ISSUE 53 // SEPTEMBER 2020
GYM OWNER OF THE MONTH
WITH KELLY TOWNLEY
SUNDAYS FOR SUPERHEROES BY AMY DUTFIELD
TEAM UP WITH SPORTEVE - ELEVATING MEMBER EXPERIENCE THROUGH IN-CLUB DIGITALISATION
BELIEVE & ACHIEVE UK
OUR BOUTIQUE GYM OF THE MONTH THIS MONTH’S
INTERNATIONAL GYM OF THE MONTH IS REDYMEN
N E W S // R E V I E W S // T E C H N O L O G Y// T R E N D S // E Q U I P M E N T// I N S I G H T
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Welcome... to the September issue of Gym Owner Monthly Magazine. The weather may be cooling off, but here at the GOMM HQ things are really starting to hot up! You asked and we listened, so this month we are bringing you Gym Owner Monthly Magazine with a whole new look and are only bringing you the best content by gym owners, for gym owners. The best bit is if you’re a gym owner with something to say on the fitness industry or how you run your business we want to hear from you and get you involved. For more information on how you can contribute email Paul Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org Kicking off our new look and on the cover we have an exclusive interview with the guys at Gymnation on page 6. We are also the first for FIBO news on page 20. We bring you water that’s in a pretty bottle and costs a pretty penny on page 28. Stacy Wig tells us how we can fight against COVID by cramming in the antioxidants on page 42. Egym’s Kerstin Obenauer on building resistance on page 50 and we have internet sensation Adam Powell as this months Ask The Expert on page 62. Plus much much more and we still remain free! Grab your free subscription at www.gymownermonthly.co.uk Train safe.
The GOMM Team
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Keep up to date
COVER PHOTO CREDIT: GymNation, from left to right Ant Martland, Loren Holland & Frank Afeaki © Gym Owner Monthly Magazine 2016-2020 Gym Owner Monthly Magazine is published by PW Media. Gym Owner Monthly Magazine 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 Magazine. Unless specifically stated, good or services mentioned in editorial or advertisements are not formally endorsed by Gym Owner Monthly Magazine, 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.
18 20 32 34
6 10 12 16 18 20 4
The Exclusive Interview
We chat with Loren, Frank and Ant from GymNation
This monthâ€™s International Gym of the Month Is Redymen
Gym Owner of the Month With Kelly Townley
Introducing Believe & Achieve UK Our Boutique Gym of the Month
Why group exercise is such a boost for mental health and motivation by Jane Hart
Digital Market Place for Fitness, Wellness and Health
24 28 32 34 36
This monthâ€™s roundup of kit, products and extras...
What is the Most Expensive Bottled Water in the World in 2020? Sundays for Superheroes and the Gym Members of the Future By Amy Dutfield
Muscle in on forgotten markets By David Vaux
FunXtion team up with Sporteve Elevating member experience through inclub digitalisation
5 ways to make your Personal Training services more accessible for Deaf clients post-lockdown By Clare Vale
40 42 44 46
Evolving the Combat Class – Street Defence By Colin Lee Berry
Kickin’ COVID - 10 Ways to Get More Antioxidants into Your Diet By Stacy Wig
Chasing Zen in Armageddon By Taz Dunstan
Studio Launch – During A Time Of Uncertainty
56 60 48 50 56
Bricks and mortar has cemented its place in fitness By Ben Hackney-Williams
Building Resilience By Kerstin Obenauer
Great operators get burned out, while great business owners get ahead and get wealthy By Daniel Nyiri
Add Value as Standard By Guy Griffiths
Ask the Expert: Life as a Gym manager, How fast can your business adapt? By Adam Powell
By Jodi Barrett
We're always seeking contributors, if you're interested in writing for us then please contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org SEPTEMBER 2020
THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
e v i s u l c Ex w e i v r e t n I THIS MONTH WE CHAT WITH LOREN, FRANK AND ANT FROM GYMNATION
Tell us about yourselves and your backgrounds?
with Frank (maybe a cliché but the idea
Before coming to Dubai with my wife, we
for GymNation really was first crystallized
were working with the family business
Loren Holland: I’m originally from the
over a beer!), I took the plunge into the
back in Sydney Australia pre-selling and
world of being a start-up entrepreneur. I’ve
opening a range of gym brands such as
UK but I moved out to Dubai 5 years ago
actually never been much of a ‘gym-goer’
Hard Candy fitness, UFC Gym and CRUNCH
with my wife, swapping the Manchester
by background but I’ve always loved sport,
Fitness. All my work experience had been
rain for the baking heat of the U.A.E!
competing in the North West England
in the health sector and after finishing up
My background is in Private Equity and
amateur Boxing ranks before more recently
in Australia, my wife and I weren’t ready
Investments but after spotting the gap in
transitioning to Triathlons in Dubai.
to move back home so moved to Dubai
the Dubai health and fitness market for
Frank Afeaki: From little old New
where I had previously been for a few
an affordable concept, and a discussion
Zealand but lived overseas the last 12 or
over a few beers after the Dubai Rugby 7’s
so years, 6+ of those years been Dubai.
Dubai rugby 7’s stints back in 2007/2008 (Probably enjoyed the beers more than the rugby hence the visit back to Dubai after Australia). Arriving back in the desert I was shocked at the prices of the gyms considering having opened several CRUNCH gyms in Sydney where you pay $6 AUD per week to now having to fork out $50 AUD per week, it’s safe to say I didn’t sign up to any gyms and blew out from 100kg to 118kg. I met Loren through our wives and we got chatting one night after a big day at Dubai Rugby 7’s. Both recognizing the overpriced memberships and in-flexible payment terms gyms offered in this market. From that discussion, GymNation was born. Fast forward 6/7 months, driving all over Dubai in a car with no AC (temp 50 degrees) we finally found our flagship site which we opened in 2018.
THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
Ant Martland: I’m also originally from the UK but moved to Dubai straight after finishing up at university back in 2010. Since arriving in Dubai, I have spent the last 10 years working solely within sports and fitness marketing for large scale corporate brands including Adidas, Reebok and satellite TV provider OSN Sports. In addition to this, I have worked on a freelance consulting basis with other sports/fitness brands across the Middle East and Africa including CrossFit boxes, boutique studios and sports nutrition brands. Through these positions I have been lucky enough to travel extensively throughout the region, visiting many operators and as a result, also recognized the need for an affordable gym concept. After meeting Loren and Frank (again, over a few drinks!), I immediately decided to move away from corporate life and jump straight into GymNation….Working together to make it the best gym concept this region has ever seen!
factors together, we are already helping
meaning our members not only get access
to reduce the barriers to maintaining a
to onsite pre and post-workout nutrition,
healthy lifestyle and contributing towards
but also on-demand BMI testing plus
an increase in fitness penetration levels
nutritional advice and guidance. This is
across the UAE, supported by the fact
then complemented by our partnership
that 1/3 of our members are brand new to
with leading personal training company
health and fitness.
Enhance Fitness who supply us with
At GymNation we do things differently…… from our fit-outs and lighting, fun
world-class personal trainers in each of our locations.
member parties, unbeatable gym
We currently have 3 open locations in the
atmosphere, Instagrammable signage,
UAE and 5 more locations are currently
viral marketing videos and charity and
in pre-sale and due to open by the end
community partnerships, we have bought
of 2020 taking us in excess of 50,000
some freshness and fun into what many
members, making us the #1 fitness
previously considered a stale and stagnate
provider within the UAE.
environment. Our facilities have also changed the game, each of our gym locations is over 35,000SqFt and are open 24/7 to cater for the many UAE residents who work unconventional hours across the hospitality, tourism and F&B industries. Each GymNation location has 500+ pieces of world-class Matrix Fitness equipment and offers 400+ free classes per month
Tell us more about GymNation and what sets you apart from your competitors? GymNation is proudly a UAE homegrown brand brought about by the identification of a gap in the market for affordable gym proposition, in a market which has recently been ranked as the 2nd most expensive city in the world for a gym membership. We were the first gym in the UAE to offer
across our dedicated GX, Spin, and Virtual studios in addition to ladies only facilities to cater for the multi-cultural demographic of our membership base. We also recently launched in gym highintensity Boutique Studio called BLITZ. BLITZ provides members with access to a state of the art, performance tracked HIIT class with unmatchable music playlists and the best instructors the UAE has to offer.
In your opinion what is the current state of the fitness industry within the UAE and where do you think it is heading? The fitness industry within the UAE is still within its’ relative infancy when compared to many other western markets. Whilst fitness penetration levels are on the increase, there is still a long way to go from the current estimated 5% penetration rate to an anticipated mid-teen rate in the next 5 years. Without a doubt, the low penetration levels are in part due to many people being priced out of the market by the existing operators who historically have charged upwards of £100 a month for a membership. But with the disruptive affordable concept
access to world-class facilities, for an
We have also partnered with leading
GymNation has brought to the market
affordable price, and by combining these
nutrition company ‘Fuel-Up’ by Kcal
we are removing this barrier and helping SEPTEMBER 2020
THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
easily and effectively keep working from home. In addition, we were one of the only multi-site operators in the world to keep our marketing budgets turned on fully, and as a result, we were able to generate sufficient leads for our sales teams to convert into memberships that began on the day we reopened. Through these combined points and the resilience shown by all of our staff throughout the closure period, we were able to keep all staff employed and on full salaries, whilst selling over 2000 new memberships! We also put the closure period to good use by improving the facilities across all of our open locations. All of our equipment underwent additional planned preventative maintenance, we installed new “Instagrammable” gym signage throughout each location and we developed, and fitted out the first of our brand new BLITZ boutique HIIT workout to get more people fit and active. Which alongside, Government initiatives such as the heavily promoted 30-day Dubai Fitness Challenge launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ongoing development of dedicated public cycling, running and outdoor physical activities, and events like The Dubai Muscle Show and The Dubai Active Show are all playing a key role in popularising health and fitness further within the country. We have just taken part in the 2nd UAE fitness industry round table event, where senior leaders from other gyms, boutique studios, equipment manufacturers, suppliers and relevant government bodies meet up and discuss ways in which we can work together to increase health and fitness levels within the UAE. Together we all launched our wide-reaching #FitnessIsTheAnswer social media campaign just after reopening to encourage people to come back to and join gyms, and an industry-wide “open weekend” collaboration will launch towards the end of September with the aim of all UAE gyms opening their doors for free, and encouraging usage from non-members. We believe these government and industry initiatives combined with our affordable business model can help increase the fitness penetration levels across the UAE and contribute towards lower rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic illnesses that impact the quality and lengths of people’s lives. 8
What was the impact of COVID-19 on GymNation? As with the majority of physical gym operators globally, COVID-19 forced us to close our doors, and whilst we were not expecting to be shut for nearly 2 months, as a business we always have contingency plans in place and we were able to adapt quickly to the situation at hand. Despite the implications on the wider economy and subsequent job losses in the region, we have still managed to come out of the COVID-19 period relatively unscathed.
studios, which will also be built inside all upcoming GymNation locations.
How has the reopening gone? It started busy and has only gotten busier since! Just 3 days after UAE gyms reopened, we announced to the public that we will be opening 5 more GymNation locations across the UAE. Our fit-outs and pre-sales are all underway for these locations and have gone extremely well with each new gym achieving over 1500 new membership sales in the first 24 hours of the opening our pre-sell payment
During the gym closure, we froze all
pages. Across our open locations, we
membership payments which obviously
are now experiencing our busiest ever
meant a loss in revenue throughout
new sales period and existing member
that period, however, our cloud-based
visits and group exercise participation is
systems meant that staff could very
now in line with what we experienced
THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are continuing to work very closely with government bodies to ensure that we comply with government regulations, backed up now with having a 100% spot check pass rate from over 40 random authority inspections. Now, more than ever people value the need to be fit and healthy and appreciate that GymNation, with affordable pricing, a unique atmosphere and the quantity and variety of equipment, classes and personal training on offer is the best place to meet this need.
What is next for GymNation? This month we have another funny video launching on our Instagram page so make sure you are following us @gymnation_ uae, then after that things start getting very busy! With 5 new gyms to open up in the remainder of 2020, our focus will
We will then go into 2021 with a view to
be on ensuring smooth and successful
open up 4-5 more locations within the
openings across those sites and helping
UAE and our first international GCC site.
them all reach the 10,000+ member mark
Aside from that our plan is to continue
within 1 year as we did with GymNation
very much as we are…. continue
site number 1.
growing… continue improving our
systems and processes… continuing setting the standard for this region and continue to offer the residents of the UAE access to world-class facilities and affordable prices.
INTERNATIONAL GYM OF THE MONTH
m y G l a n o i t Interna
OF THE MONTH
EGYMEN Fitness aims to END WORKOUT BOREDOM. Regymen is one of the first boutiques to offer a full
Regymen BURN – Our burn platform
REGYMEN Fitness was officially founded
is heart rate based HIIT training with
in 2017 by fitness industry experts
a twist. We offer users a mixture of
Edward Navan, Donnie Jarreau, and Troy
treadmill, ski erg, and assault bike based
Archer. Navan and Jarreau wanted to
variety of programming. While many
cardio, coupled along with two unique
create a space in which customers could
boutiques focus on one workout,
weight rooms that use an assortment of
enjoy a variety of workouts based on
REGYMEN creates a unique mix of
modalities to keep our users engaged.
modern exercise science that provides
programming that is able to rival formats offered by concepts such as Orange Theory Fitness, F45, Nine Rounds, Crossfit, and many others. Regymen accomplishes this by offering 3 unique platforms:
Regymen BUILD – Our build platform focuses more on compound strength movements with short burst of explosive cardio as needed. In BUILD, we drop the treadmill and utilize both weight rooms, along with olympic bar movements and battle ropes mixed in, giving our members the opportunity to explore more powerful lifting movements, with less focus on cardio and more on weights.
in 2018, the boutique fitness brand began offering franchise opportunities. Today, REGYMEN Fitness has 22 locations in the U.S. and Canada and plenty of hot markets are available for prospective franchisees who want to bring the fitness concept to their communities. REGYMEN Fitness also puts an enormous amount of emphasis on the studio design, audiovisual effects, speciality lighting,
Regymen BOX – Our BOX platform
and how all these combine to deliver the
mixes heavy bag work, ground-based
ultimate member experience. Thanks to
movements, agility, speed, and also
these three interlocking pillars, plus heart
includes a weight room session as well.
rate tracking technology and analytics,
The idea of BOX isn’t to create “fighters’
members can fight workout plateaus,
rather it is to move the body through all
easily set fitness goals and monitor their
planes of movement, with a lot of core
progress. In September of 2020, REGYMEN
and rotational work. We understand
will also be introducing “REGYMEN On
that sometimes you just need to punch
Demand” workouts, which will allow
something to get that frustration out!
members to complete the daily workouts
DONNIE JARREAU 10
proven benefits.The concept took off, and
INTERNATIONAL GYM OF THE MONTH
continues to evolve its unique offering of lifestyle products and programming.
