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ISSUE 14 // MAY 2017


PT OF THE MONTH Louise Cochrane tells us about her PT journey

AUDIO VISUAL TECH Create maximum impact for your clients

VIEW R E T N I G I i, B Steven Rinald

We talk to rimal Strength Founder of P


Paul Swain ssion leads a discu with three stry leading indu ls a n io profess


The latest developments and future trends


s on getting e gym just r ight

your boutiq u



Six top tips to ensure success when launching virtual fitness

OWNER OF THE MONTH Keith Mullings tells us about Koru Gym in Bishop’s Stortford, Herts MAY 2017








S R A N I M 50 SE
















A T I L I B A H RE L e C x E 7 & 8 LONDON JUNE






1st Team Coach, Bath Rugby

Paralympic Powerlifting Performance Manager/ Lead Powerlifting Coach

Senior Strength & Conditioning Coach, Leicester Tigers

HANNAH LAWTON ANDY HUDSON Talent ID & Adventurer, GB Rowing

Head of Physical Preparations GB Hockey

ADAM MATTIUSSI Strength & Conditioning Coach, Royal School of Ballet


Welcome... …to the May 2017 issue of Gym Owner Monthly magazine. There is no denying that indoor cycling is here to stay. But over time, the term ‘indoor cycling’ is increasingly moving in two very different directions, turn to page 18 to find out more. Other key features include training and CPD, Paul Swainson talks to three leading industry professionals (page 28) and elsewhere Paul Bowman from Wexer identifies top tips for success when launching virtual fitness into your gym (page 50). Paul Bedford takes a look at competitions and challenges (page 44) - should you run these in your gym and if so, why? We also take a look at the audio visual technology available right now and how you can create maximum impact for your clients, see page 56. New this month is Daniel Nyiri, he kicks-off with tips on how to avoid key mistakes when starting out as a fledgling gym owner (page78). Dave Wright provides five top tips on getting your boutique gym just right (page 62) and Jenny Patrickson highlights the rise in Strength and Conditioning training as a PT specialism on page 54.

Have a great month! The GOM team



Nathan Page

Paul Wood Tel: 07985 904 549 Tel: 07858 487 357

Keep up to date   @GymOwnerMonthly  gymownermonthly  @GymOwnerMonthly  gym-owner-monthly-magazine

© Gym Owner Monthly Magazine 2016 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.

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Contents TRENDS






40 44 TRENDS

07 38 80

News The latest news and hot topics in the industry.


Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers.

News Cybex launch seminar programme. FIBO 2017 The industry gathered in Cologne last month, check-out our visual round-up.




Owner of the Month Keith Mullings tells us about Koru Gym in Bishop’s Stortford, Herts.


Indoor cycling The latest developments and future trends within the indoor cycling sector.


Training & CPD Paul Swainson discusses training and CPD with three leading industry professionals.


PT of the Month Louise Cochrane tells us about her PT journey.

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The Big Interview We talk to Steven Rinaldi, Founder of Primal Strength.


Competitions Paul Bedford asks ‘Do gym competitions or challenges improve member retention’?


Virtual classes Paul Bowman identifies six top tips to ensure success when launching virtual fitness in your gym.


Audio visual technology We look at the audio visual technology available in order to create maximum impact for your clients.



Are you meant to own and run a gym? Daniel Nyiri, Founder of 4U Fitness, ask new gym owners to seriously think about their new business.


Ask the expert Got a problem you need solving? Our team of experts are here to help.


62 68


73 70



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


PT Viewpoint Why Tina Sansom specialises in PT for the over 50s.


Data...digging deep Unlocking, refining and benchmarking data could be the key to everything from improved retention to increased physical activity participation nationwide.



Fit food Chris Zaremba provides 12 guidelines for a healthy diet.



Putting strength behind senior trainers Jenny Patrickson highlights the rise in Strength and Conditioning as a PT specialism.


So, you want to build a boutique gym? Dave Wright provides five top tips on getting your boutique gym just right.


Mindset over muscle Own Bowling outlines some mindset coaching practices.


78 63



Brand identity Mike Arce identifies three concepts you need to consider before you launch your brand.


Beating the competition Marketing expert, Omar Thompson, highlights four digital marketing elements that you have to get right.

We're always seeking contributors, if you're interested in writing for us then please contact: MAY 2017



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What’s hot in the fitness industry

D2F Fitness transforms functional training spaces at twelve Places for People Leisure facilities Sarah Roberts

D2F Fitness, a leading supplier of dynamic fitness solutions, has announced that its partnership with Places for People Leisure has now enabled members at a dozen gyms across the UK to benefit from functional training.

“There has been a shift in the fitness industry over recent years that has resulted in gym owners adopting the ‘third’ rule,” explains John Lofting, Commercial Director at D2F Fitness. “Places for People were looking to adopt this rule allocating a third of available space for cardiovascular equipment, a third for traditional modular strength training equipment and then a third dedicated to functional training and small group exercise.” Sarah Roberts, Fitness Operations Manager at Places for People Leisure explains the process that they went through to find a supplier; “We wanted to find a functional fitness supplier that we could develop an ongoing partnership with. A company that would work with us and provide us with expertise and guidance not someone that would just fulfil a kit list. After going through a rigorous procurement process last year, we found our perfect partner in D2F Fitness.” Since engaging with D2F Fitness, Places for People has redeveloped functional spaces at twelve of its gyms across the UK with plans to update at least six more before the end of May. “The team at D2F have been excellent to work with,” says Roberts. “I really like the consultative and proactive approach that they take to each and every project which ensures that we get maximum benefit from the space allocated to functional training. It’s really refreshing to work with a supplier that challenges our ideas and isn’t afraid to help us look at our gym spaces in a different way.”

The majority of Places for People’s new functional spaces include a Tesseract functional training rig. “It’s very tempting to make the rig the centrepiece of a functional training space and build everything else around it,” continues Lofting. “However, we like to take a more calculated approach and often recommend bespoke or modular rig designs to really get the best out of the available space. This means that as well as using the rig and attachments for group or personal training sessions, the space underneath or around it can also be used to run suspension training, kettlebell or HIIT classes.” As well as functional training rigs, D2F is also supplying a full range of functional training accessories to Places for People. This includes traditional equipment like kettlebells, medicine balls, battle ropes and CrankIt suspension training straps but also incorporates a new range of equipment that has been developed to help gym operators offer programmes for members that are training for obstacle based races like Tough Mudder or Spartan Race. This range includes items like logs, bales and barrels that have all been developed for use within a studio environment. Roberts concludes; “We’ve received some really positive feedback on the new functional spaces from our members and from our staff. The ideas and equipment that D2F provide have helped to energise our team and spark new ideas for group training and there is no question that it has helped us to drive PT revenue. We look forward to continuing our partnership with D2F and creating more innovative functional spaces to benefit existing and new members.” For more information, visit

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New online fitness offering teams up with MYZONE®

exploration of member behaviour and loyalty within the health and fitness industry, TRP have worked with industry expert, researcher and Associate Professor at University of Exeter, Dr Melvyn Hillsdon to produce a report looking at how the everyday hassles and uplifts experienced by health and fitness club members impact their loyalty as measured by Net Promoter Score® (NPS®). Using a sample of 10,000 members from facilities across the UK, the report takes a deep dive into the interaction between member experience and loyalty, specifically highlighting how the number and type of hassles and uplifts experienced by members affect their likeliness of being a positive club Promoter (brand advocate) or negative club Detractor.

Two former members of the British Armed Forces have launched an online fitness and nutrition business. The company is working with MYZONE® to help its customers reach their health and fitness goals. The Body Taylors aims to educate and empower clients to be self-sufficient and achieve their goals through a choice 30-day, no contract bespoke fitness training or nutrition packages. Former Royal Navy Physical Trainer of the Year Leon Taylor, who served with the Royal Navy for 16 years, and ex-Royal Marine Commando Luke Wilson, are two of the people behind the venture. They both also have successful backgrounds in training and working at fitness boot camps. “Having helped people of all ages, shapes and sizes to change their lives through fitness, nutrition and wellbeing, we wanted to give others the knowledge and confidence to work out alone. The Body Taylors allows us to use the knowledge and experience we’ve gained from HM Forces to inspire our clients to make lifelong changes and get the results they want,” says Taylor.

"One of the key takeaways from this research for operators has to be that, with 49% of members reporting regularly experiencing at least one hassle and just 55% saying they regularly experience an uplift, we have a huge opportunity to raise service delivery standards by taking control of the member experience to bring the expectations of customers closer to the reality they actually experience. We will continue to look into member loyalty and Net Promoter Score across the year, with our next report due for release in the autumn." (Mike Hills, General Manager, TRP). The full report can be downloaded for free on the TRP website.

easyGym unveils new tech-driven global franchise model

The company offers a range of fitness package including cardio training, abs blasts, body weight training, suspended body weight training, kettle bell conditioning and weight lifting to help clients achieve their weight and fitness goals. Using MYZONE®, The Body Taylors can access their clients’ workout results and use the information to adapt the training programmes as required to ensure each client reaches their goals. “MYZONE® has enabled us to build The Body Taylors community. All of our clients are able to support and encourage each other and compete against one another regardless of where they are in the world,” says Taylor. Each package comes with full demonstrations, easy to follow visual guides, coaching points and tips for success. Clients also receive weekly messages from The Body Taylors. The nutrition packages include recipes, advice on meal planning as well as recommendations on supplements. “Our mission is to educate, empower and bring self sufficiency to the fitness, nutrition and wellbeing industry. We want to create a fully inclusive, supportive and no contract community where people of all ages and experience can thrive,” says Taylor. For more information visit www. and

The association between club hassles and uplifts and member loyalty as measured by Net Promoter Score® As part of their ongoing commitment to the 8

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easyGym is unveiling its global franchise offer to the world’s most ambitious entrepreneurs and established franchisees at the Global Franchise Forum in Hamburg next week, with a tech-driven model designed to lower operating costs. With ambitious expansion plans in its sights, the high-value low-cost gym company aims to open more than 500 franchise units, globally, in five years. Offering franchisees access to a technology platform, including membership management, self-serve biometric access, an online-only joining process and 24/7 CCTV monitoring, the model is anticipated to represent a payback in three years. It also means staff costs will be slashed, from an industry average of 50% of annual turnover to just 15%. The first franchisee to get his keys by making a private investment in an easyGym franchise will be Paul LorimerWing, Co-Founder and CEO. easyGym ripped up the rulebook in the gym world seven years ago, breaking down barriers to traditional gym


member recruitment with flexible contracts and prices geared to local markets. So much so, that its first site in North London opened its doors with more than 5,000 members in 2011. Today easyGym, part of the trailblazing easyGroup family of brands, is run in the UK by Co-Founders, Paul Lorimer-Wing and Allan Casten and the company is moving towards a total membership of 100,000 across its UK portfolio. Heading up the easyGym franchise offer is Karl Dietrich, formerly UK and Ireland franchise head at the world’s number one global gym franchise group, Anytime Fitness. The franchise offer will comprise of two formats, the ‘Small Box’, designed specifically for smaller investors, requires £160,000 of liquid capital, and the ‘Big Box’ which requires £380,000 of initial investment. The team will be open to territory-by-territory deals.

engagement and satisfaction.” “Wexer Count was launched so that our partners can accurately measure how many members participate in group exercise classes, while Wexer focuses on delivering the most advanced fitness technology,” says Bowman. “Wexer Count does this by providing real-time business intelligence.” The embedded people counting system is a robust sensor that wirelessly connects to a receiver where data is transmitted to Wexer Admin; an online portal where fitness operators can view attendance across each group exercise class. For more information, visit

The Pulse Group completes transformation of Dacorum Sports Trust facility Our Gym

easyGym will then provide the A-Y of setting up a successful franchise, from finding the right property, negotiating the best contracts, optimising design and layout, fit out, accessing brand buying power and managing a lean and efficient operating model. Says Paul, ‘We ripped up the rulebook on the gym model in 2010 and are now providing an inside track on how to grow a successful fitness business to other ambitious entrepreneurs’ keen to see results, fast. I am so convinced by the payback potential that I am investing my own money into the easyGym franchise model.’ For more information, visit

Wexer introduces embedded people counting system

After being appointed by Dacorum Sports Trust (DST) to create a modern health and fitness facility, leading leisure solutions supplier, The Pulse Group, has completed work on Our Gym in Hemel Hempstead, Herts. With an estimated value of £800k, Pulse Design & Build – the dedicated construction arm of the group – successfully transformed an old office building into a modern low-cost gym, while Pulse Fitness has kitted out the facility with fitness equipment from their latest lines. Throughout a twelve-week project, the expert team at Pulse Design & Build completely refurbished the 1,157m2 office block to create a two-storey modern fitness suite, complete with a large dance studio, and an indoor cycling studio.

Wexer, a global leader in fitness technology today announced the launch of Wexer Count, a bespoke people counting solution for both live and virtual group exercise classes. The new product is available to integrate with Wexer products, including the Wexer Virtual Player. Wexer Count provides data that will enable Fitness Directors and Group Exercise Managers to better understand their group exercise offering and maximise studio usage during off-peak times. By counting and reporting the number of people entering a studio, fitness operators can quantify member behaviours and patterns relating to group exercise classes; both live and virtual. “Wexer is excited to be the first to launch an embedded people counting system into a virtual fitness player,” says Paul Bowman, CEO for Wexer. Wexer Count is an ideal product for both small and large group exercise studios, providing an accurate solution to leverage data for member

The comprehensive gym boasts 100+ stations of entry and mid-range Pulse cardio machines, which are fitted with digital TV, radio and iPod connectivity. The Pulse Fitness teamalso created a dedicated functional training space and an extensive free-weight section on the ground floor, as well as installing equipment from Pulse’s NEW strength line. The Design and Build team also reconfigured the layout of the building to accommodate a reception area with offices, modern changing rooms and toilets as well as a first aid room. “We are delighted to complete this project with Dacorum Sports Trust and look forward to supporting them in their vision for Our Gym,” says Chris Johnson, Managing Director for Pulse. “We are confident that the community will benefit greatly from the introduction of a modern, state-of-the-art facility.” “As a charity, we really want to engage the community in healthier, more active lifestyle choices, and help to reduce social exclusion through sport,” says DST Group Operations Manager, Nigel McArthur. “Pulse were the perfect company MAY 2017



to create a modern fitness facility, and by working with the team on this brand-new gym we hope to offer more exciting fitness opportunities in the local area.”

Health and Fitness Education (HFE) partners with Active IQ to drive premium health qualifications

and health clubs with the expectation they can help them manage their health problems. “There is no doubt the Level 4 qualifications are highly valued by employers and operators but they need to know that the latest medical thinking and GP practices are embedded into the study and updated as knowledge improves,” says Dr Vishnubala. “As a GP, I’m hugely appreciative of the work personal trainers and gym owners are doing, exploring new ways to work with clients and members to counteract their health issues. The more that can be done in gyms and clubs, the better for the NHS. In fact, I believe that the way forward is to empower our PTs to intervene, support and educate their clients to keep them healthy and well. In time, this can could reduce the demands on GPs’ time and the burden on the NHS. “With qualifications such as we are creating at Active IQ and forward-thinking training providers such as HFE who are making this training accessible to trainers, the active leisure industry has a real opportunity to start to turn the tide here,” says Dr Vishnubala.

