THE UK'S NO 1 DIGITAL MAGAZINE FOR GYM OWNERS & FITNESS PROFESSIONALS
ISSUE 16 // JULY 2017
ARE YOU READY TO GET REAL? How PT’s can leverage ‘social proof’ OWNER OF THE MONTH Evgenia Koroleva tells us about ONE LDN
HOW SECURE IS YOUR DATA?
The thre a cyber crim t of e how to g and u ard against a n attack
RESPECT THE LAW
ew? n s ' t a h w t solutions,
The lates equipment nd technology a
THE BIG INTERVIEW W E TA L K TO J U ST I N M E N D L E TO N , M D O F M OV E G B
ARE YOU AND YOUR GYM LEGALLY COMPLIANT?
OF THE RISE M A INSTAGn’tRignore
Why you ca edia app this social m FIVE STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SUSPENDED FITNESS INTEGRATION How to implement suspension straps in your gym
THE RISE OF OUTDOOR TRAINING We talk to industry experts about outdoor fitness JULY 2017
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Welcome... …to the July 2017 issue of Gym Owner Monthly magazine. Check out our lead feature on outdoor fitness (page 17). Do you offer outdoor training sessions for your members during the summer months? Find out why you should consider outdoor fitness and how to implement it, with expert comment from Life Fitness, TRX and others. Elsewhere, Rachel Glew from Strength in Motion, takes a look at social media (page 26) and identifies how PT’s can leverage social proof. Whilst we’re on the subject of social media, you might like to turn to page 23 as Dave Wright offers some top tips for your Facebook marketing strategy and on page 51, Omar Thompson from Start-Up Active, explains why you cannot ignore the rising power of Instagram. On page 36 industry suppliers showcase their latest product, equipment and technology offerings - has your gym got the latest gear? For opinion, turn to page 31 as Jenny Patrickson explores the next steps for professionalising the personal training industry. Paul Swainson meets Ninja Warrior aficionado Henry Cookey on page 35 and Own Bowling provides expert advice on how to implement suspension straps in your gym (page 48).
Have a great month! The GOM team
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Cover photography courtesy of JC HERMIER. © Gym Owner Monthly Magazine 2017 Gym Owner Monthly is published by PW Media. Gym Owner Monthly is protected by copyright and nothing may be produced wholly or in part without prior permission. The acceptance of advertising does not indicate editorial endorsement. The opinions expressed in editorial material do not necessarily represent the views of Gym Owner Monthly. Unless specifically stated, good or services mentioned in editorial or advertisements are not formally endorsed by Gym Owner Monthly, which does not guarantee or endorse or accept any liability for any goods and/or services featured in this publication. We cannot accept responsibility for any mistakes or misprints. Unsolicited material cannot be returned. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. Please note that we reserve the right to use all supplied photographs/images elsewhere in the publication or on our social media channels.
News The latest news and hot topics in the industry.
What’s hidden in my data? Have you ever wondered what your data could reveal?
What's new? The latest solutions, technology and equipment making an impact on the industry.
Owner of the Month Evgenia Koroleva, founder of ONE LDN, tells us why she left the finance world and opened her own gym.
The rise of outdoor training We talked to a number of industry experts to gauge their thoughts on outdoor fitness.
Are you ready to get real? Rachel Glew takes a look a social media and identifies how PT’s can leverage ‘social proof’.
PT of the month ‘Give clients the best possible experience’ says Chris Kershaw.
The Big Interview We talk to Justin Mendleton, MD of MoveGB.
‘The disabled pound is more loyal and less likely to need continuous coaxing’ Stuart Dunne interviews legendary Paralympian John Harris.
Ask the expert Got a problem you need solving? Our team of experts are here to help.
Fit Kit This month’s round-up of kit, products and extras you can stock for your members – boost loyalty, retention and your revenue.
PT Viewpoint Davey Fisher provides some top tips on foam rolling.
My approach to training Chris Zaremba reveals the details of his training schedule.
Professionalising the PT Jenny Patrickson explores the next steps for professionalising the personal training industry.
Five basic Facebook mistakes to avoid Dave Wright provides some top tips for your Facebook marketing strategy.
The art of being more Ninja Paul Swainson meets Ninja Warrior aficionado Henry Cookey.
The rise of Instagram Omar Thompson explains why you canâ€™t ignore Instagram.
Five steps to successful suspended fitness integration Own Bowling provides expert advice on how to implement suspension straps in your gym.
How secure is your data? Neil Adebowale explains the threat cyber crime poses to gym owners and offers advice on how to guard against an attack.
Respect the law Howard Davies provides expert advice on health and safety legislation - are you and your gym legally compliant?
Work hard, but don't work all the time Daniel Nyiri explains why you need to manage your time more effectively and focus on being a business owner.
Why low carb, vegan and shake diets work Ben Coomber discusses some common misconceptions about nutrition and weight loss methods.
We're always seeking contributors, if you're interested in writing for us then please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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What’s hot in the fitness industry
Premier Global and NASM join forces to transform UK education and training Premier Global and The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), two world-class brands, have announced a landmark partnership to radically transform education and training in the UK fitness industry, and support the continued career growth of the sector’s fitness professionals. The new ‘Premier Global NASM’ partnership was unveiled to the industry last month at ukactive’s Ignite, Flame Conference and Awards. Together, Premier Global, the UK’s leading provider of professional education and training for fitness professionals, and NASM, the global leader in advanced, science-based personal training content, will ensure UK fitness professionals have access to the very highest levels of education, anywhere in the world. Laurie McCartney, President of Global Fitness and Wellness Solutions for Ascend Learning, the parent company of both NASM and Premier Global, said: “By empowering Premier Global with NASM’s proven and proprietary approach, we’re transforming the UK market with the most effective and trusted model for preparing personal trainers to drive results and excel in their careers.”
Laurie McCartney, President of Global Fitness, Wellness
Nick Bradley, CEO of Premier Global
Nick Bradley, CEO of Premier Global, adds: “As the leisure industry continues to diversify and professionalise, training for fitness professionals has never been higher on the agenda. Fitness operators want the respect of the medical profession, as the entire sector seeks to play its part in turning the tide on inactivity which costs the NHS billions every year. “Since 2010, the number of fitness trainers in the UK has increased significantly from 136,000 to 170,000 – representing 25% growth. These fitness and wellness professionals are key to the overall success of our extraordinary industry and our vision for Premier Global NASM is to empower and support them in their goal of motivating clients to lead healthier lives.” To find out more, visit www.premierglobal.co.uk. JULY 2017
Leisure-net launches theme for activenet 2018
Places at active-net 2018 are already filling up following the roaring success of the 2017 event in March, which saw 95% of delegates say they’d like to attend next year. The educational theme for active-net 2018, which will take place on 14 - 15 March at Eastwood Hall in Nottingham, will be data and the use of technology across the active leisure sector, including aspects such as benchmarking performance against national trend data, facial recognition security systems and blended lifeguarding, where traditional methods of pool supervision are combined with technology-driven drowning detection and prevention. Now approaching its fifth year, active-net brings together leading operators and suppliers for business-focused, pre-selected meetings, together with informative educational slots, networking lunches and an evening meal. Delegates at active-net 2017 gave it the biggest thumbs up in its history, scoring the event an impressive 90% Net Promoter Score (NPS) - surpassing even Apple’s NPS score of 62.4%. New to active-net 2017, Timothy Stack, Business Development Executive at activeNewham said: “I enjoyed the whole event, from the meetings to the keynote speech and after dinner speaker. As a new face in the industry, the chance to network with so many sector experts provided invaluable insight.” New organisations already booked for active-net 2018 include East Staffordshire Borough Council, Fusion and University of Hull. For further information or to book your place contact Kirsty Reed at Leisure-net by emailing email@example.com or visiting active-net.org.
Your Personal Training to join the Future Fit Training Pro Zone The UK’s leading personal training management company, Your Personal Training, has joined the Future Fit Training Pro Zone network.
Your Personal Training currently has 800+ personal trainers working across 400+ gym locations nationwide with 54 different leisure contracts. Through its corporate membership of Pro Zone, each individual member will now further benefit from continuous education through the rich resource of content seven days a week. “Pro Zone provides access to the best value CIMSPA accredited CPD for our network of PTs to continually progress their training credentials from anywhere, at any time,” says Joe Oliver, Your Personal Training, managing director. “Future Fit has created a strong social media community of like-minded fitness professionals which provides the ultimate platform for our national team of personal trainers to keep engaged and receive support and advice.” The Future Fit Training Pro Zone is the first of its kind in the UK, offering an online accredited webinar training platform delivering high-level and continuous education for fitness professionals. It helps ensure trainers are neither isolated nor left behind from the industry and encourages members to remain at the forefront of professional development opportunities. For more information visit www.futurefit.co.uk/pro-zone.
The Retention People Become TRP with vibrant new look
the nine members of the team have been working with MYZONE® to increase the effectiveness of their training. “MYZONE® shows the effort riders put into their training and how they are performing overall, which helps us when we are preparing for races. During the races themselves, we can see how riders respond heart-wise to the speed and tempo of the ride,” says team member Alexander Wetterhall, who is also the Swedish TT and criterium champ. “I use MYZONE® for every training ride I do. Having reliable heart rate data is important to see how my body responds to the training and how well it recovers. I also use the technology during my indoor sessions on my ergometer bike – it’s good to know which heart rate zone I’m working in, especially when I’m digging deep,” he says. MYZONE® is also proving to be a useful training diary. Having uploaded the data from every ride for an entire year, Wetterhall can use the MYZONE® app to examine his performance over the last 12 months.
Customer experience management software providers, The Retention People have become TRP; launching their fresh new visual identity across software, website and brand collateral.
“The data is simple to understand and is a great help to me both as a rider and as a coach when training other riders. I love the social functionalities, which lets me see how well my teammates are performing and keeps us all accountable,” he says.
The new branding has been designed to better represent the company’s goal of creating raving fans (members who love their clubs) and enhance the experience of interacting with the brand by bringing their visual identity up to meet the world leading software and service they provide the industry.
The team uses MYZONE® in preparation for all of its races, including this Saturday’s 300km VätternRundan, the world’s biggest cycling-for-all event, as well as this month’s Swedish Nationals, where Wetterhall will defend his title in the 50km TT. For more information visit www.myzone.org.
James Charles, who led the project, said “This is an incredibly exciting time for TRP and our customers. The new brand identity is just one outcome of the great things that are going on within TRP every day. Whilst our look has changed, we really want to emphasise that brand values, software and the great people who support it haven’t and we are as committed and passionate as ever about empowering health and fitness club operators to delight their members with the delivery of an exceptional customer experience.” Part of the Jonas Group of companies, TRP provides fully integrated customer experience management tools for targeted in-club interactions, intelligent automated email and SMS journeys, and actionable member feedback to operators across the globe empowering them to increase referrals, improve sales and drive concessionary spend. You can take a look at TRP’s new website
Active IQ prepares for first day at school with the launch of GCSE-equivalent Tech Award Active IQ has teamed up with education specialist Sports Leaders UK to create the Active IQ Level 2 Certificate in Health, Wellbeing and Physical Activity Leadership Tech Award for students aged 14+.
MYZONE® supports pro Swedish cycling team MYZONE® is providing valuable support to a professional Swedish cycling team, which aims to be one of the best continental cycling teams in Europe. The UCI Continental Cycling team, Team Tre Berg - PostNord, participates in UCI Continental Circuits races. For the last 12 months, JULY 2017
Launched at the Telegraph Festival of Education on June 22 this Key Stage 4 Tech Award is equivalent to one GCSE and is the first Technical Award qualification created by Active IQ designed to be studied at school. Pilots will run from September 2017 before the programme rolls out nationally from September 2018. The Active IQ Level 2 Certificate in Health, Wellbeing and Physical Activity Leadership Tech Award combines Sports Leaders UK’s extensive experience in school qualifications with Active IQ’s experience in technical and vocational qualifications in the active leisure and learning sector. This enables young people to work towards gaining a Tech Award whilst also achieving a Level 2 Qualification in Sports Leadership.
BM Fitness takes on Norway distribution for FitQuest BM Fitness has signed a long-term agreement with FitQuest, industry leaders in human performance monitoring, to exclusively distribute the FitQuest machine in Norway.
The qualification conforms to the Department for Education’s requirements for Tech Awards and meets the requirements within the Progress 8 and Attainment 8 performance measures. Learners will study areas such as anatomy and physiology and how this relates to exercise and fitness, health and wellbeing. They will also prepare case studies, plan and lead activity sessions. Eight modules cover the following: How the body works Principles of health fitness and wellbeing Lifestyle behaviours for health and wellbeing Exploring healthy eating Emotional health and wellbeing Managing personal health and wellbeing Developing leadership skills Assist in planning and leading an event to promote active, healthy lifestyles Active IQ and Sports Leaders UK will give tutor training to at least one teacher per school to deliver the Tech Award. Learners will be assessed throughout the course and be examined at the end in a Multiple-choice theory exam and graded for case study on ‘Managing Health & Wellbeing’. Learners must achieve a pass mark of 60% or above in each component to achieve the qualification: Pass is 60-69%; Merit is 70-79% and Distinction 80% or above. In addition, to gain the Sports Leaders UK qualification, the learner will be required to demonstrate the learning through volunteering. “We are delighted to be partnering with Active IQ whose extensive experience in further education and the fitness industry has helped shape a Tech Award that can benefit from practically applied leadership learning and can lead seamlessly onto more vocational qualifications if they wish,” says Lucy Supperstone, Awards and Qualifications Director, Sports Leaders UK. “That said, the content we have devised can benefit every learner by developing leadership skills that are transferable to many employment opportunities. Health, wellbeing, dietary choices and the importance of being active are all vital skills for youngsters today and this Tech Award brings these elements together in an engaging, interesting and practical way and culminates in the ability to lead others.” “It has been a privilege to work with Sports Leaders UK and we greatly appreciate their support in adapting our further education and adult qualifications for younger learners,” says Laura Sheasby, Head of Business Development at Active IQ. “The Tech Award can be a springboard into the active leisure sector with clear progression routes to employment but also stands alone as a highly relevant course that will equip children with knowledge to lead a healthy lifestyle. Broader than either the PE GCSE or BTEC courses, this Tech Award covers a wide spectrum of physical and mental health, wellness, activity and dietary choices that will help teenagers improve their own health, while the case study work and leadership modules will help them share their new-found knowledge with others.” For more information visit, www.activeiq.co.uk.
The FitQuest machine is a state of the art concept in fitness measurement bringing full bio-mechanical lab technology to the gym, providing data-driven digital solutions for gym operators, personal trainers and gym goers in a rapidly changing fitness world. FitQuest was looking for a partner who understands the fitness industry. With a track record of importing, selling and delivering training equipment from the world’s top suppliers since 2003, BM Fitness was the perfect choice. “The FitQuest machine is a stand-out product in its field. We see a real place for them in the facilities we work with in partnership, as well as the centres we operate. Norwegian gym owners will see the benefits of interacting with their members in a new and inventive way,” says Øyvind Lund Børresen, General Manager, BM Fitness. “There is real potential for the machines in gyms, corporate wellness programs and governmental functions such as police, armed forces and schools.” “FitQuest offers precise and detailed measurement, combined with an easy to use, engaging interface. Such high-level sophisticated fitness measurement was previously only available to top athletes in sports-labs,” continues Lund Børresen. “This machine has great potential for member engagement, and I am certain it will make waves in the industry. The team at FitQuest have a passion for their product that matches the energy we want to create in BM Fitness.” “We believe that BM Fitness – with fourteen years’ of market experience and extensive sales operation – is the perfect partner to take FitQuest to the Norwegian market,” says Brian Firth, FitQuest CEO. “BM Fitness is embracing the challenge to help leisure centres, schools and health clubs get more people active, and they recognise that state of the art technology like ours can play a key role in this.” For more information visit www.miefitquest.com.
