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ISSUE 48 // MARCH 2020









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PT OF THE MONTH! To second half of the year 2020


KATY STOKES page 27 JUNE 2019


N E W S // R E V I E W S // T E C H N O L O G Y// T R E N D S // E Q U I P M E N T// I N S I G H T

SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR FITNESS CLUB? Our all NEW CLUB SOFTWARE will revolutionise the service you provide for your members, trainers and management teams.



Welcome... to the March issue of Gym Owner Monthly. Spring has Sprung so a hip hop hippie, hippy to the hip hip hop.... Well, Easter's not too far away and I've got a spring to my step, have you? This Edition is packed full of inspiration and motivational articles. So why not hop over or I should say flip over to page 46, 2020 fitness trends so you don't get left behind. We interviewed the dynamic duo Alex & Raj the inventors of the Rotators Shield so zap over to page 22 and read all about it. Adam Kiani page 41 celebrates the 10 years legacy of PT Academy and shares it exclusively with us. Simon Aurik from Virtuagym discusses how the fitness business can use technology to cater to the ageing population page 68. Karen Nadkarni - Ruffle’s FitPro CookBooks company is flexing its muscles page 54. Welcome Back The Forgotten Fitness Market by Ben Hackney - Williams page 61 and Matrix Fitness, talk to Steve Barrett, Director Of Global Group Education & Training page 38. Hungry for more ........................... best read this months issue then. We would also like to thank our amazing contributors too, without them we would not be able to produce such an amazing publication.

The GOMM Team




Jane Grandena

Janine Edwards

Paul Wood



pw@gymownermonthly.co.uk Tel: 07858 487 357 +34 642572963

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

 @GymOwnerMonthly  gym-owner-monthly-magazine

Keep up to date

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

MARCH 2020


Contents 16


38 16 18 22 27 30 32 34 4




41 Introducing Tesqua Health and Sports Centre Our International Gym of the Month

Gym Owner of the month is Anthony Spalding

The Big Interview with Alex and Raj, inventors of the Rotators Shield

PT of the Month is Katy Stokes

This month’s Boutique Gym of the Month Is Power Gym

PT Viewpoint Bringing the ‘why’ back to the workout by Jill Drummond

Fitkit the latest equipment from Rogue

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30 46

38 41 43 46 50 54





Matrix Fitness Talk to Steve Barrett, Director of Global Group Education & Training

The Ten Year legacy Of PT Academy

Gym Juice Bar Design A Non-Dues Area Of A Gym by Cuoco Black

2020 Fitness Trends Don’t get left behind!

The best heart rate monitors OF 2020 How Karen Nadkarni-Ruffle’s FitPro Cookbooks company is flexing its muscles To meet the needs of fitness professionals in 2020


59 56

71 73 56 59 61 63 66 68



EMDUK explain Why group training CPD is smart investment for gyms

Is Customer Service Dead? By Guy Griffiths

Welcome back the forgotten fitness market By Ben Hackney-Williams


Whey Protein Vs Creatine: Is one better than the other?

How fitness businesses can use technology To cater to the ageing population explained by Simon Aurik from Virtuagym

63 66




80 71 73 76 80 82 84

We ask the question “Insurance are you covered??” Sales Mastery V By Daniel Nyiri

eGym And The Challenge of Change

“Rent this space” Fitness empires Online platforms by Taz


Ask the Expert Is the air in your gym making you sick? By Shaun Hill

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




What’s hot in the fitness industry

Scotland’s first immersive studio opens as part of £1.2m leisure development Falkirk Community Trust has launched Scotland’s first immersive studio as part of a £1.2m redevelopment of the Mariner Leisure Centre. The Trust, which operates sport, recreation, arts, heritage and library services on behalf of Falkirk Council, appointed leisure development specialist Alliance Leisure to deliver the project under the UK Leisure Framework. Opened in 1985, the centre had just over 1,000 members when Alliance conducted its initial review of the site in 2019. The company’s latent demand report suggested a membership of more than 1,700 could be achieved by modernising the offer for today’s users. The first floor of the centre has been redeveloped and now features Scotland's first fully immersive workout environment, complete with a cinema size screen measuring almost 10m in span, top of the range audio and

lighting systems and the Les Mills TRIP cycling workout. The gym has almost doubled in size to 292 sqm, with more than 65 stations, including a Queenax functional training rig, sprint track, free weights, and two Keiser M7i wheelchairaccessible total body trainers. There is also a newly created group fitness studio, which hosts a full timetable of live and virtual classes to complement the offering. A separate review, conducted by Alliance Leisure, identified a need for wellness facilities to meet the needs of those not attracted by a traditional fitness offering. The development therefore also includes a Shapemaster Hub, equipped with 12 pieces of power assisted equipment, which is designed for less mobile users, those who suffer from obesity or illness or are undergoing post-operative rehabilitation. A new office for Falkirk’s physical activity

referral programme, Active Forth, will make it easier for the team to help those with more complex health issues to start their fitness journey. The project has been funded by Falkirk Council and forms part of wider plans to revitalise the leisure offer in the area. “We have been delighted to work with the Trust to envisage how we may support developing the type of facilities and services needed to increase participation among modern users, while securing a viable future for their sites. It’s thanks to the UK Leisure Framework that they have been able to achieve their vision for Mariner Leisure Centre and we look forward to working with the Trust on its future projects,” says James Foley, Commercial Director at Alliance Leisure. Maureen Campbell, CEO of Falkirk Community Trust said: “The Mariner Leisure Centre is a key asset delivering opportunities to get ‘more people, more active, more often’ and the aims of Falkirk Community Trust. “Modernising and improving the quality of our services, including the introduction of a new immersive spin studio, expands our relevance into new audiences – those with high expectations and an appetite for new activities close to home. In addition, the new dedicated Shapemaster Hub will help us provide access for less able audiences.” Follow the link to see the new facilities at the Mariner Leisure Centre - https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=gI5--SgD2AI


MARCH 2020



Amtico has expanded its Signature 36+ collection of premium and safety Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) flooring to suit a variety of commercial applications, including hospitality and leisure. The flooring’s toughened 1mm upper wear layer provides enhanced slip resistance for the lifetime of the product. The collection can be specified in planks and tiles, across 24 Woods, 9 Stones, and 3 Abstracts, to help designers create aspirational spaces that meet safety guidelines. Signature 36+ also contains an active ingredient which has been shown, under blind independent lab tests, to resist the growth of bacteria such as MRSA and E.coli throughout the useable lifetime of the floor – providing added peace of mind. www.amtico.com/commercial

Mission 2020: Get the World Fit for Free As it’s a new decade BX Plans is on a mission to get the world fit for free and we need your help to

spread the word. BX Fitness plans were first developed by Dr Bill Oban in the 1950s (almost 70 years ago) and were later adopted by the Royal Canadian Air force in the early 60s. The popularity of these plans around the world helped launched the fitness culture we have today and have since become one of the longest running fitness plans in the world. BX Plans Ltd. the publisher of BX Plans wants to help a new generation of people discover the wonderful benefits of this simple, no fuss, fitness plan… And yes for free!

Many high profile celebrities including members of the Royal Household have enjoyed the benefits of BX Plans. In a recent Telegraph article Dame Helen Mirren says, “It is the exercise I have done off and on my whole life. It just very gently gets you fit. Two weeks of doing it and you think: ‘Yeah, I could go to the gym now.” “The exercises for women are designed to take only 12 minutes a day and for men 11 minutes. They start gently and increase in pace to bring both men and women of any age to peak fitness." says Ian Walton, founder of BX Plans Ltd. He adds: "The plans are extremely effective and an additional bonus about BX Plans is that no equipment is needed; there are no membership payments and no expensive gym fees.” Many BX Plans customers have left positive feedback stating they love the plans and highly recommend it to others. The beauty is in the simplicity of the exercises because being fit doesn't mean having to endure a painful workout routine.

BX Plans are for men, women and children and are available in 5 languages which include English, French, German, Spanish and Polish. The books can be bought worldwide – direct from the BXPlans website or Amazon. To take part in the Get the World Fit for Free campaign readers can download a free eBook for a limited time from bxplans-uk.com/freebies.

BX Plans was first developed by Dr Bill Oban in the 1950s who was hired by the Royal Canadian Air Force to develop a program that created a high level of fitness that would only occupy a small amount of personal time. He created 5BX (5 Basic Exercises) plan for men and the XBX (10 Basic Exercises) plan for women. At the time, these exercises were seen as highly innovative as they required no access


avg. monthly membership

£ 174 Boutique Studio

Private Gym £ 66 Source: The Leisure Database Company: 2018 London Boutique Studio Report & 2019 State of the UK Fitness Industry R t

David Minton

"People are prepared to pay a premium to have more of an experience" MARCH 2020



to specialised equipment. Today BX Plans has gone on to become a fitness phenomena that is practised by people worldwide. Almost 70 years has passed since its creation and it is still just as relevant in our world today. BX Plans is available to people of all ages including children from age 7 -17 and in a variety of languages. To learn more about BX Plans visit: bxplansuk.com. For press enquiries and features please contact Shelleyn2k@gmail. com.

First Mile supports Gymshark in its quest to become a sustainability game-changer Leading recycling company, First Mile, is pleased to announce that it’s now working closely with visionary fitness brand, Gymshark, in a collaboration that will boost Gymshark’s sustainability efforts in all of its offices across the UK. Known for its innovative approach to waste and recycling, First Mile is supporting Gymshark in working towards achieving zero-waste in the workplace by providing collection and recycling services for eight separate material streams, including paper, food, glass, compostable packaging and textiles. These services will take place across all of Gymshark’s UK sites, including its Birmingham-based ‘GSHQ’, its Gymshark Lifting Club, and its London office, GSLDN. To help educate Gymshark’s 400-plus staff about managing the company’s waste, First Mile recently conducted interactive recycling workshops, explaining how to effectively segregate waste into First Mile’s separate recycling sacks, an issue that is of increasing importance to avoid contamination and achieve zero-waste. First Mile also worked with Gymshark to restructure the layout of its offices, reducing the number of bins, introducing more recycling points and supplying redesigned graphics to represent the recyclable materials 8

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that Gymshark uses every day. Going forward, First Mile will also provide ongoing reviews and discussions with Gymshark around wider environmental issues, and how Gymshark can further step-change its approach to recycling to boost its sustainability. First Mile founder and CEO, Bruce Bratley, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Gymshark. It’s an exciting company that is growing fast, and it’s great to see that it’s taking its environmental impact seriously. Gymshark’s desire for driving its longterm sustainability, paired with First Mile’s innovative approach to making recycling easy for businesses, is the perfect combination.” René Skytte, chief procurement officer at Gymshark, added: “This year, as a business, we made a promise to our people and our planet. To our people, we promise a culture for everyone, with fair working conditions at a workplace which truly cares. To our planet, we promise to help prepare our environment for tomorrow, by making sustainability a part of everything we do. This includes reducing our carbon footprint and minimising all waste, direct and indirect, associated with Gymshark. First Mile is key to helping us achieve this.”

ukactive, Power Plate and FORA deliver insights on ‘sitting disease’ London – Feb 17, 2020 – ukactive presented alongside Power Plate to deliver insights on corporate wellness and the effects of ‘prolonged sitting’ and sedentary lifestyles on the long term health of employees.

As part of FORA’s workplace wellbeing initiative, they are exploring the introduction of movement and vibration into their offering alongside global health and wellness supplier Power Plate. Stephen Powell, Director, UK Education at Power Plate said “Sitting disease is caused by sedentary behaviour, proven to shorten life spans, cause hormonal change and increase the risk of developing chronic conditions such as anxiety, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, depression and more.” Introducing Power Plate FITSTOP has enabled FORA tenants and employees to instantly benefit from movement and vibration, allowing employees to ‘refresh’ or ‘reset’ during the working day, targeting the negative effects of prolonged sitting. For more information on Power Plate visit www.powerplate.com For more information on ukactive visit www.ukactive.com For more information on FORA visit www.foraspace.com

HEALTHY PROFITS SEE EXPANSION OF FORMER FOOTBALLER’S FORMBY FITNESS EMPIRE FOLLOWING FUNDING PACKAGE Formby-based MGYM Personal Training, an independent gym owned by an ex-professional footballer, has expanded following a funding package from Santander Business Banking.

FORA flexible workspaces provide businesses with access to all the basics, plus a range of other benefits including the provision of wellness. Presenting at the event, Anna Davison Head of Workplace Wellbeing at ukactive said “Office workers now spend on average over eight hours per day sitting at their desks, and one in six are affected by mental health issues every year.

The business is owned by Michael Girvan, an ex-professional footballer for Wigan Athletic, who began working at the gym as a personal trainer in 2014.


He purchased the business three years ago, during which time he has doubled its membership, turnover and profit.

of gym facilities available, behind Switzerland and Ireland.

Michael has ambitious growth plans for his business and has used the funding package from Santander to purchase a property on Church Road, Formby, four times the size of his previous gym. The 4,500 square-foot facility spans two floors, making more room for specialist equipment and additional classes and treatments including yoga, callisthenics, sports massage, child fitness and nutrition. He also plans to recruit four local professionals to run the gym’s new specialty classes and treatments.

Independent gyms unite to end child hunger

Despite operating from a small oneroom unit in Formby Business Park, the gym grew under Michael’s ownership to become the largest personal training business in Formby. With members ranging in age from 12 to 70, the gym’s growth reflects the UK’s growing appetite for fitness and wellbeing services. Michael Girvan, Managing Director, MGYM Personal Training commented: “As the owner and proprietor of MGYM, it's been a real pleasure to work with Santander in establishing my new gym. This is a key step in my business plan, and it will allow MGYM to offer more services as a fitness centre to our local community.” Jack Buck, Business Relationship Director, Santander UK, added: “Michael has developed MGYM into a wellestablished and valued organisation in the local community, offering a unique environment for learning about health, exercise and wellbeing. Due to increased demand, it was clear that the business had outgrown its current premises. I’m delighted that with the funding package we’ve put together, we could support Michael’s growth ambitions, resulting in the purchase and development of the new site. It’s going to really add value to its current members while allowing expansion into new bespoke and specialised services.” Research shows that gym goers across Europe are on the rise, with the continental market reported to be worth around £24 billion1. The UK is ranked second in terms of revenues and has the third highest number

It’s estimated that as many as 1.8 million school-age children in the UK are at risk of hunger in the morning. As well as threatening their physical development, this affects children’s ability to concentrate, causing devasting knock-on effects later in life. In a bid to tackle this issue head on, the IFBA – the voice of the independent gym sector – have committed to raising more than £500,000 to help support Magic Breakfast, a charity devoted to ending child hunger for good.

takeaway in their lunch box: this should not be happening. Children need to be nourished to learn and grow – which is why we have committed resource, time, and effort to help put an end to child hunger.” JC continues, “For example, if a club and its 1000 members supported this cause, we could provide more than 13,000 breakfasts for children living across the UK. We have numerous independent clubs signed up but we need more. Please reach out to us at the IFBA for more information and support to join the initiative. With your help, we can ensure child hunger stops in 2020.” The IFBA was set up to make the fitness industry the best it can be: for PTs, for independent gym owners, for fitness professionals, and ultimately for the fitness consumer. Uniting some of the biggest changemakers in the global fitness scene, the IFBA is the incubator for learning, growth, and excellence in the health and fitness professions.

The IFBA and its member gyms are being encouraged to donate £2 for every monthly membership payment – and to ask their members to match this. For just 30p, Magic Breakfast can give a child a healthy breakfast and wraparound support at school. If the fitness industry can unite to address a cause so pivotal to the health and wellbeing of our nation, the result could be truly transformational.

Jean-Claude Vacassin, Founder of the IFBA, says, “Magic Breakfast are doing something real to help our children, our communities. Some children come to school with the scraps of yesterday’s


The brand-new 25m, 6 lane heated pool with a state-of-the-art retractable roof is ready to open at Ivybridge Leisure Centre. The pool, outside paved area, new wet side changing rooms and poolside sauna and steam rooms complete the build at the much-loved local leisure centre. The centre has already seen a top-of-the-range gym, purpose-built exercise studio, café and other new facilities open to the public. MARCH 2020



Alongside the new pool, Fusion Lifestyle, the leading UK sports and leisure charity, have upgraded the squash courts, refurbished the second studio and changing rooms and extended the reception and café areas. The newly completed centre is set to put Ivybridge on the leisure and fitness map with the pool expected to attract visitors from across Devon and beyond, particularly in the warmer months when the roof will glide back to deliver an open-air swimming experience. Opening to the public on Saturday 1st February 2020, the exciting new facilities look set to make sticking to New Year’s resolutions that little bit easier for the local community. A grand open weekend on 22nd and 23rd February will see existing customers invited in to test out the facilities before an official opening with the Mayor takes place later in February. The exciting grand opening event will include activities for all the family: the breath-taking reveal of the stunning retractable roof and family pool activities including; Water polo, Splash and Play and Water Bingo taster sessions. The open weekend will also feature classes in the new gym, with family activities taking centre stage, including family fitness, gym and indoor cycling classes and a ‘Meet the Instructor’ group session to talk through the different classes and facilities on offer. Peter King, Business Manager at Fusion Lifestyle, said: “The redevelopment of Ivybridge Leisure Centre has been part of a multi-million-pound investment we have carried out across six Devon leisure centres. The changes at Ivybridge are by far the most extensive and we are really exciting to unveil them. We work with lidos and pools across the UK but this is our first with a retractable roof so we hope visitors and members at the centre will really enjoy the flexible fitness and fun that this will bring.” Cllr Jonathan Hawkins, South Hams District Council’s Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, added: “We’ve been working closely with Fusion throughout the build and can’t wait to officially open the doors to the new swimming pool at Ivybridge Leisure Centre. Making sure the community 10

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has fantastic leisure facilities on its doorstep and promoting health and wellbeing is a key part of our role and we believe the newly refurbished centre will deliver this for many years to come.”

INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS INVITED TO JOIN THE COLLECTIVE! In a bid to create an environment where individuals from the physical activity sector can come together to share expertise, insight and learnings, Alina Cooper, Founder at FitLinks, and Guy Griffiths, Founder at GGFit have launched The Collective. Guy Griffiths explains: “The purpose of The Collective is to share, collaborate and grow with our members to help enrich the fitness industry. The club is aimed at individuals and SMEs who appreciate the value in open dialogue with other professionals across a range of disciplines and levels of expertise. “Membership is free and day to day communication will take place on facebook, supported by regular face to face ‘meet ups’. Whilst members are encouraged to exploit the rich pool of information on offer, they are also encouraged to actively participate, bringing their own expertise to the table. The Collective only works if all members are prepared to give as well as take. “ Search for The Collective on facebook and apply to join the group, or click the link below. Each week, a member of The Collective will deliver an educational video or webinar, creating a wealth of information and insight across a broad range of topics for the benefit of other members. There will also be open discussion groups and opportunities to seek advice from other members, creating a valuable network for any individual seeking support and insight in a very fast evolving industry. Alina Cooper, adds: “I believe ‘together we can achieve more’. The Collective provides a means of bringing people together with a common goal of sharing information for the greater good of the sector.”

To find out more about The Collective, visit www.facebook.com/groups/ thefitlinkscollective

Premier Global NASM Agrees Partnership With Leading Sports Nutrition Brand Premier Global NASM has announced Bio-Synergy, award-winning UK sports nutrition, supplements and well-being supplier, as its exclusive nutrition partner. Jason Hussain, Employer Engagement Manager, Premier Global NASM, says: “Bio-Synergy is a well-established and respected home grown brand which shares our belief in the provision of scientifically based education to empower individuals to make safe and effective health, fitness and wellbeing choices. “As a result, this partnership will be based on the sharing of information and resources to help our respective audiences make informed lifestyle choices. “For example, high performance BioSynergy Ambassadors will participate in exclusive Premier Global NASM student webinars on a range of nutrition and fitness topics, giving our students, past and present, a chance to access, first-hand, the experiences of world-class athletes. This adds incredible value to our offer, providing an unrivalled student experience. On the flipside, our world renowned tutor team will provide exclusive fitness and training content for TotalNRG, the BioSynergy magazine.” Daniel Herman, Founder of BioSynergy, says: “In addition to supporting our offer through the provision of complementary education, this partnership will enable us to reach a new audience of influencers. Premier Global NASM trains thousands of sports and fitness professionals every year and each of them will probably go on to manage a portfolio of clients, many of whom will be interested in sports nutrition and supplements. We want Bio-Synergy to be their brand of choice, joining more than 4 million athletes and weekend warriors who have already engaged our brand to


support their fitness and training goals.” In addition to the sharing of educational resources, brands will cross-promote. Bio-Synergy will promote Premier Global NASM education to its network via its website, magazine and on-pack promotions. Premier Global NASM will promote Bio-Synergy products along with exclusive discount offers to its network of past and present students via its network communication channels. The partnership launched this month. Hussain, concludes: “Bio-Synergy is a progressive brand constantly evolving its product range to reflect market needs and scientific findings. This is very much in line with our ethos and I look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Project to predict cardiovascular events at University of Manchester receives Heart Research UK grant A project at the University of Manchester aiming to develop a new tool for predicting the risk of a cardiovascular event or death in patients who have already suffered a heart attack has received a grant of almost £150,000 from national charity Heart Research UK. In the UK, around 7 million people are living with cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is responsible for one in four deaths.

that predicts the risk of a future cardiovascular event or death, in people who have already had a heart attack with the aim of improving care of patients with CVD. The development of such a tool would improve the quality of care for patients with CVD by helping GPs to identify patients at higher risk of future cardiovascular events and death, meaning that lifestyle changes can be made or appropriate medical treatment given to reduce their risk.

WATTBIKE PARTNER WITH INTELLIGENT CYCLING ON WORLD-FIRST GROUP CYCLING SOFTWARE Wattbike has partnered with Intelligent Cycling®, innovators in indoor cycling technology, to bring world-first technology to the industry, which transforms indoor cycling into a truly smart, connected experience.

