FOR GYM OWNERS AND HEALTH & FITNESS PROFESSIONALS
ISSUE 7 // OCTOBER 2016
OF R E N OW ONTH THuEgM rything e v e e iv
fit kit The best fitness kit around for you and your clients
' 'If yo not fail l l i w u yo
LOCKER ROOMS YOUR BRAND S TA R T S H E R E
PT Viewpoint The power of the fitness selfie
Fitness over 50
Rob Johns o
CHRIS ZAREMBA EXAMINES SUBO P T I M A L B E H AV I O U R
FUNCTIONAL TRAINING Expert insight from TRX, Life Fitness and ViPR
How to engage with your members
MD at Future Fit Training
Top tips for gym owners and managers NE WS / / REV I EWS // T EC H NOLO G Y / / TR E N DS / / EQU I PM E N T / / I NSIG HT
nts e v e l a it ig d k in h t training floor digitalising the
ym.co.uk Email events.uk@eg
ation to request an invit
the cloud-connected fitness solution developed to improve member communication, club retention & increase member uptake
" eGym has helped my members to manage
eGym strength training equipment with its digital software interface uses workout data to track training and create a personalised, connected member experience that achieves better fitness results for users.
Dan Morgan, Director Blue Leisure Management, Oakwood Sports Centre
- Increasing the tension across the muscle with regular strength tests and periodised training variations. - Automated equipment saves all individual setups, pre-sets speed and reps to the training method and ensures full range of motion for effective training. - Direct feedback rewards the users and shows progress of the training program.
their own workouts and has removed hurdles that instructors have with progressing individual training programmes in the right way. eGym really manages the customers better and it's proving to keep them motivated. "
eGym UK | Medius House | 2 Sheraton Street | London W1F 8BH | egym.co.uk/business | firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome... … to the October issue of Gym Owner Monthly magazine. This month we offer practical advice on member engagement (p.14), top ten safety tips (p.33), changing room design (p.36) and how to avoid common mistakes (p.52). Elsewhere, John Hayes tells us his story (p.12) as our ‘Owner of the Month’ and we have a pictorial review of Leisure Industry Week (p.18). Phil Graham discusses the power of the fitness selfie in PT Viewpoint (p.26), we reveal the latest Fit Kit (p.28) and Chris Zaremba examines sub-optimal behaviour (p.30). Our Big Interview this month is with Rob Johnson, MD at Future Fit Training and on p.45 experts from TRX, Life Fitness and ViPR provide insight on functional training. Our regular columnist Ben Coomber (p.49) highlights three common ‘gym phobias’ and in ‘Ask in the Expert’ we tackle energy costs and member retention.
Have a good month!
The GOM team
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© 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.
45 12 TRENDS
07 News The latest news and hot topics in the industry 12
Owner of the month We talk to John Hayes, owner of JH Performance Training in Coventry
LIW 2016 Our visual round-up of last monthâ€™s Leisure Industry Week expo
Training: The facts and 45 Functional the future Experts from TRX, Life Fitness and ViPR provide insight
Top 6 common mistakes your gym should avoid Donâ€™t take your eye off the basics
56 Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers 4
How to engage with your members We talk to three leading experts to explore different tools and activities that will keep your members engaged
the experts 54 Ask Got a problem you need solving? Our team of experts are here to help
GEAR kit 28 Fit The best fitness kit around for you and your clients
28 30 SPOTLIGHT
Top 10 safety tips for gym owners Andy Brownsell from Protectivity shares his best safety advice How to build your brand in your locker room Style vs substance and why you canâ€™t afford to get it wrong
Big Interview 42 The We talk to Rob Johnson, MD at Future Fit
FITNESS Viewpoint 26 PT Phil Graham on the power of the fitness selfie and how to seek attainable goals over fifty 30 Fitness Chris Zaremba examines sub-optimal behaviour phobias 49 Gym Ben Coomber highlights three common fears every PT should be aware of
We're always seeking contributors, if you're interested in writing for us then please contact: email@example.com October 2016
Inspire Your Members with a Wattbike Zone Make your gym stand out from the crowd with an immersive Wattbike Zone. Eye-catching graphics provide a motivating atmosphere whilst Wattbikeâ€™s Power Cycling software ensures every rider is training to their own specific power and heart rate zones. The versatility of the Wattbike will ensure the bikes are always in use be it for testing, individual training or in a small group environment. Give your trainers and instructors the tools they need to deliver cycling classes that really get results.
What’s hot in the fitness industry
ukactive to drive government strategy for healthy leisure venues Not-for-profit health body to work with operators and local authorities to promote healthier food options across leisure facilities ukactive is to embark on a major new initiative to help leisure venues offer healthier food and drink options as part of the government’s new Childhood Obesity Strategy. The not-for-profit health body for the physical activity sector has been tasked by the Department of Health with exploring ways to provide and promote healthy options and restrict the sale of unhealthy food and drink in line with new government standards. Published last month, the government’s Childhood Obesity: A Plan for Action report highlighted physical inactivity as one of the root causes of obesity and set out a series of measures to ensure children engage in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 60 minutes every day. With public sector settings, specifically leisure centres, playing a key role in improving the health of children, the new strategy aims to ensure that people taking part in physical activity do so in a healthy environment which offers nutritious food and drink options. Over the coming months, ukactive will work with local authority leisure operators across its membership base, along with food vendors and the Local Government Association to explore what steps can be taken to create healthier leisure venues. One of the key focuses will be ensuring that vending machines are broadly compliant with Government Buying Standards for Food and Catering Services (GBSF) which carry requirements such as ensuring portions of fruit are cheaper than a hot or cold dessert. The GBSF comprise both mandatory and best practice elements. The mandatory elements ensure a reduction in products that are high in salt, saturated fat and sugar and promote greater consumption of fruit, vegetables, fibre and oily fish. The best practice nutrition-related elements cover confectionery, savoury snacks, sweetened beverages, menu analysis, allergen and calorie labelling. The initiative to promote healthy venues marks a proactive approach to self-regulation from the leisure sector. Already, some operators have trialled measures such as self-imposed sugar taxes
and the new consultation will seek to identify best-practice which can be adopted wholesale across public sector leisure facilities. ukactive executive director Steven Ward said: “We all have fond childhood memories of birthday parties and swimming sessions at our local leisure centres and these sites will remain pillars of local communities, playing a major role to play in combating inactivity and obesity among today’s children. “As such, it’s vital that our leisure centres are fully set up to facilitate healthy lifestyles by providing both physical activity options and nutritious food choices.” “By setting its own high standards, the leisure sector will be in a stronger position to work ever more closely with GPs and health professionals to serve as a frontline delivery partner for exercise referrals and behaviour interventions. At a time when the NHS is being stretched to its limits, preventative health measures are paramount and we see leisure centres as the frontline of the health service.” Local authorities have also been leading the way with a raft of public health pilots which seek to promote both healthy options across public amenities. These have included mobile fruit vans, promotion of healthy and ethical vending products, as well as cutting portion sizes, encouraging healthier cooking methods and adding new health stipulations into catering contracts. Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, said: “Obesity and physical inactivity are two of the most important public health challenges facing this country. Councils are playing a key role in helping people to eat better, by developing healthy catering policies. “This has seen, for example, council-run leisure centres stock vending machines and cafes with healthy choices, and reduce the availability of high-sugar items such as sweets and fizzy drinks. “We hope that other organisations will follow the example of councils, something we are already seeing in some areas. To tackle obesity we need to help people to change their diet, and this is an important step in that direction.”
News training opportunity for athletes of all abilities. Lee was first introduced to the Krankcycle® whilst taking part in a personal trainer course funded by Help for Heroes, delivered by InstructAbility. He now hopes to help raise funds to purchase a Krankcycle® for Brentwood Leisure Trust where he works as an inclusive coordinator and gym coach. Lee, who lives in Essex with his family, added: “When my situation changed, I needed to get my fitness level back to how it was, so I was really pleased to be selected for the InstructAbility training course.
Krankcycle® assists with charity challenge training ROYAL NAVY veteran Lee Patmore has found the perfect solution to assist with his goal of cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End – the Johnny G Krankcycle® by Matrix. Lee and the Cycle2Recovery team will be riding down the east coast of the country, with Lee using only his arms to power his recumbent hand-cycle. On route, the three veteran cyclists will be visiting recovery centres run by Help for Heroes - the main charity for which funds will be donated to. Lee is a member of the Help for Heroes Band of Brothers and Help for Heroes Beneficiary. The alternative route adds more than 400 miles to the already gruelling journey, cycling 60 to 70 miles per day across 25 days in May next year. 41-year-old Lee, who is mostly confined to a wheelchair, said: “The Krankcycle® has become a pivotal part of my training regime as it’s a realistic representation of how my hand-cycle is powered whilst on the road. “The hand cranks on a hand-cycle are usually mounted in phase, unlike pedal cranks, which are usually 180° out of phase. Most gym hand-cycle machines are set with the hand cranks 180° out of phase, but the Krankcycle® allows the user to use the hand cranks in phase just like on a road hand-cycle. “Because of this it emulates real-life hand cycling, so I’m using it three times a week for up to 60 minutes at a time, really pushing myself to work as hard as possible for as long as possible.” “Although I’m using it in preparation for the challenge, it’s also a fantastic piece of equipment for those who want to take part in a spin class but have limited lower body mobility, or who are in rehabilitation.” The Johnny-G Krankcycle® by Matrix is the first exercise programme to focus on the upper body as a way to build cardio fitness. It builds aerobic capacity, upper body strength and core stability, whilst representing an inclusive cross-
“The way I see it, the more I can show people what I’m able to achieve despite my illness and disability, the more it shows others anything is possible.” Lee will be completing John O’Groats to Land’s End with Steve Craddock and Brian Kilgannon. As well as Help for Heroes, they have each selected a personal charity to donate to, with Lee having chosen InstructAbility creators, Aspire. To sponsor Cycle2Recovery, visit: www.ourcycle2recovery. co.uk
Physical Company signs new distribution deals with Concept2 and WaterRower Physical Company, provider of Complete Fitness Solutions, has recently signed new deals with Concept2 and WaterRower to distribute their latest indoor rowing lines.
