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ISSUE 28 // July 2018


Yoga Core Stabilisation

How Sports Stars Are Pushing Their Inner Athlete

Gym Owner of the Month: Liam Hunn from Superhero Fitness


James Smith the industry's most controversial PT speaks out on the dangers of Instagram

Claire Crowther

Stage Lean Belongs on Stage JULY 2018



Welcome... …to the July 2018 issue of Gym Owner Monthly Magazine. Summer has well and truly arrived (or so I hear, I am on the other side of the pond), and I hope you have been able to make use of the long days and are enjoying the sunshine. This month we have another issue packed with a host of different articles we hope you find interesting and maybe even inspiring. As we have done over the last couple of months, we continue to showcase the great work Aspire InstructAbility do in terms of more inclusion in the industry for people with disabilities. On pages 16 18, you can find out about another InstructAbility alumni, Wendy Hall. On pages 26 - 27, Master Trainer Matt Gleed talks about Sport Specific Training, and our cover star Claire Crowther looks at the changes in women’s attitude to lifting, and explains why stage lean shouldn’t be a lifestyle on pages 30 - 32. We hope you enjoy the issue!

Nicky & The GOM Team




Nicky Sefke

Janine Edwards

Paul Wood Tel: 07858 487 357

  @GymOwnerMonthly  gymownermonthly

 @GymOwnerMonthly  gym-owner-monthly-magazine

Keep up to date

The only fitness industry magazine endorsed by British Weight Lifting

COVER MODEL: Claire Crowther PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Marsh

© 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.

JULY 2018


Contents TRENDS





43 33




06 61


Know Your Potential Audience, Inside Out Chris Phillips examines how data is available to determine the what, where and why of leisure facility investment.


Pre-Designed Exercise Sessions A Level 2 course.


Mind Over Matter Daniel Nyiri on why it is important for your clients to believe in you, and themselves. Don’t Fall Foul of The Law Abigail Harris on the importance of Health and Safety.

News The latest news and hot topics in the industry. Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers.





Have a vision. Have faith. Believe in yourself. Don’t have any regrets We meet Liam Hunn, owner of Superhero Fitness.


PT of the Month We meet Lewis Bruton.



Focus on PT Academy and Let The Rest Focus on Us We meet Adam Kiani, Chief Executive at PT Academy for our Big Interview.



Stage Lean Belongs on Stage Cover star Claire Crowther discussed the change of women’s attitudes to weight lifting, and the importance of being realistic with your goals.

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


48 26


58 16




How Sports Stars Are Pushing Their Inner Athlete Matt Gleed discusses Sports Specific Training.


The Core of The Matter A strong, stable core is key to injury prevention and client retention.


Flexible Timetabling Capitalising on Yoga & Pilates Classes


Stretching The Basics



From Spinal Injury to Fitness Entrepreneur Aspire InstructAbility alumni Wendy Hall tells her story.


Ask the Expert

38 54



Power Breakfast Time Chris Zaremba shares his favourite breakfast to start the day.

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

JULY 2018





What’s hot in the fitness industry


ALLIANCE LEISURE ALSO NAMED AWARD WINNER To mark the launch of ukactive’s new, multi-day event which celebrates physical activity, Alliance Leisure partnered with ukactive to host an evening of networking, canapés and drinks at the Midland Hotel in Manchester on June 20.

The event was well attended by more than 150 partners and guests, all eager to toast ukactive’s re-formatted flagship annual event.

with organisations who have made and will continue to make the initiative a reality.’

Active Uprising brought together more than 1,000 leading decision makers for a festival of insight, debate and action across Greater Manchester from June 21 – 23, 2018. With a jam-packed schedule which included thought leadership sessions, networking, insight and innovation, the event was the biggest festival of physical activity ever hosted in the UK.

Celebrations continued on the evening of June 21, with the new format ukactive black-tie Award ceremony, attended by 800 representatives from the physical activity sector. The event recognised the incredible work of many organisations and individuals passionate about getting more people more active more often. Alliance Leisure was incredibly proud to be named the winner of the Concept, Design and Build category for the innovation and success of the redevelopment works at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre in Lancaster.

James Foley, Commercial Director at Alliance Leisure, says: ‘We felt it was really important to support ukactive in their celebrations. The organisation plays a vital role in the growth and development of the physical activity sector. The scale of Active Uprising highlights just how much value the sector is now delivering to individuals and communities across the UK and we are very proud to be a part of it all.’ Steve Ward, CEO at ukactive, says: ‘Alliance Leisure has been a long term Strategic Partner and investor for the sector with the mission of making more people, more active, more often. The opportunity to work with Alliance and GmActive gives us the opportunity to set the scene for the Active Uprising over the next three years 6

JULY 2018

Speaking about the Awards, ukactive CEO Steven Ward says: ‘Given the growing contribution of physical activity in all aspects of society, it seemed only fitting that we expanded the ukactive Awards to recognise the full breadth of our movement to create an active nation.’ ‘Huge congratulations to Alliance Leisure who has been making such strides to get more people, more active, more often.’ For more information about the awards visit https://www.


SWIMTAG LAUNCHES WEEKLY MASS PARTICIPATION POOL COMPETITION After two years in development with operator partner, Places for People Leisure (PfPL), 222 Sports, creator of SWIMTAG, has launched ‘Rule The Pool’, the world’s first, pool-based weekly competition, designed to engage pool users and encourage swim participation. The weekly timed swim simply requires participants to register via the SWIMTAG website, don a SWIMTAG wristband and swim 400 metres (16 lengths of a 25-metre pool) as fast as they can. The session is automatically logged by the wristband and the effort is ranked, appearing in a central, Rule The Pool league table available to view anytime on the SWIMTAG website. Competitions run every week from Monday to Sunday. At the end of each week, participants receive a personalised email from SWIMTAG, detailing their Rule The Pool competition time, rank and the total number of swimmers who participated that week. The leader board is then cleared and a new competition begins. Participants can complete the competition as many times as they like in a week, with SWIMTAG automatically selecting the fastest time to appear in the leaderboard. Having completed one timed swim, many participants repeat the experience week after week, in an attempt to improve their rank and time achieved in previous weeks. Rule The Pool, originally developed via funding from Sport England, has been refined over a period of almost two years in partnership with leading leisure management company, PfPL. The competition is already available across all 72 PfPL managed pools and attracts around 1,000 participants every week. From this month, Rule The Pool will be available to swimmers at all SWIMTAG pools across the UK, with a plan for global rollout in the future. Mark Haslam, Head of Swimming and Sport at PfPL, says: ‘Two years ago, we recognised the need to offer an accessible pool challenge which would engage a wide spectrum of ages and abilities to attract more people into the water. SWIMTAG was already installed in all our pools, so when we mentioned our ambition to Kieran and the team at 222 Sports they set about developing a cloud-based competition open to all, titled Rule The Pool.’ Kieran Sloyan, MD at 222 Sports, adds: ‘Since launching Rule The Pool across the PfPL estate, almost 3,000 individuals have completed at least one timed swim. We are now very excited to open the challenge to pool users across country who have access to SWIMTAG, enabling swimmers to compete against others up and down the country. All management and communication is administered by SWIMTAG, meaning no extra input from the operator is required to run this competition.’ Rule The Pool is available to all SWIMTAG operator partners free of charge. Sloyan adds: ‘Rule The Pool has the potential to create a global swim community and encourage literally thousands of people into the water. 400 metres is a do-able distance for most recreational swimmers, keeping the challenge inclusive and driving as much participation as possible.’ If you are interested in finding out more about Rule The Pool and the SWIMTAG solution, visit or contact 222 Sports on: 01225 282117

NEW RESEARCH REVEALS THE IMPACT FITNESS INSTRUCTORS HAVE ON CLIENT RETENTION  MINDBODY research reveals the importance of the right instructor for client retention, and how gyms/studios can

find the right people for their clients  One in five people (20%) say that PTs or Fitness Instructors are the most important factor when it comes to sticking to a new routine, but just 4% claim to have found their perfect instructor  One in four people (27%) see a friendly personality as the most important trait for a Personal Trainer One of the main challenges facing business in fitness and wellness, is how to provide a service that can drive repeat visits and increase customer retention. However, with such a wide variety in consumer preference and demand, this is no easy task. New research from MINDBODY, a leading business management software in the fitness industry, has found that one in five (20%) people who regularly exercise see the right instructor as the most important factor in sticking to a new fitness regime, but just 4% of people claim to have found their ‘dream instructor’. What’s more, MINDBODY data from its portfolio of gyms and studios, shows just how important the right instructor is, with retention rates for the top instructors far outweighing studio averages. To support businesses in the fitness industry, MINDBODY has identified the traits that clients look for most in an instructor, and the vital role that finding the right instructor plays in getting clients through the door. The top five traits that active Brits look for from their instructors are: 1. A friendly personality (27% said this the most important trait) 2. K nowledge of the industry (22% said this was the most important trait) 3. Highly qualified (14% said this the most important trait) 4. Patience (12% said this was the most important trait) 5. A positive attitude (10% said this was the most important trait) Naturally, these traits varied depending on the preferred form of exercise. Using the research, the experts at MINDBODY have provided their advice on finding the right instructors to meet clients’ need: Those who lifts weight value knowledge of the industry the most (34%) This demographic is the most likely to want instructors who have a good knowledge of the industry, so ensure your team is continually learning and evolving their knowledge to pass onto clients. Provide regular in-house training or encourage them to enrol in specialised courses to help them stay on top of any new methods and trends in the industry, especially any to support sport-specific techniques or proper form when lifting, as this will go a long way with clients. Those who do HIIT want an instructor who pushes them hard (12%) If someone has walked into a HITT class, the likelihood is that they are there to work hard. Find an instructor who isn’t afraid to push their clients and who understands what techniques or language they need to adopt to get the best out of them. This will make the client feel accomplished and more likely to return to a class at your studio. HIIT classes are often very intense, so finding an instructor who can match the intensity will also work well. Those who do yoga seek patience the most (12%) Whilst the practice of yoga is designed to be calming, often the poses and the practice of self-reflection can be a challenge, especially for beginners and those progressing to more advanced positions. Finding instructors who can empathise with this and show patience, helping clients to adjust poses for their ability, is sure to keep clients coming back. There are some crucial factors to consider when hiring a coach or a trainer. MINDBODY has teamed up with REPs, the largest independent public register for the Health and Fitness industry, to offer guidance for businesses on hiring the right people. Here are three important questions from REPs to ask your new hires and fitness staff, that will help provide you assurance that you are putting your client’s bodies under the construction of an JULY 2018



appropriate health and fitness professional: 1.

A re they qualified? Sounds a surprising question, but because the various titles that someone can appoint themselves today are not protected by law, it is very important to ask and check. These titles can include: Instructor, Teacher, Personal Trainer or Fitness Coach.


W hat do their qualifications mean? With the plethora of training methods and brands in the health and fitness industry it is important to ensure that the coach has completed a qualification that meet UK (and international) standards. The best way to check that the coach is registered with the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs)


W hat are their specialisms and do their qualifications match your clients requirements? There are a variety of reasons someone may embark upon an exercise regime, but if your clients have special requirements your new hire should have a category of registration on REPs to show, not only that they have the underpinning of knowledge to coach the general population, but they have the specialist knowledge and skills to instruct them.

Charlotte Newton, Senior Manager EMEA Marketing at MINDBODY, commented: ‘We see in our data, that a growing number of people are turning to pay-as-you-go classes and PT sessions as opposed to fixed gym memberships, which presents both a challenge and an opportunity for studios and gyms.’ ‘Finding the right instructors who can match what your clients are looking for, will really help in driving repeat visits - whether it’s retention or growth that you’re aiming for. They should mirror your brand, reflect your values and help you build your community.’ To find out more about MINDBODY visit, https://www.

Future Fit Training awarded ‘Supplier of the Year’ at the Active Uprising Awards Future Fit Training, leading provider of quality assured fitness courses in Personal Training, Pilates and Nutrition, has been named the ‘Supplier of the Year’ at the 2018 ukactive Active Uprising awards. Last year the company became the first to be presented with the ‘Training Provider of the Year’ award at the Active Training Awards for two years running, making this third award a true testament to their leading all-round status in the industry. Active Uprising praised the Future Fit team for their unrivalled commitment to driving standards and safe guarding the quality of education and training in the industry. Following their Raising the Bar Report, which calls for the sector to work together to raise standards of training, the company cemented their position as a leading training provider dedicated to delivering solutions for the sector and ensuring a positive customer experience. This year’s awards are the first of the new format annual awards hosted by ukactive, recognising excellence and innovation across the sector. On the night, ukactive revealed winners across a raft of categories specially created to celebrate achievements across all areas of the continuously evolving physical activity sphere. Each awards category was hugely competitive, with countless number of suppliers completing submission entries in the hope of being presented with the highly sought-after achievement. Rob Johnson, Future Fit Training Managing Director, accepted the Award on June 21st 2018 at the Active Uprising Awards. “We are absolutely delighted to have won Supplier of the Year at the prestigious Ukactive Active Uprising Awards hosted in Manchester. As we prepare to celebrate our 25th anniversary, to be presented with an award which recognises all the work we do with our corporate customers to raise standards of training in the sector, is 8

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especially close to our hearts. We are passionate about the work we do and the industry we care so much about. Being recognised for our dedication and commitment to provide our customers with a highly educated, respected and professional workforce makes me so proud. We are a very close knit team at Future Fit Training and I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them for their passion in ensuring that we continue to be driven by our desire to make a difference to our learners, our customers and our industry by continuing the mission to get more people, more active, more often.” ukactive Chair Tanni Grey-Thompson said: “It was a privilege to co-host the first ukactive Awards in their new format and the competition was particularly fierce this year. It was incredible to listen to the stories from our finalists – their passion for physical activity is clearly evident. I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all those doing more to get more people active – you really are leading this movement.”

BodyPower announce plans for 65 strong store chain in the UK Three years ago, the global fitness business completed an acquisition for a 50% share of leading online retail business ‘The Supplement Store’ ( with its strategy partner, Tropicana Wholesale, and subsequent to this deal, developed a prototype store, based within Emporium gym, Birmingham. The prototype has proved very successful. Concurrently, BodyPower also launched a supplement store offering in India, which has expanded rapidly across the nation, surpassing expectations. CEO Nick Orton commented “in the UK, our success has been mainly focussed around one weekend of the year, when the annual BodyPower expo takes place, and we have wanted to strengthen our position with bricks and mortar for some time. It’s a huge investment and so we wanted to ensure that we tested the model thoroughly for stores. The experience gained from working with our partners has been invaluable, and we are now fully confident in our expansion plans. These multi brand stores will be unmistakably BodyPower and we will be working with our existing customer base for product supply. Warren Dyson, owner of the renowned Emporium Gym said “I have always stocked a few products, but the vast range of sports supplements, and constantly changing consumer demand meant I couldn’t keep the stock holding needed to capitalise on the large footfall coming through the door, not only from members, but also residents of the surrounding area. The partnership with BodyPower allowed me to free up working capital as I do not need to hold any stock, and additionally offer the consumer a huge range of constantly refreshed products from the latest and best sports nutrition brands. The design, plan and build of the shop, along with stocking, stock taking, the POS and merchandising is all handled by BodyPower/TSST. Now I simply receive a payment from the profits every month, without the majority of the costs and overheads.” “The supplement store within Emporium Gym was profitable from month one” said Project Director Carl Walker. “The build took just 6 weeks from start to finish, and we took a lot of that time ensuring the finishes used for the build were of the highest quality and setting out the planogram to maximise retail space. The Emporium store holds over £25k of product and we constantly rotate the lines to ensure the consumer gets to see the latest innovations, along with new special offers all whilst keeping what would be considered the staple brands and products for consumers who prefer to stick to their tried and tested brand. We will be launching the click and collect option at Emporium soon, so that if a consumer wishes to purchase a size or flavour of product we don’t stock physically, they can have it delivered free of charge to the gym for them to collect.” BodyPower has already committed to a number of store locations, but is interested to hear from high footfall gym owners, multiples


who want to improve profits and entrepreneurs who are interested in standalone stores. For further details, contact Carl Walker by email on

WATTBIKE LAUNCH NEW SMALL GROUP TRAINING Wattbike have announced the launch of their new Small Group Training education course, which innovates the indoor cycling experience with progressive programming and periodised and focus around specific goals.