Parkrun UK scoops top campaign award at Flame Awards 2017 Mass participation phenomenon Parkrun UK has been hailed for its huge impact on getting Britain moving, landing the Physical Activity Campaign of the Year prize at the 2017 ukactive Flame Awards. The awards saw public, private and third sector heavyweights face off for the physical activity sector’s most esteemed accolades during a glittering ceremony at Telford’s International Conference Centre, Marked as a ‘truly incredible initiative’ by judges, the innovative Parkrun programme broke down barriers to activity through its emphasis on volunteers - driving nationwide engagement and delivering a truly world-class national campaign.
that have demonstrated exceptional standards, highlighting the work they do driving forward the physical activity agenda. ukactive CEO Steven Ward said: “After months of comprehensive assessment, the anticipation is over and the worthy winners have been united with their awards. Congratulations to the winners, but also to the other finalists, who were of an exceptional standard and only further prove the depth of quality we have in this sector. The awards night proved to be a fantastic occasion and fitting end to an illuminating two days.” ukactive Chair Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said: “Experiencing first-hand the enthusiasm and passion in the room at the Flame Awards is always one of the highlights of my year and this year was no exception. The dedication and talent in the sector is clear to see and will hold it in very good stead over the coming years.” The Flame Awards were a fitting finale to two days of educational conferences, which offered invaluable insight, networking and discussion for all those in attendance. A packed programme for the Flame Conference included an intriguing Q&A with legendary Olympian Jason Kenny, who spoke at length about the habits and decisions that breed success. The win for Parkrun reflects a broadening of the focus for the Flame Awards to celebrate not just the traditional heartlands of the fitness sector, but also the exciting new frontiers stemming from its ongoing expansion. Elsewhere on the night, Everyone Active came out on top in a fierce battle between major operators, seeing off strong competition to take Leisure Centre Operator of the Year for a second successive year.
Also on stage was Maxine De Brunner, the former Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police. Maxine urged attendees to embrace a more diverse workforce and commit to modernisation to meet the future challenges facing the sector. Other highlights included speeches from Jonathan MacDonald, Luis Huete and Simon Moores, exploring how innovation, data and quality leadership can help drive the sector forward into a new era of growth. For more information visit www.ukactive.com.
The Spark of Innovation Award went to 4Global, for their Social Value Calculator, demonstrating an increasingly data-driven approach to physical activity with huge potential to raise the value of our sector.
This year’s conference also saw the introduction of Ignite conference. The day-long event took place on the 27 June, offering an array of insights for ambitious operational, sales and team managers, ensuring they left with the tools to become future leaders.
Fit for Sport’s Sandwell Active Schools Programme also overcame robust competition to secure the Shaping Young Lives Award impressing judges with its fun and non-competitive approach to getting kids active.
Focus on London
Additionally, the Active Workplace Award went to Seven Stones, which was praised for its truly forward-thinking approach to getting employees moving. The ceremony - in front of an audience of more than 800 sectorleaders - concluded months of rigorous assessment for the hundreds of entrants. Several stages of evaluation took place to finally select winners among categories brimming with high quality applicants. The 15 awards categories recognise facilities, suppliers, operators, educational institutes, health practitioners and large corporations
The 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report reveals that there are now 6,728 fitness facilities in the UK with 12% of the sites being in London. London alone has a staggering 1.7 million fitness members, that’s 1 in every 5 people in London being a member of a gym compared to 1 in every 7 within the UK. The fitness industry within London has a market value of £1.14 billion (24% of the overall UK market value) and a penetration rate of 20%. For further information visit www.leisuredb.com.
£ 1.14 bn estimated total market value
Source: LeisureDB 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report
Owner of the Month
'We have found a stro market offering athle and a no compromise experience' Evgenia Koroleva, founder of ONE LDN, tells us about how she left the finance world and opened her own gym. Gym owner: Evgenia Koroleva Gym name: ONE LDN Location: Imperial Wharf & Tower Hill, London Web: www.oneldn.com Membership: 1,400 How did you become a gym owner? After a highly stimulating and multi-profile career in investment banking, working both in London and across the African continent, I decided to leave the financial sector to pursue a longstanding ambition of starting my own company. This, coupled with my biggest passion, sport and fitness, meant I firstly got involved with launching Alex Fitness UK, a UK franchise partner of the largest Russian gym chain, in May 2016, and then launching my own concept and brand, ONE LDN in October 2016.
How long has your gym(s) been operating for? Our Imperial Wharf Gym has been open for 11 months, of which 6 has been under the ONE LDN brand post rebranding from Alex Fitness. Tower Hill opened in April this year and will incorporate three studios:
Owner of the Month
ong niche in the ete level training e premium fitness S trength and Conditioning (32 capacity), Boxing and Muay Thai (34 capacity), Hip Hop Hot Yoga – fast flow to Hip Hop music (50 capacity)
Aside from the gym, what other facilities do you offer your members? ONE LDN combines premium gym with boutique studios, offering an extensive schedule of classes from Muay Thai, boxing and HIIT workouts, to barre, yoga and strength and conditioning for all abilities, alongside their state-of-the art gym space which is equipped with the advance cardio and resistance equipment from TechnoGym. From the most advanced cardio equipment and vast free-weights offering, all of the equipment is linked to the latest fitness cloud technology, accessible via just one key, allowing members to monitor and record results, progression and body composition and sync to all major fitness apps. All of ONE LDN’s members have access to their own personal online dashboard to give you a personalised experience from start to finish with bespoke input from their team of skilled experts. We also have saunas, treatment rooms and a healthy food cafe.
How many staff do you employ? ONE LDN currently employs 22 full time staff, including management and service team, and 80 freelance class instructors. There are also 12 self- employed Personal Trainers.
How important are PT’s to your business? Personal Trainers are key part of the customer journey. They provide us with expertise on the gym floor and give our members specialist product knowledge. All of our Personal
Owner of the Month What makes your gym unique? Having no previous experience working in the fitness industry, but being a keen sports enthusiast, helped me look at creating our product from the customerâ€™s point of view. I was fed up with paying for a lengthy gym contract, where classes were simply not good enough,as well as various studios just to get fun quality workouts that delivered results. This was coupled with all the time wasted having to travel between multiple locations and the money that it all cost. As a typical Londoner I struggle with wanting it all; I am increasingly demanding and time poor. We need it all now â€“ the best facilities, the best range of classes, the best instructors that deliver fast results and slot perfectly into our busy work schedule and come at no sacrifice to our social life and bank balance. Thatâ€™s how the idea of a nocompromise premium gym was born.
Trainers are specialists in their own areas and fields, providing our members with all around holistic approach to health and fitness. As part of the member journey we utilise the Technogym MyWellness cloud, integrated seamlessly into our online member portal. The Personal Trainers can then manage their client base digitally, to provide an all round member experience whether the member is in or outside the gym.
How do you motivate/incentivise your staff members? Our staff are incentivised by the opportunities for continual learning and qualifications, as well as financial and non-financial reward and recognition schemes to drive performance. Being a young company there is a clear progression potential. Our inclusive, agile and motivating company culture undoubtedly serves as a motivating factor for the staff.
Do you provide any financial assistance for your staff with regards to their training & development? Absolutely. All staff are encouraged to complete Level 3, Personal Training Certification, which has already proven a great tool in staff retention and enhancing the customer experience. Being a start-up operation, the majority of our staff are young and ambitious, thus, we train staff according to individual needs, requirements and career aspirations.
Although the emphasis of our classes lies in strength, conditioning and high intensity training, as we know that it gains the greatest results, we strongly believe in the importance of cross-training in pursuit of physical and mental wellbeing. Therefore we design training facilities that incorporate all the major components of fitness all in ONE place, strength, cardio and flexibility. We have found a strong niche in the market offering athlete level training and a no compromise premium fitness experience, whilst building a community of like-minded individuals and aligning the brand with our belief that any fitness or wellbeing experience should be as much about the journey, as the end goal.
Owner of the Month Our innovative pay-as-you-go classes pricing model, that is based on rewarding people the more they go and offers complete flexibility for our customers to choose exactly what they want, gym or classes or both was designed to put our customers back in control and reward them for achievement rather than tying them in.
What advice would you give to other gym owners just starting out? Build a very solid business foundation before taking a decision to expand. Don’t underestimate the importance of putting a very clear company culture and values in place that underpin everything you do.
What are the biggest challenges facing your business today? The biggest challenge for us is finding the right balance between strong desire to grow and building solid operational foundations.
What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years? There has been a strong drive towards flexibility in pricing and membership options. People now have total flexibility in all areas of their lives and the fitness industry has to respond to that. Gym contracts are simply archaic and as an industry we have to learn to adapt by retaining our customers in
How do you engage with your members? I have always found that I was intimidated by many boutique studios and I found mainstream gyms hostile and I came to realise the importance of creating the most welcoming atmosphere possible within the club so people always feel happy and excited to come and train here. And it’s the sense of community and overarching support at all levels that makes people go further and achieve more, as it’s not only the instructor who is supporting them but also their peers. This is implemented through relentless staff and instructor training. Additionally we run member events that further foster this community.
How do you retain your members? At the heart of our business we have a very agile and customer-centric business model, so we continuously evolve our proposition according to the customers’ feedback and needs and market changes as well as optimising our operations. We ensure that all customers and prospective customers receive the highest levels of customer service, best facilities, best equipment, best coaching. Every club visit is a journey, that starts from the moment they enter the facility to the moment they leave, facilitated by every staff member, instructor, class and the general ambiance. The community element plays a vital role in the member's retention.
How are you promoting your brand and marketing your gym? Most of our marketing is done digitally. We drive brand awareness through our work with social media influencers and lead generation through a combination of both paid and organic digital. However, we definitely don’t shy away from old school tactics like leafleting, they are very effective!
What is your biggest success story? Definitely opening a gym in the first place. I think I underestimated the multitude of hurdles and challenges that I would come across, setting up a business in the first place but also in the industry I didn’t know. We are very lucky to be involved in the wellness industry at this time when it's going from strength to strength.
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THE RISE OF OUTDOOR TRAINING We talked to a number of industry experts to gauge their thoughts on outdoor fitness. Swapping the gym for the great outdoors has never been so popular and the rise of outdoor gyms has led to a range of new and innovative ways of working out. Taking training outdoors is a powerful way for fitness professionals to encourage camaraderie, accountability and intensity while still providing the flexibility to deliver personalised one-to-one training sessions. The summer months can be a difficult time for the membership team at gyms, as the weather warms up, members want to head outside rather than be tied to an indoor-based membership. So, itâ€™s important to adapt your offering to retain and inspire members to stick to their fitness goals and routines.
Life Fitness partnership transforms University Park campus Life Fitness, global leader in commercial fitness equipment manufacturing, has seen a rise in demand for this popular training method which not only facilitates a fun, exciting outdoor exercise environment but also gives exercisers the stimulus and motivation they want and need. Life Fitness has enjoyed a long-term partnership with the University of Nottingham and the creation of an engaging outdoor workout space featuring nine SYNRGY BlueSky training stations has helped transform training on its University Park campus. The 1.7-mile outdoor Active Trail spans across five sites on the campus and represents the universityâ€™s continuing investment in sport and outdoor functional training. The innovative and versatile system acts as a training nerve JULY 2017
centre and provides limitless workout options for both small group training and individual workouts. Using SYNRGY BlueSky, students and staff can enjoy free access to premium fitness equipment at a time that suits them. Growing numbers of the University’s sports clubs and societies are also benefiting from access to an additional training space for their squads, giving individual athletes another option to train outside of their fixed sport specific sessions. Marcus Spain, Assistant Director of Sport, University of Nottingham, comments: “Since the installation two years ago, we have seen SYNRGY BlueSky increase in popularity; the versatile equipment enables users to quickly and easily perform both strength and cardiovascular exercise at high or low intensities, so it appeals to a broad range of ages and abilities.” “We run a number of Active Trail classes throughout the week, alongside our strength and conditioning classes for the sports teams. In addition to this, we’ve seen that the regular programme of activity has helped to grow independent and recreational use of the BlueSky Active Trail by all groups on campus.” The equipment is easy to use and exercise tips are available either via the placards displayed on the SYNRGY BlueSky stations and on QR codes that enable users to access short tutorial videos through the Life Fitness LFconnect mobile app. Marcus continues: “Naturally, we have found the equipment is most popular during spring to autumn but we also use it during the winter months to support our outdoor team training. Our aim was to offer a variety of equipment to engage users in interesting and innovative ways. It’s enabled us to take functional training outdoors and also utilise previously unused space on the Park campus.
The equipment, which remains in excellent condition, certainly adds an extra dimension to our campus and complements our indoor training facilities. We’re now looking forward to offering taster sessions and classes on the equipment during Fresher’s Week this September and showcasing our diverse offering of exciting outdoor training areas.” Craig Cocking, Head of UK Health, Education and Dealer Sales at Life Fitness, adds: “Working with the University of Nottingham to create an engaging outdoor training with the SYNRGY BlueSky has been a hugely rewarding process. The Active Trail has significantly enhanced the University’s offering to both students and staff, encouraging more people to get active in an invigorating outdoor training environment. It’s a fitness trend that continues to grow and SYNRGY BlueSky is helping to open up group training to more people by providing a supportive and inviting workout environment.” 18
Five tips for creating a successful outdoor workout Matt Gleed, TRX Senior Master Trainer, comments: “Obviously, we work out for physical benefits, but the boost that exercising can have on your mind and mood is another factor. Training outdoors, with a fresh, everchanging scenery to work within gives us a mental boost. For gym owners, it's a great way to motivate members by diversifying your offering and results in an additional way to retain numbers through the summer months. With the opportunity for such variety in your workout, training outdoors gives people the boost, confidence and endorphins to lift their workout to the next level. And trainers will love the change too!”
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Get creative and use your environment Don’t overcomplicate it. Look around you and maximise the environment you already have. Based on what you have to hand, mix up suspension training with other functional training tools, sprints, box jumps, bear crawls and burpees to add a component of high-intensity interval training to your outdoor workout. Encourage outdoor gym-buddies An outdoor workout can be the perfect time to encourage members to bring along a friend to try a new training-style. You keep your own clients motivated, and may even welcome in some new faces. Create fun, partner exercises and team workouts to encourage group work. A little competition will help nudge through any plateau. See some great TRX partner workouts here. Plan ahead Be smart and prepare for the elements. Check the weather. Make sure you’re not likely to get stuck in a sudden torrential rain storm. Use sheltered areas if needed and if you can, choose your time of day to host outdoor workouts wisely, if we’re due a British summer heatwave (!), avoid the middle of the day when temperatures are likely to be the highest. Have sunscreen and water on hand. TRX tips When planning a TRX outdoor workout, make sure you locate strong anchor points. Find a sturdy tree, a football goal, a fence or any solid outdoor anchor point where you can set up your Suspension Trainer so that the locking loop is six feet off the ground. Take into account the exercises, or circuits you’re planning, to ensure you have enough space around you for your group. The most important thing to consider when anchoring the TRX to an outside anchor point is to ensure it can bear your full bodyweight. Always weight-test before beginning a workout. JULY 2017
Using effort, not sweat to determine exertion Training outside can be deceptive, because often the temperature and wind speed differ vastly from what you’re used to experiencing indoors. Understand that just because you clients might not be sweating as hard as they do in a gym or a group class, they are likely to be working just as hard. Suspension Training develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously. Using the TRX Suspension Trainer, a highly portable, versatile performance training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s own body weight, you can complete hundreds of exercises anywhere, anytime, including planks, lunges, bicep curls and triceps dips.
Boost your client retention with outdoor fitness Bianca Sainty, Founder at Bianca Sainty Personal Training, comments: “Concerned about member attrition levels? Looking for ways to re-engage your members? Then consider introducing outdoor fitness to your training programme. Training outdoors in this country guarantees variety. The changeable British weather is actually an asset to us fitness business owners! Think about it: every session is intrinsically different when you’re outdoors. Just think of all the variables: sun, clouds, blue sky, wind…and if it does rain, it never rains for too long. Imagine how much more mentally stimulating this environment is compared to an indoor setting – your clients certainly won’t get bored working out outside every day. They will be more engaged with their training and will catch some much needed Vitamin D and fresh air.
Training outdoors allows you to move more freely than inside the confines of a gym, so every session will feel novel and challenge the body in a different way, ensuring progression for clients. Happier, more engaged clients means higher retention rates, lower churn rates, and a more sustainable business model in the long-run. Stepping outside and liberating a session from music, tv screens or mirrors means more opportunity for social interaction amongst members, which in turn builds on the sense of community. No music also allows the trainer to build stronger client relationships as they can engage more, adding value and delivering a better overall service. Summer is a great time to launch an outdoor fitness programme, but I would urge you to continue to run it all year round. Our experience is that our clients actually prefer being outdoors in the cooler months. Once they’ve worked out the kit-layering and invested in a waterproof jacket, there’s no stopping them! 20
Set yourself up for success: Make sure you hire PTs who are true outdoor fans. If they’re not into it, your members won’t be either. Toughen up and run outdoor sessions in absolutely all weathers – unless of course it’s unsafe. Members need to know that outdoor sessions run reliably and regularly. If you
chicken out at the first sniff of rain, what example does that set to your members? Get to know your members better. Identify a section of your current members who don’t spend much time outdoors during their working day eg. Office workers, and target them with the many benefits of training outdoors.”