News For Concept2, Physical Company is selling its Model D and Model E indoor rowers. The Model D is the world’s bestselling indoor rower. Recognised by competitive rowers as the standard for indoor training, it delivers a highly effective cardiovascular workout to help increase fitness levels and improve physique. Engineered to the highest standard, the Model D is the same machine used by Olympic and elite-level athletes. The Model E is a sleeker, more luxurious rower with a 20-inch frame, nickel plated chain and double powder coat with glossy finish which protects against scratches. From a practical point of view, the 20-inch set height makes it ideal for less mobile exercisers yet still provides an unparalleled full-body workout. The WaterRower rowing simulators have been established for 20 years and their stylish design, hand crafted workmanship and ethically sourced materials have certainly stood the test of time. The WaterRower’s unique WaterFlywheel design uses a specially formed paddle to cup the moving water, reduce slippage and produce an unrivalled simulation of the benefits of rowing. Physical Company is supplying four machines from the range – The WaterRower M1 Series, WaterRower GX Studio, WaterRower Club and WaterRower Natural.
certainly demand for these in gyms, studios and larger clubs,” says John Halls, Physical Company Managing Director. “As a supplier we like to offer a few options and we feel the choice of Concept2 and Water Rowers give customers a good selection from which to choose. Both brands are highly regarded and their respective USPs have strong appeal in the trade.” All products are available from www. physicalcompany.co.uk
Future Fit Training launches Pro Zone online centre of excellence
The M1 Series requires no plug for power and can be easily placed anywhere on the gym floor. It has a choice of LoRise and HiRise legs and also comes in a brushed stainless steel finish option (The S1 Series). The GX Studio series includes hybrid wood/aluminum models with a monorail. Initially designed for use in fitness clubs and in conjunction with group-x rowing classes, this model received praise from gym goers wanting to take the rowing action home with them. As part of the GX Studio range Physical Company will also be selling the A1 Model. This includes an aluminium monorail design and A1 Program monitor, which is a simpler monitor to use, designed for easy Quick Start of most features as opposed to setting up different programs. The WaterRower Club is designed for high traffic areas such as commercial gyms, studios and rehab facilities. It is hand crafted in solid ash and finished in an attractive rose stain which is resistant to soiling and its rails feature a black stain to prevent scuffing. The WaterRower Natural is built from sustainably sourced hardwood which helps to absorb sound and vibration to enhance the WaterRower’s quietness and smoothness of use. This ultimate rowing simulator provides a realistic rowing stroke, using a belt and tank of water to provide the resistance, as opposed to a chain and air resistance of conventional rowers. It’s also very easy to store and simply folds up against a wall, making it the ideal rower for small gyms and studios. “Rowing is enjoying a resurgence of interest and there is
Future Fit Training, providers of quality assured training, is offering fitness professionals unrivalled access to career-enhancing training, support and skills in an exclusive online centre of excellence called Pro Zone. The Future Fit Pro Zone gives members access to an online community of personal training experts and a gateway to a wealth of information, insightful webinars (worth CPD points), ongoing career support and the latest business-enhancing information for the fitness industry. Future Fit is providing a comprehensive suite of services and products from its highly experienced master trainers and tutors. In addition, it has brought in a number of respected partners including British Weight Lifting, Body Transformation Academy, Katie Bulmer Cooke and Reebok Archon to bring that all-important outside perspective and specialist training.
News Furthermore, membership of the Future Fit Training Pro Zone entitles fitpros to a 25% discount on a broad range of its health and fitness CPD courses. Future Fit is offering Pro Zone in two ways: firstly, by forming bespoke corporate Pro Zone areas for operators and secondly by inviting independent and self-employed trainers to join an online community. The corporate Pro Zone enables operators to develop tailored, in-house staff training to meet their company’s exact requirements. Employees simply sign up to the Pro Zone to enjoy a wealth of advice, offers and support. Each month a tailor-made webinar will be held, alongside which will run practical workshops, masterclasses and e-learning courses to enhance employees’ skills and knowledge. All these are delivered by fitness industry experts and a team of trainers are also on hand 24-7 to answer questions and offer support. An online forum gives an immediate community allowing employees from across the operator’s different clubs to share their news and views while additional Facebook groups further enhance engagement. The corporate Pro Zone is available to operators for just £50 per month per venue. Each operator has a dedicated Future Fit Pro Zone manager who will create a bespoke training calendar to meet their exact needs thus adding most value to the workforce. The individual Pro Zone community welcomes independent gym staff and self-employed personal trainers to sign up to access the resources, webinars, training and offers. For just £15 per month, fitpros can join the community, view up to 24 webinars (12 from Future Fit Training tutors and 12 from guest contributors), enjoy discounts on workshops, masterclasses and e-learning and access 24-hour online and telephone support from experienced trainers This ‘ready made’ professional community aims to bring the UK’s best trainers together to share best practice, voice any concerns, offer advice and expertise and give trainers all the support they need to progress in their career. The Future Fit Pro Zone will help ensure self-employed trainers are neither isolated nor left behind from the industry and remain at the forefront of professional development opportunities while enjoying the social interactive community by sharing opinions, tips and feedback through surveys, blog posts and the online forum. To find out more or join the Future Fit Pro Zone, operators should contact Oliver.Bell@futurefit.co.uk or call 01329 823400. Individual trainers should contact Prozone@futurefit.co.uk or call 01329 823400.
Studio engagement soars with THE TRIP™ Village Hotels has experienced a significant increase in studio usage following the launch of Les Mills’ THE TRIP™ at the Village Gym London Watford and is engaging with new and diverse member user groups through new technology. 10
D Since the first installation of the visually impressive and totally immersive cycle experience six months ago, the Elstree-based gym has recorded almost 2,000 attendances at THE TRIP. Tracy Sollitt, National Health & Fitness Manager, Village Urban Resorts, says: “Since offering THE TRIP, the dedicated group cycle studio holds an average of 14 immersive classes a week, offering two sessions a day and more on busy days. Additional indoor cycling sessions are also offered including Les Mills RPM™ and SPRINT™, so members can enjoy the full spectrum and this mix has certainly elevated the standard of this amazing studio.” Tracy adds: “THE TRIP doesn’t just appeal to people who love group cycling, it attracts a whole new set of riders. People who have never before experienced group exercise or have only done aqua classes are now signing up and then coming back because of the unique blend of immersive fitness and cutting-edge entertainment to keep members fully engaged. “We’re also seeing a marked increase in millennial members who are looking for an exciting and on-trend alternative to traditional fitness. Immersive sessions avoid the repetitiveness of ordinary cycle classes - our gym goers love the variety THE TRIP offers and with Les Mills programmes refreshed every 90 days there’s no chance they’ll lose interest. Research has shown that the average attendee works 20% harder in THE TRIP than in other classes as the striking visuals encourage them to adjust intensity more often and as they are so immersed, they find it easier to power through the pain barrier. “Innovating has brought us cutting-edge studio spaces, improved member retention and engaged our instructors. Les Mills has been instrumental in strengthening our offering by providing business advice, trend insight, launch support and much more.” “IMMERSIVE FITNESS™ is the future”, says Martin Franklin, CEO Les Mills UK. “We are in the entertainment business and are constantly drawing on technologies used by other industries to engage and inspire individuals. THE TRIP combines all the excitement, visual stimulation and impressive surround sound from cinema, live concerts and
News gaming to create a unique workout experience which totally engages both body and mind. It sees riders enveloped in a fantasy world, placing them and their bike at the centre of an exciting cycle adventure. For 40 minutes, riders can explore a range of digital realms and really lose themselves.” The combination of highly sophisticated visuals and upbeat audio stimulation together with expert guidance from world-class Les Mills instructors ensures every session is an escape from the pressures of the real world and transcends the stresses of physical excursion. Franklin adds: “We pride ourselves on the research we invest in and all our classes are designed with our insight in mind. We know that by 2020 millennials will account for one in three adults which is why we created THE TRIP for this audience. Already 76% of millennials are exercising regularly and with almost half of UK gym members stating they now check Facebook whilst working out, the only way forward is to combine fitness and tech. “Pioneering classes like THE TRIP prevent clubs from ‘aging’, keeps them bang on trend and able to compete with the growing number of boutiques and popular small studios.” Already aware of the need to innovative Village Hotels has this month extended their immersive offering to their 3,342 strong member gym in Solihull. For more information visit: www.lesmills.com/uk
New integrated health and wellbeing programme transforms chiropractic patients A chiropractic practice in Canterbury, Kent has introduced an integrated functional health and wellbeing programme to transform the lives of its clients. Working with MYZONE®, the programme encompasses chiropractic, functional fitness, nutrition, massage and mindfulness.
8 Weeks to Wellness (8WW) in April 2016 to complement and enhance their chiropractic services. Their moto is: ‘give us 8 weeks and we will change the rest of your life.’ “Traditionally people visit chiropractors when in pain, and after treatment resume their normal lives and the problems may return. The 8WW programme aims to address the cause of lifestyle healthcare conditions, taking a holistic approach to pain, prevention and wellness,” says Scott Hope. Participants of the programme take part in two in-house functional fitness sessions per week, two outside training sessions, chiropractic, massage, nutritional and diet modification, supplementation including Omega-3, Probiotics and Vitamin D3, additionally mindfulness/meditation daily. All exercise activity is monitored and tracked through the MYZONE® heart rate monitoring system. Since launching 8WW, 30 clients have completed the programme ranging in age from 16 to 70. Over the course of eight weeks there has been an average weight loss of 16.5 lbs, average waist loss of 4.2 inches, an average drop in BMI of 2.6 points and a reduction of 13 points in diastolic blood pressure. “We are achieving phenomenal results with our clients. Both new and existing individuals taking part in the 8WW are not only feeling better but actually functioning at a much better and higher level as our results indicate. We are seeing fundamental shifts in peoples’ health and lifestyle behaviours without the use of medication. In my opinion this is the future of functional healthcare,” says Scott Hope For more information visit www.hopespinalwellness.co.uk and www.myzone.org.
Hope Spinal Wellness was founded by husband and wife team Scott and Veronica Hope in 1999. After investing over £100,000 to refurbish the practice, which includes a fully equipped gym and functional fitness area, the Hopes introduced a holistic lifestyle modification programme called
Owner of the Month
‘If you give ev you will not f We speak to John Hayes, Owner of JHPT Performance Training about his journey from PT to gym owner
John Hayes, based in Coventry, has been working in the fitness industry for over 15 years. John worked in gyms, managed gyms and personal trained in gyms. However, he wanted to be more than a name on a board next to other instructors. John wanted to own his own gym! “I built up a decent client base doing personal training and left our local 'Global' gym to pursue my dream. I started out converting my garage. We had a bench, some dumbbells and some kettlebells. People still came. If you can deliver a good training session and care enough for each client you will be a good trainer.”
In 2015 John made the jump to start his own independent gym ‘JHPT Performance Training’. “The client base was good and we found a great spot in the local community. We were on our way. The room was empty and needed a lot of work. I needed a lot of kit but believed 110% in my vision.”
Believe in your vision John advises anyone starting out, “You must believe 110% in your vision and what you are doing. I didn’t go for these package deals of kit you see online - give your gym some individuality! Get educated. There is more to a gym than a few fancy cross-trainers. Get functional.” John has seen a lot of change within the industry and he believes that the next 5-10 years will again witness significant change. “Sprint tracks, functional stations, climbing, jumping, leaping, equipment that is more aligned to 12
sports”, John stresses that future gym owners must ensure their gyms are ahead of the times! John’s facility is unique because he doesn’t have any TV's, no mirrors, no treadmills (why do people drive to the gym to walk on a treadmill), no fancy cross trainers, and no gimmicks. John comments “We offer one-to-one and groupbased training where clients can come in and get educated about working out.”
verything fail’ Immerse yourself “No matter what business venture you start there will always be challenges along the way - what matters most is that you don't give up and keep working. If you give everything you will not fail. Immerse yourself fully into your gym project and make your dream a success!” “Your gym should create a good atmosphere. It should be welcoming and also a place where people feel at home. Make your customers feel like they are a part of something special. A community. A family.” John continues, “I have always found that this encourages customers to talk about
our gym and recommend it to others - this helps our gym grow. With retention I believe that having that extra care for each customer is vital. Make them feel safe and not judged.” “One of my clients has lost a staggering 35kg! I am not in this game to make £500k, I’m here to help people. Even if it’s 5% in the right direction, we are doing are job.” John promotes his gym through social media, mainly via Instagram and his Youtube channel. On a final note, John comments, “I hope reading this helps you realise your dream and one day you’ll walk through your own Gym doors!”
