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ISSUE 19 // October 2017

BEEF UP YOUR CLUB SECURITY THE SMART WAY ‘Gold standard’ security solutions for your facility

THE BIG I N T E R V IREoWb Coleman

We talk to unding & Andy Turner, fo o Directors at Indig Fitness


H MONT okey

Henry Co

s tells us about hi cility, unique fitness fa HC:FIT Ninja Training

AIR CONDITIONING INSPECTIONS – IS YOUR GYM COMPLIANT? Why you need to get your AC equipment regularly inspected



plores Keith Smith ex hes to ac different appro ement customer engag


Paul Swainson identifies five a characteristics of successful PT

ctions The value of indu size fits and why a ‘one ould be all’ approach sh sts avoided at all co



Marco Laterza tells us a b o u t h i s P T j o u r n e y, p a g e 3 2

Why you need to protect and enforce your IP




HD Athletic Perimeter

www.lifefitness.co.uk/hammer-strength Š 2017 Life Fitness, a division of Brunswick Corporation. All rights reserved. Life Fitness and Hammer Strength are registered trademarks of Brunswick Corporation.

Welcome... ...to the October 2017 issue of Gym Owner Monthly magazine. A lot has been happening, and as the seasons change, so do we. We have a new Social Media & Marketing Director on board, Sonja, and a new Editor, me. You may have seen my face on last month's article about Sexual Harassment at the gym, and this month, on page 43, I comment on Inductions. Do you feel they add as much value to your member's experience as they could? Of course, there is more - Keith Smith writes about Customer Engagement on page 17, and on page 48 you will find a feature about Intellectual Property and how you can protect the business you have worked hard to build. Like every month, we of course also feature a PT and Owner of the Month, as well as a host of other articles and features that are sure to be interesting to you.

With our new team in place, we will be working hard to make this magazine even bigger and better than before, and hope you enjoy this issue!





Nicky Sefke

Sonja Sefke

Paul Wood

ns@gymownermonthly.co.uk Tel: 07850 448 717

ss@gymownermonthly.co.uk Tel: 07841 800 038

pw@gymownermonthly.co.uk Tel: 07858 487 357

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

 @GymOwnerMonthly  gym-owner-monthly-magazine

Keep up to date

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COVER MODEL: Marco Laterza

© Gym Owner Monthly Magazine 2017 Gym Owner Monthly is published by PW Media. Gym Owner Monthly is protected by copyright and nothing may be produced wholly or in part without prior permission. The acceptance of advertising does not indicate editorial endorsement. The opinions expressed in editorial material do not necessarily represent the views of Gym Owner Monthly. Unless specifically stated, good or services mentioned in editorial or advertisements are not formally endorsed by Gym Owner Monthly, which does not guarantee or endorse or accept any liability for any goods and/or services featured in this publication. We cannot accept responsibility for any mistakes or misprints. Unsolicited material cannot be returned. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. Please note that we reserve the right to use all supplied photographs/images elsewhere in the publication or on our social media channels.



Contents TRENDS




27 38 30

32 40


07 66

News The latest news and hot topics in the industry.


Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers.

BP: Fitness Trade Show 2017 The industry gathered once again at the BodyPower trade show last month, check-out some of the exhibitors in our visual round-up.



Owner of the Month Henry Cookey tells us about his unique fitness facility, HC:FIT Ninja Training.


Engaging with members Keith Smith explores different approaches to customer engagement and highlights some key factors regarding engagement strategy.



Beef up your club security the smart way Mario Morger from GANTNER highlights a range of ‘gold standard’ security solutions for your facility.



The rise of suspension training Gavin Whelan, TRX® EMEA Senior Sales Director, comments on the increasing popularity of bodyweight training.


Changing trends Top tips for creating a space that will woo your customers and place your club at the front of the new trend in changing room design.


PT of the month Marco Laterza tells us about his PT journey.


The Big Interview We talk to Rob Coleman and Andy Turner, founding Directors at Indigo Fitness.



Induction woes Nicky Sefke comments on the value of inductions and why a ‘one size fits all’ approach should be avoided at all costs.


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




46 37 60 52




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



PT Viewpoint Fitness coach Alena Valastnykh comments on body image and eating disorders.




What is your most valuable asset? Razzak Mirjan, Associate at Couchmans, outlines why you need to protect and enforce your IP.


Air conditioning inspections – is your gym compliant? Rob Pritchard from Briars Associates explains why you might need to get your AC equipment regularly inspected.


Time to take action on data security risks Paul Simpson at Legend Club Management Systems explains why it is now imperative that leisure operators take action on data use and protection as a top business priority.


Wind up for a serious pitch Daniel Nyiri, Founder of 4U Fitness, explains how to perfect your pitch.



Nutrition Rules! Chris Zaremba, our fitness over 50 expert, outlines his approach to nutrition.



Putting the ‘personal’ back into Personal Trainer Paul Swainson, Head of PT at Future Fit Training, identifies five characteristics of a successful PT.

Customer Service – the key to member loyalty and long term success Jeremy Jenkins, Sales Director at eGym UK, looks at how gym owners can use technology to deliver unrivalled customer service and protect their business from competition.




NEW INNOVATION MORE PERSPIRATION Offer a better HIIT program for your members with the machines they love to hate!

COREHEALTHANDFITNESS.COM For more information please call: 01494 688260 or email: UKsales@corehandf.com

©2017 Core Health & Fitness LLC. All rights reserved. StairMaster, and the StairMaster logo are registered trademarks of Core Health & Fitness, LLC. #17-00253




What’s hot in the fitness industry

How the UK became a nation of late-night fitness junkies New research undertaken by PureGym, the UK’s leading gym operator, has shown a dramatic rise in the number of people going to the gym between the hours of midnight and 3am, with more and more late-night gym-goers set to join throughout 2017.

Data from the 24-hour gym operator shows that through the first four months of 2017, late-night gym attendance (entrants between midnight and 3am) is up 11% on 2016 visits and 26% on 2015. Visitor numbers between those hours have grown by a total of 39% since 2015. Midnight is the most popular hour amongst late-night lifters, growing in attendance by almost 50% since 2015. Almost half a million gym-goers are set to exercise at midnight over the course of 2017. Gyms in Leicester and Birmingham have shown the largest number of late-night visits over the two-year period, and visitors have grown by 46% and 45% respectively to date since 2015.

Throughout the year, June is the most popular month for late-night workouts. June saw a 51% increase in attendees between 2015-2016, as lighter evenings and the possibility of upcoming holidays have fitness fanatics burning the midnight oil. Matt Tomlinson, Operations Director of PureGym, said: “The dedication of those going to the gym in the middle of the night shows that people are committed to getting the most out of their days, regardless of their busy schedules. While we’ve often seen shift-workers and bar staff utilise our own 24-hour facilities, we’ve also seen people ending a night out early and opting for a quick midnight workout instead.” More information on the research can be found here. OCTOBER 2017



F45 strengthens its foothold in the UK with Paddington studio opening

Cementing their position as the fastest growing fitness concept in the world, F45 celebrates its fifth UK studio launch this year, with the opening of F45 Paddington. Short for Functional 45, F45 is the Australian fitness franchise concept which is currently taking the UK fitness market by storm, which already has key UK sites including, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Kingston, and Wandsworth. Following its success worldwide, F45 now has 946 franchises across 31 continents, with a further 50 locations set to open later this year in the UK alone. F45 Paddington opened on 16th September and incorporates the iconic F45 equipment and group training concept for an unrivalled, challenging workout which is suitable for any age or fitness level. With members already signed up, the excitement around F45 Paddington matches the interest in the brand on a global scale. Co-owner of F45 Paddington Cameron Tew says, "We are delighted to have opened the doors to our first studio in London Paddington. Opening week has seen nothing but positive feedback from everyone that has come through the doors to sweat with us. We look forward to growing our amazing functional fitness community here in Paddington!" Founded by former equities trader Rob Deutsch who spotted a gap in the health and fitness market a little over three years ago, F45 has become a global fitness phenomenon and the fastest growing franchise in Australian history, surpassing Subways and McDonalds. To date, F45 spans 31 countries and has over 100,000 members with plans to have an anticipated 1,150 franchises by the end of 2017. With an extensive range of 29 high intensity group training programmes which have been designed by F45’s elite Athletic Directors, no two classes are ever the same, and deliver remarkable results. F45 classes incorporate the latest innovation in patent protected fitness based technology for systemised delivery, increased motivation and measurement, as well as post-activity workout reporting which results in an enhanced customer experience. Sessions are fast-paced, with a strong community element to ensure users work to their maximum, with constant support and guidance from world class F45 coaches. The global success of F45 as a franchise network has encouraged many athletes, personal trainers and entrepreneurs to become part of this innovative fitness movement due to its relatively low start up and running costs, turn-key set up and generous return on investment. In addition, F45 boasts an impressive array of ambassadors worldwide, including English Rugby Union player, James Haskell. With further UK openings scheduled for later this year, including sites in Brighton, Birmingham, Bristol, and Manchester, the phenomenal growth of the F45 studio portfolio continues to 8



dominate the UK fitness industry. For further information visit www.f45training.co.uk.

Speedflex launches eighth studio as One Premium Fitness launches

Set just a few minutes walk from the picturesque beach (perfect for an early morning beach run!), Belle Aire Holiday Park has a spacious on-site venue room which can be used for indoor fitness activities, group meals, seminars and social activities. It comes complete with a high-tech entertainment lighting and sound system, as well as a fully-stocked bar, with plenty of non-alcoholic options too! Boutique fitness operator Speedflex has opened its eighth studio, in the brand new fitness club One Premium Fitness, in Reigate, Surrey. The club, was officially opened by Good Morning Britain Presenter and Speedflex ambassador Ben Shephard on 19th September. The club, formally another gym called Fithub, was acquired by Speedflex who have chosen to demonstrate the success of the Speedflex model within a big box gym. The space has undergone an extensive refurbishment, with over £110k invested to become One Premium Fitness. The gym now includes brand new state-of-the-art cardio and strength equipment, a brand new free-weights area and new flooring throughout. Speedflex worked with the Pulse Group on the refurbishment, with equipment supplied by Pulse Fitness and the new One Premium brand created by Pulse Solutions. As part of the refurbishment project the club now includes a dedicated Speedflex studio, which offers the popular high intensity group circuit sessions. The sessions offer high intensity interval training with a twist, thanks to unique hydraulic machine based technology. The machines generate personalised resistance levels, so every individual can train at their optimum level. The unique concept delivers all the benefits of HIIT, but does so without the risk of injury. The machines also reduce post-exercise pain (something usually associated with this type of training), as the machines are responsive to the user’s force, as opposed to the addition of weight like more traditional training regimes. As well as Speedflex, the club also offers a wide variety of group exercise classes in the upstairs studio. “We’re delighted to have officially opened our latest studio in Reigate, says Paul Ferris, CEO of Speedflex. “The launch of the new studio offers members both the benefit of a big box gym with state of the art equipment as well as a boutique studio concept. Speedflex will bring something new to the Reigate community and encourage those who would not traditionally visit a gym to try something different.” For more information visit www.speedflex.com.

Back by popular demand Belle Aire Holiday Park, located in Hemsby, Norfolk, is once again opening its doors to fitness professionals, clubs and groups across the country who are interested in holding a residential fitness ‘Bootcamp’ style weekend by the sea, providing the perfect setting for a weekend of fun, fitness and friendship.

With a patio area and large green available (ideal for group fitness sessions and games) and overnight accommodation for up to 120 guests, Belle Aire can provide everything fitness professionals and clubs need to organise a great fitness weekend. With selected dates still available from October-December 2017 and with more dates now added for 2018, clubs and coaches have the perfect opportunity to either set up a last minute trip or to plan events for next year. London-based Abs Fitness organised a fitness weekend at Belle Aire during the Autumn months and provided an exciting and varied timetable of activities that included morning beach runs, pilates, boxing, beach body workouts, hula-hooping and even a dodgeball championship! “Fitness Weekends like the one organised by Abs Fitness provide great fun with lots of bonding and fun activities. They encourage people to challenge themselves by trying new things, building skills, getting fitter and making new friends along the way. For fitness pros and clubs, it’s an ideal opportunity to generate extra revenue and increase loyalty with its customers and members,” explains Sally Burrell, Manager of Belle Aire Holiday Park. Prices and packages vary depending on time of event, numbers and additional requirements. For more information, dates and prices, please contact the bookings team at Belle Aire Holiday Park on 01493 731164.

Wexer partners with Cyberobics to deliver premium virtual fitness package CYBEROBICS® – the virtual fitness division of German giant the McFIT Global Group, which also includes health club chains McFIT and JOHN REED Fitness Music Clubs – has announced an exclusive new partnership with digital fitness specialist Wexer, which will see the two brands jointly launching a premium virtual studio concept. Branded ‘CYBEROBICS®, powered by Wexer’, the new model is based on creating premium, standalone CYBEROBICS® virtual studios within clubs – not just McFIT clubs, but any club around the world. These studios will offer members access to the full CYBEROBICS® class library – cinematic quality content that has been shot in inspirational locations ranging from Miami’s South Beach to Malibu to the Mojave Desert. McFIT originally conceived CYBEROBICS® in 2014, subsequently introducing it at over 170 of its own clubs. However, this is the first 9 OCTOBER 2017


14 exciting new interactive virtual classes within selected Everyone Active centres. The classes will boast a wide range of activities including martial arts, street dance, juggling, and hula-hooping. The classes are displayed on large digital screens in a studio and specially designed to engage and motivate children. Each 45-minute activity allows children to easily follow along while gaining valuable skills such as self-confidence, focus, coordination and self-expression. Everyone Active colleagues are on-hand to ensure children stay focused, engaged and safe throughout the sessions. “We are thrilled to partner with iDEA to offer this new range of virtual programming for children,” said Chris Duncan, East Region Activity Development & Funding Manager, Everyone Active. “We are committed to delivering a wide-range of activities to encourage the communities that we operate in to lead healthier, more active lifestyles. We are confident that the new classes will be a key driver in getting more children taking part in physical activity.”

time the world-class content has been made available to a broader audience. The new ’CYBEROBICS®, powered by Wexer’ concept comes with clear brand guidelines and installation specifications to ensure its carefully designed, premium experience is delivered every time. Paul Bowman, CEO for Wexer, comments: “Gyms will need to meet a minimum standard of AV to deliver the full ’CYBEROBICS®, powered by Wexer’ experience – and it really is a fantastic experience. It’s been created as a premium package, with worldclass CYBEROBICS® classes – unavailable on any other platform – delivered in an engaging and uniquely designed space.”

