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ISSUE 63 // June 2021



Beth Turner OWNER OF











GOM Magazine

JUNE 2019


GOM Magazine

Welcome... ...to the June issue of Gym Owner Monthly Magazine Gym and fitness clichés out… It’s time to do better. Fitness e-magazine titles are everywhere, but nobody’s backing entrepreneurs and business owners on the frontline of fitness like this. With its back catalogue of free magazines online, Gym Owner Monthly Magazine is committed to supporting everyone involved in the health, wellness, fitness, sport and activity sector around the world. So what’s the difference? We’re doing it solely for the gym owners. Gym owners are at the heart of everything we need within fitness and physical activity. They’re at the centre of communities, risking it all as entrepreneurs, and building businesses that make a difference to people’s lives. They’re leading teams and showing their gym members how to overcome challenges and achieve any goal. It’s time someone looked after them, but that's what we've always done since launching 7 years ago. In this month’s issue Beth Turner our Fat Burning Dancing Queen graces our Front Cover & We have the EXCLUSIVE. Beth is not just a Master Trainer she is a Gym Owner too, full story page 6. From Down Under, we meet up with Justin Ashley CEO and co-founder of Fitness Playground Gyms page 22. On page 32 Kerstin Obenauer talks to us about EGYM’s BioAge -The new Motivator for a HealthConscious Market and you’ll find on page 42 Ben Hackney Williams, How can we prevent further closures? Page 54 Independents’ Day, Robert Handy is bringing together a community of Independent Gyms that is growing stronger by the minute by Mark Mills, Stacy Wig on page 56, it’s all about group exercise and page 36 Adriana Albritton explains how to build bigger quads... We would also like to thank our amazing contributors as always, without them we would not be able to produce such an amazing publication. Visit www.gymownermonthly.co.uk Train safe.

GOM Magazine Team



Jane Grandena

Paul Wood


pw@gymownermonthly.co.uk Tel: +44 7858487357 +33 769 422638

Keep up to date

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

 @GymOwnerMonthly  gym-owner-monthly-magazine

COVER PHOTO CREDIT: BETH TURNER © Gym Owner Monthly Magazine 2016-2021 Gym Owner Monthly Magazine is published by PW Media. Gym Owner Monthly Magazine 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 Magazine. Unless specifically stated, good or services mentioned in editorial or advertisements are not formally endorsed by Gym Owner Monthly Magazine, 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.

GOM Magazine

June 2021




The Exclusive Interview, This month we chat with Beth Turner owner of The HIIT Station

6 THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW This month we chat with Beth Turner owner of The HIIT Station



 ome Of The Best S Medicine Balls For 2021

22 WE MEET WITH JUSTIN ASHLEY  co-founder and CEO of Fitness Playground Gyms in Australia

28 CREATING SHE-WARRIORS Breaking the barriers between women and weightlifting by Georgia Cass

32 EGYM’S BIOAGE  The New Motivator For A Health-Conscious Market




JUNE 2019

40 FITKIT  Check out the latest technology, products We meet with Justin Ashley, cofounder and CEO of Fitness Playground Gyms in Australia

and extras…..


CREATING SHE-WARRIORS; Breaking the barriers between women and weightlifting by Georgia Cass

GOM Magazine






No turning back, how can we prevent further closures? by Ben Hackney-Williams

By Ben Hackney-Williams



By Mark Mills


60 PHILIP MADDOX K.I.S.S = KEEP IT SO SIMPLE 64 DO HEALTH APPS REALLY MAKE US HEALTHIER? 68 AMY DUTFIELD TALKS US THROUGH Helping postnatal clients get back to fitness and setting realistic expectations


Kickboxing…Yoga…Pilates… Run club..functional strength…Hiking meet-up…Outdoor Bootcamp…barre… glutes and guns…oh my!! By Stacy Wig


Recovery: What happens now? By Georgina Faux

64 Do Health Apps Really Make Us Healthier?

GOM Magazine

JUNE 2019





June 2021

GOM Magazine


GOM Magazine

June 2021



HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE FITNESS INDUSTRY? By accident haha, no seriously I never set out to be an instructor or a PT, I'm just an average girl. I was a single mum to two kids and I joined the local leisure centre in 2015 because I needed help but I didn't know how or where to get it. I'd had some pretty rubbish things happen in my life that meant I had no confidence and felt so low and worthless but the second I lifted that bar it's like my life changed, it made me feel strong like I could take over the world. The whole gym environment opened up so many things to me, people would talk to ME and ask how my day had been like I wasn't worthless and they really wanted to know about me. It was like I'd found a whole new meaning to my life I had a focus. 6 months later the instructor who was teaching my class was leaving and told me I was taking her class, it was the most ridiculous thing I'd ever heard but she wouldn't let it drop, she believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. Deep inside I kept telling myself if this had saved me you imagine how many people who felt the same as myself could be saved. This is where this passion became alive and my dream to save every single


June 2021

person in the world who had ever felt worthless started.

wanted to quit. I've presented for major

I'd like to say the rest is history but it's not because I've had the most amazing career all because of one dream, one purpose to save people. That one reason that keep me going every single time I

I bought a gym, I got nominated for best

brands, I've presented at fitness events, female instructor, best independent gym and member achievement award in the 2019 fitness professional awards. I started to master train in 2017 to teach

GOM Magazine


other instructors to be the best instructor they could be and that way they could help me with my mission to save people, it's like I could pass it on and then they could pass it on and it would always keep going. I'm currently the senior regional master trainer for T30 Fitness and most importantly in 2017, THE HIIT STATION was born. This is MY studio and no matter what I do and what I achieve this is where it all comes back to because this is where the magic happens.

WHAT IS THE HIIT STATION ABOUT? it's about women empowering women, a safe place to get strong and achieve an overall lifestyle change. It's about feeling you have a support network so you're not alone and no matter your age race, shape or size you feel comfortable. Its about achieving goals, being happy and feeling like you can take over the world;anything is possible and our slogan is YES YOU CAN.

"I had no confidence and felt so low and worthless but the second I lifted that bar it's like my life changed" WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM YOUR COMPETITORS? The personal touch, no one cares what you wear or what you look like or where you've come from, we know your name we know your story we've seen you cry but we will make sure you leave here the best strongest version of YOURSELF. It's about building women up but also the fact that you're unique. Out of the hundreds and hundreds of women that have entered The HIIT STATION no two women are the same and that's cool because we find a way that works for you to achieve your goal. We offer group exercise, personal training, and so much more, we offer anything you need and nothing is too big or too small. What we all have in common is that we're strong, we're powerful and we are unstoppable!

GOM Magazine

June 2021



glad that I never changed because this is now what sets me apart from the rest. I always knew I didn't fit in the box as your average PT or instructor and that's fine because I'm happy.

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU FACE? Money is our biggest challenge, I'm not here to become a millionaire, I'm definitely in the wrong job if I was but big chain gyms who are offering really low monthly deals is the biggest challenge. It's hard to compete when someone's offering 150 classes a week and its only £15 a month, especially with the situation from Covid and people not having the same access to 'spare' money for something that is seen as a luxury and not a necessity. EXERCISE IS ESSENTIAL FOR GOOD MENTAL HEALTH. My only advice on this is know your worth when you are magic and you offer something these big chain gyms can't,then the customers will find a way.

HOW HAS THE CURRENT COVID SITUATION AFFECTED THE HIIT STATION? Like so many of us in our industry it's affected us massively, it's been hard to keep customers motivated at home and restrictions on opening back up have made customer numbers lower BUT we were never going to go down without a fight and we always look for the positive, we're now back open, we're all safe and we can do what we love doing again.

THE MOST VALUABLE LESSON YOU'VE LEARNT? There are so many things I can write on this, our industry is built on passion BUT always remember business is business. Not everyone is your friend, knowledge is power so never stop learning and always know your stuff. Do what sets your soul on fire, do not change for anyone. I've been told so many times you're crazy with your wild ideas but I will always get a result no matter what it takes and I'm so


June 2021

GOM Magazine


WHAT NEXT FOR THE HIIT STATION? I always have been and always will be on my mission to save every single last person in the world who has felt worthless and unhappy to feel strong and unstoppable that will never stop. Whether that's through training or a support network or nutrition, After going online during the lockdown it's made me realise there are many more people I can reach online so definitely keep an eye out for all our up and coming adventures and crazy ideas and if you ever need me you know where to find me ...... THE HIIT STATION

 @hiitstationirlam @xbethx1  https://www.facebook.com/ hiitstationirlam/

GOM Magazine

June 2021



Best Rowing Machines Of 2021


hoosing the best rowing machine can be a tricky proposition. What is best for you might not be best for another user. With so many different manufacturers and models available and prices that range from under £200 to over £2000, there is a lot to consider. This article aims to offer some suggestions that will hopefully help narrow down your choices from hundreds of options to just a few.


June 2021



Ergatta Rower

If budget is no issue, this list of top ten rowers is a great place to start your search for the best rowing machine. While the price is not a consideration for making this list, each rower represents good value for money because of the features offered, build quality, and or long warranty.

BEST OVERALL Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

BEST USER EXPERIENCE Hydrow Connected Rowing Machine

GOM Magazine


BEST OVERALL: CONCEPT2 MODEL D INDOOR ROWING MACHINE WITH PM5F​ PROS High quality, long-lasting build Quick and easy assembly Fairly high price but good value for your money Considered the industry standard Realistic smooth rowing motion High-performance monitor Bluetooth compatibility Easy to fold and store

measurements that can be downloaded

skill level.


to a computer for reference. These include stroke rate, pace, time, distance rowed,

The ergonomic handle has a 10-degree

High price (but worth it) Is quite loud

and calories burned.

Seat hard for some users

Recognised for its performance by

make it easy to alter for all foot sizes. It

competitive rowers, the Concept2 Model

is a smooth and reliable machine with

This rowing machine sits at the high

D rowing machine is suitable for rowers

a maximum user weight capacity of

end of the market, engineered with

of all abilities. The flywheel system

500lbs. The frame lock has a quick-release

aluminium and steel alloy for durability.

provides resistance for the stroke, while

mechanism that allows the rowing

The PM5F performance monitor is a major

a dampener is included to help adjust the

machine to be quickly folded and stored

selling feature as it records a host of

machine for each individual’s personal

away when not in use.

The Hydrow Rower is truly a luxury

definitely built to last. With such a hefty

front-facing speakers and live outdoor

rowing experience. The team at Hydrow

price tag this is what you would expect.

reality technology. A Hydrow membership

Is long but can be folded away nicely

bend to help row in a way that feels natural, while the adjustable foot-straps

BEST PREMIUM ROWING MACHINE: HYDROW ROWER​ PROS Smooth gliding rowing motion Comfortable seat Pre-recorded and live workouts 22” HD touch screen with interactive features Adjustable resistance Sleek and stylish design Easy assembly Quality build Heart rate monitoring CONS Price tag Membership not included Cant be folded for storage (storage kit can be purchased separately)

has brought exercising at home to a whole other level with their interactive immersive rowing machine, designed to bring the flow of the river to you! The Hydrow machine comes dressed to impress with a sleek and classy design.

The resistance is computer-controlled using an electromagnetic drag mechanism which makes for an ultra-smooth and quiet rowing motion. This is great for high-intensity workouts with low impact.

will give you access to over 1000 prerecorded and live broadcast workouts that you can follow along with a trainer, your friends, and the Hydrow community. It’s an expensive bit of kit but if you have the means, you do get what you pay for. And

The ergonomic body has a smooth

The Hydrow Rower also comes with a state-

Hydrow does offer a 30-day free trial. So if

aluminium frame that is sturdy and

of-the-art 22” HD touchscreen with built-in

you’re not impressed you can send it back.

GOM Magazine

June 2021




The race/game styled workouts are

from around the world

designed to make you feel like you are

The rower itself is super lightweight

playing a sport or game and are split into 4 main categories

and can be stored upright. You get all the benefits of a WaterRower with its

Beautifully designed

Push Programs: Sequential workouts

quality rowing performance, comfort,

Workouts personalised to your fitness

structured to help you reach specific goals

and durability. The machine supports


Interval Workouts: Personalised HIIT,

both BlueTooth headphones, heart rate

Data-driven workouts, interactive training

Endurance, and Technique rows delivered

monitors and also comes with a 9-foot

programs, games, monthly challenges

through interactive games

long cable so you should have no trouble

Race Workouts: Head-to-head

positioning it where you want whilst still

competitions with others in the

being able to reach an outlet.


This is a premium machine so expect

Open Row: see real-time feedback, create

a premium price tag. But if it fits your

custom interval workouts, or row to views

budget you will not be disappointed.

and durability in mind. It has a magnetic

foot pedal design helps keep the feet

tension system which makes for a quiet

securely in place.

Super lightweight and stands upright for easy storage In partnership with WaterRower Connectivity supports Bluetooth headphones and heart rate monitors CONS Expensive No workouts led by instructors No workouts for off the rower The Ergatta is a beautifully designed WaterRower with an absolute powerhouse display console built on top. The Ergatta rower takes your workouts to a whole new level with their interactive gaming experience. This sounds a bit salesy but this machine really is something else. The machine calibrates based on your rowing performance to generate personalised, data-driven workouts that are fun and engaging.

AMAZON BEST SELLER: SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS SF-RW5515 MAGNETIC ROWING MACHINE​ PROS Lightweight & mobile Relatively quiet Reasonably priced Eight levels of resistance, with an easy to use resistance knob Large padded seat CONS Digital monitor is quite basic & provides limited data No inbuilt exercise programmes which some other machines include Pedals appear to be a little on the cheap side

machine, helpful if too much noise may be an issue where you live. There are 8 magnetic tension resistance levels available which you can select manually via a knob. A feature of this machine is a long sliding rail measuring 48 inches, which makes

The monitor is quite basic and omits some of the data other machines display, such as distance travelled. However, the affordability of this rower needs to be kept in mind in such comparisons. The monitor also is not backlit which can

it an accessible machine for most people

hinder viewing sometimes. The weight

regardless of height. The seat is fully

capacity for the machine is 250lbs and it

This is a machine towards the budget end

padded and the handlebars have foam

can be folded down for easy storage once

of the market, designed with comfort

grips for comfortable rowing. An anti-slip

training is done for the day.


