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April 2014

The UK’s No 1 fitness industry magazine

Momentum for new North East event growing By Christina Eccles MOMENTUM is gathering for a major new North East based convention, set up by a passionate local instructor who wants to promote a healthy lifestyle to people in her area, while showcasing the northern fitness scene. Project FIT takes place at Northumbria University over two days in November and will include a wide range of classes, equipment, clothing, supplements and products; all of which promote fitness, health and nutrition. The concept was founded by fitness instructor Claire Hanson after she realised she had to travel much further down south to attend other industry events, as there was nothing taking place locally. Claire, who teaches a wide range of classes in the area including Zumba and Fitsteps, also runs an events company – organising fitness residential weekends and smaller masterclasses. She has now taken the plunge to create something on a bigger scale with her business partner Debra de Luen. She explained: “I attend IFS every year and noticed there is nothing else really up north.

“Many fitness conventions are based in the South and the North East seems to be avoided. “I just think it’s time someone did something about it and I have decided that I want to.” Claire added she already has about 20 exhibitors signed up – and is happy to hear from anyone else interested in taking part – as well as securing presenters who will be running classes at the event. Interest has also been high from potential visitors – with a dedicated Facebook page already generating more than 1,000 likes – and tickets are set to go on sale on June 1. She added: “I am really passionate about getting people up off the sofa and in to either gyms or community fitness and also I know we have a lot of talent in terms of fitness and want to shout about it. “The interest has been fantastic. I’m so excited for it to happen. “It’s something I have wanted to do for the last two to three years and I thought that if I don’t do it now, either someone else will or I’ll never do it. “I'm not a huge company. I'm just a local instructor wanting to make a difference.”

No 247 £3

Excitement building as entries start to come in

London 2012 Paralympic medallist and GLL employee Ben Quilter has set himself an ambitious target; to run the Brighton and London Marathons just one week apart. Ben who retired from competitive judo last year, joined GLL as a disability physical activity and sport development officer in January, and will take up the challenge despite never having run a race of this length before. He is fundraising for Blatchington Court Trust and the GLL Sports Foundation and said his aim is to raise as much money as possible for the two charities.

EXCITEMENT is building for the 2014 National Fitness Awards, with early entries dropping in from clubs hoping to win a prestigious award. A widespread range of gyms from Suffolk to Devon and Yorkshire have already sent their nominations in, telling us why they think they deserve to walk away with a trophy this year. The event has also been a hot topic on social media, with Workout’s Facebook and Twitter fans saying how much they are looking forward to attending the awards’ evening at The Athena in Leicester. Now in their fifth year, the awards, organised by Script Events in partnership with Workout and headline sponsor Servicesport, take place on Friday November 28 and recognise excellence and achievement in the fitness industry. Details of this year’s categories, criteria and nomination forms can be found on the website www.nationalfitnessawards.co.uk or keep up to date with the latest news on the event by following @FitnessAwards on Twitter.


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Gordie hopes to promote bodybuilding in Scotland By Christina Eccles WORLD Natural Bodybuilding champion Gordie Adam is organising a competition in Scotland to further promote the discipline north of the border. Gordie, who is a full time firefighter and also works part time in a Bannatyne’s Health Club in West Lothian, has been a competitive natural bodybuilder for four years. He decided to stage the show to educate people about natural bodybuilding and provide a more local platform for anyone interested in competing. He explained: “As the majority of the competitions are based in England or America I’m trying to promote it as much as I can in Scotland. “I’ve visited a few high schools recently and spoken to the senior kids about diet/nutrition and steroids in order to educate them that it’s not necessary to take drugs to be fit and have a good physique. “I’ve had a great response from this and excellent feedback from the PE departments about my input. “To further promote this I am organising a non profit making Natural Bodybuilding show in Scotland for the United Kingdom Drug Free Bodybuilding Association.” The event will be held at Deans

“As the majority of the competitions are based in England or America I’m trying to promote it as much as I can in Scotland.” Community High School in Livingston on May 31 and Gordie told Workout he’s received great levels of interest from both people who want to take part and local businesses who are happy to sponsor or support the show. He is also running clinics at Bannatynes to help competitors prepare, which will help them learn how to pose and diet correctly in the lead up to the event, and hopes to make it an annual event. He added: “For many people in Scotland who have got the fitness/gym bug this will be the pinnacle of their fat loss goals, allowing them to get on stage in the best condition of their lives. “I’ve had loads of support from the local community and all the local gyms have got behind it; everyone from Bannatynes to the smaller independents and personal trainers.”

World Natural Bodybuilding champion Gordie Adam.

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Gym joins childhood obesity fight with teenage sessions By Christina Eccles A TORQUAY gym has joined the fight against childhood obesity by launching sessions for teenagers aged 14 and above to cater to demand. Lifestyle Health and Fitness Suite’s Junior Gym provides teenagers with the opportunity to use its facilities at designated time slots during the week. The club – located within the Riviera International Centre – was previously open to those aged 16 and over, but has extended the age range who can use the gym after requests from members. Manager Colin Pemberton said: “During the last couple of years, we have frequently been asked by our members to bring their children along. “Now, with Junior Gym, we are able to say yes to an even wider range of age groups. “The importance of fitness cannot be over emphasised and we want to encourage children onto a fit and healthy path into adulthood.” All young members will receive an induction with personal trainer Steve Smith who will design a programme to suit their age. They will also benefit from a discounted day session of £3 or a month-

“The earlier people get into a routine of exercising, the better as they are more likely to stick to it.” ly membership of £17.50. Colin added: “The earlier people get into a routine of exercising, the better as they are more likely to stick to it. However it is important that teenagers are directed to the right types of exercise, as their muscles and bones are still developing. This is why as part of Junior Gym we also want to raise awareness of basic health and fitness knowledge.”  Does your club offer dedicated fitness sessions for young people? How are you bringing this demographic into your facility? Contact our editorial team with your stories by emailing ce@scriptmedia.co.uk or via Facebook or Twitter.

Lifestyle Health and Fitness Suite’s Junior Gym provides teenagers with the opportunity to use its facilities at designated time slots.


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Prestigious spa and health club Ragdale Hall has added Fitsteps classes to its timetable. The dance based classes – created by Strictly Come Dancing professionals Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite and professional swimmer Mark Foster – take place at the spa twice a week, with sessions held on Monday and Friday mornings.

The Chainstore Parkour Academy will be a hub for excellence.

Indoor parkour centre opens in East London THE UK’s first purpose-built indoor parkour centre has been launched in East London. The Chainstore Parkour Academy is a collaboration between leading provider of parkour facilities Freemove and Parkour Generations. The centre provides a dedicated hub for parkour activity including daily classes, training and certification courses, youth academies and parkour holiday camps. As part of the partnership, Freemove has supplied the academy with the first UK indoor concrete Parkour equipment, which is complemented by a bespoke steel and panelled structure inspired by the materials used in

Freemove’s innovative Portable Parkour Range. Director of Parkour Generations Dan Edwardes said: “After weeks of hard work designing and transforming the space, we have been able to present a facility which is completely unique and truly exciting. The Academy will be a hub for parkour excellence and has been built to meet the demands of a very wide audience – from young people through to older users, and from complete beginners through to advanced parkour practioners. “It is the first of its kind in the UK and is a space that we are confident will continue to help make parkour more accessible to all.”

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Stratton Leisure Centre has been rebranded to Grange Leisure Centre.

Leisure centre’s redevelopment is completed By Christina Eccles A POPULAR leisure centre near Swindon has completed the final phase of its £800,000 redevelopment – a joint partnership between facility development company Alliance Leisure, design and build specialists Createability and Physique Sports. The project included the redevelopment of the old gym to create a new reception area and café, as well as the rebranding of the site from Stratton Leisure Centre to Grange Leisure Centre. Alliance Leisure, which specialises in facility development and sales and marketing support for public sector leisure sites, has been working with the leisure centre for four years, growing the membership of its small fitness suite from 130 members in 2009 to more than 400 in 2013. As a result, the company was appointed to deliver the redevelopment project, bringing in Createability, which installed the centre’s original fitness suite as one of its first ever projects 20 years ago, to provide the design and build element. This time the construction work comprised knocking through two under-used squash courts and adding a mezzanine floor to extend the gym to accommodate 1,200 members. Alliance Leisure also continued to work with the Parish Council to boost

membership sales. The new 42-station, 2,230 sq ft fitness suite, kitted out by Physique Sports, includes remanufactured Life Fitness Silver 95 series stations, some with integrated TV screens, and new IFI accredited recline bikes and crosstrainers from Octane. The strength area boasts Hoist’s RocIt ride orientated strength circuit, which adjusts to the movement of the user simulating a free weights workout, as well as free weights, kettle bells and a TRX system. The sports hall has also been upgraded with more cost-effective LED lighting and a new roof. New changing rooms, dedicated to the fitness suite, have been built and, in the final phase, the reception area was remodelled to include a café. In a separate project, a 3G all weather pitch has been created at the back of the centre and the centre’s bar area has also been refurbished. Centre manager Ian Green said: “The redevelopment was necessary to provide better facilities for the community. The partnership with Alliance Leisure and Createability has been both professional and productive. “For over 30 years the centre has offered an extensive range of services and provision but now we have a facility that can provide so much more for the people of Stratton St Margaret.”

The Sobell Badminton Club has launched a weekly all girl badminton session. Based at Sobell Leisure Centre, which is managed by Aquaterra, Sobella’s is open to girls aged 11-25 and takes place on Tuesday nights from 4.30pm to 6pm. Leisure centre general manager Damien Swan said: “Aquaterra have built a strong badminton community at Sobell over the years with clubs, clinics and pay and play sessions, so it is great that ‘Sobella’s’ has been developed specifically to encourage girls to get involved.” Sobella’s sessions are £2.90 for members and £3.90 for non-members.


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Gym owner Sam Smith (centre) with rugby legends Scott Quinnell and Will Greenwood (above) and filming the three-hour training session for School of Hard Knocks.

Gym gets a taste of the limelight By Christina Eccles AWARD winning independent gym Rigs Fitness got a taste of the limelight when it was picked as a filming location for popular Sky Sports show, School of Hard Knocks. The 2014 series of the show, which features a social inclusion charity and the work they do using sport to tackle issues surrounding crime, unemployment and health, is based in Birmingham, meaning its production team was looking for a local facility to

feature. The team had a club in mind which could challenge the individuals taking part physically, as well as giving them an idea of what training in an elite performance facility is all about and Rigs Fitness – named Newcomer of the Year at the 2013 National Fitness Awards – fitted the bill. During the day, 25 participants took part in a fitness session run by Rigs owner Sam Smith, personal trainer Mike Henderson and rugby legends Will Greenwood and Scott Quinnell.

