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ISSUE 18 // September 2017

YOGA AND PILATES Everything you need to know about adding these services to your offering


Guscott, We talk to Steve er ag Operations Man at EZFacility UK GOING TO THE GYM CAN BE

OWNEER OF TH MONTH ay Pete Linds t ou tells us ab 100% Gym


Creating your ng gym’s own clothi lines doesn’t have to be a headache


Make data your most valuable asset





What constitutes a fully qualified PT?

‘Fitness is a way of life for me’ - Robert Rowan


10 essential tips to ensure a successful first gym launch SEPTEMBER 2017



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Welcome... the September 2017 issue of Gym Owner Monthly magazine.

A new season? Just like January, September is often a time for new ventures, new beginnings and fresh-starts. Summer holidays are sadly now a distant memory and instead you’re looking ahead to the remaining four months of the year. Like you, your members will have a similar outlook and perhaps you will see a surge in relapsed members returning and current members visiting your facility more frequently? For gym owners and managers who have the experience and knowledge of managing seasonal fluctuations and trends, how you react and meet this demand will be second nature - you’ve seen it all before. Perhaps for the novice gym owner this maybe isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. If you’re about to open your first facility, take a look at our feature on page 18 as we provide ten essential top tips on getting it right from the start. Elsewhere we take an in-depth look at Yoga and Pilates, could these activities be a good fit in your facility? How do you implement these services, what are the differences and what equipment and space might you need? Turn to page 27 and benefit from the expert advice of Justin Rogers, Creative Director at TEN Health & Fitness.


joy the is en d n a th on m t ea gr a ve a H The GOM team



Nathan Page

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

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

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Cover photography courtesy

endorsed by British Weight Lifting


© 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





33 38

40 36



07 69

News The latest news and hot topics in the industry. Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers.



Owner of the Month Pete Lindsay tells us about his fitness facility, 100% Gym.


Make your mark Fitness industry consultant Craig Young provides 10 essential tips to ensure a successful first gym launch.


Yoga and Pilates Adding yoga or pilates to your offering? Justin Rogers at TEN Health & Fitness explains the how’s, why’s and why not’s.



Clothing Creating your gym’s own clothing lines doesn’t have to be a headache, Marc Astbury explains why.



PT of the month ‘Fitness is a way of life for me’ - Robert Rowan.


Condition nutrition Dominic Heap, provides expert recommendations on creating an effective personalised nutritional plan to complement your training programmes.


The Big Interview We talk to Steve Guscott, Operations Manager at EZFacility UK.



Going to the gym can be daunting Nicky Sefke discusses the subject of sexual harassment at the gym. Why is this an unspoken trend and more importantly what can be done to eradicate it?


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



55 50 56




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

62 64


Talking the talk Paul Swainson asks ‘what constitutes a fully qualified PT’?


Jump on board the data train Data is revolutionising the way companies operate, in every sector, and now’s the time to make it your most valuable asset.



PT Viewpoint William Wylie identifies the most common reasons why people fail to lose weight.



Seven ways to keep your marketing going while on vacation Omar Thompson provides some top tips on getting your planning in order in advance of your holiday.


Get the scale out Daniel Nyiri explains why you need to measure what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.


Finding funding facts Exercise on Referral (EOR) is seen as a ‘have to’. However, the reality is it offers huge potential in driving new people into fitness services, which in turn generates additional revenue.



Three stage fitness Chris Zaremba outlines his approach to weight loss.



Single vs dual-anchor suspension systems Owen Bowling provides advice on choosing a suspension straps solution.









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What’s hot in the fitness industry

British Weight Lifting to endorse exceptional operators British Weight Lifting are pleased to announce that they will be offering an official BWL endorsement to a selection of independent and small, multi-site gyms whose operations are reflective of the extremely high standards of Great Britain’s National Governing Body for Weight Lifting and Para-Powerlifting. The initiative, commencing this month and offered across the UK, aims to set the bar for operating standards and therefore provide the public with a reference point for the level of service they can expect from an independent or small multi-site operator. It will in turn provide the many outstanding operators with a brand association which will help them stay ahead of the competition and grow in a cluttered communications landscape, full of instantly recognisable gym chains. Amongst the many benefits of this endorsement package, such as a 25% discount with Eleiko (the world’s leading Olympic Lifting equipment manufacturer), group insurance scheme offers and use of the new British Weight Lifting app, endorsed gyms will be licensed to use the British Weight Lifting Logo and the term ‘Officially Endorsed Gym’ on all marketing collateral. In order to help ensure the highest standards of coaching, a staff member will also receive a place on one of BWL’s fully accredited coaching courses (providing coaches with a fully accredited qualification to teach Olympic Lifting utilising the BWL technical model & giving gym members the confidence that they will be taught in a professional, safe and technically appropriate manner).

Furthermore, the BWL kitemark will demonstrate to new and existing members that the gym’s facilities fit the strict standards and criteria set by British Weight Lifting, with appropriate equipment and staff who operate in a professional and high quality environment. All endorsed gyms will have optional access to support from British Weight Lifting’s Hub Development Managers, whose role is to promote weight lifting across their respective regions. British Weight Lifting’s Chief Executive Ashley Metcalfe commented ‘Weight Lifting is a truly diverse sport, easily accessible by all, no matter what age, gender or background. Being strong is a key part of any fitness regime and we are on a mission to promote all forms of free weight participation in a safe and ethical manner. We are thrilled at the prospect of working closely with gym operators who share this vision. We already work closely with upwards of 200 Olympic Weightlifting clubs to promote participation in Olympic Weightlifting and we now see gym endorsements as the as the next step to ensuring that our message to help make the UK a fitter, stronger nation reaches the mainstream audience we truly represent.’ For more information about becoming endorsed by British Weight Lifting please contact enquiries@ SEPTEMBER 2017



e-Focus Jan-July 2017

EMD UK signs partnership agreement with DataHub

Customer insight at your fingertips sales Focus

feedback Focus

NPS Focus





Average NPS score

Av. complaint response time

days Av. lead conversion time

Total comments: 7,100










Complaints 38.5%

Suggestions 24.8%

Compliments 36.7%






Enquiry to sales


18.0% 12.1%













Social media - other Facebook Advert

1.5% 2.2% 1.3%

6% 5% 5%




Total enquiries: 26,500








Social media - other Facebook




7% 5%


As the national governing body for group exercise, EMD UK is heavily invested in providing insight into the sector to help it better understand and influence participant behavioural patterns and preferences. By signing an agreement with the DataHub, EMD UK can strengthen its work in influencing an increase in group exercise participation levels. Working with the DataHub will enable EMD UK to develop its existing group exercise insight work, including its annual Participation and National Surveys. These surveys provide essential group exercise insight; key participant motivators and challenges, along with a nationally representative view of group exercise participation levels and habits. The partnership with DataHub adds a further dimension to this, allowing EMD UK to look at the participation trends of a bigger sample between and within styles. The DataHub works with leisure operators and providers, collecting their data feeds for participant insight, so for example when a customer books a spin class at their local leisure centre, the system will record this and store this intelligence. With DataHub currently holding the data of around 400,000 unique group exercise participants (taken from 300+million visits), and around one million in total since 2015, this partnership is an important step in helping EMD UK deliver its vision of ‘a healthier nation through exercise’. Jade Moulden, Head of Business Development for EMD UK, said “We are really excited to be working with 4global as the keepers of the DataHub group exercise data. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to work more closely with leisure operators to understand and support their customers. It also gives us, our members and partners access to a unique insight set that is unavailable elsewhere. Our aim is to understand the journeys of our customers across their group exercise lifecycles; the DataHub will help us to achieve this.” Utku Toprakseven, Director of Sport Intelligence at 4global, said: “We are proud to have EMD UK join the DataHub as the latest NGB Partner and look forward to supporting them to track participation into group exercise, analyse latest trends and engage with their core market via DataHub Club member operators. This partnership will also enhance the data standards for group exercise classes and allow operators to follow the latest trends in one of the core activity areas in their facilities. The DataHub team will also be working closely with EMD UK to open up this independent intelligence to group exercise companies and franchise providers so there is complete visibility and transparency on what works and what doesn't in terms of increasing sustained activity, driving commercial returns and social value to all concerned.”


Borough of Broxbourne partners with eGym

swimming pool, the refurbishments move the Bishopsgate club into a Tier One club. Members will also be able to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of a new, state-of-the-art steam room. The new space also houses brand new wet-side changing facilities. In addition to the pool and steam room, the refurbishments also include a new concept exclusive Mind and Body studio, which will offer a suite of holistic classes such as yoga and Pilates. This new studio adds 35 classes per week to the recently extended timetable of group exercise classes including the full spectrum of Les Mills, Fitness First signature Freestyle Group Training (FGT) and indoor cycle classes. In addition to the fitness studio and indoor cycling studio, the new Mind Body studio has also been fitted with virtual class capability, allowing further class options for members who are seeing constant innovation across the whole DW Fitness First estate.

The Laura Trott Leisure Centre in Broxbourne was the first public sector facility in the UK to install eGym. The investment comes on the back of the local authority’s objective to encourage a higher percentage of the local population to lead an active lifestyle, including an element of resistance training. Michael Dulku, Fit&Well Brand and Golf Centre Manager for the Borough, was responsible for the purchase of eGym and it is already evidencing success. Michael says: “Nearly everyone, regardless of age and gender, will benefit from strength training. It is an important component of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We want to raise awareness of this, especially amongst women and older adults, but also enhance our offering to those already engaged with free weights and modular strength equipment. eGym is certainly helping us to achieve our objectives and we are already seeing improvements in member strength, usage and retention.” Since the installation in March, strength performance has increased by an average of 14 per cent for those aged 20 – 70 years, and an average of 9 per cent for those aged 70- 90 years. These statistics are recorded via the eGym one rep max strength test performed by individuals at regular training intervals. Since the introduction of eGym, the site has also recorded a significant reduction in member attrition which has contributed to a 1,060 percentage increase in net gain compared to the same period last year.

The Fitness First Bishopsgate club refurbishment is part of DW Fitness First’s ongoing investment programme taking place in Fitness First and DW Sports locations across the UK.

New HiTrainer™ ATP metabolic strength and conditioning system to make UK debut at the Body Power Fitness Trade Show.

Michael adds: “Because eGym is easy to use and ensures the correct technique is applied, members are achieving the best results in the shortest possible timeframe. The eGym strength test automatically calculates the training resistance at regular intervals and is a much more accurate performance indicator than is possible through using conventional equipment. Even members who are comfortable using free weights are using the strength test, muscle imbalances and biological age results to influence their own training plan.” For more information visit

DW Sports invests £1 million at Fitness First Bishopsgate Fitness First Bishopsgate, part of the DW Fitness First Group, is benefiting from a £1 million refurbishment extending the facility with a new swimming pool, Mind & Body Studio, steam room and changing rooms. The refurbishment of Fitness First Bishopsgate marks another significant investment across the estate of 44 UK-based Fitness First clubs following the purchase of the brand by DW Sports last year. Recently completed, the £1 million investment has increased the facility with over 5,000 square feet to now house a new 16m swimming pool and steam room. Now the fourth central London Fitness First club to house a

Craig Young Consulting is delighted to announce the expansion of its product portfolio, through a new partnership with HiTrainer and will showcase the new HiTrainer treadmill range at the NEC, Birmingham on the 12th/13th September. Patented HiTrainer ATP technology empowers everyone, from fitness enthusiasts to elite athletes, to realise their potential in fitness facilities, gyms and cross-training studios. Managing Director, Craig Young explained; "We came across the HiTrainer at IHRSA 2017 in Los Angeles and are delighted to have the HiTrainer as part of our product offering.” SEPTEMBER 2017



“The HiTrainer is totally unique and the only self-powered treadmill that puts the user in the drive position as well as offering Watts feedback, and we are thrilled to be their new exclusive distribution partner in the UK and Ireland.”

UK. We recognized natural synergies that makes us unrivalled in teamwork. Together we offer the UK fitness operators who value customer-centric fitness solutions, more value, more innovation and more choices.”

Commenting on the new partnership, Guillaume Paré, Vice President, Sales said “HiTrainer has always been passionate about building sustainable partnerships. When we came across Craig Young Consulting and learned of their focus on customers and doing what it takes to deliver the best customer experience, we realised that we have found the right partner in the UK & Ireland.”

For facility owners who want to attract a wider demographic and retain members, Intenza Fitness offers a one of a kind solution. The brand has earned a reputation as an industry pioneer and leader by offering the finest high-end cardio equipment which combines technological innovation with aesthetic design and product touch and feel quality. Escalate, the world’s only adjustable step height stairclimbing machine delivers the benefits of both cardio and strength training and is suitable to support the progressive goals for everyone.

Ideal for fitness facilities, gyms and cross-training studios, the HiTrainer ATP model peaks the metabolism in super-efficient HIIT sessions. The patented HiTrainer drive-phase positioning is matched with a self-propelled variable resistance running surface that ranges from sprinting to sled training. The HiTrainer ATP console provides pre-programmed warm-up, interval and sprint protocols. The on-screen performance feedback motivates the user to surpass its fitness level. The data is also useful to evaluate performance, monitor progress, identify left/right imbalances and develop training programs based on results. For more information on the HiTrainer ATP and PRO treadmillsb contact, phone 01978 812829 or visit

Intenza Fitness equipment is now available for order. Interested operators should contact Origin Fitness directly via sales@ for more information, or to arrange a visit to the company's Edinburgh showroom, where the Intenza Fitness product line is showcased.

Innovative hydration for gyms Surrey based start-up The Vitapure Drinks Company is launching its Vitastream Drink Station at BodyPower’s BP Fitness Trade Show at the NEC this month.

Origin Fitness offers innovation through Intenza Fitness equipment

Origin Fitness, the leading UK supplier of commercial gym equipment and business solutions to sports clubs, hotels and local authorities has announced its product portfolio expansion, through a new partnership with Intenza Fitness; a forward-thinking brand of eco-friendly fitness equipment, to pursue commercial market growth opportunities in the UK and Ireland.

Founder and Managing Director Ian Webb has over a decade’s experience in workplace hydration solutions and with water systems now an established part of most public and private locations, Ian identified the need for something more appealing than just water.

Origin Fitness Managing Director, Paul Bodger explained; "We've been aware of Intenza for some time now and are incredibly excited to make their products part of our offering. We believe there is nobody in the industry doing what Intenza are in terms of sustainability, quality control and innovative product design. That's why we're thrilled to be their new exclusive distribution partner in the UK and Ireland and are looking forward to working with them. We also recognise Physique Sports and their efforts in introducing Intenza to UK customers and look forward to a strong partnership with Physique Sports as an authorized reseller.”

“Water is accepted by most people as the most refreshing way to keep hydrated and quench your thirst. However it can be, dare I say it, a bit boring and unexciting. Hence my search for a system which could supply flavoured water in a cost effective, convenient and most importantly, healthy way.”

