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July 2009

The UK’s No 1 fitness industry magazine

Ricky is boxing clever with new gym

Phillip reveals the secrets of his success By Mary Ferguson ONE of the world’s most respected fitness professionals has revealed the secrets of his success to UK gym operators. Phillip Mills, son of group exercise expert Les Mills and owner of a chain of New Zealand health clubs, spoke to delegates at a Leisure Exchange seminar in Manchester. Effective group exercise classes, performance-related pay for staff and creating an experiential environment for people to exercise in are all key to running a successful business, he claimed. In Phillip’s flagship club in Auckland, nine and a half thousand people attend classes each week and the annual retention rate is 80 per cent. He said an example of another club getting it right is David Lloyd in Amsterdam, which has four cinema size screens and attracted 8,000 members in the first six months of opening. But, he said, independent gyms can achieve similar success without spending so much. He said UK gyms would benefit from: I Setting group exercise staff attendance targets, and rewarding them if they are hit I Taking advantage of the internet and signing more members up online

I Installing projectors as a cheaper alternative to TV screens, mainatining a buzz even during quiet times I Slimming down group exercise timetables to deliver more of the most popular classes. Phillip said: “Creating entertaining, experiential exercise environments are key to engaging and retaining members. “When I started working in clubs in the sixties it was a terrible, boring place to be and we would have been lucky to achieve ten per cent annual retention. My first job was to hand out magazines to people on the bikes, because it was just so boring for them.” And according to Phillip, group exercise is a weapon to win the retention and price war but UK gyms need to make the most of them. He added: “Clubs in the UK seem reluctant to put on large classes because of safety concerns but research has shown that injury rates are rare and when they do occur, they are minor. “The basic logic I work on is that people are better off risking a shin splint than risking a heart attack from not exercising.”

No 190 £3

Personal trainer Caroline Sandry has launched a book advising women how to exercise according to their body shapes. Co-author of Shape Up!, she is a former model and boasts Kelly Holmes and the Welsh Rugby team among her clients. I Full story, Page 14

A NEW gym owned by Ricky Hatton has welcomed its first members after opening in Manchester. Hatton Health and Fitness, based in Hyde, is run by the champion boxer and his father Ray and as well as topclass boxing facilities, features a separate fitness club for members of the local community. The gym is aiming for a mix of members and has done some marketing specifically aimed at women, who may be put off by its association with fighting. The building is decorated with images of Ricky boxing and posing with celebrities and his title belt hangs in reception. Manager Nigel Wilkes, who has known the star for 20 years, said: “How many gym managers can point to something like that and say, ‘that’s my boss?” I More on the gym, Page 34





Programme is key to good results By Mary Ferguson CREATING the right programmes for members is key for getting results and improving retention, it has been claimed. Lisa Taylor, who used to be group fitness manager for DC Leisure and now works with MEND, said its particularly important for new members, who may not be used to exercising. Speaking at the FIA Flame conference, she said: “The initial induction is the biggest opportunity that gyms have to make a difference with programmes. “People walk through the door with absolute belief that we are going to help them get results and if we don’t, they will leave.” Lisa said it’s important that the initial exercise programme that a new member is given doesn’t faze them and is done properly. “New members that are not used to exercising don’t want complicated programmes. The danger is that we talk at new members and prescribe them what we think they want.

Operators need to know what their instructors are doing with new members at that first induction. “If we can use programmes to push people to work as hard as they can over a short period of time, especially for those that have been previously inactive, they will get results really fast, and keep them motivated.” According to Lisa, it is also imperative that you keep in touch with members so their programme can be updated, but that doesn’t always mean lengthy sit-down consultations. “Checking in with someone on the gym floor can take just two or three minutes and you just need to ask a few questions to find out if the programme is still working for them.” Keeping in touch with clients after their initial induction is the only way to find out whether their programme is working – and whether they are in danger of leaving. Lisa added: “If you are having problems with retention, it’s definitely worth looking at the quality of your programming.”

Staff on thin ice with competition A GROUP of staff at leisure operators Sheffield International Venues have followed in the skating footsteps of Torvill and Dean by taking part in their very own version of Dancing on Ice. Five employees at the leading leisure operator partnered with top iceSheffield skating coaches for the competition.

operations Lorenzo Clark, Hillsborough Leisure Centre’s general manager Richard Apps, head of sport Justine Foster-Davis and e commerce and marketing manager Stacey Hartley spent four months training in preparation for the contest. It formed part of the company’s annual conference and followed the same format as the popular reality TV show.

iceSheffield's general manager Mandy Janes, SIV’s director of

New study examines nation’s exercise habits ONLY a fifth of people in the UK exercise the recommended five days a week or more, according to the results of a new study. PruHealth's bi-annual Vitality Index – which tracks the nation’s health trends across stress, exercise, diet, smoking, health knowledge and check-ups – also showed that it Advertising


Sales and marketing director: Tony Barry

Group Editor: Andrew Harrod Tel: 01226 734639 Fax: 01226 734705 Email: Reporters: Louise Cordell Tel: 01226 734694 Email: Mary Ferguson Tel: 01226 734712 Email:

Sales manager: Lucy Hill Tel: 01226 734615 Sales executives: Daniel Lloyd Tel: 01226 734699 Danielle Hornby Tel: 01226 734707

would take being diagnosed with a health condition to encourage the vast majority of people to improve their health and fitness. Dr. David Grainger, senior fellow at Cambridge University said: “More than half of the population say they would change their lifestyle in response to rewards and incentives.”

Production Group Deputy Editor: Judith Halkerston Tel: 01226 734458 Email: Wharncliffe Publishing Ltd. 47 Church Street, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S70 2AS.

Stars from TV show Gladiators encouraged people to pull on their trainers and exercise their way around the world to raise money for charity. Hilton hotels throughout the UK and Ireland invited members of their local communities to travel ‘Around the World in a Day’ as part of Hilton in the Community Foundation’s national

charity event, sponsored by Precor. Participants collectively aimed to travel the circumference of the earth by taking part in fitness events. Gladiators Enigma, Doom, Siren, Amazon and Warrior attended the event’s launch and a Gladiator team competed in the Team Challenge at one of the Hilton Fitness gyms.