Follow John on Instagram and YouTube: JHPT_performancetraining
'You must believe 110% in your vision and what you are doing' October 2016
How to en with your We speak to three leading experts to explore the different tools and activities you could introduce in order to engage with your members and hold their attention.
ngage members You’ve got a great facility and you’ve got your members but, as a gym owner, one of the biggest tasks you face is ensuring you’ve got their attention: not just now, but for the foreseeable future. Keeping members engaged will ensure they stay with you and not be tempted to join a competitor.
Key methods of communication and engagement As a gym owner or manager you’ll need to develop a succinct member engagement strategy. This could include using a variety of different communications methods such as email marketing, social media, phone calls and SMS. However, nothing can beat the value of face-to-face verbal communication and getting to know your members: so don’t let today’s technology take over completely. “As a gym owner you want to ensure you hire a team of service-orientated people. Responsive and experienced staff play a central role in developing quality customer service levels,” says Andy Gill, Managing Director of Ethics Leisure. “Your team is vital in developing those first impressions with members.” Dean Hogan, National Contracts and Operations Manager for Pulse, completely agrees, stating that having a friendly and approachable front of house team is crucial as you don’t get a second chance at creating a first impression. “I expect reception staff to greet our members as they walk through the door and to take the time to get to know them on a first name basis. It’s the little touches that will keep your members coming back,” he says. Gill also advises that as an owner you should set up pictures and bios of your staff both on your website and in your club. This gives members the chance to get to know the team and see who might be the best person to approach with any fitness, training or club related questions they may have.
According to Richard Merrick, Group Fitness Manager for non-profit leisure trust Freedom Leisure, gym owners should never underestimate the power of personable colleagues who take a genuine interest. “I once worked with an assistant general manager who took pride in the fact that on any given day he knew more names than not of members who walked through the door,” says Merrick. “Software and digital methods of communication can’t replace a good member of your team. Digital tools have their place and can definitely add value to your business, but use them carefully and in a well-targeted, personable manner.”
'It’s the little touches that will keep your members coming back' October 2016
Experience Creating a community Possibly the most effective way a gym owner can engage with members is to create a real sense of community. Easier said than done, but establishing a supportive, close-knit environment can go a long way towards promoting high attendance levels. “Your facility should be a fun place where people come to enjoy themselves, work towards their fitness goals and socialise within a club,” says Gill. “Just think, why do people go to their favourite restaurant? Generally, it’s because they feel they are going to feel welcomed and be looked after, and a health club should be no different in that sense.” At Pulse, there is an ethos across all facilities they operate, and the sites they run in partnership with their clients, that members don’t just join a gym. They are, in fact, signing up to an experience and a lifestyle change.
Tailor your communications and methods of engagement depending on the audience As the saying goes, ‘what’s good for one person may not be good for another’, and when it comes to fitness you certainly can’t use a ‘one size fits all’ approach. “Engaging in different methods of communication to your specific demographics can help save you a lot of time, effort and money,” says Gill. “For instance, social media would be great for certain age groups but not for all.” Merrick agrees, “generally we see that our older members prefer face-to-face or telephone contact whilst our younger members are much more responsive to social media contact.” As a gym owner it’s also important to remember that the message, as well as the delivery, needs to be tailored too advises Merrick. “The tone, language and offer will differ across your audiences – even the same offer, such as a Bank Holiday Weekend Open Day, should be communicated in a language and style to suit the recipient,” he says. “Having decided your message and method of delivery, take great care in applying the correct filters on emails to ensure the right message goes to the right audience.”
“We feel it’s important for members to feel really involved in what’s happening at the club and I’d certainly recommend gym owners set up initiatives that encourage having a gym buddy or setting up small groups to train people with similar goals,” says Hogan. “We’ve found this to be highly successful as it helps to keep members motivated and encourages them to interact.” “Planning social activities and events are probably the most successful and fun way to create bonds between members and staff. Forming strong relationships will help your clients feel they are part of a team and not just making up the numbers,” says Gill. Hogan advises that clubs should plan activities designed to help their members get to know each other such as entering a team in the Cancer Research Race for Life or perhaps taking on a Tough Mudder style challenge as it will encourage your members to train together towards a common goal. Gill also adds that planning a full-day white water rafting trip, a half-day biking trip or a new-member 5K walk initiates social interaction while providing a great workout. He also states that introducing loyalty points or prizes for attending is also another good idea to help keep engagement levels up. Lastly, it’s important for gym owners and managers to celebrate and recognise the achievements of your members. Perhaps it’s something as simple as giving them a shout out on your social media channels or including them in your member newsletter. You could even introduce a ‘member of the month’ style award to mark an achievement. A word of warning from Gill is to ensure you have the members’ consent first, particularly if you’re including a photo of them.
Experience Technology As briefly mentioned by Merrick earlier on, technology can play an important role in engaging with your members when used correctly. “The number of technology solutions are growing and some are fantastic, but the first thing you need to ensure is that you have the capability (staff manpower) to manage the technology along with ensuring it integrates into your other systems,” says Gill. “If the answer is yes then some of these can really help to get fantastic data: but then it’s what you do with the data that will make or break your plan.” At Pulse, since launching their innovative membership management system Pulse Move, they’ve seen some fantastic results and great levels of engagement from members. The innovative technology, which is also available as a handy app, allows their members to track their activity both inside and outside the gym. It’s a fantastic retention tool for staff as it allows them to easily monitor and track what members are doing. Pulse Move also enables staff to easily communicate with members, by sending emails or SMS through the one system.
Top tips for gym owners and managers: Create a community between members and staff Hogan advises that owners should monitor attendance and their members’ routines and ensure that any changes are addressed promptly to ensure retention
2017BODY TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGE
Get out from behind the desk says Merrick. “Some managers underestimate how much value members attach to not just seeing the manager but having a conversation and being asked how they’re doing. It’s really important that managers get to know their members and not assume this is the job of the gym floor team.” Encourage feedback and listen – Merrick adds that it’s important for members to feel that their views and opinions have been heard, so ensure you give your members a direct response to any feedback and show it’s a genuine two-way conversation. Finally, introduce some fun incentives for members such as in-gym challenges or competitions.
GYM OWNERS - PARTICIPANTS - SPONSORS Register your interest email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leisure Indust The industry gathered in Birmingham last month for LIW, check-out some of the exhibitors in our visual round-up & Core Health ted bi hi ex Fitness e of ng ra e id w a om their products fr folio. rt po d bran
David Bulcock, Commercial Director of Fitness Warehouse Ltd, and Craig Young, Managing Director of Craig Young Consulting all set up and ready for the show with the ultimate calorie-burning Gym Gear Tornado Airbike, commercial treadmill with Virtual Go technology and 3-in . box ric met 1 plyo
Club Manager and Ma trix Fitness join eG ym at LIW as selected integrated partners. Club Manager's Wayne Heath discussed the seamless connection between the gym membership management software and the eGym Trainer App.
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The Origin Fitness trainers brought the stand to life with demos and workouts throughout both days of LIW.
Origin Fitness launched the exciting Speedfit Curved Treadmill for the first time in the UK.
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The RAMroller on display...the worlds first Fascial Integrated Training tool.."FIT", made from 100% recycled materials. 20
LEISURE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE COMPANY GLADSTONE HAS RELEASED A GROUNDBREAKING NEW SIGNATURE SOFTWARE APPLICATION CALLED GLADSTONE360, WHICH IS NOT ONLY MOBILE-RESPONSIVE BUT ALSO FULLY CUSTOMISABLE.
“The technology we’ve used is genuinely game-changing,” says Gladstone’s managing director, Tom Withers. “In short, it’s an off-theshelf application that allows operators to design their perfect leisure management solution and then deliver it on any device.” Browser-based and touchfriendly, the application works on tablets as well as desktop computers, meaning that for the first time staff can be released from behind the desk to engage directly with customers. The software incorporates eight core modules, covering everything from check in and point of sale processes to business intelligence, plus a number of optional advanced and consumer modules that operators can pick and choose. Focused on the needs of receptionists, the new interface is extremely user-friendly and screen design is tailored to meet specific business needs, putting critical information at the forefront and giving staff easy access to all the tools they need to interact with customers quickly and effectively. The product also continues the company’s focus on customer self-service, integrating online portals, mobile apps and self-service kiosks to provide operators with a comprehensive multichannel sales solution. Existing customers, who currently use the company’s Plus2 leisure management software, will be eligible for a free software upgrade to the new product as part of Gladstone’s ‘Software for Life’ promise. “Crucially, they can add Gladstone360 to their current
installation without needing to switch out Plus2,” says Withers. “The new software has been designed to work alongside the existing software, allowing customers to migrate users at their own pace.” According to Withers, eight of Gladstone’s existingcustomers have already trialled the product with very positive results. “Their feedback has highlighted two key benefits: firstly the software’s ease of use and, secondly, the way it provides a clear call to action for staff to engage with customers.” Ed Dark, IT manager with multi-site operator LED Leisure Management, said: “Gladstone360 is the beginning of the next generation of Gladstone’s leisure management software, creating a robust and futureproof platform based on modern web technologies. It is both customer and user-focused in equal measure and paves the way for continued and exciting future development. “It’s been great to have seen the solution develop from its early wire-frame design concept to a version ready for release, and provide feedback and ideas during the process. The fact that Gladstone engages so closely with customers like ourselves proves how committed they are to delivering great solutions that meet the needs of both operators and their customers.”
Alongside Gladstone360, Gladstone has also unveiled a new brand image for the company, including a new logo and website: www.gladstonesoftware.co.uk
Game-changing software Designed with the modern operator in mind Increase Sales
Drive income and control spend
Provide great service through technology
Streamline Back Office
A fast, secure and streamlined leisure management system
Automate tasks and drive communication
Go beyond customer and staff expectations with Gladstone360, the most advanced leisure management system on the market.
www.gladstonesoftware.co.uk 01491 20 10 10 email@example.com
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Team Wolverson at the Wolverson LIW Stand
Concept2 celebrate 40 years One of the ever-presents in the world of fitness is the Concept2 Indoor Rower. If you walk into any gym in this country you'll almost certainly find at least one of them in use. Although it might feel like Concept2 has been around forever, in fact they're celebrating their 40th birthday in November of this year, and while most people in the fitness industry know Concept2 for their rowing machine, that's not how the company started out in 1976. Back then, brothers Peter and Dick Dreissigacker had created a set of oars in their kitchen while training for the Montreal Olympic trials. Moving to an abandoned dairy farm in Vermont, they started to produce the world's first mass-produced carbon-fibre oars. By 1990 the majority of rowing crews worldwide were using Concept2 oars, something that continues to this day, with 76% of medals at the Rio Olympics being won with them. Rowing is mainly a summer sport, however, so in 1981, the Dreissigacker brothers started experimenting with creating a winter training device. Peter's old bike was used to make the first prototype, and pretty soon after that the Concept2 Model A went into production. If you went to Leisure Industry Week this year, you may have seen one of the original Model Aâ€™s on Concept2's stand. The machine proved an immediate hit, and within a few months of going on sale, the CRASH-B Rowing Club in Boston decided to use the Model A to break up winter training by putting on a small indoor rowing race. 35 years later, this race still takes place in Boston, but is now the World Indoor Rowing Championship with nearly 3,000 competitors from all over the world taking part each year. Concept2 has also grown dramatically since those early days. The Model B replaced the Model A in 1986 to be replaced in turn by the Model C in 1993. Then in 2003 the Model D was released which, with some tweaks and improvements along the way, is
still on-sale today. So why has the machine become so commonplace? "In a large part it stems from still being an engineering-led company," says Alex Dunne, managing director of Concept2 UK. "We're focused on improving the way we build things, and our equipment is made to last. We speak to plenty of gyms that have rowing machines that are over 20 years old but still work as good as new. From an athlete's perspective, as well as providing a great workout, the monitor was the real game changer. It allows you to accurately compare your time not only with your previous training sessions but with anybody using an indoor rower. This led to the creation of indoor rowing races and our incredibly popular online rankings, featuring hundreds of thousands of times from athletes all over the world." Although they're experts in selling rowing machines, one of the big changes for Concept2 over the past few years has been the introduction of the Concept2 SkiErg, a cross-country ski trainer that aims to do for the sport of Nordic skiing what the indoor rower has done for on-water rowing.