Members are made accountable for their improvement using focused, individual data and real-time feedback on their effort. Delivered by Wattbike Master Trainers, the six-hour Small Group Training course will teach attendees how to effectively run group training, working through general conditioning, advanced conditioning and technique in order to engage different demographics. The sessions are designed to get results; they will work through progressive programming that will guarantee performance improvement. Nuffield Health have been early adopters to the education course, having just launched Wattbike Small Group Training across 20 sites. Charlie Banfield, Nuffield Health National Commercial Manager – Group Exercise, explains: ‘We have been developing our group training for gym zones, ensuring that we reflect our connected health strategy and cater to all our customer types. From the outset, we knew that we needed a Wattbike Zone to support our indoor cycling, small group training.’ ‘Even though the Wattbike was developed with professional athletes in mind, they are a great fit for anyone, of any ability, wanting to see real results in their fitness and performance goals.’ The Small Group Training course will take learners through the Wattbike four stage programme, starting with the principles of the effectiveness of using the Wattbike Polar View and understanding resistance training and technique, followed by conditioning the body to work across training zones, through to targeting fitness gains and performance before providing ongoing sessions to ensure continued performance progression. Matt Gleed, Wattbike Master Trainer comments: ‘Having worked with renowned sports scientists, sporting champions and the best sporting engineers, Wattbike have always held the quality of its education at their core.’ JULY 2018



‘With the rise in popularity of Wattbike Zones, the team recognised the need to provide a course that will teach staff the latest in testing, performance tracking and delivering engaging fitnesschanging content in a fun, motivational way.’

Introductory Workshop, a 4-hour Introductory Workshop and a 3-4

With a focus on education, Wattbike will also be launching a number of other new education courses including a 1-hour Express

visit from a Master Trainer, contact or

hour Fitness Assessment and Testing (FAST) course. To find out more about these education courses or to book a visit for more information.



JULY 2018 Register your interest at

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HAVE A VISION. HAVE FAITH. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. DON’T HAVE ANY REGRETS. We meet Liam Hunn, who introduces us to his facility Superhero Fitness.

Gym Owner: Liam Hunn Gym Name: Superhero Fitness Location: Superhero Fitness, High Road, Trimley St Martin, Felixstowe, IP11 0RJ Email: Web: # of members: 200

How did you become a gym owner? Many Personal Trainers I’m sure have the dream of owning their own gym. I wanted to take my personal training and bootcamps to the next level and have my own permanent base to do this from, so I persevered for over three years to get the right location and space. Like starting any business I’m sure, it is a big risk and scary, but I didn’t want the regret of not trying, so once the opportunity finally came around, I invested and used a loan to create my dream.

How many gyms do you own/operate? Just Superhero Fitness.

Aside from the gym, what other facilities do you offer your members e.g. cafe, classes, creche etc.? At Superhero Fitness we offer a wide range of fitness classes from Yoga, Strength Training, SuperFHiiT (uniquely created by ourselves), BoxingFit, PiYo, Pilates, Circuits, ABSolute Core to other classes for mums so they can bring their baby to Buggy bootcamp and for youngsters too, who can attend our YoungStars fitness class. We also offer an outdoor bootcamp. I offer personal training services also, which can be one-onone or group PT training.

How long has your gym been operating for?

We regularly run programmes which can focus on getting that summer body ready, building muscle mass, or more specific such as improving sporting performance, e.g. how to run better.

We have been operating for 14 months.

We have a great amount of space outside, so we offer


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young as a business and the staff have not been here too long as yet. But, the business itself I believe is a great motivation and incentive for the trainers who have joined me, as they are gaining great experience and growing as a trainer with the business. Any good trainer would use that and continue to learn and see the potential to grow as the business grows, as we have everything to offer here in terms of training. Each trainer has added great value to the business here, and we are all gaining more knowledge from each other with fresh ideas. I give each trainer the opportunity to base themselves here to build up their own personal training clientele and give them the tools and support to help progress their career further.

Do you provide any financial assistance for your staff with regards to their training & development? sports team training to help sport teams get ready for their upcoming season or in-season with specific elements to help improve their performance and help prevent injury. We shall be looking to offer physio and sports massage soon too in the upcoming months.

How many staff do you employ? I currently have three instructors who specifically deliver certain classes and have 2-4 trainers.

How important are PTs to your business? I value my PTs very much, and I love seeing progress with people that I work with closely. I try and treat each member individually to help them as much as possible. I believe everyone would benefit from personal training and what I can offer them would be a great investment for their lifestyle, so I value personal training as a very important part to my business and I work closely with a range of different clients from professional athletes to someone stepping into a gym for the first time.

How do you motivate/incentivise your staff members? All staff are self-employed, but I see each one an integral part of the Superhero team. To be honest, we are still quite

All staff that help me are self-employed, but as mentioned above, I always go out of my way to help them develop as I have provided training myself for them who are starting out in the industry.

What makes your gym unique? The service and knowledge that we provide and the services on offer is in my mind without a doubt the best in the area. I don’t have any mirrors in the rooms (I know they have their advantages) but I can’t stand people wasting time in the gym looking at themselves for hours on end instead of training. So, I wanted to avoid that happening here. I am here to help people train and do so properly and effectively. We have created a fun environment for training with lots of space outside too and we have built a superhero family. All the members help each other out and are much more sociable and friendly than in the average commercial gym. Therefore we have kept away the big egos and intimidating characters (they are out there unfortunately) and created a wide range of services which provides for all where everyone supports each other.

What advice would you give to other gym owners just starting out? Have a vision. Have faith. Believe in yourself. Don’t have any regrets. Ask yourself if you can live with yourself if things don’t

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work out.

recommending us to people.

Be prepared, especially for long, long, long unsociable hours! If you don’t have a good work ethic, then re-consider.

What is your biggest success story?

What are the biggest challenges facing your business today? I would say getting the message out to more people for them to see and experience what we offer here. I am confident with what we are building here, but it’s transferring that out there for people to see and realise that.

What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years? So many more gyms are starting up everywhere. Especially commercial and budget gyms, which are making it more difficult for certain independent gyms like ourselves. A lot more investment is being put into the industry as more and more people are becoming less healthy and suffering, not just physically, but mentally too, and we all know exercise helps with this. It is good to see more enthusiasm going into helping people become more active, but in society these days peoples nutritional habits are not good. Therefore, more education and a positive change needs to go into nutrition - which is my main concern.

Each success story is as big as the next for me. I’ve had many people say that I’ve helped change their lives, which is so overwhelming to hear. Whether it was from achieving their weight loss goal or just opening the gym, which has been a life changer for a few of our members who have told me this. I’ve had clients achieve goals such as being able to hold a mug in one hand which they weren’t able to do before seeing me and that may not be as major to some people compared to helping someone lose an incredible amount of weight, but for me, that has improved their quality of life and that really made me feel satisfied. I’ve helped someone who had for many years suffered from back pain everyday and every morning he would wake up in discomfort. Helping him build the strength for him to then tell me he was no longer experiencing the pain is a really big success story for me as I love seeing people function and move better.

Finally, if there was one thing you could change in the industry, what would it be? How easy it has become to get into the industry. This contributes to the competitiveness of the industry and I believe it doesn’t do the public justice.

How do you engage with your members? Social Media mainly, and regularly at the gym. Also via messages as we have all become friends!

How do you retain your members? By constantly engaging with them and helping when I possibly can. I like to keep them up to date and ask for their opinions/requests on certain things as I see it as their gym too and not just mine. I want to work together and for all of us to enjoy the environment together.

How are you promoting your brand and marketing your gym? Mainly Social Media and word of mouth by current members


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Indigo Fitness Completes Move to Larger Premises The UK’s largest strength equipment

and the Low Carbon Grant (Coventry and Warwickshire Green

manufacturer, Indigo Fitness, is pleased to

Business Programme).

announce they have just completed a move to a new 20,000sq ft. facility in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

Having spent almost 15 years at our previous factory, just a few miles away in Hinckley, and even after taking on an additional warehouse in 2016, the continuing growth

The new spacious premises are almost double the size of our

of our business meant we quickly outgrew the available

previous factory and are sited on a 2 ½ acre plot, leaving plenty

space. Working conditions were cramped and this was

of room for further growth and expansion in the future. Housed

causing inefficiencies throughout our production process,

in a former Co-operative Society distribution centre that dates

not to mention the problems we had with office space

back to the 1960’s, we have completed extensive renovations,

– we temporarily housed our expanded product design

bringing the building in line with the latest standards of safety

department in a storage cupboard! In early 2017 we

and energy efficiency – repairs include a new fully insulated

decided the only way forward was to move to some larger

roof and cutting-edge LED lighting throughout, both designed

premises but vowed to keep our experienced and talented

to reduce 35 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year! The repairs

workforce by staying local. This meant the search was not

were carried out with support from the Investment Fund Grant

straightforward, but by the end of the year we had finally

(Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme)

found the perfect location.


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The long awaited new premises include a much-expanded manufacturing space, which has allowed us to invest in extra machinery to increase our production capacity and meet growing demand from customers. The extra space and light (provided by the new roof) has also greatly improved the working environment for our staff. The assembly area now has dedicated assembly bays, as well as a large open plan area that allows us to build and check the biggest of our rigs before we pack and send them onto customers. We also now have plenty of space to store finished goods, something that caused us problems before. The large warehousing area has allowed us to increase our

plenty of extra room for the future expansion of our team. Commenting on the move Jamie Taylor, Director, added ‘It’s been an exciting couple of years for Indigo Fitness and we look at this move to new premises as another chapter in our history. We are still getting settled in and there are lots of finishing touches still to do, but after a couple of teething problems we are fully operational. With much more space for production and research and development we will be able to design and manufacture products at a faster pace, leading to a wider equipment offering and reduced lead-times for our customers. The move to new premises is key in our future plans for growth and expansion.’

stock holding of RAZE strength and conditioning equipment and DuraTRAIN fitness flooring tiles and enabled us to take on distribution of Carbon Claw boxing. In addition, and for the first time, we have an impressive showroom where customers can come to view and try out our products. We’re currently showcasing the PWR Station training rig and storage solution, along with the Uptivo heart rate monitoring system, although we’ll be rotating the products and always showing our latest designs.

About Indigo Fitness We Create Training Spaces! From gym design, equipment manufacture, to flooring solutions, and complete installations. The business has been trading since 1996 and started life as a strength equipment manufacturer. Since then we have been expanding from an equipment manufacturer to a full service provider, offering custom designs,

The new office space is greatly improved, not only in terms

installation services and supplying RAZE strength

of size but also layout. Having a blank canvas enabled us to

and conditioning equipment. We also offer a wide

think about what could best suit our business. Overall, the

range of flooring solutions, headed by DuraTRAIN

new layout is far more open plan, which allows our staff

premium flooring tiles, and we’ve recently taken on

more opportunity for collaboration and means we have

distribution of the Carbon Claw boxing brand.

JUly 2018



FROM SPINAL INJURY TO FITNESS ENTREPRENEUR Meet Wendy Hall, a fitness professional with a unique insight into the leisure sector from both sides of the fence, who is not afraid to knock the fence down!

In 2008 I never imagined I would be where I am today. I went to the gym five to six times a week, did many classes, used weights and had taught exercise classes in the past. Never did I imagine that an accident would change all that overnight, and not only that, but would also change so many lives and lifestyles from there forward. This incredible journey all started 10 years ago. I had just moved into a new home with my partner, and was gaining experience with West Midlands Ambulance Service with plans to become a Paramedic. Then one day out of the blue, I had a vasa vagal episode, which apparently is common in healthy fit people. This occurs when there is a small change in body temperature which causes light-headedness, faint like symptoms or passing out. Unfortunately for me, this happened at the top of a full flight of stairs...and a few seconds later I found myself unable to move at the bottom of the stairs. I had broken my neck and sustained a spinal cord injury. Surgeons had to operate that same day, grafting bone from my hip and inserting a credit card size metal plate into my neck. After several months and eventually coming home from hospital, I started to find things I could face doing. Reaching 2014 and with lots of support, I found some volunteer work I could do, mostly online with Aspire Spinal Injury Charity. Aspire had also by then started running their InstructAbility 16

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courses, offering disabled people Gym Instructor Training with YMCAfit to help build confidence and encourage them to start a career in the leisure industry. For me, I saw this as the best opportunity to return to something I missed so much and had all but given up on the hope of doing anything like it again. The InstructAbility programme was hosted at Portway Lifestyle Centre, an accessible leisure facility in Sandwell. The course was hard work... I never anticipated how tired I would be! It was the first real challenge I had set my mind to. (Well, aside from learning to walk, getting out of bed and making it to the toilet...but that’s another story, and still in the making!) Following the training we undertook a work placement for twelve weeks in a real gym, with real people. I had decided I wanted to make it work, whatever that would take. I made sure I could shadow any of the gym staff working, slowly building my confidence to be able to speak to people again. I could see a bit of the old me returning, and gym members would speak to me like they did any other staff. I had almost forgotten about my 'disability'...or at least until I got home. Nope, still there and I was always exhausted and sore. I was, and am more determined to make all abilities seen and heard in the gym and in classes too. I have met some incredibly talented and motivated individuals who have positively thrived on the fact that I have been a presence and a constant for them in their gym. Something they never thought would happen, neither did I at one time. I always said from that point on, that every gym should have a Wendy!! (That’s an instructor with mixed ability). The benefits are priceless for them and me. I delivered inclusive one to one sessions for clients and they became so popular, I decided to design a class for us all to work together. When I proposed this structure to some leisure managers the response was largely what I expected; Me - 'Can I start a class for mixed abilities?' Gaffer - 'We don't do that' Me - 'I know' Gaffer – ‘Disabled people get a free pass, so it is not going to generate any income’ Me – ‘Not everyone qualifies for that and people are willing to pay.’ Gaffer - 'How's the class going to work if everyone's different?' Me - 'Leave that to me. I can teach it.' So they left it to me, and I did just that. I developed a group exercise class that enables people of all abilities to work out together. Three years later, I run classes that are bigger than ever! I have up to twenty participants in a single session. Everyone is different, even if they have the same injury or health condition, everyone is an individual and works at their own pace. My class was never advertised 'officially', just word of mouth and my own encouragement to those I met in the gym that wanted to work with us and try a class. It's now THE class JULY 2018



everyone knows about and wants to join in with. I still get asked, 'how does it work?' My answer is always the same, ‘we all work together -like any other class, and we all do what we can- like any other class.’ Hilary Farmiloe, Manager of the InstructAbility Programme at Aspire, says, ‘We are so proud of Wendy’s determination to succeed. We need more people like her challenging the status quo and pushing the sector to develop more inclusive exercise opportunities. A positive, can do attitude is what the fitness industry needs, with an understanding that it is possible for everyone to join in and exercise together whatever their ability. It appears there are still too many leisure managers with stagnant ideas about how things should work, who do not readily embrace or drive change in this area. I have no doubt that if we can get a Wendy in every leisure facility, we can speed up this desired vision of the future.’ Wendy has recently developed her classes called FUNction Fitness into a CIMSPA recognised training programme to enable other fitness professionals to learn how to deliver inclusive exercise classes that are fun, effective and accessible to all abilities. The new CPD module will be available to anyone with an existing Level 2 Instructor Qualification and who wants to add a FUNction Fitness class to their timetable. A monthly subscription will provide access to inclusive exercise guidance and routines. Tara Dillon, CIMSPA CEO commented: ‘It’s great to see programmes like FUNction Fitness gain CIMSPA recognition. Increasing the pool of instructors who can deliver inclusive exercise classes will help our sector continue to widen access to physical activity, whatever a person’s abilities or experience. Congratulations to Wendy 18