Go outdoors but make sure you upskill your trainers Jenny Patrickson, MD at Active IQ, comments: “Outdoor fitness - including British Military Fitness style sessions and obstacle course races - continue to grow in popularity and show no sign of abating. Some of these sessions are particularly inventive and challenging for participants. Many find themselves undertaking all manner of new moves using a diverse range of equipment designed to improve strength and power and boost flexibility and metabolic power while applying the key principles to help people remain resistant to injury. Gym owners looking to offer these style sessions would be well advised to upskill their workforce to ensure the workouts they devise are safe and effective as well as inventive and creative. Earlier this year we collaborated with
British Military Fitness’ training arm, The BMF Academy, to develop a Level 4 Certificate in Strength & Conditioning. The aim is to give next-generation fitness professionals enhanced coaching skills in Strength and Conditioning and to set a new gold standard in modern fitness education. We had an excellent partner in BMF whose experience in this field is second-to-none. Now we are rolling out the qualification to all PTs who want to enhance their knowledge, extend their skills and achieve differentiation from their competitors. Demand for outdoor fitness, boot camp, OCR preparation and challenges remains high. The industry has a great opportunity here – but we also have an obligation to train people carefully and responsibly.”
Top three products to take outdoors Philip Halls, MD at Physical Company, comments: “Rather than spending money on kit designed for outdoor use that can only be used seasonally, gym operators would do well to invest in versatile pieces of kit that can be used indoors year-round but be taken outside in the warmer weather. For personal trainers, being able to take clients outdoors during the summer months means they are able to offer a new dimension to their training and an enhanced experience for clients who may not want to be ‘stuck inside’ when it’s warm and sunny. Furthermore, hosting fitness sessions outdoors can attract interest from passers-by giving PTs the chance to introduce new people to the gym and its offerings. The Wreck Bag is the perfect strength training tool for summer as it can easily be taken outside. PTs love it for its versatility and durability; its rugged outer shell, shockabsorbing rubber filling and easy-wipe-down-surface: it’s perfect for indoor and outdoor workouts.
We’re seeing an increase in functional training zones within the gym environment and this style of training transfers well to the outdoors. Partner and team work is often a key feature of outdoor session so something like our Double Grip Medicine Ball is a great tool. It provides more versatility than the traditional medicine ball, with options for rotational power drills and snatch type exercises. Its textured surface makes it easy-to-grip even if a little dust, mud, grass or moisture attaches to it in outdoor workouts.”
Our Sandrope offers a high intensity cardio workout while building strength. Without the need for an anchor point, the Sandrope is a practical, transportable alternative to the battling rope with the same fat burning benefits. The neoprene tube is durable and makes it ideal for outdoor bootcamp style training: at the end of the session you can simply wipe off grass, dust and moisture. For more information visit: www.lifefitness.co.uk www.fitdist.co.uk www.sainty.net www.activeiq.co.uk www.physicalcompany.co.uk 22
Five basic Facebook mistakes to avoid Dave Wright provides some top tips for your Facebook marketing strategy
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Don’t let the frequency rating of your ad get too high A high frequency rating will cost you more than you need to spend, and it will annoy your local community. Don’t let your frequency of any one advert get above 1.9.
Don’t just boost Of course it’s great to boost your posts, but it is absolutely not the best way to get your message out into the community. Each message requires a different approach but local awareness, traffic and even lead generation adverts are a great starting point.
Don’t ignore your competition’s social media presence One of the greatest joys for marketing nerds (like
those in the CFM offices) is the availability of amazing FB reports. Comparing posts, likes and especially engagement, comments and shares is a good starting point.
Don’t be lazy with your imagery It is easy to grab a quote online and whack it up. But good quality local images or videos of your members, staff, classes and community will help your organic reach. Run competitions for your members and staff to help create your content. If you do want a simple motivational quote, use an app like Canva.
Don’t be slack on replying to messages It’s simple: the quicker you respond, the more referrals you will get in the long run, and the longer your members will stay.
Don’t expect your social media to be your saviour In our industry we are motivating procrastinators. It actually makes marketing more strategic and enjoyable. But it absolutely means that a multi-faceted approach is key. Our prospects want ‘A SIGN’ to make the commitment to join your club. To create, this we need an average of seven touches. That is buzz, guerrilla, community outreach all coupled with an ongoing social media approach.
Dave Wright is the CEO of CFM (Creative Fitness Marketing), Founder and CEO of MYZONE®, owner of the Feelgood Fitness & Voyage Fitness Club Chains, a former Board Director of UK Active and founder of the IOU. With offices in Chicago (US), Nottingham (UK) and Melbourne (Oz), Dave’s companies have worked directly with over 5,000 health clubs across 30 different countries, encouraging people to be more and stay more physically active. He may be contacted on Dave@myzone.org JULY 2017
ARE YOU TO GET R Rachel Glew takes a look at social media and identifies how PT’s can leverage ‘social proof’.
According to the renowned Neruo Scientist Beau Lotto “all information is meaningless”. Humans do not create meaning through the passive receivership of information. Instead, we take data and create context for it based on our past experiences, perceptions and selfbeliefs. Our relationships with businesses, brands and each other start with how they make us feel. Our emotional response to information is what matters. Social media is one of the most effective and powerful mediums Personal Trainers and gyms have to instantaneously project information to a diverse range and large number of prospective clients and members. However, the possibility for effective connection is often lost by posts which attempt to manipulate behaviour change through peer pressure and fear. “Sore today, sorry tomorrow” and “Are you beach body ready?” might appeal to those already comfortable with being uncomfortable, but for clients starting out on their fitness journey the risk is an ever widening ‘them and us’ gap.
It’s all about me? To build authenticity and trust Personal Trainers and clubs need to break any assumptions that prospective clients and members interrupt their social media messages the same way as they do. When social media is used as a broadcasting tool for competency and self-promotion the giving relationship between Personal Trainer and client is not conveyed at all. Posts dominated by images of ripped abs, #FlexFriday selfies and self-training videos might inspire likes and followers but they project an overriding ‘It’s all about me’ message to new clients. Inspiration is powerless unless it also drives client action towards change.
Start with why? Celebrated TED speaker Simon Sinek asserts it is our intrinsic values that we project onto the world around us that develop our relationships. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. When a Personal Trainer or club posts on social media the information functions as a decision making filter for a client or member to assess whether their own values and beliefs will 'fit' the experience being offered. Those who can clearly communicate their values and ‘Why’ are better placed to leverage an emotional connection with clients and members. Authenticity is created when we believe what someone is saying. Everything they say and do on social media should prove what they believe. Consistency is key. Branding the scales ‘the sad step’ but then publishing before and after images of clients in their underwear with weight loss results to prove the competency of a training system is contradictory! As a client
U READY REAL? I am confused. The scales don’t matter but they are the benchmark being used for success? With confusion comes uncertainty and lack of trust.
What’s your why? Knowledge of your own values starts with an understanding of the type of emotional connection you want to have before, during and after the fitness experience. Who better to ask what message you are projecting than those who are already part of your fitness community? Before developing a new website and social media strategy for my own personal training business, I asked my clients to answer three questions: 1. Why did you to choose to train with Strength In Motion Fitness? 2. What did you hope to gain from your training? 3. What do you feel you have actually gained? The questions were designed to help understand: 1. Which of the current messages that I was projecting were most effective in reaching the type of clients I wanted to work with, and why? 2. What motivated my target clients to embark on behaviour
change? 3. Did their ‘Why’ and values change as their self-belief and experience developed? The exercise revealed my qualifications and competencies were only of perceived value because I promoted them with an explicit benefit attached. Clients wanted assurance that I had the skills to adapt their training to specific needs, that they would not get injured and there would be no risk to them not being able to meet the other external pressures they faced. My typical client is a mid-40’s City-working Commuter, Type A personality, with 1-2 children, facing a constant struggle to prioritise their own fitness but excellent at doing so if they are accountable to someone else. The empathy and realism I express towards what changes they can make are key reasons they choose Strength In Motion Fitness. The difference between what clients hoped to gain and their perception of reality were largely consistent. The ability to train injury-free, gain strength, self-confidence and develop new techniques and self-knowledge were all reported takeaways. Positive social interactions, friendship and an awareness that fitness could make them feel good were reported gains but weren’t initial wants. It was only through the experience of training itself that these had developed as identifiable benefits. Continued on p.30
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UNLOCKING THE POWER OF MEMBER ENGAGEMENT DEVELOPED BY MEDICAL RESEARCH COMPANY MIE MEDICAL RESEARCH LTD, FITQUEST IS A STATE OF THE ART CONCEPT IN FITNESS MEASUREMENT BRINGING FULL BIO-MECHANICAL LAB TECHNOLOGY TO THE GYM, PROVIDING DATA-DRIVEN DIGITAL SOLUTIONS FOR GYM OPERATORS, PERSONAL TRAINERS AND GYM GOERS IN A RAPIDLY CHANGING FITNESS WORLD. MIE SPECIALISES IN HUMAN PERFORMANCE MONITORING INSTRUMENTS FOR USE IN BIOENGINEERING, ERGONOMICS, SPORTS SCIENCES, MEDICINE, PHYSIOTHERAPY AND WORK DIAGNOSTICS. FITQUEST IS THE ONLY DEVICE THAT PROVIDES SUCH ACCURATE MEASUREMENT OF FITNESS LEVELS, ONLY OTHERWISE AVAILABLE IN A BIO-MECHANICAL LAB. In just four minutes the FitQuest machine offers a fun way to find out how fit you are and help you on your fitness journey by assessing performance across five tasks: Balance Press ups Vertical Jump Steps Recovery rate The clever software measures balance, strength, power, cardiovascular speed and heart rate recovery to help users understand their strengths and weaknesses so they can improve their fitness levels. Following the test, users are given an overall fitness assessment known as a Fitness Quotient score, or FQ.
WHY FITQUEST? The FitQuest machine provides an easy and effective solution to member engagement by signposting members to specific pieces of equipment which can help them improve their scores. FitQuest supports personal trainers by allowing them to demonstrate measurable results; clients can track their own improvement as a direct result of their PT sessions. FitQuest provides the perfect pre-sales tool by giving prospective members the impetus to sign up for a membership and improve their scores. FitQuest also acts as a sales conversion tool, because prospective members on a tour or a trial who take the FitQuest test are twice as likely to convert to membership as those who do not receive any form of engagement during their visit.
BRIAN FIRTH, CEO, FITQUEST “The landscape is such that members want to understand better how to train smart by choosing exercises that are best suited to meeting their goals,” says Bran Firth, FitQuest CEO. “FitQuest answers this brief by allowing operators to get a better understanding of their members’ needs and ensuring members can track their progress throughout that journey.” JULY 2017
The power is in the proof Social proof has the power to switch a social media message from data broadcast to an emotional response instantaneously. To successfully make a lifestyle change we need not only a motivation trigger but also confidence and courage. Uncertainty is often alleviated when we are shown positive feedback from others who have already taken the risk we are contemplating. The Be Real Campaign was set up to encourage those in the diet, health and fitness industries to promote long-term healthy living and wellbeing ahead of short-term quick fixes. The campaign asked businesses to act responsibly by positively promoting different body shapes and sizes, people with and without disabilities, and all ages, genders and ethnicities. My personal ‘Why’ for supporting the Be Real campaign stems from spending my 20s living in a miserable state of disordered eating and obsessive self-restraint under the pretext of living a ‘healthy’ lifestyle. Across my website and in all of my social media posts I have made a commitment that the realness and authenticity of my clients is something I celebrate. Photoshop, filters and stock photos of ripped fitness models have all been rejected in favour of real images of my clients.
Start with be real The fitness industry relies heavily on using manipulations to drive behaviour change. The fear then becomes that if we show ‘real’ people rather than filtered and aspirational images our own competency will be cast into doubt. However, social proof works on trust not manipulation. To gain long-term trust social media posts must show relatable real people. How to leverage social proof 1. Ask clients and members to comment objectively on what message your existing social media posts project. Remember your assumptions and their perceptions may differ. 2. Define 5 key values that you want to project across your social media messages. Understand why they matter to you and think about how you can best communicate the benefits for your clients and members. Ask for their feedback. 3. Ask your clients and members if they will support you in promoting your message to others. Be mindful that their comfort if using images/videos is essential and that these should be obtained outside of their paid sessions. Backed by a decade’s practical experience Rachel Glew is a REPs Level 4 Personal Trainer with additional qualifications as a Tutor, Level 1 British Olympic Weightlifting Coach, Level 2 Training for Warriors Coach and Leader in Running Fitness. Alongside her role as a Life Fitness Academy Master Trainer Rachel runs Strength In Motion Fitness®. For more expert advice from Rachel Glew, visit: www.strengthinmotionfitness.com 30
Professionalising the Personal Trainer In her bi-monthly column for Gym Owner Monthly, Active IQ Managing Director Jenny Patrickson explores the next steps for professionalising the personal training industry Over the past few years and particularly in the last 12 months, we have seen a growing demand right across the industry for the need to develop our workforce with a rising demand from operators particularly concerned over the lack of soft skills amongst PTs. Increasingly PTs are called upon to work with special populations and a greater awareness of clients’ medical and healthcare needs is also deemed a priority now among gym owners. So what can we be doing as an industry to ensure that fitness professionals have a wider skill set and fully embrace the modern approach to planning, monitoring and evaluating clients’ programmes? After all, this is what will help them differentiate themselves in what is an increasingly competitive market. Earlier in the year we took the decision to refresh our Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training, which now includes new and specific modules to address professionalism, client counselling, motivation and behavior change as well as additional anatomy, physiology and nutrition content. Welcomed by operators, this also sparked the question what more we could do to encourage further specialism and professionalism within the industry. Taking the views of operators and speaking to PTs who themselves are seeking advanced training and a qualification to match, we have developed a Level 4 Certificate in Advanced Personal Training. Prior to this qualification, there were few further areas for development for experienced PTs unless they wanted to pursue Exercise Referral and Special Populations. The Level 4 Certificate in Advanced Personal Training focuses on the client journey and will provide learners with enhanced knowledge and skills to fully understand their clients, utilise an evidence-based approach to programming and develop a successful and sustainable personal training business. The advanced training includes:
Research, evaluation and use of credible research and information to inform personal training / coaching practice. Integration and application of technologies, digital and social media into personal training practice to support, enhance and manage the client journey. The application of behaviour change and communication techniques to support, enhance and manage the client journey. Assessment, performance analysis and evaluation to support, enhance and manage the client journey. Design and application of long-term periodisation, planning, coaching and evaluation to optimise client success All this will result in a PT who is not just proficient in safe, effective, practical training of clients but shows a clear and thorough understanding of the planning, implementation, monitoring, adjusting and management of complete, robust client programmes. A qualification of this stature, along with the high quality of teaching we expect to be associated with its delivery, will ensure that we have more highly trained, intuitive, skilled professionals that meet the expectations of our sector. Stepping up to Level 4 won’t just benefit the individual PTs. Gym owners who employ advanced PTs will have a valuable asset in a highly skilled PT with advanced knowledge and a superior skillset. What better way to ensure client retention and attract new clients than proving your facility can manage clients with even very complex health and wellness issues? As we strive to drive up standards and professionalise our PT workforce, we need to ensure challenging and insightful training programmes are readily available to really bring out the best in our trainers. Outside the industry, critics remain. But faced with a PT who has advanced skills like these, those who view the fitness industry as a poor relation to the health, wellness, rehabilitation and medical sectors which we undoubtedly support will have to think again.
Contact Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org and for more information on Active IQ visit www.activeiq.co.uk. JULY 2017
'The disabled p loyal and less l continuous coa Stuart Dunne interviews legendary Paralympian John Harris. John began his Paralympic career following an accident where he fell 18 feet from a big wheel whilst on holiday at Butlins. Johnâ€™s career was based around athletics and particular the discus which he excelled at and became world record holder in 1984 at the summer Paralympics. Stuart: John, following your injury did you immediately turn to sport as a way of overcoming the injury? John: No, I spent the first three years in the pub wasting my life away. But my life began to change when a friend persuaded me to attend a gym. Stuart: So I guess back in the days when you joined the gym you were the only disabled person in there? John: I was the only wheelchair user but I didn't feel out of place. It's like a family at the gym whatever your reason for being there is. My life in Parasport started because I joined a gym, I have so much to be thankful for. Stuart: I understand that your life has been very fulfilling because of that initial gym experience and that you have gold, silver and bronze medals to show for it but I'm interested to know how easy was it to access gym facilities when you were training? John: It wasn't easy. I don't think that anyone had realised that disabled people actually wanted to access the facilities, and the thought of someone in a wheelchair wanting to build a body like Schwarzenegger was completely against the grain. But that was exactly what my mate Shades (Chris Hallam) was. He was a true athlete and probably one of the biggest inspirational and accepted individuals within disabled sports. In fact he's probably the biggest reason that Tanni Grey Thompson became involved in wheelchair sport. Stuart: So Tanni is probably one of the most well known 32
pound is more likely to need axing'
John: Unbelievable really...this lady I knew pulled some fabricated story together to get me to London in January 1986. And before I knew it Eamonn Holmes is shoving this red book at me and telling me I'm about to appear on the famous This is Your Life TV show. Everyone came out of the woodwork even the Pontypool rugby players, now that was respect. And the big man Shades as well, shining as always.