The SOHK team ran a three-hour high intensity interval training session, which was designed to push participants both physically and mentally and get the individuals working as one team. The session was filmed and is to be televised in the first episode of the 2014 series aired later this year. Sam said: "I'm massively impressed with the School of Hard Knocks. “It's a fantastic charity that is really helping people. Here sport is used as a metaphor for life, and teaches all

the participants that when life knocks you down you have to get back up. I'm a big believer that the discipline and focus that comes with training hard towards a goal helps people focus in their lives as well. “It's also a real buzz to have rugby legends Will Greenwood and Scott Quinnell train with us at Rigs Fitness, and compliment me on how nice our set up is. Rigs lends itself very well to the training needed to excel in all sports so we're always happy to have the world’s best come and see us."


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Small financial incentives ‘may make people live healthier’ By Christina Eccles

Vicky with the team that completed a recent charity event.

Vicky makes charity pledge after beating breast cancer FITNESS trainer Vicky Martin has made a pledge to raise at least £10,000 for breast cancer charity Coppafeel! after beating the illness herself for a third time. Vicky, 38, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 31, is aiming to raise money and awareness for the charity by taking part in a series of fitness events alongside a team from her Love Life Ladies Bootcamp – among them the Milton Keynes Marathon, Race for Life and Stroud Half Marathon. The first fundraiser they will take part in will be their own fitness event – Burpees for Boobies – which will include a mini class, followed by an optional burpee challenge. Vicky said: “Whilst I feel extremely lucky to be alive, my late diagnosis

and treatment have had life changing consequences for me. “Treatment for breast cancer is traumatic for all women but has particular implications for younger pre menopausal women. “The sooner they are diagnosed, often the less treatment is needed and therefore the less impact it has on their life in the short and long term. “Over the last year I have heard of so many cases of younger women being diagnosed at later stages making their treatment severe or in some cases palliative.” Vicky is also writing a blog – Bonkers for Boobies – about her fitness and fundraising challenges this year. She is also aiming to compete in the extreme Ironman Triathlon event next year.

OFFERING small financial incentives may make people more likely to adopt a healthier lifestyle, according to the results of a study. A team at Newcastle University looked at 16 previous pieces of research, involving over 30,000 participants, who were tasked with quitting smoking or taking up other healthy behaviours, such as physical activity or attending vaccination or screening sessions. Financial incentives ranged from small amounts of cash or supermarket vouchers to larger amounts of cash. In the paper, published in the journal PLOS ONE, the team found that even small incentives of as little as £3 could make people up to 50 per cent more likely to change their behaviour, when compared with usual care or no intervention. In fact the study, organised by Fuse – the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health – and funded by the National Institute of Health Research, found that larger incentives were no more likely than smaller incentives to be effective. Financial penalties for not succeeding in the task were also found to work. With these studies, participants had to hand over a set amount of money and would then get that back as they fulfilled the requirements of the

healthy behaviour. Currently it is not clear if the effect works long term, after the rewards have stopped, or what the ideal amount of incentive is. Newcastle University Research Associate, Dr Emma Giles, lead author of the study, said: "This was an interesting finding and we were surprised at just how strong the effect was. “People who took part in these reward or penalty schemes were much more likely to adopt healthy behaviours, and if they continued they would have more chance of remaining healthy for longer. "Many studies used vouchers for supermarkets or similar things rather than actual cash. This might be a more acceptable way of implementing this." Senior lecturer in public health at Newcastle University and member of Fuse, Dr Jean Adams added: "We were surprised how few studies we found which had looked at the impact financial incentives can have. “At this stage we don't know the right level that incentives should be at, so it is not clear if this sort of scheme would save the NHS and country money. “We try all kinds of techniques to try to help people to quit smoking or otherwise live healthy lives, so why not try this? It is about nudging people to healthier behaviours. There is a chance this could save the tax payer money in the long run."


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Operator brings the spirit of Sochi to West Lindsey

The group from Winners 2000 Fitness gave up their free time and worked in heavy mud.

OPERATOR Everyone Active joined forces with schools in West Lindsey to host a mini winter Olympics event, designed to celebrate the success of its Sporting FUNdamentals scheme. The scheme – which aims to improve the physical wellbeing of youngsters through activity sessions and exercise and nutrition education – is being funded for two years by the National Lottery, and is operating in partnership with West Lindsey District Council, Phoenix Weight Management and Healthy Schools. 300 children from eight local primary schools took part in the event, taking part in modified winter Olympic sports such as bobsleighing, slalom, curling and ski jumping at West Lindsey Leisure Centre. Each school competed as a different

nation and took part in opening and closing ceremonies. Everyone Active activities and fundraising manager Chris Duncan said: “Our Sporting FUNdamentals scheme has proven hugely successful: the children have grown in confidence and 70 per cent of those who took part in the pilot programme saw improvements in their physical wellbeing too. “This has allowed us to continue organising events such as the mini winter Olympics. It was fantastic to see so many children taking part and a great way to celebrate the youngsters’ progress, as well as the success of the scheme. We hope our efforts will encourage even more children to be active and lead a healthy lifestyle going forward.”

CIRCUIT based training concept Speedflex has announced its expansion in the UK and overseas, following a successful launch last year. As part of the plans, a new Speedflex centre is set to open in Leeds next month, while UAE-based hospitality firm, JA Resorts and Hotels, has confirmed it will be bringing the first global Speedflex centre to Dubai in the spring.

Tapping into the growing trend of HIIT training and group exercise, Speedflex offers individuals an effective alternative to conventional exercise. With an emphasis on motivational group exercise, each 45 minute circuit based session is led by an experienced personal trainer and combines a low impact, high intensity, cardiovascular and resistance workout for optimum calorie burn.

Gym goers build frame for Paignton Zoo’s orangutans Speedflex set to expand A GROUP from a Devon independent gym has helped to build a new climbing frame for orangutans at Paignton Zoo. The group of 16 from Winners 2000 Fitness in Paignton worked in heavy mud to build a new climbing frame on one of the islands used by the great apes. They gave up their free time to help the charity, conquering the task three

hours ahead of schedule, and as a thank you, were all taken to meet the zoo’s giraffes. Emily Rogers from Paignton Zoo said: “They made light work of the huge task. “There were more than 20 large wooden poles that needed erecting on the island and the team worked amazingly well together in very difficult conditions.”


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Welcome to WorkOut Weigh In – it’s your chance to have your say and share your views on industry issues. You can email us at ce@scriptmedia.co.uk or you can message us on Facebook or Twitter.

This month’s top Tweets... @ViamiaUK: Great write up about #Viamia by @ChristinaEccles @WorkOutUK with a mention for @EmperorsYork and @Xercise4Less #job #jobs #recruitment

The team from The Core Fitness and Wellbeing Centre are doing their bit to raise funds for Sport Relief. @BrettDSanders: @GymBuzz featured in @WorkOutUK magazine again @daldhaliwalPT: I'm featured in this month’s leading fitness industry magazine @WorkOutUK. Thank you WorkOut mag! @clubzestfitness: Thank you @WorkOutUK for the write up about @Fit_Steps here @clubzestfitness –check out http://www.fitsteps.co.uk for a class near you peeps! @SportCheshire: Nice to see coverage for @BrioLeisure in the latest issue of @WorkOutUK on their Investors in People status. @AFNatalie: @WorkOutUK inspired by #100HappyDays I've started #100fitdays sharing my four min videos use the hash tag to catch up and RT to #payitforward

@FitnessAwards: We’re excited to reveal that this year's NFAs will take place at The Athena in Leicester on Friday Nov 28. Get the date in your diaries! @AthenaLeicester: Happy to announce that #AthenaLeicester will be hosting the 2014 National Fitness Awards! @FitnessAwards hope you're ready to party!

Sport Relief and Awards’ excitement OVER on our Facebook page this month, we have been discussing what gyms and personal trainers are doing in aid of Sport Relief, as well as sharing the excitement about this year’s National Fitness Awards. Helen Tite from The Core Fitness and Wellbeing Centre in Falmouth

told us that the club is running an outdoor themed fitness festival to raise funds for the charity, while Victoria Hudson revealed that she is getting all of her personal training clients to run a mile and donating £1 for each of them. Many past NFA winners and finalists

were also pleased to hear about plans for the 2014 National Fitness Awards and the event’s return to The Athena. Carly Richardson said: “Great venue, can't wait!” and Wayne Heath added: “Remember it well. Great location. Looking forward to going back this year all the more now.”

munity is Rigs Fitness near Birmingham. The club was named newcomer of the year at the 2013 National Fitness Awards, and when I visited last year as part of the judging process, I was really impressed with the effort owner Sam Smith was putting into making the business a success. Since then the gym has gone from strength to strength and, as we report on page 8, will be raising its profile even further when it appears on TV show School of Hard Knocks later this year. It’s always great to see our NFA win-

ning clubs continuing to strive for success after their award wins and we’re already looking forward to seeing what this year’s entrants have in store for us. Speaking of the NFAs, we’ve been so pleased with the feedback we’ve had since announcing details of the 2014 event. It seems like many of you are as happy as we are to be going back to The Athena for our awards’ evening and from the standard of entries we have received so far, it looks like 2014 is going to be another strong year for nominations. It’s never too early to start thinking about your entries for this year and if you’re unsure which categories could be right for you, our dedicated awards’ website has all the criteria details to help you make your mind up. Visit www.nationalfitnessawards .co.uk for all the details or keep up to date on our latest news by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

Editor’s Comment PASSION and commitment to the industry are key themes for this issue of Workout, with several of the stories we’ve included this month focusing on people who are working hard to make a difference and promote health and fitness to their wider communities. Starting on the cover, we have instructor Claire Hanson who is organising a two day convention in the North East after noticing there were no events of that scale up north, which would promote fitness and a healthy lifestyle to local people. Even further north is Scottish bodybuilding champion Gordie Adam who is also looking to promote natural bodybuilding by staging a competition in his local area. Support from many of the surrounding gyms is helping to make this possible and we are looking forward to hearing how both shows go later in the year. Another club which is successfully integrating itself into the local comThis month’s hot topic:

This month, we are looking to hear from gyms who are doing their bit for charity... Did you organise something special for Sport Relief or are there any other good causes you like to support in your club? Send your answers to ce@scriptmedia.co.uk or contact us via Twitter or Facebook. We’ll print the best responses next issue.