"Cross-country skiers are generally recognised as some of the fittest athletes around, so the SkiErg provides the intense all-body cardio exercise that people are after, but it also comes with a lot of other things that gym owners want nowadays, including a very small footprint as well as not requiring any adaption to be accessible by wheelchair athletes or athletes who are rehabbing from lower limb injuries." The SkiErg has joined the indoor rower in being heavily adopted by the functional fitness industry, with both machines featuring in the CrossFit Games this year. In fact, the indoor rower has been in every CrossFit Games so far. "Just as you can go in most gyms and find an indoor rower, you'll also see an indoor rower, and often a SkiErg, in most functional fitness gyms and boxes now," said Alex. "One of the good things about both machines is that they're incredibly versatile. If you're an Olympic rower, you might spend a lot of time on the rowing machine going at a steady pace for several hours each day. If you're more interested in High Intensity Interval Training, however, you can use the machine to smash out 200m intervals."
"It definitely makes for an interesting challenge, selling a cross-country ski trainer in a country without any real tradition of the sport, and at least to start off with, we had to struggle to get the fitness market to understand how it could help them," said Alex.
Despite a 40-year history then, Concept2 are still continuing to innovate. As well as the SkiErg, they've also recently released their latest monitor the PM5. This features both Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity, as well as a number of other things like USB flash storage. You can connect the monitor direct to Concept2's free app ErgData and record your workout direct to your mobile phone before sending wirelessly to Concept2's online logbook.
Despite that, since the launch of the SkiErg in 2009, and especially since the revised SkiErg2 in 2014, it has gone from strength to strength.
While it might be hard to imagine what the gym business will look like in another 40 years time, it's pretty certain that Concept2 equipment will be there in some form or other.
Whereas the indoor rower has the advantage of being incredibly familiar to most gym owners, the SkiErg is a very different prospect, at least initially.
REALISTIC VS POSITIVE THINKING The power of the fitness selfie and how to seek attainable goals Words: Phil Graham
When you log into one of your social media accounts how do you feel? Motivated? Inspired? Invincible? Or does it leave you feeling a million miles away from building the physique you want?
A fine line
From the minute we wake up to the minute we go to bed we are constantly exposed to images, videos and posts that portray the idea of physical perfection and the idyllic fitness lifestyle. Many people, myself included, are guilty of seeing a photo or video online and instantly thinking ’that’s what I want to look like.’
For instance, you don’t know how long that person has been training, whether they are genetically gifted, or using chemical assistance. What’s more, you don’t know how recent that photo is, or whether it’s been digitally altered, or had a filter applied, or the time and effort that’s gone into getting that one shot.
It’s important to be regularly inspired and to have an ideal target of what you are working so hard to achieve. There are plenty of individuals within the fitness industry that can prove extremely motivating, especially when you look into their personal stories or personal journey of how they have overcome certain challenges to build the body and live the life which you aspire to achieve.
Lighting makes a huge difference to how a physique looks in front of a camera, remember, and no one has ever posted a selfie without ensuring the perfect lighting set-up.
However, there is a fine line between setting a positive and realistic goal, and aiming for a physique or performance ideal that doesn’t really exist.
A professional fitness model may do one shoot in a day, using different locations and outfits, then drip feed out across their social media accounts over the weeks and months, which creates the impression and paints the picture of them being in physical perfection all year round.
'Many people, myself included, are guilty of seeing a photo or video online and instantly thinking ’that’s what I want to look like.’ 26
PT Viewpoint Metabolic abnormalities The truth is that it’s very hard to maintain peak physical condition 24/7, 365 days a year, especially when you take into account the metabolic abnormalities that occur when in a prolonged hypocaloric state, added to that everyday stress life throws at us. Yet if you take these pictures at face value they can quickly not be a source of inspiration at all, but constant reminders at your self-perceived failure to make giant improvements week-in, week-out, or for time it’s taken for you to get closer to your dream body, especially when you are only just starting out on your fitness journey. I’ve lost count of the times that clients of mine have complained about feeling demotivated, depressed and wanting to give up having gone on social media despite them having great sessions and making giant strides of progress. This can prove very destructive in someone’s journey to building a better body. It’s therefore extremely important to be able to look at inspiring images and let them motivate you to being the best you can be without piling on internal pressure that you must reach that pinnacle of perfection or else you are a failure. Thinking positively in this sense means when you see an image of a physique that you aspire to emulate you can look at it and say to yourself that while you respect and admire what you see, it is not a realistic goal for you right now and you shouldn't place all your focus on looking like that anytime soon.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was an impressive physique And remember that some people add muscle very easily and never seem to put on fat. They are genetically gifted and find it relatively easy to build and maintain a great body. Just think back to when you were at school. There was always one kid who was very skinny no matter what they ate, and another who was the best at every sport, and one who was really strong without ever having lifted a weight. It’s down to their genes and this is what determines how easy or hard we find it to build muscle and burn fat. Whatever your starting point, with the right training and nutrition plan and the right mentality, drive and determination - and the right coaching if required - you can make a remarkable change to your physique.
Renowned competitive bodybuilder and Sports Nutritionist Phil Graham (BSc, CSSN) has established himself as one of UK’s leading fitness educators and coaches. He has helped coach and inspires a diverse range of clientele ranging from personal trainers, everyday members of the public right through to professional athletes across a wide variety of sports. Phil’s coaching and personal training is based in Belfast Northern Ireland, he also offers online consultancy for those that cannot reach him locally. For more information visit Phil’s website www.phil-graham.com
This month’s round-up of kit, products and extras you can stock for your members – boost loyalty, retention and your revenue!
Liquid Egg Whites
get not only the most out of your rigorous workout but your body too.
The ultimate in convenience, Liquid Egg Whites are ideal for scrambling, making omelettes or consuming direct from the bottle. They provide over 10g of protein per 100ml, only 1.1g of carbohydrate and just traces of fat, with no additives, preservatives, flavours or colours. Available in either 1 litre or 500ml bottles providing the equivalent of 32 and 16 medium egg whites respectively, they can be stored at room temperature and have a long shelf-life.
Renaissance t-shirt The Gym Royalty Renaissance t-shirt is an essential part of anybody’s fitness wardrobe, keeping you cool from the minute you step foot in the gym to the moment you walk out. The Renaissance t-shirt provides breathability where you need it most and has been engineered to work just as hard as you keeping your body at the optimal temperature whilst working out to ensure you
Organic Baobab Powder Introduce your members to our brand new 100% Organic Baobab Powder, the African Superfood. It contains 50% fibre and is packed with vitamin C which improves your mood, energy levels and digestive health. With a sweet and citrusy flavour, it contains no refined sugar, gluten, wheat or dairy. It’s perfect for CrossFitters, vegans, yogis and health-conscious people. Retail price for 250g pouch £9.99, trade price £6.99. www.pandavita.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Protein Oat Bar
THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF EQUIPMENT IN YOUR GYM? 28
Nom’s Protein Oat Bar is bursting with simple, organic and nutritious ingredients. The 52g bar is made with oat bran, virgin coconut oil, pea protein crispies
Improved equipment cleanliness within your facilities - Guaranteed
and contains no refined sugars. It’s suitable for vegans and those with a dairy intolerance. It makes the perfect pre or post workout snack, offering a slow release of energy. You can find Nom bars at Holland & Barrett, Ocado, and gyms and health food stores across the country. Or, order from www.nomfoods.co.uk
Super Tea (Matcha Green Tea) Pure Chimp’s Super Tea is great for losing weight and boosting your metabolism. Clear your head - matcha has positive effects on mood, memory and focus. The delicate green tea flavour is completely natural and vegan-friendly. It mixes easily with hot water or into a pre or post workout smoothie. Maintain steady energy levels for upto 6 hours, so no more peaks or crashes! www.purechimp.com
Hydrating vitamin drink Packed with natural goodness and a vitamin rich blend to provide beauty boosting benefits: deliciously refreshing soft drink Prir provides a unique blend of vitamins and minerals to nourish your skin, hair and nails, so you quite literally #drinkyourselfbeautiful. Prir is a gorgeous way to hydrate, and a daily beauty staple to those in the know. Available in three flavours: Orange & Passion Fruit, Blackcurrant and Apricot & Elderflower, and less than 100 calories per bottle. Visit www.myprir.com or contact email@example.com
LEAN Nutrition LEAN Nutrition is one of the UK’s newest & most exciting sports nutrition brands, offering a range of high quality proteins, amino acids and other essential nutrients including BCAA, CLA and Creatine to help enhance performance and maximise results. Getting lean is not something reserved for elite athletes which is why these products are suitable for all of your focused and dedicated gym members – regardless of age, gender, experience level or sporting background. Trade discount: Offering 30% off the retail price to gyms across all LEAN products, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more about the range at www.lean-nutrition.co.uk
Sunwarrior Classic Protein Sunwarrior Classic Protein relies on the simple power of raw whole-grain brown rice, including the endosperm and bran, to create a gentle protein that still stacks up to the competition in the gym where it matters most. Classic contains all the essential amino acids your body craves in a perfectly balanced profile. Phytonutrient-dense, vitamin and mineral-rich, this easy-to-digest protein is completely free from dairy, gluten, soy, and GMO’s. Sunwarrior has all the advantages of animal-based protein without placing stress on the cardio vascular or digestive system; making it the perfect alternative to animal-based protein in sports performance and recovery. Visit www.sunwarrior.com or contact email@example.com
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Fitness over 50
Keep informed! Chris Zaremba examines sub-optimal behaviour I've been going to gym regularly for eight years now, and I think I've learnt some useful tips along the way. For this monthâ€™s article, which I think is of interest to all age groups, I thought I'd mention a mistake I often see others do in the gym. Actually, itâ€™s not really a mistake, itâ€™s more a lack of efficiency in getting the desired results from a movement - moving in a way less than ideal in terms of getting the results hoped to be obtained. I think the correct term is 'sub-optimal'. At best, people doing this are putting in more hours and effort than needed to get their targeted results because of this sub-optimal behaviour. At worst, they are tempting injury by putting stresses on body parts where they really shouldn't be. My point is to focus on each repetition of every exercise so as to only move those body parts that are meant to move in that exercise. A bicep curl requires movement at the elbow - and nowhere else. A chest fly, another example, requires movement only at the shoulder joint as the wrists
come together. Equally, this applies to compound exercises - a chest press really requires movement at two joints - the shoulder as the upper arms come together, and elbow (as the tricep extends to straighten the elbow). I've seen chest presses with substantial amounts of back arching, the edges of the upper back coming forward away from the pad or bench, and even the legs shooting up wildly to assist somewhere along the momentum line. All of these unnecessary movements deflect focus from the muscle or muscles intended to be trained, and give them an easier time.