Why REGYMEN Fitness? REGYMEN Fitness presents a robust and competitive franchise opportunity for several reasons. For one, the fitness brand has a low barrier of entry thanks to a membershipbased model that provides franchisees with recurring revenue. Franchisees are not burdened with the cost of goods or high staffing requirements and can enter their markets quickly. Thanks to strategic marketing practices, franchisees will also have a baseline of memberships in place before they even open their doors. The REGYMEN Fitness leadership team signs on each and every on their own within the studio while
anaerobic benefits of HIIT. This unique
scheduled classes are not taking places.
offering allows franchisees to distinguish themselves in their markets in a way our
What sets REGYMEN Fitness apart? The REGYMEN Fitness leadership team understands how difficult it can be to find time to exercise, which is why the brand incorporates many of today’s popular workouts into one-hour sessions
new franchisee with the goal to help them get between 250 and 400 members lined up before opening day so they can hit the
The REGYMEN Fitness system also
REGYMEN Fitness franchisees also benefit
never risks running stale. The brand is constantly innovating and adapting to emerging fitness trends and gives franchisees the flexibility to implement new methods and ideas. REGYMEN Fitness also offers a scalable business model
for maximum efficiency; and is also the
perfect for growth-minded franchisees.
reason why REGYMEN offers its new ON
Studios are designed with franchisees
Demand platform. REGYMEN Fitness
in mind, as the prototype model is built
workouts combine high-intensity interval
to accommodate the brand’s three
training (HIIT), strength and weight
signature platforms but also provides
training and boxing. And, thanks to
franchise owners with the flexibility to
the heart rate monitor purchased with
add additional platforms. In the fall of
membership, customers can maximize
2020, REGYMEN will also be introducing a
their calories burned and capitalize on the
line of recovery products as the company
from a leadership team that has more than 75 years of combined professional experience. Navan spent almost an entire decade learning the ins and outs of the fitness industry, including running and licensing a successful personal training business, as well as 18 years managing territories across the US as a direct manufacturer rep as well as club design. Jarreau and Archer previously co-founded another fitness concept, Spectrum Fitness, years ago and also spent nearly a decade working in the real estate industry. President Tom O’Keefe brings years of franchise sales experience to the table, having worked with brands such as Anytime Fitness, Ruth’s Chris and Smoothie King Franchises Inc., where he served as President and COO. Thanks to its status as an emerging franchise, REGYMEN Fitness has an aggressive international plan. Their first step into expansion internationally was through partnering with Goodlife Fitness, striking an exclusive deal for the Master Franchise Rights in Canada with Goodlife Fitness, as well as a partnership in the United States markets. In 2020, REGYMEN plans to open between 20-25 locations in the United States and Canada. For more info, visit us at www. regymenfitness.com or email enavan@ regymenfitness.com for more information. SEPTEMBER 2020
GYM OWNER OF THE MONTH
Gym r e n w O OF THE MONTH YOUR NAME(S): GYM NAME: ADDRESS: EMAIL: TEL: WEB:
Kelly Townley Kelly Townley Fitness Unit 2 Liberator house, Clopton Park, Woodbridge IP13 6QT Hello@kellytownleyfitness.co.uk 07727995363 www.kellytownleyfitness.co.uk
How did you become a gym owner?
How many gyms do you own/ operate?
I realised that there were people who
I have been a Level 3 personal trainer for 4
wanted to exercise but didnâ€™t like the big gym environment or have the space to train at home. It had always been an ambition of mine to run my own gym
years and this is my first gym. I hope that people enjoy what we offer and that we can continue to grow and expand in the future.
and to train people in a way that pushed them out of their comfort zone physically, but in an environment where they felt comfortable. During the last few months
How long has your gym(s) been operating for?
and after building a good base of clients it
The official opening was Monday 27th July
was time for me to open my own gym.
GYM OWNER OF THE MONTH
Aside from the gym, what other facilities do you offer your members e.g. cafe, classes, creche etc.?
How important are PTs to your business?
How do you motivate/ incentivise your staff members?
PTs are fundamental to my business
Personal trainers work long hours but
and my business has been designed
seeing your clients achieve their goals
First and foremost the gym has been
around personal training. I have a great
is what motivates me. Each client has
designed to provide all the facilities of
set of clients each with their own unique
their own reason for incorporating health
a mainstream gym but the intimacy of
requirements. I train individuals, couples
and fitness into their lives and it is my
personal training and 1-2-1 fitness plans. I
and families both on site and in their homes.
responsibility to understand that reason
chose the site specifically due to the large outdoor areas to run kids clubs, run groups and the great coffee shop. We hope to work with local people to introduce classes such as yoga in the coming months.
How many staff do you employ? At the moment it is just myself running the gym.
"It had always been an ambition of mine to run my own gym and to train people in a way that pushed them out of their comfort zone physically, but in an environment where they felt comfortable" SEPTEMBER 2020
GYM OWNER OF THE MONTH
and help them achieve it and keep them motivated.
Do you provide any financial assistance for your staff with regards to their training & development? N/A
What makes your gym unique? Kelly Townley Fitness has been built not to be a corporate gym driven by a high volume of members. The gym is unique because it’s designed to be a place where people who would normally be apprehensive about gyms can come, workout, and be supported.
What advice would you give to other gym owners just starting out?
make sacrifices, as most of the time you
the past few months the biggest challenge
are working before and after your clients
is the amount of advice out there from
unqualified people. Being a personal trainer requires you to know your clients,
Find out what makes you different, listen to your customers and don’t try to follow every trend you see on social media. Being a gym owner is a big commitment in time and energy. You must be willing to
What are the biggest challenges facing your business today?
to have a relationship built on trust, know
Apart from Covid-19 and the lockdown, for
important part of any modern business,
the client’s strengths and weaknesses and work with them. Social media is an
GYM OWNER OF THE MONTH
but it can also be confusing for those who need proper advice from professionals.
What significant changes have you seen within the industry over the past 3 years? There has been a great leap forward in the past 3 years with people understanding the importance of fitness on mental health which is amazing. People are starting to see fitness as part of an overall journey along with nutrition, rest and mental health. The advancement in technology means it has never been easier to monitor and record what you eat, how you train and how well you rest and recover. I think the lockdown has pushed the fitness industry to look at how it reaches clients. Things like Peloton could be the future of certain gym-based classes like spin and I expect to see more of these innovations in the future
How do you engage with your members? Whenever I take on a new client or member, I invest time to understand what they want to achieve, what are their goals, how can I help and also try to manage their expectations. My clients and members know that I am a real person with a genuine passion for what I do. I am always available at the gym or at the end of a phone for support.
How do you retain your members? For me health and fitness is about lifestyle. There are lots of quick fixes and fads but I have retained my
local shops and going door-to-door. I am also incredibly lucky to have an amazing and loyal client base who have always championed me to others.
members by getting them to challenge their preconceived notions about their
Finally, if there was one thing you could change in the industry, what would it be? I think social media is such a huge part of modern life, especially for younger people.
things interesting and ultimately by
What is your biggest success story?
delivering results. By setting regular
Iâ€™ve had several clients with such amazing
but having such an influence is also a huge
small milestones my members and clients
stories. One client came to me for help
responsibility. There are lots of people
to lose weight to have a baby. After lots
calling themselves personal trainers
of hard work and commitment they
without qualification or experience.
have now had their first child which is
Being a personal trainer is about offering
incredible. Another client qualified for the
tailored solutions to individuals based
world squash championship in America.
on their ability, health, goals, and
This client was 71 years young and with
expectations. If I could change one thing
the training I put in place which focused
it would be that if people really want to
social media to promote the gym. I have
on stamina, strength and squash based
change their lifestyle, they seek out a
also used the old-fashioned approach
exercises, the result was fantastic and he
professional local personal trainer to work
of printing leaflets and taking them to
finished 9th in the world for his age category!
with who will help them.
limits, continually changing to keep
celebrate success rather than have unrealistic expectations, fail and then give up.
How are you promoting your brand and marketing your gym? As with most modern business I have used
The amount of people using platforms to promote healthier lifestyles is amazing
BOUTIQUE GYM OF THE MONTH
m y G e u q i Bout
OF THE MONTH
THE HOBBY THAT CHANGED MY LIFE BY CLAIRE MOORE possible. But what grabbed me the most
gym floor and classroom. We wanted to
was the power of our mindset. After
make it clear from the start that our work
years of praying for more willpower and
is as much about the mindset as it is about
beating myself up for ‘failing’, I realised
there was a far easier way to get healthy.
never had any plans or dreams to open a gym, in fact, I didn’t become a personal trainer until I was 37 and even that just kind of happened.
By my late 30s, I was my ideal client. Overweight, fed up, frustrated and no idea what I needed to do to finally feel better. I trained as a PT out of my own desperation to learn and understand more. Regular gyms intimidated me, the term Bootcamp terrified the life out of me, and I was absolutely sick of starting a new diet every Monday morning. So, I started learning and the more I learnt, the more fascinated I became on how amazing our bodies are and what we can do to help them be in the best shape 16
The name Believe & Achieve may sound
I knew there were other women out
a bit twee, but it does what it says on the
there who must have spent years
tin. Our number one priority is helping our
experiencing the same frustrations
clients believe in themselves again, and
and disappointments as me and I had to
for many women who join us that can feel
help them. So, to my parents’ horror, the
impossible, so we believe in them until
Assistant Headteacher job went and the
they do. Once you have mindset on your
personal training that started as a hobby
side, you can achieve anything so how
became my life.
could we call it anything else!
Opening in November 2013 we split
Regular gym programmes focus
Believe & Achieve into two main areas:
predominantly on exercise and nutrition,
BOUTIQUE GYM OF THE MONTH
a gym before and even if they have it is highly unlikely, they ever stepped into the weight training area. They arrive at Believe & Achieve with no idea what to do, worrying that weights will make them bulky and adamant they won't be able to do it. So, to see them learning and loving it is the best part of my job. There is something hugely empowering about being able to lift a weight you couldn’t move a few weeks ago and it is amazing to see what it does to for someone’s confidence and self-belief. By keeping the sessions small they are not only a great workout, but our members have described them as therapy. Our safe and positive environment gives clients an opportunity to talk about what is going on in their lives, to unload all the chatter in
but we wanted to create a strong
community of women, who inspire
foundation of education that underpins
and support each other every day. By
all our work with every client. Many
spending time with like-minded women
women have a nasty habit of comparing
we have created a safe environment
themselves to others and always coming
where women of all ages, size and ability
All while losing weight, toning up and
up short. We think that everyone else
can thrive without feeling judged.
Our mindset work is done through our
We do measures and progress photos, but
weekly Healthy Lifestyle Club, regular
for me, I know the programme is working
workshops, intuitive eating and our
when a client arrives with a new haircut,
28-day mindset programme. We don’t do
or shares they have started dating or
quick-fixes or dish out pre-set plans and
had the energy and confidence to take
we refuse to use the words ‘should’ or
the grandkids swimming. When we can
‘shouldn’t.’ Every member is unique and
see their sparkle coming back, that is
deserves more than a one-size-fits-all
when we know we haven’t just changed
plan. Instead, we provide an opportunity to
someone, we have transformed them, and
develop knowledge in all areas of wellbeing
you can’t beat that feeling.
is doing great and we are the only ones struggling with motivation. At B&A we are obsessed with helping our clients understand things on a deeper level; why we have cravings, why we run out of willpower, why we can have so many negative thoughts. By educating members on how our minds and bodies work, they finally see that the journey is up and down for everyone and a lot can be achieved when we stop the extreme diets and look at the long-term goals. I knew once we helped women learn to
and encourage clients to take responsibility for their own health. This is the difference
their heads, forget about their to-do lists and have a laugh with other women who know exactly where they are coming from.
From day one we have had one clear and definite vision: to provide a safe and
love themselves, then the nutrition and
between change and transformation.
exercise would be easy. They then have
Our workouts are semi-private weight
size, experience and ability to come
training in groups of 4 meaning we can
together to ditch the miserable diet cycle
personalise and track every session for
and find the health and happiness they
every client ensuring continuous progress.
deserve and we strive to keep delivering
Many of our ladies have never been in
every single day.
the power to make informed decisions on small enjoyable changes that become new habits and lead to healthier lifestyles. Every plan is personal and fully explained.
welcoming place for women of all ages,
As women, we have often spent years and small fortunes following random plans found online, in magazines or from chit chat in the staff room, with absolutely no idea why we are doing what we are doing and just hoping for the best. Our tag line is ‘The gym that sorts your head out’ and that is exactly what our clients need. Our members are super-busy, pretty stressed and totally overwhelmed by all the information out there, they just want clarity, support and connection. After years, if not decades of bouncing from diet after diet, our members want to sort it once and for all and at the heart of everything we do is the amazing SEPTEMBER 2020
WHY GROUP EXERCISE IS SUCH A BOOST
h t l a e h l a t n e m for and motivation BY JANE HART
little bit about me, my name is Jane Hart, I’m a personal trainer, a cofounder of fitness platform GetMeFit. co, and a mum of two. I run outdoor bootcamps, Zoom classes and 1-2-1s, so life is pretty action-packed. As a PT, my primary goal is for my clients to enjoy exercise. I know that if they have some fun and look forward to training, it’s much easier for them to build good habits and maintain them consistently and this is how you achieve good long term results. 1-2-1 sessions will always serve a very clear and important role, as these sessions are bespoke, therefore the best way to reach very specific goals in the most efficient and effective way. As a trainer, I also love to see the benefits of training in a group. When lockdown was sprung on us the hardest part for me was being so abruptly cut off from my clients. I hadn’t appreciated quite how much seeing them face to face regularly turned my week around as much as it did theirs. It became evident quite quickly that most PTs had similar feelings. Let’s face it, most of us go into this career because we want to help 18
people, rather than to chase the big bucks! The whole experience got me thinking about how important group exercise is for our mental wellbeing, as well as our physical health. Here is why I believe this to be the case.
We need human interaction (either in-person or online!) Seeing actual people in-person has always got to be better for boosting morale and motivation than the virtual options. However, running live classes on Zoom actually turned out to be more successful at bridging the gap than we’d probably have anticipated. The banter with the group at the start and end of sessions really made a difference, it
brightened our (often dark) isolated days during lockdown and gave our weeks some important structure. Those personal shout outs to individual people from the instructor throughout the sessions really worked to push people to train that bit harder. Although it felt a little strange at first, as an instructor and a client, once the sessions were underway having fun with other people provided a much needed window back to normality. In fact, clients with young children, busy work schedules, or those living in rural locations (or possibly all of these factors at once), are asking to continue with Zoom classes longer term. The convenience, whilst keeping the human interaction, has proved to be a winning formula. It was clear that, although there is an
happening and our bodies (or heads) are just not feeling it when we get to the session. Having encouragement from the group really carries you along your way. You know that if you were training on your own, you’d just give up and probably not bother putting your running shoes back on tomorrow. It is very easy to get
class in the diary is a great way for your clients to have a structure to their week. I coach a grandmother of nine who loves nothing more than a tough boxing session. It’s great fun training with her, even her grandchildren love doing plank competitions with her now. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with super granny?!
on a downward spiral without friends to chivvy you along. We all thrive on feeling part of something abundance of great on demand content
and fitness is a great way to do this.
available now, people find it hard to commit to this regularly without any two-way dialogue or, accountability and human interaction.