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for creating such a compelling mix of exercise and group motivation.’ There is no better testimony that inclusive exercise opportunities are in demand, than from the customers themselves. Ms Donald, a member of the FUNction Fitness expressed not only the benefit of the classes to herself but how it can also encourage friends and family to engage too. She said, ‘Wendy is committed to the core in helping people to achieve their goals in health and fitness; I’ve seen her work her clients to the max, which I like. I acquired my disability seven years ago and have had many peaks and troughs along the way, so finally getting to the gym has been a hugely positive thing. I felt great during the session and fantastic after the session, it gave me a huge amount of drive to get fit. Because I have a lot of on-going issues pertaining to my disability it’s hard to get motivated some days, however; I now plan to make this a regular thing, and get involved with circuits, then build up from there. Thank you so much Wendy, putting disabled people firmly on the health and fitness map, even my boyfriend is going to join the gym.’ It appears that Wendy is already succeeding in her ambition to make people with mixed abilities more visible in the fitness environment, not as anything special, but just working hard, working out and having fun together, the way it should be. Aspire is already planning to train staff and InstructAbility graduates in FUNction Fitness by hosting a course in London in September. Any instructors interested in booking onto any FUNction Fitness CPD courses can contact Wendy at or via website www.


Know your potential audience, inside out Chris Phillips is Head of Sales in the Sports Intelligence practice at 4global and responsible for the award-winning DataHub. Here he examines how, at last, data is available to determine the what, where and why of leisure facility investment Picture the scene: the chief executive at Tesco is with the

490 million visits to leisure facilities tracked since its inception,

company’s board to make a decision on the next wave of

the DataHub is providing the sector with the standardised, robust

investment and site acquisition. The Commercial Director

database that has long been yearned for. This not only allows

(CD), responsible for bringing potential sites to the board,

operators to have a consistent view of what is and isn’t working

presents three for consideration. When asked to explain the analysis supporting the recommendations, the CD clarifies that while some basic demographic modelling has been undertaken, there’s no data available to accurately

across their facilities, but also to accurately predict the likely demand for new or refurbished facilities. Which returns us to our original scene…

predict the success or viability of each site. The CD’s

Ed Hubbard, Senior Consultant at 4global, says “The latent demand

recommendations are based on gut instinct and what

service, delivered by 4global in conjunction with the DataHub,

feels about right. Given the lack of insight, a multi-million-

provides an unprecedented level of insight, allowing board members

pound investment is committed on nothing more than a

to make insight-led decisions on the size, location and facility mix

little demographic modelling and faint political influences.

of new leisure sites. The service ranges from ‘off-the-shelf’ health

In a data-rich industry such as retail, where a Clubcard, myWaitrose

and fitness latent demand reports to full site, multi-facility analyses,

or Nectar card provides retailers with a minute-by-minute

with a selection of expected outcomes. These include the expected

transaction history, it’s clear this situation is merely hypothetical.

number of unique individuals that will use a facility on a regular

Retailers can access insight that offers clear and simple metrics

basis, as well as the amount of throughput this will generate and

on the projected performance of a new or refurbished site, based

the optimal number of stations (or ‘size’ for other facility types)

on local spending patterns and competition, expected population

for health and fitness. These parameters define the most efficient

growth and many more factors. All major investment is insight-led

allocation of investment, given the local demand.”

and typically survives the acid test: high-street shops come and go but you rarely see a major retail store fail shortly after opening. One may presume this level of insight is available across other sectors. Not so. In particular, GOM readers will be asking why this level of objective insight and advice is not readily available for sport and leisure facilities. Why are operators, franchisees and local authorities relying on demographic modelling and, at best, the ‘this site is going to be similar to site X, which is currently performing well, so surely this one will follow the same trend’ approach?

The analysis can predict expected social value generated via the facility investment, quantified in pounds and pence, as well as the expected catchment size of the facility and where participants are likely to travel from. Most importantly, it encourages benchmarking against the rest of the sector, providing insight as to whether operators should focus on member acquisition or retainment. 4global’s latent demand service responds to a real-world industry problem. For too long, business analysts, senior managers and CEO’s

Historically, a lack of robust raw data across the sector was to

have been making leisure facility investment decisions almost blind,

blame, leaving operators unable to access anything near the level

but they can now access market-leading intelligence on the what,

of consistent user data available to the retail sector. Now, with

where and why for leisure facility investment. JULY 2018



TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR FITNESS WITH FITQUEST AS THE FITNESS INDUSTRY CONTINUES TO GROW EXPONENTIALLY, INDIVIDUALS ARE NO LONGER SATISFIED WITH SIMPLY LOOKING AT A NUMBER ON THE SCALE TO GAUGE THEIR LEVEL OF RESULTS. AS SUCH, AND WITH THE EVER INCREASING INFLUENCE FROM TECHNOLOGY IN OUR LIVES, TRACKING FITNESS GAINS QUANTITATIVELY IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT FOR BOTH GYM MEMBERS AND OPERATORS. WHY? IT KEEPS PEOPLE MOTIVATED, HELPING THEM TO SET TANGIBLE AND ATTAINABLE GOALS – A KEY INDICATOR FOR DRIVING RETENTION AND ENGAGEMENT IN GYMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.... FitQuest is a state of the art concept in fitness measurement, providing gym members a fun way to see a measurement of their overall fitness through data driven solutions. It looks at human performance over eight parameters: upper body strength, upper body endurance, cardiovascular fitness, lower body strength, lower body endurance, speed ability, explosive power and balance (motor sensory control). The latest FitQuest machines are also able to give individuals an assessment of their overall body composition – a factor which is extremely important to a lot of people, especially considering the growing obesity trends. The machines use standard bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), a technique that estimates body composition by injecting a very small electric current into the body and measuring how it travels through the body. Considering their impressive technological functionality, FitQuest machines are proving an extremely popular addition to gyms throughout the country. Indeed, after a successful pilot programme earlier in 2017, FitQuest recently installed body scanners across 124 of The Gym Group gyms. The Gym Group had been on the look out for the latest products on the market to help members on their fitness journey. With an engaging and easy-to-use interface, combined with the comprehensive body composition

analysis, the FitQuest machines provide sophisticated fitness measurements for members, and their trainers, to understand and analyse progress effectively. This made them an exciting addition to the Gym Group’s product offering and an attractive proposition for prospective members. Whilst it is still early days, it is anticipated that FitQuest will greatly improve the user experience and ultimately aid in retention of The Gym Group’s members. So far The Gym Group have had a great response from members who are enjoying the ease with which they can measure and track their progress. Since monitoring aspects of their fitness has been made possible through the machine, such as muscular strength and endurance, members have been able to target the specific areas they would like to build on, meaning they are able to adapt their training resumes effectively and achieve their desired results. Further to this, the personal training team at The Gym Group have been able to leverage the platform to create more tailored programmes for their clients, ultimately helping them to achieve better results more quickly. The team have developed a bespoke group exercise class called HIITQuest to aid this further and help members improve their scores over time. This, alongside the part FitQuest is playing within the LIVE IT. programme, means members have access to the tools and information they need to see great results from their training.

Unrivalled Fitness Measurement FitQuest brings full bio-mechanical lab technology to your facility providing scientifically robust fitness and body composition measurement with an easy to use, sophisticated measurement tool with a user friendly interface. Drive member engagement and support your members to achieve their goals with an innovative, data-driven, digital solution. Our research programmes and product development continue to drive measurement solutions forward for the industry. Contact our team at or call 020 7518 7323 to be part of the fitness measurement revolution. FitQuest Division, MIE Medical Research Limited Tel. 020 7518 7323


Separate Yourself From The Rest of The Pack NAME: Lewis Bruton


QUALIFICATIONS: Sports Therapy BSc Hons, Level 3 Personal Training

INSTAGRAM: @unprofessional_athlete


How did you become a PT? I was 18 and was medically discharged from the Royal Marines 32-week basic training course six weeks away from achieving a green beret due to injuring my achilles and knee. I went from running around Dartmoor and military assault courses, to struggling walking with my missus round town. Determined to return to full fitness, I researched rehabilitation techniques for my injuries and would employ them into my workout routines at the gym. Looking back some of the research I found was ‘bro-science’ and there was a lot of trial and error, but after two years, I was able to beat my previous fitness test scores that I achieved in Royal Marine Training. Although I surpassed my previous test scores, I was rejected from the Marines when I reapplied which I was devastated about. However, the results that I had achieved had developed a passion for training and the science behind it. Wanting to learn more and make a career in the world of PT drove me to enrolling at night classes which I would attend after my shifts in the factory. 22

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What was your experience of the training/qualification process? I first got onto the ladder through British Military Fitness (BMF). It was through this organisation that I got my Level 2 Fitness Instructor qualification. This was the first qualification I ever achieved having left school with less than stellar GCSEs. This gave me a great sense of pride which pushed me to instantly enrol in further evening classes to achieve a Level 3 Personal Training, Sports Massage and Taping and Strapping. I achieved these qualifications over a course of three years whilst working full time in local factories. After three years I was finally eligible to attend university - the first in my family to ever do so. I attended the university of Bedfordshire to study Sports Therapy BSc Hons, which I completed this year 2018. My route through the process of becoming a qualified practitioner was not a ‘traditional route’, but I feel that the path I followed has helped me develop past being a ‘traditional trainer’ that prescribes three sets of ten isolationbased training programme.

Do you (or do you intend to) specialise in a particular type of fitness? I specialise in training for competitive athletes and injury rehabilitation. I currently work for Hardiman Performance in Luton, where I provide a PT service for registered clients. I also manage the physical preparation of Jamie Richardson, a professional welterweight MMA fighter for Cage Warriors during fight camps. As well as this, I provide pitch side sports therapy and athletic training to Crawley Green FC a premier division Saturday league football club. I myself compete as an amateur in MMA and Kickboxing,

having my own passion for combat sports. I would love to continue training and developing combat athletes and one day progress to exclusively training competitive athletes.

What is your opinion of CPD? CPD is crucial. The world of sports performance is constantly changing and evolving with new innovative training modalities and tools that are readily available to practitioners world-wide. As a trainer, if you want to stay on point and provide your clients with the best service and results, then CPD is a must. Just utilising your college and university education will hold you back and keep you stuck in the box when you could be outside of it exploring new concepts. CPD also helps you specialise in specific areas. I completed a CPD course on the topic of strength and conditioning and nutrition, specific for combat athletes taught by John Connor, one of the Directors and Co-Founder of the Irish Strength Institute and Strength and Conditioning Coach to the notorious Conor McGregor and WBO interim featherweight champ Carl Frampton. This CPD course, alongside my other qualifications has lead me to heading Cage Warriors welterweight Jamie Richardson’s physical preparation during fight camps.

You spend your working hours motivating others, how do you motivate yourself? I am addicted to providing my clients with the best results possible. I get great satisfaction from seeing my clients progress, achieve and surpass what they thought possible. Helping develop the physical performance of the athletes I work with and then seeing them perform and achieve on JULY 2018



their stage is a great feeling, you feel a part of it, a part of the process a part of the team. I feel that I make a genuine positive difference to somebody else’s life helping them achieve their goals.

What advice would you give to other PTs just starting out in the business? Separate yourself from the rest of the pack. Quality clients don’t just come to you because you have a certain qualification. Quality clients come to you because you provide a specialised service that goes above and beyond the generic hour-long PT session you see at most gyms. Show people why you are different, bring your personality into your training and service. Clients want to work with you not your qualification. Put the personal back into personal training. Be consistent and be present. You need to make yourself known in your area and work environment. When people in your vicinity think PT, they should think of you. If not, why aren’t they thinking of you? Then address this issue. Most importantly love what you do.

What are the biggest challenges facing your business today? There is a lot of misinforming ‘bro-science’ available on the internet and unfortunately, it’s a lot more readily available. This information often involves questionable methods, unrealistic expectations and often lead to detrimental health effects. As a PT, you are constantly battling and myth busting to help steer clients and the people you come across in the right direction where they can achieve the results they want without negatively impacting their health. 24

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What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years? Social Media has fast become an integral part of the fitness industry. I have found it to be a great tool that generates opportunities, develop your personal brand and exposure and best of all it’s free to use. It is not without its negatives though. Social Media is overwhelmed with unrealistic expectations, misinformation, photoshop etc, therefore it is important to check your sources and ultimately take what you see on Social Media with a pinch of salt.

How do you engage with your clients (active and inactive)? To maintain efficient engagement with my clients, I have utilised Whatsapp which allows my clients to contact me directly wherever I am as long as I have my phone on me. This makes it easier to manage new bookings, cancellations, reminders etc. It’s a very useful app that the majority of people have - and it’s free.

How do you promote your services? A big source of promotion for me is Social Media. Instagram is my biggest presence online with my PT account @ unprofessional_athlete having over 23K followers. On Instagram, I regularly post sports specific training and injury rehabilitation exercises that my followers can use to progress and diversify their own training. By growing a strong presence on Social Media and providing free information I have developed my reputation in the industry and locally, which has brought me new clients that


may not have known me otherwise.

How often do you train yourself? My role as a PT keeps me active every day, but outside of being a PT I practice Martial Arts and train at two local gyms ‘Storm Gym Luton’ and ‘Renegade Stevenage’. I have competed as an amateur kickboxer and will be making my amateur MMA debut July 7th for Fight Star Championships in London. Competing in Martial Arts requires a great deal of training that not only requires focus on the technique and skill, but the strength and conditioning aspect as well to ensure you have the conditioning to go the distance in a fight. A typical week for me will consist of ten hours of Martial Arts training and six hours of strength and conditioning, which I fit around my PT client schedule.

If there was one thing you could radically change within the industry, what would that be? 100% I would change the perception and stigma around women’s training. It really grinds me when I see ridiculous calorie deficits mixed with endless cardio and endurancebased beginner bodyweight exercises being prescribed to women who want to improve their health and get in shape. This is an area of focus for me with my clients. I educate during my sessions to help empower women in the gym and let them know that it’s more than ok to McGregor walk into the weight room and start throwing around some iron.

Do you see yourself still working as a PT in 10 years time? 100% screams cliché, but fitness is and will forever be a part of my life. For me fitness allows me to step out of my comfort zone and challenge my mind and body every day which makes me grow and become better at other aspects of my life.