Prof Mamas said: “This is an incredibly exciting project that we hope will be able to make a real difference to survivors of heart attacks. If we can accurately predict the likelihood of them suffering another cardiovascular event, then we can intervene early and hopefully reduce their risk. “This will not only help to improve their quality of life, but could ensure that patients receive care tailored to their condition, increasing its effectiveness and helping to reduce the strain on our health service.” Kate Bratt-Farrar, Chief Executive of Heart Research UK, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the work of Prof Mamas and his team, which has the potential to have a big impact on how effective we can be at preventing people suffering from a cardiovascular event. “Our Translational Research Project Grants are all about bridging the gap between laboratory-based scientific research and patient care - they aim to bring the latest developments to patients as soon as possible.

People with CVD are up to five times more likely to have a stroke, are six times more likely to die compared to those without, and up to half of them suffer a second heart attack.

“The dedication we see from UK researchers is both encouraging and impressive and we at Heart Research UK are proud to be part of it.”

There are currently no methods to predict the risk in this group of patients, so there is an urgent need for such tools to help assess the risk of future cardiovascular events and deaths in patients who already have CVD.

The £147,816 Translational Research Project grant was awarded to the University of Manchester as part of Heart Research UK’s annual awards for research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.

The project, which will be led by Prof Mamas Mamas, Professor of Cardiology at Keele University and Honorary Professor of Population Health at the University of Manchester, will use medical data to develop a tool

Last year, Heart Research UK awarded more than £1.6 million in grants for medical research projects across the UK. To date, the charity has invested more than £25 million in medical research via its grants programme.

Providing a brand new, unique class experience the Intelligent Cycling® technology will connect to each Wattbike AtomX in the class independently, personalising the resistance reaction on each bike to match the needs of each rider. This allows for everyone in the group to follow the same workout, but at an intensity that suits their fitness level. Designed to create a motivational journey for the member, enhanced programming options for the instructor and a better business tool for the club owner, Intelligent Cycling software will put each Wattbike AtomX rider at the centre of their own personalised, immersive smart workout. Brian Overkær, CEO and Founder, MARCH 2020



Intelligent Cycling® explains: “Intelligent Cycling® develops software to raise the game of indoor cycling. Technology that really impacts a class, regardless of which instructor is coaching. Wattbike is the indoor bike of the moment. It has a high penetration into the clubs and is the only truly smart bike, that can connect with our software to initiate an individualised user experience on a whole new level.” With patented technology and innovative advancements, the Wattbike AtomX already gives riders a fully connected cycling experience. By combining this smart technology with Intelligent Cycling® software, each riders’ details will be recognised to automatically personalise the ride and adjust the bikes resistance for each individual, allowing a group of varying abilities to workout together at the same relative intensity to ensure every session is a bespoke workout for each rider.

To find out more about this collaboration, see the Intelligent Cycling® software showcased using the Wattbike AtomX first at IHRSA 2020 on the Wattbike booth (#3335) and then at trade shows.


To simplify the process, Intelligent Cycling® has created software that doesn’t require any additional hardware. The operator only needs a computer and to download the programme, saving a huge investment of hardware that other competitors in this space require.

The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) and UK Coaching, who currently operate the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), today announce an agreement to combine REPs with the CIMSPA Exercise and Fitness Directory, creating a single directory for all exercise and fitness professionals.

Overkær adds: “We are of modern age technology, which sets us apart from our competitors who still require buyers to additionally spend thousands on hardware just for software set up. Our system requires no maintenance or additional hardware, just the download itself. Users can even log in from anywhere to join a class, just by using their smartphone and a class access code.”

The initiative will create a unified recognition system for people working in the sector and a single endorsement mechanism for training providers. Under the agreement, all current REPs members will be given the opportunity to transfer into the CIMSPA membership scheme, with the new directory being hosted and managed by CIMSPA.

Richard Baker, CEO, Wattbike comments: “Indoor cycling has evolved dramatically over recent years as technology, connectivity and equipment have enhanced the indoor cycling experience. Now, for the first time, software that displays an immersive user experience connects directly with the bike of the rider, altering to the exact ability of that user, changing resistance to suit the portrayed environment and intensity of the ride. This is the first truly smart group cycling solution. Welcome to the future of indoor cycling.”

UK Coaching will provide CIMSPA fitness and coaching members with access to their comprehensive online learning and development platform, which offers a wider range of learning and development resources, including CIMSPA accredited learning, which carries CPD points to maintain professional status. UK Coaching will also provide insurance for all CIMSPA exercise, fitness and coaching members.


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The new unified directory will be launched in the coming months, with CIMSPA and UK Coaching working closely together to ensure a smooth and effective transition process for all REPs

and CIMSPA members. In the interim, all members are advised to renew with their respective membership bodies as normal to maintain their professional recognition and, where appropriate, access to insurance. In parallel with the creation of a single directory, CIMSPA and UK Coaching will also complete the standardisation of training provider support. Commercial training providers will be able to access a unified endorsement system, aligned with the sport and physical activity sector’s professional standards framework and backed by the sector’s only chartered professional body. Tara Dillon, CEO, CIMSPA welcomed the announcement: “I’m very pleased that we have reached this agreement with UK Coaching to deliver a single directory of qualified exercise and fitness professionals that confirms the status of those working within the sector. It will be an exciting time ahead, as we work towards making this a reality. In the meantime, we have one clear message for REPs and CIMSPA members: renew and stay engaged with REPs (UK Coaching) and CIMSPA as we build a single directory that benefits members, employers and the public.” Mark Gannon, CEO, UK Coaching, added: “This is an exciting partnership between both our organisations that will provide all exercise and fitness professionals with the ability to retain their professional status, a pathway towards chartered status and a destination to access best in class learning and development resources required to maintain their professional status.” The agreement to unify the CIMSPA directory and the Register of Exercise Professionals realises important elements of the Government’s 2015 Sporting Future strategy and Sport England’s 2016-2021 Towards an Active Nation strategy. Tim Hollingsworth, CEO, Sport England, who announced the agreement at the CIMSPA & QUEST NBS Conference, said: “Sport England welcomes this important milestone towards building a unified and excellent sport and physical activity workforce. A single directory for the professionals working in our sector will enhance our ability to


provide skills, training, recognition and

right across the country.

CIMSPA and REPs members

career development. This in turn will

I would like to thank both CIMSPA and UK Coaching for how they have worked towards this and congratulate them on agreeing this partnership”.

can access more information

empower the workforce to deliver even more positive experiences for everyone seeking to be active in communities

at www.cimspa.co.uk or www. exerciseregister.org.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS CEN Fitness Centre Standards Development is on track!

A further meeting of the Working Group developing standards for fitness centres took place in Brussels last week. The part 1 of the standards – now known as EN17229:2019 - were published last year and the new work is focussing on standards for the supervision of fitness centres in two main areas.

New EuropeActive's member Alpha Champ and its innovative lateral rebound training

workouts or individual training. Lateral rebound training positively influences motor skills and abilities such as endurance, speed, strength, flexibility, speed, dexterity and coordination, thus allowing users to exercise in a dynamic surface that helps training different muscle groups in a low impact environment. “Our lateral rebound trainer (LRT) is a highly efficient training device for promoting coordination, strength and endurance. Alpha Champ helps professionals and ambitious athletes to reach their training goals faster and more effectively”, mentioned Stefan Sillner - Global Business Development Manager for Alpha Champ.

Group Fitness and its relevance Europe-wide!

EuropeActive’s 7th European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF) will be held on April 1st 2020 in Cologne, Germany, at the Congress Centre East. The theme 'Hello from 2030' will place the focus on what the next 10 years will look like for the fitness and physical activity sector. This year’s edition will include a Trend Safari by futurologist Magnus Lindkvist, a talk about agile transformations by Alize Hofmeester, People & Change Executive, a Q&A with Basic-Fit CEO Rene Moos, a presentation by “next fitness cult leader” Sadie Kurzban from 305 Fitness and a few more surprises. 400+ delegates have already registered so make sure you grab your ticket soon!

Group fitness is an important activity that is offered by many operators throughout Europe. The most popular group exercise programs are resistance and strength training in groups, followed by aerobics, circuit training and studio cycling.

Alpha Champ has developed the lateral rebound training by using the LRT-Triple Trampoline for group

7th European Health & Fitness Forum Keynote speakers in the spotlight!

Do you want to know more? EuropeActive's 'Group Fitness in Europe' is already at your disposal. The publication is a must-read for all who are involved in group fitness management!

Sport Group 2019-2024 launched at the EU Parliament!

We attended on Tuesday 18th February the launch of the Sport Group 20192024 in the European Parliament hosted MARCH 2020



by MEP Marc Tarabella, who will be cochairing the group together with MEP Tomasz Frankowski. We looks forward to collaborating with this informal group of MEPs who are passionate about sport and physical activity.

Technogym, official supplier to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Technogym has been named official supplier to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and will be providing about 1.200 piece of equipment for the use of 15.000 athletes between Olympic and Paralympic, coming from over 200 different countries and performing in 33 different disciplines. Nerio Alessandri, President and Founder of Technogym said: “We are very proud of being chosen for the 8th time as the Official Supplier of the Olympic Games. At Technogym, we work every day to create the most innovative products and digital technologies to support athletes all over the world in reaching their goals”.

SHINE X is MAKING MOVES SHINE X is truly lighting up the fitness scene!

Shine X is the first bootcamp-inspired HIIT studio in the country of Brunei and a groundbreaking addition to the fitness scene in southeast Asia. The studio’s owners, Her Royal Highness Princess ´Azemah Bolkiah and Yang 14

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Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda Bahar, had visited many HIIT studios while competing in international polo matches, and they wanted to bring the concept to their own nation where citizens could train their bodies, focus their minds, and refresh their spirits.

architecture, captivating classes, and endless opportunities for creativity was harnessed to spark curiosity, prevent boredom, and keep clients coming back for more.

Shine X was born in 2019 when Azemah and Bahar engaged the services of Barbara Chancey Design Group, an international boutique fitness firm in Dallas, Texas for the turnkey project. With over 200 successful studios across the globe, Chancey’s team of experts orchestrated the branding, architecture, equipment, shipping, and training to foster a sense of community and lock in loyalty.

What do your instructors like most about your FITBENCHs and the accessories included? The well-organized bench eliminates confusion when moving quickly in a semi-dark room, and inhibition is replaced by confidence. FITBENCH offers unlimited ways to shake up your sweat routine, and instructors appreciate the freedom to offer fresh workouts every day of the week.

FITBENCH was selected because it’s extremely durable, superior in quality, lightweight, easy to export, and requires little to no assembly. It was also selected because instructors are the heart and soul of every successful boutique, and Chancey used her network of independent studios to secure talented, FITBENCH experts for three weeks of intense training before grand opening.

With heart-pumping music, mesmerizing illumination, and the choice to combine cardio, strength and mobility exercises, Shine X instructors get a rush of dopamine long before class begins. Their positivity creates a ripple effect that brings joy the moment you enter the doors. #ADDICTEDTOHAPPY.

The combination of dramatic


The option to customize benches with our logo was especially appealing, and every photo/social media post reflects


the unmistakable Shine brand.

customer long after the class is over.

What do your clients appreciate most? Our wide range of clients are multigenerational and multi-cultural, yet they all agree the FITBENCH is exceedingly versatile, super innovative, and compacted with everything needed during a workout. Equipment is conveniently stored for easy access, especially when keeping up with a fast paced, awe-inspiring HIIT class.

We are SO incredibly grateful to have been chosen by Princess ´Azemah and Bahar as well as the Barbara Chancey Design Group to make Shine X such a beautiful and inspiring studio. We wish them all the best and truly value such an amazing partnership.

How have your FITBENCHs been useful in terms of space saving, ROI, etc. on the business side of SHINE X? We maximized the space to provide a sense of community and encourage human interaction. An illuminated corridor leads to well-appointed locker rooms and gathering nooks where conversation and friendships can flourish. Over 180 high-output LED fixtures were programmed to produce a series of ever-changing light shows controlled by the touch of a button with suspended X beams backlit with illumination. Since FITBENCH eliminates the need for wall shelving and storage units, millwork and labor costs were significantly reduced. Tripping hazards were also a concern, and FITBENCH reduces accumulation of clutter and keeps the studio looking clean and organized. The simplicity allows our focus to remain on the client without distraction.

FIBO Cologne postponed to second half of the year 2020

FIBO, the world's largest trade show for fitness, wellness and health, planned to be held in April in Cologne, has been postponed to the second half of the year 2020 due to the developments concerning Covid-19. Commenting on the announcement, Silke Frank, Portfolio Director, FIBO

Global Fitness Events, said: “This is not a decision we have taken lightly; our customers, partners and the FIBO team worked incredibly hard on this event. While it is disappointing to postpone, it is imperative that we prioritise the health and safety of everyone involved. Our goal remains to provide the best customer value for everyone attending FIBO.“ Reed Exhibitions as the organiser of FIBO trusts that the decision to postpone the show to the second half of the year ensures that the FIBO continues to serve the fitness industry in the secure and safe conditions needed. The FIBO team will communicate closely with customers and partners over the coming weeks to keep our world of Global Fitness moving in the right direction during this difficult period and is looking together with Cologne Messe for the best available dates in the second half of the year. FIBO hosts more than 1,000 exhibitors and circa 145,000 visitors from 135 countries every year in Cologne

Shine X was designed for growth, and additional FITBENCHs can easily be added to accommodate special events, professional sports team training, and charity fundraisers. How has FITBENCH added value to Shine X? Although affordable class prices were needed in order to be inclusive and successful, we discovered the more value we provide, the less price becomes the driver. Speed and efficiency add value. Getting something more than we expected adds value. Class creativity adds value. FITBENCH delivered these values which resulted in a very successful brand that makes clients feel good about what we stand for.

Membership/CRM & Marketing Access Control inc Biometrics Till, Credit Card & Stock Control Web & Mobile Activity & Class Bookings DD Management & Online Sign-ups Implementation, Training & Support

Dedicated, generous, and fun-loving, Shine X believes there is a difference between having a business and having a brand. A brand is not what you do or sell – it’s the memory you leave with the MARCH 2020


s I np toetrlni g ah t ito n a l G y m O f T h e M o n t h

Your name:

Maarten Stuivenberg, Founder

Gym name:

Tesqua Health and Sports Centre


Tesqua Health & Sports Centre, Horsterweg 3, 6715 CT Ede, Netherlands


+31 318 631 090





When did Tesqua launch and what facilities do you offer? Tesqua Health & Sport Centre, in the Dutch city of Ede, has been operating since 2003. Facilities include 15 tennis courts (8 outdoor, 7 indoor), a 500m open plan workout space with an estimated 1000m gym with equipment, three exercise studios, a lounge and restaurant, a wellbeing suite and a creche.

What sets Tesqua apart from the competition? Tesqua is a forward-thinking operator, keen to pioneer new solutions in order to keep their brand in the forefront of fitness service delivery and innovation. At Tesqua, we have created a connected digital ecosystem to provide members with easy access to fitness content both inside and outside the facility. We cater for all ages and abilities and have always been keen to optimise the opportunities digitalisation presents to enhance our users’ experience. We were the first club to offer an interactive gym floor utilising the FunXtion Experience Station which we installed in 2014.

How has technology enhanced your member experience? In response to a global growth in the popularity of boutique fitness, we wanted to create an inspiring, immersive, experience within the existing footprint of our facility. We partnered with FunXtion, experts in digital fitness, to create a premium, instructor-driven, group exercise boutique concept to upgrade our in-club experience.


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We didn’t just want to follow the crowd. We wanted to take the successful concept and elevate it to a new level through the implementation of the very latest in digital technology. We dedicated a third of our workout space to this and in consultation with FunXtion, have launched a group exercise ‘box’.

What does this new immersive ‘box’ consist of? Whilst no physical walls define the area, the look and feel is very different to the rest of the workout space. The area is centred around a Queenax rig, with six FunXtion multiscreen solutions positioned at each exercise station. The 48” screens are programmed to deliver individual exercise instruction, creating a personal digital coach at each station. The screens are linked to the audio and lighting circuits, ensuring all external stimuli work together to create a totally immersive experience. The whole experience is geared towards delivering a memorable, fun and effective workout to each and every participant,” continues Stuivenberg. “The screens add a new element to our digital provision, complementing the incumbent provision delivered via the FunXtion app and the gym floor-based Experience Station.

What’s next for Tesqua? The future of fitness is about the creation of standout, fun, memorable and social experiences in-club whilst maintaining a digital link to members as they go about their daily lives. This model, in partnership with FunXtion, is working really well at Tesqua. The fitness industry is still at the start of its digital journey and we’re excited to be at the forefront, embracing the opportunities digitalisation creates and are not afraid to tread new ground, push the boundaries and ultimately drive the industry forward.

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Your name(s):

Anthony Spalding

Gym name:

Spalding Strength and Fitness


Unit 13 Gosforth Road, Derby







# of members: 50

How did you become a gym owner? I started in fitness at the very bottom, literally, cleaning toilets in the local leisure centre. I had wanted a job in a gym but was straight out of school with no qualifications and that was the only job going at the time so I took it. From here I just worked my way up. I became a receptionist, then a leisure attendant (someone who maintains the centre in every way except the actual gym), during this time I started my level 2 fitness qualification and when qualified I began helping out in the gym, mostly maintenance at this point but it was a step in the right direction at least. I then put myself through the next level of education, level 3. I was now fully trained and qualified to be able to train people but there were no


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positions going at my gym so I had to settle with helping out the instructors as much as possible to gain experience. Covering classes when other people were away, setting classes up and assisting during big bootcamps that sort of thing. I felt like I was getting me nowhere so I took a bit of a leap of faith and moved with my then fiancÊ to Derby. My reasoning was that there were many more gyms in Derby surely one of them had to have availability. This gamble paid off and I found myself working full time at the local DW. At first, I was mostly doing classes for them but gradually I built up my client base and backed away from the classwork as I wanted to work on my own terms and do things my way. A couple of years down the line I realised that I didn’t have any room to grow working within another gym. I was limited by who I could train (as they had to be members) and

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things like the size of the groups I trained and even what equipment I could use, and I was also dependent on how busy the place was. I decided that it was time for me to move on. I approached the Princes Trust who helped me to draft a business plan which was taken to a panel and they granted me a mentor to help with my business, from there it was just a case of finding a location and enacting my business plan. I had already worked out everything that would be required and the cost so I took out a loan and when I found a place that was suitable (which was actually quite a task in itself!) I got to work cleaning it, filling it with equipment and installing a decent floor. Since then I have just been working on building my brand and using online marketing to bring in more members.

How many gyms do you own/operate? I currently own just the one gym which is located within a 1000 square foot industrial unit.

How long has your gym(s) been operating for? I have only been operating full time out of my gym since the 15th of January this year.

Aside from the gym, what other facilities do you offer your members e.g. cafe, classes, creche etc.?

Nothing else currently.

How many staff do you employ? I don’t currently employ any staff as my business is very new. I plan on hiring additional trainers to take further sessions as my member numbers increase though.

How important are PTs to your business? I don't currently employ any PT's as I'm a qualified trainer/ coach and work with all of my members personally, but as my business expands they will be a crucial part of my business and driving it forward.

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How do you motivate/ incentivise your staff members? N/A

Do you provide any financial assistance for your staff with regards to their training & development? N/A

What makes your gym unique? My gym is unique because it is a private

facility. Everyone who trains there works with me directly and gets everything they need to ensure that they reach their fitness goals, be that customised exercise programmes, nutritional plans or regular progressional checks. Membership numbers are therefore capped so that I can deliver the level of service required to everyone who attends.

What advice would you give to other gym owners just starting out? Establish a clear brand with a marketable message then raise its awareness before you even think about opening up your own establishment.

What are the biggest challenges facing your business today? Increasing my brand awareness and communicating how much value my service could provide to a wide audience.

What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years? There’s been a real shift towards science and evidence-based training, nutrition and coaching which as someone who naturally is very science enthusiastic I’ve really enjoyed and lent into.

How do you engage with your members? I work with all of my members directly either doing 1-2-1 sessions or in small groups so I get to know them very well during their time at my facility. I also communicate with most of them regularly via email or text messages to give them exercise programmes or just generally to offer support where they may need it.

How do you retain your members? I find that having some tangible way to prove that your service is benefiting your clients is the best way to keep up retention. Deciding on goals, explaining a process that will get them there then delivering on it is the only real way to keep people invested. If they know where they are going, why they are doing the things they are doing and how it’s going to benefit them once they see results they will buy into you and the process for the long haul.


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How are you promoting your brand and marketing your gym? I have been using a PR company called Penguin PR to get my story out to all of the relevant media, radio, local newspapers and even ITV. I have also been putting a lot more work into my social media activity, namely Facebook and Instagram. I am using paid advertisements to get my name in front of as many people as possible whilst posting regularly with videos of me and my clients to my page. So when people see my adverts they then check me out, see that I have interesting content that will then give them useful knowledge, whilst also helping to give them an idea of who I am and why they should trust me and buy into my process.

What is your biggest success story? In my personal life, my biggest success story is the come back that I made after my accident where I was impaled upon a fence post and left barely able to move. A few years after this I went on to compete at the WPU world powerlifting championships in Ireland where I placed 3rd. As far as coaching goes I've trained lots of people towards personal bests, either on the weights or within a race. I've also helped lots of people make quite dramatic physical changes by dropping a lot of weight. The biggest of these is probably my client Sam who lost 20kg in his first 6 months. However, the biggest success personally is when I manage to change someone's lifestyle. I get to bring strength and fitness into someone's life and increase their quality of life as a consequence. A relatively new client by the name of Linda who is 70years old and completely new to exercise has seen a big change to her lifestyle due to getting fitter and stronger. Simple things like climbing the stairs, getting up out of a chair or retrieving something from a low

cupboard used to be arduous tasks, but now are completed with relative ease. The increase to her quality of life and her ability to now look after her grandchildren more easily is my greatest success.