FOMO is a great kick up the butt Some of us are more susceptive to FOMO
Accountability is key
(Fear Of Missing Out) than others (I’m
With group exercise you are not only
the crew is a great way to get everyone to
answerable to your instructor but also to
turn up to the session. After all, you don’t
your training buddies, who are expecting
want to be on the receiving end of the
to see you there. We can always come up
post-exercise high and banter if you’ve
with hundreds of reasons why we can’t fit
in a class however, if we have told others we’ll be there, that expectation is very
personally a total sucker for it), so a bit of a nudge on Facebook or Whatsapp from
excuses. None of us like the thought of
Good for self-esteem and confidence
everyone else getting fitter at a class
In group classes the instructor will see the
powerful at over-ruling those niggling
while we sit on the sofa, ploughing our way through a box of Pringles.
progress and so will your training buddies. They will comment when they see that you are progressing, lifting heavier
Variety is the spice of life
weights, running faster and looking fitter,
With a mix of people exercising together
and train that bit harder.
there is inevitably a more lively dynamic, and this is a great positive energy for training. Also, in a group you can mix up teams, vary the equipment used, and do partner drills to add a bit of competition. Time flies when you're having fun after all! Every session can be different, which is also a big part of keeping people motivated.
Making new friends and being part of the crew It’s easy to make friends when you exercise together, as you instantly
leaner and stronger. All this reinforcement feels great, and drives you to keep going
Exercise is proven to help depression Research has shown that exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood, and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. It is well established that exercise promotes physiological and neurochemical responses that make you feel good. Our brain releases endorphins, as well as dopamine and serotonin which are the same chemicals that form part of antidepressant drugs. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal. On top of this, the benefits of exercise are found to be even more enhanced when there is a connection to others. This makes us feel that the activity we’re doing is more enjoyable and known as ‘autonomous motivation’*. In a nutshell my message to group fitness instructors is “hang on in there”. It has been a tough year, but you’re probably having a greater positive impact that you realise.
It can feel intimidating to join a new class, but if the instructor sets a friendly and welcoming vibe for the group, newcomers will soon relax into it and realise they have no reason to worry and that they’re in the right place. In group classes you will always have a range of fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Having a broad mix of people and abilities will help put newcomers at ease and their confidence will grow from there.
have a positive shared interest. Even if
Loneliness is a huge problem in our
it is bonding over a burpee challenge,
busy modern society, particularly with
you are in this crazy situation together,
older clients and parents with young
riding that endorphin wave. What better
children. Having a regular group exercise
foundation is there for friendship! This social network support all feeds into building group accountability too. We all have those days where it's not
* https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4346087/#:~:text=Autonomous%20 motivation%20is%20defined%20as,and%20emanates%20from%20the%20 self.&text=Autonomously%20motivated%20individuals%20are%2C%20therefore,in%20 self%2Dregulation%20of%20behavior.
DIGITAL MARKET PLACE FOR FITNESS, WELLNESS AND HEALTH
hile we have to limit personal contact due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the digital world is opening up new possibilities. This is also true for the fitness industry, which was hit hard by the effects of Covid-19. From the 1 to 2 October FIBO@business will provide a digital platform that links exhibitors and visitors from
all over the world. It will combine the exhibitors offers with live and on-demand content, drop-in video meetings, speed networking and matchmaking video meetings. In spite of physical distancing, the industry will be able to exchange ideas, inspire and generate new leads - and all this from a safe distance from your computer or smartphone.
One dashboard, many functions When you enter the event platform of FIBO@business, the first thing you will find is the dashboard, where there is an overview of all the functions. The Product Innovation Slots provide an overview of innovative product highlights. In up to 20-minute on-demand video sessions, exhibitors show which products and trends they have in their portfolio. The winners of the FIBO Innovation & Trend Awards are also presented here. In the Brand Portal, users will find an overview of the exhibitors. Their product highlights are stored in the product showcase, where all information in text, image and video form awaits users. Anyone seeking direct contact can use speed networking, for example. Here, users receive suitable suggestions and can exchange ideas with their conversation video meeting. In the best case, this
Content highlights at a glance
results in a new lead.
Two parallel live offers, all day long and
partner for five minutes at a time via
With the help of the video matchmaking, conversations can also be easily planned in advance. Here too, the user automatically receives contact suggestions based on his or her own interests. He can also search for
a large on-demand offer with content produced exclusively for FIBO@business will be available for visitors on two days. FIBO will be broadcasting live from Cologne in the FIBO TV Studio. Various sessions with top speakers from the
potential dialogue partners and arrange
industry will discuss topics such as
appointments himself with the help
customer loyalty as the key to success or
of filter options. All appointments can
the importance of regeneration for sports
be exported directly into the personal
and fitness. A second live session will be
calendar, which also reminds the user of
broadcast by FIBO partners in various
appointments in good time.
Visitors can also flexibly view an extensive on-demand offer around the clock. It is all about product innovations, insights from the global fitness industry and current topics from the fields of prevention, rehabilitation and therapy. A wide range of products is also provided by the three partner congresses. The FitTech Summit (www. fittechsummit.com/) brings insight from the rapidly growing FitTech industry to the virtual stage and shows what the future looks like in terms of fitness and a healthy lifestyle. The audience will benefit from the expertise and inside knowledge of leading experts, founders and top-class managers. It will cover the future of the industry for the next 3-5 years, including the impact of the pandemic on digitalization, trends such as home fitness, VR, quantification of training data, new fitness concepts and much more. Among the speakers are Craig J. Miller, Chief Digital Officer Planet Fitness (USA), Valerie Bures-Bรถnstrรถm, CEO VAHA (Germany) or Jรถrn Watzke, Senior Global Director Garmin Health (Germany). With a programme specially designed for FIBO@business, the ECC Cologne will bring speakers from leading sporting goods manufacturers, online shops and industry experts onto the virtual stage every day of the show. The presentations offer case studies of well-known industry players, address trend topics such as social media and show concrete starting points for national and international trade in the SEPTEMBER 2020
digital age. The German football club 1. FC Köln, eBay, Sportmarken 24, Shopware and many other interesting brands and speakers. Integrated into the IFH Cologne, the ECC Cologne is the first point of contact for trends and developments in the digital retail world. Visitors to FIBO@business can also access selected content from the “Aufstiegskongress” of our partner BSA/ DHfPG. Every year, new members of the fitness and health industry inform themselves about trends, developments, the latest research results and concepts all at this congress. There is a comprehensive programme covering training science, coaching, nutrition, management or corona-related topics such as fitness levels as prevention, crisis management or influencer & social media marketing in times of crisis.
EHFF: Where do we go from here? On the day before FIBO@business, the European Health and Fitness Forum (EHFF) will also take place as a hybrid event. Keynote speaker will be Magnus Lindkvist, world-famous futurologist, who will deliver a thoughtful presentation and dialogue
with the audience called “THE FUTURE NOW”. The industry lost the old future in March 2020 and is now in search of new horizons - as businesspeople, club owners and human beings. How can the industry think strategically in these tactical times? Using a future-back approach, Lindkvist will outline why the long-term is easier to predict than the short-term, how people are doing digitisation wrong in most industries and how future is better thought of as a
verb, not a noun. Other speakers include a.o. Rene Moos, CEO of Basic-Fit Europe’s largest fitness chain; Utku Toprakseven, partner in 4Global; Natalia Kurbasova, CEO of FitTech Company; Karsten Hollasch, Deloitte and Nerio Alessandri, Technogym President, Humphrey Cobbold, CEO Pure Gym Group; Cecilie Elde, CFO SATS and Stefan Tilk, CEO Anytime Fitness Germany; David Stalker, EuropeActive President. Moderator will be Herman Rutgers
STATEMENTS Silke Frank, FIBO Event Director: "Due to the impact of the pandemic, we are now investing our full manpower into smart solutions. Behind this is the full conviction to serve the industry in a difficult year. FIBO@business is a unique project for us and we are sure that the digital edition of FIBO will bring great opportunities for all participants. At the same time, we are putting our energy into FIBO 2021, which will bring the industry together again live in Cologne, but as a hybrid model will also include new digital features.”
Herman Rutgers, FIBO International Ambassador: “In my career, I have always actively participated in trade shows and industry gatherings, both as a supplier and as a buyer. The reason is very simply summarized by Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881, British Prime Minister) who once said; The more extensive a man’s knowledge of what has been done, the greater will be his power of knowing what to do. That is why EHFF on September 30, 2020, is a must-attend event, in person (only 50 people max. due to Corona restrictions) or virtual as the whole event will be filmed in a studio and streamed…we call it a hybrid event”
Natalia Karbasova, Founder of the FitTech Summit: "The fitness industry is undergoing the biggest upheaval in decades. New players are entering the market, fitness is becoming increasingly digital and usage habits are changing rapidly, also due to the pandemic. FitTech Summit: FIBO Edition is the platform on which market participants are made aware of the upcoming trends and thus can build up their strategy in a future-oriented way".
Anne Lisa Weinand, Head of ECC Köln (E-Commerce service): “We, the trade experts of ECC Köln, have designed a unique programme especially for FIBO@business. The visitors can look forward to many valuable and practical insights and top-class speakers like eBay, 1. FC Köln, Shopware and many more. From platform topics to social media, everything that is currently driving the sports and fitness market is included.” 22
L A T I G I OES D
G 0 2 0 2 FIBO @business
FIBO AL T I G I D R YOU
E C A L P T MARKE
0 2 0 2 R E B O T C O 2 – 1 W O N R E T S I G E R
The leading international trade show for ﬁtness, wellness & health
M O C . O FIB SEPTEMBER 2020
THIS MONTH’S ROUND-UP OF KIT, PRODUCTS AND EXTRAS YOU CAN STOCK FOR YOUR MEMBERS – BOOST LOYALTY, RETENTION AND YOUR REVENUE!
Yeti Rambler Bottle Known for its exceptional performance and durability, the Yeti Rambler bottle has been a commanding leader in the stainless steel water bottle market for the past few years, and with good reason. Whether you fill it with piping hot coffee or ice-cold water, it holds your beverage’s temperature for hours, even in extreme conditions. Yeti enthusiasts love the bottle’s rugged look, leakproof and spill-proof top, sweat-free design, fun colour options, and its wide opening that allows for easy filling, drinking, and cleaning. It holds a lot of liquid (18 ounces) but is still slim enough to fit in a car cup holder or backpack water bottle sleeve. While there are certainly less expensive stainless water bottles, fans say the Yeti is worth every penny. Buy on Moosejaw.com or Dickssportinggoods.com
S’well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle It’s hard to discuss stainless steel water bottles without thinking of S’well, another category leader. Despite more competition in recent years, their 17-ounce bottle remains a favourite due to its fantastic design and performance. Reviewers love that it's leak-free, that it “keeps water cold all day long," and that it “doesn’t make water taste like metal.” With so many patterns and designs to choose from, you may have a hard time picking a favourite. Buy on Amazon or Nordstrom
Simple Modern Wave Water Bottle If you like the look and features of S’well bottles, the Simple Modern Wave water bottle is a more budget-friendly choice. It’s double-walled and vacuum-insulated, so it keeps your favourite drinks hot or cold for many hours. This bottle doesn’t leak or sweat, so you don’t have to worry about leaving rings when you set it down. In addition to the bottle’s performance and low price tag, reviewers love the many colour options. One con is that although the narrow mouth helps reduce spills as you’re drinking, it makes it difficult to fill the bottle with ice cubes. Buy on Amazon
Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle Most stainless steel water bottles can keep beverages hot or cold to some extent, but the Hydro Flask insulated water bottle is truly exceptional when it comes to holding a drink's temperature. The bottle’s vacuum-insulated double walls help keep cold beverages cold for up to 24 hours and hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours. Made of high-quality, BPA-free stainless steel, the Hydro Flask is odour and bacteria-resistant and is designed to prevent condensation rings. The wide-mouth opening makes it easy to fill, add ice or fruits, and clean. Buy on Amazon, Moosejaw.com or Dickssportinggoods.com
Hidrate Spark 3 Smart Water Bottle Tracks Water Intake & Glows to Remind You to Stay Hydrated Sensor technology tracks your water intake and syncs your progress to our free hydration tracker app via Bluetooth Low Energy; Integrates with other activity trackers to adjust your daily water goal Bold NEW glow illuminates the entire bottle to remind you to drink more water, either at regular intervals or when you are behind on your daily water goal; Choose from 3 exciting light patterns Long-lasting replaceable battery provides an extended operating cycle and is conveniently located at the bottom of the bottle so you can easily replace it without missing a beat. BPA-free bottle features a smooth silicone sleeve that improves grip and minimises condensation, and a matching finger loop; Fits common cup holders, backpack pockets, and bike bottle cages Perfect as a gift for friends and family—track each other's progress and make staying hydrated a fun activity! Lid and bottom ring are dishwasher safe, body and sensor can be hand washed. Buy on Amazon
Mira Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Bottle Another fantastic value for your money, the sleek and sporty Mira performs as well as more expensive stainless steel bottles, keeping drinks hot or cold for up to 24 hours. It fits in car and stroller cup holders, as well as bike bottle holders and backpack sleeves, so it’s perfect for active people. Reviewers report that it doesn’t leak or sweat, so you don’t have to worry if you want to throw it in your gym or work bag. This versatile and durable bottle comes in numerous colours and patterns, from marbled finishes to floral patterns. Buy on Amazon
The LARQ Bottle The LARQ Bottle is the world's first self-cleaning water bottle and water purification system. It uses UV-C LED light to eliminate up to 99.9999% of bio-contaminants from your water and bottle. *For water purification without the weight, shop our single-wall non-insulated LARQ Bottle Movement. Buy on Amazon
Brita Premium Water Filter Bottles, 26 oz. These hard sided bottles filter as you drink to deliver hassle-free hydration anywhere. They’re durable, BPAfree and include a replaceable filter to reduce chlorine taste & odour. These sleek 26 Ounce Premium Filtering Water Bottles are cup holder friendly, and they’re available in your choice of six eye-popping colours. Best of all, each filter can replace up to 300 disposable plastic water bottles so you can enjoy great-tasting water without the waste. SEPTEMBER 2020 25
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A SMARTER, MORE STABLE TAKE ON HIGH INTENSITY GLUTE TRAINING The Matrix Glute Trainer uses advanced biomechanics to maximise activation of the glutes and hamstrings, mimicking bar-hip thrusting without the difficulty and discomfort of free weights. Accessible design and refined ergonomics accommodate users of all sizes, while maximum resistance (227 kg) and band hooks challenge even the most powerful athletes.
Discover more, and see the Glute Trainer in action at matrixfitness.com
What is the
ensive ost expWater mBottled in the World in 2020?
A GOOGLE OR YOUTUBE SEARCH FOR "MOST EXPENSIVE WATER" OR "MOST EXPENSIVE BOTTLED WATER" TURNS UP A QUICK SERIES OF LISTS. MOST USE OLD INCORRECT DATA INCLUDING BRANDS THAT NO LONGER EXIST, AND/OR THE PRICES ARE WRONG. SO WE'VE GATHERED AN UPDATED LIST. WE EXCLUDE THE FEW "CRAZY" WATERS SOLD FOR TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS AS PUBLICITY STUNTS AND COUNT ONLY BRANDS THAT ARE REALLY AVAILABLE SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD. SO HERE ARE THE WORLD'S TOP 10 MOST EXPENSIVE WATERS IN 2020. THE FULL STORY For years headlines have popped up talking about expensive water. A Google or YouTube search for "most expensive water" or "most expensive bottled
1. Fillico Jewelry Water from Japan $616 per litre 2. NEVAS from Germany $190 per litre 3. Svalbarði from Svalbard, Norway $166 per litre 4. Bling h2o from the US $104 per litre 5. Uisge Source from Scotland, UK $60 per litre 6. Lofoten from Norway $56 per litre 7. ROI from Slovenia $48 per litre 8. MINUS 181 from Germany $48 per litre 9. BLVD from Tasmania, Australia $40 per litre 10. Berg from Canada $34 per litre
Water is a human right. Full stop. Food is also a human right. Full stop. And in both cases, it can and should at times also be a delight for our senses. Different natural waters like different foods can bring
What can make a bottled water expensive? Many natural bottled waters come from truly unique sources. This can make the
water" turns up a quick series of lists.
greater and varied enjoyment through
Most of them have incorrect pricing
taste, presentation, and origins. Enjoying
or use the same old data including
premium foods that cost more in no way
several brands that no longer exist. The
negates the human right of all to food.
not-so-subtle message in these pieces is
Similarly with water, enjoying a unique
that it is crazy for water to cost so much.
sources can be expensive. These are often
natural water that sells at a premium for its
small family businesses who care deeply
qualities and rarity can be a true delight,
about their sources and make great effort
while the human right remains firm.
to preserve them for future generations.
