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ISSUE 45 // JANUARY 2020



Rob Lander with


fisikal e 17 Pag

Online Global Fitness competitionge 31


Page 45




Gym Owner



of the Month!


PTATURofINGthe Month! FE


JUNE 2019


Welcome... Welcome to the January issue of Gym Owner Monthly. Not only does 2020 signify the start of the new year but also the start of a new decade, the slate is wiped clean and you have 365 days to become the best version of yourself and we would like to help you achieve this. Whether you are looking for tips on furthering your fitness career or looking to become fitter and stronger to face the year ahead, we are bringing you the best advice from the fitness industry’s finest. We are kicking off the very first issue of 2020 with the Big Interview and cover star Rob Lander of Fisikal talking about the digitalisation of the fitness industry on page 17, we look at the importance of the recovery process on page 25 with Tom Davies, raising the bar in fitness testing we introduce the Archon Bracket on page 31 and we have the best kettlebell workouts on page 37. Working up a sweat yet? We have cutting edge fitness equipment from Rotators Shield on page 45, gym design from Cuoco Black on page 49, Janet Thomson MSC kicks off our 2020 fitness habits on page 53 and eGym are getting the nation moving on page 64. We haven’t even mentioned all of our regular features and contributors yet helping you get the best out of your fitness business or career! And don’t forget you get all of this for free! Happy New Year!.

The GOM Team




Jane Grandena

Janine Edwards

Paul Wood



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

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

 @GymOwnerMonthly  gym-owner-monthly-magazine

Keep up to date

COVER PHOTO CREDIT: Rob Lander © Gym Owner Monthly Magazine 2019 Gym Owner Monthly is published by PW Media. Gym Owner Monthly is protected by copyright and nothing may be produced wholly or in part without prior permission. The acceptance of advertising does not indicate editorial endorsement. The opinions expressed in editorial material do not necessarily represent the views of Gym Owner Monthly. Unless specifically stated, good or services mentioned in editorial or advertisements are not formally endorsed by Gym Owner Monthly, which does not guarantee or endorse or accept any liability for any goods and/or services featured in this publication. We cannot accept responsibility for any mistakes or misprints. Unsolicited material cannot be returned. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. Please note that we reserve the right to use all supplied photographs/images elsewhere in the publication or on our social media channels.



Contents 9




22 25 45

31 34

9 12 17 22 25 4

Introducing TFX Our International Gym of the Month

Ste Barlow is our Gym Owner of the Month

The Big Interview Rob Lander, CEO of Fisikal, discusses digitisation of the Fitness Industry

PT of the Month is Adam Tinnion

Tom Davies Explains how the recovery process is just as important as your workout


27 31 34 37 45

37 7 things you didn’t know About six-pack abs in Women.

We’re a collective not a community Introducing the Archon Bracket

Fitkit This month’s top pieces of kit from Under Armour

The 5 Best Kettlebells To Buy and The 5 Best Moves to Do With Them

RS Rotators Shield Shield your workout


49 62


53 64

56 67


70 49 51 53 56 59

Gym Concept Ideation by Cuoco Black

EMDUK Gold Medals for Group Exercise

The Power Of Habit Part 1 by Janet Thomson MSc

New Member Challenges By Guy Griffiths

Stop selling your services! Start selling solutions! By Daniel Nyiri

62 64 67 70

2020 Vision by Taz Dunstan

eGym - Health by stealth How gamification can get this nation moving

Where is your workout focus? By Matt Gleed

Ask the Expert By Nathan Kennedy “we go again…”

We're always seeking contributors, if you're interested in writing for us then please contact: pw@gymownermonthly.co.uk JANUARY 2020




What’s hot in the fitness industry

NEW YEAR BRINGS A DESIRE FOR MORE MEANINGFUL RESOLUTIONS, AS A NEW DECADE DAWNS Brits resolve to try mindful exercise and love their bodies - whatever their size With the Christmas festivities complete and thoughts turning to the new year, New Year’s resolutions are front of mind for many. New research released today by Fusion Lifestyle, the UK’s leading sports and leisure charity, reveals the impact the new decade is having on the resolutions we might be considering. Surveying 4,000 members across the UK, the research revealed that a quarter (26%) of Brits usually make resolutions, but with the dawn of a new decade, this is set to rise as 40% of us are now planning to welcome 2020 with resolutions, with the number climbing even further with 26% still deciding. The new decade looks set to bring fresh determination with it too, with over a third (39%) believing that the significance of the new year will make them stick to resolutions for longer than they usually would. And it’s not just the number of us making resolutions and the length of time we think we’ll keep them that’s changing either. More than one in ten (16%) think it will

impact on the type of resolutions they make too. Getting fitter (36%) and losing weight (29%) used to top the charts of resolutions respondents usually make, but when asked what resolutions they might consider at the start of 2020; trying more mindful exercise was the most popular at 29% followed by 21% planning to take up a completely different activity than they’ve never done before and 14% even resolving to love their body whatever their size. Kenna Sugrue, of Fusion Lifestyle, said: “New Year’s resolutions can be a great way to kick start the year and return to fitness. Exercising releases endorphins that help with mindfulness so it’s a great way to improve both mental and physical health. Whether your goal is to get fit, stay fit or even try a completely new way to exercise, our centres are kitted out with all the latest equipment and facilities to ensure there is something to appeal to everyone.” If you need help with your own resolutions visit www. fusion-lifestyle.com and sign up for a free one day pass to your nearest centre where staff will be on hand to help you achieve your 2020 goals.

In the UK, there are 10.4m gym members 





41 Private

Average fee Source: 2019 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report




said, “We are delighted to announce this next wave of investment across our centres and beyond. We are passionate about providing great facilities for all the communities we operate in and continued investment is key to delivering this.” Danny Oliver, UK Country Manager for Life Fitness added, “We are proud of our longstanding partnership with Fusion and this latest investment will see a wide range of Life Fitness equipment installed at a number of sites. With a vast member demographic, it’s vital the gyms are equipped to meet the range of health and fitness needs and we continue to work closely with Fusion to support the delivery of fantastic fitness facilities in communities across London.” To find further details on all of these sites visit www.fusion-lifestyle.com/ourlocations

FUSION LIFESTYLE GETS INTO THE FESTIVE SPIRIT, WITH c£2m INVESTMENT PROGRAMME THIS DECEMBER Fusion Lifestyle today revealed a December 2019 investment programme across several of its centres, ensuring the centres are spruced up and ready for the busy new-year period. The investment programme will see c£2 million reinvested into upgraded facilities across the following sites:  Albany Leisure Centre – c£340k invested in a new gym  Forest Hill Pools & Fitness – c£290k invested in a new gym

A private facebook group set-up for Independent Gym and Studio Owners now has over 800 members, who share business ideas and advice. Over 50 delegates attended the groups first conference at the start of December, discussing marketing, sales, retention and technology. The most popular sessions have been expanded into follow-up workshops; Facebook ads and Business strategy on 8th January in Birkenhead, and Retention Retention Retention with GOM columnist Guy Griffiths on 27th February in Basingstoke. Find out more, and get tickets by visiting http://bit.ly/ IndiGyms

 Edmonton Leisure Centre – c£30k invested in new indoor cycle bikes  Park Road Pools & Fitness – £60k invested in new free weight equipment  Glass Mill Leisure Centre - £400k invested in a new gym  Wavelengths Leisure Centre - £260k invested in a new gym  New Chiswick Pool - £240k invested in a new gym  Brentford Fountain Leisure Centre - £400k invested in a new gym Work at all of these focuses on ensuring the gym is ready to greet visitors and members, old and new with all the latest and best fitness equipment provided by Life Fitness and other key suppliers. The new gyms will all be kitted out with top of the range Life Fitness equipment including new cardiovascular machines, new fixed weight resistance machines, new free weights and new functional training equipment. The gyms will also be refreshed to ensure they are ready for the local community to get fit and have fun in 2020 and beyond. Elsewhere in the Fusion estate, a £5.9m redevelopment is already well underway at Ivybridge Leisure Centre where works include the installation of a brand new six lane pool with a retractable glass roof. And in Newcastle, a £7.5million restoration of Newcastle City Baths is due for completion in January 2020. The Turkish baths and one of the original pools are being fully restored, alongside the build of two group exercise studios, a new gym and new changing facilities.

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

Anthony Cawley, Commercial Director of Fusion Lifestyle JANUARY 2020



INTERNATIONAL NEWS Wearable spending forecasted to increase 27% in 2020 New numbers from research mark another major increase for global wearable spending in 2020. The analyst firm forecasts a 27% jump in end-user spending over this year, from $40.5 billion to $51.5 billion. Once again, the pack is led by smartwatches, which continue to burn the hottest in the space. Interestingly, the increase on smartwatch spending from $17 billion to $22.8 billion will be led by decreasing prices (a 4.5% decrease in average selling prices in 2021). Those are, in turn, the result of a combination of increased competition from Samsung and some external pressure from Fitbit, which has found a sweet spot at around $200 a unit. Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi have also gone a ways toward decreasing the price on the low end of the market.



Apple, in turn, has responded by keeping the two-year-old Series 3 on the market at the $200 price point. It’s a sign of a maturing category that no longer commands as much of a premium pricing in past generations. Google, meanwhile, recently bought a fair chunk of IP from Fossil and has reportedly been eyeing a Fitbit acquisition after years of struggling to crack the category. Headphones have continued steady growth, as well, thanks to an explosion in fully wireless earbuds, lead by Apple and Samsung, with the recent lower-cost addition of Amazon. Google, too, has been eyeing a reentry into the category next year with the return of its much-panned Pixel Buds. Even Microsoft plans to enter the category with its unique Surface Buds. The continued spending growth in wearables for 2021, with spending hitting $62.9 billion.

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Your name(s): Sean Tan

Gym name: TFX


TFX Funan: 107 North Bridge Road, Funan, #0418, Singapore 179105 TFX Pacific Plaza: 9 Scotts Road, Pacific Plaza, Level 4 & 5, Singapore 039596 TFX Millenia Walk: 9 Raffles Boulevard, #02-63, Millenia Walk, Singapore 228210


TFX Funan: Tel: 6690 2388 TFX Pacific Plaza: Tel: 6733 9555 TFX Millenia Walk: Tel: 6820 9000 )





Question 1-2: Why did you launch TFX? Why and What is TFX? The True Group was a forerunner in the fitness industry in Asia, having set up its first club in 2004 in Singapore. In June 2017, a Hong Kong listed acquired a majority stake in the True Group, and a new management team took charge in May 2018.

were also being lured away by new and exciting fitness offerings, as well as more personalized experiences that focused on community. Boutique gyms were also attracting new members, particularly millennials, who seemed to be eschewing the big box gyms.

At that time, the True Group had 9 clubs in Singapore and 13 clubs in Taiwan under the ”True Fitness” and “True Yoga” brands. The True Fitness clubs were big box gyms catering to the mid-market segment, offering affordable and accessible fitness options.

We saw an opportunity and a gap in the market, and we developed TFX to be our beach-head to re-assert and re-establish our position in the market. TFX would be our premium brand, and still be big box in its DNA with group exercise classes, indoor cycling, yoga, personal training and equipment. TFX was designed to be unique and different in its offering, look and feel in each location with more personalization, lending TFX a “boutique-y” feel.

The new management did a review of the fitness landscape in Asia and found that boutique gyms were sprouting everywhere and had been mounting challenges on big box gyms. Members from big box gyms

We also departed from the age-old practice of fitting out the clubs with the bulk of equipment from a single brand as we believed that each brand is good in some types of equipment and not necessarily



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the best in everything. New management are passionate about fitness, and we went about hand-picking the best pieces from the different brands to provide a truly curated fitness facility for our members. TFX has equipment from specialized brands that one typically sees in CrossFit boxes, strongman gyms, boxing gyms and calisthenics studios.

Tell me more about TFX True Group launched its new TFX brand with three new clubs opening within the four months in Singapore. Its two-floor 15,000sq ft flagship club at Funan opened at the end of June, followed shortly by a new club at Pacific Plaza (19,500 sq ft) in July, and a new club at Millenia Walk partially in September 2019 and in full on 15 December 2019. Taking the lead for the fitness industry in Singapore, True Group created TFX to deliver curated innovative programmes in which



members can track and achieve results through technology. With a focus on innovation, technology-enabled training and a consumercentric perspective, TFX’s programmes will build on a 4-Quadrant Fitness Programme model encompassing Metabolic, Strength, Restoration and Variability conditioning to help members achieve fitness sustainability. TFX @ Millenia Walk is our third TFX and is 41,700 square feet in size, making it the largest commercial gym in Singapore. It features TerraX, our indoor obstacle course racing training facility. We designed and custom-built obstacles like the spider walk, traverse walls, Hercules Hoists, monkey bars, Olympic rings and a 100 meter running track with Wall Climbs. TerraX is our club-within-a-club, and lends us the flexibility to feature and showcase other fitness concepts or even boutique gym pop-ups. With the full range of equipment such as lifting platforms, Oly bars, Concept 2 rowers and SkiErgs, Ziva functional equipment‌ this is indeed a fitness playground! Our other 2 TFX clubs at Funan and Pacific Plaza in Singapore are

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very different. TFX at Funan is the first Myzone® equipped big box gym in Singapore, and we supplemented this with the top-end Matrix cardio and strength pin-loaded equipment that allow members to fully track and monitor everything they do in the club. TFX Funan is the first gym in Singapore to house the Matrix Strength Ultra Series which comes with Intelligent Video Training Display for resistance training. It will also have Life Fitness IC6 spinning bikes, Concept 2’s Bike and Ski ERGs and rowers, functional training equipment from Ziva and Torque and a Monster Rhino Belt Squat, weightlifting equipment from Rogue and Eleiko. TFX Funan also features a swimming pool and outdoor swim deck, studios for yoga, spin, group exercises and functional training, as well as a range of new and exciting small group training classes. TFX at Pacific Plaza is a two-floor club with 1 floor dedicated to yoga including wall, hot and aerial yoga and yoga personal training. The second floor consists of a large open gym floor space that enable

us to showcase our 30-minute Small Group Training classes, which include HIIT, strength and conditioning, cardio and stretching/ recovery classes.

Question 4 : What’s next for TFX? In the first half of 2020, we will open our 4th TFX at Chevron House, Singapore in the middle of the Central Business District. The concept that we will launch there is under wraps for now, but it will definitely be new and exciting. Watch this space! TFX has received very positive reviews in Singapore. We are considering taking TFX to Taiwan where we today have 14 clubs. There are some other markets in Asia that are very interesting, and we are considering expansion to those markets as well. Also on the cards is to bring scaled-down TFX clubs into the market.



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Your name(s): Ste Barlow

Gym name:

The Personal Training Studio


Unit 7 Leeds street Wigan







# of members:

+500 members

How did you become a gym owner? I have always been interested in health from a young age, from competitive cross country running, boxing and weightlifting. After leaving high school, I decided to complete college qualifications in Advanced Personal Training and Advanced Nutrition. I have now been in the fitness industry for over 15 years and have added to these qualifications over the years from add on CPD packages such as ‘Kettlebell Training’, ‘Thump Boxing’, ‘Core Stability’ and further nutritional add on courses. It was after working in a commercial council run gym as the manager that I first decided to move into owning my own private studio set up. When I decided to set my studio up I wanted it mainly to appeal to private 1-2-1 clients and aimed at more results based training putting the clients needs first. I worked for many years part time alongside my commercial gym work to build up my client base and of course ensure I had savings in place to eventually build my gym dream further. It was in 2009 that I finally took the leap and leased a larger premises in order I move from private 1:1 sessions and small groups to allow me to begin larger class based classes and introduce gym based equipment. My brother who was a professional boxer at the time was recruited in



order to provide a larger variety of classes. This was the beginning of The PT Studio Wigan, we were based at our first premises for around 5 years and as business grew and so did out client base too. In 2016, we were offered a move of premises with more allocated parking and increase square footage, I decided that this would be a great time to expand and in the year 2016, I tripled the amount of members we had at the studio. In 2016,2017 and 2018 we were voted Wigan’s Gym of the Year and put this down to the hard work we had put in with our members. Becoming a gym owner, for me was something that was always on the cards. Working in a commercial gym is great to build up experience and a client base, but only when you move into working on your terms would I say you reap the rewards. My wife would tell you that I probably work more hours than an average job, I don’t often switch off from the gym but this is my passion and every hour worked benefits me, my family and my members. It took time, many hours of sacrifice and my business today has taken me over 15 years to build. When my daughter was born in 2017, I was lucky enough to take 2 days leave during the week to look after her, whilst my business ran successfully without me and still does to this day.