June 2021

GOM Magazine

EDITORIAL FEATURE BEST VALUE FOR MONEY: STAMINA ATS AIR ROWER 1399 ​ PROS Durable build Lower price option Comfortable seat Large footrest for big feet Good for high-intensity work-outs Easy to store Floor protectors CONS Can be noisy when rowed with intensity No resistance change mode No heart rate monitor This machine from Stamina offers a smooth and functional row without the more complex options, making it a more affordable choice. The durable frame is built from steel, while two stabilisers help ensure the machine does not move during work-outs. The Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399 operates on an air resistance system that sees resistance change in relation to your rowing intensity. The harder you row the more resistance there is. This can be good


to simulate the feel and sound of rowing


calming experience to the row.

Eco-minded wood build

A water resistance model makes for a


low-maintenance rowing machine. The

Realistic rowing experience

S4 monitor which accompanies the rower

Low maintenance Comfortable seat 6 pre-set workouts CONS Quite large if space an issue Higher price range No resistance change mode Heart rate monitor accessories not included The WaterRower Natural is an aesthetically pleasing rowing machine,

on water. The sound of the water moving around the tub can add a natural and

displays the relevant data and can be uploaded onto a computer for later use. It has the capacity to monitor heart rate using a chest strap, but the receiver and transmitter are not included. Users can utilise 6 preset workouts or set up to 9 interval sessions to suit their personal training needs. The WaterRower Natural is larger than some machines but does flip up to allow for easy storage if

built from sustainably sourced ash

space is an issue. Although fairly pricey

hardwood. Resistance is generated

the quality of the wood build provides a

using a water tub positioned under the

durable machine that has a large weight

ergonomically designed seat. It is built

capacity of 1000lbs.

hydraulic rowing machine, using hydraulic

The maximum weight capacity is 250lbs


and the machine can comfortably be


used by taller folk up to 6ft 4″ in height.


The monitor is functional, recording


for high-intensity sessions as you do not need to stop to make setting adjustments. This rower is suitable for all levels and comes with a padded, upholstered seat for additional comfort, even during longer training sessions. Large footplates help accommodate most users, while the handles are foam-padded to reduce the chance of blisters.

the basic data to measure performance, and is operated by a single button. The rowing machine can be folded for storage, reducing to half of its extended size.

Small footprint Lightweight Multi-functional work-out design Padded handles for comfort Twelve resistance levels CONS Comfort of seat on longer sessions Foot straps may not suit all Resistance can drop off on longer sessions A straightforward, functional machine

shocks to adjust resistance levels. There are twelve of these resistance levels which can be adjusted manually. As to be expected for the best budget rower the monitor is basic but provides the important data required to follow progress. There are no pre-set workouts or any options to store performance. This is a good option for those with limited space as the machine does not take up a huge amount of room with a footprint of just 23.5 x 21 x 46 inches. It is also lightweight, weighing less than 40lbs, making it easy to move for storing. With a weight capacity of 250lbs, this machine is designed to be durable for the budget range price.

that provides multiple work-out options at a budget price. Compared to some modern machines this rower can look a little retro, but the handlebars placed on each side of the machine are designed to mimic the oars of a rowing boat. Built with a steel frame and an aluminium central beam, the BodyTrac Glider 1050 is a sturdy offering for the price range. It is a GOM Magazine

June 2021




when in use, while the moulded seat is comfortable and glides quietly over the seat rail. The handles are thickly padded to help prevent blisters, while the nylon pull cord used for rowing is strong. The footplates pivot, which can cause issues for users who prefer static plates, though the adjustable straps allow them to be

Quiet Solid base Heart rate chest strap In touch monitor 12 Work-out programs Compact Easy to store CONS Some users find seat uncomfortable This machine has magnetic resistance, providing a smooth and quiet rowing glide. It offers a quiet row even at high-intensity

altered for different foot sizes. This rower offers 12 work-out programs with resistance easily adjustable via the advanced backlit in touch monitor. Heart rate can be monitored with this rowing machine through a wireless chest strap, allowing the recording of pulse rates throughout the work-out. There is a weight capacity of 275lb for users, while a foldable steel frame allows for easy storage when not in use.

levels, good for apartments surrounded by neighbours and good for listening to music while you work out. This is a compact, durable machine

BEST DUAL-RESISTANCE ROWING MACHINE: NORDIK TRACK RW900 ROWER ​ PROS Silent magnetic resistance Dual resistance control modes 22-inch touchscreen display 30 built-in programs iFit coach access interactive sessions Two digitally amplified speakers Large pivoting pedals CONS Pricey iFit subscription process not always clear

suitable for all. The solid base prevents the rowing machine from moving

A top-end rowing machine with advanced features based around a 22-inch touchscreen display.

BEST HYDRAULIC PISTON ROWING MACHINE: STAMINA 35-1215 ORBITAL ROWING MACHINE​ PROS Smooth and quiet Affordable pricing Adjustable tension Cushioned seat Pivoting foot blades Compact and easy to store Floor protectors CONS Basic features Resistance levels can be hard for novices A compact rowing machine using dual motion handles, which can take a little getting used to, especially if previously only used to one handlebar to pull on. It has a hydraulic cylinder resistance system that has 5 resistance settings to work with. The higher settings could be a challenge for beginners, so make sure

the pivoting foot plates allow users to find a natural feeling position to row This rowing machine is designed with lengthy work-out sessions in mind and comes with floor protectors to prevent movement and unsightly scuff marks on the floor. The machine has a single button operated monitor which displays the basic data such as stroke rate, speed, distance, and calories burned. A durable machine, it has a weight capacity of 250lbs. The Stamina 351215 Orbital rowing machine has a small footprint and is foldable, which makes it a good option if space is an issue.

As well as having thirty built-in workout programs to try, an iFit Coach subscription gives you access to over 12,000 interactive sessions. This allows you to participate in live and on-demand classes, with the machine’s resistance levels changing automatically to match the class session being followed. There are 26 of these magnetic resistance levels which can be a bit of a challenge, yet they provide a quiet and smooth row. The iFit coach also provides access to a range of nutritional, sleep, and exercise advice. If preferred you can do your own workout, for which there are 10 additional air resistance levels available for selection. An ergonomically moulded seat and handle aid comfort, with oversized pivoting pedals and adjustable foot-straps keeping feet of all sizes secure. When done with for the day the Nordik Track RW900 rower folds in the middle, making it simple to store in spaces that do not have much height. This rowing machine has a maximum weight capacity of 250lbs.

to start at the lower end of the scale and work up as fitness and technique allows. A padded seat and foam handle grips provide for a more comfortable row, while 16

June 2021

GOM Magazine


Buyers Guide: Are Rowing Machines Worth It?


owing is a great workout that can get you very fit, help you lose weight, and can even be an outlet for your competitive urges but unless you are content to use the rower at your local gym, you will probably prefer to buy a rower of your own to use at home.

There are several manufacturers and lots

the strongest exerciser. The machines

down into two or even three sections,

themselves are usually hardwearing and

others do not. Some machines are fitted

very easy to maintain. On the downside,

with wheels for easy movement while

air resistance rowers can be quite noisy in

others will need to be carried.

use, especially if you are doing intervals or sprints. Air resistance rowers are


generally lighter than water rowers and

Some rowers are very “no-frills” while

can be broken down into sections for

others have every bell and whistle

easier transportation and storage.

imaginable. More often, the more expensive the rower, the more functions

of different models available so choosing a


rower can be a daunting prospect and the

Old school rowers almost always used

are best – you may end up paying for

last thing you want to do is spend your

hydraulic resistance. Modern rowers using

things you never use. Choose a model that

hard-earned money on a machine that

hydraulics are generally cheap and far less

does what you need rather than pay for

fails to live up to your expectations.

enjoyable to use than the preceding three

things you do not want. Also, the more

resistance methods. Because the handles

technology that is crammed into your

inevitably travel through an arc rather

rowing machine, the more there is to go

than in a straight line, hydraulic rowers

wrong; an important factor to consider if

use a very unnatural rowing action that

your rower is going to get heavy usage.


can prove uncomfortable. Resistance

on offer. Don’t feel that more functions

is usually adjustable but not by much.


There are four main types:

Hydraulic resistance rowers are light,

Even the best rowing machines go wrong


but are not really suitable for “serious”

mechanism used for creating resistance.

Very smooth and quiet to use, electromagnetic resistance rowers usually require an external power source and contain often sophisticated electrical components. Resistance can be changed quickly and easily but, in my experience, the top resistance level is normally not

portable, and easily folded flat for storage rowing training although Kettler, a good quality German fitness company, still uses hydraulics in their rowing machines. Now you know a little about the different

from time to time so make sure your rower has a decent warranty. More expensive rowers often have a longer warranty but in return, you get peace of mind that your investment is protected.

types of rowing machine resistance, let’s


look at a few other things that you should

If your rower is going to be used by a lot

consider when buying.

of people or used heavily by just a few, make sure you chose a machine designed

an electromagnetic resistance rower but


if well maintained should be reliable and

An indoor rowing machine can cost as

occasional usage but are not up to the


little as £200 and as much as £3000

punishment of constant, heavy use.

very high. There is a lot to go wrong with

depending on the model you choose.

for light commercial or commercial use. Home use machines are fine for light or

Most expensive doesn’t necessarily mean


Built around a sealed drum of water and

best and, in my opinion, the best rower

That rower that felt fine in the showroom

a propeller attached to the handle by a

around sits halfway between these two

can be butt-crippling uncomfortable

cord or chain, water-resistance rowers are

extremes. While it is true you get what

20-minutes into your first proper workout.

becoming increasingly popular. The water

you pay for, some rowers are definitely

Make sure the rower is long enough, has a

drum looks really cool and the swishing

overpriced compared to the competition.

good seat, and a sufficiently wide handle


sound they make in use gives a very

to accommodate you comfortably. The best

authentic rowing experience. Because


water is very heavy, water rowers tend

Some rowers are longer than others so it’s

to be heavy too and less portable as a

important to make sure your rower will

result. The rowing action tends to be

fit into the space you have set aside for


heavier at the start of the pull than at

exercise. Make sure the rowing machine

Because, hopefully, your rower will

the end – much the same as rowing on

is big enough to accommodate you too – if

last many years, commonly required

“real” water but different to other types of

you are very tall, you’ll probably need a

spares must be readily available. Things

braking systems where resistance is more

rower that is around two meters in length.

like seats, handles, roller bearings, and




rower in the world is a waste of money if you can use it without severe discomfort.

monitors eventually wear out but these are small components that, if worn,

Is your rower going to stay in one place,

should not end the life of your machine.

This type of rower is the most popular

e.g. your spare room, or are you going to

Make sure that there are spaces available

with “serious” rowers. The resistance is

have to store it in one place and use it in

(and that there will be continued

variable and there is plenty of it for even

another? While some rowers will break

availability) for your rower.

GOM Magazine

June 2021



Some Of The Best Medicine Balls For 2021 1. AMAZON BASICS MEDICINE BALL

exercises that require throwing and

Key Features:

available, this ball comes in 4, 6, 8, 12,

Available in various colour-coded weights—perfect for building a full set High bounce even off hard surfaces Textured finish provides a superior grip, whether you’re using it barehanded or with gloves Key Specifications: Brand: AmazonBasics Dimensions: 9.2” x 9.2” x 9.3” Weight: 4-20 lbs. (1.8-9.07 kg)

results if you are working with the right product. Of course, with so many weight options, materials, and brands, choosing a top-quality option that fits your needs can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together this review of the best medicine balls in 2021—so you can find the perfect ball to add to your home gym.

There are various weight options 14, or 20 lb. versions. Each weight comes in a designated colour that doesn’t fade, allowing you to switch weights at a glance if you purchase more than one. While you can’t buy them as a set, and they don’t come with a stand, they will fit on any standard medicine ball rack. Thanks to the sturdy rubber construction of these balls, you can also use them either commercially or at home for intensive workouts. Their unique design

suitable for a wide variety of strength

allows for proper bounce, just like

building and core exercises. Because of its

professional gym weighted balls—they are

textured surface, it’s also great for partner

excellent for slamming exercises.

June 2021

That said, you can only get these

catching the ball.

The AmazonBasics Medicine Ball is



medicine ball may look like a beach ball, but it’s far more functional. Unlike a beach ball, a medicine ball offers the ability to perform fitness exercises to boost your full body strength, improve your balance, and more.

GOM Magazine



high-quality rubber medicine ball. Thanks

and plyometric training exercises. If you

to its durability and texture, it’s suitable

have no experience with med balls, you’ll

for various medicine ball workouts,

be happy to know that this one comes

Key Features:

including ab exercises, tricep exercises,

with an exercise wall chart to guide you

Comes in a range of size and colour options

and more.

through various exercises.

Includes a fitness guide to help you

Aside from this 4lb. option, you can get

effectively perform various medicine ball exercises Textured pattern lets you hold the ball with ease while working out

it as a 6, 8, 10 or 12lb. medicine ball. The various sizes are colour-coded, and some weights maintain uniform size. For example, the 4 lb. ball is 7.25” in diameter,

Key Specifications:

the 6 and 8 lb. Medicine balls are 8.5”, and

Brand: Valeo

the 10 and 12 lb. balls are 9.5”.

Dimensions: (4 lb. ball) 7.5” x 8” x 7.5”

You can use each ball on your own to

Weight: 4-12 lbs. (1.8-9.07 kg)

improve your balance or work with a

The Valeo 4 lb Medicine Ball is another

partner on various coordination, strength,


The pliable exterior of the j/fit Soft Wall

Key Features:

balls with a hard exterior, the soft exterior

Hand stuffed with cotton, recycled cotton, sand, and rubber layers Durable triple stitch exterior Suitable for beginners and advanced fitness enthusiasts Key Specifications: Brand: j/fit Dimensions: (all weights except the 4 lb.)

Medicine Ball makes it one of the safest exercise balls on the market. Unlike med of this ball lets it absorb impact and reduces bounce during exercises. It’s also safer for exercises with a partner since the ball’s soft exterior is less capable of causing injury. When it comes to durability, this weighted ball again gets high scores, thanks to its heavy-duty,

14” diameter

triple-stitched soft-shell.

Weight: 4-30 lbs. (1.8-13.6 kg)

Whether your goal is weight loss or


notch rubber medicine ball with a thick

Key Features:

ball workouts. Even though its quality is

Available in several colours and sizes

comparable to that of other balls on our

Works well for various types of exercises

list, its price is very affordable, making it a

Comfortable to hold and durable rubber

great value product.


building muscle, this weighted ball can satisfy your needs. You can get it in various sizes from 4 to 30 lbs. to challenge yourself, too.

construction that works well for various

Whether you are doing medicine ball

Key Specifications:

training alone or throwing the ball to a

Brand: Cap Barbell

partner, this medicine ball works great.

this med ball in sizes as small as 2 lbs. for

Dimensions: (10 lb. ball) 9” x 9” x 9”

Its tacky surface ensures a firm grip,

less intensive workouts, or you can go as

Weight: 2-12 lbs. (.9-9.07 kg)

regardless of how sweaty your hands get.

heavy as 12 lbs. for strength and stamina

The Cap Barbell Medicine Ball is a top-

Aside from the 10 lb. ball, you can get



of the best soft medicine balls. Like most

Key Features:

it against a wall or using it with a partner.