Follow us on Twitter @WorkOutUK or contact us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/workoutmagazine


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New equipment to make exercising at home safer A FITNESS fan has devised an innovative piece of equipment, designed to make exercising alone safer. Cliff Graves from company iicrew, has created the A.L.E.C. Portable Gym after he spotted a gap in the market for a product which would enable people to safely work out at home on their own. Cliff said: “I injured myself when I was out running and broke my left shoulder so started to look into safer ways to train at home. I came up with the concept which allows the home lone trainee to work out more safely. ALEC is an acronym “arms legs emphasis core” and aptly describes our product.” According to Cliff, the benefits of using the product include; it is easy to dismantle and reassemble, easy to transport and compact, as well as they key benefit of providing a safe workout for users. He added: “I can vouch from personal experience the dangers of training at home without a training partner. “Our system will allow a lone trainee who works out at home complete peace of mind when performing upper and lower body exercises.

The Wetherby People Chase will take place on June 7.

Cliff Graves and the A.L.E.C. Portable Gym. “This system is protected via two patents and we can proudly boast it has been British Standard safety equipment tested up to 220 kilos so will cater for the strongest of athletes. “The one size fits all shell is ultra comfortable and many exercises such as squats, lunges, press ups can be performed whilst using it.”

James given new role as Gladstone expands GLADSTONE Health and Leisure has taken on a new sales executive to handle its single-site and smaller chain accounts, as part of changes to its sales and marketing team. James Phillips has been appointed to the newly created role of internal sales executive at the software company. His main remit is to look after Gladstone’s single-site customers and smaller chains, giving them a more personal service. He said: “I am particularly looking forward to making this job my own. As it is a new role, I will have the freedom and independence to manage my own set of clients and utilise my skills in a productive way. I’m looking forward to building a strong career and am very excited to see what the future holds at Gladstone.”

In addition to James’ appointment, the company has made some other changes to its sales and marketing team. Tom Withers, previously head of sales, has been promoted to sales and marketing director, and Antony Davies, who previously looked after sales for the South West, takes on the role of sales manager, while continuing to manage his key accounts. Tom added: “The move allows me to take full control of sales and marketing operations, and create a consistent approach to client and prospect communication. My challenge is to ensure we deliver products that meet market needs and get customers on board as early as possible, so that they benefit from these new developments as soon as they’re released.”

‘Grand National’ of muddy races to be held at racecourse A YORKSHIRE boot camp operator has created a new fitness event after being inspired by his members who entered similar events but were frustrated by poor facilities and having to queue at obstacles. Matt Woods runs Matt Woods Boot Camps in Wetherby, Knaresborough, Tadcaster and Boroughbridge and has been involved in the industry for over 20 years. His event – the Wetherby People Chase – offers participants the choice of a 5K or 10K run, crossing a number of obstacles including a tyre mountain and a swamp trek. The race, which takes place on June 7 and will also be raising money for charity, allows families to enter either as teams or individuals, with separate

races for children. Matt hopes up to 2,000 people will take part. He said: "We selected Wetherby Race Course because of its great facilities, great viewing of all the course and excellent course potential – lakes, woodland, fields, as well as the inside of the track itself.” Matt also plans to attract some celebrities and sports stars to the event and hopes it will become an annual fixture, potentially with a winter version too. He added: "These kind of obstacle courses have become very popular in recent years as an antidote to the sanitised and pressured lives most of us live today. Social networking has also played an important part in spreading the word.”

Sports store to open at health club RIBBY Hall Village’s Health Club is opening a new sports store this summer. The new ACTIVATE store, which will replace Sweatshop, will be larger in size and situated within the

facility’s award-winning sport and leisure complex. It will sell a wide range of sport, leisure and lifestyle products and will be open to the general public, holiday guests and club members.


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A major redevelopment programme has helped a long running Scottish independent gym cement its reputation as the number one club in the town. Workout found out more about the history of Balbirnie Fitness Centre – and why the completion of this project will lead to an exciting new chapter.

Balbirnie Fitness Centre in Glenrothes has evolved from being a ‘spit and sawdust’ gym to a club for people of all ages and abilities.

Club attracts wide spectrum from the local community HOUSED in a converted woollen mill, Balbirnie Fitness Centre in Glenrothes, Fife has been a gym for over 30 years; starting life as a ‘spit and sawdust’ strength training facility before evolving into a club which attracts a wide spectrum of the local community, while still retaining its traditional heritage. A place where champions are made, over the years the club has produced three Mr Universe, two Miss Universe and many Mr Britain, Mr Scotland and Miss Scotland titles. But although the gym has always been proud of its reputation as a successful bodybuilding facility, it was also keen to move with the times, ensuring it was a place where people of all ages and abilities could feel

comfortable working out in. And, according to club manager Caroline Stewart, the two phase redevelopment programme has achieved just that. She said: “Redeveloping the centre was part of a whole drive to give the best we can to each individual user. Regardless of what their passion is or training style, the overall aim was to give them excellence and quality. “Members are delighted at seeing their membership reinvested and we’ve had some really nice comments. “There was a lot of thought from the owner about how they wanted the end product to look and it’s all been extremely positive.” Phase one of the club’s redevelop-

ment was the installation of 24 Precor CV stations in December 2012, to complement its 16 spin bikes, while phase two, which has recently been completed, included extending the premises and redesigning the internal layout to maximise the member experience. As part of this, an extension was added at basement level, increasing overall floor space by about 20 per cent; creating a strength and conditioning suite comprising three separate rooms and housing the latest Precor kit. On the first floor is a full range of resistance equipment, a cardio arena with 40 stations and a large studio. Caroline added: “The primary goal of the phase two development was to

Atmosphere and unusual building part of success THE unusual building has been a gym since 1982 and Caroline added that one of the secrets of its enduring success has been the unique atmosphere and rapport built up between members and staff. She believes the club has a special ‘cafe culture’ where there is always a buzz of conversation and people dropping in for the social element of being a member, as well as for their workouts. She added: “We encourage what we call ‘Balbirnie Banter’, where members engage in banter with the staff, which keeps it lighthearted. “Relationships with members is extremely important. With their membership payment, members are buying into a feeling from you. If they leave satisfied, they are going to keep coming back.”

‘Balbirnie Banter’ is encouraged between members and staff.

create a designer space for our strength trainers, inspiring them to achieve their training goals. “We chose Precor equipment because of the quality and also the extensive range on offer. As well as being superbly functional it is also stylish and looks phenomenal. “As a private enterprise, to overhaul a centre from top to bottom is fairly unique. We’ve been very hands on and most of the physical work has been done by the owner and staff. “Now we can put the focus back 100 per cent on our members and make sure they develop and can enjoy the new equipment. “Our focus is on being excellent and our staff want to be the best – and deliver the best.”


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A cuppa to suit all tastes: maximising your facility’s hot beverage offerings By John Broad IT’S fair to say that the days of gyms and leisure facilities serving poor quality tea and coffee out of obligation to its customers, are well and truly over. In fact today’s gymgoer is more discerning than ever when it comes to hot beverages. With vast experience within this industry Ringtons Beverages has witnessed first-hand a significant shift in consumer tastes in recent years and experienced how certain operators within the industry have increased turnover and profitability by providing gym members with a premium quality tea and coffee offer now expected with their membership. However, it can be difficult to know where to start when looking to review your current offer. When it comes to the coffee market, consumer tastes only continue to grow in sophistication, leaning towards different roasts, tastes and flavours, which is evident in the way in which coffee is now being bought and consumed. Considerations to take into account when selecting a coffee is coffee type. Coffee can be compared to wine in that beans, like grapes from different origins, all have different tastes and flavours. Arabica beans for instance, offer a cleaner and more citrus

flavour whereas Robusta have a strong, earthy and round flavour. With gym members quite often monitoring caffeine intake it is important to be aware that Arabica beans contain half the caffeine content of Robusta beans. The mix of coffee drinks and cup size offered are both key factors when determining the perfect blend for your audience. Other emerging consumer markets are the green tea and the fruit and herbal infusions sector – with 2013 figures revealing that one in four (25.5 per cent) households now buy fruit and herbal infusions. Chinese medicine has used green tea for centuries as it’s renowned for being high in antioxidants while herbal options such as camomile is famous for its calming properties and peppermint linked to boosting digestion; making them a firm favourite amongst a health-conscious gym audience. In addition more and more people are swapping their usual black tea or traditional coffee for a decaffeinated, or fruit or herbal options at night due to their caffeine-free nature so they are often a big-seller in the leisure/gym environment. Of course there is always going to be demand for traditional coffee and black tea, so operators must ensure this remains a pivotal part of their offerings and that the quality and freshness of this is a high priority –

John Broad after all tea and coffee can be a great income generator and can boost the overall experience of a customer or visitor so it’s wise to invest carefully and provide a good standard of beverage options. Whether customers want a simple black coffee or a speciality coffee such as cappuccino or latte, or even a tea or infusions it’s vital that the method in which tea and coffee is made available is appropriate to a building’s needs and footfall. Some operators have a full-blown catering facility with either a tradi-

tional espresso or bean-to-cup machine, while others only have space for a self-service solution. To make sure operators get the equipment that is correct for their requirements, customer profile, footfall, desired income generation and to maximise the available space, it is always advisable to seek expert opinion from a third party who specialise in such matters. Customers today are savvy and know what they like, many are willing to travel further afield to find a coffee shop that serves exactly what they like and who serves it the way they like it. This presents a prime opportunity for gym and leisure operators to gain their share of the market by offering high quality beverages that will keep their audience happy, on site and spending more money with them. Look out for the second part of the feature next month where the company looks at the importance of barista training to ensure you make the most of your beverages offering.  John Broad is barista training and development manager for Ringtons Beverages, the business-to-business division of British tea and coffee merchant Ringtons. John is responsible for barista training for clients of the 107 year old, family-run business and is passionate about making sure clients have the knowledge to serve the best tea and coffee possible.

Little Mix film video for charity single at gym

Little Mix filmed the video for Word Up at David Lloyd Farnham.

TOP girl band Little Mix surprised members at a Surrey gym when they popped in to film their new music video. The X Factor winners visited David Lloyd Farnham, where they filmed a gym-inspired video for the official Sport Relief single, Word Up. In the video, the girls are seen causing chaos across a gym, putting a variety of famous sports and entertainment stars through their paces in the club’s gym and sports hall during a group cycle class and aerobics workout. There were also special cameo appearances by celebrities including

gymnast Louis Smith, dancer Louie Spence, rugby player James Haskell and choreographer Arlene Phillips, and David Lloyd Farnham’s indoor pool also features in the video in a scene featuring synchronised swimmers. General manager Linden Henson said: “The club was buzzing with excitement, with smiles all around – it is certainly not every day that our members come for their workout and get to see the UK’s biggest girl band filming their new video at their local club. We are proud to be involved, especially because it’s for such a great cause.”