Commenting on the dynamic new partnership, Mark Chang, Intenza CEO said “Intenza Fitness has always been passionate about building a sustainable business that is focused on the customers. When we found Origin Fitness and learned of their focus on customers and doing what it takes to deliver the best customer experience, we realized that we have found the right partner in

The product has been established in Germany for 10 years, and is now being rolled out throughout Europe. The Vitapure Drinks Company was selected to introduce it into the UK market. Ian said: “I was delighted to be awarded the lucrative UK market for the system, as we have the largest number of gyms in Europe here.”



Ian’s research took him all over Europe until he found a German manufacturer who ticked all the boxes. “Having been involved in the industry for many years I knew what I wanted. A reliable, highquality dispense system combined with zero sugar, low calorie and delicious fruit flavoured drinks.”

Together with the manufacturer, they formed a team to come up


with the subscription based payment system for gyms and health clubs. Owners or managers installing a Vitastream Drink Station provide their members with a convenient, tangible and healthy benefit, while generating substantial and sustainable additional income. The unit also contributes to a positive environmental message, reducing carbon footprint through eliminating the need for packaged drinks. Paying a low monthly subscription – which can often be part of general membership – gym and health club members save money when compared to bottled or canned drinks, have access to limitless great tasting drinks and have no need to carry cash.

They have now developed an easy to use revolutionary pad recognition software app, making it easier to identify which part of the fitness equipment padding you require replacing due to it being worn, ripped or torn. No serial/part numbers needed! Customers open the online app on their own mobile phone or tablet device and take a photo of the machine that requires a pad replacement. They can then touch the particular pad to identify which part they require replacing and the app will return a quote to the customer's email address with a copy of the highlighted pads requested. For more information visit gymupholstery.

“The beauty of this unique hydration concept is that it helps gym members achieve their fitness goals and rewards the forward thinking gyms with additional revenue. I love working alongside gym owners and managers to not only improve their bottom line but also help their customers become more hydrated with delicious flavoured water. It’s a genuine Win:Win.” The Vitastream Drink Station has a small footprint at less than 1 square metre and needs only a power supply, water supply and internet connection – with which stock levels can be monitored and problems solved, remotely. The base of the unit can be fully branded, as can the graphics and movies on the touch-screen – which can also be used to display additional information. Visit BodyPower’s BP Fitness Trade Show at the NEC in September to see the Vitastream Drink Station in action! Stand #H78.

Revolutionary industry service App Gym Upholstery UK has provided an 'on-site' (mobile) fitness equipment upholstery service to health clubs across the UK since 2001.

2018 milestones The 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report revealed that the UK health and fitness industry is continuing to grow. David Minton, Director of LeisureDB said: “It may be premature to call the period to 2020 “the golden age of fitness” but further growth will only be limited to the imagination of those pushing the boundaries. The signs are there that the industry is likely to hit several milestones in 2018. The number of gyms is on course to go over 7,000 for the first time, total membership to exceed 10 million and market value to reach £5 billion”.


estimated market value


10 million members


2018 milestones

Source: LeisureDB 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report






Owner of the Month


Owner of the Month

'We know that one size doesn’t fit all' Pete Lindsay tells us about his fitness facility, 100% Gym Gym owner: Pete Lindsay Gym name: 100% Gym Location: 44 West Street, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 8QN Web: No. of members: 850 How did you become a gym owner? I didn’t have a gym background but my decision to become a gym owner came about after I became disillusioned with the quality of training facilities in my local area. One of my best friends, Laurie Carr, is a professional bodybuilder and we took the decision to go into business and open a gym together. We were confident that we could offer something far superior to what was currently on offer in the local area and my first gym venture saw the opening of Pro Bodies Health & Fitness, in my hometown of Spalding. It’s been a success from day one and we’ve been going now for over 10 years.

How many gyms do you own/operate? Two. As well as Pro Bodies Health & Fitness in Spalding, I also own and operate 100% Gym in Boston, Lincolnshire. I first looked at premises when Fitness First closed their gym in Boston; this gave me the motivation to start looking seriously for a second facility. I knew there was a big demand locally for a high-quality gym and felt I could offer something very different to the competition. Twelve months later the ideal premises came up. It was centrally located, above the town’s cinema, and we’ve been there for over 18 months.




Owner of the Month

How long has your gym been operating for? I secured the premises for 100% Gym in October 2015 and opened on 4th January 2016. It was a very quick turnaround but the result was worth all the long hours and hard work that went into getting the gym ready for opening. 100% Gym is an impressive facility which is also accredited as an Official Hammer Strength Training Centre. Our aim is to provide excellent facilities for people that are new to the fitness environment, those who compete professionally or are just looking for general fitness and toning.

Aside from the gym, what other facilities do you offer your members? 100% Gym is around 8,000 square feet and along with the extensive gym facilities, we offer members a high standard of Personal Training including MMA and boxing. Matt Hallam, a good friend of mine, is a well-known and respected MMA fighter and we offer members the opportunity to train with him. We also have a bar selling protein bars and shakes, vitamin supplements and energy drinks. There’s also a retail section where members can buy branded clothing.

How many staff do you employ? We have five members of staff who work across both gyms so it gives them plenty of variety and keeps everyone motivated. All the team are trained to a very high standard and can provide tailored programmes to suit the individual.

How important are PT’s to your business? Experienced Personal Trainers are very important to our gym. With the right people, a PT can build a bond and make connections with members to keep them focused and motivated so they reach their fitness goals. We know that one size doesn’t fit all and having fitness professionals who can offer expertise and specialist training that is tailored to individual needs is really valued by our members. Our PT’s provide specialist knowledge, nutrition advice and help educate members so they have the right programmes and follow the correct techniques to reach their fitness goals.

How do you motivate/incentivise your staff members? My highly qualified and experienced team have the flexibility to manage their PT sessions around working at 100% Gym and this arrangement works really well. As long as they provide at least 10 hours a week, they can work with their clients in the gym and they can also do three PT sessions while they’re on shift.

What makes your gym unique? We have been able to offer people something new and 100% Gym’s facilities and equipment have helped to set us apart. You cannot fail to be impressed by our extensive range of



Owner of the Month Hammer Strength equipment and by displaying the Hammer Strength’s official plaque, we let our members know that we’ve selected the highest quality equipment on the market. Our décor mirrors the black and red of the Hammer Strength brand and the overall effect is really striking. Members can enjoy using world-class plate-loaded equipment providing the industry’s most advanced strengthtraining technologies. We can offer people something new and give them the variety for people interested in general fitness through to those who are into bodybuilding As well as our strength equipment, we have a wide range of Life Fitness cardio equipment including treadmills, bikes and cross-trainers. We’ve also put a sledge track in, and battle ropes as well as gym boxes which are popular for circuit and HIIT training. All the team, including myself, live and breathe fitness and we regularly compete in bodybuilding shows. I wanted to lead by example and show my members how they can get into shape and if I can do it, they certainly can as well!

What advice would you give to other gym owners just starting out? Do your homework and check your numbers. It’s important to do your research, get all the numbers together and then create a solid business plan. You’ll need to keep an eye on costs so taking into consideration things like conforming to building regulations and making the necessary modifications.


I was also very clear on the type of facility I wanted to create and pairing with the right suppliers, including Life Fitness and Hammer Strength, has been very important to delivering a high-quality experience for members. We’ve also benefited from some additional training resources which have helped us support members using the equipment.

What are the biggest challenges facing your business today? I’d like to see a rise in standards when it comes to education and training of fitness professionals. There are some fantastic people out there but some members have come to us after having a negative experience at other gyms. It’s usually the case where staff are either lacking in specialist knowledge, do not engage with members on the gym floor or give them the wrong training or nutrition advice.

What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years? I’ve seen the rise in demand for HIIT and Crossfit type training and more and more of our members are asking for this type of training. It’s also really encouraging to see more women getting into weight training. We’re helping debunk the myth about bulking up using weights and helping women change their body shape to make them lean and strong.




How do you engage with your members? We recognise that keeping members engaged and interested is on on-going challenge so we’re continually exploring new ways to keep people motivated and active. Our gym floor creates an energetic and stimulating environment to keep members coming back. Every six week we change our members programme to keep things fresh and ensure people stay motivated. We hold monthly fitness challenges such as number of squats or rowing challenges, which creates some healthy competition. We hold DJ nights 2-3 times a month which is always popular with members and creates a hugely motivational atmosphere in the gym, encouraging people to train harder while they’re having fun. We’ll also follow up with members that we haven’t seen for a while to encourage them to get back into the training habit and know we’re here to support them when they’re ready to come back.

How do you retain your members? It’s all about the quality of our equipment, giving members access to premium Hammer Strength and Life Fitness equipment, as well as the personal feel we’ve created in the gym. The variety of equipment really engages members so they never lose focus or motivation. We also treat members as individuals, ensuring their programmes are constantly refreshed, we’re giving them the best training advice and supporting them every step of the way.

How are you promoting your brand



and marketing your gym? Member recommendation is a really powerful tool for us and we have very high referral rates. We also do a lot on Facebook and recognise the benefits this social channel gives us. We support this with free passes for new members and again, this has worked very well in terms of retaining and attracting new members.

What is your biggest success story? It has to be the opening of 100% gym. I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved and although it’s been a labour of love (I even slept at the gym while working to get it ready for opening), it’s proof of what can be achieved through hard work and determination. I couldn’t have done it all without the help and support from my partner Natalia, who’s always believed in me. Having successfully run my first gym for 10 years, I’m looking forward to repeating this success again with 100% Gym and building the business up for another 10 years.

Finally, if there was one thing you could change in the industry, what would it be? As many independent operators in the sector will agree, I’d like to see a move to cut VAT which is levied on all monthly gym membership subscriptions in the UK. It should be scrapped so it puts us in line with council-run facilities that don’t pay VAT. We’re in a situation where the Government is trying to promote exercise and healthy living but at the same time is charging VAT to private gyms but not local authority-run facilities.


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MAKE YOU Fitness industry consultant Craig Young provides 10 essential tips to ensure a successful first gym launch. CYC Fitness has over 20 years’ experience in the leisure industry. Our visits to hundreds of gyms throughout the UK, and overseas, and vast expertise in gym design and fitness equipment, stand us in good stead to help you make your mark on the gym scene. We receive thousands of enquiries every year from personal trainers and aspiring gym owners, and therefore have a good understanding of what you would like to know. We don’t profess to have all the solutions, but our tips could enable you to put your best foot forward.


METICULOUS PLANNING This may seem rather obvious, but not all prospective gym owners have the best plan in place. Setting up a gym requires a great deal of time and patience and could take about a year to plan. Remember these three key questions; Why am I embarking on my own fitness venture? What kind of facility do I want to operate? Who are my clients? To be able to share your vision, you will need to have that clear in your own mind. You should know how much you are willing to invest in your dream facility, in terms of both time and money, and recognise the challenges involved. Try to do as much market research as possible. Visit your local competitors, talk to the experts and focus on creating a unique service.


FOCUS ON FINANCE A realistic and thorough business plan is essential. Equipping a new gym can cost around £20,000 for a small PT studio, and £60,000 + for a facility with a more comprehensive range of equipment. Budget sensibly, seek out trustworthy creditors and always have some revenue in reserve for those extra costs you may not have accounted for. By exploring all your options you may be able to secure a more prudent investment. Why not consider becoming a franchisee with an already well-established chain? Remember that your equipment doesn’t have to be brand spanking new, and that there is some incredible remanufactured kit on the market. CYC recommends taking out an operating lease plan on the latest equipment. There are many advantages to leasing, such as corporate tax benefits and superb maintenance inclusive agreements. Lease rental is 100% tax deductible, and all payments made for equipment are written off against the customer’s tax bill. There are certainly fewer risks incurred than buying equipment outright, which quickly becomes a depreciating asset.





LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION Choice of location is integral to the success of your new gym. Your site should be close to residential and office hubs, but not too near direct competitors. Remember that the regular gym goer is prepared to travel around 4 miles from home, and that longer distances significantly affect your members’ commitment to exercise. It is important to avoid setting up shop adjacent to businesses that will conflict with your ethos, for example it may not be the wisest decision to operate alongside a fast food restaurant or e-cigarette supplier. In selecting your ideal location, be sure to consider your neighbours. Be wary of how noise will travel and carry out acoustic tests if you have any concerns. A venue with good lighting and high ceilings is preferable. It needs to suitable for the type of gym you have in mind, and large enough for you to deliver your chosen activities safely. Do check that the walls and flooring are fit for purpose, and strong enough to hold mounted equipment.


Gregory Bradley, Founder, BLK BOX Fitness “When you’re opening your own facility it’s hard not to get excited over designing your dream gym or studio. I would highly recommend to meet with the team you’ll be working with and set out a clear plan of action, this should involve surveying the facility and getting the vital measurements. You’ll also need to take your time and do your research properly to ensure you’re paying for legitimate, high quality products. If you don’t, you’re likely to see yourself having to repurchase a couple of months down the line. If your background is training, it can be difficult to alternate between a 'trainer mindset' and an 'owner mindset'. When purchasing equipment, sometimes the trainer mindset takes over and the instinct is to think 'new toys', as opposed to tools for building your business. This can lead to costly mistakes, so it is important that your business model and your purchasing habits tie together. At BLK BOX Fitness we are constantly striving to keep up to date with the latest industry trends, which is why we specialise in creating modern facilities and fitness equipment

that is tailored to meet the individual needs of each client, their brand and business model alike. Before starting a project, we take time with our clients to understand their visions, to ensure they get it right first time. You will also want to celebrate the brand you’ve worked hard to create and your equipment is great way to do that. We are constantly asked by our customers about bespoke design services, particularly when it comes to their equipment, so be sure to embrace the colours, style, logo and tagline that separates your business from the crowd and really sell your fitness experience. Lastly, At BLK BOX Fitness we also help bring our clients’ visions to life by offering them the opportunity to work alongside our specialised in house design team in creating a full 3D visual representation of their space which can also be enhanced with the addition of custom branded bumpers, dumbbells, rigging, turf and sport specific flooring.” SEPTEMBER 2017




GYM DESIGN It is really worth investing in quality 3D design technology to bring your ideas to life. It can revolutionise your appeal and revenue potential. The layout of your fitness space needs to work for you, your staff and your clients. Effective design will enable your trainers and members to work out in comfort and safety, and will inspire them to achieve their goals. CYC offers an excellent gym design service, and can testify to the importance of planning layout, equipment and storage solutions. It is crucial to map out workout zones, particularly in multifaceted gyms, and consider how your gym will be used on a day-to-day basis. It has to be practical, comfortable and uncluttered, regardless of the size and shape of your space. Consider the superb range of multi-purpose space-saving functional training equipment on the market, such as Training Wall®. Gym design is not just about practicalities, but about taking opportunities for thrilling creativity. It is where you get to create the look and feel you have been dreaming of, with stylish colours, branding and accessories. Many new gym owners now opt for a nightclub ambiance with coloured strip lighting or neon glowing features that match their brand colours. If this is your preferred style, do make sure that your walls, ceilings and even floors can accommodate the electrical requirements safely, without generating extra heat in your finished space.