Pair team up in bid to help Britain banish the bulge By Mary Ferguson

Gillian McKeith

A DERBYSHIRE fitness professional has teamed up with nutritionist Gillian McKeith in a bid to help Britain banish the bulge. Group exercise presenter Rachel Holmes, from Langley Mill, has designed the You Are What You Eat star’s latest fitness initiative, the Walking Workouts, a collection of 30-minute motivational audio downloads. Rachel told Workout: “Gillian was looking to release an audio workout to accompany some TV programmes she is putting out in America and Canada and was looking for a fitness professional to write the downloads. “An agent friend of mine put me forward for the role so I wrote and recorded it, then she released it under her name.” Rachel’s programme includes a warm-up, stretches and half an hour of motivational words

and music, designed for people to listen to while walking on the treadmill or outside. The downloads range in musical genre from 70s’ disco to classic rock and from the best of the 80s to current top 40 hits, so that people can choose the music that suits them. The programmes are aimed at the deconditioned market and Rachel said writing them for Gillian has helped raise her own profile as a fitness professional. She added: “A few celebrities have actually got in touch with me for advice and I think it’s another avenue for them to go down if they don’t want to do a fitness DVD.” Rachel, who started her own business at 18, has trained more than 2,500 fitness instructors globally. She has been a Nike athlete, a Red Bull ambassador and has presented for Pure Energy and FITPRO, who she is currently sponsored by.

Group exercise presenter Rachel Holmes


Gym membership up 1,000% claims Luke By Mary Ferguson A NOTTINGHAM gym claims membership has increased by a thousand per cent since the opening of a new fitness suite, helping attract business from large health clubs nearby. Expressions Health and Fitness, based at Rushcliffe Leisure Centre, was refurbished in October last year and since then has seen the number of members rise from 100 to over a thousand. Fitness manager Luke Colaluca told Workout: “The old gym was a bit dark and dingy in the old squash court and the equipment was quite old. It basically looked like your typical old council run facility.” The new gym was constructed upstairs in a disused bar area with 45 pieces of equipment supplied by Precor. It meant the fitness area increased to five times the size and membership has been booming so much, management is considering extending it back down to the squash court. Luke added: “It’s either that or turning it into a spinning studio, but our initial target was 800 members so we have smashed that – we are really reaping the rewards of the better


Gym shorts ‘Silent’ swim sessions A MANCHESTER fitness facility has developed special ‘silent’ swimming sessions for throat cancer patients. Oldham Leisure Centre are running the sessions with the Oldham Quiet Ones, a support group for people with throat cancer, following a £5,000 Big Lottery Fund grant which paid for special snorkel-like devices. Larcels, a breathing device similar to a snorkel, attaches via the stoma and stops water from entering the lungs. Ian Kendall, CEO of Oldham Community Leisure said: “We pride ourselves on our ability to make a difference to the whole community – we have a full programme of activities for people in specialist populations.”

Luke (left) and fitness instructor Owen Leddie

The ultimate search

quality facilities. “And we have seen a big influx of members from the two chains down the road as it seems to be all about pricing at the moment.” To prevent the gym getting too busy, Parkwood Leisure has invested in marketing to encourage people to use their membership to access all five sites across the city. At the same time, Expressions is optimising on ‘quiet times by putting on classes for pupils at the school next door between 3.30 and 5.30pm.

THE search is on to find the UK’s ‘ultimate gym athlete’ with the launch of a cross-training competition to be held in September. Organised by the UK Gym Challenge Association, the event will be held at Fitness First in Kent and will see men and women go up against each other to be crowned the ultimate gym athlete. The timed events include bench jumps, sit-ups, bike, treadmill, shoulder press, row and bench press.

Expressions Health and Fitness



Gym shorts Power Plate success USING a Power Plate helps people trim harmful belly fat, a new study has claimed. Research presented at the 17th European Congress on Obesity found that overweight or obese people who regularly undertook Power Plate exercise were more successful at long-term weight loss and shedding visceral or belly fat than those who combined dieting with a more conventional fitness routine and those who simply dieted. The study, conducted at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, was conducted over a six-month period, after which subjects returned to their daily lives and reported back for retesting at 12 months.

Striding out

YOUNG people are ditching the gym and going walking instead to save money, the results of a new survey claim. Research by walking organisation the Ramblers showed that one in four people aged 18-35 had saved money on gym costs by using their feet instead. Tom Franklin, CEO of the Ramblers said: “It’s no surprise that people are taking to their feet during the recession. Walking keeps you fit, and unlike the gym, it’s free and you don’t need specialist equipment to do it.”

Proposed tax labelled a ‘crippling burden’ By Mary Ferguson A PROPOSED tax that could cost gyms up to £13,000 per year has been branded a ‘crippling burden’ by industry professionals. Business Rate Supplement (BRS), the proposed bill which will allow local authorities to add an additional tax on businesses to the normal business rate, is a ‘wellbeing tax’ which will undermine the government’s own public health strategy, it has been claimed. The Fitness Industry Association say the impact will be disproportionately greater on gyms and leisure facilities than other businesses because of the large spaces that many of them have. And they claim the cost of a 2p business rate supplement to an average operator in London for example, could be as much as an extra £13,000 per club per year. Andree Deane, CEO of the FIA said:

Andree Deane “There is a fundamental inconsistency between setting targets for increased participation in sport and physical fitness on the one hand, whilst simultaneously imposing a

PJ ready to get back in shape

Channel support

THE UK’s first dedicated health and fitness TV channel is celebrating an unprecedented level of support from top fitness industry bodies and businesses. Fitness TV, due to launch later this summer on Sky, has secured a number of brand partnerships and industry associated support including the FIA, Connection Fitness, Power Music and YMCAfit. Luan Underwood, managing director of Media Fitness Ltd and creator of Fitness TV said: “We’re excited about the recent partnerships and are looking forward to working with even more like-minded businesses.”