“We are proud to be working with Everyone Active on the launch of their new virtual activity classes,” said Ben O’Hara, Director of iDEA. “As virtual classes for adults continue to gain in popularity, our specialism is focussed on producing a varied range of unique activities that get children fit physically, mentally and socially. The classes are easy to facilitate and offer a bespoke programme for operators.” Everyone Active will continue to work with iDEA to evolve the offering, providing additional classes and ongoing training to new facilitators. For more information, visit www.everyoneactive. com.

Spinning® in the depths of the Earth

Speaking on behalf of CYBEROBICS®, managing director Oliver Schulokat said: “With Wexer’s rapid growth in technology, they were an obvious partner for us as we accelerate global distribution of the CYBEROBICS® content. Together, we’re making world-class exercise accessible to more people.” ‘CYBEROBICS®, powered by Wexer’ is now exclusively available as a premium package on the Wexer platform. For more information visit, http://info.wexer.com/cyberobics.

Everyone Active signs new partnership with iDEA to launch kids’ virtual activity classes

The creators of Spinning® and the global leaders in indoor cycling hold epic Spinning experience events around the world. The biggest Spinning event in the Southwest will be happening on Saturday November 4th with Master Instructors and Presenters from Europe and the UK and they are going underground. These events create an original selection of themed rides, to a plethora of music styles in the unique atmosphere of a cave venue, at Carnglaze Caverns, one of Cornwall’s premier underground experiences. This unmissable event is inclusive and for everyone from indoor cycle enthusiasts, instructors, to anyone who wishes to have a unique Spinning fitness experience. Leading local authority leisure operator Everyone Active has recently signed a new partnership with UK-based provider of entertainment, dance and fitness digital content, iDEA to launch children’s virtual activity classes.

It features six epic Spinning® rides, followed by a legendary hog roast and ultimate cave party in the evening. The fun continues into Sunday with mountain bike rides and walks in the stunning Cardinham Woods followed by lunch organised.

As part of the new partnership, Everyone Active will be offering

If the opportunity to experience beautiful cathedral ceilinged




caverns, hand created by local slate miners, the crystal clear blue/ green waters of its underground lake and Spinning® 60m below ground appeals then check out the various ticket options on sale at www.bigsouthwester.com.

Industry heavyweights join forces to drive participation Two leading industry specialists have joined forces to help leisure operators create inspiring facilities that drive participation in physical activity.

operators to harness the benefits of the latest innovations in facility development and group exercise. With their shared expertise, Alliance Leisure and Les Mills UK are adopting a holistic approach to facility development, providing solutions for both the physical building and the studio programming to motivate today’s users. Alliance Leisure has a long track record of designing and developing progressive facilities that engage communities in physical activity. The company is currently working on a raft of developments across the UK under the new UK Leisure Framework, which is designed to make public sector leisure facilities more efficient and affordable Les Mills UK is at the forefront of innovation in group exercise. The company invests £1.5m each year in research and development to create products that help operators attract and retain members. These include the ground-breaking immersive cycling experience, the Trip™, which combines AV, lighting and full screen projection and features in Alliance Leisure’s latest project, the £5m redevelopment of Salt Ayre Sports Centre in Lancaster. Thanks to the new partnership, leisure operators can now benefit from the combined experience, expertise and research of both of these two successful organisations to grow their business. “Partnering with Les Mills allows us to offer operators the latest solutions in facility development and group fitness, which will help them to attract new markets and widen participation,” says James Foley, commercial director of Alliance Leisure.

The partnership between leisure development company Alliance Leisure and group exercise specialist Les Mills UK will allow

“We are delighted to partner with Alliance Leisure. With more facilities understanding the importance of group exercise, innovation and design our partnership will provide an easy framework to help deliver inspiring spaces which motivate members to keep coming back,” says Aimee Barry, Business Development Director at Les Mills UK.

Public Sector The 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report reveals that 1 in every 20 people are members of a public gym. The public sector has over 2,700 gyms across the UK and Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) is the top operator. For the first time in five years, the public sector has seen a slight decline in membership numbers. Is this due to a combination of operating budgets being reduced and the impact of the private low cost market?

1in 20

2,700 +

number of public gyms


people are a member of a public gym

top public operator by number of gyms

Public Sector

Source: LeisureDB 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report




“We presented Indigo with a very challenging, fully bespoke project. They delivered throughout the whole process and have created a training environment that truly reflects what ‘Monte Carlo 39’ is all about. The members love it.”

Leading the way in performance strength training for over 20 years The Indigo Fitness team have a wealth of experience in creating and delivering high quality, functional training spaces.

"Partnering with Indigo Fitness was an invaluable decision. I met with them when One Performance UK was still a dream in my head, and from inception, to build, to becoming an operating facility, the support has been utterly outstanding.”

We’d love to bring our expertise, creativity and enthusiasm to your next project, so get in touch! www.indigofitness.com “After approaching Indigo Fitness with a concept of what I wanted to achieve at Peak Performance, they were able to design, deliver and install the final solution within a few months – clients and members now have a truly motivational space in which to train.”



sales@indigofitness.com 01455 890100


Owner of the Month

‘Believe in yourself and your ideas’ Henry Cookey tells us about his unique fitness facility, HC:FIT Ninja Training Gym owner: Henry Cookey Gym name: HC:FIT Ninja Training Location: Upper Floor 1 Birchall Street, Liverpool, L20 8PD Web: www.hc-fit.co.uk How did you become a gym owner? I started doing some PT to make a bit of money while I was training full time to represent GB at the 2016 Olympics with Taekwondo. Unfortunately, I didn’t get selected in the end but then I was fortunate enough to be selected to compete on the TV show Ninja Warrior. I made it to the semi-final and absolutely loved the whole experience. I really enjoyed the specific training I did for the Ninja Warrior but I had no idea what I was doing and had to make it up as I went along, trying things in kids’ parks, improvising in the gym and hanging from anything that would hold my weight. There were no trainers or venues around to help me prep for what was coming up in the contest. After the Show I started thinking about how many people applied to take part but didn’t get the chance and how many people were inspired by the challenges we faced but couldn’t replicate the obstacles or moves at their local gym. I reckoned if I had a venue like a Ninja Warrior set and offered training to people they’d quickly get a taste for this. At the time I was also lucky to be training with Future Fit and had my Level 2 in the bag. I was moving steadily through the Level 3 PT Diploma and was picking up some really helpful knowledge and skills.




Owner of the Month

I combined my passion for Ninja moves with my personal training experience and background as an engineer to design a great set of obstacles, then I found the perfect location in Liverpool. Once I had all the quotes in place I wrote a big business plan and pitched it to banks and investors who loved the idea. I secured a substantial business loan from Merseyside Investment Fund (MSIF) and I immediately started building. Two months later I was fully open: six months later here I am now, business is going great and I’m absolutely loving it.

Aside from the gym, what other facilities do you offer your members? Ninja Warrior training and activities, Bootcamp classes, Calisthenics classes, OCR training, weight management workshops, kids’ activity classes and holiday camps and martial arts classes. I also hire out the studio and sell healthy snack bars and drinks.

How do you motivate/incentivise your staff members?

How important are PTs to your business?

Staff members love the Ninja Training concept. They have free use of the facilities and they get discounts on classes.

At the moment only a small amount of my revenue comes from PTs but I’ll look to increase this in the future: it’s next on my ‘to do’ list, to bring in more trainers who can emulate my style.

What makes your gym unique? It’s a completely new concept that makes training more enjoyable. It’s challenging and really rewarding, people don’t realise how hard they’re working because of how much fun they’re having so inevitably they work harder and see better results. Clients not only get stronger and fitter, they also improve their confidence by beating obstacles they never thought they could. This ‘can do’ attitude crosses over into their day-to-day lives giving them confidence to take with them when they leave. The gym is also suitable for kids and they absolutely love it: our healthy activity gets them off their Playstations and phones and gives them a really fun session. Kids can also do sessions with their parents which brings them together and provides a great dynamic.

What advice would you give to other gym owners just starting out? Believe in yourself and your ideas. Don’t be afraid to take a risk to make something unique that you’re passionate about! Do your research into the best forms of advertising: it takes time but is essential. Don’t just think that “if you build it they will come”: you could have the best idea in the world but if no one knows about it no one can buy into it.

What are the biggest challenges facing your business today? Spreading awareness about what we are doing, we’re still



Owner of the Month

very new so not all that well-known. There’s a big market out there for us to tap into but it’s difficult to find the right method of advertising that will target the right audience and let them know that we’re here. It’s very easy to throw money away on a big ad campaign and get a poor return for it.

What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years? There has been an increase in the number of commercial gyms and a decrease in the membership costs. There seems to be a swing back towards functional training which is good as I believe training in this way is better for people, gives a really varied workout and builds strength, flexibility and mobility to help people in their everyday tasks while also improving their fitness. Some of the kit out there is amazing: I love trying out the new stuff and Physical Company is my new ‘go to’ for some of the more inventive and durable kit. No day is complete without a few back flips off their Plyobox and I’m looking forward to putting their new combat range through its paces.

How do you engage with your members? I run many of the classes myself and I’m in the gym most of the time so communicate with people directly. I also use social media for communications and email for major announcements to keep them engaged in what I have to offer.


How do you retain your members? I offer rewards for coming in regularly and discounts for bulk purchases. I also run regular competitions and have challenges that keep people coming back to improve on their records and achievements.

How are you promoting your brand and marketing your gym? Most of my promotion is through social media advertising, I have found this to get the best results and provide the best value for money. We also go out into the local community, give out flyers and talk to people about what we have.

What is your biggest success story? My biggest success is probably taking what was just a thought (a wish) in my head and making it into what it is now! I love seeing people enjoying what I’ve created and improving themselves every time they come in.

Finally, if there was one thing you could change in the industry, what would it be? I would change the common public perception that exercise is a chore or that gyms are boring. Fitness work can be a lot of fun, really entertaining and very satisfying if you choose the right trainer and workout session to suit your personality as much as your desired health and fitness outcomes.




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16 OCTOBER 2017 www.britishweightlifting. org


Engaging with members Keith Smith explores different approaches to customer engagement and highlights some of the factors that may need to be considered when designing, developing and measuring an engagement strategy.

As an industry, we are fully aware that engagement and interaction are hugely important in the adherence and retention of members; there have been numerous studies and articles that have highlighted and reinforce their importance. Member engagement can also be critical when aiming to add value, build trust, and create a sense of belonging (all of which is useful when aiming to construct an outstanding customer experience). Initial questions regarding an effective engagement strategy could be: what to use, when to use, and in what context? An engagement strategy must have clear objectives.

Let’s define engagement first: it is the action of being engaged, or maybe more appropriate for this article is, the action of engagement, which could in the digital age be many different approaches used by a facility. Interaction could be defined as physical communication between two or more individuals. For the purpose of the next few paragraphs, engagement is any opportunity a facility has to engage with their customers/members at any point in the relationship, of which physical interaction of staff with customers could be one (and no doubt a very important one). OCTOBER 2017



Building a community A fundamental principle of member engagement must be about building a community, making customers feel part of the facility, demonstrating warmth, creating trust, and then showing competence. I mentioned in a previous article [August 2017] that a piece of work in the Harvard Business Review argued the case for showing warmth before competency, trustworthiness before ability, and love before strength [1]. The author of the work clearly outlined that this approach mirrors what individuals looked for in others when building long-term relationships in business. Judgements of trustworthiness generally lead to higher economic gains. Trust increases information sharing, fluidity, and cooperation. Trust also facilitates the exchange of ideas, and acceptance of ideas. This type of approach could be part of a long engagement strategy for a facility. How could you demonstrate trust, warmth to both potential and new customers, yet still project a strong sense of competency and ability? It could be that you have different streams of engagement, depending on the customer, their membership history, and their outcomes - this is definitely possible with today’s digital offerings.

Start with ‘why’ To start the process of creating a successful engagement strategy, the facility needs to start with their WHY! Who are they, what is the culture, what is their DNA, their values, who are they as a group, and a facility? What messages do they want to send out, what do they want people to say about them? The media of engagement are many, and all could be used to be successful, but context is everything before planning any type of engagement strategy. What is the facility message? The second part of the strategy is to highlight the target group, or individuals the facility wants to attract. What media do they want to be engaged by? What are the members’ engagement preferences (face-to-face, social media, text, email)? Remember it is not how great the facility is, it is how great the facility makes the member feel! Is the facility message ‘go hard or go home!’ targeting individuals that are already regular exercisers, who want a different challenge, as part of their exercise experience. Or is the facility message about ‘a new start’, comfort, safety, and a gradual introduction to creating an exercise routine. It all works, but the message must be consistent. The WHY is everything, it governs the context. How is the facility positioning themselves in the mind of the member, and how does this affect engagement?

Face-to-face It is very clear from various recent UK industry studies that face-to-face interaction with all staff is the approach that customers value. There are many approaches that staff can employ to support interaction, from simple acknowledgement, a smile, a wave, a thumbs-up, to more complex forms, like detailed questioning, that support membership acquisition, goal setting, or programme design. All of these interaction approaches work, it’s just understanding when, and how to use them to ensure customer comfort and a successful outcome. The possible role of an engagement strategy is to support interaction, using engagement in either a personal or informative way. 18



Engagement that is informative could be confirming or reminding members of a class or session booking (creating trust and adding value) or that there is an issue with part of the facility for a few hours due to maintenance work, saving them a journey, demonstrating that you care. This would be more of a blanket approach to engagement, but could also offer some form of personal touch by offering followup information in the form of a follow-up call if requested. Information gathering, arranged appropriately, could support an improved understanding of the reasons why members use the facility. The facility could arrange information in relation to clients’ goals (tone, sport, fat loss, enjoyment, social, for example). The facility could then send out more personalised information that the individual may benefit from, making the engagement some-what personal. Engagement that needs to be quick and informative could be delivered by text message or email. Engagement that is promoting an event, or directing customers to a certain point, a new studio timetable, a class, a new facility equipment, or an up-grade in facility amenities may require a different form of engagement, such as social media, and club notice boards, with pictures and text, that create a feeling; of comfort, value, trust, and enjoyment. Separate engagement strategies could be created for existing customers and for directing new members to the facility; both would contain the same sentiment about the facility, but convey a different message.