The reality is more nuanced. Water is a human right and a delight 28
price much higher than ordinary brands because transportation, measures to offset the carbon footprint, purity maintenance, and ensuring the sustainability of the
Bespoke packaging is also a driver as
create an objective playing field:
brands try to make something interesting
• Ignore the "crazy" instances such as
for the consumer just as wine and spirits
where a brand makes a handful of
do. In some cases where the water itself
jewel-encrusted bottles merely as a
is nothing special, packaging may be the only major factor behind a high price.
marketing tool. • Ranked on a US dollar per litre basis. • Use the main dining table size wherever
How do we define the most expensive water? Defining "the" price of a bottled water can be surprisingly difficult. Retail prices vary not just by country (reflecting transportation costs and taxes), but also outlet by outlet reflecting individual profit margin decisions. When one looks at restaurants or hotels who charge bigger markups to cover their higher costs, the variations are even greater.
possible, typically around 750ml. • Must be regularly produced and currently available somewhere in the world. • If a brand has multiple products, only include their most expensive. • Use only retail prices, no HORECA (meaning hotel/restaurant/cafe). These rules leave plenty of room for interpretation. But in general they produce a reasonable list truly reflecting the market position of each brand. So without further ado, here is the
So let's create an accurate up-to-date list
top 10 list of the most expensive bottled
for 2020. We have to make some rules to
waters in the world in 2020.
Berg $34 per litre
• HIghest retail price: HK$198 for 750ml at Aqua House Hong Kong • Country: Canada • Source type: Iceberg • TDS (mineral level in mg/l): 10 Alongside Svalbarði, Berg is one of only a small number of currently operating iceberg water companies we know of in the world.
BLVD $40 per litre
• Highest retail price: US$30 for 750ml at BLVD website Australia • Country: Tasmania, Australia • Source type: Spring • TDS (mineral level in mg/l): 86
Like Svalbarði, they gather
BLVD is a division of Jon
individual iceberg pieces in
Monsir, an Australian luxury
a very manual process. In their case gathering doesn't
goods company. They saw
take quite as far a journey since they source from icebergs
the opportunity in premium
that have floated down from Greenland and are melting
water and sought out a unique
in the waters just offshore eastern Canada. A small local
source which they found
industry has grown up in Newfoundland producing
in a spring in the pristine
different beverages from iceberg water including beer,
antipodean environment of
vodka, and bottled water. The Quidi Vidi brewery in St.
Tasmania. The packaging aims for a high-end market
John's has a well-known iceberg beer in a popular cobalt
with a bespoke bottle using high-quality ultra-flint
blue bottle that has been a big hit. Coming from an iceberg
glass and the brand name debossed in large letters.
source, Berg is ultra-low mineral. They have a distinctive
They sell only a sparkling version and only to the high-
glass bottle for their signature packaging and also
end hospitality sector and online. The story behind the
produce a less-expensive plastic version.
brand and source may not have quite the same oomph as the scrappy entrepreneurs behind brands like nearby rainwater-sourced King Island Cloud Juice, but they have placed real effort into the packaging and Tasmania is certainly a great location to source water from. SEPTEMBER 2020 29
MINUS 181 $48 per litre
• Highest retail price: €29 for 681ml at Fine Liquids Germany • Country: Germany
ROI $48 per litre
• Highest retail price: 88 AED for 500ml at ROI UAE website
• Source type: Artesian
• Country: Slovenia
• TDS (mineral level in mg/l): 320
• Source type: Spring
MINUS 181 comes from a 181 metre deep
• TDS (mineral level in mg/l): 7481
artesian well in northern Germany. Fine
ROI is easily the most
Liquids in Germany is the only place we
extreme tasting water
could find it for sale, but the website
on this list, and possibly
suggests availability in other regional
in the entire world. They
venues. They have a rather odd-sized
bottle at 681ml produced by Riedel, a
as the world's highest
company founded in 1756 known for
magnesium water which
their wine glassware. Which matches up
gives it a crazy punch.
with the fact that they offer a special gift
Water sommelier Martin
box which includes bespoke glasses. The
Riese once described it
bottle bears similarities to Elsenham in
as being like "two alka-
the UK and the Arte bottle from Solé in
seltzers". The company
Italy. They are also one of a small number of waters
has a history going all the
using the elegant Vinolok glass "cork" enclosure. Their
way back to 1647, and a source bearing the legend
website has a review with tasting notes from German water sommelier Peter Schropp, Managing Director of
that Apollo told his winged horse Pegasus to strike the
the Doemens Academy. They are clearly aiming high end,
ground from which the spring then opened up. They
but with a fairly ordinary source and a design with strong
claim a number of health benefits from the extreme
similarity to others, they are going to need to work hard
mineral composition. Then they go a step beyond with
to distinguish themselves.
their elegant bespoke bottle which carries a gravitas and beauty that matches such a "heavy" and historic water very well.
Lofoten $56 per litre • Highest retail price: US$50 for 888ml at Salacious Drinks in Washington DC • Country: Norway • Source type: Surface? • TDS (mineral level in mg/l): 20 Norway's Lofoten archipelago above the Arctic Circle is a stunning mountainous region with pristine snow melt water sources. The precise source of Lofoten
Uisge Source $60 per litre
• Highest retail price: C$8 for 100ml at WhiskyWater Canada • Country: Scotland, UK • Source type: Well, Spring • TDS (mineral level in
bottled water isn't clear from their
mg/l): Varies by type -
website, but it sounds like it may be
125, 183, 225
a local lake or river type of source. A quick google of lakes in Lofoten will show you just how lovely and clean a source that would be. The bottle is definitely different and has won several design awards with its Scandinavianminimalism-meets-big presence vibe.
Uisge Source is unique on this list as a water sold specifically for whisky pairing. Appropriately sourced from Scotland to match the region's famous whiskies. It sort of cheats getting on this list as it is only sold in small 100ml bottles which inevitably mean the price per litre is going to be higher for a premium special-purpose product. But we'll cut them some slack as they are doing something different that deserves to be on a list like this. They sell three types all at the same price point to give different whisky pairing experiences. Highland (225 TDS) and Speyside (125 TDS) come from historic wells, while Islay (183 TDS) comes from a spring.
Bling h2o $104 per litre
Polar Iceberg 3 Svalbarði Water
• Highest retail price: €69 for 750ml at Watershop France, Eauxdumonde France
$166 per litre
• Country: USA
• Highest retail price: HK$980 for
• Source type: Spring
750ml at Aqua House Hong
• TDS (mineral level in mg/l): 140
Bling is the epitome of a brand that is almost 100% about the bottle with virtually no focus on the water itself. Designed by a Hollywood producer who saw the opportunity to put a new kind of style item into the hands of celebrities by decking out a
• Country: Svalbard, Norway • Source type: Iceberg • TDS (mineral level in mg/l): 21 We created Svalbarði to become
frosted bottle with Swarovski crystals. They revel in their gaudiness saying "Bling H2O is pop-culture in a bottle. But it's not for everyone, just those that Bling." They no longer appear to describe the water source on their website, but the old website said it was a Tennessee spring they filter 9 different ways. Nonetheless, they are honest about who they are and when founded in 2005 were one of the first two significant brands to hit a true luxury price point (alongside Fillico). 14 years later they are still around and putting out multiple editions, so they have clearly succeeded in finding a market niche.
the first truly rounded luxury water brand, not just about design at this price point. The costs are high to be the world's northernmost water. Gathering icebergs from the seas around Svalbard next to the North Pole at 78°N. Bottling in high-design packaging worthy of the source. Supporting CO2-removing projects that save 100 times more arctic ice than goes into each bottle. In so doing, Svalbarði blends a
Quick side note, Bling does make a $2700 edition called "The Ten Thousand". We might have placed them at number 1 for that as one could argue it is "regularly" available on their website. But we left it off as it seems to be only custom-made and doesn't really reflect their brand pricing.
Nevas (Design Edition) $190 per litre • Highest retail price: €250 for 1500ml at NEVAS website Germany • Country: Germany •
Source type: Artesian
• TDS (mineral level in mg/l): Unknown, but calcium level of 62 mg/l A relative newcomer, Nevas Water appears to be available only in Germany and possibly Ibiza, Spain. They are clearly aiming at the "celebration" market as an alternative for champagne, including by only selling a sparkling version. While design is a heavy focus, they definitely highlight their water quality as well, pointing to their calcium level and two "several hundred years old" artesian wells as their source. Though we could not find specifically where those wells are or the total TDS level. Their website shows a fair amount of positive press coverage in Germany. The tea and water sommelier blogger Michael Hemling speaks highly of them as a celebratory product and enjoyed its bold carbonation. Their main product is a 750ml bottle for €30, but they carry multiple magnum 1,5 litre Design Edition versions which are the ones that put them in the number 2 spot.
unique source, taste, origin story, design, and ecoconsciousness to create a 360-degree luxury product unlike any other before or currently in the market.
Fillico Jewelry Water $616 per litre
• Highest retail price: €395 for 720ml at Fine Liquids Germany • Country: Japan • Source type: Surface? • TDS (mineral level in mg/l): 113 With the moniker "Jewelry Water", Fillico is the ultimate over-the-top design focused water brand. Like Bling h2o, it began in California in 2005 targeting Hollywood celebrities. A year later they began selling in Japan which has been their home ever since, though they are available globally including online. Their website doesn't neglect to discuss the quality of their water from a historic source in Kobe, Japan called Nunobiki Water. Which they claim is sought after by chefs and tea ceremony masters. It is unclear exactly what type of water it is, but the Nunobiki name and a few clues in their online presence suggest a surface waterfall-fed source. In the end, the design with its Swarovski crystals and other aspects is so over the top - with their social media playing up that aspect almost exclusively - that it is the overwhelming reason for the pricing. If you want a unique eclectic piece of glass to show off for your event, Fillico has you covered. For a price. SEPTEMBER 2020
Children's fitness is something that we should all, always be interested in. We know how important it is for them to understand and feel the benefits of
Sundays for Superheroes and the Gym Members of the Future
exercise from a young age. It enhances and promotes the development of their motor skills, builds bone and muscle strength, and also hones their cognitive and social skills. That makes it sound like it needs a textbook to develop training for kids, but in reality, it's just a case of getting the kids moving. It doesn't matter how or what they do - it just needs to be something they can enjoy and be encouraged in. At SO51Fitness, sustainable fitness is absolutely key. This for me means not only running an eco-powered, green gym but also one that promotes sustainable membership – so that we can always be inclusive and make sure that the members of the future feel welcome and part of the community. I am always keen to get whole families involved, I love meeting my members' children, and I love the family fitness sessions that I run on Sundays during term time. Just over a year ago I stumbled across a resource online that was aimed at schools for physical education lessons. I spend a lot of my time looking at gyms and fitness equipment so it's no wonder these targeted ads find their way to me quite often. This company caught my eye so I contacted them directly to enquire about them from a gym owners' perspective. Action Mats UK is designed to promote PE as a fun activity to primary schoolchildren. The mats feature bright, easy-to-
BY AMY DUTFIELD
understand graphics, which can facilitate individual and collaborative sessions. I knew my children would love them and I instantly saw a bit of a gap in the market to incorporate them into a gym setting. I purchased a set and set up “Family
O51Fitness launched back in September 2017. At the time my children were one and four years old. Looking back, on the lead up to launching the gym, it was crazy. I have memories of laying thick rubber flooring myself to save money, painstakingly cutting the edges with a Stanley knife, painting, stencilling wall art and setting up member management process… all whilst my baby boy crawled around on the floor. Before we opened the gym was like one big playroom for my kids and they've lived the gym owner journey by my side ever since. I remember my excited 4-year-old being there when the equipment arrived and her overjoyed little face at being the very first person to be allowed to have a go on things. They are memories she can still recall and growing up in the gym environment is something I'm proud of for both my children. 32
Fitness” on a Sunday afternoon after the gym closes to the public. I invite children (roughly in the 5 to 10 years age bracket, although I’m not rigid about this) to come along with an accompanying adult, and then we do a group warm-up, a circuitbased session using the mats, 10 minutes "free time" so that the kids can use some of the CV kit under parental supervision, and then we cool down (during which I take my time to talk through why we stretch, which muscles we’ve used etc). Since the kids themselves don’t spend their pocket money on membership fees, you might wonder why I've chosen to dedicate so much time, money and effort
to this but there is NO more enthusiastic
where pupils use the gym accompanied
and energetic gym user that walks (or
by their teacher as part of their PE
runs – or cartwheels) through my door
curriculum. These kids are older and bring
than the kids that attend SO51Fitness
a whole new set of challenges. I don’t
regularly each week. They give me the
need to spend as much time checking
best sense of job satisfaction I ever get..
they're being safe, but I do have to work
One of my regulars, Toby age 8, appears
hard to find out what motivates them
as a different superhero week on week,
to get involved and how I can support
which is something my adult members
them. I've been alarmed sometimes at
sadly don’t do, although I see plenty
body confidence issues, particularly
of superheroes in disguise. But, just as
amongst the girls, but so far it has been
with the pleasure I get from watching
really worthwhile trying to understand
my own kids working out, it’s not just
them and encouraging them to feel more
about my personal sense of achievement
positive as they find something in the
as a mother, gym owner, and superhero
gym they like to do. The first few school
trainer. It’s knowing that these kids are
leavers from previous groups have now
developing habits that will potentially be
joined the gym as adult members – proof
sustainable for the rest of their lives.