'People are tempting injury by putting stresses on body parts where they really shouldn't be'
Fitness over 50 Why do we do this? Well, the other body movements provide assistance, and the body thinks it is helping you - deep down, the body simply knows you want to move that load from point A to point B, and it recruits as many additional muscles to spread the effort as it can. At home, when you pick up a heavy box, your body will make it as easy as possible by employing as many contributing muscles as it can - lots of legs, core, arms, back and shoulders. But that's probably not what you want in the gym; so you can force the body to behave in a different way - ensuring that the body uses only that muscle or sub-set of muscles you specifically want to engage.
â€˜The bar ended up near his foreheadâ€™ One of the worst examples I've seen is someone in the gym who was performing standing bicep curls with a barbell. At least, he thought he was doing bicep curls. The bar started out low, by his waist, and he was bent forward with already a bend in his elbows. Then a huge heave upwards, as his body leant well back, accompanied by legs bending down and springing up at knee and hip joints. At the top of the movement, his arms came forward at the shoulders ensuring the bar ended up near his forehead. And he stood on tip-toe, the body deciding that recruiting calf muscles also helped, so put in some contribution from there too. There may actually have been some movement at the elbow - where it should have been - but if there was it was pretty negligible and certainly less than 10% of his overall effort, rather than the 100% it should have been. Actually, there probably was some benefit to the bicep due to that static, isometric hold he had at around 90 degrees at the elbow - but if he really wanted to do an isometric hold, then nothing should have moved. So the bar moved a long way, the body helped achieve the objective of moving the weight with minimum stress by involving as many muscle groups as possible - but as an isolation exercise for the bicep, well, no. And I began to feel sorry for his lower back, going through movements well away from the design spec for that body part. No injuries this time, I'm pleased to report. I'm sure that the weight would have to come down if he'd performed the exercise correctly. And there's a whole set of number-ego issues in here which I'll talk about another occasion. But you can see the over-simplified maths in terms of benefit to the biceps if he'd switched to 100% of his effort and concentration effort on the bicep with 50% of the weight he used, rather than 10% of the effort and concentration devoted to the bicep on this heavier load employed.
Fitness over 50 ‘Not what I’m after’ Once you see this once, you start looking for it everywhere. Well, I do. Leaning backwards during lat pulldowns, knees and hips involved in calf raises and introducing a helping springy push from the legs in lateral shoulder raises and shoulder presses, and adding a tricep extension to a dumbbell fly are the next examples that come to mind. One way of thinking about this is percentage effort from contributory muscles or body parts. If I do tricep short-bar pushdowns with poor form, leaning the upper body forward at the bottom of the motion and elbows coming forward at the top of the move, then I am using effort from my upper and lower back, shoulders and abs to help - maybe only 50% of muscular involvement is from the triceps. No surprise that I can lift more that way, and make the cable travel
further, but this multiple-target focus both mentally and physically is probably not what I'm after. And just because this helps the range of movement of the weight stack, it doesn’t help the range of movement of the triceps. I think that there really is no such thing as the 'perfect' isolation exercise - one where exactly 100% of the muscular involvement comes from one muscle group alone. Going back to that biceps curl – even assuming your form is spoton, upper arms vertical and elbow joints welded to your sides, then at the very least your abs will be involved in a stabilisation or fixation way to keep you unmoving as the moments of force of the moving weight shifts your centre of gravity - and the forearm muscles get in on the action through holding the resistance stationary at the wrist.
Sit down For a lot of exercises, isolation can be improved by sitting down. Shoulder dumbbell overhead presses, lateral raises and single dumbbell overhead tricep extensions leap to mind. By sitting down, you can focus on the muscle being targeted (and therefore probably lift more with better concentrated form) and there is less stabilisation going on. I'm pretty guilty of using an initial spring in my legs when standing for many upper body resistance exercises - sitting down helps eliminate this, as I'm now pretty convinced that dumbbell side raises really isn’t really a quads exercise! A key phrase I use on myself and clients is 'Move only those body parts that are meant to move', whether we are talking isolation or compound exercises. It's also an idea to try certain standing exercises while against a wall – keeping the heels, bum, shoulders and head in contact with the wall. See how much your standing bicep curl resistance drops if you try that. I'm sure I'm guilty of this poor behaviour myself at times probably quite frequently, and in both single and multi-joint
movements. If I’m aware of it and it’s what I want to do – then fine. But, if it’s not my objective, I hope I correct myself before it goes too far - and then I bring the weight down if required to keep that form right. Good luck with staying in-formed!
Read Chris’s thoughts every month here in Gym Owner Monthly. He welcomes comments and questions at Chris@FitnessOverFifty.co.uk
Chris Zaremba is 59, and has made a massive transformation in his life. He has lost over a third of his body-weight over the past few years, moving from being obese with medical-alert bodystats to becoming a fitness model and winning world championships as fitness model and muscle model for his age group. He has developed his own detailed workout system and package for this – which he follows to this day – and is available for you to purchase. It is called the ABC7 System, as the first three workouts are Arms, Back and Chest and the number 7 comes up frequently in the programme. It’s available from Chris for £49, which includes full documentation, spreadsheets, over 120 videos of different exercises and
more than 250 photos. All suitable for whatever age you are! You may – or may not – want to follow in Chris’s footsteps all the way onto the fitness modelling stage. Either way, following the System should help you up-the-fit and down-the-fat, and achieve a real improvement in all your fitness measurements and activities. And see the difference too! Send an email to Chris@FitnessOverFifty.co.uk if you want to order the ABC7 System.
TOP 10 SAFETY TIPS FOR GYM OWNERS Andy Brownsell, Commercial Director of Protectivity, specialist insurance provider to individuals and businesses in the active leisure sector, shares his best safety advice. 1) ENSURE CONSISTENCY
3) MAINTAIN STANDARDS
My first tip is to carry out basic security checks on a daily basis. When it comes to the safety of your staff and members, ad hoc reviews through the week will not cut it. You should be checking the following every day; fire exits and doors for obstructions, the facility for trip and slip hazards, that all gym equipment is working properly, distress alarms are activated and that CCTV is live and recording (this list is not exhaustive).
All fitness equipment within your gym should be high-quality and come with a certified maintenance contract which verifies that it is user worthy. For example, any portable kit, dumbbells or hand weights should have specific storage units so theyâ€™re not left lying across the gym floor obstructing others and causing a hazard.
2) FOLLOW THE RULEBOOK
Your fitness professionals should be fully trained and capable of operating all gym kit, ensuring their own safety and that of your members. Take the time to speak with your employees and find out if thereâ€™s specific training they require to do their job to the best of their ability and keep training ongoing and up to date.
It sounds simple but follow the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Display the correct safety signage throughout your facility, make sure first aid boxes are kept fully stocked and carry out practice fire drills.
4) INVEST IN TRAINING
Spotlight 5) DON’T CUT CORNERS
7) CARRY OUT INDUCTIONS
It’s important to be in the know, if your staff members are coming into contact with cleaning chemicals for instance, they should be trained in the ‘Control of Substances Hazardous to Health’ (COSHH). It doesn’t matter if they’re only using these chemicals once a year, make sure they’ve been properly trained, cutting corners just isn’t worth the risk.
Make sure all members complete a comprehensive induction session, which should include health screening, to check their suitability to train in your facility. It’s important each individual goes through this process; some new members may be regular gym goers but this does not mean they should be exempt from induction procedures.
6) SET CLEANLINESS LEVELS
8) UNDERSTAND TECHNOLOGY
The gym can be a breeding ground for bugs and bacteria so have a structured cleaning rota in place. It’s essential that your gym stuff maintain high hygiene standards and spend time educating members about the importance of wiping down equipment after use.
With digital advancements entering the fitness sector, take the time to find out whether any of them can help ensure the safety of your gym. For instance, if your facility is open 24/7 but you don’t always have gym staff on hand, invest in technology which can provide vital support to your members during those
Spotlight periods. Gym budd-e, for example, is a gym floor information kiosk which provides fitness and facility information around the clock.
9) PURCHASE INSURANCE If you haven’t already, you’ll also want to take out an insurance policy to cover your facility; I suggest you have a detailed conversation with your insurer so they’re fully aware of your set up. Be open and honest with your insurer, for example, if there’s ever a time your gym is unmanned you should be
disclosing this information. They can’t help if they don’t have all the facts.
10) ASK FOR HELP Lastly, if you’re unsure of anything just ask. Remember the saying ‘it’s better to be safe than sorry’ well it’s true! Don’t suffer in silence - there are many ways of obtaining the necessary information so do your research and contact the right people, that way you’ll be able to operate in the knowledge that your facility is as safe as possible.
About Protectivity Protectivity is a trusted provider of specialist insurance to businesses and individuals in the sport and leisure industry, including; personal trainers, sports coaches, sports businesses and events. As a niche insurance company with a “can do” attitude and over 20 years’ experience, Protectivity focuses on offering unique products and services that make buying specialist insurance online quick and easy. www.protectivity.com
How to build in your gym Style vs. substance and why you can’t afford to get this wrong Words: Tom Brialey
From specialist boxing to ladies’ lifestyle, the gym landscape can vary wildly. You might be pouring funds into the latest equipment or into that Olympic-size swimming pool, but there’s one area you’re probably overlooking… your gym locker room. Your success as a gym-owner comes down to many things. Equipment, location, staff, pricing, marketing, but one of the most important is your brand. You’re probably not the only gym in your area, or, if we’re being really frank, the best. But you can be the best at being you. And that’s where your brand comes in. Brand is how your customers identify that your gym is their sort of place. It’s why people come to you, and not Joe’s Gym down the road. Consistency is critical. If my décor screams ladies-atleisure but my free weights area practically reeks of testosterone, people can’t readily decide who the gym is targeting. You alienate both sides, and end up with fewer customers. Your locker room is a vital part of your brand. Most gymgoers will spend 25% or more of their time there, when they start and finish their workout. It’s both their first and last impression of you. In many ways, this means your gym locker room sets the brand benchmark. It has to set the bar. Who are you? Who do you appeal to? What type of gym are you? If you want to get more gym members, and increase member loyalty at the same time, disregard your gym locker room at your own risk. 36
d your brand locker room Gym locker room design: 6 factors to consider If you’re designing your gym locker room, there are several factors to consider. A jazzy, futuristic-themed locker room might seem like a good idea (and a good PR stunt), but you have to balance style and substance. On the other hand, the mistake gym-owners have made for too long is to approach the space with a purely functional mentality. Sure, people need to be able to store their belongings, change, shower, and so on, but the gym locker room plays a more important role than this. There are 6 elements to consider when designing your gym locker room. Any design decisions you make should take these factors into consideration. 1. Practicality
6. Ambience How does your locker room make people feel? Is it sporty? Serious or relaxed? Would weight lifters or runners or yogis feel most at home? Is it affordable or high-end? This is a critical point, and where your branding becomes so important. Increasingly, gym-owners are recognising that the optimum gym locker room makes people feel good. It manages to get gym-goers into the right mentality to maximise their workout: it’s inspirational, and aspirational. That doesn’t translate into plastering motivational quotes all over the walls (although it certainly could). It translates into an awareness that a gym locker room is about style as much as substance, fashion as much as function.