TRAINING AND ACCREDITATION Your staff are your most valuable asset. It goes without saying that they will need to have all the necessary certification and be qualified to the highest level. Most gym clients now expect exceptional instruction and support to enable them to reach their fitness destination. The latest boutique gyms boast the crème de la crème of personal trainers, and though your facility may not achieve metropolitan, celebrity status, you should aim for the same standard. Your employees should share your passion for fitness and be able to convey that to the clientele. Whether cleaning toilets, greeting on reception, or leading high intensity interval training classes, every one of your team members should be affable, charismatic and an ultimate professional.

CLEVER KIT High quality, innovative equipment creates immediate vibrancy and will set you apart from your competition. Wall mounted and multifunctional compact stations maximise space and enable you to get the most out of every square metre. Be sure to select equipment that is best suited to your type of facility and the classes you intend to offer. Fresh and funky kit is great, as is the trusty, tried and tested. Aim for a good balance and never compromise on quality.

TARGETED MARKETING It is vital that you get to know your demographics to gain your local market share, and your starting


point will of course be online. How will you stand out from the crowd? Your website should be exciting, user-friendly and always up-to-date. Social media platforms play a huge role in retaining and attracting new clients. Content, in the form of images, videos, case studies and stories, needs to be informative and captivating, and reviews and testimonials are essential for building up a trusted reputation. If you are planning an amazing launch event, make sure you shout about it from the rooftops so that the message reaches far and wide to your target audience.


FLOORING AND ACOUSTICS At CYC we have come across many facilities where suitable flooring and acoustic solutions have not been given sufficient consideration, and so we feel it necessary to make a special mention of these. It is saddening to see gyms where a small fortune has

been spent on expensive equipment, but where flooring has proved inadequate, particularly in free weights areas. Floor tiles need to be of suitable thickness, robust, non-slip and ideally complement the aesthetics of your gym. There are many companies that offer specialist advice and the finest bespoke gym flooring solutions. Gyms tend to be fairly noisy places, and overlooking the acoustics of your site could be troublesome for you and your neighbours. It is advisable to carry out careful research on how to minimise noise for both your gym users and other facilities sharing your building. If you opt for an upper level space, be mindful of noise travelling downstairs. Again, high impact flooring in free weights zones is an absolute must. There are specialists who can perform thorough noise and vibration surveys to put your mind at ease. They offer a consultancy service, along with bespoke manufacture, material supply and installation.


Paul Farrell, Account Manager, Physical Company “Budget is a primary factor for many fitness professionals, of which the installation of flooring and equipment makes up a significant part. Not only can these costs mount up, they are usually paid up front, rather than in monthly increments like rent and staff wages. Consider the cost of materials and equipment early on to prevent budgetary issues down the line. When deciding on your equipment start with a wish list and then refine it. Remove or replace items to ensure maximum return on investment in terms of use, appeal and practicality. It’s crucial to choose a range of kit that will best suit your facility; for example, if you have small premises, you’ll need as much space as possible. Add wall-mounted racks, rigs and storage to save vital space on the gym

floor, especially if you will be offering functional training. Choosing a range of kit that best reflects your target audience is also key. When creating the right environment, it’s crucial that you don’t overlook smaller details that will tell potential members your facility is the right one for them. Arranging a site visit with your chosen equipment supplier early on is useful, not only so they can ensure things will fit as you hoped but they can often offer creative concepts to bring added value and appeal without affecting the cost. Finally, with your site assured for use, your plans approved, your suppliers enlisted and your costs agreed, creating your own space and building a community within it should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.”






ADDITIONAL REVENUE STREAMS When setting up your gym, it is important to remember that customer retention is key. You should aim to create a training haven that your members simply cannot live without. For this you will need some unique features that will enhance the customer experience, as well as generate additional revenue. Quality showers and lockers are always greatly appreciated, though surprisingly not always available in some gyms. Consider leasing space to trainers and physiotherapists and providing massage and spa services. Cafés and juice bars offer attractive social spaces, and boutiques selling gym kit essentials and nutritional supplements are desirable. Relish these opportunities to partner up with local companies and grow your brand through further marketing opportunities these amenities bring to your business.

MAINTENANCE AND HOUSEKEEPING Many gym owners would say that keeping up is far more challenging than starting up. Once you have launched your gym, you should never rest on your laurels. Think with your client’s hat on and always be on the lookout for ways to maintain and improve

standards. Service and treat your expensive cardio equipment in the same way you would a new car as repairs can be costly. It is wise check the warranty you have with your new or remanufactured equipment, and discuss service and maintenance contracts with your supplier. Optimum cleanliness is essential and, should hygiene levels start to slip, your members will be the first to notice, and protest. Be sure to keep equipment, changing rooms, lockers, wipe dispensers and bins sparkling, and involve your clients in the process. Your new baby is, after all, their new baby too, and should be loved and nurtured!

For more information on Craig Young Consulting’s products and gym design service contact or visit




GOING TO THE GYM CAN BE DAUNTING Nicky Sefke (pictured right) discusses the subject of sexual harassment at the gym. Why is this an unspoken trend and more importantly what can be done to eradicate it? Words: Nicky Sefke

Women have different reasons to go to the gym. Personally, I’m feeling a bit soft around the edges, and I like the results. Others train for a specific event, want to get fit, feel more confident or safe, and some make their money that way. All perfectly good reasons. One thing we all have in common is a reason we do not go to the gym – to get harassed. According to a 2016 YouGov survey 1 64% of women received unwanted sexual attention, more than half, and that doesn’t even include unwanted physical contact and feeling unsafe – 35% and 63% respectively. This means that over half of women have been wolf whistled or stared at, endured comments and stares and similar. How is a gym any different to any other public place? It isn’t. In an environment fuelled by sweat, supplements and heavy weights, the trifecta of feeling confident, safe and comfortable is seriously at risk, and in turn women are at risk. Add to this the 24 hour, cheap and barely cheerful gyms that are popping up in just about every neighbourhood, and the trifecta is dangerously crumbling.

NOT SPOKEN ABOUT I mentioned this article to a girlfriend, and instantly I got the reaction that, truthfully I never wanted to hear, but sadly expected: “happens all the time”. Despite this, it isn’t really spoken about. Had I not been writing this article, I probably wouldn’t have brought it up, and even with some digging, it’s not easy to find a study, survey or report on gym specific harassment. If anything, it is PT specific, which in itself is horrifying, yet does not cover the grand scale of all the harassment that happens across every gym. Though I am by no means dismissing it, it is only a small part of a much larger problem. Is it the new taboo? Or do women, like so many other forms of harassment, almost take it as a given, a part of their day to day lives and plan accordingly? Imagine this: You’re wearing your workout clothing, headphones are in, and your music is blaring. You’re counting your reps and watching your form. You are in your own little bubble. What you may or may not see, is the fellow gym goer that is ogling every inch of your body, probably paying very little attention to their own workout – from personal SEPTEMBER 2017



experience, doing just enough to not be to glaringly obvious. Unacceptable? You bet. Unavoidable? Sadly, probably not. Dangerous? It could well be. You’re in a gym, full of people and staff, it’s well-lit and you’re not alone. That’s the theory. But, apart from the much cheaper membership, maybe you joined this particular gym because you work the evening shift, and you don’t hit the machines until almost midnight. You and that charming specimen may well be the only two people working out, and if the car park is anything like the at the gym I attend, it is so sparsely and dimly lit, it may as well be set in a cave. Suddenly the situation is completely different, and chances are you are feeling neither comfortable nor safe. Pervy Pete could well just be that – pervy, but do you really want to find out? I sure as hell wouldn’t. Like most women, I make choices about my routine in regards to my safety. I avoid walking down dark narrow alleys at night, I don’t park in the darkest spot available, and I always try to be aware of my surroundings. At the gym, it’s different. You actually pay to be there, and you pay to be in your bubble and do your session your way. Does this mean I should avoid the gym at night? Should I join a women only gym? Heck no. There is nothing wrong with such a gym, if that is what works for you, but let’s not teach women to be scared. Let’s provide a safe environment.

GYM RULES Reading the Gym Rules supplied by my gym (and Gym Etiquette is another subject for another time), only “aggressive, abusive, anti-social or threatening” behavior is mentioned, and not a single word about how to deal with or report it. You are, by way of written words, threatened with termination of your membership, and potentially, the police being called, which again is great in theory, but what if there is no member of staff? CCTV will typically be in operation, but I wouldn’t count on someone sitting in a surveillance room 24/7, waiting to press that panic button on your behalf. In all reality, it’s not much more than a security blanket that may deter, though a person being prepared to make you feel unsafe and uncomfortable is not going to be the most upstanding citizen. How long will it really deter? Probably only as far as the camera reaches. Similarly, my particular gym has a keypad entry to the female (and I assume the male) locker room, which activates after a certain time. In theory a great concept, but should I be followed into the locker room and my last line of defense is a guy on the other side of the door – how can he help me? I understand and advocate those kind of security measures, but I do fear it isn’t tackling the actual problem at hand. It’s like telling the public we don’t need prisons, because you can lock yourself into your house. Nothing is solved, and I would even hesitate to say it creates a bit of fear in the process. 24



So, what do we do? How do we create an equal environment, where women do not fear sexual harassment, whether inappropriate comments, staring, being touched or much worse? Unmanned 24 hour gyms are certainly not the only ones to blame, all of this can and does happen in the most upscale, fully staffed Leisure Club, but I do have to wonder at which point convenience started outweighing safety, and whether the lack of staff, the lack of attention to its members and their potential safety is worth the minimal monthly fee. Surely, vetting potential members is not an ideal situation. What categories would you have to fulfil to be considered a safe member? As with many other things in life, surely lying and cheating could get you through just about any test. And how could this either be proven or disproven. Who vets the vetters, and how will gyms make any money whatsoever?

ATTENTION TO DETAIL The solution likely is one that stretches much further than just the gym, and sadly is not something we can just implement and solve between us. Of course, having staff available, and trained – though I’m not

sure the typical sexual harassment courses are the be all and end all here, is the first step. Staff need to be trained on the effects this kind of behaviour has and how to spot it when not involved themselves. It is one thing telling your staff what they themselves shouldn’t be doing, it’s another thing altogether to give them the tools and knowledge to spot it and deal with it. A little attention to detail when it comes to car park lighting would also go a long way. Education also goes both ways. Educate your female members what you don’t accept at your gym and how they can raise it. How they can feel safe, and what you will do for them. Most importantly though, let’s talk about it. Street harassment such as catcalling has been called out massively recently, and in the gym it is the same horror in blue. Women need to feel comfortable enough in their environment to call it out, and we all, irrespective of our gender need to stand up and refuse to accept it. I think it’s important to say here, this goes both ways. Ladies – don’t say or do something to a guy you would be horrified to hear yourself.

Most importantly, don’t be Pervy Pete – nobody likes him.





Mirrors for Training offer fixed and portable mirrored solutions to your individual requirements, supply and supply and install Nationwide. Call us on 01902 791207 or email for a brochure

Yoga & Pilates spotlight

Have you thought about adding yoga or pilates to your offering? Justin Rogers, Creative Director at TEN Health & Fitness, explains the how’s, why’s and why not’s.

Two of the oldest disciplines in fitness, Yoga and Pilates are enjoying greater popularity over the last few years than ever before – complete with A-list ambassadors and legions of instagram fans. Their growth and appeal continues unabated, with new Pilates and Yoga studios launching and expanding across the UK on what seems like a weekly basis. From a fitness operator’s perspective, there are a number of advantages to adding either or both disciplines to your offering including: ★ increasing the number of services available under your roof ★ adding extra revenue lines ★ gaining access to a wider range of potential customers ★ providing more variety to your existing customers

But should you? Let’s assume you’ve already done the basics. You’ve run the numbers, and you’ve looked at the opportunity cost - the revenue lost either by not using the same space for something else, or because adding these classes means repurposing or reducing a space that’s currently generating revenue as say, gym space, a café or retail. Assuming it stacks up financially, the next question is how well either or both disciplines fit with your brand and the rest of your business. Whichever you choose, it needs to be aligned with your values, approach and the rest of your products and services. If it’s not, your customers are unlikely to embrace it and your staff will be less keen to support it. For instance, if you’re currently running a testosteroneheavy weights-based gym, it’s unlikely to be an environment that a spiritual, mindful, and 75% female Yoga audience is going to feel comfortable in. Let alone what your existing customers and staff will think about such a drastic change to the vibe they’re accustomed to. Assuming you’re still with me, the next question is which discipline to offer (or both). And that’s down to a number of factors, including:  the amount of competition around you  which you think you could do differently, or better, than anyone else in your area  which fits best with everything else you offer SEPTEMBER 2017



 your appetite for managing class schedules and trainers  how much space you have available  how much time you have available within any existing class schedules (better to add one new discipline properly than both half-heartedly).

The differences - from an operator’s point of view This isn’t about the differences in approach, techniques or methodology – you can find plenty of people online who’ll define those more neatly than I can - though from experience, don’t expect them all to agree with each other! Here, I’m talking about the operational differences - what it will mean for you as a fitness business owner or manager. How much investment, how much space and what facilities you’ll need.  Yoga Yoga comes in many different forms, from dynamic and vigorous (Ashtanga and Vinyasa,) precise and detailed (Iyengar) to the restorative. Not forgetting the various Hot Yoga options. So you’ll need to decide which to add to your schedule - and if you choose more than one what to schedule when. There can also be significant differences in the standard of instructors.  Pilates At least at first sight, Pilates is a simpler proposition. There’s less ‘woo’ and less variation between one interpretation and another. Instructors are also more consistent in standard and approach, particularly if they’ve qualified through a reputable body - Stott or Body Control are both excellent. There’s definitely a bigger audience for Yoga, but there’s also much more competition. And perhaps because of the differences between instructors, keen yogis are often more loyal to an instructor than a studio.

per person than in a standard mat class. At Ten, we’re all about the Pilates Reformer. While it offers a lot more flexibility and capability for both functional and rehabilitative work than a mat does, it’s a large and heavy piece of kit. Ours require 7-9 square metres of room space each depending on room proportions, and at 55 kilos, they’re not something you’d want to be moving around too often. So think about what else you’re going to be using the room for. If you’re planning to run a mix of different classes, Pilates and/or Yoga alongside, say, Barre and dance classes, you’re better off keeping any equipment to a minimum to allow easier changeovers between classes.