Outcomes With any form of engagement, there are only three possible outcomes: you either move the relationship forward, or the relationship is maintained - both of these are a positive for the facility, however one is clearly more beneficial than the other. The third outcome for the facility is that the engagement approach moves the relationship backwards: this is quite clearly a negative outcome. Social media platforms can be a very useful tool in the member engagement strategy plan for a facility. The facility would need to evaluate what social media platforms are the right engagement tools for both the member and the facility.

Social media platforms vary in their appeal to different demographics; the facility would need to ensure that the platforms they choose to use for engagement match the demographics of the user. Social media platforms differ greatly in what they represent. Some social media sites are about friendship, people share pictures and text, and everyone you connect with is treated like a friend. Other social media platforms are about broadcasting: the people who use these site are not friends; they are individuals who are just information-hungry. When using social media to engage with members, ensure that enough background information is gathered before choosing which platforms: this will help ensure that every engagement with a member has a positive outcome. The same amount of time and thought would need to go into notice board information, customer mail outs, and facility advertising.

Everyone needs to buy in Finding the right staff to support your engagement strategy may be a challenge, but once the facility has direction, meaning and purpose, it may help staff selection and retention. Teaching effective engagement is far more than a one-off educational session: developing an engaging experience requires staff to be able to reason in every situation, and respond appropriately, not just reproduce what has been said during a training day. An effective engagement strategy is about planning, evaluating and continual development, and starts with who we are as a facility, and who we are targeting, and the facility staff’s understanding of this. Everyone needs to buy in. Education needs to be designed around not only understanding, but also building staff’s confidence in effective delivery. Getting staff to think differently, and getting staff to act differently, are two different things. Engagement and interaction with members is a massive part of the overall experience. There are a huge number of ways to engage with members, both within and away from the facility. Picking the correct engagement tools, and using them effectively, is the key to an effective facility strategy

Keith Smith is the owner/director of Keith Smith Training. He is also a Global Master Trainer for Life Fitness Academy. [1] Connect Then Lead (hbr Spring 2017) OCTOBER 2017




Using bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) technology, the machines can determine body fat and muscle percentage as well as a user’s hydration levels. In addition to the unique FitQuest score which measures fitness against average gender and age groups, the new machines will provide a more complete assessment for users now with both a fitness and body composition analysis.

“Our FitQuest machines were always designed to give gym users the ability to quickly assess their general fitness,” said Brian Firth, FitQuest CEO. “Now, with the addition of the MIE FitQuest Body Composition Analyser, people will have even greater access to data that could help them make real improvements in their overall health and wellbeing. Capitalising on the growing popularity of fitness tracking in Londonbased gyms, we’re proud to be working with The Gym Group to offer this innovative, new FitQuest experience to their members.” – Brian Firth, CEO, FitQuest The installation with The Gym Group follows a successful pilot programme earlier this year. The machines will be available to members of The Gym Group in Q4 this year.



Measurement is Evidence MIE Medical Research has spent 30 years bringing innovative human performance measurement solutions to some of the world’s leading universities and research institutes. FitQuest can be used by gym goers to assess their own progress, PTs to monitor client achievement and operators to improve member engagement. We are delighted to be able to bring this unique experience to a wider audience and empower individuals to take charge of their own health and fitness. Contact our team today at info@miefitquest.com or call 020 7518 7323 to find out how you can be part of the measurement revolution.

Find out more at www.miefitquest.com

FitQuest Division, MIE Medical Research Limited 21 SEPTEMBER 2017 info@miefitquest.com Tel. 020 7518 7323


BEEF UP YOUR CLUB SECURITY THE SMART WAY Magnetic swipe cards just don’t cut it in the world of health club security any more. Mario Morger from GANTNER highlights a range of ‘gold standard’ security solutions for your facility.

Today’s members think nothing of bringing all their valuables to the gym – laptops, smartphones, tablets, jewellery – and even their kids if there’s a crèche available. So how can gyms create the safest possible environment for them? Luckily, with the latest advances in access technology, there’s a solution to fit every size and type of club. One-dimensional magnetic swipe cards just don’t cut it in the world of health club security any more. Even when linked to a member’s photo, busy reception staff often can’t keep pace with the flow of members accessing and leaving the club, especially at those manic peak times. Card sharing with non-members is always an operational hazard, which means there could be people in your club that you cannot identify and who haven’t paid to be there. Apart from being bad for your club’s bottom line, you also have a duty of care to members to keep them and their valuables safe and secure at all times.




With biometric technology, gyms have the ability to get even more specific with their layers of security. For example, they could choose to only check groups that statistically represent a higher risk – for example, members aged from 16 to 34. And when member traffic flow is high, they can simply configure the system to implement random fingerprint verification – for example by checking every 10th member, which speeds up access for all.

Get smart with your cards So what if you think your club just isn’t big enough to warrant the installation of biometric technology? That may well be the case, but every size and type of health club can benefit from the implementation of an RFID smart card access system, and those benefits extend way beyond simply beefing up of your main security.

‘Gold standard’ security Biometric access is now considered the gold standard for secure club access, and it’s well suited to high end clubs, as well as the higher volume clubs with thousands of members, particularly those offering 24hour access with limited staffing out-of-hours. Biometric verification can be fitted into a club’s existing turnstiles or doors, creating a foil-proof two-part entry system. Taking a GANTNER biometric system as an example, it can work like this: An enrollment station captures an image of the member’s fingerprint and safely encrypts that biometric data onto a smart membership credential that uses RFID (radio frequency identification). This could be in the form of a card, key fob or wristband. All this can be done in less than a minute at the front desk, with no need to connect to an external database or PC.

Cards that use RFID technology really deserve their moniker of ‘smart card’ because, quite simply, they are super intelligent. Not only can they link with your access software to give members quick and easy access to the gym, but they can also be dialled into the changing rooms so members can open their ‘smart’ locker with a simple swipe of their card. And if members forget their locker number they can go to a nearby terminal and swipe their card to identify the location. Do you offer a ladies-only fitness zone? Then you can configure cards so only female members get access to this area. Do you have a busy club café? Cards can actually be pre-loaded with ‘cash’ or linked to a member’s account so that they can use it like a payment card, eliminating the inconvenience of them having to carry cash around the club.

Once enrolled, members can enter your club very quickly by scanning both their membership credential and their fingerprint at a biometric terminal. These terminals crosscheck that the fingerprint image stored on the membership credential is the same as the scanned fingerprint. The other advantage of combining fingerprint technology with a membership card is that clubs still have the back-up of the smart card data for the small number of people who may refuse to enroll their fingerprint, or for the 1-2% of the population who don’t actually have a readable fingerprint (e.g. workers with heavy manual jobs). While membership sharing can be completely eliminated, there are of course many other advantages of this type of technology. Biometric readers can be placed in different zones around the club to limit and control access to particular groups of members or even employees. For example, only relevant parents will be allowed access to the crèche, premium members can be granted access to VIP changing rooms and showers, and only employees or managers can enter certain rooms, store cupboards or offices. OCTOBER 2017



Clubs of the future Austria-based technology leader GANTNER has been working with health clubs worldwide for decades, developing technology and software that meets all the essential needs of a fitness club with the implementation of one smart, simple RFID membership card. The company’s business development manager Mario Morger says: “The clubs that will stand out in the future will be the ones that not only offer their members unrivalled security and peace of mind, but also those who offer the most convenient way to access the club’s facilities while maintaining those very high standards.” Imagine giving members the ease of a single card that facilitates their entire visit – accessing the car park, sailing through a highly secure reception, storing their valuables in a tamper-proof locker that can only be accessed with their own card, and then enjoying a post-workout snack that can be ‘paid for’ with their membership card. While the benefits for the member are many, the advantages of a fully automated RFID access system from the operator’s point of view are even greater. The less time your staff have to spend checking members’ identities, dealing with lost locker keys or locks that have jammed, the more time they have to spend on efficient gym management and exceptional customer service. Take GANTNER’s GAT.NET locking system for example. From the comfort of the gym reception, staff can see in real time on the club’s main computer which lockers are free or in use and gain the ability to ensure that each visitor can only use one locker at a time if space is at a premium. The system also comes with alarm-monitored locker burglary protection; a time adjustable, automatic opening function for cleaning or overnight security purposes; and 24


other central administration options such as occupancy analysis which can help clubs better plan their locker and changing room provision. So no more having to deal with overly-fragrant gym kits that certain members may have abandoned in their locker for weeks at a time!

Splash more with cashless Turning your membership cards in cashless payment cards is also a very smart move. From a security point of view, the less cash you have floating around your club the better. The opportunities for theft by other members and also by employees who handle cash daily are greatly reduced. And on a more positive note, cashless payments have been seen to boost in-club impulse spends by as much as 30%. So how does it all work? Well quite simply your membership card can be turned into a near field communication (NFC)based payment system specially designed for fitness clubs. This system uses an embedded NFC chip in the membership ID that communicates contactlessly with other devices. So your members can pre-load this credential with cash credits or link it to a credit card stored with their membership account to make purchases at your club’s vending machines, café or bar, and also with your profit-generating add-ons such as sunbeds. Furthermore, with all transactions connected to a member account, clubs have the benefit of gaining a deeper insight into member spending patterns in the club, along with complete transactional transparency and traceability to bring a much higher level of security surrounding the flow of payments within the club. So it’s easy to see why RFID and NFC-enabled card systems


are fast becoming the solution of choice by clubs who take their security and member convenience seriously. This type of system was chosen by the smaller independent FIT21 health club in Vienna, which uses this technology for their member check-in as well as cashless payments for vending machines and sunbeds. Even their shower cubicles are operated by the contactless chip. And when mainstream UK chain Fitness First opened its Black Label club in London‘s Baker Street, it also chose to install a GANTNER access control, secure locker system and cashless payment system. Global Marketing Director for Fitness First Group, Martin Seibold says this three-fold system eliminated the problems

of non-paid accesses and permanent occupation of lockers, while going cashless significantly increased the group’s revenues and reduced administration — freeing up staff to concentrate on that all-important customer service. Gyms know they have to move with the times, and there is no doubt that members, especially millennials - who are all about the quality of the experience - will love the extra security, sense of exclusiveness and convenience that this kind of one-card-for-all technology can bring to the club environment. In many instances, the cost of implementation of such security upgrades can more than be offset by the reduced administration and maintenance costs, increased revenue opportunities and the hugely valuable usage data that they bring.

For more information visit www.gantner.com

Fingerprint Control System improves Cash Flow In these competitive times it is very important to ensure every last monthly fee is collected and free loaders are kept out. Most people are honest and would not have the audacity to come to the club without paying, but if word gets out you are too relaxed, you may get more new members than you expect!

In Essex, independent club owner, Colin Hall, Ab Salute Gyms, installed a turnstile in his first club alongside a fingerprint entry system by ievo (www.ievoreader.com). It allowed him to register his members fingerprints when they joined and validated entry through the turnstile when they came in. He liked the system because he was confident that no-one working out in his gym was doing so for free.

The only 100% way to stop non-payers from entry is a full-height turnstile – doors can be left open for others and standard turnstiles can be jumped. However, there has to be a line drawn at cost and practicality, so you will never see an independent club with a full height turnstile, a half-height, standard turnstile being the most acceptable solution.

However, as a gym owner, security is only part of the control story; how do you take the renewals or send renewal emails? How do you freeze a member and stop entry? How do you control the till and the stock? Colin really needed a gym management system which talked to his favoured ievo fingerprint system, so that when a members was lapsed they were automatically barred. He wanted one integrated system, not 3 or 4! Many years ago, when Colin discussed this with the software engineers at SportSoft, he had one club in Romford and after a few months of integration work by SportSoft and ievo, the system was installed on site. Now there are 3 more clubs going strong and a fourth in planning. All have a turnstile controlled by ievo fingerprint linked to the SportSoft leisure management system. Also, because it is a cloud-based, Colin can now sit in the comfort of his office and check his stock, his revenue, his tills and his visit patterns and be secure in the knowledge that everyone is paying to work out. Call SportSoft on +44(0)1423872872 or visit www.sportsoft.co.uk for more information. OCTOBER 2017



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THE RISE OF SUSPENSION TRAINING Gavin Whelan, TRX® EMEA Senior Sales Director, comments on the increasing popularity of bodyweight training. Bodyweight training certainly isn’t new to the fitness industry but it’s something that people are increasingly beginning to take note of. A familiar sight in gyms across the country is a packed free weights area and this is partly due to magazines and articles full of photos of leading sports stars and celebrities pumping

weights. It makes it easy to think that strength training is the fast track to your goals and while it’s important in any fitness regime, we feel it’s vital for fitness professionals to educate members on how integrating bodyweight training into your workout can deliver tangible benefits across all areas of your fitness. A popular misconception with bodyweight training is that there’s no progression as the weight resistance doesn’t




increase. However, armed with the right information, fitness professionals can share a wealth of knowledge with their members about how they can continue to develop their muscles and physique with subtle adjustments. For example, with TRX Suspension Training, increasing the time under tension for your muscles and changing the angle that you perform movements at can dramatically increase both the difficulty and efficiency of the workout. We’re delighted that TRX Suspension Trainers are becoming an essential addition to most UK gyms but providing the right education tools for fitness professionals to ensure their members maximise the benefits and use them correctly is even more important. First-time users can often feel some trepidation when looking at an unfamiliar piece of gym equipment but like every piece of kit in a gym, it is down to the internal fitness team to be educated and confident enough to take new members over to a TRX Suspension Trainer the same way they would a treadmill or a bike.

We’re incredibly proud of our TRX Education curriculum which is designed to equip fitness professionals with all the knowledge they require to incorporate suspension training and functional training into both their personal training and group workouts. Throughout the year, we host one-day training courses for fitness professionals at venues across the UK, tiered from Beginner to Master to accommodate all experience levels. We believe that there’s no shortcuts when it comes to education and all courses include at least eight hours of hands-on practice as well as further education modules and a comprehensive digital manual. At the end of the course, attendees will also receive a qualification from TRX, which recognises their ability to apply the knowledge and newly learned skills into their role as a fitness professional as well as a listing in the TRX directory. The Group Suspension Training course is becoming increasingly important to us and that’s due to the rise in popularity and demand of specific group TRX classes. They add a nice differentiator to the all-too-familiar class schedule and give members a chance to explore a different method to reach their goals as well as taking away valuable experience for their individual gym workouts. Some gyms and studios are now offering multiple TRX group classes a week as people feel the benefits and we hope that’s a trend that continues to flourish as people prepare to set out their New Year fitness goals. For more information or to sign-up to a TRX Education course, visit www.trxtraining.co.uk.