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Advertiser’s announcement

Technogym and Dewsbury Sports Centre help members get more from their workout with OMNIA OMNIA from Technogym is the perfect all-in-one apparatus that provides great functional training options for all disciplines – such as strength, resistance, stability, flexibility, coordination and speed. Flexible and modular in nature, it is ideally suited for private training, semi-private training or even small group training. A centralised unit provides up to eight workout stations that engage the user in a wide range of functional movements while led by an instructor. It is intuitive enough for basic use but also complex enough to allow for the most creative and fun experience, all within a small footprint. Dewsbury Sports Centre, run by Kirklees Active, is the latest club to launch OMNIA. To highlight this unique piece of kit on the gym floor, the frame has been placed in a dedicated functional area containing Pavigym flooring and a unique bespoke lighting and audio system that changes according to different stages in each group workout. In order to help Dewsbury Sports Centre’s trainers and members utilise OMNIA to its full potential, Technogym conducted a full-day training workshop with staff to help them understand the equipment and formulate programming and content

to suit the needs and preferences of different member groups. Following the session, we spoke with Katie Dunford, personal trainer and group exercise co-ordinator at the centre, to get her thoughts. What did you think about the Omnia Training Workshop? “I was really excited about the session as I have not worked with a training frame before. From the training I got everything I wanted to know about Omnia, I got to learn new exercises and it was really easy to ask the Master Trainer questions and get ideas. “The trainer took us through all the accessories, gave us ideas on routines and organising group sessions, and we got to try everything. I feel really confident that I can go ahead and teach a session effectively now.” What was the key thing you got from today’s training? “The key thing I got from today is that I am now 100 per cent confident in every aspect to promote it and lead a training session. I am really excited to use it.” What do you think member response will be? “I know that when they try it, members will really love it. It will also be a

great tool to attract different member groups as well. One of my personal missions will be to get people from classes on to the gym floor on Omnia. “Helping people experiment rather than sticking to what they know will help them push their fitness in different areas and hopefully get more from the gym experience in general.” What are your next steps to make Omnia successful? “In the next month I want to get dif-

ferent gym users to interact with Omnia in more group classes to boost the whole atmosphere and enhance trainer-member interaction on the gym floor. “The centre is running express classes at peak time for the first two weeks and we will be running a combination of ad hoc as well as programmed 15-minute sessions throughout the day to encourage engagement and help members have an enjoyable gym experience.”

Find out more about OMNIA at www.technogym.com/omnia


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Community impact central to new-look Quest assessment By Christina Eccles LEISURE providers undertaking industry quality scheme Quest will now need to prove they are making a difference in their communities in order to pass the assessment, following changes announced at the recent Quest and NBS Conference in Loughborough. From June this year, the new Community Outcomes module will be compulsory for all leisure facilities and development teams undergoing Quest Plus, and will look at factors such as health education, health improvement, populations, community outreach and partnerships. A central aim of the new module is to make it easier for leisure providers to demonstrate to local authority partners and other stakeholders that they offer a solid social return on investment. While most of the areas it covers were already being assessed under other modules, this will be the first time they have been combined under a single umbrella. Also, unlike some of the previous modules covering these areas, Community Outcomes will be a core module rather than an optional one. Quest operations director and direc-

tor of Right Directions, which runs the scheme, Caroline Constantine said: “The introduction of the Community Outcomes module is a significant addition to Quest. “Its goal is to enable managers and staff to demonstrate the impact they’re having on the local community. This may be evidenced in a multitude of ways: an improved contribution to health and wellbeing, crime reduction and increased sport participation are just a few examples. “Leisure facilities have a fundamental role to play in improving the lives of their communities and this module will show their commitment.” In order to make way for the Community Outcomes module, two other core modules – Business Planning and Continuous Improvement – will be merged to form a new Business Improvement module. Meanwhile, the optional Health and Wellbeing module will be discontinued. Other key changes to the scheme announced at the conference include the introduction of an optional module on Safeguarding Children, developed in partnership with the NSPCC; and the integration of ASA’s swim21 accreditation as another optional module.

Carly Thornton and Luke Sandoe have launched Elite Body and Fitness.

Couple join for new venture SUPER fit couple Carly Thornton and Luke Sandoe have teamed up to launch a new business venture. The pair have created online coaching and personal training business – Elite Body and Fitness – after noticing a gap in the market to offer high level personal training to the average gymgoer who wants to further improve their health. Carly explained: “We first had the idea when we saw a lot of individuals that only really specialised in one particular area whether it be general fitness, bodybuilding, contest prep etc and many didn't take on normal people who just wanted to improve themselves. Our idea was to put our heads together and cater to everyone’s

needs. We have bodybuilders, bikini athletes, cover models but we also offer our premium service to the everyday gymgoer who wants to not only look and feel good about themselves but to boost their confidence and their overall health. “Between us we have over 15 years’ experience and are both fully qualified level three personal trainers. “We’re both well known within the industry and compete ourselves at a high level. We offer monthly programmes, one offs, posing and stage presentation, contest prep, one-onone training all with fully customised nutrition, training and supplementation. You name it, I'm sure we can help.”


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Chris Eubank Jr

Celebrity trainer Jack opens studio in Hove CELEBRITY trainer Jack Laing has opened a new studio in Hove, with help from functional fitness specialists Jordan Fitness. Jack, who has worked with the likes of professional boxer Chris Eubank Jr and model Katie Price, has created JRL Sports Training to offer a wide range of services including personal training, bootcamps, group exercise classes and functional fitness for juniors; as well as strength and conditioning sessions aimed at improving specific sporting performances. The club is also working hard to develop the professional athletes of the future, with equipment from

Jordan, such as Soft Plyo Boxes and resistance tubes, going down well with members. Jack added: “At JRL Sports Training we believe that introducing exercise to children at an early stage is very important to help with their development. “In less than two generations physical activity has dropped by 20 per cent in the UK. “We are working to increase the amount of physical activity youngsters are doing, moving them away from the television and video games which seems to be taking over the youth of today.”

A new ladies only gym has opened in Bradford, housed in a restored Grade II listed Edwardian building. The Curve has been opened in the former Manningham Baths, with the club still maintaining many of its original features, making it a unique space for members. Star Trac has installed a range of state-of-the-art equipment into the gym including Eseries CV kit, Spinner NXT bikes and two Steppers. Club manager Helen Moore said: “The Curve has been designed to act as a safe place for women to work out and socialise in a luxurious environment. I’m confident that the new equipment will inspire our new members to get fit and stay healthy in 2014 and beyond.”

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Industry’s feedback sought by organiser LEISURE Industry Week has sent out an in depth survey to gauge feedback from the industry as to what they want to see at this year’s show. Keen to develop and further the success of the show, the results of the questionnaire – sent to over 58,000 senior buyers, stakeholders and influencers from the leisure industry – will be used to ensure the event addresses the key business challenges facing leisure operators currently and in the future. Event director James Samuel said: “As the industry’s leading trade show we understand that we cannot stand still. Our offering has to reflect the needs of this fast paced growing industry. It is also important that we can really offer leisure operators throughout the UK a genuine return on time, investment and opportunity when coming to LIW. This is a very exciting time and I’m looking forward to receiving the completed surveys and sharing with the leisure community the findings and how we will implement this in to the 2014 event.”

What’s the value of retention? By Dr Paul Bedford THE worst performing clubs keep 50 per cent of their members for less than six months, whilst the best performing keep their members for more than 23.5 months. That’s a wide range! If you own or run a club then holding on to members for as long as possible is a sure fire way to increase revenues and decrease pressure on your business. As an industry we currently hold on to 52 per cent of new joiners each year, which reduces to just 24 per cent at the end of two years. The income generated from reducing the number of cancelations by just 10 per cent would make it well worth the effort. To provide easy examples I will use a club with 1,000 members. So a club that has joined 1,000 new members in the past two years can expect to lose 480 in the first year and another 280 in year two, of that original thousand. A total loss of 720 members in two years. When members are lost at this rate the first reaction is to try to sell more memberships to replace those that have left. But investing time and effort into keeping those you have already recruited can provide significant financial benefits. Let’s have a look at how the numbers stack up when you increase revenue using a targeted retention strategy: If you have a club of 1,000 members and you are charging £35.00 per month your maximum 12 month income per year is £420,000 (1000 x

Dr Paul Bedford £35.00 x 12 months) from membership fees. Clubs losing members at a rate of 50 per cent per year can only expect a membership income of half that amount. So that’s £210,000 lost through memberships, plus any secondary spend that each of the 50 per cent of members who left may have spent within your club. Tackling this through selling more memberships will replace those you have lost but you are still losing more money, because you haven’t increased the revenue per member. Membership contracts are a method of securing and/or increasing monthly revenue. Theoretically at least each and every 12 month contract should return £420 per member (see previous article for the pros and cons of contracts’ effect on retention). Therefore when you tackle and improve retention you get more income from each member. The simplest way to illustrate this is

to consider adding one month to each member life with your club. So for every member that traditionally stays just two months they stay three and those that stay three months stay four. This can quickly add up to significant amounts of income. Using the current industry figures from my white report, increasing monthly member retention by five per cent in our 1,000 member club would increase its revenue by more than £20,000 per year. So a 10 per cent increase would yield an extra £40,000 and 15 per cent an extra £60,000. For multi site operators and clubs with more than 1,000 members the numbers just continue to increase. An operator with 10 sites and a total of 25,000 members could expect to see an increase in revenue of about £500,000 per year. So the question is how much would you spend to get an additional £500,000? How much disruption would you accept, what new practices would you need to incorporate and what existing practices would you need to drop? The next article in this series will explain how to identify and then tackle your specific retention problem, and you may not need to spend any money to do it!  Dr Paul Bedford is the fitness industry’s leading authority on retention, attrition and customer experience management and the author of The National Retention Report. You can find out more at www.retentionguru.co.uk or by following @guru_paul on Twitter.


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Kill the monster while it’s tiny ... By Dave Wright

The new Anytime Fitness in Yate.

