turned into serious discussions and ideas. It was kind of a case of f**k it, let’s do this. These are the only two guys I'd ever have thought about doing this with. We decided we wanted it to have a bar and sell shakes and Derek was sponsored by a supplement company so he gave Steven (then-owner of a supplement company) a shout about maybe supplying the supplements. Derek then told us that Steven wanted to get involved with the gym. We had a meeting with Steven and we agreed there and then that we’d all like to work together. We wanted to be different from every other gym and we have fully achieved this. Derek never went to Australia!
How long has your gym(s) been operating for? 9 months
How many gyms do you own/operate? One so far, but we have plans to expand and open more. 14
Aside from the gym, what other facilities do you offer your members? We offer classes and physiotherapy. We are sponsored by Optimum Nutrition and have a protein bar so people can chill out before/after their sessions. In being associated with exclusive bars, restaurants, and businesses in the local and great-Glasgow area, we are able to offer our members discounted rates and special deals.
How many staff do you employ? Three directors who work in the Club daily and oversee operations – Myself (Simon), William & Derek. Our General Manager is Louise Cochrane and we have six personal trainers. Our trainers are self-employed and they do 2x8 hour shifts per week for The Club which they then invoice us for. We pay our trainers for these shifts and they also keep 100% of their personal training earnings. Myself (Simon), Derek and William are all personal trainers ourselves and have come from gyms where we have had to pay £600 rent a month or do 12 hours of shift work a week for free. We know how difficult it is for trainers so we wanted to give them the best possible environment and chance to make a good living. The fact that we pay our trainers for their shifts also allows us to attract the best trainers possible.
Owner of the Month How important are PTs to your business? They really are the bloodline of our gym which is why we feel it is very important to pay them for their time. We truly value our trainers. We are all about customer service so it’s very important for our trainers to be happy.
How do you motivate/incentivise your staff members? We really push our staff to be in front of the camera a lot, using the content to promote them and The Club Gym on all our social media platforms. It gets them in front of our audience and helps develop not only The Club Gym but also their own businesses. We often have bonus incentives for the most amount of new membership sign-ups.
Do you provide any financial assistance for your staff with regards to their training & development? We have a very high level of personal trainers who are always doing courses to improve their own knowledge. We have organised a couple of extra training days for them over the last few months on topics such as communication which is so important when it comes to building rapport with our members – and signing up new ones! We do in-house training as well for ideas on generating new business. The directors have all been trainers for over 10 years each, so we find we can help in many areas from coaching itself to business development.
What makes your gym unique? In our gym, our focus is our members. This may seem
basic but with the many budget/chain gyms popping up in Glasgow we feel that this is so important and it is one of the main things that sets us apart. We know each of members by name and we have created a small community and a friendly place to train. We have purple and blue lighting and a house DJ who plays live three nights a week which helps create a great atmosphere. We do a lot on social media, offer prosecco Fridays, have guest DJ nights and pop-up shops, waxing popups and have plans for barber pop-ups too. We are a destination gym which people travel for hundreds of miles just to train in. We’ve people from Ireland to Canada to Spain come to The Club Gym to train when they’ve been in the Glasgow area!
What advice would you give to other gym owners just starting out? Whatever money, time and effort you think it’s going to take I'd multiply that by 3 or 4. Never, ever give up and try to enjoy the process as much as possible. You will have amazing days signing up lots of new members and you will have days where you think you are going to lose it all. Nothing worth having is ever easy.
What are the biggest challenges facing your business today? We opened in Glasgow which is the second most competitive city in the UK for new gyms which I guess could be a challenge. To be totally honest I don’t see any challenges anymore - I hope the only challenge we have from now is finding the perfect spot for our next gym.
Owner of the Month
What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years? The massive increase in budget gyms. They are literally everywhere. The increase in gym culture which is amazing too.
How do you engage with your members? • We chat to every single member as they come in and leave the gym. • We walk the gym and help anyone who needs it. • We have fitness challenges that we get our members involved in. • We have prosecco Fridays for those who fancy a wee glass post workout. • We are only getting started and have a million ideas that will allow us to create something special for our members.
How do you retain your members? Interaction is our main focus. People want to feel part of something so we make sure that every one of our members feels included. We try to add as much value as we can by coming from a place of genuinely wanting to help people.
How are you promoting your brand and 16
marketing your gym? We do all our own branding and marketing ourselves now as we know our brand and story better than anyone. We have competitions with prizes from various exclusive restaurants and clothing shops around Glasgow, post lifestyle tips, exercise tips etc. We are very active on social media and create and post content regularly throughout the day.
What is your biggest success story? Our biggest success story is the fact that we are four guys who started with a shell of a property, no experience in running a gym, no millions of pounds or investors and we have built an amazing place with amazing trainers for our members. We literally built this place with our bare hands from building all the kit, painting, fixing walls, running social media, managing staff, dealing with councils, landlords, lawyers, architects, builders… the list goes on. We did all this whilst still running our own full-time personal training businesses as this was our only means of income. We had a vision and we have created something far better than any of us expected – a place where hundreds of people come to train and love it. Seeing people buzzing about training in a gym that you built from nothing is our success story. We can see that we have literally changed people’s lives for the better.
24-25 May 2017 The Belfry, Wishaw, West Midlands, UK www.sibecuk.com
What do you get at SIBEC? • Guaranteed pre-qualified audience of key decision makers • Pre-set appointments with buyers of your choice • Limited competition • 3 full days of exceptional networking • Unparalleled value for money • High Quality Seminar Program
8-11 November 2017 Don Carlos Leisure Resort & Spa, Marbella, Spain www.sibeceu.com
I think will be my 5th year at SIBEC and from both a business and personal perspective there are a number of reasons why I continue to attend yearly1. It is one of the best business networking events I have attended in the Industry and year on year continues to put me in touch with new suppliers and buyers that consistently open my eyes to further business opportunities. 2. It allows me to be a source of referral for any of our existing suppliers who are looking to work with other operators. 3. It gives me the opportunity to meet up and socialise with other Industry leaders within their field. Michelle Dand, Group Health & Fitness Manager, David Lloyd Leisure Ltd
For more information about SIBEC please contact:
David Zarb Jenkins Email: email@example.com Tel: +356 9944 8862
Direct Debit solutions can make payment collection more manageable and cost-effective for fitness operators. But what do you need to know? Gladstone’s senior product owner Tom Vian outlines the options.
Although fitness operators have always collected memberships fees in a number of ways – including cash, card, cheque and standing order – there are obvious advantages to taking payments via Direct Debit instead. For one thing, the payment methods above all involve significant administration, whether it’s dealing with failed card payments or chasing members to set up new standing orders when fees go up. In contrast, Direct Debit automates the entire process, while also providing you with a much more predictable income stream. But while the benefits are clear, choosing a Direct Debit solution that meets the exact requirements of your business can be less straightforward. How do you get started? How should you handle rejections and cancellations? And should you outsource this to a specialist DD services provider or manage it in-house? Whether you’re introducing Direct Debits for the first time, or changing the way you manage them, here are some key points to consider.
How it works Put simply, a Direct Debit gives your organisation permission to take money from a customer’s bank account on an agreed date; you can also increase the amount or change the date automatically as long as you inform the customer first. Historically, setting up a Direct Debit involved the customer signing an instruction form, or ‘mandate’, which was then posted to the customer’s bank and processed manually. But in 2008, Bacs, the company that manages the Direct Debit Scheme, launched a system called AUDDIS (Automated Update of Direct Debit Instruction Service), which allows businesses to send Direct Debit instructions to their customers’ banks electronically. While the customer still signs a mandate form, this doesn’t need to be posted to the bank, making the process much less time-consuming. It’s now also possible to collect Direct Debit instructions from customers online or over the telephone without them signing a mandate form, via a process called ‘paperless Direct Debit’ – more on that later. Once a mandate has been accepted via AUDDIS, you can activate a Direct Debit run for that customer via the bank’s own software, which prompts the bank to collect money from the account on the date agreed. Each time you do this, either the payment will go through or the bank will send you an ARUDD (Automated Return of Unpaid Direct Debit) report, informing you the payment has been rejected and providing a reason code.
ct hits Spotlight
Code 0, for example, indicates ‘Refer to Payer’, which usually means there are insufficient funds in the account, while code 1 indicates someone has cancelled a mandate; if this occurs, you will also receive an ADDACS (Automated Direct Debit Amendment and Cancellation Service) report, which gives more detail. Other reasons for rejections range from someone passing away to an account being transferred.
you may not qualify. In this event, you can still outsource the Direct Debit collection to a specialist company, but you won’t be able to take payments yourself.
Most leisure management software solutions, such as our own, can be easily set up to manage Direct Debit runs and receive ARUDD (rejection) and ADDACS (cancellation) reports. It’s what you do on the back of those reports that matters, and this is where your LMS software can really make a difference.
If you decide to manage Direct Debits in-house, you’ll need to apply to your bank for a suitable merchant account. Some banks require a minimum turnover to grant Direct Debit status, so if your business is very small,
Once your account is set up, the next step is a sign-off process; this means the bank must sign off on all information you present to your customers, whether via a paper mandate or online. You can now start collecting payments.
If a Direct Debit fails, there are a number of actions you may want to take, from adding notes to the member’s account to denying them access or changing how much they’re required to pay for services. An intelligent LMS system will allow you to trigger any or all of these actions automatically by putting wizards against the relevant ARUDD or ADDACS report. For ‘Refer to Payer’ reports, for example, you may want one wizard to reject the payment put through by your system and another to add a note to the member’s account, so the next time they come in the receptionist is prompted to raise the issue with them. In contrast, the only actions you want triggered in response to a ‘Payer Deceased’ report are the removal of the person’s bank details and the changing of their membership status to ‘expired’.