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How many gyms do you own/operate? My gym is The PT Studio Wigan, which is a large class based gym with a good sized group personal training area with free weights and conventional gym based equipment. We also hold Strongman sessions, calisthenics and more recently enlisted a Parkor instructor to offer classes for our members.

local area run free by my wife for new Mum’s. We have various charity and fundraising events throughout the year and the children of clients are always welcome. I think the biggest offering for our members and clients is the level of 1:1 care they receive being part of our gym. I encourage every one of our members to check in with me every week and let me know how they are finding their training or nutrition, I can offer them personalised advice and help to sustain those all important relationships.

How long has your gym(s) been operating for? How many staff do you employ? My studio as been operating for over 12 years after moving from 3 different premises over this time. The best piece of advice anyone ever gave me was to think big, risk small initially and work hard. Always have a reserve in the bank if things are a little slow (at least 3 months cash float) before taking the jump. I left the commercial gym when I knew I had time to work on my own business with little financial worry.

Aside from the gym, what other facilities do you offer your members e.g. cafe, classes, creche etc.? Over the years we have offered lots of different facilities for our members, such as ‘Kids Bootcamp’, ‘Bump to Buggy Walks’ in the

At the Studio we have freelance instructors who I commission to provide classes for us. My brother Tom, sister Jaide both run classes. I have Jon a ex army instructor and Tony who teaches Hot Yoga along with stretch classes for members. I also have personal trainers Tom and Jon who use our group training zone with their clients as part of their personal training packages.

How important are PTs to your business? Everyone who works for my business is highly regarded, whether that be my personal trainers or trainers who take classes. Each and every professional bring a wealth of knowledge and experience. My trainers are encouraged to continue their CPD packages in order their knowledge remains fresh and current.



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How do you motivate/incentivise your staff members? Motivation is key with everything in life, but creating those all important habits are what makes the difference. My staff train regularly and are fully involved in new initiatives down at The Studio, they have the habits I hope to pass onto each and every one of our members. Our members however have a multitude of incentives and rewards to help keep them on track. We have member of the month awards and specialist awards announced each week. If we are running a challenge we have certificates, trophies and recognition awards for inches lost, weight lost, photographic lean and ripped progress, effort or generally recognise those who have made huge life changes. This year alone we have had members shed 10 stone, 7 stone, 6 stone in a year. Some of which have featured in the local press. These types of results by default keep other members on track, with members aspiring to be like each other. All we do is help keep them on track or motivated offering a little pick me up or piece of advice is often all it takes. Before you know it you have a mass group of people who all keep each other going with the incredible changes they have made.

What advice would you give to other gym Do you provide any financial assistance owners just starting out? for your staff with regards to their training The best piece of advice anyone ever gave me was to think big, risk small initially and work hard. Always have a reserve in the bank if & development? I do! I really believe in supporting staff CPD, of course first aid and non negotiable training is covered by myself and fully funded, but my staff can also request add on CPD which I am always happy to fund or contribute towards as this in turn helps to create great opportunities for my members and also encourages staff retention.

What makes your gym unique? It isn’t! You could look at each and every gym around the country and every one offers some kind of the same thing. Good quality classes, knowledgeable trainers, good levels of nutritional advice for members, good staff CPD, charity events, awards for members, incentives, value for money, friendly environment, flexible payment approaches, free seminars and client progress tracking. What I would say is that you don’t always find all of the above at one gym alone. We are the only gym in the area to have won ‘Gym of the Year’ and not only that we won it for the 3 years in a row this award was given. This tells me that we are doing something ‘unique’ that appeals to our members. Whatever that is I wouldn’t be able to verbalise because I believe its a culmination of many things.



things are a little slow (at least 3 months cash float) before taking the jump. I left the commercial gym when I knew I had time to work on my own business with little financial worry.

What are the biggest challenges facing your business today? This is quite a tricky question, my business has evolved into something different over just the last 3 years. So for me, maybe it would be the ‘What comes next?’, thinking about expansions or not? Unfortunately, you can’t predict the future so maybe it should be that. The biggest challenge would be what comes next and how my business grow’s and evolves over the next few years.

What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years? Over the past few years I would say health and fitness has come to the forefront of everyones day to day lives, from keto diets, paleo approaches, vegan hype, social media influencers and a

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huge increase in more people taking on healthier lives. I would also say there has been a huge increase in shared information from unqualified sources who have confused masses.

How do you engage with your members? My biggest engagement tools are social media. I have read lots of books on client engagement and the number 1 tool is social media. I’m also available via text, phone, e-mail but the biggest thing for me is a client consultation. A face to face free meeting with myself for new clients is my sure way to engage. After that all of my other channels of contact are regularly used.

How do you retain your members? We have many members that have been with us since day one, we have members that join us for a period of time and then come back, we have members who train day in day out and we also have members who join us for a set period of time and then return. I think this is the way the world is currently, you can’t retain every member because their circumstances or priorities may change. We develop effective relationships that are key in retaining our members, no matter if they are with us day in and day out, or have a break from the gym etc, our members always return and this is suited to their goals and aspirations knowing that by coming to us, we will provide the motivation and knowledge they are looking for.

How are you promoting your brand and marketing your gym? Again social media! This is the big one, being in peoples faces in a crude kind of way. Offering free advice, showing fantastic results others have achieved and sharing information on what we offer at the studio. Word of mouth and results of others is one of the biggest sellers in this industry. We have many client testimonials of real people living real lives getting amazing and life changing results. Sometimes that is the best marketing you can receive.

What is your biggest success story? So many I could mention, each and every person who gets results and change their life are worthy of being mentioned. Even the smallest steps have added up to major changes. This last year I have two clients who’s results speak for themselves. Dean and Louise have both shed over 6 stone each and their lives have changed for the better. “I started at the PT Studio in April 2018. I was massively overweight but had seen some of the fantastic results on social media that had been there by doing the 10 week body transformation challenges. I signed up, really not knowing what to expect. That first day was nerve wracking, I was almost 17 stone, a size 24 and hadn’t exercised in years!!! The first week was tough but I threw myself into the classes and diet plan 100%. After that first week, I realised I was actually enjoying the gym and was looking forward to the next class. The diet plan is simple. Just by reducing my calories (but still eating great meals) and increasing my exercise, the weight started to come off. I had lost 3 stone by Christmas that year. I still continue to love it down at the PT Studio. I have made a wonderful bunch of friends and every trainer there is fantastic.



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Always there for advice and motivation. I have now lost 6.5 stone and fit comfortably into a size 12 and I can’t thank Ste and his team enough.” Louise Bolland 2019 “Last Christmas my wife and children bought me a voucher for the PT Studio Wigan. It was a subtle hint from them to say "loose some weight" after all I was close to being 26 stone. I visited the studio on 6th jan 2019 for the first day of my 10 week challenge, and wow, what a day that turned out to be. When I turned up to the first training class I had no idea what to expect, I didn't know anybody and I was so unfit I sweated walking upstairs. I had made a decision that I would do the 10 weeks and work hard, follow the nutritional plan and do my weekly checkings with Ste. During these 10 weeks I managed to loose 3 stone and 23 inches, I was delighted, at the gym awards ceremony I actually won the challenge which I felt was an amazing achievement, the prize was £100, so I booked the next challenge there and then and thought to myself, what can I achieve if I carry on doing this. The classes vary so much that there is never a day or a class that is the same, it is mixed up to give you maximum results from HIIT, boxing, spartan and military bootcamp to calisthenics MAST and weight training all fully supervised by one of the incredibly knowledgeable instructors. During the second challenge I managed to lose even more weight and take my weight loss up to 4 stone and 4 pounds

and about another 11 inches gone. So I then decided I would be doing the 3rd challenge of the year as well as all the classes in between challenges, I kept up with the eating plans didn't drink alcohol and worked really hard in achieving my goal...I am now just a few pound away from losing 8 stone and 48 inches in total. By the start of the January 2020 challenge I want to have hit my goal and reset ready to do it all again. I can never thank the instructors at PT Studio enough, they are supportive, professional and always on hand if you need help or advise. I would love to thank Ste and his staff and want to offer them my extended thanks as you are all amazing.” Dean Clarke December 2019

Finally, if there was one thing you could change in the industry, what would it be? Good question! This industry is always changing, growing and evolving. I’m not sure I would change anything as currently business is thriving! There are always going to be those you don’t agree with, the unqualified giving advice that isn’t accurate or realistic. Possibly the unrealistic and unobtainable results I often have my clients asking about. Wanting to achieve a particular body but looking at a photoshopped image of a celeb promoting the latest fat loss supplement. The unrealistic marketing of some would be the thing I would change that can very often lead to disappointment, when clients see these things as a possible reality.




ROB LANDER, CEO OF FISIKAL, DISCUSSES DIGITALISATION OF THE FITNESS INDUSTRY How did you get into the fitness industry? I started working in the fitness industry when I trained as a Personal Trainer whilst studying for my A Levels. I love fitness and training and initially thought that gaining my PT qualification would set me up with some great, flexible part-time work, and a bit of additional income, whilst I was studying for an Architecture degree at University. Ironically, I was loving working as a PT so much that I didn’t end up going to University, instead I just continued with my personal training

Tell us more about the Fisikal mission and goal? At Fisikal, we create technology solutions that deliver a connected, wrap-around online service that helps studios, PTs and operators work more efficiently and effectively whilst also enhancing the experience for end users. Nowadays, PT’s studios and operators need to be thinking digital-first. Our online solutions enable even the most unsavvy technophobe to introduce a complete digital business management solution within a couple of hours and without the need for any physical intervention from a third party. Our aim is to be a collaborative partner to other companies in the industry. Fisikal clients become part of something bigger, a supportive digital ecosystem in which everyone benefits JANUARY 2020


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from software developments. Everybody works together to ensure that the product remains at the cutting edge of innovation, providing the functionality and advancements required in a diverse, competitive and rapidly evolving market.

What sets Fisikal apart from its competitors? Most software is designed in a specific way, a one-size fits all model which relies on businesses changing their processes and practices in order to achieve a smooth and effective integration. We have flipped this and created a totally flexible platform designed to seamlessly integrate with a huge array of bespoke needs and processes. This means much less disruption for the client. Fisikal has been created for trainers and clubs, based on my own personal experience. I fully understand the complexities of running a PT business and have been able to apply my own experience to solving problems for others. Be it online bookings, payments, administration and reporting, content delivery, staff education or the complex blend of



managing employed and self-employed trainers, whatever the need, we have the solution or will work to create one.

What are your biggest challenges you face in your business? When we first started, I believe we were too early to market with our digital solutions. I remember meeting with one of the most senior leisure managers in the industry and being told no one would ever book a class online. Now, the fitness industry is being driven forward by technological development and that’s exciting for us. The biggest challenge we now face is growing competition in the marketplace. To really succeed, businesses need to embrace technology wholeheartedly, working with experts who have spent years creating the effective solutions. It’s no good dipping a toe in the water. Operators and PTs need to bite the bullet and embrace the incredible opportunities digitalisation presents. We have been lucky that our clients drive our new features as part of our evolving ecosystem and partnership.

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In your opinion, what is the current state of the UK's fitness industry? It’s an interesting time in the industry’s evolution. Budget chains continue to dominate in terms of market share, whilst boutiques are driving innovation. The franchise model seems to be growing in popularity and the standard leisure centre facility mix is being challenged by new products like climbing facilities, digital adventure play zones and high rope assault courses .

This allows us to constantly stay at the cutting edge of technology and market needs.

What’s the most valuable lesson you've learned from the fitness industry? Patience and flexibility. Being able to keep working towards a vision whilst remaining agile enough to adapt to ever evolving market needs. We are continuously innovating and growing the Fisikal platform in response to in client requirements. This has enabled us to develop a product which is hugely diverse, offering a solution to suit every need and every pocket. Determination and staying focused are also key. If you stick with a training programme, you get results. It’s the same in business.. You have to put the time in, have patience and work hard. When you’re doing something you love, its obviously easier to do that!

What’s next for Fisikal?

Consumers are faced with more fitness and wellbeing options than ever before. Digitalisation and widespread access to high speed broadband have encouraged new providers to enter the market – offering opportunities to access interactive training services from anywhere, any time. Brands like Peloton and Zwift bring high quality training into homes and workplaces, increasing the pressure on gyms to develop their own wraparound solutions which engage members 24/7 and support a demand to make training an integral part of daily life. In addition, the government is placing our services and professionals at the heart of its new ‘prevention rather than cure’ health care strategy with huge investment planned in Social Prescribing. This means, the health sector will drive more people with health and wellbeing needs through our doors, driving up the demand for our services and a need for our gym floor trainers to be able to deliver effective, highly diverse, person-centred training programmes. Digitalisation will be instrumental in the success of this whole-system approach, with information easily shared between health and fitness professionals. It’s certainly an exciting time to be offering digital solutions. Technology and digitalisation is driving significant changes in consumer behaviours and expectations. Gym owners need to start to integrate digital solutions now or risk being left behind, unable to compete in the market. The digital revolution is now and we are ready to support gym owns keen to explore the exciting opportunities it brings.

Innovation remains a key driver for Fisikal. We just recently launched the company’s first self-activating digital business solution, ideal for personal trainers and studio operators. The new solution professionalises client service delivery and the business management functionality provide real time operational visibility. Via a free to download App, clients can manage bookings, make product purchases, access a huge library of fitness content, plus make and manage class and session payments. All our products are designed to evolve with the market, responding to the needs of our users. This latest product is no exception. We are also looking at what’s next in technological development. Voice activation control is something we are working on and we are also exploring the integration of artificial intelligence. It’s exciting to see how the ‘Internet of Things’ is driving changes in the way our clients want to deliver services. JANUARY 2020








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Your name:

Adam Tinnion


Level 3 Personal training Level 2 Fitness instructor Certificate in circuit training Certificate in working with older adults

# years as a qualified PT: 5 Years

Where you work (town/city): Westhoughton, Bolton

Your Facebook:


Your Instagram:


How did you become a PT? I kind of fell into it. After joining the army at 16, then leaving to become a fully qualified plumber and gas engineer, I had an unfortunate injury while playing rugby. I ended up needing a micro-discectomy for a severely herniated disc, which took 12 months to recover enough to start seeking work again. Sport and fitness had always been a part of my life, so when I was encouraged to begin a career in leisure as a lifeguard, it seemed a natural progression for me. After 12 months in the industry, I was offered a job as a fitness instructor at a fantastic gym, Netherhall Community Sports Centre, in my home town of Maryport,. The manager there, Brian Taylor, paid for all my courses to become a qualified personal trainer, something I’ll always be grateful to him and the centre for. I now work at Westhoughton Leisure Centre, which is one of five facilities in the area run by Bolton Community Leisure and Serco Leisure. Westhougton is a great centre to work at. The management team are prepared to invest in the future of their team, and I work alongside some truly dedicated fitness professionals.



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What was your experience of the training/qualification process? I think with a lot of qualifications you take away the information that is relevant to you and hopefully learn the fundamental aspects in the process. The training was a little tedious at times but worth it for the knowledge I gained, which I have found invaluable.

Do you (or do you intend to) specialise in a particular type of fitness? I would like to think I have a very evident and science-based approach to my training. I would like to specialise in lower back injuries as I believe, through my own experience, I would be able to guide people through the process with empathy and understanding.

What’s it like working with gym owners? I have been very fortunate to work alongside some truly fantastic gym owners that have allowed me to express myself in ways I feel have benefitted both the business, gym members and my PT clients. Westhoughton Leisure Centre is a very well run local gym, and I have found Serco Leisure to be a fair and supportive employer.

What is your opinion of CPD? I do believe it is vital that personal trainers and gym owners never stop striving for personal development.The fitness and leisure world is forever evolving. It’s a sector where it’s very easy to get left behind if you don’t stay on top of trends and developments in the industry It’s crucial for fitness professionals to keep learning and stay up to date. Working for a big organisation like Serco Leisure, who are a CIMSPA Employer Partner, means I have access to a wide range of fitness-specific and more general employment skills based training modules.