Synthetic leather exterior with cotton

Even though its exterior is soft, it’s highly

inside Available in various weights and colours

good wall balls, it has a soft exterior that minimises the risk of injury when throwing

durable, thanks to its tough synthetic leather exterior with double stitching to

Loop handles on both sides for easy

hold it together. Unlike other soft medicine

handling and storage

balls, this med ball also has a handle on

Key Specifications:

each side for comfy gripping for more

fat and boost your cardiovascular health.

Brand: Titan

technical medicine ball training exercises.

If you want to use it to build strength, it’s

Dimensions: (6 lb. ball) 14” diameter

It is not suitable for slam exercises,

also available as a 20 or 30 lb. ball that you

but it has other features that make it

can use on a squat rack or for lifting and

appropriate for various activities that burn

throwing exercises.

Weight: 10 lbs. (4.5 kg) The Titan Soft Wall 6 lb Medicine Ball is one GOM Magazine

June 2021



6. CHAMPION SPORTS LEATHER Key Features: Available in various colours and sizes Reinforced stitching for higher durability and functionality Excellent CrossFit medicine ball

other medicine wall balls and slam balls on our list. Yet, it keeps things affordable without cutting corners on quality. Its exterior is synthetic leather, which is soft to the touch but tough enough to withstand the most intensive medicine ball training. If you need weighted medicine balls for weightlifting, aerobics,

Key Specifications:

Pilates, CrossFit, or yoga, you can get one

Brand: Champion Sports

of these as light as 4 lbs. or one as heavy

Dimensions: (14-15 lb. ball) 11” diameter

22 lbs.

Weight: 4-22 lbs. (1.8-10 kg)

While the company sells a total of eight

The Champion Sports Leather Medicine

weights, you can’t buy the balls as a

Ball is just as durable and effective as the

complete set. They are sold individually.


Dual Grip is the way to go. Instead of being

Key Features:

handles on the side that let you perform

Great for golf workouts and other sports that require two-handed movements Textured grip on both handles for safe handling Useable as free weights Key Specifications:

However, Champion does offer a five-ball rack for these, designed to make storage easy even in tight spaces if you’d like to assemble your own set.

just a round ball, it has two convenient a wider range of exercises, including rotational core exercises, upper body and lower body exercises, and locomotor drills. It’s an excellent choice for working on not just strength, but also arm flexibility for sports that require explosive arm swings,

Brand: SPRI

like golf and tennis. This ball features

Dimensions: (8 lb. ball) 10.5” x 11.5” x 10”

a synthetic rubber body that delivers

Weight: 6-20 lbs. (2.7-10 kg)

durability and minimal bounce. It also

You can get it in various sizes for moderate

If you need a medicine ball that offers

includes an instructional manual to guide

to high-velocity strength building and

more grip than regular med balls, the SPRI

your training.

bodyweight exercises.


doesn’t mean it isn’t better than most

Key Features:


Moderate bounce Suitable for a wide range of exercises Affordable price

other slam balls or wall balls on the Most of its superior quality comes from its thick rubber exterior and dense rubber insides. Depending on what type of

Key Specifications:

exercise you need it for, you can add or

Brand: SPRI

remove air from it. For instance, for slam

Dimensions: (2 lb. ball) 8” x 10.8” x 10”

exercises or wall exercises, you can deflate

Weight: 2-39 lbs. (.9-17.6 kg)

the ball a bit to reduce its bounce.

Unlike the SPRI Dual Grip, the SPRI Xerball

Its versatility makes it practical, and

2 lb. Medicine Ball is a more traditional

it offers impressive value as fitness

medicinal ball—but its traditional design

equipment for core exercises and more


Weight: 4-30 lbs. (1.8-13.6 kg)

Key Features:

Rhino Promax 20 lb Medicine Ball uses real

Unlike other medicine balls that use synthetic leather, the Champion Sports

Tough rhino leather exterior

leather for optimal durability. That makes

Available in various weights

it one of the toughest dead weight slam

Can withstand high impacts without

balls you can buy.

losing its shape or weight balance

Aside from being durable, this ball is big,

Key Specifications:

giving you more of a cardio, agility, and

Brand: Champion Sports

strength workout than smaller medicine

Dimensions: (20 lb. ball) 14.9” x 14.6” x

balls can offer. Regardless of how you


use it, its size ensures you get a full-


June 2021

to boost your endurance, power, and stability. Depending on your strength level and workout needs, you can opt for the 2 lb. ball or go as high as 25 lbs.

body workout with every muscle in your body feeling the burn. Even though it’s large, the ball remains ergonomic for a comfortable grip. GOM Magazine


10. JBM 8 LB

durable exercise ball to expand on your

Key Features:

strength and cardio training? The JBM 8 lb

Rubber body

Medicine Ball can get you the results you

Textured body for a firm grip


Suitable for people with mobility issues

It’s another top choice among medicine

Key Specifications: Brand: JBM International Dimensions: (8 lb. ball) 8.5” in diameter Weight: 2-15 lbs. (.9-6.8 kg) Looking for an affordable, versatile, and

lunges, squats, slams, pushups, and other

balls, especially because of its highly durable body that also delivers impressive bounce. It has a textured surface that ensures your exercise routine isn’t

Aside from the 8 lb. weight, you can get

interrupted by the ball constantly slipping

this option in seven sizes from a 2 to 15 lb.

out of your sweaty palms.

medicine ball to meet your unique needs.

3 Things to Think of When Choosing a Medicine Ball Medicine balls come in different shapes

Previously, synthetic leather balls weren’t

and sizes. If you pick one with med ball

the most durable, but technology has

features that don’t match your unique

improved over the years, leading to

physical and training needs, you won’t get

tougher balls with supple exteriors. The

the results you want. To avoid this, keep

common problem with such balls is the

the following in mind when shopping:

seams tend to wear out before the actual


leather does. On the upside, it offers all

The weight of a med ball will determine

of the benefits of a leather ball minus the

how well you åcan use it to achieve your

high maintenance needs.

fitness goals. If it’s too heavy, you may

Textured rubber medicine balls are a far

struggle with using the ball for your fitness routines and possibly injure yourself. If it’s too light, you won’t get the level of resistance required to see the results you want. Generally, a 2 to 3 lb. medicine ball is the lightest option. Anywhere from 2 to 5 lb. balls are okay for beginners, especially those who require the ball for aerobics and other light exercises. For intensive core or strength training, some experts recommend a 20 to 50 lb. medicine ball,

WHAT ARE THE MAIN BENEFITS OF TRAINING WITH A MEDICINE BALL? By adding a ball to your fitness routine, you can look forward to the many benefits of a medicine ball, such as: BUILDING EXPLOSIVE POWER AND

more popular option because they offer a


better grip and are ideal for various types

Explosive power allows you to release

of exercises. That said, most of them

maximum force within the shortest time.

aren’t great as slam balls because of their

It’s great for sprinters, various types of

high bounce and tendency to split upon

ballplayers, and any other sport that

high impact with a hard surface.

requires sudden movements.

Such risks can be reduced by slightly

Combine this with medicine ball exercises

deflating the ball. In most cases, they are

that increase body strength, and you have

suitable for non-release workouts, for

a body that can respond and move faster

passing to a partner, or as wall balls.

with more power and less risk of injury.



The style of a med ball will determine what

A stronger core means a stronger

you can accomplish with it. For instance,

The important thing is to pick a weight

body for various athletic and regular

double grip or handled medicine balls aren’t

that will challenge your current strength

physical activities. It also improves your

ideal for passing, or as wall or slam balls.

level enough to give your body a workout,

However, the grips on such a ball make

endurance, flexibility, and posture,

though you may find heavier options—as high as 100 or 150 lbs.

but not so much that it strains your muscles beyond what they can handle. Start light and gradually work your way up by building your strength and

them suitable for non-release exercises, such as kettlebell style workouts. Then, there are sand-filled medicine balls.


Because of their minimal bounce, they


excluding rubberised balls, especially

Most top-quality balls come in one of three materials – rubber, genuine leather, or synthetic leather. The first medicine balls were strictly made

are a fantastic choice for slam exercises— when fully inflated. The high bounce

reducing the risk of back pain and muscle injuries. IMPROVING YOUR BALANCE Even if you aren’t a runner or gymnast, the added balance that comes from using medicine balls for squat exercises, planks, pushups, and other exercises, will keep

of such balls can lead to injuries from it

you more grounded and boost your agility

rebounding painfully into you.

and accuracy.

Instead, rubberised balls work great for


abdominal and core workouts.

When using medicine balls for even the

build the balls isn’t sustainable. Plus,

Wall balls, on the other hand, are popular

simplest workouts, you use more of your

present-day leather med balls require

among Cross Fit enthusiasts, especially

muscles. That leads to exercising more

more maintenance and care than their

for explosive exercises, such as squats and

parts of your body, burning more calories,

rubber and synthetic leather counterparts.

hand-to-eye drills.

and boosting your overall fitness.

of leather. They were weather-resistant and durable, but using animal skins to

GOM Magazine

June 2021





WHAT LED YOU INTO THE GYM BUSINESS? I've been in the fitness industry since I was 18 years old. I was originally a school teacher (a Physical Education teacher), and prior to that, I was a semiprofessional soccer player. But I fell into an opportunity at Fitness First. I started selling memberships and handing out flyers on the streets, and over six years I worked my way up to overseeing 5 clubs and running the most profitable Fitness First in the world. From there I thought (at the ripe old age of 25), I can do this better myself! Of course, I couldn’t – but I was determined to try. So I joined my mentor, former Fitness First CEO Tony De Leede and opened a company called Fit N Fast, where I was a shareholder. I used to go from club to club doing the pre-sales, training the team and opening the facilities. We opened 18 clubs in two-and-a-half years. I am thankful for all of that experience and the opportunities provided to me at a young age, without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today. 22

June 2021

GOM Magazine




Fitness Playground started as a Bootcamp

We started with the vision to Change the

named Fit Crew. After working in big

Gym Environment and Experience. Firstly,


box gyms for 10 years, operating a small

we didn’t want to look like a gym so our

I like to say our growth has been accidental.

community business was eye-opening

design was always unique – my brief

I'm a little bit like the people who can't go to

for me. I quickly discovered the members

was “it can’t look like a gym”. Secondly,

shoe shops because they walk out with a

were happier, came more often, paid more

we were extremely purpose-driven

new pair of shoes, I’m like that with gyms.

and wanted to do things differently. We

So when 2 locations were closing down

believed that if we really looked after our

locally, we took the opportunity. It was

staff they would look after our members

only a year into our business, so we didn’t

and that education and community were

have any money, but we signed anyway

the keys to success.

and just found a way to make it work.

coaching. After our 2nd winter, it was time

It worked – we had a goal of having 800

We renovated both gyms at the same time

to get out of the rain and open an indoor

members, within 6 months we had 2,000.

in only 28 days, with the help of friends

premises. So I sold my apartment and we

Now we have 5 locations, 15,000 members

and family, and before we knew it we had

started looking for places to open.

and about 200 staff.

three gyms and 130 staff.

money and got better results. I thought to myself, gyms have been getting it wrong all this time. Members don’t care (that much) about facilities or equipment. They care about connection, community and

HOW MANY GYMS DO YOU WANT TO OPEN? Money and growth have never been the focus. We want to open the best gyms, not the most gyms. We don’t have any plans to sell - I love this business and this industry, it is what I know and love and I will do it forever. So we are very comfortable with steady growth, providing that we get Better Everyday, which is one of our core values and keep giving value to our staff and members. GOM Magazine

June 2021



TELL US ABOUT YOUR MISSION, TO ‘INSPIRE CHANGE’. Through Fitness Playground, the first thing I wanted to change was employee success. On average fitness professionals last six months in the industry, due to pretty poor education and a system that doesn’t set them up for success. Staff success and satisfaction has been my biggest focus for the last 8 years. Part two was member success. We know that industry-wide, almost half of our members don't use their memberships at all, and even less get meaningful results. So we want to solve that through innovation and Inspire Change at an industry level to become experts at creating change in our members’ lives. While we haven’t mastered it (yet), there are so many powerful stories. Like we've

Our mission is to Inspire Change in

got a member, Rachel with cerebral palsy,

people's lives, firstly with our members,

who one of our coaches is teaching to walk.

also with our staff, and the industry as a

And Bob, who suffered from a stroke and

whole. And that's really where we'd like


was struggling to walk but had a goal to run

to get to, to be able to have the fitness

COVID was one of my most difficult but

the City2Surf [a 14km fun run]. One of our

industry recognised as being at the

rewarding times, both in business and in

coaches helped him get there and actually

forefront of preventative healthcare.

life. We lost our entire business overnight.

ran it with him. It's incredible to see the

Healthcare – not purely a gym where you

But we had these 200 “Great Humans”

impact we can have on people's lives.

go to look better.

who work with us and members who


June 2021

GOM Magazine


relied on us. So although the gyms were

Australia did a virtual fancy dress workout

closed, we wanted to keep our staff

with us for charity that was televised.

working and our members moving. We did that by launching a bunch of things. We launched the Virtual Playground, which is like the Netflix of gyms. We built it in five days and signed up 3,500 people into the platform in a few weeks.

We weren't happy with the quality of fitness industry education, so we launched Fitness Playground Academy. We have already educated and certified over 200 new fitness professionals this year.

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE OTHER BIG CHALLENGES ALONG THE WAY? The banks never gave us money, we're all self-funded which has meant that we have invested every dollar we have made

Plus, we launched a new logo and website.

We were also very focused on people’s

back into the business for 8 years straight.

So it was a big-time for us, and it put us

mental health, so we launched a series

I am 38 years old, and still, rent a pretty

in the position we're in today, which is

called Lift Your Mood, which culminated in a

basic apartment which surprises people.

a much stronger business with an even

live event in which 500 people from around

better culture.