With health issues increasingly being addressed by personal trainers, award-winning training provider Health and Fitness Education is partnering with Active IQ to ensure its two Level 4 qualifications Managing Low Back Pain with Exercise and Physical Activity and Exercise Intervention for Clients with Obesity & Diabetes – remain relevant with a high level of professional clinical input in both the course content and delivery. “We were keen to offer these two Level 4 qualifications as people with these skills are increasingly in demand,” says Lee Cain, Managing Director at HFE. “However, students require some high level clinical input and interaction and we didn’t feel that in-house we could completely fulfil this specialist area,” he says. “We looked at a few options and chose Active IQ as its suite of learning resources, access to medical experts and scalability for these smaller yet more specialist courses were exactly what we needed.” Active IQ is committed to helping tackle the health issues of the nation through the active leisure sector and appointed Dr Dane Vishnubala as its Chief Medical Officer to ensure its course content and delivery include the latest thinking and top-level medical insight. Lee works closely with Active IQ to ensure his training manuals, course content and assessments remain up-to-theminute. “We are not involved in clinical commissioning groups and don’t have the time to keep ahead of the latest NICE guidelines and the wealth of medical reports and resources required to deliver the most up-to-date course content,” says Lee. “By working with Active IQ, we can relinquish all the essential legwork and time needed to keep on top of the latest research and findings. Being in regular touch with Dr Vishnubala has been a real asset and he works closely with us to present the latest ideas, address our students and keep all our materials up-to-date. His help and expertise are invaluable, as is his perspective as a practicing GP.” The Level 4 qualifications at HFE are going very well with both courses attracting students looking for advanced qualifications to open more doors and offer more opportunities. Many Pilates trainers are finding the Low Back Pain course accessible and complementary to their training. Meanwhile, the Obesity and Diabetes course is increasingly in demand from personal trainers as more and more people are presenting with these conditions at gyms 10

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As for Lee Cain, he is committed to widening the reach of his Level 4 qualifications secure in the knowledge Active IQ is there to support him. “We really enjoy delivering these courses to smaller groups which immerse themselves in the topics and enjoy deep and rich discussions and group work,” says Lee. “However, we can only do that knowing Active IQ has our back in terms of providing excellent resources, first-rate student materials for online and classroom learning and experts to contribute up-to-the-minute thinking for our tutors and students.” To find out more visit and

Sports Minister to give keynote address at Elevate 2017 Tracey Crouch MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, will deliver this year’s keynote address at Elevate, the UK’s largest cross-sector event focused on tackling physical inactivity, on the second day of the event, May 11 at ExCel in London. Speaking alongside representatives from Public Health England, CIMSPA and Greater Manchester Leisure and Cultural Trusts, the Sports Minister will address how the industry can transform the delivery of physical activity through new ways of working. With approximately 400,000 people currently employed in the physical activity sector, the workforce has the potential to dramatically improve the nation’s health and wellbeing. The Inclusivity seminar, which will host this session, will examine how industry can work innovatively and collaboratively to be more productive, efficient and profitable, whilst also meeting social and community priorities. With the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) recently publishing its first annual report on the Sporting Futures strategy, there is clearly an increased focus on tackling the inactivity crisis. Elevate aims to directly address the root cause of this issue by uniting experts from the physical activity sector, academia, healthcare, government and sports performance. Speaking recently at a ukactive event, Tracey Crouch


discussed what role the physical activity sector could play in delivering the outcomes of the government’s Sporting Futures strategy, commenting that “since the release of Sporting Future, definite progress has been made, but there is still more to do to build an active Britain.” 1

The 40 winks workout

Over the course of the two-day event, which takes place on 10-11 May 2017, the 4,000 attendees will have access to a free education programme which includes over 150 expert speakers from physical activity, health and performance. Four seminar streams are in place for this year’s event including the Business of Physical Activity, Physical Activity for Health and Wellbeing, Future Performance and Inclusivity: strategies for an active nation. In addition to the education programme, Elevate will accommodate over 6,000 square metres of exhibition space where organisations including Active IQ, Gerflor, Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine, Clubbercise, Harlands Group, Kelda Technology, Firstbeat, Performance Health Systems, JP Lennard and Escape Fitness will showcase the latest solutions aimed at getting more people physically active. For more information on the event and to register for free visit:

Virtuagym announces partnership with Life Fitness Virtuagym, provider of the all-in-one coaching and management platform for fitness clubs, has announced a partnership with Life Fitness, the global leader in commercial fitness equipment. The partnership includes a deep technical integration between Virtuagym and the LFopen™ platform, which provides club members a seamless experience between the Virtuagym club app and Life Fitness equipment. Exercisers have the ability to sign in wirelessly into Life Fitness cardio equipment using the Virtuagym app to accurately track their workouts and have their workout data transferred automatically into the Virtuagym app. This seamless account creation and login process is another step in allowing operators to deliver an exceptional digital experience within their facilities. The collaboration with Life Fitness expands Virtuagym’s array of integrations, which already ranges from access control to wearables to drink dispensers and beyond. “Virtuagym’s mission is to enable people to live healthier, more active lives, through the support of new technology. Our partnership with Life Fitness fits our vision of a connected health club, where data interacts seamlessly between exercise equipment and our coaching and CRM solutions. At a time when our company is experiencing strong international growth, we believe that working with industry leaders that share our passion for simplicity, innovation and collaboration is vital to our continued success and that of our industry,” says Hugo Braam, Co-Founder of Virtuagym. “The collaboration with Virtuagym is testament to our open strategy and mindset. We truly believe in a member first approach as well as ensuring that our customers, the gym operator, get the most value from a digital solution. We want our customers to have the freedom to choose a digital solution that strategically suits their business and not one that we impress on them. This leaves us to continue to be the best at what we do and maintain our focus on innovating new and unique fitness equipment,” adds Leon Rudge Director of Digital Experience – ISBU at Life Fitness. For more information about the Life Fitness and Virtuagym integration, visit:

New health and fitness class that consists of nothing but SLEEPING to be trialled by David Lloyd Clubs. The frantic, stress-inducing nature of modern life means that few of us seem to get enough sleep, and if you’re a parent, regularly getting your full 40 winks becomes even more of a luxury. With this in mind, David Lloyd Clubs is launching ‘Napercise’ – a new type of wellbeing class for exhausted parents that consists of nothing but climbing into a bed and having a sleep. The Napercise classes consist of 45-minute sleep sessions that are designed to help reinvigorate the mind, body, and even burn the odd calorie. Upon arrival in the studio guests will find the spin-bikes swapped for single beds, and upbeat workout tunes ditched in favour of atmospheric sounds, to create the perfect environment for the soporific sessions to take place. The studio temperature will also be dropped to a level that promotes calorie burning during sleep. Napercisers will be invited to curl up in one of the beds and indulge in some restorative mid-afternoon shuteye, before continuing on with their day. The development of Napercise is inspired by past academic studies into the important health benefits that napping in the day can bring. This includes helping boost alertness, alleviate feelings of anxiety or stress, and improving your mood. Napercise itself has been developed alongside Dreams Sleep Expert Kathryn Pinkham. Pinkham commented: “Sleep is a lot more important than people realise. We tend to focus on the short-term effects such as being tired or lacking concentration, but it is also essential for our longterm physical and mental wellbeing too. In addition to a lack of sleep bringing with it a higher risk of developing anxiety or depression, when we are sleep deprived we lack the energy to exercise regularly, and also the mental clarity to make good decisions about the food we eat, which could negatively impact our physical health in the long-run." Napercise arrives in the wake of research from David Lloyd Clubs among parents that found 86% admit to suffering from fatigue, with over a quarter (26%) regularly getting less than five hours of sleep a night. Stress and anxiety meanwhile were found to be the biggest reasons for lack of sleep (43%), followed by being kept up by babies/ children (26%) and long working hours (17%) in second and third respectively. MAY 2017



MieFitQuest 12

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Owner of the Month


People want to train here, they want to be part of what we are growing

Keith Mullings tells us about his experience of establishing and running Koru Gym in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire.

Gym owners: Keith Mullings Gym name: Koru Gym # of members: 350 Address: Peek Business Park, Bishop’s Stortford, CM23 5RG Web: How did you become a gym owner? I have been a trainer for a number of years, and so have worked at, and trained in many of the gyms in the area. They are all good gyms but there was always something that I thought was below standard, or didn’t agree with. So I decided to do something about it, and started working on the business plan for Koru Gym.

How long has your gym been operating for? We’ve been open for two years now. Very quickly I realised that I’d made the right decision!

Aside from the gym, what other facilities do you offer your members? We are a gym, and we concentrate on being the best gym we can. There is no creche, no café, no tv’s, no distractions. We have a sofa and a coffee machine so members have

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somewhere to relax and chat after their workout, but we want people to know why they are here, and that is to work hard to achieve their goals.

How many staff do you employ? We have 6 reception staff who are employed by Koru, 2 of whom are also Personal Trainers. One of the things I hate about some gyms, is when you go in and there is no one there to greet you, and make you feel welcome, so I wanted to make sure reception was always manned. I feel it makes a big difference to how someone feels when they arrive. We also have a further 5 Trainers who are self-employed.

How important are PT’s to your business? The PT’s are extremely important, and that is why I made sure that I brought in the best trainers. Not only are they highly respected, but they specialise in different areas – Olympic lifting, Strongman, Nutritionist, Powerlifting, Kettlebells. I feel we have the best trainers in the area, and can offer genuine expertise to our members.

How do you motivate/incentivise your staff members? We are a small team, and so we socialise regularly, meals out, etc.

Do you provide any financial assistance for your staff with regards to their training & development? We do, but again, as a small business, we do things on an ad hoc basis. If someone would like to further their training/


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Owner of the Month

Owner of the Month education, and I can see that the course will benefit them, and the gym, then I will pay for it. We agreed to put a member of the reception staff through their level 3 PT course, and also for several weekend courses.

What makes your gym unique? There are several gyms in the area, mainly leisure centre type gyms, but also a couple of hardcore bodybuilding gyms. We have managed to combine the best of both. It’s a traditional gym where anyone is welcome, if they are prepared to work hard, but at the same time we provide a welcoming atmosphere, don’t allow ego’s or attitudes, and encourage everyone to help each other with advice, spotting, etc. Thankfully for us, all the members have bought into this and we have a great atmosphere. We also have lots of space. I don’t want to cram machines, or members in. We could double our membership but that would mean members not being able to complete their workouts as there was no free equipment. That just leads to unhappy members and a bad reputation.

What advice would you give to other gym owners just starting out? To spend time, a lot of time on planning the type of gym you want, and getting the right location. I waited two years for the right location to come up. I was offered several properties that would have done, but none were right, but you are so excited at getting up and running that it’s easy to talk yourself into something that you’ll regret later. Also, why


would anyone want to join your gym? At the end of the day a treadmill is a treadmill, and a bench is a bench, so what can you offer that is different to everyone else!

What are the biggest challenges facing your business today? I think it’s two-fold. The first is undoubtedly the low-cost gyms who are gathering strength, and people will also be interested in cheap memberships. The other challenge facing Koru in particular is that it is a very hardcore, industrial looking gym. Lots of free weights, sleds, yokes, and kettlebells. No flashing lights, or ‘high-tec’ kit, just everything you need to reach your goals with hard work. People don’t always like the sound of that!

What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years? One of the biggest changes I have noticed is the number of young teenagers who want to train, and train hard. We have many 15-year-old members who train daily. Boys have always trained the mirror muscles, but we’ve seen an increase in boys, and girls, who want to know how to squat, deadlift, etc and we are here to make sure that their technique is spot on.

How do you engage with your members? We talk to them! Social media is great for advertising the gym, but to find out how the members are feeling, there is

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Owner of the Month everything you need to reach your goals with hard work. People don’t always like the sound of that!

How do you retain your members? We made it clear from the start what we would offer our members, and what we expect from them in return, and we’ve stuck to it. Members like to know where they stand, and they like to feel that they are being listened to, and we will always listen to their ideas and concerns. Our main retention tool though is the staff. We have built a reputation of being a friendly gym, with the best trainers in the area, and anyone who looks around Koru Gym will see that people want to train here, they want to be part of what we are growing here.

How are you promoting your brand and marketing your gym? Outside of social media, we do very little advertising. Most of our members have come by way of recommendations and word of mouth. Of course, we are happy with this as, not


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Owner of the Month


only is it cheaper, but it means we must be doing something right if our members are dragging their friends down here! We hold regular strongman competitions, in collaboration with equipment maker Rebel Strength, which brings us great publicity. We regularly get 150-200 spectators to watch the competitors, as well as head referee and World’s Strongest Man finalist, Terry Hollands, who is always willing to help us out.

What is your biggest success story? For me, it must be that only five years after my initial business plan, and two years after opening, Koru Gym is already the most respected gym in the area. We offered something different, stuck to our guns, and as a result, the gym, and the members have flourished. We have a very strong following amongst the strongman community, and one member has gone on to come second in the World’s Strongest Disabled Strongman Competition, and a 15 year old member took up powerlifting, and within 18 months was world champion in his class, with four world records to his name. These are the stories that make the headlines, but for me, it’s just as satisfying to see the member who was anxious to set foot inside a gym become a regular gym goer, confident in their surroundings and their ability.

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Indoor Cycling In Different Dir We report on the latest developments and future trends within the indoor cycling sector There is no denying that indoor cycling is here to stay. But over time, the term ‘indoor cycling’ is increasingly moving in two very different directions. The rise of the inner city, bespoke boutique studios, such as BOOM Cycle, Psycle and Cyclebeat, has reinforced that spinning has made its claim on the industry. Usually with cuing and choreographed patterns paired with motivational soundtracks, these workouts are entertaining, engaging with a community, pack-feel. But there is a fast-emerging strand of performance based indoor cycling that is progressively on the rise. Classes are structured, data-driven and often technique and goal-led. Class instructors are often technical, knowledgeable and sport-based. Studios are popping up across the country to cater for this trend and here we look at a couple of the best and ask the experts about trends for the future:

Suffershire Indoor Cycling Founded in May 2015 by Ben Keenan, Suffershire Indoor Cycling in Cheltenham, is a premium performance-based studio which hosts world class coaches and workout videos from The Sufferfest. Ben comments: “With the increase in cycling, people will always look at what the professionals are doing, how they’re training and what kit they’re using. A huge part of this is training with power, and therefore performance training, and using the Wattbikes, are key. “More fitness enthusiasts are getting into performance with on-screen data and app tracking. Without it, we have no record of improvement, and with it, people get a huge sense of achievement and motivation to continue, aiding retention for the studio. “The future of indoor cycling is vast. We use The Sufferfest videos and Zwift is available for our users. As The Sufferfest 18

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g Makes Tracks rections is so immersive, riders get drawn into the race footage, the story line and digging really deep during the hard efforts. These visuals help riders push beyond their limits. As a group ‘Suffering’ together, chasing after some famous riders but in your own training zones, it creates an amazing group exercise class.

“Some companies are creating fully immersive 360 degree studios, others are going into Virtual Reality (VR). Soon, we will have apps and studios being able to offer a ‘one-stop shop’ of cycling, yoga, training plans, wellbeing and goal setting.”

MSF Fitness In 2013, Mark Fenn founded MSF Fitness, a private Wattbike personal training studio and group exercise studio in Shropshire, which attracts cyclists, beginners and triathletes, all looking to improve performance or reach a set goal. Mark explains: “Performance based cycling has increased in recent years for not only the seasoned racer but also the social cyclist. Social media has driven the sharing culture within fitness, and manufacturers are making it easier, and more affordable, to have data such as power, cadence and heart rate on both indoor and outdoor bikes. Performance is now much easier to monitor and measure. “However, although indoor cycling does sit in different varieties, we’ve found a crossover in those that enjoy spinning also enjoying our Wattbike classes. Having taught spin for many years, I think a mixture of both allows people to enjoy the best of both worlds.” MSF Fitness runs 20+ indoor cycling classes per week and the range in client’s abilities, age and goals is broad. “My mum is 63 years old and she does a Wattbike class three times a week. Data can be very motivational, it’s creates conversations and makes our classes social. “We’re also a licensed Sufferfest Studio, and use the videos daily. These are predominantly booked out by individuals or used as ‘drop-in’ sessions. From a gaming perspective, it’s harder as a studio than it is for a home user. “Over time, indoor cycling will continue to be revolutionised through technology. More group software will be the next thing, rather than it being just single or home users that can link up with cyclists across the world. It’s tricky to manage though, what happens when you have such a wide range of fitness levels within a class, or there are those that need extra support or advice? Too much gaming within a studio could reduce the experience for many so a balance must be maintained.”

Race Hub Race Hub, an indoor cycling facility based on performance set up in 2015, offers a venue where people can train, socialise, eat and shop. Race Hub Manager, Claire Shea-Simonds, is an experienced triathlete and on the rise of performance-based indoor cycling she comments: “The recreational cyclist is becoming far more performance focused because data is now far more accessible. For this, the Wattbike is now recognised as the indoor training bike with its road-like feel and accurate, reliable power data. “It's no longer just the cyclists and triathletes that want a way to quantify and 'measure' their fitness and training. Social media, Strava and smart phones all make it easy to share and compare your fitness and training data, so it is important we can offer accurate and reliable data to all fitness consumers.” Race Hub uses ‘race software’ to run studio ‘race nights, and indoor time trials throughout the winter months. Claire adds: “Sufferfest videos are hugely popular for us, it is immersive and engaging and very inclusive of a wide range of abilities, fitness and cycling experiences.” MAY 2017



The leaders in cycling gamification Zwift describes itself as a digital destination for the global cycling community. It’s an online gaming platform dedicated to indoor cycling, developed in 2010 by Jon Mayfield as a project to meet his own indoor training needs. Eric Min, Zwift CEO helped Mayfield bring the software to market in 2015. Steve Beckett, VP Marketing and Sales at Zwift, comments: “Training indoors has long been considered a necessary evil by many. From its earliest incarnations, Zwift was dedicated to finding the dynamic visual, physical and social elements of real-world training and making them available in an indoor setting. “Community is at the heart of Zwift. It’s a key part of any Zwift users experience, from helping a new user understand the software to providing leadership opportunities for seasoned ride leaders.” Zwift’s users connect through social media, so this, and sharing are vital for amplifying and communicating that involvement to other users around the world.