(if we ever needed it) that focusing effort
Not only do the kids get to see "The Gym" from the inside, and build their own
on younger users pays off across for the whole community.
connection with the place where Mum or
My most recent partnership was
Dad disappear off to regularly, but they
something that came about during
also get to feel that they can be part of it
the lockdown. I was approached by
all. While they are still young, they have
Paulton’s Golf Club here in Romsey,
few inhibitions, so asking them to do a
which had recently been purchased and
box jump takes very little encouragement.
was under new management. Having
In fact, my job is often more about trying to curb the enthusiasm of a roomful of
seen a social media post about the difficulties of running a gym without
being able to use the premises, the golf club kindly offered me use of some outdoor space within their grounds. At the time this could be used for one to one training sessions only, but after weeks of running our timetable online it was still a fantastic opportunity, and soon restrictions were lifted enough to allow us to add group sessions to the mix. Being outdoors in an open space adds a sense of escapism and gave me some fantastic inspiration to broaden our appeal in the local area. Only a few weeks after the birth of SO51FitnessOutdoors in partnership with the golf club, we launched the familyfriendly combination Gym 'n Juniors. This links us for the first time to a whole new world of sport, by giving a parent an option to join an outdoor class whilst a child has a junior golf lesson next to us. In the new COVID world, it's time to understand the opportunities for familyfriendly gyms and classes. As families were forced by the lockdown to spend more time together and find ways of understanding and integrating their different health and fitness needs, it has been easier to see how we can learn from a difficult situation. The lockdown bonded families together through exercising together – be it for walks, bike rides or the daily Joe Wicks workouts. I have tried to mirror this domestic shift by moving my gym towards all-inclusive fitness, and I am sure there is a lot more potential here to develop or reinforce the participation and enjoyment of the whole family in our gym or studio settings. Whatever the postCOVID future holds, we are always going to need more superheroes. I’m happy to chat with anyone who would like advice or to share ideas – contact me at SO51Fitness! For more information on Action Mats UK please visit: www.actionmats.co.uk For more information on our partnership with Paultons Golf Centre please visit: www.paultonsgolf.co.uk
pint-sized superheroes and making sure they all stay safe and don't get too excited! But I’m aware that getting them in the environment from a young age will bring more capable and more confident gym users in the future. Action Mats is only one means of nurturing superheroes here at SO51Fitness; I have two other working partnerships, both of which help instil the family ethos. One of these is the link with a secondary school here in Romsey. I facilitate their year 10 and 11 gym option, SEPTEMBER 2020
Muscle in on
forgotten markets REFRAMING STRENGTH TRAINING FOR THE ELDERLY, THOSE WITH PAIN OR MOBILITY ISSUES. BY DAVID VAUX
n the UK today, around 18.8 million have a musculoskeletal condition. A common misconception amongst people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions is that exercise can damage the joints, which is not necessarily true. Of the 18.8 million, 4.8 million over 65 years of age don’t reach minimum Public Health Activity requirements, with the Chief Medical Officer suggesting that the strength training component of Public Health actively guidelines were ‘the forgotten guidelines’. (UK Active, 2019). Pain is one of the few ‘Pan Condition’ experiences that most with mobility issues
One has to speculate if lack of strength
Exercise Lead for UK Charity Arthritis
training in our ageing population is
Action, I frequently encounter the idea
contributing to pain being the UK’s biggest
that ‘strength training is not for me’,
single impartment type.
particularly when speaking to older
So what can gyms do to help?
experience. Interestingly, Sport England’s Mapping Disability document report (2016), suggests that pain was the largest disability by impairment type in its own
In my role as Therapies Manager and
Making the gym a space for everyone
people or those with pain, mobility issues or a disability. Strength training, or even attending the gym is not seen as an appealing way to do exercise. And when you look at the typical gym setting, this hesitance to go to the gym
if the desire to get active is there, the base
muscle via exercise is beneficial to immune
strength to do so may not be.
function. Skeletal muscle and healthy BMI
In recent times, there has been a groundswell of interest in exercise; in particular, strength training for the
Such factors also highlighted in COVID data as predictors of one's severity of infection.
ageing as a form of self-care. I have
With this in mind, the next step is to look
noticed, however, that even where
at strategies to get people to strength-
fantastic community activities exist,
train, in order to maintain healthy skeletal
individuals who have lost strength,
muscle, and fight the age-related loss of
irrespective of why might not be able
this tissue (referred to as Sarcopenia).
to gain access. The biggest barrier to exercise, and indeed strength training, becomes clearer. Older or less able people
in the elderly is fear of the fitness
are not represented there in any numbers,
environment and fear of pain.
nor is gym marketing geared towards
are two of our most modifiable factors.
In terms of pain and joint-related problems, we see the majority of patients reporting less pain if they strengthen the muscles around a joint, irrespective of
Interestingly, the fear factor is also
any underlying conditions. So strength
prevalent across exercise providers. The
training really is ‘win-win-win’ in terms of
We know that for people with long-term
‘Raising the Bar’ report (2019), found that
pain levels, avoiding loss of independence
pain, or other musculoskeletal conditions,
over 80% of gym staff would not feel
and remaining healthy.
exercise is one of the most helpful
confident in instructing an individual with
interventions. Exercise can help alleviate
pain, build strength around painful joints,
One of the most profound lessons a gym
attracting these segments of society.
and help reduce inflammation. It should be a priority to encourage people to get more active, as a way of managing their health. Instead, they are locked into a cycle where pain and fear discourage exercise.
can offer to a member is helping them recognise that exercise can help with pain, and that discomfort with exercise does not necessarily indicate you are damaging your joints.
Equipping the fitness industry to be Muscle and Immunity experts When organisations develop services focused on ageing, pain or mobility, I suggest a simple 5 step flexible framework that clarifies opportunities and strategies
What can the sector do?
How can we achieve this?
Understanding the barriers to exercise
Making gyms a welcoming place
Health messaging and a supportive
Perhaps we can learn from the Japanese
environment that resonates with older
model of multigenerational community
people or those experiencing pain needs
exercise that is the norm for their society.
to be nuanced to better connect with
More and more property developers are
their needs. We need to move away from
aligning with the concept of encouraging
By making some changes to staff training,
campaigns, classes or activities that focus
communal living spaces, developed
a positive narrative for strength training as
on the short term.
around different ages coming together. In
a form of activity for people of all ages and
a changing society, perhaps the gym can
abilities, we can make gyms an inclusive,
fill the space a church formally filled in our
supportive and positive space for everyone.
We need to normalise lifelong strength training in gyms for both providers and members. This is not news to the fitness industry and in fairness, much work is being done to train staff to better facilitate sessions so they can be inclusive of clients with a disability, for example, the ‘Inclusive Activity Programme’ by the Activity Alliance and Sport England. However, pain and ageing in strength training are subjects that take time to understand and implement, by both the instructor and participant. There is a science and
communities, in creating a welcoming space.
insight that would bring a more diverse, multigenerational (and profitable) membership base.
It is exciting to play a part in this it is great to see the change within the
Strength training is not just about better
industry, to normalise strength-training for
ageing and retaining independence. There
those with long-term pain, and the elderly.
is growing evidence that skeletal muscle
It’s time to take the lead in galvanising the
is an immunological organ in its own right.
confidence and wellbeing of this forgotten
The Institute for Inflammation and Ageing
demographic - for the long-term physical
(2019) suggests maintaining skeletal
strength and health of the nation.
• Raising the Bar Annual report 2018.
• Sport England’s Mapping Disability document
report (2016). and-our-work/disability
disability, pain or fear.
• UK Active.
independence and yet more pain, so even
but perhaps lacking the confidence and
opportunity for behavioural change, and
guiding individuals through exercise with
to loss of muscle strength, loss of
of the curve in new strength strategies,
cycle. Abstaining from exercise leads
see the fitness industry as way ahead
Making strength training a health
art to understanding the complexities of
Another barrier can be the deconditioning
driven by available data and science. I
raising-the-bar-2018/ • Skeletal Muscle and Immunity https://research.birmingham.ac.uk/portal/ en/publications/can-physical-activityameliorate-immunosenescence-and-thereby-
SEPTEMBER 2020 35
FUNXTION TEAM UP WITH SPORTEVE ELEVATING MEMBER EXPERIENCE THROUGH IN-CLUB DIGITALISATION
ecently, not surprisingly, all the focus relating to the digitalisation of the fitness sector has been on enhancing the out of gym experience. Whilst this is clearly important, we need not to overlook the value an in-gym digital experience has to offer. Here, Detlef Garburg, Executive Director,
1. Tell us a little bit about Sporteve. Sporteve is a ladies only brand, based around a 30 minute full body, hydraulically powered strength training circuit. The circuit is supported by a range of other functional training equipment including Flexibar, kettlebells and dumbbells plus a pull-up machine and two Flexx stretching units for those who want a little more variety.
Sporteve - a growing
The majority of ladies that value our
chain of ladies only
service are busy seniors. Most have
limited or no previous gym experience
when they first join us. As a result, we
Germany, explains how the brand has partnered with FunXtion to integrate digital capabilities into the gym floor environment, enhancing the training experience for both member and instructors.
need our provision to be simple and safe to execute and offer an opportunity to complete a whole-body workout in 30 minutes to fit around busy lives.
2. Why did you decide to digitise your offering? We identified a need to differentiate our offer in an increasingly crowded market. We wanted to elevate our member
together. We are currently running three of these digital circuits per day per site and typically attract 15 members per session.
experience to the next level and also
The beauty of this set up is that instructors
optimise the level of coaching and support
can focus their time with members who
our gym floor trainers were able to offer.
most need it, safe in the knowledge that
FunXtionâ€™s MultiScreen product offered us the perfect solution.
3. How do you utilise the FunXtion MultiScreens? Depending on the space available at each club, we have positioned three or four screens to create a digital circuit. Each screen demonstrates a unique exercise for a pre-programmed time frame. Once the time frame comes to an end, members
the other participants are supported by the on-screen coaching. We installed this solution to enhance gym floor instruction, never to replace it. That said, there is also an option for members to self-activate a digital circuit. This means that, even during unsupervised hours, members can enjoy a coached circuit. In theory, we could now be running circuits back to back throughout our opening hours, ensuring members are able to access this service at times most convenient to them.
are prompted to move to the next screen station. This enables multiple members to enjoy an effective, circuit concurrently, ensuring delivery of a social setting where varying abilities can all train safely 36
4. How have your members reacted to the FunXtion integration? Having overcome a little resistance from
members, the screens have now become an integral part of our training delivery. Now that members have had a chance to try out the solution, they are all able to appreciate the value and have embraced the digital circuit as a welcome addition to our core offer. This provides more depth to our offer, presenting members with a fresh, now training option all included as part of their membership fees.
5. Why did you choose to work with FunXtion? FunXtion offers the perfect solution. Digitalisation is now impacting all
6. How important do you think offering such digital innovations is to the future of fitness and member experience? This form of digital integration is the future of functional training.
constantly needing to find news was to differentiate our product. The integration of digital circuit sessions has provided a unique service offer which has helped us both recruit and retain our members. Sporteve launched in August 2007 and is the brainchild of Sabine
aspects of life and we wanted to make
As a sector, we are still at the start of our
Knoche-Lenz. previously a Mrs Sporty
sure that we were aligned to consumer
digital journey and I am excited by what
franchise license holder and operator
the future holds. I believe the integration of
of two Mrs Sporty sites, Sabine and
digital content delivery should be used to
Detlef identified a gap in the market
complement the work of the in-club trainers,
for a simpler, less expensive franchise
enabling a new level of support for members.
product and launched Sporteve.
There are also opportunities to link digital
Sporteve is now operating across
needs and demands. Our members are used to making purchases online, enjoying subscription-based on-demand entertainment at home and having fingertip access to unlimited information from their mobile devices. Integrating a digital circuit into our training provision seemed like a natural progression. The quality of the provision is second to none. All recorded exercise demonstrations are performed by real people, not animations and we felt
content to audio and visual solutions creating a totally immersive experience which otherwise would not be possible. The partnership with FunXtion has provided the means for us to elevate our
Germany as a franchise model, with 29 operational sites. The FunXtion MultiScreen solution is currently installed in four sites Berlin, Hamburg and NĂźrnberg, with hopes to roll out
service offer to a new level. We operate
to further sites moving forwards.
in a highly competitive market and are
this was important to promote a closer connection between the content and our members. FunXtion also regularly creates new content. This enables us to remain aligned to changing consumer trends and training practices to ensure we deliver on-trend exercises. The solution also enables us to integrate our own content. This means we are able to create even more bespoke experiences that reflect the physical programming taking place in-club. SEPTEMBER 2020
TO MAKE YOUR PERSONAL TRAINING SERVICES MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR DEAF CLIENTS POST-LOCKDOWN BY CLARE VALE 38
ith most gyms now reopening and social distancing measures being reduced, many personal trainers will be excited to get back to the gym floor after months of operating remotely through virtual platforms and outdoor sessions.
For clients, the idea of stepping foot back into the gym may be intimidating, particularly for deaf people who have faced countless communication barriers throughout the pandemic and lockdown. Not only is it important for personal trainers to adapt their approach to putting existing deaf clients at ease, those that fail to make adjustments could be missing out on a valuable pool of potential clients. Here are five steps you can take to make your services more accessible for deaf clients and ensure a successful transition back to training.
1. Fully understand your client’'s requirements There is a high possibility that you won’t be fully aware of your deaf client’s unique access requirements, and therefore, you need to ask them if they have any requirements or adjustments to be made to improve their experience and performance during PT sessions. It is important to understand that not all clients with hearing loss will have the same needs and preferences, for example, some may prefer to lip read, however profoundly deaf clients and will prefer to be instructed using physical demonstrations and BSL interpreters.
2. Communicate about health and safety Like any clients, deaf clients’ anxiety about attending PT sessions is likely to be heightened following the coronavirus pandemic, and they may be concerned about their health and safety. You need to think about the ways you can show your client you’ve taken the situation seriously and are prioritising their safety and wellbeing. Before resuming sessions, you could consider hiring an in-person interpreter to clearly explain to your client how you have been following the recommended hygiene procedures to offer them further reassurance.
3. Give more visual 4. Ask for regular demonstrations feedback One of the main concerns amongst deaf PT clients is not knowing how to perform exercises properly. Remember not all deaf people can lipread, and many rely on physical movement and gestures to communicate, so you need to ensure you provide physical demonstrations to clearly show what needs to be done and proper techniques to limit any risk of injury. Generally speaking, hearing loss doesn’t modify the exercise response to any form of physical activity, as there are no physical limitations directly associated with hearing impairments, so if you give your deaf client instructions, they should be able to carry out most exercises without any special considerations.
Deaf clients may not feel able to speak up if they are struggling with sessions or need additional adjustments to be made to get the most out of each class. Therefore, you should regularly ask them for feedback to give them an opportunity to air any concerns. Not only will this help them achieve the best results, but it will also demonstrate your willingness to adapt and look after their best interest and will ultimately make them more likely to keep coming back to you.
5. Take advantage of external support If in doubt you should seek the advice of an external expert who can offer guidance and services to help you communicate effectively with your deaf clients. This includes face-to-face interpretation support, BSL translations and deaf awareness training. With the right support, it is possible for personal trainers to empower the deaf community and help break down the barriers that people with disabilities face. The return to the gym and personal training sessions can’t come soon enough for most fitness fanatics, but it’s crucial to be mindful of how the pandemic may have impacted people’s lives, particularly marginalised groups like the deaf community. By following these steps, you can remove some of the anxiety not only for existing deaf clients but for potential new prospects, helping ensure their experience is a positive one and they can ultimately reach their goals. Clare Vale is managing director of Sign Solutions. SEPTEMBER 2020
Evolving the Combat Class-
E C N E F E D T E E R T S BY COLIN LEE BERRY STREET DEFENCE DIRECTOR
ue to current events, most martial arts/ self defence concepts are unable to open as the government rules make the classes almost impossible to teach. However, having spoken to several instructors around the world, martial arts/self defence classes will soon be able to be run as close to normal very soon.