But I am happy and get to do what I love every day. We are really creative and love to build things. We have a mandate to ensure that every time we open a new gym it must be something we have never done before – something completely unique. So creating each of our gyms has been almost like starting a new company. Our latest project is 2 years in the making and has crazy design ideas that take months to work out, like a 180m2 suspended mirrored ceiling above a 7 lane running track with 35m long curved neon lighting features. It’s insane. And we will never do it again - we will come up with something else as we know people copy what we do. But by the time they do, we will be onto the next idea.

GOM Magazine

June 2021 25


To be honest, when you strive to do things differently and with excellence, everything is hard, but incredibly rewarding and so much fun.



dedicated base for our students. We've

The connections and community. The facilities are beautiful and we take great pride in the environments we create, people are impressed to walk through the doors, but it isn't what keeps them coming. What keeps them is that connection with our staff and other members, the community and culture.

with studios, experiences and equipment

We have won a lot of awards, but without question, making it into the Top 50 Places to Work in Australia list is the one I am most proud of. For us, that recognises all the effort we've put into employee satisfaction, staff education, training, culture, and living our mission, vision and values. And that's really the heart of the business. We think of Fitness Playground as a people business, not a gym business.

got our new Marrickville “Wellness Playground”, which launches at the end of June – we’ve expanded an existing gym to incorporate a wellness centre (including reformer pilates and infrared saunas) that address health holistically. And later this year, we've got our biggest location we've ever opened coming too, “The Mothership”. That will be 2,500m² with 70 staff, 6 group training areas and a $5 million fit-out. Plus the design is insane, there will be nothing like it

WOULD JUSTIN ASHLEY anywhere in the world. FROM SEVEN YEARS AGO BE SURPRISED IF WHAT HAVE BEEN HE COULD SEE WHERE THE BEST LEARNINGS THE BRAND IS NOW? YOU CAN PASS ON Incredibly surprised. We really didn’t have TO OTHERS IN THE any intention to have more than one gym. INDUSTRY? And I am proud that we have grown in an organic way. We stay true to our culture of putting our people before profits. I interview every person that works for us, and we've maintained a small business and small boutique-gym feel.

My first tip is to consider yourself as a people business, not as a gym business. Challenge your people, trust them and grow them. It is the most rewarding thing you will do. Tip number two, think very long-term.


Think beyond this month’s sales or your 3

This year we've got some amazing projects. Our Academy is going to have its full first year, and we’ve just built a

want to stand for and what impact you

year plan. Picture – 10 to 20 years into the future – where you want to be, what you want to create. Then reverse-engineer what you need to do today in order to be able to achieve your goal 10 or 20 years down the track. My third tip, find the balance between being a “gym owner” and a high performing “business owner”. People join our industry to enjoy themselves, be social and go to work in shorts so we can’t take things too seriously. But this doesn’t need to be at the expense of productivity, profit, professionalism and excellence in our business. So we need to find that happy medium where we have both. In essence, build the right culture for our industry. Finally, identify your purpose and communicate that with your team and your members at every opportunity.

TO CONNECT WITH ME:  www.linkedin.com/in/ justinashley123  @fitnessplaygroundaus & @bunkergymaus  www.fitnessplayground.com.au 26

June 2021

GOM Magazine


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

G Built and engineered by the very best within the industry G Bespoke design G We work with a choice of materials, to suit you and your client CALL TODAY!  +33 769 422638

GOM Magazine

June 2021



CREATING SHEWARRIORS; Breaking the barriers between women and weightlifting BY GEORGIA CASS


y fitness journey had somewhat of a rocky start. I hated exercise at school, always hiding at the back of the class so no one would see me in the horrid little skirts we were made to wear. University wasn’t much better; I had no confidence and so the idea of going to the gym and working up a sweat in front of people was terrifying.

When I moved to Edinburgh to become a chef, things changed quite quickly. I was working obscene hours, living on beer and coffee, and eventually got to the point where I seriously needed to take a step toward self-care. I found a PT online and started going to the gym twice a week. He got me into weights, and completely changed my outlook on life – I didn’t need to be stick thin to feel strong and happy. About a year later I decided that I wanted to help others the same way my gym experience had helped me, so I retrained 28

June 2021

GOM Magazine


as a PT, later becoming an ISSA Strength and Conditioning Coach. Despite the positive changes my life has undergone thanks to this industry, I still often think back to those difficult times during PE at school. This is because sadly, many gyms carry an air of exclusivity and superiority and, despite efforts to create inclusive spaces, gyms can be very intimidating places to be. I often hear other women say how gyms are so off-putting, especially on seeing the burly blokes in the weights section. Even myself, a very confident lifter, have rushed through workouts when visiting gyms around the country, just to get away from the looks of confusion… ‘What’s she

mission to prove that everyone starts at

figures and, if this is not what they’re

the beginning. Just because you’re working

going for (which it usually isn’t), they

with 1kg now, doesn’t make you weak,

assume that strength training is not for

and you deserve that spot in the weights

them. Of course, each person needs a

section just as much as the next person.

tailored response to this depending on

and a really welcoming vibe, but there’s

Of course, there are also the many myths

how they work, but my reply usually goes

always more to be done.

surrounding weightlifting that can, and

something like this:

do, put women off taking the plunge

‘Strength training doesn’t mean having to

doing lifting that?’ I am now fortunate enough to work out at an awesome gym in the Cotswolds (Peak Fitness & Lifestyle), which has a diverse membership of all ages, shapes, sizes, sexes and abilities,

I speak to women daily who are keen to become stronger and lift heavier but haven’t had the confidence to go into a gym and try it, because they feel like they

into strength training, and I find I need to address these on a weekly basis, particularly with new clients.

grab an Olympic bar or chunky dumbbell, nor does it necessarily need to involve big weights. Instead, strength gains can be

don’t belong. They believe that one needs

The fear of bulking is a big one for lots of

bodyweight exercises, resistance bands,

to be strong already to justify picking

women. They see Instagram influencers,

suspension training, cable machines or

up a dumbbell or a bar. It has become my

bodybuilders and athletes with muscular

indeed, free weights and bars.’

GOM Magazine

June 2021 29


There are also a lot of specific, scientific

performed for 3 sets with high reps.

reasons why those people look the way

This equates to a very high work

they do; sex, diet, training schedule, and

volume, causing significant muscle

supplements all contribute to their ‘look’

damage, increasing mass as it heals. A

and the following are why they most

workout targeting strength, however,

likely won’t apply to you:

would stick to higher weights, with


lower reps allowing strength gains

– women naturally have much lower testosterone levels than men (15-20 times less). The higher levels in men

without the bulk.


mean they are ‘more equipped’ to gain

– if you’re lifting something that is

significant muscle mass.

85% or more of your maximum weight,

2. THE MISCONCEPTION OF BODYBUILDING MASS – regardless of gender, most of the bodybuilders you see in images are pumped full of something (and/ or photoshopped). Often this is testosterone which plays a major role in muscle gains.


you’ll probably be limited to 2-4 reps in a set, which as above will see strength gains and not mass. However, research has also shown that lifting weights of that size places most of the strain on the nervous system, meaning that a neurological effect will improve strength but not an increase in muscle size.

6. BULKING TAKES TIME – it’s not going to happen overnight –

– for women anyway. As we train, the

the massive blokes you see in the gym

muscle develops and strengthens but

have been working on that look for

it won’t gain large amounts of mass.

YEARS. Don’t panic.

Toning is really removing the fat from atop a well-trained muscle.


"Strength training doesn’t mean having to grab an Olympic bar or chunky dumbbell, nor does it necessarily need to involve big weights."

7. BULKING IS CALORIE DEPENDANT – this is a simple one – if you’re eating more than you’re burning you will not

– hypertrophy (muscle growth) is

lose weight, you’ll probably gain some

achieved by working a muscle over

weight instead. Weight gain is not the

a high number of repetitions (10-20

same as bulking and if you are gaining

approx.) – and bodybuilders would

fat whilst training, it’s probably

take this further and have 3 separate

because of your diet, and not because

exercises for the same muscle, each

you’re ‘working too hard’. Essentially what this boils down to is that heavyweights are (with proper form and training) your friends. Repeatedly lifting light weights won’t challenge you and so you won’t see the toning or improvement you want. Lifting heavier weights (appropriate to your stage of training) will improve strength and body composition as well as strengthening bones and decreasing risk of injury. It might seem like a long-winded way of saying weightlifting is for everyone, but I find the more information we can provide to nervous exercisers the better, and hopefully, they’ll keep coming back. Another barrier that I often come across is the fear that getting stronger will result in reduced flexibility, or an inability to improve flexibility. While this is certainly possible, it is entirely down to the trainer and their programming to make sure that range of motion is at the very least maintained. I always include mat work


June 2021

GOM Magazine


and a range of yoga sequences and poses

workout plan can help build a base level

in my client programmes to allow time

of strength as well as giving something

for functional stretching and improving

familiar and comfortable to do whilst

flexibility. The more clients I see, the more

gearing up to grabbing a dumbbell or a bar.

I think weightlifting and yoga are best friends; building functional strength and using controlled bodyweight movement to stretch and reduce the chance of injury. It’s a win, win! More recently, I have found yoga to have the surprising ability to maintain strength gains in itself. Over the various lockdowns this last year we have all been without access to gyms and heavyweights, and

Essentially there’s a lot of information out there that can put a woman off strength training, but there are even more reasons to brave that first strength session. It’s our jobs as Personal Trainers to help clients break through the fear. We know the benefits it can have, and we have the knowledge to break through the jargon and encourage women to pick up the weights and start to see real transformation.

yet with daily strength yoga, I managed to

Seeing my clients get stronger, fitter, more

maintain and come back to the gym with a

confident and less fearful is incredibly

new deadlift personal best. Being that yoga

rewarding and it will remain my goal

is something that most women have tried

to create an army of fierce, fighting fit

at some point, including it in their regular

women; She Warriors. Georgia has been self employed since becoming a PT and starting Resilience Training UK. She works out at Peak Fitness and Lifestyle Gym in Gloucestershire.  https://www.linkedin.com/in/ georgia-cass-440384174/  https://www.facebook.com/ resiliencetraininguk  Resiliencetraininguk  resiliencetraininguk@gmail.com

GOM Magazine

June 2021





he biggest challenge facing gym owners is how to answer the fundamental questions members ask themselves: What is my current health status? What impact is my training having on my health? How can I improve my health through exercise? How can I monitor my success and keep making positive improvements? Once these questions can be answered, we will go some way to solving our industrywide attrition issue.

In its quest to create a gym environment that works for everyone, EGYM has developed a unique health tracker that enables members to measure and track their general health status through a detailed analysis of a number of health

indicators. Here, Kerstin Obenauer, Country Director EGYM UK, explains how EGYM’s BioAge is helping gym owners to prove the positive impact training is having on health and, as a result, is keeping members engaged for longer.

WHAT IS BIOAGE? BioAge presents performance data collected from a series of sophisticated science-based assessments in a format that enables members to clearly understand and contextualise the positive impact of their training effort on their fitness and health. This makes progress visible at every step of their journey and helps to ensure training prescription remains targeted towards the achievement of the individual’s bespoke health goals. Age is a widely used indicator of where an individual might be on their physiological life journey. It is reasonable to assume, somebody who is in their 60s will have less muscular strength, less agility,

less flexibility and a lower level of general fitness than somebody in their twenties. Age is a metric that everybody understands. It, therefore, makes sense to base a health indicator on comparisons between a person’s actual, measured and interpreted physical performance against the average performance of peers the same age. This is exactly what BioAge does. A member’s BioAge can be accessed via the EGYM Member and Trainer apps and can also be shared directly with friends and other gym users.

HOW IS BIOAGE CALCULATED? EGYM uses a sophisticated analysis of scientifically proven factors that directly relate to physical performance, health, and immune system status – delivering a complete holistic approach. Simultaneously, through EGYM’s collation of de-personalised data from millions of global users, EGYM has access to a massive data pool for reference. This creates a highly reliable and benchmarked calculation with a million data points collected over the years, enabling EGYM to optimise comparison between an individual’s performance and that of their age-group peers. The EGYM BioAge combines a variety of measures and health parameters, categorised into four areas: Strength, Flexibility, Metabolism and Cardio. So, to give an example. A 50-year-old member might record a performance, across the various tests, that corresponds to the average performance of a 45 year old. This results in a BioAge of 45. Conversely, a deconditioned 30-year-old who records a maximum power output of the average 40 year old is awarded a BioAge of 40. After each training session, a member’s digital training record is updated. If one of the health indicators logs a change in performance, the BioAge is automatically updated. Until now, this instant feedback on the impact training is having on health has been the missing link in a member’s training experience.


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GOM Magazine


METABOLISM VALUE The Metabolism Value provides insight into a person’s health status by comparing weight, fat, and height. It is typically calculated by the Body Mass Index (BMI), Body Composition, and Waist-Hip-Ratio (WHR). An excellent metabolic status is also an indicator of a well-functioning immune system (de Heredia et al., 2003)4.

CARDIO VALUE The Cardiovascular Value combines the Resting Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, and the VO2max. It provides an overview of cardiovascular capacity, performance, and health. A healthy cardiovascular system is also connected to a robust immune system (Kullo et al., 2007)5. These methods are used in medical practice to determine the state of health.

FLEXIBILITY VALUE WHY MEASURE STRENGTH, FLEXIBILITY, METABOLISM AND CARDIO EFFICIENCY? The Strength Value sets the user’s body weight in relation to his or her strength. Strength is an indicator of a person’s ability to perform mechanical work, to exert forces and torques. A loss of muscle mass and strength can cause various metabolic and cardiovascular problems, for example, decreased bone density, fat gain, and diabetes (Westcott, 2012)1. Furthermore, the impact of sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass and strength) is a widespread problem in modern populations that can be effectively delayed with resistance training (Morley et al., 2011)2. Strong muscles also function as an endocrine organ that produces protective myokines that rejuvenate the immune system (Nieman and Wentz, 2019)3. 

The Flexibility Value represents a user’s overall flexibility range. It includes a granular overview of the flexibility of certain muscle groups. This overview also indicates whether there are any imbalances in a user's flexibility. It has been well established that flexibility decreases by 20-30% between the ages 30 and 70 years (Adams et al., 1999)6. Flexibility helps a person meet the functional demands of life and enhances the person’s participation in leisure activities. (Adams et al. 1999)6.

12-month period, compared to a UK average of just 51 per cent. This translates to a very positive influence on the bottom line.