What is your biggest success story? My biggest success story starts with a failure. As I mentioned earlier, being medically discharged from the Royal Marines and going from being able to physically perform everything that was required of me in training to not being able to walk without pain. It took me two years of self-prescribed rehab and trial and error before I could run again. Eight years on from my injuries, I have completed a degree in Sports Therapy and now work as a PT for Hardiman Performance; an osteopathic clinic in Luton. I found a love for Martial Arts and made my amateur debut in K1 kickboxing and will be making my official amateur debut in MMA July 7th in London for Fight Star Championships.

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I am stronger both physically and mentally and would consider this journey my greatest achievement - and it’s not over yet. JULY 2018 25


How Sports Stars Are Pushing Their Inner Athlete Matt Gleed, Master Trainer and Education Specialist, discusses Sports Specific Training. Sport scientists and coaches structure workouts for their athletes with more focus than ever before. To improve their speed, strength, stamina and agility; all designed to increase the potential of a player which is worth so much in several ways - potential can further affect titles, sponsorship, and of course money. Over the years, athletes’ fitness has improved dramatically thanks to better nutrition and training techniques. For example, footballers now run less distance, but sprint more – training is more game-specific. In the last six years, sprints have increased by 80%, total distance has fallen by 2% and high speed actions are up by 30%. A lot of data can be collected by small GPS systems worn under players' shirts to gather valuable data such as speed, acceleration, distance and heart rate, which is reviewed by the performance team. This data can alert the coaches to any oncoming injury or niggles, allowing time to avoid any detriment to performance. It can also help to structure pre-season training and be used to customise an individual players training requirements, such as targeting specific muscle groups that might need strengthening or areas where further rest is needed.

Football The World Cup focus has already demonstrated that the distance covered was 7-10 miles per match depending on the position of the outfield player. Football is an incredibly demanding sport, players are constantly on the move – running, jumping, diving and twisting with rapid directional changes that can burn up to 1,000 calories per game. Several pre season fitness tests will include these basics  20-metre sprint test;  vertical jumps for single and double leg power.  YOYO or Bleep test to measure agility through an arrowhead run 26

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To test upper body strength, often you might see how much a player can lift for five repetitions using a push and a pull exercise – for example a bench press and maybe a row or pull up. For their lower body, the same number of reps for squats and deadlifts and we’ll also do a variety of plyometric jumping exercises and isometric leg press tests One for you to try at home could be a speed test (20 metres), however remember you are putting yourself against professional players: Poor = 3.17 secs or more Below Average = 3.16 – 3.06 secs Average = 3.05 – 2.96 secs Good = 2.95 – 2.86 Excellent = 2.85 secs or less During the season, senior players aim for three strength sessions a week dependent on training and match schedules. An upper body and lower body specific session as well as a power session. The power session involves explosive work such as horizontal and vertical jumps and olympic lifts with variations of those which involve moving resistance at speed. Performance data shows that a top footballer can perform up to 40 explosive sprints, and hit running speeds of over 30kph, so a 5 – 30 metre test changing direction will allow us to establish how quick each player is between several distances. This is often then built into regular training ground routines and even pre-game warm ups.

Tennis The nation is always gripped by Wimbledon fever and it puts SW19 on the map as a global stage for two weeks. The players development, year-on- year is amazing, and the athletic nature of players are admired by several sports coaches. In tennis, you will need your anaerobic system as the powerful serve and quick sprints to get across the court will be rapid, but the nature of tennis matches is constant movement during trading shot after shot which keeps matches going for hours, therefore a player works their aerobic system heavily too. Some stats in tennis show players covering 3-5 miles per match depending on the number of sets played. 48% of travel is sideways 6-10 seconds is an average rally 3 meters average travel per shot 8-12 meters average travel per point Strength is required in muscles and joints for hitting the ball with high velocity and to reduce injury risk. The ability to decelerate quickly means your body has to be very finely tuned. The range of movement (ROM) in the main joints, like rotator cuff muscles, is essential for strokes and on-court movement. Specifically the lateral flexion of the serve and rotation across the core means the strength of the hips and transverse muscles need to be powerful.

As tennis players start working with Cooper Tests or Bleep Tests, the use of the tennis court specific tests is gathering more demand. The use of court dimensions and the combination of specific footwork and hitting actions are highly desirable. During the past decade, different protocols have been published with an acceptable accuracy under standardised conditions. Weber and Hollmann were the first authors describing an incremental on-court exercise test for assessing aerobic power in tennis players. The particular component for the standardisation of this test was the use of a ball machine, which projected balls alternatively to the right and the left corners of the baseline. Players had to hit alternating forehands and backhands in a prescribed pattern and the number of balls in the back corners were counted and scored. This test does help the skill level characters of the game however, tennis is in need of more standardised approaches that don’t rely on such expensive equipment.

Cycling The Tour de France is one of the world’s most prestigious events. It’s an incredible sight to see these super fit, fearless riders pushing themselves in some stages to the maximum their bodies can take. Tour De France winner Miguel Indurian had a heart rate reported at 28 beats per minute (bpm), with many other cyclists in the low thirties too and compared to Usain Bolt, who has had his recorded at 33bpm and the average healthy person at 70bpm, it shows great strength and fitness of the cardiac system. The Wattbike is the indoor bike of choice for cyclists. Originally developed when British Cycling requested an indoor training bike that could record extensive data for pros and amateurs alike, and now used by the top cycling federations and chosen by the UCI World Cycling Centre as the testing and education bike for its base and satellite centres around the world. Real-ride feel technology, cutting edge analysis and unrivalled accuracy; the Wattbike makes training efficient, measuring both your speed and power output, whilst the bikes Performance Computer enables the accurate measurement of over 40 performance parameters such as Power Output, Pedalling Effectiveness, Left and Right Leg Balance and Cadence. One of the best numbers to learn on the Wattbike is your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) which represents your ability to sustain the highest possible power output. The test can be calculated from a 20min test and will give you accurate training zones. Another short sharp, but exhausting test, is the 6-sec Peak Power test. The test measures your highest peak power and cadence. You may find these metrics useful if you are adding sprint interval work to your training, as peak power will help you measure the effectiveness of your training.

"In the last six years, sprints have increased by 80%, total distance has fallen by 2% and high speed actions are up by 30%." JULY 2018



THE CORE OF THE MATTER A strong, stable core is key to injury prevention and client retention, says Kyle Stull, NASM master instructor and international presenter, who examines the science behind core stabilisation and how to strengthen key muscle groups. Every year, thousands of people join our clubs with the intention of changing their lives. However, as we all know, few of them last. This happens year on year. Keeping clients injury-free by developing stability may help to keep new members for longer. Injury is one of the best predictors of failure in an exercise programme. It’s tough for clients to stay focused and motivated when they’re hurting. A study published in Sports Medicine found that between 60 and 90 percent of exercise programmes started by sedentary individuals result in injury within the first six weeks (Jones, Cowan & Knapik 1994). There are many speculations as to why injury rates are so high among new exercisers, with some suggesting that it may be because programmes appear to focus on traditional resistance training. While there is nothing wrong with resistance training, many exercise machines provide external stabilisation and neglect internal stabilisation. When excessive load and repetitive movements are asked of an unstable foundation, something eventually gives way. To break the injury cycle for clients, one of the first exercise goals should be to build a solid, stable foundation.

Core Stabilisation In human movement science, stability is the ability to resist unwanted movement and to return to the original position after being knocked out of balance. All muscles have the ability to produce force, reduce force and stabilise joints. This occurs at all times, regardless of the movement. In a squat, for example, the knee is moving primarily in the sagittal plane while it is demonstrating stability in the frontal and transverse planes, and the core muscles are stabilising the spine and pelvis. Core stabilisation works by the contraction of deep muscles, which include the transverse abdominis (TVA), internal oblique, lumbar multifidus, diaphragm and pelvic floor. This 28

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contraction results in an increase in tension of the fascia of the lower back, as well as an increase in intra-abdominal pressure (Hodges 1999). The tensioning of the fascia occurs because the TVA is oriented horizontally, resembling a corset. The diaphragm, pelvic floor, internal oblique and lumbar multifidus also contract in a coordinated fashion to increase internal pressure. When all these muscles are functioning optimally, they provide stability to each vertebra in the lumbar spine and stabilise the pelvis. A common misconception regarding the core is that these muscles need to be ‘strong’. But stabilisers don’t get strong because they are designed to be quick and demonstrate endurance. In fact, Barr et al. found that only a 10 percent maximal contraction was needed to properly stabilise the spine (2005)., and research has concluded that the TVA should contract to provide stability prior to the movement of other muscle groups.

Improving Stabilisation Ideally, core stabilisers should contract when needed without any conscious thought. However, in clients who are sedentary or are experiencing low back pain, these muscles may have to be taught to respond appropriately through core activation. Research suggests that actively drawing-in (pulling the navel to the spine) before performing an exercise may improve activation. Getting clients to perform core stabilisation exercises such as the bridge, plank, opposite arm-leg reach and dead bug will improve their core stabilisation, as long as they are executed to precision. If not, you may be setting the stage for injuries. After performing core stabilisation training, clients can perform a single-leg balance exercise followed by reactive training, such as a simple squat jump to stabilization. This involves a small jump followed by a soft landing, which the


client holds for three to five seconds. This exercise teaches the client how to properly decelerate with a stable core. In addition, this integrates the new core activity into functional activities. Next, move into resistance training using exercises that encourage the client to stabilise themselves. For example, perform a standing cable press instead a seated chest press, which will force the client to engage their stabilizers, leading to even better core and hip stabilisation. The first four to six weeks of exercise should utilise core stabiliser exercises, which is Phase 1 of NASM’s Optimum Performance Training (OPT™) Model. Periodically remeasure the client with an exercise like the overhead squat assessment. If the assessment isn’t improving, you may need to consider the exercises. If the assessment is getting better, you’re on the right track and after several weeks the client will be ready to move to the next phase of the exercise journey, injury free and better equipped to stick with their new exercise programme. Copy adapted from an article by Kyle Stull, which first appeared in NASM’s American Fitness magazine, Winter 2017.

References • Barr, K.P., Griggs, M. & Cadby, T. 2005. Lumbar stabilization: Core concepts and current literature, Part 1. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 84 (6), 473–80. • Hodges, P.W. 1999. Is there a role for transversus abdominis in lumbo-pelvic stability? Manual Therapy, 4(2), 74–86. • Jones, B.H., Cowan, D.N. & Knapik, J. 1994. Exercise, training, and injuries. Sports Medicine, 18(3), 202–14.

Kyle Stull Biography Kyle Stull, DHSc, MS, LMT, NASM-CPT, CES, PES, NASM Master Instructor is a faculty instructor for NASM who has taught the NASM methodology since 2010. Kyle is also the Education Content Manager and Senior Master Trainer for TriggerPoint Performance, where he collaborates with leading universities and industry professionals conducting researching creating evidencebased support for educational material.

Optimum Performance Training (OPT™) Model NASM’s exclusive Optimum Performance Training (OPT™) Model is one of the industry's first comprehensive training system based on scientific, evidence-based research. The OPT™ Model allows Personal Trainers to apply the principles of human movement science to their work with any client, whatever their goal, to take the guesswork out of programme design and achieve consistent and remarkable results for clients. The OPT™ Model was developed to concurrently improve all functional abilities, including flexibility, core stabilisation, balance, strength, power, and cardio respiratory endurance. For more information, visit www.

"Injury is one of the best predictors of failure in an exercise programme"

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STAGE LEAN BELONGS ON STAGE Claire Crowther, this month’s Cover Star, owns her own PT and Online Coaching Business Break the Mould and works at Powerzone Gym in Wrexham. Her specialities are body transformation and fitness/bodybuilding contest coaching. She is a published fitness model, has won several fitness modelling titles and is a Pure Elite Pro Fitness Model, NIFMA Fitness Model Champion and UKUP Bikini Fitness British Finalist. Here she discusses the change of women’s attitudes to weight lifting, and the importance of being realistic with your goals. Women no longer want to get super skinny, their body goals have changed and women now tend to seek an athletic physique with muscle definition and visible abs. The strong not skinny message has well and truly taken off. Women are no longer avoiding weights, they want to lift heavy and become functionally fit. They realise that they will not look masculine if they train with weight and that a bone thin body is not attractive. Whilst this is a positive move for women, as Personal Trainers and Coaches, it’s important to ensure that we educate our clients about what is realistic. Social Media has a lot to answer for. With everyone posting selfies which are heavily edited it’s very difficult to work out what is real any more. Women have become exposed to the advent of the fitness model era. With a less muscular physique and more glamour than a traditional female bodybuilder would have, women see a fitness model physique as a much more attainable goal and many women are jumping straight into wanting to compete or at least get the body that looks like they compete. However, getting this body is not easy. Fitness model competitors diet down to 30

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achieve their stage or photo shoot look for months at a time, severely restricting their carbs and calories whilst doing high intensity and high volume cardio in an effort to achieve the low body fat levels which are required. The effort and commitment that is put into this is no different to that of a bodybuilder, but everyday women are not exposed to the realities of what it takes to become so lean. When a woman restricts her body fat levels to reveal a very lean stage physique, it is often at the detriment to her health. Her periods may have stopped and she may feel lethargic and dizzy at times and her long term fertility may be affected if low levels of body fat are maintained. This physique IS NOT something that women should be encouraged to aim for unless they are competing, and if they are competing it should be stressed that the stage physique is not and should not be maintained year long. Again Social Media would have you believe that many fitness competitors do indeed look stage ready 365 days a year. There are a few who do post about the realities of how their bodies change throughout the year, but everyone else saturates their feed with hundreds of heavily edited, glossy,


professional images of them taken at their leanest point which they drip feed onto their profile through the year. It is also worth mentioning that many female competitors are using PED's to achieve their body. Whilst there are plenty of women who remain natural, it would be naïve to believe that every female fitness model is doing it without any assistance. Most women who see these images would only believe the bigger female bodybuilders are taking steroids, and that bikini and fitness competitors are’s not true, and if women are to take such substances the potential undesirable side effects of taking them cannot be ignored. Women need to understand this before they make potential irreversible changes to their bodies in an effort to look ripped, especially if they never aim to compete. As a Personal Trainer working with face to face clients and as an online coach who preps competitors for shows, I am very clear to stress the realities of becoming stage lean. For those who approach me about looking stage ready all year with no intention of competing, I am very quick to explain that this is not a good idea. My job is first and foremost to promote health, and getting a woman stage lean when she isn't competing is just morally wrong in my opinion. It;s not healthy from a physical perspective but also from a social and mental perspective. Getting stage lean takes over your life, and you have to give up social occasions and miss out on family time to get your gym time in and eat your meals. The mental issues that can occur as a result of constantly judging your body can be severe and women have developed eating disorders as a result. I am a competitor myself

PHOTO CREDIT: Shane Watkins


and have competed eight times. I love the sport, I find it challenging and rewarding to see how I can push my body and how I see it improve each year, but I also know it’s not a lifestyle that suits many. I have lost friends, sacrificed holidays, spend a fortune and put my marriage under a great deal of stress all as a result of prepping for shows. To me it has been worth it, but that doesn't mean it’s been easy. Many of my clients have booked me because of my stage achievements and seeing my stage photos. They are inspired by that look that I have when I am lean. But I do believe as someone working in the fitness industry that I have a duty as a competitor and a coach to be honest and realistic about

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the fact that I myself DO NOT remain stage lean after the tan has faded. I have struggled with getting my head around my changing physique in the weeks that follow a show, and understand how difficult this can be to overcome. My health is and will always be my top priority. It’s my job now to show that women can still be healthy and look in shape. They can be relatively lean most of the year but that the stage lean physique should be reserved only for the stage. As fitness professionals, we must ensure that women can get confident on the gym floor using weights to help to shape their bodies and improve their health, but also to be realistic and explain what can be achieved within their lifestyle. I always ask my clients to complete a questionnaire so I can see what their goals are, but also to see how they live their life. I ask them how much time they can commit to training and how important is socialising and eating out to them. Once I have learned this about them, we can agree on what can realistically be achieved FOR THEM. Personal training is exactly that, its personal, so each client will have different barriers and different goals. Some are willing to give up everything and hit it hard to get extreme results and fast, whilst others are happy to make small changes which will improve their bodies over a longer period. Women benefit massively from training with weights. As women age they become more susceptible to osteoporosis which




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can be avoided by increasing bone density which can be achieved with weight bearing exercise. It also releases endorphins helping to combat depression. I have found that women gain so much confidence from lifting weight and seeing their strength improve. They also learn to ignore the scales which may have blighted their lives as they see their bodies improve in shape but not necessarily see a change in weight. I always use resistance training at the forefront of all my client sessions and online plans with minimal cardio and find it to provide the best results for women when combined with a good healthy diet with plenty of high quality protein. But giving women a good diet plan and training plan is just providing a minimal service. If we are to truly give women a bespoke personal fitness service, this has to include their mental health and by starting with a realistic goal we are more likely to see higher satisfaction rates and better client retention rates. We must not set women up to see themselves as failures. Walking in the weight room for the first time is daunting and it’s wonderful to see women gain confidence with weights and feel happier in their skin, but telling Marjorie who has never stepped foot in a gym before, eats takeaway three times a week and has 20 stone to lose that she can look like Paige Hathaway in 6 months is not going to help anyone.