Staff Last but most definitely least, it goes without saying that specialist classes require specialist instructors. Properly qualified and experienced. So unless you already have Pilates or Yoga teachers on your books, you’ll need to find and hire them. At Ten, we have our own industry accredited in-house Academy where we train all our Pilates instructors. But that’s not a necessary (or even advisable) route for anyone who’s just looking to add some variety to an existing fitness business. Luckily there are plenty of really good trainers available in both disciplines. The vast majority are freelance, so likely to be visible online, and potentially open to offers. Key things to look for are their level of qualification within their discipline, who they trained with, how long they’ve been teaching, and where else they teach. You can judge a fitness operator by the quality of its instructors – and vice versa. But you can’t beat first-hand experience. So get a feel for their teaching style and skills, either by observing one of their classes, or asking them to teach a trial class to friends or staff (paid, of course).

Space and equipment

Last but by no means least, you’ll learn a lot about them by looking at their social media feeds. What they say will tell you a lot about their interests and expertise. How they say it will tell you a lot about them as a person.

The space you have available will have a bearing on what you can offer.

And that matters because bad energy is bad energy. And whatever they’re teaching you don’t want that.

Unless you’re going for the Hot option, a yoga Studio can be set up with the minimum of investment. The same is true of Mat Pilates. A room, mirrors and some mats is pretty much all you need for either. Pilates’ greater focus on individual attention and hands-on correction means classes are usually smaller than with Yoga – at Ten, we limit numbers to 10 clients per class. (For Yoga providers, 30 or more people in a session is not unusual.) So the bigger the space, the more attractive Yoga becomes from a revenue point of view at least. While both disciplines can be taught with the minimum of props, Pilates can be also be taught using specialist equipment – the Reformer, the Chair, the Tower and the Ladder Barrel are the most popular. This enables greater variety and challenge in a session - and a higher class price as a result. However you will need to allow more floor space 28



London’s leading Dynamic Pilates provider, Ten Health and Fitness has 8 locations throughout London. In addition to Dynamic and Clinical Pilates, Ten also offers Physio, Massage, and Personal Training, along with Barre, TRX, HiiT, Stretch and Yoga classes. Justin Rogers has been involved with Ten Health and Fitness from its earliest days. As Creative Director, he is the force behind the Ten brand and is responsible for communications and marketing. His focus on long-term societal wellbeing rather than fads is illustrated by Ten’s “MoveBetter” campaign.


Janet Taylor, Training Manager, Future Fit Training, School of Pilates “The face of Pilates has changed and been more in the public eye with the advent of both sporting and celebrity endorsement for this renowned method of training. Course training accessibility has widened the appeal to instructors looking to add to their offering for clients who are more than ever aware of fitness developments and trends. Pilates provides that extra piece in the fitness jigsaw for many regular exercisers looking to enhance their programmes and support their goals in areas such as flexibility, mobility and core control. It is the ‘go to’ choice for so many people looking to exercise within an alternative or additional framework. The added value that the principles behind the Pilates method can offer trainers and in doing so their clients is limitless. For our clients, a one size fits all programme is no longer an acceptable approach to the breadth of clients accessing fitness programmes, individual trainers and large corporate venues have to look at their customer base and meet their demands. Customer demographics are much wider now than 10 years ago with the development of technology, online coaching, and smartphone apps.  The modern trainer needs to establish not only a unique approach to training but also show an understanding of this famous method which traverses the sport, fitness and the mind body arena.

Easily integrated Pilates exercises might be ‘the leg pull prone’ (Plank), ‘the Push up’, ‘the Roll up’ (full sit up), and ‘the Shoulder bridge’ (hip or bottom lift), the main focus being either the speed or emphasis on movement in how they are performed. Joseph Pilates’ legacy lives on both in the original method still practiced today by classical mat trained instructors and by being embraced and developed into a variety of modern formats.” SEPTEMBER 2017



Yoga/Pilates moves onto the gym floor Yoga and Pilates have moved onto the gym floor thanks to the 30-minute Apex Fusion session developed by Physical Company. Designed for small groups, this fusion of yoga and Pilates is proving successful in introducing these forms of exercise to gym goers by bringing the two disciplines out of the studio and into the heart of the gym. Blending yoga and Pilates exercises, Apex Fusion focuses on whole-body balance, flexibility and strength work. The half hour sessions are very accessible to people and an ideal introduction to both disciplines. Some members are encouraged to take part in longer, more dedicated classes in the studio having been introduced to the concept on the gym floor. The opposite flow also happens with yoga and Pilates fans visiting the gym to take part in Apex Fusion. Fitness4Less has found great success with Physical Company’s Apex sessions to drive membership sales and

Top Five:

boost gym floor participation. “The whole point of Apex is that it’s inclusive, engaging, attractive and effective: the model works brilliantly for our trainers and members,” says Stephen Bradley, Operations Director at Fitness4Less. “The programmes change every eight weeks with Physical Company providing us with new exercises and routines to refresh the sessions and keep the members motivated. Apex genuinely adds value for members.” “Yoga and Pilates exercises are increasingly being used by people in the gym – typically to warm up, stretch and boost flexibility,” says John Halls, Physical Company Managing Director. “Apex Fusion appeals across the board: yoga and Pilates fans enjoy the different dynamic of the session in the gym while gym goers welcome the chance to master the moves without committing to a longer, more ‘serious’ studio session.”

Kit For Yoga/ Pilates Practice 01 Airex Balance Pad Elite AIREX Balance Pad Elite with its unique foam technology aids functional training for body posture, proprioception, balance and coordination. Performing Pilates or Yoga moves with your feet or hands on the pad will make things just that little bit more challenging by introducing manageable instability.




02 BodyZen Yoga Mat This soft, non-slip, lightweight mat has an inner cotton layer to prevent stretching, with central lines to aid posture alignment. Easily transported, with carry strings available, it’s made from easy-clean, latex-free PVC.

03 W  eighted Soft Pilates Balls A great tool to strengthen, tone and re-align the body. Available in three colours/sizes - 0.5kg, 1kg and 1.5kg - they have an easy-grip design and a washable surface.

04 Pilates Power Rings Just what’s needed to target the leg abductors and adductors, as well as the pectoral muscles, lats, triceps and biceps and help develop flexibility and torso stability. Easy to pack and stack for individual and group sessions.

05 P hysical Company Pilates Head Pads and Covers Perfect to place under the head, hands or knees for improved comfort. Or place under the lower back to help release hip flexors and maintain a neutral alignment.

Visit for more information. SEPTEMBER 2017



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Clothing that fits you and your members Creating your gym’s own clothing lines doesn’t have to be a headache, Marc Astbury explains why. As a gym owner there are a plethora of options available when it comes to adding supplementary product offerings to members and visitors. A varied display of pre, intra and post workout supplements are almost always present at the welcome desk. One area of merchandise that is often overlooked is clothing branded with the gym itself. Taking a look at the industry as a whole, The Telegraph recently reported a £5.1bn spend on ‘athleisure’ wear in the UK alone (2016), with the figure set to rise further in 2017. The Instagram boom and focus on aesthetics means an old baggy t-shirt will no longer do when going to work out.

Captive audience Gym owners often say to me ‘how do we retail our clothing, we are a gym, not a brand.’ I am always quick to deconstruct such concerns. It goes without saying that the large chain players such as Pure Gym and Virgin Active are very much seen as ‘brands’, but everyone down to single location gyms are also in this category, potentially even more so. Members of more niche, independent gyms often have a sense of rebellion against joining a commercial chain and the ‘cost first’ offers they represent. With this in mind, the emotional ties with your gym are far stronger and therefore, willingness to buy into the brand increases. Members are often incredibly proud of the gym they attend and keen to physically represent it via the medium of clothing. Furthermore, we have seen a notable positive feedback loop following the introduction of branded merchandising offerings. Increasing revenue streams leading to further investment in facilities and in turn, most importantly happy and loyal members. Rinse and repeat.

“You have developed a focal point in the community and beyond, embrace your impact.” SEPTEMBER 2017



The community In the face of intense competition independent gyms have done an excellent job of adding additional value to members. Some examples of this are specialist training equipment, relationship development between staff and members and a supportive, knowledge sharing culture. If executed successfully, this all adds up to a community driven, inclusive environment for members to feel truly a part of. Leaning towards a tribal sense of togetherness, a common, visible logo/brand accentuates this feeling even further. As the facility owner or staff member, wearing your custom branded clothing yourself is a great way to both show off your merchandise and to reinforce your brand.

Members are the best marketers Undoubtedly, your members are your best marketers. Ad campaigns, open day promotions and special events can all drive gym visits and in turn membership numbers. However, a reputation is ultimately built through the word of mouth of members. You have spent countless hours perfecting a superior in gym experience that members love. Allow your proud members the opportunity to showcase your gym outside of studio. Through working with a wider range of gym types I have repeatedly seen incredibly positive results and feedback from both members proudly sporting products and gym owners retailing them.

Doing it right Everyone has seen the gym that prints its logo onto a bargain price t-shirt, done with good intentions but executed without finesse, barely lasting through a single wash cycle. Clothing representing your gym is a major touch point with current and potential customers, therefore its quality must match the facility and service offered. Despite the positives listed above, It can be a frustrating task to go about searching for a suitable service. Importing from overseas can often feel like a minefield, on the other hand non-fitness specific garments are not ideal for workout performance and aesthetics. GymFuse was initially born out of frustration with the dilemma described above. Daniel (co-founder) and myself were inspired by the aesthetic movement on social media, and observed the difficulty smaller fitness companies had in sourcing appropriate products. Running a gym is a full time job unto itself, therefore supplementary activities must be integrated effortlessly alongside the core operation. Below is a checklist to consider when adding clothing to your product range: Top tips summary: 1. Your gym is a brand unto itself, treat it as such! 2. Help your members look and feel good. 3. Test the market! See which products your members love. 4. Diversify revenue streams. 5. Get noticed! Members social media posts are your friend.

Marc is the co-founder of GymFuse, a UK based B2B clothing solution for the fitness industry. GymFuse helps businesses grow their presence by delivering a premium clothing range without the stress of importing. Speak to Marc directly or find out more at




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'Fitness is a way of life for me' NAME: Robert Rowan

WORKS IN: Coventry - JD Gyms

QUALIFICATIONS: Level 3 PT/Functional Resistance Trainer/ Advanced Fitness Testing

FACEBOOK: Wellbeing Physical Training

NO. OF YEARS AS A QUALIFIED PT: 1 year PT / 21 years as level 2 fitness instructor

How did you become a PT? I started working in the fitness industry when I was 17 years

INSTAGRAM: @robert.rowanpt VIDEO:

Do you specialise in a particular type of fitness?

Coventry. My qualifications were through Lifetime Training.

Thankfully one advantage of being involved in fitness close to 25 years is that I've gained a lot of knowledge and experience that I'm now able to specialise in many types of fitness to suit all goals.

What was your experience of the training/qualification process?

What’s it like working with gym owners?

The process was relatively smooth, a lot of online training,

Having worked for a number of operators as a fitness instructor, I was nervous at first to step into the self employed role for a new gym. But the club reflected my own ambitions and the support of the team has been invaluable in me building my business. At first I found it a tricky step to move out of fitness instructor and into that world of selling yourself and what you can deliver.

old as a fitness instructor and over the years worked with different fitness centres. I qualified as a PT at the end of 2015 ready to start working for the newly opened JD gyms

attending class and of course passing the practical assessment.

This feature is sponsored by:




You spend your working hours motivating others, how do you motivate yourself? That's simple, fitness is a way of life for me just like breathing is. I have an endless amount of passion and love towards fitness so the motivation just comes naturally. But of course watching anything with Arnold in is a great source of motivation!

What advice would you give to other PTs just starting out in the business? Don't expect the work to suddenly come to you just because you are qualified. You have to work your butt off every single day, approaching and helping members who potentially will feed of your passion and love for what you do. Consistent hard work always pays off!

What are the biggest challenges facing your business today? I'm getting to a point where I'm struggling to fit all my clients in the time slots they desire due to the amount of clients I now have.

What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years? The biggest chance I'm seeing now is that women are not afraid to lift weights amongst the men and I'm really pleased they are now realising the benefits of weight training. Another huge change is the use of social media, although it can be beneficial to sell your business it can also be dangerous in learning dangerous so called new exercises.

How do you engage with your clients? While training my clients I give them absolutely all of my attention constantly praising and reinforcing exercise technique. All the other times my clients are free to message or call me whenever they have a question regarding training or need advice on nutrition.

How do you promote your services? I promote through the use of social media and of course being a constant visual presence on the gym floor. The manner in how I'm seen to train my current clients has also attracted new clients due to them clearly seeing I love what I do.

How often do you train yourself? I very much listen to my body as to how often I train but I would say at least 4-5 times a week.

If there was one thing you could radically change within the industry, what is it? The use of mobile phones or at least limit the use of them while training due to them being a huge distraction when your mind needs to be focused on the workout in order to achieve total mind muscle connection.

Do you see yourself still working as a PT in 10 years time? Absolutely yes because I love what I do!

What is your biggest success story? I would say it was taking the risk from being a fitness instructor to a personal trainer where it would then be down to me to gain clients and of course earn money. Being a personal trainer for JD gyms has allowed me to meet and gain many wonderful clients helping them with their fitness goals. Samah one of my recent clients came to me 14 weeks ago in hopes to get in shape for her holiday at the end of July. Before talking to myself Samah tried absolutely everything in order for her to get in shape with little to no success and was feeling depressed and demotivated. We worked closely together and she completely trusted my guidance. In 14 weeks she went from wearing size 16 down to a size 10 and got into the shape of her life. What's more important is that she felt comfortable and happy in her own skin with the depression gone.