Paul ‘PJ’ James before he put on eight stones for his experiment. Picture: Blush Photography

crippling tax burden on the very organisations tasked with helping the Government achieve those targets. “If the bill goes through in its current form, BRS could single-handedly dismantle the industry’s ability to help deliver current public health campaigns such as change4life. This is a classic case of reap with one hand and forfeiting on the other.” The FIA is calling for health clubs, sports clubs and leisure centres to be exempt from the tax and if that cannot be achieved, the threshold for them should be increased. Andree added: “The ultimate victims will be the 50 per cent of adults and 90 per cent of children who will suffer from obesity and the other lifestyle diseases by 2050, as well as the taxpayers who will have to pick up the resulting NHS bill.” I Are you worried about how the tax could affect your gym? Send your comments to Mary Ferguson at or call 01226 734712. A gym instructor who gained eight stones in order to understand how his overweight clients feel has begun a regime to get back to his original fitness. Paul ‘PJ’ James, who works as a personal trainer at an independent gym in Australia, decided to pile on the pounds after Christmas, swapping his healthy diet for burgers, pizza and chips. PJ, who has modelled for Calvin Klein and FCUK, is now trying to slim back down and is hoping to reach his original weight of 79.5kg by December.



Gym shorts Youths promote fitness

New gym removes ‘extras’ to keep costs to a minimum By Mary Ferguson THE first budget club from the énergie Group is due to open in Swindon in July, charging just £16.99 a month. Fit4less, one of ten due to open by the end of this year, will have no contract and no joining fee, but will not include saunas or steam rooms and group fitness classes will cost extra. Jan Spaticchia, CEO, said: “This is quite simply a gym like many others but minus the frills, high costs and 12 month contracts. “Fit4less can save people hundreds of pounds a year. It is still a professional gym and we demand high

quality and high standards throughout but all ‘extras’ have been removed to keep our own costs to a minimum, which allows us to pass this on to the customer.” Part of the day-to-day cost cutting is achieved through an online membership administration service, which allows new members to join and pay monthly through a website and instead of membership cards, access is by a biometric fingerprint identification system that is the first to be introduced in a UK gym. The club in Swindon was formerly a Fitness First club purchased as part of a group of eight clubs by a Middle

Eastern partner of the énergie Group. The second Fit4less club will be in Inverness, Scotland, which will open in September followed by four more sites in North London. Jan added: “This is a very exciting concept that we believe will do well in this current economic climate. We are looking to introduce Fit4less in multiple towns and cities in Britain.” The Swindon club features a members’ lounge, solarium, sports massage and hair salon. A six week émpower programme, featuring a personal training session once a week, comes with a money-back guarantee if results are not achieved.

ACTIVITY for health charity Central YMCA have recruited 20 young people in London to help deliver a new programme to promote health in the city. The youths aged 16-25 will play a key role in the delivery of Well London, a five-year programme to transform the health of people living in 20 of London’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The initiative aims to promote mental health and well-being, encourage healthy eating, improve access to London’s open spaces and increase levels of physical activity.

Tone zone boost

BONNYRIGG Leisure Centre in Scotland have refurbished their toning zone as part of a number of improvements at the local authority run site. The ‘Tone Zone’ has double the equipment, including the Cardio Wave and the Galileo vibration training platform – a first for Midlothian. Midlothian Council have also installed a number of WaterRower machines, made over the changing rooms and installed new audi-visuals. A new poolside sauna has also been created.





‘Slashing prices makes industry look desperate’ By Mary Ferguson ADVERTISING price cuts and promotions is the wrong way to attract members during the recession, according to an industry expert. Innes Kerr, head of direct franchising for energie, claims slashing prices and shouting about special offers does more harm than good, as it makes the industry appear desperate. He said: “People will remember the benefits of their memberships long after the price is forgotten. So instead of half price offers that actually devalue the product, you should advertise member achievements instead. “I understand that breaking the cycle of price promotion is difficult but it really undermines the value of the membership.” To advertise how successful the gym is, Innes suggests adding up the total amount of weight or inches members have lost in the last year and using that figure instead. And for existing members, he said that the key to preventing them leaving is to convince them of the value

Hundreds of people will be dancing themselves fit by taking part in a mass aerobics session in London’s Regents Park. The Breast Cancer Campaign and Less Bounce Pink Aerobics event takes place in September and exercise includes tribal dance, seventies disco and dirty dancing sessions. Sessions will be led by Denise Page, Troy Dureh and Jo Darry and other instructors can hold their own events by pledging minimum sponsorship.

of their membership, instead of discounting the price. “Members make value judgments all the time so we need to increase people’s perceptions of what we are giving them. “We need to promote the real benefits of the gym – not the great equipment or audiovisuals, but the health benefits they are achieving. And this goes for attracting new members too.” According to Innes, a key way to attract more members is to convince people they need the gym more than the gym needs them – and shouting about cut price joining offers doesn’t do that. Speaking at the FIA Flame conference he added: “When someone thinks about joining a club they will ask themselves: ‘what’s in it for me?’ and as an industry, we need to make sure that we answer that.” I Have you cut membership prices recently? Let us know how you are coping with the recession by emailing or calling 01226 734712.

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ers and engineers manufacture, install and maintain a wide range of top quality, tailor-made technological solutions, including TV systems for fitness centres and access control systems for member control. Whether you’re an international hotel chain or a small private gym, you can count on Hutchison Technologies to provide a first class service and offer an unparalleled choice. Enquiries: 01382 835000 Website:



Parliament forces FIA reshuffle Robin Gargrave

By Mary Ferguson PROBLEMS in parliament meant organisers of this year’s FIA Flame conference were forced to adapt their programme of summit speakers at the last minute. A badly-timed debate into the dissolution of parliament meant the MPs scheduled to speak were unable to make it to the summit, but Dr. Will Cavendish, director of health and wellbeing at the Department of Health, took the place of Dawn Primarolo, former minister of public health, who stepped down the weekend before the event. Also due to speak were Norman Lamb, shadow secretary of state for health, Lib Dems, and Mike Penning, shadow public health minister for the Conservative party. The two-day event, held at the Reebok stadium, featured a programme of educational seminars, scheduled social events and the FIA’s annual summit, this year titled ‘Issuing the dose.’ It was the first time the conference has taken place outside of London since it started six years ago. The seminars covered topical issues including retention, programming, sales and technology, delivered by experts including Robin Gargrave, Melvyn Hillsdon, Adrian Marks and Paul Bedford. Keynotes from author Yossi Ghinsberg and motivational speaker Adrian Webster set delegates up for the day. Opening the summit, Fred Turok, chairman of the FIA said: “The government and the industry need us desparately, and more than they have ever done. They need our facilities in order to get Britain moving and our goal in this industry is to influence a further one million people a day to