Pre-Designed Exercise Sessions Charlotte Purvis, CEO Careers in Fitness Global Ltd, has over 25 years experience as an Exercise to Music Instructor, Personal Trainer, Pilates and Yoga Instructor. Charlotte is an Assessor, Verifier and External Verifier, and has sat on the Technical Expert Group boards advising in the UK and Europe for the whole of the health fitness and active leisure industry as a Technical and Standards Expert. We all absolutely love pre-designed exercise sessions, from Bokwa, Zumba, and Les Mills to Curves and more. We love the music tracks, the creativity, the updates and the fun way to exercise. Everybody keeps coming back for more. For instructors they become part of a large group and great benefits come from this. Pre-designed exercise sessions are both motivating, inspiring and changing lives through fun fitness classes all around the world. We love these classes, and my only observation as a Technical and Standards Expert would be that some instructors that have attended the short courses to deliver these classes are not fully aware of safe and effective execution of exercise to avoid injuries and other issues arising. Many of my observations, both as a Technical and Standards Expert, as well as a class participant have been partially noted here: ď Ą Some classes I have attended, the instructor has run in once the class participants have already set up and the class is one minute away from starting. For many reasons this is quite concerning! ď Ą Clients not knowing how to safely lift weights, set up or in fact do the exercises correctly. I personally qualified at the age of 21 as a Level 3 Personal Trainer, however I had attended a very in depth course prior to that, learning choreography, dance, safe and effective cueing, music phrase and beats from my Level 2 Exercise to Music course. Following my Personal Trainer Level 3 course, I JULY 2018



studied with Les Mills, therefore I had perfectly set myself up as a knowledgeable, safe and effective instructor.  Have any of you been in a class whilst using weights and the instructor forgets to correctly cue the clean and press and therefore everyone throws the bar up fast, as does the instructor? This type of incorrect teaching will cause injuries. I have seen press ups demonstrated so badly that if all the class participants kept coming and doing the ones taught like this, injuries would prevail. Lunges and squats taught badly can easily cause knee injuries, back injuries and more. The knock on effect of this is potentially more injuries and more serious ones at that.  Classes not being set out correctly is another serious concern. If this isn’t done correctly and in a way so the person in front or behind isn’t too close, and we either hit them with the bar or our leg, or we cannot do our lunges correctly.  I often see clients putting the steps away in the middle of the class, causing the person trying to carry on with the lunge track knee injuries as they try to move quickly out of the way or get knocked over. Of course, equipment needs to be returned to its place, but safety should always be a priority. This kind of action is both dangerous and will cause injuries. A lady once stood on the back of my heel when putting her step away mid class!  Lastly, let’s not forget how annoying it is when an instructor cues badly and then is off the beat, enough to throw you off as well! The qualification we are about to talk about rectifies so many issues with instructors that have studied just predesigned exercise alone and nothing else. It is also a well thought out qualification that is regulated as a Level 2, and at that very affordable for all instructors. Due to the emergence of a wide range of diverse exercise sessions in recent years, fitness professionals are often faced with a demand to adapt their skills to plan and deliver a range of different types and styles of pre-designed exercise sessions. Pre-designed exercise sessions can include the very popular fitness classes such as Les Mills, Zumba, Curves, Bokwa, Body Pump and others. This newly constructed qualification has therefore been designed to provide learners with the underpinning 34

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knowledge and skills to plan and deliver safe and effective pre-designed exercise sessions within a fitness environment. The qualification is comprised of six units. Units 1 - 4 teach the fundamental principles behind safe and effective exercise prescription, and units 5 - 6 educate on how to apply these principles to any type of pre-designed exercise session. The qualification enables entry to REPS as a Level 2 Physical Activity Advisor and provides reassurance for fitness managers and studio co-ordinators that individuals employed are suitably proficient to deliver this type of exercise session. Included are the following topics:  Anatomy and Physiology for Exercise  Know How to Support Clients Who Take Part in Exercise and Physical Activity  Health, Safety and Welfare in a Fitness Environment  Principles of Exercise Fitness and Health  Planning for Pre-Designed Exercise Sessions  Instructing Pre-Designed Exercise Sessions The progression from this qualification would be  Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training  Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral  Level 3 Award in Designing Pre and Post Natal Exercise Programme Details of the qualification on offer Level 2 Certificate in Instructing Pre-Designed Exercise Sessions (QCF) The unit breakdown of the qualification is shown below; Unit 1 - Anatomy and physiology for exercise Unit 2 - Know how to support clients who take part in exercise and physical activity Unit 3 - Health, safety and welfare in a fitness environment Unit 4 - Principles of exercise, fitness and health Unit 5 - Planning for pre-designed exercise sessions Unit 6 - Instructing pre-designed exercise sessions The qualification is beneficial for all fitness professionals who deliver any type of pre-designed exercise class that possesses a standard format and from which they must


then apply the principles of exercise and training. Predesigned exercise sessions can include any of the very popular fitness classes such as Bokwa, Curves, Body-Pump and of course Les Mills. Due to the emergence of a wide range of these diverse exercise sessions in recent years, fitness professionals are often faced with a demand to adapt their skills to plan and deliver a range of different types and styles of pre-designed exercise sessions. As you can see from the content of the units, this newly constructed qualification has been designed to provide learners with the knowledge and skills to plan and deliver any type of pre-designed exercise session safely and effectively within a fitness environment. To obtain the qualification learners must pass a written test of knowledge and a practical test of skills. Instructors of this type of exercise class may have obtained a certificate of attainment in the particular pre-designed exercise disciple but possess limited knowledge of exercise and fitness concepts and minimal experience of exercise delivery, the cueing, phrase and beat, safe and effective set out of the room, instructors positioning and not being fully aware. This qualification, in conjunction with Les Mills certification, increases the employability of the instructor by providing a Careers in Fitness Global seal of approval and reinforcing the occupational competence of the instructor. For example, instructors holding this qualification can evidence competence in their ability to support clients, to adhere to health and safety regulations, and to apply the principles of exercise and health. In addition they can also demonstrate a greater level of exercise delivery experience. Employers will likely take on these individuals with greater confidence in their abilities due to the extra training needed to obtain the 'instructing pre-designed exercise sessions' certificate. From the perspective of Les Mills, instructors who are more proficient in instructing exercise will deliver safer and more effective exercise classes. Injury rates among participants will remain lower and goal achievement will occur more efficiently. Consequently these participants will only have positive things to say about their experiences with Les Mills, enhancing the reputation of the brand and increasing referrals and participant numbers.

The qualification is already recognised in the UK and provides entry to UK REPS as a Physical Activity Adviser. Its popularity is also growing across the EU.

Delivery Method Theoretical concepts from units 1- 4 are delivered using an e-learning format, and learners can undertake study online whenever suits them best. Learners will be supported through this process via an online tutor, who will be available via telephone, 'Skype' or email to answer questions and assist with any particularly challenging topics. Units 5 & 6 are delivered via a three day workshop, during which a tutor will teach the learners the practical skills to plan and instruct their own pre-designed exercise session.

Assessment Units 1 & 4 are assessed via a multiple-choice exam paper carried out at a separate assessment day under invigilated conditions. Units 2, 3, 5 and 6 are assessed via the completion of portfolio of evidence (partially completed during the workshops with some additional home study tasks) and a practical assessment of competence which is carried out on the final workshop day. Normal price £925.00 Certification achieved Level 2 Certificate in Instructing Pre-Designed Exercise Sessions (QCF) Here is a link to the level 2 recognised qualification – Careers in Fitness have a large number of qualifications and products for sale on the Careers in Fitness ltd platform learn on the go education with the qualifications right in the palm of your hand on your phone, iPad or desktop.

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Do you want to improve your overall strength for your own sport? Or improve your Weightlifting and Weight Training Techniques? If so why not book onto a British Weight Lifting Course and gain an accredited qualification? Level 1 Award in Coaching Weight Lifting The Level 1 Award in Coaching Weight Lifting is suitable for those who are new to coaching, but who have some knowledge of the sport and would like to learn how to apply that in a coaching environment.

Level 2 Award in Instructing Weight Lifting The Level 2 Award in Instructing Weight Lifting is suitable for those who are new to instructing but who have some knowledge of general weight lifting and would like to learn how to apply that in an instructing environment.

Level 3 Certificate in Instructing Weight Training The Level 3 Certificate in Instructing Weight Training is for Instructors/ Personal Trainers who have some experience of delivering independent sessions to groups or individuals.

To book any of the above courses or for further information call 0113 224 9402 or email

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FLEXIBLE TIMETABLING: CAPITALISING ON YOGA & PILATES CLASSES Yoga and Pilates are no longer the preserve of boutique studios or health clubs, and both practices can significantly enhance a gym timetable. Katherine Selby, Health and Fitness Account Director with Action PR, a keen runner, Run Leader and gym member, asked Training Providers and Operators, Practitioners and Experts how Gym Owners can successfully deliver Yoga and Pilates classes to capitalise on the rising demand for these practices. ANCIENT PRACTICE: NEVER MORE TIMELY Dating back over 5,000 years, Yoga is an ancient practice that is increasingly popular to help ground people in the 21st century and bring much needed mind/body balance to today’s fast-paced lifestyles. There are several different types: Hatha Yoga is better for beginners comprising a slower moving class where poses are held for a few breaths. Vinyasa Yoga is more dynamic and faster paced, while Ashtanga Yoga is formulaic with set sequenced poses. Bikram Yoga comprises 26 sequenced poses performed in a hot studio, while Hot Yoga can draw on more than these 26 set moves. Practices are usually 60 or 90 minutes long. 38

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TAKE YOUR TIME ‘Potential teachers should undertake at least two years of regular Yoga practice before taking a foundation course,’ says Richard Adamo, Chair of the British Wheel of Yoga, established in 1965. ‘We teach Hatha Yoga and offer a certificate and diploma course to suit individuals’ preference. Many of our Yoga teachers are also sports teachers, and we work a lot with the Institute of Yoga Sport Science,’ he continues. ‘Any Yoga teacher wanting longevity in this business must choose a course that is a minimum of 12 months; anything under just won’t equip you to understand this holistic practice and you’ll soon hit the edges of your understanding,’ advises Nahid de Belgeonne, Founder and Director of Good Vibes Studios in London which runs Yoga and Pilates classes and courses. When looking for teachers, Nahid wants to see they have invested in their training. ‘I wouldn’t take on someone who followed a quick course to become a Yoga or Pilates teacher. If you don’t invest in your training, why would I pay you to train me?’ she says. Nahid looks for a minimum of 12 months’ training, the same length as her own Yoga teacher training course. In addition to this, she is starting a restorative Yoga course for more experienced Yoga teachers in September.

THE POWER OF PILATES The Pilates method of exercise was developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s. Originally designed as a rehabilitation programme, it soon became recognised as a highly effective way to develop core strength, flexibility, self-awareness and good posture. Pilates helps achieve a more balanced body by lengthening

and strengthening the muscles. It is a great discipline to pull your body out of its habitual patterning and avoid overtraining, making it the ideal complement to gym work and group exercise. It has six key principles - centring, control, flow, breath, precision and concentration – and there are two main types:  Mat-based Pilates is done on the floor using body weight as the main form of resistance and comprises a set of 34 exercises developed by Joseph Pilates. Many of these are too difficult for novices and classes often feature simpler, less intense exercises.  Studio Equipment Pilates involves specially designed machines that use pulleys and resistance for a wider range of dynamic movement. Some classes only use one piece of equipment, while others move people around several different machines, in a circuit training-style. A number of Studio Equipment Pilates courses are available with STOTT Pilates and Balanced Body being two of the better known modular training systems. Interestingly, the Pilates Foundation doesn’t accredit modular training as they feel ‘it doesn’t deliver the full body of the work in way Joseph Pilates conceived it.’ ‘Our training is specific and true to the Joseph Pilates principles and our students graduate as genuinely specialist teachers trained in the traditional method,’ explains Rosie Minogue, Pilates Foundation Board Member.

PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH As with teaching Yoga, quality Pilates training cannot be rushed. ‘To get the most out of our Pilates courses, students should expect to take 10 to 12 months to qualify,’ says Jo Curran, Head of Pilates at Future Fit Training. ‘This allows JULY 2018



our recommended three months between each of the three practical workshops and plenty of time to fulfil the real-life case studies where students put into practice what they have learned.’ Established 25 years, Future Fit Training recognises that Pilates is a specialist form of training best delivered through its dedicated School of Pilates. Having a bespoke school allows for unique packages to ensure its students receive the highest quality training. Its most popular Specialist Pilates diploma comprises three valuable CPD courses to enable students to work with certain clientele. Once they have achieved their Level 3 in Pilates, Future Fit students can choose to specialise further in Pre and Post-natal Pilates, Pilates for common orthopaedic conditions and Pilates with small equipment. The Pilates Foundation advises a similar timeframe for training, recommending its Matwork Pilates course takes a year to complete, and its Comprehensive course (covering Matwork & Apparatus) two years.

Personal Trainers frequently come to us and are highly successful.’ says Jo, who recently taught a Pilates course to a Gym Manager from Nuffield Health. A word of warning however: it’s not that easy! ‘PTs and Group Exercise Instructors often say that they are truly out of their comfort zone and feel like they are learning how to teach from scratch all over again,’ says Jo. ‘This is because Pilates is very different to teach than other forms of group fitness. Attention to the smallest details is extremely important and, unlike a group exercise class where the Instructor will be doing the exercises alongside the participants, a Pilates teacher must continually observe, view alignment and give hands-on corrections.’ Nahid advises gyms to be cautious about upskilling PTs. ‘I’d say get experienced teachers in to guard against cannibalising your PT and small group training offering. In fact, use the chance to take advantage of hiring a new, specialist teacher as they can bring in new clients.’