John: In 1987 Chris and I raised £25,000 by completing a 400 mile wheelchair push around the perimeter of Wales to raise money to build the Wales Sports Centre for the disabled. Since then over £50,000 has been raised and the building has been erected. Another ‘Push Around Wales’ in 1997, achieved 600 miles in 37 days, Chris and I raised approximately £50,000 for disabled sport. I was truly lucky to be a close friend to Chris and if he were still here he'd motivate the country to provide accessible fitness.
Stuart: Tell me a bit more about Chris Hallam, you and he did so much for disabled sport in Wales.
Stuart: So anyone reading this interview can google you and find out the the rest of the story, but what most people
disabled athletes in the UK through the media but you have your own recognition on TV. Tell us about the big red book.
won't find is how you helped revolutionise the way gyms equipped themselves to provide greater accessibility. Tell us a little bit about your involvement with fitness and leisure equipment. John: I worked with PowerSport for about 12 years helping with the development of Integra (accessible fitness equipment). As you know there was very little interest in the provision of equipment for disabled people. It was the early 90s and I was asked by Howard Davies, one of the directors of PowerSport, to help with the development of the Integra range of strength training equipment. In 1992 it won the most innovative range of kit at the Leisure Industry Week exhibition. Stuart: So Integra was a massive breakthrough in providing equipment that could be used by both able and disabled gym users. I guess it was a massive success? John: Integra was a big success in its own right because it did exactly what it said on the tin, but unfortunately there seemed to be a bit of a turmoil in the provision of disabled access equipment. If someone uses a wheelchair then they 9 times out of 10 need to stay in that chair to exercise but the IFI seemed to be focusing too much effort on other disabilities that weren't as difficult to access
regular equipment with some simple signage. There is also the completely false view that equipping for disabled wheelchair users is a cost drain. Stuart: Can you expand on that John, what have you seen when it comes to accessibility and gyms? John: It's simple really. Disabled customers have a huge spending potential and when it comes to finding solutions they are incredibly loyal. We search for the best access and when we find it we feel safe in the knowledge that we've found it. It may cost slightly more but if works it doesn't need fixing. I've seen it time and time again, every time we installed an Integra system we'd have an open day and invite local disabled people. The next year when I'd visit the same people would still be there as members and they'd brought their able bodied mates across to the gym as members. It's fairly simple economics the disabled pound is more loyal and less likely to need continuously need coaxing. Stuart: John thanks for your insight into access at gyms. I guess at the age of 72 you've put all that behind you? John: Far from it. Me and my nephew train daily down at the local gym. You should never give up on keeping fit, it's for life!
Stuart Dunne is Managing Director of Cyclone, Britain's leading supplier in disabled access rehabilitation equipment. For more information visit www.cyclonemobility.com.
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The art of being more Ninja Paul Swainson, Head of Future Fit School of Personal Training, meets Ninja Warrior aficionado Henry Cookey.
Henry Cookey is one of these extraordinary individuals: from our first encounter I could see he had that special quality that sets him apart. Considering his background and achievements as a former Team GB Taekwondo fighter, Henry is one of the most humble and easy-going people I’ve ever met. Our first face-to-face meeting was when he attended the Level 3 Exercise Programming and Coaching workshop. He was an immediate team player with an undeniable presence in the classroom and gym. Roll on to May 22, 2017: Henry was ready for his assessment which he’d asked to do at his HC:Fit gym in Liverpool. I really wanted to see what he had done with the space which he had set out to deliver Ninja Warrior training: I was intrigued. During his assessment, his confidence and experience as an athlete was clear to see. His real client case study built over six weeks was impressive: she had stripped fat, gained muscle and VO2 max improvements, was brimming with newfound confidence and had some excellent skills taught by Henry. Henry’s style as a trainer is engaging – he puts an emphasis on having a go and having fun and his gym is presented like an adult playground. When you think of kids swinging from monkey bars in the park, climbing trees and balancing on stepping stones, they're not doing it for some ulterior motive - the goal is to do the activity itself. And so it is with Henry’s HC:Fit. This is not just really refreshing – it’s really challenging too! JULY 2017
The layout comprises metal climbing frames spread out across the floor, attached to which are ropes, bars, planks of wood and rings in a variety of inventive ways. There is also a giant net, wooden boxes, beams and ramps that turn into vertical walls to run up. Here you don’t need to worry about targeting your triceps, wondering how to work your biceps or fitting in some core work – this is about whole-body strength, endurance, balance, flexibility and coordination. In one session your entire body is challenged – and weak spots immediately exposed. Within 10 minutes of Henry passing his assessment, he turned the tables on me. To be fair, I had asked to be shown the ropes – literally – and he took me at my word. He was the trainer – I was the student. He expertly explained all the obstacles and gave me tips and techniques to get past them. He was in his comfort zone: but I was out of mine! He offered
me regressions and alternatives for the trickier challenges giving me confidence I could complete the circuit without touching the floor. The Ninja Warrior buzzer at the top of the vertical wall felt achievable despite looking unlikely. When I was ready to take the challenge, Henry was encouraging, focused on my attempt and gave friendly support to help me get round in 1 minute 35 seconds. I ended the session feeling a buzz you only get when you achieve the perfect balance of challenge and enjoyment from training. Newly qualified he may be but Henry is no novice. He is most definitely ‘onto something’ with his Ninja training concept but beware: he makes it look easier than it is. He has a rare talent to devise and demonstrate Ninja Warrior training: I just feel privileged he chose Future Fit to hone his PT skills to deliver it with such style.
"He puts an emphasis on having a go and having fun and his gym is presented like an adult playground"
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www.mirrorsfortraining.co.uk JULY 2017
WHATâ€™S NEW? We take a look at the latest solutions, technology and equipment making an impact on the industry.
Georgia Dowdeswell, Business Development Manager, iMPACT Gladstone has launched a groundbreaking outcome management product that will enable organisations to measure and demonstrate the impact of sport and leisure programmes on community health. Developed in partnership with community health provider Everyone Health, the sister company to leisure operator Everyone Active, the solution is now available to our existing customers as a module called Health and as a standalone product under the brand name iMPACT. A number of our customers are engaged by local authorities to deliver health intervention schemes, and to secure funding for these programmes they need to provide hard evidence of the difference they can make. This is even more important since the release of the governmentâ€™s Sporting Future strategy in December 2015, which identified physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing as two of five key outcomes that would be used to measure the impact of sport and leisure participation at a national level, and would influence what organisations received funding for. This new adjacent market is a big growth area for operators, and this product has been developed in response to that. As well as enabling providers to demonstrate schemes are meeting objectives, the software helps managers identify areas for improvement and allows participants to review their progress.
The solution includes planning and evaluation tools based on logic modelling, plus management of service delivery. Mobile devices are used to register attendance, complete questionnaires, to capture videos, pictures and comments as evidence, and to tag these to agreed contractual outcomes – ranging from number of referrals, starters and completers to change-over-time KPIs such as weight, BMI, PA levels and dietary intake. Other features of the product include business-specific KPI dashboards, tailored reporting, integrated presentation tools, and secure portals which allow funders, commissioners and
referrers to review results, statistics and outcomes at their leisure. Referrers can even add participants to a scheme through the portals. Everyone Health has been using iMPACT on all its health contracts since last November and is extremely satisfied with the results. According to Health Data and Informatics Manager Steph Shadwell, the solution adds rigour to their data collection process and gives them confidence in their ability to report accurately back to commissioners. www.gladstonesoftware.co.uk
John Lofting, Commercial Director, D2F Fitness This month, D2F launches its new PWR training bundle, packed with products to help personal trainers and gym instructors prepare clients for the demands of a grueling Obstacle Course Race (OCR). The PWR OCR Training Kit encourages clients to train using dynamic, movement patterns and techniques, impossible to emulate using traditional, modular equipment. In addition to physically preparing clients for extreme OCR conditions, the kit creates a multitude of new programming opportunities for PTs, helping to reinvigorate gym workouts and maintain motivation. The products are packaged as a bundle but each item can also be purchased separately. All products come with a 12-month warranty. ProLog® - Emulates training with a wooden log but with the benefit of adjustable weight inserts, six handles to enable a multitude of handling techniques and an attractive, foam padded, polyethylene tube encased in a durable vinyl cover. PWR Bale – replicates a hay bale and promotes controlled handling of weight across a variety of planes and requires the mastering of a unique lifting technique. The PWR Bale is available in a range of weights.
PWR SAK – designed to emulate a sack of coal, this product is almost square to offer even weight distribution across the wider shoulder and middle back areas. A woven rope is positioned a third of the way down the bag, offering a safe grabbing position which promotes balance and load equilibrium. PWR Barrel – offers a completely unique lifting experience, thanks to the free moving sand encased within the barrel. Complete with four handles enabling the barrel to be lifted vertically or horizontally, the item is fully waterproof and available in a range of weights. PWR Pad – great when paired with the Barrel, medicine balls or kettlebells, this item enables clients to drop or slam items without risk to the surface beneath. This item can also be used as a platform to emulate running through sand or mud. SQYRE – Great for small group training as it encourages synchronised movement amongst clients to lift, flip or shift the object. Available in a range of weights. www.d2ffitness.com
TRX® CONNECT™ TRX Connect is a digital platform, consisting of three integrated parts: TRX Digital Pro app, TRX Consumer App and TRX MAPS powered by Physmodo, enabling clubs to connect with members to drive authentic, customised fitness experiences. TRX Digital Pro provides an interface for clubs and trainers to interact directly with members, selecting and delivering specific workouts to participating members, and communicating with members in real time. TRX Digital Pro works in tandem with the TRX Consumer App, used by members to access and perform interactive audio workouts from professional trainers that react in the moment to guide and motivate users, at home or on the go. TRX MAPS, a virtual movement assessment tool, performs a full-body screen in less than 25 seconds. The results are delivered immediately via TRX Connect, with prescribed corrective exercises that target areas of weakness. This simpleto-use device can be used by staff and members to deliver customised training programs and to track real-time progress. www.trxtraining.co.uk/trx-connect
Ben Steadman, COO, Speedflex The boutique fitness sector has been largely behind the times when it comes to tracking member’s efforts compared with large operators but they are starting to catch up. You could have the best equipment, the most luxurious environment and elite instructors but if you’re aren’t tracking members progress how can you measure the effectiveness of your offering and best support your clients? It’s easy to provide a great experience for your members but as an industry we should be doing more than that, we need to be able to provide them with the outcomes too. When you buy traditional gym equipment it comes with a tracking system as standard. This has become the industry norm and it’s expected that all equipment suppliers offer a joined up, tracking system and associated cloud or app which integrates with member’s fitness outside the gym too. The market has developed over the last few years and the capabilities of these systems are complex and advanced. Conversely, the sort of equipment purchased by boutiques doesn’t usually come with tracking built in and so it has to be a bolt-on system. Tracking wasn’t always an industry buzzword, so it wasn’t something typically considered during initial concept creation or fit out. Now it’s front of mind we’ll see more and more boutiques incorporating it into
their offering. There are huge benefits to tracking your member’s efforts, at Speedflex tracking has become an integral part of our offering. We offer instant feedback to our members through our partnership with MYZONE. As members follow their stats, improving validates the continued spend on membership. It also provides a social element in our sessions as participants can view each other’s stats and compete with each other. Tracking will also provide you with key data you can use constantly to improve your offering. The cornerstone of the boutique studio is personal service and tracking allows you to build a personal relationship with every member through key data. Lastly, tracking also works as an invaluable retention tool as it will provide your members with feedback so that they can see their own progress which will help keep them engaged, far too often members end up leaving a gym because they aren’t seeing the results. It allows us to increase social interaction within the studio while creating a thriving fitness community. www.speedflex.com
Simon Heap, Founder/Co-owner, Rugged Interactive The Cardio Wall Pro-X Club was created to solve a simple problem - boredom in the gym. The Pro-X Club all comes from the theory of gamification turning everyday chores into a competition - and with the added benefit of speed: making a workout shorter and more fun. The unexpected benefit was training the brain to react to external, random stimuli increasing the ability to cope with the daily stresses of life.
The Pro-X Club Functional & Flexible Used with hands, gloves, soft weights, med balls, ViPR, BOSU and more, the Pro-X Club can stimulate a huge range of functional training exercises. Ideal for circuit training, where the built-in timer keeps everything on track and the intensity high. Motivational Every routine is a game, challenging users to beat their
previous best score, their friends or the leaderboard. A ‘blank canvas’ for PT’s who can create their own stimulating routines for clients. Socially Engaging. Publish latest PT routines and use as the centre of group functional training. Rugged Interactive has a thriving social media presence and will grow it to leverage performance gyms, events and clubs. Accessible & Inclusive. Users of any age and ability enjoy and benefit from using the CardioWall®. One-touch starts, clearly spoken instructions and uncomplicated displays ensure the CardioWall® is easy to use too. Distinctive The beautiful lines of the Pro-X Club enhance any environment and the mechanical detail, both under the skin and on the surface ensure that it’s a true focal point. www.rugged-interactive.co.uk
Jochen Michaelis, MD UK, eGym eGym has completely overhauled its graphic user interface (GUI), creating a touchpoint which delivers an incredible user experience. This development further enhances the eGym training experience, making every workout more intuitive, motivational, easy-to-use and fun, fulfilling the principle components of any successful training programme. The latest GUI software developments introduce eyecatching, informative graphics creating consistency for users across platforms. The touchpoint now also brings gamification elements, already proving popular in the
Premium software, to the classic version available to all gym owners. Gamification has proved to be hugely motivational and very successful at promoting behavioural change. Look at the impact of Pokémon GO! When the app launched, it probably encouraged more people off the sofa than any government backed physical activity campaign before or since. eGym has embraced this concept and, via the new equipment software, will ensure users complete strength training exercises correctly. As users workout they will JULY 2017
now be encouraged to collect coins along the eGym training curve, reassuring users they are performing the movement at the correct rep range and speed. Completing exercises correctly also gains the member more points and progresses them through a series of activity levels as they train. eGym’s growing number of connected partners, united under the eGym ONE Training brand, are also included. Whether a user trains on eGym strength equipment, a connected partner’s cardiovascular equipment or records a run outside of the gym via a wearable tracker, all activity is logged and points are awarded depending on duration and intensity. To reflect the reality of fitness, the system only considers the last 28
days of activity. So, if a user stops or reduces their physical activity, points start to decrease. Throughout training, the GUI also keeps users informed of the physical benefits they can expect to experience if they continue to train at the current level. For example, ‘this level of activity can reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes or heart disease by x per cent’ or ‘without adjusting your diet, this level of exercise could help you lose up to x kilograms per year’. This helps users to understand the tangible benefits of their workout, maintaining motivation and focus. The new software is due for release to customers later this year. www.egym.co.uk
Steven Rinaldi, Founder, Primal Strength The Stealth Commercial Fitness Half Power Rack sets a new standard in commercial power racks. Backed with a lifetime, full commercial frame warranty and with several unique features, it is the perfect half rack for any bespoke gym, sports team facility, CrossFit box or PT studio. Unique features: Multi-grip swivel chin-up handles & adjustable climbing Dome Handles Landmine row attachment and premium J-Hooks as standard Oversize base with premium safety spotters tested to 600kg Finished in a range of three colours; two matte colours and a neon lime green, with chrome and matte accessories and completed with stealth black bolts, this really is the ultimate in half power racks. The Stealth Half Power Rack has an optional Stealth Dip Attachment. The half rack is designed to be used with any of the Primal Strength Olympic bars. Both the adjustable Spyder 2.0 Commercial Bench and the Stealth Commercial Fitness FID Bench fit seamlessly in the half rack. www.primalstrength.com 42
Life Fitness Adds Heat Map Technology to LFconnect Platform
Life Fitness has launched Heat Map, an expansion of its LFconnect digital platform that helps fitness facility managers visualise traffic to and usage of their cardio equipment.
floor layouts and traffic paths to increase traffic to promoted areas. By visually representing how equipment is used, this technology helps managers create more customer-centric fitness centres.
“The Heat Map is an important step in data visualisation,” said Amad Amin, Director of Digital Experience at Life Fitness. “Connectivity and stats are essentials to a connected fitness solution, but visually seeing usage and determining traffic patterns is the next step in this evolution. Heat Maps allow club owners to understand what locations exercisers gravitate to within their gym. This can help provide insight such as optimum product placement, and even special staff members to help exercisers with their workouts.”