POWERBANDS VS. BODYWEIGHT TRAINING Bodyweight and high-intensity interval training (HIIT), such as Freeletics, are currently all the rage because of their huge success. They combine simple exercises, using one’s own bodyweight, with high numbers of repetitions and circuits for powerful workouts. People who stick to the workouts usually achieve rapid and continuous results. Powerbands are a great addition to any bodyweight training routine, proven to increase stability while burning fat and tone lean muscle, building muscular endurance and maximising bodyweight workouts. This portable exercise equipment is also easily stored, making it the perfect piece of equipment for when you’re tight on space at the gym. Let’s Bands Master Trainer, Ben Fildes, explains: “Resistance bands are being used more and more in bodyweight training, becoming regular additions to barbell training, and on power racks and lifting platforms. Adding

Powerbands to bodyweight routines will bring even greater success in the same amount of time because of the elastic resistance and the constant tension in parts of the exercises. This combination results in better range of motion, strength, and more complete stimulation. These resistance exercises will bring a fresh level of diversity to bodyweight exercise routines through their intensive muscle focus. In fact, it is the constant contraction and tension while using Powerbands that builds muscle and speeds up fat loss.”

And Bring to you



contact: p a u l w o o d | p w @ g y m o w n e r m o n t h ly. c o . u k | 0 7 8 5 8 4 8 7 3 5 7 C R A I G YO U N G | i n f o @ c r a i gyo u n g c o n s u lt i n g . c o . u k | 0 7 8 9 0 3 9 0 4 8 1 OCTOBER 2017



CHANGING TRENDS We asked industry expert Howard Braband from Solutions by GymkitUK for his top tips for creating a space that will woo your customers and place your club at the front of this new trend in changing room design. It’s the area of a club where members typically spend 20% of their time. It’s the first place they enter and last place they go when using a club. It’s also the area of a club where operators receive the most complaints from members. It’s no wonder that the new wave of industry trail blazers are paying so much attention to the design, layout look and feel in these crucial areas. Having a clear understanding of your club brand, values and operational style is the first step in creating the perfect changing facility for your club. The latest trend in changing room designs can be broadly categorised into four main groups:

Boutique The boutique scene is booming, driving innovation and pushing the boundaries of design and originality. Soft furnishings, eco-leather benches, Broadway style vanitys and use of reclaimed materials or industrial steel products – in many of the boutique clubs anything goes and you may be excused for thinking you’ve stepped into Hollister or Jimmy Choo retailers rather than your local gym. We are increasingly offering bespoke locker finishes, wrapping the lockers with abstract imagery or heavy print for dramatic effect.

Low Cost Typically changing rooms in the larger low-cost clubs offer hard wearing functional facilities, large enough to cope with high volume usage. Placing lockers in corridors or in the main gym area adds an element of security whilst increasing space in the changing rooms. Security cameras provide further security 24/7. The no frills changing spaces are designed to be practical and easy to maintain.

Traditional What many may think of as a “traditional” changing room is thankfully becoming a thing of the past. Musky smelling, dank areas with pooling water on the floors and leaky showers is being replaced with a new breed of clean fresh changing rooms that create a pleasurable experience communicating to customers that they are valued and important. Lockers are becoming wider, and in a variety of shapes and styles such as “L” shape lockers for bag storage and fulllength cloths hanging. Smaller security lockers for purse, keys and phone are being added Soft “anti-slam” closures give a feel of quality for a small cost. Integrated Led lighting is becoming more common place framing lockers and 30



creating a more dramatic effect. There are a huge range of locking options from basic padlock to more high-tech finger print technology and proximity locks which can be set to auto open at the end of each day. Typically 20% of the club floor space is dedicated to changing area and the number of lockers represents 10% of the club membership.

Changing Pods Individual changing pods with communal vanity and locker areas are also a new and growing breed of changing room configuration. The concept is based on providing high end privacy akin to a quality bathroom area in a hotel bedroom – offering a home from home feel. Members enter the pod where they will find their own private shower, vanity/grooming area and changing space. Rooms can be individualised but are usually designed with a unisex colour scheme and finish.

This is particularly prevalent in some of the 24-hour facilities where members feel they want security and privacy, and where there is either a lower volume of members or where members are more likely to get changed at home after their workout. Lockers are placed in communal areas, in the gym or corridors and for added security monitored with CCTV. Whatever your club model, your changing rooms need to reflect your club brand, values and style – there should be a consistency from the moment your customer enters your club that flows throughout. Remember that the changing rooms are a key touch point in your facility and where a little bit thought and consideration in design can go a long way!

Howard Braband is Managing Director for GymkitUK. Solutions by GymkitUK is a division of GymkitUK who distribute Fit Interiors lockers, washrooms and health club furniture. Through its Solutions division the company also offers a complete flooring service, and design and fit out. For more information visit www.gymkituk.com/solutions or phone 01733 205551. OCTOBER 2017



'Every individual needs a different coaching approach' NAME: Marco Laterza QUALIFICATIONS: Ten time Cover Model, Charles Poliquin PICP Strength Coach Level 2, Charles Poliquin BioPrint Practitioner, Charles Poliquin Kinematic Chain Enhancement lower body, Charles Poliquin Advanced Programme Design, Alan Aragon UKC Nutrition, Dipl.Fitness instructor, Nutritionist, Cardio Trainer, TRX Group Suspension Trainer NO. OF YEARS AS A QUALIFIED PT: 5 years This feature is sponsored by:



WORKS IN: Zurich, Switzerland (partially LA when I’m travelling) FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/marcolaterzafit TWITTER: www.twitter.com/mlaterza INSTAGRAM: @marcolaterzafit YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/c/marcolaterzafit WEB: www.marcolaterza.com


How did you become a PT? My career started in banking as a client relationship manager. Banking taught me a lot and was a great platform to learn how to work out customized solutions for clients based on their needs. In the meantime, I was building up my career as a PT. Back then I already knew that there was a lot of competition in terms of personal training so I had to get noticed by creating a unique personal brand. That happened 4 years ago when I got discovered as a fitness model. I organised a trip to LA to do some photo shoots just for fun. What was supposed to be fun actually was my breakthrough as an international fitness cover model. In July 2014, I landed my first international fitness magazine cover for a very popular magazine that helped me build the branding image I needed to make a living as a PT. After that I got a lot of client requests and since my expertise is in body transformations I had lots of client success right at the beginning. As a result, I got a lot of referrals from existing clients which is still now one of the key factors of my success as a personal trainer.

What was your experience of the training/qualification process? I started all my international education programmes with mentors such as Charles Poliquin in the young years. During that process, I was always training at a top athletic level which helped build an incredible knowledge by learning from the theoretical and practical side from both my own athletic career and my mentorship programmes. Altogether I have more than 10 years of training experience.

Do you specialise in a particular type of fitness? Yes, I’m a hard believer that nowadays you need to be specialized in a certain area. From my athletic and educational background, I decided to focus on helping clients transform their bodies. To date I have achieved over 100 body transformations with various client types. Personally, the most exciting clients are the over 60 year olds, because usually before they start working with me they don’t believe




in making a body transformation until you prove them wrong. Obviously, they are very much amazed after they have made a successful body transformation.

What’s it like working with gym owners? I have a great understanding with the gym owner. Since my name is well-known in Switzerland I can bring a lot of new clients to his gym which he is thankful for. He also knows that I’m planning to open up my own facility in 2018 and is supporting me in this process. Even if it comes down to competition in this case he is okay with that because my gym will have another concept. Our member amount will be limited to 500 and will provide clients with the best available equipment such as Atlantis Machines and Watson Bars. Once I have opened my goal is to educate new trainers with my coaching standards and invite international mentors as speakers for seminars. The seminars will be for both trainers and clients so that clients can have the added benefit of educating themselves as well.

What is your opinion of CPD? I think CPD is great. Engaging in Continuing Professional Development ensures that qualifications do not become out-dated or obsolete; allowing PT’s to continually ‘up skill’ or ‘re-skill’ themselves. Clients on the other side have the added benefit that the PT is always up to date when talking about training and recovery methods, nutrition and supplementation.

You spend your working hours motivating others, how do you motivate yourself? My motivation are my clients because they see me as someone to look up to. That means I always make sure to look fit and healthy all year long. My goal is to improve my shape and athletic level every year, but still keeping a good balance in life. What does that mean? It’s not only about a healthy and fit body, your inner and mental health is important, too. That’s why I spend a lot of time with my family, take some time off in the countryside and yes, I like photography. It feeds my mind when I’m a green field taking some breath-taking pictures of nature. You can’t commit to working only on your body goals for 365 days, it has to be balanced in the end.

What advice would you give to other PTs just starting out in the business?

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I would not start right away as a PT. Looking back, the fact that I’ve been working as a client relationship manager in banking helps me a lot when dealing with personal training clients and also when it comes to client acquisition. So, I’d start with any job that has to do with client relationship management, sales and client retention. These are very important skills you need to have when working as a self-employed PT. In addition, you need to create a unique branding image in order to separate yourself from other competitors.


What are the biggest challenges facing your business today?

How do you engage with your clients?

Nowadays, everybody wants to be a personal trainer. Unfortunately, that also attracts a lot of unqualified trainers which is not good for the industry. You can also see a lot of athletes with no educational background starting to coach clients as soon as they concluded their first competition. The problem with that is that you cannot apply what works for you in terms of training and nutrition to clients. Every individual needs a different coaching approach based on how their body is working. Honestly speaking the things that I just mentioned in my opinion are a short-term problem. Sooner or later clients will feel the difference in between individualization and low-quality coaching and the market will sort out things by itself.

If you’re talking about my coaching style I prefer to work in silence and make noise with results. When a client is performing an exercise, I count the reps and take care of a perfect form. In my opinion time under tension as well as a slow eccentric part of the movement are the key when making clients achieve their goals. Another benefit is that there is less stress on the joints, tendons and ligaments which somehow makes it safer to stay away from injuries. When you have a client for years he will be thankful for that later on which is beneficial for client retention.

What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years? The biggest change happened in the nutrition part. Within the last 3 years the vegan movement has been growing very fast. I’ve been running a vegan project in 2016 following an all vegan diet. There was no downside I must say – actually it was a positive experience. My uric acid levels dropped like crazy due to all the alkaline that came from the vegan nutrition and much less acid in the nutrients. This resulted in a faster recovery and less soreness during and post workout. Lean muscle mass even improved slightly after 8 months’ vegan diet. In January 2017, I implemented again a little bit of fish and meat because I wanted to keep up a balanced social life which was very tricky skipping all kind of animal foods during my vegan project.

How do you promote your services? I have a good social following. That helps to reach out to new clients, but a lot of it happens with referrals. If you can keep up a high success rate with your clients in terms of results they will recommend you to others and that’s how I basically get my clients. There is no real promotion – if you do good work it’s like a self-runner. This is for my 1:1 clients. When it comes to online coaching clients they mostly know me from my social media channels and contact me via my website.

How often do you train yourself? Usually 4 - 6 times a week depending if I’m on or off season.

If there was one thing you could radically change within the industry, what is it? Definitely stop underpriced, unqualified trainers from doing their job, because they ruin the industry and the reputation of our services.

Do you see yourself still working as a PT in 10 years time? Not full-time. I’m building up an Online Platform where everybody can get a personalized step-by-step transformation guide based on his body type. I will be putting a lot of my focus in this project in the near future, because as a matter of fact not everyone can afford a PT and my goal is to make individual and affordable guides for everyone with this platform.

What is your biggest success story? My vegan project that I was running in 2016. Next to my 10 international magazine covers. Getting in great shape following an all vegan diet is one of the achievements which I'm most proud of, because I proved something that no one thought might be possible.





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CREATIVITY. INNOVATION. UNITY. Where fitness specialists fuse passion and expertise to create the most unique experiences. 36 OCTOBER 2017 www.boutiquegyms.co.uk


Putting the ‘personal’ back into Personal Trainer Paul Swainson, Head of Future Fit School of Personal Training, identifies five characteristics of a successful PT. In an industry primarily focused on the ‘trainer’ skills of a personal trainer, those all-important ‘personal’ skills can be overlooked. Training skills are of course key to ensure safe, effective and progressive programmes. But if you lack the personality to make your ideas relatable and accessible, you’ll miss a massive trick. A key theme at last month’s Body Power Fitness Trade Show was the need for better service delivery within the fitness industry, particularly from personal trainers. Increasingly, training providers are incorporating personal and communications skills into their training – and not before time. Having the confidence to start a conversation on the

A thirst for knowledge “The day you think you know all you need to know is the day you should retire”. Knowledge is constantly evolving. Sometimes you’ll feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of theories, research, courses, books and experts out there. Don’t worry – it shows you’re eager to learn. Choose your sources carefully, study a little and often and enjoy seeing your knowledge evolve.

Self-discipline Whether you’re self-employed or responsible for finding clients at the gym, you need to be accountable to yourself to ensure you keep your clients’ progress on track. If you don’t motivate yourself, who else will? Relying on a manager to make sure you turn up on time or keep a high standard of customer service doesn’t bode well for a long career as a personal trainer.

Proactivity “Don’t wait for your ship to come in – swim out to it”. The only way to be busy is to go and get the business. Whether that’s speaking to members on the gym floor,

gym floor or the ability to listen and empathise with clients so you can reach them and bring them onside is critical for PTs. But are these skills that can be learned or are they character traits with which you’re born? In my experience, it’s a bit of both. Having a certain type of personality – aka being a ‘people person’ – will give you head start. But if you’re not that person naturally, you can learn to emulate the winning characteristics of successful PTs. Not all these characteristics will come naturally: some will only develop as you gain more experience and realise what your true passion and purpose is within the industry. Having a genuine desire to make health and fitness your career is the first and most important step of the journey. The rest will come - if you want it to. spending time building a large and engaged community, or creating effective social media campaigns, the fact you are doing something is the key.

Support-seeking Whilst you must take responsibility for your own success, that doesn’t mean doing everything alone. In almost any industry, the most effective people have mentors and colleagues with vast experience and skills to draw upon. Personal training is no different – to get to the top of your game you need a network of people and partnerships that will provide you with opportunities, fill in knowledge gaps, inspire and include you in their world as well as being a part of yours.