Fred Turok use our facilities. The government and the nation have a massive problem but our industry has a solution.” Other summit speakers taking to the platform included Sue Tibballs of the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, Tam Fry of the Child Growth Foundation, Professor Gareth Stratton of NICE and Victoria French of Sunderland City Council. Closing the summit, FIA director Andree Deane said: “This is the first summit out of six that we haven’t had a politician here, but we have had some really fantastic speakers. “Now, the FIA’s call to action is to take up Active for Life over the summer, engage with your local Primary Care Trusts and target the inactive markets. It would be fantastic if we could galvanise the sector under the FIA to turn the obesity tanker around.”





Gym shorts Hormone booster INACTIVE people could be encouraged to go to the gym if levels of a certain hormone were increased, according to new research. Very overweight mice doubled their amount of physical activity when the hormone Leptin was ‘switched on’ in their brain in tests at Harvard Medical School in America. They also began eating about 30 per cent fewer calories and lost some weight. The mice had become morbidly obese and severely diabetic, as well as very sluggish, after being bred to lack Leptin or the ability to respond to it. Researchers say the findings may lead to the development of drugs that increase obese people’s desire to exercise.

Councillors under fire

COUNCILLORS in Barnsley have come under fire for working out at a private gym instead of the council-owned leisure centre. The Mayor is among those who exercise at DW Sports, instead of the Metrodome, which is managed by Barnsley Premier Leisure on behalf of the council. Both gyms offer discount to members and employees of the council. A councillor said: “It’s like someone working for the Halifax then having their account at Barclays.”

Sweat in the City ready to hit the capital again By Christina Eccles THE success of a pilot project to get more young women in London active has led to plans for a repeat programme in the capital. Over 2,000 women aged 16 to 24 took part in Sweat in the City – a three month long, government funded programme giving them free gym membership and support from a dedicated mentor. 110 FIA gyms opened their doors, hoping participants would sign up afterwards as members – and according to FIA chief executive Andree Deane – feedback has been positive. The results of the project – a partnership between the FIA and the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation – showed 70 per cent of the women went to the gym at least once a week during the programme and 30 per cent went three times or more. Before they started, five per cent admitted to enjoying exercise which went up to 30 per cent and 90 per cent pledged to stay active once the programme had finished. Andree said: “This has allowed gyms to get new members from an area they perhaps wouldn’t have

Celebrity ambassador Jessica Taylor with some of the Sweat in the City members. ordinarily attracted. “Private gyms did particularly well. Anecdotally, a lot of girls said they didn’t want to use their local leisure centre because they used to go there with school. This is really interesting as it tells us a lot about how young girls are affected by the experience of PE at school.” Andree added reasons why it was successful included the free element – which removed the barrier of cost preventing exercising. The online community also helped participants support each other. She added: “The blogs have had some fantastic stories and a lot of the women exercised with friends so are more likely to keep it up. The

website, blog and text messaging created a community. “We have been asked to roll it out again with the same title so clearly the branding has attracted that age group. “These results have shown you can change attitudes and behaviour in as short a time as three months. We were also very pleased with the number of health clubs that participated. We don’t know yet how many of them joined the gym they exercised in but if it is a good conversion rate we are more likely to be able to run the programme again.” It is hoped the scheme will eventually be rolled out nationwide.


Back-to-basics fitness firm goes back to nature By Dominic Musgrave A BACK-TO-BASICS fitness company has joined forces with a like-minded exercise company to drive their philosophy of achieving results through nature. Wildfitness, which offers holistic holidays for people to move and live the way they would have done thousands of years ago, has just completed the first coaches training programme for six of its trainers in Kenya with MovNat founder Erwan Le Corre. The company now plans to introduce elements from the approach to all of its courses. MovNat is a new trend in fitness which aims to take people out of the gym to make broader, faster and safer progress in natural movement. Erwan said: “What I have put together is a natural movement approach. Our bodies are not designed to be a particular sport specific, but are more designed like animals to survive in nature. “Nature can be very inspiring,

but society does not encourage us to explore any more, creating what I call ‘zoo humans’. Everything these days has to be structured, including fitness, but I am not going to tell people to jump around and then lift some weights, because that is how people get injured. “This is not about looking fit in the first place, but is more about feeling fit and good. By learning these initial movement skills you don’t have the cosmetic agenda in mind, but you have movement instead.” The philosophy behind Erwan’s work comes from a French form of training created by Georges Hebert in 1902 called Methode Naturelle. After seeing disaster strike an island and an entire population too unfit to save themselves, he developed a training method based on the principle that it is possible to have a high level of fitness without the help of devices or facilities. Erwan added: “The traditional gym struggles to retain its members because many don’t go there to enjoy themselves, but see exercise as more of a chore.

“What I teach people is to go back to when they were children and rediscover when it was fun to go out and climb trees or boulders.” There are 12 natural movements incorporated into what I do, and we all have these instinctual movement patterns built into our primal memories. “Most people need coaching through these movements because they’ve been disconnected for too long from their true nature.”




Caroline Sandry swapped modelling for motivating when she became a personal trainer and is now a celebrity favourite. Mary Ferguson found out how she does things differently.