You spend your working hours motivating others, how do you motivate yourself? Taking time to reflect. Setting out personal goals for the day and making sure I assess those goals at the end of the day to hopefully have a sense of achievement. When it comes to the physical side of things, I approach it how I would with a client. I choose activities that I enjoy and focus on being better than I was yesterday.

What advice would you give to other PTs just starting out in the business? Listen. Listen to everyone and everything. Spend as much time on the gym floor as you can and learn how to engage with clients with empathy and compassion, and always educate yourself before giving advice.

What are the biggest challenges facing your business today? Illness is always one problem that could affect the service we provide our clients as well as making sure we are up to date with any new research that we could use to get an edge on our competitors. Competition from other providers will always be a challenge for any gym. We feel we’ve got a good mix of expert health and fitness people, but also instructors and PTs that have the all-important social skills sometimes missed in other fitness facilities.

What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years? There are finally more evidence-based coaches getting the recognition and time in the spotlight that they deserve. As well as more emphasis being put on the importance of resistance training as an aid to fat loss as well as muscle development. It’s



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If there was one thing you could radically change within the industry, what is it? Lack of transparency. Too many people are looking to make quick money from vulnerable people by giving misinformation from a position of power. Social media, which is often a positive tool for engagement, is sometimes used in a negative way around issues like this.

Do you see yourself still working as a PT in 10 years time? Without a doubt. I honestly wake up every morning with a spring in my step. been very pleasing in the last few years to see the amount of women adding resistance to their training mix.

How do you engage with your clients (active and inactive)? Mostly on the gym floor or through social media. At Westhoughton, we have access to the More Fitness app, which is provided by Serco Leisure. It’s a great engagement tool, which we use for activity tracking and monthly competitions. On my own social channels, I try to post daily, or whenever I feel I have worthwhile content to share.

How do you promote your services? I use social media primarily, Facebook and Instagram. Word of mouth recommendations from clients I’ve helped can also be a good way of promoting what I do.

How often do you train yourself? I aim to train 3 times every week. My training tends to involve a full body resistance workout, focusing on progressive overload. This style of training fits in with work, my family and my social life.



What is your biggest success story? I’ve been very lucky to work with some wonderful people over the short years I’ve been a PT, achieving muscle gain, fat loss, improved joint and bone health but my biggest success, and she still hasn’t stopped improving, is Donna Curme. Donna not only lost 6 stone over the course of 3 years but she has also improved her relationship with food, continues to show an adherence to her training, has improved her confidence both in the gym and her social life, all culminating in her and Westhoughton Leisure Centre being shortlisted for a Member Achievement Award at the recent National Fitness Awards.



How the recovery process is just as important as your workout

Fitness used to mean jogging in the park, aerobics, lycra and jumping around in front of the television with Mr Motivator. These days we’ve got functional fitness, Olympic lifting, spin classes, HIIT and all sorts of futuristiclooking machines.  We’re all strapped up in heart monitors, counting calories and steps and you can book an online PT who’ll train you via your phone.  One thing that hasn’t moved on is how we recover and if we’ve got all this new knowledge and technology to guide the way, why are we still skipping warmups and stretching off as we used to in primary school P.E?

Thanks to social media we can now train exactly like our sporting heroes. Except social media doesn’t show us how these heroes deal with their brutal daily training regime. We don’t see the nutrition, the massage, the physio, the yoga, the daytime naps.  We rarely see the team of experts behind the scenes monitoring every aspect of recovery and adjusting it daily.  It’s probably because that stuff isn't cool.  It’s not exciting for the fans and it doesn’t bring in sponsorship deals, but it is happening, and it is vital and if you’re going to train like an athlete then you need to recover like one. We seem happy to focus on the flashy stuff but when it comes to the boring bits, we’re happy to do half a job or not bother at all.  Regardless of your fitness goals, the change doesn’t happen in the gym.  Your workout is the stimulus, the request for change, but it’s what you do outside of the gym that determines your results. As a soft tissue therapist, I deal with a lot of gym-related injuries and probably the most common issue that brings people through my doors is not overtraining, but under recovering.  That’s people taking too much on and then not doing enough to balance it out.  A lot of regular gym goers either have no interest in recovery or they’re doing it wrong.  If you want to train 6 days a week that’s fine, but you’ve got to earn the right to spend that much time in the gym.  Jumping straight into an intensive programme, with no plan in place to help your body deal with it, is only going to lead to pain and injury. As far as pain and injury are concerned, that’s where we’re getting it wrong.  The sporting superstars might be putting the work in but they’re not putting in 40 hours a week in the office, juggling the school run and the weekly shop.  They’re not getting up in the night with the baby or trying to get the tea out before hitting the gym.  They’re paid to train and to recover, and they have all the help they need to do both. I think we could factor in what’s going on in life outside the gym.  How busy was work today?  How much sleep did I get last night?  How stressful is my life at the moment?  Depending on the answers to these sorts of questions you could decide whether the body needs an intense workout or a gentler approach.  Over time, consistency will be more beneficial than intensity.  It’s not a case of putting less work in, more a case of working out when to put the work in.  Working smarter not harder. A lot of the ‘go hard or go home’ mentality is ingrained in fitness culture.  Stress is required for adaptation and there are huge mental and physical benefits to embracing JANUARY 2020 25


4. Cool down

discomfort and pushing through barriers but the whole no pain, no gain attitude is outdated and usually taken completely out of context. Pushing out a few extra reps for growth is pain for gain, forcing your body to do something it doesn’t have the capacity for is a different type of pain altogether and very little gain will be found there. If you can learn to listen to your body and act on how it feels rather than how it looks, you will start to see improvements in all aspects of your training.  If you give your body the proper conditions, it will be there for you, time and time again.  Better recovery will lead to better performance and less injury, this, in turn, will lead to better results. The most common excuse I hear for skipping recovery is a lack of time so here are my top 5 tips for managing recovery and fitting it in.  (As a side note, I’m not going to write about nutrition because it’s not my area and it’s not always straightforward but eating enough of the good stuff will always be vital to proper recovery.)

If stretching works for you then keep stretching but have you ever thought about recovery breathing? Lay on the floor and pull your heels to your bum.  Put your hands on your stomach in a diamond shape, with your thumb on your lowest rib and your pinkies touching your pelvis.  Breathe in fully through your nose (you should feel your belly rise), pause then exhale forcefully through your mouth.  Aim to make the exhale twice as long as the inhale.  Repeat for as long as you like but around 5 minutes is a great starting point.  This will calm your nervous system and help to put your body in to rest and recovery mode.  It’s also a lot easier and quicker than stretching off!

5. Sports Massage Of course, I’m going to recommend a massage! It’s not an essential recovery method but it is highly effective!  Massage reconnects your mind to your body to start the healing process and allows you to focus on you!  It promotes the release of serotonin to help you sleep and saves you time by bringing together several of the key elements of recovery. This stuff might not get you likes, and it probably won’t grow your following.  It might not look cool or sell t-shirts, but it is important!  Training and fitness are only one part of the overall picture of health and you need to look after your body.  If you’re going to train like an athlete, then you need to recover like one!

1. Sleep Sleep is vital to all aspects of life and health. It’s when we heal, when we grow and when our brain has a good sort out.  It’s the most important factor in recovery and massively under-appreciated.  It’s also more about quality than quantity so focus as much on getting good sleep rather than just 8 hours.  You’ve got to do it anyway so you might as well get the most out of it!

2. Resting heart rate Check your resting heart rate when you wake up. A normal resting rate is somewhere between 60 – 100 beats per minute.  If it’s on the slow side that’s a sign that you’re wellrested and a more intense session is the way to go.  If your heart rate is fast, it can mean your body is already working hard to sort something out and a gentler session is going to be more beneficial.  Although there are all sorts of reasons why your heart can be fast or slow on waking, it can give you an idea of what’s going on.  If you are in any doubt about your heart rate it’s always best to check with your G.P.

3. Warming up It’s very common to overthink this and it doesn’t have to take over your session. Think about the muscles and joints that you will be using and get them moving.  Get your heart rate up and you’re good to go!  If you feel the need to warm up for 20 minutes or spend the first half of your session camped out on a foam roller then you need to evaluate your training plan and whether it’s appropriate for you. 26


My name is Tom Davies. I’m the massage therapist and movement coach behind Movement Restored. I work with casual gym goers, elite level athletes and people with no training history at all. Really, I work with muscles. Muscles that are tired, inflamed, too long or too short but all just muscles. Sometimes these issues are caused by sport and sometimes by life, by work, by lifestyle or by accident. My aim is to empower you to move better and without pain. How you choose to use this movement, is up to you. For more about my holistic approach to physical wellness follow @movementrestored on all the usual socials or have a look at www.movementrestored.co.uk


7 t h i n g s yo u didn’t know about sixpac k a b s in Women For many people, the abs are the trophy of all trophies. The fitness industry (and perhaps a segment of the fashion industry) made it to signify a picture of health and attractiveness. However, there are caveats to having abs. In this post, I’m discussing 7 caveats you didn’t know about six-pack abs in women.

#1. You gotta be lean enough for the abs to show. That said, 1000s of crunches will not show your abs unless you are very lean. For women, it’s usually at most around 16 – 20% body fat. Some women who are genetically or hormonally prone to storing fats in their midsection may need to be as lean as 10 – 13% body fat to have a full row of six-pack abs. I do have a girlfriend who never does crunches. She doesn’t care what she eats. She barely exercises, if at all. She’s the one who constantly struggles to keep any mass on, but she has a full row of abs, all the time. She is healthy by conventional standards, having regular cycles and all that. I’m sure every one of us knows a guy who fits the same description. The rest of us may not be so lucky that we are not naturally lean, and if we get that lean artificially, we may lose our hormonal health. JANUARY 2020



#4. It is possible to have too big ab muscles, which #2. Abs are muscles, too. It is possible to design training and nutrition programs with specific aesthetic reduces the hour-glass shape if you lose the leanness (or sometimes not). goals in mind. Being lean alone doesn’t mean you will have abs. It also depends on whether you have enough muscle tone and volume to show and your posture.

Most women have some degree of weight fluctuations throughout their lives because of hormones, babies, stress and many other factors.

Generally, if your training program comprises of mostly compound exercises like squats, deadlifts or hip hinging presses and pulls, you would already use your core and abs enough. However, if you want to grow the abs muscles, some more hypertrophy training program may be required. Many people can also use more isometric core training to supplement their training or to correct poor posture.

A famous example of this is Britney Spears. She started off with a nice hour-glass shape, but then she went and trained her abs a bit too much. When she gained fat, she looked a lot blockier than what she started with. (Don’t get me wrong – I actually was a fan of hers in my teenage years and I do think she is beautiful at any point in her career. And I would be remiss to not mention that the same thing happened to me.)

#3. Too much abs training without training out other things can and will give you trouble.

#5. You may be at a healthier place hormonally if you don’t have abs.

Unfortunately, it is often these people with poor postures (read #6) go into the gym to use every machine possible to do crunch variations or do a thousand crunches in ways that will worsen their existing problems. I cringe every time I see people crunches in the gym, and when a yoga/pilates instructor makes an entire class do 10 sets of 10 crunches. In fact, one of my previous coaches Neghar Fonooni, an avid yogi who in possession of some real abs, skips crunches in her yoga classes. Her abs are made in the kitchen and with kettlebells. Elliot Hulse did a great job explaining the biomechanics of this. In order to make the abs show up nicely, it is important to build the opposing muscles, i.e. the entire posterior chain, which comprises all the muscles in the behind. 28


One fact that we can’t deny is that women (or, shall I say, everyone?) need body fat to stay healthy. Leptin, a hormone that is secreted from fat cells, tell the other hormonal regulation systems in our bodies whether to proceed as normal. Thus, your body fat levels will affect your sex hormones, thyroid hormones, regulation of inflammation. The minimum level of leptin and body fat required for all of these hormone levels to function vary from person to person, and also depending on the stress levels, environment, diets and many other factors. Women who are on hormonal birth controls are probably less likely to notice this because they are operating on external sources of hormones that override their natural hormone productions. Having a healthy level of sex hormones are important for many more things than sex. Women with hormone


imbalances can experience mood problems, depression, anxiety, insomnia, brain fog, poor concentration, loss of bone mass, and many more health problems.

they lose their spine positioning very quickly when they are performing a compound movement.

Conversely, having too much stress, and hence cortisol and/or insulin can cause increased fat accumulation in the stomach. Interestingly, this is often accompanied by sex hormone imbalances. This is why it is important to manage stress.

So what now?

#6 Your posture matters. Having poor posture can cause the belly to bulge out more. Unfortunately, this happens for the 23 hours of the day that we are not in the gym, so it can have a bigger impact on your appearance and physiology than your diet and exercise. If you want to instantly have a bigger tummy, go ahead and hunch over. Even more problematic, most people live most of their lives flexed over, from sitting at a desk to checking their phones. Many people are always hunched over. As a result, they develop weak upper back, glutes that are asleep, and very tight hip flexors, pec minor and upper traps. It is neither pretty nor healthy. Like I said in #3, these people should NOT be doing crunches in the gym. It will lead to back pain and injuries if not worsening the existing postural problems. kyphotic Shoes with heels, even short heels, tip the body forward can contribute to this problem even further, especially if there is already an existing misalignment.

#7. It is possible to have freakish abs, but disastrously malfunctioning core. Strength involves a lot more than just muscles, or the muscles that are visible to you. It involves the nervous system, skeletal system, breathing, structural integrity, and overall health. Also part of the core muscles are the muscles along the spine.

My general advice for a woman coming up to me, grabbing that pouch in their lower stomach, and say “how do I lose this and get abs?” Train the entire body. Find a fitness coach who understands exercise physiology and the importance of pre-habilitation exercises. Most people could use a pre-hab phase to balance out the imbalances, wake up whatever is asleep, and strengthen the weakest links. All of this is to prevent injuries and ensure that you don’t develop the wrong movement patterns or imbalances. That being said, I want to punch those trainers who just make their clients do their exercises without ever doing any assessment, or for the sake of enslaving them for the hour. Once you get that out of the way, get on a heavy lifting bandwagon. Make sure you train everything, especially your posterior chain – the back, glutes and hamstrings, preferably through compound exercises. Those muscles are your calorieburning furnace. I mean all of them. The posterior chain muscles are very often neglected because they are behind you. You need a well erect posture for your abs to show. The abs muscles are mostly slow-twitch muscle fibres, so it responds well to higher volume training. Generally, for hypertrophy purposes, it’s a good idea to train in the 10 – 15 rep ranges and loaded when possible. Also, you need to be eating a diet that supports muscle gain. There are four major abs muscle groups, and in order to get a nicely cut six-pack abs, you need to train all of them in a balanced manner. However, many abs exercises do involve more than one of those muscles. The four major muscle groups include: Rectus Abdominis The rectus abdominis is the muscles responsible for trunk flexion, or forward blending movements like crunches.

If you are unable to generate intra-abdominal pressure, that could be a sign of malfunctioning core. If you have pelvic floor problems, you have a malfunctioning core issue.

Exercises for that use the RA include crunches, weighted reverse crunches, dead bugs, leg raises, hanging leg raises, planks, weighted cable crunches.