Third-party solutions If you can’t or don’t want to manage Direct Debit payments in-house, you can opt to work with a third-party company that specialises in Direct Debit services, such as our partners DFC and Harlands (see box). In this instance, your customer’s contract is with that third-party provider and the Direct Debit instruction must be filled out on their system. There are a number of reasons to consider this. If your business is very small, you may not qualify for Direct Debit status, while organisations dealing with large numbers of rejections and cancellations simply may not have the staff to follow up with customers or spend time chasing debt. Outsourcing Direct Debit management to an external company removes that burden as well as reducing risk, as many specialist providers guarantee operators a certain percentage of lost revenue, whether they successfully collect it or not. Operators that wish to enforce a strict 12-month contract may be particularly keen to outsource this part of the business, both to save staff time chasing early cancellations and to avoid the unpleasantness associated with this, and its inevitable impact on staff-customer relationships. Outsourcing Direct Debit management may not be right for all operators, however, especially if your brand image is built on strong personal relationships and a ‘family’ culture. If a loyal customer is having a bad month and their Direct Debit is rejected, an in-house solution allows you the flexibility to have a chat and give them some leeway. Using a specialist removes that flexibility. Which option offers the best value for money depends how many rejections and cancellations you’re dealing with. For operators who only deal with a few ARUDD or ADDACS reports a month, it may be more cost-effective to manage these in-house. For those that deal with multiple reports, the premiums charged by specialist agencies may seem very reasonable when balanced against the savings in staff time and improved ability to recoup lost fees. 20
What’s next? In terms of where Direct Debit solutions are headed, we’re seeing a massive growth in paperless Direct Debit (PDD). Governed by different rules and regulations, this allows Direct Debit instructions to be entered directly into secure online portals, without requiring customers to come in and sign a form. To accommodate this, many LMS systems, including our own, now incorporate online joining portals. As well as being more convenient for customers – who can sign up 24/7 – this improves accuracy, reduces pressure on reception staff and potentially increases sales by encouraging more people to sign up. To complement our online joining solution, Gladstone is now working towards offering PDD sign-up in-centre, via our new mobile-responsive Gladstone360 software – combining the increased efficiency of paperless Direct Debit with the opportunity to up-sell memberships face to face.
Want to outsource your Direct Debits to a specialist company? Two leading providers share their tips
Ivan Stevenson, Director, DFC Outsourcing to a DD services specialist can lead to improved internal efficiency and increased revenue from receivable income streams, allowing operators to focus their attention on customer service and driving income. When choosing a provider, check they deal with default management as well as collections. Ask for references from existing clients and hard evidence of what they can achieve. What are their current collection rates? What is their proven impact on attrition, retention and length of stay? Consider whether their ethos fits with your own, and check their ethical credentials – do they work with Trading Standards? You should also consider what technology they use to operate their service. Is this managed in-house or externally? What’s their policy on development? And can they offer value added services, such as online joining? Ask about support, security measures and transparency – can operators track members through the reporting system, and how efficiently can the provider action changes to members’ Direct Debits? Checking the provider can integrate seamlessly with your LMS system is another factor. Over the past five years, there has been increased demand for integrated solutions, as operators look to streamline their operations and customers require more from their operators.
Robin Karn, National Sales Manager, Harlands Most of the fastest-growing fitness operators in the UK outsource their DD processing: The Gym, Energie, Lifestyle Fitness, Xercise4Less and JD to name a few. These are all businesses that focus their energy on engaging with their customer base, driving sales and marketing – and have more time to do this because they don’t deal with payment administration. Larger suppliers will offer greater stability and better disaster recovery and security measures. Choose a leisure specialist and ask who they work with already; large operators and local authorities do a lot of due diligence on suppliers, so this offers reassurance. Check the service includes management of arrears payments, as this is tough to deal with internally but done well will increase revenue. Ask what happens if there is a large increase or decrease in the number of payments being processed – what would happen to service levels and how are these checked? What contingency plans are there if key staff members leave, systems fail or the building is inaccessible? How secure is your members’ data, and if there is a security breach what insurance do they have in place? For more information visit: www.gladstonesoftware.co.uk, www.debitfinance.co.uk, www.harlandsgroup.co.uk
WHY ARE MIRRORS NEEDED IN A GYM?
Everybody, regardless of workout type or level of personal fitness, benefits from mirrors in a gym - whether to check your postures, self-correct, self-motivate, or simply check your appearance on the way out. For this reason, it is very important to consider the most effective places to position these mirrors. There are two main reasons for needing mirrors in gym design: 1. Practically, it makes a work out space much safer. Stretching areas and free weight zones are a good place for mirrors in order for clients to see their posture and position
during stretching and weightlifting exercises. Mirrors offer visual feedback and enable you to see exactly what your body is doing. 2. A esthetically they create a professional environment, make the most of the room’s natural or artificial light, and give the appearance of making the space feel larger than it actually is.
FACT: Approximately 65 percent of the population are visual learners FACT: 90 percent of information that comes to the brain is visual FACT: Visual aids installed in the gym improve learning by up to 400 percent The visual benefits of using mirrors for training are limitless in helping your clients’ training move forward at a faster pace.
So where should we position mirrors in the gym? Consider where they can be positioned to reflect natural light into the space, i.e. opposite windows. If you require the room to be used as a dance studio or aerobics space you may require full length mirrors so you can see your body position and alignment at all times. Often it is not beneficial to have full length mirrors as some of the wall space will be taken up by equipment or storage, in which case the mirrors can be placed horizontally, usually 50cm from the ground. It is useful to install chequer plate below the mirrors in the weights area as this helps protect the mirrors from damage. Most importantly, when choosing mirrors for a public area, consider the safety factor. You must make sure you choose safety backed mirrors. This is a special film attached to the mirror that ensures pieces of mirror broken from an impact will not fall out onto the floor. This is particularly important for a gym manager to consider, as this type of mirror could prevent serious injury. Unique installation Mirrors for Training’s system of installation is unique and has the added benefit of enabling the mirrors to be easily moved should this be necessary in the future. Whether your project requires a single mirror installation or several walls of a large-scale commercial development, our optimally functioning mirrors and great value deals are guaranteed to meet the most quality conscious demands with flawless fulfilment. Our experienced installation team are committed to quality and monitor every aspect of the manufacturing and fitting process. Installations are completed using our unique, polished aluminium system which involves adhering the mirrors and avoiding unsightly screw fixing - this gives a sleek professional appearance to all of our installations without compromising the ultimate crystal clarity reflection. Our unique system has the added benefit of easy removal and relocation, if needed in the future, without damage to walls. At our purpose built warehouse in the Midlands we stock large quantities of mirrors, so can offer the most competitive quotes and keep up with the high demand for our services. We have several installation teams and a fleet of delivery vehicles ensuring that your order arrives on time every time. Our vehicles can be spotted all over the country and throughout Europe. We are proud of our reputation and commitment to quality, and our high standard installations have lead to us becoming the preferred supplier to many large construction companies involved in building and refurbishing fitness and leisure facilities nationwide. Whether you’re looking for home gym mirrors, leisure centre mirrors, dance studio mirrors or large exhibition mirrors, either indoor or outdoor, you can rest assured that we’ll have the right product for your needs. 22
Time to get PBX BAGS With Physical Company, you’ve got your workout in the bag – literally with its new PBX bags. Containing built-in Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, you can hold your phone over the tag to reveal an exclusive online library of exercises. Ranging from 5kg to 35kg and with three different handle variations, the
PBX bags have ultra-durable casing in strong, synthetic leather and an internal webbing cage to reinforce the external handles and seams. The NFC tag will reveal plenty of great exercises: here are three to whet your appetite.
Watch how the pro’s do it!
Around the World With your feet shoulder-width apart, reach down and grab the loose handles of the PBX Bag bringing it up to knee height. Hold the PBX bag in-front of you, with your core engaged and knees slightly bent. Rotate the bag over your left shoulder bending both elbows and complete a full circle around your head, bringing the bag to the starting position in a continuous motion then repeat. Stop then continue on the alternate side. Lateral Drag Crouched next to the PBX Bag, with its tight handles facing upwards, manoeuvre yourself into a plank position with
the bag off to the side. Engage the core and grab the PBX bag with the opposite hand. Drag it underneath your body to the other side. Return the bag to its original position by repeating the move with the alternate hand. Suitcase Carry Lunge Stand side-on to the PBX Bag with the central suitcase handle facing upwards. Reach down and lift the bag to waist height. Move into a split stance position with your left leg forward and right leg back, aligning your legs with your hips. Lower yourself down keeping chest back, shoulders down and glutes engaged. Return to the starting position. Repeat the move with your right leg forward and left leg back.
Find out more at physicalcompany.co.uk or call for expert advice. February 2017
Equip y New versus used equipment - the new gym ownerâ€™s dilemma. Sharon Young, Marketing Manager at Craig Young Consulting, takes a look at all the options. If 2017 sees the birth of your new fitness facility, how will you kit out the new studio in town to make it stand out from the crowd? Running a commercial gym is costly and, along with rent and salaries, equipment is a major outlay. Will you invest every last penny you have to install the most expensive and innovative apparatus on the market, or will you consider playing more safely with the introduction of some key second-hand pieces? At Craig Young Consulting we have extensive knowledge on all types of equipment that have graced our gyms in the UK and overseas in the last decade, so let us try to help you unravel this dilemma
Budget sensibly As a gym owner you should budget sensibly for your kit. Leasing brand new equipment will lead to high customer satisfaction and lower maintenance costs but, in the long run, is more expensive than purchasing it. If you choose to buy your gym equipment outright you can build up some equity but, accounting for wear and tear and the constant changes in technology, it will depreciate in the same way that a car does. Worth consideration are the online tendering platforms that will help you to get the most favourable return on your used gym equipment. However, many gym operators prefer to lease to avoid being lumbered with inefficient and obsolete machines. In this highly competitive market, they want to able to provide equipment that turns heads, moves bodies 24
and generates income. You should think carefully about your clientele and your competition. What type of person are you trying to attract? What facilities are already in your local area? The range of cardio and strength equipment available today is quite phenomenal. It is more versatile and sleeker than ever. Members who yearn for the very latest technology in the quest to reach their fitness goals are sure to place asset management high on their list of priorities. They will want to track their progress, and be entertained, with the most sophisticated and visually appealing software. Those clients will be expecting the most exciting ergonomics, built-in Bluetooth technology and LCD monitors, and will almost certainly be happy to pay for those luxuries. You meanwhile, will be able to manage such equipment to connect with your members, improve the quality of personal training and expedite maintenance and service.
yourself Stay ahead of the trend For your peace of mind, you are likely to be offered very attractive warranties on the newest commercial equipment. These range from 2-5 years and include superb service packages. There are also some amazing finance and leasing deals to be had on machines that are guaranteed to entice your members. With an ever-increasing number of both budget and boutique gyms opening in the UK each month, and such a vast array of fitness products, keeping current and ahead of the trends is crucial to your gym’s success. You
may decide, as your equipment’s warranty comes to an end, that it is the ideal time to introduce some new and exciting products, but will your budget permit such extravagance? If you are unsure, then why not consider some affordable refurbished pieces that, nowadays, are given so much TLC, they are made to look and feel as good as new. Kinder on the pocket and on the environment, one man’s trash, could easily become your treasure.