‘We would expect a potential trainee to have been doing Pilates for some time before embarking on training with us as our Teacher Trainers want students to understand Pilates in their own body before they start to learn how to teach it to someone else,’ says Rosie, echoing the advice from Richard at the British Wheel of Yoga that potential teachers should appreciate how the practice feels themselves first.



‘Anything that gets people trying Yoga is fantastic,’ says Richard. ‘Increasingly we are seeing people doing Yoga alongside running or team sports to gain flexibility and if they are introduced to Yoga in a fusion style setting it can be more accessible.’

Yes, Jo believes. ‘We often have students on our courses who have been sent by their employer to train in Pilates,’ she says. ‘Gym Managers, Group Exercise Coordinators and 40

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Fusion classes are a popular concept – especially in gyms and leisure clubs where elements of a certain sport or exercise method are combined to give the ‘best of both worlds’. Combining Yoga and Pilates is not uncommon, but the jury is out on whether this is a good idea and Gym Owners should listen to their members and adapt accordingly.

However, Rosie disagrees saying ‘The different


techniques are precise and have different objectives and breathing patterns, so it is confusing to mix the two.’

we advise clubs to use more specialist kit such as the Pilates Power Ring and Weighted Soft Balls.

Many Yogis and Pilates practitioners would agree with her, yet there is no doubt that LES MILLS’ Body Balance has found favour in gyms and clubs. Described as ’a motivating blend of Yoga with Tai Chi and Pilates to improve your mind, your body and your life’, BODY BALANCE promises to help you strengthen your entire body and leave you feeling calm, centred and happy. With a 30, 45 or 55-minute workout available, set to a contemporary soundtrack, it holds plenty of appeal for gym members: especially those who enjoy group exercise studio classes.

Apex Fusion was developed jointly with Cat Booker, a Functional Training and Pilates Master Trainer. ’Many gym members and amateur athletes have postural, mobility and flexibility issues,’ says Kelly. ‘Apex Fusion is designed primarily with them in mind – not the Yogis and purist Pilates practitioners. Gym owners shouldn’t overlook those members for whom a 60 or 90-minute specific practice may not appeal.’

‘There is definitely a place in our clubs for fusion classes and we offer five LES MILLS Body Balance classes each week with many of our group-ex members opting for this,’ says Chris Dennis, Everyone Active Group Exercise Coordinator & Hot Yoga Manager at Westminster Lodge in St Albans.

SHORT AND SWEET Another hybrid session that works well is Physical Company’s Apex Fusion. A 30-minute session designed – like the rest of its Apex series – to be done in small groups on the gym floor using popular functional equipment. ‘I saw a gap in the market for circuit-based Yoga/Pilates classes for gyms that have limited studio space but timetable availability, hence our sessions are designed to be done on the gym floor,’ says Kelly Edwards, Physical Company Programme Coordinator and Master Trainer. ‘Apex Fusion can be taught by PTs one-to-one and in groups of a recommended 12 to keep it easier to coach and allow for personal attention to be given,’ she explains. ‘It uses kit such as the BOSU Balance Trainer and freeFORM board which double up in the gym, making the programme very accessible to clubs. In addition,

‘Bringing elements of Pilates and Yoga to the gym floor using functional training space can help drive ROI, improve retention and boost acquisition,’ says Kelly. ‘Our online resources are accessible by Level 2 Gym Instructors and Level 3 PTs enabling them to upskill on the programme equipment. We also offer a raft of programming materials to support them in keeping the sessions fresh and challenging.’ ‘Yoga and Pilates make a wonderful fusion class,’ says Jo. ‘Both adopt a mind/body approach and when Joseph Pilates created the 34 original Pilates exercises he was heavily influenced by Yoga postures. The two disciplines complement one another seamlessly.’

JUMPING STRAIGHT IN – AN OPERATOR VIEW Everyone Active’s Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre in St Albans is enjoying great success with its Yoga, Pilates and Hot Yoga timetabling which it runs alongside a comprehensive group exercise programme. Chris offers 15 Pilates classes and 10 Yoga classes per week and they are all pretty much booked to capacity. What might surprise Gym Owners is his ‘jump straight in and go hard’ attitude when he introduced Hot Yoga.

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‘You might think it wise to add a few sessions and see how they go but I felt we needed to hit up the Hot Yoga hard and make a definite stand on our provision by offering 23 sessions a week.’ Aware that Hot Yoga is an increasingly competitive market, Chris knew he had to match, if not exceed, people’s expectation. ‘By offering Hot Yoga on top of all our other facilities and our complementary Verulamium Spa, we are in a strong position here,’ he says. ‘Members have the option to top up their monthly membership by £25 to enjoy Hot Yoga and a few new members have joined Westminster Lodge just to do Hot Yoga at a competitive

£64.50 per month.’ The Westminster Lodge Hot Yoga timetable includes early morning, daytime, evening and weekends sessions with a choice of Mild, Warm and Hot classes of 60, 75 or 90 minutes’ duration. Chris purposefully recruited specialist teachers from reputable training providers and required proof they had trained for at least 500 hours before starting with Everyone Active. ‘Yoga is still one of those disciplines where someone can do a weekend course and call themselves a teacher. This makes it a buyer beware situation for Gym Owners,’ he warns.

TEMPTED? NOTE OUR EXPERTS’ TIPS FOR GYM OWNERS Richard Adamo: ‘Try your nearest British Wheel of Yoga class, and if you enjoy it, get the teacher to come and do a taster class and gauge members’ reaction.’ Nahid de Belgeonne: ‘Look for qualifications from a dedicated Yoga or Pilates trainer because they are most likely to have upheld the respective traditions honourably.’ Jo Curran: ‘Adding Pilates as a specialism into your offering will enhance the reputation of your organisation. A good Pilates teacher is an asset: often members will stay with a gym facility purely for the instructor that teaches the classes they enjoy.’ Kelly Edwards: ‘A 30-minute fusion session that introduces key strengthening, stretching and flexibility inspired by Yoga poses and Pilates moves can work really well for gym members.’ Rosie Minogue: ‘Mat Pilates is the easiest way for a Gym Owner to offer Pilates either as a class or a one-to-one session. Remember, Pilates isn’t just another general movement class: to realise its potential, members need to work with thoroughly-trained teachers.’ Find out more | | | | | 42

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Mind Over Matter Daniel Nyiri, Founder of 4U Fitness, on why it is important for your clients to believe in you, and themselves.

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt The mind is very powerful. You probably know this already, but it really becomes clear when it comes to working out. Believe it or not, the mind is the most important part of working out! It’s all about the mind-body connection. When you realise what an effect your mind has on your body, it only makes sense to use it to your advantage. This is one of the reasons that our clients experience impressive results – they believe in us, but, more importantly, they believe in themselves. They believe that they will get the results that they want and can already picture themselves and their results, thanks to the mind-body connection. According to a New York Times article called ‘Placebo Proves So Powerful Even Experts are Surprised,’ a simple change in mindset can make someone believe that they are taking an actual drug such that their objective symptoms actually disappear. In a Japanese research study, subjects were blindfolded and told their right arm was being rubbed with the poison ivy plant. Afterward, most of the 13 of the subjects’ arms reacted to the classic symptoms of poison ivy, such as itching, boils and redness. This wouldn’t be surprising, however, the actual plant used in the study was NOT poison ivy at all, just a harmless shrub. The subjects’ beliefs were actually strong enough to create the biological effects of poison ivy, even though no such plant had ever touched their arms. In another experiment, the researchers rubbed the subjects’ other arm with actual poison ivy, but told them it was a harmless plant. Even though 13 students were highly allergic, only four of them broke out into the typical poison ivy rash1. JULY 2018 43


It is clear that the brain is organised to act on what we predict will happen next. Dr. Marcel Kinsbourbe, a Neuroscientist at the New York School for Social Research, explains that our expectations create brain patterns that can be just as real as those created by the real world. In other words, a perceived event can trigger the same complex set of neurons to react as though the event were actually taking place, triggering cascade events in the nervous system that will lead to a whole host of real physical consequences. This same phenomenon has been proven by many other scientific studies. In one study a team performed an experiment on the cleaning staff of seven different hotels. They told half of the employees how much exercise they were getting every day simply by doing their work, how many calories their daily activities burned, how similar vacuuming is to a cardio workout and so on. The other half of the cleaning staff, as the control group, was given no such good news. At the end of the experiment, several weeks later, the researchers found that those who had been primed to think of their work as exercise had actually lost weight, and their cholesterol levels dropped as well. These individuals had not done any additional work, nor had they exercised any more than control group. The only difference was in how their brains conceived of the work they were doing. That point is so important, it bears repeating: the mental construction of our daily activities, more than activities itself, defines our reality 2. 44

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Believe in yourself, believe in your staff, believe in your mission As a gym owner, you have to believe completely in what you and your staff are doing every day. You are changing people’s lives. You have to love what you do and motivate your clients. You have to make your clients believe that this works and they will lose weight. You have to make sure they get it. As you can see, the mind is very, very strong. If you don’t believe in EMS and start saying to clients that it’s a great workout but you should do something else, add in some more cardio or whatever, they will believe that they should do other things to lose weight or build muscle. However, our clients who truly believe in us and in themselves and the workout get much better results in less time! We have many clients who have lost every pound they wanted to shed in the time frame they wanted because they believed in themselves. Likewise, we have had many clients who did the same with muscle building. Obviously, this has to be a realistic goal, but when that is set, anything is possible. It is your job to sell your clients on their goal and dream and to teach them what is possible. When everyone believes, everyone succeeds. This is one of the reasons why some clients gain weight back so quickly. Imagine this scenario: they have been eating clean but decide to meet some friends for drinks, bad food and maybe some dessert. What is the first thing they say when they see you next? They say, ‘I screwed up!’, or maybe ‘I cheated


and I can feel the weight I already gained from it!’ What is crazy is that they believe so strongly that they’ve put back on all the weight they’ve lost based on one cheat meal that eventually, it becomes a reality. And then the cycle continues – they blame weight gain on genetics, having a certain body type, you name it. But they are wrong, and it is your job to teach them otherwise. Don’t just teach though, lead them and show them the way. Their new amazing life is in your hands! We already have the latest technology in fitness and the most amazing Personal Trainers who can help our clients achieve incredible results. Just imagine if we focus on the mind as well! Since I have started to experiment with this, I have seen many impressive changes in clients who believed for so long they couldn’t lose the weight, and all of a sudden, they did! Make sure that your gym creates a culture that includes the mind-body connection. It’s never just about lifting weights or doing cardio. It’s about believing in yourself and the work that you’re doing – knowing that you can achieve your dreams. We teach our clients that their dream can become a reality and we will show them how to reach it! On that same note, your gym should also be a positive place, where positivity and motivation are key attributes in each member of your staff . Research has proven that just thinking positively will boost your endorphin levels by 27%. How amazing is that? In fact, when we are happy or even watching a happy cat video (if you are a cat person, of course), we can perform better. A study at Harvard University involved two groups of students who were given the same math test3. One group watched funny videos and joked around before the test while the other group just took the test. Guess who did better? The group who was relaxed and having fun ahead of time outperformed the other group by 52%. Most people believe that success precedes happiness. Once they reach their goal, such as a promotion at work, losing a certain amount of weight or gaining a certain percentage of muscle, then they will feel great and be happy. But that isn’t how it works. You have to believe in yourself first – success comes much easier to happy people who believe in their own dreams.

The power of positivity cannot truly be defined because ultimately, the power is endless. Whether it is in your personal or professional life, your mentality can completely change the direction and outcome. Shawn Achor knows the connection between happiness and success. He says ‘People who cultivate a positive mindset perform better in the face of challenge,’ and calls it the ‘happiness advantage— every business outcome shows improvement when the brain is positive.’ Of course happiness can be defined differently for each person, but the definition of positivity would be the same. From 225 academic studies, statistical analysis was done forming a meta-analysis that allowed researchers Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King, and Ed Diener to find striking evidence of a direct causality between life satisfaction and successful business outcomes. If your gym or personal training studio is full of happy people who know how to motivate their clients, you will be a success. It’s mind over matter. We recently added a client journal to give our clients the chance to set goals, track their results and stay on track. It’s positive reinforcement. We encourage them to read through their goals every night before they go to sleep and believe in themselves. The clients who adopt this simple daily habit get better results than the clients who don’t set and track their goals.

1 Blakeslee, S. (1998, October 13). Placebos prove so powerful even experts are surprised; new studies explore the brain’s triumph over reality. Science. Retrieved from sed-newstudies-explore-brain.html 2 Spiegel, A. (2008, January 3). Hotel maids challenge the placebo effect. Retrieved January 27, 2017, from 3 Achor, S. (2012, January 1). Positive intelligence. Retrieved January 27, 2017, from Productivity, https://

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Fit Kit

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

Zero Water Water filter brand ZeroWater has set out on a mission to remove all impurities from UK tap water with the release of their ready-pour pitchers, providing the purest tasting drinking water on the market. The pitchers all include an additional cup of water in its reservoir, with designs that are space-saving, lightweight and practical, ensuring that you are able to fill any bottle or cup. All purchases will include the pitcher or dispenser of choice, a ZeroWater Ion Exchange water filter, a TDS meter to provide a digital measurement of the Total Dissolved Solids in your tap and filtered water. Prices start from £24.99 from

Primal Strength Commercial Hyper Extension • Oversized Dual Pads for Comfort • Quick-Release, Multi-Adjustable Set-Up • Brushed Steel, Non-Slip Large Foot Plate • 3mm Commercial-Grade Steel, Powder Coated Matte • Lifetime Frame Warranty

Primal Strength ISO Low Back Row • 3mm Commercial Steel, ISO Lever Low Back Row • Unique Design for Lower Angle Back Rows • Extended, Olympic Weight-Pin Holders for Maximum Load • Ergonomically Designed to Move in The Body’s Natural Motion • Premium Rubber and Aluminium-Capped Handles


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Thai Hand Pad Target Shield (CC-211) The Granite GX 5 Series Target Shield is a core training aid when practising correct body blows, with two generously padded leather grab handles it allows for a greater use of flexibility as a multitude of strikes from all angles can be negated with the correct positioning of the shield allowing the opponent to practice all types of punches, elbow and leg strikes to the body and thigh areas. Constructed from layers of air foam padding this lightweight shield absorbs the power effectively Used correctly it can dictate pace, power and performance to the opponents workouts. - Retail 53.99 GBP

Hook and Jab Pad-Heavy Hit (CC-137) The Pro X 7 Series Heavy Hitters Pad is made from the best quality supple leather goat hide and flexible lightweight materials that allows the pads to flex naturally when the inner foam and gel layers are being compressed protecting both the opponent and the user. The internal part has an anti-slip palm domed area allowing for a more natural grip reducing stress and tension on the inner forearm muscles whilst being hit. The outer finger area is perforated for ventilation allowing the antimicrobial moisture wicking material to aid cooling and hygiene. There is a generous layer of raised padding under the wrist to aid in the support of wrist flexion for those heavy hitting sessions. A wide easy quick release wrist strap is added for additional tension, thus reducing the pads from independently moving and slipping. A great professional coaching pad that will allow many hours of protection. - Retail 86.99 GBP

Thai Sparring Glove-Mala The Razor RX Thai Sparring Gloves are manufactured from quality leather materials with an ergonomic design that the glove forms to position your hand into a perfect clenched fist position around a built in padded grip bar. Your hand is further supported from all sides with comfortable layers of internal padding. Incorporating the latest dye cut foams, these gloves offer professional sparring performance with excellent shock absorbency. A padded palm assists in taking those elbow and knee strikes and a hook and loop closure system around the wrist allows for multi-adjustment support. A tie in safety thumb feature ensures the thumb is not exposed to injury on contact. The thumb and palm have vented holes allowing continual air flow to the skin along with moisture wicking anti-microbial internal lining for cooling and hygiene. - Retail 72.99 GBP JULY 2018 49


FOCUS ON PT ACADEMY AND LET THE REST FOCUS ON US We meet Adam Kiani, Chief Executive at PT Academy. How did you get into the fitness industry? I owned a successful telecommunications business which I sold in 2006, and wanted to do something I enjoy. A natural entrepreneur, I narrowed my choices down to cars and number plates or fitness, because I loved both, but eventually decided on fitness. I toyed with the idea of opening a gym, but figured I should work in one first to learn the ropes. I started working as a club manager for LA Fitness and basically smashed targets each month but quickly became bored as the position was as far from fitness and training as you could imagine. It was whilst working here that I was recruited to work for an affiliate company to LA Fitness which managed the recruitment and mentoring of its Personal Trainers. I loved working with trainers and decided this would be the next project.