People with poor posture or significant loss of structural integrity tend to have a malfunctioning core, even though they work their abs a lot. For example, maybe they can crunch and do side-bends with the heaviest weights, but

Internal Obliques The internal obliques, in antagonistic with the external obliques, function in trunk rotation (twisting) and lateral flexion (side bending). JANUARY 2020 29


External Obliques Exercises that use the internal and external obliques include side planks, 1-handed kettlebell swings, medicine ball around the world, figure eight, diagonal crunches, chops, Jefferson deadlifts Transverse Abdominis The transverse abdominis is responsible for trunk stabiliser, keeping the abdominal content (i.e. gut) in place, and stabilising the abdominal wall. TA exercises: planks, side planks, stomach vacuum, all exercises that involve bracing. Like I said earlier, it is possible to injure your back or create imbalances doing abs exercises, especially when it comes to crunches and crunch variations. Personally, I am a much bigger fan of compound exercises that involve using the abs muscles rather than to isolate the abs on their own. I used to enjoy doing them, but now all of them are boring to me. So, if your training program involves mostly squats, deadlifts, presses and pulls, you are effectively training your abs, if you brace correctly while you are doing these exercises. I personally went through abs hypertrophy phase for about 8 months, and I don’t want any more muscle growth in my midsection, so I stopped. I now lift heavy with compound exercises and include a few isometric core strength exercises as assistance work, such as hardstyle planks, side planks, Turkish Get-Ups, kettlebell swings, Pallof press. These are sufficient to keep what I’ve created so far. So, if you want a flat stomach without abs hypertrophy, focus on heavy compound exercises and maybe the isometric exercises as mentioned. My favourite abs exercise of all time is (drumroll, please) – hard-style kettlebell swings. At the top, fire your abs muscles so that your rib cage is down rather than to hyperextend. Good news: you can do this exercise for HIIT. Aside from the swings, I also love hard-style planks, carries like Farmer or Suitcase Carries, and Turkish Get Ups. These isometric exercises train abs the way they are made to be used: as trunk stabilisers more so than as trunk flexors. Given all that I just said, if you are lean enough for abs to show, you really want freakish abs, and really love training your abs to the ground rather than having it sneaked into your regular exercise program, you can try adding these exercises to your existing program. If you are on bodybuilding-style programs where you lift lighter



weights for higher reps until you feel the burn (which is less taxing for the nervous system), it may be okay to do these isolated abs exercises before you start your regular training. However, if your program comprises of lifting very heavy weights that involves “all that you got” in 5 or fewer reps, I recommend adding this after your main lifts. The basics of training for aesthetics is that: if a part of your body grows least, you want to put it first in the training week when you are fresher, or even start every training session by training that part of the body. Also, more is more, given that it can recover from the training. Slow-twitch muscle fibres usually recover faster, so you can train it up to 6 days a week. But read the caveats above. It’s a choice whether you want big abs or not.

Here is a sample 6-day abs program Day 1:  Cable abs pull-downs  Medicine Ball Figure 8  Dead bugs or leg raises Day 2:  Medicine ball chops  Stability ball crunch with hold  Bosu ball diagonal crunch Day 3:  Hardstyle planks  Side plank with crunches  Cable side bends Day 4:  Stability ball pike  Plank with rotation (add stability ball when ready)  Cable twist Day 5:  Side plank with rotation reach  Body saw  Hanging leg raises Day 6:  Ab wheels rollout  Half kneeling chop  Stability ball jackknife


We’re a collective not a community Introducing the Archon Bracket Let’s start off by looking at the way that most gyms attempt to engage with their members, and that’s the old gym competition.

puts up a deadlift of 245kg and everyone else in the gym immediately switches off as they don’t want to advertise the fact that they can only lift 90kg. And the competition has also engaged with say 2-5% of the members, and ironically,

Gym competitions don’t work, they never have really Gyms have always tried to use competition as a form of engagement, but it often only resonates with a very small percentage of the membership. The main put off is that when a member can see a score that is far above what they know they can achieve then they won’t even think about entering. Typically, this is seen across the globe when comparing lifts by load or distances by time, one person

they are the members who are already in a habit of training, are a regular to the facility and are unlikely to ever leave, so aren’t the people we are trying to engage with in the first place. But competitions can work, it’s just knowing how to put them together and how it becomes more about the individual backed by a community of others all working toward the same goal. The fitness industry loves the word community, every gym is trying to build one and every brand is trying to establish the fact that they have one.




We’re a Collective not Community The Bracket is a Collective, we are bringing people together for a specific purpose, and that purpose is to allow them to understand just how fit they are. They will learn a lot about themselves during the Bracket, they will learn their strengths and weaknesses, they will learn that in order to improve it will take a mixture of improving technique, looking holistically at every part of your fitness and nutrition. They will learn not to compare themselves to others, rather their fitness is their own. They will learn that no matter where you start, there is always somewhere to go. The Bracket is our way to enhance the gym experience for any member, one on their first visit, or one that’s been going for the last 10 years. In recent years gyms and facilities have realised that going to a gym needs to be an experience in the life of the user, people value experiences higher than almost anything else in their life, putting life in your days rather than adding days onto your life. How many times do you hear people say that money can’t buy the feeling of your child being born or the sense of pride when you cross the finish line of your first ever marathon. So, if a fitness facility can create an experience for its members then it makes sense that those members will be happier and stay longer, which ultimately is the goal of every gym ever opened. The problem with experiences is that they have a tendency to become boring when repeated. I’m sure even the most die hard marathoner would admit that the feeling of finishing their 33rd marathon is not quite the same as finishing the 1st. That is of course unless they get a personal best. Achieving new highs will always keep people coming back for more. And this was the ethos that bought about the Bracket. It is a way to introduce a constant new experience to a gym for its 32


members with a combined sense of achievement. Because every month brings with it a new challenge, the stimulus is always changing which means that the participants stay engaged and also get to try something new and set their own personal bests every month. The Bracket is a challenge, sometimes it will challenge the person to build on their strengths or develop their weaknesses, but it will also test commitment as one month will surely be an event that you either don’t like, have never tried before or you know, are not very good at. It’s at this point that they will become focused as part of their training. If a gym uses the Bracket, they will open the door to creating not only a great member experience but also enhance other areas of their provision to their members Throughout the Bracket the idea is to improve in every aspect of their fitness and health. To do that the members partaking will need help. That help should come from the gym staff, the Personal Trainers or even looking at classes based on the events, barbell clubs, lifting clubs, cardio sessions to build that engine, rowing technique classes. All of these provide touch points to the members and activations designed to help create a culture within the facility.

What does the Bracket look like? The Bracket starts on January 1st 2020 and runs through till 31st December 2020, so for 12 months we have you covered. Every month we release a new event which will cover every aspect of fitness. Each event will be released on the 31st of the previous month but we can tell you ahead of time that January is the 500m Row, endorsed by British Rowing. For each event we send you a branded mail shot to


send out to all of your members, and each participant gets a 500m British Rowing designed program to follow in order to hit a personal best. Every 6 weeks the participants will be required to submit their scores to the main Bracket platform, this is when the gym can run engagements or submission sessions designed to bring the members together. Each submission is evaluated and takes into account the age, weight, gender, height and on occasion the wingspan of the person in order to create a truly level playing field. This means that everyone is being evaluated on their performance and not just the load lifted or speed ran.

Your gym can join at anytime You can join the bracket at any time, it just means that the participants might want to retrospectively complete the events.

winner. Number 1 will go against 64, 2 against 63 and so on to progress through each round. This format carries on until we find a winner. It will be really exciting to see who performs the best and is measured on their ability regardless of age, weight, gender and height. Whilst the Lockdown is on the other participants will still be able to complete the events, they just won’t be in the competitive element. Ultimately people go to a gym because they want to improve, now, for some people that might be an improvement in the way they look, others in the way that they feel (both mentally and physically) and then there’s the ones who are training for something specific. It doesn’t matter what you’re there for, the bottom line for everyone going, is that they see progress toward their own particular goal when they enter the Bracket.

There is a competitive element In September the top 64 scores will enter into what we call the Lockdown where they get seeded 1-64. There are 6 rounds, the round of 64, the round of 32, the Super 16, the Big 8, the Elite 4 and the Top 2 until we eventually find a

If you’re interested in finding out more about how as a club you can get involved, and even the possibility of becoming an affiliated club please contact matt.ford@archon-app.com




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

Men's UA Challenger III Training Trousers g Fitted: Next-to-skin without the squeeze

g Compression: Ultra-tight, second-skin fit

g Smooth, stretchy fabric is ultralightweight & lets you move

g Tough, lightweight HeatGear® fabric, with all the performance benefits of UA Compression

g 4-way stretch construction moves better in every direction

g Stretch-mesh gusset & inside-leg panels deliver strategic ventilation

g Material wicks sweat & dries really fast

g Updated ergonomic design keeps seams off high abrasion areas & increases durability

g Encased elastic waistband with internal drawcord g Secure, hand zip pockets g Tapered leg fit with 18 cm ankle zips for easy on & off even over boots g Inside leg: 74 cm g 90% Polyester/10% Elastane

Men's UA MK-1 Jacquard Short Sleeve g These are the go-to gym shirts for nearly every guy. The fabric dries fast to keep you cool and the streamlined fit cuts out any bulk or unnecessary material. g It's also part of the UA MK-1 system — gear that all work together to give you what you need in any training situation. g Fitted: Next-to-skin without the squeeze g HeatGear® fabric is ultra-soft & smooth with all-over jacquard texture for superior breathability g Mesh back & underarm panels deliver strategic ventilation g 4-way stretch construction moves better in every direction g Material wicks sweat & dries really fast g Shaped shoulder seam & hem g 88% Polyester/12% Elastane 34

Men's HeatGear® Armour 2.0 Printed Leggings


g 4-way stretch construction moves better in every direction g Material wicks sweat & dries really fast g Wider, 5 cm Engineered elastic waistband g Inside leg: 71 cm (Tall 76 cm) g 87% Polyester/13% Elastane

Men's HeatGear® Armour Long Sleeve Shirt g Compression: Ultra-tight, second-skin fit g HeatGear® fabric, with all the benefits of UA Compression, comfortable enough to be worn all-day g Stretch-mesh underarm panels deliver strategic ventilation g UPF 30 protects your skin from the sun's harmful rays g 4-way stretch construction moves better in every direction g Material wicks sweat & dries really fast g Mesh panel on the back of the neck with ARMOUR wordmark g Body: 133 g 90% Polyester/10% Elastane g Mesh: 130g 88% Polyester/12% Elastane


Men's UA RUSH™ ColdGear® Mock

muscles can work harder. And you get better. g Compression: Ultra-tight, second-skin fit

g This groundbreaking base-layer has been tested and proven to improve strength and endurance. Seriously. The way it works is that the mineralinfused fabric absorbs the energy your body emits and reflects it back into your tissues and muscles. That means your muscles can work harder. And you get better.

g As your body emits energy, the mineralinfused fabric absorbs & reflects it back into tissues & muscles, improving endurance & strength

g Fitted: Next-to-skin without the squeeze

g Printed panels pieced in for colour-block look

g As your body emits energy, the mineralinfused fabric absorbs & reflects it back into tissues & muscles, improving endurance & strength g Super-soft ColdGear® fabric is breathable & stretches for superior mobility but is still incredibly warm g Modern mock neck construction for added coverage with a sleek look g Raglan sleeves g Dropped, shaped hem for enhanced coverage g Powered by Celliant g 84% Polyester/16% Elastane

Men's UA Qualifier Iso-Chill Run Short Sleeve g Iso-Chill technology feels cool the instant you put it on. Like an ice pack built right in, its ribbon-shaped nylon fibres disperse heat, whilst titanium dioxide—the stuff in sun cream—pulls away heat. You feel cooler, so you can play longer.

g Shaped, high-rise waist for optimal coverage & support with a feminine fit g Concealed back waistband pocket g Powered by Celliant

g Inside leg: 71 cm g 82% Polyester/18% Elastane

Women's Project Rock HeatGear® Armour Mesh Ankle Crop g “Project Rock is not a brand, it’s a movement. It’s a core belief, that I 100% don’t care what colour you are, how old you are, where you come from or what you do for a living. The only thing I care about is you and me, building the belief that regardless of the odds, we can overcome and achieve—but it all starts with the work that we’re willing to put in with our two hands."—Dwayne Johnson g Compression: Ultra-tight, second-skin fit g Super-light HeatGear® fabric delivers superior coverage without weighing you down g Material wicks sweat & dries really fast

g Fitted: Next-to-skin without the squeeze

g 4-way stretch construction moves better in every direction

g Iso-Chill mesh fabric helps disperse body heat, making it feel cool to the touch

g Ergonomic flatlock seams deliver a comfortable, chafe-free fit

g 4-way stretch construction moves better in every direction

g Strategic mesh cutout panels for extra breathability

g Material wicks sweat & dries really fast

g Inside leg: 61 cm

g Reflective details for low-light runs

g 87% Polyester/13% Elastane

g Raglan sleeves g 90% Polyester/10% Elastane

Women's UA RUSH™ Leggings Print g This groundbreaking base layer has been tested and proven to improve strength and endurance. Seriously. The way it works is that the mineralinfused fabric absorbs the energy your body emits and reflects it back into your tissues and muscles. That means your

Women's HeatGear® Armour 6M Ankle Crop g HeatGear® Armour is our original performance base layer—the layer you put on first and take off last. It's tight to wick away sweat and quick-drying to keep you cool. No athlete can go without it. g Compression: Ultra-tight, second-skin fit g Super-light HeatGear® fabric delivers superior coverage without weighing you down JANUARY 2020 35


g 4-way stretch construction moves better in every direction

g Compression mesh Energy Web contains & moulds UA HOVR™ foam to give back the energy you put in

g Ergonomic flatlock seams deliver a comfortable, chafe-free fit

g Lightweight mesh upper with 3D print for unrivalled protection & durability

g Wide, flat waistband that sits just right on your hips

g Layered support system locks in your heel, unlocking your foot's forward, backward & side-to-side potential

g Material wicks sweat & dries really fast

g Inside leg: 61 cm g 87% Polyester/13% Elastane

Women's UA RUSH™ Print Colour Block Leggings g No wasted energy, only more gains. The mineral-infused fabric takes the energy you give off when you work and reflects it back into your muscles, increasing blood flow and helping them to work harder. g Compression: Ultra-tight, second-skin fit g As your body emits energy, the mineralinfused fabric absorbs & reflects it back, improving endurance g Advanced seam placement to eliminate pressure points & chafing g Wide, flat waistband that sits just right on your hips g Inside leg: 71 cm g 77% Polyester/23% Elastane

Men's UA HOVR™ Apex Training Shoes g What if every rep could be explosive? Our answer: bring the energy return of our most advanced cushioning, UA HOVR™, to training. After studying exactly how your feet move, we constructed a durable layering system of support to help stabilise every forward, backward and side-to-side burst. g UA HOVR™ technology provides a 'zerogravity feel' to maintain energy return that helps eliminate impact step after step



g Heel construction provides superior support, which unlocks forefoot movement & stabilising potential g Webbed lacing system is integrated through TPU straps for the ultimate locked-in fit g UA TriBase in the outsole maximises ground contact where your foot needs it the most, allows for superior upwards flexibility to promote natural motion & downwards flexibility to grip the ground during lifts g Offset: 8 mm g Weight: 369 g g 87% Polyester/13% Elastane g Imported

Women's UA Charged Aurora Training Shoes g Lightweight, breathable upper keeps you cool & dry g TPU films with raised print help keep the foot locked into the platform while added durability & protection up top g Built specifically for the female foot with a streamlined fit g Charged Cushioning® midsole uses compression moulded foam for ultimate responsiveness & durability g Full rubber outsole for maximum durability with multi-directional traction pattern g Offset: 6 mm g Weight: 221 g


The 5 Best Kettlebells to Buy and The 5 Best Moves to Do With Them Kettlebells are one of the best fitness tools you can add to your home gym, but unlike, say, dumbbells, their uses aren’t as obvious. The awkward handle design means doing pushups on them is tricky, and kettlebell swings can be intimidating, not to mention easy to mess up. But, if you’re looking for one tool to take your training sessions up a notch, the kettlebell is an excellent place to start. With just one you can work your glutes, arms, abs, legs and more. “The beauty of kettlebell training is that each session can vary enough that one can train every day or six days a week if the load, intensity and length of the workout would depend on the individual and experience. To start, look for a kettlebell with an iron handle. It doesn’t need to be rubber-coated — although that adds a layer of protection to your hands, and your floors — and start light. “Start with double 8 to 12 kilos, and a large bell of 18 to 24 kilograms. Check out five hard-to-beat brands below.

Best Sturdy Grip: Kettlebell Kings Kettlebell Kings are some of Lazof’s favourites. The weights come with a lifetime guarantee and feature a powder coating that will hold up to chalk (typically used in the weight room or at the CrossFit Box to keep a firm hold of the KB). These kettlebells start at 4 kg (8.8 pounds) and go up to 48 kg (105.8 pounds). With that kinda range, you’ll be pushing your limits for years to come.

Most Affordable: AmazonBasics Cast Iron Kettlebells These best-selling kettlebells are simple but effective. The AmazonBasics cast iron material’s black exterior helps improve the life of the KBs. The wide grip and weight options from 10 to 70 pounds make these work for a wide range of people, exercises and goals. They also happen to be some of the most affordable ones out there.