How much space do you have? What are the practical limitations to your design decisions? 2. Convenience How easy is it for gym-goers to access your locker room? Can they find the space they need? Is there appropriate storage? Are you meeting your gym-goers’ needs? 3. Security Will your gym-goers’ belongings be secure in your locker room? Who can access your locker rooms? 4. Safety Are the materials you choose safe? What will your exit routes be in case of emergency? Can gym-goers use your locker room without risk of harm? 5. Sanitation How will you keep your gym locker room clean? Do you provide sufficient space for gym-goers to dispose of rubbish and sanitary items? How do the materials and layout you choose impact on cleanliness?
Spotlight The 4 elements of gym locker room design
Layout Your concerns here will cover all six bases. Firstly, assess your practical limitations. How much space do you have to use? Are there awkward angles you’ll need to navigate? Where and how is the plumbing set-up? Then assess convenience. How many people will use your gym? How many lockers do you need? Are gym-goers male or female, and which amenities will you need to provide? Will you have showers? How will you ensure privacy? Will you choose open-plan or sectioned layout? Then security comes into play. Where will lockers be in relation to the door? Where will showers be likewise? Think about how your layout impacts on your gym-goers’ experience of being in the space. Safety tends to be mostly about accessibility. Think about things like exit routes, tight corners and ceiling heights. If you put lockers against that wall, will there be exposed edges for people to walk into, for instance? Sanitation does also have tangential relevance when you’re 38
considering layout. For example, if you have swimming and showering facilities, how do you access them? How are you segregating your wet areas and dry areas? Where are your toilets? Lastly, layout has an important part to play in the ambience you create. Think about where you put benches compared to lockers, for instance. Are you encouraging people to change quickly and leave, or to stand around being social? Does it feel cramped or open? Vast and complex or small and simple? While you are limited by the practicalities of the space you have, there is a lot you can do to maximise that space and make it your own. Materials When choosing materials for your gym locker room, you should balance practicality, safety, security, sanitation and ambience. On the practical side, your major concern is likely to be cost: what can you afford? There are a whole range of materials out there for common gym locker room amenities, at
Spotlight the types of lockers you buy in terms of lock capability. If someone loses their key or forgets their combination, how quickly can you resolve the problem? Don’t forget mirrors too, and think about the lighting you’re using. Cold and clinical lighting can compliment a sterile, functional brand but most gym owners will find it profitable to use flattering lighting. People who feel good about themselves at the gym will come back to the gym. And lastly… Style All of your choices so far culminate here. Style is the icing on the cake, if you like, and can make the difference between a lukewarm and love-it response from your gym-goers. As well as layout, materials and amenities you should think about your messaging. Every sign, every poster, every notice in your gym locker room communicates a certain persona – be sure it’s what you want to communicate. different price points. For example, wooden benches or plastic? Synthetic lockers or metal? Sanitation will play a big role here too. Metal lockers, for instance, tend to be much cheaper but they’re not best suited to wet areas. When it comes to safety and security, you want to be sure the materials you’re choosing aren’t going to cause harm, and that they can’t be broken into. For instance, sharp-edged metal benches at shin height are rarely a good idea. Ambience is critical to consider too. Shiny metal and gleaming surfaces give off a very different vibe to warm woods.
Consider the difference between ‘Toilets’; ‘Toilets This Way ->’ and ‘Need the Loo?’ for example. There are tens of different ways to communicate basic messages, so put time into your choice of language. Then there’s colour. You could write an essay just on the psychological impact of different colours, but for brevity’s sake, suffice to say that it matters. Red is more performanceorientated, slightly more masculine. Blue can seem calmer, and more expensive. Splashing one colour across all walls can make a space feel cramped, while blanket white can start to feel sterile.
A good designer will help you make these decisions, but you can’t go far wrong if you stick to eggshell white and a colour accent – your brand colours if you’ve already chosen them.
While there are obviously lots of sub-questions here, the main question you need to answer is this: what is important to my gym-goers, and how can I give it to them? Again, this is reinforcing your brand. If you provide protein shake stations, for example, that sends a different message to providing tampon vending machines.
When it comes to your gym locker room, the message is this: put more thought into it upfront than you were planning to! It’s not an add-on, and it’s not surplus. Start backwards from your target clients and build your brand from there. Start with a central idea of the image you’re trying to create, and check all your subsequent choices are consistent with that.
Work back from your intended audience and think about what they want. The list will be long, but you can then go through and cull items depending on our other five factors. Maybe your gym goers would love walk-in driers, for example, but you might rule them out because you don’t have space, can’t afford them, and they’re a luxury item at odds with your affordable branding. A major factor here will be convenience. One easy way to do this is to provide multi-size lockers, so you’re catering to the needs of everyone who visits. You should also think about
Tom Brialey is the owner of Action Storage Systems, a specialist supplier, installer and stockholder of storage systems to suit warehouses, stockrooms, stores, garment hanging and in addition markets a wide range of lockers for secure storage of personal effects. For further information visit www.action-storage.co.uk
Make a splash with quality shower facilities for your gym In aerospace engineering, gas turbines break up liquid fuel in an airflow, which is ignited and uses nozzles to create thrust.
One of the highest operating costs for any gym or leisure centre can be water and heating bills. People using showers and washing facilities heavily impact these costs – and reducing water usage is vital. Kelda Technology, the pioneer of water-in-air shower products, has developed a water-efficient shower technology that can save companies up to 180,000 litres of water per shower per year (based on 25 showers per day), saving over thousands of pounds each and every year in water and heating costs. The company, which is based in the UK, has created a shower that halves water usage and heating costs through its unique, patented technology. Kelda Technology’s innovative system takes inspiration from aerospace and automotive engineering to create a shower that uses half the water for the same spray force.
In automotive engineering the carburettor has a venturi, which creates a pressure difference that causes fuel to be drawn into the air stream. When this occurs, air and fuel are mixed together, creating a spray of fuel in air. Kelda Technology’s shower systems work in a similar way. Fuel is replaced with water, which is broken into droplets by air to form a spray. It carefully manages the optimum mix of water in air, which is then accelerated using a jet-type nozzle to create a powerful spray force. When it comes to keeping customers happy within wet rooms and changing rooms, excellent shower facilities rank highly on the list of must-haves. Not only is it essential for feeling fresh after a workout, but not showering after a sweaty session lets bacteria build up, leading to an increased risk of irritation and infection for your customers. The Kelda Technology shower was rated by 91% of women and 73% of men to be as good as, or better than, a standard shower – and all while saving 50.3% of water
compared to traditional showers. Kelda Technology was supported in early-phase development by the UK Government (Department of Energy and Climate Change) and the Carbon Trust, and has partnered with the University of Southampton to design and develop its technology. It‘s also supported by SETsquared, the world’s top university business incubator and won the Energy Reduction Award at the Rushlight Awards 2015. Three types of shower system have been developed for commercial use: percussion valve, mixer valve and shrouded percussion valve – all with the option to install into a new build, or easily retrofit to an existing system. To find out how much your gym could save while improving customer satisfaction, visit www.keldatechnology.com
You could save up to ÂŁ8,000 per year, per gym in water and water heating costs by switching to Kelda Technology showers. Try our online calculator to find out how much your business could save with our innovative shower system.
www.keldatechnology.com October 2016
The futur We talk to Rob Johnson, Managing Director at Future Fit Training How did you get into the fitness industry? I started training as a PE teacher but soon realised that wasn’t for me. I still wanted to teach or coach within sport and fitness so became a ski instructor and while skiing I was invited to train as a gym instructor so I could work for a friend who was setting up some health clubs. I worked for him briefly and then started running club contracts including the Miracles ladies-only club and a couple of corporate gyms in the Hampshire area. I needed more staff but couldn’t find people of a good enough quality so I decided to train my own instructors and Future Fit Training was born.
Tell us briefly what your role entails at Future Fit Training? I manage strategic development, steer the business, supervise our policies and ensure we deliver on our promises. My main mission is to ‘raise the bar’ in the industry by working with other partners to influence the industry, ensure training standards are driven up to secure the quality and integrity of the business.
What are the main challenges faced by gym owners in respect of their PT workforce? The biggest challenge is for gym owners to understand that not all PTs are qualified to the same level, despite having what appears to be the same certificate. Some courses are very light on content, can be completed in a matter of weeks and have limited assessments or work experience. These simply don’t prepare people properly. Gym owners need to 42
learn which training providers and awarding organisations can be trusted to give PTs a thorough training with real life case studies and assessments. If a PT has done a quick course, been examined in simulated situations or completed case study work in less than a fortnight, I’d steer clear. They may have potential but won’t be ready to work in a gym and will need more training and support to perform well.
All the operators surveyed in your Raising The Bar report last year said they were worried about low standards of skills and standards among PTs – how can the industry fix that? The industry needs to work together to insist that the qualifications’ standards are raised. The industry needs to lead on this and tell CIMSPA exactly what has to happen. The qualification for a PT has changed very little on paper in nine years but the role and the skills they require have changed massively. We need to get behind CIMSPA and keep engaging with them and pushing forward the training programmes where the soft skills are included. For existing PTs, we need to invest in training to bridge their skills gaps and encourage them to engage in on-going programmes – not just ‘one day’ courses which may be good on the day but have less lasting impact. The learning must be on-going and sustainable.
What sets Future Fit Training apart from its competitors? Our training goes way beyond the basic qualifications standards and we are constantly evolving and growing our
ure’s bright programmes. We insist on real, not simulated, assessments and create courses that are designed to take months, not weeks, to complete. Our PT and nutrition case study assessments alone take between eight and 12 weeks to complete. This gives our students time to absorb plenty of information, test their knowledge and skills and qualify ready to work.
Making training more rigorous will certainly help new trainers coming into the business but how can already qualified PTs boost their skills and confidence? Working closely with operators we identified key skills gaps including gym floor ability, business acumen, behaviour change, nutrition and communications. We developed our PT Skills Gap programme to address all these areas. Our new Pro Zone ensures on-going training and the chance to share best practice, questions and views with other fitpros which will also help.
How is Future Fit Training helping operators maximise their PT workforce? Implementing an education programme is not cheap, especially for large operators with sizeable workforces. But CPD training can often be too generic. We created Pro Zone to provide a comprehensive online education programme for operators to adapt to suit their particular training needs. Pro Zone includes regular webinars, a PT forum, 24- hour support and a wealth of training and information resources.