Finally, if there was one thing you could change in the industry, what would it be? If I could change anything it would be mainstream gyms treatment and view of personal trainers. Very few if any gyms hire personal trainers to train their members. A good trainer/coach adds to a gyms credibility, a members experience and all but guarantees success for the people under their care. Most people who join a gym do so to achieve some sort of goal, but a large percentage (if not practically all of them) have no idea how to go about doing so. Having quality, educated professionals to work with these individuals even on a

semi-regular basis is a must if you actually want your members to see progress. Having experienced, qualified coaches should be front and centre to a gyms appeal, instead, it’s how many treadmills a particular space has. If personal trainers worked for the gym which they were in, then investing in their education and training would be a smart business move as better trainers deliver a better product. This would lead to an industry where all trainers were highly trained, educated and satisfied people, which at the moment they are not. Success rates in gyms would be much higher and people would actually get into shape. Alas, this is not the case and personal trainers are treated as just another revenue source. They are charged as much as the gym thinks it can get away with and crammed into an oversaturated facility completely left to their own devices until a combination of high rent and over competition forces them to leave making room for the next freshfaced PT.

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Ts Hp Eo tB lI iGg IhNt T E R V I E W

Our story...

We are Alex Klein and Raj Umayavan Yadhunanthanan and we are the inventors of The Rotators Shield! Alex is a personal trainer who designed the Rotators Shield in 2015, along with Raj a lawyer, to make the perfect partnership, both having a passion for fitness. “Why are we qualified to create a fitness product?” Alex “I have been in the industry now for 6 years and I have built a successful PT business of 1 on 1 home sessions mainly, striving to always get clients real results, and always naturally! As a fitness entrepreneur, keeping fit has been my life since I could legally enter a gym, this led me to becoming an amateur boxer at just 16, and onto powerlifting at 21. I have gained extremely valuable knowledge from connecting with athletes at the top of their game, which has given me insider knowledge and techniques to transform the body. After realising that many of my clients could not perform overhead movements that I had prepared for sessions, and always asking why? I received the same answer... ‘it’s my 22

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How did the legal and business skills you ascertained help in the development, production and manufacturing of the Rotators Shield? Raj- I am an entrepreneur with a Law degree and a Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Legal Practice with Commendation. My passion for legal and business stems from my grandfather Supreme Court Judge S. Anandakumarasamy. He taught me from a very young age how to understand the rules and regulations that underpin business and its activities. This unparalleled support combined with my legal education has allowed me to guarantee that the Rotators Shield is fully Patent protected and will abide by any necessary regulations. This helps ensure that the Rotators Shield’s fit, finish, safety and durability is of unmatched standards.

rotators cuff’ or more commonly ‘it’s this pain in my shoulder again’. Naturally I wanted to help, so I designed a resistance wheel that could target the supraspinatus specifically but also help to exercise the deltoid, but where I am qualified in the training, I am not qualified in design, so my first few designs did not work. Raj and I spoke to many designers and skilled creators to turn an idea to reality. We have enabled a strong team, and after finally getting a functional product, rigorous testing to prove our claims, and robots to ensure product durability, we are ready to launch The Rotators Shield to the world.” Raj “Since a young age, I have always been interested in fitness and the

industry, looking for new and exciting ways to train. Both myself and Alex have a shared belief that the current range of gym equipment is stale and needs a refresh. With this shared belief and our own personal dedication to the fitness industry, we sought to create a fitness product like no other. After hundreds of hours of hard work, dedication, planning and testing the Rotators Shield was born” We truly believe the fitness industry is staying safe with new products, simply adapting current market equipment. With Rotators Shield we are attempting to give fitness centres a modern, bold look. This product is for companies who are not afraid to innovate and be the market leaders for change!

Also my grandfather R. Rajalingam taught me the manufacturing side of creating products. He used to have multiple aluminium factories in Sri Lanka, ‘New Lanka Industries’, supplying aluminium to the military and aeronautical industry, as well as the production of window panels, pressure cookers and cooking utensils. This knowledge has been engraved directly onto the Rotators Shield. We have rigorously tested each and every material used on the Rotators Shield to destruction, as if it were to be used by the military. Furthermore, we have taken concepts from the automotive industry, such as crumple zones and have encapsulated it within the Shield. The rigorous testing and modern technology ensures that the Rotators Shield lives up to the vision of ‘lasting a lifetime.’ We are so confident with the fit and finish of the Rotators Shield that we are offering an extended guarantee on every Rotators Shield produced. Alex- With the Rotators Shield, we maintained the perspective that any claim we made about the product had to be backed up by real-world proof, if not it would be an assertion. In order to maintain this stance, we enlisted MARCH 2020


Ts Hp Eo tB lI iGg IhNt T E R V I E W

the help of world-renowned surgeons, fitness experts, physiotherapists and personal trainers to help design, test and certify the Rotators Shield. We have spent countless hours at gyms, fitness centres and hospitals in and around the country. This feedback and real-world testing has helped us ensure that this product is not only well built but is needed in the fitness industry.

Tell us more about the Rotators Shield: The Rotators Shield (RS) is a new, smart way to address the fitness and rehabilitation needs within the fitness and gym environment. Our patented design, with advanced customisable resistance, provides a well-needed solution for muscle groups neglected when training, along with the ability to exercise the full skeletal body. The RS changes the way one would hold a traditional plate. Instead of gripping the outside rim, with no customisations, the RS encourages a central placement of your wrists. This is due to the way the handles are placed equidistant to each other, as well as their placement at the centre of the RS. This creates a heavier feel with the same weight, due to the gravitational pull on the outer wrist making the exercise more isolated. The RS allows the user to place customisable weights to the outside of the shield. The RS provides varying levels of resistance and workouts depending on where the weights are fitted around the circumference. Using configurations of 1kg and 2kg supplied weight, we can add 3kg on the right side and nothing on the other. The result being an unbalanced wheel. This is great for providing a customised resistance for each side and also very helpful with rehabilitation needs and exercises. The RS takes rehabilitation to a level where no fitness product has been. The RS has testimonials from esteemed members of the medical industry on its ability to rehabilitate the rotators cuff muscles. Athletes, everyday gymgoers and individuals who engage 24

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themselves in any form of manual labour are at risk of developing rotator cuff injuries. Currently, the solution for anyone suffering from rotator cuff injuries is either pills or injections, combined with physiotherapy. Not only is this solution a temporary fix for an existing problem, but it is also uncomfortable for the user and relatively expensive. Providing the rotator cuff is not torn, in which case surgery may be needed, the RS has been proven to help rehabilitate the rotator cuff back to its original form, from a benign state of injury. The RS has been tested by a multitude of experienced medical professionals in order to certify its claims. The RS ranges from a minimum weight of 5kg up to a max of 25kg. The RS uses a gravitational pull system, so a 5kg plate will feel much lighter than a 5kg RS. This is in order to use each Kg to its absolute potential. It is suitable for a full range of users strengths and abilities, from professional to amateur, with an emphasis on correcting distinct imbalances as users meet their fitness goals.

What sets the Rotators Shield apart from its competitors? At Rotators Shield we didn’t just want to make a fitness product, we wanted to start a revolution within the fitness industry. We started our journey with the vision of helping people with minor injuries. This led us to the medical industry, where we became the first commercial fitness product to be rigorously tested and certified by medical professionals. We have testimonials from various specialists in their respective field, which we feel no competitor currently possess. The Rotators Shield is a bold, innovative product. The Rotators Shield is a truly dynamic apparatus due to the way it can be customised. Individual 1kg and 2kg can be added to 10 compartments spaced around the Rotators Shield’s circumference. This provides different levels of resistance and workouts depending on where on the apparatus weights are spaced and fitted. Rehabilitation for specific injuries and

muscle weaknesses can be targeted thanks to a multitude of weight and balance combinations. The Rotators Shield ranges from a minimum weight of 5kg up to a max weight of 25kg. It is suitable for a full range of users strengths and abilities, with an emphasis on correcting distinct imbalances as users meet their fitness goals. The Rotators Shield changes the way you hold a traditional weighted plate. Instead of gripping the plate on its outside rim with no additional configurations, the Rotators Shield has handles that encourage a more centralised placement of your wrists. The Rotators Shield can dedicate customisable levels of weight to the outside of each arm, using configurations of the 1kg or 2kg weights supplied. For example, we can add 6kg on the

right side of your grip, creating an unbalanced force on one side – great for providing a customised resistance for each arm.

In your opinion what is the current state of the fitness industry?

Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?

Escape co-founder Mathew Januszek

Rotators Shield is currently accepting pre-orders.

After reading The Big Interview with in Gym Owner Monthly Magazine, he mentioned how big a challenge the fitness industry faces due to the majority of brands ‘staying safe’,

The plan currently is to show gym owners and fitness industry professionals how great the Rotators Shield really is!

therefore impeding their ability to

Using our medical testimonials, and the extensive work put into the Rotators Shield, by the relevant doctors, we aim to enter the NHS as a medically certified product.

or innovated enough to the needs of

Of course, this will take some time for us but we believe that we can help people with rehabilitation and injury prevention, as currently there is no product like ours on the market.

innovate. Here at Rotators Shield, we feel that Matthew could not be more correct. The industry has not adapted modern-day athletes. With Rotators Shield, we have been bold. Our product is unlike anything on the market aesthetically and functionally. The mix of style meets function is what separates the Rotators Shield from every other fitness product on the market.

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Katy Stokes


Biomechanics Coach Personal Trainer level 3 Strength & Conditioning for Rehabilitation level 1 Remedial & Exercise Therapy (studying) Pre & Post Natal Kettlebells TRX Thump Boxing Indoor Cycling Taping (Rocktape)

Years qualified; 10


10 mins from Stratford upon Avon




Katy Stokes Fitness





How did you become a trainer? I was always really sporty at school and was captain of all the teams, then went to uni and put on quite a bit of weight (usual story – too much alcohol and rubbish food). I then went travelling around the world for 18 months. While in Sydney I worked for Fitness First in the sales team and got to use the gym regularly and really noticed the difference it made to my body. When I came home, I remembered that I had always been quite taken with the idea of being a personal trainer

so just decided to go for it! I did my initial PT qualifications through Future Fit Training and during this time I got a job in the sales team for my local Everyone Active leisure centre. Once I was level 3, I was given hours in the gym, and then a new role was created for me which was half sales and half gym instruction; it was a great stepping stone.


What was your experience of the training/qualification

Do you specialise in a particular type of fitness?

Gosh, it feels like such a long time ago I’m trying to recall the specifics! It was an online study and face to face learning too. I liked the mix of the two, I think there is so much in this industry that you can’t learn from online. I remember being so nervous for my level 2 assessment!

Well, I have always helped people

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skills you need for each environment, and where businesses do things well or badly. Now I have a great set up where I can train in my own home gym, Meon Vale leisure centre, another trainer’s home studio, or even on the client’s own premises, depending on the location of the client.

What is your opinion of CPD?

with weight loss and fitness goals but rehabilitation is a massive passion of mine and makes up at least 50% of my business. 7 years ago I decided I wanted to further my knowledge so I asked a trainer I used to work alongside that had done Level 4 Lower Back Pain whether he would recommend it. His response was “No don’t waste your time or money and go straight to Biomechanics Education”! After having my first baby I then did the full diploma to become a Biomechanics Coach. It was the best decision I have made for my business although my god what a learning curve! Becoming a Biomechanics Coach has helped me build a reputation for being able to help those with injuries or niggles and I absolutely love helping people get back moving and back to the sports they love. Through Biomechanics Education I then met Mike Grice who is the Director of Movement Therapy Education (Birmingham, Leeds & Liverpool). In my drive to be the best I can be at rehabilitation, I am now studying his ‘Remedial and Exercise Therapy Course’ which I cannot recommend highly enough. I have also recently done Dr Claire Minshull’s 2 day level 1 ‘Strength & Neuromuscular Conditioning for

Rehabilitation’ course which was brilliant and I can’t wait for level 2! The majority of my clients now come to me because they know they need someone who understands injuries and isn’t just going to shout at them to do a load of burpees.

What’s it like working with gym owners? I have been based in both commercially and privately owned gyms which are totally different experiences. I cut my teeth as a trainer in DW Wrexham where I was based for 2 years and I was lucky in that I joined the most lovely, supportive group of male PTs who made the daunting process of starting out as a newbie PT enjoyable. But you really are just a number in those setups and there will always be a stream of new PTs coming in trying to make a go of it. To the gyms, you are ultimately just another source of revenue. I was then asked to be a trainer in a small, privately-owned gym, unfortunately, our business ethos didn’t match so I left. My business has definitely gone from strength to strength since! You learn from each situation though and it definitely teaches you what

While I absolutely do think it is necessary for our industry, there are a number of courses that will gain your CPD points but won’t actually develop you as a trainer. Simply learning how to use the latest piece of kit isn’t really teaching you much. It’s important to be selective and chose courses that are actually useful for your development - I made this mistake for a good few years.

You spend your working hours motivating others, how do you motivate yourself? I have two children (aged 6 & 2) and I want them to grow up thinking that exercising, being fit and strong is totally normal. I could happily lift weights every day for hours but cardio is another story! Ultimately a double espresso and dance music gets me in the zone.

What advice would you give other PT’s starting out in the business? KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid! You do not need to reinvent the wheel. Don’t worry about what you see on social media and don’t measure yourself against what you see there, the best people to learn from on social media

sP pT oOt Fl i TgHhEt M O N T H

What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the last 3 years? Online training. I think it is good if it is getting more people exercising and at a more accessible price point. But to me, it is not “Personal Training” if you are not there watching how your client is moving and reacting. I did actually offer it for a while but don’t really now as I prefer being face to face with my clients.

How do you interact with your clients (active & inactive)? don’t usually have the biggest number of followers. Always remember safety first and you must be able to justify every decision you make regarding a client’s training. It is a very competitive industry but be professional & respectful and don’t try to get clients by slagging off other trainers. Keep learning! Getting qualified really is just the beginning, you will never know everything. Don’t try to train everyone – recognise when you need to refer on to someone else. Be on time, be friendly, be clean! Don’t blindly trust what you have been taught, question everything. It is hard to get going and become successful, but it is so rewarding.

I have social media accounts on most platforms but it is definitely something that I can improve upon! I have 2 young children so I can’t be across everything all the time. I consider my personal and personable approach to be one of my strongest skills, and I do actually tend to end up keeping most of my clients as friends .

How do you promote your services? By being good at what I do! Seriously word of mouth is so powerful as a driver of new clients. I occasionally do a paid promotion on social media, and I have my business name on my car and some branded clothing.

What are the biggest challenges facing your industry right now?

How often do you train yourself?

The quality of education. Celebrities posting about fitness without being educated or qualified. The fact that you can post on Social media without fact-checking.

Well, this totally depends on how many clients I am working with, and my children. Sometimes it is just once a week then other weeks I’ll train in the gym x 4 days, go to

netball training and play a match or 2. Makes programming rather tricky!

If there was one thing in the industry you could radically change, what is it? I really want to say “the quality of education providers” but fingers crossed there are wheels in motion regarding that already. How gyms see PTs! Good Personal Trainers (& Group Ex instructors) are gym’s biggest retention asset. I really don’t believe that members care or even notice that much if a gym has the newest equipment, but will definitely notice and be more likely to stay if they are with a trainer who they trust and are getting results with. Furthermore, a good PT doesn’t need the latest gadgets and swanky machines to be effective.

Do you still see yourself working as a PT in 10 years time? Absolutely yes! Hopefully with my own rehab & fitness studio.

What is your biggest success story? Family Moore! I train 3 members of the family, Dad from spine surgery, Mum from ruptured Achilles and Daughter from ruptured ACL (her surgeon was amazed he could sign her off so quickly!) and have helped them all get back to competitive sports (football, cricket & netball), run full & ½ marathons and go skiing again.

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SWITCH ON THE POWER AT DUBLIN’S NEWEST BOUTIQUE GYM Introducing Power - a one of a kind luxury gym experience located in The Mayson hotel. Power is Dublin’s newest boutique gym with exceptional fitness classes, best in class trainers and an open gym, set in beautiful surroundings. Expect amazing service, expertly designed changing facilities and an outdoor courtyard area complete with relaxation pool, sauna and steam room – this is where you want to be!

for all members and hotel guests. Outside, take a deep breath and enjoy the bespoke mural made up of handpainted tiles created by Ruth Cassidy, sitting behind the relaxation pool under the three-story living wall.

Power is redefining the gym as you know it – picture marble finishes in the changing rooms, brass lockers complete with USB and plug connections so you can charge as you train, gold rainfall power showers, Dyson Hair Dryers, premium toiletries and fresh towels

Members and hotel guests will have access to Myzone heart rate monitoring technology - a proven way of increasing exercise enjoyment and adherence and can avail of the Boditrax system, the most coveted measurement tool in the fitness market. Monthly members will


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At Power members and hotel, guests will have access to the best trainers in Dublin who believe fitness should be an experience! Power features an open gym floor for those wanting to do their own thing, boasting nightclub quality sound systems, and the best equipment available.

receive their very own Myzone heart rate belt worth €120 when they sign up to Power. Our in-house team have created three types of bespoke classes – Power 360, Power Climb and Power Pedal.

Here’s the lowdown on each class… Power Pedal: Hop on our state-of-the-art Stages Studio bikes and we’ll provide you with cycling shoes, so you get the most from this group pedal class. Challenge yourself with the ‘Stages Flight’ system which is designed to entertain and motivate participants as they cycle. Big screens show live data for the duration of the class, demonstrating calories burned and power outputs, bringing a competitive edge and energy to


the room. The room is dimly lit with bespoke lighting and serious tunes, which will keep you pumped from start to finish! Power 360: We are the first to bring you Power 360! If you get bored easily when exercising or need extra motivation - then this is the class for you! Using silent disco technology, members can set the volume of the music and the instructor's voice to suit them. The headphones are designed to create an immersive experience and have the added benefit of not disturbing other gym users working out alone. During the class the trainers take members through a vast array of exercises including boxing drills on the punchbag, lifting kettlebells, cycling on assault bikes and various movements using the TRX. Power Climb: This is our version of HIIT (High-

Intensity Interval Training). We use Versaclimbers, Fitbenches and bodyweight exercises to deliver an all over body workout like no other. With a light show synchronised to big beats music we create challenging work blocks and timely recovery blocks, maximising your results. Also, in this studio we display your progress on the large Myzone screen which shows your name, heart rate zone and calories burned to help you compete against yourself and others in the class! Our trainers are always on hand to provide tips and advice when working out on the gym floor and members and hotel guests can book in for personal training sessions (from €65 per hour). Members and hotel guests can conveniently book their classes via our online app (Power @ The Mayson) and can pre-order healthy, delicious DIME protein shakes immediately after their fitness experience, to enhance recovery.

"Marble finishes in the changing rooms, brass lockers complete with USB and plug connections, gold rainfall power showers, Dyson Hair Dryers, premium toiletries and fresh towels for all members and hotel guests."

Membership costs:

(Based on individual membership) €100 joining fee €109 per month Monthly members will receive a Myzone heart rate belt (worth €120). *Memberships are strictly limited.

Access to Power Gym is available for all hotel residents staying at The Mayson. Hotel guests wanting to take part in a class can book for €15 per class. Check out powergym.ie for more information or contact 086 606 2166 / info@powergym.ie lee@themayson.ie @powergym.ie

Opening times: 7am – 9pm Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm – Weekends MARCH 2020


P Ts V p IoE tWl Pi g O hI N t T

Bringing the ‘why’ back to the workout By Jill Drummond, Master Coach and Global Education & Program Manager As fitness professionals, we made a commitment to change lives through fitness and wellness, but, in a time when the industry is cluttered by online influencers, pop-up studios, YouTube workouts, and self-titled gurus, it is a battle to uphold the integrity of training. We are expected to deliver results, which are only possible if we understand the ‘why’ of our work. Every interaction, every connection, and every workout should be connected to the ‘why.’ Even as young children, we took great pleasure in asking ‘why?’ At an early age, we understood that to connect, we needed to know the deeper meaning of the basic information we were provided. We weren’t afraid to dig deeper then, and we cannot shy away from it now. The easiest place to start is with ourselves.

Our personal ‘why’ As professionals, our personal ‘why’ establishes our passions, drives our career decisions, and gives us purpose; creating a clear identity, which is critical for success. Begin by asking these three simple questions: 1. What do I love about the fitness industry? 2. What strengths do I have to offer the fitness industry? 3. What does this love, and these strengths, lead me towards? 32

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PsTp o Vt I El W i gP hOtI N T

By focusing on our strengths, we can clearly identify our path to success. Are we drawn towards large groups or do we better connect in a more intimate setting? Do we prefer the intensity of athletes or the open minds of beginners? Are we passionate about teaching children the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, or do we shine when working with older adults?   With a clear direction comes the admission that we cannot be everything to everyone. Many of us operate under the assumption that accepting every client and teaching every class format is the way to popularity. The more times my name is on the schedule, the better I must be! But instead of growing our client base and filling classes, the ultimate result is a lack of authenticity and connection, resulting in diminished achievement. If you truly want long-lasting success, you must uphold your ‘why’ by stepping away from a situation that does not speak to your talents.   If you want to be true to yourself and uphold your integrity as a trainer, then you must be prepared to turn down opportunities that do not adhere to your ‘why.’ As your most credible self, you’ll be able to communicate genuinely, effectively, and with care to your clients throughout their fitness journeys, thus ensuring positive results. Once you know your personal ‘why,’ attracting clients and creating business is easier. Those around you know what you stand for and what you are committed to delivering. Once you know your ‘why,’ your ‘who’ becomes clear. Your ‘who’ are the people that you know you can connect with and to whom you can make a difference. Now, the challenge is to get those clients to connect to their ‘why.’  

Our clients’ personal ‘why’ At first encounter, many clients say they want to lose weight, feel better, and live healthier lives, and we do not doubt the truth in that. However, these are not new goals. Therefore, we must not only challenge our clients to more carefully examine their ‘why’ for working out, but also the reasons that have held them back.