On why the virtual, motivational Zwift world of ‘Watopia’ has been so successful, Beckett continues: “Part of the equation is providing an environment that demands exploration while also providing a physical challenge. It’s an immersive experience for the user and is designed so that it’s easy to forget you’re riding on a trainer indoors. “However, Zwift doesn’t want to replace outdoor cycling. What we want to do is make indoor cycling as compelling as possible. The Wattbike really opens some doors for indoor cycling, it really integrates into the home and is a well-designed piece of equipment that breaks down the barriers to getting into Zwift whilst providing a data-rich and accurate workout for any user.” Zwift is currently expanding their mobile platforms beyond iOs to Apple TV and Android, as well as working on a running feature that will dramatically increase Zwift’s appeal beyond cycling. The Sufferfest launched in 2008 and was a product of founder and Chief Suffering Officer, David McQuillen. The Sufferfest is said to have come about due to their coined term, TTBS (Turbo Trainer Boredom Syndrome). The workouts are structured with a video component to keep you engaged and motivated. Dylan Robbins, Head of Marketing at The Sufferfest, comments: “We have close relationships with some of the best coaches and sport scientists in the world. After the workout is developed we take exclusive footage from some of the world’s biggest races, and create a storyline around it. “We have an extensive library of workouts, so there’s something for everyone. There are workouts designed for base training and race simulation, others to improve climbing, speed, or endurance, and workouts that focus specifically on good form and technique, and the app allows you to adjust intensity. People are looking for an immersive experience, and that’s exactly what The Sufferfest provides. The more engaged the user, the harder they’re going to work.”

'Zwift doesn’t want to replace outdoor cycling. What we want to do is make indoor cycling as compelling as possible' Fitness devices, such as power meters and heart rate monitors are advancing, becoming less expensive, and more accessible to the average cyclist. Access to data allows users to maximise what The Sufferfest team call the “Return on Suffering”; instead of just turning the pedals you track performance data to personalise your workouts and target specific aspects of your fitness. “We’re social creatures.” Robbins continues, “The Sufferfest is not just a training platform, it’s a community. Sufferlandrians 20

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MAY 2017



lift each other up. Everybody hurts. It’s not whether you win or lose, but whether you’ve pushed yourself out of your comfort zone to improve.” On what’s next for the future of indoor cycling, Dylan adds: “As technology and data integration improves, indoor cycling will continue to become more immersive. Incorporating highintensity interval training into your schedule will help you ride faster, climb better, and generally have more fun when you’re out on the bike. With more sophisticated analytics, indoor cycling will also be more personalised, allowing cyclists of all fitness and experience levels to get the most out of their time on the trainer. “There are loads of exciting things coming from The Sufferfest, including some supplemental content that will help people become more complete, badass athletes. We’re also looking at ways to further personalise the experience and allow people to target different aspects of their fitness with more precision. This year will see The Sufferfest really cement its position as the most comprehensive, engaging training platform out there.” For more information about performance based indoor cycling visit


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Expert comment from

Dave Johnson, Production and Design Director at Pulse: “Indoor cycling is a huge phenomenon, and the current trend is towards creating a high end immersive and fully connected experience. Virtual reality classes and those sessions that offer the opportunity to really bring the outside, inside, are growing in popularity with gym-goers. At Pulse, we have responded to this trend by developing the Pulse Group Cycle, a brand-new piece of indoor group cycling equipment and connected software. It offers a sleek, high-end design which combines durability, ergonomics and connectivity to offer a realistic and engaging ride. The Pulse Group Cycle also features the most up-

to-date technology on the market, with a unique hybrid generator braking system that is currently only seen on commercial bikes such as a u-cycle or r-cycle, and is a fully self-powered system. To help operators and clubs keep their members fully engaged and to help aid retention we have also developed our own connectivity solution. The software allows for individuals and teams to monitor their activity in real-time. Participants will be able to access live performance data such as their heart-rate, speed and power and is then digitally displayed back, thanks to the software’s wireless connectivity, to create a motivational video wall for group exercise classes.”











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Expert comment from

MArk Talley, Group Fitness Manager at Everyone Active “Indoor cycling has always proved to the most popular of our fitness classes. However, over the last few years there has been an even bigger demand as we are now seeing more cyclists and triathletes come through our doors to attend these classes during the winter months for pre-race season training. Everyone Active continue to innovate by providing the best equipment and programming in the industry, currently we offer our members a wide variety of different classes, and whilst the “party on a bike” style classes are still very popular, we are also introducing more performance based programmes which suit those training for particular events. Our main partner for group cycling across our sites is Keiser. We are currently working with them to trial a new system called KIPS. The system measures power and performance during classes, which is then displayed on TV screens during the class and also links with the Keiser app. The system has worked very well at our Frogmore and Stratford facilities and the feedback from our members has been really positive as it allows our members to gain accurate data and feedback on


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their performance. In London we have recently entered a partnership with Stages at our Camberwell, Porchester and Queen Mother Sites. The new studios incorporate atmospheric lighting, sound systems and a video wall as well as the Stages bikes and Stages Flight software. Based around power and heart rate training, the classes measure everyone’s individual functional threshold power so as the participant rides, no matter what their level of fitness is they are always in the correct power zone. We offer three styles of classes to be as inclusive as possible Stages Rookie, Stages Sprint and Stages Perform. It’s something you wouldn’t typically expect to see in a local authority leisure centre, which gives us a point of difference as the studios have the same level of finish that you would expect to see in some of the top boutique studios. As an operator with facilities all over the country, it’s important for us to adapt our offering as what might work in one part of the country isn’t always the same for another. Understanding what our members are looking for from a cycle class is key as we continue to develop our indoor cycling offer across the business.”


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PEDAL POWER Spinning® is the world’s number one indoor cycling brand. With a dynamic culture of around 200,000 certified Spinning instructors, millions of Spinning® enthusiasts in over 80 countries worldwide and an intense programme of activity, the Spinning® community continually strives to improve its performance. In direct response to the demand from Spin® enthusiasts for high accuracy power measurement, leading fitness equipment suppliers and manufacturers, Precor will be launching a new addition to the Spinner® family of bikes; the new Spinner® Chrono™ Power. After three years in development and testing, later this year Precor will bring to market a bike with premium features that exceeds expectations in all areas of Spinning®. Designed specifically for operators looking for the pinnacle of reliability, feel and rider experience, the Spinner® Chrono™ Power provides direct power measurement at the power source. A power sensor is bonded directly onto the resistance system to gauge actual wattage, delivering the most accurate way to measure personal performance on an indoor cycle. This gives riders a highly accurate versus an inferred measurement. The breakthrough design also eliminates the use or replacement of batteries in both the console and power sensor, presenting a self-powered bike. The direct-wired design of the power sensor not only eradicates the need for service calls to re-calibrate, but also the need to wirelessly reconnect sensor and consoles. For operators this ensures a consistently performing console meaning a premium experience for riders from the start of a class to its finish – and no delay waiting for classes to begin due to the need for battery replacement. The Spinner® Chrono™ Power also uses a self-powered generator to store energy and supply current to the console to power the back light and give riders three minutes after they have stopped pedalling to review their performance and download data onto a smart phone. The generator also provides energy to the power sensor. An all new colour backlit console supports SPINPower® programming and is also network capable using Bluetooth and ANT+. It features an easy to use interface showing watts, cadence, heart rate, time, distance and ten different intervals settings. Software updates are available using a USB. The console also has an Active Status Light™ that alerts staff when the bike needs attention, making it easier to maintain and decreasing product downtime.

Precor Master Trainer Sarah Morelli and Director of Athleticum, Training Partner of Precor UK comments: “I am super excited for the members on the launch of the new Spinner® Chrono™ Power. This provides an opportunity for clubs to up-skill anyone to become SPINPower® Instructors and communicate meaningful data to their members, set goals based on specific individual’s needs, and all whilst enjoying the same ride. “With the easy SPINPower® Threshold Test, the members get to see real progress and achievements over time, like weight loss goals or power increases to hit the weekend bike ride, so the science really does blend with the experience of the workouts! An extra bonus is that clubs get to run both the Spinning® and SPINPower® programs on the timetable. More classes, more members, more opportunity!” The aluminium framed bike also includes a patent-pending magnetic resistance system designed to more evenly apply resistance as the rider adjusts the resistance dials. This will prevent abrupt jumps in resistance from one turn of the dial to the next – a common issue with indoor cycles without this feature. A smooth ride is also delivered with a new Kevlar® reinforced timing belt that gives the Spinner® Chrono™ the feel and responsiveness of an outdoor bike. This belt was selected for strength and reliability, and is backed by a 10year warranty.

For further information contact: 26

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GEAR UP YOUR FACILITY AND MEMBERS WITH SPINNING® Spinning® was founded by endurance road cyclists, with a desire to create a high quality programme and bring an authentic cycling experience indoors. Precor are proud to be part of this world-wide community and create the new reliable and durable Spinner® bikes, designed to offer a personalised ride with an uncompromising fit and feel. To experience the new bikes, or for more information, please contact or 03334 149774. MAY 2017



The Learning Paul Swainson, Head of PT at Future Fit Training, discusses training & CPD with three leading industry professionals

Andrew Dare

James Duncan

There is no such thing as the finished article when it comes to PT. Trainers should never stop training. Every day fresh knowledge, research, technology, trends and even a degree of ‘fashion’ in fitness influence how our members and clients go about their health and fitness regimes. Gym owners and their trainers must keep alert and ahead to ensure we continue to inspire, motivate and teach. Our Raising the Bar report showed a unanimous view among operators that standards need to be raised in our business. Training is what I do – with nine years as a PT and 11 years as a trainer of trainers, I’m bound to be biased on this topic. So rather than my usual Gym Owner Monthly column dedicated to my personal views, I spoke to three highly regarded professionals about their experience of training. I started by asking who is responsible for training – gym owners or their staff? 28

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Joe Oliver


g Never Ends Invest in your best “The responsibility for development should sit with both the employer and individual PT,” says James Duncan, Learning & Development Manager Fusion Lifestyle. “Empowerment, expectation and at times legislation of ongoing development should sit squarely with the employer. But this should not create a culture of hand holding as each of us, without exception has a responsibility to better ourselves and own the opportunities that are presented to us,” he says. Andrew Dare, Area Manager at LED Leisure, agrees it should be a mix. “I feel that staff should invest in their own development but the employer should support that training choice. Employers should provide training to enhance their staff development. This strategy is key in driving our business development and it’s clear that quality staff bring quality programming and great customer service. Joe Oliver, Managing Director of Your Personal Training, has done research that shows you can correlate increased productivity, retention and loyalty of your best personal trainers against the provision of CPD. In essence, you need to expect to invest in your best. That’s all very well but should that investment be for in-house or external training? In house is usually cheaper and can be specifically tailored to the gym owner’s needs and format of their trainers and members. But it may not be endorsed/accredited by CIMSPA and requires time and resource to be invested. External training costs more but takes less time and resource from the gym and gives you top-level expertise in technical content plus a valuable outside perspective. This broader external view and accreditation are highly rated it seems. “Using a professional membership scheme with a requirement to achieve a set number of CPD points per year such as CIMSPA Affiliate or Practitioner (Exercise & Fitness) means gym owners will be able to help support their workforce better,” believes James. “If doing the training in-house, you need to find a designated person to deliver this across the organisation and they will need a number of qualifications to deliver this effectively,” says Andrew. “I think staff can relate better to an outside organisation and recognise the person delivering the training is an expert in that field.” Joe recognises that an in-house programme can produce a clearer brand-relevant message than an externally delivered programme. For CPD, however, as Your Personal Training is not skilled in this area, he prefers to engage with a training provider to provide a blend of ‘fit for purpose’ and brand relevant training.

A complete framework There are some key factors to look for in appointing an external training provider. Top of the list is that all-important accreditation and endorsement from an organisation such as CIMSPA. Recommendation from others and checking the history and track record of the training provider are also advisable. Looking closely at what’s on offer will pay dividends: technical experts in exercise, nutrition and coaching aren’t enough on their own. Seek a provider that can offer a complete framework covering delivery, assessment, quality assurance and customer service to put all the training aspects into context of the work being undertaken at your gym. “The best training providers have an ability to understand the audience and what their challenges are on the ground,” says Joe. “We look for trainers who can fill any skills gaps in the current Personal Training courses. Now we have aligned with CIMSPA, accreditation is also a must.” “We look for quality, quality and quality,” says James. “Value added, meaningful training takes time, effort and money. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is and beware of people selling ’60 Minute Makeover’ solutions. My advice is to look for providers that are interested in long term partnerships and can provide accredited/recognised training MAY 2017



with clear industry affiliation,” he says. Staff training is neither a ‘bolt on’ nor a ‘nice to do’. Operators should include it in long term planning, operational budgets and infrastructure. When it comes to CPD, the clue is in the ‘C’ for ‘continuing’: one off training isn’t sufficient and you need a clear plan for ongoing training that is allocated budget. The first step is needs analysis to ascertain exactly who needs what. Asking trainers what they would benefit from is obvious. But I’d also suggest gym owners ask their members what’s missing from the service they get? What expertise would they like to see on offer? Honest feedback from paying customers can be very telling. “Including training in the infrastructure is essential: the value it brings to your business will outweigh the cost,” says Andrew. “Not only will training enhance staff’s capabilities, it will also help drive your business plans and innovation across your company.” James clearly favours ring fencing funds for training. “Don’t leave training as a second thought or as an addition that can be cut when you don’t hit target,” he warns. “With clear outcomes and KPIs you can easily demonstrate your return on investment and the impact that a well-trained workforce will have on your bottom line.”

Pro Zone Prioritising training and CPD is music to the ears of training providers, including my team at Future Fit. However, those same ears also hear concerns about making training and CPD affordable and accessible to gyms. With our Raising The Bar report’s clarion call for improved training and upskilling trainers came a responsibility to deliver a programme that would help gym owners fulfil their training promise. Our mission was to create a solution that broadened training out across gyms to include maximum staff at a minimum cost while neither losing quality nor content. Our new Pro Zone is gaining recognition among gym owners as a cost and time effective way to ensure their staff’s annual CPD requirement is met with additional endorsement from CIMSPA. In a nutshell, Pro Zone offers accredited webinars providing skills and knowledge in a variety of key areas for fitness professionals, daily training articles and videos, discussions in a private forum and contributions from special guest experts. In addition, gyms can access our range of practical and e-learning courses to create a bespoke training package that suits their needs. 30

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Don’t just take my word for it. “Before Future Fit we didn’t offer much more than mandatory training to staff: we knew this was important but couldn’t justify the costs for external trainers to provide training,” says Andrew. “Key to Pro Zone is the fact we can pay for this as a licence cost. It provides extensive training but also many different touch points which include e-learning, a closed Facebook group, and one to one training days to suit all staff at different levels.” “Pro Zone looks very promising and represents extraordinary value for CIMSPA-accredited and industry relevant training options for Personal Trainers to complete their CPD requirement around their client and operational commitments,” says Joe who has just signed up Your Personal Training. James speaks for all those operators who, like him, have a passion for the sector and the development of people. “Investment in meaningful training and development must be at the heart of any successful business’s workforce strategy,” says James. “The most successful operators are the ones with an overt commitment to the training and continuous development of their staff. In a rapidly expanding and demanding sector the only way you will remain successful is if you invest in your workforce to retain talent and enable them to surpass the expectations of your customers.” Better trained trainers bring better results for members. Better results for members bring better retention and an enhanced reputation. In turn these lead to more members. And if that doesn’t put the case for investing in training and CPD, nothing will.

Expert comment from

Keith Smith, Global Master Trainer, Life Fitness: “Most professional bodies recognise the need for Continuing Professional Development (CPD), from the Medical Membership Organisations, to the General Council of the Bar, who all acknowledge that CPD is an essential part of professionalism. The Fitness Professional should be no different. In an ever-changing industry like the fitness industry, CPD is never static, it is continually evolving. The rate at which the fitness industry is developing has never been so fast, new equipment is being launched each week, digital continues to transform how the exerciser experiences their workout and the continued understanding of the body means that there is always a need for instructors to continually learn and develop new techniques to engage exercisers. At Life Fitness Academy (LFA) we believe that education and development, in the form of CPD of facility staff, is one of the biggest factors in the fight for exerciser adherence. If a facility or trainer can maintain or increase frequency of visit, then retention of that exerciser becomes easier, which is why we deliver exceptional standardised fitness education, accredited by global certifying bodies around the world. CPD should be bespoke and facilities and trainers need to consider what makes them stand out along with the type of education and development that best supports them in their pursuit of their unique exerciser experience. We are dedicated to developing and offering progressive and engaging education through our network of trainers who can bring the best out in staff and facilities. LFA supports customers in creating, planning, delivering and evaluating bespoke CPD that supports the exerciser experiences the facility wants to create. This process is fluid and requires LFA to listen carefully to customers in order to provide this bespoke service. It also requires continual adaptation and refinement to ensure the correct content and context for the customer’s staff. CPD can be expensive, but so is losing members to another facility. We often hear that facilities are investing in new equipment, and rightly so, in the hope of retaining and attracting members. We very rarely hear of facilities talk about staff investment via CPD programmes, when we know that long-term member retention is about the ‘how and why’ and equally as important as the equipment on the gym floor.” MAY 2017



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Additional study makes me a more wellrounded PT NAME: Louise Cochrane QUALIFICATIONS: Level 2 Certificate in Personal Training Level 3 Certificate in Fitness Instructing Health Sciences Academy – Advanced Sports & Exercise Nutritional Adviser SBS Academy (in progress) NO. OF YEARS AS A QUALIFIED PT: 2.5 years WORKS IN: Glasgow WEB FACEBOOK: TWITTER: INSTAGRAM: This feature is sponsored by:

MAY 2017




How did you become a PT? I actually went to university and completed a bachelor degree in product design engineering. Landing a job as a project engineer after graduating, I started going to the gym a few times a week after work. I had no idea what exercises I should be doing, so I hired a personal trainer to help me and the results I achieved completely changed not only how I looked, but also how I felt about myself. I loved how I felt so much that I decided I wanted to help others to feel the same, which is why I studied for my fitness qualifications (while working full time AND preparing for my first bikini competition!) and launched my business, Louise Cochrane Fitness.