In addition, operators can ‘pick and mix’ from a choice of bespoke elements to help with their specific training needs – including eLearning, face-to-face training, CPD courses and tailored events.
How do you think PT/fitness training will evolve over the next few years? With an ageing population and the drive to get more people active, we must acknowledge that many clients won’t be ‘average healthy adults’. Gym members will come with health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, low back pain and obesity. We need to train our PTs to understand these issues – and make this standard not ‘elite’ training. So we’re literally raising the standard here to match what the industry needs. You can’t get more people active unless you have more people trained to help them. PTs need to be upskilled and we need to raise the bar and reassess the qualifications’ standard to do this.
What advice would you give a newly qualified PT who wants a career, not just a job? Consider your qualification as your start point, not your destination. Seek out CPD courses and sign up to something like the PT Skills Gap to enhance your soft skills. Look out for professional forums so you can share ideas and best practice. Sign up to webinars and training events. And be prepared to work at it: forging a PT career is like starting any other business and there is no quick fix for overnight success.
Spotlight How can gym owners support their PTs in developing a career?
What have been your career highlights to date?
Invest in their training to help them evolve and develop their skills and career. Encourage them to do CPD courses and give them time to train offsite, meet new people and gain new skills. We created Pro Zone for just this purpose: either the operator can sign up or PTs can join as an individual.
Developing a business that has been sustainable for over 23 years is a highlight in itself. Winning the ukactive Active Training Innovation Award in 2014 was also a high point as we were recognised for the work we do and being invited to launch the new CPD offering with CIMSPA this year is an honour.
Gym owners might worry they’ll train up their PT only to find they move on to a better job. What advice would you give gym owners to help them keep their best trainers?
What are your own personal fitness goals and how do you achieve these?
Value your PTs and give them responsibility to make their mark. Staff who feel valued are more likely to stay with you and as they progress they will earn you more money by bringing in more people to the gym. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking PTs are disposable and you can always bring in fresh (cheaper!) ones. Churn costs money and is disruptive: hold onto what you have and make them the best they can be. Involve them in your business and they will start to feel a real part of it and stay to develop further.
I undertake regular exercise and particularly enjoy cycling. I need goals to keep challenging myself so l choose cycling events to train for. That keeps me focused and fit.
What’s been the best lesson you have learnt from the fitness industry? Never assume that others uphold the same standards as yourself. I took it for granted that everyone had the same values as me but have realised that’s not always the case and believe that’s why the training industry is not in such a good place any more. I wish I had observed more closely what others were doing outside of what we’re doing and am more alert to it now.
WHAT TOP THREE TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE GYM OWNERS TO HELP THEM SPOT A GOOD PT? Ensure they show you proof of decent training: a certificate isn’t enough on its own: find out what practical experience they have, how long they trained, how much face-to-face time they had and how many case studies they worked with. Watch them on the gym floor – ask them to take a PT session with a member or colleague. Do they show confidence? Are they a good listener and display empathy and an ability to engage others in conversation? Ask them to bring evidence of results and/or testimonials to their interview. 44
FUNCTIONAL TRAINING: The Facts and The Future
Functional training is now a common offering on most gym floors and its popularity continues to grow. Here we ask three experts what factors are contributing to this growth and how this method of training is likely to evolve.
Gavin Whelan, TRXÂŽ EMEA Senior Sales Director, comments: â€œThe merging of the health, fitness and wellness markets is what is driving the growth of functional training. Through incorporating movement patterns performed in everyday life, functional training not only improves general fitness but also makes going about our day to day business just that little bit easier. Functional training is also fun, inclusive and extremely varied ensuring that customers remain engaged and eager to return for more. TRX is one of the most diverse functional training products with a massive exercise library, anchoring options and zone solutions as well as a newly launched range of functional training accessories that include TRX slam balls, battle ropes, kettlebells, mini-bands and medicine balls. An educated trainer is a confident trainer, and a confident trainer delivers a far better experience for members. A
Trends functional space supported by trainers like this will retain and attract members. TRX is a functional training, education specialist with a product range to support our education programme. Instructors can choose from a range of courses from product focused programmes (Suspension Training Course. STC) to group training (GTC) and general functional training (FTC). Courses are available across the UK. Currently, there is a big movement towards steel rigs and frames which give owners storage solutions and anchoring options, helping to better define dedicated functional training spaces on the gym floor. We are also learning from the US that smaller, branded functional ‘Zones’ are becoming popular. These areas typically incorporate corner units and flat wall bays which work really well where space is limited. Functional training will play a huge part in the future of fitness and small group classes on the gym floor will continue to grow in popularity, taking place in branded functional ‘Zones’. Personal training one-on-one sessions will also move away from the use of fixed resistance and cardio equipment in favour of functional training equipment. There may also be a rise in self-guided functional training eco-systems and virtual sessions via screens within the functional training zones.”
'The best advice I can give to gym owners is to invest in education'
Keith Smith, Global Master Trainer at Life Fitness, comments: â€œThe popularity of functional training shows no signs of slowing and itâ€™s important for professionals to remember that age is no barrier to exercise. For older adults, exercise provides an essential ingredient to a healthy and active lifestyle. Of course, more can be done to broaden the appeal of functional training to a wider audience. Continued investment in trainer education will be absolutely vital here. Through our work with special populations, SYNRGY360 is proving to be a very effective piece of equipment for small group training. The system configuration engages exercisers of all abilities in a new and innovative way. Fitness professionals can deliver training specifically to meet the needs and goals of their clients by seamlessly mixing
and matching a range of exercises into one challenging and fun workout. Special populations are all classed as low to moderate risk and require special training and education. Using the small functional training equipment with SYNRGY360, exercisers can enjoy a huge amount of variety which is important in the early stages of exercise adherence. As the fitness levels, and confidence levels change, so too can the type of exercise. Gym owners considering the introduction of functional training to their facilities should analyse their member demographic. This will help shape the fitness experience on offer and determine what is required in terms of staff education and development.
For older adults, exercise provides an essential ingredient to a healthy and active lifestyle October 2016
Aaron Barnett, ViPR National Coach, comments â€œCustomers have become more exercise-savvy and are now asking how specific training will benefit them. It can also be very cost effective for the operator. Both factors have contributed to the growth in functional training over the last decade. At ViPR, we work on the principle of moving with purpose. Movements are task-orientated in order to truly address the specific needs of the exerciser, whether these needs are sport-specific, general fitness or simply to improve day-today function. Although initially adopted by younger exercisers, we have seen a surge in popularity of functional training among older participants, with many diligently working on improving the way they move and perform life-tasks. Older exercisers understand the need for functional training; ViPR exercises can improve their vitality and energy levels, making them more efficient, as well as becoming physically
and cognitively conditioned. However, there is a greater need for education around functional training, what it really means and how to get the best out of the equipment authentic to this training style. Functional training spaces benefit gym owners as they maximise member interaction with instructors. When they have the confidence to do so, members and staff will fully utilise these spaces, creating a great dynamic and atmosphere on the gym floor. However, gym owners will need to consider what type of functional training suits their specific member demographic, as this will determine what equipment and storage solutions are needed. In the future, as education is improved, functional training will complement a larger demographic and we will see large, hard to maintain machines, gradually being replaced with open space for people to explore their movement.â€?
For further information visit www.trxtraining.co.uk, www.lifefitness.co.uk and www.viprfit.com 48
Gym phobias Ben Coomber highlights three common fears that every PT should be aware of As a Personal Trainer it’s a safe bet that the vast majority of your clients are going to be newcomers to the gym. These people are going to be (understandably) apprehensive, and a lot of them will be hiring you because your presence will make them more comfortable in what is, actually, a pretty hostile and intimidating surrounding.
Throughout my years as a PT I noticed a few ‘gym-phobias’ appearing time and time again, and I think that awareness of these issues makes good trainers great. These are the most common fears that you need to know about and some of the things you can do to tackle them before they even have a chance to come up.
1 – I’m going to stand out like a sore thumb Every new gym goer knows that they probably stand out a bit. They haven’t been into a gym before, they don’t know what they are doing and they aren’t likely to see themselves as being in great shape. This means that when they first walk through the door, they’re going to feel like EVERYONE is looking at them. To help alleviate this worry I find it’s a great idea to give clients a tour of the gym, introducing them to other staff
members and other clients or friends in order to give them a larger number of ‘friendly faces’ to look for when next in the gym on their own. I then try to book clients’ first sessions at quiet times. This will allow them less stress of imposing eyes, and I like to train them in a quieter area of the gym or even a separate dance studio. Once they have gotten a feel for the movements they’ll be doing and gain a little confidence, the gym floor won’t seem so terrifying.
2 – I’m going to get hurt From day one, I like to stress that not injuring my clients is
aren’t going to be able to lift.
my priority. Emphasise that everything you do is safe, and
TV has told us that PT’s load weight on a bar, shout at you until you lift it, then add more weight. We need to show our clients how different we are.
ensure a client knows that at no point will you ask them to do something they aren’t able to do or lift a weight they
3 – I’m not going to be able to do the exercises Break everything down and start with basic form. Squats become box squats, deadlifts are kettlebell swings and Olympic lifts are kept until much later on. Practice basic movement patterns before getting clever with it and always
take progression as slowly as you can. Your client will get there, but their confidence needs to be built just as much as their biceps.
Ben Coomber is a performance nutritionist (BSc, ISSN) speaker and writer. For more information visit: www.bencoomber.com October 2016
EXPERTS AGREE T BE SHOULD CARRY Don’t be alarmed when your female clients choose to carry on training and working out when they become pregnant. Medical experts agree that all healthy pregnant women should aim for at least 30 minutes exercise every day and there’s no reason why this shouldn’t include their regular session in the gym. Pregnancy is great time for making a healthier lifestyle change and committing to positive lifestyle decisions that will benefit both mother and your baby. Encouraging women to exercise safely during pregnancy is a positive endorsement of their decision to maintain their fitness. Maintaining fitness has a raft of significant benefits for both mother and baby.
heartburn or swollen ankles. Keeping active and raising the heartbeat will release those ‘feel good’ endorphins, enhance mood and make sleep easier. It also increases the flow of oxygen to the placenta, benefitting baby too. Improved fitness levels can make a really positive difference when it comes to giving birth – let’s face it, you wouldn’t enter a marathon without doing any training and labour is a physically challenging experience. Maintaining fitness during pregnancy helps speed up the recovery period after the baby is born, especially as women who exercise during pregnancy are less likely to pile on the pounds and more likely to regain their pre-baby shape after the birth. Active mammas-to-be have more strength to lift and carry their babies, and tend to share their exercise
Maternity fitness experts FittaMamma say, ‘Exercise
habit with their children, encouraging their families
can help with all sorts of pregnancy niggles such
to stay fit too. Chances are you’re more likely to see
as tiredness, varicose veins, lower back pain,
them back at the gym within weeks of giving birth!
THAT MUMS-TOY ON EXERCISING Check out FittaMamma’s basic guidelines for safe exercise in pregnancy: Stay active but stay safe! Listen to your body – if your workout feels too intense slow down or stop, pregnancy exercise should be about maintaining fitness not improving or competing.