How Caroline became fitness friend to the celebrities AFTER making a DVD with TV star Claire Sweeney, Caroline’s reputation grew and she has since worked with singers Gabrielle Cilmi and Michelle Heaton, model Nicola McLean and Dame Kelly Holmes. Starting out as a commercial model and told to lose weight by some agencies, Caroline decided to quit the camera and train in the fitness industry instead, so she could focus on health. Following a personal training qualification she gained work presenting fitness products on shopping channel QVC and after taking a course in Pilates to help her sell something, fell in love with the discipline. She now uses it in all areas of her personal training work and said it helps her achieve the results that boost her reputation in the industry. “Pilates helps to tailor-make the body and people don’t realise how beneficial it can be. One of my clients was very fit but had no waist and is convinced the Pilates is what helped her shape her middle. “And when I worked with a professional rower, despite being over six foot with an amazing body, he couldn’t believe the results he got either.” As co-author of the recently-published book Shape Up! Caroline is

helping women see that to get the best results, they need to exercise for their body shapes and splits them into pears, apples, hourglass and celery. She said: “People need to look at their bodies as independent shapes and exercise accordingly. For example a pear shape can’t change the fact they have wide hips, but upper body resistance work will help balance the shoulders. And because apple shapes tend to carry fat round the middle – which is dangerous – they should concentrate on fat burning activity. “Even celery shapes who are slim may not have muscle tone and definition, but should stay away from lengthy CV sessions.” The majority of Caroline’s clients are women, who – she claims – tend to need more motivation than men, who often choose team sports if they want to boost their fitness. Women are also attracted by the elements of Pilates and yoga Caroline uses in her workouts, helping her stand out from the competition. She added: “Lots of people go to group Pilates classes at gyms and leisure centres but often don’t get the full benefit. It works much better in one-on-one sessions.”

Above: Caroline Sandry and, below: Caroline running with Kelly Holmes



Shelley’s gym package hopes to attract teens By Dominic Musgrave A WOMEN’S only gym in London has launched a new membership for teenagers. Shelley White, who runs Sunstone health and leisure club in Stoke Newington, told Workout the gym had decided to put together the package in a bid to get more youngsters active. She said: “There is so much on the television and in the newspapers about the number of obese children rising that the staff here decided at a meeting that we should try and do our bit. “We want to get more teenage girls active, and it also gets them off the streets. We have been around all the local schools and colleges trying to spread the word about the scheme and telling the youngsters that health and fitness is for everybody. So far it has proved to be very successful.” The gym, which is based in a former synagogue, has been open 16 years and has more than 1,600 members, with 200 new ones joining over recent months thanks to a marketing campaign. Shelley added: “We decided to drop the joining fee of £125 in a bid to attract

more new members, and that has massively boosted our membership numbers. “The credit crunch has been really good for us because I think women are wanting to get more for the spare money they may have so are coming to us to get fit and healthy rather than going out. “They tell us they prefer coming to us rather than going to one of the bigger gyms because of the atmosphere here. As soon as they walk through the door they feel relaxed and know they can walk around and please themselves.” The facility boasts a gym over four floors, swimming pool and studios offering a wide variety of classes – everything from salsa dancing to Pilates and various combat sessions which Shelley says are proving increasingly popular. She added: “We run 65 classes a week and one of the biggest changes I have seen since taking over here four years ago has been the move towards the body combat, body pump and body conditioning type of classes. I think this is because they are fun and change every three months so the members never get bored. Boredom is one of the key things you have to be mindful of when putting on any class.”

Fitness First is bringing the latest American exercise craze to the UK by introducing the Indo Board Balance Trainer to its classes. The balance based workout, which experts claim can be mastered in just 15 minutes, features a wooden board balanced on a cylinder roller which provides a multi-functional workout focusing on the core muscles, leg strength and balance

co-ordination. Europe master instructor Kevin Hubble, pictured on the board, said: “It’s great to bring Indo Board classes to the masses. There are so many ways the boards can be used for an excellent full body workout including push-ups, squats and even using weights while on the board.”


Bid to boost business via mobile phone FITNESS First have teamed up with O2 media in a bid to boost business via mobile phones. The marketing campaign – one of the first of its kind in the UK – involves offering five days’ free membership and a personal training session via SMS to O2 customers living in specific postcodes near Fitness First gyms. It specifically targets O2 customers who are interested in health, wellbeing and sports, aged between 18 and 35. Target customers within three miles of a Fitness First gym are sent a short text message which asks them to respond to a short code with their postcode. Those that respond receive a personalised text message reply with the address and phone number of their local gym, and with a five day voucher to use in that gym. O2 provides Fitness First with a daily email with qualified leads of customer mobile numbers and postcodes to call the customer and book an appointment. Sophie Lawler-Hall, UK marketing manager for Fitness First, said: “Using this highly-targeted medium is helping ensure maximum campaign effectiveness, proving mobile to be one of our most successful acquisition tools to date.”


Charity weigh-in reaps rewards for gym ... By Mary Ferguson AN independent gym is reaping the rewards of an in-club weight loss course for members that was originally launched to raise money for charity. Calso Health and Fitness, based in Bromley, launched a ten-week slimming course in 2002 to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis but it was such a success, programmes have continued for the last seven years. Members pay £25 for the course – non-members pay £35 – which includes a half-hour consultation at the start to discuss what they want to achieve and their eating and exercise habits. Weekly weigh-ins encourage members to stay on track and a leader board on display in the gym records how much people lose – or don’t lose – each week. Gary Nicholas, an ex army PTI, runs the gym with wife Becky, a nutritionist and ex-professional athlete. Slimmers are encouraged to keep a food diary, which they can go through with the pair if they are struggling. Gary said he takes a strict military approach with the courses, but claims it gets results.

Gary’s helping older people CALSO specialises in the over fifties and Gary takes regular classes for older people, many of whom have severe health conditions. He said: “Some of my classes just break my heart – I’ve got people with triple heart bypasses and some that have had severe strokes but they all take part. I create circuit sessions that everyone can do and I adapt them for those that struggle. “I’ve got so many characters in the classes. I used to run them just once a week but it just exploded and I’ve noticed a real improvement in the health of the He said: “I make it clear at the start that I am strict and I won’t accept poor excuses. If people mess up, they are off the course. “I’m not horrible to them but I won’t take being lied to so as long as people are honest about going off-track, I’ll help them. I have had to kick people off the programme before and they don’t get a refund, but they always pay to come back on and do it again – properly.”

people who come to them, so it makes my job really satisfying.” Calso is surrounded by chains but Gary said it thrives because it is small and attracts the older members who are intimidated by large health clubs. The gym holds regular open days so people can see what goes on in the classes and has seen some members achieve amazing results. Gary added: “A few years ago we had a lady in her fifties join who had never been to a gym in her life but she lost seven stone and became a British rowing champion. It’s an incredible story and we have lots more like it.” Members lose up to two stone over the ten weeks and users of the programme range from overweight women to men wanting to gain a fast six-pack. The gym is also heavily involved with cross training – encouraging members to push themselves and enter competitions – and Becky herself won the national cross training gym fitness grand prix in 2007 and 2008.