At Street Defence, rather than stand still and wait for the current situation to improve, we have been working away at improving the concept from top to bottom. Not only have we been adding several new techniques and fun/functional drills, but we have also been evolving the self defence teaching element. Below is a section of the self defence element of the Street Defence concept. The Reaction Gap explains how we teach participants the importance of their positioning against a potential attacker. 40
THE IMPORTANCE OF LEARNING AND PRACTISING YOUR DISTANCES FROM YOUR OPPONENT
get out of the line of fire if you are close to the gun rather than far away.
GREEN = LONG RANGE Even though this threat gives you a lot more time to react than the red zone, the threat is still imminent. And like any of the zones on the diagram above, you need to react instantly.
AMBER = MID RANGE When the threat reaches this zone, your reaction time is dramatically reduced to that of the red zone (long-range). Your techniques will vary to those of the green zone and this range should mean you are able to reach out and contact the attacker’s wrist or weapon. If this is not possible, the
THE REACTION GAP
threat will still be in the green zone and must be dealt with accordingly. During your training sessions with other
You should allow a 4-6 feet gap between
RED = SHORT RANGE
students, you must learn to detect what
you and the attacker (even though this is
This range includes if the weapon or
distance your attacker is at (close, mid, or
threat is in a hold-up or static scenario
not always possible). This allows you to
long-range). Once you know what range
(knife to throat etc.). If the threat is static
look into the person’s eyes and can still
the attack is coming from you will be able
in a hold up this should make it easier
see their feet. The advantages of this
to use the appropriate techniques. This
to neutralise the threat or disarm the
Reaction Gap are:
can vary from student to student because
weapon as a static target is always easier
of lever length etc. The more skilful you
to hit or control. If the threat is at short
become, the further away the threat will
range and is a moving threat (knife thrust
be as your awareness and observation
etc.), you must do whatever necessary to
It means that you will not have to invade
has detected the threat, way before the
move your body away from the threat to
the person’s personal space. This may
attacker has got close enough. The only
enable you to compose yourself to deal
help read anxiety and prevent them from
threat that you want to be close to is the
with the threat or you must move in and
gun hold up situation. It is easier for you to
take the opponent out.
It will give you more time to react and respond to any aggression.
KICKIN’ COVID 10 WAYS TO GET MORE ANTIOXIDANTS INTO YOUR DIET BY STACY WIG
here is so much fear of illness today inducing strong emotions. Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can cause a myriad of issues that negatively impact our health and wellbeing. Some of those include: • Changes in eating patterns (stress eating, boredom munching, mindless consumption, lack of appetite, less structured meal times) • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating (less activity, a chaotic mind, less time or too much time alone, more screen time) • Increased use of tobacco and/or alcohol consumption or drug use • Fear and worry over your health, your family, your financial situation, loss of structure, loss of support services you rely on All of these responses to stress can have a tremendous impact on our overall health
believed the antioxidants in food can help
a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and
causing us to be at higher risk for any kind
prevent cancer, reverse or slow ageing,
vegetables daily but recommend 7-10
of illness, not just COVID 19. With that
enhance your immune system, increase
servings. A few other benefits of taking in
said, how can we use nutrition to improve
your energy and improve heart and other
a diet rich in fruits and vegetables:
You will likely decrease the amount of
Given all we know about antioxidants and
unhealthy snacks and foods because you
our immune system?
Flood your body with antioxidants!!
their beneficial properties, it’s amazing
just won’t be hungry.
more people don’t get enough fruits
Taste buds change when you eat “close to
It’s no secret that antioxidants are
and vegetables, the primary sources
the ground” meaning foods that grow in
incredibly beneficial to good health. It’s
of antioxidants. Experts recommend
Improved digestion There are 10 steps to getting more antioxidants into your diet.
1. Breakfast Breakfast doesn’t have to be a hurried pop tart on the way out the door. Throw some strawberries, whey protein, ground chia or flax and yoghurt or almond milk into a blender; pour your delicious mixture into a cup and head out the door. You’ve just added 1-2 servings of fruit, protein, calcium, and healthy fat to your daily intake. You can also throw some berries onto your cold or hot cereal! What if you truly have no time in the morning and usually grab something on the run. Be prepared for that and have little baggies of ¼ c almonds, ¼ c dried fruit, and ½ c cereal like Kashi heart to
field greens. Whip up a broccoli salad for lunch or be adventurous and mix up a rice salad with a mélange of fresh vegetables like string beans, tomatoes, peppers and red onions. I like to go renegade and mix all of my favourite veggies together and toss with some garlic olive oil and balsamic.
heart (also an amazing snack for kids). Or grab strawberries and a slice of your favourite cheese.
2. Snacks Here’s an easy way to get more
from the store. So, plant a garden, watch it grow and eat the fruits of your labour.
9. Take your healthy diet on vacation Too many of us consider going on vacation an opportunity to take a vacation from everything, including healthy eating. Think of vacation as a way to
Berries, with or without whipped cream or chocolate are a wonderful way to end your day of healthy, antioxidant-rich eating. What about cottage cheese and pineapple?
be introduced to new foods. Order an
10. Learn to cook
Replace your soda with tea or coffee, both of which boast antioxidant compounds. Have a glass of wine with dinner, or for a real change of pace, pour a glass of chai tea.
If you’re cooking, you’re not opening bags
interesting dish in a restaurant and then pay attention to how the chef prepared the dish.
antioxidants in your diet. How about a handful of raisins or some fresh red grapes? Dip some strawberries in yoghurt. Need crunch? How about some baby carrots dipped in hummus? Consider a handful of pecans for a nice antioxidant boost.
and boxes. If you’re ordering out every night, you’re far less likely to be eating the whole foods and natural fruits and vegetables that provide the base for our
3. Lunch and dinner It might sound trite but adding a salad to 1-2 of your daily meals can add to your overall health and well-being. They don’t have to be boring or just salad greens. Going classic? Add some red pepper slices to your green salad, some tomatoes to the Greek salad, or tart cranberries to your
6. Think outside the box
We know we can get our antioxidant fix from berries and veggies but researchers say powerful antioxidants can also be found in a variety of unexpected foods, like russet potatoes, artichokes, and small red beans. The beans, in fact, may have more antioxidant power than blueberries!
7. Cook lightly You think you’re being good, preparing vegetables each night for your family’s dinner but if you’re overcooking the vegetables, you’re cooking out a lot of the beneficial properties of the antioxidants. Steam vegetables and stop cooking them when they will have all of their bright colour and most of their bite.
8. Plant a garden Experts believe that people who plant and harvest vegetables from their own yards are far more likely to eat more vegetables and fruits than people who buy their produce
Stacy Renee Wig, IFBB Pro CEO FitCo Solutions Educate*Create*Ignite "We Inspire GREATNESS http://fitcowellnesssolutions.com/ SEPTEMBER 2020 43
IN ARMAGEDDON BREATHE IN GRATITUDE, BREATHE OUT ANXIOUSNESS BY TAZ DUNSTAN
ife is uncertain and business is more turbulent than usual. It is okay to accept these times have been unprecedented and everyone has been negatively impacted by the World Health Organizations recommendations to effectively close down the world to slow down the spread of COVID 19. This has been a necessary measure however it has not been executed effectively in several countries who continue to fluctuate between varying levels of lockdown which is crippling the economy and the community. Most businesses across all industries have had to assess the viability of operating under
these conditions, both personally and professionally. The fitness industry has united globally to fight for their livelihood and the overall health of their members and clients by emphasizing the importance of health facilities remaining available in any capacity while mitigating risks. The irony is undeniable that at a time when peoples health has come under the spotlight as crucial for survival amid the pandemic, facilities designed to improve peoples health, mood and overall well being have been closed. The negative impact this has had already, surpasses the face value of business closures and bankruptcy.
Any degree of financial insecurity and uncertainty is stressful. Stress can lead to depression and depression can be completely and totally debilitating. It is important to address that risk and the fragile mental state of all business owners and their staff, as people, before analyzing the financial position of their business. Now is a time to look within and ask less “What can I get out of it?” and more “What can I give to help others.” Businesses need to refocus their energy towards humanitarian movements and philanthropic ventures that provide hope to the community while facilitating a sense of purpose to people who are struggling to find their feet. The world needs more feel good, paying it forward stories to rebuild. Everyone needs something to look forward to and no one industry or profession is exempt from this need. The front line of emergency services, medical staff, essential services and law enforcement officers need help, beyond a free coffee. If you own fitness equipment or a facility that could be of use to a women's’ shelter, shift workers, front line personnel, a local community youth group- step up and ask what you can do to help them. Everyone is doing it tough and if anyone in this circumstance is doing well, they should absolutely be giving back to help others in the community because that is what society and the economy need right now. Most of humanity is not trained or able to operate without emotion and the
XL Personal Training has been
fortunate with loyal members on
an online platform, we had made
We have also been running charity
our business model “COVID proof”
boot camps to boost morale and the
prior to the lockdown. We have
feedback we have received from
expressed gratitude each day for
people who are happy to be doing
this blessing and have collaborated
something good for others is truly
with other small businesses and
community charity groups to
The Cancer Research UK and Shine
reallocate funds to other needy
fundraisers remain open so please
causes such as:
get behind us and support these
• Meals Of Happiness in New Delhi, India • The cancer research UK institute in collaboration with Miss Elegance of the World 2020 https://fundraise. cancerresearchuk.org/team/xl-
worthy causes. Together we are creating change. When you focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have life becomes more fulfilling. Be the change you want to see and what the world needs. When you do something good for someone else you appreciate
what you have more and you realize
and *Shine womens’ refuge
your needs are less than they
in Auckland, New Zealand in
may seem. Be empowered by this
collaboration of Miss Universe New
knowledge and use your time and
energy well for the greater good.
ongoing exposure to extreme trauma, loss, grief, anxiety, fear, sadness, depression and panic people are faced with daily is emotionally taxing. Do not become so consumed with these feelings that you neglect your self-care. Please focus on your health and well being. Regular meals, consistent hydration, good sleep patterns with set times to be in and out of bed. Any exercise, inclusive of stretching, and time to de-stress; whether that be a hot shower, bath or lying down listening to music. SEPTEMBER 2020 45
During A y t n i a t r e c n U Of
BY JODI BARRETT
eing positive throughout life brought me to my current position but it did not come without sweat and tears. March 17, 2020, I stood in the potential space of our Studio. As we were getting ready to make a timeline of plans, I got a call saying it really was happening. Our gyms and studios were mandated to close due to a pandemic. Currently renting space at the time, all I could think about was my immediate next move. Thoughts of the new space left my mind quickly as the first priority was how to deal with the current situation at hand.
The call came in around 3:30 pm, give or take, as I also got a ticket for parking in the bus lane. I was to have a class at 5:30 pm, and within an hour of that call we staggered kettlebell pickups according to alphabetizing last names. By 8:30 pm most kettlebells were signed out and the remainder would come home with me so I could continue to hand them out. By the time the next day rolled around we were setting up all clients to navigate the online training platform! We would train at the same scheduled times to
As the time passed, we had not forgotten
keep our habits strong, because at this time
about our plans to move to a new location.
we had no idea how long this was going
During this time, we were faced with the
to be. 48 hours later I taught my first class
decision to walk away from our current
from my apartment. The thoughts of a new
location as we were not able to teach
space were now distant.
classes but still required to pay the full
With the uncertainty of the future, for the first time we were forced to look at the day, the moment and not go beyond! Our goal was to keep our clients motivated, challenged and on track. We launched a 6-week program to keep everyone engaged and to bring new clients on board the online training program. This became an opportunity to bring my trainers from across the country on to the platform. This would give them the ability to train
rent. Decision time! We were already thinking it was time to move and our motivation was to have our first flagship location in the country. With sweaty palms and the desire to grow even in the most uncomfortable and uncertain times, it was time to move forward. As a leader, I realize that your followers know that you are human, but when leading in tough times it is the moment to lead with confidence and strength!
the program to reinforce our program
I had decided that we would leave the
structure, but to be honest, we hoped
current space and move forward to lease
it would help them with their mental
our own space but not say anything
health also during this time. Eventually
during the transition period. We were
we would reach out and offer them the
training online, and our clients did not
opportunity to get involved in teaching
need the stress of any more uncertainty.
online. We would work at growing our
The weight of that decision was heavy,
company stronger during a difficult time!
but it was one I was greatly confident
about. I knew we would make a location work. I had weeks, days and down to moments that I was completely questioning the outcome but held faith that we would find our new location. We trained through the weeks online, LIVE feeds, Google Hangouts, Zooms, challenges and text message check ins. Personally, I knew I was at a growing point, as circumstances in my world were testing me. While I was working
anything until the last “i" was dotted and
feeling great, my body did not fight me
also struggling with being away from
the “t” crossed!
on this journey because it was strong
my children as everyone was in isolation
June 12, 2020, we began training in the
toward our new business plan, I was
mode, they were at their dad’s and I was missing interaction with my clients as I taught. I spoke with a colleague/friend who is a business owner and trainer and we talked about how when we train, we equally get energy back from our clients, so giving your all to a camera 7 days a week was draining. You know how the saying goes: “fill up your bucket,” we were emptying our bucket to fill others and as time went on, we started to feel heavy inside. At this time, I began to really focus on being grateful for our short Google Hangout meetings with clients, where we connected before jumping on
beauty of the outdoors! The colors seemed incredible as we talked about them a lot. We were all so grateful to be in each other’s space again and it was easy to
and healthy! I was my own testimonial that when you train strength, mobility and cardio, it will help you in your daily tasks! I can honestly say that I never woke the next day with a sore body. I kept up
embrace the beauty of the park that we
my training throughout the renovations.
were training in, even though we had to
Some days I picked renovating versus
practice physical distancing. I still had
a full workout but kept up my swings,
my news to share and decided to start
squats and pushups regardless, and when
building some anticipation regarding
I walked by my pull up bar in my room, I
“something exciting is happening”!
gave myself at least 3 pull ups because,
Finally, the moment came to tell clients that we were moving to a new home, and everyone was so excited. Training in the park had turned out to be an incredible
who doesn’t have time for 3? Training has taught me how to tackle life and business. Growth is hard but will be great once you get there!
way to slowly get people training
Soft Opening looked different when we
Training! My life was a whirlwind of
together in the fresh air. My current
opened our new space. The new task
extra training …. Online, Live Instagram,
task was keeping my online clients with content and was very thankful for my
was to give clients a great experience
collaboration Live classes and how to move forward with my studio plan. I
trainers across the country that filled in
equally had to shift my thinking as it
time spots for me as my newest project
was a great opportunity to grow online
was to take on renos! Now CEO, trainer
while working on our flagship location. I
and master reno gal! My hats changed
embraced the challenges of the new world
every hour. I did show up to teach in the
and had to focus on the next step.
park with either red marked skin from
to our website platform KB LIVE – Online
We all lived day to day, but I knew I had to think of the future if we were going to have one. Once the lease was signed, we were placed into a time crunch of when we could get the location renovated and when would we be ready for phase 3 (opening phase for gym and studios). I will never forget the moment that I was in the grocery store when my phone started to blow up….”Phase 3 is June 12th Jodi,”! I
scrubbing paint off my body, or slightly covered in paint. I went from 10-12 hours of renovating, to teaching, to marketing. I had the experience of birthing 3 children and was getting tested beyond anything I could imagine. Sweat and tears became part of my world. Exhaustion like I had never felt in this lifetime and again… I had raised 3 children, lol! This was a completely new experience for me.
with minimal contact and making sure all surfaces were COVID-clean. Mats were marked so they knew where to stand, hugs, fist bumps were now missed and replaced with air bumps! In a time of uncertainty we dig deep, instead of hiding we choose to step forward and persevere. Our company moves forward with the discipline of our training, knowing the benefits and the results it provides on and off the mats. I hold comfort that as humans we need connection, and together we will remain #kbkbSTRONG, whether that is online or standing in our facility! Moving forward we will grow in both worlds as it allows us to reach more people so we can serve them so they can
was excited and I was ill to my stomach as
The support and help I received from my
I knew I had an entire space to renovate
crew of friends that helped me with the
before my clients could ever walk through
renovations will be something I never will
the doors. You know the saying, “I got
forget. What I now get to tell people, was
Success is yours for the taking if you are
this far not to only go this far”, that was
how my training Kettlebell Kickboxing
willing to work and take the risk!
my mantra. I made a decision to begin
had helped me survive renos at 45 years
training outdoors as we were all craving
old. Days on my knees staining grout,
the outdoors and connection. Still having
to the point I couldn’t squeeze the grout
to get the final papers signed, I was
bottle, and with my knees red and
CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada
confident but have learned to not say
swollen, I always woke up the next day
Owner of KBKB Studio
become a better version of themselves every day!