'Leasing brand new equipment will lead to high customer satisfaction and lower maintenance costs but, in the long run, is more expensive than purchasing it' February 2017
Refurb There are some fantastic bargains to be found on such sites as Ebay, Preloved and Gumtree, but be sure to carry out a full service history check before you buy second-hand. The safer option would be to explore the handful of companies in the UK that specialise in re-manufacturing gym equipment. They select the finest pieces, and brands that everyone has come to know and love, to completely strip down, sand blast repaint and rebuild. Any components that are not working to their full capacity are replaced, and each machine undergoes rigorous diagnostic tests before being dispatched to its new home. So strong is the belief in the re-manufacturing process, that reconditioned gym equipment usually comes with a 2 year warranty on parts and labour, and most companies would welcome you to their factory to see the refurbishment stages for yourself. The experts will deliver, assemble, service and protect the machines they have lovingly restored, and exceptional customer care is an essential part of the package. If youâ€™re still not quite convinced, did you know that you can customise your frames and upholstery to incorporate your brand and co-ordinate with your club colours in the same way that you can with brand new equipment?
Mix the old with the new You may still be feeling somewhat baffled as to how you will fill the floors, and walls, of your fantastic facility, but hopefully you yourself will feel better equipped for having had the low-down on the numerous possibilities available. At CYC, we recommend you research your products and payment options thoroughly and talk to others with experience in the industry. Why not mix up the new with some trusty used favourites? With the right combination, your members are sure to fall in love with them all.
Sharon Young is the Marketing Manager at Craig Young Consulting. For more information on Craig Young Consultingâ€™s products and gym design service contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01978 812829 / 07890 390481 www.craigyoungconsulting.co.uk
Av: Activ ltd is an audio visual company specialising IN THE GYM & LEISURE CENTRE SECTOR For over 15 years we have supplied and installed audio visual equipment throughout UK and Ireland. We can also service your existing equipment no matter how old it is because we've seen it all.
Based in the midlands Av: Activ ltd are the preferred audio visual company for many of the UK’s leading gym chains and independent gym operators. Av : Activ ltd have completed over 500 installations and 1000’s of service calls throughout the UK and Ireland ranging from large scale Video walls and sound systems to single TV wall installations. No job is too small for us. With Cardio entertainment systems at the forefront of many gyms we can design any system around you and your gym to maximise member’s workout experience. We are the UK’s only distributor of MYE entertainment cardio systems. New for 2017 is APP AUDIO. This system eliminates the need for expensive cardio boxes on all your CV equipment. One small unit connects to your clubs Wi-Fi, download the free app on a Smartphone this then gives you member’s access to listen to any TV/ radio installed in the gym. It has the potential to save you thousands of pounds! The app is also fully customisable and no monthly charges. So basically it’s a free app for your gym! Our Services include: cardio TV walls with wireless MYE cardio – PA systems – Dance and spin room sound systems – LED lighting – multi-zone music systems – SKY and freeview distribution systems – swimming pool aerobic systems. We also service either on site or at our workshop: Any cardio TV system (Cloud, Audeon, Cardio theatre, MYE) – TV repairs – Microphone repairs - sound system repairs. WHY NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR FREE ONSITE QUOTES AND ESTIMATES? For more information visit: www.avactiv.co.uk | email@example.com | 0121 647 3727
Wellness Integrating a more well-rounded approach in your facility can help your clients achieve longlasting results says personal trainer and founder of Fit N All, Adriana Albritton You have been in the fitness industry for years and know how to provide the right tools for your clients so they achieve their fitness goals. Yet, you may be dealing with just the physical part. And by now, you have witnessed that most people do not make long-lasting changes. Humans are complex beings with interconnected systems. Rather than only being physical beings, humans function and are dominated by at least two more components, the mind and the spirit. It is like a triumvirate, three different forces having an impact towards the same human being. Circumstances that affect the mind can have an effect on the body, and vice versa. This is why wellness and wellness coaching is becoming more popular nowadays.
What is wellness coaching? Besides focusing on body training, wellness coaching incorporates the mind and spirit. It helps clients achieve fitness goals, but also to attain continuous change by tapping into their inner self. It actively uses their values, needs, and objectives while reinforcing self-efficacy and empowerment. A wellness approach to a fitter healthier life, incorporates practices for all the human components in addition to changes in the diet and activity levels. By establishing a supportive positive relationship, wellness coaching strives to raise awareness into clients' problems, address their motivation, and reduce their ambivalence for change. Wellness coaching provides knowledge and guidance that helps clients achieve their objectives. Additionally, it encourages detailed goal setting, as well as a wellness vision - a healthier happier vision for their lives. At the same time, wellness coaching prompts practices that feed the spirit. Practices that can assist towards a happier, calmer existence are highlighted. For instance, yoga, journaling, aromatherapy, positive daily readings, acupuncture, massage, meditation, and mindfulness. 28
Coaching Incorporate wellness coaching Gyms are generally loud and hectic places. You may wonder how can you really integrate wellness. Well... I'm going to give you a couple of ideas: Have a wellness coach on site Offer yoga classes Have a nutritionist on site or a qualified coach or trainer who can provide meal planning Have a room apt for massages. Or connect, partner, or refer clients to a massage therapist Rent space to a chiropractor and/or acupuncturist or have available referral sources for your clients Invite acupuncturists, massage therapists, nutritionists, chiropractors, and other professionals to your facility to provide information to your clients Post throughout the gym information about wellness Have different wellness-related activities once a week or once a month: Have a "No more stress" board available to all, where people can write their personal stress managing techniques. This can allow clients to be more involved, feel valuable, and get ideas from others Have an anonymous "Getting rid of it" box, where people write the weakness or unwanted behaviors and attitudes that keep them stuck! Have a "I Can" or "This is Me" board, where people write their strengths and assets Have a "Vision" box or a board where people write their wellness vision. They can write how they want their body to look and how they want their lives to be
Feed your referral pool Remember, we are interconnected complex beings. Habits that affect the body, like exercising and having a healthy diet, should be supplemented by practices that influence the mind and spirit. Integrating a more well-rounded approach in your facility can help your clients achieve long-lasting results. This course not only augments success rates, but makes your facility more unique. Additionally, it connects you with a circle of professionals that can continuously feed your referral pool. Consequently, your revenue is boosted and everybody benefits.
For more information about Adriana, visit: www.fitnall.com
Live the brand
Andy Kidd, MD of fitness marketing agency Hattrick Marketing, outlines the importance of the brand within the fitness industry
During Hattrick’s 13 years operating as a specialist health and fitness marketing agency, I’m proud to say that we have created and successfully launched a countless number of brands and it makes me very pleased to see so many of these still flourishing in the fitness industry.
Most of us will be exposed to hundreds of brands as we go about our regular daily activities and as such the concept of a brand has become a readily accepted and expected aspect of society. But you may well have at one point or other asked yourself, what is a brand?
A congruent message
One of the common answers I hear to this question is that it’s a logo along with the colours and fonts that accompany it. However, it is the belief of the entire team here at Hattrick that a brand is far more than this. It is in fact a representation of who you are, what you stand for and who you aspire to become. In essence, it is a promise to your customers of what they can expect from your company, its services and products and must therefore manifest itself in everything you do.
Once created, your brand must be reflected consistently in everything your company does, both through its external marketing communications and internally through its company ethos and customer service.
Within an ever increasingly competitive fitness marketplace a gym’s brand has never been so important and can often prove the difference between success and failure. Done correctly your brand can differentiate you from your competitors and help establish and cement your position in the market. Done incorrectly it can cause confusion amongst all key stakeholders and will ultimately cost you customers. As it is therefore crucial that this process is done completely effectively we have a structured and thorough process which we undertake whenever we are creating or updating a brand. Much of this is done prior to pencil ever touching paper and serves to ensure that the essence of the brand is determined affectively, including its core characteristics, promise, archetypal character and the resulting tone of voice. Then and only then will we begin the process of creating visual moodboards, developing potential logos and determining colour palettes and typefaces, all of which will reflect this brand essence. 30
This means that any marketing campaigns should have a congruent message which is reflective of who you are and what you would like your potential customers to think and feel about your company. The same should be said for the creative artwork which should always derive from an established brand style guide. Likewise, the visuals of your brand should also be consistent throughout all internal signage, graphics and collateral and this should particularly be true with your company’s staff who should ‘live the brand’ in how they act, what they say and the uniform that they wear. I would like to finish on a final note by expressing what I believe is perhaps the most important element of all, being that you must deliver on your brand promise. Whatever your brand promise may be through your marketing communications or internal mantra it is vital that this is delivered to the customer time and time again, because while the idea of the brand might get them through the door, it is this delivery which will keep them coming back! Founded by Andy in 2003, Hattrick Marketing has provided marketing services to hundreds of different organisations within the fitness and leisure industry. They offer a range of services and for more information visit hattrickmarketing.com or contact them on 0870 609 3216.
Membership/CRM & Marketing Access Control inc Biometrics Till, Credit Card & Stock Control Web & Mobile Activity & Class Bookings DD Management & Online Sign-ups Implementation, Training & Support
NEXTISSUE Features for March include:
Membership retention Water coolers/fountains Hygiene & cleaning Female fitness Gym design To advertise in these features call Paul Wood: 07858 487357
GYM OWNER monthly
Boot C Your G Business
Mark Hooks, owner of Reboot Dorset, explains the benefits of offering a residential boot camp experience for your members Throughout this article I will set out the major benefits associated with running or including residential fitness boot camps for your gym members. It will include four main benefits for both you as the business owner, your gym staff/fitness instructors and, last but not least, the benefits that your clients will receive. I will also give you an easy to follow plan on how to design, implement and execute a successful 5-day fitness boot camp in an affordable, low risk and potentially high return basis. My name is Mark Hooks and I am the owner of one of the UKâ€™s best and longest established residential fitness boot camps. Prior to setting up Reboot Dorset my whole life was spent gaining experience within the health and fitness industry. Having served with The Parachute Regiment and being employed as a physical training instructor for the British Army, I gained what I believe to be one of the best grounding qualifications the industry has to offer. Since leaving the military in 2002 I continued to obtain various other instructor qualifications as well as a BSc degree in Sports Psychology & Coaching Sciences at Bournemouth University. I have worked at all levels within the public and private sector, from class instructor through to group gym manager, for private clubs and council run establishments. I also have a vast amount of experience working with clients 32
on a one to one level, as well as within groups, with specific experience in coaching for triathlons. Having spent nearly 20 years learning my trade I decided to take the plunge and set up Reboot Dorset. Reboot Dorset is a 5-day residential fitness boot camp dedicated to delivering a holistic, educational and empowering service to all that attend. My main objective is to empower the individual with the knowledge and confidence they need to implement and maintain long-term healthy lifestyle changes and wellbeing. If you are looking for a short term return and not interested in the long game then this may not be for you. But if you are looking to build strong lasting relationships built on trust and respect between you, your employees and clients then this article may be advantageous for you.
Camp Gym Business
So what are the four main benefits associated with you running a residential fitness boot camp?