Encourage them to ask these four simple questions: 1. Is there anything you enjoy about exercise? 2. Have you ever been successful with a fitness routine? 3. Can you identify challenges that have held you back in the past? 4. Can you identify ways that can make the outcome different? By examining both successes and challenges, we can start to get to the root of the ‘why.’ If a client has struggled with commitment in the past, ask them about their support system. Do they have friends or family members who encourage them to reach for their fitness goals, or are they faced with hurdles at every turn? Have they ever felt intimidated at the gym as if they don’t belong? By finding an activity that they enjoy – such as a dance class – and then connecting them with other members, there is the potential for them to find both support and enjoyment within their fitness community, multiplying their chances of success. With this power of understanding, we can create meaningful and effective, customised programmes for our clients. It is critical to keep motivation top of mind throughout the trainer-client relationship. In order to accomplish this, give your client a weekly assignment. Every Friday, ask them to send you their ‘fitness successes and challenges.’ This can be a simple list of areas in which they have achieved a goal and taken a step in the right direction or struggled and come across a barrier. Gaining this insight will help you to better guide your client the following week.

The ‘why’ of the workout Once we have aligned our expertise with the needs of our clients, the

detailed work begins - the ‘why’ of the workout. However, if you have mountains of clients, busy class schedules or multiple facility commitments, then personal training can quickly become just training. Workouts start to feel repetitive. We apply the same formula to every client’s workout. We go through the motions with our clients, and, although small improvements are made, they are no closer to achieving their goals. We need to return to our education, remembering that no two bodies are the same, no two lifestyles are the same, and no two ‘whys’ are the same. In short, we must make personal training personal again. Based on a greater understanding of the ‘why’ we, as trainers, can create personalised workouts, sequences, and cues that incorporate the correct protocol and motivational drivers that are relevant to our clients. This ensures that they are challenged in a meaningful way, which ultimately helps them to reach their goals. We often fall into the trap of allowing the ‘what’ to establish the ‘why’. For example, when leading a class, we may think, “This is a great song that would go well with squats, so let’s do squats here.” Or when training in a busy weight room, “The functional area is too busy today, so let’s just use selectorized machines.” However, if we are genuinely committed to delivering results, compromises cannot be made. We must set our foundation in evidence-based workouts and not be sidetracked by challenges. This is the standard we set for our clients. Therefore, we must hold ourselves to the same measure. To set ourselves apart in a crowded space and to connect to our true talents and passions, we must continue to ask ‘why’. Just like when you were five years old – be curious, be brave, and never settle for ‘because everyone else is doing it!’

"If you want to be true to yourself and uphold your integrity as a trainer, then you must be prepared to turn down opportunities that do not adhere to your ‘why." MARCH 2020



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

ROGUE MG-2 MULTI-GRIP BARS Rogue’s fully welded MG-2 Multi-Grip Bars go beyond the typical Swiss bar or football barbell, offering a uniquely angled, two-way neutral grip design and compatibility with most standard power racks and Olympic plates. Whether you’re looking to reduce stress on the wrists and shoulders during press movements or to target your triceps for better lockouts, these bars enable an athlete to experiment with different approaches and develop more dynamic lifting programs. The rectangular MG-24 Bar is roughly the same total length as the MG-23, but includes two additional handles (all at the same angle), with spacing options at 6”, 14”, 22”, and 30”. Like the MG-23, it can be rotated for elbows-in, triceps-focused training. Both MG-2 Multi-Grip Bars are finished in our Rogue signature black powder coat. Please note that any metal-to-metal contact with the coated sleeves (such as adding and/or removing plates) may cause wear on the finish over time. Important: For Collars that fit speciality bars like the MG-2, please checkout the Rogue HG Axle Collars. General Specifications: • Made in the USA • Multi neutral-grip / Swiss Bar / Football Bar design with angled handles • Handle diameter: 1.25” • Sleeve diameter: 1.91” (compatible with most standard Oly plates and rackable in most standard power racks) • Distance Between Collars: 52.75" • Black powder coat finish • Colour: Black with Rogue logo in white MG-24: • Unloaded Weight: 44LB • Total Length: 82” • Loadable Sleeve Length: 14" • 8 Handles, spaced at: 6", 14", 22", 30"

ASSAULT AIRBIKE Finally, a heavy-duty exercise bike designed directly from the feedback of athletes and coaches. The Assault AirBike reinvents and retools nearly every component of the traditional fan bike, from the frame construction to the crank, pedals, monitor and more. The series is designed, manufactured, and tested in the USA by the experienced team at LifeCORE Fitness in Carlsbad, California. Using air resistance, the Assault AirBike scales automatically to how hard you want to work. The harder you pedal, the greater the resistance. It's simple physics with big benefits. Specifications: • LCD screen outputs: Watts – RPM -- Calories – Heart Rate -- Distance – Time – Odometer – Interval Training (Tabata and custom) • Heavy Duty Steel Frame eliminates side-to-side movement • 25" diameter Steel Fan • Hybrid seat with multi-adjustment options • Industrial powder coating for durability • Reinforced pedals and crank • 20 sealed cartridge bearings, utilised in every pivot


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Rogue Echo Bike Overbuilt for a Smoother Ride The Rogue Echo Bike combines heavy-duty steel, precision engineering, and convenient customisation to forge a stronger, sturdier fan bike. This overbuilt 127 LB unit provides a rock-solid foundation for max output bursts, while still offering easy portability around the gym via a set of 1” polyurethane front wheels. A quiet, belt-driven steel fan blade produces a smooth, consistent ride, while a high-contrast, battery-powered LCD console allows athletes to track intervals, distance, calories burned, heart rate, and more. Additional Specifications: • Patent Pending Design • Quality Steel Construction for Dependable Stability • Height: 52.75” (to top of handles) • Length: 58-⅞” (overall with seat in position furthest from fan cage) • Width: 29-⅞” (at handles - widest point) • Footprint: 44.5” x 23.75” • LCD Console Display (Batteries Included) with customisable modes • Belt Driven Steel Fan • Adjustable Seat with 8 height and 5 front/back settings • 1.5” Diameter Rubber Grip Handles • Metal Pedals • Texture Black powder coat finish • Rubber Levelling Feet • All Hardware & Assembly Tools Included • Weight limit of 350lbs

ROGUE RML-690C POWER RACK We’ve designed the RML-690C with full compatibility across the Rogue Monster Lite line, making it among the most durable and customisable power racks on the market. The unit’s 3x3” 11-gauge steel uprights in your choice of 10 custom Rogue semi-gloss powder coats feature Westside hole spacing, with the same 5/8” bolts and fasteners as our Infinity Series. A pair of Monster Lite J-Cups, pin/pipe safeties, and a four-pack of band pegs are included standard, as are eight convenient bumper plate storage posts. The RML-690C set-up also comes with both the 43” Single Skinny Pull-Up Bar & 43" Beam with Rogue nameplate. Whether bolted to the ground or not, the RML-690C Monster Lite Rack can function as a weight room’s evolving centrepiece, with a broad range of custom height, depth, cross member, and accessory options. Use the order form to the right or contact us at team@roguefitness.com to start building a RML-690C that fits your gym’s needs. *The satin clear finish is a transparent finish. This will show any blemishes or marks from the manufacturing process that are present in the steel. RML-690C Monster Lite Rack Specifications: • Custom Rogue Semi Gloss Powder coat • Made in Columbus, OH, USA • 3x3” 11-gauge steel tubing • Standard Height: 90” • Standard Footprint: 80” x 53” • Westside Hole Spacing: 1’ through bench and clean pull zone, 2” above and below • Does Not Need to be Bolted to Floor

The Operator Bar After the gods created swords, 50-caliber machine guns, and HarleyDavidsons, they dreamed up the 20KG Rogue Operator Bar. With an original, military-inspired design you won’t find anywhere else in the industry, the latest edition of this versatile 28.5mm barbell introduces a new polymerceramic composite finish—the same coating trusted by many firearm manufacturers for its unique durability in thin applications. Customers also now have the option of sticking with the Operator’s classic Olive Drab shaft or swapping it out with any one of several new additional military finishes: The Rogue Operator Bar is fully machined and assembled in Columbus, Ohio, using advanced composite bushings and 190,000 PSI tensile strength steel for the perfect balance of whip and rigidity. The bar features Rogue’s signature knurl pattern with dual knurl marks for both Power and Oly lifts (no centre knurl). Greener, meaner, and made in America, the Rogue Operator Bar 3.0 is Guaranteed for Life against bending and/or broken collars and is sure to leave an impression on any athlete who uses it—or even sees it. Some may ask why your gym would need an Olive Drab or Desert Tan bar. You can answer simply, “Because I want it.” MARCH 2020 35


TRANSFORMING GROUP EXERCISE FOR THE DECONDITIONED OR AGEING POPULATION The ageing population in the UK is rapidly increasing and this group is also largely inactive, and we are paying a price for this.

Matrix Fitness is at the forefront of transforming spaces into experiences, now targeting to engage the ageing population and deconditioned. We talk to Steve Barrett, Director of Global Group Education & Training

What is MX4 Active? MX4 Active is an expansion of our range of small group training solutions, targeting the ageing population and the deconditioned. Both MX4 and MX4 Active have similar features such as periodisation, the equipment used and weekly structures but the key differences are the coaching style and portfolio of exercises used. Special considerations were made to ensure the programme can serve the needs of older individuals who may have additional age-related conditions and physical limitations, leading to a positive impact on their health span. The workouts blend cardio-based modalities with functional training to support fitness improvements. The programming aims to ease the transition to an active lifestyle by including movements that are low impact yet develop coordination, balance, flexibility and skeletal and muscular strength. Why design small group training specifically for the older population and deconditioned? 38

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The fitness industry needs to do what they can to turn this around. Everyone may be talking about active ageing now, but we have spent nearly two years developing this programme. We went back to the source, spoke with the people in these groups, discussing the barriers they face to activity, working with experts to find the most adaptable solution that would make an impact.

What were your findings in the research stages? We already understood the physiological changes that we needed to make to the programming in terms of adapting our exercises and intensities, but what was really interesting from our research was the steering our

participants gave us regarding trainer attitude. Trainers need to be empathetic and reassuring in their delivery. Calm, clear and unrushed instructions paired with physical demonstrations. When teaching MX4 Active, you cannot be the same trainer you are when you’re training a 20-yearold. It’s not uncommon that most trainers have one mode of operation. We had to dig deep into this concept, working with instructors to recognise that their attitude and delivery is absolutely key to the success of this programme. The type of physical activity encouraged is also important. For years, the focus has been on the relevance of cardiovascular fitness but, over the last decade, studies have documented the hugely positive impact that regular strength training can have on an array of health and wellbeing indicators.


How does MX4 Active differ from your original MX4 small group training? MX4 is about never doing the same thing twice, high intensity and variation. MX4 Active is completely different. From our findings, the ageing population prefer familiarity to their workouts, not variety, so we carefully reduced our training plans and use periodisation differently, focusing on just two workout plans a month. With this, members can “learn it, then work it”, with the familiarity building confidence. The idea being that members will acclimatise to the exercises and movement patterns in the first couple of weeks and then the trainer can increase the intensity of these for the rest of the month.

regarding music. Normally, in MX4 training this is hugely motivational, but our MX4 Active testing groups found it potentially distracting when trying to listen to the instructor and take guidance.

of mobility. Keeping physically active and performing regular cardiovascular and resistance training is scientifically proven to positively impact mental and physical health in older adults.

We also increased the recovery period, removed any exercises that involved pressure on the back, knees or repetitive floor work. Interestingly, we also had to weigh up the decision

MX4 Active is an ideal addition to facility timetables, helping older and less fit members form a habit of exercise. Old age does not have to mean ill health and a lack

MX4 Active is now available across the UK. To find out more about MX4 Active visit www.matrixfitness.co.uk

INSPIRING EXERCISE FOR ALL AGES AND STAGES MX4 Active can help your facility engage older and deconditioned adults in a way that’s right for their abilities and keep them coming back for more. Our exclusive training tools and structured, skill-based programming inspire confidence and improve fitness so participants can do things they love. For more information visit matrixfitness.co.uk

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Keep your business growing… Keeping your gym equipment up to date will assist in attracting and retaining members. To sustain a fitness business in this modern, fast paced, industry you need the very latest equipment and an environment to keep your members engaged. CF Capital Plc specialise in all aspects of commercial finance. Whether your requirement is financial assistance with leasing of fitness equipment or general building refurbishments, we have a wide range of options to suit any budget. We can finance a diverse range of equipment or requirements essential to any gym, our list includes: FREE WEIGHTS, ROWING MACHINES, EXERCISE BIKES, RUNNING MACHINES, RESISTANCE MACHINES, SPINNING BIKES, FLOORING, AIR CONDITIONING, EPOS SYSTEMS, MEMBERSHIP SOFTWARE SYSTEMS & MUCH MORE.

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


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The 10 year legacy of PT Academy How did PT Academy come about? The concept was born out of frustration of the industry’s practice 10 years ago. There was a culture in the UK of fast track courses that would leave trainers ill-prepared for the industry. The concept I wanted to start was very clear and it involved face to face teaching. No one at the time believed it would work, but I knew I was onto something, and within a short amount of time, we were delivering in over 100 venues. The rest of the Industry followed suit and over time realised it was better to teach learners with qualified trainers and almost all of the other training providers caught on and replicated what we did. For me, the most important thing was the industry would produce better trainers, which was exactly what I set out to do. My analogy at the time was simple, if you wanted to learn how to be a mechanic, it is better to learn from a mechanic who is in the garage every day getting their hands dirty with their head under a car bonnet or a retired lecturer in mechanics. It just goes to show that when you have a concept of a vision you believe in, see it through and not be deterred by what other people say. If I had listened to everyone at the time who told me it would not work, PT Academy would not have been born.

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What has your greatest achievement at PT Academy been to date? There has been so many, I can’t tell you all of them. Just coming to the office and working with a fantastic team is a great daily achievement. There are things that have stood out though, one of which was the company hitting its 10th anniversary in December last year. I have been blessed and privileged to be the head of the organisation that has inspired 100’s and 1000’s of people in the UK. Just to know that 18,900 graduates who have gone on to train 100’s of others has been an incomparable achievement. Formulating major partnerships with big chains speak for themselves. The buyout proposal that I was presented with by the UK’s largest gym chain - Pure Gym in 2015 was a testament to our success as a company and reinforced how much we were valued as a major player in fitness education. However, none of these achievements can compare to the achievements of our international giveback programs. These projects have been priceless and we will be doing a press release about them soon.

are always aware of Industry trends and we make sure we don’t just keep up, but we’re way ahead of the game. Those changes have included changes with the Awarding Organisations we work with as well as changes to our delivery strategy. Naturally, we have changed our external branding and marketing strategy. Recently the most important changes have been technological and we have some amazing products launching soon.

Do you think the brand has played a big role in shaping the fitness industry and if How have you seen the brand so, how will it continue to do so? change since it started? As with any successful company, we have had to emerge as our landscape has changed. As Tony Robin say’s “If you’re not growing, you’re dying”. We

Massively, without a doubt, we have been one of the key players in the Industry, making PT Qualifications affordable and accessible to all,

nationally and internationally. We plan to continue to do so by working with the right people and the right organisations. Our partnership with gym chains is growing as a result of the recognition of the Academy’s impact and the quality of our trainers.

What are your plans for 2020 and onwards? We have some major technological changes that again will be gamechangers. They’re great and we know everyone is going to copy us. But we know as it benefits the industry and the quality of trainers getting better, then great, keep copying us. We’re no1 for a reason! You will see us doing things which will ensure the quality of training is exceptional and you will see us deliver even more courses than before. We currently have a centre in Germany, and we will be increasing our sites to other major European cities.

Anything else you would like to mention I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has been involved with PT Academy, our learners, our staff and our corporate partners.


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A Non-Dues Area Of A Gym juice-bars of the boutique design gyms. These two design standardizations, though appropriate to their brand platforms, are all too predictable and have been seen, time and again, by fitness consumers across all market categories. So if you read between the lines {and you’re an advocate of our design philosophy} what you have is a gym marketing opportunity lurking in the fitness shadows. Blue Ocean differentiated gym juice bar design possibilities, if you’re savvy mate, to my line of thinking.

Gym juice bars are gym social anchors that members migrate to upon completion of their workouts and training. These non-dues anchors of a club facilitate the community attributes of a gym environment. The proliferation of pictorial social media platforms Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Tumblr have empowered fitness consumers making them savvy arbiters of all this is cool, or not cool, about a gym design aesthetic, so consider that when developing your gym juice bar. An innovative, uber-sexy, theatrical and highly unusual juice bar will go

a long way in promoting your club across member’s social platforms. This social attribute manifests in the form of selfies, tagging and member content which boasts of the superiority of “their” gym juice bar, in words, your gym juice bar. This can also be extrapolated as a metric in bolstering allegiance to your gym brand. Arguably, gym developers choose one of two design platforms when building their juice bars, which of course, reflect their own brand aesthetic. These would be the protein-shake-juice-bars of the muscle gyms—what I call gyms that look like gyms—or the chill-night-club-

If your competitor's gym juice-bars reflect muscle gyms or a swanky boutique hotel, simply…don’t do either of those designs! Create a gym juice bar that transcends the clichés and standardizations of your competition. This is nothing new, and at scale, should be practised across your entire brand platform. But where it gets gym-interesting is the level of design psychology {and design innovation} that you bring to your juice bar aesthetics. After all, the juice bar is a social environment, which if properly developed, can foster an entire clubculture around your own gym brand… how cool is that? Why not design-withthat-in-mind instead of decorating for “pretty”. I remember an international nightclub brand, an institution they say, called the China Club. I’m not tracking them any longer but their brand was powerful, almost omnipotent {say from a bar branding perspective} with loyalty across sovereign borders and numerous language barriers. Why not think like this, big design think like the MARCH 2020 43


China Club when developing your gym juice bar? Instead of throwing in some chairs, cafeteria signage and mediocre seating, make your gym juice bar an after gym-work-out destination event. When it gets to juice bar branding I can’t argue enough that the environment experience should be inseparable from the product offerings. Avoid commodity and branded cups, containers and packaging from manufacturers who provide your core mixes, blends, powders or ingredients that go into your beverage concoctions and elixirs; and as little as possible, of manufactured-pre-packaged commodity goods. In line with this directive {the gym Gods forbid} don’t design banal, uninspired and soulless juice bar spaces that have little imagination and even less cache. I’ve said this before, market like Howard Schultz’s of Starbucks. Schultz states that Starbucks is positioned as a consumer’s sanctuary, a third-place between their work and home. I argue that your gym social anchor, your juicebar lounge, should be your member’s fourth-place of sanctuary, following work, home and Starbucks {i.e, your local coffee shop or pub}. Follow Me on Instagram At www.Instgram.com/gymdesigner Email: info@cuocoblack.com Website: www.fitnesscenterdesign.com 44

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"Create a gym juice bar that transcends the clichés and standardisations of your competition"


2020 Fitness Trends, don’t get left behind! 2020 fitness trends are positioned to make pursuing healthy lifestyles as inclusive, attainable, and convenient as possible. Accordingly, fitness facilities must embrace these trends and make proactive changes to cater to them and their members’ evolving preferences. Read all about how!

includes growth in industry revenue as a whole as well as types of wearable devices. By 2020, there are estimations that more than 830 millions wearable

At-home Fitness Options

New Year, New Fit-Tech! The fitness industry is primed and ready to take 2020 by storm with continued innovation in technology, styles of training, and world-class facility experiences. Pursuing health and wellness is more popular than ever with consumers, allowing the fitness industry to push into new verticals and reach a wider audience than ever before. Whether it’s the newest smart watch, virtual private training, or Mommy and Me Yoga Classes, 2020 fitness trends are positioned to make pursuing healthy lifestyles as inclusive, attainable, and convenient as possible. Accordingly, fitness facilities must embrace these trends and make proactive changes to cater to them and their members’ evolving preferences. Here’s a quick round-up of the top fitness trends to look out for in 2020 and how fitness clubs should prepare for them!

Wearables Maintaining its status as the top fitness trend for the last several years, the wearable market is projected to continue to grow throughout 2020. This 46

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sports, bras, and sweatbands. One of the most impressive of these innovations includes the new state-of-the-art technologically enhanced leggings by Wearable X. These leggings use vibrations to guide its users to perfect their yoga and pilates movements for optimal form and exercise.

devices will be active worldwide. While the United States remains the leader in wearable use and production, Western Europe and China are projected to surpass it in the next ten years. This growth also speaks to technological improvements to wearable devices as well as more convenient ways to use them. Personal metrics calculated by wearables now commonly pull from numerous different data points to deliver personal results with astonishing accuracy. Additionally, convenient and stylish ways to wear these devices improve every year, like fashionable modifications to the latest Fitbit designs or new wearable-enabled clothing. Wearables are now available in most types of athletic attire like running shoes,

While 2019 marked the birth of newwave fitness options at home, 2020 is intended to expand the market dramatically. Users now have extremely effective, technology-driven options to pursue their health goals at home. Peloton’s mark in redefining “at-home” fitness technology is evidenced in the company’s 2019 success: it doubled its 2018 annual revenue to earn $719.2 million and went public this fall. Peloton’s success has inspired a new era of at-home fitness technology, including comparable copy-cat bikes and treadmills and other devices like Mirror. Additionally, advanced streaming services are also making an impact in the at-home fitness market. Trusted fitness brands like Les Mills and Classpass are among other companies who have pivoted their services to include streaming fitness classes that users can take at their convenience in their own homes. Rather than repeating workouts like traditional


videos like Insanity or P90x, these services have added customisable options for the users as well as detailed feedback and tracking metrics. For example, LesMills at-home subscription program includes over 800 available workouts that range from BodyPump to HIIT to Yoga and beyond. While some programs require LesMills specific equipment like free weights and benches (which can be purchased very affordably), many are completely equipment free. The variety, flexibility, and personalisable options of LesMills gives consumers effective tools to reach their fitness goals without needing a gym membership.