What was your experience of the training/qualification process? To be honest, if it wasn’t for the fact that I had had a brilliant PT in William Wylie, and a couple of years of decent gym training under my belt, I would have felt incredibly unprepared to enter the world of personal training. My course was delivered online which suited me because I was working full time, but the thought that someone could qualify like that without having really set foot in a gym is worrying! So much of PT is learnt from the experience of coaching real people, and I think the online courses are sorely lacking in that department.

Do you (or do you intend to) specialise in a particular type of fitness? My area of focus at the moment is body transformation, whether that’s fat loss, muscle gain or (usually) a combination of both. I love helping people change how they feel about themselves, developing their confidence and selfbelief – as well as their body!

What’s it like working with gym owners? I’m very lucky to work at The Club Gym, a gym built by three personal trainers with many years experience between them. Having worked in a budget gym before, while it was perfect for me when I was first starting my business, I really appreciate having gym owners that know what it’s like to actually be a PT and it’s inspiring to see what they have created through sheer graft. We get paid for shifts, keep all of our PT income, and the focus is very much on supporting staff.

What is your opinion of CPD? In an industry such as ours, with so much research being done and new information becoming available, I think it’s essential to stay current, and CPD is so important for this. At the moment I’m a student of the Shredded By Science Academy, a science-led, research-based course covering the basics of personal training, coaching physique athletes, powerlifters and setting up your business. The certification I achieved when initially qualifying got me started, but additional study makes me a more well-rounded PT.


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I tend to be most motivated when I’m working towards a specific goal which, in recent years, has been competing as a bikini athlete. I enjoy the process more than the competition itself, and I thrive off the focus and organisation that’s required.

What advice would you give to other PTs just starting out in the business? Get spending time building relationships with people. If you come from a place of just wanting to help them out, rather than going in for a big sell, people will warm to you. I think it’s important to work on the Know, Like and Trust principle. Referrals are the perfect way to grow, so simply asking your existing clients to recommend you to others (which hopefully they will want to do anyway) can be useful. I’d also recommend learning as much as you can whether that’s from other successful PTs, additional qualifications or going to relevant seminars. Professional networks such as Lift The Bar and Shredded By Science are also great someone somewhere will have gone through what you’re going through, and they will have the advice to share. Don’t become a PT just because YOU like going to the gym and lifting weights. When someone becomes your client, they put their trust in you - as well as their expectations, hopes and dreams of being happier in their skin or performing at their highest level possible. The fact that you like training doesn’t mean that they will (they probably won’t), and you need to be prepared to deal with that.

What are the biggest challenges facing your business today?

You spend your working hours motivating others, how do you motivate yourself? It’s cheesy, but seeing my clients succeed is motivating for me. Many of them have had extremely demanding jobs or working schedules, family commitments and stressful life events but seeing them put the work into their gym training and nutrition regardless is inspiring.

My biggest challenge is deciding on the best way to expand my business. There are only so many hours in the day for 1-2-1 sessions, especially as I’m also a gym manager, so I’m looking into perhaps offering semi-private/group training and online coaching.

What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years? I love that looking after your body seems to have become more of a trend recently, especially for young people, but the rise of #fitspo and all the unqualified internet celebs

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have an online presence across a variety of mediums which also helps draw business.

How often do you train yourself? It varies depending on whether I’m prepping for a competition or trying out different training methodologies but at the moment I’m doing four weight training days and 1-2 cardio sessions. I also teach classes such as body pump, yoga and Pilates a few times per week at the gym.

If there was one thing you could radically change within the industry, what is it? The standards required to gain fitness qualifications and improvement of the actual courses themselves to better prepare you for coaching clients.

Do you see yourself still working as a PT in 10 years time? Hopefully, yes. I wanted to move into management eventually, but I’ve already achieved that. I enjoy mentoring and helping other PTs, so I may want to do more of that, but I think I’ll always keep a few 1-2-1 clients as I get so much from doing it. that brings can be concerning. People are taking advice from these people with thousands of followers who are often spouting ‘bro’ or ‘fit chick’ advice with no other logic behind it other than it worked for them. There’s a vast spectrum of quality of coaches in the industry, but I do believe that the good ones survive and thrive.

How do you engage with your clients (active and inactive)? All my clients use my app on Trainerize which allows them to track their gym performance and physical changes which seems to really help keep them motivated and engaged with their training.

How do you promote your services? I’m lucky now because most of my new business comes from referrals, so I don’t need to do a huge amount of promoting! I


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What is your biggest success story? Professionally, I always deem it a huge success when I can change how someone feels about themselves and seeing their face when they do something they didn’t believe they could. That could be losing a lot of weight and inches or smashing their lifts. When someone starts off standing with their toes turning in, shoulders rounded and head bowed, making themselves as small as possible and transforms with developed confidence and self-belief, I feel like I’ve done a good job. I think it’s for this reason that I particularly enjoy working with people who are brand new to weight training. A personal success was placing second in the UKDFBA Caledonian Classic and getting an invite to the British Finals, placing in the top five natural bikini athletes in the UK. Even the show report mentioned how surprised and pleased I was when they announced the results! I went in with no expectations, simply wanting to be MY best, and it was a really special moment when I placed.






24-25 May 2017 The Belfry, Wishaw, West Midlands, UK

What do you get at SIBEC? • Guaranteed pre-qualified audience of key decision makers • Pre-set appointments with buyers of your choice • Limited competition • 3 full days of exceptional networking • Unparalleled value for money • High Quality Seminar Program

8-11 November 2017 Don Carlos Leisure Resort & Spa, Marbella, Spain

I think will be my 5th year at SIBEC and from both a business and personal perspective there are a number of reasons why I continue to attend yearly1. It is one of the best business networking events I have attended in the Industry and year on year continues to put me in touch with new suppliers and buyers that consistently open my eyes to further business opportunities. 2. It allows me to be a source of referral for any of our existing suppliers who are looking to work with other operators. 3. It gives me the opportunity to meet up and socialise with other Industry leaders within their field. Michelle Dand, Group Health & Fitness Manager, David Lloyd Leisure Ltd

For more information about SIBEC please contact:

David Zarb Jenkins Email: Tel: +356 9944 8862 MAY 2017



CYBEX LAUNCHES 2017 UK SEMINAR PROGRAMME FOR HEALTH AND FITNESS PROFESSIONALS The programme comprises 12 one-day REPs accredited seminars powered by the Cybex Research Institute Cybex, a leading manufacturer of premium exercise equipment, has launched its 2017 UK Seminar Programme, a series of one-day seminars powered by the Cybex Research Institute. Aimed at health, fitness and wellbeing professionals, the seminars are taking place nationwide and will cover a selection of the industry’s key trends and topical issues: movement analysis, mobility, training for speed, biomechanics analysis for improved strength, exercise and the nervous system and scientific training for exercise programming. Seminars will comprise a combination of practical and theory study, designed to equip attendees with the knowledge, understanding and experience to apply the findings in their day-to-day roles. The programme has been developed by the Cybex Research Institute (CRI), the research arm of Cybex and the body responsible for product development, exercise research and education to support gym operators and fitness professionals worldwide. The programme is also accredited by the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) and attendees will be awarded four CPD Points by Life Fitness, an Endorsed Training Provider, for every seminar completed. For more information including seminar dates and locations, visit

Commenting on the launch of the 2017 Seminar Programme, Chris Rock, Education Manager, at Life Fitness, said: “As health, fitness and wellbeing professionals it is our responsibility to continually develop ourselves so that we can help others. At the Cybex Research Institute we strive to utilise credible, research-based resources to create and deliver education that is not just focused on the science. Instead, we offer a real-life perspective and teach learners how to apply the findings because our desire is to better enable professionals to assist clients each and every day.” “As part of the wider Life Fitness family, we now have even more resources and experience that we can draw upon to further improve the standards and quality of education our attendees receive. The 2017 Cybex Education Programme focuses on the key industry trends that are developed or growing, so learners are best equipped to serve their clients and wider network.”

For more information on Cybex, visit 38

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Seminar Programme 2017

FROM JUST ÂŁ99 PER PERSON 12 one-day REPs accredited seminars developed by experts at the Cybex Research Institute Practical and theory study designed to enhance learning and development for fitness professionals Mobility I Movement analysis I Training for speed I Biomechanics analysis for improved strength Exercise and the nervous system I Scientific training for exercise programming


Scientific Training Explained - Understanding vital considerations when exercise programming


25 May

Training for Speed - How to train to become faster


08 June

Scientific Training Explained - Understanding vital considerations when exercise programming


22 June

Movement Analysis - Analysis of human movement dysfunction


06 July

Exercise and the nervous system for optimal performance

South West

For the full schedule and to book online visit CybexUK TRAINING PROVIDER



MAY 2017



'Product developm improvement will key to the success We talk to Steven Rinaldi, founder of Primal Strength How did you get into the fitness industry? I studied Fitness and Sports Performance at College and competed in natural bodybuilding in my late teens. This lead to researching sports nutrition ingredients and I initially began working in the retail management side of fitness, later developing sports nutrition products. In 2010 I joined one of the largest private UK fitness retailers in a dual role (focussing on developing sports nutrition and equipment) as their Sales and Product Director. The company successfully sold in 2015 and in early 2016 I co-founded and launched The Club Gym. Later that year we launched Primal Strength.

Tell us about Primal Strength?

of products and accessories was intense and our team spent a few late nights to say the least trying to perfect everything for our launch range. As with anything, the litmus test would always be the reception and feedback from our distributors and customers. The feedback has been excellent and has in turn helped the organic growth of the business move even quicker than we could have hoped. I must say the thrill of seeing a fully installed commercial gym with the Primal Strength range gives me a real buzz every time. For now, we have a small team of five key people:  Me - I try and balance my time both working in the business and on the business. I speak to as many customers and distributors as possible every day, design gyms for our customers, and spend as much time on the actual equipment development side as I can.

Launching a premium-level strength brand has probably been in my head for far too long. My previous role had given me a great background in sourcing equipment but as the equipment was mainly for ecommerce and home use we always had to work to a price point.

 Mark Bowering - Mark has founded some huge industry brands; PhD Nutrition, Monster Supplements etc. Mark advises on business strategy and planning. Our operations team and stock are based at his warehouse in Hull.

With Primal Strength, purely from a product perspective, we design and source premium quality, performance products regardless of the manufacturing price. Starting out, we realised it was a crowded market but knew that we could make an instant impact with our quality and strong brand identity, whilst still delivering value for money. The Primal Strength name ticked so many boxes for the strength and functional market and when a good friend heard the name he said it sounded excellent when being shouted out! He still tells me to this day that was one of the deciding factors in finalising the brand name.

 Gianna Rinaldi - Gianna joined the company in late 2016 after a decade in commercial fitness sales and management. She manages sales and operations in our Glasgow office and has a keen eye for detail in aiding our customers with their gym design ideas.

The pre-launch design and testing phase for the wide range 40

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 Damian Della Croce - Damian set the brand up, worked with suppliers, worked on initial brand development and works on product content.

 Suzie Sonnabend - Suzie runs our logistics, operations and distribution centre in Hull. Suzie is highly adept in ensuring our customer’s and distributor’s needs are met on time and with exemplary service levels.


ment and l always remain s of the brand'

What is your vision for Primal Strength in the UK and in Europe?

What sets Primal Strength apart from its competitors? There are two key factors:  On every single product, we take the basic, ‘off the shelf’ design, deconstruct it and then put together a design plan to improve the product. Some products had a list of 50 changes before the product got to market. Others we didn’t need to change at all but approximately 60% of our range has been improved from the original design. A key example is our Stealth Half Rack - the rack is a selection of the best features from rigs, racks and products assembled to be one truly unbeatable power rack.  Both Mark and I are gym owners. Whilst we own very differently-styled gyms, we can definitely relate to our customers during their planning stage. This gives us an edge, having been on the other side of the table and knowing all the stresses and strains involved. We don’t just sell equipment; we work with our customers on the full design, selection, layout, and planning process. If they have questions on membership systems, council applications, flooring etc, we have generally encountered most scenarios and can help support them and remove some of the initial stress that’s involved! We like to think we add a lot of value in this regard, not just supplying our kit.

We were fortunate enough to have a large amount of European interest in the brand from launch. Currently, we supply across Europe (either directly or through our distribution partners) in the UK, Spain, Scandinavia, Ireland, Poland etc. The short-term business plan is to continue with our omni-channel sales approach of multiple ecommerce channels, telesales, on site customer visits and working closely with our European distribution partners. We have plenty of new show sites being installed this year and are exhibiting the brand at the big industry shows like Bodypower (Stand E80, opposite Gymshark). We initially launched with approximately 120 products and the range will be over 200 strong by the end of 2017. Product development and improvement will always remain key to the success of the brand. The ultimate goal is of course to be widely regarded as the ‘go to’ provider of premium strength and functional equipment in the UK and Europe, but our focus is on taking one step at a time and never saving on quality or service levels for our customers.

What are the biggest challenges facing your business over the next few years? One challenge would be around currency. We buy all of our equipment in dollars, so a weakened Sterling and the uncertainty in the currency market can be a challenge. We were fortunate enough to launch the business post-Brexit, which allowed us to create our forecasting models using a weaker Sterling rate. Having been involved in the industry for a long time, I saw many businesses struggle to adjust to the Sterling dropping against the dollar by 20%. Other challenges in the early days have been managing stock and forecasting (no business can order an infinite amount of stock!). We try and hold all our lines in stock but even after a decade of ordering stock this can be very challenging. The biggest challenge and opportunity is still consumer MAY 2017



What are your biggest achievements? Personal Life:  My amazing two-year-old daughter! Business:  Being part of a small team that transformed and took the company I worked for to a significant sale in 2015. We were the fastest growing private fitness retailer in the UK when we sold.  Launching The Club Gym with my friends who are successful personal trainers. Opening a boutique gym, that was different to the norm was challenging but ultimately very rewarding.

education. The growing trend of consumers buying strength kit directly from overseas manufacturers (without any research into their product quality) is concerning. Obviously, this kit can be slightly cheaper but it still usually involves a significant investment. A lot of the time the seller may have no quality control and the consumer may be buying equipment that isn’t commercially suitable or that has no product or public liability insurance in the UK or Europe. We had discussed many straplines for our premium racks and use ‘Buy Once for Life’ - that phrase rang true with us all and we intend to stand behind that for our clients.

What are your own personal fitness goals and how do you achieve these? For someone that was previously a successful natural bodybuilder, co-owns a gym and a fitness company I have been very lazy on my personal fitness recently. My goals have changed dramatically over the years, moving away from heavy bodybuilding and now trying to be more active. We are currently setting up a training showroom and office outside of Glasgow, I will have no excuses then!

What's the best lesson you've learnt from the fitness industry? When I was in my early twenties, I thought I knew it all and was having great fun creating crazy pre-workout formulas! Looking back, I didn’t know too much and was a cocky so and so! Over a decade or so later, the biggest thing I have learnt is to listen. The industry has some true experts and I am lucky enough to be friends with the likes of Phil Learney who runs the ACA (which is a great business resource for anyone in the fitness industry). Over the past five to ten years, I have spent a lot of time travelling to exhibitions all over the world. Watching fitness trends grow and sometimes rapidly fall has also been vital from a business perspective. Collaborating and listening to feedback will always see Primal Strength remain in a strong position for our customers. 42

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 Having the courage to follow my dream with Primal Strength. Leaving the financial safety net of a secure job with a young family was a risk but I firmly believe that if you invest in your products, brand and customers you will succeed.  Developing our team. We have had customers go out of their way to give positive feedback and this is all down to our team. Seeing staff happy and fulfilled and getting positive comments from our customers is hugely positive and rewarding.