Franchisee Robin opens gym in former nightclub A FORMER nightclub in Yate, Bristol, has been transformed into a new Anytime Fitness club by franchisee Robin Drysdale. Located in the heart of Yate’s main shopping centre and originally built in the 1960s as a cinema, the space has undergone extensive modernisation and features high ceilings and lots of natural light. The gym showcases 18 units of Precor CV equipment including treadmills and elliptical crosstrainers, all installed with Preva networked fitness.

There is also a strength area, as well as Spinning and exercise studios. Robin said: “The addition of the Anytime Fitness in Yate increases the spread of my company, Triangle Fitness, within the Greater Bristol area and is an ideal complement to our Anytime Fitness Clifton, Bradley Stoke and Cribbs Causeway sites. “We decided to install Preva networked fitness in Yate as we felt it was important to provide state-of-the-art equipment for ease and convenience of use, and it also defines our offering to the community as high quality.”

Focus appoint new director FOCUS Training has appointed Ben Jackson as operations director. Ben has risen through the ranks at the Bolton based company, having initially joined in 2007 as telephone support tutor. Since then he has gained experience across many roles including as an NVQ assessor and most recently as operations manager. As part of his new role, Ben will utilise his in-depth knowledge of course content and design to maintain the company’s reputation for delivering high quality courses, as well as to continue to enhance the

company’s range of specialist qualifications. He said: “This is an exciting time at Focus and I am really looking forward to developing a number of new opportunities. Ben Jackson We are planning to introduce more new courses. In particular, with our experience, we are very well placed to expand our offering of Level Four qualifications.”

THE old sales analogy of ‘killing the monster while it’s tiny’ is about overcoming a possible objection before it arises and becomes a bigger objection. This gives you an opportunity to turn what some people may think is an issue into a positive. A quick example would be if you have a busy gym – so rather than waiting for the end of the tour – hit the issue straight on and point out that it’s the most popular gym in town because people get results etc. From a strategic view, killing the monster while it’s tiny or hasn’t even risen yet is all about what you offer to your customers that a potential competitor may also provide if they moved into your territory. Ask yourself why would a member want to move from your club? Is there a new programme that a competitor could offer? Is it a perceived lower price and therefore do you offer a price point that may seem as low but is just a skeleton membership that has been stripped down from the services? It might not even be from within the industry, such as a weight loss programme or a physical activity wearable technology tracking device. And as such do you offer the equivalent so that you can overcome that monster whilst it’s tiny? Either way, no matter what you do, ask yourself a better question about what you are doing. Even better would be to ask your existing members as to why they train

Dave Wright with you and what they would like from you. Showing them that they care is far more productive than reactive responses to competition. I have always said that it is not the big that eat the small, but rather the fast that eat the slow. So in today’s market, you must act fast and stay ahead of the monsters or it may be too late.  Dave Wright is the CEO of CFM, a global company with offices in the UK, Australia and North America that has served the international fitness community for over 24 years; focusing on either getting new members and/or keeping existing ones. Dave is also the owner of 11 health clubs across two continents, a board director of ukactive, founder of IOU (Independent Operators Unite) and the creator of the revolutionary industry tracking tool MYZONE. He may be contacted on Dave.Wright@cfm.net

Events to celebrate 25 years INDUSTRY supplier Jordan Fitness is marking its 25th anniversary with a year long celebration of events. Throughout the year, the company will be sharing information on its heritage, as well as organising a range of charity events; reinforcing the Jordan brand and honouring its past, while also looking towards the future. Founder Neil Jordan said: “As a

business we have worked very hard over the last 25 years to develop a ‘can do’ culture, to understand how best to fulfill our ambitions and give our customers the best experience we can. “I believe it’s better to be discreet about success and ensure we deliver on promise; I have grown to realise that it’s the small things that make a big difference.”


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Matrix Fitness supports One Big Thing initiative

The 25-metre temporary pool at Bridlington Sports Centre.

Bridlington gets first Olympic legacy pool BRIDLINGTON has become the first town in the UK to benefit from an Olympic legacy pool, with nine pools in total being dismantled and relocated around the country. The project was carried out by specialist company, Total Swimming, with the legacy pool funded by East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Sport England. The swimming pool will remain at Bridlington Sports Centre for two years while the £20m redevelopment of Leisure World, the local leisure centre, is carried out.

The 25-metre temporary pool offers local swimmers a way to keep swimming during the closure of Leisure World during its modernisation programme. Sports centre manager Adam Mainprize said “We have had a fantastic response from people who say the pool is absolutely brilliant and not what they expected. “It has a constant depth of 1.2m which will boost the confidence and safety of our swimmers. The engineering that has gone into the swimming pool is phenomenal.”

INDUSTRY supplier Matrix Fitness has got behind the One Big Thing initiative, developed by ukactive and British Universities and Colleges Sport to engage the student population in physical activity. The One Big Thing event, which takes place on May 16, requires students to cover a 5km distance, while undertaking some form of physical activity, which can range from fancydress themed runs, and egg-andspoon racing, to skipping and military style fitness obstacle courses. With the goal to encourage 50 plus universities from across the UK, and

10,000 students to participate in an event, Matrix Fitness is donating one of its fitness products to the university that attracts the most students. Managing director Jon Johnston said: “As a company that advocates support for physical activity at both grassroots and elite level, we already support the Lotus F1 Junior Team, and the Matrix Fitness – Vulpine racing academy. “However, our sponsorship of One Big Thing provides an opportunity to make a difference to a much wider community, and so we are delighted to be involved.”

Cybex UK has launched its new showcase gym in Leicestershire with an invite-only workout evening. Attended by Cybex clients, staff and friends of the company, the launch night provided guests with the opportunity to train and participate in workout demonstrations run by Cybex UK master trainer Julia Dalgleish. The event also included a live DJ and was supported by NRG Fuel, who provided sports nutrition supplements for guests throughout the evening.

Companies merge to improve sector offer LEISURE-net Solutions and David Monkhouse Consulting have announced a merger of the two companies. The merger is the result of the close working partnership forged between the two businesses while working together on Quest, the ukactive Code of Practice, Flame, BEE – the peer-topeer and online customer experience training service – and the active-net 2014 networking event. The new company, which will retain the Leisure-net Solutions name and brand, will help organisations use customer insight to its full capability, assisting them in using tools such as the National Benchmarking Service and Net Promoter Score. David said: “This is an excellent opportunity for both organisations to improve the offer we make to the sector. “I am particularly excited about the ability I will now have to support my clients insight needs; as a merged company we will be able to offer many more tools to measure the impact and outcomes of the changes we have made.” Leisure-net Solutions MD Mike Hill added: “David’s expertise across all aspects of the industry, including gen-

David Monkhouse and Mike Hill. eral and duty management development, customer experience, health and safety, operations, leadership and sales training together with change management implementation will allow us to greatly expand the services we offer to the sector. “Up until now, what we’ve done has been very much about asking the questions. Now we are able to move into suggesting what the answers may be, and offering training and development in order to meet our customers’ needs.”


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INDOOR CYCLING AND ROWING

Concept2 makes debut in the CrossFit Open event THE CrossFit Games begins with the worldwide Open competition. Everyone in the world is invited to compete in five workouts over five weeks, posting their scores online in real time. This year over 200,000 athletes are expected to take part. When Open Workout 14.4 was announced on March 20, there were mixed feelings among the CrossFit community as, for the first time, the Concept2 Indoor Rower made an appearance. It was the first component of the 14.4 chipper: 60-calorie row, 50 toesto-bars, 40 wall-ball shots, 30 cleans and 20 muscle-ups, with as many reps as possible to be completed in 14 minutes. Some were excited to see the rower make an appearance for the first time in the Open, while others were shocked to have a new movement introduced at this stage of the season. Concept2's Greg Hammond said: “I could not tell anyone until after the announcement happened and then I emailed everyone that it was going on. “Concept2 is not a big company and we have a large percentage of employees doing CrossFit now, so being a part of the Open means more

“In my experience from travelling the world and visiting affiliates, almost every affiliate I have ever been to has a Concept2 indoor rower… the time was right.” to everyone than ever before. We really enjoy playing a part in the CrossFit community." The CrossFit Games have never existed without the rower. In 2007, athletes were required to complete a 1,000m row in the first workout. From that moment, the indoor rower has been a fixture at the Games and has been in four of the seven CrossFit Games to date. This is the first time, however, that the indoor rower has made an appearance in the Open. So why did it suddenly appear now? CrossFit Games director Dave Castro added: “There are some movements that are staples in determining and testing fitness. The rower is one

of them. “The trend for the past three years of Open workouts is that 99.9 per cent of all Open submissions are done at affiliates. In my experience from travelling the world and visiting affiliates, almost every affiliate I have ever been to has a Concept2 indoor rower… the time was right.” The men's round was won by

CrossFit legend Rich Froning, the winner of the CrossFit Games for the last three years, while the UK's Samantha Briggs came out top in the women's event. She is also the reigning champion, further proof that the indoor rower is one of the best guides to overall fitness. For more on Concept2 visit concept2.co.uk


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The new group cycling studio has 19 Keiser bikes.

Centre’s refurb completed VALE Farm Sports Centre has completed a £1.7m refurbishment to modernise and improve facilities, with changes including the development of a dedicated group cycling studio. Work started at the club last November when Everyone Active took over management of the centre in partnership with Brent Council. The main gym now offers 103 exercise stations, including Power Plate machines, Wattbikes, Trixter Xdream bikes and Precor equipment, as well as a dedicated functional training area. The centre has also benefited from the development of a new dance studio and the group cycling studio, complete with 19 Keiser bikes, with the additional space enabling the group exercise programme to be extended to over 50 classes per week. Other improvements include new accessible changing rooms and

a Target Group Gym to host specific sessions such as GP referral and rehabilitation patients. Everyone Active contract manager Mark Leahy said: “Re-investment is one of our core principles and we are thrilled with the modernisation and improvements made. “The redevelopment will offer a greater range of affordable activities for the local community and the installation of the Target Populations Gym and the IFI accredited equipment, along with the more accessible changing rooms, will assist in encouraging more members of the community to come and get active.” To celebrate the completion of the redevelopment, Everyone Active held a free open day for the local community, hosted by Olympic swimmer and sports presenter Steve Parry and attended by Saracens rugby player Nathan Earl.