Entrepreneurship Top PTs have what some business leaders call a ‘big game’. This is your ultimate goal or purpose coupled with a strategic plan to achieve it. This plan gives rise to constant actions that progress and develop you and your client base. The result is you can help more gym members and make more money. Eventually, you’ll have more free time while you do it – enabling you to expand your role within the gym if you wish. OCTOBER 2017



Fit Kit

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

Bag it The latest addition to the Jimbag family – the Backpack is ideal when you’re on the move and travelling light. With an array of bold colours combined with effective storage, the backpack will keep your style in check whilst catering for all your day-to-day essentials. The bag flaunts a waterproof zip, a netted bottle holder, a laptop sleeve and adjustable shoulder straps to ensure you carry in comfort and in style. Visit www.jimbag.co.uk

Real nutrition for real women Free Soul is the new generation female lifestyle brand developed, and backed by real science, to enhance the health and wellbeing of women through the launch of three key products; Hero Protein, PWR Nutrition Tablets and two teas to have you feeling ready to take on the day each morning and the last thing you reach for before your head hits the pillow. An honest, straight talking brand that aims to support, empower, celebrate and enhance the lives of the modern woman who is focused on living a balanced lifestyle with the support of premium quality ingredients and no added nasties. Visit www.herfreesoul.com Page 4 of 4

Cookie heaven STRIPPD’s new Protein Cookies are the delicious grab-and-go option with absolutely NO baking required. This ready-to-eat oven-baked cookie is firm, chewy and a real crowd pleaser, with delicious chocolate chips sprinkled throughout and a healthy hit of protein to keep you going throughout the day. Available in vanilla and chocolate chips, when the afternoon slump hits reach for the healthy alternative that’s high in fibre and contains over 15gs of protein per cookie. Suitable for Vegetarians. Visit www.strippd-uk.com




Milky Way Mars Chocolate Drinks and Treats, part of Mars Chocolate UK, has launched the MILKY WAY Protein Bar. The new bar boasts the light and delicious taste of MILKY WAY, with 183 calories and 19g of protein. It follows on from the successful launch of MARS, SNICKERS and BOUNTY Protein Bars, which have soared in popularity since the initial launch just over a year ago. MILKY WAY Protein Bar is available now. For all stockist enquiries call 01452 378500.

Polar OH1 Polar introduces the unique Polar OH1 to their extensive range of heart rate monitoring technology. The Polar OH1 is a versatile optical heart rate sensor for the upper arm, featuring a large internal memory, 12 hour battery life, and waterproof up to 30m. When synced with Polar Beat, it can provide live heart rate data and training guidance. The first of its kind, the Polar OH1 provides a versatile alternative for users who prefer not to wear a chest strap or wrist-based heart rate tracker. Visit www.polar.com

Skinny water Bio-Synergy has launched Skinny Water in a new, thirst quenching Watermelon flavour. This mouth-watering drink is fortified with l-carnitine and chromium, which help to curb cravings, burn fat and speed up the metabolism. Ultimately, the perfect drink for those who want a healthy, zero calorie, sugar-free alternative to traditional fizzy drinks. This new flavour brings a refreshing tropical fruit taste to the ever-popular Skinny Water collection, which already includes orange, blackcurrant, coconut, raspberry and pomegranate. Visit www.bio-synergy.uk

To sponsor this feature, contact: pw@gymownermonthly.co.uk OCTOBER 2017



‘WE DON’T THE CROW We talk to Rob Coleman and Andy Turner, founding Directors at Indigo Fitness.

Pictured: Rob Coleman (left) and Jamie Taylor

How did you get into the fitness industry ?

What sets Indigo Fitness apart from its competitors?

Founding Directors Rob Coleman and Andy Turner have been designing and manufacturing gym equipment since the late eighties. We’ve seen trends and fads, and manufacturers and suppliers come and go, along with strategic buyouts and mergers as the industry has matured. We have always had a strong belief in our UK design and production engineering heritage, it’s part of our DNA. Despite seeing a huge shift to Far East manufacturing over the last 30 years we entered the industry with a firm belief UK manufacturing would see a renaissance. We’re still here and growing, so we must be getting something right!

Indigo is unique within the fitness industry. We are the largest UK strength equipment manufacturer. We design in-house and custom build products for our customers on a regular basis. However, we also do so much more. We create training spaces, and can take a project from an initial idea, through the design phase, to manufacture and finally full installation, using highly skilled staff with construction industry qualifications and years of experience. Having end to end control of our operation, and supply chain, is a significant advantage over competitors. We manufacture to European EN Standards and have solid internal processes accredited to both ISO 9001 and environmental standard ISO 14001. Customers can visit our manufacturing plant and witness the ‘nuts and bolts’ of our operation - steel being cut and welded, products made. They can sit down with our team, get involved in the design process, and then see their product end up in their gym.

Tell us about Indigo Fitness Trading since 1996 as Leisure Lines GB Ltd, we rebranded to Indigo Fitness in 2014 - demonstrating a shift in business strategy and introducing an enhanced senior management team that includes Jamie Taylor and Phil Littlewood, both experienced hands bringing new skills and perspectives. Indigo has moved from purely an equipment manufacturer to full service provider. We create training spaces - offering design and installation services, and supply a product range encompassing our manufactured items, RAZE strength and conditioning equipment, and a wide range of flooring solutions headed by DuraTRAIN premium flooring tiles. 40


Indigo is highly focused on its areas of expertise, we try to be open and honest and don’t pretend to be something we’re not. We have also developed a number of valuable strategic partnerships over the years, across the UK, Europe and Internationally – these are not always widely known and we are quite happy to sit quietly in the background as subject matter experts. This we believe will provide longevity for Indigo Fitness and sets us apart, is our currency and value.


T FOLLOW WD’ What are the biggest challenges you face in your business?

As a solution provider, managing the vast number of equipment lines we either stock or manufacture is both challenging and costly. Not so much a challenge but more of a frustration is the shear number of bright ideas our team has, we just can’t develop new concepts fast enough! However, the development cycle must follow a robust process to ensure we bring well designed,functional and durable products to market.

What's the best lesson you've learned from the fitness industry? Unfortunately the fitness industry is always chasing ‘the next best thing’. We’re constantly amused at competitors releasing new solutions, with a fanfare of marketing hype, in an attempt to demonstrate that they are the experts and this is the new way to train. As a better informed market evolves, authentic products and solutions that functionally deliver and endure repeated use will carry the day. We have a multi-disciplined team for very good reason, to provide broad capability, expertise and direction – we try not to get drawn into industry fads or the perspectives of individuals, no individual has all the answers no matter what their qualifications or experience.

What's next for Indigo Fitness? Towards the end of 2017 Indigo will move into its new 2 1/2 acre site. It features a 20,000 Sq.ft building, including a new factory, warehouse, offices and showroom, with a design suite and product/customer Training Wing. The £1.2m investment will allow Indigo to significantly increase its capability to manage current demand whilst upscaling its operation to manage new business. Sales are increasing and in July 2017, after a tough tender process, Indigo was awarded a Ministry of Defence 4 year Equipment contract. Coupled with our strong heritage in elite sport, and our progress with both mainstream and boutique clubs with our partner’s, we’re in pretty good shape. We’re constantly pushing the boundaries in equipment and solution innovation always staying one step ahead of our competitors, we don’t follow the crowd and we’re confident in following our own path. The Indigo team are never short of fresh ideas, and in 2018 we’ll continue to evolve the PWR line of products with a fully integrated training solution, the “PWR Station” - a modular system integrating marked flooring, training rig with storage, small equipment, training support and useful technology integration. We also firmly believe Outdoor Training Platforms have yet to gain proper traction and have been expanding on our development of a full service ISO Container training solution. The first two units have recently been delivered - one to a School Academy in South London and the second to one of the most dangerous places on earth, Mogadishu in Somalia where the life expectancy of a white westerner is 20 minutes on the streets, we like pushing the boundaries.

In your opinion, what is the current state of the UK fitness industry? Broadly in good shape, we’re currently seeing a rebalancing process and have been for the last 5 years where gyms are fast becoming credible training environments rather than soulless clinical fitness centres. Customers, both operators and users, are becoming more savvy, they have a better OCTOBER 2017



knowledge of equipment types and training methods, and results count. One of the greatest challenges the industry faces is the education of fitness professionals. Gone are the days where a poorly paid or incentivised Fitness Instructor prescribes a predictable training session on fixed resistance or cardio equipment or an equipment sales manager with scant knowledge of training spaces can get away with specifying fixed strength and cardio stations without knowledge of space, movement and programming - users demand more. Many global manufacturers and indeed club operators are desperately trying to reposition their product offering after falling behind the curve predicting the functional

training and movement revolution. We think technology will continue to become more relevant not as a tool of distraction but as a platform for both meaningful engagement, effort tracking and to provide quality data and feedback. Fitness products are becoming more reliable as manufacturers learn better ways to both design and produce equipment. Regarding manufacturing, it will be very challenging for any new manufacturers to enter the market given the complexity of products and solutions and the investment required to become a player in the market. We’re sure we’ve yet to see a number of further mergers and acquisitions between manufacturers or suppliers.

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Induction woes Nicky Sefke comments on the value of inductions and why a ‘one size fits all’ approach should be avoided at all costs.

The first time I joined a gym, a year or maybe 17 ago, there were no real 24-hour facilities and online registration didn’t exist. I had to walk into that gym, fill out a paper form and book an induction, before I was given access, let alone let loose on the equipment. Over the course of these years, I vaguely remember some of the inductions I was made to take; a lot of “Press this button to make it go faster”, and “There is XYZ machine” – a very vanilla mix of idiot proof instructions and a guided walk, which did little more than increase my step count for the day. I have been a member of various gyms over the years, from chain to small independent, and these days a 24/7 facility, and I am yet to experience an induction that is actually worth my time. Nowadays, an induction isn’t even required anymore – as long as you’re aware that the gym of your choice cannot be held liable if you injure yourself. This in itself is on the verge of ridiculous, unless the nominated

inductor was to take you through each and every machine, exercise and dangers that could be lurking behind a notso-perfect form. Unfortunately, we live in a land rich with injury lawyers, lawsuits and “May contain nuts” warnings on the back of peanut packets – so I get it, but rather than an exercise in lawsuit prevention, why not make an induction actually useful? Why not attract the gym bunnies, the serial January starters, and the hard-core iron pumpers, as well as the complete newbies, by providing them with something that may not only improve their individual experience at the gym, but also your relationship with them? And whilst you’re at it, why not incorporate gym etiquette – the lost art of making everyone’s gym experience that much smoother and enjoyable. What is the downfall of the bog-standard induction? No individuality, no personalised experience. Like most of us know from various online shopping disasters – one size does not fit all. OCTOBER 2017



The PT Similarly, part of what puts me off from doing an induction is the automatically assigned PT. This PT in question may be the funniest, most knowledge guy or gal out there, but if their focus is boxercise and weight loss, and I’m there for the free weights and bulking, he or she is unlikely to be the one whose brain I want to pick. Find out what I want, find out what I am and have been doing, what I want to achieve, and make your knowledge and expertise work for both of us. Introduce me to the PT who I feel I could get the most from, and suddenly I am spending more than just my monthly membership. This, of course, is different for someone joining a gym for the very first time. Newbies require some of the above, and some from a separate column altogether – Gym Etiquette (though we have all seen plenty of long standing members who could do with some revision). I avoid peak times like my life depends on it, not just because I hate people, but also because Gym Etiquette takes a direct hit. If I’m not in danger of face planting over weights abandoned on the floor, I will probably struggle to find what I am after. I couldn’t possibly say that this is as a direct result of lack of inductions, but it certainly is a mix between a lack of gym etiquette, and likely good judgment.

So, where do you start? There is nothing wrong with a guided tour, making a new member familiar with the layout of the gym and what machines and equipment is available to them – though personally I have also wanted a map available, online or even in the gym, but maybe I am the only one who likes to plan their workouts around a clear path (and peak times for that matter). The guided tour, to be honest, should probably be the only thing that becomes the norm for every induction that takes place. A new member that has been working out for a few months, years or even a decade, probably has little interest in being told that the green button on the treadmill equals GO, they are likely more interested in anything you have to offer that other gyms may not provide, whether that’s wipe down stations or a new piece of kit. A new member that solely does cardio, may not want a 10 minute spiel on the free weights, and Susan who just wants to attend her weekly classes may not much care about any of those. This is not to say that you shouldn’t be giving everyone the same information, and take the opportunity to interest them in everything you have on offer, but if you’re going for a one size fits all approach, don’t be surprised if your induction is avoided at all costs. Depending on the kind of gym in question, for example a 24hour facility, personalisation may not be on top of your list, but offering inductions only during normal business hours, is immediately excluding a large portion of the demographic you are trying to attract, especially if the inconvenience far outweighs any perceived benefits – or lack thereof. 44


Putting back an Olympic Bar when you’re done should be common sense, but other than scattered signs, maybe it should just be said. Equally, does anyone tell a complete newbie how most (and there are always exceptions) of us


work out? What sets are? To not assume that a machine is free? Wiping down any equipment you’ve just used may come naturally to you and I, as well as scanning the leg press for tell-tale signs of occupancy, and making the relevant eye contact to determine whether the guy stretching his legs or filling his water bottle is just in between sets. Irrespective of what I, or anyone else is lifting right now, depending on my goals, at some point double digit weights may be approaching, I may need to know what a spotter is, that I can ask someone to spot me, and what to do when someone asks me. These, in some of us, ingrained rules are part and parcel of gym attendance, but are also what makes a new gym, a new routine or a new lifestyle so daunting, and can easily make a gym visit uncomfortable or annoying for both the newbie and that guy just wanting to finish his sets and move on. If you take away the unknown, everyone will be happier and more successful. Leading on from my article last month, why not incorporate how sexual harassment should be dealt with, and what qualifies as such (Hint – anything that makes you feel

uncomfortable), and it wouldn’t go amiss to recommend against unwanted advice.

Tick the boxes Maybe it feels like Gym Etiquette isn’t what the induction was created for, but why not include it. Aren’t we all for adaptation, improvement and success? By all means, tick the boxes that you need to tick for the insurance man, but as something you offer anyway, you might as well get the most out of it, for yourself, the gym bunny, the hard-core iron pumpers, the newbie, and even Susan who frequents Yoga on a Wednesday only. Our lives would all be easier if common sense prevailed, and everyone had a gym education, but then we also wouldn’t need half the warning labels you see everyday, so instead, use your establishment, your resources and your knowledge to educate.