Tell us more about PT Academy I founded PT Academy in 2009, following my perception of what I believed the industry needed at the time. Industry practice at the time was ‘conveyor belt’ courses. Take learners put them on a six-week intensive course, give them a t-shirt at the end of it that says PT, pat them on the back and send them in to clubs ill equipped and ill prepared. Having worked and mentored hundreds of Personal Trainers, I introduced a nationwide ‘mentor’ based system where learners would be taught and mentored by active Personal Trainers and fitness professionals. This was unheard of at the time, and no one believed it would work. I knew it would and implemented key strategies involving branding, team and integrity. I personally head hunted our delivery team, all of who were successful trainers. These 50

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trainers knew exactly what it takes to grow a successful personal training business as they had done it themselves. My firm belief it would work resulted in the development of our flagship learning method, the Flexi-Learner programme, where students are assigned an active Personal Trainer in their local region who guides them through their Level 2 and 3 Personal Trainer Qualifications. The success of the FlexiLearner method meant that in just a few years our team expanded to over 100 active mentors across the UK. In 2016, we partnered with Pure Gym, giving us access to over 200 venues and mentors nationwide making us the largest and fastest growing fitness education company in the UK.

What sets PT Academy apart from its competitors? I could give you a list, but here's just a few. We are innovative and think on our feet. In an industry that's ever changing, we keep up with industry’s trends and highlight education needs and changes. Look at how far technology has come in the last few years. We are honest and are the first to admit that we don’t always get it right, we take feedback very seriously and are always constantly trying to improve. We listen to our learners and our partners, that way we are learning too.

What are your biggest challenges you face in your business? We are in a fast moving industry but we have dated qualifications. Some are not fit for purpose. I even questioned at one stage, whether the people that were responsible for writing the standards for the then PT qualifications many years ago had ever been Personal Trainers themselves. New standards have just been written because the old ones

were inadequate and that’s quite scary. Those standards set the criteria for fitness professionals for years. You only have to look at some of the sections of the Level 3 Personal Training Qualification to see what I mean. Take the program delivery at Level 3 for example, who made it acceptable to have an eight week program? Then a program card that only assessed some of the Level 3 training systems? Why are we not expected to assess learners actually delivering proper personal training sessions? If I was a gym owner, would I feel I could entrust a newly qualified trainer with my loyal members? A trainer who has only demonstrated partial competence with one client. No I wouldn’t. Gym owners/managers assume that qualified trainers know it all, unfortunately that is not the case. Some well known training providers have now removed all face to face learning, I mean seriously how does that make any sense? At PT Academy, we have worked long and hard to go up and beyond industry expectation and teach our learners what they actually need – despite it not being a prerequisite based on current standards. For example, we run regular development days and programme design days where we teach learners face to face how to program, design for and train multiple clients. The days are mandatory and teach our trainers how to actually ‘PT’ clients. We expect our trainers to demonstrate actual ‘PT’ sessions with real clients.

What’s the most valuable lesson you've learned from the fitness industry? Focus on PT Academy and let the rest focus on us. It's what makes us who we are. We keep driving forward and constantly innovating to accommodate change in the sector. JULY 2018



We don’t need to look at what our competition do, we let them copy what we do and thus set trends. Trends that the industry needs.

What’s next for PT Academy? We are looking at scaling internationally. We have our first international learning centre in Germany and aim to have a centre in each European capital by 2020. We have had opportunities to work in the Middle East and China but that’s not on the horizon for now. We have also had the opportunity to offer different qualifications, but for now we are sticking to what we do best and that is fitness.

In your opinion, what is the current state of the UK's fitness industry? The industry is booming, seriously, however the Personal Trainers are not. More and more gyms are opening across the UK creating an even greater need for Personal Trainers. However, the retention rate of trainers is disproportionately low. Recently, a long detailed report was published on the industry and fitness professionals. It was based on loads of research but it basically concluded trainers are entering the industry with unrealistic expectations (No s*** Sherlock, I told the industry that nine years ago when I started PT Academy). When it was posted, I saw it being liked and shared by everybody. But, no one noticed it didn't contain any practical solutions. Everyone is quick to say ‘this is wrong’ and ‘that is wrong’, but no one is willing to offer any feasible, workable or implementable advice – no wonder the trainers are entering the industry with unrealistic expectations. Those guys that produce the reports forget that they may have contributed to the problem without even realising. Why not work equally hard towards producing a report that offers much needed solutions. We are probably one of the only training providers that like tackling and addressing these problems. We work exceptionally hard via our CPD program to make sure our graduates are ready for clubs. To support trainers, I believe health clubs should offer retention packages for trainers and prioritise the selling of PT sessions. Clubs can offer retention packages for their PTs by investing in their education. Better educated trainers means a better service for gym members encouraging them to stay as members longer. Most trainers are passionate about fitness and love further learning to make them better 52

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trainers. What we have achieved working with Pure Gym is fantastic. Pure Gym recognised that CPDs are essential to make its trainers the best in the UK. Together, we worked out a strategy to give their trainers access to a portfolio of CPD courses and level 4 qualifications with massive incentives based on performance and longevity. Wouldn’t it make sense for clubs to use their experienced sales staff and sell PT packages allowing trainers more time to focus on training and getting results for clients. That doesn’t for one minute mean trainers shouldn’t promote or market their businesses or sell PT sessions, but that the clubs recognise the value they bring when the trainers service their members and keep them members of the clubs longer. It would be great to see more clubs and health chains understanding the true value and potential of their trainers and support them accordingly.

We understand you recently won a Director of Year award from the Institute of Directors! Yes, and wow what an honour, especially with the award coming from the Institute of Directors. For your readers that don’t know, the Institute of Directors was founded in 1903, and within three years they were awarded a Royal Charter to support, represent and set standards for business leaders nationwide. I was nominated for Director of the Year in the innovation category and I was overjoyed to be announced as the winner on the 19th June. The innovation category award was perfect as it’s precisely what I’ve done with PT Academy since inception. For me, this isn't just an award – it’s a testament. A testament to the hard work, long hours and tireless effort me and my team have put in, and the changes PT Academy has made to the fitness industry over the last nine years. It’s also not just an achievement for me, but an achievement for the entire team, both head office and affiliate mentors. Perhaps the nicest thing about the award is that its recognition of our achievements from an external body that’s not affiliated to the fitness industry. Press enquiries:



ISSUE A U G U S T i s s u e features include: Running Gym Design Clothing Virtual Training Supplements & Nutrition Group Exercise Lockers & Changing Facilities

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Power Breakfast Time Chris Zaremba, our specialist on fitness for the over fifties, shares his favourite breakfast to start the day. It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. There are some great breakfast ways to start the day, plus a few lousy ones – I considered including the phrase ‘Cereal Killers’ at this point. My favourite breakfast is the Power Breakfast that we have in our house at least five days per week, after having been awake for a couple of hours and done my morning cardio. This has helped me to both build muscle and lose fat, and I can’t see me changing it anytime soon. Here are the details:

There are four key principles behind the breakfast: 1. Portion size – big enough to provide sufficient amounts of nutrients both long-term for the day ahead and shorter-term for the next 2.5 to 3 hours before the snack that forms the next meal, with an eye to a lunch after the same time interval again.

4. Quality ingredients – everything as natural as possible with the minimum of processing involved in getting the product to you. The first step is to add a small amount of very hot (not boiling) water to a bowl containing 60g of rolled oats. That may be more oats than you’re used to, and with less water than you’d expect, as more liquid is coming later. These are simple, basic rolled oats, with nothing added by the supplier. The oats are a medium-speed digested carbohydrate, and this amount provides 33g of carb with virtually no sugar – a key benefit of oats. There are small amounts of incomplete protein and fat here, but it’s really the energy-giving slowdigesting carbs we’re after from the oats.

2. Macronutrient ratio – compared to most people’s breakfasts, the Power Breakfast has a higher protein amount and lower carb content. The number of calories from protein slightly exceed those from carbs, which sets me up well to meet my overall day’s target of calories from both of these to be about the same by the end of the day.

While the oats are cooling, make a whey protein shake with 56g of product in around a half-litre of cold water. There are many suppliers of Whey Protein, and you may already have your favourite supplier and flavours. The 56g serving is two scoops, and provides 47g of quality protein, including 10g of BCAAs and 11g of L-Glutamine, both vital elements in your daily protein input and big contributors to building and maintaining muscle. There are also small amounts of carbs – 4g, including a tiny 1.3g of sugar – and 3.6g of fats, but it’s the protein that counts here.

3. Minimise sugar – we need some carbs but not the fastabsorbing ones that’s going to cause insulin to do its stuff in a big way and thereby turn off all fat-burning. But some fast carbs from a natural source would be helpful to start the day.

Add a few nuts to the top of the oats. Keep it to around 10g in total – I use hazelnuts and a few flakes of almonds. There’s around 6g of fats here, as well as small amounts of the other two macros. There’s some good vitamins and minerals in here too.


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Next to be added are a few berries – typically about 15g of each of blueberries and raspberries, sometimes it may be blackberries too. All amongst the lowest on the glycaemic index of any fruit. And this is where the small amount of fastacting carbs, the sugar, comes from plus there’s some useful micronutrients including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Then add some of the protein shake to the bowl and give it a stir. The amount depends on how liquid you like your oats, but for me it’s usually about a quarter of the prepared shake. This is where the flavour of the shake is important, as it turns the taste of the oats into the flavour of the shake. It’s always a chocolate-based flavour that gets my vote, I like my oats chocolatey! The remainder of the shake stays in the glass and is a drink to be consumed alongside the oats. This is needed to get the full amount of protein in for the meal, and is a great alternative to sugar-heavy orange juice as your breakfast drink.

For the numbers fans, here’s the rounded breakdown of the Power Breakfast, the oats and drink combined:

Weight g


Protein g

Carbs g

Fats g































The final element is a sprinkling of ground cinnamon over the top, a spice that acts as a thermogenic to raise the metabolism and help burn fat, and adds a slight contrasting taste on the tongue.

Total Grams

This meal (including the drink) provides around 525 calories, of which 240 are from the 56g of protein, 170 from the 42g of




carbs (including less than 4g of sugar) and 130 from the 15g of fats. That’s around 43% of calories from protein, 33% from carbs and 24% from fat. A perfect way to start the day for me and others who like more protein and less carbs than most!

Total Calories


Our contributor Chris Zaremba offers self-guided fitness courses, plus personal training and coaching both online and in-person. The latest addition to his fitness packages is a monthly subscription members' club specifically designed for those, like him, in their second half-century: 'Fitness Club 50'. Interested? Read more 1about 25/01/2018 11:15 on all of these

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DON’T FALL FOUL OF THE LAW Abigail Harris, Communication Specialists for the Fitness and Leisure Industry at Big Fish Public Relations, on the importance of Health & Safety. The new sentencing guidelines for safety offences, which came into effect two years ago, really bring home the implications of a lack of, or disregard for, health and safety, with fines up to 24 times higher than before - in 2016 the largest fine was £5 million. So with the litigation culture ever increasing, falling foul of the law could literally mean ‘the end’ for a business. Yet according to new research from workforce management platform, Our People, 43% of health club and leisure centre staff find sharing communications and health and safety updates is an issue, and 39% feel that ensuring building checks and tasks are completed is difficult. Health and safety and quality management expert, Right Directions, knows only too well the implications of not ensuring staff are following company procedures or kept up to date with the latest regulations. ‘Getting it wrong can cost an organisation; when workers are injured or suffer ill health following an accident, in addition to the costs of personal injuries, the costs from damage to property or equipment and the lost production may be far greater. It could also lead to enforcement action from the HSE, which could result in prosecution, both corporately and individually,’ said Gill Twell, Head of Development at Right Directions, which also delivers Sport England’s Quest quality scheme, ukactive’s Code of Practice, the Activity Alliance’s IFI Mark and accreditation for the Swim England’s Learn to Swim Pathway. ‘The consequences of not ensuring statutory and best practice processes are fully in place, not carrying out suitable and sufficient risk assessments or developing and implementing health and safety procedures could be considerable.’ So why aren’t companies working smarter to ensure their staff are fully up to date? Our People is a smart-phone driven communication tool revolutionising the way leisure centres can communicate in real-time with team members that don't work from a desk; from sharing company updates, covering vacant shifts and one-toone ‘conversations’ to training and compliance. Crucially, all communications are tracked and can be reported on. CEO and founder, Ross McCaw says: ‘Our research has uncovered just how difficult it can be to ensure staff receive appropriate training and to keep them up to date with important alerts, such as changes to legislation and operational procedures, including health and safety, which if not followed properly could be catastrophic for a business.’ The independent survey, carried out on behalf of Our People, found just under half of those questioned feel training of new and existing staff is an important operational challenge and that a staggering 40% of health club and leisure centre staff only receive training two or three times a year. 56

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‘We recommend companies undertake regular refresher training with their staff,’ said Twell. ‘This should range from customer care and safeguarding to health and safety, and of course, any updates to operating standards following changes in legislation and best practice. But in an ideal world it shouldn’t stop here. Organisations should carry out training following audits and their Quest assessments to demonstrate their commitment to continuous improvement too.’ Right Directions is an approved training provider of the Institute of Occupational Health and Safety’s (IOSH) Managing Safely course. The company’s own training programme, Keeping Yourself on the Right Side of the Law, which is endorsed by CIMSPA and offers CPD points, provides delegates with an understanding of the health and safety requirements relevant to their role and has been designed specifically for the fitness and leisure industry. ‘The aim of the programme is to provide delegates with the appropriate knowledge to understand health and safety requirements specific to the leisure and fitness industry, as well as how to undertake their responsibilities in a day to day setting and contribute to promoting a safety culture within their organisation,’ continued Twell. According to Our People’s research, ensuring important information has been received and read is also a key operational challenge for more than half of those questioned. ‘The Our People platform takes all the hassle away from the operator,’ says McCaw. ‘With the click of a button, critical company information can be made available to staff, anytime, anywhere, with access to that data controlled by permissions to ensure only relevant staff receive the relevant files.’ ‘What’s more, with it’s reporting mechanism, operators can quickly and easily see which team members have read a communication and staff can even be asked to take part in a quiz to check and track their knowledge levels. Ensuring building checks are completed becomes a doddle too, as operators can build bespoke forms, including images, reference notes and instructions, from a number of templates, which can be sent to staff responsible for conducting the inspections.’ The Our People platform also provides a reminder mechanism for staff to keep their certificates and qualifications up to date and enables administrators to create training events that provide a qualification as an outcome. ‘A large number of our customers use the product for bi-weekly lifeguard training. Later this year we will be focusing our efforts on the physical collection of training and certificate information. In a paperless world, we have big plans on how we can help our customers co-ordinate this information with staff, making sure everyone working is fully compliant,’ said McCaw.