By signing up and logging into an LFconnect account, managers can set up, name and place their Life Fitness connected equipment on a grid that resembles their specific gym layout. The grid can accurately mirror any fitness room, with the ability to include empty blocks that represent elements such as a front desk or aisle.
Using Heat Map technology, facility managers with connected Life Fitness equipment can orient machines on a digital grid, which uses colours to correspond with realtime levels of equipment use. Heat Map technology helps managers alternate machines based on usage and alter
Life Fitness’ LFconnect suite brings asset management to facility owners’ fingertips by giving control over equipment and genuine interaction with exercisers. Connected equipment gives managers a sharper image of the big picture through simple machine usage data that generates a visual performance map and helps reduce downtime of equipment. www.lifefitness.co.uk JULY 2017
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â€˜Give clients the best possible experienceâ€™ NAME: Chris Kershaw
QUALIFICATIONS: Level 3 Personal Trainer NO. OF YEARS AS A QUALIFIED PT: 8 years WORKS IN: Leeds/Wakefield
FACEBOOK: Chris Kershaw Strength INSTAGRAM: @chriskershawstrength
How did you become a PT? Between the ages of 18-20 I was going nowhere with my life, I'd dropped out of college and had just been told I suffered from severe depression. A friend and training partner of mine was doing a Personal Training course and said, 'You should do this!'. To be honest I didn't really know what a Personal Trainer did or what the job involved but I knew I wanted to help people, so over the next two years I became qualified with Future Fit Training before beginning my quest to be a self-employed trainer.
What was your experience of the training/qualification process? This feature is sponsored by:
At the time it wasn't great, I actually failed my Level 2 Practical Exam because I was so nervous and had never
What is your opinion of CPD? CPD makes the entire industry better, it keeps you on your toes because there is always more to learn, new equipment to know how to use, new perspectives on psychology and every other subject relating to fitness. Staying ahead of the game is extremely difficult, CPD is an extremely good way to keep up with the science and by simplifying it for your clients will in turn make you a far better Personal Trainer. I’ve met too many PT’s stuck in their ways, CPD stops this from happening and so in summary, CPD rocks.
You spend your working hours motivating others, how do you motivate yourself?
been in a big gym (up until this point I had been training in 'blood and sawdust' gyms since the age of 16.) It was a big wake up call for me! When I went to retake the exam a few weeks later there was a power cut and the gym had to be closed so then I had to retake it a third time and this one I passed. It was great to be involved with a company (Future Fit Training) that failed people for not being good enough at the time, this made me work twice as hard to get the result I wanted.
Do you (or do you intend to) specialise in a particular type of fitness? At the moment I specialise in taking underweight men and getting them up to a 'normal' weight and making them stronger and healthier. It's wonderful to see these often shy, introverted men begin to come out of their shell and become 'anti-fragile!' I'm also a Powerlifting Coach with a number of national level athletes competing through my club, FirePower Powerlifting Club.
What’s it like working with gym owners? I’ve worked with a variety of gym owners from those who said they “knew everything about Personal Training” right through to those who would do anything in their power to help me with my career. Luckily for me at Firehouse Fitness they’ll do anything to support their Personal Trainers which is great. If every gym looked after their PT’s the industry would be a much better place!
I’m motivated by setting a good example to my clients and giving them the best possible experience in the gym. I have so much fun in my job that I rarely have to think about being motivated because (although it may sound cliché) I absolutely love my family, my job and my clients. I’m extremely lucky to do what I do and wouldn’t change it for the world.
What advice would you give to other PTs just starting out in the business? Be nice. Be approachable. Be the fitness mentor people didn’t know they needed. Give clients the best possible experience in and out of the gym.
I try to publish two topical articles a week on my Blog, Chris Kershaw Strength which promotes my services and now I can actually say that I enjoy the writing process which I never thought I’d say!
How often do you train yourself? I train myself 3 - 4 times a week. I’ve always found that for me this is my optimum and if I do any more than this everything else suffers and that can’t be allowed to happen!
If there was one thing you could radically change within the industry, what is it? What are the biggest challenges facing your business today? Keeping up with the latest research is always a challenge but an exciting one at that. From a business perspective, we are building a gym studio at the moment so getting that put together might be the most exciting challenge of my career to date!
What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years? Female strength training and powerlifting is much more popular now and strength based goals seem to be on the rise as well. I think this is largely thanks to the rise of bodybuilding, Crossfit and strength sports in general, it has been fascinating to see!
How do you engage with your clients (active and inactive)? I use an App called MyPTHub where I can message all of my clients and progress reports are coming through to my phone all the time. I’m in constant contact with clients through social media and hopefully all my clients know they can always message me whether they are a current client or otherwise.
How do you promote your services? Through working the gym floor, through published works on my Blog, guest articles on training sites and word of mouth. Thanks to my fantastic clients I’m never short on referrals, I truly am spoilt and currently have to spend very little on advertising and marketing. Long may that continue.
I would get rid of ‘paid to pass’ Level 2 and 3 Personal Trainer Courses. Failing my Level 2 Practical Exam the first time due to awful nerves was the best thing to happen to me! I wasn’t ready, if I had qualified because I paid for the course I wouldn’t be where I am today and maybe I wouldn’t even be in the industry. Paid to pass courses do so much damage to the industry and potentially amazing PT’s will be lost forever.
Do you see yourself still working as a PT in 10 years time? I do indeed! I can never see myself doing anything else except perhaps I’ll be training and mentoring a larger number of Personal Trainers by then.
What is your biggest success story? My first client lost 8 stone and I’ve had numerous weight loss successes. My client, Ian Redfern has to come close after going from being severely underweight and lacking in confidence to being a stacked, athletic, confident and successful young man. But the biggest success story has to go to one of my clients who has requested to remain nameless. At a very young age she was diagnosed with many disabilities and has (in her own words), “Dislocated everything and occasionally not realised I’ve broken bones because they didn’t hurt as much as the usual pain I was in.” She was told she was weak, had a walking stick and had never seen herself as being good at anything sport related. She can now deadlift 90kg and no longer needs a walking stick, she relishes the gym and has never been stronger. Reading her testimonials and articles genuinely nearly brings a tear to my eye, it has truly been a blessing to see her progress.
5 STEPS TO S SUSPENDED INTEGRATIO Owen Bowling, Founder of CrankIt Fitness, provides expert advice on how to implement suspension straps in your gym. Suspended Fitness is now accepted by most as a valuable training solution and is most definitely not a fad. However, I still visit plenty of facilities, across the world, failing to maximise the potential on offer. Suspension Straps offer a gym one of the most versatile training solutions on the market with the capability of engaging all walks of life from the complete beginner through to the seasoned athlete. Gym owners are advised to review their offering and to consider these 5 steps to Suspended Fitness success:
1. Educate the trainer Suspension Straps are awesome. The purchase price is much lower than modular alternatives yet they offer literally thousands of training options, catering for all abilities and needs. That said, the potential can only be unlocked if trainers truly understand how to maximise the potential and are passionate about sharing their knowledge with gym users. Igniting a passion and creating an understanding requires education. Trainers on the gym floor need to feel 100 per cent confident in their own understanding of Suspended Fitness and how to use techniques to move gym users towards their individual health, fitness and wellbeing goals before they can be expected to credibly pass on this passion and commitment to users. Many personal trainers will have graduated from a Level 3 course with little or no exposure to Suspended Fitness. 48
Generally, training providers do not cover suspension training as part of their core syllabus, certainly not in any depth, it is usually offered as a modular option or an additional bolt-on. Gym owners installing Suspension Straps are, therefore, advised to conduct a quick audit to establish the current level of experience in their gym team and assess the appetite of the team to prescribe this kind of technique. If the passion exists and there is a willingness to learn, plus a commitment from the gym owner to invest in ongoing staff education, Suspended Fitness will add a new, exciting and results driven element to the offering. CrankIt Fitness offers all operators installing Suspension Straps a free, online, introductory education package for all gym floor staff. This course helps instructors to understand the kits potential and gives them the basics to confidently start instructing members but it is vital this is supported by an ongoing CPD programme to keep the passion alive and the experience progressive for the trainer.
2. Educate the member A high percentage of gym users will probably never have seen, let alone used, a set of Straps. To these people, the kit can look intimidating because just looking at the Straps gives no clue as to how they should be used and the benefits they can deliver. Gym owners need to assume no knowledge from the membership. When a new piece of equipment arrives in the gym it attracts significant interest from the membership. It is at this point gym owners need to capitalise and go to town
SUCCESSFUL D FITNESS ON
on promotion. Activities like ad hoc and programmed equipment inductions and practical workshops work well. These give the members an opportunity to understand how to set up the Straps, perform basic exercises and get a feel for the benefits Suspended Fitness offers. Conducting these sessions in small groups works well as it places like minded people together and enables a group learning environment, creating a social environment and support network. Trainers should also be encouraged to write Suspended Fitness into most training programmes, immediately. Straps should not be reserved for the twenty percenters, they should be made available to all, helping to integrate Suspended Fitness into the core offering. More regular usage will also help instructors and users to grow their
confidence and knowledge. Members who understand how to use Suspension Straps and do so regularly, will soon start to reap physical benefits. The kit is highly versatile which means that proactive trainers have an opportunity to keep training programmes fresh and progressive in a way that becomes very difficult when relying solely on modular equipment.
3. Programming Draw Suspended Fitness into the heart of your gym. Make it part of the core offering. The best way to do this is through the programme schedule. Suspension Straps can be used very effectively by individuals as part of a personal programme but equally, they can work well in small group sessions, either independently or alongside JULY 2017
other equipment like kettlebells, battle ropes and ViPR. Integrating Suspension Straps into these visual group sessions from the time of their arrival creates a buzz and excitement and sends a message that the new piece of kit is part of the gym’s DNA – not just an optional extra. The versatility of Suspension Straps also means that the kit can be used to address a huge range of training needs from anti and post-natal to flexibility and core strength. Depending on how the Straps are used, they make as valuable contribution to the training plan of a competing athlete as they can to a new gym user, keen to improve general fitness and wellbeing. Immediate integration into the gym’s programme not only increases the members’ opportunity to try out the Straps, it also increases the visibility of the product, promoting curiosity and showcasing the fact that the kit really can be used to benefit everyone.
owners with a full and free advice service regarding installation and integration. And finally, to help Straps further integrate with a brand and become a truly integral part of the offering, the colour of CrankIt Straps can also be customised to reflect most brand palettes.
5. Brand There are many Suspension Straps on the market. Gym owners need to make sure they work with a brand that best supports their needs. Factors to consider are:
Education support, for example does the provider offer access to affordable or free education for trainers, online and face to face?
Product quality and warranty. If the Straps are well utilised they will come under incredible strain and it is important to buy a product which is up to the task and ensure that if a defect occurs, it will be covered by the warranty.
Security. Straps are a desirable piece of kit and, unfortunately, they can also be easily folded to fit in a gym bag. Having locking mechanism which prevents easy unclipping, helps to ensure the Straps remain where the gym owner puts them.
4. Location Do not hang the new Suspension Straps on the wall in a dark corner of the gym or from a scary looking rig located in the free weight zone and expect trainers and members to automatically engage. It sounds obvious, this scenario is still being played out in many venues. If a gym owner has invested in Straps – be proud of them. Give them pride of place. They may be low cost but they are not low value. Treat them with the respect they deserve. In the UK, CrankIt Fitness has appointed D2F Fitness as its distribution partner. The team at D2F have years of experience installing kit and are on hand to provide gym
Suspended Fitness offers incredible health, wellbeing and fitness benefits for all levels of ability but it is not a silver bullet. Gym owners need to commit ongoing time and resource to ensure full integration into the core offering. If this is done well, the results in terms of trainer and member satisfaction will far outweigh the investment.
Owen Bowling is the founder and CEO of CrankIt Fitness, Australia's leading functional training product and Education Company. He is also the Co-Founder of The Ultimate PT - a global business education system for personal trainers. Owen is a sought after functional fitness and fitness business presenter, having educated more than 3000 personal trainers across 15 countries. For more information visit www.crankitfitness.com and www.d2ffitness.com. 50
The rise of INSTAGRAM Startup Active’s marketing expert, Omar Thompson, explains why you can’t ignore Instagram.
Social media is arguably the most significant platform for online marketing and getting your business noticed by a big audience fast. But, gone are the days when social media marketing was just Facebook and Twitter. There’s a new sheriff in town and it’s becoming more powerful by the day! But what is it that has put Instagram alongside the big fish of Twitter and Facebook? How has a simple media sharing app become a necessity in your online marketing strategy? In this article, I’ll show you how and why Instagram is a must for your fitness business. So how can I explain to you how powerful Instagram is? How about a few stats: Launched in 2010, Instagram had 1 million followers in just 8 weeks. They now boast a whopping 700 million active users! Instagram has launched many people into stardom, including fitness models, Michelle Lewin (12m followers) and Jen Selter (11.5m). Facebook purchased Instagram in 2010 for approximately $1 billion.
From these stats alone, it’s evident that Instagram is a big player, but I’m still baffled to see businesses not utilising it to it’s maximum potential. Over the last 24 months, the team at Instagram have also made the network much more beneficial for businesses, adding call-to-action buttons, location maps, and much more. So, ultimately the main question is...are you using Instagram to it’s maximum potential? If you can't instantly say “Yes, 100%” then the answer is no. But don’t fear, it’s not as painstaking as it may sound.
How to maximise your business on Instagram The first place to start is obvious - setting up an Instagram account. It’s really simple to do, just download the app and follow their easy instructions. Enter a couple of details (name, email - the usual) and then you’re good to go! Now, I’m sure the majority of you have already reached this step and I don’t want to bore you on the basics - I want to delve a little deeper than that. Having your business on Instagram is good, but being active on Instagram is a totally different matter. When I say active, I mean actually posting content and engaging with comments JULY 2017
There are a number of ways to build your following with high quality users. Maybe run a competition giving away a number of free sessions to a lucky new follower. Ask people to tag a friend and then follow you to be entered in the draw. Send out an email blast, too, letting all of your subscribers know that you’re on Instagram and add a link for them to follow you. Add your Instagram link wherever you can - from your email signature to your printed T-shirts. There are many ways you can build a following of high quality users. It doesn’t happen overnight but it will be worth it in the end.
frequently. According to Instagram’s recent stats, there are approximately 70 million uploads every single day! So uploading once a week simply isn’t going to cut it. As I mentioned earlier, Instagram is now a big fish in the social media pond and shouldn’t be treated any other way. You should be uploading posts to Facebook pretty much every day, and Instagram is exactly same. This is one of the mistakes that causes businesses to flop on Instagram; not showing it the same focus and dedication as Facebook. Yes, Facebook is still top dog...but Instagram is a growing pup! Posting regularly (hopefully daily) is a must on Instagram, but your content needs to be attention-grabbing and valuable. I say attention-grabbing first because Instagram is primarily a visual platform and users typically scroll through their feed effortlessly, like a robot, until something grips them.
Instagram is going to keep growing! In my professional opinion, Instagram won’t stop growing any time soon. Right now, it’s in trend. From the youngsters who double-tap every Kardashian post, to the #FitFam followers who use it for inspiration. It doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon. Furthermore, Instagram’s recent addition of a business profile and call-to-action buttons, shows just how seriously they’re taking the app for online marketing, too. I can almost guarantee your competition are utilising Instagram for their business, which is why you should be, too. So what are you waiting for? Let’s start taking Instagram seriously and making it a huge part of our online marketing strategy - you will thank me in the long run!
Your posts should be visually appealing and of high class... blurred images are a big no! In fact, blurred poor images are a big no-no in all of your digital marketing - it’s 2017 after all!
Followers Gaining followers is one of the most common frustrations for Instagram users, both business and personal. It’s become somewhat of a craze to get more and more followers - the more the better. I understand the thought behind it, I mean, a business with 1 million followers can seem more appealing than one with 200 followers, but you don’t want to fall into this trap - it can be deadly. It’s much more beneficial for your business to have 100 quality followers, who are either previous customers or potential customers, rather than having 1,000 followers who are on the other side of the world and never engage in any of your posts. Remember, you’re ultimately using Instagram like all other social networks - to generate new leads. It’s not a popularity contents, so try not to get too stressed about your following, as the quality of your content may end up suffering. At Startup Active, we fully understand how busy fitness professionals are. Most haven’t got the time to spend on their online marketing, which is why we offer a highly rated website and marketing package; Active Blueprint. To find out how Active Blueprint can transform your business online, visit our website: www.startupactive.com. 52
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THE COOLING TOWEL
This month’s round-up of kit, products and extras you can stock for your members – boost loyalty, retention and your revenue!