Much Love & Strength
https://www.kettlebellkickboxingcanada.com/kb-live/ SEPTEMBER 2020 47
BRICKS AND MORTAR HAS CEMENTED ITS PLACE
THE TRADITIONAL FITNESS SPACE IS UNDER NO THREAT AS AN INSTITUTION, BUT IT WILL HAVE TO EVOLVE.
BY BEN HACKNEY-WILLIAMS, HEAD OF CONTENT AT ESCAPE FITNESS
ooking into the literal foundations of fitness, the pandemic has seen questions arise about the future of the physical space. Below we hear from some of the industries iconic entrepreneurs who are laying the groundwork in why the traditional gyms are here to stay.
evolutionary change with physical and
Algorithms and echo chambers of social
Eric Levine and Cuoco Black, joined Mel
media mean that I haven't heard the full-on doom and gloom tales. Instead of people saying “it's the end of gyms because of digital fitness,” I've heard more of an
digital embracing each other in parallel. However, stories from the naysayers pedalling predictions of purely web-based workouts are out there, and it's something that needs to be addressed.
Disruption is not a new thing. Gym brand architect, Cuoco Black, makes a great point not only about disruption but about the opportunity we face in embracing it. “The fitness industry has always been
It's more than just a gym. Two entrepreneurs and industry icons, Tempest on her Gym Owners Fitness Business podcast to fly the flag for the physical space. “People join fitness centres for the club, friendship, social, excitement and escapism extravaganza that they get every time they leave their house to go get the adrenaline; that shot of life,” explains Eric, with four decades of experience under his belt. “People go to get the feeling of 'I am not in my bedroom
hit with disruption,” he tells Mel. “The big-box gyms came along and disrupted all the legacy brands. Then boutiques came along. Franchise models came along, and CrossFit came along. There's always something that's going to shift industry standards and conventions. “This is the first time that a contagion, the pandemic, has caused this disruption. Bricks and mortar is going to rise again and become more powerful than it ever was because people with vision will know that they have to pivot and be adaptive to the cultural and social environment around the virus, especially with their marketing.”
or my garage, I am in my place.'
elements come into play. You will never be
The importance of change.
able to replace that online, no matter how
That ability to pivot is something that's
good it is. It's about people, loving people,
going to play a huge part in any fitness
needing people. That is forever.”
business. Not necessarily to prevent it
“When you go to a fitness centre, all of the
from closing, but certainly to ensure
contrasting business model and strategy.
its continued growth and reaching
“They're two very different examples.
its potential. If we concentrate on the
The real key is that the bricks and mortar
positive instead of the negative, everyone
fitness is based around the community.
Working together to dominate with fitness.
can work together to grow fitness and get
At the end of the day, we're social beings.
Bricks and mortar together with digital
more people moving.
People want human interaction.
platforms is no bad thing. Imagine a
On the Escape Your Limits podcast,
“I think the real danger has been more
world where accessible fitness engaged
speaking to host and Escape Fitness co-
around the fact of ensuring that we pivot
more people, more of the time, for better
founder Matthew Januszek, another guest
what Snap Fitness is, in particular – what
wellbeing, added value to memberships
was fast, affordable, convenient. I guess
and increased revenue for operators.
echoed the points of Eric Levine, taking predictions a step further.
in the public's eye: lots of locations, but probably low support model and just a
“We've got huge opportunities across the
Ty Menzies is CEO of Lift Brands,
convenient price point.
board with our bricks and mortar facilities,
overseeing a portfolio of five operations: Snap Fitness 24-7, 9 Round Kickboxing, YogaFit, Steele Fitness and Fitness On
“For us, it's been about pivoting to discover how we can be a stronger partner with
provided that we adopt and embrace virtual,” continues Ty. “We can't just sit on
our members to ensure that we're driving
our hands and think that you're just going
results within and building a strong
to have four walls and build it and people
community. And that community is built
are going to come. We need to be able to
both by technology, which we're working
offer these other items to supplement the
“Someone asked me the other day about
significantly on, but also community
the comparison [in fitness] to Blockbuster
within the four walls and ensuring that
bricks and mortar pay. So I think it's about
and Netflix,” Ty tells Matthew, explaining
we've got the right level of staffing and
that the entertainment giant forcing the
personal trainers and programming and
“The bricks and mortar facilities are here
old guard out of the market is an entirely
Demand. He's seen success as both a franchisee and franchisor around the world, and regularly gets asked for his insight.
the right combination and balance of both.
Ben Hackney-Williams (@_BenHW) is head of content at Escape Fitness and has been a journalist for over a decade. He has worked in the fitness industry as a consumer-facing content creator for international bodybuilding and MMA publications, driven engagement in supply-side gym design and equipment manufacturing, and helped produce over 150 episodes of the Escape Your Limits podcast.
SEPTEMBER 2020 49
RESILIENCE AS THE LEISURE SECTOR REBUILDS AFTER MONTHS OF CLOSURE, IT IS IMPORTANT TO TAKE TIME OUT TO REFLECT ON THE LESSONS LEARNT DURING THE PANDEMIC. HERE, KERSTIN OBENAUER, UK COUNTRY DIRECTOR, EGYM EXPLORES HOW WE CAN HARNESS OUR LOCKDOWN EXPERIENCE TO BUILD A STRONGER, MORE RESILIENT SECTOR, BETTER ALIGNED TO PUBLIC HEALTH NEEDS. "There is no situation, there is no age and no condition where exercise is not a good thing. So, anything that can be done to encourage, and to allow, people to take exercise is clearly a good thing.” These are the words spoken by Chris Whitty, England's Chief Medical Advisor in a live, national, Covid-19 briefing on April 15 this year. Yet, gyms and leisure centres were amongst some of the last facilities to be given the green light to reopen. This either suggests we were, as a sector, unable to convince the government that our environments are safe or that there is disparity between the value our sector professes to deliver to society and the government’s perception of that value. If the government and government advisors considered the sector to be systematically relevant and had been convinced that our products and services have a significant, positive impact on the health of the nation, maybe there would have been
more emphasis on working with the sector to facilitate an earlier return to business? Currently, according to the latest Leisure Database, State Of The Fitness Industry Report, around 16 per cent of the population engages with our gyms. That leaves more than 80 per cent fending for themselves when it comes to physical activity prescription. If we are to grow the sector and establish it as a key partner in the achievement of public health objectives we need to find ways to attract a much wider segment of the community. We need to engage not just those who want to be fitter and stronger but those ‘healthseekers’ who want to maintain health in order to live a longer more fulfilling life. This means shifting our focus from fitness to health in order to appeal to ‘the everyone’.
Why now? Obesity is now widely accepted as a high risk factor for patients who contract Covid-19. A World Health Organisation (WHO) approved questionnaire distributed to 16 UK hospitals in April1, found, of the 17,000 patients involved in the study, those with a body mass index of more than 30 – classifying them as obese, had a 33 per cent greater risk of death than patients with a lower BMI. Obesity also leads to conditions such as
chronic inflammation. An overproduction
the potential to benchmark and record
of inflammatory markers can result in a
success. We need to grab this opportunity,
'cytokine storm', a response which can be
demonstrate our ability to influence
deadly for coronavirus patients.
significant behavioural change and
In recognition of these scientific findings, the Prime Minister has waged a ‘war on obesity’ to help the nation protect itself against a second wave of the virus. Unfortunately, most of the obesity strategy, released in July focuses on consumption rather than activity, another example of how our sector is being overlooked as a viable solutions partner.
establish the physical activity sector as a key delivery partner in the government's broader ‘prevention rather than cure’ health strategy. So, how do we make the move from service for 16 per cent of the nation to a service for ‘the everyone’? I believe there are three key areas we need to address if we are to succeed.
type 2 diabetes and heart disease, both of
Our sector is perfectly placed to support
which are known to make patients more
the government in its ambition to get
1. PROVISION OF SERVICES THAT ENGAGE HEALTH SEEKERS
vulnerable to COVID-19. There is also
the nation more active. We have the
Unfortunately, activity prescription
evidence to suggest that obesity causes
facilities, the experts, the equipment and
for the majority of the population is extremely complex. Once we step outside of a provision for the small percentage of the population that wants to simply get fitter and stronger, we encounter a myriad of wider health conditions, all which need to be considered when prescribing physical activity programmes. A one size fits all approach is no longer an option. In order to successfully make this significant shift in market position, operators will need the support of suppliers. Suppliers need to innovate and develop more in-gym solutions which enable trainers to serve this new wave of ‘health seekers’ through the delivery of bespoke health focused training plans. EGYM’s Smart Strength Series is software driven. This means programme updates and functionality can be applied remotely at any time, ensuring the equipment continues to align to market needs. SEPTEMBER 2020
health of the nation may mean that, if we suffer future pandemics, the government will be keen to re-open the sector as soon as possible so it can continue to serve the public’s health needs.
3.WRAPAROUND CARE Health care provision cannot be limited to a couple of hours per week when individuals visit a gym, it should be available 24/7. This is possible through the implementation of a digital solution that provides access to training plans and advice around the clock. A person’s gym should become a life-partner in their health and wellbeing journey – always there, never limited by geographical boundaries. Through the integration of EGYM Digital, gym owners can maintain an around the clock connection to each and every member. This creates For example, in response to a growing
2. EVIDENCING SUCCESS
a complete circle of care particularly
If gyms are to be accepted by the
important to ‘health seekers’ who may
developed Metabolic Fit, a programme
government as a valuable partner in the
need this level of reassurance.
specifically designed for members either
delivery of its public health agenda, we
fending off or wanting to control type
need to work together to better evidence
2 diabetes. Once the programme was
success and outcomes. Evidence needs
available, we were able to remotely roll
to be recorded and accessible both on an
There is little doubt that Covid-19 has
it out to all EGYM Smart Strength Series
individual level (e.g. the sharing of an
changed the world, forever. Whilst it
customers and it was immediately ready
individual’s data between gym floor trainers
caused major disruption to the sector and
and health care professionals to create a
many gym owners face a huge financial
fully transparent, cross-sector approach
challenge, there have also been some
to health care) and collated to demonstrate
positive outcomes. Physical activity is
the achievement of agreed performance
finally being recognised by individuals
indicators across entire interventions.
and governments for the positive impact
diabetes epidemic, in 2018, EGYM
A study by the University of Leipzig found that 39 per cent of participants who completed a Metabolic Fit programme at least once a week for 6 months, reported such a significant reduction in blood
Software driven solutions such as those
glucose that they were no longer clinically
developed by EGYM, which provide
classified as diabetic. In addition, all patients experienced a decrease in blood pressure and
a totally connected environment for the monitoring, tracking, logging and
it can have on public health. The Prime Minister has committed to exercising in order to shift some pounds to protect himself against further infection and
administration of health care training
various surveys have indicated that the
plans, make data incredibly easy to
public intends to increase physical activity
improvement in long term health.
share, access and interpret, assuming the
levels post lockdown.
Likewise, in response to scientific studies
This makes it possible for gym owners to
identifying a positive correlation between
produce indisputable evidence of success.
a reduction in hip and waist circumference measurements, both indicators of an
strength training and immunology, EGYM developed Immunity Boost - a programme specifically designed to fire up the immune system and help fight infection. Once a user has input individual data and performed a single rep strength test, the programme automatically applies resistance, cadence, number of repetitions and rest periods to ensure optimal achievement of desired health outcomes. EGYM is committed to ensuring gym owners have the tools they need to maintain their market relevance and drive the government’s health agenda forwards. 52
granting of the necessary permissions.
It is now up to gym owners and the wider sector to capitalise on the opportunity this creates. Together we are stronger and
Being able to produce evidence of the
together we can rise to this challenge,
valuable contribution we are making to the
making the ”new normal” a “new better”.
"We need to engage not just those who want to be fitter and stronger but those ‘healthseekers’ who want to maintain health in order to live a longer more fulfilling life"
ollowing the success of its ‘health lounge’ in Egham, Surrey, which now supports just shy of 300 members, eActiv has defied the challenges imposed by covid-19 and opened a second site in Wokingham, Berkshire, just 4 days after lockdown restrictions are lifted on leisure facilities.
“Our model is focused on delivering a results-driven service which fully supports users in their bid to live a healthy, active lifestyle. Built around a ‘Flex, Move, Eat and Relax’ ethos, we serve ‘the everyone’ not just ‘the few’, explains owner, Steve Watts. “It is this inclusive positioning and our focus on health rather than fitness that has enabled us to attract a much wider segment of the local community to engage with us.” In addition, as we exited lockdown, eActiv not only has focused on providing comprehensive safety measures for its Members but also boasts a retention rate of around 70 per cent, a figure I believe is down to our consistent member engagement and continuation of ‘community’ via online fitness classes, quizzes, Bingo etc. Watts, adds: “On the back of his new obesity strategy, the Prime Minister has issued 50,000 bicycle service vouchers, to encourage people to bring their old bikes out of retirement and be more active. Whilst this is a welcome move, cardiovascular fitness is only part of the story. The benefits of strength training across many demographic groups has been well documented yet the vast majority of the population struggles to participate in regular, effective, weightbearing activities because it is not that accessible without training knowledge. “Our sector needs to promote expertise and provision more in this area. At eActiv, strength training is absolutely central to our offer, thanks to the installation of the intelligent EGYM Smart strength circuit. We are now also able to help members improve immunity through the prescription of the scientifically based, pre-installed, Immunity Boost programme. Members are provided with constant feedback on progress via the
EGYM app & eActiv will also be adding the latest 4D body scanner in September.” eActiv Wokingham is located on the first floor in the town centre and occupies 250 square metres. It opened with a membership of 404 on July 29, 2020. The model includes: a multi-station EGYM
Smart strength circuit, EGYM Smart Flex, 3 Dyaco stationary bikes, a floatation pod, calorie-controlled meal plans and a number of complementary therapies including NLP, Reiki & Sports Massage Reference 1. https://www.medrxiv.org/ SEPTEMBER 2020 53
Gym-goers are now Healthseekers. #READY to meet the challenge of changed member expectations and goals? Click here to learn more!
Not ALL Kettlebells come with a lifetime guarantee, but ours do.