Wattbike leads transformation of group cycling THE health and fitness industry is moving towards a more data-driven offering for members and this is no more evident over the past 10 years than the transformation of indoor group cycling. Leading the way is Wattbike, the indoor bike developed in association with and endorsed by the hugely successful British Cycling. The Wattbike helps members to understand their own physiology while tracking progress in a highly motivating and engaging environment. Its scientific development allows PTs to deliver accurate, repeatable and comparable training and testing to an unrivalled level on the gym floor using a combination of power, heart rate and cadence. And it’s in an indoor group environment where this indoor bike really comes into its own. Wattbike’s Power Cycling enables members to train at

an optimal intensity based on their current fitness but in a group environment. By tracking each member’s key individual performance variables in realtime on a large screen, the Wattbike provides a highly engaging cycling class that consistently delivers results which has proven to increase member retention. For those competitive members in your club, Wattbike’s software offers an authentic group racing experience to match its remarkable feel of riding a real bike. Combine this with live pedalling technique analysis and it’s not hard to see why the Wattbike is considered to be the ultimate indoor training bike. For more information visit www.wattbike.com

WaterRower lands Virgin Active deal WATERROWER has secured a deal with Virgin Active, installing 29 of its machines across 14 clubs nationwide. Virgin Active is now the first nationwide gym chain to invest in WaterRower and the deal follows a successful trial of the M1 HiRise rowing machine at Virgin Active’s Chiswick Riverside Club. Owner of WaterRower Peter King

said: “At WaterRower we pride ourselves in building the highest specification machines that deliver a unique rowing experience. “When gyms invest in our machines, they also receive full training for staff members and regular maintenance visits, and we regularly engage with gym members to help promote the new equipment.”


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Keiser Environments turn gym’s office space into an indoor cycling studio A HARROGATE independent gym has installed the first Keiser Environments site in the UK, transforming a dark office space into a studio for its indoor cycling classes. The Academy Health Club has installed the concept, which allows clubs to update their surroundings in a quick and cost effective way, using a range of images, lighting and sound. National sales director at Keiser UK Gary Oleinik said: “By working closely with The Academy, using the Keiser Environments ‘template’, bespoke artwork with an atmospheric sports style silhouette was designed for the curved back wall of the studio. This has created a stunning backdrop for their cycling classes. “In addition, the Keiser Environments’ image library of

‘Warm Styles’ was used to create window graphics to partially screen the studio from outside. “The client’s corporate ID, ‘Energy Studio’, was also reinforced by creating etch effect vinyls for the studio’s double entrance doors.” The Academy also purchased 15 Keiser M3 Bikes for the new studio, which opened in January. Managing director Philippa Shackleton added: “By using Keiser Environments we have created a new dedicated cycling studio which not only looks great but is also a truly motivational space for our cycling classes. “The new Keiser Energy Studio has enabled us to increase the number of Keiser Cycle classes, as well as improving the timings of all our classes to better suit our members.”

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Providing quality kit at affordable prices AT Fitness Warehouse we specialise in providing quality commercial gym equipment at affordable prices. Our range of gym gear, cardiovascular and strength equipment together with our wide range of accessories means we can supply both large and smaller gyms with new equipment at amazing value without compromising on quality. Being limited to second hand and refurbished equipment is a thing of the past, with Fitness Warehouse you can afford new equipment that makes your gym look great and comes with warranty for peace of mind. Our continuing growth and links with top gym chains has led to the

introduction of some new innovative products like the M Sport Plus indoor cycle, and the expansion of our plate loaded strength range. Many of our clients have benefitted from trading in their old equipment to reduce the cost of purchasing new equipment. The ability to spread the cost of new equipment over a few years through the various finance options has proved popular. If you like what you hear get in touch by phone, email or call into our showroom. Contact 01772 653206, email David@FitnessWarehouseUK.com or visit www.FitnessWarehouseUK.com


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Supply exceeds demand. But not for long … By Mark Laws, Jordan Fitness

Tim Hicks

Top role for Hillsborough centre boss

SHEFFIELD leisure centre manager Tim Hicks has become the new regional chair of CIMSPA Yorkshire and Humber region. Tim, who is general manager of Hillsborough Leisure Centre and Concord Sports Centre, takes over from outgoing chair Lorenzo Clark who is director of operations for Sheffield International Venues, which operates Hillsborough and Concord. Tim said: “I’m extremely proud to have been elected to such a high profile position. “As chair, I’m keen to ensure both the board and myself engage personally and communicate directly with the region’s members, so we can deliver the high quality events, networking opportunities and a valued CPD program.”

ONLY a few months ago certain figures within the industry were suggesting that 'functional' fitness was merely a fad that would fizzle out and disappear. As you may or may not be aware, GYMetrix have recently revealed figures demonstrating that 'functional' spaces are not quite as popular as anticipated. We are seeing many gyms buying into it and installing functional areas, but GYMetrix's founder goes as far as stating that 'when gyms first put them in, the demand is zero. It's a push trend, not a pull trend, and it won't grow without intervention.' I am a huge fan of functional areas so when I first read this report I disagreed, but on reflection this is actually a very good point. Functional fitness is definitely a push trend rather than a pull trend. Masses of gym members are not begging for these areas because on the whole they just don't understand the difference between one style of training or another. Therefore the leaders within the industry have no choice but to push the trend upon people rather than waiting for the demand. The demand will never come until the general pub-

Mark Laws lic understand what they actually need, as oppose to what they want. Implementing change is a difficult thing, especially as human beings tend to like simple tasks that they can do on auto-pilot, so introducing a new method of training that involves thinking is going to be tough – but if your team can do the thinking for them then that is part of the problem solved.The key to effectively increasing the demand comes down to staff intervention. It is absolutely imperative that fitness professionals are continuously upskilling themselves in the

relevant areas. Attending courses and learning from 'experts' will give gym instructors and personal trainers the tools to explain to members WHY functional fitness methods are more advantageous and teach them HOW they can take advantage of these spaces. Once a functional area is installed the staff have to encourage use of the space. This can be done through inductions, small group sessions, gym floor classes, posters, social media posts etc. If your staff aren't confident enough to do this then contact me to arrange a Functional Fitness Workshop ASAP (marklaws@jordanfitness.co.uk) and you can ensure that your investment on functional equipment has not been wasted, and more importantly you can make a healthy return on your investment As experts and industry leaders we may be 'pushing' this trend upon people, but it's only because we know best – what’s best for the member and the facility owner. This isn't the first time that a product has been 'pushed' by innovators who foresee a brighter future for us all. Henry Ford famously said that if he asked people what they needed they would have replied – "faster horses". I rest my case.

Co founder Neil Harmsworth and Graeme Horne.

Graeme joins PayasUgym PAYASUGYM.COM has appointed Graeme Horne to oversee all of the company’s marketing activities. Graeme was previously chief marketing officer at hungryhouse.co.uk and said he is really looking forward to the challenge of helping build PayasUgym into a nationally recognised brand. He added: “As soon as I heard the name PayasUgym I just thought ‘Wow, what a brilliant idea!’ We offer a clear benefit to consumers – allowing people to build a fitness regime around their own lifestyle and goals – and for the gyms we send trialists through their doors who can be upsold in a low-pressure way… The team have created a winwin-win situation, and that’s a great sign for the success of this marketplace.”

Liam White from Bath Sports and Leisure Centre runs the Bath Half Marathon.

Centre staff complete half marathon for charity STAFF members from Bath Sports and Leisure Centre have completed the Bath Half Marathon to raise funds for charity. The team took part in the race to generate funds for Mencap, which runs weekly swimming, games and

exercise sessions at the leisure centre for people with a learning disability General manager Barnaby Rich said: “Six runners from Bath Sports and Leisure Centre raised money for Mencap which is a great cause and one close to our heart at BSLC.

“I want to say a big thank you and congratulations to the girls and guys that participated in the Bath Half Marathon. I am proud of the efforts you all put in to raise money and for showing our company, site and staff in such a positive light!”


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VIBRATION TRAINING

VibroGym’s ‘Evolution’ cutting edge training device debuts at FIBO DUTCH company VibroGym International has just unveiled their new “Evolution” in vibration training at this year’s FIBO Tradeshow in Cologne. VibroGym has always been a brand that excels in superior performance and durability. Top executive Guus van der Meer (founder of Power Plate) and his business partner, Jelte Templaars, have developed and launched the VG Evolution, a cutting edge training device with smart applications, along with a brand new corporate identity for the company. Manufactured in the Netherlands, the newly designed VG Evolution is built from precision cast aluminium providing strength, quality and a perfectly harmonious vibration across the whole surface of the plate. The VG Evolution offers Cardio Colour Control. This major innovation is the world’s first and only integrated software of its kind on any type of fitness equipment. Whilst wearing a Bluetooth heart belt, the software accurately monitors training intensity and displays it in colour. It’s based on Heart Rate Variability – the time difference between peaks in the ECG of consecutive heart beats. This is much more precise than Heart Rate Frequency monitoring which can be strongly influenced by factors such as stress, coffee consumption, infections, sleep patterns etc. Therefore it ensures that you always train in the right zone to achieve the results you want.

Other new features include vibration grips for upper body training. Historically, upper body devices on a vibration machine never fully transferred the effect through the muscles. However, VibroGym’s electrical vibrating handles connected to the machine make it possible to progressively and effectively train the upper body leading to quick results in less time than traditional training methods. Also new is the integrated tablet training software. The user interface was developed by a London graphic designer in collaboration with a Dutch company specialising in application communications. The result is an incredibly user friendly, highly intuitive and immediately accessible touch screen for all users and offering hundreds of exercise videos and programme choices. David Morrell, managing director of React Fitness Ltd, exclusive UK distributors of VibroGym, said: “These innovations will place VibroGym firmly at the top of people’s wish list when procuring vibration training devices and enforces our position as Europe’s most wanted vibration equipment. “Watch this space for some further major innovations and research projects later this year.” For more information contact React Fitness on 020 7272 0770 or email info@react-fitness.com

PERFORMANCE Health Systems has launched an improved design of its column-free Power Plate pro5 High Performance vibration training machine to give elite athletes, professional sports teams and functional training studios a competitive edge. With no column, the Power Plate pro5 HP allows 360 degrees of motion around the plate surface to facilitate integration with other training equipment, such as a squat rack, ViPR and Kettlebells. This allows users to maximise the effects of a full range of static, dynamic and plyometric exercises on the Power Plate. Other improvements include a larger platform, improved suspension and a remote control to adjust settings without interrupting the workout. For mobile trainers and coaches, the travel case makes light work of transportation. More than 100 professional sports teams and Olympic training facilities worldwide use Power Plate to

enhance their training programmes. Elite athletes including four-time world champion cyclist Sarah Hammer, golfer Lee Westwood and tennis stars Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal are all known to use Power Plate as part of their training regimes. Gyms and health clubs with promising amateur and professional athletes can also enjoy the benefits of the Power Plate pro5 HP which launched at FIBO and is now available in the UK. For more information visit www.powerplate.co.uk

Leisure centre makes most of New Pro5 HP gives Power Plates athletes the edge By Christina Eccles HARTHAM Leisure Centre has been making the most of its Power Plates by holding group training sessions on the kit and including them in inductions, ensuring members fully understand the benefits of vibration training. The facility has had Power Plates in the gym for nearly five years since its refurbishment in 2009. The machines used to be in a dedicated room but since moving them to the main gym area, their use has increased significantly. By grouping the six Power Plates in two rows of three, back to back, staff can instruct group sessions, which have proved very popular. Everyone Active fitness manager at Hartham Leisure Centre Ian Ling said: “We actively train people on Power Plate and include it in all our induction programmes. “People don’t necessarily understand vibration training or how the

machine works so it’s important to give them a short induction on Power Plate. Once people realise what it can do, they are eager to give it a go. “Our Power Plate machines are by the functional area alongside the TRX frame. There are resistance machines alongside and free weights within reach for those who want to use weights on the plate. “Our Power Plate workshop sessions last 25 minutes and we run four a week – one in the morning and three in the evening. Members really enjoy these and we usually have all the Power Plates in use at each session. “The incentive to use a Power Plate comes from our instructors. Our trainers will talk to people in the gym and suggest, for example, if they’re doing static squats that they could gain more benefit from doing these on the Power Plate. “Once people try the Power Plate and understand how it works, they are likely to incorporate it in their programme.”