Most Comfortable Grip: Rogue Rubber Coated Kettlebells Rogue makes some of the toughest gym equipment on the market today, including these powerful kettlebells. Weights range from 26 to 70 pounds, each with a rubber-coated base and metal handle. The colours denote the weight, so once you get used to them, you won’t have to squat down to see what you’re lifting.

Best for Tracking Your Reps: Jaxjox KettlebellConnect Never count another rep again with Jaxjox’s Kettlebell Connect. We tested last year and were impressed with how quickly this KB changed weights. Move from 12 to 18 to 24 to 32 to 40 in just three seconds. Press the button, let JANUARY 2020



it whirl and then get going with your workout. Bonus: All your reps and sets get logged in the app.

Best Statement Kettlebells: Onnit Darth Vader Onnit makes unique kettlebells that are sure to turn heads thanks to designs inspired by Star Wars, Marvel and, well, primates. If you’re looking for a broader range of weights and something more accessible for beginners, check out the everyday black spheres, but if you want something that’s 36 to 70 pounds and roars, the weights with personality are for you.

The Moves Once you have the perfect kettlebells for your gym or home, it’s time to put them to work. Here's a five-move routine that you can do a few hours before a run or on a training day where you’re not going to the gym or doing cardio. Try these five moves: Goblet March, Goblet Squat, Goblet Clean, HalfKneeling Press and a Bent-Over Row. Each movement can be done in a ladder format of 1/2/3 reps (resting between each set of reps) for 5 to 8 rounds depending on time and difficulty of weight selection. So you’ll do one rep, rest for one breath, do two reps, rest for two breaths, do three reps, and so on. Typically you’ll stop at 9 or 10 reps, depending on your time and how fatigued you feel. You can do this routine three to four times each week.

Goblet March Hold the KB at your chest, hands on either side of the trianglelike handle and elbows tight to sides. The handle should be right under or by your chin. Stand with feet together and march, bringing your right knee to hip height, returning it to



the ground, then left knee for 1 rep. If too difficult, widen your stance and then work up through the 10 reps.

Goblet Squat Hold the KB at your chest (same as Goblet March) and stand with feet wider than your hips, toes pointing out. Bend knees and squat down, keeping chest and the KB perpendicular to the floor. Lower as far as you can go (whether that’s when the back of your thighs hits your calves or when your thighs are parallel to the ground). Stand up for 1 rep. Repeat and work up through the 10 reps.

Goblet Clean Start in a squat, holding the top of the KB handle between your legs with the KB off the ground. Stand, using your glutes and keeping your back straight while quickly pulling the KB to your chin, snapping your hands from the top of the handle to the sides to end standing. Reverse and slowly lower the KB just above the ground, returning to a squat for 1 rep. Repeat and work up through the 10 reps.

Half-Kneeling Press Begin in a lunge with your right knee on the ground behind you. Keeping your elbow tight to your chest, hold the KB in your right hand, resting near your right shoulder to start. Keep your lower body still and push your right hand up to the ceiling. Slowly lower back to your shoulder for 1 rep. Repeat and work up through 10 reps on both sides.

Bent-Over Row Stand with feet staggered, one kettlebell in each hand. Bend at your hips and hinge forward until your chest is parallel to the ground with arms extended. Turn palms toward each other and pull KBs to your chest. Lower the KBs for 1 rep. Repeat and work up through the 10 reps.

Not ALL Kettlebells come with a lifetime guarantee, but ours do.

G Built and engineered by the very best within the industry G Bespoke design G We work with a choice of materials, to suit you and your client CALL TODAY! ď‚• +34 642 572 963


Why the new year is the perfect time to be switching your gym management software, and it doesn’t have to be stressful!! There are plenty of reasons you are looking to change your gym management software provider – it’s too complicated, there are too many hidden fees, they don’t have the features you need, their support team has you on hold for hours, etc. Many EZFacility clients who have switched from other gym software providers were running into the same issues yet, though they were fed up with the runaround, were still hesitant to make the switch because they thought it would disrupt their day-to-day business too much. It’s completely understandable that they, and you, are tentative about switching providers. Switching software can be a daunting undertaking – but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s address some common concerns we have heard from clients when considering making the switch to EZFacility.

The transition process is too difficult That’s what we’re here for! During the transition process, you’ll have a dedicated Customer Success Specialist performing one-on-one training to guide you through utilising our software to its fullest. They will be there every step of the way to help set up your EZFacility account to your gym facility’s specific needs. Our training team has facilitated transitions from almost every other gym management software company out there, so they are experts when it comes to ensuring a painless transition.

training sessions, and some with more) our training process is one that has been designed with a "Train-the-Trainer" approach in mind. The “Trainer-the-trainer” methodology will grant your gym the opportunity to have a "go-to" in house EZExpert to help current and future employees become comfortable using EZFacility. Don’t worry though, we are always available to field questions and walk you through any requests that may arise during and after the training process. Our support centre is also available 24/7 for you to access user guides, helpful product articles, and videos, along with the ability to submit a request for support.

Members will be double billed and/or not billed at all We know that maintaining consistent billing is vital to your gym’s livelihood. To safeguard against members being double billed during the transition, we recommend you choose a cut-off date for billing where all transactions will be switched over to EZFacility from your current (and soon-to-be former) software provider. On the very rare occasion payments are missed when the transfer occurs, we have plans in place to bill members once you activate billing through EZFacility. Additionally, our customer support team is available Monday – Friday during normal business hours to guarantee your billing (and gym) runs efficiently.

Once finished with training, our devoted customer success and support teams are readily available to help at any point. With accessible support, you’re not left high and dry trying to figure out functionality on your own (which we’re sure is one of the reasons you want to leave your current software provider).

Data will be lost in the migration

Learning a new gym management software will take too long

From there, our knowledgeable team will review the import file with you and will work together to make sure that the data migration into our software is a successful one.

There is always a learning curve when starting anything new – hey, we’re just being honest – but the EZFacility team is here to get you up and running quickly. Getting started quickly though doesn’t mean we sprint through set up. During implementation, our team works with you and your team to ensure everyone is comfortable and confident running your business with our software. Because we work together to get you up to speed, you won’t break stride with current gym operations. How do we do this you may ask? Completed in 4 recommended, 1-hour training sessions (some clients feel comfortable with less 40


Our Customer support team consists of import specialists, there to navigate you step-by-step through the data migration process to guarantee an effortless transition. With EZFacility data migration templates ready for use, all you have to do is plug in member information from your current software provider.

It really is as simple as that.

My members will have a hard time adjusting to a new interface Just like you may have a slight learning curve, so might they. But to make it easier for members (and cut down questions to you) we have member directed FAQs and support articles available, with more always being created.


Plus, our easy-to-use interface minimises service interruption for members and makes it easy for them to pick up.

down your growth and get started with one that was built with

There will be additional fees to switch

Whether you go with EZFacility or not, we’re here to make you

A good gym management software shouldn’t charge you to import or export your data – so we don’t! At EZFacility we believe that your data is your data, end of! You can access it at any point, no questions asked. We are also rooting for your success which is why we don’t charge additional fees for extra training or support (we like to shake up the norm).

you in mind.

comfortable with whoever you choose. Contact us today to book a demo and learn more about EZFacility and see why switching your gym management software provider doesn’t have to be stressful.  www.ezfacility.co.uk  0203 3270480  Sales@ezfacility.co.uk

We Understand Change is Difficult.

Did you know? 72% of EZFacility clients have switched from

Let us put your worries to rest. Ditch the software that’s slowing

another software provider



A FINANCE COMPANY YOU CAN TRUST Celebrating over 30 years in business demonstrates that CF have both the experience and expertise to deliver an unrivalled service. To date we have arranged over 300,000 finance agreements thanks to our strong relationships we have developed over the years. We are proud to be one of the UK’s leading financial services companies and introducer to many of the country’s major banks and funders.

NEW YEAR, NEW CHALLENGES A gym can only be as good as its equipment. With outdated machinery members can easily become ex-members. To ensure you sustain a fitness business you need the very latest equipment and environment to ensure your members and clients stay engaged. Building works and investing in new equipment can be very expensive. Whether you’re an established gym or just starting out, this is where CF Capital can help! Our ‘finance2fit’ product is changing the movement in modern gym finance. We offer a wide range of options to suit all and will tailor a finance arrangement to many budgets.

LET US TAKE THE WEIGHT OFF YOUR SHOULDERS There are many ways in which your business can invest in essential requirements. Cash purchase, obtaining a bank loan, credit card or obtaining a Lease. Each of these options has its own pros and cons, but maybe none as simple and efficient as Leasing. With technology evolving each day why invest your capital in any piece of equipment which will be out of date tomorrow? With a finance lease at any point throughout the lease period you can upgrade any equipment, ensuring your business isn’t falling behind competitors and technological advances. We can even offer refinance on existing equipment you may have recently purchased!


The benefits: 4 Valuable tax benefits when leasing 4 Flexible repayment terms over 12 to 72 months using direct debit payments 4 Finance2Fit payment deferral subject to credit approval. Obtain the equipment you want today but start paying later! 4 Spreading the cost of your gym equipment makes it easier to obtain higher specification equipment 4 Purchasing outright ties up capital, whereas leasing maintains cash within the business for future growth 4 Unlike bank overdraft facilities, leasing provides fixed interest rates for the entire duration of the agreement


As new members and existing members look for alternative ways to use their precious time when working out, is your fitness studio ready? It is predicted that fitness lovers across the UK in 2020 will look for facilities which include; HIIT, cycling, swimming, dance, yoga, wellness, meditation, cryotherapy as well as the latest strength and conditioning equipment. Our expert team have worked with many of the leading equipment resellers and gym designers around the UK. With our tailored finance packages we can ensure you have the capital required for the investment you need. Your vision can become a reality with

For more information please call 01279 759 442 quoting ‘finance2fit’ or email our team: finance2fit@cfcapital.co.uk JANUARY 2020 43


Happy and healthy new year Keeping your gym equipment up to date will assist in retaining and attracting new members To sustain a fitness business in this modern, fast paced industry you need the very latest equipment and an environment to keep your members engaged. CF Capital plc has access to a diverse range of finance products, so whether your requirement is the leasing of fitness equipment, financing gym refurbishment or software systems, we have a product to suit any budget. range of options to suit any budget. We can finance a range of equipment or requirements essential to any gym, our list includes: FREE WEIGHTS, ROWING MACHINES, EXERCISE BIKES, RUNNING MACHINES, RESISTANCE MACHINES, SPINNING BIKES, AIR CONDITIONING, EPOS SYSTEMS, FLOORING, MEMBERSHIP SOFTWARE SYSTEMS & MORE.

Please call Katie Reid or Olivia Morrison on 01279 759 442 quoting ‘finance2fit’ or email our team: finance2fit@cfcapital.co.uk




New Rotators Shield delivers rotator cuff rehabilitation and a full-body workout The new Rotators Shield is a versatile, cutting-edge piece of exercise equipment specifically designed to provide a full-body workout as well as to rehabilitate the rotator cuff muscles. Uniquely created to focus on the specific needs of the body, the Rotators Shield will enhance muscle definition and tone, increasing efficiency of movement, power and drive. The Rotators Shield not only provides a unique fitness and rehabilitative experience, but has unmatched standards of quality and durability. Alex Klein, Rotators Shield Inventor explains: “As a personal trainer, I have always been interested in new products coming to market. The idea of the Rotators Shield came to when I was working with a client with rotator cuff issues who was unable to perform the overhead work that I had planned for the session.� The patented design, with advanced customisable resistance, provides a well needed solution for muscles groups that are often neglected when training, along with the ability to exercise the full skeletal body. Needing to adjust the original idea, Alex partnered with Lawyer and entrepreneur, Raj Umayavan Yadhunanthanan, now also Inventor of Rotators Shield, to make the product more suitable as a functional training tool and as a business. Having spent hundreds of hours in fitness centres, hospitals and physiotherapy rooms getting feedback from leading experts, Alex and Raj are confident that the Rotators Shield is an unrivalled piece of fitness and rehabilitative equipment that has a place in any gym environment. JANUARY 2020 45


“Athletes, everyday gym goers and individuals who engage in exercise with high velocity arm movements such as tennis or boxing, or manual labour, are at risk of developing rotators cuff issues.” Alex explains. “Providing the rotator cuff isn’t torn, in which case surgery may be needed, the Rotators Shield has proven to rehabilitate a rotator cuff injury back to fitness.” With a stand made to hold either six or 12 products, a changing station and weight storage, the Rotators shield has the ability to suit any gym floor or studio space. Extremely space efficient, the Rotators Shield removes the need for bigger, bulkier types of equipment for the user to perform the same upper body workout. “My grandfather taught me from a young age how to understand the rules and regulations that underpin a business and its activities.” Raj explains. “This, combined with my legal education has allowed me to guarantee that the Rotators Shield is fully Patent protected and will abide by any necessary regulations. This helps to ensure that the Rotators Shields fit, safety and durability is of unmatched standards.” “With the Rotators Shield, we maintained the belief that any claim we made about its effectiveness had to be backed up by evidence.” Raj continues. “We enlisted the help of world-renowned surgeons, fitness experts, physiotherapists and personal trainers to help us design, test and certify the product.” Alex adds: “Products need to be rigorously tested, and quality service is essential. This is why we have not only tested the Rotators Shield with robots, but we also offer our lifetime guarantee on the product, to ensure all our customers are satisfied!” The Rotators Shield changes the way a person would hold a traditional plate. Instead of gripping the outside of the plate rim, the Rotators Shield encourages a central placement of the wrists. This is due to the way the handles are placed equidistance to each other, as well as them being located at the centre of the plate surface. This creates a heavier feel with the same weight, due to the gravitational pull on the outer wrist making the exercise more isolated. Users can also place additional weights to the outside of the shield, providing a varied level of resistance where weights can be fitted around the circumference. The result of this being an unbalanced wheel, great for rehabilitation exercises.



Designed, developed and scientifically tested, the Rotators Shield not only provides a unique fitness experience, but boasts an unmatched standard of quality and durability. Suitable for a full range of users, strengths and abilities, the Rotators Shield range from a 5kg-25kg weight options. Within its construction, the Rotators Shield has six levels of impact absorbing materials all creating different air pockets. These air pockets are designed to absorb large impacts when the Rotators Shield is dropped. The covers for the weights have been designed with a honeycomb structure which results in minimal weight and maximum strength of the design. The Rotators Shield is now available for pre-order. Order 6-12 shields and a stand, to receive a free branded mobile weight storage unit. For more information, or to order personalised shields, visit www.rotatorsshield.com or contact info@rotatorsshield.com


The Rotators Shield G A custom workout, Join the revolution! G Built and tested by professionals!

Pre-order now!  Info@rotatorsshield.com  02078662198 JANUARY 2020 47

The Level 4 Certificate in Postural Assessment and Corrective Exercise is aimed at Personal Trainers, Strength & Conditioning Coaches, Pilates Instructors and Sports Massage Therapists. This qualification provides learners with the knowledge and skills to assess a client’s posture and movement capacity and identify any movement restrictions. Learners will also be able to plan and implement an effective corrective exercise strategy.

Level 4 Certificate in Postural Assessment and Corrective Exercise To find out more, visit our website www.activeiq.co.uk or email approvalsteam@activeiq.co.uk

FFS - I TRAIN 3 TIMES A WEEK AND I’M STILL OVERWEIGHT COMBAT FITNESS FAILURE SYNDROME Through the Workout Tracking Network and Trainer Portal app, Matrix Connected Solutions helps the operator track the activity and performance of each individual member. The app, bespoke to your facility, offers a unique member journey for both the Fit and Focussed, and the remaining 70% of members. It’s a system that’s simple enough to engage all, retain members and impact your bottom line. To find out more contact the Matrix team on 01782 644900 or info@matrixfitness.co.uk

MATRIX_fitness failure HALF PAGE.indd 1 48 JANUARY 2020

18/12/2019 12:29


Gym Concept I d e at i o n Is a gym design concept even a subject of conversation when creating a new fitness brand? Holistically, and at global scale, I argue it’s not. The benchmarks that support my evidence are the two identifiable aesthetics which have come to define the entire fitness marketplace, one or the other, for better or for worse. The two gym design trends in question are 1, gyms that look like gyms, or 2, gyms that look like boutique hotels.

experience for prospects who tour the facility. The keyword here is experience. These new gym models will be highly differentiated, powerfully branded, borderline stage sets, and conceptually inspired. Judge that design and marketing criteria against gyms that looks like gyms, or gyms that look like boutique hotels.