Virtual Coaching 2020 will also experience a move away from traditional in-person personal training to virtual coaching. The advantages of virtual training benefit both the consumer and the trainer: users enjoy much lower costs and digitally convenient individual attention while trainers utilise furthering their outreach as far as their time zone and training schedules permits. The virtual component also brings mutual flexibility to both parties. Virtual oneon-one coaching has become popular for all types of trainers as well as for lesser known fitness influencers looking to extend their brand.

coaches for a comparable price. For example, the FitPlan app partnered with upwards of 60 of the largest fitness names in the industry to offer their unique plans all in one place at a subscription price. Users can opt to pay monthly, quarterly or annually, and can subscribe to as many plans as desired without additional fees. New plans are added regularly and workouts can be selected based on access to a gym, equipment, or not.

Crossover Between Fitness and Overall Wellness Image Healthy Food Blueberries / Kiwi / Banana and some veg and spices Health and Wellness as an overall lifestyle will continue to emerge in fitness trends for 2020. Since consumers are more aware of their health on a 24 hour scale, fitness will gradually be more perceived as a factor of wellness. Fitness and working out will move away from weight loss goals to be used for overall health, medicine, and balanced lifestyles.

classes with intense exercise from start to finish.

How Facilities Must Respond With technology providing consumers with many more options on how they achieve wellness, clubs need to cater to these technology-driven components of their members’ fitness experiences. Especially considering the threat posed by improving at-home fitness programs, gyms need to adopt a “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” approach. Gyms should focus on how their services can enhance an at-home training routine as well as highlight in-house options users could not physically have at home, like equipment, new classes, and auxiliary services. Fitness clubs can also offer flexible membership options that can account for less than “full-time” members. Since leading at-home and streaming fit-tech is based on digital platforms, facilities can also pivot their services so their members can easily sync their at-home workouts with their gym workouts. This can be done by providing up-to-date technology in terms of digital integrations, smart equipment, and convenient automation that will let members easily use both.

Open API for Digital Fitness Integrations

Coaching Applications

With heightened degrees of personalisation incorporated into fitness applications, they have become far more impactful and used by consumers. Simply providing meal plans and generic work out plans does not cut it anymore: coaching applications need to be varied and offer personal customisations to the user.

On a macro level, this means the convergence of health and wellness fields on a more holistic level. According to fitness director of The Well NYC, Eric Rakofsky, “Instead of having to go to different places for your fitness, health, and wellness needs, you’ll be seeing more trainers, dieticians, physical therapists, and doctors working together under the same roof.” While the “same roof” may not be immediate, fitness facilities will face rising expectations to offer services or expertise in the wellness sphere.

Additionally, social media fitness stars have extended their presence into coaching applications. While many fitness influencers previously created and sold their own personal training plans to their followings, now big-name fitness celebrities are moving towards collaborating on fitness applications with other comparable athletes. This gives the user more options and resources from multiple fitness expert

On a smaller scale, consumers will want their fitness experiences to be blended with more mindful work outs and practices. Diversifying styles or ways to pursue fitness will continue to become more popular. This can benefit the boutique segment of fitness clubs and push them to offer more unique services. Fitness classes of all types will set aside time for meditation or mindful stretching instead of packing

As insistence on hyper-connected technology continues to dominate the industry, fitness clubs should prioritise adapting with this transformation. Utilising an open API with their club management system is essential for digitally transforming their fitness club. With 2020’s projections for fit-tech to expand to new heights, there’s no telling what the next big fitness technology will be that disrupts the industry. However, with an open API you can ensure that your club will have the flexibility needed

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to respond and accommodate these inevitable disruptive trends.

in terms of honing performance enhancing technology and providing bluetooth and digital compatibility options. By gradually replacing out-of-date machines with the latest equipment on the market, you will show your members your commitment to improving your services as well as your commitment to keep up with new trends.

Clubs that don’t have the necessary integrations of the consumer’s firstchoice risk losing out to other clubs that are more technologically advanced. This will allow your members to synchronise their preferred fit-tech devices and applications through convenient measures inside your gym. For example, new time users should be able to book classes or short-term memberships on the go, track their progress from wearables and equipment to share with the club and trainers, and interact with other fitness technology for socialisation and/or competition. The most practical and effective way to cataloge your members’ data and preferences is through your club’s Mobile App connected to your management system. With built-in integrations feeding data to the system from members’ personal devices, both the club and consumer will have ample data allowing each to understand trends and member progress more easily.

Technologically-Enhanced Equipment

Tracking the metrics of workouts in some capacity has changed from a luxury to an expectation for many consumers. Smart equipment helps them do that with just a swipe of their card, key fob, or mobile app code and can then be synced to their personal devices. In turn, this data can be shared with the facility to ensure that the member is motivated and making progress, which ultimately reflects satisfaction levels with your gym.

Automating Your Club

Convenience will continue to be the most important for customer acquisition and retention. Fitness clubs of any type will struggle to sell memberships if consumers feel limited by access, opening hours, or old equipment. Clubs and studios can combat this problem through automated services, like self check-in access cards, turnstiles, self-service kiosks, e-signatures and other technology that will help your gym operate on its own. For boutique clubs based on class schedules, online registration and client portals are crucial. Additionally, consider offering unlimited attendance at a fixed fee to provide clients with more flexibility to attend.

Working in tandem with an API, stocking your gym with tech-fuelled fitness equipment is another way to keep pace with 2020 fitness trends. Fitness equipment continues to improve


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Some high-end clubs and leisure facilities may need less automation, but it’s important to fit your business type with the right level of automation to make life simple enough for your members, but not without a human touch when it’s needed most.

Using Data to Evaluate Trends

By extension, the popularity of 2020 fit-tech devices and services will also push fitness clubs to cater to more digital opportunities in their clubs. For example, the utilisation of wearable technology will present opportunities for clubs to use analytic technology to examine this information to their advantage. Accordingly, data can be used to determine what your most popular class experiences are can help choose and schedule the most appropriate classes at the best possible times. By using sources like mobile applications, client portals, or equipment synchronisation, fitness clubs have access to this personal information, which can then be logged and maintained into a database of typical behaviours and preferences. This pool of personal data is ideal for using analytical technology to understand more about your members to improve your club for them. How clubs process and ultimately use this personal information has the potential for them to offer significantly improved experiences to their clients, by making specialised offers, discounts, or opportunities for their members. This data can also be used to fight churn rates and improve retention among clientele by identifying behavioural patterns.

Incorporating Feedback Loops Building off the potential of using analytics based on customer data, fitness facilities should also adopt feedback loops. In modern client-facing businesses, feedback loops are essential to any business owner to gauge customer satisfaction with its goods or services, which is essential for growth. Especially considering the subscriptionbased model and necessity of repeat clients, implementing effective measures to gain and use feedback is crucial. Feedback loops take form in two distinct


ways: harnessing data to gain client insight as described above and directed feedback measures, like surveys and rating systems. While data offers the benefit of unbiased insight that clubs can leverage to make informed business decisions, direct feedback options offer new more actionable results. For example, there are various types of gym satisfaction surveys that can be used in the feedback loop to gain qualitative data. Feedback loops clients will appreciate gyms taking the initiative to ask for feedback, and will stay loyal customers when they see their feedback, positive or negative, lead to physical changes at your gym.

Conversely, family-oriented and agespecific classes will continue to grow, like Mommy and Me Yoga Classes as well as new-wave youth and adolescent exercise classes. LesMills plans to expand their BornToMove digital and in-person fitness classes which are specifically designed for children aged 8-12 or 13-16. While 2019 saw the growth of ageinclusive classes in the boutique segment of the fitness club market, 2020 will see more budget-friendly family options, like LesMills.

Wellness Tourism and Excursions

Consumer Fitness Trends Fitness for Everyone

Just as fit-tech is making fitness more accessible to all types of consumers, styles of exercise and classes are becoming equally progressive. In the United States, government funded initiatives to help seniors get and stay active passed and showed marked success, which will continue to grow in 2020.

Community-Driven Fitness Programs

Consumers will continue to get more creative in pursuing their fitness and wellness goals, which will spill into the thriving of a $800 Million dollar industry. Travel trends indicate individuals are moving away from traditional recreational and vacations to pursue any degree of health and wellness tourism, including both physical or mental rejuvenation. Wellness tourism can mean anything from a lavish international yoga retreat to a local weekend hiking trip. As relaxation continues to become a central tenet of overall health and fitness, wellness tourism will grow in tandem throughout 2020.

The power of socialising fitness will continue to thrive in 2020. Working handin-hand with the popularity of the social media fitness sphere, fitness programs will increasingly use social factors to drive their members and keep them motivated and accountable to achieve their goals. Community-driven fitness programs extend the meaning of “community� far past a geographic location. Successful fitness programs like Tone It Up have set the standard for how social communities can enhance fitness programs. Tone It Up is a women-driven digital fitness platform that provides its members with meal plans, work out schedules, and countless resources, including a digital streaming exercise studio. However, the root of its success was in establishing a powerful online community with public forums, motivational content, and encouraging members to share every aspect of their fitness journey on social media. In 2020, whether its gym and studios or digital fitness tools, expect virtual or in-person communities to be included in their programs. 2020 holds great promise for the latest and greatest fitness trends to reach more consumers than ever before. With these trends and growing technologies in mind, fitness facilities must be prepared to grow with them, or be left behind.

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Best heart rate monitors for 2020 S

teps used to be the one single way fitness trackers assessed their daily health goals, but times have changed. It’s all about the heart rate now, and monitors need to be accurate to give you a good picture of your health goals.

Let’s have look • Best Overall: Polar H10 • Best Standalone Chest Tracker: Shanren Beat • Best Watch: Fitbit Versa • Best Arm Strap: Polar OH1 • Best For Water Athletes: Garmin HR Swim • Best Premium Choice: Apple Watch Series 5 • Best Budget Choice: cooSpo Tracker

Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor The Polar H10 uses a comf ortable and easy to place chest strap style to provide one of the most accurate heart rate readings available. It’s suitable for more extreme sports when a watch may not be appropriate and offers over 400 hours of battery life. It’s compatible with a variety of devices across the iOS and Android spectrum and is also GoPro compatible with overlaying your heart rate on an extreme video. It’s an updated version of Polar’s popular H7, a gold standard monitor in the running world. It has enough memory for one session, so you


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don’t have to wear a watch or keep your device handy. It uses Bluetooth only, is waterproof up to nearly 100 feet, and you can toss the chest strap right into the wash.

Shanren Beat For those of you who prefer to leave all your devices at home, the Shanren offers memory for up to 100 training sessions. You capture what you need and download the information later — clean and straightforward. It uses a highly accurate chest strap that begins recording as soon as you get it placed. Set the alarm for max HR and feel the vibration when you reach it to prevent overtraining. It records heart rate, calories, and cadence with a long-lasting battery — more than 200 hours on a single charge. It’s waterproof to 30 meters or so and has a machinewashable strap. Plus, it’s both Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible.

Fitbit Versa Fitbit Versa 2 is a smart watch-style heart rate monitor that does so much more. It allows you to set alarms, check the weather, control music, and make requests of your smart home compatible gear. It even analyses your sleep patterns. The watch face is easy to read and displays heart rate, steps, calories, distance, floors climbed, and active time. It provides up to six days

of battery life and can even connect with your phone to receive notifications when in range (Android only).

Polar OH1+ If you can’t stand the feeling of a chest monitor, but you don’t want to switch over to a watch, Polar OH1 offers one of the better choices in the armband category. It’s both upper and lower arm compatible and provides an impressive 12 hours of battery life. It stores up to 200 hours of training within the tracker itself, relieving you of the need to carry your device with you. Waterproof to 30 meters and a washable strap, it also offers compatibility with many third-party fitness apps through Bluetooth. It even comes with a dongle for connecting directly to your computer.

Garmin HRM Swim Heart rates are tricky in water, giving swimmers and triathletes trouble since forever. Garmin’s heart rate tracker is explicitly built for water sports, providing a sticky, nonslip wrist strap that won’t move around even as you’re gliding through waves. It stores up to 20 hours of heart rate data plus intervals and beams your heart rate to a compatible device when you break the surface. The battery lasts up to 18 months in a variety of water environments, including saltwater, and the battery is user-replaceable. Regular heart rate monitors have trouble staying


in place in a water environment, shifting during push-off or in high waves. They’re also susceptible to damage in different types of water environments, showing wear and tear much more quickly. The Garmin considers these unusual circumstances, giving you a tracker built specifically for you.

Apple Watch Series 5 Apple Watch just about does it all. It tracks heart rate, sleep, calories, distance, controls Siri, plays music, and acts as a watch or even a stand-alone Apple device. It’s customisable and has an alwayson watch face for tracking what’s important. You can check both your heart rate and rhythm, recording patterns in the iHealth app and providing a clearer picture of how it all fits together. It’s water-resistant to 50 meters and provides advanced workout tracking. If you aren’t part of the Apple Ecosystem, this isn’t the right option for you. Apple enthusiasts, however, will be glad to have the integrated features and always-on tracking screen. Since Apple is always working on its software, you’ll have the latest updates handled automatically if you choose that in your settings.

CooSpo Chest Tracker You’re a fitness fanatic, but you don’t have the budget for a fancy heart rate monitor. Good news! You don’t have to sacrifice accuracy for your wallet. The CooSpo supports both Bluetooth and ANT+ with a sleek, easy-to-position chest strap that you can throw in the wash. It features a user-removable battery with up to 12 months of life. Simple indicators, including a short beep when it’s working, a green light for disconnection, and a blue light for Bluetooth connection, give you enough to know you’ve gotten it sorted before you start. It’s compatible with most third-party apps, a few smart devices, and provides GPS for tracking your mileage. With no need to sacrifice your cash for your health, it provides a good, entry-level heart tracker with highly accurate readings.

How do I choose a heart rate monitor? Here’s what to keep in mind when you’re choosing the right heart rate monitor for your fitness needs. Strap width — If you’re choosing a chest or arm strap, you need the right size. Too loose, and it’ll come off during a heavy workout, losing valuable health data in the process. Too tight, and you can’t move freely. Measure your chest or arm to ensure that the band will fit comfortably. Metrics — What do you want to track? Maybe you only need your heart rate, and fancier, more expensive trackers are just a waste. On the other hand, you could want more features as your workouts evolve, leaving you to upgrade later. Make sure you consider what metrics interest you and go from there. Battery life — You don’t want to have to change the battery constantly or lose working information because your device died at an inopportune time. Go for the longest battery life you can find among wearables that have the features you need. Memory — If you carry your device with you all the time, memory may not be

as crucial because you can beam those stats directly and in real-time. If you prefer to leave your device at home, you’ll need a lot of potential memory. Look for things that store several hours of data, if not weeks, and at least five workouts in case you forget. Design — One of the most critical aspects of your tracker is that it’s comfortable to wear. Otherwise, you’ll never use it. Whether it’s a watch, a chest strap, or something else, choose something that doesn’t get in your way and is easy for you to position correctly.

What are the best heart rate monitors for runners? Chest monitors tend to be the most accurate, but unless you’re sweating buckets and jumping in lakes to cool off, a wrist monitor or an armband can work well too. You’ll want something that stays in place and that you can potentially set to alert you if your heart rate stays too high.

What are the best heart rate monitors for swimmers? Water is tricky. If you swim a lot, you know that it’s traditionally challenging to

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track heart rate because the monitor slips continuously, and water environments are hard on traditional devices. Choose a heart rate monitor specifically for swimmers. The strap should stay in place without fail (a wrist strap may be the best bet here). Casings should be able to withstand exposure to chlorine from pools, gunk from freshwater, and salt in saltwater environments. The tracker should ideally be able to store a lot of information until you’re ready to upload the results, or it should beam directly to your device during periods of rest. That way, you’ve always got the info you need without having to stop your workout just to upload stats.

What is the best heart rate monitor? Chest monitors typically provide the most accurate results because they rest directly on your heart itself. There’s less chance that the tracker will slip off and be unable to detect your pulse. That said, they can be uncomfortable and take a bit of time to learn to position both correctly and comfortably. Wrist trackers are the most convenient, and many of our wearable devices now do have heart rate monitors embedded in the device. However, if your device is too loose or you tend to move it around a lot, you


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could lose valuable data. They are getting better, however. Arm trackers are also useful, but these require careful positioning to be able to detect your pulse. There’s a lot of room for error here, but if you use them correctly, they’re typically more accurate than a wrist monitor.

Why should I monitor heart rate and not just steps? Steps are an excellent way to gauge if you’re remaining active throughout the day, but our knowledge of body fitness has changed since basic step trackers. Heart rate is a better indicator of how much you’ve pushed the body during a workout and can be more useful when you’re exercising for different benefits. It’s also a useful indicator of overall health.

Are electric or optical monitors more accurate? Electric monitors read the small electrical signals your body sends out, giving you a highly accurate reading of your heart rate. Optical sensors use light that is sent out and bounces back for a reading. One reason chest monitors tend to be more accurate is that they’re electric. Optical sensor technology is getting

better and is used in several of our picks, including the Fitbit and Apple, providing accurate results for most situations. If accuracy is your first priority over anything else, electric is the way to go. Electric chest straps are also a crucial part of understanding your heart rate recovery. Most of the time, it doesn’t matter down to the beat about accuracy, 58 versus 60, for example. One area where accuracy does matter is if your heart rate is wildly out of line with standard healthy cases or if you’re looking to understand your recovery better. Optical monitors have a slight lag that could affect the overall data about how quickly your heart recovers after intense activity. If you’re a fitness buff or in professional training, a chest monitor will provide far more accurate recovery data.

What is the best heart rate monitor for heart patients? If you need to be connected to your heart rate monitor at all times, a watch is going to be the way to go. Newer fitness watches are accurate enough to help your health care professional in tracking your vital signs, but they’re easier to position and use than a chest or arm monitor. Plus, they’re comfortable and perform other functions.





Inside The Industry’s Original White-Label Recipe Resource Service HOW KAREN NADKARNI-RUFFLE'S FITPRO COOKBOOKS COMPANY IS FLEXING ITS MUSCLES TO MEET THE NEEDS OF FITNESS PROFESSIONALS IN 2020 on a diet,” says FPCB owner Karen Nadkarni Ruffle. “That was followed by decades of restricting, clean eating, you name it, I’ve tried it. I understand what consumers really need. But I’ve also been in the fitpro industry for a long time, so I know what PTs are up against. Clients demand a lot – and there is a lot of info to give them. “After talking to a lot of PTs and coaches, I worked out what was wrong. There was no quick and easy way for PTs to add quality nutrition resources to their coaching services. They either had to do it all themselves (which takes time, research, and resources), recommending lots of different platforms, or just not to do it at all.

How Karen Nadkarni-Ruffle’s FitPro Cookbooks company is flexing its muscles to meet the needs of fitness professionals in 2020

The Done-For-You Nutrition Resources Helping Fitpros Add Value

Every PT and online coach faces client questions about nutrition. What should I eat? How many calories to lose weight? What’s the best food for fat loss? Can you write me a meal plan? How can I stop overeating at night?

FitPro Cookbooks is an online platform that helps PTs build their brand by offering professional, beautiful recipes, food images, cooking videos and social media content. Everything is white labelled, ready for the PT to add their own branding, logo, and personal touches. It’s quick, easy, and amazing value for something that essentially gives Personal Trainers about 320 hours of work on a monthly basis!

But every PT and coach is up against the same challenge: time. Running a fitness coaching business is hard work. It’s stressful – even impossible - to give clients all the nutrition resources, ideas, and support they need. That’s why FitPro Cookbooks - the “done for you” nutrition resource for fitness coaches – is such a genius idea. Founder Karen Nadkarni Ruffle explains why her company is such a breath of fresh air for Personal Trainers. 54

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Why A Former Yo-Yo Dieter Developed A Fitpro Recipe Service “I was 6 years old when I was first put

“In 2009, I developed the first version of FPCB and it was an immediate hit with PTs and online coaches. And it actually helped me lose weight and become a size 8 for the first time in my adult life! FPCB is an amazing resource which makes nutritional education and adherence a breeze.”

What Exactly Does FitPro Cookbooks Do? The biggest selling point of FPCB is its fresh set of 40+ recipes (and professional images) every month, which PTs can use with their own branding. But as Karen explains, you get a lot more than that. “We asked PTs what they would give clients, in an ideal world,” she says. “They told us they would love to be able to offer loads of recipes, menus, images, cooking videos, and social media content around healthy nutrition and cooking. So that’s what we do. Each month, we develop recipes, images, memes, mini menus, seasonal food advice, eating out guides and more.


All our recipes are already barcoded and loaded into MyFitnessPal so the PTs clients can learn how to eat well whatever their calorie intake. “We give PTs an enormous bundle of resources to build their brand and boost the nutrition side of their business.” The FPCB Facebook group gives PTs marketing support and social media advice, with enough content for up to 120 social media posts a month.

How PTs are Using Fitpro Cookbooks As A Marketing Tool This done-for-you nutrition resource gives fitness professionals the freedom to expand their business, add on a new service, or help existing clients master their nutrition in a simple, engaging way. “If you’re not sure how it would best fit with your fitness business, I’m happy to give you my thoughts as a marketing expert,” says Karen. “And don’t forget we give you tons of content to help you market your nutrition services. The team is here, and we want you to succeed!”

Fitpro Cookbooks At A Glance • market-leading recipe and nutrition resource for PTs and online coaches • 40+ recipes and recipe images every month • recipes coded and uploaded into MyFitnessPal • extra video content each month • marketing tools and advice from

industry experts • social media planner and 100+ social media posts • massive range of meals and recipes to suit any client • allow clients to see calories/macros, or hide this information • built by a team including PTs, chefs,

MSc nutrition scientists) To try Fitpro Cookbooks for yourself, go to www.fitprocookbooks.com and sign up for your two week free trial.