1. Closer employee/customer relations – spending five days with anyone within a retreat type environment will develop strong and lasting relationships. Normally, within a typical working week, you would spend 4 – 5 hours maximum with a client or employee, and you would probably spend about 8 – 10 quality hours each week with your best friend or spouse. When setting your boot camp daily schedule it is important to ensure that it is inclusive to all in attendance, while nurturing a positive and supportive environment. It is paramount to have coping strategies in place for the negative or less than
enthusiastic attendees, these can be easily drawn up and implemented. Reboot Dorset does not have a ‘them and us’ culture; the instructors eat and sleep within the same environment as the clients and participate in all the training sessions. Friendships between clients, instructors and myself that were built back in Reboot’s early years are still going strong. These may be via social media, group chats on email or physical reunions, but the bonds made almost 8 years ago are still going strong today. This is why I believe every year at Reboot Dorset we see more and more returning clients, referrals and recommendations.
2. Fast effective results – A client usually visits a gym for an hour or two up to five times per week. During this time you can prescribe exercise and offer healthy nutritious food, however, for the other 22 hours each day or 158 hours that week you have no control over what your client does. The health related changes obtained within the gym environment are limited and can be counter-productive when external gym activities (or lack thereof) are taken into account. When you have clients training, eating and sleeping within a controlled environment the results achieved can be astronomical. As a result your clients will gain a level of respect for your ability that will last for years and will produce amazing testimonials and future recommendations. Introducing a residential boot camp every 6 or 12 months will become an event to be talked about by both staff and clients, pre and post boot camp. It can encourage new members, while increasing retention of existing clients and staff allowing productivity to thrive. 3. Great opportunity to assess and develop your instructors – We all know how easy it is for an employee to pull the wool over our eyes in an interview or assessment, or for them to become the person they think we as an employer want them to be. When you spend 24 hours a day for five days with your staff it is easy to identify the leaders and those that are less than enthusiastic. It is a great opportunity to develop their skills while leading from the front and develop a team that you can be proud of – a successful team that will increase productivity while enhancing customer satisfaction. 4. Financial benefits – I have already mentioned some of the benefits associated with running a fitness boot camp for your gym; better staff and customer relations, increased productivity, improved retention and higher quality of existing services. However, if done correctly, running a residential fitness boot camp can bring in substantial profits. Reboot Dorset breaks even on a fitness boot camp at around six clients - everything on top of that is profit. As a gym owner you are in a great position as you will not require the same level of advertising costs as Reboot Dorset as you will hopefully gain the majority of your business inhouse. If budgeted correctly an average boot camp could earn your gym between £2000 - £5000 pre tax profit. There are so many other benefits associated with your gym running a residential fitness boot camp that, for me, it is a no brainer.
'My main objective is to empower the individual with the knowledge and confidence they need to implement and maintain long-term healthy lifestyle changes and wellbeing'
Design, Implementation & Execution of a Successful Boot Camp It is important to test the water within your establishment; does your customer demographic fall within the financial bracket that can afford upwards of ÂŁ500 for a five day retreat? With effective market research and planning this can be identified prior to any financial investment. The location of your boot camp is extremely important and things to bear in mind would be whether the site is idyllic and secluded, yet easily accessible. The majority of Reboot clients travel approximately two to three hours, a few will spend over eight hours getting to us and a few will visit from Europe and beyond. I have found that people local to the area do not like to run around their usual haunts where friends or acquaintances may see them in their lycra! Do not be afraid to travel a bit to find the ideal location within budget. When putting together your weekly schedule ensure it includes lots of variety with little down time. Rest will be required between sessions but this time can be filled with nutrition, physiological, motivational and psychological workshops. Reboot Dorset starts on a Monday at 1.00pm and finishes on Friday at 1.00pm, with the other three days starting at 7.15am and concluding at 7.30pm. In the evening we offer massages at an additional cost, while our
accommodation offers comfortable communal areas to relax and socialise. The dining area has one large table that allows everyone to sit around and discuss the dayâ€™s events, which is essential for group bonding. It is important to feed your clients well; most boot camps go for low calorie, which can make the whole experience a chore. The clients wake up hungry in the night, fantasize about food throughout their boot camp days and gorge on these fantasies when they return home, making any weight loss achieved short term and difficult to maintain. Reboot delivers three hot meals and three snacks each day, staying clear of sugars and processed food. Amazing results are achieved and maintained long into the future. All the recipes used during the week are given to the clients to take home and are discussed in the relevant workshops. You already own and run a gym so the content of the physical programme can be varied - I am sure you know what to include with this regard. I would, however, encourage you to prescribe a personal, physical three month goal for each of the attendees to complete, such as a distanced run or swim. This could be held in your gym at a date of your choice and at this point you could sell PT classes or provide meals at your gym bringing in further income. I hope that this article has been of some benefit and provoked some food for thought. I wish you all the best and hope that your staff and clients have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017.
For more information about Reboot Dorset, visit: www.rebootdorset.com
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THE ART OF SEMIPRIVATE TRAINING Robert Stevenson, winner of the 2016 Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Personal Trainer award, tells us why semi-private training has been a huge success
At the end of 2016, Robert Stevenson was selected by industry leaders as the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Personal Trainer for demonstrating achievements through client results, growth of his business and his outstanding efforts in promoting health and wellbeing in the community. His fitness facility, Type 1 Fitness in Annalong, Northern Ireland has rapidly expanded due to the increasing popularity of semi-private training, otherwise known as small group training. The concept of small group training has proved to be more effective within a fitness environment for both the trainer and the client.
What is semi-private training? Our model of semi-private training allows up to four people to train together in one session, under the supervision of one coach. We provide numerous time slots dedicated to semi-private training throughout the week which our clients are able to book into. Limiting four people to a session ensures adequate supervision for compound lifts. Before entering a semi-private environment, we ensure that every member has a foundation level of technique and knowledge of the main exercises. In the case of an absolute beginner, they must attend a number of 1-to-1 sessions until they become competent and confident.
How to plan and run an effective session All semi-private sessions at Type 1 Fitness follow the same structure. We effectively utilise the space and usually run two sessions at a time. The programme has been carefully designed to run over a two week period, then repeats. Every two months, the programme is reassessed, and modified to keep the clients continuously challenged. Sessions are built around compound lifts, generally paired with an isolation exercise, including a dynamic and effective conditioning to finish. February 2017
Fitness All exercises have regressions and progressions in place, this enables mixed abilities to engage in an effective workout and not be discouraged by challenging exercises. Here’s an example of a typical session: Dynamic warm up (together) Main Session 1: Deadlift 1a: Press up variation 2: Single leg exercise 2a: Row 3: Pull up 3a: Core/anti rotation exercise Conditioning 4: Prowler 4a: Slam ball 4b: Mountain climbers 4c: Battle rope
Core Values Every business should be based around core values. These are the principles that you instil in people from the moment they walk through the door for the first time. We promote that our gym should be a place to work hard, constantly improve and push yourself, but leaving the gym with a smile on your face is of utmost importance. With so many approaches and methods to get people in shape, I personally believe it’s important not to follow fads that come and go in fitness.
between sets too. Thirdly, it makes financial sense. If you can train four people at the same time, it costs the individual a percentage of a 1-to-1 session, yet as a trainer you make over double the amount in that given hour. Make no mistake though, it’s not simple or straight forward. For a semi-private session to run smoothly, it must be exceptionally well planned and requires a coach to effectively manage four people at the same time without letting anyone feel like they’re receiving less attention, or perform lifts with poor technique. Finally, it offers members more flexibility. If they have an appointment to go at the time they usually train, they can simply book into another slot where there’s a free space. They don’t lose out, nor do you.
A Word on Retention I’m an avid believer that more time should be spent keeping your current clients happy first and foremost, before trying to get new ones. Of course, you need to advertise to some degree, use social media and reach out to members of the community in your local area, but getting great results with the clients you already have is the biggest ticket to success. Never underestimate the power that word of mouth possesses.
For a while it was functional training, balancing on a bosu ball doing a single leg squat, then suddenly everyone should be olympic lifting, then crossfit came about. All of these are grand, but I believe there’s a time and a place for them. At Type One Fitness we incorporate a mixture of compound lifts, cardiovascular exercise, bodybuilding techniques, core training and aspects of functional/crossfit style training too.
Creating a fitness community was and still is the goal of Type One Fitness, in a village that previously had minimal fitness presence. Bringing like minded people together to train in a welcoming, fun and motivating environment has been one of the most important things we’ve achieved in the past year. Building a community where people can make new friends, encourage each other, share the same struggles and share personal triumphs keeps people interested. Utilising a closed members group on Facebook ensures people interact on a daily basis, even if they don’t get to see others in the gym. Holding social events is also a great way to introduce members to one another, have fun outside the gym setting and reinforce the aspect of community.
Why it Works
It's worked for us
There are four main reasons why semi-private training works. Firstly, having a small number increases the likelihood of great results. There’s nothing better for business than someone expressing to friends how much better they feel, coupled with all the compliments they’ll be receiving.
In conclusion, semi private training has definitely worked well for us. Locally, there’s definitely a gap in the market for it. Depending on where you’re based, what’s already offered near by and what there’s a demand for, will determine what’s feasible for you or your gym. Flexibility, reduced price and a fantastic training environment are certainly appealing prospects to your potential members. Pitch it right and you’re onto a winner!
Secondly, it creates a motivating environment that appeals to mixed abilities. When training alongside others, people tend to push themselves harder, but have some banter
Robert Stevenson is the 2016 Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Personal Trainer and founder of Type One Fitness. Visit his bio at www.onacademy.co.uk
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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 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 Chris@FitnessOverFifty.co.uk if you want to order the ABC7 System.
Digitalisati embrace it Jochen Michaelis, eGym UK CEO, discusses the huge impact of digital technology on the fitness sector The title sounds dramatic but that really is the simple choice operators are faced with in today’s fast paced technological world. It’s not very often a phenomenon comes along that completely disrupts an industry but when it does, only the innovative and agile survive. In the UK, the most recent example of a ‘disruptor’ in the fitness sector was the introduction of the low-cost gym. When this model arrived on the scene, even some of the most established brands, such as Fitness First and LA Fitness were unable to react quickly enough to save themselves from a miserable demise. Sometimes it’s difficult to see a disruptor coming but in the case of technology, the warning signs are here. We only have to look at how other sectors have been affected to see the threat to unreactive operators isn’t far away.
ion – or go bust! Adapt and change
How do we embrace technology?