Roy of the rowers ... By Mary Ferguson A FORMER footballer has swapped turf for treadmills and opened a gym with his family in West Yorkshire. In his professional heyday, Roy Ellam spent his time tackling legends like Pele and helping Leeds United and Huddersfield town move up the league. And at 66, he is using his reputation on the pitch to attract business to the gym he has opened with daughter Jeannie – a regular on the bodybuilding competition circuit – and son-inlaw Mo. When Workout visited Roy Ellam’s Premier Health Club in Mirfield, it had been open less than 48 hours but following an open weekend that signed 100 new members, the family say they have got off to a positive start. Roy said: “I expect things to really mushroom now. I’m known as a bit of a legend in Huddersfield from my playing days so I’m hoping that will appeal to people round here and that’s why I have put my name to the club.” Jeannie also runs Fitness Connection, a bodybuilding gym six miles away, and Roy has spent the last seven years helping out down there. They joined forces to open the new club when the building came up for lease following the bankruptcy of the old gym on the site, which was

Jeannie, Mo and Roy originally a cinema. The 4,500 sq. ft gym floor has been equipped with CV and strength facilities, free weights, TV’s and a sound system by Olympix Fitness, making it the company’s first full installation. A mezzanine level is currently being decorated to provide rental space for massage and beauty businesses and a large studio is being constructed so they gym can put together a class timetable. “We literally gutted the whole place

Roy in his Leeds United playing day and even though it was closed for six months before we opened, we were pleasantly surprised to gain some members who used the facilities before. “Mirfield is a big, affluent town and the area warrants a nice, well-run gym, so hopefully we have brought that to the community.” Membership is set at £29 a month with a year long contract and the family have decided that to make sure they attract the right kind of

users, they will not offer a pay as you go option. A reduced off-peak membership for the over 55’s is designed to keep the gym busy during the day and Roy is hoping that because of his own age, he will be an inspiration to the older users. He added: “I learned a lot from helping at Jeannie’s other gym and especially in view of the recession, things have started really well for us here.”



Eight months after two members took it over, Samson and Delilah’s is shaking off its spit and sawdust image and attracting women who have changed their attitude to weights. Mary Ferguson reports.

Jo training with Mark Westaby, world's strongest man competitor

Paul and his teacher bring new strength to Samson and Delilah’s WHEN Paul Lonsdale was studying sports psychology at college, he didn’t expect that one day he would be running a gym with his teacher. But seven years later, business partners Paul and Jo Holmes took over the York-based club and have developed a model that sees middle aged ladies happily pumping iron next to muscle-bound men. Paul said: “I kept in touch with Jo when I went off to do my degrees and when I qualified as a personal trainer, I ended up helping her train after she damaged her knee. “We found we worked well together and set up a team-building sports company, before the oppor-

tunity came up at the club.” The pair took over Samson and Delilah’s in November last year, after seeing its potential from training there. Within a month, they saw membership increase by 500 per cent. “The old owner seemed to be struggling but we felt we knew how to give the gym an identity and give the members what they want, and because Jo is a woman it has really helped attract more females.” Despite a limited budget, Jo and Paul made as many changes as they could when they took the reins. The sunbed room was converted into an office, a members’ area with

bar and internet access was set up and the yellow and black colour scheme was toned down into neutral creams and blues, to make the gym more female-friendly. The original name of Samson and Delilah’s was kept but the strapline ‘real results for real people’ was added to attract users from all walk of life. And as well as working to turn the gym around, Paul and Jo have been preparing for their own competitions. In the space of two years, Jo has gone from being unable to walk up the stairs because of a knee injury to preparing for her first Strong Woman contest and Paul believes her success is

inspiring women in the gym. “Jo has middle-aged ladies in her circuits class that would never have dreamed of training with weights but now when I walk onto the floor I’ll see them on the resistance machines and with the free weights – and that’s really great.” Paul himself is in training for a Mr. UK bodybuilding title and said its important to lead by example, so members can see their success. He added: “We are still very much rooted in strength and bodybuilding so its really nice to see women using the gym more. And although its still a spit and sawdust gym, it’s a clean one now too.”

Bodybuilding revisited ...

Personal trainer Alex Woods was one of the successful competitors at a gym cross training event in Luton. Alex, who works at a health club in in Edinburgh, came second in the Fitness X

competition, which was held at Fitness First. He was the second man only to have broken sub 17 minutes, behind winner Royal Marine PTI Chris Lord.

A GYM manager is tasting success after going back to bodybuilding following a decade away from the stage. Vanessa Sewell, who has run the Fit Zone gym at Kendal Leisure Centre for three years, first started competing in bodybuilding competitions ten years ago. When a friend died last year she decided to do a show in his memory and said she ‘caught the bug again’ and is hoping to do six or seven shows this year, after qualifying for the WSS Universe competition in June. She said: “At the moment I’m competing pretty much every weekend,

getting up at 4am to train before and after work. A lot of my clients are interested in what I do and even if they are not into bodybuilding themselves, they respect the willpower and dedication that it takes. “12 of the guys at the gym came to watch me in a local show and it was great to have that support.” Vanessa does a lot of her training at Body Tech in Carlisle, as well as at Body Zone. She added: “If you train where you work you tend to get collared by customers so it’s sometimes easier to train somewhere else, without the distractions.”