Developers must possess a world-view when creating their gym brands because image-centric social media platforms are democratic curators of design, good and bad, innovative, or not. What images shared on Instagram of the design of a facility on one side of the world, is immediately available for scrutiny by Instagramer’s, gym-judge and jury, on the other side of the world.

Am I wrong? Isn’t that what fitness consumers have to choose from, one or the other?

If a gym owner’s design and branding world view is provincial, geo-targeted to the local demographic, (not global), they leave the back-door open for aggressive and marketing savvy competitors who’ll exploit this shortcoming. The exploitation will come in the form of an innovative new gym model which defies the local gym brands. The new-gym-comer will employ unpredictable design aesthetics resulting in an unexpected gym

Judge that design and marketing criteria against gyms that looks like gyms, or gyms that look like boutique hotels.

Here’s a test > Generate an Instagram hashtag search for #gymdesign. Swipe Once. You’ll notice that most images either fall into the gym that looks like a gym category or the gym that looks like a boutique hotel category. Swipe Twice, Swipe Thrice. No change in the results, or I should say, there are NO changes in the results. A developer might say “what’s wrong with any of these designs”? I would contend that if you want to have a unique branding platform, one which all of your marketing, advertising, and pricing separates you from your competitors, then embracing either one of these two design trends would be a flawed strategy. Not only is it a flawed strategy, it will ultimately be an unsustainable business model.

JANUARY 2020 49


aesthetic, I’m only saying it’s a poor gym design strategy if you wish to create your own unique branding platform. So where do you begin in creating a conceptual gym brand? Well it begins in your design-think, the narrative that directs the trajectory of your brand. Don’t start with design-thinking that is framed around creating another gym. Start with a narrative that begins with creating a fitness experience that consumers have yet to try. Walt Disney morphed a roller coaster experience into a spaceship experience in his Tomorrowland theme park. So why does a gym have to look like a gym or a boutique hotel? Ask That Question. Walt Disney morphed a roller coaster experience into a spaceship experience in his Tomorrowland theme park. So why does a gym have to look like a gym or a boutique hotel? Ask That Question. Here Is Where You Start > Stop designing gyms and start developing fitness experiences. Marry entertainment to exercise—create adult fitness playgrounds. I’m not meaning juvenile playground, I mean experience-centric, sophisticated, fun-theatrical-stage-set design. Think conceptually, experimentally, fearlessly and innovatively. Abandon an obsolete gym design think and embrace a 21st Century creative narrative. Again, stop building gyms that look like gyms and boutique hotels. Learn More: www.instagram.com/gymdesigner I employ what I call a design science using filters in a search for attributes (aesthetics and commonalities) across fitness marketplaces. This helps me frame, distill, and make assumptions regarding the defining characteristics of a gym brand. For example, green Astroturf and big-box lighting fixtures are commonplace standards of the gym that looks like a gym aesthetic. In the boutique hotel category you’ll find over-indexed design metrics which include wood walls, tufted furniture and color changing lighting, i.e. the chill night club vibe. These are good, if that is what you like, but it is also liked by countless gym brands and competitors, resulting in fitness marketplaces glutted with gym better sameness. I have a particular animus against boutique design gyms which I don’t have for the gym that looks like a gym model. At least in the gym that looks like a gym I have a sense that I’ll be exercising and training. In the boutique design clubs I argue that lifestyle usurps the ethos of exercise, status vs spirit, and the spirit of health and wellness is displaced by the social pedigree of the brand. I have a particular animus against the boutique design gyms, an animus that I don’t have for the gym that looks like a gym model. Boutique design strips a gym developer of a unique branding identity. As well, the sexxy and chill boutique design aesthetic says NOTHING about a fitness experience. Boutique design is part of a global design trend framing your brand in a global collective. Finally, if you create a boutique gym design, what prevents another developer from dropping their version of a boutique gym design into your demographic”? I’m not saying boutique design is a bad 50


Email: info@cuocoblack.com


Gold medals for group exercise? How group exercise can be utilised for sports and why gyms should take note In 2007, on a ranch in northern California, a group of 70 athletes gathered for the inaugural CrossFit Games competition. With dust in their faces and sweat dripping whilst rowing machines hummed, athletes were tested across events that would test their ability “to handle any and every task”. Fast forward to 2019 and CrossFit is booming across the world. With the likes of Rogue and Reebok behind it, Games athletes now compete for the title of the Fittest on Earth™. If the sport of fitness, as CrossFit has become known, is booming, could group exercise be a pathway to encourage people to play sport? The answer is yes. As it currently stands, there are nearly 400 different types of group exercise, according to classfinder – the UK’s largest databases of group exercise classes. From dance fitness to yoga to HIIT training to aqua classes, all tastes and abilities are catered for. With major sports competitions taking place throughout the year and Tokyo 2020 fast approaching, there are a wealth of opportunities for gym owners and PTs to get more people active and more clients through their doors.

Who is getting inspired? In January 2015, Sport England launched it’s This Girl Can campaign, with the aims to get more women active and start to close the gender gap in physical activity participation. The all-welcoming messaging of no matter size, shape or ability, physical activity is for everyone, has resonated with women and inspired over three million of them to get active. The campaign, which launches a new phase this month, will undoubtedly encourage even more women to lead more active lives. In fact, This Girl Can is currently collaborating with EMD UK, the national governing body for group exercise, on a programme that will create sustainable behaviour changes in inactive women to allow them to take part in activities. Watch this space. It is often thought that Olympic Games create spikes in physical activity. The London 2012 Games in particular was hailed as the Games that would create a sporting legacy in London and the wider nation, inspiring a generation of people to take up sport. Post-Games analysis revealed that only 7% of the UK population had been inspired. Maybe Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson said it best when she surmised “In the UK we like to think we are a nation that loves sport but perhaps we are more of a nation who loves watching sport.” But let’s look at the positives; if national campaigns are getting more people active and Olympic Games are creating spikes in participation levels, whatever the numbers, there is the opportunity for all fitness professionals to help and encourage more people to take up something they enjoy.

Group exercise as a pathway for sport Champions aren’t built overnight. Everyone has to start somewhere and even the most hardcore sports fan could easily be put off from participating if they don’t perceive themselves fit enough to start. This is what makes group exercise a great feeder activity for sports; 2015 research from EMD UK shows that 90% of group exercise participants agree you don’t need to be fit to start classes. If you can get people to the classes, you can get them to the sport. JANUARY 2020


Athletes as clients More athletes are now turning to the likes of HIIT, circuits and Pilates to complement their training programmes. This isn’t limited to ‘athletic’ sports either; in a 2018 Men’s Health article, the 2017 World’s Strongest Man, Eddie Hall, cited HIIT as one method he has used to shed 32kg, whilst maintaining his muscle strength. Football and rugby teams have also been using HIIT to increase player performance. Similarly, Pilates is becoming an ever more popular method to decrease the risk of injury pre-, during, and post-season.

As stated earlier, there are nearly 400 different concepts out there so matching sports with classes that can develop confidence and fitness levels before entering the formal sports training environment becomes an easy job. But this isn’t just about participation. As a gym owner, there are earning opportunities here too. Let’s take swimming as an example. Figures published in 2019 by Swim England revealed that 1 in 3 adults in England can’t swim; that equates to 31% of the adult population. If getting people into swimming lessons is a problem because of water confidence, aqua classes could provide a pathway; shallow water, understanding how your body feels and moves against the natural resistance, getting used to getting your face wet are all benefits. It also creates a pathway for more people to get into swimming, therefore more footfall to your pool and more secondary spend in your café. If you’re a strength-based facility looking to recruit new members, the same rules apply. the likelihood is that the bars, the plates, the squat racks will be putting some people off. A great way of getting them used to resistance workouts, setting up a bar and practicing form could be in weights-based classes, like Les Mills BODYPUMP™. Sure, the bars and plates are smaller, and the exercises are different (although, still accessory work), but confidence must start somewhere; if attending a couple of classes can encourage more members, all the better. You could look at what sports facilities are in your local area and agree on both parties signposting people to each other; if you have a velodrome or cycling centre nearby and you run indoor group cycling classes, this could benefit both organisations and community participation levels. Although it’s not an exact science, is does provide more opportunities for you to capitalise on income and local people to get involved in physical activity. Over a third of group exercise participants were inactive before starting classes and 55% of those had not done any form of exercise of sport for at least three years prior to starting classes. Group exercise offers an accessible pathway.

Running bespoke athlete ‘clinics’ and touting the benefits of group exercise to their athletic performance are a great way to encourage more people through your doors. It also gives you the opportunity to showcase what other services you have to offer. You can even use these sessions as a way to encourage your gym members to use classes; research by The Retention People (TRP) found that members that attend group exercise classes are 26% less likely to cancel their gym membership than members who only use the gym. Dr Melvyn Hillsdon from TRP says “The more reasons people have for visiting clubs, the more likely they are to be a club promoter, especially if one of their main reasons for visiting involves group exercise.” As a gym owner, your classes are not limited to the gym floor or studio. Talk to local sports clubs about how your workforce can work with their coaches to increase team fitness and offer classes that fit around them. It’s also a good way to increase workforce loyalty, giving them an exciting opportunity to go out into the community.

Over to you Using group exercise inline with sporting campaigns opens a wealth of business opportunities to you. Ensure your workforce is trained and ready. Contact the training team on EMD UK to discuss how the national governing body for group exercise can upskill your workforce. Call on 01403 266000, email hello@emduk.org or visit emduk.org/courses.


The Power Of Habit – part 1 Janet Thomson MSC You don’t need a crystal ball to tell your future, just look at your habits. Many significant things in your body come in two’s, including arms, legs, lungs and kidneys; in addition your brain is one organ made up of two parts, a left and a right hemisphere, even your heart is effectively 2 double pumps that are joined together. In the same way although they are not physically visible, we have two minds. your mind isn’t something tangible that you can see on a scanner, it can best be described as what flows through your brain in the form of your thoughts. Much more than this, it’s what sculpts your brain. Your thoughts literally create the delicate infrastructure formed when you repeat the same neurological activity. Its estimated your brain is made up of over 100 billion neurons and there are potentially over 100 trillion different ways they connect with each other. Imagine walking through a meadow where the grass is knee high, it would take some effort to create a pathway, but once you have done it, the second time its slightly easier, and the more often you do it the easier it gets. Eventually the path becomes so trodden that it actually becomes part of the meadow and grass no longer grows there. Your footsteps change the landscape. In the same way when you repeat thoughts they have the same effect and you create a brain “map”. These maps are like the most intricate patterns imaginable and each thought and behaviour has its own totally unique configuration. This is important as it stops your brain having to create a new neurological pattern every time you repeat the same behaviour. Imagine getting into a car to drive, or even to walk, without the advantage of embedded neurological maps, life would be very difficult. Our brain maps make learning and remembering possible. When you are faced with a choice, your unconscious mind immediately searches its neurological database to see if it has a map for that same situation and if you do (or even if you have a similar one) then it will use that rather than create a new one. It’s not that your brain is lazy, it’s just very efficient. As in the example of driving, behavioural competencies are made possible by this process and these happen with JANUARY 2020 53


repetition. However we can also create maps that are better described as habits, meaning we can literally do something automatically, without conscious thinking. In other words a habit is something you do “on autopilot”, for example you might not consciously think “I will have a biscuit with my cup of Tea” yet you automatically reach for the biscuit tin as soon as the kettle goes on. In all areas of your life, if you look at your habits you can explain your current state (physical or emotional) and also predict your future. If you walk down the street and look at peoples different shapes and sizes, you can make a pretty educated guess as to who has good lifestyle habits and who doesn’t. If you look at students who constantly get high grades, this is likely to mean they have good habits when it comes to studying. If you speak to someone who suffers from anxiety they are very likely to be in the habit of running negative dialogue and thought patterns. Your habits literally define you. The problem is many of us have habits that don’t serve us and that were created without us even realising it; that’s great if they are good habits, but not so helpful if they are bad. A habit is great when you are conditioned to make the optimal response in any given situation. For example in the military people are trained repeatedly to respond automatically in high stress and even life threatening situations, to be able to do the right thing automatically without having to stop and think. Airline pilots spend a few days every six months in a simulator dealing with crisis, so that if that ever happens in real life they already have the neurology in place to act in the best possible way. The story of Michael Phelps 2008 Olympic butterfly final is well recorded and illustrates the power of habits as part of an elite training regime. His rigorous training put him in the right physical and mental place to perform brilliantly on numerous occasions. But his training was not all physical, much of it was based on using self-directed neuroplasticity to shape his brain. A regular training habit was to black his goggles out and practice swimming blind. He also regularly swam outside in the dark, all with the purpose of establishing physical habits that he could call upon 54


even when distracted or in an unexpected situation. This approach certainly paid off. In his early career as a teenager he found it difficult to stay relaxed and focused whilst standing on the starting blocks. His coach understood the power of visualisation and taught him how to create an internal movie where he swam the perfect race. He told him to watch this movie in his mindseye every morning as soon as he awoke, and again as he was going to sleep. These two times are when the brain is the most plastic and when this process is at its most effective. When you visualise something in your minds eye you create and use exactly the same neurological maps as if you are “really” doing it. That means you can mentally rehearse something and get the same benefits as if you were actually in the situation. As repetition is a key factor when installing a habit this is important to understand. Phelps would imagine how each stroke felt and how he felt on completing the perfect race. This mental practice proved to be as important as the physical elements of his regime. When he stood on the starting blocks in Beijing he ran his normal pre- race routine of swinging his arms 3 times as he always did. The gun went off but the moment he hit the water he knew something was wrong. His goggles leaked, slowly at first but soon everything became misty and unclear. Now unable to use the lines at the bottom of the pool to know when to adjust his stroke for the turn or to touch the wall to finish, he could also not see his competitors in the adjacent lanes; by the last turn he was completely blind in the water. Most swimmers would have panicked, but Phelps had got into the habit of visualising each stroke so many times he went with what he knew rather than what he could see. He had already installed the neurological map of exactly how many strokes it would need to hit the last wall, so he began counting down. He could hear the crowd going wild but had no idea who for as he could not see if his competitors were nearby, so he focused on pulling each stroke as hard as he could. He knew he needed twenty one strokes, so at eighteen he started preparing for the wall, on the twenty first he made a giant pull and stretched out anticipating the point of touch perfectly. He stood up and removed his water filled goggles unsure if he had won or


lost, and found that not only had he won gold, but he had set a new world record. After the race when it became known what had happened he was asked by a reporter “What was it like to swim blind?” and he replied “It felt like I imagined it would”. That is a perfect example of deliberately installing a habit. Phelps not only won the race but broke the world record. “If I didn’t prepare for everything that happens, when my goggles started filling up I’d have probably flipped out. That’s why I swim in the dark.” Eugene Pauly taught scientists much of what is now known about habits and how they become installed. As an adult Eugene suffered from viral encephalitis which had a dramatic effect on his brain. Against all the odds he astonished doctors by recovering physically and learned to swallow, talk and walk again. People who hadn’t known him and met him after his brain trauma might not have noticed anything at all was wrong. Once Eugene was physically well enough he and his wife moved to a new house to be nearer family. Doctors would visit Eugene in his home to see how he was doing. On one visit he was asked to sketch a layout of the house, but he could not remember where the rooms were. Then he got up, went to the bathroom, and returned to the lounge. He had no cognitive memory of which room was where, yet he had a neurological map for going to different rooms and getting back. Although he had recovered his physicality his short term memory was severely impaired. He could remember in detail things that happened before the illness, but nothing afterwards. Doctors and nurses had to reintroduce themselves to him as if for the first time even if they had only left him for a few minutes. He would get up in the morning and make himself breakfast. Then he would go back to bed. He would forget he had gotten up and get up again and make breakfast. Unsurprisingly this had an impact on his weight and health. On Doctors advice his wife took him for a walk twice per day around the area close to their home, but they emphasised she must go with him to avoid him getting lost. One day when she had turned her back she found he had left the house by himself. She was frantic and ran up and down neighbouring streets looking for him, when she went back to call the police he was sitting on the sofa, against all predictions he had somehow found his way home. He couldn’t communicate where he had been as he didn’t remember leaving, but he had brought back some pine cones from the route, as they had done numerous times before. Despite her best efforts to stop him, he began frequently going out by himself, but he always came home; eventually

she just let him go for a walk whenever he wanted. He often brought back souvenirs, plants etc. and once brought back a puppy! It was clear that he had been unconsciously absorbing new information about the route and using this information to form habits. His new learned cues were visual, when he saw a certain building or a post box he was prompted to make the correct turn, even though he had no conscious idea he was choosing the right way to go. His consultant Larry Squires had spent decades studying the “neuroanatomy of memory” and worked with Eugene for many years. Through observing how Eugene functioned, Squires would finally understand how and where in the brain habits are formed. Think about putting your key in your front door, if you have lived in the same place for a while, chances are you can do it just as well in the dark. You see the door (the cue) you get out your key and put it in the slot and the door opens (reward). There will be almost no brain activity in you performing this task after you have done it many times, it has become a habit; yet when you first did it there would have been a lot more neurological activity. David Eagleman in his excellent television series shows a video of a young boy Austin Neber who holds the record for cup stacking. When he first tried it took him two minutes and thirty seconds. After training for two years and ten months three to four hours per day, he can stack the cups in the required order in just five seconds. When you watch the video it looks like it has been speeded up. But it has not. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2df-f20Ni2c But that’s not the real revelation. You would think that doing it this quickly requires an immense amount of brain activity. However, the more the maps are imbedded, the less effort they require to activate. Austin actually uses less effort in terms of brain activity now he has the habit fully installed. When interviewed he says he doesn’t have to think he can just do it. When David Eagleman tries it for the first time his brain activity is immense by comparison. This perfectly demonstrates how habits make our brains more effective. Something as simple as putting your key in your front door in the dark or without looking is an example of a habit making your life easier. You simply could not function in everyday life without them. There is a structure to all habits that has three components, and in part two of this article we will look at these in more detail and learn more about how to change old habits and install new ones.