Stay cool! Expectant mums can overheat quite easily so exercise outdoors, or in an air conditioned space if possible and wear moisture-wicking clothes
Carry on talking! Don’t push yourself to exercise beyond the level where you’re too tired to speak.
Wearing suitable well-fitting exercise clothes provides confidence and motivation, especially when you’re working out in public space. The FittaMamma range holds your bump, breasts and lower back, providing support where it’s needed as well as ensuring you look good when you exercise.
Warming up before you start and cooling down afterwards is even more important for pregnant women. If you exercise regularly don’t stop! But be prepared to adapt your workouts as your pregnancy progresses Don’t overdo it – if you’re not used to exercising regularly start with 15-20 minutes a day and build up your strength. Aim for half an hour a day. If you’re lifting weights it’s better to choose lighter weights and aim for more repetitions. Make sure you don’t lift any weights that have any likelihood of falling on your abdomen.
Avoid lying on your front after the first trimester and avoid lying on your back after 12 weeks Stay fuelled – don’t exercise on an empty stomach and keep a few energy snacks handy - a banana, dried fruit or nuts are ideal Stay hydrated! Keep a water bottle handy and take regular sips Check with your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns about your pregnancy before you start exercising
The FittaMamma website is full of useful advice about exercising during pregnancy with trimester specific workouts and more detailed tips and advice for weight training during pregnancy.
FittaMamma Partners Any gym owner or personal trainer who is keen to encourage their clients to work out during pregnancy should consider becoming a FittaMamma Partner, a collaborative relationship that also offers a commission for any sales generated either directly with your clients or indirectly via your website or social media. For more information, email email@example.com or call FittaMamma on 01444 876900
TOP 6… COMMON MISTAKES YOUR GYM SHOULD AVOID Being a gym owner can be challenging. Whether you have just opened your first facility or you’re a seasoned veteran, at some point you will face difficulties you wish you could have prevented. So to give you a heads up, here are some of the common issues and pitfalls you should avoid. Words: Nathan Page
1. You don’t induct your new members properly People who are new to your gym, or are new to the gym in general, are usually a bit unsure of where to start. So if you just let them wander about in your gym, without offering them any consultation, it could cause issues. First of all, if people start using machines of which they have no prior experience, there is a strong possibility that they might injure themselves or perhaps someone else. Secondly, there is also the social aspect to consider. If the new member is not properly welcomed they will not feel appreciated, this won’t help in keeping them at your gym as they may well look elsewhere to another more welcoming facility. 52
2. Your gym doesn’t have core values Do you tell your members about your core values? What kind of message do you want your gym to communicate to your members? What is your vision, do you have a mission statement? Without core values your gym is like a rudderless ship. Everything you do, how you communicate with members, how you train your employees, the training programs you implement, should align with your core values. Don’t make it all about revenue. You need to be passionate and carry out the ideals you believe in so that your gym is a success!
Trends 3. You only focus on gaining new members
5. Your employees lack motivation and education
Quite understandably gyms are always seeking new members. But this makes it easy to forget that you also have to take care of your existing members. Existing members are up to 50% more likely to purchase additional services when compared to new prospects. And did you know that it can cost up to 7 times as much to gain a new client than retaining an existing one?
An employee who doesn’t care about the well-being of the gym isn’t going to give your members a warm welcome or express your core values. An untrained staff member won’t be able to help new members use the equipment properly or help them with their fitness goals.
So take care of your existing clients. Are they achieving their goals? Are you delivering the best possible client experience? Keeping your members satisfied not only helps you with client retention, but it could help you gain new members as well. Happy and contented members will talk about your amazing gym and attract their friends and family.
4. You ignore innovation Social media is no longer new but if you’re not using social media you are missing out on an effective, and free, way to communicate with your clients. Don’t forget the use of fitness apps. These apps make it very easy for your members to track their progress or keep a log of their training schedule. Always keep up-to-date with the latest technological developments. We live in a tech-savvy world, where new tools are developed every day that will help both you and your members. To remain competitive you need to adapt to these trends and offer the best possible customer experience.
Unmotivated and uneducated employees set a poor example for your members. Ultimately they will harm client satisfaction and member retention. In order to maintain high standards you need a great team, all singing from the same hymn sheet!
6. You’re not keeping an eye on the competition One of the most dangerous mistakes is not being aware of the competition in your area. When you don’t know the gym across the road has been giving new members a 15% discount, or perhaps you haven’t realised another competitor is offering a popular new group class, it could end up costing you. This isn’t limited to things happening inside your gym, but also outside it. Your marketing efforts, for instance. Seeing your competition successfully engage with their (and your) audience on social media while you are watching from the sidelines, is not where you want to be. So make sure you keep tabs on your competition.
There’s always something that can go wrong. But a lot of mistakes can be prevented by offering great service, paying attention to your clients and your equipment, and by having a passionate team of employees who expresses your core values with your clients every minute they’re in your gym.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Millennial matters Q. How can I ensure member retention and attract the millennial market?
Q. Energy is one of our biggest financial outgoings, how can we better manage our costs?
Jane Adams, Plymouth
Max Brunton, Brighton
Wendy Coulson, Customer Experience Director for Les Mills UK answers: With millennials set to make up one in three adults by 2020 and retention remaining the fitness industry’s biggest challenge, it’s no surprise many gym owners want to know the answer to this question. Members want results and research from Les Mills has shown that without assisted exercise, 50% of members leave within six months. Group exercise is good for business - on average, group exercise members attend their facility three times a week compared to 1.9 who exercise alone. Millennials have made the industry re-evaluate their approach to retention. Unlike previous generations, 84% of millennials want to exercise and count fast fitness, results, convenience and accessibility among their top fitness requirements. Your programming selection must meet consumer demand, so ensure your offering is fresh and appealing. By turning your fitness space into a destination, you can engage effectively with members from day one. Give people a reason to attend by creating a motivational space, cultivating a ‘club within a club’ and increasing the social connection through creating a community. Maximising the power of your instructors is essential – they are one of your strongest assets. Make sure your instructors are passionate motivators able to engage with and inspire millennials, this will help future proof your offering. Instructors are key to educating members and the better results they achieve, the greater your retention figures. As the digital revolution transforms the sector, there’s an excellent opportunity to think outside of your facility. Accessibility can increase significantly by communicating your messages through all social channels, providing an ‘at home/ online’ solution for members. We all know technology is the future so make sure your gym is digitally connected and invest in the latest advancements in order to attract the tech-savvy millennial market. For more information about Les Mills UK and to sign up to one of their Relationships Before Members insight seminars visit: www.lesmills.com/uk. 54
Simon Wright, CEO of Pure World Energy answers: Too many operators are paying too much for their energy. By taking some simple steps, you can rein back control, improve your facility’s bottom line and reduce your carbon footprint without compromising on service. It’s essential to have a good understanding of current energy usage and examine how much you’re paying for electricity, oil, gas and water consumption. Being more familiar with energy bills and the breakdown of charges will help identify some immediate costs savings. Regardless of gym size, establishing an energy strategy is essential. Before instructing employees when to switch off the lights or turn the heating down, consider your operational needs. Question what lighting is essential to security, what time should the heating come on, when does the building need to be at its optimum temperature? A growing number of operators are adopting highly efficient MicroTurbine combined heat and power (CHP) systems to reduce energy and environmental costs. Integrated into a facility’s existing heat demand, the units act as a lead boiler while generating electricity and reduce heavy reliance on grid supplied energy and tariff inflation. Other solutions to explore include efficient lighting schemes supported by a combination of timer and motion sensor controls as well as building management systems (BMS) to control and manage operation and consumption usage. Taking a proactive and intelligent approach to energy management can save you thousands of pounds a year so don’t delay in reaping the rewards. For further information visit www.pureworldenergy.com
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Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers Jez Whitling to lead business development at Pure World Energy Pure World Energy (PWE), the leading specialists in proactive and innovative energy management, has announced the expansion of its team with the appointment of Jez Whitling as Head of Business Development.
for a number of high profile fitness equipment suppliers including Stairmaster and Precor UK. Most recently Jez held the role of Managing Director of Intenza Fitness UK Ltd and was responsible for introducing the commercial fitness brand to the UK.
Jez, who joined PWE on 1st September 2016, is responsible for all business development including overseeing existing customers and accounts as well as identifying and developing new opportunities within the leisure, fitness, hospitality and education sectors.
Jez explains: “My ambition within this new role is to be an integral part of continuing the growth of PWE. The company has experienced great success in their first three years and has positioned itself as a market leader as it enters the next exciting phase of growth and development. I am incredibly excited to be a part of this journey and look forward to shaping PWE’s future success.”
Having started his career as a Fitness Instructor and Manager, Jez brings with him over 25 years’ experience in the leisure sector. For the last 20 years he has worked
Adam Rogers joins Createability Adam Rogers has joined leisure design and build specialist Createability to bolster the sales team with his experience. Rogers has worked in the leisure industry for twelve years and joins Createability from Johnson Health Tech where he worked in various sales roles on Matrix Fitness, most recently as Head of Public Sector UK looking after local authorities and trusts. As well as the public sector, over the last seven years he has worked across all areas of the leisure market including private, education, sports clubs and corporate. In the early part of his career Rogers worked on the operations side for a private health club before becoming Sales and Marketing Manager. He then moved to Cyprus organising and hosting off shore excursions on a luxury schooner and on his return to the UK worked for Findel
Education on Davis Sport as a Senior Sales Manager, selling and presenting to some of the largest educational facilities, holiday park groups, County Sports Partnership’s and National Governing Bodies’ before moving to Matrix Fitness. Rogers comments: “I take a keen interest in partners and clients business in order to understand how to collaborate to ensure the success of the facility developments. “I have known Ian Cotgrave since 2010 and have admired the way he approaches business, and having had the privilege of seeing the work Createability has performed on a number of projects I have experienced the company’s professionalism first-hand. With Brian Thompson joining the Createability team it was clear the business had aspirations to expand and grow and I am looking forward to being an intrinsic part of its continued success.”
Withey joins the ‘rehabilitation revolution’ Industry innovator, PHYSIOLAB®, has recruited Simon Withey as its new CEO. The company, which is driving a ‘rehabilitation revolution’ amongst medical professionals and physiotherapists, specialises in human performance equipment. Its machines deliver clinically effective compression and contrast therapies including cryotherapy (cooling) and thermotherapy (warming). Withey is renowned in the fitness industry for turning around the fortunes of Cybex International UK, where he was appointed Managing Director in 2001. Following seven years in this role, during which time he drove revenues to an all time high, Withey was promoted to Vice President for Business Development in Europe and Africa working for parent company Cybex Inc. Prior to his time at Cybex, Withey developed and implemented the Wellbeing Concept for Boots the Chemist.
His business credentials as a chartered accountant and MBA graduate are coupled with decades of experience in managing relationships throughout the world. As CEO, Withey will expand the sales operation in the UK and create relationships with distributors throughout Europe and beyond. By refining the business package surrounding PHYSIOLAB®’s products, he will help the company to reach its full potential. Withey commented: “PHYSIOLAB® has an incredibly talented and focused team designing and developing intelligent and innovative products. I am looking forward to harnessing the company’s many assets and evolving and expanding the business into new sectors, such as the fitness and spa industries, whilst consolidating its success amongst medical and clinical professionals.”
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