Fit Kit

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

Big Bottles! The Big Bottle Co produce 2.2l water bottles, which come in 12 colours and finishes. The 2.2L design helps you to easily monitor your hydration levels and help you to easily achieve your daily water intake in a fun and sustainable manner. The bottles are also BPA AND BPS free, dishwasher and freezer safe and are fun and easy to use. Visit

Professional recovery TIMTAM Power Massager V1.5 is the most powerful portable deep tissue device on the market. It is balanced to deeply massage muscles, break down knots, increase blood flow, and release stored lactic acid for quicker recovery leading to increased athletic performance. Designed based on a mini reciprocating saw, TimTam Power Massager 1.5 deploys a patent-pending threaded shaft that allows a wide range of therapy tips providing flexibility and better durability, resulting in better overall performance compared to other devices on the market. Visit

Plucked straight from the forest Di Bosco means 'from the forest'. It's crammed full of red berries, strawberries, sour cherries, rosemary, lemon, honey and more. It's superb endurance nutrition and as delicious as nature can be. It's stuffed full of 100% natural ingredients, it’s Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free and GM-Free making it easily and naturally digestible, free from any nasties. Available in packs of 3, 9, 15 or 24. Visit




New OOFOS OOmg Recovery Shoes Like all OOFOS products, the OOmg shoes feature a patented footbed design that cradles the arches and supports the feet, combined with a super shock absorbing sole made from a proprietary material called OOfoam, that absorbs 37% more impact than traditional footwear. The new closed-toe, closed-back shoes will launch in two colours (black and grey) and feature a 4-way stretch mesh upper that conforms to the foot for comfort while also allowing the foot to move naturally to enhance the recovery process. Visit

Natural protein on the go Meridian Foods is giving fitness enthusiasts more choice for natural protein on-the-go, with the launch of its Peanut & Pumpkin and Peanut & Coconut nut bars. The new nut bars, which are made with Meridian’s Peanut Butter, offer between 6-8g of protein per bar. What makes the bars different is that the protein is provided naturally from Meridian's roasted nuts, without the added processed protein found in most other protein bars. The combination of protein and carbohydrates make them the perfect recovery snack, promoting speedy muscle repair after exercise whilst replenishing muscle fuel for the next workout. The bars are also dairy, soya and gluten free and suitable for Vegans. Visit

Watermelon flavoured BCAA powder Bio-Synergy has added a new fruity flavour to the BCAA range, introducing the refreshing BCAA 2.1.1 Powder in Watermelon Flavour. This nutritious and delicious blend of amino acids is suitable for anyone taking part in intense training or exercise, looking to help increase lean mass and reduce body fat levels. Each thirst quenching 12g serving is sugar, fat and calorie free, so will improve performance and speed up recovery without adding those unnecessary calories. Visit

To sponsor this feature, contact: SEPTEMBER 2017



Condition Nutrition Optimum Nutrition sponsored athlete, Dominic Heap, provides expert recommendations on creating an effective personalised nutritional plan to complement your training programmes. As we know, nutrition is a major part of any training goal and without a viable plan in place, achieving these goals will be more difficult. Before getting started, there are a number of key elements that need to be established. Firstly it is important to establish your training aspirations, whether it be weight loss, muscle gain, sport performance etc. This needs to be clear in your mind as it will dictate the calorie/macro requirements you set. Secondly, you need to take into consideration your lifestyle as this will impact on your commitment to following the plan. More specifically, you need to create an environment so that following a nutrition plan will be sustainable and won’t impede on your lifestyle. You want to be able to enjoy the process, not resent it. I have had clients desperate to reach their goals and sacrificed a lot in order to stay on track with their plans. This however, has also had a negative impact and caused them to give-up on their plan completely. Therefore, it is important to create a plan that works for YOU, a plan you know you are realistically able to follow. The phrase ‘the most successful diet plan is the one you’ll actually follow’ is very true. Your plan could be perfect on paper; however you are not going to achieve the results you want if you can’t follow it. For example, if you create a meal plan which includes foods you don’t particularly like and have only included them as you feel you should, then you are likely to swap these for a meal off-plan that doesn’t meet the macros requirements that you have set out. If your job doesn’t allow you to take regular breaks, you may prefer to spread your calories across less frequent but larger meals as opposed to smaller more frequent meals. This way you’re not going to be stressing about missing meals, or eating meals closely together to make sure you reach your nutrition requirements. 40



Now, let’s talk about the plan itself and what it should include When I write up my client’s nutrition plans, I always start by calculating their Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). This will give you an estimation of the number of calories you burn per day when exercise is considered. This figure is important because if your goal is to lose weight then you will need to make sure the calories in your plan are lower than your TDEE putting you into a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you are consuming). Likewise, if your goal is weight and muscle gain you will want the calorific number in your plan to be higher than your TDEE putting you into a calorie surplus (consuming more calories than you are burning). I recommend increasing or decreasing your calories (depending on your goal) in small increments such as 150-200 calories. Drastic changes can cause unwanted stress in the body so by making small changes the body can adapt efficiently.

Protein, fats and carbohydrates Now let’s talk about the three macronutrients, Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates that will make up the foods in your plan. Each offers a different function within the body and knowing how they work and what they do will help you when it comes to making the food choices you might feel are more suitable for you and your goals. All three are essential and should be incorporated into your meal plan, but it’s the amounts that can vary from one another depending on training goals and personal preference. Protein (found in meats, dairy, eggs, lentils) is broken down into the same amino acids which can be used by the body in different ways. For the growth and repair of tissues, supporting the immune system and as an energy source. It is important that there is adequate protein amounts included

in any meal plan but even more so as someone engaging in physical activity. This is because muscle tissue will be broken down through exercise, which gives the body a reason to rebuild the tissues stronger and or bigger to enable it to deal with continuing physical demand. Fat is in many ways the most controversial macronutrient. This is because there are good fats and bad fats. Bad fats are generally trans-fats that are found in processed foods such as cakes and biscuits to extend shelf life. Saturated fats found in fatty meats, cream, coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds are essential and taken in very small amounts. The majority of your fat intake should come from unsaturated fatty acids. Fats have lots of important roles within bodily functions such as protecting our vital organs, growth development and sending messages around the body to name a few. Carbohydrates (found in rice, bread, starchy vegetables) play a major role in physical exercise. Whether through weightlifting or rowing, carbohydrates provide the energy that fuels muscular contractions. When carbohydrates are eaten they are broken down into smaller sugars that are absorbed and used as energy which will be used to fuel our activity, central nervous system and brain function. Now that you understand what macronutrients are and how they work, you need to decide which macros might be more beneficial for you and your goals. If my clients’ goals are sport specific, then I will generally spread the macronutrients out with a 40/40/20 split of proteins, carbohydrates and fats and then monitor how they get on. If you are a general gym goer who wants to build muscle or burn fat then I would recommend trying the split above. If you’re an athlete such as long distance runner, you might want to incorporate more fats within your diet as opposed to carbohydrates, but if your someone who plays a sport such as rugby where the duration of exercise isn’t as long SEPTEMBER 2017



supplements is Optimum Nutrition. This is not because I’m sponsored with them, I was using their products long before I was sponsored. It is because they are a trustworthy brand who’s proof is in the pudding so to speak. They offer a wide range of supplements to cater for all needs. The first product I would recommend is a protein supplement. A product such a 100% Gold Standard Whey protein is perfect for after training. As mentioned earlier when protein was discussed, muscle tissue is broken down through exercise and amino acids need to be replaced to recover and rebuild. This is where a product such as GSW with its blend of quality proteins will be absorbed quickly by the body and aid in the recover and rebuilding process. The next supplement I would advise on using is a good fish oil supplement. This is because fish oils contain omega 3 fatty acids which are essential fatty acids, meaning they are needed by the body but not produced by the body. Fish oils have lots of benefits to human health such as joint health, heart health and cognitive function. If your training goal is to build muscle then I would recommend supplementing with Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder. Creatine has been proven to increase muscle mass and strength. It does this by pulling more fluid into the muscles which places a stretch on the cell membrane to signal an increase in muscle protein synthesis, leading to an increase in muscle growth. Next on the list is Vitamin C. Vitamin c has lots of health benefits that may include the growth and repair of tissues, reducing stress and supporting a healthy immune system. and you're performing shorter more intense movements, then you would probably want to have a higher ratio of carbohydrates to fats like shown above.

Finally a good multi-vitamin such as Optimum Nutrition’s Opti-men/woman can be beneficial in a diet that’s not achieving their vitamin and mineral needs from food alone.

A current diet trend that is being utilised is IIFYM (if it fits your macros). This is where you eat whichever foods you desire as long as it meet your macronutrient requirements. So you can eat cake, pizza, biscuits, burgers etc as long as the numbers add up. I like the idea of using foods you enjoy but I would replace the foods with healthier options. This is because junk food is very low in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and high in unwanted fats and sugars, so although you could potentially reach your fitness goals this way it’s not all about how you look on the outside, looking after yourself inside it just as important. Keep this in mind if you are thinking about adopting this approach.

Finally to finish, I want to leave you with a couple of extra tips to take away - prepare your meals in advance. I personally prepare meals the night before. This will save you a lot of time and also it will allow you to avoid situations where you resort to take-away. Download an app on your phone where you can track your foods and exercise such as myfitnesspal. You can set it up with the calories and macros you’re having, then just add the foods you’re eating into the diary and it will let you know when you have reached your goals!

Supplements Now we have covered the food side of the nutrition plan let’s talk about supplements. Firstly, supplements are there to supplement alongside a good nutrition plan. If you don’t have a good nutrition plan in place first, you cannot expect supplements to do all the work. The brand I use for all my

I hope you found this article both interesting and useful. Best of luck with planning your nutrition programmes. Now go smash those goals!

"The phrase ‘the most successful diet plan is the one you’ll actually follow’ is very true"

Dominic Heap is a sponsored athlete with Optimum Nutrition. He is a Sports Science graduate and personal trainer with over 10 years in the sports and fitness industry. For more tips or any questions check out his social media platforms:  @domheapfitness 42


 Dom Heap Fitness

 Dom Heap


H y d r at i o n Strength & conditioning coach and Founder of men’s transformational fitness programme, Back2Fitness, Sam Yassin commented: “Reaching our body goals can sometimes feel like a daunting task. Whether the aim is to lose weight, build muscle mass, boost fitness levels, or all three, we all accept that eating right and getting active are the keys to success.”

promote a high metabolism, and help with weight loss – all

He continued: “However, a critical element in achieving these goals, that many people overlook, is the need to stay properly hydrated. Our bodies need regular hydration to keep functioning at optimum levels. With water transporting essential nutrients around the body and helping the elimination of waste products and bacteria.”

litre of water, before having any breakfast or hot drinks.

“Some of us will spend a small fortune on superfoods and supplements, all the time overlooking one of the most basic, and easiest, ways to promote a healthier body – hydration.”

great news for those looking to improve their body.” Valuing the importance of hydration so much, at Back2Fitness, clients are advised to start the day with half a “Staying well hydrated cannot be overestimated, though it can be easy to become dehydrated, the effects of which can include a feeling of fatigue and headaches.” “To stay on top of fluid intake we recommend that, excluding protein shakes, our clients drink at least two litres of water throughout the day taking in another litre while working out.”

At Back2Fitness along with the need for proper nutrition, the programme also stresses how essential it is to stay properly hydrated.

“And remember,” warns Sam, “if you are feeling thirsty, your

“Keeping hydrated has many positive health benefits,” continued Sam, “it aids the transportation of fluids, vitamins and minerals to the skeletal muscle whilst also helping to

the day.”

body is already showing signs of dehydration so don’t wait to feel thirst, take in fluids at regular intervals throughout For more information on Back2Fitness, please visit

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Bio-Synergy offers cool hydration solution for gyms with the launch of NEW branded Skinny Water fridges Bio-Synergy the health and fitness brand behind one of the best ranges of sport nutrition introduces a cool solution for gyms looking to offer their guests a thirst quenching, sugarfree alternative to fizzy drinks. Pre and post workout, Skinny Water is here to upgrade your hydration needs. Offering a tastier, alternative to traditional water, Skinny Water is a zero calorie, sugar-free drink fortified with l-carnitine and chromium, which help to curb cravings, burn fat and speed up the metabolism.

looking to enhance their hydration offering for both pre and post workout.

The ultimate training aid, Skinny Water helps to enhance performance and keep the good intentions rolling even after you’ve left the gym. So much more than a drink, Skinny Water provides support to help reach your workout goals.

Skinny Water provides a welcome alternative to basic water, traditional high sugar energy drinks and pre-made protein shakes that have become the norm on site within gyms. The unique combination of highly active ingredients means our Skinny Water not only hydrates, but helps to curb sugar cravings and speed up the metabolism, ensuring guests can make the most of their workout.

Available in six delicious flavours, Skinny Water offers a taste to suit every gym goer. From the classic fruity variants of pomegranate, orange and raspberry to the newly launched Gym Tonic, Skinny Bellini (for those who love the cocktail taste sans alcohol), and the exotic flavour of Coconut, there’s a bottle for you.

Our Gym Tonic has already garnered a following within the fitness community. Not only does it taste great, the lemon and lime inspired flavour is packed with 2000mg of L-glutamine and 600mg of the amino acid leucine, meaning it delivers on the workout front too. For gyms, we know this signature flavour will be a real hit!

Produced in fun, eye catching and Instagramable bottles – Skinny Water is the drink gym goers will want to show off. With this in mind, Bio-Synergy have created the ultimate showcase. The NEW branded Skinny Water fridge features a glass frontage to display the bottles, placing the packaging pride of place ready to capture passing attention. Meanwhile, the fridge sides feature the iconic Bio-Synergy logo, highlighting the 20 years of experience that has gone into every bottle.

Overall, Skinny Water has seen huge success within retailers and we are excited to bring this product directly to gyms, with the fridge acting as a fantastic visual asset to boost sales.”

Daniel Herman, Founder of leading sports nutrition brand Bio-Synergy adds: “Our branded fridge is the perfect storage solution for gyms

Skinny Water is an extension of the wider Bio-Synergy awardwinning range which includes everything from Whey Hey® Protein and Creatine, to Body Perfect Capsules. Since its launch 20 years ago, over 4 million passionate sports and fitness enthusiasts have chosen Bio-Synergy to achieve their goals and fuel their performance. Its protein and supplements have been used by many of the world’s most respected athletes and teams, in fact, Bio-Synergy has fuelled more Gold medals, PB’s and World Cup wins than any other brand!

Skinny Water costs from £31.96 for 24 bottles. The Skinny Water fridge costs £700. Call for trade deals and pricing or email Visit for more information. 44


ClubRight is founded on the belief that with great processes in place you can spend more time growing your membership, your profits and doing what you do best. We know first-hand what it takes to be successful in this industry and our simple, effective member management software has been designed by real people who have faced and overcome the same challenges you face today.

Our passion is to do everything better and give you back the time to grow your business with software that just works. ClubRight’s products are packed full of features and provide tailored member management tools so you can get exactly the support you need. Whatever your style, however you sweat and whoever your customers are, ClubRight’s core mission is to minimise your admin time, get your members moving and your business growing.


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pt viewpoint

It’s not that easy William Wylie identifies the most common reasons why people fail to lose weight. Weight loss should be simple, expend more calories than you consume and you will lose weight. However it’s not always easy. Breaking habits and forming new ones is a very tough thing to do. From eight years experience specialising in this section of the personal training industry here are the most common reasons why people fail to lose weight. A lot of them seem simple, however it’s amazing how common they are.

1. Eating too many calories Very obvious yet the most common one. If your weight is not shifting, then you are eating more calories than it requires to lose weight. Start recording your food intake on My Fitness Pal - I guarantee you probably eat way more than you think. After a week of recording, work out your average, set yourself a target of a 500 calorie deficit each day and see what happens by the end of the week.