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MobilePro allows customers to book and pay on the go.

App helps operators stay connected with customers A NEW smartphone app has been launched, which has been designed to help operators stay better connected to their customers and boost online transactions. The app can be customised, enabling operators to add any number of information pages to market their site to prospective members, as well as update existing members on news, promotions and new activities and facilities on offer. MobilePro also allows customers to book and pay on the go on any type of smartphone and interacts with Gladstone’s Plus2 Leisure Management System in real-time so

that members receive all their usual pricing and booking benefits. Sales and marketing director at Gladstone Tom Withers said: “We think the smartphone might just be the most powerful sales and service tool available to support today’s forward thinking leisure operator. “As well as a great communication tool with voice, text and email in your pocket, a member’s smartphone is both a social media portal and a mobile shopping basket. “With this in mind we created MobilePro to help you stay connected to your customers and let them purchase on the move.”


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The newly reopened London Aquatics Centre.

Four GLL-run pools named in London’s top five OPERATOR GLL is celebrating after four of its swimming pools were named in a list of London’s top five. The four GLL-run venues named in the Evening Standard are the newly reopened London Aquatics Centre; Crystal Palace National Sports Centre; Marshall Street Baths and the London Fields Lido.

The fifth venue mentioned in the poll was The Berkeley, a privately-run roof top pool in West London. Managing director of GLL Mark Sesnan said, “It’s fantastic news that four out of five of the best pools in the poll are operated by us, and it’s a testament to the hard work that everyone puts into running our top class

facilities. As a non-profit organisation, we are committed to investing back into the facilities that we operate. This ensures that local communities will benefit from the best swimming experience at an affordable price, and to a quality comparable with privately run facilities such as The Berkeley.”

New concept lets clubbers dance their way to fitness By Christina Eccles CLUBBING fans will now be able to dance their way to fitness with the nationwide launch of a new exercise concept. Led by qualified instructors, with easy-to-follow fun and motivating dance routines, Clubbercise participants work out in a darkened room with disco lighting to their favourite club tracks from the 90’s right through to today’s chart hits. Sessions offer individuals an uplifting cardio workout to enhance calorie burn and tone and shape. Co-creator and managing director Claire Green said: “We wanted to create a dance fitness class that people would enjoy just as much as going to a club at the weekend, dancing to the music that they love with the associated endorphins and euphoria. “Many people don’t get to go clubbing as much as they might like to due to work and family commitments so we’re bringing the nightclub atmosphere to their workout instead. “It seemed an obvious addition to create a nightclub atmosphere with disco lighting for the class to take place in which gives people the confidence to really let go. “Glow sticks were introduced as a fun element for the 90’s tracks, but it was soon realised they only added to the full body workout, and so were

“We wanted to create a dance fitness class that people would enjoy just as much as going to a club at the weekend ...” incorporated into every routine.” The Clubbercise training course provides fitness professionals with six REPs CPD points as they learn how to teach and promote their own classes. The course consists of a Clubbercise master class, a brand presentation with strategic marketing information and practical training for teaching choreographed Clubbercise routines. Further marketing support is available for qualified instructors via an Instructor VIP Area on the Clubbercise website, which is updated regularly with support and advice on increasing customer base, and member retention. Claire added: “As a new training provider it’s important that we are affiliated with REPs as it shows instructors that we adhere to a high standard of quality and teaching practices.

Clubbercise participants work out to their favourite club tracks. “With high demand from the public for classes – an average of 100 enquiries per week – accompanied by dozens of instructor enquiries we’ll be holding regular training courses throughout the UK in 2014.” Clubbercise has also recently partnered with Oxfam, so every time a new instructor signs up, a donation is made to the charity.

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Understand your current members to find new ones Do what we are built to do with The Primal Kitchen THE key premise of the paleo lifestyle is eating the foods our bodies were designed to eat for thousands and thousands of years of evolution. 70 per cent of our calories come from foods we wouldn’t normally have consumed. We humans ate real foods which were hunted and gathered in their natural state (meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds). Then came advances in modern technology, and we made other forms of foods (grains, dairy, processed and now GM foods), which are not easy for our bodies to digest and handle and are the leading causes of many of our modern day diseases. The Primal Kitchen evolved out of nutritionist Suzie Walker’s vision to make the paleo lifestyle easier and more accessible for everyone. The Primal Kitchen’s purpose is to provide a range of tasty nutritious foods, which fully complement a paleo lifestyle, free of any grains, dairy, refined sugars and vegetable oils and always made with 100 per cent natural ingredients. Having adopted a paleo (cave man) lifestyle many of Suzie’s clients struggled to find healthy on the go snacks,

Suzie Walker that were free of any grains, added sugars and vegetable oils. They wanted something that would fuel their workouts, feed their kids or just to have handy while out and about. With some nuts, some coconut, a blender and a clientele of eager tasters she embarked on making her own paleo bars. The response was extremely positive, and so begins the story of The Primal Kitchen.

THE daily challenge for every gym owner is to sell new memberships and retain the existing members in the club. As an industry we are always looking to retain members for longer, which is key to the club’s ongoing monthly income. How often do we take the time to understand how we are going to generate the next enquiry? Do we ever get the time in a busy day to take a closer look at what type of person is more likely to be interested in joining your club? Do you know how to reach-out and target the people that will join your gym? The easy and most successful way is to be able to gather data about existing members who love your club. You can then build up member profiles so you know who to target.

What does that mean to your club? Member age groups, where they live, gender, their routines, peak and offpeak access, membership options and promotions are all examples. How can you combine these to maximise footfall and increase attendance of the club? Thinking about the budget last month and the news surrounding it: pensioners will have more freedom with their retirement savings meaning those people that are due to retire will have more money spend.

ClubManager founder Wayne Heath. So is your club in a position to take advantage of this potential new demographic? It should be easy to get your member data to work for you. By better understanding their current members better our users find data like this invaluable to grow their business and I hope you can too. “We pride ourselves on providing industry-leading, affordable solutions that allow gym owners to grow their businesses” To find out more contact Wayne at ClubManager. Call 01245 807 360, visit www.clubmanagercentral.com or email wayne@clubmanagercentral.com

Expo expects record number of visitors THE most awe-inspiring and motivational fitness weekend of the year is gearing up for its sixth instalment in May – and is set to be the biggest and best show yet. Set to welcome over 60,000 visitors, BodyPower caters for the entire scale of fitness enthusiasts, ranging from hardcore fitness fanatics through to people interested in losing weight or getting into shape. BodyPower will occupy four halls at the NEC for a three day spectacle of fitness focused fun. The programme consists of a host of interactive feature areas to get both the body and the mind working. Visitors will also have access to over 250 health and fitness brands in the extensive exhibition and

there will be a wealth of information, freebies, offers and competitions available to soak up. Director and show co-founder Ollie Upton said: “BodyPower has now grown into the UK’s staple fitness expo. We have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure all visitors; consumer and trade, have a reason to attend. “We have increased the floor space, added some fantastic new feature areas and lined up some great special guests to appear. BodyPower 2014 can’t come quick enough.” Tickets for BodyPower 2014 are available from £19.95. Book now at www.bodypowerexpo.co.uk or call 0844 338 8000.

Gym uses military techniques THE team behind a new gym near Bolton have been using the techniques they learnt in the military to offer members a different way of training. BodyTORQ Personal Training and Physical Performance Centre in Westhoughton has been set up by ex army physical training instructors Lee Hill and Mike Jackson. The pair are aiming to bring something different to the area with their circuit training concept, a routine which rotates through a series of stations combining aerobic, core and weight training exercises, and takes

inspiration from army physical training sessions. The club, which has been kitted out by Fitness Systems, has got off to a successful start and Mike said for the coming months, they are hoping to add more sessions on to the timetable, with the aim of increasing footfall in quieter times. He added: “We are now trying to push things forward and put more circuit sessions on. “Mornings and evenings are our busiest times so we are starting daytime circuits for parents, which they can come to after they have dropped the kids off at school.”


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SUPPLEMENTATION AND NUTRITION

Drive to raise awareness LEADING nutrition and supplements company Deluxe Nutrition has launched a nationwide drive to increase awareness of the role which supplements can play in a healthy lifestyle. The company wants to educate people that supplements can be used by everyone, not just serious athletes or those who want to gain or lose weight, promoting them as a positive addition to a healthy diet. Matt Hickman from Deluxe Nutrition said: “Anyone can take supplements as part of a healthy diet, they don’t have to be in training. “We know of lots of people who take

supplements to help with health issues, or simply just to make sure they stay healthy and their body gets what it needs to function properly. “Of course supplements are essential for those who do serious exercise and who are trying to get the most out of their bodies, but we want to take away the stigma associated with them and educate people that they can be a healthy choice. “We’re going to be asking a crosssection of our customers and the general population to tell us about their use of supplements and how it affects their lives for the better and we’ll be publicising the results.”