CLOSING THOUGHT Covid-19 has heightened the nation’s awareness of the positive link between physical health and an ability to prevent and tackle illness and infection. As gym owners welcome people back into training facilities it is vitally important that they support them in building habits for the long term. In order to do this, we need to find ways to benchmark health, then demonstrate the immediate positive health impact from day one of their training journey and throughout. This is exactly what BioAge delivers. Members are provided with real-time information relating to their health status as it relates to millions of others in their age group and can track how their training influences this status. Providing this feedback helps gym owners attract and retain not only those who want to get fitter and stronger but also those who want to achieve more health-related outcomes, the ‘health seekers’, opening up opportunities to engage with a much wider segment of the population. For more information about EGYM’s BioAge, visit https://egym.com/uk/ about/egym-experience

The flexibility value’s current logic is based on existing scientific literature, EGYM-internal tests, and EGYM’s betatesting partner-gyms. However, over time we expect to gather the world’s largest database for flexibility.

THE RESULTS Members who train with EGYM, train for longer. Fact. In addition to the contribution BioAge makes to a member’s motivation, members are also rewarded for their training efforts via Activity Points and Activity Levels from day one of their training. So, even before health improvements are reflected in a member’s BioAge, individuals receive encouragement through recognition of their efforts. Whilst we have yet to specifically study the impact of BioAge or rewards on engagement as isolated functions, we can report that, as a contributing, fully integrated element of EGYM’s digital ecosystem, users working out on our equipment and engaging with our app have a retention rate of 82 per cent over a

GOM Magazine

June 2021



Fitness Hub The new centerpiece of the connected training floor Request a demo

EGYM UK | uk-sales@egym.com | egym.com 34

June 2021

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Take people with you on your journey to success More gym owners can learn from your experiences Tell your story for free in GOMM Contact Paul Wood today  pw@gymownermonthly.co.uk  07858 487357 / + 33 769422638 GOM Magazine

June 2021






any people want to build bigger quads and for valid reasons. The quadriceps or quads are one of the largest muscle groups. The quads are located on the front of the thigh and are composed of four muscles (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius).

REASONS TO DEVELOP BIGGER QUADS There are numerous benefits associated with bigger quads. Lower Body Health & Athleticism The quadriceps are knee extensors and hip flexors. They, also, help to stabilize the patella and knee joint. Developing your quads is advantageous for daily activities (walking, running, etc.) as well as for athletic movements (jumping, squatting, etc.). Hormone Balance & Health As you learned, the quads are a big muscle group and building muscle has positive effects on hormonal responses. Some of the hormones positively influenced by weight training and muscle building are growth hormone and testosterone. Testosterone is another hormone produced in your body that plays a key role in men’s health. Testosterone 36

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helps increase muscle mass, fat loss,

body aesthetics, working out your legs

energy, and strength. It’s involved in

helps build a more proportionate body.

libido, sexual performance, bone mineral

Many males work on their upper body

density, cognition, and mood as well as

regularly but neglect their lower body,

in cardiovascular health since it helps red

giving them a “chicken-leg” look. This is

blood cell production. But testosterone is

not only aesthetically unpleasant but can

not only essential for males. It is involved

create imbalances in the body.

in female health even though males produce 20 times more testosterone than females. Exercises that work big muscle groups, like leg exercises, and compound moves, such as squats and deadlifts, help elevate your T-levels. Burn More Calories

Fewer Injuries Keeping your legs strong, not only keeps your legs healthy but your body as a whole. Poorly conditioned leg muscles can lead to tight muscles and joints, muscle imbalances, lack of mobility, poor stability, low back pain, and injuries.

metabolic rates and fat burning. By building more muscle, you burn more calories.

Do Quad-Specific Movements Besides doing squats, incorporate exercises that isolate your quads. Isolation exercises allow you to focus all your energy on quad contraction. Interchange Your Foot Placement You can shift your foot placement by positioning your feet closer together during certain exercises or by placing your feet lower on the platform during other exercises. For instance, you can position your feet closer than hips-apart during squats and position your feet lower on the

Working big muscles requires a lot of energy, which translates into higher

following techniques at different times.


platform during leg presses or machinehack squats. Avoid Just Lifting Heavy

There are different techniques that

Some studies have found that moderate


can help you gain more muscle in your

load training is better for quad

Well-developed quads give your legs great

quadriceps. For bigger gains, apply

hypertrophy than merely heavy lifting.

shape. But they are not only for lower-

diversity to your routine by using the

Conversely, heavy load training is superior

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June 2021



Supersets: Supersetting entails that you

Eat More

perform two exercises back-to-back with

If your goal is hypertrophy, you should

no rest between those movements.

increase your caloric load. You should

Change the Range of Motion When you alter the range of your movement during your exercises, you recruit and stimulate diverse muscle fibers. You can do so by incorporating partial reps and combining them with full reps.

eat more protein, which helps build muscle. Also, don’t be afraid of eating carbohydrates - the right carbs supply your muscles with glycogen, help repair your muscles and recover, and allow you to perform at a high level. If you want to add mass, eat 60% carbs, 30% protein,

Partial Reps (also called half reps):

and 10% fats (60/30/10). But if you want

Exercise repetitions that are completed

to stay leaner, have a diet eating 40%

using a shortened range of motion (ROM).

carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fats.

Instead of going through the full range of motion of an exercise (full extension and flexion to the joint's ability), you stop a quarter, half, or three-quarters of the full rep. So instead of going parallel to the floor or beyond during your squat, you don’t go as deep and stay shallower. Doing partial reps during squatting emphasizes your quads more. Pre-exhaust Your Quads Instead of doing isolation exercises at the end of your workout or after doing compound exercises, you start your workout with quad-specific exercises. This reversal allows you to take your quadriceps to complete muscle failure. You feel your quads more as you squat when you do them after your isolation exercises. Then, if your legs start to give out it is because of your quads - not your

for maximal strength goals. Only doing heavy weights with low reps can, also, increase your risk of injury. Alternate Repetition Scheme & Surpass Failure Do lighter weight and high reps as well as heavier weight and low-reps. Additionally,

EXERCISES TO BUILD BIGGER QUADS As you learned, quad development requires volume and a lot of time under tension. The following are some exercises and techniques that can help you build bigger quads. Squats The squat is a great compound, functional, and strength-building exercise. However, since the regular squat involves numerous muscles and doesn’t just target the quads it is not the best quad-building exercise. Sometimes you must stop a set of squats prematurely because your lower back, hamstring, or lungs give out before your quads do.

hamstrings or glutes. This technique

The following are some ways to do

works great with leg extensions.

squats to enhance quad activation:

Train When You Are Fully Rested

• When doing squats, try pausing for

Working out the muscle that you want

three seconds at the bottom of every

to grow after your rest day is highly

squat for the first half of the set and

effective. This allows you to train when

follow the set with a unilateral exercise

your muscle glycogen stores are full and

like lunges.

you are more energized. Do Cardio the Right Way Avoid long cardio sessions as they can create a catabolic state and break down

• Allow your knees to travel a bit over your toes. • Squat with Olympic lifting shoes or with plates underneath your heels.

train beyond failure - beyond the point

muscle. Instead, you can improve your

at which you can't do any more reps with

cardiovascular level, stay lean and maintain

good form.

muscle with high-intensity interval

squat, the barbell is placed across the

training (HIIT) and/or circuit training.

front side of your shoulders - close to

Forced Reps: This requires someone to assist you while you lift the weight after

Circuit training involves doing 8-10 exercises

you reach muscle failure. That person

one after another. After completing one

helps you move the weight so you can get

exercise or station, instead of resting, you

more reps in.

move quickly to the next station. Each

Drop sets: Here you drop the weight to

3 minutes. You complete your circuit when

continue the set. After you reach failure,

exercise lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to you are done with all the exercises. You

• Perform more front squats. In the front

your neck - instead of your upper back. The grip is the same as that of the clean exercise with your fingertips under the bar or just outside of your shoulders. The front squat switches the center of gravity forward, working your quads more than your glutes and allowing a more upright posture.

you immediately reduce the weight by

can do different cardio exercises (jogging in

20% - 30% to continue repping. This

place, stationary cycling, rowing, sprinting,

technique works well with leg extensions

etc.), as well as strength training in a circuit

front squat, try Frankenstein squats.

and later on in your workout.

training fashion.

During the Frankenstein squat, the bar


June 2021

• If you have difficulty executing the

GOM Magazine


rests on the shoulders, not held up by your hands. Your arms are outstretched straight ahead and slightly elevated to keep the bar from rolling forward. This hand-free front squat allows you to work on keeping your torso vertical and implement the proper movement dynamic without having to be concerned about hand placement or wrist mobility. Leg Presses The leg press is a wonderful exercise to grow your quads because it isolates them more. If you must stop a set of leg presses it is because your quads give out, not any other muscle. This is a much safer exercise to do to failure since you are already sitting down, and you can’t fall or lose balance. At the very end of a set, you can even assist with your hands on your knees to push to exhaustion and get some extra reps in. The following are some ways to do leg presses for bigger quads: • An effective way to perform leg presses is to do the eccentric part (lowering the weight) of the exercise in a slower and controlled manner. • You can also do leg presses to failure. Start by using 45 lbs. at each side for 10 reps. Keep adding 25-lb-plates or 45-lb-plates at each side until you can’t complete 10 repetitions. Then, proceed to remove a set of plates and do as many reps as you can with the weight on the platform. Rest 10 seconds and remove another set of plates and rep out to failure again. Keep removing plates and repping, with minimal rest, until you have no more plates on the leg press machine. • Another way of burning your quads is by doing leg presses for 20 to 25 reps while maintaining constant tension without locking at the top - for two or three sets. Then, you perform a heavy set for 8 to 12 reps. • Alternatively, you can avoid counting reps and just do reps for two minutes straight. • You can, also, activate the quads more by positioning your feet lower on the sled and allow your knee to pass forward over your toes. In this manner, your knee extensors (the quads) must work harder to extend your leg. • Position your feet closer than hipsapart to target the outer quads to a GOM Magazine

greater degree and a wider stance to work the inner thigh.   • Press mainly through your toes rather than your heels to highly stimulate the quads as well. Bulgarian Split Squats The Bulgarian split squat is a single-

• Perform sets of 8-10 reps on the hack squat. You can combine full-range reps with partial squats. The partial squats target your quads more than your glutes or hamstrings. You can, also, lift about 30 percent more than with full-range reps. Perform heavy sets of 6 reps.

leg unilateral squat where the back leg

Leg Extensions

is elevated on a bench or step. Using a

The leg extension is a single-joint exercise

single leg at a time keeps the quads under

that’s not necessarily mass-building for

constant tension.

the quads but isolates them.

• Perform the set for at least 30 seconds to

• Use a repetition range higher (>12) than

help your legs grow. Do this exercise after doing leg presses, hack squats or squats. Lunges The lunge is another single leg / unilateral exercise that’s great for the legs. • Superset your squats or leg presses with walking lunges. In order to activate the quads more, you can do short-strides instead of long-strides while doing walking lunges. Aim to perform around 20 reps of lunges. Machine Hack Squats The machine hack squat is great for recruiting the quadriceps muscles while providing stability. • Place your feet low on the machine's platform to increase the degree of knee flexion/extension and target your quads more. However, avoid this technique if you have knee problems as it increases stress on the knee joint.

the typical 8-12. • Pair leg extensions with another exercise or do them at the end of a leg workout to wear out the quads. • Or start your leg workout by doing leg extensions to failure. This technique isolates and pre-exhausts your quads before doing compound exercises like squats, which involve your glutes and hamstrings. Incorporate some of the exercises delineated above to build bigger quads. Alternate different techniques throughout your workouts to help you maintain your quads under tension and increase metabolic stress to get better results. Developing a good set of quads is not only pleasantly appealing but good for your whole body. Adriana Albritton June 2021




NURVV RUN NURVV’s smart insoles are a powerful tool for both new and seasoned running pros. Pop them in your trainers and their built-in GPS and pressure sensors will record your route, in addition to providing stats on your cadence, step length, foot strike, pronation and balance, helping you run faster and further while minimising injury risks in the process. £249.99

PROMIXX RECHARGEABLE VORTEX MIXER You might think combining a phone charger and protein shaker is a bit of a random mix, but if you’ve ever experienced that frustration when your phone runs out of battery in the middle of a workout, you’ll understand. A convenient option for charging up your devices when you’re out at the gym, the Promixx Mixer has a built-in device-charging battery that can power up your phone or tablet. Of course, it also makes great protein shakes too, with a built-in motor and X-Blade technology that make smooth, lump-free shakes. £49.99


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LUMEN Resembling a futuristic vape pen, Lumen is in fact the world's first hand-held device that can accurately measure your metabolism. Simply breathe in through it, hold your breath for ten seconds, breathe back out and it'll measure the CO2 concentration in your breath. Higher levels show that your body is burning carbs for energy, while low levels indicate that fat is being used. Calibrated to your specific CO2 range and lung capacity, it lets you keep track of your body's fuel while providing nutrition recommendations accordingly. A clever companion for people on low-carb diets such as keto, athletes and anyone else that wants to hack their weight-loss journey. £299

PULSEROLL PLUS That soreness you feel after exercising? It’s just the result of your muscles and fascia (or connective tissue) becoming knotted. Rolling out tired muscles helps to stimulate myofascial release, preventing any painful post-workout knots forming. Used by GB Boxing And British Weight Lifting, the Pulseroll Plus is the best vibrating foam roller put there. Lightweight and rechargeable, it’s a must-have in any athlete’s arsenal. £119.99

ATHOS This is a patented system that enables the world’s first smart clothing to measure how hard your muscles are working using the science of EMG (Electromyography). This is combined with powerful AI and a mobile app that gives you insights to truly understand how your body performs. The system has helped athletes at all levels train better and smarter, whatever your goal. At the forefront of wearable technology designed for smart clothing, Athos shirt and shorts are sensor-filled garments that measure your biometrics and performance, as you workout. £145

FITBIT CHARGE 4 Slick, swim-proof and seriously smart, the Charge 4 is Fitbit’s most advanced tracker yet. With builtin Spotify, GPS and Fitbit Pay capabilities, the Fitbit Charge 4 is a must-have for trail runners, cyclists and swimmers looking to monitor their miles, minus all the cumbersome kit. Not only that, but the new Active Zone system will automatically detect and reward users with double credit for staying in their peak performance zones. Us? Slaves to the machine? Never. £99

WITHINGS BODY+ SMART SCALE Connected scales have been around for a while, but Withings ups the ante performing a full-body composition analysis and offering support to track up to eight different users. There’s an easy-to-use app to analyse your metrics and the scales will even display the weather to properly prep you for the day ahead. £71.95

GOM Magazine

June 2021







undreds of thousands of fitness professionals have been affected by restrictions, new regulations and similar recent events across the industry. While we can’t be expected to have gyms around the world opening in unison, there’s a vast gulf between aspirational unity and the complete contradiction that we’ve faced as professionals during already trying times.