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Beating the Competition Paul Bedford asks ‘Do gym competitions or challenges improve member retention or adherence’? The thing to consider is what's motivating people to exercise. There’s often a presumption that health and fitness people are competitive, but I'm not sure that's true for everyone that goes to the gym. Some people are internally motivated to train, they'll turn up every day and put a lot of effort into it. Others are more externally motivated, where they're training for other reasons than training itself. The research around internal and external motivation suggests internally motivated members are more likely to stick to exercise. But does that also mean they're more likely to be competitive? A couple of other things need to be taken into consideration. The concept of association and disassociation. Some people like to disassociate when exercising. This means they use external sources to distract them from the discomfort of exercise. We commonly see this in people using treadmills with the TV on or listening to music on their iPod or iPhone. It’s unlikely the people who use exercise in this way would look to compete or get involved in challenges. Then we have those who associate. They are more focused on themselves and how they feel while working out. Using a treadmill again as a comparison, someone who's more associated will be looking at their distances, times, maybe their split times and their heart rate. They'll be looking for the machine to give feedback on their work out in order to make more decisions about how they're going train, both now and in the future. People who are more associated are more likely to join in competitions. I don't think it's true to say just because someone is competitive outside of the exercise and fitness environment they're going to be competitive in the exercise and fitness environment too. I competed in cycling time trials, cycling road races and in martial arts, but never had any enthusiasm to participate in gym competitions, partly because I didn't think they tested what I was actually good at. 44

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I'll use an anecdote where I talk about my mum coming into the gym, learning how to use the concept2 rower and then participating in a 2,000m challenge. She rows the 2,000 metres in about 12 minutes, puts her time up on the board, only to come in the following week to see someone has rowed the same distance in just 6:12. That can completely demoralise people taking part for the first time, so we have to balance out these ranked competitions. If I was still running facilities I would include ranked competitions from time to time, but I wouldn't make them all ranked. The other type of challenge you can include is achievement or participation, where everyone in the gym has the opportunity to take part. Let's say the May challenge is to cover 42.2km by treadmill, bike or rower - the same distance as the London marathon. You're not saying who's the fastest or who's doing it in the least amount of workouts. You're simply saying, throughout May, how many people can do that and get recognition for their achievement. It’s not too dissimilar to the way companies like Orange Theory Fitness, 1Rebel and Boom, more boutique-style gyms, use accomplishment as a target. Your name goes on the wall and you get recognition for your achievement in terms of participation, as opposed to being ranked against other people’s fitness levels.

Mind the Gap Looking at the different sexes, men are more likely to compete on a comparison basis. They look to see what other men, or even other women, are doing and compare themselves. There's research around this compare and contrast topic, where one man running on the treadmill will look at the speed of another man or woman next to them and increase their speed to either match or surpass them.

When I worked with Elixia in Norway and Finland between 30 to 40% of their members would get involved in participation competitions. It creates huge camaraderie around ‘have you done your workout?’ ‘Where are you in achieving the goal?’ We don’t see that level of participation with ranked competitions, except maybe in the competitive-type weight lifting clubs or cross-fit facilities. Cross-fit has done a really good job of building their community around both achievement and participation style competitions. For

Author and lecturer, Kathleen DeBoer wrote an excellent book on gender and competition, describing how men and women treat competitions differently. Men are much more likely to go for the outright win and want to be the number one. Whereas on the whole, women are more likely to enjoy the participation of competition, as opposed to the outright winning. For women, if it was a fair game, a good competition and they feel they did well, that’s more important than just winning. Whereas for men it's much more about where did I place, how fast did I run and who did I beat? We have to take this into consideration when looking at gym challenges.

Ranking it up The types of competitions you often see in health clubs are what I call ranked competitions. This might be a challenge to see who can do the most chin ups or the most press ups or who can row 2,000 metres. You get a ranking. In the gym a board says your name and your time, and can compare that to others. This is a motivator for some in that they'll be looking to see where they fit, where they ranked against other members and enjoy being part of that process. But you'll also find members who don't enjoy that process. When I’m teaching MAY 2017



instance, you can see how much of the workout of the day (WOD) you have completed. That's about you, against you. It’s internal measurement rather than externally measuring you against the person next to you. But they also include the ranking element within their business model and so generally speaking the type of member that joins a cross-fit facility is the type that will take part in competitions.

Cashing in on external events Whereas a large number of people going to the gym, even if they're competitive outside of the gym, perhaps doing triathlons or running and cycling activities, even things like Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, Colour Run, train to be competitive elsewhere, and may not be looking to be competitive in the gym environment. So look at external motivators. These events have seen a massive growth in popularity over the last few years. Open your club as a place of your training for them. Even within one event, you've got both ranked and achievement motivators. Think about how many people participate to win in those events versus how many participate to complete them. On this theme, setting a Personal Best achievement challenge is another way of including competitions within your club without excluding anyone. When I was doing time-trials in cycling the idea was to set your personal best for that distance.

Another way to get members involved in challenges is to hold in-club competitions where you get small bands of people involved in groups of four. You might use the three power lifting lifts, deadlift, squat and bench press and see how much weight four people can lift in a given period of time or over a set number of exercises. Then you could compete not just as individuals, but as a group. You might also compete against other clubs. Equally you could get involved in local charity fun runs and activities. This way a lot of members not participating will still go along to support the members involved. If there's a 5k fun run, 10 people might run as a group or even as individuals with their club branded t-shirts on. But other members will come down to support them, which helps build a really good sense of community within the business. So you don't always need to be competing to be involved in the competitive side of what's going on. 46

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Walking the line It’s important to look at the advantages and disadvantages of running challenges within your club. The advantages are it’s a test, enabling members to see where they fit or how much they’ve improved, either by setting a personal best or their ranking against others. That's where you get the competitive side. The disadvantage is that you could lose and be publicly humiliated with a really poor time. We know when people are uncomfortable in an environment self-protection theory kicks in, which means they'll avoid that environment. If you don't set the challenge up carefully, you could actually lose members. So make sure you have a mix of achievement, participation and ranked competitions and don’t run them too frequently. Alternate them every couple of months, spreading them out

across the year. Also, mix it up in terms of individual and team. When I ran clubs we ran competitions four or five times a year. Some times ranked and other times achievement based. We made sure people had time to prepare, setting out programmes to give people an opportunity to train towards type of competition we would be doing. This also gave us the chance to upgrade members’ programmes and interact with them at the same time. Think about what it is you're trying to achieve. Is the goal to see who's the fittest in the club or is it to try and build a community and loyalty within your facility and increase visit frequency? Because we certainly know community, loyalty and visit frequency positively impact retention.

Dr. Paul Bedford is the fitness industry’s leading authority on the management of retention, attrition and the customer experience, and author of the world’s largest retention study. You can find out more at or by following @guru_paul on Twitter. MAY 2017



Case study and comment from Precor:

“Differentiating the exerciser experience is important for clubs to be able to motivate and encourage members,” states Justin Smith, Head of UK at Precor. “Holding challenges and competitions by using milestones and badges, such as those available on Preva networked fitness, along with calorie expenditure and distance travelled, can help with retention and provide motivation and can be used to encourage member commitment. Setting targets and goals with a like-minded group, where exercisers can inspire each other, bonds people together and makes them feel part of a community.” As an integral aspect of its member retention programme, Astley Village Sports Centre in Dukinfield, Cheshire uses Precor Preva networked fitness to set up specific calorie expenditure or distance challenges. Exercisers scan their Preva RFID cards for quick sign in so that all data is reliable and accurate and results are generated through Preva Business Suite on either a weekly or monthly leader board. Mark Storie, Director of Astley Sports Village comments: “I’m a firm believer in running member challenges. They not only motivate members to attend regularly and set goals they are accountable for, but also encourage them to come to the gym more often than usual and this can only mean a higher retention ratio in the long term. There’s also the added benefit of creating a social engagement factor between staff and exercisers.” 48

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The centre recently ran a ‘Feel Good February’ challenge with over 50 members taking part. The challenge was to record total calorie burn over the month, while using Precor CV equipment. Calories were recorded and counted each time a member scanned their RFID card. A weekly top 30 report of who had burned the most calories was posted to the clubs Facebook page to showcase those on the leaderboard and promote maximum exposure of the challenges on offer each month. Precor ran and now enables clubs to run Adaptive Motion Trainer Challenges. A three week one is currently underway in South Wales and the South West, providing clubs with the chance to challenge members to come together to compete and see which gym can travel the furthest on the awardwinning AMT. Participants are able to choose to use the AMT for either stepping, climbing, striding or sprinting and the club that goes the furthest will win Suunto watches for their top participants. Smith comments: “The AMT is a great machine as it has a more natural range of motion and works both upper and lower body. Also in terms of calories burned per minute it scores pretty well, meaning time is spent more efficiently. The AMT Challenge really helps clubs to motivate and encourage members to work together and we always see a strong level of competitiveness between those taking part. “During a challenge it’s particularly important for operators to communicate effectively with members. The new Preva MyUI Walk-Up Screen Publisher and Manage Walk-Up Screen


features enable clubs to create awareness of challenges as well as other services available, while members have the ability to click through to their facility’s web page to access all the details.” Adam Daniel, co-owner of Life:lab in Chislehurst is an active supporter of challenges and believes they can inspire members and aid retention. The gym runs two types of competitions each month; one using the MyZone Heart Rate monitor to determine which member has given the best effort or most improvement as opposed to being the ‘fittest’, making it a fair challenge for everyone taking part and the second using different pieces of equipment each time to highlight multi-dimensional integrated movement patterns. For example, using to the ViPR to see who can drag it the furthest or hold a position the longest.

part in a challenge because if it’s made elitist or too specific, for example a 2,000 m row, it will only appeal to a certain person and you end up with the same winners each month. Life:Lab challenges reward effort and attitude as opposed to ability.” Smith concludes: “Competitions provide motivation and inspiration but the key is to ensure they are not elitist and that everyone can choose whether or not to take part. They contribute to building a strong community which in turn can lead to increased retention.”

“The challenges inspire members to train more frequently and consistently and we regularly have members squeeze in an ‘extra’ session at the end of the month to see if they can get further up the leader board,” says Daniel. “Competitions increase coach and member interaction and help to build an inspirational sense of community in the gym and also on our social media platforms. Members motivate and encourage each other both during the competition and on completion. They also enable us to build relationships with local businesses, as all the prizes, such as a sports massage, foam roller, Indian head massage, are donated. “It’s important to ensure every member of the gym can take MAY 2017


The evol virtual fi spotlight

Paul Bowman, CEO for Wexer, identifies six top tips to ensure success when launching virtual fitness in your gym or club

Digital strategy, virtual fitness, technology, apps, wearable technology, live streaming... it can all seem a little overwhelming. In my privileged position as CEO and general experience within the industry, I have been able to view small and large fitness businesses and how they are winning the battle with technology and digital fitness. Without doubt, the question is no longer “do I need digital fitness?” But rather it has evolved to “what is the best way to execute my digital strategy?” Rather than discussing the many ways to successfully integrate a digital strategy within club groups, I would like to share a few insights Wexer has uncovered about how to engage the modern fitness member, who expects and demands flexibility as well as solutions crafted and available at their fingertips anytime and anywhere.


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lution of fitness spotlight

Advanced technology

For the most part it starts with technology. Technology is now more relevant than ever before. This is only natural as technology is now intertwined in every aspect of life and members have the same expectations for their group fitness experience. To ensure fitness operators remain relevant to members, we create customisable and intuitive virtual fitness technology that enables members to engage in group exercise at a time that suits them. Our Wexer Virtual On-Demand Player is an advanced touch screen unit that uses the latest technology to deliver virtual fitness content. The On-Demand Player is pre-loaded with an extensive library of virtual classes, allowing your members to browse, preview and play classes. When new classes launch, the On-Demand Player will automatically download them and store them locally on the hard drive. It’s not just about the technology, it’s about the user experience When it comes to virtual fitness, the execution is crucial for a successful launch. Like the traditional cinema experience, the lighting and sound, the size and the quality of the screen, and the overall set-up is essential for creating an engaging and captivating atmosphere. We’ve seen a direct correlation between a well-executed installation and usage figures. The better the installation – the more members use and engage with virtual.

What about the return on investment? The ROI potential for virtual is relatively easy to put into context. Looking at the numbers, fitness operators should ask themselves what the value of a service is that can take between 5-15% of the traffic in the club. Making the easy calculation, if you take 5%-15% of your membership income – would that cover the cost of virtual? Our cases typically show a 600-1,000% return on investment applying this methodology, which can be argued, but no matter which way you run numbers on virtual, it will show a significant return on investment which is the most significant argument to why virtual is becoming a must-have in clubs worldwide. MAY 2017



Our top tips for success Define the purpose of virtual fitness To achieve maximum usage, virtual fitness must have a clearly defined role within your club to best impact the member journey. Create a timetable that will drive member engagement The three main reasons why members take part in virtual fitness is because it provides flexibility, convenience and variety. To create a timetable that will engage your members we recommend the following: a. Create a virtual fitness timetable that compliments your live group exercise timetable b. Ensure you allocate consistent on-demand time into your timetable. Live enhancement More recently we are seeing an increasing amount of fitness operators combining virtual with live instruction, either to make the live class even more engaging or to free up the instructor to enhance participant interaction. Therefore, virtual being used alongside live delivery, further increases the value proposition as the reach of virtual goes beyond the 5-15% using virtual solely and begins to enhance the experience for the 30% using live classes. Schedule advertisements, promotional videos and screensavers One of the largest club groups in the world, 24 Hour Fitness

(USA) has recently started implementing virtual across more than 650 studios. Executive Vice President, Tom Lapcevic elaborates on their broader vision of virtual usage “Firstly, virtual injects audio-visual energy and impactful member marketing and messaging into our live classes. Secondly, virtual is the ideal platform to uniformly and simultaneously train our 20,000+ employees scattered throughout the country. Finally, virtual is a powerful communication platform for our third-party sponsors and advertisers.” We are increasingly seeing club groups generate revenue through advertising, from both external commercial partnerships and internal marketing campaigns, which therefore presents a smart way to add to the bottom line. Furthermore, the training capabilities of virtual platforms also provide a cost saving initiative through savings on time, resources and travel expenses as you are able to digitally communicate with your teams in the most effective way. Monitor usage and on-demand statistics Learn more about what your members want through My Wexer. Our on-demand features enable you to access usage data and identify what virtual classes are most popular and at what time of the day! Keep momentum With the launch successfully completed, it’s time to plan how to keep the hype. Make sure to treat your virtual schedule as you would your live, and keep it interesting for your members.

Summary Whatever your objectives are for the coming year, virtual fitness should be considered due to the ability to support sales numbers, deliver high ROI figures, increase member satisfaction and grow an ancillary revenue.

It is Wexer’s ambition to be the platform of choice for health clubs to fulfil these needs. We will continue to innovate and integrate with market leading partners and trends to best serve the industry and stay relevant to the evolving demands of fitness users.

Get in touch to discuss how Wexer can transform your digital strategy at

Comment from

Anna Samuels, founder of The BoxxMethod: The BoxxMethod take traditional boxing training and have adapted it into a workout that can be performed anywhere so no bags, no pads and no ring. It’s just you, a pair of 1kg dumbbells (optional) and their expert virtual instructors coaching you through a series of relentless rounds. Their method is all about short, high energy shadow boxing that will not only challenge your strength, both mentally and physically but get the best results in the shortest amount of time. The BoxxMethod signature workout is BoxxHIIT which is a full body fat burning, muscle toning workout which combines intense shadow boxing with high intensity interval training. Other workouts include BoxxBURN for targeted toning, BoxxPRO for boxing technique and BoxxINTENSE for the ultimate shred …plus new workouts coming soon!

Whichever workout you choose you can be guaranteed to burn some serious calories (up to 600 in 30 minutes to be precise), improve cardiovascular fitness, build full body strength, speed, endurance and co-ordination. Their series of workouts are designed to get you into knockout shape in no time and leave you burning fat for up to 12 hours post workout! You can access BoxxMethod virtually in your local gym or via their online platform. A monthly or annual subscription will gain you access to the online library filled with videos which can be streamed on any device and get you to jab, cross and hook with confidence. Anna comments, “The BoxxMethod is the go to virtual boxing workout perfect for the time-constrained modern day man or woman who not only wants the flexibility of being able to workout anytime, anywhere but the ability to access top class trainers wherever you are in the world at the click of a button”.

For more information about The BoxxMethod visit, 52

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MAY 2017



Putting stre behind seni Jenny Patrickson highlights the rise in Strength and Conditioning as a PT specialism It’s often struck me as odd that it’s assumed talented fitness professionals and personal trainers aspire to become gym or club managers. Some do, which is good. But what about those individuals who are fantastic trainers and aspire to continuing working directly with members and clients, honing their training skills to continue their career as a hands-on PT which is really making a difference? Aspirations for these people are more likely to be specialism, coaching other trainers while keeping their own client base and excelling in their field and not sitting behind a manager’s desk. The next area of specialism we are seeing is in Strength and Conditioning. Once the preserve of professional coaches and those training elite athletes, Strength and Conditioning is now becoming more mainstream as has health benefits for old and young, elite and amateur and even its relevance in rehab is becoming apparent. To succeed in upskilling trainers to an advanced level the industry needs a recognised qualification and at Active IQ, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes with British Military Fitness (BMF) to create the first-ever Level 4 Strength & Conditioning certificate as a regulated qualification. The course will provide greater access to strength and conditioning theory as well as the actual application for any fitness professionals who wish to develop their knowledge and skills to work with serious fitness enthusiasts and athletes alike. The new qualification is being taught by industry experts accredited by the UKSCA who hold a degree in Strength & Conditioning. Boot camp-style training is still going from strength to strength. What some may have considered a ‘fashion’ that would phase out remains popular. Partly this is to do with the outdoor experience – those gyms near parks and outdoor spaces can maximise nature’s ‘outdoor studio’ to boost engagement and participation in sessions. But another big part of the boot camp appeal is the style of training – often focused on strength and conditioning.