LivingWell to stock Kinetica range KINETICA has secured an exclusive deal with LivingWell Health Clubs to stock its sports nutrition product lines across 48 clubs nationwide. The partnership will showcase Kinetica’s full product range, with an emphasis on convenience products for gym and hotel guests. Kinetica brand manager Hugo Youngman said: “We are delighted to

align our brand with a highly reputable health club that champions the same values as we do. “Like Kinetica, the LivingWell name brings the reassurance of quality and excellent service. This partnership will enable us to market our range of quality sports and fitness supplements directly to club members to help enhance their training goals.”

Fitness and nutrition experts BodyFire have appointed two new recruits to the team, led by professional rugby player James Haskell. Shane Rutherford (left) and David Arnot will both be working to create bespoke training and nutritional plans and fitness packages for the company. They will also run the BodyFire training sessions. James said: “Shane and David epitomise the BodyFire core beliefs; training and nutrition should be simple, fun and accessible to all. Together we will be combining our knowledge and experience to offer the best advice to customers.”


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MiTonics personalised nutrition shakes – helping gyms stand out

Top fitness model Carly Thornton has become an ambassador and UK national account manager for Myprotein. As part of her role, Carly is now looking for gyms who are interested in stocking the products to get in touch to arrange a visit. She said: “I’m very excited about this opportunity. Myprotein and Myvitamins have such an extensive range to cater for everyone’s goal. You name it, Myprotein have it and all at a reasonable price for the consumer.”

MITONICS personalised recovery shake machines are helping gyms stand out from their competition. Using unique technology to tailor the protein recovery to the individual’s lean body mass and training goals, the MiTonics machine acts as a nutrition hub within the gym rather than just selling low quality ready to drink products. Gyms with the MiTonics machine installed have noticed increases in personal training engagement, interest in body composition leading to an increased take up of health assessment services, and even increased member retention from improved body shape results. Fitness manager at Nuffield Health, Hertford Martyn Oakey said: “We have seen a marked increase in member interaction since installing the MiTonics machine. “We now use the MiTonics machine as part of our gym tour with potential new members, to set ourselves apart from our local competition.” Made specifically for the gym market, MiTonics drinks appeal to all members. The shakes can help with lean muscle gain, reducing body fat and even can aid weight loss with an industry leading meal replacement shake.

So, if you want a nutrition hub within your gym and embrace the future of sports nutrition, please contact the MiTonics team on 0843 254 9019 or email info@mitonics.com


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What Starbucks can teach the fitness industry ... By Matt Januszek, Escape Fitness 2008, any coffee drinker will tell you, was an important year. McCafé looked Starbucks straight in the eye and announced war. They offered premium coffee to steal away the Starbucks clientele, offering lower prices at the same time. Not only that but, in blind taste testing, customers believed that McCafè was superior to Starbucks. Not only were prices cheaper but, as it turned out, the product better. The result? McDonald’s share price grew 30 per cent in 12 months, meanwhile Starbucks fell 48 per cent. So, how did Starbucks respond to their new competition? How did they react to an aggressive expansion move from a rival that posed a serious threat? They looked inside their own business and recognised that by offering an experience – letting people see coffee being made, letting them smell the aroma – they could compete in a non-price orientated way. They recognised the importance of customer service and how their team of staff – or Baristas as they’re known – were key to engaging with customers. Author Joseph Michelli has captured this in a book I was recently reading called The Starbucks Experience: Five Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary. It’s a fascinating read, one that highlights how important it is for even the biggest of companies to be offering to

its customers a genuine experience. In a follow-up eBook (The Starbucks Experience: Leadership Tips), Michelli highlights perfectly the importance for all of us to “connect, discover, respond” with our customers. Making a human connection immediately recognises customers not as regular, unimaginative patrons but as human beings. Consider this; a potential member can workout in any number of gyms or PT studios. They can even workout at home or in the local park. And now ask yourself this; Why should they join your club? What are you offering that all those alternative workout options aren’t? Don’t think of price when answering this question, think about your genuine USP. Starbucks’ “Five Ways of Being” call for their staff to be:  Welcoming  Genuine  Considerate  Knowledgeable  Involved I think it’s fair to say that these five steps can also be applied to staff in all health clubs. Welcoming This is more than just a warm smile, although that is obviously a must! Remembering someone’s name might only be a small thing, but it’s a very important thing. However, this is also about creating an environment of comfort, a sense of belonging, for everyone who visits your club. From the correct lighting and flooring through to the ease at which a mem-

to have towards fellow members of staff and building of team spirit. Knowledgeable It is of course obvious that your team of staff must be trained and educated when it comes to offering the greatest level of customer service to your members. But it is also incredibly empowering for staff if a business is investing in them. Happy staff are loyal staff, and loyal staff remember members’ names.

Matt Januszek ber can move around your club. Good design, therefore, is just as vital as actual personal interaction. Genuine Ensure your trainers are sincere in offering support and advice. Most importantly, they must listen when a member has a problem or a question. Connecting with your members is a fundamental task for all staff. Considerate Not every member will have the same level of ability so your trainers must be understanding of this and creative enough to suggest different types of exercises. This is also a great attitude

Involved Does a member look unsure with a piece of equipment? Then get involved! Go show them how it’s done! Show passion and the willingness to get your hands dirty and support members. Showing support on the gym floor is a great way to build morale, not only within the team but also in terms of building that community feeling in your club. These are just five simple steps that Starbucks adopted but, as you can see, are easily transferable into our industry. So, how did the McDonald’s Starbucks war end? They’re still in the trenches but McDonald’s coffee sales grew only 0.9 per cent in the latest quarter up to November last year, Starbucks sales rose seven per cent in the same period. Come and join the discussion in our LinkedIn group – http://linkd.in/KPRtMn – or simply visit LinkedIn and search for Escape Fitness in the group search.

Cheltenham classes scoop top award in national competition Glove range lets you box clever ESCAPE Fitness are proud to launch their new range of gloves. Their Synth-Tech Training Gloves are made out of the highest quality materials which has created an incredibly tough and durable glove that remains light on the hand. The Injection moulded one-piece padding helps to absorb impact more effectively than traditional PVC gloves and has a cushioned palm that comes with a ventilated grip to maximise airflow. The Velcro wristband wraps around from the inside outwards to speed fit-

ting and removal, perfect for use in high-paced functional circuits. The bright and bold design has created an attractive glove that appeals to all users and, with an anti-bacterial internal coating to counteract odours, the gloves are the ideal choice for busy studios. Available in three different weights – 8oz, 10oz, 12oz – the gloves have an easy clean outer coating for improved hygiene. For more information, please contact Escape on 01733 313535 or visit www.escapefitness.com

KETTLERCISE Cheltenham has been voted among Britain’s best in a prestigious national competition. The classes held at Bishops Cleeve on Tuesday evening and Sunday morning scooped one of the top awards in the Classes for you competition, run by Britain’s biggest parenting site Netmums. The UK-wide competition was launched as a chance for people running adult classes to be recognised for their hard work serving and improving the local community. Over 1.7m members were eligible to vote in the competition. Class organiser Toni Redgrove of TRED Training and Kettlercise Cheltenham was delighted to be crowned a local favourite. Kettlercise is new to Bishops Cleeve and Cheltenham and has

only been running for five months but has proved to be a hit. Toni is especially flattered by this award, as when she started running this class not only was she new to Gloucestershire so didn’t know anyone, Kettlercise was virtually unheard of in this area, so she faced a massive gamble and struggle to get the classes recognised. The Kettlercise class will now be honoured with a coveted gold listing on the Netmums site, used by over 1m people each week, along with a special ‘Netmums Favourite’ certificate to display in their class. Toni also wins a badge for the Kettlercise website and a place on the Netmums Award Winners pages. To become a certified Kettlercise instructor go to www.rkps.org to book or call 01282 698 698 to find out more.


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Appointments strengthen firm’s public sector focus

Sketchley Grange Hotel and Spa has become the latest sponsor of the Leicester Riders basketball team. As part of the agreement, players have been given membership to the club’s gym and spa facilities. General manager of Sketchley Grange Paul Noble said: “We’re very pleased to welcome the players to our hotel and look forward to their visits whether it’s to use the gym to train or the spa to wind down after a tough game. It’s great to be able to support local sporting talent and we very much enjoyed attending our first Riders game at the beginning of the month.”  Photo: Back row (left to right) players Anthony Downing, Rashad Hassan, Harrison Gamble, Drew Sullivan, Jay Couisnard and Anthony Rowe. Front row, head coach Rob Paternostro and general manager of Sketchley Grange Paul Noble.

EQUIPMENT

LIFE Fitness has strengthened its focus on the public sector through the promotion of Andy McLaughlan as public sector development manager and the appointments of Roger Eldergill and Rebecca Knight as public sector account managers – education. In his new role Andy will lead the UK local authority and trust team, creating strong client partnerships to help organisations in the public sector meet their social and commercial objectives. For the last five years Andy has held the role of public sector account manager – Scotland and prior to this he worked for Esporta and David Lloyd Leisure. As public sector account managers – education, Roger and Rebecca will be responsible for developing new business and supporting a wide variety of institutions with varied outcomes. The education team will be able to

Rebecca Knight provide ongoing support related to participation, funding, curriculum integration and training opportunities.


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EQUIPMENT

EQUIPMENT

MARKETING

LOCKERS

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27/3/14

15:27

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CLASSIFIED

52 LOCKERS

FLOORING

CLOTHING AND MERCHANDISE

VENDING


50-54 Classis

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CLASSIFIED DIRECT DEBIT COLLECTIONS

53

HYGIENE

Possibly The Most Important Piece Of Equipment In Your Gym REMFAOCVET: SKIL99LS AND APRIL SPECIAL 4 WIPEPODS inc. fill (500 wipes) for just £99 saving over £100*

Tel 0845 370 0030 FINANCE

or email info@grangeeurope.com

to order today! Quote ref: WORKOUT

.9999% OF GERMS AND BACTERIA 90 DAY MONEY BACK SATISFAC TION GUARANTEE** Low cost Improve Hygien e compliance Holds 500-1250 large wipes Unit guaranteed for life

• Clean, sterilise, disinfect and remove dirt and organic material in seconds • Cleans and drys in under 15 seconds View the wipepod video at

www.thehygienecompany.com MIRRORS

AUDIO / VISUAL

UPHOLSTERY

*Prices exclude VAT and carriage. Credit cards accepted. **Terms and conditions apply.


50-54 Classis

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CLASSIFIED

54 INSURANCE

SERVICING

SOFTWARE

MANAGEMENT

WANTED

FOR SALE

LOCKS


55 Fit Kit

4/4/14

11:02

Page 1


56 Cybex

25/3/14

14:36

Page 1


Work Out April 2014