Take the transport sector for example. Uber does not own a single taxi. It is essentially an app which connects drivers to passengers. The company reacted to a consumer demand for a convenient, inexpensive and safe taxi service and set about creating a software product to deliver this. After just three years in the UK, the San Francisco start up, now boasts 15,000 cabs in London. The London Taxi Company, responsible for the iconic Hackney carriages, are only just ahead with 22,000. Unless the London Taxi Company adapts pretty quickly, it’s hard to see how the company will continue to compete.
So, if we accept that technology is going to massively change the way we do things, how do we embrace it in the fitness industry, turning a threat into an opportunity?
Kodak is another example. Once one of the world’s most powerful and well recognised brands, in 2012 the company filed for bankruptcy following a failure to react to the world’s appetite for digital photography, preferring to stick to its roots in the production of film. The size of a company offers no protection against evolution. Change marches on and it’s only those who are prepared to adapt and change who will survive and thrive.
Essentially, what digitalisation makes extremely easy is the sharing of information. Suddenly it becomes possible to connect all the dots and make a gym member’s experience totally joined up. What do we mean by this? Let’s look at an example. Imagine, a gym member signs in at the desk. This immediately presents the receptionist with information about that member such as hobbies, date of last visit, birthday, age etc. Nothing new there but this is where it then gets interesting. The gym team are immediately made aware that this member has entered the building. This then triggers access to the member’s exercise history, last time they worked out, conducted tests, health information, overdue tasks and progress of the prescribed training plan. When the member enters the gym, a photo of them appears and they can be greeted by name and any instructor can offer advice and support, regardless of whether they have had personal contact with that member prior to this visit. When a member touches the piece of kit with their chipped wristband that day’s workout prescription is activated. Opening the app also activates today’s workout prescription. Each machine the member then presents their wristband to automatically adjusts to match the settings made by the trainer during the induction. The user is guided through the workout, via information on a screen, so exercises are performed at the optimal pace of the movement and number of repetitions. The member goes on to complete a strength circuit and cardio workout in this way, with all data being tracked and recorded. At regular intervals, say every six visits, the member is instructed to perform a strength test on each piece of resistance equipment. Once the tests are completed, the February 2017
Opinion member opens an app on their phone and is presented with the results alongside access to their workout history. Assuming all instruction over the previous six visits has been followed correctly, that member will undoubtedly see an improvement in their strength. In addition to the raw strength test results, members are also given an indication of their biological age, based on the test results. Nobody wants to be told they are biologically older than their actual age, right? So, there’s the motivation to ensure a maximal strength test is performed each time. As strength improves, the biological age reduces. Great for the self confidence and information that the member will want to share with others, creating a social interaction. During the early stages of a prescribed training plan, it is likely members will see no visible signs of improvement in the mirror but being able to see an increase in strength and a reduction in their biological age are indications that their
efforts are paying off and are having a positive effect. All strength results are recorded along with the day’s workout information. This data can then be accessed by the trainers via a dedicated ‘Trainer App’ and by the member via a dedicated ‘Fitness App’. The operator can also run reports on data aggregated from all the members, helping to better understand member behaviours, usage patterns etc. In this example, fingertip access to data on the gym floor helps the trainer, and other facility staff, better interact with the member and helps the member ensure a result driven workout on every visit. All this enhances the member experience, leading to improved retention and increased member acquisition via referrals. In addition, the member is also able to connect data from other devices like FitBit, RunKeeper and Withings, ensuring all physical activity and health data is captured and used to build a full and accurate picture.
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This is not the future Sounds exciting? Well, it may surprise you to know that this is not the future. This is all possible right now. Here. Today. eGym has developed software and hardware that makes everything in the example possible and it has been rolling out its concept across Europe for the last 6 years. There are now more than 1,000 operators across Europe engaged with eGym, servicing more than 500,000 members worldwide. Savvy operators in the UK are starting to realise the potential too. Right now, there is a once only chance to get ahead of the curve and offer local markets a completely new, connected experience. This sets the product offer apart from the competition and offering an alternative to a straight forward price war which destroys margins and often simply delays an inevitable closure.
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An example of where this is demonstrating success is at CHANGE, an independent gym in Hove, Sussex. Since installing an eGym strength circuit and connecting trainers to members via the Trainer App, the facility has experienced a 30 per cent increase in memberships and a reduction in attrition. So, if this is the here and now, what does the future look like? In a few years, most fitness and health devices and software systems will be totally connected, sharing realtime information via one platform to members and trainers. Operators will start to place a higher value on software than hardware. Hardware, for example, exercise equipment, will become simply a device necessary to activate the software. A good example of this is Amazon’s production of the Kindle. Amazon saw the value in selling e-books, not in selling the device on which the books are viewed. However, other devices on the market did not perform in a way Amazon needed to make e-books attractive to the consumer so it created the Kindle which then made the software more attractive and created mass demand.
So, the final message here is that gym owners should grab the digital bull by the horns now, today, and start to explore ways to better deliver information to its team and members. The digital tsunami is on its way. Operators who are not engaged and who try to bury their heads in the sand will be swept away, leaving behind only those who have identified the opportunity and turned a threat into an opportunity.
'The digital tsunami is on its way' If you would like to find out more about eGym, visit: egym.co.uk/business
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Fit Kit SOLE
This month’s round-up of kit, products and extras you can stock for your members – boost loyalty, retention and your revenue!
supplied in a range of colours. To order, contact the product’s official UK distributor, D2F Fitness, on +44 (0)330 124 3155 or email: email@example.com.
SOLE has now re-invigorated its product line with the new and improved Active Footbed range. The new footbeds have Polygiene coating for added comfort and improved hygiene. The new Polygiene material prevents the growth of odourcausing bacteria and fungi at the source. Polygiene is only active on the textiles itself and does not interfere with the skin’s natural bacterial flora. The Thick, Medium and Thin versions are suitable for different fitness pursuits from hiking, running and cycling. www.yoursole.co.uk
CrankIt Straps Australia’s leading provider of suspension straps arrives in the UK, CrankIt Straps have a dual anchor point and lockable carabiners. The product is able to cope with heavier loads than other leading brands and comes with a 24-month warranty. In addition, on orders over 100 units, straps can be
GetBuzzing offer 100% natural, nut-free flapjacks including a protein and gluten free range, to offer people snacks that are genuinely healthy and actually taste good, without upsetting your digestive system. Suppliers to England Rugby, Team GB, Team Sky and more, its no surprise that GetBuzzing is the chosen free-from snacking choice for athletes all over the UK. GetBuzzing bars will sustain, satisfy and delight anyone anywhere anytime! www.getbuzzing.co.uk
Climaqx® Ultra Grips Are you tired of cumbersome wrapping with conventional lifting straps? Climaqx® Ultra Grips combine all the features of a fitness glove and a lifting strap. They eliminate grip fatigue due to a customized, non-slip rubber. Ultra Grips are
designed for both pushing and pulling exercises, making this unique product your new best workout partner. Available in two colors and four sizes. For B2B enquiries, orders and info please visit www.climaqx.com.
ProWater is a new high protein, low calorie water drink that delivers 20g of high quality protein, with just 90 kcal. No sugar, carbs or fat - and no chalkiness. Great for those who want convenient protein, as well as those consumers who don't enjoy traditional protein shakes or who don’t want the unwelcome sugars and carbs that come with them. Available now in red berries, citrus mint and blueberry flavours.
Trekz Titanium wireless stereo headphones England Athletics has partnered with AfterShokz, and recently launched their RunTogether programme, to support more people to establish regular running habits. Ideal for runners, the lightweight and comfortable Trekz Titanium wireless stereo headphones are the safest alternative to traditional sport headphones. Boasting bone conduction technology that allows sound to travel through cheekbones leaving the ears clear to hear the world around, these convenient headphones deliver premium music play and crystal clear calling without compromise. www.aftershokz.co.uk
PhD Natural & Superfood range
Meridian Peanut Butter with Seeds Ideally suited to sports and fitness enthusiasts seeking a healthy source of protein and energy, the new nut butter combines 91% peanuts with 9% mixed seeds, including pumpkin, sunflower and black sesame seeds. The brand’s stripped back approach to healthy eating is what’s struck a chord with health and fitness enthusiasts across the UK. For more information on their products visit: www.meridianfoods.co.uk
Leading sports nutrition brand PhD Nutrition has a new range of natural performance products available, which offers a natural alternative for people committed to achieving peak performance in their training, providing plant-based protein sources, clean and nutritious carbohydrates and fibres, and the goodness of superfoods, greens and berries. Check out the full range, visit www.phd-supplements.com
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‘There’s so m opportunity John Halls, MD at Physical Company, talks about heading the family business, his vision for the company and offers advice to forward-thinking gym owners Can you tell our readers a bit more about Physical Company? Physical Company was set up in 1989 by my parents, I was nine years old at the time so it’s pretty much been my whole life. As a child I remember assembling hand-weights in our front room for pocket money, so I’ve certainly seen the company change during its 27-year history. We now offer over 1600 products, work with over thousands of clients and have recently moved into a brand new 30,000sq ft warehouse complete with a product showroom. However, what’s always remained the same is our passion for our products and our excellent customer service. Offering our customers that personable approach is something my parents had instilled in me from a very young age and we take pride in it. It’s what I think makes us who we are as an organisation.
What is it like heading your family’s business? It’s an absolute honour, not just to have that seal of approval from my parents but to also have it from my two brothers who work alongside me. They’ve really put their trust in me to guide the business to the next stage. It can be tricky switching off, particularly when we are at family parties or just hanging out as my brothers and I always end up talking about work. Having said that, our wives and girlfriends are usually around to make sure we get off the topic pretty quickly.
How has the company evolved over the years? Put simply we have grown – in terms of the product lines we 46
offer which has gone from ten to 1600, in terms of our team, going from it being my parents and three helpful boys to a team of 24 now and in terms of the square footage Physical Company occupies – from our front room to 30,000 sq feet in the new warehouse. We have evolved massively in terms of our knowledge, expertise, industry partners and wide range of customers, from individual fitness enthusiasts to fullblown gym chains.
You’ve recently moved to new premises: how has that helped your business? Moving offices has completely transformed every aspect of the business for us. Our previous warehouse simply wasn’t geared up towards the levels of distribution we now have, so this new warehouse has made us a lot more efficient in the way we work. Even just simple things down to the way we store and barcode our products is now done in a more efficient way, allowing us to track the journey of products for our customers at every stage. They say moving house is one of the most stressful times in your life… so you can only imagine what it’s like moving a whole business. Luckily though I had a great team of staff behind me during the moving, everyone really put in the extra hours to ensure the move happened as quickly and as smoothly as possible Now that we are in the new offices it’s fantastic: not only do we have a great warehouse set up but we are also putting the finishing touches on our new product showroom and gym which will allow us to showcase our vision of the
much y right now’ perfect functional training space.