June 2021

GOM Magazine


FITNESS FURTHER AFIELD. We’re lucky to have many of our gyms and studios able to open in the UK. Over the Channel and across the continent, governments took the stance that it’s safer to keep fitness facility doors firmly closed. For example, the industry has faced longer lockdowns in France, with further restrictions for daily exercisers looking to take to the great outdoors. A curfew has been in place from 7pm to 6am, and residents have been required to keep physical activity within 10km of home, with no team sports. The difference in timescales raises a lot of questions, too. Even in the UK alone, it’s obvious that we’re not taken seriously as a wellbeing initiative, even with stats to suggest there’s little threat thanks to sanitisation standards and an embedded track and trace system in place. On the other hand, we’ve faced a number of challenges with trying to regulate mask-wearing in order to abide by the rules, and some ‘closed’ gyms obviously missed the memo, causing further trouble with the police. How much of it is safety measures in place, and how much of it is misunderstanding the benefits we can bring?

WHAT’S BEHIND THE CLOSURES? There’s no denying how much of a demand there is on any government’s attention. Lobbying groups and industries for everything will all hzave been jockeying for position when it comes to financial support and details on recovery. What baffles me is how little progress we make over decades, despite the hardest of efforts at every level, from gyms to councils, to the House of Commons. Through all of this, gym closures have been a killer for business but it could have been so much worszzzz “When we compare our actions as a nation on a global level, initially the UK looked at other countries as examples,” explains Robert Handy, founder of independent gyms.co.uk. “China, Korea, Italy – everywhere else shut so we

“It’s clear that politics have played a role

“Following the most recent lockdown,

followed. Since then, each country has

in the handling of the COVID regulations

Wales waited almost an entire month

steered its own path based on the impact

and reopening. Prior to lockdown, the UK

to reopen fitness facilities compared to

of COVID. The vaccine push in the UK

government implemented a three-tier

England and offers no additional support

has helped us get ahead of our European

approach in England; one week later, the

to businesses to cover the delay. How

neighbours seeing us reopening through

Scottish government implemented a four-

much of this comes down to political

April and May.

tier approach.

posturing in the run-up to elections?”

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June 2021




connected to the fitness industry, so we

properly. Mark Drakeford is a perfect

will always be an afterthought.

example of that lack of understanding,

Robert continues: “The more worrying

“Very few career politicians in the UK

aspect, though, is that the UK government

actually understand our industry, the

and individual nations have no clear

facilities that make up the industry and

health and fitness policy or agenda that’s

the impact we can have if supported

making various inaccurate statements about the industry. Other than to create PR opportunities I don’t recall seeing any MPs being members of a gym or actively encouraging the use of gyms, clubs and leisure centres. “Despite the efforts of ukactive throughout 2020 and our industry demonstrating we can operate in a safe manner, we’ve continued to be one of the first industries to be affected by lockdowns. That’s combined with resistance from the government to provide any incentives to kickstart an industry that will play a direct role in protecting people against the effects of COVID.”

TIME TO INFLUENCE GOVERNMENT. Across the pond, more direct action is being taken to encourage an understanding of physical activity within governmental, with a challenge set up at the highest level. The Physical Activity Alliance launched a Congressional Physical Activity Challenge to highlight the importance of making movement more fun, accessible and inclusive across the USA and on a global scale. Supporting the campaign and looking to the future, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick states: “The PAA is dedicated to promoting physical activity for our health, and I proudly stand beside them in our mission to encourage and raise awareness of the importance of physical activity. “Physical activity produces numerous benefits that directly contribute to a healthy, happy and more positive life. I look forward to continuing our efforts to promote, educate, and inspire others to engage in physical activity to bring about positive changes and improvements in our physical and mental health.” Coinciding with National Physical Fitness and Sports Month in May, the competition has been open to all members of Congress, their DC Congressional staff and interns. Each participant has been using a heart rate monitor during the challenge, with winners awarded based on individual achievement, office achievement and most office staff participants able to reach the World Health Organization guidelines for physical activity. 44

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MORE THAN JUST A WORKOUT. “Being physically active is one of the most

It’s time we call for a Parliamentary

• Ben Hackney-Williams specialises in the

performance review on physical activity

wearable tech sector and is passionate

in the UK. Let’s get more decision-makers

about driving positive change through wellbeing initiatives. A journalist for

important lifestyle behaviours we can

moving enough to fully understand

engage in, to maintain our physical and

how much of a positive impact fitness

mental health,” explains Congressman

and wellbeing can have. A cross-party

Ron Kind. “It’s been said that one of the

competition for the benefit of the nation,

best antidepressants ever invented is

regardless of politics. I’d love to see the

manufacturing and helped produce over

leaderboard. Who’s in?.

160 podcast episodes

good old-fashioned sweat. Even during a global pandemic, it is critical that we

over a decade, Ben has worked in fitness for international bodybuilding and MMA publications, driven engagement in supply-side gym design and equipment

work to encourage physical activity as we recover from the COVID virus.” The challenge was announced at a Physical Activity Congressional Briefing, where the PAA introduced its priorities and discussed the importance of federal efforts to increase physical activity in the United States. “Physical activity is vital for the population’s health and wellbeing, and has a far-reaching impact on educational achievement, effective health care delivery, emergency preparedness, and military readiness,” says PAA President, Monte Ward. “By helping more Americans to be physically active, we will not only save lives and protect citizens from diseases, but we can also reduce health disparities and help to make the US a more productive and successful nation.” GOM Magazine

June 2021 45




very cloud has a silver lining, and there have been some positive upshots for gyms through the pandemic and resulting lockdowns. A new awareness or refocus on health is a boost for the fitness industry. The acceleration of fitness technology has been fascinating. And there has also been a big shift in the sharing economy. People and businesses have come together more to share and collaborate.


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A COMMON ENEMY Gyms and health clubs, particularly independents, are competing less with one another. The common enemies both in terms of share of time and money are now entertainment services such as Netflix and Disney+, or food delivery services like Just Eat and Deliveroo. Independent gyms still contend with the big chains to a certain extent. But postpandemic, clubs are clearer about their differentiating factors and unique selling points. Small studios and individual trainers are more likely to partner with several other clubs to extend reach, while focusing on their specialism.

failures is a great way to learn and grow your own business. It can be lonely at the top, and hearing other gym owner’s stories, and sharing your own, is a great form of therapy, both for you and your club. You will get a bunch of new ideas, and more than likely, some support for your own initiatives or issues as well.

NEW PARTNERSHIPS AND BUSINESS STREAMS More clubs are now partnering with therapists and health practitioners, not just simply to rent space, but to build

GOM Magazine


complimentary services and offers to

Collaborations like the Independent Gyms Group and The Collective, which were both founded before the pandemic, have flourished through lockdown. The amount of excellent educational content being shared is genuinely inspiring. All the experts, partners, and clubs that have shared their stories have done so to help others, to help clubs and members, and improve the fitness industry as a whole.

new perspective and point of view to a

Hearing about other clubs’ successes and

popular at the moment.

members and clients. They can bring a club, and new opportunities too. Health seeker memberships are growing new business streams, bringing in nutrition or even food prep and delivery services (that are much healthier than Just Eat!) Referral and upsell opportunities for health seekers are plentiful, but nutrition and coaching are the two most

June 2021



LEISURE CENTRES SHARING MEMBERS During lockdown last year, neighbouring counties found themselves in different tiers, with members across the border unable to travel to visit their club. One leisure trust in North Wales partnered with the local authority in the next county to allow members to workout at each other’s sites. The red tape that would normally have taken months to resolve was sorted in less

than 48 hours. Two quite different organisations came together to provide a fantastic member service ensuring people could use their memberships at the neighbouring leisure centre. It was a brilliant example of customer centric thinking, solving an issue that could have been ignored as ‘impossible’ to fix. It also demonstrated confidence from both businesses to partner without fear of member loss.

"It can be lonely at the top, and hearing other gym owner’s stories, and sharing your own, is a great form of therapy, both for you and your club." LOCAL INDEPENDENTS TEAM UP Post lockdown, two independent gyms in Berkshire are arranging a local competition between members and staff. Both clubs are mainly focused on strength and conditioning, and have been open for less than 3 years. The sites are 4 miles apart, and each will host the other for two local ‘derby’ events featuring individual and team challenges like max weight-lifting, farmers walks, hang time, etc. The contests will raise awareness and increase loyalty for both clubs. It is highly unlikely that any members will defect, but members of each club will have friends who live near the other site, so the publicity and rivalry will bring in new members for both. There is also talk of organising a tug of war between even more local clubs and bootcamp businesses. It is more about co-operation than competition. Events are a great way of sharing everyone’s specialities, raising the profile of local businesses, and working together.


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GOM Magazine


REACH OUT Next time you are mystery shopping your local competition, reach out to the business owner for a coffee and a chat. Talk to your fellow gym owners across the country through the free networks mentioned above. Collaborating and sharing information, best practice, and even members is the future. The common enemy is inactivity and laziness more than the nearest big box gym. Guy Griffiths is a coach to independent gym owners, and a member retention specialist. He works with clubs on processes, systems, and strategies to improve member engagement, and boost revenue. His mission is to help your club to understand and engage with as many of your members as possible and get them to stick around longer. Book a call to discuss your membership retention strategies or fully managed member recovery campaigns at ggfit.com/ gom.

GOM Magazine

June 2021






e know the challenges faced in the UK and neighbouring countries since lockdowns have been lifted, and many of us are still dealing with the repercussions. Whether our governments heeded the insights or not, we looked to the east for advice at the start of the pandemic. Now we move into the next stage, what we can learn from our partners and cohorts around the world? These operational examples can shape how we recover, and they’ll be the catalyst for future success.


June 2021

GOM Magazine


POSITIVE BOUNCE BACK. When it comes to insights and knowledge shares, the best of the best can be found coming from FIT Summit events. One panel discussion: How is APAC Emerging Post-COVID, What Lies Ahead? at this year’s FIT Summit World Health, Fitness and Wellness Week brought with it a host of excellent information. It’s fair to say that nobody knew what was going to happen. It’s been the strangest year of hope and helplessness. But many operators are now finding that, despite early panic setting in, the return to business brings positivity aplenty. “When COVID first hit I freaked out,” says Di Williams, founder and chairman of Fernwood Fitness. “I thought ‘my goodness, I’ve been in business for 32 years and now we’re just going to get wiped off the planet.’ I didn’t know what to expect. “Eventually when we came back to opening up again, I was very surprised at how positive the comeback was. A lot of our clubs are doing better than the same time pre-COVID.

to normal,” explains Justin McDonell, co-founder and chairman of Collective

“At this early stage, the signs are very promising.”

Wellness Group. “Our CBD locations are

Other operators have been echoing Di’s experience in the weeks since opening.

to work. Our revenues are actually up.

“The net effect is that we’re fairly back

branding is strong.”

GOM Magazine

still down as people haven’t gone back Our online offering is still going and the

WHAT ABOUT THE MONTHS TO COME? With vaccine roll-outs comes further confidence for many, but there are still chances of further closures and restrictions coming into effect. One way of identifying trends in facilities is to look

June 2021



at how often the equipment is being used and how these factors affect activity. “If you look at it from a global perspective, we’re trending as with any other global company,” says Andrew Mahadevan, vice president of APAC at Life Fitness. “We’ve tied our forecast essentially to vaccine rollout by country. “We’re able to see the number of workouts that are done on our equipment. For example, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia are looking really good. “I think that operators have basically mastered how to close and how to reopen.” Adept as they may be at forced flexibility with operating hours, gym, club and studio owners should never have been put in the situation where they have to open and close like saloon doors. What’s more promising is that across the other side of the world, there’s also the shift to wellbeing and stepping up to the plate of holistic healthcare. “For us, if we look really long term and think two years in the future… We keep hearing the term ‘hybrid’ but I don’t think that’s an accurate phrase. We need to think of the future of fitness as a wellness ecosystem – gym, outside, at the office, at home – all of those complement each other.”


June 2021

THE INDUSTRY FORMERLY KNOWN AS FITNESS. How we embrace the opportunities that are now presented is up to us. What people perceive the fitness industry to be has now changed, and we need to propel that stereotype shift so that we continue to engage, educate and empathise with more and more people through our services. The coming months are going to be key to this evolution.

“The industry needs to prepare for the rise of chronic health conditions due to the pandemic, making the need to work to unite the fitness industry and promote healthy lifestyles more important than ever,” explains Joh n Holsinger, director of APAC at IHRSA. “I heard an interesting phrase that ‘when things lift, you have to be January ready.’ People that have the funds will want to spend the money and they’ll want to find the ways to get their social aspects back up and running.”

"It’s fair to say that nobody knew what was going to happen. It’s been the strangest year of hope and helplessness"

GOM Magazine


I’m a firm believer that growth is imminent, and we can make it more than just about recovery from the past months. However, it’s got to be about more than money. As fitness professionals, we all know the value of physical activity and the importance of its role in longevity and lifestyle. Yet at the end of the month, the important metrics are still seen as sales and people through the door. Now that we’re comfortable with engaging and making a difference both in-person and remotely, there’s so much more availability to increase audiences, memberships and communities to make success more than just about return on investment in the physical space. Encourage members, yes, but also focus on community projects and getting more people to move anywhere, and more members will come. The most important thing is the benefit you’re bringing into people’s lives and the enlightenment of physical literacy and mobility that you can share. What happens now really is up to you. GOM Magazine

June 2021








hroughout the pandemic, independent gyms have been quick to adapt and remained flexible in the open/

Almost a happy accident, his creation

realised I couldn’t work in an industry I

is now leading the charge as a resource

didn’t enjoy, so I returned pretty quick.

that’s giving more back to its gyms so that they can offer more to their members.

shut fiasco that’s followed every regulation change. That’s not to say that chain gyms can’t be responsive, but historically with little support on the big stage, many independents have been able to provide for a more engaged community regardless of what’s been thrown at them.