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GROUP TRAINING CPD IS SMART INVESTMENT FOR GYMS How gym owners and personal trainers can increase their earning potential through CPD to d e l i v e r g r o u p e x e r c i s e e x p e r i e n c e s The UK fitness industry is the healthiest it’s ever been, according to the 2019 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report. With more gyms, more members and the largest market value to date, the industry is reaching more of the population than ever. In fact, one in every seven people in the UK is now a member of a gym. The question now is, how do we keep these people engaged? Sweating Your Assets, the first white paper released by EMD UK, the national governing body of group exercise, highlights some valuable business insight on the activity, including: • Members that attend group exercise classes are 26% less likely to cancel their gym membership • Group exercise is more profitable per square metre than cardio or weights areas • Upskilling instructors has a direct impact on class occupancy and member retention With just that snapshot, it’s clear that group exercise is a smart business choice for any gym owner or personal trainer. Nearly five million people take part in group exercise every week and 56

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as this trend continues to grow, there is one thing you can do to ensure you’re at the forefront; upskill.

What’s the upskill opportunity? Equipped with Level 3 Diplomas, personal trainers already have a wealth of health and fitness knowledge. What their qualification has not versed them in is how to run exercise sessions for groups. EMD UK have developed a 16-hour Group Training CPD option, designed to equip PTs with the skills and knowledge needed to run group exercise sessions; a very different environment to 1-2-1 training. Coaching a group environment involves communicating information to different people, reading the group dynamic and being able to react and respond to differing group needs, all key to creating a safe and effective group exercise class. The coaching model has been tried and tested by EMD UK, ensuring course attendees leave with the correct skills, knowledge and confidence to lead their own classes. The training is worth 4 CIMSPA points and 2 REPs points. For a fraction of both the time and cost needed for a full qualification, this smart option makes it easier to invest in your workforce and increase your business earning potential at the same time.

Investing in your workforce is an incredibly valuable business opportunity. Only 42% of personal trainer say they feel secure in their job, making the chances of them being tempted away by other work quite high.

Why bother with group exercise? If you’ve got a gym full of happy members, going about the cardio machines and free-weights areas, it can be easy to think that nothing needs to change. But fitness is an ever-changing landscape; HIIT and circuits are becoming a popular choice for bodybuilders and strongmen alike, and the rise in CrossFit is making more people curious about the benefits of multi-fitness activities. Growing your offering doesn’t harm you or your members. As Dr Melvyn Hillsdon says “The more reasons people have for visiting clubs, the more likely they are to be a club promoter, especially if one of their main reasons for visiting involves group exercise.” Instructors have the power to make or break a member’s activity experience, and a single ‘superstar’ group exercise instructor or personal trainer can pull in multiple loyal followers to your gym every week – substantially impacting on membership revenue and retention. Conversely, poor instructors can have the opposite effect – potentially damaging businesses and individuals.

With a freshly upskilled batch of instructors, you can now look to build your brand personality by creating your own group exercise experiences. In recent years, operators and boutique gyms alike have opted to create their own branded group exercise programmes rather than use existing brands. Virgin Active launched their Grid classes in 2015 and now have five class variants, including Grid Strong and Grid Games, an AMRAP style class. Grid classes are only 30 minutes long, focusing on exercises that are easily performed on the gym floor with readily available functional fitness equipment. Food for thought when considering your class branding.

A win-win for you and your workforce With increasing workforce loyalty, assisting in retention, attracting new members and building your brand being just some of key benefits, can you afford not to upskill your workforce? The next EMD UK Group Training CPD is running in April 2020. Discuss the available opportunities, call EMD UK on 01403 266000 and quote WOMGT in your call. You can also email on training@emduk.org or visit emduk.org/group-training-cpd

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EMD UK strengthens the team at Head Office EMD UK is pleased to announce two new appointments to join the team at its Horsham Head Office.

Shelley Meyern will join the Senior Management Team as Head of Operations with effect from 16 March. She was previously Head of Business Development at EMD UK and will hand those duties back to Jade Cation, who is returning from maternity leave. In her new role, Shelley’s main responsibilities will be: • To lead all operational matters within EMD UK • To lead on relationships with selected external stakeholders and partners • To work with internal stakeholders and colleagues to ensure that Sport England KPIs are achieved. 58

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On her appointment, Shelley said “I am delighted to be appointed Head of Operations. Having worked at EMD UK for the last 9 months I believe this is the right time for me to take on this new challenge where I can impact on engaging more individuals in group exercise but also, more broadly support EMD UK to drive forward key operational activities.”

Sue Wilkie has been appointed Head of Instructor Development with effect from 4 February. Sue has previously held roles in a number of well-known fitness/leisure companies. She contracted with LA Fitness to create their Primal Series and with Everyone Active for their EA Series. She also has 25 years’ experience in teaching group exercise and, along with her sales experience, brings a passion and energy to her new role.

Sue said “It’s great to be back in fitness and I’m excited to be joining EMD UK and to be part of an organisation that is leading the way in group exercise to help drive participation across the UK in all our communities.” CEO Marcus Kingwell said “I am delighted to welcome both Shelley and Sue to the team at EMD UK. As the national governing body for group exercise, we are committed to the education and development of the industry workforce, as well as broadening and strengthening our relationships with all stakeholders. Shelley and Sue bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from the physical activity sector and we as a team are excited to work with them towards our vision of a healthier nation through exercise.”


Is Customer Service Dead? By Guy Griffiths, Author of Stick Around (strategies to keep your gym members motivated) When people ask what I do, I usually say that I help gyms to get their members to stick around. “Ah, that’s a big problem” they say, “what’s the secret?” Customer Service is my quick answer, at which point they often tell me a horror story of bad customer service, sometimes at a gym, other times completely unrelated to fitness. Studies show that a satisfied customer will tell 2-3 people about their experience. A dissatisfied member will share their story with 8-10 people, and some will push that number to twenty. With the advent of low-cost gyms, customer service has all but died across the fitness industry. We assume, or believe, that a lot of members are experienced (hint: they’re not - see “Are You Experienced”, GOM Feb

’20). Boutique clubs have brought in new experiences, and are starting to revitalise customer service, but it should be one of your key differentiators, as it is an essential weapon in the retention battle. Great customer service is not “is everything OK with your meal?”, or “do you want fries with that?” It’s listening and noticing something about your members and making them feel special. You need to under-promise and overdeliver, as most of the fitness industry does the opposite. Use this to your advantage, many members have low expectations, so it’s sometimes not too difficult to WOW them! Here’s three ways to think about delivering great customer service and using it as a unique retention tool in your club.

First impressions If you have discovered anything about a new member during the join process, show them you’ve remembered it (or read it in their notes). It could be from an online joining form, a messenger chat, or sales discovery appointment. Bring this information back up during the welcome session, rather than asking for it again. A common new member complaint is having to share goals or joining reasons 2 or 3 times in the new member process. Think about booking a doctor’s appointment, sharing your medical condition with the receptionist, and then the doctor asks, “so what seems to be the problem?”. Isn’t it better when they know why you’re there already? And it saves time, energy, and embarrassment. Don’t be frustrating, be refreshing! Another great first impression is to find an appropriate fitness class for a new member, book them onto the class, and attend the class with them to help them feel comfortable. Especially if it’s not one of your favourite classes! If you go to a new member’s first class with them, they’re more likely to attend. If a new member attends a class early in their membership, they’re more likely to stick around longer.

Follow-up A follow-up after a class, or other appointment is another example of good customer service. Over-deliver by making a follow-up call or sending a message to personalise the experience, and show you care. MARCH 2020 59


Calling a member 7-days after they join really should be a no-brainer. Sending a birthday card (not email), or a “Wish you were here” absentee postcard can make a big difference. These are simple WOW moments that will be shared with their family and friends. The National Blood Service do this so well. You get a couple of reminders before your appointment, drinks and biscuits immediately afterwards (expected service), then an SMS saying thank you, plus a bonus SMS telling you where your blood has gone. It’s unnecessary, but a crucial part of getting more people to donate.

In-club Look out for members who might need help. Let them know that you’re there for them if they need you. Many of them won’t be ready to ask for assistance yet, but when they are, you’ll be there for them. If you gave a great first impression and followed up the appointment, you should remember the member’s name. If not, check your front of house system, ask other staff, or failing that, bite the bullet and ask the member to remind you. Just because someone’s wearing headphones, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to talk. Acknowledge them with a nod or a wave, and eventually they’ll nod or wave back. Now you’ve started the process, you can build up to delivering great customer service to that member. If you continue to blank each other, it’s going to be much more difficult, or even impossible!


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Beat your competition Deliver great customer experiences around your club and you will stand head and shoulders above your competition. Make sure first impressions count, follow-up with care and exceed expectations, and let people know you’re there for them… why else are you there? Imagine that your job today is to deliver such an amazing customer experience that your members will talk about it to all their friends, and when someone mentions customer service, they’ll rush to tell everyone about the experience at your gym, rather than sharing a negative story.

Guy Griffiths is a coach to independent gym owners, and a member retention specialist. His mission is to help more people to be fitter and healthier by turning clubs into highly successful businesses with super loyal members. Guy co-founded The Collective - a platform for fitness professionals to share, collaborate and grow. Find out more at facebook.com/groups/ thefitlinkscollective. Book a coaching call with him at ggfit.com/gom


Welcome back the forgotten fitness market Words: Ben Hackney-Williams A small few facilities are leading the charge of accessibility for all, but in a world of hyperpersonalisation, how are so many people living with disability still missing out with their fitness needs? We work in an industry where operators are niching down into fitness experiences for people that want to embrace their tribal natures. And yet the majority of gyms, boutiques and studios are missing out on the biggest social group that continues to go unheard – those living with disability. Introducing binc.global, a company leading a movement with businesses to ensure that nobody is left out. The hard-hitting truth is: the fitness industry, for the most part, is ignoring a sector made up of one billion people around the world. Binc educates us all with a mantra-like statement of: When business includes, society includes... How can we make fitness accessible for everyone instead of following the trends of only appealing to the most specific of interests?

What's the state of the industry regarding disability in fitness? As part of a study published in the journal Disability and Rehabilitation, 21 people with physical disabilities were followed over 18-months to better understand their experiences in the gym. “Participants were perceived to experience a variety of health MARCH 2020



benefits,” the research concluded. “However, they also experienced many barriers such as not aligning to the cultural norms of the gym, limited interpretations of health, oppressive messages from the built environment, and negative relational interactions. “While there is potential for the gym to be used as a place to promote health, more must be done to foster an inclusive atmosphere in this space.” So many variables fuel accessibility issues in fitness for anyone – identity and assumptions of a fitness environment, cultural factors, physical access or intimidation – but there is more that we can do to get people through the doors that previously wouldn't have, or couldn't have done so.

Why should gyms be more inclusive of disability? For years, Dan Cumberworth has been training people that live with disabilities. “The risk vs reward with working with these people is priceless,” he explains. “Seeing people overcome challenge and adversity whether that’s physically and or mentally is the reason why I get up every morning and love my work.” Coming from a sporting and competitive martial arts background, Dan specialised in teaching others the foundations of movement – both from a strength and conditioning and functional personal training standpoint – when he dialled down competing. Today with business partner and fellow trainer Darren Fox, he's cofounded Elevate Fitness, a facility focused on improving both physical and mental health of those that walk through its doors. “I’ve worked with all manor of disabilities, from Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, ADHD to minor and major rehabilitation from injuries and accidents,” explains Dan. “I’ve kind of become the problem guy... ‘Oh, got x,y or z? Go see Dan.’”

many forms, but all it takes is a little thought to give access, enjoyment and benefits for both body and mind. Spend can be an issue in a world dominated by bottom line scrutiny, but facilities simply being willing to help goes a long way. “I think all this ‘where’s there a blame there’s a claim’ culture and health and safety gone mad can put off people and fitness centres off,” says Dan. “I think funding can be a big part of it, as employing good people doesn’t come cheap. “Training vulnerable adults and children can be a little scary to many, too, as trainers feel they might do something wrong. In reality there are so many opportunities and ways to work with these people, you just need to work with what’s in front of you. Keep it simple and think outside of the box a little more.”

What else can gym owners do to better accommodate those living with disabilities? We can always do more to make fitness spaces welcoming to more people, but what are the key points that are often overlooked when it comes to reducing intimidation and stereotyping for disabled potential members and clients?

What is the industry currently doing wrong that could be improved?

Dan continues: “First of all, it’s about making sure your facility has the accessibility for people with disabilities – they're the basics. Outside of that, empower your staff members to work with these people and shout about it from the top of the roof. You don’t need any fancy or specialist equipment to make positive changes. Anything you can do, even if it’s more talking than working, can make a world of difference.

Barriers to a fitness experience for those living with disabilities come in

“Remember: we’re all human, and we all need help in some way. Connecting


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with people and be willing to help, no matter how small the benefit may seem to you.”

Personalisation, not marginalisation. How can we change? Everyone says that fitness is all about experience. However, in a lot of cases this is only true if the experience suits what is perceived to be the majority of a market; not the full extend of how many people could get involved with a little more thought. Speaking at the ukactive National Summit, Caroline Casey, founder of Binc, explained what it’s going to take for us to progress as an industry and offer more accessibility at every level. My first thought was that it’s about changing the message. While Caroline’s progressive advice is linked closely to communication, it’s the other direction that’s important… “Leadership is about releasing the people around us,” says Caroline. “We need to be confident for each other. Let us all hear each other. Not listen, but hear. Are we hearing what our communities want? Are we hearing what the people we’re trying to engage with want?” Ben Hackney-Williams is head of content at Escape Fitness and has been a journalist for over a decade. He has worked in the fitness industry as a consumerfacing content creator for international bodybuilding and MMA publications, driven engagement in supply-side gym design and equipment manufacturing, and helped produce over 100 episodes of the Escape Your Limits podcast.


CHANGE YOUR MIND ABOUT WHAT YOU EAT – 200 TIMES PER DAY Janet Thomson MSC Its estimated that everyday we make around 200 decisions about food, but that most of these are made unconsciously. A key difference between slimmer types with a good relationship with food versus an over eater with a dysfunctional relationship with food, is that slim people think about food much less between meals. Most people in this group typically eat more slowly do so deliberately and consciously, taking time to savour the tastes and textures. By comparison dysfunctional eaters think about food most of the time when they are not eating, yet when they eat, do so almost without thought, eating so quickly they barely take time to enjoy the different flavours. We all have a relationship with food, and like all relationships it can be functional or dysfunctional. The problem is so many people eat unconsciously, including how they choose their foods, that they never actually consider it a relationship. Yet eating foods that can compromise health and wellbeing, physically and or emotionally, is in reality, a form of self-harming. Everything you do is preceded by a thought. If you thought about doing something obviously harmful to yourself such as jumping off a building, or putting your hand into a fire, then your brain would immediately tell you

that it is harmful and would stops the thought before it becomes an action. When you overeat, or make bad food choices just because it tastes good, either by eating too much or by eating the wrong things, then your logical mind deletes and distorts key pieces of information to not only allow you to make the “bad” choice, but to associate pleasure with doing it. Imagine this scenario; you are at work and haven’t taken any lunch, so you nip out the local shops to get something (full of good intentions) and see your favourite processed or high sugar food, perhaps greasy chips or cakes. How you process this and the associations you have made historically with that particular food, will determine the next thing you do. Clearly if you saw chicken soup and you hated chicken soup, there would be no neurological signal to buy it, despite the fact it might be a great choice, so you immediately discount it as an option. This is because we are all naturally programmed to avoid pain and move towards pleasure, it’s a totally natural response. In contrast you see or smell the greasy chips and it reminds you of a great night out and memories of happy times come flooding in and for a moment you don’t even consider the fact that you are overweight, or specifically that you hate being overweight and that chips are one of the causes. This vital piece of information is deleted and you get a buying signal that’s difficult to ignore and a food craving that although is quite possible fake hunger, you buy

and eat the chips or the cake, not acknowledging that you have just added to the misery and pain of being overweight. You have taken short term pleasure over long term pain. The good news is that this way of thinking and behaving is easy to change, the problem is it’s also easy not to change. Everything comes down to unconscious honesty, recovering the deleted information in a way that has emotional meaning. If you love chocolate eclairs, and are violently sick after eating one, then there’s a good chance some serious re-wiring will occur and you will no longer want one, in fact you might actually wretch at the thought. In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) one of the oldest and often most effective (and most unpleasant) techniques is called “Compulsion Blow Out”.

Compulsion Blow Out This simple technique that works because your brain does not know the difference between a real experience and a (vividly) imaged one; this is why so many people can be terrified and have a genuine fight or flight response watching a scary movie, even though they know consciously it’s not real. For best effect be as creative as possible with your imaginings as you do it and do it in a fully associated state, actually be there in your mind and get your taste buds and sense of smell taste and sight finely tuned for action. It’s important to complete each stage MARCH 2020



fully before you move on, bearing in mind the brain learns fast, read the process through a few times so that you understand what to do – and then do it very deliberately and quickly. Step 1 Visualise whatever food you want to lose your desire for: Be very specific, you cannot do it by imagining a group of foods, e.g. all biscuits, it has to be an individual item such as chocolate digestives. Hold that image and be aware of all the sensations or feelings you associate with it. Imagine you are putting it into your mouth, feel the texture of the food as it begins to melt in your mouth, feel it coat your tongue and your teeth. You may run your tongue over your teeth to really feel, it taste it and smell it. Fo r best results have it in front of you. Step 2. Clear your mind and look away: now think about a food you cannot stand, something that TOTALLY repulses you. If there’s something that has made you physically sick in the past then go with that, the more repulsive it makes you feel the better. Imagine this food is in your mouth now, double how disgusting it is, imagine it contains a few maggots or pubic hairs to make it even more repulsive. Think raw kangaroo testicles as on “Get Me Out OF Here” Feel the texture as it sticks to your mouth holding that horrid taste and sensation. Give it a rancid or equally unpleasant smell. Squeeze the finger and thumb on your left hand together to “anchor” that revulsion to a physical action. Break the thought pattern for a few seconds, imagine a blank white screen, then resume the repulsion exercise. When it 64

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gets absolutely intolerable and you feel sick for real when you think about the food, squeeze the finger and thumb on the left hand. Do this at least 5 times until every time you squeeze that finger and thumb you remember to remember how gross the taste of this food is. Step 3. Now think about the food you want to give up and imagine it combined with the “bad” food you have just anchored, i.e. raw kangaroo testicle tasting chocolate biscuits. Really mix up the tastes and textures until you can no longer think about the original food without combining it with an overpowering taste of the food you hate – make it as if they are both in your mouth together now. When they are inextricably mixed, imagine eating both foods bound together and although you can taste the original “nice” food, notice in your mind it is overwhelmed by the disgusting and repulsive sensations of taste and smell of the repulsive food. As you do this, squeeze the finger and thumb on the left hand. If you are “playing full out” you may be actually retching or heaving when you imagine eating the foods that are now and forever combined together. Fix this revolting taste and memory of this food and label it “disgusting” in your mind. As you do this think of all the other foods that make you feel sick when you see taste or smell them. Break your thought and repeat at least 5 times, each time imagining the taste gets worse. Step 4. To finish off and finalise, sit still and visualise your now repulsive food way ahead in front of you but

massive in size, as big as a wall, and notice there is a piece of elastic stretching between you and it, pulled really tightly. In a moment you are going to count to three, knowing that when you do the elastic will snap and the food will zoom towards you like a missile, just as it’s about to smash into your face, you will notice the foul smell and image, it will make a horrid sound that only you will recognise as being a sound you hate, perhaps a screech or the sound of a nail on a blackboard - make it the worst sound you have ever heard and combine it with the stench of the food, allow all the horrid sensations to flood into your mind and through your body, then very quickly imagine this wall of revolting food passing right through your body, mixing the horrid taste smell and sound together, ad force it behind you. Now this whole process takes only a couple of seconds but your senses are at their peak so make it intense, actually feel it go through you. When you can see the food, sense the smells and the foul taste of it mixed with vomit that’s about to come flying towards you, when you can do this, complete this final stage… Get ready ……….. one….two….three…….. slam! push through and the food is behind you and gone. Maybe leaving a pool of vomit behind you just to make sure. I admit this isn’t the most pleasant of techniques! But it is very effective. That doesn’t mean it’s the only way to change your mind, anything that changes your emotional response to something changes how you store that information in your brain and is how habits are installed and how they are changed as explained in previous articles. Guided meditation, conversational hypnosis, anchoring, TFT (tapping) and guided meditation are other examples of how to take control of your mind maps and change any that are not serving you. Ultimately when you exercise its because you want to improve your physical body, yet what’s the point of having a healthy good looking body if you have no control over the operating system. If you would like more information about how to use your mind to change your body check out the programmes on www.theplacebodiet.co.uk


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IS ONE BETTER THAN THE OTHER? Unless you are completely and totally new to the world of fitness, you have probably heard of both whey protein and creatine. If not, this article should serve as a good introduction to the basics. These are probably the two most popular fitness supplements in the world, so you should become familiar with them if you intend to get serious about your efforts. But how do these substances differ? Well, they are almost opposites because of the fact that they work in two completely different ways. Simply put, whey protein is a nutritional supplement that is intended to provide the body with all the protein it needs in a concentrated form. Creatine is a performance-enhancer that works by increasing the body’s store of readily available energy. This allows for longer and more intense workouts, which is why many bodybuilders swear by the effectiveness of creatine.

How Does Whey Protein Work? Whey protein is a by-product of the cheesemaking process. After the milk has been allowed to curdle, and after all the solids have been strained out, whey is the liquid that remains. It is interesting to note that human breast milk contains a large amount of whey protein. One of the distinct advantages of 66

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whey protein is that it contains all the essential amino acids that are necessary for proper growth and maintenance. Amino acids are also highly essential for proper muscle growth. Amino acid derivatives make up a large percentage of muscle and organ tissues. Your body needs 20 different amino acids to maintain optimal health. Thankfully, your body can produce most of these amino acids. There are nine amino acids that your body cannot produce, so these must be obtained from food. Whey protein contains all nine of these essential amino acids while containing very little fat, in spite of being a dairy product. Because of its high protein content, whey induces an anabolic reaction in

the muscles. An anabolic reaction is a chemical reaction that takes place inside of your muscles. Anabolic reactions are those in which the body builds itself up and creates new tissue. The opposite would be a catabolic reaction, which involves a breaking down of bio-material. Research has repeatedly shown that protein supplementation creates an increase in body weight without producing any significant fat. However, the study also found that overeaters didn’t gain as much weight when their protein intake was removed. This suggests that protein can actually cause you to gain more fat if combined with overeating.