2. Incorrectly recording calorie intake This happens in two ways; either by subconsciously selecting the lower estimate of foods on my fitness pal so you can eat more, or by missing out small things throughout the day. Here’s an example, you forget to include the butter you had at breakfast - 50 cals. You forget the protein shake you had after you trained - 150 calories. You’re starving (or you feel that way because you are in a calorie deficit) so you have a spoon of peanut butter - 100 calories. You steal some of the kids’ sweeties 46


- 50 calories. All easily done and that is very small example but all of a sudden that is 350 off your deficit. Is 150 cal deficit per day enough to see a significant difference? Not in my experience.

3. Not consistent enough at being in a deficit Let’s say your target deficit is 500 cal per day. You hit that Monday to Friday, then you decide to treat yourself at the weekend. You have a large Domino's (2400 calories), a side (600 cal), and some ice cream (500 cal). Wow! 3500 calories in one meal, plus whatever else you ate that day. This easily puts you in a surplus and can nullifying your 5 days good work. Any way you look at it, if you reward yourself with excessive food you lose. So if you’re ‘treating’ yourself, keep it within some parameter that keeps you in a deficit.

4. Alcohol Not for one second would I advocating that anyone completely remove anything in their diet however moderation in the key, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Let’s look at some popular drinks. Let’s not mess around. If you go out and drink, you can probably drink close to 10 drinks (that’s a rough number and let’s face it, there's times we’ve all had more than 10). Here are the totals: Beer x 10 = 2,300 calories Kopparberg or cider x 10 = 2,400 Large glass wine x 10 (if still standing) = 2,000


pt viewpoint

Vodka x 10 = 700 Rum x 10 = 700 Gin x 10 = 700

between sets, leaving out hard exercises or conditioning at the end of sessions. The bits you don’t enjoy will get you the best results, do it.

Now again, i’m not saying exclude alcohol, but if you’re drinking and you’re trying to lose weight, moderation is the key. Not only is it high in calories, you lose your inhibitions and that money you’ve been saving… who cares, you’ve got your bank card… those calories you’ve been saving… who cares?… You do, in the morning when you check your bank balance or you jump on the scales.

8. Not training often enough There are 168 hours in the week, you work 40, you sleep 56, that leaves you 72 hours. Plenty of time to get all your sessions in.

9. Have a sedentary lifestyle

5. Weekend Not having the same routine you do the 5 other days of the week where you are forced to wake up early for work. Have breaks at set intervals. Now you have freedom, if anything it should be easier, but we all want to relax at the weekend. For this I would recommend that you either force yourself to stick to routine, or if you are really not going to do it at the weekend, just make sure no matter what you choose to eat or drink, you do it under your calorie goal. It's easy to go overboard picking up things on the go.

6. The ‘To hell with it mentality’ This one usually occurs after you have already slipped up on the plan, and it goes a little something like ‘oh well, I’ve messed up today anyway, why not’.. Ok so you just took yourself from a break even day calorie wise, to setting yourself back a week. As easy as that.

7. Not training hard enough Getting to the gym, looking at the phone too long in

Remember too if you are going to the gym 3 hours per week that is 3 hours out of 168. Be as active as you can otherwise, take the stairs, walk more, the more you move the better. If you get a break get out and go for a walk, it's also great for clearing the head.

10. Support

Bad influences, partners, groups, family.

If you are already on the verge of falling off that wagon this is when you need support the most. You need a strong word in your ear telling you you can do it. It’s too easy to quit if someone is saying, ‘let’s just get a takeaway and start again tomorrow’, ‘one won’t hurt you’, ‘go on you deserve it’. If you're starting a plan, tell people about your goal, tell them why it's important to you and get them to help you. Make them know how serious you are. And if that fails you’ll need to find that inner strength to either say no. Or do things in such a way you don’t blow your calories.

William Wylie is a PT and Director at The Club Gym, Glasgow. Check out his website at SEPTEMBER 2017



‘Not enough thou how to keep track coming through t We talk to Steve Guscott, Operations Manager at EZFacility UK. How did you get into the fitness industry? I have always loved the fitness industry and in 2005, I began working for a small sided football provider based in the South East of England – Azzurri Fives – as their Leagues Manager overseeing the running of 40-50 evening 5-a-side football leagues. In 2007 I was appointed Operations Manager and was responsible for the day to day running of the whole business which included the management and maintenance of a number of sports facilities. When we entered the market for software, we began using EZFacility and there began a wonderful relationship! When Azzurri Fives was acquired by one of the largest UK providers of small sided football – Champion Soccer – at the beginning of 2011 I decided to move on, and was offered the chance to join the small team expanding EZFacility into the UK market.

Tell us about EZFacility In 2003, EZFacility launched in the U.S, with a vision to build a great company - one that changes the way businesses are run through cutting edge technology; one that delivers real value to our customers; one that creates substantial rewards and opportunities for our employees; and one that is an enjoyable place to work. In 2007, after great success in the U.S, EZFacility launched in the UK, where there was a clear gap in the market for software in the traditional areas within the UK’s fitness industry - gym’s, sports & leisure centres and personal training businesses. As we have grown, to become one of the largest providers of feature rich management software for the sports and fitness industries within the UK, we remain true to this vision and proud of our progress. We have earned the trust 48


of thousands of UK & EMEA businesses and have built a workforce that cares about our customers' success and have experience of working in the fitness industry themselves.

Is the fitness sector fully embracing technology? On the face of it, it certainly looks like it to the untrained eye. Every day you read about new apps that will make you fitter, healthier, eat better, train better etc. Dealing with gym owners on a daily basis it seems everyone wants an app, but they don’t put enough emphasis on encouraging their members to use it. I am always surprised by the amount of people who are quite happy to have members call up to book classes or personal training, or don’t know how to get the message across to their members that they can do all this themselves at the touch of a button via our app or online booking portal.

What sets EZFacility apart from its competitors? Our all-in-one software solution means the gym owner can cut back on clutter and the need to use multiple software systems. With this added time they can now concentrate on the things they enjoy focusing on – training clients and keeping members coming through their doors. We offer integrated direct debits to manage monthly gym memberships, scheduling to manage class timetables or personal trainer diaries, point of sale for selling drinks, supplements and equipment and an app and online booking portal for members to book and pay for the services offered. Most importantly though, we pride ourselves on offering a high level of customer service. We have a team in the UK


ught goes into k of the members the door’

so you won’t have to sit in long queues waiting for over the phone support. When you speak with someone here they have had the experience of working in the UK fitness industry and are able to relate with the issues you face running a facility on a daily basis.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your business? I would say one of the biggest challenges is how little emphasis new start-up gyms are placing on having membership management software. When putting together business plans no expense will be spared on cardio equipment or free weights, the changing rooms or the flooring. Not enough thought goes into how to keep track of the members coming through the door or how they will book sessions, and more importantly how can the business make the whole experience as easy as possible for clients. If you are not managing this correctly then ultimately this will have an impact on that all-important cash flow.

What's the best lesson you've learned from the fitness industry? Don’t stand still! The fitness industry is an ever-changing market with new products, especially software. With so many frequent changes never take your client’s business for granted and keep doing what you do well whilst evolving with it.

What's next for EZFacility? In September, we will be releasing our brand new overhauled self-service member booking module and we are really excited to get this in the hands of our customers. It has been our number 1 requested improvement on our user voice platform - and in our early access user groups we have been receiving some great feedback. Past that, we will continue to work on developing the product based off the feedback of our customers, whilst continuing to offer a fantastic customer experience. SEPTEMBER 2017



Single vs dualanchor suspension systems – which one is best? Owen Bowling, Founder of CrankIt Fitness, provides advice on choosing a suspension straps solution. Suspension systems are evolving. Gym owners need to give careful consideration to how the product will be used by trainers and members in order to make the correct purchasing decision. The market now offers two main variations – single anchor and dual anchor. Here, Owen Bowling, Founder of CrankIt Fitness, explains the benefits and limitations which apply to both systems, helping gym owners tailor their offering to suit their needs.

What is meant by a single anchor or dual anchor system? A single-anchor system connects the two straps through one carabiner to one anchoring strap, whilst the dual-anchor system incorporates two individual straps connected to two separate anchor points. Each system has its own benefits and restrictions in terms of functionality for the user.

SINGLE-ANCHOR SYSTEMS Benefits A single-anchor option allows the user to exercise in any direction in relation to the anchor point, which helps to maximise the use of the space available. Working with one anchor point can make the equipment set-up quicker, and allows for greater ease of adjustment between movements or when levelling the height of the handles, providing a faster transition time between exercises. When relating these benefits to activities, all of these points would be advantageous in a group training setting, where the instructor is working with a number of people, in limited space and with a set amount of time. In terms of exercise aspects, the single-anchor system can be more efficient in activating the core muscles due to the instability that this anchor system places the body under. The body may look to find balance with a single-anchor point, causing abdominal muscles to engage during the movement. Restrictions A restriction to this set-up is that you can’t use a singleanchor system with two clients at the same time. Each person needs to work individually. And it’s more tricky




perform exercises that require clients to position themselves between the straps, for example for triceps dips, as straps can rub on the arms. Pull ups are also practically impossible on a single anchor product. In addition, some exercise variability is lost as the handles cannot be placed above medium height and the user cannot modify the straps configuration or anchor widths to change loading angles.

DUAL-ANCHOR SYSTEMS Benefits In contrast, the dual-anchor system can accommodate two clients and the loading angles can be adjusted to suit a range of exercise abilities. Due to the two separate anchor points, there is less rubbing on the arms or necks throughout movements positioned between the straps and there is an increased range of motion for exercises such as dips. Due to the more extensive range of movement options, a wider selection of exercises can be performed and it is easier to place the feet in the straps as the weight placed on one strap won’t affect the other, as it does on a single-anchor system. The other key exercise benefit is the enhanced stability, especially when there is a strength training focus. Although the single-anchor point may work the core more, the dualanchor system provides a higher level of stability during the exercises as there is an increased base of support from the anchoring. This allows the user to get into deeper positions, where their bodies feel more stable, and it is possible to create more force as a result, making it the more efficient choice for a focus on strength training. Restrictions When set-up with the two-anchor points shoulder width apart, exercises need to be performed in one direction,

whereas a single-anchor point allows for exercises to face any direction from the anchor. It can also be more challenging to level the handles, making strap adjustments more time consuming, and therefore increasing transition time between movements.

CONCLUSION There are benefits and restrictions to both anchor options. If the priority is a system that is quick and easy to set-up and works well in small spaces, then a singleanchor suspension system is the recommended option. If members require a system that they can customise to allow more ‘between strap’ movement, for exercises such as chin-ups, dips, hanging or wide-strap exercises (eg chest presses, chest flys and triceps dips), and a slightly more complicated set-up process is not a concern, then a dual-anchor system is the product of choice. In terms of the offering, the dual-anchor system is probably the best option for a functional training studio or a Crossfit style box as it creates opportunities to perform complex moves such as muscle ups, dips and other traditional movement patterns. A more commercial gym aiming to be as accessible to as many segments of the population as possible, the singleanchor system is the sensible choice due to its easy set up and quick adjustment for movement transitions. It is also a good choice if space is limited as users can work at diagonals to each other. The CrankIt Suspension Strap is versatile, and allows both a single, or dual-anchor set up, simply by moving the carabiner to loop both straps into one anchoring strap. For more information visit

Owen Bowling is the founder and CEO of CrankIt Fitness, Australia's leading functional training product and education company. He is also the Co-Founder of Nude Nutrients, the brand behind world’s first 100% digestible protein supplements. SEPTEMBER 2017



7 WAYS TO KEE MARKETING GO ON VACATION Startup Active’s marketing expert, Omar Thompson, provides some top tips on getting your planning in order in advance of your holiday. The endless weeks of prep are coming to an end, your mobile calendar-countdown app has finally reached single figures, and you’re already debating whether your suitcase is big enough - all this means one thing; it’s vacation time! It’s an exciting time, but when you’re a business owner it can actually be quite stressful, too. In fact, I’ve heard of some business owners avoiding vacations altogether because it will “just cause too much stress”. It’s understandable. But why should you avoid holidays just because you’re a business owner. Running a company is super stressful, so some R&R is a must. So, this article is going to show you all of the essential planning you need to do ahead of your vacation, to ensure you can fully enjoy your time away. And if you haven’t had a break in years because you fall into the - “I haven’t got the time” or “it will cause more stress” category - then read this article, get your plan set and go book that much needed holiday. Only read on if you feel you deserve a holiday...

First of all let’s plan ahead Ok, so the first thing we need to do is put a plan in place. Write down your vacation date and wrap it with a big felt tip circle. This is the date we need to plan towards. D-Day, if you will. You then need to segment the remaining weeks. Write down the date of the last day where you will accept appointments. This will then help you when booking in sessions etc. for the upcoming weeks. Next, I want you to add a date on when you will officially start letting clients and subscribers know that you’re going on vacation. You will then be able to structure your marketing content towards this date, which we will cover later in the article. The goal here is to segment all of your tasks into the weeks you have remaining, ensuring that you aren’t spending the last few days before your holiday pulling your hair out and hoping that you had more time. This is one of the main issues that I’m going to help you banish from your holiday - the stressful situation during the days before. Not only will this ruin your mood before you’ve even stepped on the plane, it could make you forget some crucial factors that need addressing before you leave. Once you have segmented your weeks, I want you to add a few more tasks to your calendar.





Pre-write and schedule your optimized blog posts Blogging is the cornerstone of your website boosting your SEO ranking and driving new traffic to your website. I’ve always recommended blogging at least once a week and this shouldn’t stop just because you’re on holiday. But before you look at your screen in both shock and disgust, I’m not expecting you to write an article while tanning by the pool - quite the opposite, in fact. I want you to schedule one or two blogs during your vacation. Write these articles during the weeks before and, rather than publishing them, schedule them for dates while you’re away. This way, you will be releasing fresh new content on your blog while you’re sunning it up on vacation!

Reduce inbox anxiety One of the biggest fears we have a business owners, going on holiday, is the aftermath on our return. The stress when coming back from vacation is enough to actually make many business owners avoid taking a break altogether. But, this shouldn’t be the case. One of the ways to reduce your anxiety, of returning back to working life, is by tackling your emails beforehand. With a little pre-vacation planning, you can reduce this anxiety and provide better communication with your coworkers and clients.

Add an ‘Out of office’ Once you’ve cleaned up your inbox, I want you to go ahead and add an ‘Out of Office’ reply to your emails. This will then send out an automatic reply to anybody emailing you while you’re away, stating that you’re not at your emails and will reply when you’re back. Not only does this give people emailing you some peace of mind, when you haven’t replied in a couple of days - it will also help reduce and mid-holiday stress of you looking through your emails every day. That’s not what this holiday is for, right?!