How do you see Physical Company developing in the UK [and internationally] over the next few years? In the UK, there’s so much opportunity right now and we will be looking to develop stronger relationships with the industry’s major players. We constantly hear from both our clients and the rest of the industry that they are looking for more than just a kit supplier. It’s about bringing in that added value and expertise, which is where our complete solutions offering comes in. Brexit has made an impact on our business, like many others. While we’ve had to reassess our pricing strategy due to the weakening pound, it’s also made the UK very attractive to an international audience, so we will of course be looking to grow this side of the business. We also have distributors on our behalf out in the Middle East, which is another very lucrative and important market within the fitness industry at the moment.
What sets Physical Company apart from its competitors? Despite going through huge changes as a business I’d say great customer service is at the heart of what we do and we will never become complacent about this. I also think what sets us apart is giving our customers that added value, whether that’s knowledge and advice from the team, training and development from our partners at Future Fit
Training or offering customers our innovative gym floor solution programme, Apex.
What are the biggest challenges facing Physical Company? We are currently growing at around 15% year on year, so I think the biggest challenge we face is really holding on to that growth and making sure it’s sustainable. By having the right teams in place this is totally achievable and something we will of course be looking to do. Keeping up with the latest development in technology is also another tricky one and ensuring we invest wisely to stay connected to our customer base will be vital to that.
What are you seeing as the big growth areas of kit? Over the past year or two the popularity of Cross-fit has increased dramatically, so we’ve seen a huge rise in demand for products within our strength and conditioning range and as well as our functional training kit. Another growth area we’ve seen is in self-myofascial release (SMR) as a result of consumers being much more aware now of the importance of recovery. More and more customers are now buying performance foam rollers from us. It’s no longer just the forgotten piece of kit that sits in the corner, which is why we have developed a specific programme as part of our Apex series – the aptly named ‘Release’ - to educate members about foam rolling. February 2017
Can you tell us about Apex There remains a buzz in the business around “member engagement” and Apex is exactly that. Created in-house by our team of experts, it’s a series of eight 30-minute gym floor training programmes. We launched Apex in January 2015 to help clubs revitalise their gym floor and boost their class timetables. The sessions are designed to be delivered by gym instructors and personal trainers ensuring a high level of interaction with groups of up to 12 members. Clubs and gyms can choose as many of the programmes as they wish to suit their demographic. The eight sessions are developed to ensure a wide variety of programmes can be offered and different demographics catered for. For those looking for HIIT we offer Agility and Ignite, for specific functional training then we’d recommend our Strength programme and for building core strength, stability and developing your posture our Core programme is perfect for this. Release focuses on recovery and injury prevention while Active appeals to an older audience seeking improved mobility and cardiovascular health. Our two new for 2017 sessions are Fusion – a combination of Pilates and Yoga – and Kids which is designed for youngsters aged 10+. We train instructors fully on each programme as well as giving them access to additional exercises and materials to ensure they keep the sessions fresh, challenging and motivating.
What advice would you give to gym owners that might be looking to liven up their gym floor but don’t necessarily have big budgets? If they don’t have the luxury of a big budget to play with then I’d advise gym owners to think about the training space they have and see it in terms of total sq metre, the cost and level of engagement within that space. For example, if you are able to train up to 12 people in a space of 40sqm with investment of around £2,000 worth of kit every 30mins, that makes much more sense and a wiser investment than having four pieces of CV kit that are just sat there not being used. Owners really need to think about the return on investment and what is going to create the most engagement. 48
Are there any staple pieces of equipment you would recommend clubs invest in? I’d say what with the rise in strength training it’s definitely worth investing in some good bars, bumper plates and power lifting racks. You also can’t go wrong with investing in some staple pieces of functional training, the more familiar items such as kettlebells and a BOSU will always be popular with members.
How does your partnership with Future Fit Training enhance your business? Working with Future Fit Training has been of huge value to us, not only because they deliver all of our product training courses but they also bring a great sense of recognition. It gives our clients confidence to know that that they are being taught how to use our kit by a team of experts, safely and professionally.
What are your own personal fitness goals and how do you achieve these? My own fitness goals have changed recently, for me it’s now all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Gone are the days of trying to get a six pack, I’d rather just set out a good example to my kids about leading an active and balanced lifestyle and to just have fun. I find working out in the mornings the best time as it sets me up for the day ahead, I normally just jump into an APEX class that’s taking place at our office as it’s great for when you’re pressed on time!
What’s been the best lesson you’ve learnt from the fitness industry? I’d say the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that the service you offer and the relationship you have with people plays a huge part in all aspects of our industry. Whether it’s a supplier, a customer, or a member, if you get the level of service and the relationship right you’ll come out on top.
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AD TECH Mike Arce, from Loud Rumor, explains why all fitness studios should be using YouTube ads YouTube advertising is hands-down the most underappreciated advertising tool today. Though it's been around since 2007, many small businesses have yet to play with it, and most of the ads on the platform are by big brands. But because it's so underutilized, fitness studios and gyms can take advantage of this tool at a very low cost and get great returns on their investment, both in terms of financials and branding. Here's how...
Targeting vs retargeting Targeting allows you to choose exactly who sees your ads based on their gender, age, location, and more. So for instance, you might target your gym’s ads to women between the ages of 35 and 55, who live within a few miles of your fitness studio. If you want, you can include interests based on the videos they watch, like workout tutorials, meal prepping ideas, etc. Retargeting (also called remarketing) is the perfect complement to targeted ads because it ensures that everyone who's already shown an interest in your gym sees the ads, even if they don't fall into the categories you chose for your targeting. Here’s how it works: When you set up your YouTube advertising account, you're given something called a remarketing tag. This is a small 50
chunk of code that you install on your website and landing pages. It uses web cookies to keep track of everyone who lands on one of those pages. So the next time they visit YouTube, they’ll be shown your ads. Pretty crazy, huh? You can even put different remarketing tags on different pages so that you can segment your audience even further. This allows you to build separate remarketing lists based on where they've been on your site, individual landing pages, etc. So if someone has visited your page about nutrition but not your page about your 6-week challenge, you might show them ads about your meal planning program instead of your ad for an upcoming challenge. In short, the video ads you see on YouTube have nothing to do with the video you're watching … but they have everything to do with where you've been.
Business Search ads vs in-stream ads
You have two choices of the kind of YouTube ad you run: search ads or in-stream ads. Search ads typically display at the top of your YouTube feed like this:
But in-stream ads are the ones you’re probably more familiar with because these are the ones that play before a video once you click on it:
When it comes to advertising for your gym, stick with the in-stream ads because they’re the most effective of the two. That’s because 94% of people don’t actually watch the ad … they skip it instead. Now, you may be saying, “But how is that valuable?” It’s valuable because you only pay for “true views,” aka anyone who watches 30 seconds or more of your ad or who clicks the ad. And anyone who doesn’t watch that long (say they skip after the 5 seconds) still sees your gym’s name, logo, and what you do … but at no cost to you. Just be sure you include all this within the first 5 seconds of your video! So let’s say you showed your ad 10,000 times to your audience. 9,400 of those showings (94%) are free, because the viewers skipped the rest of the ad, but you still get the benefit of showing your brand. You’ll still pay for 600 of those showings (6%) at a rate of 10 cents per true view. If you’ve been following along with the math, that means you pay only $60 to get your ad seen 10,000 times by an audience that you hand-picked. And 600 of those times, someone watched more than 30 seconds of your video or actually clicked on your ad to learn more.
Best Practices If you want to start running YouTube ads for your gym, there are some best practices to keep in mind. Remember that viewers have to watch the first 5 seconds of the video before they’re allowed to skip, so use that time to your advantage. Show your company name, logo, what you do, and where you do it. Here’s an example: Welcome to OrangeTheory Fitness in Scottsdale, Arizona, where we get you in the best shape of your life! This only takes a few seconds to say, and each time someone sees your logo and hears what you do, your brand is reinforced. So the next time they think about getting into shape, your gym will be the first thing that comes to mind. Your video also needs to be at least 31 seconds long. You’ll be charged after someone watches for 30 seconds OR if they watch to the end of the video, so the longer your video, the lower your chances are of having to spending that money. I guarantee you that within the next two years, nearly everyone will want to run YouTube ads. The cost will go up, and it will be too expensive for small businesses like fitness studios and gms to get into. So start now while you can, and watch your gym grow! February 2017
When you’re Paul Swainson, Head of Future Fit School of Personal Training, talks about cracking the behaviour change code I studied psychology at university and at the time thought it would be just a small part of my knowledge base for becoming a PT. After I qualified as a trainer and was set loose in the big wide world of personal training, I focused my energy and effort on preparing exercise plans and training schedules for my clients. No doubt about it, they were clear on what I wanted them to do for their hour in my company. But the results were less than mind-blowing.
It wasn’t that the programme was poor, or that they couldn’t do the exercises, so what was the problem? Then I had a penny-drop moment - what of the other 23 hours in the day? And the 24 hours on the days I didn’t see them? Based on a client who I saw twice a week, I had influence over their training/effort for two hours in every 168 each week. Those who were motivated to exercise at other times without me could be in the ‘training mindset’ for maybe as much as five or six hours a week out of 168. Still not enough to bring about significant change in their health, fitness, weight loss and body shaping goals. So my attention turned to nutrition. Some say when it comes to fat loss in particular, it’s 80:20 food:exercise. Clearly there’s not a hard and fast rule for everyone but the principle is there; what people eat is key to success. However, just developing nutrition programmes for clients in the hope that will do the trick is somewhat naïve. The crux of the matter is that many clients can’t or won’t follow a trainer’s programme. Not because they’re stubborn (though we all have clients who fall into that category!) but because they haven’t had the ‘behaviour change/mindset change’ switch flicked to ‘on’. As we trainers know, it’s not just the time in the kitchen and gym that leads to results. It’s the behaviour during every waking hour (and sleeping hour if you rate the shut-eye 52
e not there… time as I do) that will ultimately determine their level of success in ‘getting fit’. So, a couple of years into my PT career it was time to dust down the psychology notebooks. If I could change the attitude and mindset of my clients so they make healthy choices throughout their day, the results were likely to follow more easily. The knowledge and skills to understand and influence mindset, motivation and behaviour change are essential for PTs. Our role is to get clients to actually do what they need to do to get results and, ideally, enjoy doing it. I think the perception of PTs’ work being centred in the gym is shifting: a more holistic approach is certainly accepted nowadays. The better training programmes include Behaviour Change and Mindset Coaching so new PTs coming into the industry are more likely to have been exposed to this. For those older PTs, including myself, instinct and interpersonal skills have probably kicked in by now and sheer experience will be helping us help our clients. But I would urge all PTs to refresh their behaviour change and mindset skills and jump on a CPD course to gain the latest insight into this area. Those not already in our Pro Zone should sign up to access Lazo Freeman’s excellent webinar on Mindset Coaching which is packed with game-changing nuggets of advice. And our Behaviour Change and Motivational Communication CPD courses will not take long to complete but will arm you with plenty of new skills. As trainers, we need to crack the behaviour change code for our clients. Because it’s only then that they will be able to unlock the potential of every hour of every day to reach their goals.