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ength nior trainers Statistics from BMF show that fitness enthusiasts are attending sessions at over 140 venues each week to be put through their paces. With demand this high, there is definitely an opportunity for fitpros to advance their Level 3 personal training knowledge and explore additional techniques and training approaches that may be beneficial to clients from all walks of life and not just athletes. Strength and Conditioning coaching won’t ‘date’ or fall out of favour any time soon: the principles can be adapted to all members with the health benefits every bit as important – ie saleable! – as the performance benefits for aspiring athletes. As a Gym Owner, investing in your staff and supporting their development within the field of strength and conditioning coaching, gives them a real opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition. It also gives your best trainers the chance to add specialist skills and qualifications to their name, enhancing their career and profile as the rise through the ranks. The role of a strength and conditioning coach is to use exercise prescription specifically to improve performance and can also help individuals with injury prevention and the specific biomechanics for their chosen sport. So it’s much more than just lifting weights as it focuses on the holistic development of the client and their specific needs. Furthermore, strength and conditioning complements all manner of sports: so gyms with a Strength & Conditioning Coach can reach out to local athletes and clubs, extending the membership base and building the reputation for their club. Until now, there has been a gap in the training provision for PTs looking to step up to strength and conditioning coaching. This new qualification, developed in partnership with BMF, offers the complete package. It’s currently only available to BMF, but from September this year we will be rolling it out across the industry. I think gym owners should start to plan which of their PTs are ready for a ‘step up’ and would prefer to become a specialist coach rather than an office-bound manager.

Contact Jenny at and for more information on Active IQ visit

MAY 2017



Engineerin in-class’ ex As group exercise and virtual fitness experiences continue to gain momentum in UK gyms, we look at the audio visual technology available in order to create maximum impact for your clients Words: Linzi Marshall, Sales & Marketing Manager at Hutchison-t

Today’s gym members are increasingly seeking unique, personalized experiences. Experiences that energize, inspire their workout and provide motivation. Audio visual innovation is fast becoming the foremost way for gym operators to deliver this. Where hi-fidelity audio and hires visuals used to be a privilege for costly premium health-club memberships only, it’s now the basic expectation of any of today’s gym-goers, whether that’s to an independent mid-tier, budget club, or an increasingly popular specialist boutique. And why not? If the average smartphone can deliver stereo speaker sound and brilliant, vibrant HD display on the move, surely our gyms can do more? But audio visual technology is advancing at an unstoppable rate, and whilst quality of sound and video is paramount, the applications for use are becoming increasingly more sophisticated too. So let’s explore how today’s ‘fitness experience’ savvy operators can leverage audio visual technology to maximum ‘fitness experience’ effect. 56

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ng ‘bestxperiences Virtual Fitness

Immersive Fitness At the cutting edge of the studio workout experience and heralded as the future of fitness.

Large screens, video walls, and single projectors are the most direct ways the fitness industry can use virtual technology. Virtual fitness content uses a combination of on-screen coaching by a virtual instructor, realistic scenescapes, or actual performance data outputs via leader boards and competition formats. Classes are generally offered at a prescheduled time set by the club, but they can also be made available on demand, which allows clients to choose their own workout time via a touchscreen. But it’s not just about large format projection screens, HD projectors and professional sound systems. Yes, these are essential, and they will do the job if all you want is to play out basic content. But the system’s day-to-day operation needs a bit more thought to make sure your clients are wowed, and this is all about seamless, sophisticated delivery.

THE TRIP™ - An immersive cycling-based virtual experience created by LES MILLS combines cinema-quality motion graphics, music, and choreography to engage the rider on every level of perception. The combination of AV stimulants creates a powerful sensation of forward momentum despite the fact that the rider doesn’t move. So, not only is it fun, but riders are likely to work significantly harder because it feels like less effort as well. This means that IMMERSIVE FITNESS is totally experiential from the position of the rider. But to make this happen, and to make it convincing, you need some seriously advanced frontline technology. Multiple projectors create the movie theatre-spec curved screen and advanced edge-blending, colour-matching technology seamlessly connects each parallel screen. Immersive Fitness is still relatively exclusive with less than 10 installations throughout the UK, but a rapidly increasing number of fitness applications are employing similar large screen technology to deliver an experience in the Group-X space. Not only does it allow clubs to convert an often underused space easily and cost effectively, they can enhance the live class offerings and deliver the latest group fitness trends in a much more efficient, consistent and entertaining way. MAY 2017



Lighting can’t be ignored anymore The technology and way it’s used are constantly evolving, and nothing enhances the sensory element of a fitness experience like impressive, professional lighting. Since group fitness classes are becoming increasingly theatrical, lighting can help clubs and instructors alike deliver the much sought-after “wow” factor that many gym-goers are after. Most importantly, the feature lighting should be adapted and integrated to the audio visual arrangement, complementing the activity of the studio rather than acting as an isolated add on. Imagine: a virtual fitness cycle class with digital LED Pixel strips suspended equidistantly along the length of the ceiling & affixed to the studio walls, creating the sensation of forward motion for the riders. A skilfully curated array of chase sequences, colours and varying intensities can perfectly complement the audio visual solution, resulting in enhanced rider performance and a truly immersive fitness experience. Exertion level up. Enjoyment level up. The scope for utilizing feature lighting systems is next to endless, and a wide range of methods are available

Automation and control As a leading provider of innovative fitness tech solutions, Hutchison-t have delivered hundreds of virtual studio solutions across the UK, so we know that operational simplicity in virtual studios is absolutely crucial. Our pioneering automation technology ensures all strategic audio visual operating equipment can automatically set itself up for a class. All equipment necessary – from projectors and screens to lighting and speakers – will activate and begin their pre-designed sequences at prescheduled times, without the need for prompting by a member of club staff. As a last-minute option, if an instructor is ill or has an emergency, operators can even programme classes off-site. The efficiency and consistency automation technology facilitates no end of potential, but what does this mean for live classes? Here, the same progressive technology can give your instructors complete artistic control of the fitness experience they want to create. Pro audio, exclusive video content, live camera displays and full effect lighting can all be customised and controlled from a single user interface that streamlines complex AV commands into a manageable, instinctive form. Proprietary control software is key to this. Accessed via a sleek tablet, this is a simple and highly intuitive way for instructors to customise their own fitness experience, since they have simple, absolute control of all audio and video sources. This means they can change tracks, adjust music and mic levels, or control the sort of high-impact lighting that used to need an engineer. 58

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to suit any club:  Illuminated walkways, bespoke walls, and window and staircase features can all make for an exhilarating in-club experience  Indoor & outdoor perimeter lighting creates clever ‘halo’ effects  Custom retro-fit lighting panels are easy to install but have maximum effect  Fibre Optic LEDs can create a starry-night sky effect on an otherwise uninspired ceiling  Ceiling and wall LED lighting strips can be used, with a bit of skill, to create the illusion of motion  Instructor stage and raked seating illumination are functional but high-impact But the really important point is this: all these features can be controlled via a proprietary tablet-control interface. So, your club staff and instructors can manage their lighting displays to maximum professional effect with only the touch of a button. Even better, the design of the system means lighting sequences can be pre-programmed or updated remotely by specialists, saving clubs any further effort.

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A pioneering experience For more information on innovative illumination look out for the feature in the June issue of Gym Owner Monthly exploring how creative lighting can help club-owners and professionals deliver an unparalleled immersive sensory experience. So, what pioneering fitness experiences are you looking to create for your customers? One where instructors lead their boldest, athletic riders through the most punishing Tour de France assaults, or one that immerses the fitness funseekers in a captivating spectacular of music and light? Hutchison-t audio visual create truly unique and diversifying audio visual experiences. Their customised audio, visual and lighting spectacles are marked by high levels of functionality and adaptability to the physical requirements of any space, and provide a huge variety of effect to suit the needs of any fitness experience. For further information please visit

Cycle Innovation at David Lloyd Leisure

A dedicated cycle innovation investment across its UK and European estate has seen David Lloyd Leisure emerge as the foremost provider of specialist indoor cycling experiences on an industry-level scale. From concept to install, the technical expertise at Hutchison-t has helped bring this innovation to life.

advanced bespoke spin solutions for a series of full

Innovative indoor cycling is all about the experience, and there are two ways to reinforce this through technology: specialist aesthetics and maximum user engagement. Our audio-visual solutions had to reflect DLL’s premium core brand principles across 70 club locations, so identikit solutions were out and bespoke technical design was in.

total automation has also been rolled out with every

Hutchison-t partnered with DLL to design and deliver

and innovative designs.


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renovations, state-of-the-art new builds, and clever retro-fit upgrades. To support the very best in cutting-edge virtual offerings, we specified a range of progressive hardware solutions including FitboxVirtual® - a neat but powerful virtual operating platform to run premium virtual content from LES MILLS Virtual, The Sufferfest and more. In the first example of its kind across the UK fitness industry, installation, allowing clubs to customise and control their pro lighting, premium audio and exclusive video content from a single iPad interface which streamlines complex AV commands into a manageable and intuitive form: all made possible by Hutchison-t’s most advanced technical solutions


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PROUD TO BE BRITISH All Watson Gym Equipment products are manufactured in our factory in Frome, England. We are passionate about the equipment we produce and take pride in every product we send out. Manufacturing the products ourselves means that you get exceptional build quality, custom built equipment to suit your needs and a short lead time.

MAY 2017



SO, YOU WANT TO BUILD A BOUTIQUE GYM? Dave Wright provides five top tips on getting your boutique gym just right The rise of boutique gyms has had a lot of press and traction over the last three to five years. The potential high yield generated from a relative low rental, low square footage, small equipment cap ex, and the tight group ex experience makes for an attractive proposition. However, to really nail it, there are five key points you must get right.

Sound & Lighting


Have you ever been in a nightclub when the lights come on to signify the end of the night? The atmosphere changes instantly and so does your mood. The same applies when the speakers are weak. It doesn’t matter how good the playlist is, if the sound quality is not crisp, it adds a level of discomfort that is easily avoidable. Great sound and lights, aligned with music tantalizes the visual and auditory senses - a must for a great experience.

Millennials are the boutique clientele who have been brought up with google and instant data at their fingertips. They have the appetite and expectation that they should be informed of what’s going on with their body during and after training. Hence the need for telemetry display and wearable technology to present biometric data in a simplified format to prove the training effectiveness and digitally amplify the experience. Boutique offerings that utilize the science of telemetry into their programmes increase their credibility and professionalism justifying that extra investment.

Music Quality music is fundamental for your boutique offering. Whether the programming is high or low intensity, the playlist needs to accompany that. If the tracks, tempo, beats, crescendo and diminuendo correspond to the task at hand you will almost certainly `move’ people.

Programmes Successful boutique franchises have a systematic, scalable and proven methodology to their training. In the same way that Les Mills has been able to deploy their group ex programmes globally, the same thought process needs to apply to your class offering. Considered thought in the modality, exercises, progressions/regressions and the rest periods are essential to ensure the experience is physiologically effective.

Great instructors So you have the sound, light, music, structured programmes and technology… all you need is the staff to focus on technique and to provide personal motivation. They are the glue that bring it all together. One final thought. If you want to improve your business by 10%, learn from the best in your industry. If you want to improve your business by 110%, learn from the best in a bigger industry. In this case, the nightclub industry. Being aware of what success versus failure looks like in this industry will put you on a great footing for your boutique offering!

Dave Wright is the founder and CEO of MYZONE®, CEO and owner of CFM (Creative Fitness Marketing), owner of the Feelgood Fitness & Voyage Fitness Club chains, a former Board Director of UK Active and founder of the IOU. With offices in Chicago (US), Nottingham and Melbourne), Dave’s companies have worked directly with over 5,000 health clubs across 30 different countries, encouraging people to be more and stay more physically active. He may be contacted on 62

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MINDSET OVER MUSCLE Owen Bowling, Founder of CrankIt Fitness, outlines some mindset coaching practices Mindset plays a critical role in the overall health of an individual and their ability to achieve the goals they set themselves. Traditionally, personal trainers and instructors have focused on developing the technical and practical knowledge they need to succeed but have invested considerably less time and effort into understanding their own mindset or that of their clients. Here we have a look at the importance of mindset when it comes to personal performance and client goal achievement and outline some mindset coaching practices which will help personal trainers and clients to maximise their potential. MAY 2017



So, what is mindset? World-renowned Stanford university psychologist, Carol Dweck spent decades researching achievement and success. During this time, Dweck developed this idea of mindset. In a fixed mindset, an individual believes their basic qualities like intelligence and talent are fixed traits and cannot be influenced by learning or experience. Individuals with a fixed mindset believe talent alone will create success. Individuals with a growth mindset believe basic qualities like talent and intelligence can be developed through learning, experience and basic hard work. This creates a passion for learning and a determination to succeed which eventually results in greater goal achievement than those with a fixed mindset. Encouraging a growth mindset results in motivation and productivity – great for a personal trainer looking to grow a business and for the clients they train looking to achieve bespoke physical and mental goals. So, how can personal trainers benefit from exploring their own mindset and the mindset of their clients? There are four key areas instructors should consider: 1. Gain a better understanding of ‘why’ Why does the instructor do what they do? Why is helping their clients important to them? Why do they want to earn more money or train more clients? Understanding the ‘why’ forces exploration of motivations and reasons for actions and enables the questioning of behaviours adopted to achieve the end goal. 64

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2. Personal assessment An individual should take time to review how they perceive themselves. If a person has little or low self-worth, others will struggle to place value and worth on them and their teachings. A person who values their own ability and displays self-confidence is much more likely to command respect and interest from others. This will result in more clients and better client engagement. 3. Take time to ask more probing and insightful questions Don’t just establish a client’s end goal because often the answer given is a mask for a far deeper, psychological need. For example, weight loss is quoted by a high percentage of people joining gyms but it’s important to understand why an individual wants to lose weight. If a reduction in pounds doesn’t address a deeper, psychological need, which even the client may not be totally aware off until they are professionally probed, they will not be mentally satisfied and will struggle to maintain motivation to train. 4. Take time to get to know what motivates and inspires a client beyond their training programme It’s important for an instructor to understand that helping a client achieve their fitness goal may only be a small cog in their ‘life goal’. The more an instructor can understand a client’s wider ‘life’ ambitions, the more successful they will be at helping them achieve their fitness goals because they will better understand how achievement in this area links with their overall life goals.


Over the course of the next few years, as the importance of mindset and mindfulness becomes more apparent, the sector is likely to see a growth in the number of companies offering mindset or mindfulness training to instructors. Generally, most Level 3 education solutions offer great technical and practical content but, moving forwards, the quality education providers will differentiate their product my including mindset education in their programming.

Something to try personally and with clients ‌ Discharge, Recharge, Re-Frame Mindset or mindfulness is based on the principle that you should pay more attention to your thoughts. This can be difficult to do, especially if stressed or under pressure, and is something an individual must consciously focus on. Recently I interviewed Adjunct Professor Paul Taylor, who has a brilliantly simple solution to this problem. it's called "Discharge, Recharge, Re-frame". Below is a way an instructor could introduce this to their personal and client training schedules. Discharge When stressed or angry the body goes into a fight or flight response, releasing hormones which need to be discharged to re-balance. The best way to do this is through 30 seconds of high intensity activity such as sprinting, jumping or burpees Recharge Once hormones have been discharged an individual’s needs to recharge and create a physiological state which is conducive to resetting the mind. This can be done with "box breathing", which is a type of breathing where you breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds and hold for 4 seconds. This is repeated for a period of at least one minute Re-Frame Once an individual has discharged and recharged, they are in the perfect state of mind to evaluate their thoughts. Having dispersed negativity associated with anger and stress, it is possible to explore thoughts much more logically and rationally. This method strips away the emotion and creates an environment where logic prevails. This is a powerful yet simple process, it can be adopted by anyone. Try it! This simple process will demonstrate very quickly, the impact mindset can have on a person’s outlook. Clients who integrate this into their training are not only more likely to achieve their fitness goals but also to lead a happier more fulfilling life. Owen Bowling is the founder and CEO of CrankIt Fitness, Australia's leading functional training product and Education Company. He is also the Co-Founder of The Ultimate PT - a global business education system for personal trainers. Owen is a sought after functional fitness and fitness business presenter, having educated more than 3000 personal trainers across 15 countries. MAY 2017



pt viewpoint

NEVER TOO OLD Tina Sansom specialises in PT for the over 50s, here she tells us why.

I have built my PT business over the last year, aiming at a +50 client base. I've come to realise that no matter how well you do in life financially, without good health, you are not necessarily going to be in a position to enjoy the fruits of your work and relationships in the future. Especially, when you have more leisure time to enjoy. I believe the over 50s do enjoy being coached by individuals that can empathise and share their life and work experiences. It helps them to be motivated by people of a similar age to achieve the goals they have set themselves. As I have found it's not easy to establish a successful PT business, it takes time, marketing and above all word-ofmouth. But the upside is out there, over 50s generally are becoming more health conscious, the dangers of inactivity are well documented. Government and society should look very closely at helping older personal trainers be part of the solution to get this country healthier with all its related benefits.