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BACKGROUND IN THE FITNESS INDUSTRY? “I realised recently that I’m a bit of an old timer when I made the statement ‘I’ve got 20 years’ experience in the

In walks founder of independentgyms.

fitness industry’. I started like most of us,

co.uk, Robert Handy. This man has

working through college and university

pioneered a new approach in UK gym

in various roles before finding my feet

partnerships and growth for many fitness

in membership sales after leaving

facilities across the UK and Ireland.

university. I had a short stint away but

“I always wanted to be connected to the fitness industry but my career really started to take shape when I started as Membership Manager at The Warwickshire, and then forging ahead when I started work at Core Health & Fitness supplying iconic brands of equipment to gyms, health clubs and leisure centres.”

WHAT WAS THE REASON BEHIND SETTING UP INDEPENDENTGYMS. CO.UK? “I won’t lie, initially the plan was to help reach more gym owners for my role at Core Health, by creating an audience in a private Facebook group to communicate offers and new product launches. But I decided very early on that the group had a bigger role to play. “I cut off any sales pitches (even my own), introduced a policy of no suppliers other than the few already in the group and focused heavily around support and advice for gym owners. This was back in 2018 before COVID was even a thing. The group grew fairly rapidly and really gave me a buzz along with the realisation that we could go on to provide even more support in a formal capacity.”


June 2021

GOM Magazine



support structures you'll see at the

“Phase one of independentgyms.co.uk

to these areas of support. These things

drives value for gym owners via access to dedicated events organised by us and our partners; access to document templates such as PT contracts and other dayto-day files; a free listing on the single biggest searchable map of independent

chains – such as dedicated HR, sales and marketing, or membership and purchasing departments. Our aim is to partner with the right organisations to provide access generally benefit from the economies of scale linked to larger businesses. Until recently the independents have been fairly isolated in their operations but, with 2000+ owners under one roof, we can develop these services further.”

fitness facilities, and access to supplier savings, discounts and special offers from our partners that owners won’t find elsewhere. “We’re now developing phase two of the platform that will include a self-serving partner portal, and fine-tuning other features. We have further planned developments that will either put money directly into the tills of our members or save them even more on the products and services they invest in as part of their business, too.”

WHAT’S GOING TO BE THE DIFFERENCEMAKER FOR GYMS OVER THE COMING YEAR? “For me, the difference-maker will be about creating and building on the community a gym develops. Yes, you need to offer a great product and decent equipment but that’s never been easier. Throughout lockdown gyms have used their grants and loans to reinvest into

IS THERE GREATER STRENGTH IN INDEPENDENT GYMS UNITED COMPARED TO CHAIN OFFERINGS? “This is not about going head to head with chains or local authorities, but it is about trying to level the playing field in terms of visibility and support. The independent sector is hugely varied, with every possible facility you could imagine. Our members vary from PT studios, to boutiques, to bodybuilding gyms to 4000-member clubs, and they create some of the best communities. “What they generally don’t have is the

their facilities, which will be great at attracting new members, but it will be the sense of community and a feeling of belonging that will keep them.”

WHAT DOES THE LONG-TERM FUTURE OF THE FITNESS INDUSTRY LOOK LIKE? “This is a crystal ball question! Given what we’ve all gone through over the last 12 months it’s safe to say we could be on the edge of the biggest change to the industry we’ll see for a while, or we could revert

“We’re seeing the chains grow out of lockdown, doubling down on opportunities with a number of new clubs opening, but also heading overseas for growth. The independent market will also grow as ambitious owners take advantage of changes in planning permissions and landlords are more open to working with independent facilities.

back to the tried and tested models we are

“Digital fitness will stick around in various

all used to.

forms, but people crave interaction so I think most members who took advantage of online/digital workouts will slowly move back into a club environment. Most clubs will retain some kind of digital offering, but more as a back-up should there be any more repercussion from COVID. “Having said that, I think tech companies will make access to exercise and movement easier than ever, almost like the workout videos of the ’80s and ’90s. They’ll reach those people hesitant to join a club but that will act as a feeder into mainstream facilities and we’ll see the overall numbers grow. “The future is definitely bright!”

GOM Magazine

June 2021



Kickboxing... Yoga...Pilates...Run club..functional strength...Hiking meet-up...Outdoor Bootcamp...barre... glutes and guns...




o many options to workout with others! There has been some buzz about the popularity of group fitness classes and groups declining due to fear resulting from the covid pandemic, but we are social beings. Group fitness is already seeing a huge increase in attendance as people are being vaccinated and covid-19 numbers decrease. What we may see instead of lower participation is a different model of group fitness everywhere increasing the availability of group fitness for people everywhere.


June 2021

GOM Magazine


“Covid-19 has accelerated adoption

doing a workout from home, there are

of a hybrid model of online/in-person

now endless options to connect with an

workouts that more brick-and-mortar

instructor to workout from home or even

gyms are likely to retain when the

others outside of your area and even in

pandemic recedes. Fitness club-owners

other countries which may also provide

grappling with declining memberships

a sense of belonging and accountability.

have quickly caught on, with 72% now

I teach virtual classes to a small group

offering on-demand and livestream group

of clients and they enjoy seeing the

workouts, up from 25% in 2019, according

group, engage before class, and are

to fitness research firm ClubIntel.“

held accountable for each and every

Bloomburg.com January 2021.

workout. I still encourage these folks to

Most think of group fitness as the traditional group fitness classes in a

do something live on the weekends like a hiking or cycling meet up group.

full-service gym but group fitness options

The good news is that the fitness

extend far beyond these studio classes.

industry has changed and progressed at

The term group fitness encompasses any and all forms of fitness that are done in a group setting, led by a personal trainer or group instructor.

an extraordinary rate across the globe. Companies inside and outside of the fitness industry are recognizing the business opportunities afforded by group fitness, which is why it’s worth considering how

Examples include but are not limited to:

you might use the following predictions to

• Group fitness classes at a gym

help grow your influence and business in

• A fitness club or meetup group

2021 and beyond.

• Virtual group fitness classes • Cross Fit gyms • Most Boutique studios

1. As mentioned above, Diversification in the fitness space will continue. New ways of leading classes have emerged

virtual and on-demand class options as well as in-person classes creating additional streams of revenue. Fitness

I personally encourage most of my clients

in the last year. Providing a rewarding

to participate in live group setting classes

group fitness experience can happen

or meetups because my coaching model

inside the club or out, live (at the same

is about so much more than a physical

time as participants) or on-demand

transformation. It is about having a

(recorded classes to be accessed

sense of community, stress management,

anytime). This allows your club if

become more mainstream during

increased accountability and surrounding

you are a club owner to provide more

the pandemic. There are many new

oneself with others who have a similar

options for your members, some at a

platforms that offer an endless variety

lifestyle. With that being said, when

lower cost per participant. Instructors

of both virtual and on-demand classes.

life is super busy and the only option is

will continue to have well attended

What I personally love about these

GOM Magazine

professionals can offer more of a variety of packages and offerings to their members and new participants alike 2.  Collaboration of instructors has

June 2021



platforms is that you can construct

population who picked up some very

needs on any day. Need some yoga in

unhealthy habits during covid and/

your life and an in-person class doesn’t

or some unwanted pounds. This

fit your schedule or budget? You are in

happened for a variety of reasons from

luck!! There are both fitness platforms

being inside and inactive to trying to

and yoga platforms that allow you to

manage parenting with a full-time

choose exactly what you are looking for by selecting your focus, class length, instructor if you find one you enjoy, and so much more!! 3. There is also a trend of group fitness


4. There is a huge percentage of the

your workout specifically to your

job and homeschooling. Feelings of depression or anxiety in the midst of the unknown have been rampant during the past year which tends to result in unhealthy habits. The folks I

instructors being able to exercise more

have consulted with lately are ready

independence as they learned to run

for change. They need encouragement,

their own businesses and classes

guidance, and yes, community so

during the pandemic and will continue

group fitness classes in their various

to do so.

forms are here to stay with numbers

June 2021

"Most think of group fitness as the traditional group fitness classes in a fullservice gym but group fitness options extend far beyond these studio classes."

GOM Magazine


quickly climbing. Gym owners, instructors, and fitness professionals, in general, need to understand the trepidation that some will have to re-enter the studios, understand that people’s needs are likely very different than they were before the pandemic, and be welcoming while everyone regains a faith and comfort in working out with others. 5.  Companies are realizing the benefits to offering health and wellness programs to their employees as a means to reduce insurance premiums, decrease tardiness and sick days, increase inter-department unity, and improve the overall culture of the company. Corporate wellness began becoming more mainstream before the pandemic. The growth slowed significantly during 2020 due to limited funds but is making a comeback now that our economy is picking up and people are returning to the workplace. Offering corporate wellness plans as a gym owner or independent fitness professional is a great way to connect with more people and make a difference in the lives of a large number of professionals. Offering group options is the way to go to meet the needs of an entire company’s roster!! So, let’s spread our wings and continue to expand our offerings to people both in our area and way beyond. Let’s ask questions to find out what people need and how we can best serve them. This is the beginning of a time of growth for those with the resilience and tenacity to continue to bring back group fitness options for the health and well-being of those who seek our guidance!! Author: Stacy Renee Wig, MS, IFBB Pro (CEO of Wig Athletics and FitCo Wellness Solutions)

GOM Magazine

June 2021 59





ven before “Lockdown 1 - March 2020” media platforms have been inundated with 3 new groups of exercise “experts”: 1. Celebs becoming overnight Fitness Professionals 2. Fitness Beginners becoming Fitness Professionals 3. Complicated variations of Basic Simple Exercises to sell programs

There are of course lots more and the list

Number 1. & 2. above are for “Likes” and

could go on but it gets way too boring

nothing else FACT!

after the 1st 3 on my list anyway.


June 2021

Number 3. is what I’m interested in as

I really want to tell you to keep it simple

with all activities and movements these

sporty (KISS), do not overcomplicate

have been tried and tested by millions of

movements just because some so-called

people and over decades of time.

famous person you ‘adore’ all of a sudden

Over my years of training to stay fit,

comes up with a so-called: New Move

strong and healthy (so far since I was

(that they have probably been shown by

about 14yrs old so that is about 37yrs) I

‘their’ PT!)

too have played with a new variant to a GOM Magazine


Press Up, a Dip or a Bicep Curl but 1 thing

If you are like me and are NOT shaping

movements and playing with rep numbers,

always happens when I get tired or I have

your body for a competition then you

time under tension and recovery periods.

limited time or I just want to get some

do not need to listen to people pushing

positive “return” from my training:

advice that in order to achieve your

I perform the BASIC MOVEMENT PATTERN that has been adopted and performed for over 100yrs by fitness enthusiasts and professional elite sports personnel alike and guess what? IT WORKS!

“fitness” goals you must do 5 different variants to the bicep curl or 5 different variants to the back squat. If you, like me are training to stay in peak physical fitness or simply to stay in shape and stay fit, strong and healthy you can achieve this by performing all simple

It seems the current trend is for so-called Media Celebs that have ‘dabbled’ in personal fitness, have had a fair amount of ‘TV\Media’ success or air time and are viewed as either an active individual or a TV ‘Tough Guy’ or a ‘socialite playing on reality TV’ and are either: a. Running out of money Or b. Craving more “Likes” on their media platforms to feed their ego’s Or c. Needing to lose weight So they think by doing a “Workout Video” or a “YouTube” fitness channel or even go as far as a full “Fitness Program Box Set” and putting their name to it, that they are also then recognizable as being fully qualified and credible Personal Fitness Trainers! Well, all of the above, get down off your high horses and leave that to the trained lifelong trained professionals and you go grab your “Instagram” and “FarceBook” likes by doing what you do best: “Be someone else”! Anyway, I digress: I was talking about “Keep It Simple Sporty”

GOM Magazine

June 2021



As a beginner, you need to know a handful of age-old “bodyweight” exercises that you can perform “Anywhere-AnytimeAlmost Zero Equipment’ As a beginner, you can also recruit another handful of external forces/ weights exercises that can be done “Almost Anywhere-Anytime-Some Equipment” These go for FITNESS ALL LEVELS. From Absolute Beginner to Absolute Elite Professional Athlete. Granted, elite professional athletes will no doubt have access to state of the art fitness equipment, dietitians, coaches (setting training goals and targets etc), physio’s and most importantly: TIME As a beginner you will have a busy hectic work, family and or social life, not always have access to (or not at all due to financial constraints) fitness equipment, no coach or manager or someone to manage your food and most importantly; LOTS OF TIME! BUT (there is ALWAYS a BUT!) you ALL have 15-30 mins in any and every day to do some fitness activities, regardless of your lifestyle.

You CAN always do some or all of the

14. Tuck Jump’s

following depending on time and

15. Running on the Spot


16. Hand Step Up’s

1. Press Up’s

17. Plank Shoulder Tap’s

2. Sit Up’s

18. Squat Jump’s

3. Pull Up’s 4. Squat’s 5. Dip’s

(21. Running, Jogging, Walking) 20 exercises above that can all be done in

7. Burpee’s

the comfort of your own body space and

9. Lie Down - Stand Up’s 10. Mountain Climbers ALL REQUIRE ZERO EQUIPMENT 11. Plank Toe-Taps

June 2021

20. Hand Walk Out - Walk-In

6. Reverse Dip’s 8. Squat Thrust’s


19. Leg Raise’s

require nothing more than a pair of shorts, a tee and a pair of trainers (maybe) and some water! Do these exercises in their most basic form, no need to try and “Reinvent the Wheel” of exercise fortune with these.

12. Knee Tuck’s

They have been tried and tested for over

13. Forward or Reverse Lunge’s

100 years! GOM Magazine


"Do not overcomplicate movements just because some so-called famous person you ‘adore’ all of a sudden comes up with a so-called: New Move" All you need to do now is play with:

1. Number of Rep’s

training in the Kenyan heat and altitude

1. Which ones to do in any 1 session

2. Number of Round’s

(It is also no wonder the Kenyans make

2. Which order to do them in ( I tend to

3. Total Time Training

good long-distance runners as they are

4. Rest Period’s

basically born at altitude approx 3,000m

work: Arms/Shoulders, Abs/Upper Torso,


3. How many of each I do in a set 4. How many sets I do 5. How many times a week 6. How much recovery in between each exercise 7. How much recovery in between each round 8. How long do I do those exercises for (1-6 weeks?)