Schedule newsletters while you’re away Both MailChimp and Active Campaign allow you to schedule email campaigns for a date in the future. This feature is a great way to keep your email marketing schedule intact while continuing to deliver value to your customers. MailChimp has a video tutorial to walk you through this process. Active Campaign has instructions available on their site as well.

Pre-schedule your social networking Social media is a huge part of your digital marketing, but I don’t want you to spend the majority of your vacation with your head in your phone tweeting and posting on Instagram. Remember, this holiday is for you to get a break away from all of that. SEPTEMBER 2017



But that doesn’t mean leaving your social media channels to look like a graveyard for the time you’re away. There is actually a neat way of scheduling posts so it looks like you’re posting content just like normal. By now most of you know that I recommend HootSuite as the best solution for scheduling social media posts. So, check it out. However, be careful not to post anything that requires a quick turn-around time to respond on your part. If you are running a contest on your social networks where a follower is dependent upon your reaction to redeem an offer you may be left with some unhappy campers. Keep the primary social network pre-scheduling safe and consistent so that your absence goes without notice.

Ensure access to data from your mobile As much as I bang on about avoiding business matters while on holiday, I understand that it’s realistically not possible to do this throughout. You may find yourself with a spare hour while winding down at the night to check your social media or any emails that have come in. Plus, let’s be throws us many curveballs and you may need to address

an issue while on holiday regarding a client. Hopefully this doesn’t happen but it’s best to be safe - so, ensure that you have access to data on your phone while away. Most hotels now offer WiFi, but don’t forget to let your network provider know you’re going away so they can tell you how to use your phone data while away. It will save a lot of stress in the long run.

Notify your clients As I mentioned earlier, create a date in your plan when you will start notifying clients of your break. You can do this when face to face, but I also recommend sending out an email reminding them that you’re away. If you have a private Facebook group for clients, be sure to let them know in there, too.

Enjoy your vacation It’s a scary thought to let go and truly check-out while on vacation. Many of you will have horror stories running around your head on how things will collapse while you’re away. But breathe, this won’t happen with the right planning. Take the time to put everything I’ve mentioned in place and you will be able to enjoy the stress-free holiday that you deserve!

At Startup Active, we fully understand how busy fitness professionals are. Most haven’t got the time to spend on their online marketing, which is why we offer a highly rated website and marketing package; Active Blueprint. To find out how Active Blueprint can transform your business online, visit our website:



Features for October include:

Security Joining Fees Wet-rooms & changing facilities Body weight training How to engage your members To advertise in these features call Paul Wood: 07858 487357

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Talking the talk Paul Swainson, Head of Future Fit School of Personal Training, asks ‘what constitutes a fully qualified PT’? Level 3? Yes. Level 4? Even better. Certificate in Business Studies and/or Marketing? Probably not, but it would help massively. Let me explain. Being a great PT and able to coach someone in exercise and nutrition to fulfil their wellness goals is a vital skill. Unless you know how to find these people, convince them to pay a good rate for your services and retain their custom, you could be the best PT in the country but you won’t make a living. Trainers typically come into the industry with boundless passion and enthusiasm for training and helping others. They fly through their PT course and emerge jubilant, qualification in hand - but with no idea of the harsh realities of business. Too many extraordinary PTs leave the industry, not because they have lost their love of exercise and fitness, but because they can't make a living. It frustrates me every time I hear a gym owner bemoan the fact their best PTs have ‘moved on’ or their staff churn rates remain high. Because the inability of good PTs to make a good living is avoidable nine times out of 10. As in all walks of life, there will always be PTs who simply can’t organise the proverbial in a brewery but my experience shows that if PTs have access to business skills and marketing training, they quickly learn how to build a successful business. The good news is PTs don’t have to attend evening classes or enrol on an adult learning GCSE Business Studies course. In fact, I’d recommend they DON’T do that as such learning is too generic. By the time you’re qualified as a PT, you need industryspecific skills to help you find clients and build your business. If business skills are key to success then why don’t training providers include such modules in their courses? Why indeed? Some of us do – but many don’t. At Future Fit we have whole sections on business skills, marketing, developing people skills and confidence on the gym floor to help newly qualified PTs step into the world of work with

confidence. But as operators have told us time and again, too many PTs turn up for work without a business head on their shoulders. In response to this, we created a product – the PT Skills Gap Programme – to help operators up-skill their staff. Mastering marketing, sales and business development will set a PT aside from the competition. Being able to create a strong brand/profile, understand how to pitch your services to be valued and profitable and engaging in some topline marketing activity will make the world of difference. But beware – ONLY focusing on marketing rather than getting better as a PT won’t work: poor PTs can’t hide behind slick marketing. Unless you’re Del Boy, selling rubbish goods isn’t sustainable (and even he had to win £1 million to be finally free of debt and worry.) It’s about balance: you clearly need to have some substance to the business/service you’re marketing and selling in order to ensure clients get results. My plea to gym owners and PTs is to learn as much as you can about business. Study courses, attend seminars, read books and watch videos about branding, marketing, sales, management and accounting, to make sure you're prepared for success. Check out our PT Skills Gap Programme and/or sign up to our Pro Zone where many of our expert webinars will cover marketing and business advice. Gym owners need to value professional PTs. Let’s build it from the ground up: invest in great PTs staying in our industry and they will set a good example for the next generation coming through. SEPTEMBER 2017



GET THE SCALE OUT Daniel Nyiri, Founder of 4U Fitness, explains why you need to measure what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.

“You cannot solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it.” —Albert Einstein Okay, I don’t mean that kind of scale (although you should be taking care of your health if you are going to own a successful gym— which includes regular exercise and a healthy diet)! I’m talking about scaling up. In order to scale up, you need measure what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. Business is just like training clients. You need to measure their progress to show results or you’re working blindly and are just hoping for the best. The same goes for a business. If you don’t measure your progress, you are just winging your business. One of our locations in Tampa Bay, FL is celebrating its 6th anniversary this year. From our studio door, we can see 5 different personal training studios. In a 10-mile radius, there are 68 gyms and personal training studios. More than half of these have had different owners and managers; they close and reopen, close and reopen. I’d say most aren’t going to succeed because the owners are being run by their business. As an experiment, I called several local studios in the prime hours when a new client would call and I was only able to reach one out of 10 studios. How do you think a client would feel if they called and got an answering machine over and over again? It’s not a great first impression. 56



Scaling up requires measuring, learning and innovating. It comes down to tracking what is going well, finding room for growth and always thinking and planning ahead.

Know your limits Your results come down to your business activities. If you don’t keep track and review your results month to month, there is no way you are going to make it. If you don’t know how much money you have in your bank account, how many clients you have, and what you need to succeed, your business will not work. You must know your minimum number and you must know your limits. You need to know if your studio is oversubscribed because it will happen! Everyone has a number so identify yours. How many clients can your studio take before the quality of the training drops? Once you know this number and reach it, then it’s okay to turn people away. It is just good for business. We do this all the time. Imagine when a client wants to train, wants to pay, and we say sorry we’re full but please check back later. They will talk about it all the time to others, thus creating exclusivity and fame for us. Just like apple! They announce x amount of iPhones are available, and then they say you can get more in 3 months with the next shipment. People talk about it and eat it up! They wait all night just for the phone.

Compare and calculate Always measure changes month to month and have at least 12 months of detailed accounting in front of you. Compare and calculate growth measures to see what direction you are going -- up or down, and then find out why. If you are going down, find the solution and pin it down! It could be as simple as trainers not taking payments on time. If you are going up, know why and make sure you continue fueling it!

Divide your personal trainer’s total income by the number of active clients to get the per client cost. And see if you need to fix something. For example, if you pay your trainer after each client and you give out free trial sessions, this will show you what the real costs are of doing business per client. If your trainer gives 10 free trials and only one signs up while you pay them $16 per session, you end up paying a lot more than you think.

Looking at the bottom number on a statement doesn’t tell you anything — you have to analyze. Here is an example:

I also recommend calculating how effective you are at hiring new trainers and converting them into revenue makers: Trainer’s contribution/Total Revenue = % effectiveness of that trainer.

What separates you from the competition? Do you know what the only difference is between you and your competitions? No, it is not service or equipment. It’s your management. Businesses don’t fail because it’s a bad business. Most of the time they fail because of the bad business owner and management. It is time to change. Measure your results and look at the numbers. These numbers won’t lie. Bad numbers equals bad management, while good numbers equal good management. Analyze your business every month and see what is draining you and how can you improve. You need to measure everything from phone calls to the number of paper towels used. The more detailed your information, the better. A golden rule is to only spend 10% of your time on expenses after full analysis, then trim the fat, and then focus 90% of time on your growth! Otherwise you’ll get stuck! When it comes to phone calls, for example, what time are they coming in? How many are you receiving? Who is calling? What are the calls about? How many of them are SEPTEMBER 2017



turning into real leads and consultations? How many turn into clients and how long do they stay? What is your total cost per client? This includes lead generation, phone service, employees, equipment used and so on. DATA IS KEY! If you do what you have always done without measuring, changing and adapting, you will fail. You have to measure in order to see what to change and where to adapt.

Learn to let go At the beginning when you first build your gym, you will be the doer of everything --and this is necessary. You will do training, handle customer service, sales, consultations, build a website, create email campaigns, advertising and more. But then you need to learn how to delegate all these jobs to someone else so you can focus on scaling your business. If you add everything up, such as web design, sales, reception, training, cleaning and more, you will soon realize that you are doing work that is no longer worth your time. On top of that, it is really wearing you out and you cannot grow. You have to learn to let go, trust others and delegate. Your business will get stronger and you will be able to focus on the tasks that matter most. If you are just getting started, you might be excited about doing everything and working all of the time — taking on new clients, toiling from sunrise to sunset. But you need to delegate, scale up and trust in others if your business is to succeed. No one wants to work with a burned out personal trainer or business owner. Don’t let your business, your dream, take you over or run you down. It will be hard work but scaling and delegating will make everything that much easier.

If you’re still wondering, “How is my business going to survive without me doing the work? Why would my clients come to train?” It’s about the results. As a business owner, you can double accomplishments, while supporting your clients and your community. There is nothing better than creating many good- paying jobs while you help people reach their health and fitness goals. I meet some gym owners and they always say there just aren’t any good trainers out there, they are too expensive etc. It’s all crap! I have 15+ trainers who are all way better than me. We have hundreds of pages of how to be a successful trainer at 4U Fitness outlining what to do with clients, teaching our sales process and so much more. Give them the tools to be the best in the industry! Let them come up with their own ideas guide and support them. If they succeed give them 100 % credit! If they fail take 100% of the blame! We are always hiring at 4U Fitness, you should be too!

Create jobs for others It is very sad that 75% of the 28 million businesses in the U.S. have 0 employees. When starting a business is all about building it up and hiring people. Create jobs for others, not to work for yourself. This proves that people are committed to run the show by themselves and the average income of these companies is a very sad $44,000 per year. THAT IS NOT A BUSINESS, it's torture! I would call that a prison where YOU, the owner, are both the warden and the prisoner. This shows you that anyone can start a company but it is extremely difficult to make it big and successful and you absolutely need an amazing team to do so! And I can safely say I am happy to be surrounded by the most amazing team out there.

Daniel Nyiri is an entrepreneur with one goal: to revolutionize the fitness industry. Find out more at 58




Chris Zaremba, our fitness over 50 expert, outlines his approach to weight loss. I am often asked about the best approach to weight loss. In general, this question comes from those who are probably not committed gym users, may or may not be into some regular sporting activity, but have realised that this is a subject that they should turn their attention towards. Most are not looking to become regular gym-goers. They certainly do not want anything too complicated with their weight loss or involving long lists of rules. They have active lives and need an easy approach that can be integrated with their lifestyles with the minimum of disruption to their daily routine. I have created an approach called ‘Three Stage Fitness’, which is designed to be as simple as possible at the outset, Stage 1, adding more complexity at Stages 2 and 3. To keep the level of complication down, I don’t describe these subsequent stages until they are applicable to that individual – which, with success at Stage 1, may be not at all. Note that I want increase people’s fitness as well as help them lose fat, so I try to avoid the term ‘weight loss’. The idea is they get fitter at the same time as losing weight, even though they may not realise that’s happening. I’ll discuss Stage 1 in this article, and cover the other stages later. As you read this article, you may think my approach to Stage 1 is simplistic, just statements of the obvious. I don’t argue with this, the simpler the approach and the fewer the rules in a plan then the more likely it is to be adhered to.




Small changes Stage 1 is all about making relatively small changes in people’s daily lives in order to achieve a steady and realistic weight loss. All I do in this stage is encourage people to move a little more, and consume a little less – especially of the bad stuff. Although there are many additions I could make to this, I base Stage 1 on the traditional idea of instilling behaviours which will create a daily calorie deficit. In terms of the weight lost, I see one pound a week as ideal for a long-term goal; perhaps a little more in the first few weeks. Some people think one pound a week isn’t much – but multiply that by a few months and you get a major drop in anyone’s books. One pound of fat has around 3500 calories, the Stage 1 route to losing that fat is to adjust daily habits to create a calorie deficit of 500 calories for each day per week – achieved by a drop in intake by 250 calories, and an increase in expenditure of the same amount. We could do some calculations on this, but at Stage 1, I don’t want to get into this, keeping it simple is going to encourage sticking to the plan. So here are the simple guidelines I advise people to follow: 1.  Moving – Firstly, I try to avoid the word ‘Exercise’ here, as it can be a deterrent. There will be more than enough ‘Exercise’ in Stages 2 and 3 if we go down that route next. Instead, I try to get the individual to agree to: (1) walk more, both walking as part of their daily routine rather than a short car or bus ride, and also taking some extra walks in leisure time – if they have a step counter, either in watch format or on phone, then set a realistic target – perhaps 15,000 per day (2) and for that walking, do so more quickly – as walking quickly burns more calories, (3) take the stairs rather than the lift or escalator, (4) if possible, when going up those stairs take them two at a time – which, although they don’t realise it, gives them a quads workout as well as being a good calorie burn. Finally, if they have a bike, use it rather than the car whenever it’s a bit too far to walk!