Personal training gives a member the best value out of their gym membership. A personal trainer will ascertain goals, availability and the types of favoured activity, and then a plan can be formulated. A good exercise plan has the right mix of exercise types and recovery periods, avoiding counter-productive over-training. Training with a personal trainer makes gym time more efficient. The client doesn’t have to worry about which exercises to do, how many sets or reps, how to adjust the equipment or whether they are doing the exercises correctly. They have the full attention of an expert and their fitness program is customised for any injuries or health concerns. The personal trainer can liaise with medical professionals to create the best exercise plan for the client. The trainer can also nag the client mercilessly about doing the rehab exercises that are otherwise neglected!

For older clients I think you are never too old to inspire fitness and educate clients to participate in exercise and have a healthy diet. I am 53. with a background of fitness and bodybuilding . Two years ago I decided that my life needed a kick up the backside and became a personal trainer and got out of office work. 66

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Tina Sansom has been working as a PT for over a year. At 53 years old she is in the best shape of her life, after spending 30+ years in an office environment. Tina enjoys seeing her clients get results with the training and nutrition guidance that she offers. For more information visit, or follow Tina on Instagram or Facebook.







Try out the software first hand, book a demo and find out why ClubRight is fast becoming the software of choice for Membership Management across the globe.





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MAY 2017



Digging deep Chris Phillips is Head of Sales in the Sports Intelligence practice at 4Global and has responsibility for the DataHub. He works closely with partners and operators to ensure the DataHub and associated modules deliver value to customers and the sector alike.

Thanks to huge innovations in software systems, many operators have reams of – often unused – data at their fingertips. Unlocking, refining and benchmarking this data could be the key to everything from improved retention to increased physical activity participation nationwide.

As an operator, wouldn’t it be good to be able to identify locations where there are underrepresented demographic groups, see up-todate stats on trending sports and activities or to be able to find out, simply and quickly, exactly where and how to target potential members, with offers that meet their specific wants and needs? All too often in the health and fitness industry, operators have vast amounts of data that could answer these questions but it sits within software systems, never extracted, refined or put to good use. Used properly – and crucially shared industry-wide – this data could be an invaluable asset, giving greater business insights and so informing everything from retention tactics to marketing strategies. Founded in 2013, the DataHub is a virtual repository for all of this, until recently, unused data. Established by the Sports Intelligence practice of 4 global Consulting, the DataHub currently holds information from more than 160 operators, who between them run over 1,200 sites. Simplicity is key, data is worthless unless it’s standardised, analysed and shared. Working with major CRM providers, tools have been created to automatically extract data from the operators’ leisure management systems, pushing it to the DataHub repository. Since its inception, the overarching aim of the DataHub has been to get the nation more active by sharing upto-date business-critical intelligence, so those investing within the sector can benchmark and make more informed decisions. The core goal of the project is to provide a cooperative platform by which the sector can collaborate to achieve mutual objectives like increased participation and commercial and social return from programmes and facilities. 68

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To improve both access to the data and seamless sharing, the DataHub includes a number of business intelligence modules, each delivered by specialist DataHub partners. Access to two core modules, the data cleansing and standards alignment module, Data Integrity and the NGB Benchmarking module is free for all operators when they join the DataHub Club with other modules provided through subscription. Delivery through dashboards and graphical representations allows sector operators to work on strategy rather than fighting to understand where to start with data analysis. As well as traditional services such as business reporting, customer insight and accident monitoring, modules vary in size and scope. Social Value Calculator (SVC), for example, delivered in partnership with Experian and Sheffield Hallam University, allows operators to quantify in monetary terms the social value their organisation has generated by getting people active, as well as benchmarking its impact, helping organisations to attract new external funding streams or keep existing ones. The SVC profiles each facility’s customer base for risk using data sourced from more than 252 million customer visits nationwide enhanced with Mosaic data from Experian. It then equates the physical activity undertaken by each individual with the proven saving to the


local community in the key areas of health, reduced crime, increased educational attainment and subjective wellbeing. At a time when budgets are constrained and accountability heightened, there is a growing need for every pound to be targeted. SVC ensures data is better used to de-risk investment, driven by an ability to understand realistic outcomes and impacts and then track these. There are stringent security policies in place. Aggregated benchmark data is shared anonymously across operators and an organisation’s own data will never be visible to any third parties without prior consent. Consistency is key to benchmarking and understanding what “good” looks like. Huge efforts have been made to provide a set of standard sector-based naming conventions that are recognisable and allow those delivering a wide variety of sports and physical activity, to match their data. The DataHub is governed by an industry Steering Group, consisting of sector bodies, suppliers and operators, leading the discussions on data standards to ensure apples are apples and we can, as a sector, drive both operational improvement and increased social value in all that we do. Data is complicated and this is perhaps why our sector is behind others, such as finance and retail, in understanding our markets and strategic operations. Used well, the bank of data operators are sitting on, UK-wide, can help to create an empowered sector that is able to identify under performance, pinpoint real-world growth opportunities and understands just how and where to make the investment necessary to tackle inactivity and obesity. The DataHub is a repository for sport and leisure data, integrated and enhanced through a suite of business intelligence modules, accessed anywhere via a single online portal. For more information on how DataHub can help you contact Want to find out more? Visit MAY 2017



BRAND IDENTITY Mike Arce, from Loud Rumor, identifies three concepts you need to consider before you launch your brand. When you’re just beginning your fitness studio or gym, you’ll want to identify three main things before you announce your brand and market yourself to people. That includes your: 1. Ideal Customer 2. Niche 3. Concept Once you have all three of these, you set yourself up for better success when it comes to your marketing, social engagement, goals, and overall growth. Let’s dive in.

Ideal customer Before you push out any content about your gym, you need to figure out who your ideal customer is so that the right people see it. You also want to make sure that your content caters to them. So let’s take a look at what makes up an ideal customer: 1. You genuinely enjoy having them in your studio 2. They pay the average amount or a higher amount than your average member 3. They always pay on time. Getting payment on-time from them is never an issue 4. They carry a positive attitude, and any negative feedback is always delivered in a constructive, kind way 5. Your class schedules match up really well with theirs 6. Your programs work well with any injuries or restrictions that they may have 7. The type of music, members, workout attire, and communication makes them comfortable and excited to come back - AKA they’re the right demographic 8. They get value out of all your content delivered through classes, newsletters, social media, video, etc. There’s more to add here based on your culture, team, service, and so on. But what’s important is that you map out the main traits of your ideal customer so you can then create different buyer personas. A buyer persona is fictional representation of your ideal customer - and sometimes your current customers. But since we’re just starting out, we’ll focus on the ideal customer.


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When building your buyer personas, be as specific as possible. Include demographics, goals, relationships, and any other important characteristics. Here’s what that might look like:

Depending on the type of workout service and demographic your gym intends to offer, your buyer personas may look a little different. Once gym’s ideal customer may be a woman in her early 30’s who just had a baby and wants to get back to her pre-mummy body. Another gym’s may be a man in his 20’s who already eats pretty healthy and wants to put on muscle. The important thing is to pin this down right away. Your entire marketing message, content, and branding will be dependent on this. Then comes your niche.

Find a niche I’m a firm believer in niching. But it wasn’t always that way. My company Loud Rumor didn’t niche until January of 2015. Since then, though, we’ve succeeded more than we ever did within the six years that we didn’t have a niche. If you want to niche your fitness studio, ask yourself these three questions: 1. Who do you enjoy to work with the most? 2. Who can you truly help the most? 3. And who enjoys to work with you the most? You might realise that it closely aligns with one of your buyer personas, like the woman in her early 30’s who just

had a baby. Niching to serve new mums would be great here. Other niches in the fitness industry include:  Bikini and physique competition training  Pre and post natal training  Hockey goalies (Yes, I know someone who’s been very successful with this!)  Workouts specifically for vegans  Celebrity training  And many many more The point here is that people like to work with specialists. They’ll pay more for a niche business because they know specialists deliver better results. But if you aren’t ready to pin down a niche, another great option is to offer classes about once a month that are laser focused and cater to a specific group of people. This can include: 1. New mummy workouts - bring your baby if under 1 year old 2. Nutritional seminars for gluten free diets 3. Cardio classes for people with knee pain 4. And more. This still helps you identify an area of focus so that you set yourself apart as an authority in this field. Then, once you have your ideal customer and buyer personas identified, and your niche pinned down, it’s time to work on your messaging. MAY 2017



Identify Your Concept One of the biggest mistakes I see a lot of businesses make is they don’t have a clear understanding of who they are. This prevents them from being able to articulate how and why they’re different from anybody else, in just a few words. You want your customers and fans to be able to quickly describe who you are and what you do to there friends and family, without there being any confusion. When you think of Orangetheory and explain it to someone - even if you’ve never done an Orangetheory workout - the description is always the same. It’s something like this: “It’s a high intensity workout that combines weights and cardio. Its called Orangetheory because your goal is to burn fat in the most efficient way possible, and everyone wears heart rate monitors that measure you throughout class, and when you’re in your best fat burning zone, the tiles on the TV with your name on it will turn orange.” That’s because the franchise’s concept is incredibly clear across all boards, including their website, social media platforms, and all marketing and advertising,. Their messaging never varies and it’s easy to remember. And everyone on your team needs to be able to recite your concept in 1 - 2 sentences. A great way to see if they know is to have them write it down. If you get varying answers, it needs to be clarified.

And if your gym’s concept needs to be clarified among your team … it probably needs to be clarified before anyone else hears it. If these three things seem pretty basic and like strategies you already know, then great. But I strongly suggest that you make sure your fitness business’ messaging and purpose clearly align with your ideal customer, and that your ideal customer fits in the niche you want to build on. Once you have all of these identified, you’ll be able to successfully create content around your gym’s ideal customers and market to them in the right areas.

Mike Arce is the Founder and CEO of Loud Rumor, an online marketing agency that helps fitness studios grow and get more customers. Through their proven program Fit FLAVER, Mike has been able to combine his passion for both the fitness industry and marketing. For more information see

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


MAY 2017


Four ways you're losing out to your competition online Startup Active’s marketing expert, Omar Thompson, highlights four digital marketing elements that you have to get right.

With business comes competition. But do you really know how your business compares to your competitors? Keeping an eye on your competition is a key component to staying one step ahead of the game and ensuring your business is number one in your area. But what factors are your competitors beating you on at the moment? Here are four of the most common elements of digital marketing that you will need to improve on to be top dog!

They have a better website As an established website design agency, the first place I will obviously start is with your website, itself. Gone are the days when just being online was enough for generating leads. Today, your website needs to have it all; the right look, the right content, and the right call-to-actions. This is so crucial, in fact, I can guarantee you have judged a business on their website before - we all have. If we are browsing for a product or service online and the website is, well, not up to standard, we simply leave that site, go back to Google and start our search again until we find the right one. If your website isn’t up to scratch then I am certain people are doing the same to you. Mobile optimisation is a big must, too. With mobile Internet browsing surpassing desktop browsing, it’s essential that your website works well on mobile devices, too. But, what if your competition’s website isn’t better than yours, what if it sucks? Can you just leave yours as it is? NO. If your competitor’s website is poor then it’s all the more reason to get yours to maximum potential. It will flip the process and have traffic leaving their website and hopefully landing on yours. Win-win! MAY 2017



They are more active on social media It’s one of the most powerful tools in your digital marketing arsenal, but using social media to it’s full potential isn’t as easy as it looks. Times have changed and when people want to find out about your business and service, it’s common for them to look on your Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram to get a more in-depth look. You also have the added bonus of people coming across your business on social media first, rather than finding you in a Google search. If your competition are much more active than you on social media, chances are they’re generating more clients, online. With every quality post they put, they’re getting one step further into the lead and generating more awareness. I understand how hard it can be to stay on top of social media when working in the fitness industry. Sessions can run at random times of the day and add that with all the other aspects of running a business, there isn’t much time to play with. But you need to get out of the mindset that social media is just a side thought for your business - it’s not. Your social media presence is a necessity in your business marketing and should be seen this way. Make time to create good quality posts on there, and if timing is difficult, try using a social media schedule tool like Hootsuite, which will allow you to schedule posts ensuring you don’t miss any. Stay active and you will stay ahead.

They’re sending newsletters The majority of you reading this will have some form of database, whether it be current client’s email addresses or people who have opted in for a free eBook etc. on your website. But when was the last time you connected with these people via email marketing? With times changing, people are making the mistake of believing email marketing is dying, but this simply isn’t the case. Email marketing is as effective, if not more than it ever has been! Let’s say, for instance, your competitors are sending out a weekly newsletter featuring their latest blog articles, promotions etc. but you on the other hand haven’t sent out a newsletter since you can remember. This is another reason why your competition is beating you online. They’re frequently engaging with prospects and sending them valuable content, thus being seen as the go-to business for your service. For example; if you focus on PT classes for weight loss, but it’s your competition that are sending valuable content to the prospects inbox, rather than you, it’s more than likely they’re going to choose your competitor’s business when ready to purchase the service. To successfully tackle this, start dedicating an hour or two each week to creating a valuable newsletter to email to your database. It will keep help drive traffic to your website and keep your business fresh in their mind, when they’re looking to purchase. Mailchimp is usually the go-to software when creating newsletters. It’s free to use for businesses with less than 2,000 subscribers, too!


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Their call-to-actions are more compelling When I talk about call-to-actions I am not just talking about the buttons on your website. I mean your callto-actions overall; from your website buttons to the links in your emails and Facebook posts. They are all significant to generating more traffic and leads online. Your CTAs need to stand out and entice users to click them. If your buttons on your website are the same colour as other elements on your page, they won’t grab the visitor’s attention. Always use contrasting colours on your buttons to get noticed and draw your visitor’s eye. Another element on your CTAs that is putting your business behind your competition is the language and tone of voice used. Are you using the whole ‘Submit’, ‘Click Here’ buttons? If so, these need changing up. Internet browsers see tonnes of CTAs a day - so many in fact that they begin losing all power. Use different language - speak in first personal, where possible, for instance: ‘I want this eBook!’ and ‘I’m ready to burn fat’. These will work better and entice people to click.

Final Thought As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, no matter what your business, there is always competition. It’s how you handle competition that determines your business’s success. Try to avoid the whole competition-fear. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Use your competition to your advantages, research what they’re doing, what angles their marketing is taking, what’s working for them and what isn’t. But remember not to just all-out copy your competition. A big part of business success comes from being unique. Use your research but don’t clone it - make it better! At Startup Active, we fully understand how busy fitness professionals are. Most haven’t got the time to spend on their online marketing, which is why we offer a highly rated website and marketing package; Active Blueprint. To find out how Active Blueprint can transform your business online, visit our website:

MAY 2017



Fit Kit

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

A botanical blend Firefly has collaborated with Ryan Chetiyawardana AKA Mr Lyan to create a fantastic botanical blend called Superfly. Using Cascara, Wormwood, Kola Nut and Notes of Green Coffee to add an adult, dry finish and the aromatic fruitiness of grapefruit and redcurrant to refresh - this drink is a delicious and beautiful natural soft drink, easy to enjoy at any time of the day or night. Visit

New Bounty Protein Bar! To capitalise on the growing protein trend and following on from the successful launch of the MARS and SNICKERS Protein Bars, the new BOUNTY Protein Bar is just 200 calories, includes 19g of protein and will have all the blissful taste of the BOUNTY coconut blend that consumers know and love. Sales of protein shakes and bars have soared 27% in two years, from £52million to £66million, with one in ten consumers having consumed a protein bar in the last three months. For all stockist enquiries call 01452 378500.

Dairy-free milk alternative from Vita Coco Thicker, creamier, and a higher potassium level than milk...Introducting Vita Coco Coconut Milk Alternative. Made with “never from concentrate” coconut water from Vita Coco and coconut cream, Vita Coco Coconut Milk Alternative is perfect in your morning cereals (hot or cold), delicious on its own, and has the flavour and proper consistency to easily complement your daily coffee and tea - or why not dairy free-style up your smoothies or protein shakes! Visit


MAY 2017


Improve strength, stamina and performance Launched in 1997, the Bio-Synergy Creatine Plus Strength capsules boast numerous benefits and is one of the most effective creatine supplements on the market. The high strength capsule formulation is ideal for those looking to improve strength, stamina, energy, performance and reduce total body fat, showing noticeable results within one month. So, whether you are a gym goer, strength or endurance athlete, Bio-Synergy Creatine PlusÂŽ is guaranteed to deliver results. Visit

Refuel the body Botanic Lab’s ISOTONIC, with medical-grade charcoal and mighty raw cane, helps aid recovery. Whether you’re seeking a fix for the afternoon slump, ditching your diet soda addiction, supporting a busy lifestyle or rebooting after a heavy training session, the active elements of ISOTONIC are cleverly balanced to refuel the body: a naturally electrolyte-rich formula to flood a depleted system with essential phytochemicals and nutrients, with no refined sugar and made from the highest quality ingredients that nature has to offer. Plus, thanks to the raw Japanese yuzu and lemon ingredients, the nutrient-packed blend also helps deliver a vitamin C hit. Visit

A Tropical-Tasting Nutrient Hit Organic, high in protein and comprising more than 100 nutrients, Bioglan Superfoods Organic Tropical Spirulina Powder is a powerhouse of vitality. Rich in iron and zinc, its cleansing and alkalising properties offer energy and vitality, while its zingy tropical flavour provides a delicious taste. Those looking to introduce spirulina to their diet can drink it daily in smoothies, juices or water. Visit

To sponsor this feature, contact: MAY 2017



Are you me own and ru Daniel Nyiri, Founder of 4U Fitness, ask new gym owners to seriously think about their new business.