5. Set a Goal/Target for your last session of each month This will clearly show you that you DO NOT need to perform any fancy ineffective “Variant” to these Simple Sporty Basic exercises. A little story about me and how I once did this form of training as it was the only form of training I could do in the location I

9. Which exercises do I do next

was at in that particular time in my life:

10. What about “Some” equipment

I had 8 weeks working in the bush and

exercises K.I.S.S = Keeping It Simple Sporty means just that, you can still get both a tough W.B.A (Whole Body Approach) training session out of JUST bodyweight exercises

jungle of Kenya with the British Army and we basically had an area we could do bodyweight exercises and fortunately also a “Pull Up Bar” as our 1 and only additional training accessory plus lots of

and all of that without equipment.

running space, to train after work.

Why not ‘GOOGLE’ all of the above for

After these 8 weeks, I have to admit that I

correct form & technique, practise the

was in very good shape and very very fit,

correct form & technique then make 4

strong & healthy.

different exercises circuits (20 exercises

There quite literally was ‘No’ gym facility

gives you 4 different circuits) and challenge yourself to do 1 x 4 weeks program for each circuit?

as we were located ‘Outside’ in the ‘Bush’ so, you make do with what you’ve got.

to the point) and trained really hard on these above-mentioned exercises and our bodies were looking ‘Good’ and feeling really really healthy. So, there is no need to ‘REINVENT THE EXERCISES’ simply do the basic exercises in their basic form if you are starting out or an athlete and have no real desire to spend all of your money on expensive fitness equipment! In summary, just because a so-called ‘TV Celeb or Reality Star’ that you follow or ‘Like’ because of what they have achieved in their ‘Make Believe World’ all of a sudden has a go at becoming fit does not mean that they are naturally fit or even passionate about staying healthy or are fitness ‘guru's (it’s basically because they are getting paid a lot of money to do it!) Often they are absolutely nothing like this in their ‘Real Life’ (if they know what that is anymore?) it is merely a publicity stunt to gain “Ego-Likes” on media platforms!

By the time my team and I had finished,

Stick to following real people that are first

Do not vary or stray from the very basic

our time away from the rest of the main

and foremost passionate about staying

form & technique of these exercises, keep

group (which totalled about 6wks with a

fit, strong and healthy for life and not just

them in their natural form and over each

couple of weeks setting up and breaking

a phase they are going through to boost

month slowly build up your:

down camps) we had got accustomed to

their “inbox”

GOM Magazine

June 2021




n the past few years, several companies have marketed wearable devices and mobile apps that can track our personal health data. These “mHealth” devices and apps have led to the birth of what is known as the “quantified self” — a phenomenon where individuals start tracking their behavioural, physiological, biological, and other kinds of health markers. A key question of interest in this ecosystem remained unanswered up until recently: Is there any scientific evidence that consumer adoption and usage of these wearable devices and mobile health apps actually leads to a tangible change in their behaviour, which, in turn, can show up in concrete health care outcomes?


June 2021

GOM Magazine


app, some having access to a web-based version of the app, and the rest (the control group) not having access to any of these apps or devices. The adoption of the mHealth app led to an improvement in both short-term metrics (such as a reduction in patient's blood glucose and glycated haemoglobin levels) and longer-term metrics (such as a reduction in hospital visits and medical expenses). Patients who adopted the mHealth app undertook higher levels of exercise, consumed healthier food with lower calories, walked more steps, and slept longer on a daily basis. Some other interesting discoveries concerned the outcomes of patients in the group that used the mHealth app This first-of-its-kind study uses data from

tablets, sensors, and cloud-based

major stakeholders (digital app platforms,

computing systems, all of which collect

hospitals, clinics, doctors, nutritionists,

health data on individuals.

pharmacists, and so on) to examine whether emerging mHealth technologies effectively persuade people to modify their lifestyles and thereby reduce hospital visits and medical expenses over

who received personalised reminders via text messages vs. those of patients who received generic reminders. An example of a personalised reminder would go like

In partnership with a major mHealth app

this: “Dear Mr XX, you did not exercise

platform, a large-scale randomised field

at all yesterday. Take a 45-minute walk

experiment based on detailed patient

today as it will help control your blood

lifestyle activities (e.g., steps walked,

glucose levels.” In contrast, a generic reminder might say: “Regular exercise

time. The relatively new area of mHealth

exercise time and calories spent, sleeping

includes mobile computing, medical

patterns, and food quality and quantity)

sensor, and communications technologies

and blood glucose values from chronic

controlling blood glucose.”

used for health care services (e.g.,

diabetes patients over a 15-month time

Such generic messages with generalised

managing chronic diseases). mHealth

frame. The randomisation involved some

guidance about diabetes were 18% more

applications can operate on smartphones,

patients having access to the mHealth

effective than personalised messages

GOM Magazine

at moderate intensity is very helpful for

June 2021 65


at reducing glucose levels over time. Surveys conducted after the experiment explained: Some patients found the accuracy of the personalised messages to be intrusive and annoying, and some said they made them feel constantly coerced to follow the wellness recommendations, which demotivated them and led to a lower level of wellness activities (e.g., less exercising, fewer healthy eating habits, and shorter sleeping durations at night).


leads to improved health outcomes. This

First, the study shows that users of

devices to encourage their use. Apple has

mHealth devices and apps can become more autonomous and more motivated in self-regulating their health behaviour

suggests that it would be worthwhile for government and private insurers and tech companies to subsidise the prices of these been recently collaborating with Medicare plan providers to subsidise its watches for the elderly.

and more engaged and consistent in their

Second, personalisation is a double-edged

lifestyle and wellness behaviour, which

sword. On one hand, it leads to some

That said, the randomised experiments demonstrated that compared to generic messages, personalised messages were more effective in reducing in-person doctor visits and replacing them with tele-health services. Post-experimental surveys of the experimental subjects revealed that the accuracy of these personalised messages made patients comfortable with adopting tele-health services deployed by the platform. Thus, they were substituting their offline physician interactions with online ones, reducing their overall medical expenses. This was a silver lining of personalisation. 66

June 2021

"These “mHealth” devices and apps have led to the birth of what is known as the “quantified self” — a phenomenon where individuals start tracking their behavioural, physiological, biological, and other kinds of health markers" GOM Magazine


patients reducing their engagement with wearable technologies and reducing their wellness behaviours. On the other hand, personalisation also facilitates an increased usage of tele-medecine among patients, which, in turn, leads to lower medical expenses. Practitioners in the health care ecosystem would benefit from keeping these countervailing effects in mind when designing their communications strategies. For instance, they could run experiments or conduct market research on their local populations to examine the effect of personalisation on patients’ preferences for in-person vs. tele-health consultations. By soliciting feedback on patients’ preferences, they would be able to predict the net benefit of personalisation and adjust the frequency of personalised communications accordingly. Third, mHealth devices and apps could provide health insurance companies with an opportunity to personalise premiums. They could allow them to reward consumers who make the effort to exercise more often, eat healthier, and sleep longer with lower insurance premiums. This would be similar to what some auto insurance companies are already doing: placing tracking devices in cars to monitor driving behaviour and then rewarding better drivers with lower premiums. That said, such a strategy poses some potential problems or challenges. HIPAA’s privacy rules mean that patients would have to agree to give health insurers companies access to their data. And rewards based on healthier eating habits and lifestyles could end up rewarding the rich and penalising the poor, which would be wrong. Even so, having a clearer idea of how these apps and devices do and don’t change behaviour can help health care organisations better strategies how to create better care for their patients. GOM Magazine

June 2021



d l e i f t u D y Am h g u o r h t s u talks



s a mother of 2 young children, I have lived through a lot of the changes that occur in our body and the impact it has on fitness both during and after pregnancy. I’ve always been a keen exerciser and enjoyed staying fit and in shape but nothing really prepares you for what having children does to your body – especially when these little humans arrive into our lives, wreaking havoc any fitness routines we may have had previously. We are a nation obsessed with ‘bouncing back after baby’, which quite frankly is ridiculous, unrealistic and something that piles on the pressure for any female wanting her body and fitness levels back.


June 2021

GOM Magazine


As many of us know, there are just so many special considerations for postnatal women. The main aim of any good pre-and post-natal trainer is to protect women and their ability to maintain physical activity long term for their overall health and wellbeing. This month, I, therefore, thought I’d share my 6 top tips for regaining health, fitness and overall wellbeing in the post-natal period. 1. Sufficient screening for any postnatal women is vital. I’ve heard on so many occasions from new mums that their 6-week GP check did not meet up to their expectations. From my own experience, these were very much centred around how my new baby was doing and not much attention given to my own recovery. Being an avid exerciser, I was desperate to regain my fitness after both pregnancies but thankfully I know more than most to just go leaping back into it too fast. But even if you’re new to exercise making sure you get a proper individual screening from a credible post-natal practitioner is VITAL. During a postnatal screening, you should be asked details of your pregnancy, birth and overall health. The practitioner should address all individual issues such as Diastasis Recti, C-Section scars and the possibility of Pelvic Organ Prolapse – all of which impact exercise/ movement prescription. You’ll only get one opportunity to build the right foundations to recover well and regain (or gain) your fitness levels postpregnancy so invest in YOU if you can. An individual qualified in fitness may not necessarily be qualified in postnatal fitness. Do your research and find

muscles and creates downward

so the very first port of call in any

pressure on your pelvic floor. When you

postnatal recovery programme is to re-

breathe out you use your diaphragm

connect this loop – that is, get the pelvic

muscles to help push the air out of your lungs. When the diaphragm is contracting the pelvic floor is also being contracted and lifting. It’s like a

floor muscles working in conjunction with the breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing exercises are something you

loop system. Unfortunately, the loop

can teach yourself – but again, getting a

sometimes becomes disconnected

professional to help guide you through

throughout pregnancy and childbirth

this is always helpful.

the right person for you. 2. Start by breathing! This might sound crazy as we know that breathing is kind of essential, right? – but do you realise just how important it is in postnatal recovery? Your whole mid-section is held together like a cylinder type structure. The bottom of this holds up your pelvic muscles, the sides are your deep abdominal muscles and the top is held on tight by your diaphragm. When this mechanism is functioning well it balances inter-abdominal pressure to support your pelvis and lower back. Now, imagine months of this being stretched. It weakens the abdominal GOM Magazine

"The main aim of any good pre-and post-natal trainer is to protect women and their ability to maintain physical activity long term for their overall health and wellbeing" June 2021



3. Eat REAL food. Optimum nutrition

cereals, wholewheat breads, oats,

plays a major part in all of the

brown rice and grains such as quinoa,

perceived trouble spots for post-

barley and millet.

natal ladies. In a bid to “lose the baby weight” many women fall victim to

milk. Olive oil, avocado, seeds and fatty fish

restricting calorie intake, missing vital

such as salmon

nutrients. I’ve always stuck by my is particularly important at times in our lives when we have some healing to do as well. As well as losing weight and eating enough to do sustainably let’s not forget that if you’re breastfeeding

• Spinach, kale and other dark leafy greens (high in iron, calcium and dietary fibre)

• Sweet potatoes – high in vitamin A and C and beta carotene.

Healthy fats produce healthy breast

under-nourishing their bodies through

motto; eat food, not products and this

munching on bowls of these during night feeds!

Fresh fruits and vegetables.

 Three of my favourites both during pregnancy and post-natal are;

• Blueberries – among the highest fruits in antioxidants. I remember

4. Get Stretching (but take care!). Muscle aches and pains in the neck and across the upper and lower back are very common, primarily due to a combination of altered alignment, abdominal weakness and ligament

what you feed yourself now is what you are nourishing your child with. You mainly need to focus on nutrients that are absolutely vital proper growth and development of the baby, such as carbohydrates, protein, calcium and zinc. Food groups to include are: Iron-enriched foods promote strength Lean cuts of red meat, spinach, eggs, pumpkin seeds and legumes Great grains energize and nourish the body. This is particularly important for breastfeeding mothers who can burn 500 extra calories per day. Wholewheat pasta, wholegrain 70

June 2021

GOM Magazine


6. Watch out for any red flags. It’s great

laxity. Pregnancy causes the pelvis to

and how long it should take to come

tip, which alters spine alignment and

off – but I won’t. Why? – it just adds

to have a plan to follow and have goals

in turn, this causes specific muscles to

more pressure for us. Why do you

set but always take care. Watch out

shorten and tighten. A good post-natal

need to put a timer on yourself? After

for any red flags - including abdominal

trainer can guide you through exactly

all, surely the first few weeks and

pain, bleeding and pelvic heaviness.

which stretches to include, factoring

months with your new baby should

Consult your GP immediately if you

in any adaptations needed depending

be enjoyed, not spent scale-watching

experience any of these.

on your individual recovery plan. Due to increased ligament laxity for many weeks after pregnancy (caused by a hormone called relaxin that alters the properties of cartilage and tendon by activating collagenase) do not work on trying to increase your flexibility

or competing with #postpartumbody posts on Instagram. You’ve also got to be mindful that so many factors are involved in regaining your fitness after a baby. Delivery method and any associated complications, stress

And so, there it is My top 6 tips for the road back to fitness after pregnancy but the other point to end on is to clarify that any way you chose to get your exercise should of course be something you actually enjoy! The postpartum period is all about rebalancing

levels, diet, genetics and whether

pregnancy hormones with a new human to

you’re breastfeeding or not to name

care for and often disturbed sleep patterns

just a few. One thing IS certain though,

so we have enough to contend with already!

August article; Slow and Steady Wins

losing weight too quickly after birth

Evidence suggests exercise can help lower

the Race.

can be detrimental. It can reduce

postpartum anxiety and depression

the quantity and quality of milk you

symptoms in most women so it’s something

NHS statistics with you at this point.

produce for your baby and it can leave

we should all do wherever possible and in

The ones that tell us what the ‘average

you exhausted at a time when you

whatever way we want – just lay the right

weight gain is during pregnancy’

need energy the most.

foundations to build from first!

initially. Keep the stretches short. 5. Take your time! I refer back to my

I was going to share the most recent

GOM Magazine

June 2021




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To discuss these options either call me or drop me an email Paul Wood:  07858 487 357  pw@gymownermonthly.co.uk

June 2021 72



To discuss these options either call me or drop me an email June Paul Wood:  07858 487 357  pw@gymownermonthly.co.uk



FOR ADVERTISING Paul Wood ENQUIRIES,  pw@gymownermonthly.co.uk CONTACT  07858 487357 / +33 769 422638


June 2021

GOM Magazine


TIME TO LOOK AT THINGS DIFFERENTLY? ADVERTISE IN GYM OWNER MONTHLY MAGAZINE Contact Paul Wood today to discuss a range of flexible options:  pw@gymownermonthly.co.uk  07858 487357 / +33 769 422638

June 2021


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GOM Magazine June Issue 2021  

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

GOM Magazine June Issue 2021  

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

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