"Unfortunately, we live in a land rich with injury lawyers, lawsuits and “May contain nuts” warnings on the back of peanut packets"

NEXTISSUE November issue features include:

MARTIAL ARTS // FINANCE & FUNDING PROMOTING YOUR GYM // AUDIO & VISUAL SERVICE SUPPORT & MAINTENANCE To advertise alongside these features, contact: Paul Wood: 07858 487357 // pw@gymownermonthly.co.uk OCTOBER 2017



pt viewpoint

‘There is beauty in everything, even in nature’s little imperfections’ Fitness coach Alena Valastnykh comments on body image and eating disorders. There is plenty of information out there, in regards to carbs, protein and fat. Eating clean and healthy is branded as good for us, so why do so many, especially the younger generation, still have an unhealthy relationship with food? Nowadays, irrespective of gender, negative body image and lack of confidence are common. Magazines and runways promote thin cover models and Instagram shows shredded fitness physiques, easily leading to that ‘artificial body standard’, providing snippets of information, and leading men and women alike down a dangerous path, which often can include or lead to eating disorders in the quest for this perfect body. Alena Valastnykh was one of these people. A former fashion model that maintained the industry standard skinny model body type, she is now an athlete, coach, fitness model and author of the book ‘From Bulimic to Fitness Model’. Six years of eating as little as possible caused Alena to develop Bulimia Nervosa as well as a host of other health problems, both mentally and physically, and her book details her journey of healing herself. Alena stepped away from the fashion world, and managed to beat Bulimia on her own, learning about nutrition and weight training, resulting in what she does today – fitness modelling and being an athlete. 46



pt viewpoint

practical ways and solutions for obtaining that dream body, without affecting health. She wants her fellow women to learn how to love and appreciate themselves, finding the beauty in everything, including nature’s little imperfections. Concerned that the commercially promoted image of beauty is far too overworked, with photoshopped images of skinny models being the norm, she wants women to realise that they are all unique and beautiful in their own way without conforming to the artificial imagery she says is built on visual deceit and affects health and diet: ‘Please stop looking at skinny bodies on the cover of fashion magazines, stop trusting over-worked, shredded physiques promoted by the media, stop beating yourself up by comparing yourself with models or athletes that don’t look like you. Put your health first. If you really want to obtain the body of your dreams, find a good coach, but, be realistic. Be patient. Be consistent, and simply be proud of your own progress!’

Her journey certainly wasn’t easy: ‘My metabolism was really slow and as a result, I gained a lot of weight during my first year of recovery. I felt unhappy and couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. But I stopped myself from stepping back into the old habits of vomiting, aggressive diets or doing anything crazy to my body.’ Staying away from complicated terms or amalgamated processes that could confuse, Alena’s book takes the reader on her journey, the struggles and achievements, providing advice based on her own experiences, concluding that motivation and a new self-awareness is what led to her success. Alena wrote her book with women who face the weight and image demons at some point in their lives in mind, irrespective of age or background, hoping that her story will inspire and allow these women to find their inner strength and a better path, away from the deep and long term effects of eating disorders. ‘I used to hide my illness from everyone, and I felt uncomfortable sharing my problems with others. It took me 5 years to build the courage to start writing about my journey back to health. This really changed when I realised that I was in a position to help others by sharing my story. That is how my book was born, and I am proud of it. If my story and advice can save even one single person suffering from an eating disorder today, then I will be forever happy and grateful.’ Though a big part of her story, she doesn’t just focus on eating disorders, instead also providing a collection of

Alena’s book is currently not available in English, but you can learn more about her on www.fitbyalena.com OctoBER 2017



What is y valuable Razzak Mirjan, Associate at Couchmans, outlines why you need to protect and enforce your IP. Intellectual property, or “IP”, can be an organisation’s most valuable asset. Gyms and fitness businesses small and large, fitness professionals such as personal trainers, social influencers and creators of content should be aware of the steps they can take to properly protect and enforce their IP from the outset. It takes a lot of time and hard work to bring an idea from concept to market so taking a proactive approach to secure protection around the intellectual property rights, such as trade marks, copyright and registered designs, which form the cornerstones of many businesses, is extremely important. There have been a number of stories over the past year that revolved around IP disputes in the fitness space. Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct taking on a small online sport equipment business called Fitness Direct and CrossFit winning an injunction against a US gym infringing its trade mark, are a couple of examples which have highlighted the importance of protecting but also enforcing a business’ intellectual property rights.

Build your business on a firm foundation Trade marks are the names, logos and slogans that identify your business and help consumers identify your goods and/or services from those of your competitors. A registered trade mark is a valuable asset as it provides you with an exclusive right to use a trade mark in a specific territory of the world for specific goods and/or services. For a trade mark to be capable of achieving registered protection, it must be distinctive and capable of distinguishing the goods and/or services of your business from another. As a result, subject to budgetary constraints, it is usually wise to carry out searches and take steps to secure registered protection before publicly using a trade mark. In that way, you can try to ensure it does not infringe a third party’s trade mark and avoid causing confusion amongst consumers. If any third parties adopt an identical or confusingly similar trade mark in that same territory, after the filing date of your registered trade mark, you can look to enforce your registered rights against them to address the possible infringement of your trade mark. It is quite common to hear stories of businesses, both new and established, using trade marks on websites, signage and marketing materials but soon receiving a cease and desist letter advising that use of these trade marks infringe a third party’s pre-existing registered rights and that they must stop using these trade marks immediately. To avoid becoming the subject of such stories, it is advisable to instruct a solicitor or trade mark agent to carry out trade mark searches and provide their opinion on the trade mark




your most asset? landscape facing your proposed use of a trade mark. They can also file trade mark applications for you. While there is a cost involved, it is usually minimal compared to the potential financial and reputational losses that a business could face by using a trade mark which infringes a third party’s preexisting registered trade marks. Once you secure registered protection for a trade mark, as a general rule, you should be consistent with your use of your trade mark, never permit a third party to use it without agreeing a licence, and set up watch services to monitor whether potentially infringing marks are being filed by third parties. It is important to take what steps you reasonably can to keep the marketplace clean of confusingly similar trade marks, helping to maintain the value of your trade marks.

As a starting point, the owner of any copyright work is usually assumed to be the individual that creates it. If you hire a freelancer, contractor, agency or even ask a friend to build your website, take photographs, record videos or write an instruction manual, then they will usually automatically become the owner of the copyright in what they have created. The analysis will be a bit different for employees, as English law states that the employer will be the first owner of the copyright in works that they create during the course of their employment.

It’s called originality

It is nonetheless recommended that the contracts of employees as well as of contractors and freelancers should include appropriate wording stating that any copyright works created by them during the course of their engagement are assigned to the business.

Your website and any original content such as audio and video recordings, blogs, vlogs, instruction manuals, artwork, photos, and promotional leaflets which you produce is capable of copyright protection from the moment it is created. Copyright arises automatically in the UK.

Copyright is sometimes overlooked by businesses, perhaps because it is incapable of registration. It is however an important IP right that gym owners, managers and fitness professionals should ensure is controlled by the business and brought to the attention of third parties by placing copyright notices in a prominent position of any copyright work. OCTOBER 2017



If you do not take steps to ensure copyright is assigned to your business then you run the risk that these individuals may later be able to claim to have rights in the IP that they created, which could potentially prevent you from continuing to use it.

The reward for work done well Registered design rights may not be suitable for all businesses but many gym and exercise related businesses can benefit from securing registered design protection for their equipment and/or accessories, or perhaps for their website or app layouts. As a result, protecting new products through registered design applications is an important option worth considering on a case by case basis. Such registrations can also be renewed every five years, providing up to 25 years of protection.

Like registered trade marks, registered design rights are often of interest to potential investors or purchasers of a business. This is because they are clearly identifiable articles of property, accessible to everyone on a public register. A proactive approach is important in order to obtain registered design protection as an application in the UK or EU must be made no later than 12 months after a design is first made available to the public.

Summary All verticals within the gym industry are growing, from high end market providers, with big investment and expansion plans, to those providers targeting the budget end of the market offering monthly membership of less than ÂŁ20 per month and accounting for more than a third of the total gym memberships in the UK.

A registered design is an affordable monopoly right that can provide a business with valuable protection for the appearance of the whole or part of a new product resulting from features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture, materials, of the product or its ornamentation.

The importance of taking proactive steps to protect your business’ intellectual property, regardless of whether you are a new business trying to break into the industry or an established player continuing to develop your business, should remain a constant consideration.

Technogym, as an example, owns close to 200 registered design rights for various pieces of equipment, machines and accessories across the EU alone, which can provide the business with up to 25 years of protection for each registered design.

If you adopt this approach, it can turn ideas into valuable assets and help you avoid having to defend costly infringement claims that could ruin the hard work and time devoted to making your business’ name successful and wellknown to your customers.

Couchmans is a law firm that provides a full range of legal and business support services to sport, media, tech and lifestyle businesses. Couchmans can provide advice across a range of areas including corporate, data protection, intellectual property, litigation and marketing, sponsorship and advertising. Razzak is an associate at Couchmans who regularly advises clients on intellectual property and commercial matters. He works with a range of businesses which operate in the sports, fitness, wellness and lifestyle industries. For more information visit www.couchmans.com or www.twitter.com/couchmans. 50



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AIR CONDITIONING INSPECTIONS – IS YOUR GYM COMPLIANT? Rob Pritchard from Briars Associates explains why you might need to get your AC equipment regularly inspected. Since 2008 it has been a legal requirement for any business that has comfort cooling systems with a total output greater than 12kW to undertake an inspection by an accredited assessor. This is separate from any existing maintenance inspection that a business may already have in place. Gym owners and managers need to be aware of their legal obligations, as often these types of business have comfort cooling systems that exceed the 12kW limit. In addition, it can also be helpful for them to understand the wider range of benefits that come from undertaking an inspection alongside being legal compliant.

A legal requirement To ensure that business comfort cooling systems are energy efficient, TM44 Air Conditioning Inspections are mandatory for all public or commercial properties in England and Wales. Any gym with comfort cooling units that have a total output greater than 12kW will need to ensure that they undertake an inspection by a fully accredited assessor every 5 years. Failure to comply can lead to fines of up to £300 per-offense (either per-building or per-leasable unit), and these can be repeated by a Trading Standards enforcement officer on a recurring basis until there is no further breach of compliance.

Assessment The assessments are designed to identify cost-saving opportunities and provide TM44 compliance to ensure that businesses meet minimum legal requirements. The types of AC units included are split-system, multi-splits, variable refrigerant volume (VRV), variable refrigerant flow (VRF) and on a larger scale, centralised packaged chillers or chillers with separate cooling towers. Other equipment which serves the same spaces/zones within a building such as air handling plants, fan coil units and chilled beams are also included. For leisure centres and gyms, we would expect a combination of the above systems, dependent on the size of the building.

Additional benefits Outside of maintaining legal compliance, an assessment can also help gyms and leisure centres gain from potential energy cost saving opportunities. These can be made through:   Recommended Behavioural Adjustments – This may include ensuring that windows are closed whilst AC equipment is running, and that heating and cooling equipment isn’t running simultaneously.   Optimisation of Controls – Such as setting the temperatures to suitable recommended levels and ensuring that AC is switched off when the room/space is empty.   Proper Maintenance - Through ensuring the equipment is operating correctly, filters are cleaned and swapped at regular intervals and proper servicing regimes are in place. Furthermore, air conditioning performance improvements made through the assessment will lead to improved comfort conditions for customers.

Taking action If your gym requires a TM44 Air Conditioning Inspection, now is the time to act. We would strongly recommend engaging a qualified building services company. They will have design experience and knowledge of air-conditioning systems to assess your existing plant, identify savings, and deliver effective TM44 legislation compliance for your gym.

Rob is an Executive Engineer at Briar Associates - an energy consultancy and qualified building services company based near Birmingham. For more information about TM44 Air Conditioning Inspections, please visit their website www.briarassociates.co.uk or call Rob on 01384 397777 52



Time to take action on data security risks Paul Simpson, Chief Operating Officer, at Legend Club Management Systems explains why it is now imperative that leisure operators take action on data use and protection as a top business priority.

There is now rarely a week goes by without a new data security breach story hitting the press. Awareness has certainly risen in the light of recent events, specifically since the global WannaCry ransomware attack which crippled parts of the NHS, and our own industry specific PayAsUGym attack in December 2016.

threat that ignorance of basic information security principles

Unfortunately, increased awareness of data security has so far not equated to action. Indeed, there is the continued

regulatory fines and brand damage: it could permanently

and obligations is placing the leisure industry at significant risk. Given the volume and extent of personal and financial information routinely collected by leisure operators, our industry is not only a soft target but a particularly vulnerable one. Without adequate precautions to minimise the risk of data breaches, operators leave themselves vulnerable to threats which could extend far beyond undermine trust and lead to business failure. OCTOBER 2017



Inherent data vulnerability The information an organisation holds is arguably its most important asset. In the leisure industry, the quantum of personal data routinely collected has grown in magnitude and leisure operators are custodians of a volume of detailed information on members - both young and old. With the growing recognition that data is today’s currency, leisure businesses are increasingly vulnerable to a range of data security threats, from accidental misadventure to financial fraud and other criminal intents. Data breaches can occur in many forms and include stealing passwords, malware attacks, back door application vulnerabilities, insider threats, permission excesses, physical attacks and the biggest threat of all - user error. Common user error breaches include the obvious - incorrect handling of credit card data - and the less obvious, such as paper based member health and fitness information stored in unlocked filing cabinets. Routine tasks undertaken daily by front of house staff are often conducted without essential data safeguards in place. Often, too little staff education is provided as to essential data security protocols and their importance. As an issue, information security is complicated by the specific challenges of the leisure industry. Rapid turnover of staff makes it difficult to consistently apply information security training to all staff handling customer data. The result is inadequate information security on the ground that jeopardises both personal safety and business longevity. Unfortunately, as an unregulated industry there has historically been little to no guidance provided regarding the safeguarding of information. While existing legislation, including the Data Protection Act (DPA), and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) require very specific data security processes and policies, many in the leisure industry would be hard pressed to demonstrate compliance with them.