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• Sports Cooling Towel is a new fabric which has been widely used in sports, • Gym military and healthcare in the US. It's made with a hi-tech cooling fabric material that is both environmentally friendly and safe. • Designed Healthfor keeping cool and combating heat stroke, the towel will make those hot • Beach and sweaty workouts a little more comfortable. Fast cooling after getting • beSpa wet and its enduring softness means this towel should a staple feature in every gym user’s kit bag. • Holiday Visit www.jsmbrandex.co.uk
and much more!
Time 4 Nutrition A blend of whey protein concentrate, isolate, micellar casein and egg-white protein Time 4 Nutrition’s Whey Protein is fast becoming a favourite with gym goers and owners. Available in five great flavours, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream, Creamy Toffee Pudding, Vanilla Coconut Milk and Double Chocolate Mousse, in both 2.52kg and sachets. This relatively new brand to the market offers a wide range of sports supplements and gym accessories. Visit www.time4nutrition.co.uk
High protein yoghurt pouches The Collective has launched a new range of high protein/low fat yoghurt pouches which are all under 120 calories. Pro-yo is perfect for a tasty, filling snack on the move, anytime of the day. Pro-yo is a deliciously tasty single-serve pouch made with real fruit, thick and smooth yoghurt, with more protein than you’ll find in two whole eggs and less sugar than an apple. Created to be eaten on-the-go, Pro-yo will help your members re-fuel with three delicious flavours: Berries (Boysenberry, Blueberry and Acai), Coconut with Honey and Vanilla, and Strawberry. With sugars only from milk, fruit and honey (honey only in the Coconut variant), no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or stevia, Pro-yo really is a guilt-free snack that’s perfect for replenishing the body’s protein levels pre-and post-workout. Visit www.thecollectivedairy.com 54
The healthiest food you’ve never heard of New brand nutrii are looking to put quark on the menu for gym goers. Comparable in terms of taste and texture to a thick yoghurt, quark is made similarly from milk, but uses a different strain of good bacteria. The result is a tasty dairy product that is creamier and less acidic than Greek yoghurt or Skyr, but richer in high quality protein and lower in fat. With less than 150 calories, virtually fat free and with over 20g of high quality protein, nutrii’s new flavoured quark snack pots are the perfect snack for anyone living an active and healthy lifestyle and are packed with gut friendly probiotics to help maintain a healthy digestive system. Visit www.eatnutrii.co.uk
adidas sports eyewear's latest edition: wayfinder and protean Thanks to the ultra-lightweight and shatterproof frames that adapt to the contours of your head, no matter how rigorous the pace, the adjustable nose pads and gripped temples on the inside lock the unisex shades in place without negative impact on the wayfinder's or protean's all-day wearing comfort or sharp appearance. A variety of highly adaptable filters are available, including the option of automatically changing lenses that turn from crystal clear to dark tint within seconds, dealing with any weather scenario or offering protection. The frames of the wayfinder and protean are prescription-ready, with direct in-frame glazing or clip-in inserts to accommodate all vision abilities. Available in nine different colours and filter combinations. Visit www.rxsport.co.uk.
Bio-Synergy Goes Organic with the
Whey Hey! launch of NEW Whey Hey Protein
Bio-Synergy unveils a new organic offering for those seeking a protein powder to complement their healthy lifestyle. The 100% Organic Whey Hey Protein is gluten free, low in fat and free from artificial colours, sweeteners, aspartame The 100% Organic Whey Hey Protein is gluten free, low in fat and free from artificial colours, sweeteners, aspartame or fillers. With 23 grams (80%) of protein, zero or fillers. With 23 grams (80%) of protein, zero carbohydrates and over 5 grams carbohydrates and over 5 grams of BCAAs per serving, this simple blend only contains one ingredient and is organically by the Soil Association - ideal to one ingredient and is of BCAAs per serving, thiscertified simple blend only contains add to your favourite smoothie recipe or shake. organically certified by the Soil Association - ideal to add to your favourite With a natural flavour, simply blend with your favourite base (milk or water), shake smoothie recipe or shake. With a natural flavour, simply blend with your and serve. The ultimate refresher for both post workout or as a boost between meals. favourite base (milk water), shake andasserve. With celebrities such as Karlie Kloss or extolling the virtues of protein part of a The healthyultimate refresher for both diet, those seeking to lead a healthy diet and workout regime are now discovering post workout asreach a boost between meals. how WheyHey can helpor them their true potential. With the arrival of this new Bio-Synergy unveils a NEW organic offering for those seeking a protein powder to complement their healthy lifestyle.
100% organic offering, Bio-Synergy now offers a powder to suit every taste, goal and body.
The 100% Organic Whey Protein is available from www.bio-synergy.uk and Planet Organic at £30 For further information, images or samples please contact: Natalie Willey or Annabelle Turner at EdenCancan on T: 0203 745 6960 firstname.lastname@example.org / Annabelle.email@example.com
Notes to editors:
To sponsor this feature, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bio-Synergy is an award-winning sport nutrition brand with products developed and produced within the UK. Since its launch 20 years ago, over 4 million passionate sports and fitness enthusiasts have chosen Bio-Synergy to achieve their goals, fuel their performance and ultimately, #MAKEITHAPPEN. Bio-Synergy’s protein and supplements have been used by many of the world’s most respected athletes and teams, in fact, Bio-Synergy has fuelled more Gold medals, PB’s and World Cup wins than any other brand!
HOW SECURE IS YOUR DATA? Neil Adebowale, Director at Independents Insurance, explains the threat cyber crime poses to gym owners and offers advice on how to guard against an attack.
The chaos caused by ransomware, WannaCry, recently threw the impact of a cyber attack into the spotlight. In this instance, 1,500 NHS hospitals, and many businesses around the globe, ground to a halt with hackers demanding a ransom to decrypt files. Damages are expected to run into billions of pounds. Cyber crime is a very real and growing threat to any business, large or small. My concern is that many gym owners do not associate a cyber attack on their system and member data as a high risk to their business, incorrectly assuming cyber criminals only target large organisations. Last year, according to The British Chamber of Commerce, 1 in 5 businesses were hacked. The Federation of Small Businesses also report that, in 2014 and 2015, small businesses were the victim of around 7 million cyber crimes, costing a predicted ÂŁ5.25 billion. Gym owners are urged to face up to this growing threat and take proactive action to protect their business and themselves. Gyms are already being targeted. In the last 12 months, we have helped several clients navigate their way through a cyber attack and, thankfully, in all cases we were able to keep the damage to a minimum. This was because the owners could verify that they had taken all reasonable precautions to protect their data and had the necessary insurance cover in place to cover financial costs incurred. Gym owners who bury their heads in the sand and hope this issue will never affect them are exposing their business to a threat which could cause financial and reputation damage that is not recoverable. 56
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, any business which holds personal data on customers or members has a duty of care to safeguard this information by implementing “appropriate technical and organisational measures”. Storing member data via a third-party CRM system and collecting fees via an external Direct Debit provider does not absolve a gym owner of their data safeguarding responsibility. The results of a cyber attack could be catastrophic to a gym. In addition to the financial losses resulting from the disruption to business and the long-term impact of reputation damage, failure to protect data can be construed as a breach of the Data Protection Act. This can mean compensation being awarded to individuals who suffer damage from the breach or severe penalties from the Information Commissioner's Office where a gym owner could be fined up to £500,000.
So, how can gym owners better protect their business against the consequences of an attack? No system is ever fully protected but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the chance of an attack. We work very closely with our gym owner clients, assessing current systems and ensure all reasonable efforts are made to guard against an attack and protect member data. Every gym is unique, which is why we, working with our awardwinning insurance partner, Hiscox, deliver a bespoke and personal service to each gym owner client. That said, here are a few basic tips all gym owners are advised to consider. 1. Regular data backup Ensure all data is backed up to a separate, off-site, system.
This means that, should the main system be hacked, data can be recovered from the backup files, avoiding the need to pay a ransom to recover encrypted data. 2. Question the authenticity of every email, app and website For most attacks to take place, malicious software needs to be downloaded onto the computer. This usually happens when an unsuspecting victim opens a malicious email, runs an infected app or visits a scam website. Once this action has taken place, the hacker can cause major disruption to functionality and processes.
Liz Greenwood, CEO and Financial Director, Body Works West “Our exclusive health club attracts members with extensive personal wealth. Individuals trusts us to ensure their personal information, including band details, is well protected. This is a responsibility we take very seriously. Cyber crime is on the rise and, with more and more of our business moving online, the risk of an attack is always present. We have invested in cyber insurance to help us recover quickly and efficiently should an attack take place but our aim is always to prevent an infiltration in the first place. This requires constant monitoring of systems and processes, continually reviewing our security to ensure we are doing all we can to keep our members’ data safe.” JULY 2017
3. Employee education All staff with access to the gym’s computer system should receive education on the dangers of cyber crime and how to guard against it. Never allow staff to connect external devices to the main system without prior consent. Doing so increases the opportunity for malicious software to be transferred. 4. Install anti-malware software This software blocks malicious content before it is downloaded or run. Most software will also identify malware which has already infiltrated the system. Once located, the suspicious content can usually be safely removed or destroyed. 5. Install updates when instructed Most software offers regular, downloadable updates, which patch vulnerabilities that can allow access to malware. Most updates can be set to install overnight, ensuring no disruption to service.
Barry Winser, Owner, The River Club, Kingston “The threat of a cyber attack terrifies me. The River Club has never been targeted but I know other company directors whose businesses have been affected. A cyber attack can, literally, bring a business to its knees. Post attack, recovery, from an operational and financial perspective, can be a long and painful process. At The River Club we take the risk very seriously and urge other health club owners to do the same. We take all the precautions we can to guard against an attack but are aware, whatever we do, the risk remains. Working with Independents gives us peace of mind that, if the business does suffer an attack, The River Club will survive. Without insurance cover the business would be extremely vulnerable and I’ve worked too hard for too long to see it brought down by a cyber criminal.”
Tim Slater, Director, The Hogarth Health Club, Chiswick “The world is changing and crime is not as easy to defend against as it used to be. Digitalisation has massively improved the efficiency of our operation and the quality of our service delivery but it has also introduced vulnerabilities which are difficult to guard against. Cyber criminals are relentless and the threat of an attack is ever present. We take every reasonable precaution possible to protect our members’ data. Security is hugely important to us. To date, we have not had to deal with any security breaches, long may this continue but we will not get complacent. Insurance cover offers us the peace of mind from a financial perspective which lifts a huge weight but our number one concern is our relationship with our members. Once trust is broken it’s difficult to regain. Cyber crime threatens this trust and this is what concerns me most.“
Even with these measures in place – how safe is stored data? Cyber criminals are often one step ahead of security experts, constantly finding new ways to infiltrate software and gain access to protected data. Gym owners are advised to protect their business through investment in Cyber Insurance. While this will not prevent an attack, it will help ease the financial impact of an attack and give access to a team of professionals who will not only work with the gym owner post attack to limit liability, but will also help gym owners ensure adequate procedures and systems are in place to limit the risk of an attack occurring. When sourcing cover, it is important gym owners also engage a broker that truly understands the nature of their business. We work with more than 750 gyms and, when providing Insurance cover, draw on our wealth of experience and examples of best practice to ensure each client has the
information and support they need to fully protect their business. Specifically in response the cyber threat, we have partnered with Hiscox and created a simple, affordable yet comprehensive cover, specifically for gym owners. In addition to covering any ransom demanded to decrypt data, insurance is also available to cover; financial losses caused by a disruption to business, compensation awarded to members affected by a data security compromise, legal costs and reputation damage. Like all insurance policies, the true value is not appreciated until it is required but when it is, having comprehensive cover in place will save a gym and the gym owner from considerable financial losses.
Immediate actions if a cyber attack is suspected Inform your insurance broker - A quality broker will
work with the gym owner, providing advice to minimise disruption and limit liability. Establish when the attack happened and switch to a pre-attack backup - Do not turn off the main server or perform a restart as to do risks erasing information which could be valuable in data recovery. Inform stakeholders and investors who have a legal involvement in the gym. Inform members whose personal data may have been compromised - This is never a desirable action but members deserve to know so that they can act to protect their own interests e.g. inform their banks of a potential security breach etc. Prepare a press statement and put a plan in place to manage PR. This will help limit any potential negative publicity which could have a long-term impact on the gym’s reputation and credibility.
For more information on how to protect your business contact Independents on 01189 875 100 or email email@example.com. JULY 2017
‘Question eve that is the gre driver for imp and innovatio We talk to Justin Mendleton, MD of MoveGB How did you get into the fitness industry? I was studying for a Business and Leisure Studies degree and worked in my local Holiday Inn leisure club during my sandwich year in 1992. Like most health clubs at the time, I was a swimming teacher, fitness instructor, PT, manager and cleaner all at the same time! I did a couple of years on the operator side then switched to commercial IT supply and spent the next nine years with Gladstone Health & Leisure. I joined The Retention People (TRP) as Sales Director and played an exciting role in growing that business with the founder who also went to set up MoveGB in 2013 after selling TRP to Jonas in 2011.
Why do you think the industry has struggled to significantly improve member retention?
Tell us about MoveGB
The industry faces an inherent dilemma; we’re all focused on getting ‘more people active, more often’ but if everyone exercised for the recommended 30 minutes for five days a week, most fitness facilities would need to be five times bigger. Why aren’t they? Because the industry’s ‘product to market fit’ is misaligned with the consumer. We wouldn’t all eat in the same restaurant for life, so why expect fitness customers to work out at one venue or business? Bringing together traditional, low cost and boutique operators creates a unique product that will grow the market with new and engaged exercisers as its more closely matched to the consumers’ need for variety.
MoveGB can be best described as the ‘Netflix’ of physical activity. We’re an innovative online marketplace offering access to thousands of gyms, studios and classes through one flexible membership. Launched in 2013, we now have over 200,000 registered members and almost 3,000 leisure operators.
Our wealth of data insight shows people need variety when exercising to motivate them and help them stay active for longer. Turning down other forms of physical exercise because they have to pay more to take part in the activity means that people are becoming less active and they lose motivation to pursue activities that make them feel good.
Our mission is to help the industry collaborate to get and keep people active for life! We work with large brands such as Virgin Active and Pure Gym through to fantastic independent providers including local gyms, boot camps, yoga classes, climbing walls, and even the odd hula hoop class. ‘Movers’ are four times more likely to be active after six months of joining than users of just one gym. We not only help people in the early stages of forming an exercise habit, but also in the later stages when we can recognise the habit is slipping and needs a ‘nudge’ in the form of a personalised message from a coach. 60
How does the MoveGB model support the business objectives of its partner operators? Our online fitness platform helps operators sell their membership offers and packages to thousands of qualified fitness users in their area. We unite operators to offer a variety of memberships to a new type of fitness customer looking for a mix of activities and venues to keep them active. ‘Movers’ pay a premium monthly fee for variety and convenience so they get to try something new from the
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gym, swimming, and classes to dancing, climbing, golf and lots of other specialist activities. This premium price point is key as it protects our partners from any cannibalisation that they might see from other models more attributed to discount providers like Groupon. No Move user can access a Move partner venue cheaper than going direct. It means our partner’s customer base will continue to use them direct if they love what that partner offers; new users who are price sensitive will join direct too. This model gives our partner re-assurance that any revenue they secure through our platform goes straight on their bottom line. Through the Partner Portal, MoveGB provides digital expertise to amplify sales, marketing and retention initiatives while operator partners can focus on their core competencies – delivering great fitness products and services.
How can operators change the marginal growth of the sector? The ever-increasing improvement in technology, as well as
consumer sophistication and expectation is happening in our industry now and we are going to see a much clearer separation of consumer value from all the other traditional processes and assets that get in the way of delivering this. The consumer gets value from exercise and we need to remove as many barriers as possible to enable that. We’ve seen it happen with the rise of wearables and operators can contribute through collaborations with online fitness marketplaces like Move, and others, that enable them to offer facility-based ‘friction free’ fitness for consumers who demand variety and choice. Our growing ‘gig’ economy (freelance and second income workers) also enables more operators to collaborate with freelance fitness professionals and optimise their physical assets and income. Platforms that enable competitors to collaborate, through joint content marketing and shared education or offering ‘flexible fitness membership’, will help move the industry to a much more customer-centric model, allowing us to keep hold of a more consistent share of the consumer’s wallet, reduce churn and grow the active market. JULY 2017
What sets MoveGB apart from its competitors? MoveGB’s business model is designed to sustain operators rather than undermine them by competing for the same members. We’re focused on retention and engagement on both sides of its marketplace which is crucial for sustainability and growth of the organisation. Our innovative membership model is a risk-free and lucrative proposition for operators, enabling them to double their profits with a league of new members.