How Does Creatine Work? Creatine works differently than a simple protein supplement. It does not contain protein, but it does help the body to process proteins and other forms of energy more efficiently. Creatine is a natural substance that the body produces in small quantities. For a long time, there wasn’t a lot of good research about creatine and its effects on the human body. However, the widespread use of creatine as a fitness supplement has prompted more extensive studies that have shed new light on the matter. To understand how creatine works, you have to understand two substances called ATP and ADP. These are basically the energy currency of the body. All the energy that your body takes in will be converted to one of these two substances. Think of it like an international currency exchange: Your body takes in all kinds of energy from various sources, but all of this energy needs to be converted into a format that the body can use. ATP and ADP can change into one another as needed since both fulfil a similar function. Creatine works by increasing your body’s store of ATP. When this substance is absorbed, it becomes creatine phosphate. This creatine phosphate is used to aid the body’s production of ATP. This delivers more energy to the muscles and thus, more fuel for growth. Your muscles naturally

contain creatine anyway, so you aren’t adding anything that isn’t supposed to be there.

levels. This study was conducted over the course of 21 months, so it may not measure all possible long-term factors.

Curiously, research has shown that creatine does not really aid very much in the area of workout endurance. Since more energy is being delivered to the muscles in a faster way, one would expect the opposite. However, this can be explained by the fact that your body uses its excess ATP to produce muscle and build the body. Since all the energy is going toward these anabolic reactions, it won’t make a huge difference in your physical endurance.

Similar studies have often found that creatine has no negative side effects that science can identify. That being said, there is one side effect: a slight increase in body weight. However, this weight gain will probably be due to muscle gain rather than excess fat.

So, creatine is intended to help you get the most out of every workout. It isn’t meant to boost your endurance, and it provides no nutritional value. It isn’t a steroid or anything even remotely like one, but it does produce an anabolic reaction that aids in the building of muscle.

Are There Safety Risks For Either Of These Supplements? Both of these substances are considered to be safe. However, it wouldn’t be smart just to assume that the experts are telling you the truth. Sometimes “experts” are bought and paid for, and sometimes they are just plain wrong. Thus, you should do your research and determine if these supplements are safe for you. The following study concluded that creatine did not carry any significant health risks when consumed at normal

Conclusion: Which Is Better? Now we come to the judgment. Which one of these supplements is better? It’s hard to say. Both of these substances seem to be very safe, and both of them have been proven to have certain benefits. The only fair conclusion, in this case, is to say that both of these supplements are equally effective. We cannot really judge creatine by the standards of whey protein (or vice versa) because these supplements are intended for two different purposes. For best results, we would recommend using both whey protein and creatine. Because these products are made for two different purposes, there is no conflict when using them. Whey protein is a great way to give your muscles the fuel they need for continued expansion, and creatine is a great way of providing them with all the ATP they need. By using these two products together, you get a potent 1-2 punch that helps your muscles in multiple ways. MARCH 2020



How fitness businesses can use technology to cater to the ageing population Simon Aurik from Virtuagym explains how we can use technology to cater to the ageing population

Simon Aurik Although I work for a software company, like most people I’m guilty of making the quick and easy assumption that technology is mainly an interest point for young people. With social media usage reaching a record high amongst teenagers and even toddlers using tablets (as many as one in four according to research published by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety), it’s easy to overlook the exciting prospects that tech could offer for older adult and elderly consumers working out in gyms across the country. While it’s true that young people are more likely to download fitness apps and flaunt the latest wearables than their older counterparts, people 68

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are living longer, fuller lives and older people are embracing fitness at an increasing rate (and increasing heart rate). In fact, an Age UK report showed that people aged 55 and over in England are leading the way in improving their activity levels, with increases higher than any other adult age group year on year since 2016. The same is happening across the pond too. In the United States, more than 8.2 million Americans over the age of 55 now use wearable devices. This number makes the demographic the fastest growing users of electronic wearables in the whole country. Of course, limited mobility and decreasing muscle strength can make working out a daunting prospect for some older people. However, it is essential for preventing bone loss, improving posture, balance and coordination, lifting mood, boosting memory and easing the symptoms of chronic conditions. Results that could have a particularly beneficial impact for the older generation. Studies show that exercise is great for people of all ages and any gym owner will tell you

that some people in their 70s, 80s and 90s are out running marathons and becoming body-builders. Unfortunately though, these elderly-ultra-athletes are the exception as opposed to the rule. But with more and more people taking an interest in dipping into fitness later on in life, a surprising way to encourage this involvement in the fitness space could be to equip older people with the electronic tools that can record, track and assist them with their health goals, small or large. And the knock-on effect? Capitalising on this age group will bring in new revenue streams for you and your business, particularly as this group continues to grow. Targeting older people though tech is a win-win solution with a conscious impact that both reduces strains on health services and allows you to innovate your business. It’s an area that until recently has been largely overlooked by fitness professionals but is set to pave the way for the future of fitness. Mainstream B2C fitness publications provide a wealth of training plans for older people and brands such as German gym enterprise Mrs. Sporty works to specifically encourage those aged over 50 through their doors. They incorporate technology by using the


Virtuagym app to coach and engage their members. But that’s not the only way to implement tech. In fact, when it comes to incorporating technology into your training plans with older clients and members, you have a few key options to choose from. They are; wearables, apps, online resources such as eBooks, PDF workout sheets and videos as well as online communities. From a business perspective, tech is most useful when used to engage and retain members and clients. The way you utilize it (and the types of technology needed) will vary. While some members may be a little more technophobic and will draw the line at referring to a digital PDF of workouts, others may give the grandkids a run for their money and confidently navigate apps and seamlessly slip into the use of a fitness tracker. When it comes to tech-use, this is an age group

not to be underestimated. Consider variety when it comes to the purpose of your technology use too. Some members may have a competitive streak and work best when pit against other gym-goers and others may be more inspired to exercise as part of a community. Figure out what makes your members tick and consider their unique needs and motivations. Heart rate trackers and step counters can be particularly useful for older clients that want to closely monitor their progress and pay particular attention to low intensity steady steady state exercising. Consider creating simple stretching and cool down videos for your older clients to follow at home and if possible provide them with a space to communicate with one another about their progress. This could be done via a social media site (according to the latest stats from Pew Research 68%

of 50-64 year olds and 46% of those over the age of 65 are on Facebook) by creating groups and chat spaces for your members and clients to participate in online. Alternatively you could create a space for this inside your own personally branded gym-app. Outside of technology, other things to consider when marketing your gym towards an older age group include innovative additions such as an onsite physio that is experienced in assisting elderly fitness-fanatics. Equip your gym with aerobic machines and help new members understand how to use them. Provide them with easy-to-follow training plans and include gentler classes such as Pilates and Yoga. Speak with your members about exactly what it is they want. Dare to innovate, especially when it comes to providing for older members - after all, they have the power to transform your business.

CCO and CMO of Virtuagym, Simon Aurik, specialises in technology driven product-innovation. Virtuagym provides a coaching, engagement and management solution for gyms, studios and personal trainers.

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

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

SHARING THE LOAD KEEPING YOUR GYM EQUIPMENT UP TO DATE WILL ASSIST IN ATTRACTING AND RETAINING MEMBERS To sustain a fitness business in this modern, fast paced, industry you need the very latest equipment and an environment to keep your members engaged. CF Capital Plc specialise in all aspects of commercial finance. Whether your requirement is financial assistance with leasing of fitness equipment or general building refurbishments, we have a wide range of options to suit any budget. We can finance a diverse range of equipment or requirements essential to any gym, our list includes: FREE WEIGHTS, ROWING MACHINES, EXERCISE BIKES, RUNNING MACHINES, RESISTANCE MACHINES, SPINNING BIKES, FLOORING, AIR CONDITIONING, EPOS SYSTEM, MEMBERSHIP SOFTWARE SYSTEMS & MUCH MORE.

Please call Katie Reid or Olivia Morrison on 01279 759 442 quoting ‘finance2fit’ or email our team: finance2fit@cfcapital.co.uk 70

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ARE YOU COVERED??? Whether you have been in the fitness industry for a few weeks or many years, insurance is an important subject. It’s one of those things that you hope you’ll never need but will be glad if something goes wrong. With many different policies available offering different types of cover, it’s important to know something about this essential topic.

Situations where you need insurance As a general rule, employed fitness professionals are covered by their employer’s insurance and so should not need to take out additional cover. Provided you work within the parameters of your qualification, only as an employee, and adhere to your employer’s operating procedures and code of conduct, you should theoretically be safely covered. If you are self-employed and pay rent for access to gym/health club facilities

or train people in their home, place of work and/or places such as parks, you need to have insurance. Insurance means that you are protected from legal action if there is an accident.

Professional indemnity insurance Also known as professional liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance covers you for alleged professional negligence.

Types of insurance

There are policies designed specifically for fitness professionals that combine both types of insurance and may also cover product liability, libel and slander, personal accident and sexual abuse liability.

Insurance is a sort of legal safety net designed to minimise your personal financial liability if you should be the subject of legal action. For example, if a client suffers an injury they may make a claim against you for compensation and/or medical costs. Having insurance means that the financial liability of meeting these costs should be met by your insurance, minus any excess attached to the policy. There are two main types of insurance that are pertinent to fitness professionals: Public liability insurance Public liability insurance covers you should someone be injured as a result of your business or if a third-party property is damaged by you or your client.

The need for insurance Not so many years ago, the current “blame culture” didn’t exist; accidents happened and in most cases, the parties concerned were able to come to an amicable agreement without resorting to the power of the law. However, many solicitors and law firms now specialise in handling personal injury claims and as exercise is not without risks, fitness professionals need to ensure that they are not only properly qualified but that they also are adequately insured in case a claim is made against them. Insufficient or complete lack of insurance could result in claims of tens of thousands or even millions of pounds made against you.

Insurance in a gym or health club environment As discussed, employed trainers and instructors are usually covered by their employer’s insurance whereas selfemployed professionals are not. As a self-employed professional, you will probably pay rent in return for access to the facilities. For instance, your client may injure themselves using a piece of equipment, even after being shown how to correctly use it. Having insurance MARCH 2020



means that you are personally protected against any legal costs associated with the client’s injury and possible rehabilitation.

Insurance outside of the gym or health club environment If you train clients outside of the gym or health club environment and you use your own exercise equipment, insurance will cover your equipment against damage and theft. If, for example, you are training your client using a TRX suspension trainer which then breaks, replacement costs are covered by your insurance and so too would any resulting injury sustained by the client.

Insurance when giving advice Fitness professionals are often called upon to give advice to their clients e.g. nutritional and dietary advice. Providing such advice falls within the parameters of your qualifications, insurance will cover you against any ill-effects suffered by the client following your advice, such as a dietary suggestion resulting in a severe allergic reaction.

Waivers and medical forms While insurance does provide an essential legal safety net, trainers must also take steps to minimise the risk of a claim being made against them. The client should always be made aware of the risks of exercise and given the opportunity to decide for themselves if they wish to participate; this is called “informed consent” and is essentially a waiver. Additionally, the instructor or trainer should minimise medical risks by ensuring that all clients complete a screening form prior to exercise – a Pre-Activity Readiness Questionnaire or PAR-Q form. A verbal PAR-Q should also be completed before each and every training session to make sure nothing has changed since the original PAR-Q was completed.

What to look for in a policy? Insurance policies can vary significantly so make sure you read the small print to ensure that the cover provided is right for you. Details to consider include: 72

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Liability – how much are you covered for?

activities for which you are qualified.

Exclusions – are you covered to train outside of the gym or health club environment (if required)?

you taught a studio class outside of

Excess – will you have to contribute toward a claim?

were technically doing something for

It is also important to note that insurance generally only covers you for

Make sure that you have the correct

As a qualified fitness professional, if your area of training and someone was injured, you may be found liable as you which you were not certified. cover, and don't leave home without it.


Sales Mastery Part V Daniel Nyiri, founder of 4U Fitness

“It’s not about having the right opportunities. It’s about handling the opportunities right” – Mark Hunter

The #1 Rule of Sales

Never disagree with your customer! Agree first, then sell!   Your boyfriend wants to go to the movies to watch another action movie, and you are sick of action movies and would instead like to go to a romantic dinner. So what are you going to do? Say, "I don't want to go watch another action movie. I hate killflix!"  Nope!  What you need to say is:  "Great Idea! Let's go to the action movie. I know how much you love them! You love when people get shot up, and cars are flipping, I love it! Agree first then SELL! -> Hey, why don't we go down the new restaurant first to get a bite before we see the movie?" Agree first, then sell! Now you’ve

got your dinner, and you might be able to get out of that movie after food and a few glasses of wine. When your client says, "I eat healthily! I have granola bars and fat & sugar -free ice cream." Your answer should not be "That's not healthy." You should agree that it is a better choice than other ice cream and snickers bars and then sell them (for example) on the quality of ingredients vs. labels! Your prospect tells you it’s too much money. First of all, if you say it is not, it becomes an argument. So you say: Agreed. Everyone is investing their money in our solution because the custom plan that we build is a significant investment so they can get actual & real results they want or it's their money back. Wouldn't you pay any price possible for a solution that will fix your problem, unlike every other place or time before you have already tried?  MARCH 2020



When your client is late, and you only have 10 min left in your session with them. She says we only have 10 minutes lets make it count. You should say, "I agree. It is not enough time to get dressed, but we can get in a super intense, 10-minute workout OR we can go over your nutrition to make the most out of our time." Do this instead of saying there is no time to work out, sorry, bye. You show them respect and appreciation instead of denial.…  You can only suggest a better alternative if you agree with them first.  When your prospect tells you that they are working out at OT, F45 or they just do tons of cardio with pink dumbbells in their hand to lose fat and tone up and you tell them that is not the right way to do things before agreeing with them is going to be a problem. They will feel stupid because more than likely they did research or their trusted friend, the trainer has suggested all those things. If you disagree with your prospect before ever closing the deal, you might never close the deal.  So what should you do?  Agree first in one way or another, maybe not directly saying you agree that cardio is excellent for fat loss (since it isn't) but saying OT, F45, and even the walking on treadmill is a great cardio workout and suitable for the heart. However, you want to word it. Compliment them for doing it! Say that most people don't even do that and then tell her there are so many different types of training, and we want to make the best use of her time because we understand how limited it is and that she's here for a reason, Results.  Introduce that the best option is for us to determine her goals, that is why she is here, so we can build the custom program that best suit her goals and needs and based on those, the most effective method of training to help her towards her goals are strength training. 

Sell your Solution Lastly, you can always just ask them the simple question if they are fighting you hard that OT, F45, or any other gyms and solutions they have been 74

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doing are cheaper or better then what you are selling. Just simply say then, why are you here today? (if it's so great and working 4U)

What if you get the following responses when asking the lead to sign up? 1. I cannot afford this, or this is too expensive. Most of the time, what they are saying here is that this service that you are offering is not worth their money and time. (Unless they are really poor, have no iPhone, no expensive purses, no car, this might be true, but even then, if this is indeed the solution to their pain, they will find a way!)  Your job is to give them the most fantastic service even if you think you know they won't sign up. If you give your best, you might just change their mind. I rather have 1000 people that learn about us and test us out versus 100 people. Because many more people will know how great our experience is and when they are able to afford us, they will come back. Which has happened many times before. You see, they upgraded their life got a better job, and they came back with a checkin their hand. ONLY because even though we knew she couldn't afford this at all, we still gave her three free sessions and made sure it was the most amazing time of her life. 

It's all about finding their problems and giving them the solution. Find the wrong and make it right. If you have an extreme pain point and I know what that is, and I do have a solution for it. You would pay me to fix it 4U, wouldn’t you? 2. I want to see how I feel in a couple of days before I commit to anything -OR- I'm going out of town for X days/weeks, and I don't want to start before that, so can I get in touch once I return? It's amazing what you'll feel over the next 36-48 hours! The soreness can come in waves, you might feel it in your arms and calves first, and hours later in your glutes and then your abs, it all just depends! Everybody is so different; we take this first session as a significant learning opportunity to see how your body responds.  Please keep in mind this was a TRIAL; this wasn't even a full workout. So on the flip side, you might not end up being sore at all! Soreness is not a clear indication of success. Our goal is to get you the results and make you feel secure and powerful.  I totally understand that you want to take your time to see how you feel. However, I only have three more spots for clients on my schedule right now, and I have another two women just like you definite sign-ups by the end of the week. Three trials between now and then, so just want to make sure


to let you know that I'd love to be your trainer, but by the end of the week, it might not be possible. But you do know that we don't have contracts and have a full refund policy, right? I highly recommend that you secure your space and book out for the rest of the month or since you are going out of town I can just hold your spot if you pay today. And SUSAN don't forget that we have a 100% moneyback guarantee, so if you sign up today and then after a few days you change your mind for whatever reason, I am going to write you a check myself. So at worst, you trained for absolutely free at best you get into the greatest shape of your life and make your dreams come true. (whatever their main goal was you need to repeat that here). 3. I have to check with my husband/wife before deciding. How about we bring them in for a trial also?! They'll get a couple of free workouts and can experience the incredible 20 minutes as well, and that way, they know first hand exactly

what you'll be doing and how you'll be able to achieve your results. We love our client couples and partners because they see even better results by having an accountability partner! Plus, if he decides to train as well, we will give you $150 for the referral!  And throw in there the 100% moneyback guarantee, so if your husband says NO, I will give you your money back, but if you pay now, it will allow you to book out the times you want for the whole month and start lifting that butt!  When your prospect says it's too expensive, you need to find out what they are comparing it to. Too expensive to what? Because that Ferrari parked outside is too expensive compared to a Honda Civic. A Private Flight is way more expensive than a Commercial Flight.  You need to find out who they are comparing you too and address that!  Say that "Well it's like comparing Low Budget airlines to private jet services. If you knew that you had to be in NYC tomorrow at 10 am to get what you have wanted for life guaranteed, money, or your fitness results from a Genie, would you take a commercial flight or a private flight? Yes, you might get to a destination eventually, but maybe it's a 10-hour layover with multiple airplane changes, but we'd be your direct flight with no delays and no issues plus the highest service of all time." Apples to oranges comparison. Who wouldn't want to have their pain point removed from their life? That is why your #1 job during the consultation is to find out that pain point and then address it and guarantee it!  The best that works for us the most is bringing up Whole Foods compared to Wal Mart. We don't down talk either of them. We just simply state that if all you care about is the BEST PRICE possible, you go to Wal Mart if you care about the service, quality, results, customer service ... then you go to Whole Foods. That's it! Let them make the decision.

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THE CHALLENGE OF CHANGE Nothing stands still. We live in an ever evolving world. Here Kerstin Obenauer, Country Director eGym UK, reflects on the need of gym owners to constantly be assessing and adapting their offer to meet the needs of the communities they serve, in order to maintain relevance. Precipice of change The fitness industry is undergoing a significant transformation. Two factors are bringing about this change. Firstly – digitalisation. Widespread access to high speed broadband and advancement in technology are impacting every aspect of our lives, from the way we shop to the way we consume our entertainment. In this age, the consumer is king and successful ‘disruptor’ brands place the consumer at the centre of their software driven offering, delivering services highly tailored to the desires and needs of the individual. In the fitness industry we are already seeing the impact of this. Consumers are addicted to technology. They want convenience, instant access to information and a highly personalised service. This is creating new opportunities for gym owners. Software driven solutions can now deliver personal health and fitness data direct to consumers, plus an array of intelligent apps extend brand influence 76

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Embrace change and reward will follow It’s easy to carry on doing what we know, burying our head in the sand and hoping that changing market conditions will not affect us. This, however, is rarely a strategy that is rewarded long term. In order to maintain relevance in the market and to continue to deliver services and facilities that address community needs, gym owners must constantly assess and evolve their offer.

Future proofing your business In the mist of all this change, how can gym owners protect their business? It isn’t easy but there are steps that can be taken to future proof the offer.

into daily lives providing workouts, education and a direct link to a fitness professional 24/7. Secondly, poor health. The nation is in a sorry state. Our largely sedentary society is placing huge strain on the NHS, to the point that is simply not sustainable. As a result, central government has finally recognised the positive role physical activity can play in a prevention rather than cure health care strategy. This creates new opportunities for gym owners. Our facilities are being positioned as a vital

community resource, supporting much wider health and wellbeing needs. This is extending the appeal way beyond those who simply want to be fitter and stronger, to those keen to live a longer and more fulfilling life. We need to fully embrace this opportunity. Technology can help deliver a more tailored care plan to a much wider audience, we just need to better understand its full potential and how to seamlessly integrate it into our care offer. This all sounds like good news but change is not without its challenges.

Create longevity through the provision of software powered, data driven, equipment that is flexible in its ability to train, motivate and reward multiple audiences. Data is, arguably, the most valuable commodity on the planet and its collation needs to sit at the heart of business strategy. Through the interpretation of collated intelligence, gym owners can make decisions which will positively impact operational efficiencies, enhance member experience and generate income – all adding up to a much more sustainable business. Gym owners also need to commit to education. In this digital age, the boundaries of possibility are constantly shifting. It is imperative that operators understand how technological advancements can be applied to improve their business operations and member experience. Standing still is dangerous. In this fast-paced digital age there is a constant need to be evaluating the relevance of products and services to our audiences and making adjustments accordingly.

Success story In October 2019, Nicola Fulin and her brother, Jason Waite, made a decision not to renew their women’s only franchise and instead to open up their fitness studio in Bedwas, Caerphilly, Wales, to the whole community, welcoming everyone regardless of age, gender or ability under the new brand name: QuickStep Fitness. As a result, just four months after the MARCH 2020



transformation, the studio is thriving with a 25 per cent uplift in membership and an average monthly visits per member of 8.9 smashing the industry average of 6.

the individual’s biological age to their actual age, has really helped members to understand the positive effects of regular strength training, keeping them motivated to continue.”