"Your brain is made up of over 100 billion neurons and there are potentially over 100 trillion different ways they connect with each other"

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New Member Challenges By Guy Griffiths, Author of Stick Around (strategies to keep your gym members motivated) Gym challenges are a great way of boosting member engagement, giving members something to aim for and a sense of achievement, and giving instructors a (much needed) excuse to talk to members. However, many fitness challenges are too challenging. They only motivate the kind of people who are already motivated. You don’t need to work hard for these members, it’s the quieter ones, or new members that need the boost. As fitness professionals we think it’s our job to push all members to the limit, but that will put many off (see my October 19 Gym Owner Monthly article about onboarding). You need to aim low to motivate the members that need it.

Simple, Inclusive and Varied The best challenges are simple, inclusive and varied. Sometimes, it’s worth dropping the word challenge, as this itself puts off some members. Events that allow you to “Donate your moves”, or “Join the 5% club” can be more appealing to the masses. Getting new members into the habit of joining challenges is a great way to build a connection. Ultimately, fitness challenges improve engagement and retention because they give instructors something to talk to members about. Really good challenges get members talking to each other too, and help increase the feeling of community, or club within your club. The more inclusive they are, the better. Build clubs, not cliques. Here are a couple of challenges to run for new members that have just joined your club:

Zero to Hero There are lots of “Couch to 5k” apps, which are reasonably successful at getting inactive people active. Breaking down the huge (to some) goal of being able to run 5km into manageable chunks, and offering motivation and encouragement is why people buy into these apps. So, offer your new members a plan to make them fully fledged gym members within a month. Integrate them into the ways of your club as soon as possible. Some new members will do this by default, but others need a helping hand. The Zero to Hero plan is not an app, simply a tick list of achievements. Pick a handful from these or make up your own.  G  ym orientation (attend and complete gym ‘induction’)  Make at least 1 visit per week for the first 4 weeks  Make at least 6 visits in the first 30 days  Attend at least 1 fitness class in the first 30 days  Complete the new members survey (sent to you by email in week 2)  Login to the member portal  Follow us on Facebook or twitter  Check in on Facebook or leave a comment 56



 Bring a friend with your guest pass The list can be as short or long as you wish, with the achievements simple or hard. You can run it on a simple member card with a stamp for achievements, or through your front of house system with triggered communications. All italicised numbers can be tailored, but the trick is to communicate with the member throughout the journey. When they’re on track, or achieve a milestone, congratulate them. If they’re looking like they might fail, encourage them… for example, someone who’s not visited for 6 days could get a nudge message to make that weekly visit. Of course, you want them to succeed, so deadline extensions and lenience can help as bonus interactions that get the member really integrated into the fabric of your club, after which, they’re never going to leave!

The Hi-five Challenges The Hi-five Challenges are specifically aimed at new members and are a series of challenges that you progress through in turn. They are not necessarily progressively harder but use gamification to motivate members and get them into the exercise habit. Each challenge should be completed before starting the next one.

2. Burn 3,500 kCal

Existing members could also join the Hi-five challenges, especially those returning from absence.

3. Row 6,800m

Each challenge is supposed to take a few weeks to complete, but there’s no limit. It’s possible that one or two members could run a marathon in one or two visits, but in reality, most members will take 20-40 visits to run 42km. All stats can be recorded through the club app, or manually added to a spreadsheet daily.

4. Cycle 100km 5. Run 42km

1. Make 2,500 MOVEs (Technogym) or collect 1,300 MEPs (myzone)

The mywellness challenge app manages these ‘perpetual’ challenges by awarding prizes as entry to the next challenge in the series. For clubs not using mywellness, it’s as simple as keeping a manual spreadsheet for each challenge that is updated daily with totals for members, and regularly updating a whiteboard or printing league tables to pin to the noticeboard and publishing on social media If you have a budget for an award for completing the Hi-Five challenge, you really can’t go wrong with a branded t-shirt or referral voucher worth £50.

Challenge calendar Planning your fitness challenges for the whole year is a great idea, so you and your members can see what’s coming up. Download your challenge calendar template at ggfit.com/ challenge. It’s OK to run more challenging challenges occasionally to appeal to your hardcore members. But most of your fitness challenges should appeal to most of your members. Keep challenges simple, inclusive, and varied to motivate the masses, not the few. Guy Griffiths is a coach to independent gym owners, and a member retention specialist. His mission is to help more people to be fitter and healthier by turning clubs into highly successful businesses with super loyal members. Guy’s book Stick Around (strategies to keep your gym members motivated) has 4.9 stars on Amazon, and he is a regular speaker at industry events. Find out more at ggfit.com/gom JANUARY 2020







CALL TODAY!  +34 642 572 963


Stop selling your services! Start selling solutions! Daniel Nyiri, founder of 4U Fitness

“a problem well put is half solved” – John Dewey In the last article, we talked about how to become the guide of your heroes (Customers). Then we went on and explained the Internal, External, Psychological problems as well as their Villain. So today, we are going to explain how to get their MAIN WHY to purchase. Because let's face it. We are emotional eaters and purchasers. We make so many decisions based on emotion. Have you seen the movie or heard the story of Troy? That was a pretty big decision on emotions.  Think about the last time you bought something for yourself. Did you purchase it because it made sense? Or did you purchase because you were DRAWN to it, you WANTED it, you somehow convinced yourself that you NEEDED it? Who needs an apple watch? Common... or the newest iPhone. And yet almost everyone has it. They just got to have it! Even your clients who say they can't afford you!  Well, the same types of emotions need to be felt when it comes to what you offer. This is why you need to emit emotion to get emotion from your potential clients. You cannot simply tell someone to buy what you have because it JANUARY 2020 59


is a smart decision or because you have the best services and products. The potential client must come to this conclusion themselves, but it’s your job as the Specialist to plant the seed and pave the way for them to arrive at that decision!

Daniel: What do you need to lose weight for?

This is why our sales process exists as it does. First, we learn everything possible about the customer and get them to open up so that we may understand what the root of the issues are and what is preventing them from having the dream body they want (or whatever their goal maybe). We have to find what makes them tick, get them to their “AHA!” moment where they realize they absolutely need what we’re offering because what we have is the answer to every concern in their mind. And the best part is, there are zero risks to them! Guaranteed results or your money back, no contracts?! It’s almost too good to be true! If they spend $1299, you can bet that they are emotionally attached to that money and what it is supposed to deliver results. The above is our offering, and we were very careful about creating it. You need to decide if you are going to have a high or very low price — nothing in the middle. But have to determine whom you are servicing. Who is your client first? Before you make that decision. And then it has to be some guarantee and then lastly to seal the deal it has to be an offer they can't refuse. All this after you have got that emotion out.

Daniel: What do you need more energy for?

So how can you hit their AHA moment? First, you must find out their real WHY. Here is an example of how I signed one of our first clients eight years ago who is still here today even though she got her amazing results, Susan.

Susan: I am just trying to have more energy right now, and I think adding in some consistent exercise routines will help me. Susan: I just want to come home from work and not be completely exhausted and too tired to do anything else. Daniel: Well, after a long day at work, what else would you need to do? Susan: Spend time with my kids, play with them, and be with them; however, they need me. Daniel: Won’t they understand if you’re coming from work that you might be tired? Susan: Begins to cry: I want to be able to be with them so they know I love them. Daniel: They don’t know that? Susan: I don’t know. Well, I didn’t know if my mom loved me when I was a kid because she never spent time with me, and I don’t want to be the same for my kids. BOOM. She wants to get fit for her kids so her kids will never feel an absence of their mother’s love or presence. And you now have her #1 motivating factor, so this information needs to stay with you and be your accountability trigger if she is ever falling off!

Some Questions 4U to pick from during your consultation:

Daniel: So what brings you here today?

1. How can we help you, and what brings you here today?

Susan: I was looking for a personal trainer and saw your business come up when I searched on Google.

2. Why do you have an interest in our training? 3. Why do you want this service?

Daniel: Why are you looking for a personal trainer?

4. Why do you have interest NOW? Why now?

Susan: I want to get fit, lose some weight.

5. What is your current situation, and what problem




are you currently trying to solve? 6. What is it that is really important for you with a trainer? 7. What experience have you had? Did you ever train with a trainer or in a gym?

• How did you like that experience?

• Did it work for you?

• Did you get results?

• What did you like the most about it? What did you like the least about it?

• On a scale 1-10, how would you rate your previous experience? Why? And what would have made it to a 10? What was missing?

• Was it worth the money?

• Was it guaranteed results or your money back?

• Was there a contract? Are you still paying the contract?

wants and needs. There is no reason to tell her about the quality of your suits, equipment, showers or features on the Generation Iron 2 if she could care less about it or what if she's even against bodybuilding for that matter! You don’t sell high-quality water to a choking man.  So it's about customizing their experience even at the consultation based on what they care about. If you don’t know what they want, how can you expect them to buy? They won't buy it. Keep that in mind. If someone did not buy from you, that is because you failed to find out their problem and solve that problem for them. If you meet someone who wants a car that does X and you fail to listen to what that X is, and all you do is try to sell the best car with the best packages you’ve lost that customer. However, if you find their MUST have and their Problems and WHY and now connect it to the best car you have, you have a qualified buyer. It works in every industry. 

• What changes do you want to make for the long term?

Grant Cardone moved out to LA to buy a house and met a Real estate agent who asked him, "What is your budget?" instead of what he is looking for or needed. So Grant said I don’t know, 2 million dollars… So the guy went out and showed him like 20 different $2M houses, and Grant hated them all. And THEN, Grant ended up buying an $8 million home that he loved!!! Then the real estate agent called him and said: DUDE why didn’t you call me? Grant told him: Because you were too busy showing me 2 million dollar houses. You were chasing a budget rather than what I love, what I need, and what I want.

• If they say they want to lose a certain amount of weight, "Why do you want to lose that much weight?"

The guy was pissed since he missed out on a huge commission, and yet it was his fault since he never found out what he needed. He was selling the wrong product!

• Why do you want to tone up?

Don't make the same mistake!

Additional questions until you get their WHY: • What major problems are you facing towards achieving goals? • Why do you feel you haven't been able to yet? • What changes would you like to see more immediately (short term goals)?

• Why do you want to get stronger? • Why do you want to get lean? • What would you be able to accomplish if you were to achieve these goals? • How could you see your life-changing if you achieve these goals? • What would the impact be to your loved ones if you (gained strength, lost x weight, etc.)? • If you still haven't gotten it yet, try asking: "If you could visualize yourself in your ideal body and lifestyle, what would that look like?" Ideally, you are asking questions most of the time, listen and write notes. Then you will have enough information to sell them. But you won't sell them on your services. You could have done that before all the questions. You sell them on their problems that you can fix with your services.   The ONLY reason someone is buying a service or product is to SOLVE A PROBLEM! The WHY is the emotion; you must find out what is her problem! And solve it by using your services.  You don’t buy a drill because you want a drill… you buy a drill because you need to make a hole! You should be able to present your services based on what the client just told you. You don’t alter what you sell.. You change your presentation on how you sell it based on their




2020 vision Taz Dunstan from XL Personal Training New year, new angle. Instead of looking for the next “new” thing, shift your focus to existing strengths both personally and professionally. What if I told you that you didn’t have to choose between enjoying your quality of life and achieving your health and fitness goals? Achieving balance is largely a matter of the mind. . . followed by solid time management and dedication to execute daily tasks consistently. The first new years’ resolution I encourage everyone to make is to; “Not be another statistic.” So many people loosely commit to a “resolution” (much like one may resolve to win the lotto “one day.”) These tend to be shallow statements which hold little worth because there is no plan to achieve it or sincerity to action the words. If you don’t believe in your ability to commit to a goal or you have no genuine desire to achieve a set goal, “sit this round out.” It is okay to not make a resolution until you find something that you are passionate about. Common goal setting strategies involve writing down your goals and making them SMART. With motivational catchphrases such as; “An unwritten goal is just a wish.” The second stage I encourage people to assess while making resolutions is to build a solid base for goal setting by establishing their “Why.” Know what is driving you to succeed and always come back to this as your reason to stay focused and driven towards your goal. Beyond the new year slogans running riot after the festive season, the most cliché of all “New year, New you” prefacing the next gimmick or “quick fix” claiming to be your weight loss solution. This puts additional pressure on fitness professionals to continue to come up with "new" products and services to meet the desired expectations. Instead of looking for something new, shift your focus: “New year, new angle.” Try to embrace a more holistic, sustainable approach. This simple formula has kept me and countless clients on track for their goals: “If you eat well (balanced meals, 62



their health and fitness goals. The success of this program is largely attributed to its customization, with each transformation specifically designed to fit in with each individuals lifestyle and needs. The program was developed in Australia in 2016 and due to national success, it then expanded to an online platform, accessible world-wide with great reviews from the USA, Canada, Japan, the UK and Holland. This program remains a best seller for my business and while there are always new trends to integrate into businesses to keep progressing, it is just as important to stay true to old faithfuls with a proven track record. Often the most simple solutions are the most successful. As a business owner what signature products or services are you delivering that are making a solid impact on the fitness industry and changing lives for your community? For an overview of what XL Personal Training has been building on, visit: https://www.tazxlpt.com.au Each year poses challenges or opportunities depending on how you embrace them. Empower yourself with the knowledge that everything, yourself included, is in a constant state of change. Cheers to evolution and continuing to strive to do and be more, as business owners, fitness professionals, athletes and human beings. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

consistently), keep hydrated and exercise regularly, your body will respond positively.” ACHIEVING YOUR HEALTH GOALS REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE. Shift your focus from all or nothing to “If I make more good choices than bad choices I will continue to move in the direction of my goals.” I strongly recommend breaking goals into smaller, more easily achieved milestones (KPIs in business lingo) to celebrate the journey by acknowledging the progression. The more goals you achieve the more you acknowledge what you are capable of and with that self-belief comes a stronger commitment to your goals. (An additional bonus is that this also depletes the fear of failure as you start to realise your potential and ability to succeed). Lastly, challenge yourself as without challenge there can be no change. Be brave and allow your ambition to both scare and inspire you. It will most likely have a similar impact on those around you. Inspire others by your passion, commitment and confidence. The greatest competition you will ever have is yourself, strive to be a better person, professional, family member or athlete than you were yesterday. Have a signature goal, something that sets you aside from everyone, something that you can truly be proud of. Each year for the New Year since 2016, I launch my signature “ XLPT 4 week transformation” as a lifeline to help people focus on themselves and regain control of JANUARY 2020



H e a lt h b y s t e a lt h how gamification can get this nation moving For most people, exercise is not fun. Fact. If we are to get this nation moving on the kind of scale we need to positively influence the overall health of the nation, we need to radically change the way we deliver physical activity in our gyms. Here, Kerstin Obenauer, Country Director, eGym UK, looks at the positive influence gamification could have on the motivation of our users, helping gym owners create a sustainable future for their businesses. The current situation ‘Selling’ physical activity to the inactive is our biggest challenge, but it is becoming a necessity. It’s common knowledge that the NHS can no longer fund a ‘cure’ culture. With long term conditions associated with a sedentary lifestyle, such as diabetes, on the rise plus our ageing population, we have to move towards a ‘preventative’ strategy. But we face a big challenge. The majority of individuals currently using our facilities, often referred to as the ’20 percenters, enjoy working out yet, as a sector, we are still failing to retain these ‘fitness enthusiasts’. Market studies by Datahub report that, on average, 48 per cent of gym members fail to make it beyond the 12 month marker – and these are people who love working out! How on earth can we expect to create long term behaviour changing habits for the 85 per cent of the population who have no in built desire to exercise? 64



Murphy recently, when information is verbally delivered, our total recall is about 10 per cent but if a visual stimulus is added, this shoots up to 65 per cent. Visual stimulation, linked to gamification could therefore play a key role in pushing individuals towards workout and health goals which in turn will positively impact their motivation to train for longer periods. Some examples are already starting to emerge. Norwegian company, Motitech has developed an inspirational product – Motiview, which is using familiar visual stimulation to encourage older adults and those suffering with dementia, typically residing in care homes, to exercise. Pairing a stationary bike to software which transmits visuals to a screen, enables users to enjoy a cycle through familiar surroundings, stimulating happy childhood memories. Evidenced benefits include: Improved mobility; less falls; reduction in obesity; reduction in aggressive behaviour; reduction in medication; Improved sleep; less pain and improved physical, mental and social well-being. Motiview is now being used at hundreds of locations in the Nordics, UK, North America, and Australia, heling literally thousands of older adults more from a sedentary to an active lifestyle.