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. February 2017
Making waves We talk to Eduardo Ferré, Managing Director and founder of Swimming Nature about swimming tuition and how gym owners can encourage water-based training as part of an overall fitness programme
When was Swimming Nature founded and how have you grown since then?
How does Swimming Nature work with facility operators?
I moved to London from Brazil in 1990 and worked as a freelance swimming teacher before setting up Swimming Nature as a limited company in 1993. I started out teaching group swimming classes but I hadn’t been in the UK long before I realised that my methodology and way of teaching was completely different to other teachers, as I actually get into the water with my pupils rather than teaching from the side. Before long, many parents were requesting one-on-one sessions for their children, which is how Swimming Nature came to be. Twenty-four years on, the methodology we teach our instructors remains the same, but now we employ 160 staff and teach 4,500 students across the UK.
We can work with operators in a few different ways depending on their needs. We prefer to work in partnership with facilities, but we can just offer them the use of our in-house technology, which allows our instructors to easily track and log their students’ progress.
What sets Swimming Nature apart from its competitors? With over 20 years of experience, we are the largest independent provider of personalised swimming tuition in the UK. What really sets us apart is our philosophy to teach in the water with the student, building confidence, relationships and ensuring a more enjoyable experience. We teach one-to-one or in small groups to maximise contact time and help students learn faster. We also pride ourselves on our innovative and market leading technology, enabling our instructors to measure improvement and record achievements so that parents can easily track their children’s progress from home. 54
We aim to make our products as accessible as possible so that operators can fit them around any current swim tuition provision they offer. This in turn helps them demonstrate a discerning tuition choice. Typically, we look for a simple hire of water space agreement, however we always ensure that we fit seamlessly with each operator we work with. We look to create a partnership with a facility rather than operate as a standalone independent offering. This enables us to help facilities attract new members with our unique offering. In terms of the products we can offer a facility, our bespoke offerings cover babies, children and adults with each target audience having its own uniquely designed experience. For example, our new adult offering includes swim drills to improve your stroke and a fitness session working against your own personal best, so the programme is perfect for those looking to break from the typical workout in the gym.
How can gym owners encourage more people to use the pool and what are the benefits of doing so? Offering your members proper guidance and support in the pool will really help maximise use, for instance small group
or one-on-one training sessions Pool and gym teams should be working together to create programmes which encourage members to train in both areas of the facility. Water-based training can really complement gym work but a lot of people don’t realise this. Finally, offering a more varied pool programme will also help attract members. Many facilities are now offering specific fitness sessions such a HIIT training in the pool. There are now so many different ways to offer "swimming" that the provision an operator chooses can make all the difference in how they differentiate themselves in a competitive market. It can also help to create another space for members to view as a place to train, which can further support retention.
What innovation would you say is happening in water-based products and delivery now? Technology will start to play a big part as it has in the rest of the fitness market. Waterproof wearables, some wrist based and some built into wetsuits, will become a more common sight and will provide an array of data to help children and adults track progress and see the significant physiological benefits of swimming and water workouts. In line with this trend we have developed our own mobile technology which allows our instructors to log the performance of their students. Using this technology our instructors can create digital lesson plans that analyses a student’s performance. Unique algorithms then develop new lesson plans based on the progress made in previous
sessions. This technology has proved invaluable to our offering and also allows parents to follow their child’s progress each week in detail. In 2014 we won the ukactive training award for the most innovative concept of the year.
Can you tell us more about your partnership with Future Fit Training and what this brings to the industry? For the past year we have been working with Future Fit Training to implement quality assurance across our suite of training courses. As the largest independent provider of personalised swimming tuition, we want to ensure all of our staff are trained to the highest standard possible, which is why we chose to work with Future Fit Training to develop a kitemark for quality assured swimming instruction and training for our staff. As part of this partnership Future Fit Training have also helped us to create a new professional development mentoring programme for all Swimming Nature teachers to ensure staff are kept continually up-to-date with the latest regulations and processes. Our vision is for everyone to be able to swim beautifully and by ensuring our staff are all trained to the highest standard, we hope to raise standards across the industry and engage more people in the enjoyment of swimming.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt? The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that it’s all about getting the right people in the right place within your business. February 2017
Spotlight Especially when you are first starting out; having the right team can make all the difference.
How do you see Swimming Nature developing in the UK over the next few years? Over the last few years we have spent our time getting the right systems and operations in place for an aggressive
growth plan, and over the next three years our goal is to grow the total number of students we teach per week to 20,000. Our overall aim is to become the leading authority on aquatic provision whether that be tuition, fitness and conditioning, equipment, research or training. To do this we will be utilising our core internal strengths of intellectual expertise when it comes to water based activity, technology innovation and customer data.
THE 10% SYSTEM Chris Zaremba, our specialist fitness for the over fifties writer, looks at nutrition and gives an insight into his 10% System I've devised a system for nutrition by numbers that I use and recommend. It's called the 10% System, as that particular percentage number features frequently in the calculations. At first sight it may look complicated, but users soon get used to it, and they like the shortcuts provided by the system in working out some key numbers and to make a quick analysis of nutrition labels. The initial stage is to calculate your target daily calories. Assuming you do more exercise than the average person - perhaps around an hour per day - then the initial calculation that I have found works for most is weight in kg divided by 3 then multiplied by 100. So a 75kg person, such as me, equates to a daily target of 2500 calories. A couple of adjustments are then made to this number – if you exercise less than this amount, take off 10%. Also deduct 10% if you want to lose weight overall, or add 10% if you want to gain weight. I am heavily into exercise, and am happy with my weight, so there's no adjustments needed here.
Calorie targets It is impossible to be accurate enough to hit the exact number on a daily basis. Try to get as close as you can, but don't worry if it’s a little high or low on some days. I suggest a maximum variation of (you guessed it) 10% as acceptable. So I have a great day if its 2500, but still good if it's anywhere between 2250 and 2750, being within that 10%. But make sure there isn't a regular pattern of being away from the precise target in the same direction over multiple days. Finally on calorie targets, if after a month you see that the weight isn't moving in the direction wanted, change the target calorie amount up or down by that 10% factor and see how that works for the next month.
Guideline amounts Having determined our target calories, it’s on to step two. This is to split the target calories across the day to get guideline amounts for the different meals throughout the day. I'm a big fan of eating little and often, and usually have seven meals a day – I call them all meals, although only three are proper meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Three of the others are really snacks (mid-morning, mid-afternoon and late evening), plus there’s an extra refuel post-workout. February 2017
Fitness I divide daily calories into guidelines for each meal – 20% of the target for the three big meals, and 10% for each to the four others. So I have a guideline of 500 calories for breakfast, 250 mid-morning, 500 for lunch, 250 midafternoon, 500 for dinner and 250 in the later evening. The other 250 is the refuel post-exercise, whenever that takes place. Note that these are guideline amounts per meal, I don’t go to the level of calling each meal a particular target calorie value. The only target value is the total at the end of the day, the breakdown into these percentage guidelines to follow throughout the day help ensure I end up near the target by bedtime.
Meal composition The third step is to review the macronutrient composition of meals. I believe that 40% of daily calories should could from protein, another 40% from carbs, and the final 20% from fats. This 40/40/20 ratio gives a higher protein and lower carb amounts than official recommendations, but is the ratio I have found that people can stick to and works for most as part of their strategy for gradual reduction of some body-fat and replacement of that by muscle. Now, the main 10% calculation. The key point here is that taking 10% of any calorie number gives you the target number of grams of protein and carbs to make up that calorie number. So, ideally, my 2500 daily calories would be sourced by 250g of protein and 250g of carbs, as 250 is 10% of 2500. And a perfect 500 calorie meal would have gram numbers of 50 for protein and the same for carbs. This 10% calculation only works with a 40/40/20 macronutrient ratio by the way.
The 10% variation I mentioned at the end of the day relating to calories also applies to grams of protein and carbs, so I should be ending the day with total calories between 2250 and 2750, protein between 225g and 275g, and carbs in that same 225g to 275g range. Remember that not every meal needs to be in this protein number = carb number proportion – equality is the target over the whole day, not per meal. For example, my breakfast is usually about 490 calories but a little protein light at 42g. But I make up for that by having heavier protein amounts later in the day – see the sample day below to see how this works in practice:
Oats, hot water, 2 scoop whey protein, berries and nuts
Small tin tuna with 2 crispbreads
Turkey and veg 4-egg (3 whites only) omelette + salad
Meal replacement bar
2 scoop whey protein, banana
Grilled chicken and veg in pub plus pint beer
Zero fat Greek yoghurt with 1 scoop casein protein
Fitness Reviewing the totals, it was a great day; all three numbers within my acceptable 10% variation from the target of 2500 or 250, even with the pub meal and pint included. This was a real day, by the way, although I admit Iâ€™m not that good every day.
What about fat? Well, fat is a little bit harder to calculate. But as long as the calories, protein and carbs are ok by this calculation, then the fats will be too. Assuming you achieve the objective of the day's total grams of carbs added to the day's total grams of protein being a number which is 20% of the total day's calories, then fat calories will indeed be in the target proportion of 20% required by the 40/40/20 macronutrient ratio. So don't worry about the fat numbers (but you should think about the types of fat - that's another article). One other short-cut provided by the system is that it makes nutrition label analysis a little easier. As an example, I have a beef-based ready meal here which is 360 cal, of which 40g are from protein and 28g from carbs. I can tell instantly from those numbers that this is a good item to include as its pretty close to the 10% number on both. I haven't described the maths behind all this in this article, but if you are as geeky as me and want to know the sums behind it, let me know and I'll send you a more detailed explanation, including why this all only works with that 40/40/20 macronutrient breakdown. More importantly, I know a few people who have tried this system, like it and feel it is helping them achieve their goals - but I'd like to hear more observations, so if you try this system for yourself, please let me know how you get on.
Chris welcomes comments and questions at Chris@FitnessOverFifty.co.uk. Read more of Chris's thoughts and ideas every month here, and at www.FitnessOverFifty.co.uk
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Rockstar instructor Q. There has been a lot of debate in the industry about creating a professional and competent workforce but how can I be sure the group exercise instructors I employ have the necessary qualifications, technical expertise and qualities to support members in achieving their fitness goals and help the club meet its retention targets?