"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards." —Vernon Sanders Law

Many personal trainers are great at training clients and getting them incredible results, but that might not mean they will be great at running a business. When they suddenly become a business owner, they often focus on the wrong things and they look at the business backwards. Trainers need to let go of that personal training vantage point and switch to a strategic view. I am Daniel Nyiri CEO of 4U Fitness. I am a fitness professional and best selling author. Originally from Hungary I arrived to the U.S. with a dream of starting my own company about 7 years ago with $150 in my pocket and not speaking English. Now we have 3 corporate studios in the Bay area, are launching our first franchise, and have developed a high tech invention that allows you to get a 3 hour workout in just 20 minutes. The first 2-3 years of my career consisted of learning valuable lessons the hard way and working hard instead of working smart. My plan for my articles here in Gym Owner Monthly is to help you think and act on the right things so that you can accelerate your gym’s growth and eventually create the 7-figure gym that you are capable of building. I’ll start by identifying the several key mistakes that gym owners make so that you can immediately stop if you are doing these now and then adjust your practices to start moving in the right direction. 78

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Key Mistakes: 1) Just jumping in without any forethought or planning. 2) Doing the exact same thing as before — personal training — while trying to pay the bills and clean the bathrooms. I consider this working in the business instead of on the business. 3) Not looking towards the future and not making plans for business growth. 4) Giving up your personal life and other passions so that you can work 24 hours a day. 5) Buying a gym or personal training studio when all you really want to do is train clients —have you asked yourself the question “WHY am I building my own gym?” If the right answer isn’t there, you should highly consider rethinking your plan.


meant to un a gym? trends and news. You need to be out there so you can know what’s going on and stay ahead of the game! If you think you don’t have time to read or research because you’re so busy working, then you need to reassess your goals. Do you want to be average or do you want to be the best? As a new gym owner, I highly recommend that you analyze your business first. Start with who is doing what and analyze the roles. Even if it’s just you at this point, you can still do this. Create a list and on that list, you need to write every single job title that you or someone else is currently doing or should be doing at the moment. This is my first assignment to you. Stay tuned, next month we’ll get into the importance of setting the RIGHT goals. Have you made any of these mistakes? You need to stop working on the wrong things. If you simply want to focus on personal training, then you should work for someone else — not yourself. If you want to own a successful gym, you need to be an entrepreneur. At this point, most trainers ask, “Does this mean I can’t train clients anymore?” No, of course, you can! For pure joy, if nothing else. But it should not be the core of your business. It is only a problem when your training is consuming all the time needed to grow your business! I have been there. I have worked all day, given up my personal life and gotten burned out. I have also heard many, many gym owners and personal trainers say that owning a gym or personal training business will take away all your time and ruin your personal life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In the beginning, you definitely have to put in the work — the right work. You must run the business instead of letting the business run you. Finally, it is important to recognize that you will not be able to charge more, be more successful, or attract more clients and become famous by collecting certifications. I have met many trainers who have so many titles but they just did not know how to scale upwards. They think certifications are the answer but they are not. This doesn’t mean you should not be knowledgeable, you should absolutely be reading about your industry and be up to date on all of the latest

Daniel Nyiri is an entrepreneur with one goal: to revolutionize the fitness industry. Find out more at

MAY 2017



FIBO 2017

The industry gathered in Cologne last month, check-out some of the exhibitors in our visual round-up.

MINDBODY is a cloud-based business management software that provides gym owners with all the administration systems needed to run a fitness business, helping to save time and increase revenue. This includes booking and payments, payroll, resourcing, scheduling, inventory, client management and marketing. MINDBODY also helps businesses respond to the growing consumer demand for instant, mobile wellness, by giving consumers access to the classes and appointments they want through a single mobile app.​

UK born dance fitness brand Clubbercise shone a very bright light on this year’s FIBO, with four days of backto-back sessions and demos on its stand. Their Master Trainers and Pro Presenters brought the glowstickbased, club anthem fuelled workout to life at the event. Clubbercise, already well-established in the UK, is training instructors worldwide this year, with courses coming up in Germany, Asia and Australia.


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Core Health & Fitness exhibited the all new HIIT Programming at this year’s FIBO. The StairMaster HIIT program features an exclusive line of equipment including the HIITMill & HIITMILL X, BoxMaster®, AirFit™ and AirFit UB™. Each product is designed to be used individually or paired together to create a unique workout experience. In addition, Core Health & Fitness showcased the new arm feature on the TreadClimber®, OpenHub™ cardio screens, new Schwinn bikes with power and impressive line of black Nautilus Inspiration™ strength.


FIBO was once again the stage for the Euro launch of an array of new ZIVA products. The massive stand (highlighting a unique ‘I Love Fitness’ side panel where lots of photos were taken) showed the brand new XP range, new PVO PU Dbells and the ZIVA Signature series of products including new Bulgarian Bags, Kettle Bells and Battle Ropes - all endorsed by their inventors or acknowledged world experts including Ivan Ivanov (inventor of the Bulgarian Bag), Steve Cotter (Kettle Bell Master) and John Brookfield (creator of the Battle Rope).

FIBO 2017 provided the perfect platform to showcase the very latest performance tools and accessories from Training Wall. The new Peg Panel allows the user to perform climbing exercises with sticks. The SpinWall is

an an amazing new inertial device that can be mounted on to the wall in seconds, and whose momentum can be adapted for numerous types of exercise. The Storage Trolley is designed for Training Wall accessories and tools when they are not in use. It is ideal for keeping everything organised and has great appeal for smaller Training Wall configurations where space is not available to keep the tools on the wall panels.

Life Fitness, the global leader in commercial fitness equipment manufacturing, unveiled its latest innovative and digitally advanced product lines. Showcasing its family of brands, which include Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, SCIFIT, InMovement, Cybex and the recently acquired ICG, Life Fitness featured its latest best in class equipment as part of a multiple product launch which strengthens the company’s longstanding commitment to thoughtful product development, incorporating latest fitness trends and the fast-paced evolution of technology. MAY 2017



Action PR attended FIBO en masse to support their clients, Pulse, Physical Company and Fitquest, and to suss out the latest fitness trends and developments, ensuring they remain at the very top of their game. Here, Director Cheryl Hersey, checks out Fitrocks, a novel, flintstone-esk, innovation from Finland. View their video round-up!

At this year’s FIBO Pulse Fitness, the dedicated equipment arm of the Pulse Group, were out in fullforce demonstrating a wide range of equipment from their latest cardio and strength lines as well as their new VR treadmill and functional training rigs. Joining in on the action, Pulse Fitness’s brand ambassadors Dame Kelly Holmes and Eddie Hall, were both in attendance at the show meeting visitors and trying out the equipment. Visitors to the Pulse stand were also greeted by an impressive showcase of calisthenics, thanks to the Titan display team.


MAY 2017

Making their official European launch, the Speedflex team were in attendance showcasing their high intensity interval training sessions with a twist thanks to their unique hydraulic machine based technology. The team were providing regular demonstrations and the show also marked the official launch of the POD to an international audience.


Servicesport UK LTD recently ventured out of the comfort of their success in the U.K market by attending FIBO. 4 meter walls towered over competitors right at the entrance to Hall 6 of the trade fair, with 110sqm of floor space to showcase 7 pieces of manufacturer approved remanufactured gym equipment. They also displayed a Matrix cross trainer in their revolutionary boxing process. All this kit was complimented by glass cabinets full of common and sought after parts in the industry. Managing Director Colin Marriott commented, “We won’t let Brexit hinder our plans to expand into Europe, if anything, it signifies our commitment to what we do”.

eGym welcomed thousands of visitors to experience the first ever multi-provider, connected, training zone. The training zone demonstrated the company’s vision of a gym for everyone, placing the member at the heart of a totally connected offering via eGym. Data connected from multiple devices allows the instructor and member to track and monitor every activity. eGym also showcased new innovations to training software, launched efle-xx and introduced a growing portfolio of connected partners including the largest manufacturers of cardio equipment.

MAY 2017



Chris Zaremba provides 12 guidelines for a healthy diet I’ve devised a set of eating guidelines which I use for myself and recommend to others. Why? Because they have worked for me – and along with a plan of weight training and cardio, they have consistently helped me to achieve the twin goals of fatness loss and fitness gain. Many nutrition strategies rely on a more detailed approach than I’ve described. And indeed I have devised a spreadsheet-based system for calculating calories, weighing food, keeping daily objectives and performance against those objectives – and I use this system when preparing for something big for myself, like a contest or photoshoot, or with my one-to-one clients. But I’ve found this approach is too detailed for most people, and I needed an approach to keep me on the straight and narrow path that leads me towards those twin goals when the degree of precision offered by measuring the numbers isn’t practical. So here are some guidelines to help you eat more healthily without having to count calories and grams of nutrients. I’ve tried this tactic with a number of my personal training clients, and usually with a good level of success (that’s ‘always’ rather than ‘usually’ if they stick with it!). To make it work, there is a set of guidelines. You can call them rules if you like, but rules can be broken, and guidelines are easier to return to if you have wandered off track. 84

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1. Eat six times a day at two to three-hour intervals. Obviously, vary the times on a day to day basis as each day progresses, but maintain a minimum gap of two, maximum of four hours. 2. Try to maintain a 12-hour period every day without consuming any calories – an overnight fast. A typical day for me is breakfast at 7:30am, snack at 10am, lunch at 12pm, snack at 2:30pm, another at 5pm, then dinner at 7:30pm.


3. Each meal and snack to have substantial element of complete protein (non-fried fish, lean meat, egg whites, added protein powder). I’m not asking you to count, but as a general principle about 40% of your calories should come from protein over the course of a day. 4. Sugary, white starchy fast-digesting carbs are usually a bad thing. However, you should have some fast carbs at breakfast and after your main physical exercise of the day. Slow carbs – brown rice, wholemeal bread, veg - for the rest of the day’s meals. The carbs form another 40% of your daily calories intake. In other words, have about the same amount of carbs as protein. 5. Have some fats – specifically the unsaturated ones found in oily fish, avocados, oils plus a few nuts and seeds. Try to keep the saturated fats down, by cutting off the obvious fatty bits of meat and minimize dairy with fat. Much less fats overall than the protein or carbs. 6. Saturated fats aren’t good, nor are sugars. But the very worst is the combination of the two – chocolate, ice cream, pastries. 7. Early morning cardio-based exercise is ideal, and only black coffee and water before. After the cardio, your first meal should be a good breakfast. 8. Choose low-carb/sugar-free/ low-fat versions of everything. But check that low or zero fat things aren't full of carbs – fast carbs can be worse for you than fat. 9. Think portion size - don't stuff yourself. If it’s something that you love, keep the portion size small, as the first mouthful of anything is the best – and the enjoyment drops off with each spoonful, so keep the portion size under control. But for protein and slow carbs, eat lots! 10. Fresh fruit is great – but not too much, there’s a load of sugar amongst all those vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. 11. Avoid extra salt, fats, sugar - don't add these to anything. And always choose fresh over processed, grilled over fried, water over juice, and brown over white. 12. Vary the guidelines to be social - don't be a diet bore. But always try to load up on the proteins and fibre, and cut down on the sugars and saturated fats.

Breaking the guidelines: If something is worth breaking the guidelines, then do so – but make it something special. Make sure you have reasoned this out and justified it before making the decision to break the guidelines at any time; the occasion should be worth it. Finally, remember, it’s your body – you and only you are responsible for what you consume. You put the work during exercise sessions and other training sessions, you need to reinforce that effort with the correct nutrition to keep the fitness-increasing, fatness-reducing programme on track. Some menu suggestions that are tasty, not expensive and fit within the rules: Breakfast Oats with hot water, whey protein powder, raspberries, blueberries, cinnamon Omelette with wholemeal toast and fruit Steak and scrambled eggs on toast and peel me a grape or two (Sunday treat!) Lunch and dinner Any meat or fish (ideally grilled, not fried), loads of salad or green veg, limited potatoes Chicken and veg stir fry in small amount of good oil, small sweet potato Baked potato (not huge) with tuna and loads of salad Snacks Fresh fruit with nuts – not for all snacks due to fast-carbs Whey protein shake blended with berries High-protein medium/low-carb bar Chris Zaremba used his nutrition and training strategies to transform from very overweight to contest-winning condition in five years starting at age 50. See for more.

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Ask the expert Got a problem you need solving? Our team of experts are here to help! If you have a question you’d like answered, get in touch – email

A renewable process Q. Member retention is a constant challenge for the sector. How can gym owners improve the member experience and enhance retention rates to encourage longer term participation? Johnny Everett, Preston

Justin Mendleton, Managing Director of MoveGB, answers:

When considering your retention strategy, having a great product is a given. But what else can you focus on to ensure you derive the greatest lifetime value from your customers? Firstly, are you using metrics that enable you to improve? ‘Average length of attendance’ (the average length of time a user continues to attend your gym at least once per month) will give you a far truer assessment of your service and one which you can influence with all sorts of interventions before your customer decides to quit. Secondly, make sure you attract the right customers for retention. This doesn’t just mean marketing exclusively to the over 35’s. Think about listing your business on one of the emerging online platforms that allow multivenue access, where you can leverage wallet share of a new high value fitness customer that doesn’t want to be tied down to one gym. MoveGB users can attend not just gyms, but different venues offering climbing, yoga, dance and other niche activities. Our plans also come at

a premium price point. Why is this good for gym owners who list on MoveGB? Not only does it ensure they don’t cannibalise their own member base by giving them an option to attend via a cheaper route, it means they are guaranteed a new sustainable revenue stream from new customers 'predisposed' to stay active i.e. paying a premium for variety. Our data shows that users who attend multiple venues of different types stay active on average 8.5 months longer than users who attend a single gym. Of course, listing your gym on the right platform also gives your profits an extra boost too as the platform provider covers the customer acquisition cost for you. Finally, think about retention as an ongoing renewable process. How easy is it for your customers to cancel and rejoin? We have found that removing this ‘friction' keeps them more active in the long run. By giving our customers tools such as instant cancellation and even free credit for unused membership, our rejoin rates are three times that of the industry average.

Find out more, visit


MAY 2017


Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers

eGym expands UK team as part of global expansion eGym has bolstered its UK team to keep pace with the growing demand for the brand’s totally connected fitness offering. This forms part of the global expansion strategy, which has also seen eGym open its first US office this month in New York. Andy Hall

Andy Milne

Jeremy Jenkins

Jessica Hay

In less than 12 months, eGym has grown its dedicated UK team from 2 to 12. The sales team, headed up by Sales Director, Jeremy Jenkins, now consists of 5 area sales managers with four of these coming on board in the last few months. Shaz Azam, Area Sales Manager, North East & Scotland, brings with him a unique mix of digital and fitness experience. Immediately before joining eGym, Shaz worked as a Business Development Manager at a digital agency but prior to this, he held positions as a Personal Trainer, a Gym Manager and a Regional Account Manager for a US fitness equipment manufacturer. Andy Hall, previously Head of Operations and fitness at fitness app, TruBe, joins as Area Sales Manager, South West. Andy has worked in the

fitness industry for many years, bringing with him a wealth of operational experience. Previous roles include, Regional Fitness Manager, Tabata Master Trainer and Club Manager. Andrew Milne, Area Sales Manager South East & London brings with him over 24 years industry experience, with 10 years in operational positions, 12 years selling and consulting for 3 of the largest equipment manufacturers and 2 years running his own brand outdoor fitness class, BaseFit. Jessica Hay , Area Sales Manager, North West, has worked in the fitness industry for over 10 years gathering a wealth of hands on experience from qualified Personal Trainer to General Manager of a 5,000 member health club in both regional and national roles.

Parkwood Leisure names Peter Fitzboydon as new MD Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading leisure management companies, has strengthened its senior team with the appointment of Peter Fitzboydon as its new Managing Director. Peter Fitzboydon

Peter, an experienced leisure industry professional, joins Parkwood Leisure on 26th June 2017 and will be based at the company’s head office in Worcester. In his new role Peter will be responsible for maintaining and developing client relationships, further enhancing operational standards and developing new business through innovation and engagement with local communities.

clients across England and Wales. The company has

Parkwood Leisure currently operates over 85 leisure facilities on behalf of 25 local authority

changes and growth for the company since joining

a turnover of over £85 million and employs over 4,500 staff. Peter joins Parkwood Leisure from London Sport, an organisation established by the Mayor of London and Sport England, where he held the role of Chief Executive and spearheaded significant in 2014.

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bringing gyms into a successful digital future Find out how call +44(0)207 701 4267, email or visit

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