2. Consuming – Again, I have a few suggestions that I’d like the individual to agree to: (1) cut out as much as possible all the bad stuff – most fats and fast carbs, (2) focus on eating the good stuff – protein, slower carbs, fibre and fruit. Terms like proteins and fast carbs may not mean much to many, so I have created a food guide list which breaks these categories down into more detail, and I walk through this list with each individual. Portion size is also important, and I ensure people realise the effects of this. Alcohol is an interest for many, and my guideline here is to minimise it for the duration of the stage; if total elimination is not possible for social reasons, then keep it a minimum and make it good quality – ‘quality not quantity’, is my motto here. 60



I want the individual to feel at the end of each day they really have moved an extra 10-15% more than on a day before the programme, and eaten around the same percentage less – especially of the bad stuff. If so, they probably have achieved something close to the 250 calorie change I am looking for in both factors – a daily change of 500 calories. Yes, these percentages are highly subjective, but I don’t want to get into calorie or macronutrient counting yet – Stages 2 and 3 will cover this if needed. I like everyone on Stage 1 to give it a go for a month. At the end of that month, I hope they have an overall weight reduction of between 4 and 8 pounds, and can see and feel some benefit in the mirror and on the tight trousers test too. What happens next is very much dependent on the individual: 1. If the weight loss is less than that expected, then maybe they are not sticking to the programme, in which case we need to work out how to resolve this. Or maybe their starting calorie surplus was sufficiently high that the actions described just slowed down the rate of calorie growth, rather than reversed the trend. In which case, maybe they would be willing to become more involved and move to Stage 2. 2. If the weight loss is more than that, then they probably need to cut back on some of the food reduction, and maybe some of the movement increase too. I’d probably discuss the benefits of moving to Stage 2 to ensure they are getting sufficient nutrients and starting some resistance training, as I’d be getting concerned that there may be some muscle wastage going on here.

Both of these are overall guidelines, and as before the specific advice varies massively from individual to individual, depending on their personal preferences, level of commitment, and how they feel at the end of the month. Including a daily food diary is a great idea for those that are willing to put the time in to update it. I often find that Stage 1 can be repeated and, my ultimate goal for people who achieve success with this is when Stage 1 practices cease to be a special way of behaving for a month, but instead becomes the new norm for their lives. But for those whose motivation and interest is such that they want to move to more complexity, then Stage 2 brings body composition, calorie counting, meal timing, a couple of all-body workouts per week plus a little cardio. Beyond that, Stage 3 goes into grams of macronutrients, and bodypart split resistance training, as well as adding some complexities to the cardio. And all of this will be described in next month’s article. Chris Zaremba used his nutrition and training strategies to transform from very overweight to contest-winning condition in five years starting at age 50. Check out Chris’s website for more tips for those over 50:




JUMP ON BOARD THE DATA TRAIN Data is revolutionising the way companies operate, in every sector, and now’s the time to make it your most valuable asset. Leave it too late and you risk getting left behind. Performance consultant, analyst, and bestselling author Bernard Marr sums up the crucial importance of data in his new book Data Strategy: How to profit from a World of Big Data, Analytics and the Internet of Things. “Every two days, we create as much data as we did from the beginning of time until 2003,” he says. “Then we do it again. Every two days. Today we have five zettabytes of digital information; by 2020 it is expected to grow to 50. If you don’t jump on the data train you’ll be left behind at the station, while your competitors ride off into success.” Marr makes a valuable point – for small, independentlyoperated health clubs and large, multi-site chains, and every health and fitness offering in between, data is fast becoming one of our most prolific – and valuable – outputs. Data is set to have an explosive impact on our industry but, let’s be honest, at the moment most of us don’t even know what a zettabyte* is, let alone how to manage that much data. Think about the amount of data your health club or leisure centre outputs every single day. Leisure management systems, access control, kiosks, online bookings, networked fitness kit. Add to that the data your members’ wearable devices produce. And their smartphones. It’s a deluge. You probably see yourself as a wellness provider, an activity provider or an equipment supplier – certainly not a data company. But data is infiltrating and influencing all of our businesses, whether we like it or not. The trick is, as Marr would say, to get on board before you’re left behind. So how can you use this deluge to your advantage? Marr points out that it’s using data successfully that counts – to 62



improve your decision-making, generate effective revenue streams and to enhance operations. Data repositories like the DataHub are allowing operators to benefit from shared benchmarking of their data across the leisure sector. Currently holding data from more than 300+ million visits to health clubs and leisure centres, it can be used to influence decisions and enhance strategies, be that something as small as changing when you put on a particular activity or class, to how and when you proceed with larger-scale refurbishment or expansion plans.

Ultimately it’s not about how much data you have. It’s about what you decide to do with it, how you opt to use it and – crucially – the steps you take to get the most out of it. * For the uninitiated (me included!) a zettabyte is 1,000 exabytes. One exabyte = 1,000 petabytes. Stick with me here… One petabyte = 1,000 terabytes. One terabyte (you may be starting to get your bearings now) is 1,000 gigabytes. Or put another way, A zettabyte is equivalent to about 250 billion DVDs’ worth of virtual storage space.

Using data tools can significantly influence your business decisions. GLL has been using the DataHub’s Social Value Calculator (SVC), delivered in partnership with Experian and Sheffield Hallam University, to measure the social value of its interventions since 2016. GLL has used the tool to calculate that, for every £1 spent by them to deliver activities, the trust generates £2.02 in social value; a total of £423 per customer. Overall, it generated £350,409,853 in social value in 2016, nearly £90,000,000 more than in 2015. Broken down, this amounts to more than £75m in improved health, £262m in increased life satisfaction, £12m in increased educational attainment and £266,000 in reduced crime. GLL now plans to use these figures to bid for future tenders, establish which community schemes are on target, and where refinement is needed. Chris Phillips is Head of Sales in the Sports Intelligence practice at 4Global and has responsibility for the DataHub. He works closely with partners and operators to ensure the DataHub delivers value to customers and the sector alike. The DataHub is a repository for sport and leisure data, integrated and enhanced through a suite of business intelligence modules, accessed anywhere via a single online portal. For more information contact or visit




Finding funding facts

For many leisure operators, Exercise on Referral (EOR) is seen as a ‘have to’. However, the reality is it offers huge potential and commercial opportunity, driving new people into leisure, health and fitness services, which in turn generates additional revenue. Being able to provide access and opportunity to people that would not normally set foot in the door of your facility is a huge benefit - to the provider, the commissioner and the client referred. We speak to experts in EOR to find out more. Stuart Stokes, Commercial Director at specialist exercise referral software solutions company, ReferAll explains: “Funding for an EOR programme needs to be well thought out and mapped appropriately. It is important to think carefully about the overall term of the contract, as for many operators your largest expenses are incurred in the first year. Think how lead in times may eat into your potential for capturing outcomes. It may take you three months to get the programme up and running! If ‘results’ are lacking in this initial period and you have increased expenses early on this may create issues. Crucially, make sure the offer of funding sits within your main business aims, as you don’t want to be distracted by a short term prize.” One EOR success story is Life Leisure, who were an early adopter of Exercise on Referral (EOR) schemes in 1992. Called PARiS (Physical Activity Referral in Stockport), Life Leisure’s scheme is a joint partnership between the trust and NHS Stockport. Michelle Childs, Senior Physical Activity Development Officer at Life Leisure, comments: “Typically we receive around 1,500 referrals over a twelve-month period. In the last year, 100% of those who accessed PARiS completed the 64


initial evaluation and 68% completed their three-month evaluation. Out of all our referrals to the central hub we know that after six months nearly 500 are still active, with 60% of those now achieving at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week.” As a result of its success, in June 2016 the trust was awarded a further contract by Public Health Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. The three-year agreement, which could potentially run for five years subject to outcomes, was worth over £170,000 and tasked Life Leisure to additionally provide falls prevention and cardiac rehabilitation phase 4 programmes alongside its specialist physical activity and EOR service. “For any EOR programme provider, successfully bidding for new contracts is always challenging. The quality of our data and reporting was essential to gain this additional funding and so we have greatly benefitted from using ReferAll.” ReferAll offers a fast and efficient online referral pathway for Exercise on Referral schemes. The software connects GP practices, commissioners, scheme administrators and EOR instructors, both in the office and at the activity delivery sites, such as leisure centres and community halls, via tablets.  This ensures all data is collected centrally, enabling real time reporting with ease on anything from uptake


Brio Leisure

“As an operator, when considering any goals, it is vital we have the evidence we need to convince health care professionals of the merits of exercise interventions. This needs to come from a strong evidence base both nationally and locally. Data from Exercise Referral schemes needs to be current and readily available so it can be used for reporting purposes. This includes the ability to show increases in activity levels, changes in behaviour and, although not essential, any improvements in wellbeing.”

Pitfalls: demographics to evaluation of improvement in activity levels. By reducing staff administration time and increasing time with patients, as well as automating appointment reminders, speeding up activity enrolment and providing motivational text messages, the EOR ‘journey’ is also made easier for patients.  “Previously we couldn’t show how many patients went from doing no activity to completing thirty minutes of exercise five times a week. This is what public health teams want to see: the impact of the EOR programme, “ Childs continues. “Over an eighteen-month period we received over 2,200 referrals and 1,990 of these started the programme. 92% of these increased their physical activity levels from baseline and there was an average decrease in BMI of 1.5 as well as an average reduction in waist circumference of 7 cm. 64% of our PARiS participants reduced their daily sitting time by an average of 105 minutes per day.” Brio Leisure, a Community Interest Company (CIC), also used data to demonstrate the success of its Exercise on Referral (EOR) programme, producing an impressive set of annual statistics. Over the last financial year, uptake rates are over 80%, with more than 2,000 patients referred to its EOR programme.

 Poor planning – think about the end not the starting point and work back from there. This will ensure you lead your business in the right direction averting problems with commissioners and funders.  Aim high but with realism. Research what has been done before: don’t expect your new programme to help people lose 10% of their body weight when previous ones may have struggled to achieve much less.  Work in partnership – call on your partners (Public health consultants, GP practices and stakeholders) to keep everyone on track. This is essential if you are the lead organisation in a consortium.  Communicate the good, the bad and the areas that need work - work collaboratively with your commissioners, partners, customers and stakeholders. Share aspects rather than keeping things to yourself and hoping you can dig your way out. It is much better to gain support than to disappoint. Life Leisure

Elly McFahn, Managing Director at Brio Leisure, comments: “As a CIC and a social enterprise, our purpose is to use our assets and profits to benefit our community. Using ReferAll’s reporting tools, we can clearly demonstrate to our commissioners that we are encouraging a higher referral uptake and significantly improving not only the physical health of our customers, but also having a positive impact on their mental wellbeing. “We provide programmes across a number of centres. It simply wouldn’t be possible to collate the quantity of data from the number of referrals we now receive or to produce the quality of statistics on a regular basis using a paperbased system.”

Life Leisure

Stuart Stokes concludes: “The face of leisure is changing, with health playing more of a role than ever before. To truly secure the future of Exercise Referral I believe we need to standardise programme delivery and data collection so the same things are being measured, collected and reported on across the board. Stuart Stokes is Commercial Director at ReferAll. A public health specialist with over twenty years of experience in the health and fitness industry, Stuart Stokes founded Refer-all with software developer Mike Carey in 2009. For more information visit




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Tracking technology Q. Lately, our occupancy rates during group exercise classes have been on the decline. What can I do to keep members engaged and coming back week after week? Brian Carter, York

Paul Ferris, Chief Executive for Speedflex, answers:

That is definitely a common challenge and you’re not alone. While it is widely accepted that group fitness is an excellent way to get fit and stay fit, the biggest hurdle many have to overcome on their fitness journey is just simply staying the course. After that initial buzz of excitement has left new members and their motivation begins to wane, there is no doubt that encouragement from others and that commitment to regularly turn up really can and does help them over the ‘hump’ on those days when their ‘motivation gene’ seems to have gone missing. To ensure members keep coming back, an inspirational trainer can be transformational. I would also suggest that adding a good variety of exercise options to avoid boredom and plateau is crucial. There are several key components to creating the perfect group training environment. A brilliant addition to the training studio is utilising ‘tracking technology.’ This is an area of the industry that has been thriving of late. It’s not difficult to understand why. At Speedflex for instance, we use MYZONE in every session

and it is an excellent tool for keeping members motivated and engaged at all times. Members wearing the MYZONE monitors in the room and displaying the results on screens during and after the workout creates an enormously motivational atmosphere for all. Having the training session they’ve just completed broken down into several component parts and available instantly in their inbox is an enormous part of the enjoyment and satisfaction they get from the whole experience. I’ve no doubt their motivation levels are significantly enhanced by wearing a monitor during the session. It’s not just in the training room where they reap the rewards of tracking their performance. It is a great motivator to follow their progress week on week month on month. Tracking can be an outstanding enhancement to the members’ experience of group training and it’s a great tool to help you show your members the wonderful benefits of regularly exercising at your facility and undoubtedly have a positive impact on your occupancy rates.




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Appointments A round-up of industry movers and shakers FitQuest appoints Jim Graham

Jim Graham

FitQuest, industry leaders in human performance monitoring, is pleased to announce that Jim Graham is joining the Board as a non-Executive Director. Graham will assist the business with product and market strategy, and will advise the Board on scaling the operation to deliver its bold growth plans. Previously Graham was Chief Operating Officer of The Gym Group, the pioneer of the UK

low-cost gym market, where he was part of the team that tripled the size of the business and secured a successful return for investors via a main FTSE listing £250m IPO. Brian Firth, FitQuest Managing Director, said “This is a really exciting time for FitQuest and we are pleased to welcome Jim to our team to be a part of our growth strategy.”

New Head of Instructor Development at EMD UK

Gillian Reeves

EMD UK, the national governing body for group exercise, is proud to announce the appointment of Gillian Reeves as the new Head of Instructor Development. A well-known face in the industry, Gillian was previously Head of Group Exercise at Virgin Active UK, a position she held for seven years. A graduate of dance and theatre performance, Gillian presents at industry events, including Move It, Fitness Fiesta and YogaFit

retreats. She also delivers yoga, Pilates and fitness classes in London. Speaking about her new position, Gillian said “I’m really excited to be working with EMD UK. I believe that every group exercise class should be an experience where participants have fun, connect with others and learn something to take out of the studio and into daily life.”

Promote PR appoint MD

Nasima Hussain

Promote PR, the Berkshire based agency renowned for its work driving participation in grass sports and physical activity, has appointed Nasima Hussain as its Managing Director. Nasima will report to Sue Anstiss, the agency founder, who now takes the role of CEO. Nasima will be responsible for the day to day management of the multi-award-winning agency, which has experienced significant growth

since she joined the team at the beginning of the year. Commenting on the appointment, Sue Anstiss says: “Nasima has already had a huge impact on the business. After almost 24 years specialising in the field of sports and fitness PR we know that our agency’s experience and insight in this space is second to none.”

eGym appoints Martin Fichter as new COO

Martin Fichter

Martin Fichter has been appointed to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer of eGym GmbH. After almost two decades in the USA and China, Fichter returns to his homeland Germany to join eGym, where he will oversee and drive forward the areas of production and procurement, customer management, training management, logistics and supply chain management as well as

human resources. Martin Fichter is strongly driven by the challenge of bringing the fitness industry to a new level through innovation. Martin commented: “Facing the challenge of combining hardware and cloud software is incredibly fascinating for me and opens up substantial opportunities to significantly enhance the operator and end user experience.”

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Gym Owner Monthly - September 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 - September 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...

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