Business implications The impact of a system that is breached holds wide ranging implications and liabilities for companies, ranging from hefty financial penalties through to commercially damaging systems down time, reputational and brand damage. The impending arrival of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, further muddies the playing field. The higher penalties and specific requirements regarding information security, as well as the need to inform any individual affected by a data breach within 72 hours, demand the attention of any business owner and / or operator. The UK Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has warned that UK businesses could face up to £122bn in penalties for data breaches when GDPR comes into effect in 2018. It has also stated that regulatory fines would be dwarfed by the reputational damage incurred by a data breach. Reputational damage, business disruption and revenue loss await those who deal with this topic lightly. Moreover, if customers lose confidence in an establishment’s ability to safeguard personal data, then the online portals and payment processes which have streamlined our businesses so effectively over recent years will be put at risk.




Creating a new ethos: Confidentiality, Availability & Integrity It is clear: information security can no longer be an issue peripheral to main business functions. It is now a vital legal requirement that companies adopt as part of everyday operations. Moreover, security best practice is not about a reaction to external events. It is not a one off process, nor a sudden decision to update virus protection or patch vulnerabilities. On the contrary: security requires a pro-active culture and a security minded ethos at all levels. It demands continuous attention and the emphasis must be on securing information – not just technology systems. To safeguard valuable information, organisations need to think about their information assets first. What information does the business hold? Where is it located? Is it up to date? Is it still required? Is it digital – or are paper records still in use? Are employees accessing information via their own devices? By considering every piece of information in line with the three guiding principles of security - confidentiality, availability and integrity – organisations can begin to understand how to protect their data assets. Confidentiality is assurance of data privacy, achieved by ensuring data is only accessed by authorised individuals – this requires excellent access controls for information systems and ensuring good internal processes for the use of paper based documentation. Availability demands that data is available when it is needed – a ransomware attack,

for example, denies this. Integrity is about ensuring data is accurate and up to date. There are two specific areas of the GDPR where focus will need to be applied by leisure operators. One of these is ‘consent’, which places robust criteria on the positive obtaining of consent from the individual for the processing of personal data. The second is that of data retention and the individual’s ‘right to be forgotten’. These two areas will need careful assessment to ensure there is a clear business need for data to be held for specific time periods and consent is held to do so. Some data retention needs will be legislative (such as tax records) and others business (such as usage). The current lack of a clear retention policy amongst many operators will need to be addressed.

Time to take action In light of the current environment no organisation can afford not to completely rethink their approach to information security. Despite the lack of clear security guidelines in the health and fitness industry, GDPR casts a clear spotlight on our legal and moral duty to take a proactive approach to protect and secure customer data. This is a real opportunity for businesses to embrace the new regulation; to expand our current view of information beyond that held electronically to include all information assets in the business; and embed best practice within our daily operations that includes a physical infrastructure and an ethical security culture, that will protect both business and customer data, for the long term.

Responsible for Legend’s ISO27001 Information Security Accreditation, Paul Simpson Legend’s Chief Operating Officer is happy to make his expertise available to those who have industry GDPR/ information security concerns. Paul can be contacted on gdpr@legendware.co.uk or visit www.legendware.co.uk/accreditations. OCTOBER 2017



Customer Serv To Member Lo Long Term Suc Jeremy Jenkins, Sales Director at eGym UK, looks at how gym owners can use technology to deliver unrivalled customer service and protect their business from competition. We work in a service sector where members judge our worth on personal experience. Gyms which offer a results-driven, community focused service where members enjoy a sense of belonging and security, supported by trainers who interact effectively and hand hold them along their personal, activity journey will attract a satisfied and loyal membership. A contented member, achieving personal results is much less likely to jump ship when a shiny new competitor arrives in town. Here are some tips on how gym owners can improve member engagement by offering a service where technology and trainers work together to deliver personal satisfaction and outcomes many operators still struggle to deliver.

OFFER A TAILORED APPROACH Every member who walks through the door brings with them a very bespoke set of motivations and ambitions. This means a one-size-fits-all approach is doomed from the start. Gym owners must find ways to treat members as individuals, not a collective. Every visit must move a member closer to bespoke goals whilst considering personal limitations, motivations and engagement drivers. This is not easy to achieve but, thankfully, technological developments and widespread access to high speed broadband has enabled gym owners to employ technology to support trainers. 56



vice – The Key oyalty And ccess It is now possible to offer automated strength equipment that takes care of all set up requirements, from positioning to resistance selection, with regular testing ensuring a progressive work out on every visit. This equipment linked with cardio kit, through a software integration, creates a fully connected workout experience where prescription and performance data is retained in a single cloud-based location, accessible from anywhere by any trainer and the member via apps accessible from any mobile device. It is also possible to link membership management systems to the gym floor experience. For example, when a member enters the gym, data is pulled from the membership management system to an app on a device carried by the trainers, letting them know the name and profile of the member who has just arrived. This enables trainers who have had no previous contact with the member a chance to greet them by name. Access to the members workout history and current programme also means the trainer can offer assistance relating to the members individual needs and ambitions. This kind of personal interaction is highly valued by members, making them feel cared for and significant, values our sector has, sadly, neglected in recent years.

CONSTANT PROGRESSION TOWARDS GOAL ACHIEVEMENT When members pay their hard-earned fees they expect a return on their investment. As a result, it is really important that gym owners focus attention on moving individuals, as quickly as possible, towards specified goals. The aged old problem lies in evidencing health and fitness improvements during the early days of membership when visible changes are not yet apparent. Again, this is where investment in technology and equipment capable of measuring performance improvements provides a solution. eGym recently installed at the Laura Trott Leisure Centre in Cheshunt and, during the first three months, was able to evidence an average strength improvement for individuals aged 20-70 of 14 per cent through the automation of a regular single repetition strength test. It is this feedback on performance which is OCTOBER 2017



being credited with making a significant contribution to improved retention, producing a 1,060 percentage increase in net gain compare to the same period last year. The ability to create a connected environment where data can be collated from multiple sources to build a picture of physical activity completed both inside and outside of the gym, provides trainers with a more comprehensive understanding of an individual’s actual exercise habits. This enables exercise to be prescribed across a much wider range of activities and for the prescription to be based on evidence of past activity not just the member’s say so. This, again, helps ensure constant progression towards goals.

CREATE A COMMUNITY Humans are social creatures. The need to feel a connection with others is in our genes. Working out in a gym where individuals are striving to achieve bespoke goals can be a lonely and disengaging experience. Gym owners are advised to facilitate opportunities to encourage social interaction between members and between members and trainers. Traditionally, gym challenges have been paper-based affairs, creating an administrative headache for gym teams. Now, technology enables challenges to be intrinsic to the workout experience. Opportunities for members to collect reward points for activity completed based on duration and intensity introduces the opportunity for friendly competition and creates a talking point. Members are provided with a chance to share improvements with others, encouraging an interaction and initiating an opportunity to encourage and celebrate success. Creating social access points also encourages members to interact and train with other likeminded people. Evidence has proved that people working out together are much more likely to be retained than those who train alone. A recent study, led by Pamela Rackow at the University of Aberdeen, reports findings that working out with a companion increases the amount of exercise performed. This is great news because the more visits a gym owner can encourage, especially in the early days of membership, the longer that individual is likely to remain a member. Buddy systems are nothing new, the innovation is in shifting the onus from the trainer to the technology to give members the tools they need to interact and find a workout partner.

MAKE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRAL TO THE EXPERIENCE Newsflash – not everyone enjoys exercise. For many years, gym owners have tried to engage members through the installation of huge television sets, offering an escape from the exercise itself. With many gyms still turning over more than 50 per cent of their membership on an annual basis, it can be concluded that this tactic is not working. Entertainment needs to be integrated into the act of physical activity, keeping the focus on the performance of optimal movement patterns that will propel members towards their

goals as quickly as possible. Pokémon GO set the bar when it comes to the use of gamification to encourage physical activity. Last July, when the concept launched, more than 75 million people downloaded the app and took to the streets to track down computer generated characters. A study by the American Heart Association found players of Pokémon GO are twice as likely to hit their target of 10,000 steps a day as their non-playing peers. Impressive statistics. We are just starting to see suppliers really have some fun with the almost limitless possibilities digitalisation and modern technology can offer in this area. As some start to roll out an immersive studio concept, I believe, over the next five to ten years, our sector will embrace entertainment and gamification, placing it central to the fitness offering across the board. Today, operators should explore the opportunities available to them. eGym has integrated gamification elements throughout its offering.

CONCLUSION With more competition than ever before in the market, gym owners need to focus attention on differentiation and outstanding service delivery. Members join a gym to achieve specific outcomes. Gym owners who focus on delivering results as successfully and efficiently as possible will create a strong business where members want to remain members. Create this environment and competitors will find it very difficult to tempt members away.

If you are interested in finding out how eGym can help to deliver the outcomes detailed here, please contact eGym on sales@egym.co.uk or call 0203 701 4267. 58


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WIND UP FOR A SERIOUS PITCH Daniel Nyiri, Founder of 4U Fitness, explains how to perfect your pitch.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.” —Robert Collier Once you have determined your ideal niche market, then it is time to make your pitch. You need to know what drives this particular group of people and how to talk to them in person, on your company website, through social media, videos, blog posts and more. At this point, you must develop a pitch that you and every single person at your gym can memorize, share and repeat word for word. This includes your receptionist, accountant and especially your trainers – every single employee should know and align with your pitch! When I first meet with a new gym owner and their team, I encourage each employee to introduce himself or herself and ask them what they do every day. Every single gym I have visited so far has failed at this simple task (including my own at the beginning, until I stumbled upon the incredibly important concept of the pitch). They generally like to stand out, which means they will share crazy titles and certifications and all these things up front to let me know that they are the experts. You need to be very clear about who you are and what you do. You have less than 20 seconds to grab a person’s attention and if you start listing off every single 60



certification and title, you will go nowhere, not to mention that the person you are talking to will quickly tune you out if you are all about lists and certifications. You have to connect on a more emotional level to keep someone’s attention.

Never call yourself an expert When I meet someone, I always ask them what they do. They will say their thing, and then ask “What do you do?” My usual response is “I am Daniel Nyiri, CEO of 4U Fitness. I am a fitness professional and best selling author. We developed a high-tech invention that allows you to get a 3-hour workout in just 20 minutes.” The most common response: “What? A 3-hour workout in just 20 minutes! Sign me up! Is that for real? How does it work?” I love the responses I receive from my pitch and I love delivering it. Do you see the point? I clearly and slowly stated my name and title so they know who they are talking and I downplayed my role by saying that I am a personal trainer instead of saying I am a fitness expert. You should never say that you are an expert - let other people call you that and let the person you talk to decide if you are one or not! Play it simple and cool (and, of course, being a personal trainer is pretty cool). Then, I can really grab their attention when I say, “We developed a hightech invention that allows you to get a three-hour workout in just 20 minutes.” SOLD!

Your credibility Now move on to credibility by stating your gym’s accomplishments. For example, here is something I enjoy sharing with people: “Yes, it is real. In fact we were voted as the best gym in the entire Bay area and were on the TV

show ‘The Doctors’ where we showcased our equipment. Currently, we have been busy working towards preventing muscle atrophy so NASA can get our astronauts to safely colonize Mars!” It’s not a bad elevator speech! Again, I started out with the smallest detail and built it up again towards the biggest accomplishment, this is something a lot of people fail to do. They start with the biggest deal and backtrack from there, so that their big accomplishment gets minimized by the other details. Make sure you know how to peak people’s interest when you share your pitch.

The problem and solution The next step is to identify the problems that you are fixing for them. You will likely modify this depending on who you are speaking to. For example, if you are pitching to a group of investors instead of potential future clients, you will update your pitch. You can let those investors know that you have analyzed the three main problems in the health and fitness industry and created a solution for them, building your company around this promise. So the next question is, how do we fix these problems? What is the solution!? Our solution to you is:  We solve these 3 problems through our scientifically based workouts that save you time by only taking 20 minutes of your time twice per week.  We complement these workouts with easy-to-follow nutritional advice that accelerates the results from the workouts so that our clients stay more motivated than ever before. OCTOBER 2017



The ‘Why’ And now is the time when you bring in the real reason WHY you are doing this. Share this information with depth and emotion so people understand how dedicated you are to helping others. Never say something like “I am doing this because I love doing this.” That’s great, but you need a real reason that will touch someone’s heart. This is why it is so important that every single employee develops their own WHY and believe in it. My personal WHY is the following: The reason why I am so committed to helping people stay fit is because every 90 seconds, one person dies from obesity. I lost my grandfather to diabetes and grandmother to obesity. I never want to see another person experience this kind of loss and sadness over something that is entirely preventable. You need to find a reason like that. Most people who get into business usually have a strong reason and a touching why behind them and that what makes them so successful and gives them the fire when they need it the most! Find that fire and use it! The last part is one, concise sentence that you state at the end that sums up all of the information you have shared and everything you want someone else to remember. Ours is: We are known as the inventors of the No Excuses Workout Solution. After you have done all this, you will have no problem attracting new customers, investors and fans. Your team will benefit greatly and your culture will grow as well. It is critical that everyone at your company understands your vision and your pitch. Here is how it all works together: Clarity: I am Daniel Nyiri CEO of 4U Fitness. I am a fitness professional and best selling author. We developed a high-tech invention that allows you to complete a three-hour workout in 20 minutes. (For the working or busy individual who has limited time). Credibility: We were voted as the Best Gym & most innovative company in the entire Bay Area. You may have also seen us on the hit TV show “The Doctors” where we showcased our equipment.

Currently we have been very busy working towards preventing muscle atrophy so NASA can get our astronauts to safely colonize Mars. Problem: People today face three main problems in regards to staying healthy: #1 We live in a fast-paced world and finding time to work out is now harder than ever. #2 We live in a convenient world which makes eating healthy, nutritious foods harder than ever when unhealthy options are simply an arm’s reach away. #3 We live in an impatient world and most people don’t see the results fast enough and they lose their motivation Solution: We solve these problems through our scientifically based workouts that save you time by only taking 20 minutes of your time twice per week. We complement these workouts with easy-to-follow nutritional advice that accelerates the results from the workouts so our clients stay more motivated than ever before. Why: The reason why I am so committed to helping people stay fit is because every 90 seconds one person dies from obesity. I lost my grandfather to diabetes and grandmother to obesity. I never want to see another person experience this kind of loss and sadness over something that is entirely preventable. Mission: We are known as the inventors of the No Excuses Workout Solution. Now create yours and practice it, every day! When you getting ready in the morning, driving your car and before going to sleep. Once you have this memorized and know it inside and out, then you can practice with others. Introduce yourself in the elevator, restaurants and at events, and ask others what they do. It will get the ball rolling and give you the chance to share your story and your why. Go to networking events and practice! Ask people what they think and modify if you need to. Now that you know why are you doing this, who your niche market is and understand how to deliver a perfect pitch, it is time to get the word out!