Go Row Q. Indoor rowing seems to be higher profile than ever but the rowing machines in our gym have low utilisation relative to other kit. How are other gyms getting more people involved in indoor rowing? Freddie Mason, Great Yarmouth
Jessica Woodman, Crawley
Jean-ann Marnoch, Instructor Experience Director at Les Mills, answers: As a global leader in delivering group fitness, we recognise that investment in instructor training and development is vital for clubs when delivering a thriving group exercise programme and successfully driving member retention. We develop fitness professionals with passion and drive to create amazing fitness experiences through our Instructor Journey. Most importantly, we give individuals the tools to make the transition from raw talent to a rockstar instructor, so they deliver highly engaging and authentic performances every time they teach a class. All our 10,000 certified instructors in the UK and Ireland receive a comprehensive understanding of the five key elements of choreography, technique, coaching, connection and performance by undertaking the 2-day initial module training course (IMT) followed by a third day on Advanced Instructor Module 1 (AIM). This is the next step in the Instructor Journey and the one-day AIM 1 is programme-specific, focusing on an in-depth exploration of technique and coaching. This is followed by the intensive 2-day multi-programme AIM 2 course which covers performance, connection and striking the right balance of energy, emotion and encouragement for all participants. We also understand the importance of ongoing education so every 90 days instructors receive the latest programme release. In January, we launched the 100th release of our iconic BODYPUMP workout, developed with scientific research to ensure class members get the very best results. Instructors can keep themselves well-informed with the latest insights and advice from Les Mills programme directors, technique advisors and research specialists. They can also connect with the hottest Les Mills master trainers at quarterly workshops where they can participate in a masterclass and an education seminar during the 90-minute education session. Having been a Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor, I recognise first-hand the importance of building stronger partnerships with members and helping clubs unleash the power of Les Mills group exercise programmes. By nurturing trainer talent and developing rockstar instructors, clubs can build better, more profitable businesses, especially when targeting the millennial market. 60
Eric Kent, Indoor Rowing Master Trainer for British Rowing, answers: It’s true, we have seen an increase in the profile of indoor rowing as more and more people begin to recognise it as a great way to get fit and stay fit. A large proportion of trainers, including myself, believe that the rowing machines are the single most effective piece of kit in the gym for those looking for a complete body work-out. However, in the past we know that indoor rowing has suffered from a poor image and lack of education, resulting in many gym users opting to use other pieces of cardio equipment when they workout. For gyms to utilise the indoor rowing machines they already have, it’s vital to provide staff with professional training to ensure that correct techniques and exercise programmes are provided to members. That’s why, as part of British Rowing’s new Go Row Indoor programme, Master Trainers have been appointed to train and educate gym instructors to help members get the most out of the indoor rowing machine. British Rowing has also created new 20, 30 and 45-minute class models to support the increased profile of indoor rowing. These classes can be run on the gym floor or in a studio and combine rowing with circuit based training, which is great for everyone, from beginners to pros, looking to add something new to their fitness routine. To help keep members engaged with indoor rowing, gym owners can access a wealth of content online via the British Rowing website. This includes a range of challenges that can be run in any gym, online leagues and apps, such as LiveRowing, that can help members get the most out of the indoor rowing machine, even when training on their own. Currently there are nine million gym members in the UK, many of whom walk past a rowing machine on a regular basis. By investing in promoting the benefits of indoor rowing to this marketplace, we believe we can double the number of indoor rowers in the next five years – and create a generation of indoor rowers that feel connected to the wider sport of rowing. For more information about the initiative visit: www.britishrowing.org/indoor-rowing/go-row-indoor
â€˜I wanted to create a space where personal trainers are truly valuedâ€™ Zac Purchase, Olympic and World Champion rower, opened his first fitness studio last autumn in Marlow. We asked him about his first few months as a fitness studio owner. What made you decide to open your own fitness studio when you retired from competitive sport? I saw an opportunity to deliver a very customer focused service. To create a space where everyone feels comfortable and welcome regardless of physical shape or ability. I wanted people to be able to relax and enjoy physical activity in a social setting without feeling anxious or intimidated. Zacs Fitness is the product of this vision. At Zacs there are no mirrors. Changing spaces and shower are individual cubicles, all designed with the userâ€™s comfort in mind. There are no bulky exercise machines. We use simple equipment like kettlebells, resistance bands and suspension trainers. Class sizes are kept to a maximum of 10. This ensures each participant receives individual instruction and is totally engaged with the session, achieving maximum gain from each exercise which in term will deliver results more quickly. I also wanted to create a space where personal trainers are truly valued, both by the brand they represent and by their clients. Our PT model, like our class model, is pay as you go e.g. we charge no rent and only take payments per booking. This way the personal trainer only pays if they train clients. This feels much more fair and respectful than some rental models. February 2017
Why did you decide on a model which offers mainly PAYG classes?
What equipment do you use? Who supplies it?
It is important to me that Zacs is accessible to a wide segment of the community. Offering a daily schedule of pay as you go classes, charged at a very reasonable £10 per session, makes Zacs a viable financial option for most people. It also keeps us on our toes. With no monthly membership fee or contract, we rely 100% on participants returning to Zacs because they want to, not because they have to. In additional to the core classes we also offer one-to-one and small group personal training, DNA testing, yoga and pilates, with physiotherapy, massage and other complementary therapies being added in the next few months.
The equipment we use is minimal and simplistic and includes only mats, kettlebells, resistance bands and suspension trainers. All the kit is our own brand. In the future we will open an online shop but for now equipment can be purchased from the studio in Marlow.
What challenges did you face when launching your concept? The biggest challenge was finding a suitable venue. Before our studio on Marlow High Street launched, we had several other locations fall through. Very costly and frustrating. Our ambition has always been to bring affordable fitness for all to the high street. As you can imagine, high street locations are expensive and convincing town planners that a fitness studio would enhance the experience for local residents and workers was much trickier than it should have been. The change of usage classification to D2 was a constant hurdle. I’m pleased to say we got there in the end but it took us 10 months longer than we hoped. Now that we are open we face new challenges e.g. planning permission for our external signage. Our studio is tucked away behind a blue door and, at the moment, the only branding we are allowed is via a small bronze plaque to the side of the door. This means that people can walk right by us and not know we are there which in turn means we have to allocate more resource to other forms of promotion and brand awareness than we hadn’t originally planned for. 62
How have things been going since opening at the start of November? Great! We only opened in November 2016 but we are starting to attract repeat custom 3-4 times a week and they are referring their friends, colleagues and family. The classes are starting to fill up and we are also seeing a steady growth in PT clients. Now that the core product is holding its own financially we will start to introduce other income generators e.g. working with partners to deliver complementary therapies. I am also keen to recruit a couple of additional personal trainers now that interest in this area has started to grow.
If you were opening a studio now, knowing what you now know, what would you do differently? Our long term model is to have a number of Zacs studios across the South East and assuming the Marlow studio continues to grow, we aim to open a second in Henley-onThames in Spring 2018. We will definitely allocate much more time to finding a premises next time, in fact we are already looking! I would also start interviewing for staff earlier. When starting any new business, it’s so important to have a positive and supportive team around you and it takes a while to find the right people. Our team is small here but well chosen and we are looking forward to some new people joining us in the coming months.
Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers Active IQ appoints Dr Dane Vishnubala as Chief Medical Advisor Active IQ has appointed Dr Dane Vishnubala (MBBS PGCME MRCGP FHEA) as its Chief Medical Advisor to work in close partnership on a number of opportunities including the development and refresh of the Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral, its Level 4 qualifications and health-based CPD content. Dr Dane Vishnubala has over 14 years’ experience in the health and fitness industry as an exercise professional and has worked in a number of gyms nationally. A GP at Haxby Group in York, an NHS Sport and Exercise Medicine Doctor and Public Health England GP Clinical Champion for Physical Activity, Dr Vishnubala is also a Sports Medicine Physician and currently the GB Basketball Senior Men's Team Doctor and the York City Football Club Doctor. In addition, Dr Vishnubala is the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) Lead Clinical Advisor for Physical Activity and Lifestyle and a British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine (BASEM) Executive Member. “We are delighted to have Dane on board as our Chief Medical Advisor and believe he can contribute greatly to our qualifications and CPD offer at a time when there is an increasing need to equip fitness professionals with medical insight and training,” says Jenny Patrickson, Active IQ managing director. “Dane is not only a very
knowledgeable expert in the fields of medicine and the sports industry, he is also an experienced tutor and assessor of fitness industry courses. This makes him the perfect partner for us as he fully appreciates the work we do and the importance of teaching and assessing to a very high standard.” “It is a great privilege to be invited to work in partnership with Active IQ and I feel there is plenty of work we can do together,” says Dr Vishnubala. “There is a clear need for greater physical activity and health related training and understanding within the active leisure industry with more and more clients presenting to gyms and personal trainers with specialist health needs or seeking to prevent disease. The problems relating to inactivity and chronic disease are constantly increasing and there is a clear need to have fitness professionals who are qualified appropriately in both physical activity and lifestyle advice to aid in the solution.”
Barrett joins Johnson Health Tech Steve Barrett – Matrix Fitness Brand Ambassador and Master Trainer – has now joined the Johnson Health Tech global marketing team as the Director of Global Group Training Education. In this new role, Steve will work to create and deliver unique, global group education programming platforms, designed to help drive sales of the Matrix group exercise product portfolio and deliver on the Total Solutions Provider promise to our customers in gym facilities across the globe. He will also build a global network of Matrix master trainers, working closely with strategic partners, the global product and marketing team, and sales teams across subsidiary branches. Steve joins with an impressive CV. With more than 30 years’ experience in the fitness industry in a variety of roles, he has worked with fitness brands to develop global fitness products and programming, presented extensively across the globe in more than 50 countries, and authored six books covering topics such as personal training and
HIIT training. About his new role with Johnson Health Tech, Steve said: “I am extremely excited to be joining the Global team. I’ve worked with many of the best global fitness brands during my three decades in the industry, but this role gives me the opportunity to be the architect of innovative training and education solutions and use my knowledge, energy and creativity to ultimately develop a team of experts who’ll work with the Matrix brand globally. “This is an exciting time. Globally, I have witnessed radical changes in the ways facilities are designed, along with a revolution in the services and activities on offer. Users now think of their gyms and studios as being the ‘third space’ in their lives - a place not solely focused on fitness but a place to interact with friends and develop their social network.”
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Gym Owner Monthly magazine is dedicated specifically to gym owners, personal trainers and health & fitness professionals in the UK.
Published on Feb 6, 2017
Gym Owner Monthly magazine is dedicated specifically to gym owners, personal trainers and health & fitness professionals in the UK.