What advice would you give to operators to improve long term participation? There are a number of things operators can focus on including offering members as much variety as possible and encourage people to take part in activities outside of their facility. The more engaged they are in physical exercise, the more they will use the operator’s facility and will be less likely to cancel. Operators need to intervene early when someone is at high risk of leaving and more should be done to encourage interaction. The membership process should be as frictionless as possible so removing unnecessary barriers and don’t enforce long term contracts.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your business? Managing our team’s growth is a big challenge right now.
PREPARE FASTER, PERFORM BETTER, RECOVER QUICKER WITH
We’ve got a great culture at the heart of the business and it's paramount we preserve and build on it as we grow quickly and bring great people into the business that can help us achieve our ambitious goals.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from the fitness industry? By far and away the best lesson I’ve learned is that sitting still you don’t achieve anything! In the successful businesses I’ve been involved with, there has always been a resolve to question everything – every decision, every process, every product and that is the greatest driver for improvement and innovation.
What’s next for MoveGB? In the UK, MoveGB will be launching in more cities, including London this September, as well as delivering more insights and features for our partners to help them get the greatest return for using the MoveGB platform. Move is also expanding as a global brand with pilots of MoveUSA and MoveASIA already in operation. Further horizontal expansion of the marketplace platform is planned so Move becomes the home to address all health and happiness needs, from fitness to nutrition to mindfulness. We believe we can create a brand and a service that people everywhere will trust, love, and rely on. We want to move the world and aim to extend health and happiness on a global scale.
NEXTISSUE Features for August include:
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GYM OWNER monthly
Why low carb, vegan and shake diets work Ben Coomber discusses some common misconceptions about nutrition and weight loss methods - do they all work? The world is confused about nutrition. I teach around the world, I teach online, and I talk to a lot of people every day, and everyone is confused when it comes to nutrition. I did a webinar the other week titled ‘Where nutrition science fails and application wins’, and before I started the webinar I asked everyone “what is the one area of nutrition science that you struggle with”, and 50% of the audience said, “nutrition, it’s all so contradictory, one person says one thing, one another, I don’t know what to believe”. So, I’m here to help.
Firstly, if you would like to watch that webinar, you can, simply set aside 50 minutes, click here, and enjoy.
Free knowledge, you’re welcome! Back to my article. I do also have a problem with where nutrition is heading for some people, in that they are losing interest, and I don’t want you to lose interest because of the supposed confusion. Nutrition is an incredibly powerful life skill, that’s why I teach it. I used to be obese, unhealthy, unhappy, and now, quite frankly, I’m fricking AWESOME. And its nutrition that’s empowered me, I know what to eat, why to eat it, what I feel best fuelled on, what reacts with me, what choice supplements to take, and how to mix up the variables depending on how my goals change month to month. It’s my in-depth knowledge that has given me what I see as life skills. I won’t need to change what I know more than 10%, things will evolve and come and go when it comes to nutrition, but the fundamentals, the 90%, are what they are, and aren’t going to change dramatically.
Eat real food, move, stay well hydrated, sleep well and enough, eat enough protein, don’t stress where possible, don’t overdo it, eat LOADS of veggies, and smile and laugh lots. One thing that still evades most people though is that if you eat too much, you’ll get fat. Yet people are still concerned with whether a particular pill works for fat loss, or how low carb to go, or whether to do HIIT or cardio, ignoring the fact that people are not paying enough attention to their diet to lose fat, and the simple fact of…. You MUST eat less than you burn to successfully lose body fat. Now you might have followed a particular diet in the past, i.e. a low carb diet, and lost weight, but you still created a calorie deficit inadvertently, so while you weren’t purposely on a calorie controlled diet but on on a low carb diet, you were still on a calorie controlled diet. And this is where people become zealots of systems of thinking, they do something, it seems like the answer even though it was operating on the very simple premise of creating a calorie deficit. JULY 2017
How do I know this? Because I was that person. When I lost 5.5 stone I became an advocate of low carb eating, so much so that most of the clients I ended up working with ended up on a low carb diet, it worked for me, why won’t it work for them? Well it did, for the ones that stuck to it. But it was working on a broken principal. The ones that had success with it either enjoyed it, had good willpower, worked well off low carbs, created a calorie deficit due to the diet set up, or trained their ass of alongside the diet. It wasn’t any magic of the low carb diet, but the inadvertent environment it put them into. I was creating a calorie deficit through my low carb diets, it wasn’t the low carbs, but the lack of calories the diet created. But now I know better, I know about nutritional science, and I know how to apply it into the many real world examples I come across as a coach (watch the webinar if you’re interested in this, I talk a lot about this).
To draw a different example, vegan nutrition is currently very popular. Yet what people are comparing it to is normal eating (for the average person in the street, not the fitness community), where an awful lot of people are not eating anywhere near enough fruit or vegetables to be optimal, or feel healthy. Thus, people are switching to a vegan diet and hailing it for its health promoting benefits. Yet there is nothing wrong with a normal, omnivorous diet. The key problem is that no-one eats enough vegetables or fruit in their current normal diet, so why not take a normal omnivorous diet and max out on fruit and vegetables, eating 6-10 portions a day where possible? That’s going to make you really healthy, in fact seriously healthy, without shifting to the extreme of being vegan. That’s not me discrediting vegan eating, that’s me merely stating that vegan eating isn’t a magical answer, sure do it if you have an ethical or moral aversion to meat eating, but don’t see it as a special diet, because it isn’t, it just has some
real cool benefits because it has such a focus on nutrient density from fruits, vegetables and pulses. Like anything, as a teacher, it’s my job to take the best of things, distil them, discard the not so beneficial bits, and use them to create a more complete picture when it comes to health and performance. But are you doing the same? Is your guard up, and are you thinking critically? That doesn’t mean don’t be open minded, it means exercise some common sense with all the things we see being promoted around the internet. Do shake diets work? Yes, because they create an extreme calorie deficit.
but by good food (and often helps you lose weight as you cut out a lot of high calorie foods you would have normally eaten). Does fasted training work? Often for many, yes, most do this as an extra training session to the day, or actually find it easier to fit training into their day this way without having to worry about breakfast beforehand, thus they end up creating a calorie deficit. In nutrition many things work, but not often for the proposed reason you believe in or is spouted online.
Does going low carb work? Yes, because it often creates a calorie deficit by removing a major food group from your diet, omitting lots of calories you would have normally eaten.
So when that article crops up online, or another nutrition thread breaks out on Facebook, or you read an educator's post you follow, exercise some common sense and say to yourself “why and how could this work, and is it actually for the proposed reason, or is it acting on a basic principle of nutritional science, like creating a calorie deficit?”. This is where the money is, and this is where you won’t lose faith in nutritional truth anymore, because you have your own guiding star, the science of nutrition.
Does veganism make you super healthy? Yes, because it pours tonnes of nutritious food into your body, not via magic,
I can help you more with this. Don’t lose faith, nutrition is a beautiful and empowering life skill, embrace it.
Does cardio work? Yes, because it often creates a calorie deficit beyond someone’s normal dietary intake (as additional calorie burn to what they would usually burn compared to their dietary intake)
Ben’s podcast, which is free, addresses this kind of stuff weekly (every Thursday), there are also many books in the BTN shop. Ben’s blog always looks to expose nutritional truths, and, if you want to really get stuck in and become a nutrition ninja, enrol on the BTN Practical Academy. JULY 2017
ROLL WITH IT
Davey Fisher provides some top tips on foam rolling In order to make sure we get the most out of our muscles, there is undoubtedly some routine maintenance involved. Healthy muscles need to be regularly worked, stretched, stimulated, and squeezed to keep us healthy, fit, and strong. The longevity of your physical framework depends on it. Muscles work best when they are mobile and "stretchy" ....this can allow for higher contraction potential, better range of motion, blood supply, healing, recovery, and reduced general stiffness.
Foam rolling is often regarded as a critical part of maintaining muscle mobility and overall health. Think of the muscle in your body like pizza dough; if you let it sit, it tends to ball up and get stiff. A rolling pin is often needed in this case. The rolling pin, in this example, is like a foam roller for your muscles.
Regular foam rolling helps to lengthen muscle fibers, loosen fascia, and stimulate nerves on a very deep level; reaching layers of musculature that often can't be reached doing static stretching. Most predominantly, the deep muscular effects of foam rolling also trigger neural responses in muscle to allow it to relax. A regularly stimulated muscle has more laxity and blood flow than a dormant one. Simply put; this allows it to work better and stretch farther than a dormant one. To maximize foam rolling productivity, make sure to always hit the biggest and most prominent muscle groups. Most of these muscular areas are anchored around the hips. Examples include the glutes, quads, and hamstrings are a primary focus. To target the glutes (both Maximus and medius), sit on top of the foam roller with one leg perched across the knee of the other, and lean into that side. Press into the hip on that respective side, and roll this portion for at least 2030 seconds before switching sides. It won't always feel comfortable, but it's worthwhile: this area can be rolled to effectively treat sciatica, piriformis syndrome, and even back pain. Next: the hamstrings. Lots of issues related to alignment, posture, and lower back issues can be traced to tight hamstrings. Sit on the roller and press the roller into the
Two places to leave alone: the knee and the IT band. Your knees are not muscles, and contrary to popular opinion, neither is your IT band! For knee pain, try taking a spin class a couple times per week and rolling the quads three times per week. You might be surprised at how quick and effective this can be for alleviating everyday knee pain. If you have IT band issues, roll the lateral portion of your quad, medial hamstring, and glute-medius. Loosening these areas will effectively reduce tension put on the IT band that can cause pain, tingling, and tightness. Also you might consider going easy on the distance running, especially on concrete. This can exacerbate IT band flare ups. It's hard to overdo foam rolling, so add it into your preworkout and/or post routine at least twice per week your muscles will thank you!
backs of the thighs while rolling the length between the back of the knee and hips. For a deeper effect, do one side at a time. 30-60 seconds should do the trick! Flip it over and lay face down, the front of the thighs on the roller. Time for the quads. From the elbows, support yourself in a plank position. Let the roller move from the upper thigh to a few inches above the knee while pressing along the lateral and medial portions of the quads. The quads tend to be extra sensitive, so don't use all of your body weight if you don't have to! Your knee health depends on flexible quads, so roll them regularly! Obviously, you can and should regularly roll much more than what you see above: the calves, lats, and even the back to name a few. For each area, spend 30 seconds or more before moving onto the next muscle group. The more, the better! Just make sure to roll the muscles while avoiding bony areas, joints, and any questionable places.
"Regular foam rolling helps to lengthen muscle fibers, loosen fascia, and stimulate nerves on a very deep level" Davey Fisher graduated in 2013 from Pacific Lutheran University with a degree in Kinesiology. Davey joined The Ranch Malibu team in 2015 as the wellness program’s Fitness Instructor. One of the world’s top wellness and fitness retreats, The Ranch Malibu spans 200 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains, and provides the perfect setting to calm the mind, return to nature and focus on mental and physical health goals. Fisher carefully designs each afternoon workout session around basic functional bodyweight strength and fitness principles. He crafts routines with the intention of targeting multiple muscles through a variety of movements, while minimizing the equipment needed. For more information visit www.theranchmalibu.com and Davey’s Instagram page. JULY 2017
the UKâ€™s largest independent supplier of refurbished gym equipment 68
Physique Sports supply a diverse range of used gym equipment solutions to a broad spectrum of public and private sector organisations both nationally and internationally. Within these sectors, we supply and maintain second hand fitness equipment for a large number of local authorities, leisure chains, police and fire services and numerous single site operators. Some of our high profile contracts include the Ministry of Justice covering all prisons in England, Scotland and Wales, Places for People, Active Nation, Simply Gym and 1Life Management. From remanufacturing to bespoke design, through to 3D CAD design gym planning, flooring design and full fit-out. Physique’s expert team can deliver a complete end-to-end solution taking into consideration all aspects of you and your business being successful. Physique Sports will work in partnership with you to ensure that your requirements are met, helping you to personalise and customise products to suit your individual fitness facility requirements. Our customers tell us that our level of customer service is impeccable, showing passion from start to finish. Physique Sports offer commercial gym leasing and fitness equipment finance options, along with valuable fitness equipment warranties to help you to get
the optimum value out of every individual piece of commercial gym equipment. The company have undertaken many successful projects including trade out, preventative maintenance, repairs, equipment relocation, storage, equipment rental and remanufactured equipment supply. Physique Sports offer great value for money, the quality of equipment and the ability to maximize budgets will enable you to fulfil the clubs objectives without compromising on the equipment. The team at Physique Sports will always be consultative not only on the equipment but also the environment of the facility to enable you to come up with a cost effective solution that works for you and your members. Physique Sports offer a full bespoke service, individually customizing each piece of equipment, all upholstery, and framework to match any gym colour or branding. Our aim is to help create an environment suited for you and your members. Our extensive range of robust gym equipment and fitness equipment is remanufactured in our own UK factory, built to withstand the busy commercial gym environment. Whether you are looking to replace one item from your gym or plan a full gym refurbishment, look no further PHYSIQUE SPORTS are here.
Daniel Ball, Owner at Bluestone Fitness:
“When taking on the challenge of building your first fitness club it’s essential to seek the right advice, thankfully I got to meet the Managing Director Graham Bertrand of Physique Sports. From the first meeting Graham came with ideas on what equipment we would need to accelerate the success of our club. I couldn’t have been happier with the quality of service and product Physique Sports delivered, the equipment looked brand new! Adding our embroidered logo to the upholstery finished it off and was a perfect match to the aesthetic of our gym. The aftercare continued with fantastic warranty service and a hands-on team managing callouts, a real company you can trust and a company I look forward to dealing with again.”
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RESPECT THE LAW Howard Davies, Director at Howard G Davies & Associates, provides expert advice on health and safety legislation are you and your gym legally compliant? The catastrophic result of the fire in the high-rise building in London last month has sadly highlighted health and safety as an important element of the management of any premises and raised the concerns of local authorities in ensuring an effective health and safety policy is applied to all premises. Although I am not drawing comparisons between this event and a gymâ€™s health and safety regime, health and safety is a topic which most owners of gyms would prefer to ignore or postpone, often until an accident occurs. Having a health and safety policy is one of the essential legal requirements of running a gym or any other business and although the process may seem daunting to owners of smaller gyms, producing a health and safety manual and completing a risk assessment will prove invaluable in the event of an accident, or when facing an inspection by a local authority monitoring body. Health and safety policies and risk assessments are rarely perfect, but having one will demonstrate that due diligence has been attempted by the owner in ensuring a safe working environment for both staff and customers.
THE LEGAL PERSPECTIVE Many gym owners, particularly those who work without any direct employees and who use freelance instructors or personal trainers, often feel that they are excluded from legal requirements such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, as they do not recognise themselves as an employer. This is a technical point in law and maybe a grey area in some circumstances, but it does not exclude the gym owner from their obligations under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957, where occupiers of premises have a duty to take reasonable care for the safety of visitors using the premises for the purpose for which they were invited. Visitors include such persons as the gym staff and gym members. The later Occupiers Liability Act 1984 extended this duty to impose some responsibility on the occupiers even to protect uninvited visitors including trespassers. Employers Liability Insurance including Public Liability and Professional Indemnity is also essential for both yourself as the owner and any staff including freelance instructors who need their own cover. Gyms can be regarded as a fairly high risk premises and although they would not be as high a risk as factories and other industrial premises, the duty of care under the 1984 act takes effect if ď ˜ you know or have reasonable grounds to believe there is a danger. ď ˜ you know or have reason to believe that people and visitors may be in, or come into an area where there is a danger and where the risk posed is one against which you may as the owner could be reasonably expected to offer some protection. JULY 2017
In such situations occupiers have a duty to take reasonable care that people do not suffer injury. The most effective way for an owner to show they have taken reasonable care is to have a Health and Safety Policy which includes Risk Assessments for the gym premises. This will afford a degree of protection against some claims for liability or negligence by the owner having demonstrated they have conducted ‘due diligence’ on their premises. Users of gyms are generally regarded by Courts as having a responsibility ‘not to place themselves in harm’s way’ and this is taken in account when considering claims against owners. Some recent Court rulings have supported the view that if a Claimant chose to do dangerous things on what could otherwise be regarded as safe premises, their claims are not likely to succeed.