Daniel Nyiri is an entrepreneur with one goal: to revolutionize the fitness industry. Find out more at www.4u-fitness.com. 62



NUTRITION RULES! Chris Zaremba, our fitness over 50 expert, outlines his approach to nutrition I am often asked about my nutrition approach – so here it is, all the key facts in one article, including my 25 rules. I can describe my current approach to nutrition with the following rules and number guidelines. I needed to get pretty good at estimating calories and grams of protein to make this work – but taking it to the nearest 100cal/10g makes it a lot easier. 1. Target macronutrients are 40% of calories from protein, 40% from carbs and 20% from fat 2. The 40% is easy for the maths – if its 200 cals, then 20g of protein achieves that 40% 3. Exactly the same for carbs – so if its 600 cals, then to make the 40% number then 60g is required 4. My target daily calories is 2600, but acceptable for me is anywhere between 2400 and 2800 5. My ideal daily protein is therefore 260g – acceptable is anywhere between 240 and 280 6. And exactly the same for carbs of course 7. I record cals and protein during the day on a simple iPhone spreadsheet 8. I don’t record carbs or fats – these will be ok if I keep achieve the cals/g protein target 9. During each day, I usually estimate calories to nearest 100 and protein to nearest 10 per meal 10. Calorie and/or protein surplus/deficits are not carried forward to next day – it’s a new start daily 10. Meals at 3-hourly intervals, 6 such meals per day 12. Allow one hour variation in this timing – but maximum gap four hours, minimum two 13. Protein shake with some fast carbs straight after PM workout

14. Protein – I have some with each meal, ideally a complete protein from an animal source 15. Protein input divided roughly equally between all meals of the day 16. Fast carbs - Only with breakfast (after AM workout) and always after PM workout 17. Slow carbs – With other meals 18. Fats - only consume those that come with the meat and fish, and maybe a few nuts 19. Fresh fruit is OK, but not dried or tinned 20. OK desserts are fruit, zero fat yogurt (maybe with protein powder added), egg-based soufflé 21. Only acceptable milk is 0% fat skimmed – and not too much of it OCTOBER 2017



22. I never add sugar or salt to anything – but add lots of herbs, spices especially cinnamon 23. Beer or wine is ok but remember to count calories and make it quality beer/wine, not crap 24. I drink one pint of water in each three hour time slot in addition to any tea/coffee 25. These rules rule – in any moment of indecision, I think about these rules See below for a sample day, based on a work day (Mon-Fri).

Sample Day

1400 lunch – typical is chicken, beef or fish as the protein source, plus loads of slow carbs – green veg/salad – minimise faster carbs but some (potatoes, pasta, rice, bread). Ideally 600 calories, 60g protein and 60g carbs plus some fat, especially from the fish. 1700 snack (as at 1100) 2000 dinner (as lunch) – but definitely no fast carbs. Plus post-workout - a protein shake with carbs, or something similar - possibly in the form of another power breakfast, whey protein isolate, or maybe a bottle from the gym fridge – straight after the PM workout, whenever this happens (lunch, afternoon or evening). Another 300 cals with 30g of protein and 30g of carbs and small amount of fat.

Here is a sample day’s meals. It’s more of a target rather than reality, as I don’t follow it accurately, but I do make a conscious effort to keep as close as I can.

Loads of water throughout the day and quite a bit of black tea and coffee too.

NB: All numbers estimated to nearest 100 cals and 10g. All times estimated to be +/- one hour.

This works out as 2600 calories, around 260 g of each protein and carbs and an estimated total of 60g of fat.

0600 nothing except water and black coffee (prior to morning cardio). Doesn’t count as a meal! 0800 ‘Power Breakfast’- Oats mixed with protein shake powder plus fresh raspberries, blueberries, maybe other berries such as cranberries or goji berries, seeds, nuts, cinnamon, all in hot water – 500 cals, 50g of protein, 50g of carbs and some fat for this first meal - a great start to the day, and a great entry into the 40/40/20 macronutrient split 1100 snack – ideally some element of protein, but fresh fruit is also good here maybe protein shake, apple + protein bar, or low-carb something with protein added, shellfish snack, sushi or maybe protein cookies – maybe some carbs but not much, try to minimise fast carbs. Typically 300 calories, 30g protein, 30g carbs.



I absolutely still went out and had restaurant meals both for business and with Jenny and friends, and had my share of alcohol – and still do, of course. The difference is that today I ensure it is all quality over quantity. I am a passionate believer in beer, but now the pints I drink are always pretty special – no standard cooking lager for me. Of course, the volume has come down – I probably drink around 6 pints a week now, as opposed to that many on a good day in the past – or do I mean bad day? And in restaurants, or when planning for cooking for friends, I enjoy working out how I can ensure that what I consume is the healthiest option in that situation, and that I take account of what I do eat in my daily nutrition estimates for that day. Talking of estimates, I have some daily targets that I have set myself. But I don’t count calories or grams of macronutrients to a detail level, and I don’t use the Daily Nutrition Planner


to anywhere near the degree of accuracy and detail that it offers. However, I have developed some key rules, and with Jenny’s buy-in to these, I use these as my daily nutrition guidelines. Key rules are: 1.  All the threes – I eat three big meals, three small meals per day (including post-workout), at around three-hourly intervals 2. Keep the calories around 2600 per day 3.  Around 40% of these calories to come from protein, 40% from carbs and 20% from fats 4.  Have about half the carbs divided between breakfast

and post-workout 5.  Have the remaining carbs throughout the day, but minimise at night Notice how I use the words ‘about’ and ‘around’ a lot in the rules – that’s because much of this is estimation, and I actually don’t let the detail of the numbers take over. I’ve spent a lot of time reading labels over the past couple of years, and I’ve become pretty good at estimating the relevant numbers for each meal. And even though these are rules, they are my own set of rules, so it’s really up to me if I want to break them. And I do, but only once I have convinced myself it's worth doing so.

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 He has has developed developed his his own own detailed detailed workout workout system system and and package package for for this this –– which which he he follows follows to to this this day day –– and and is is available available for for you you to to purchase. purchase. It is called the ABC7 System, as It is called the ABC7 System, the firstfirst three workouts areare as the three workouts 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 more than than 250 250 photos. photos. All All suitable suitable for for whatever age you are! whatever age you are! You You may may –– or or may may not not –– want want to to follow follow in in Chris’s Chris’s footsteps footsteps all all the the way way onto onto the the fitness fitness modelling modelling stage. stage. Either Either way, following the System should way, following the System should help help you you up-the-fit up-the-fit and and down-the-fat, down-the-fat, and and achieve achieve aa real real improvement improvement in in all all your your fitness fitness measurements measurements and and activities. activities. And And see see the the difference difference too! too! Send Send an an email email to to Chris@FitnessOverFifty.co.uk Chris@FitnessOverFifty.co.uk if if you you want want to to order order the the ABC7 ABC7 System. System.




BP: FITNESS TRA The industry gathered once again at the BodyPower trade show last month, check-out some of the exhibitors in our visual round-up.

Indigo Fitness demonstrated the PWR Tools and Uptivo fitness tracking system at the BP Trade Show. The brand new, and virtually indestructible, PWR Stone was a massive hit with visitors to the stand and is available to buy now in sizes from 10kg up to 100kg. The Uptivo platform gives real time heart rate feedback and is ideal for a group training environment.

Escape Fitness showcased its new solution for outdoor functional training. Bringing together a storage container, training equipment, racking, all-weather turf and group programming, it’s a comprehensive package enabling clubs to turn under-used outdoor space into revenue generating training zones. Demonstration workouts from Escape’s three group training solutions ran throughout the event. Across MOVE IT, BATTLE FIT and HIIT THE DECK, the company offers programming options for all levels of ability and every type of club.

CYC Fitness showcased their most innovative pieces of kit at the event. Making its debut as the latest performance treadmill, was the HiTrainer. Also making its very first appearance at a UK trade show was The Frog from Frog Fitness. For Craig Young, it was a huge honour to be invited to the Body Power Business School to discuss utilisation of space and gym landscaping with some of the best in the business.




ADE SHOW 2017 “We enjoyed pride of place to display our range of products and solutions including functional, studio, strength, mind body, sport and wellness and new e-Core flooring,” says John Halls, Physical Company Managing Director. “We launched our combat range and visitors put the gloves and pads through their paces. We also challenged people to try the new Surge® Storm which uses water to create unpredictable dynamic resistance. Our refreshment bar proved popular too and we held some good meetings there.”

Wattbike, the ultimate indoor bike, showcased it’s the fully immersive Wattbike Zone with bold, informative graphics and big screen data feed. Wattbike Master Trainer, Adam Daniel, was on hand to lead a range of training sessions while there was also an opportunity to use the world first Pedalling Effectiveness Score feature, available to all in the Wattbike App.

RAMfit is fresh concept in group fitness where fitness rebels combine hiit, functional movement, and intermittent recovery into passionate, edgy, soulful, original workouts using just one tool, the RAMroller.




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

NEVER ASSUME Q. I’m considering opening a functional training studio. What do I need to think about from an insurance perspective? Sam Kramer, Leeds

Neil Adebowale, Director at Independents Insurance, answers: First and foremost, operating from a fixed premises is legally considered a very different proposition to being a mobile freelance Personal Trainer. As a result, there are some specific points you need to consider. Firstly, be very wary of buying an off the shelf or low-cost product. Every fitness studio is different and an insurance policy must reflect this. Seek advice from a broker with a proven track record insuring businesses, like yours, in the fitness sector. This service may be more expensive but the value in being able to pick up the phone to experts and have the confidence that your policy covers your requirements in the event of a claim will be worth every penny. Make sure you use the correct terminology to describe your business. Be clear that you wish to insure the company, not just you as an individual trainer. Most claims are made against companies and tend to be the result of a slip, trip, fall or equipment malfunction. These claims are unlikely to be covered under a low cost personal trainer or instructor policy.



If other trainers will be working from your premises, ensure your policy covers claims made against you in respect of their activities. Even if trainers are selfemployed, you may be responsible for their actions in what is known as Vicarious Liability. Make sure all activities you will be offering are covered by your policy. If in doubt, contact your advisors and ask the direct question. NEVER assume – always question. Some activities may actually be automatically excluded under policy endorsements. Be aware – these exclusions are not always as clearly signposted as they could be. The take home message is – when it comes to insurance, work with a specialist broker who knows your business and the sector in which you operate. Independents has been working in the fitness sector for 18 years and currently insures more than 700 gyms. For some friendly, no obligation advice, call: 01189 875100 or, for more information visit www.independents-solutions.co.uk.


Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers Physical Company appoint Director of Sales & Marketing Physical Company is pleased to announce the appointment of James Anderson as Director of Sales & Marketing.

James Anderson

Anderson’s extensive industry experience started in sales and marketing at David Lloyd Leisure. He joined Star Trac in 2002 (now Core Health & Fitness) where he held sales roles of increasing responsibility.  On being promoted to National Sales Manager, he led the UK team to impressive revenue growth over a five year period.  During this time, James was appointed a position on the ukactive Suppliers Council, alongside a selection of key senior leaders in the leisure industry.

market opportunities.

James then worked as an independent consultant, using his experience in operations, sales and marketing to strengthen a number of independent health, fitness, boutique and golf operators. His most recent role was Head of Business Development with UK leisure industry marketing experts Bigwave Media.

“I’m delighted to be joining an organisation that has great history, passion and products within the health and fitness industry,” says James Anderson. “I have been a big fan, and indeed customer, of Physical Company for several years. I’m hugely impressed with its recently improved infrastructure including new warehousing and offices. I look forward to working with the team to develop and execute strategies to further strengthen the business and drive additional growth.”

At Physical Company, James is responsible for directing marketing operations, leading and developing the sales team, and identifying new

“James’ wealth of sales and marketing experience, along with his vision and leadership skills, stand him in great stead to progress Physical Company’s business further forward,” says John Halls, Physical Company Managing Director. “His extensive career within the leisure industry has seen him drive highly successful strategies and achieve significant sales growth.”

The Training Room PT appoints Debra Stuart as Chairperson Former Premier Global Group CEO Debra Stuart has been appointed as Chairperson of The Training Room PT, a subsidiary of the Route2Work Group, in a bid to strengthen and enhance its position within the health and fitness sector.

Debra Stuart

Debra has over 35 years’ experience in the health and fitness sector and has a strong and successful track record of driving business growth through the delivery of quality education. Debra's remit is to ensure The Training Room PT is leading in the delivery of first class education and providing the sector with fit for purpose PTs and fitness professionals who are a cut above the competition.  Andrew Powell, CEO of The Training Room said of this appointment:  "We are excited to have Debra on board to support with our strategy as we focus on growing our portfolio of education both in the UK and internationally. Debra has a wealth of knowledge and experience which will be applied to maintaining quality and the needs of the student

at the heart of everything we do, whilst ensuring that all our courses provide the knowledge and skills needed for today’s health and fitness sector."  Debra Stuart said: “At a time when government funding for health and fitness education is being cut and courses are being shortened, it is refreshing to be working with an organisation that wants to invest in a quality learning experience for its students.  The fitness industry is becoming much more diverse, with many new and innovative ways of working and a strong shift towards overall wellness.  This presents vast opportunities for personal trainers and it is essential that education evolves to support their needs and the needs of employers."

Send your company news to: ns@gymownermonthly.co.uk OCTOBER 2017




bringing gyms into a successful digital future Find out how call +44(0)207 701 4267, email info@egym.co.uk or visit egym.co.uk/business INSURANCE GOM_Classified_eGYM_2017.indd 1

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Profile for Gym Owner Monthly

Gym Owner Monthly - October 2017  

Gym Owner Monthly magazine is the UK's No.1 digital magazine for gym owners and fitness professionals. Every month Gym Owner Monthly deliver...

Gym Owner Monthly - October 2017  

Gym Owner Monthly magazine is the UK's No.1 digital magazine for gym owners and fitness professionals. Every month Gym Owner Monthly deliver...