New equipment prompts surge in membership By Mary Ferguson

Glen Tipton, lead guitarist with legendary heavy metal band Judas Priest, was a special guest at the opening a new personal training centre in Birmingham. Indy Sanghera and partner Mandy have taken on the BodyZone franchise, owned by celebrity trainer Rob Blakeman.

His client list, that also includes Glen, features Mike Tyson, Ozzy Osbourne and Ricky Hatton, as well as other film and television stars. Pictured, from left, Franchise owner, Indy Sanghera, Rob Blakeman, Judas Priest's Glenn Tipton and Mandy Sanghera.

Programme is ‘opportunity to make the world a fitter place’ PERSONAL trainers from Fitness First are to feature in a new Nintendo Wii programme to encourage people to exercise. For the first time real personal trainers rather than 3D graphics will be on the screen when the NewU Fitness First Personal Trainer is released in September. The computer programme will also include a nutritional element with eating plans, recipes and tips from

the experts behind TV show You Are What You Eat. Fitness First managing director John Gamble said: “This product will not only complement what members find when they come to a Fitness First, but gives us another opportunity to make the world a fitter place. “For non-gym members we hope the NewU experience will encourage them to take that final leap into Fitness First gyms.’’

THE owner of an independent gym in Newcastle has reported a huge increase in membership since he replaced all his equipment. Ian Morgan, who operates Morgan’s Powerhouse Gym, ripped out his old kit two and a half years ago and replaced it with 30 pieces of Hammer Strength equipment from Peak Body Fitness. He told Workout that since then, membership has doubled and the gym is going from strength to strength. He said: “We have a big gym with lots of members so when we replaced everything they were used to using all in one go it was a bit of a gamble. “There were a few complaints from people in the first week because they don’t like change but everyone loves the new equipment and when I tried it all myself, I could feel that it hit the spot.” Ian, an IFBB professional bodybuilder, replaced all the equipment through the night so he didn’t have to close the gym during normal opening hours. He opened the club three years ago, following a career in the security industry. Peak Body is based in the north east

Ian Morgan and has been manufacturing in its UK factory since 1985. A family business for over 20 years, it offers all the top brand names including Life Fitness, Star Trac and Precor, supplying gyms, schools, colleges, the Armed Forces and hotels. They can offer everything from branded cardio to spare parts and as well as the north east warehouse, have a 160,000 sq ft warehouse in Los Angeles.

Suffolk leisure centre nears completion of £6m revamp HAVERHILL Leisure Centre in Suffolk is nearing the end of a £6m refurbishment, after being closed for a year for work to be carried out. Managed by Abbeycroft Leisure, the 1970’s site has been closed since July 2008 for the redevelopment, which includes expanding the gym to twice its former size with 100 stations divided into zones including cardiovascular, strength, functional and core stability.

There will also be a dedicated combat and personal training area. Matrix Fitness Systems were contracted to kit out the new gym and the centre, which has around 1,400 gym members and receives up to 1,000 admissions a day, it will also boast refurbishments to its sports hall, swimming pool, soft play area, squash courts, changing areas and administration areas.





Marketing in quiet times By Dave Wright Creative Fitness Marketing THE art of good surfing is to not to try and fight the wave or the sea but to work with its power and use it to your advantage. The same goes with summertime when the blistering English sunshine draws our members away from our clubs, leaving many club staff scratching their heads on ways to get members back in. There are a couple of ways to work this to your advantage to try and turn lemon into lemonade. First and foremost is that the sunshine is the time when the emotional needs of having to take off the t-shirt or expose our legs or arms in public come to reckoning. And as emotional needs are the paramount factors that drive members into our gyms in the first place, it’s worthwhile capitalising on that with your own marketing. Outside running or walking clubs have been around for years as they incorporate the sense of belonging to something as well as the motivation of doing activity together. So too boot camps have been a great way to increase that intensity with motivation but enabling members to get fresh air into their lungs. Members also want to get the best use out of their time, so you need to educate them about the benefits of strength training and encourage them that if they are planning to go for a

long walk outside, then get them off the cardio when they come in and tell them to focus on resistance training. If the club is quiet, then a great idea is to write to all your members and then offer them a special ‘summertime supporter’ membership that they can give to one of their friends or family which entitles a friend of theirs a free months membership to the club for the month of August. It gets activity into the club that you can sell them more supplements or drinks, without having to worry about existing members complaining about the busy-ness of the club. It’s also a great time for you or your staff to set up a merchant co-op programme for your business. This involves going to every local supplier and for return of you sending members down to their business, they just give a percentage off what they purchase in the store. So as a member, you get to support local business and maybe are entitled to 15 per cent off everything at a computer shop, 20 per cent off a haircut, or a buy-a-meal get-a-meal free at a pub etc. You can then add up all the values that they get and it could even mean that their membership to your club is free because of all the things that they save if they were to utilise this merchant co-op programme. This ultimately adds great value in quieter times when members look to get as much value out of their memberships as possible. And if all that doesn’t work, then let’s close our clubs for the months of August and December and go on holidays.




His father is the founder of the Les Mills group fitness formulas and as the operator of a successful health club chain in New Zealand, Phillip Mills knows a thing or two about group exercise. Mary Ferguson caught up with him at his seminar in Manchester, to find out how gyms can make more of their classes.


Above: Phillip Mills and, above right:: Gyms are now recognising the importance of classes.

‘Every three months, you need to rebuild the excitement ...’ OVER 160 gyms in the UK are licensed to deliver Body Pump, Attack, Combat and Balance and many more run group fitness timetables. According to Phillip, the industry is waking up to the importance of classes when it comes to running a successful business, but they don’t always get things right. Speaking at the seminar, run by Leisure Exchange, he said: “You need to maximise your timetable and it’s as simple as finding out which classes are most popular and which teachers, and then do more of them. It’s so simple, but I’m amazed at how many clubs don’t do it. “Timetables with 40 or 50 classes are very hard for the club to manage and for the members to work with. But of all the key elements to good group fitness management, getting, motivating and retaining the right staff is most important.” In Phillip’s clubs in New Zealand, he sets his group exercise teachers targets to achieve certain levels of attendance and if they hit them, he pays them more. Performance-related pay, he said, is

a way of increasing participation and ultimately, retention. “A single great teacher, over time, will bring hundreds of new members to a club so if you build a team of them, they will bring thousands. “You have to be constantly training group exercise instructors and upskill them towards mastery. And if you film someone taking a class then play it back to them, they will often know themselves where they are going wrong.” Phillip said the marketing of classes is important too and it’s vital to keep people’s interest. He suggests inviting members to bring a friend to a class free and sending out mass emails, reminding people that they are going on. “Every three months, you need to rebuild the excitement. And get your sales team to talk about group exercise when they are inducting them to the club.” All sales staff at Phillip’s clubs have to take part in classes themselves as part of their own induction, so they can talk to prospective members from experience.