The solution I believe the integration of gamification offers a solution. Gamification is the application of game like elements in a non-game setting to improve user engagement. We need to focus more on the entertainment and motivational elements of the training process than the exercises themselves, producing more of a ‘health by stealth’ outcome. Evidence depicts gamification has the power to significantly influence behaviour. A good example of this is the effect of Pokémon Go on physical activity levels. A study by the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that over a threemonth period, data collated from 32,000 Microsoft Band users found highly engaged users increased their activity by 25 per cent. This is a solid indication that gamification can motivate a significant proportion of the inactive market to move more.

Gamification is intrinsic to the eGym offer and, whilst we have not specifically studied the effect of gamification on engagement and motivation in isolation, as a contributing, fully integrated element of our intelligent training system, we can report that individuals training on our equipment train more times a week and commit longer term than those who do not. In fact, eGym users enjoy a retention rate of 82 per cent over a 12-month period, 30 per cent higher than the industry average. This I find incredibly exciting. eGym is using gamification and visualisation, such as the eGym curve, to encourage the optimal execution in every movement and to drive motivation through the awarding of points for completed activity. eGym also employs the use of leader boards to build online friendship groups because our intelligence shows

The integration of gamification as a motivation tool Technological advancements and widespread access to high speed broadband, coupled with developments in Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality offer limitless opportunities to create new training experiences which focus on stimulating motivation to affect long term behaviour change. A paper written by Richard Stålnacke Larsson for Umeå University also found that the receipt of virtual rewards, often built into gamification models, fuels motivation. This is due to the release of dopamine when we experience pleasure. It is reasonable to assume that a motivated person is more likely to remain engaged than an unmotivated person and will therefore make a longer-term commitment to an active lifestyle. Humans are naturally very visual creatures and introducing gamification to promote visual stimulation and the ability to retain information can also help to drive people towards their goals quicker. According to an article in Forbes by Mark JANUARY 2020 65


that users with at least one ‘friend’ work out more often and maintain their membership 40 per cent longer than those who train alone.

Closing thought eGym is at the start of the gamification journey and already our user engagement it significantly out-performing the rest of the industry. As a result, our product development team is constantly accessing this aspect of our provision. I urge any gym owners keen to capitalise on the government’s intent to drive more referrals through our doors to seriously consider the integration of gamification features as a means of motivating users to train more effectively and more often.



This is our time to make a significant contribution to the future health and wellbeing of our nation. We can only deliver health outcomes if our users employ our services long term. For this we need to employ proven motivation drivers. Indicators suggest, gamification could deliver the solution. Is your facility ready and able to embrace the challenge and get this nation moving? To find out how eGym could enhance your offer, email marketing-uk@egym.co.uk, or visit www.egym.com/en/business You can also keep up to date with our news on:  eGymuk  @eGymuk  eGymuk


Where is your Workout focus? Matt Gleed, Senior Master Trainer and Education Specialist With the gym about to get very busy and the fight between the regular user's frustration at the crowded classes and gym floor in contrast to the hopeful, enthusiastic new members set on a ‘new year, new you’ mentality. So many fitness teams will need to balance the requirements of these members whilst also advising them on their fitness goals and journey to attaining and maintaining them.

I have looked at three areas to help support you in getting your gym users in the gym regularly by giving you some information on how to inspire the members in knowledge and best practice. TRX Training is a form of suspension training that uses bodyweight exercises to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously. There are four really key reasons why TRX Training is a fantastic way to work out your full body;




A review into functional training, as it applies to TRX Suspension Training and the practical implications from injury*, found that training in this manner effectively reduced the risk of injuries in the following ways: • Lower limb injuries by 39%. • Ankle sprain injuries by 50%. • Acute knee injuries by 54%. • ACL injuries by 88%. *(Hubscher, Zech, Pfeifer, Hansel, Vogt, & Banzer, 2010) Mandelbaum, et al.,2005).

Wall Ball Burpees Burpees are like a Personal Trainers best friend and a client’s worse nightmare all rolled up in one. It’s a complex series of movements that can challenge the highest of fitness levels and be found in programmes of elite athletes all over the world. The heart raising, dynamic, full-body exercise is one of the best at working legs, core and upper body altogether challenging the heart to get more oxygen around the body to support the huge amounts of muscle strength that is being used.

Proven reduction of injury risk is great and with so many members coming to gyms with knocks and niggles from previous efforts you have to be careful in keeping injuries away. Including TRX training in your workouts will activate more muscles and improve the strength of the core muscles and the stability around major joints. At least 10 minutes of TRX Training, 2-3 times a week can improve your neuromuscular activation, the use of your nerves and muscles, which can significantly reduce the risk of injuries. 68


Give me Jumping Lunges, Press Ups or Pull-Ups any day but the Burpees are the ‘King of the Calorie Burn’ and some of the best ways to structure your workouts to make the most out of the all-powerful High-Intensity Training champion exercise is to integrate it with other pieces of fitness equipment. A Wall Ball has become iconic from Cross Fit workouts and this 14 inch soft shell ball is great at helping maintain good form in the Burpee exercise because it ensures you don’t collapse in your mid-body shape when in the floor position. When you start to put a series of repetitions together you will find the Wall Ball a helpful positioning tool to ensure the range of jump is maintained and an accurate target to where you have to jump your feet back to. Another great benefit is the way it could be used to add more load to the lifting phase for a greater challenge.


Here are 3 challenges 1. AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible); 60 seconds while keeping form. 2. Descending Ladder; Start with 15 reps, then take 15 seconds rest lowering the reps and rest by 1 each time until you get to 5 reps & 5 seconds. 3. More Weight; I would start with a 3kg ball and work up towards 10kg when you get to that weight you will really feel the arms overhead challenging you.

Looking for the best cardio options in the gym. There is a common misconception that rowing is purely an upper body workout. In reality, the rowing stroke works 85 per cent of the muscles in your body across nine major muscle groups including the back and shoulders, glutes, legs, arms and core, making it the perfect all-over body workout. The main power comes from the legs when rowing on the indoor rowing machine, followed by the core and then the arms. Think about it as 60% legs, 30% core, 10% arms. The indoor rowing machine is the single most effective piece of equipment for a total body workout, especially if you are short on time. That’s why British Rowing have created 20 minute workout videos that you can row along to, at home, or in the gym, for a short and efficient workout that is guaranteed to pack a punch. To get the most out of your time on the indoor rowing machine, it is really important to get the technique right. It’s simple to get started and is easy to master once you’ve got the hang of it. Have good technique on the rowing machine will make your workout even more effective.

The fact that it's impact-free/non-weight bearing Rowing is low impact on weight-bearing joints, which means that people who may not be able to take part in other high impact activities are able to get a good cardiovascular workout on the indoor rowing machine. For those who are new to exercise or easing back into fitness after a period of inactivity, this makes for a great way to get started. In fact, rowing provides a workout that everyone can enjoy no matter their age, size or fitness levels.

"This 14 inch soft shell ball is great at helping maintain good form in the Burpee exercise because it ensures you don’t collapse in your mid-body shape when in the floor position" JANUARY 2020



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

WE GO AGAIN “I’ll start on Monday” is a phrase I hear so many times mainly from friends, co-workers and family but rarely from my clients. This specific group of people are the ones declaring the week a write off on Tuesday afternoon because they’ve buckled and eaten a “Pink Jammie” from Greggs while picking up a “healthy” mayo filled chicken and bacon salad from Asda for lunch. But if you think about it in plain black and white it’s not the end of the world is it? Certainly not a reason to bin most of the week off. The Mindset Let’s go back to my opening sentence about how I rarely hear my clients spew out that old cliché “I’ll start on Monday” (the probable reason for this is that I spend around 3 hours per week with each of my 1-2-1 clients and the other 165 hours per week they could be saying anything). I’d like to think that when I work with my clients, we build a new mindset together when it comes to training and nutrition, we agree from day one we’re going to encounter peaks and troughs. How we smooth these peaks and troughs is by using the phrase “we go again”. Every single day is a reset, a fresh start and a reason to keep pushing on our way to reaching the target. The Weekend This is where it usually goes a bit pear-shaped! You know full well you’re going out on Friday night with the girls to “Live, Laugh and Love” or with the lads to stand in a circle and quote Anchor Man at each other absolutely mullered in Wetherspoons. Sunday you have a family lunch planned too; this is a disaster we may as well “start on Monday”. Quite simply no… We go again, this is the plan. Friday, we save calories, we still eat breakfast and lunch, maybe even a snack or two but most of our calories



have been held back to spend on wherever the night takes you. We’ll stay hydrated during the night with actual water and get right back on plan Saturday after a good rest. On Sunday just be mindful, eat with your stomach and not your eyes, if you need to pop a button you’re probably finished. Again, we’re right back on plan as soon as we leave the restaurant, it doesn’t need to be a complete disaster. Following this mindset, you’ve just reduced your offplan eating and training over the weekend from 100% off plan to less than 50% off plan. Believe it or not, this adds up and you’ll soon realise you can manage your nights out, enjoy your social life and still maintain a course to hit your target. The rest of the week is hard too… now what? Break it down, reset, go again, reset, go again. Monday is always the easiest day, you usually head into work fired up for the week, eat well and attend your scheduled gym session. You’ve nailed it, head home, healthy tea and straight in bed for an early night. Tuesday we’re battling that “Pink Jammie” because you forgot your lunch but its fine, just enjoy it. Use the extra energy in the gym later and back to a healthy meal for tea. Wednesday and Thursday are pretty straight forward, then we hit Friday again, you’ve been “trying all week”, its dress down Friday and there’re cakes everywhere. I suggest you do a little bit of quick math and then decide if you can fit that cake in your current fitness program. If it does… belter! Flick the kettle on and make it an occasion, if not and you really, really, really can’t stop yourself, just eat the cake and go for a walk at lunch then take the dogs out when you get home. It's not a big deal on the grand scale of things when we work on the basis of weekly averages, you’re probably not that far off even with the Pink Jammie and the cake. Saturday morning “We go again” …


It all comes down to averages and playing the long game. It’s no secret that fad diets don’t work, and we all know the best diet is the one you can stick to and be the most consistent with over long periods of time but we’re not here to talk about the specifics. I’m sure there’s another article that will show you what the best diet is if your favourite colour is blue and you can’t eat kangaroo steaks on a Tuesday. The plan Every day needs to start with a plan, if you don’t plan the day, chances are you won’t complete your tasks. We’ve spoken about breaking your weeks down, now let’s break the day down into the “We go again” mindset. Try to break your day into 3 stages; morning, afternoon and evening. Assign yourself one main objective to complete each section and a couple of smaller tasks that can fit in anywhere that are quick wins. Morning time, you’re either a morning person or you’re not. If you are, fantastic! Grab breakfast and get into the gym. Get those endorphins flowing and ride that wave of energy all day. If you’re not that’s fine too,

you still need to tick boxes so grab breakfast and head into work. Once you’re there, reset “we go again”, it's just another day in the office so let’s dodge the Pink Jammies today. We’re just about to clock off when the dread of the gym hangs over us. Reset “we go again”, you’re booked into a class tonight and Mandy is meeting you there. You can’t cancel because you talked her into going, so let’s go, get it boxed off and head home. Turns out you actually enjoyed it and you’re booked onto the next one. Last time now, reset “we go again”, oh there’s nothing left to do, just relax… you’ve completed the day's tasks. Why it works We lose focus very quickly and we get bored, sometimes all we need is for you to physically stop and say “we go again”. I use this mantra every single day even when I’m writing my clients programs I know I need to be engaged for it. After every program I complete I literally say “ok, we go again, one more then I can have a cup of tea”.




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

MATRIX FITNESS EXPANDS SALES AND SERVICE TEAMS WITH NEW APPOINTMENTS TO SUPPORT FURTHER COMPANY GROWTH of Johnson Health Tech UK comments: “It’s an exciting time for us, following another successful year of growth. We are the fastest growing commercial fitness company in the world, with the stats to prove it. But this cannot be achieved without great people. We look forward to finding new people to join our evergrowing team in 2020. We invest in the right people, with a ‘can do’ attitude in order to succeed. Promoting Chris, who has been with us for two years, to Sales Director is a perfect example of this. Chris has a wealth of industry experience and a fantastic attitude, he will undoubtedly thrive in his new role.”

Following on from Johnson Health Tech’s continued global growth, which saw the company grow 21% in the commercial sector during 2018, Matrix Fitness, the commercial brand of Johnson Health Techwill be expanding its UK sales and service teams to strengthen its future expansion plans. As part of this development, Chris Brown, formerly Head of Regional Sales at Matrix Fitness, has been promoted to Sales Director, in which he will be responsible for all commercial business outside of the Key Accounts. In 2020, there will be nine new sales roles created to bolster the current team. Furthermore, the service team will also see a further nine new positions added, ensuring they continue to offer best in class customer service. This will see Matrix Fitness close 2020 with over 45 directly employed, field-based engineers. On the new recruitment, Matt Pengelly, Managing Director



Having successfully retained the PureGym and The Gym Group contracts, Matrix Fitness are supporting the team with additional recruitment in order to keep providing the high quality of service and equipment they have become known for. Commenting on his new role, Chris Brown adds: “This role represents a great opportunity for me to continue to grow a culture of sales excellence within our expanding teams across all of our sectors and in turn set us up to scale sustainably. Matrix Fitness have always prided themselves on providing the highest quality equipment and service to all of our customers, and by supporting our current people, whilst adding new talent to the team, we are definitely a company set for an exciting 2020.” To find out more about job opportunities with Matrix Fitness visit www.matrixfitness.co.uk




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

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IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADVERTISE IN THIS SECTION CONTACT PAUL WOOD:  pw@gymownermonthly.co.uk  07858 487357 JANUARY 2020




ISSUE F E B R U A R Y i s s u e features include: Weight Training Lockers & Changing Room Facilities W e a r a b l e T e c h n o l o g y / S o f t wa r e Training Courses P r o d u c t I n n o vat i o n & T e c h n o l o g y Wellness & Coaching Indoor Rowing Indoor Cycling Gym design Flooring C r yo t h e r a p y : S a f e t y , w h at to expect, and benefits





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Profile for Gym Owner Monthly

Gym Owner Monthly January Issue 2020  

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

Gym Owner Monthly January Issue 2020  

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