Vitally, Our People enables smart reporting so that operators can see everything at a glance, from which checklists have been completed and problematic areas that need manager attention to the tracking of staff progress and which team member has taken responsibility for fixing issues.

Quick wins guide:  Complete and record health and safety refresher training annually for all staff on site; it doesn’t have to be a massive task. It can be completed in ‘bite size chunks’ during staff meetings. Our People’s ‘Learning' module can help with this by automatically sending both knowledge and quizzes on a regular basis or an anniversary.

 Develop a document, such as a Risk Reduction Plan or Service Improvement Plan, to record any health and safety findings/ actions along with specified target dates for completion. This document should be regularly reviewed and signed off. Throughout the year, Right Directions runs a number of training courses endorsed by the Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and CIMSPA, covering everything from Corporate Manslaughter Act briefings and incident and emergency management to working safely and fire safety awareness.

 Ensure health and safety procedures are in place and implemented

Right Directions’ trainers are all active health and safety and quality consultants, who, when not teaching, advise companies on health and safety compliance, strategy and implementation. To find out more visit or call 01582 840098.

 Don’t forget safeguarding. Have a matrix in place that alerts you for refresher DBS checks

Big fines…

 Develop a process to track expiry dates of statutory inspections and certificates; it helps if all the documents are easy to retrieve. Our People is working with its customer to develop new technology that will allow team members to photograph certificates via the app. The certificate would be ‘read’, the expiry date stored and a reminder sent to both employer and team member when it’s time to renew.

The new sentencing guidelines for safety offences, which came into effect in February 2016, mean fines of up to 24 times higher than before:

 Following the receipt of inspections, ensure any highlighted findings are actioned in the specified timescales.  Implement a process to record and monitor accidents, incidents and near miss trends, such as Right Directions’ online accident reporting tool, STITCH

 In 2016 the biggest fine was 2 1/2 times higher than the largest fine in 2015 and almost ten times higher than the largest fine in 2014  Nineteen companies received fines of a million pounds or more in 2016, compared to only three in 2015  The total income from the highest 20 fines in 2016 was £38.58 million - higher than the total fine income for the 660 prosecutions successfully brought by the HSE in its reporting year of 2015/2016 (£38.3 million).

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01455 890100 JULY 2018




THE BASICS Diane Hancox, Sales Development Manager at Trafford Leisure, Fitness Professional and devoted mum of four, gives us the basics on stretching. Flexibility is needed to perform everyday activities with relative ease. The term ‘flexibility’ describes the range of movement available at a given joint. For active daily living, you need to be flexible enough to bend down and pick something up, to get out of bed or to lift children for example, whereas for gymnastics you need enough flexibility to perform a split. Whatever you want to accomplish, achieving adequate flexibility means you can do it easily and stretching is what you do to acquire it. This applies whether you want to develop a new ability that you’ve never had, or whether you’re simply aiming to regain normal ability that has been reduced perhaps through lack of use or injury.

Why Stretch? – The Benefits There is one main reason to incorporate stretching into your programme and that is to increase range of motion, to make doing what you do easier. By incorporating relevant stretches into your programme you can also:  H elp prevent injury – The key element to this one is to not wait until injury occurs! Use stretching as part of your routine to help prevent an injury. Take a golfer for example. The golfer will rotate the spine on a regular basis and yet they will not feel it is doing anything new, the golfer therefore is less likely to injure themselves during the rotation, as pliable muscles exert less resistance and opposition to bodily movements.  Improve posture – An individual’s postural health is affected by a multitude of intrinsic and extrinsic factors such as occupation, emotions, age, disability, injuries and medical conditions. Too much flexibility at a joint can make it unstable and lead to an increased risk of injury. Too little flexibility increases stability but places more stress on the joint’s structures. Lifestyle factors such as repetitive movements result in the overuse of muscles and the underuse of their antagonist (opposing) muscle. Optimum posture necessitates an adequate range of joint motion.  I mprove ability to relax – Stress places a considerable amount of strain on the body as a whole, but especially the nervous and endocrine systems. One thing you can do to counteract its effects is to stretch. Reducing the tension within skeletal muscles post-exercise can really help to promote a greater sense of relaxation and wellbeing. Life is full of demands and ensuring you take the time to stretch is really important. Incorporating relaxation techniques in your cool down phase when stretching can really


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help. When the body is able to increase muscle range of movement, the nervous system uses the parasympathetic relaxing branch of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and you are less likely to trigger the alert branch of the autonomic nervous system, the sympathetic.  D ecrease muscle tension – Reducing the tension within skeletal muscles post exercise is important to initiate the recovery process. Stretching post exercise can help to remove many of the waste products that accumulate during exercise, particularly lactic acid.

Types of Stretching Static vs Dynamic Static stretching is used to stretch muscles while the body is at rest. They are the most commonly used stretches in fitness programmes and carry a low risk of injury to the client, meaning they are suitable also for beginners. The goal of static stretching is to overcome the stretch reflex to coax a joint into a wider range of movement. This can be achieved by holding the stretch gently and avoiding over stretching the muscle. Whilst static stretching will improve flexibility, its effectiveness for athletes or those wanting to increase flexibility in multiple range of movements is limited. Therefore static stretching is best suited to non-competitive clients. Dynamic Stretching develops active range of movement through the process of reciprocal inhibition, where the agonist muscle is contracting while the antagonist (opposing) muscle is taken through the lengthening process. This type of stretch is best performed before exercise or activities such tennis for example.

Flexibility Programming – Applying the FIIT Principle As with all other components of a session, flexibility training should be based on the FIIT principle. This will help monitor the client’s progress. Frequency

5-7 times a week


Slow stretches of moderate discomfort


10-30 seconds per stretch


Static stretches

Incorporating effective progressive flexibility programming into a client’s plan requires a thorough understanding of how the body produces movement to enable the safe prescription of stretches to clients. The type of stretches selected should always relate specifically to the client’s goal.

Considerations for Older Adults Flexibility tends to deteriorate with age, often for those that have lead sedentary lifestyles, meaning daily activities become much more difficult. Through my previous work as a postural stability instructor,

working in various different settings from care homes to residential settings, I have had the opportunity to work with many older adults with a varying degree of mobility. The loss in flexibility makes activities such as bending and twisting more difficult and dramatically increases the potential for muscular strains. Staying active and stretching regularly can help prevent loss of mobility ensuring independence as we age.

So, how do we as fitness professionals encourage clients to take the time to stretch? Through my previous experience working in the industry I often find the clients who are keen to quickly disappear at the end of a session or a class are often the ones who need it the most! Time is at a premium – for everyone. Encouraging and highlighting the benefits of stretching to clients, even if they can only take ten minutes, is so important. Utilising the time at the end of a session or class to ensure participants achieve optimum relaxation and flexibility is key. Life will still be there when they have finished, but they will be better equipped to face it! Environment – create the perfect space to stretch! Ensuring there is an adequate space for clients to stretch is particularly important whether it’s on the gym floor or in a studio. It sounds simple enough but when you take the time to evaluate the space you have you may find this is an area that could be improved upon. Think about the lighting in that particular area and noise levels within the gym. Is it setting the tone for a relaxation phase at the end of a session?

Final words from me! Through my experience as a fitness professional (and busy mum of four)! I believe the pursuit of flexibility and relaxation to be a very necessary life goal. Whether you are aiming to train for a split or you just want to simply keep your body moving with ease, stretching is a crucial component and should be incorporated into all exercise programmes for an improved mental and physical recovery. JULY 2018 59


Ask The Expert Do you have a question that you would like to see answered in this feature in a future issue? Email

THE DANGERS OF MODERN DAY FITNESS & INSTAGRAM James Smith, from the James Smith Academy, on why you need to be careful who you follow. As an Instagram influencer myself, I know all too well the power of social media and its pivotal role in growing a brand or a business in the modern era. Now, one of the topics I spoke about this year at Bodypower and Irish Muscle Power was to do with some of the unspoken dangers and elements of this which more consumers need to be aware of (in my opinion). Firstly is the issue of playing by the rules, what many need to grasp is that not many ‘athletes’ these days are playing by the rules, if you consider for a moment it is for most of these models in some cases their full time job to look good with their kit off. To be natural would be a poor business move when many others looking to take your position on a magazine cover or endorsement position for a clothing brand are willing to use anabolics, asthma drugs or even thyroid medication to get the extra edge. Now when these ‘athletes’ do get or win the endorsement position, they have to come across natural to not damage the brand in question who are endorsing them. This is creating a massive issue in modern day goal setting where consumers are having their physique goals, ambitions or simple results hugely skewed by Instagram influencer athletes claiming they’re natural when they’re not. The amount of bodybuilders claiming they’re ‘plant based’ when truthfully calling them ‘testosterone based’ would be more accurate. Comparison is the thief of joy, consumers are now comparing their physiques to those of the assisted influencers and where they are seeking motivation (#fitfam) they’re actually demoralising the shit out of themselves on an hourly basis. This in turn creates huge insecurities in consumers and this thought that they’re missing the trick with their training and nutrition - bringing me on to my next point. Having a million followers on Instagram doesn’t always pay that well, most of these ‘influencers’ look great with their kit


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off, but don’t have a clue about running a business. How do I know? Because if they did, they wouldn’t be selling protein powder at Bodypower. Although they have a seven figure following, they still in essence have to wear a uniform and aren’t allowed to go home until 6pm. So, when you’re in good shape, massive following, shit at business, how do you create added revenue? Supplement endorsements, now for a minute think about this. It’s not an endorsement, it’s a sale. Also note, it’s not a discount code, it’s a commission code. People are seeking motivation, they’re becoming demoralised - the influencer in question then manipulates this messed up relationship to create a sale, usually of a rubbish six-week plan, but in most cases, by endorsing useless supplements to the gullible, and in most cases desperate consumer. My advice is to be careful of who you follow on Instagram. We’re becoming obsessed with checking our phones, which is OK if you’re genuinely getting something good from each visit. But consider that some of the people you or your clients look up to could actually be making you feel worse, not better. The industry is becoming full of lies, deception and manipulation, where at the end of it poor business people with great physiques are spending their time in the industry leaving it in a worse place than when they started in it. Be careful who you follow, ask yourself why you follow them. Look up to those who educate you, make you feel better, teach you things in the gym. Not those who make you feel worse about your relationship with your own body. To find out more about the James Smith Academy visit: For press enquiries contact:


Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers

Matrix Fitness Restructures Sales Team in Preparation for Accelerated Growth

Tapping spent the last two years working as hospitality specialist for Matrix and will draw upon this knowledge to build upon the position of Matrix within the hospitality industry.

Following on from a significant restructure of its sales team, Matrix Fitness, the commercial division of Johnson Health Tech, has expanded its sales force, recruiting six new specialists, including three senior positions, alongside two internal promotions. The restructure follows an increase in year-on-year revenue and the business’ strategy to focus on growth opportunity in vertical markets.

‘We’re delighted to welcome our new team members to the Matrix Fitness family,’ said Matt Pengelly, Managing Director of Matrix Fitness. ‘I also would like to congratulate our other colleagues on their promotions. These appointments coincide nicely with our business strategy and help provide a platform for future growth and expansion into new markets. We look forward to their collective contribution to our continued growth.’.

These new additions add to the organisation’s existing Head of Sectors - Tony Ali in Education and Andrew Lambourne in Retail.

Continued Expansion for Wattbike Team with Global Growth Focus

Karen Seers joins the sales team as Head of Sector for Key Accounts where she will oversee the company’s partnerships with longstanding key accounts such as The Gym Group, Pure Gym and Xercise4Less. Karen spent the last seven years as the Commercial Sales Manager at Octane Fitness and, with 25 years of industry experience, - has a proven track record of driving key business forward and a reputation for her tenacious commitment to customer service. Karen will be joined by Paul Jones, who has been appointed as a new Key Account Manager. Bringing with him over 15 years of experience, Paul joins Matrix from Core Health & Fitness where he spent the last 11 years developing his experience as a Regional Sales Manager. In his new role, he will use his industry expertise to define new business opportunities and develop further strong relationships across the sector. Matrix Fitness also welcomes Chris Brown to the team as Head of Regional Sales. With over 23 years’ experience within the sector, Chris has been integral in business generation in previous senior roles at both Performance Health Systems and Fitlinxx. In his new role at Matrix, Chris will be responsible for leading the team - across the UK, supporting and ensuring the development of regional and corporate accounts. The regional group has also been bolstered with 3 new Area Sales Managers. Alex Nardell joins to build the South West, Noel Glenister will take on sales in London and the South East, whilst Paul Cocksedge joins to drive business in the Midlands. Tim Grainger-Smith will take up the role of Head of Sector for the Public Sector. Having worked for Matrix for three and a half years, including time spent as a Public Sector specialist, this role will see Grainger-Smith overseeing the entire Public Sector division to develop and strengthen the position of Matrix within this market. He will be joined by Chris Belcher who joins as Public Sector specialist. Finally, Nigel Tapping has been promoted to Head of Sector for Hospitality following James Blower’s move into an International Role.

With a continued drive to bolster their growing team of industry specialists, Wattbike have announced Chris Maule, as the new Sales Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as the internal promotion of Rachell Crew from Sales Manager to EMEA Business Development Manager. This follows a recent senior team restructure ahead of their pioneering four-year global strategy, along with an internal promotion for Simon Overing to Sales Director and the appointment of Kieran Staniland as Account Executive supporting key accounts in the UK. Richard Baker, Wattbike Managing Director, comments: “We are pleased to announce that Chris will be taking on this role, and congratulate Rachell on her internal promotion in order to support our international growth. Chris has 20 years’ experience in the industry and has held Head of Sales roles with Matrix, Ziva and Precor. He has an excellent record and reputation for driving sales into Scotland where he is based and as a keen cyclist and sportsman, will be a fantastic fit for our ever expanding team.” Looking to the future, Wattbike are planning significant innovations to their product range and software in 2018 They will globalise the Wattbike Atom across key regions and will continue working to advance their digital offering with ‘Wattbike Play’, a platform to seamlessly integrate your workout data and third party apps so that users can take their training with them wherever they go. Baker continues: “We have an exciting global vision that will ensure we grow our market leading position even further. We will be performing new market research and implementing into new areas of the global health industry. We are exploring AI technology and have embarked on a research partnership with Loughborough University. There will also be a focus on ecommerce growth and secondary spend partnerships. Having completely revolutionised indoor cycling over the past 10 years, we have no plans to slow down now, having set the pace we feel that it is bestowed on us to keep driving the indoor cycling sector.” To find out more about Wattbike visit JULY 2018





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