PREPARING A HEALTH AND SAFETY MANUAL The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) offers advice on how to perform a Risk Assessment and there are numerous templates available to use when conducting such as assessment. The problem for a small gym owner is that some of the information and topics listed in these articles and templates is designed for offices, shops and
industrial premises and not for the more specific risks found in gyms, where users are operating ‘strength machines’, which are not actually machines in the industrial sense, such as lathes, saws etc found in factories and subject to the requirements of the EU Machinery Directive. Other examples of specific regulations such as COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) although a mandatory regulation is unlikely to have a significant impact on a gym risk assessment, except for requiring chemical substances or solutions used in cleaning or swimming pool treatments, are locked in suitably secure cupboards etc. Some of the regulations to be covered in a risk assessment, such as those covering Fire Safety, First Aid Provision, Accident Reporting, Electrical and Gas Safety are applicable to all gyms, although in some cases the Fire Safety would be the responsibility of the landlord or management company responsible for the whole building. Most of the general advice and risk assessment templates do not specifically address requirements which are common risks in gyms, such as slips, trips and falls, circulation and space requirements, personal safety where lone working or threats of violence can occur. In addition owners should address specific safety requirements for individual types of fitness equipment such as treadmills and free weights, where there are some UK standards which may apply.
Howard G Davies & Associates have many years of experience in the area of gyms and equipment and can offer a template which addresses and guides you through a self assessment process which allows you to produce a simple and practical Health and Safety Manual and risk assessment statement for the particular requirements of your gym. Doing it once will give you the comfort of having a current document which covers your statutory responsibilities and makes it easy to keep updated, when dealing with future changes. 72
For further information contact Howard G Davies & Associates: Tel 01633 251222 Mobile and text 07702 401036 Email email@example.com Web www.howardgdaviesassociates.co.uk
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What’s hidden in my data? Reading through trade magazines, following companies on Twitter or LinkedIn, you will be bombarded with interesting stats, facts and figures. Ever wondered what your data could reveal? Now you can find out… Words: Chris Phillips
Operators spend almost as much time collecting information as they do delivering a service to their members, but the one thing that’s often overlooked is the important messages which could be hidden in the range of data you’re collecting every day. Point of sale transactions, bookings information and membership data is all essential to understanding how your business is working and unlocking the potential of this data is at the heart of growing and developing your business. Whether your focus is on returns to stakeholders, growth of membership numbers or good old-fashioned service delivery standards, understanding the data you hold is vital to success. You may remember trawling through Excel spreadsheets and spending hours number crunching, but mining your data for insights has changed. You no longer need to be an IT expert to extract the key facts you need from your data. The DataHub, in conjunction with leading leisure management system providers, has developed a process that allows you to unearth what you need. A simple set of specially-designed questions, forming a ‘health check’, will clearly identify the growth opportunity areas for your business. 74
Once your Data has been received by the DataHub, the information is processed through a Data Integrity module that allows you to see just how well your operational data is matched to the sector and what adjustments you may need to make to the way you collect information to allow you to make smarter decisions. Next we deliver a process lovingly called a ‘DataHug’, helping you to understand these adjustments and align your data, which in turn will allow you to benchmark performance and implement strategies to grow your business. Benchmarking against the knowledge of the DataHub’s sector-representative steering group, which has vast levels of experience throughout leisure, ensures you can benefit from a range of sector-driven standards to compare like for like in this wide ranging and dynamic industry.
But how does that work in practice? Let’s take as an example recent Sport England funding, which was made available to deliver services to older adults and people living in higher deprivation areas. By using the DataHub to look at the value you already generate to these demographics, you are then able to ascertain the types of activities you offer which would support your application for funding as they would make an impact in these areas. Comparing this information to national trend data from within the DataHub means you can then see if your activities are delivering the best value to these inactive people or if there are other things you should be doing to support your funding bid. Accessing information from 280 million visits across the UK means you are able to benefit from sector insight to make decisions rather than relying on anecdotal evidence, gut feelings or suspicions.
"A simple set of specially-designed questions, forming a ‘health check’, will clearly identify the growth opportunity areas for your business." Chris Phillips is Head of Sales in the Sports Intelligence practice at 4Global and has responsibility for the DataHub. He works closely with partners and operators to ensure the DataHub and associated modules deliver value to customers and the sector alike. The DataHub is a repository for sport and leisure data, integrated and enhanced through a suite of business intelligence modules, accessed anywhere via a single online portal. For more information on how DataHub can help you contact Chris.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.datahubclub.com.
Work hard, but don't work all the time Daniel Nyiri, Founder of 4U Fitness, asks new gym owners to make a plan.
“Being busy is a form of laziness - lazy thinking and indiscriminate action. Being busy is most often used as a guide for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions." —Tim Ferris
Maybe you don’t have the challenge of client acquisition but you do have the issue of complete exhaustion. Your clients control your schedule and you are working ALL THE TIME. I have been there, so I completely understand where you are coming from. I always wanted to be a leader and I have always been passionate about health and wellness. But I didn’t truly earn the title of CEO until my business took off and I earned the respect of my team and their clients. I felt special when “Entrepreneur” magazine called me a CEO and when “Business Observer” compared me to Elon Musk and Steve Jobs, but that didn’t happen overnight. And even then, I knew we were heading in the right direction but I also knew that I had to work even harder and smarter.
NOTHING TO BRAG ABOUT Being completely booked is nothing to brag about. If you are training and working all day, then who is answering the phones? How do you take new clients? Who runs consultations? Who is following up with 76
old leads or clients who left? Who keeps your clients on track? And most importantly, how do you grow? Or what happens if you get sick? Can you even think about vacation? If any of these questions make you worry, then you have some work to do. Here is the good news: you already have an amazing service! However, there is always some bad news: there are thousands of companies who also have had the most amazing product and yet they still went out of business because they were so busy working on that product that they didn’t think about growing. You cannot sustain this. When people reach out to me, they often start by saying, “You must be incredibly busy.” And I always respond that I’m really not. Not because I am not in charge of my time and life. When people say “busy,” that implies out of control to me. Think about it, we all have the same amount of time in a given day or week. However, some people manage hundreds, even thousands of employees, and billions of dollars and they still have time to go out, have dinner, relax, read and enjoy their lives. Too many of the gym owners I meet today don’t even have time for a cup of coffee – let alone time to read a book, take a vacation or enjoy a night out. Again, this is because their business is controlling them and their time, instead of the other way around! Great operators get burned out, while great business owners get rich.
EVERYTHING IN ORDER Let’s say that you are doing pretty well. You have everything in order. You have hired a great team of personal trainers and you have stopped training completely but are running the operations. That’s great, you are one step closer to firing yourself and becoming a successful business owner who can step back from operations and hire someone to manage this aspect of your business in your place. I think we can all agree hiring your first trainer or employee of any kind is the scariest but maybe the most fun part of your business. It is a clear sign of growing and advancing forward. Even better, you are getting to know yourself better and you have recognized that you are more than a personal trainer now, you are a manager. At this point, you are starting to get your life back. The business is running itself. Your trainers are working by themselves. You feel good about everything. This is when it always happens! You are checking your emails or social media or receive a phone call and there it is – one of your clients is very unhappy and is complaining loudly. Naturally, a group of clients will show up at the same time. Or you will have a double booking or a trainer will arrive late. Then you see your trainer doing something wrong with clients, maybe it’s not paying attention to their form or talking too much, so you give them a gentle correction. All of a sudden, clients are leaving and starting to ask for their money back. Consultations are not signing up anymore. You ask “what happened?” You will probably be tempted to over-coach your trainers at this point – tell them how you would do things, start watching them like a hawk, and maybe even join in on the personal training sessions again. And just like that, you’re stepping back into your old role. This almost always happens. But you don’t have
to fall victim to this scenario. It is not your trainers, it is not the economy, not the high-maintenance clients, not the machines. It is you. This is when you need to shine as a manager and leader. If you keep doing the same things, you will end up at the same place and you will go nowhere. You need to develop leadership skills, which are even more important in times of crisis. It’s all about working smarter, staying cool under pressure and creating the right business culture – for your staff, for your clients, for your own personal growth.
HIRE AWAY As a business owner, you need to focus on one job and one job only: business owner. That means that you can’t be a manager and you can’t be a personal trainer. You need to hire those positions out and fill them with the best candidates available. Make sure you assign the right job roles and responsibilities to the right people, focus on your employees’ strengths and assets and make assignments accordingly. At our studios, we have one person responsible for all leads and scheduling, another person responsible for consultations, and another for free week trials and turning those into sales. And we have a manager who keeps them accountable. If any of the above people turn in their monthly report sheets and something doesn’t look right, the manager has to be able to fix that. He/she creates accountability, which includes addressing issues but still celebrating successes and achievements. A logical chain of command, clear roles and responsibilities, and a tracking system are all essential to your business’ success– and to ensuring that you don’t work every hour of every day. Make sure you provide value every step of the way– in every service and interaction. Once you have done that and have created your operation manual, you will be able to hire people with an average skill set. You can hire people with a basic PT certification and teach them your system and all they have to do is follow your ordinary yet amazing working system. Instead of hiring for skills and certifications, hire for your core values and culture! Once you have this all figured out you need to make sure that your trainers deliver exceptional and consistent service. Your studios should have a familiar feel. This is about creating a culture. It entails matching uniforms (that your staff actually like and want to wear!), listening to feedback from both staff and clients, and showing you care about everything you do. If you have all this in order, your clients should be very happy because you have a working, consistent system where every single time they come in they will receive the same amazing experience.
Daniel Nyiri is an entrepreneur with one goal: to revolutionize the fitness industry. Find out more at www.4u-fitness.com. JULY 2017
My approach to training Chris Zaremba, our fitness over 50 expert, reveals the details of his training schedule People often ask me about my training – often people in my own (over 50) age group, usually on the basis that if I have found a route that works for me at this age, then it could be of use to them in heading to the same fit-up and fat-down goals that I have. So here it is. It’s an intensive system that takes me to the gym 10 times a week. So it’s not for
everybody. I’m lucky that training is so important to me that I can allocate two hours per day (Mon-Fri) to do it. This system is working great for me, and also produces results for my personal training clients. Please feel free to use any or all of the ideas and principles below, but always refer to a qualified Doctor if you have any concerns on whether any point below is suitable for you.
Afternoon/Evening workouts: Depending on the day, this can start anytime between 12 and 9pm with each workout taking between 50 and 60 minutes in-gym time, including some warm up time and rest between sets. There is always a protein shake (with some fast carbs) to follow – I want around 40g-50g of protein and 20-30g of fast carbs within 15 minutes of ending the workout. I call my system ABC7, as it’s based on both the alphabet and the number 7. It cycles around the following five bodypartbased workouts. Each workout has seven exercises, focussing on all angles and movements of the body part. Arms Back Chest Delts Elevators Elevators are Legs by the way – I just like the alphabet a lot! Days of the week aren’t rigid, but it’s important that I do one of each of ABCDE each day per week. I often do the biggest upper body muscle groups a couple of days apart, so my preferred sequence is B Mondays D Tuesdays E Wednesdays C Thursdays A Fridays I perform 3 sets per exercise, so with 7 exercises per workout, there is a total of 21 sets in each of those workouts.
I’M IN THE GYM TWICE ON MOST DAYS AS FOLLOWS: Morning workout: This is the time for cardio, abs and stretching, and is usually at 6:30AM, and takes 40-60 minutes. Firstly, cardio. The cardio sessions alternates between HIIT and MISS – that is High Intensity Interval Training and Medium Intensity Steady State. So in each week I will do either 3 HIIT and 2 MISS or (in the following week) the other way round. 1. HIIT is 20 minutes on treadmill with 2 minutes at a fast pace (gradually growing but currently 15.3kph) followed by sufficient time at a slow walk (3kph) to reduce my heart rate to 110bpm then repeat the cycle until 20 minutes is up. 2. MISS is 40 minutes on cross-trainer, keeping heart rate at 130bp, plus or minus 3 bpm. The HIIT or MISS is followed by 5-10 minutes of my ABS:100 – that is 30 reps of an exercise for upper abs, 30 reps of one for lower abs then 20 reps each side for obliques – making a total of 100 reps and taking a further 5 minutes. And that is followed by 5-10 minutes upper and lower body stretching. I eat nothing before these sessions apart from getting a significant caffeine hit with a couple of black coffees, plus water of course. Once the session is complete, I come home to an oats-based breakfast with fruit, nuts and protein shake on the side. A great way to break the fast! JULY 2017
Each set, I do to 10 reps or failure, whichever comes first. I choose the weight based solely on previous performance: The first set is done at the weight used in the last set on the previous occasion I did that exercise and achieved 10 reps. For the second and third sets, I base this on the number of reps achieved in the previous set as follows: • 10 achieved in the last set, then the weight goes up • 6-9 achieved in the last set to reach failure, then the weight stays the same • 5 or less achieved, then the weight comes down. I try to vary the exercises as much as possible. For example, within workout C (Chest) – one of the exercises is a press (90 degrees to torso). But within that, I vary between dumbbells, Smith Machine, fixed-path machine and a barbell. To make all this work it is important for me to record the date, exercise, weight and reps. This ensures I vary the exercises within my exercise alternatives, and also records the final set weight per exercise so I know what the weight is for the first next time I perform that exercise.
Finally, I usually don’t visit the gym on Saturdays or Sundays – keeping those for ‘life balance’. But if I’ve missed a workout in the week – either cardio or resistance – then I’ll pop that into the weekend if I can. Or I may just throw in an extra workout E – it’s usually a couple of days since my last legs session by the weekend, so if there’s nothing happening socially, I may do that. And I’ll usually do a 5k parkrun on Saturday mornings with my wife, the only exercise I really do outdoors, which is more social than training. If you want to see the exact exercises involved, how the exercises are performed, or see some additional alternative exercises, I recommend looking at my YouTube channel – www.bitly.com/ChrisVideos where I have all the exercises shown. Further descriptions and videos are on the ‘Workouts’ tab of my website, www.FitnessOverFifty.co.uk. And for those who want to follow the full system, then I sell the workout system comprising all the spreadsheets, documentation, hundreds of photos and videos, is available on my website – look for the ABC7 System on the ‘Shop’ tab of that site. I hope that helps, and can guide you in the creation of your own programme – whether you are over 50 or not!
Chris Zaremba used his nutrition and training strategies to transform from very overweight to contest-winning condition in five years starting at age 50. Check out Chris’s website for more tips for those over 50: www.FitnessOverFifty.co.uk
Chris Zaremba is 59, and has made a massive transformation in his life. He has lost over a third of his body-weight over the past few years, moving from being obese with medical-alert bodystats to becoming a fitness model and winning world championships as fitness model and muscle model for his age group. He He has has developed developed his his own own detailed detailed workout system and package workout system and package for for this this –– which he follows to this day – which he follows to this day – and and is available for you to purchase. It is called the ABC7 System, as the first three workouts are Arms, Back and Chest and the number 7 comes up frequently in the programme. It’s available from Chris for £49, which includes full documentation, spreadsheets, over 120 videos of different exercises and 80
more more than than 250 250 photos. photos. All All suitable suitable for for whatever whatever age age you you are! are! You You may may –– or or may may not not –– want want to to follow follow in in Chris’s Chris’s footsteps footsteps all all the the way way onto onto the the fitness fitness modelling modelling stage. stage. Either Either way, way, following following the the System System should should help help you you up-the-fit up-the-fit and and down-the-fat, down-the-fat, and and achieve achieve aa real real improvement improvement in in all all your your fitness fitness measurements measurements and and activities. activities. And And see see the the difference difference too! too! Send Send an an email email to to Chris@FitnessOverFifty.co.uk Chris@FitnessOverFifty.co.uk if if you you want want to to order order the the ABC7 ABC7 System. System.
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REFER YOURSELF Q. I’d like to run an Exercise on Referral (EOR) scheme, what’s the best way of going about this? Eric Newsome, Falmouth
Stuart Stokes, Commercial Director at ReferAll, answers:
The first step is to know what is required. There are two crucial documents: PH54, the Public Health Guidance and the Standard Evaluation Framework for Physical Activity Interventions, which can both be downloaded from www. nice.org.uk. The next stage is to research what schemes exist in your area. Contact the Public Health Team at your local authority so you can build a relationship with them and also be notified of any tenders. If there is an Exercise Referral scheme in your area, scope out what the provision is and how it works. The opportunity here is to offer your facilities to them by contacting the managers of the programme. You can add to the mix of activity venues available to patients in your locality. Use the information you have gathered to indicate how you can help within the existing framework and assist them to meet their aims.
If there isn’t a scheme, there is an opportunity to create one. Review the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) for your local authority. This identifies the local council’s priorities. Once you have researched the pertinent physical activity ones, take this information to your Public Health Team. Use their language to make it clear that you understand their priorities and that you are ticking their boxes. When seeking who to speak to, start at the top, the Director of Public Health. An email or call is a great way to begin. Other key personnel include the Lead Person and/or Commissioner for your area. One route to consider is the creation of a pilot scheme. This is important as it may get you funding. It will also drive a client group you don’t normally see and, if you give them a good service you are highly likely to retain them given their goals are health rather than image focused.
ReferAll are specialists in software solutions for exercise referral and consultancy. For further information visit http://blog.refer-all.net
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