G Built and engineered by the very best within the industry G Bespoke design G We work with a choice of materials, to suit you and your client CALL TODAY! ï‚• +34 642 572 963 SEPTEMBER 2020 55
Great operators get burned out, while great business owners get ahead
y h t l a e W t e and G BY DANIEL NYIRI
"Being busy is a form of laziness - lazy thinking and indiscriminate action. Being busy is most often used as a guide for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions." – Tim Ferris
aybe you don’t have the issue of client attribution but you do have the challenge of complete exhaustion. Your clients control your schedule and you are working ALL OF THE TIME. I have been there, so I completely understand where you are coming from.
most importantly, how do you grow? Or
Let’s say that you are doing pretty well.
what happens if you get sick? Can you
You have everything in order. You have
even think about a vacation?
hired a great team of personal trainers
of business because they were so busy on
I think we can all agree hiring your first
I always wanted to be a leader and I have
their product that they didn’t think about
trainer or employee of any kind is the
always been passionate about health and
growing. You cannot sustain this.
scariest but maybe the most fun part
When people reach out to me, they often
growing and advancing forward.
wellness. But I didn’t truly earn the title of CEO until my business took off and I earned the respect of my team and their clients. I felt official when “Entrepreneur” magazine called me a CEO and when “Business Observer” compared me to
If any of these questions make you worry, then you have some work to do. Here is the good news: you already have an amazing service! However, there is always some bad news: there are thousands of companies who also had the most amazing product ever and they went out
start by saying, “You must be incredibly busy.” And I always respond that I’m really not. Not because I am not in charge of my time and life. When people say “busy,”
and you have stopped training completely but are still doing the operations. That’s great, you are one step closer to firing yourself and becoming a successful business owner who can step back from operations and hire someone to manage this aspect of your business in your place.
of your business. It’s a clear signing of Even better, you are getting to know yourself better and you have recognized that you are more than a personal trainer
that implies out of control to me. Think
now, you are a manager.
about it, we all have the same amount
At this point, you are starting to get your
of time in a given day or week. However,
life back. The business is running itself.
some people manage hundreds, even
Your trainers are working by themselves.
thousands of employees, and billions of
You feel good about everything. This is
dollars and they still have time to go out,
when it always happens! You are checking
Being completely booked is nothing
have dinner, relax, read and enjoy their
your emails or social media or receive a
to brag about. If you are training and
lives. Too many of the gym owners I meet
phone call and there it is – one of your
working all day, then who is answering
today don’t even have time for a cup of
clients is very unhappy and is complaining
the phones? How do you take new clients?
coffee – let alone time to read a book, take
loudly. Naturally, a group of clients will
Who runs consultations? Who is following
a vacation or enjoy a night out. Again, this
show up at the same time. Or you will
up with old leads or clients who have left?
is because their business is controlling
have a double booking or a trainer will
Who keeps your clients on track? And
them and their time.
arrive late. Then you see your trainer
Elon Musk and Steve Jobs, but that didn’t happen overnight. And even then, I knew we are heading in the right direction but I also knew that I had to work even harder and smarter.
we have a manager who keeps them accountable. If any of the above people turn in their monthly report sheets and something doesn’t look right, the manager has to be able to fix that. He/she creates accountability, which includes addressing issues but still celebrating successes and achievements. A logical chain of command, clear roles and responsibilities, and a tracking system are all essential to your business’ success – and to ensure that you don’t work every hour of every day. Make sure you provide value with every step of the way – in every service and interaction. Once you have done that and have finished your operation manual, you will be able to hire people with an average skill set. You can hire people with a basic PT certification and teach them your system and all they have to do is follow your ordinary yet amazing working system. Instead of hiring for skills and certifications, hire for your core values and culture! Once you have this all figured out you need to make sure that your trainers deliver exceptional and consistent service. Your studios should have a familiar feel. This is about creating a culture. It entails matching uniforms (that your staff actually like and want to wear!), listening to feedback from both staff and clients, and showing you care in everything you do. doing something wrong with clients, maybe it’s not paying attention to their form or talking too much, so you give them a gentle correction. All of a sudden, clients are leaving and starting to ask for their money back. Consultations are
even more important in times of crisis. It’s all about working smarter, staying cool under pressure and creating the right business culture – for your staff, for your clients, for your own personal growth.
not signing up anymore. You ask “what happened?” You will probably be tempted to over-coach your trainers at this point – tell them how you would do things, start watching them like a hawk, and maybe even join in on the personal training sessions again. And just like that, you’re stepping back into your old role. This almost always happens. But you don’t
Hire away As a business owner, you need to focus on one job and one job only: the business owner. That means that you can’t be a manager and you can’t be a personal trainer. You need to hire those positions out and fill them with the best candidates available.
have to fall victim to this scenario. It is
Make sure you assign the right job roles
not your trainers, it is not the economy,
and responsibilities to the right people,
not the high-maintenance clients, not the
focus on your employees’ strengths and
machines. It is you.
assets and make assignments accordingly.
This is when you need to shine as a
At our studios, we have one person
manager and leader. If you keep doing the
responsible for all leads and scheduling,
same things, you will end up at the same
another person responsible for
place and you will go nowhere. You need
consultations, and another for free week
to develop leadership skills, which are
trials and turning those into sales. And SEPTEMBER 2020
If you have all this in order, your clients
your team come up with goals of their own.
hour for each employee per month.
should be very happy because you have a
By the way, you should never tell them
If you think you need more than one
working, consistent system where every
what you want. You should make them
per month, then schedule 30-minute
single time they come in they will receive
want to do it by themselves. There is a
sessions more frequently. At these
the same amazing experience.
difference. If you tell someone, I want you
meetings, you should focus on goal-
to get 10 clients by the end of the month,
setting, expectations and next steps.
that’s telling – it’s not very inspirational.
Come up with a precise plan so there is
Instead, give them a choice and encourage
no confusion. At subsequent meetings,
How can you establish a mission and
them to do the impossible. Ask, “Do you
you can discuss the process more than
vision if you are too busy training or
think you can get 10 clients by the end of
results to keep the conversation flowing.
managing? You can’t. As a leader, you are
the month?” If they agree, then it’s their
Always give detailed feedback on their
responsible for hiring the right people,
choice – not yours. Your employees will be
performance and do not hold back
imparting your vision and then letting
far more successful when they are truly
anything. Confronting issues head-on and
your employees shine. You will still need
invested in their goals.
in a timely manner will prevent bad habits
Set the right tone
to coach your managers and key people. Initially, you should be able to offer one-on-one coaching and development sessions where you focus on strengths, opportunities and next steps. During coaching sessions, you will help 58
Along those lines, make sure that you
place a priority on these coaching
All of this work and dedication will ensure
sessions – try to never cancel (if you
that you can enjoy work while you are
ever do so, it must be for a very good
there, but that you still have time to enjoy
reason or your employees will think
family and friends, hobbies and life away
they aren’t important). Schedule a full
from the gym as well.
SEPTEMBER 2020 59
d r a d n a t S s A BY GUY GRIFFITHS, AUTHOR OF STICK AROUND (STRATEGIES TO KEEP YOUR GYM MEMBERS MOTIVATED)
his September is going to be make or break for many fitness businesses. It is time to deliver value to your members, and this starts with removing the concept of free.
Zoom, Facebook and YouTube.
Through lockdown, there has been a lot
viewers in just one month. Some say it was a
of free fitness. Many memberships were
fad, but so is joining a gym for many people.
frozen or suspended. Clubs offered fitness
Behaviour change is hard. Joe did an
without paying, the harder it becomes to
for free through apps and online portals.
incredible job of motivating and activating
get them back.
Members and non-members alike have
the nation. But online fitness is a tough
been following workouts and classes on
model. And it is even tougher when it is
What you charge for a paid suspension
The average UK club 12-month member
free. You need to be delivering value and charging for it in order to improve stickiness.
retention was around 51% pre-lockdown. In other words, 51% of members typically stay for 12 months or longer. But member retention rates for free online fitness are significantly worse. Joe Wicks lost 50% of his
Get them paying If you have members still on a free membership freeze, it is time to start moving them onto a paid suspension. You can perhaps give them another month, but the longer they remain members
depends on the terms. Do they still get access to online content, your app, livestream or catch-up? Do they avoid a re-join fee, and protect their membership rate? Is there a time-limit (e.g. 3 months) on suspension? Once you have worked out your terms, pick a number somewhere between ÂŁ5 and 50% of your regular rate, and ask some members what they think of the value. Some members will cancel when they face this ultimatum. They were the ones who donâ€™t see the value and were not coming back anyway. It is better to know now. Identify your real member numbers, then work on selling more and retaining the rest.
essential if you have good systems, social media, and member communications. Your club is a community – a collection of people who come together (physically and virtually) for a common purpose.
Free is a four-letter word Check all your marketing material, online, print, and in-club, and remove the word free. Attach a value to all your memberships, inductions, first PT sessions.
Convert the digital novices If you have been playing your digital cards
new members will upgrade and come to physical bootcamp sessions.
right during lockdown, you will have a
Will it blend?
new contingent of prospects. These could
It needs to! It is going to take a long time
be brand new members, or relatives and housemates who have been exercising with your existing members.
for some people to come back to clubs, won’t convert all the novices to a full club membership. This is another reason
worked with over the last year despaired at
why the virtual membership must have
the start of lockdown, but quickly pivoted
a value, and therefore a sensible and
to online Zoom sessions for her members.
and offered a Sunday Wake-Up session every week for free. At 9am on Sunday 17th May, she had 193 logins on Zoom, many of whom were families and friends working out together, so 300 plus people!
You need a blend of in-club, outdoor, and online experience for all your members. Only a few will engage in just one aspect of membership, and the new members will help you to build the blend, along with those existing members who are not yet
Following lockdown, her Virtual Sunday
willing to come back, but still want to be
Wake-Up sessions are still popular, with a
part of your club.
monthly charge of £25. The value is clear, and she has increased ‘memberships’ by 25%. People are logging into sessions from holiday, or weekends away, and involving more friends and relatives.
Free is a four-letter word, but value scores much more. If you’re going to make it through September and grow your business going forwards, always be adding value.
and some will never come back. You
An outdoor bootcamp instructor I’ve
She retained over 90% on full membership,
Start to shift all your frozen or free memberships onto something of more value, for your members and your business sake.
There is plenty of value outside the four walls of a club, as many people have already discovered this year. Support and motivation from instructors, and the other members in the community. Workouts,
In September, there is no doubt business is
classes, fitness plans and programmes.
going to grow. Virtual sessions will remain
Challenges and clubs within the club.
a core part of the business, but more
A good club app helps a lot, but it’s not Guy Griffiths is a coach to independent gym owners, and a member retention specialist. He works with clubs on processes, systems, and strategies to improve member engagement, and therefore revenue. His mission is to help your club to recover as many members as possible and get them to stick around longer. With the UK fitness industry in recovery mode, Gym Owner Monthly is paying for a £75 coaching call for the first 5 readers each month who book at ggfit.com/gom SEPTEMBER 2020
Ask the EXPERT LIFE AS A GYM MANAGER BY ADAM POWELL
How fast can your business adapt?
PTs were forced to embrace Zoom
frozen. I even heard of some clubs taking
and Facetime sessions and group ex
memberships throughout, offering no
instructors took to Microsoft Teams,
value i.e. online classes, home workout
2020 will be remembered as the year the
Instagram and Facebook to offer online
fitness industry had to learn to pivot and
advice, nutritional content and then when
classes. Kettlebells and fitness equipment
adapt in the space of a couple of weeks. Up
they reopened they put their prices up!
became rarer than rocking horse shit as
until mid February, the fitness industry
People will always be willing to pay as
the demand for fitness equipment grew
long as they feel they are getting value
280% with everyone now having to
had been in a very strong position. The New Year resolution crowd had come and gone and the regular members were getting back into the gyms and then the Virus hit. Pre virus the fitness industry was in a very strong position. Employing 100,000’s of people, over 15% of the
workout at home. For me, two factors really came to light through lockdown that every business needs to adopt. Communication and the ability to adapt quickly. The businesses
So what now? By the time you read this, the gyms in England will have been operating
that will be a success from now on are
for several weeks (unless in local
those that had good communication with
lockdown). Wales has joined the party
their members and just as importantly
and allowed their gyms to reopen for a
their staff/team for the 127 days. I knew
few weeks and our colleagues in Scotland
boutique gym, Yoga and Pilates studio
of gyms that were providing their teams
are campaigning hard against their
and Spa had to close their doors and
with online training and kept paying
government to prove they can reopen
salaries in full. Then on the flip side, there
like the rest of the UK. Hopefully with
were gyms that didn’t communicate with
some success. Unfortunately many will
their teams and members until they had
not have reopened and remain closed for
the news from the government to reopen.
good. I was listening to a podcast recently
Then they wondered why half their team
that discussed the potential that 15% of
In that time the fitness industry went
didn’t return once the doors reopened
gyms/leisure centres etc. will not reopen
from a state of shock to being forced to
and most of their members had cancelled
with another 10% being bought out by
adapt to a new way of business. Online.
their direct debits instead of leaving them
population were members of a gym for the first time and a total market value of over £5 billion pounds. Then on March 20th every gym, PT studio, leisure centre,
Back then if you had told me it would be 127 days until we reopened I would not have believed you.
"For me, two factors really came to light through lockdown that every business needs to adopt. Communication and the ability to adapt quickly" It’s not all doom and gloom though. Gym etiquette, which for so long was a constant battle with our members has become accepted and expected by all. PTs are now walking around with masks on and spraying kit down during and after each session. Our gyms have never been so clean and tidy! Gone are the days of being able to run a spit and sawdust gym with kit packed in. Cleanliness and space are now more important than what equipment you have for most members. Let’s face facts. Social distancing is going to be with us for some time to come. Gyms will be operating at a reduced capacity with increased costs in staff cover and cleaning products. Hopefully, for most of you, this still produces enough revenue to keep your business in profit or at least break even. Throughout lockdown, the talk was of digital being the ‘new normal’ and bricks and mortar gyms being obsolete. Personally, I feel more than ever that gyms offer a safe and social place for people to work out and there will be a demand for this. Human beings are social animals and need interaction with others for both physical and mental wellbeing. We have seen a large increase in new members who recognise the importance of being fit and healthy helps offset the severe symptoms of COVID-19 and other diseases and conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart attacks. To be a success, try to embrace digital and offer this to your members. Add value to your membership. Give them somewhere clean and safe to exercise and then, when they cannot get into your gym, have a digital offering of online classes, home workouts etc. to support them.
the Coronavirus. How you were doing
hours of Personal Training and his career
business 5 years ago will not be as
has been in gym management up to senior
successful today. You should always be
level, private members clubs, residential
paying attention to how you can offer
fitness retreats in the UK and abroad,
great value and service to your clients and
Spas, specialising in launching new gyms
members and adapt when needed.
and sites along with retail and mentoring. Adam has worked with several corporate
So, how are you going to adapt? Adam Powell started working in the
I don’t buy into this ‘new normal’ talk.
fitness industry in 2000, qualifying
Everyday we need to learn and adapt. It’s
in Leisure management in 2001 and
human nature to do this. At some point,
becoming a Personal Trainer in 2003.
normal becomes obsolete regardless of
Since then he has gained over 13,000
clients such as Npower, British Gas, Dyson, Openwork and RBS bank. You can connect via: : h ttps://www.linkedin.com/in/ adam-powell-06304618 @cotswold_pt SEPTEMBER 2020
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