Central to the change and instrumental in the studio’s new-found success is the installation of an 8-station eGym strength circuit which replaces very basic, outdated strength equipment. The installation put Quickstep Fitness on the map as the first facility to offer eGym in Wales.

QuickStep Fitness now offers a fitness solution ‘for all’, rather than ‘for some’. Nicola continues: “Our members have fully embraced eGym technology. Every member is now able to enjoy a highly tailored workout which is progressive and easy to manage. The constant performance feedback they receive and the coaching they enjoy to help ensure correct movement execution, means every single movement pushes them closer to their workout goals. As a result, individuals are enjoying the experience and training more frequently, with members logging an average monthly attendance 35 per cent higher than the national average. Also, collectively, we have evidenced a reduction in Biological Age of 10 years. Not bad for just three months of effort!”

Nicola, says: “A high percentage of our incumbent members have a history of inactivity. Many are also dealing with on-going health conditions such as diabetes. We needed equipment that is easy to use, can administer safe, bespoke and progressive workouts whilst also challenging limits and provide the motivation needed to keep individuals committed long term. eGym ticks all of these boxes.” In a week post install, the team completed 164 eGym member inductions. Nicola comments: “Some of our members were nervous of the new technology but once they had completed their induction, they realised how intuitive it was and haven’t looked back. “eGym uses software driven technology to simplify and enhance the user experience. The automated set up and workout progression means every individual, from the complete novice to the experienced gym user, can achieve a fulfilling and effective workout on every visit. The regular strength tests give ongoing performance feedback and the bio-age feature, which compares

“The digital functionality of eGym also helps us to future proof our business for the long term. At the moment, we are not optimising its full potential because our focus has been on the on-boarding of our members. However, we can fully appreciate the benefits the data driven solution will deliver. Better understanding our members behaviours, habits, goals and preferences will help ensure our business continues to meet their needs – keeping us relevant in a constantly evolving market. eGym has changed our outlook. We now look forward to the future with optimism and a newfound excitement.”

At the same time as introducing eGym, Quickstep Fitness extended access to men. Nicola explains: “It no longer made sense to exclude half the population. eGym offers the perfect training solution for everyone and we want as many people as possible to benefit. Also, being located on an industrial estate means there are many men who frequent the area. Being able to offer them an effective means of building and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle just made sense. Since the beginning of October, our net membership has grown by more than 50 members and we have capacity for at least another 100. I am confident our new model will mean we achieve this. “Over the last few months we have completely transformed our offer. This has required significant investment and belief in the fact that, long term, the integration of eGym digital innovation and the creation of a ‘gym for all’ will enable us to continue to offer a valuable community service. I am pleased to say that initial indicators are all positive and although it has been challenging, we definitely made the right decision.” If you would like to see how eGym could help you achieve excellence and remain relevant in an ever evolving market, contact the team at: marketing-uk@egym.co.uk or visit www.egym.com/en/ business You can also keep up to date with our news on:  eGymuk  @eGymuk  eGymuk


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Get a free consultation from one of our concept experts to learn more about how your facility can benefit from eGym and efle-xx Contact us at: marketing-uk@egym.co.uk

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“Rent this space” Fitness empires = online platforms Taz Dunstan from XL Personal Training It is no secret the greatest advances in the fitness industry have been technology-based, from wearable accessories, tracking apps to online trainers the fitness industry has become a virtual gold mine for those who dare to embrace technology and prove to their followers, they can trust their platform as a safe space to accommodate this new wave of freedom fitness; anytime, anywhere. With the benefits of convenience, freedom, cost efficiency, time efficiency and development of scale-able business world-wide, online training is absolutely where the future of fitness is at. With so many positives it is unclear what is holding many businesses back from adapting to offer more to a greater client base? Fear of the unknown? The risks of executing something badly? Becoming disconnected or getting bad reviews for poor coverage? All businesses have challenges, there will be blackouts, trainers will have family emergencies, equipment will malfunction and clients will have feedback- this is true whether you have a physical gym or a virtual gym. Do the risks outweigh the rewards and can you as a gym owner afford to face redundancy as the market becomes more familiar and demanding of convenient solutions? As gym owners and fitness professionals, we are in constant damage control to overcome objectives, create new points of difference to out angle our competition and sell solutions to problems. That is what we offer. Our gyms, our staff, out 80

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equipment- we provide a solution to peoples challenges that have prevented them from achieving their goals, whether that be; a body they want, the health they need, improved energy levels, better self-confidence, improved mental health, better quality of life, better social life and so on. How can we genuinely provide solutions to all of these obstacles when so much of our target market is now inaccessible? This barrier goes beyond simply reaching the growing majority of millennial's through online marketing campaigns and targeted advertising, but understanding the fact that upcoming generations are growing up with technology and want to work (and work out) on that platform. Unless we are providing solutions to accommodate their social anxiety, resistance to leave the house or selfconsciousness how can we help them with their needs? Put simply, we can’t. I recently travelled to Auckland and spent a day trialling the "Les Mills " TM gym in Auckland City. That gym is a fitness retreat executed flawlessly with 5-star professionalism, brilliant customer service, high energy and variety to accommodate all fitness and strength levels. The club was separated into three main sections: a standard gym floor with functional training, traditional training, stretching zone and bathroom facilities. It was equipped with PTs, a supplement store, general gym floor and reception staff. The other two levels were split into several studio rooms and cardio, boxing and spin (cycle) rooms which accommodated instructed classes and virtual, “on demand” classes. Brilliant


solutions to time demands, a variety of clients needs and a combination of social and anti-social interaction, however, the clubs biggest challenge was accommodating parking in the city which resulted in big number drops at peak times. Personal Trainers and smaller businesses have developed apps for tailored one on one programs and companies such as “Australian Sports Nutrition” have successfully run nationwide programs allowing large numbers of participants to follow weekly programs in the comfort of their own home, however, to date I am unaware of any gyms who have embraced this online platform to allow 24/7 online access. I predict the gyms to thrive in upcoming years will be those who offer online streaming for classes as well as virtual classes thus allowing class numbers to be uncapped, (*reputable, high speed, internet server providers will be essential.) XL Personal Training is excited to announce they are trailblazing this new "freedom Fitness" trend and are

currently in collaborations with a world-class group fitness instructor “Manu Ruhail,” who was recently recognised for his contributions to the fitness community throughout India, awarded “Asia's best group fitness trainer of the year” at the annual ASEA and EDUFIT Summit in 2019. Manu has been a Les Mills TM instructor for several years in India, he agrees streaming classes online is definitely the future of fitness for the masses “ It saves time, saves money and overcomes objections about travel. With less energy spent on excuses, clients and members can spend that energy following classes online in the comfort of their home or office space.” We are excited to launch this “world first” new wave of freedom fitness which can be accessed by anywhere at anytime. This is a first-world solution to first world problems. All you need is a device and internet access. We will be piloting streamed classes on a smaller scale in upcoming months to existing online clients based in Australia and India- [*exclusively to “Manu Trains” and “XL Personal Training” clients.]

This pilot will be used to perfect a marketable “black label” customisable product we can offer other gym owners with stats of success and class numbers for our world-wide launch at the beginning of 2021. In addressing potential objections or reluctance to embrace this newage style of training or scepticism of effectiveness, the fact that technology has become ingrained in daily life is undeniable. Most of the developed world use emails daily and spend hours scrolling through online feeds from Instagram, Youtube and Facebook. Screening gym classes will be the next “live feed”, which society is already conditioned to see. We, as Gym Owners and fitness leaders, have a responsibility to ensure our clients can maximise this potential to achieve their results in their chosen environment. We also have a responsibility to continue to utilise the resources available and continue to grow to meet our clients needs. Are you signing up or unsubscribing to the future of fitness?

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HOW CAN YOUR GYM TAKE ON THE BIG CHAINS Matt Gleed, Senior Master Trainer and Education Specialist At this time of the year, so many New Year resolutions have fallen by the wayside and are just distant memories. However, plenty of new members are now in great habits and starting to find what it is they love about fitness. You’ll probably be recognising that members that attend group exercise classes stay longer and the stats show that members that just attend the gym, without engaging in group activities, are 56% more likely to quit. With the thought of making group exercise more relevant and gym work more entertaining I have explored how your gym could take on the big chains.

Pick & Mix classes Let’s start in the wrong way, but in a fun way, with the names that stir a new trend. Yogalates, Barre4Bars, Straps’n’Bells. Spin-Zen…. While you can have great fun fusing the best of your fitness class disciplines together the real benefit comes when you have built up a business with members who like how you teach, are loyal to the brand and through great communication skills and excellent delivery of the exercise disciplines. Fusion classes work best when you have the passion to deliver the best experience and also the foresight to 82

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see what your members want and need to keep them coming back for more. You could certainly have the vision and passion but without the skill to teach these fusions, your class will quickly flop. To help you think about a fusion class concept, start by researching what fitness disciplines your members enjoy and what their goals are. You might find gaps in your current offerings to fill, and further education that you need to send some of your staff on. Members will, of course, have different goals, like flexibility but also strength, quick fitness gains but less stress. If we look at the benefits of HIIT and then think about the stress it can also

add to your body, not only your joints, tendons and muscles but the nervous system, consider fusing this by incorporating a group ‘Zen” experience, from meditation or Yoga with breathing focus to help reset your members could be an excellent fusion. Also, the benefits of mobility and flexibility for a strength focus are key, however, often missed when two people are just lifting weights together. So, bring focused strength training to the group training setting, where it is easier to fuse vital mobility and flexibility work into the overall strength session, like a Mobile and Lifting combo.


Engagement and entertainment When a new member of your staff joins your team, you should think about getting them to join a standardisation workshop on how to deliver the start of your classes. During this, they should learn to welcome, provide an overview on what the class is and what the focus might be. Also to remember to check for relevant injuries and use this time help manage the expectations of the group. This can often be a script that the Fitness Manager or Coordinator have put together so that all the members receive a high level of consistency and all members feel comfortable prior to the start of the classes. During this time, if technology or entertainment is going to be used, ensure that staff give the relevant insights to the members about what the numbers mean or what the focus will be on from Heart Rate to zone, percentage to repetitions or speed to watts. If you assume that everyone is a new member and needs a couple of minutes of support then the members who come each week for example still get a refresher and you can keep them focussed on their own numbers too. In recent years, you might have seen more digital work from Virtual Active, simulations or example exercises being shown. These can often show metrics like time as a simple display but also metrics such as position of the rider

during a cycle class or the number of reps in a set and how many rounds may be in a circuit class. All should be explained to help to understand, even during the class, as the focussed metric might change during the class either in different tracks or sections.

Sample Class Intro: Hello and welcome everyone to <<Name of Class>>, My name is…. Today we are going to run through our warm-up and two blocks of exercises, each block will be repeated so once you know the exercises you can add progressions as a step up or check down the exercises to an alternative which I will help you with if you need. We will then end the class with a fun challenge and then onto some mobility work in our cool down. Are there any injuries I need to know about? We have the screen to help you know what the exercises are and the timer will tell us when to move to the next exercise. Find a little space and let's enjoy the next 45mins working out.

Battle the big box In the current fitness industry, we would label a gym a ‘Big Box’ if they have some of these features; long lines

of cardio equipment or a cardio zone, a free weights area focussed for strength, maybe a functional area or space for free training. The advantages of these types of gyms are they have space to move around and let people find the workout they want. It also allows members to select the area of use relevant to their goal focus. The disadvantage is often the reaction to commercial or local trends. Some ‘Big Box’ gyms are in large chains and the ability to react to local demand can be slow. So, an independent gym owner with a vision to try something new can have a really quick disruptive influence. If there is a fusion you have put together or a concept that you have worked on, then don’t be afraid to shout about it and look at how it could scale into larger setups or multiple sites. Keep focussed on the work you want to do and back yourself in the scaling up of the concept. Being an innovator gives you a competitive edge but you have to keep looking forward, continuing to innovate and evolve rather than looking over your back to see who is following and what they are doing. Keep reviewing your own class concept and get feedback on how to improve and the delivery. The agility of a Fusion Class full of development can offer great success and many ‘Big Box’ gyms can’t react as quickly nor skill the staff fast enough in a new direction or training model.

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

IS THE AIR IN YOUR GYM MAKING YOU SICK? BY SHAUN HILL Is the air in your gym making you sick? Following the post-Christmas blues, we enter January with a renewed health focus. Twelve per cent of all new gym sign-ups take place in January, while healthrelated search engine queries skyrocket.

How are these pollutants affecting me?

‘HIIT workouts’ and ‘how to lose belly fat’ all dominate our Google searches. Not surprisingly, air quality is pretty low down on the list when it comes to workout woes.

Your spin class might be making you more fatigued than you realise. In gym environments, particularly where many people are closely packed together, we’re exposed to higher levels of carbon dioxide (CO2).

As it turns out, we should be paying a lot more attention. The gym environment actually has a profound effect on the way we work out, and could even be making us ill!

All that huffing and puffing increases CO2 by four times the normal amount, limiting our access to oxygen. The result? More lactic acid and tapping out that much quicker. Badly ventilated spaces are the number one offender when it comes to premature fatigue.

Modern lifestyles aren’t helping. It’s official: we are the indoor generation, with a frightening 90 per cent of our time spent indoors. Office jobs, commuting and home life are all exposing us to new 84

dangers. Think pollution is just caused by traffic? Think again. Toxins – from particulate matter to volatile organic compounds and even carbon dioxide – all affect the way we work, play and exercise.

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What’s more, gyms expose us to a disproportionate number of chemicals. Cleaning products, deodorants, paints and air fresheners can make us feel dizzy, while dust inhalation inhibits performance.

What do I need to be aware of? Whether you’re running a gym or researching a new workout space, you should brush up on the common pollutants found inside. Particulate matter. You probably know this by its more common name: dust. While 80 per cent of dust is generated through skin cells, the other 20 can come from traffic pollution, industry and construction. Worse still, studies have shown up to 90 per cent of dust can contain toxic chemicals. When we’re working out and breathing harder, we may be inhaling these dangerous substances. In long-term cases, this may even lead to lung conditions or heart attacks. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These everyday chemicals enter our systems through what’s known as ‘off-gassing’. This is when cleaning products, perfumes, paints, sealants and


other pollutants are released into the air. If the gym area is badly ventilated, we may suffer from headaches or light-headedness – both nightmares for a good workout.

more contained areas, like spin studios or saunas. Ask for a free trial and measure your performance against your usual workouts. Make a mental note of any increased coughing or general struggle.


Finally, keep an eye on those chemicals. Read the labels on your personal hygiene products, and don’t be afraid to ask cleaning teams what they’re using!

It’s hard to avoid this one as we all produce it naturally! However, badly ventilated workout spaces can upset the balance of oxygen and CO2.

As a gym owner or operator. What can I do about air quality in the gym? As a gym member, you can make conscious decisions to improve your workout space. If you’re operating a gym, an investment in air quality can help to: • Improve your members’ mental and physical health • Get better performance from members, increasing customer retention • Give your gym a unique selling point over competitors • Reduce running costs and improve building quality.

It’s equally your responsibility to understand your ventilation strategy. For example, with a mechanical filtration scheme, you can keep dust to a minimum, while you should also encourage cleaners and other staff to mop surfaces. Keeping workout areas moist removes dust. Invest in the right equipment. The Internet of Things (IoT) is giving us access to more data than ever before. Consider implementing these systems to keep an eye on your gym’s air quality. In particular, you should monitor air quality levels at peak times, and always keep filters clean.

As a member. When researching your gym, try to ask questions about how air quality is managed. Get the names of building managers or any contractors your gym may work with. Ask them to explain how the filtration system works, and if they use mechanical ventilation. Make sure you take a look around

Review your on-site chemicals. Your Health and Safety team should be able to tell you about COSHH, or Control of Substances Hazardous to Health. Take a look at the cleaning products your teams use and consider shaking these up. For example, we now have access to pro-biotic technology. These fight

internal contaminants and help to stop airborne diseases spreading – great for your staff and members. Speak to a ventilation or air quality expert. Before you invest, ensure you speak to an expert in the field. Mechanical ventilation systems are not cheap, but they can improve you and your members’ wellbeing immeasurably. Ask about an ‘occupancy-based control strategy’ – these will adjust filtration for when the gym is at full capacity. Talk about the costs of running these systems, including the energy savings. You could just see a significant return on investment. Take a breather… This may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s simply a case of educating yourself. Read up on your favourite workout products and speak to the right people to get the best from your exercise. Mark our words: air quality is set to be the next big fitness trend. Shaun Hill delivers healthy building solutions for ZED Consultancy as an ‘Accredited Professional’ for standards WELL, Fitwel and RESET Air. His knowledge enables him to implement the strategies on projects enhancing environmental conditions improving health, productivity and wellbeing – adding commercial value to buildings.

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

FIBODO BOLSTERS BENEFITS AND INCENTIVES OFFERING WITH NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR APPOINTMENT Award-winning booking platform fibodo, has appointed Brian Dunne as a non-executive director to its board, as it looks to increase distribution of its products within the benefits and incentives sectors.

Known as the ‘Godfather of Gift Cards’, Brian has extensive experience within the benefits and incentives sector, and is highly regarded within the industry as one of its leading experts. Brian has served as president of the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) for eight years, ensuring industry 86

MARCH 2020

growth across Europe. Currently the IMA’s past president, he also sits on the Global Board. During his 25 years as CEO of Action Solutions, Brian established the business as the UK’s leading prepaid consultancy in Europe, working with high-profile organisations to enhance or develop their gift card programmes. In recognition of his contribution to the industry, Brian has recently been accredited with a Fellowship Award by the IMA and is set to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the upcoming UK Gift Card and Voucher Association Conference 2020. As part of its ambitious growth strategy, fibodo is working to increase distribution of its Activity Finder platform by capitalising on the burgeoning workplace health and wellbeing market. The platform empowers people to find and book sports and activities with coaches, instructors, organisers, and clubs from all corners of the UK, whether this be with workplace colleagues or at home with family and friends. With a deep understanding of the benefits and incentives sectors, Brian’s advice and direction will enable fibodo to develop its offering and effectively convey the value that the Activity Finder can offer to any organisation looking to give their employees access to as many activities as possible. Anthony Franklin, founder and managing director of fibodo, commented: “We have been speaking with Brian for a number of years in an effort to better understand e-money and the benefits and incentives industry. It’s a very complex field, and his insight thus far has been invaluable.

“To have Brian join the team now is a testament to the company’s achievements to date, and a clear indicator of our aspirations in establishing fibodo as the number one provider of customisable activity finders, using aggregated open-activity data.” Commenting on his appointment, Brian said: "I first met Anthony in 2017 and was immediately intrigued by what I saw. We have kept in regular contact since then, as both fibodo and the benefits sectors have developed. “During this time, it has become increasingly obvious that people value experiences, and expect to access these at a time and place that suits them, via companies and brands they trust. “There is a growing demand for better work-life balance, and many companies are looking to embrace this change. I feel that the fibodo platform not only supports this direction, but makes it easy for these businesses to administer positive change for their employees."

H A T T O N B OX I N G GROWS B2B TEAM TO DRIVE EXPANSION Tuesday 18 February 2020 – Hatton Boxing has appointed Richard Hewitt as Business Development Manager, in order to support the business’ growth in the B2B gym sector. As the UK’s number one boxing training provider, Hatton Boxing offers


bespoke solutions to gyms and fitness facilities to support the roll-out of ‘boxing for fitness’ programming. Alongside delivering multi-level instructor training courses and programmes for PTs and small group training, Hatton Boxing also manufactures equipment and accessories. Its tailored approach, led by a team of industry experts, has already been utilised by énergie, Bannatyne’s and the Gym Group, as well as various institutions in the education sector. Richard joined Hatton Boxing in April 2019 with a view to increasing direct B2C sales, and following his success in this role will now switch his focus to driving the organisation’s B2B growth, working with new and existing key accounts to launch ‘boxing for fitness’ training solutions.

To find out more about working with Hatton Boxing, contact Richard at r.hewitt@hattonboxing. com or call 0161 368 0113.

WA T T B I K E APPOINT NEW REGIONAL SALES MANAGER Following an exciting growth period for the company, Wattbike have announced that Neil Tandy, previously Fitness Manager at Nuffield Health and Balance Health Club, has been appointed as Regional Sales Manager in order to support new and

Jon Eade, managing director of Hatton Boxing, said: “We’re really excited to welcome Richard into his new role and to have a dedicated resource that allows us to focus on the huge opportunity that this area of the market offers. “We believe we are the best at what we do, and in an ever-competitive market we understand the challenges that gyms are facing; ‘boxing for fitness’ can provide facilities with a real USP that not only engages members, but is cost effective to implement and can also offer significant revenue generation opportunities.”

existing customers across the South and London territories. Bringing a wealth of sales, leadership and customer service knowledge to the role, Neil has over five years operational experience within the industry including roles within large operators and independent gyms.

Richard Baker, Wattbike CEO, comments: “We are pleased to announce that Neil will be taking on this role within the expanding sales team, he brings a lot of valuable industry experience and knowledge to the position.” We have grown a strong and experienced team over the past 10 years, a decade in which Wattbike has continued to innovate and lead in indoor cycling. Wattbike is a growing company and we are always on the lookout for people who share our motivation to deliver the best equipment and customer service to join the team.” On his appointment, Neil adds: “Wattbike has been at the forefront of indoor cycling for many years and with the new products they have brought to both the consumer and commercial markets, it’s an exciting time of progression, innovation and growth for the company.” “From my experience as a gym operator, I hope to bring insight to gym owners on the many benefits of installing Wattbikes in facilities. This, along with my performance and sport science background means that I fully understand how unique the Wattbike is in its accuracy, smart technology and quality as well as the huge opportunity to further push the Wattbike products in the industry for anybody looking to improve their health and fitness.” To find out more about Wattbike visit www.wattbike.com

MARCH 2020




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Profile for Gym Owner Monthly

Gym Owner Monthly March Issue 2020  

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

Gym Owner Monthly March Issue 2020  

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