Phillip delivering the seminar He said group exercise can help recreate some of the camaraderie and social interaction that attracts people to team sports, helping gyms to appeal to new people. Phillip added: “We have traditionally lacked the excitement of sports but

the faster we can change that, the bigger our future. “There is huge potential and as a worldwide industry we have the ability over the next 20 years to have half the population or more using our facilities.”



Insurance blow to 24-hour plan By Mary Ferguson A FRUSTRATED gym owner desperate to open 24 hours a day has had to put his plans on hold because he can’t find insurance. Richard Jones, who operates Unique Health and Fitness in South Wales, has been turned down by every insurance company he has tried because his plans would leave the club unmanned between 9pm and 6am. He said: “We had been thinking about opening around the clock for a while and then when I read in Workout that it was working for a gym in Portsmouth, I asked our broker to start looking around for insurance. “But even though we would put in security cameras, emergency systems and close off some of the equipment, no-one will agree to cover us. I’m really surprised that we have come up against such difficulty.” This isn’t the first time that Richard has had problems with insurance – he recently had to shell out £850 when a mirror was accidentally broken by a member whose foot slipped off a machine . “The insurance company said it looked like deliberate damage so wouldn’t pay. They said I couldn’t prove it was an accident but how could they prove it wasn’t? “They always get out of paying you because there are so many exemptions, and the old favourite is holding back payment by claiming something is damaged through wear and tear.” Richard wants to open round the clock to cater for members who do night shifts and those who prefer to train late at night, following complaints that the club was closing too early. He added: “We are just below the

water line at the moment and I was really hoping that 24 hour opening would help boost business.” Richard is appealing for advice from other gym owners about how he can overcome insurance difficulties and can be contacted on 01495 229926.

Insurance issues in a recession By Craig Smith, ACII, Chartered Insurance Broker, John Ansell & Partners Ltd. WHEN buying insurance business owners will sometimes choose price over value, more so in a recession. Unfortunately by concentrating only on saving premium the costs involved when a claim arises can increase substantially, particularly if it’s not covered. Besides the right cover, a good insurance provider should also offer a range of additional services to help the small business. Some things to look out for are: I Does your liability insurance cover all your activities and is it as restriction free as possible? Injury as a result of advice is frequently excluded or the cover has so many restrictions as to make it of minimal benefit. A liability claim which is not covered is likely to be very costly. I As theft and arson claims tend to increase during a recession do you know how to get advice on security and discounts from suppliers of extinguishers, alarms, etc? Prevention

is better than a claim, no matter how efficient the service. I Do you have access to information and help lines to assist you with questions and documentation for health and safety, risk assessments (particularly fire risk assessments which are now the responsibility of the business, not the fire brigade) continuity planning, accident reporting and investigation? I Do you have a free helpline to give you advice on legal, tax or employment issues and, if all goes wrong, legal expenses insurance? After all, a small business is five times more likely to face an employment tribunal than submit a fire claim and with businesses needing to restructure and possibly make redundancies support all the way through the process is a must. As a business owner should you be expected to be expert in arranging something so crucial? If you’re not, make sure you speak to a specialist broker with a bespoke fitness insurance product and support to match.

Leaving members to work out on their own can cause problems with insurance.



Breaking new ground at Belmont New Freedom Climber provides A NEW call centre facility is setting new standards at Belmont Leisure Solutions. Aided by an automated dialling system Belmont’s clients now benefit from additional levels of service not previously possible. Member service agents outbound calling on behalf of clients are now ten times more efficient as the dialler system filters out incorrect and unobtainable telephone numbers and only presents each agent with active and correct party contacts. This has resulted in 60 per cent success rates in activities such as collecting fees from failed direct debits, resetting direct debits, contact for membership renewals and arrears management. David Hoard, CEO of Belmont said: “The implementation of the dialler has opened up many new opportunities for us and our clients.

climbing system for clubs

“We are now able to offer a greater range of member contact services than previously possible and as far as I am aware this is the only automated dialler assisted call centre available in the leisure industry.” Enquiries: 01932 753200 Email:

CLUBS looking to be different can now offer members the increasingly popular activity of climbing with the revolutionary new Freedom Climber, rock climbing trainer. It takes up minimal floor space, will mount to most walls with normal ceiling height and provides a real climbing experience for members in a safe and unsupervised environment. It requires no electricity, motors, sensors and is virtually maintenance free. Its space saving design makes it perfect for gyms and clubs with a spare wall. A large climbing surface

rotates either clockwise or anti-clockwise with the action of climbing causing the rotation. A unique hydraulic system constantly controls the speed and can be adjusted to the climber’s ability by a simple turn of a knob. A few minutes on the Freedom Climber can provide a great total body workout especially the core and stabilizer muscles, increase flexibility, balance and provide a good cardiovascular exercise. Enquiries: 01483 559785 Website:

Spaceway delivers new headquarters for Bodypower Sports WHEN Northampton based Bodypower Sports moved into new premises to cope with its expanding market, it turned to integrated interior space solutions company, Spaceway, to ensure that its investment would create an efficient working environment. Transformed from a 1970s’ building into a prestigious new headquarters, Spaceway have

contributed in creating an impressive head office that reflects the corporate values of the company and adds muscle to Bodypower’s marketing and distribution performance. Spaceway responded to Bodypower’s brief with a total office and ancillary area refit. This included a total reconfiguration of the ground floor and first floor offices, to include new

offices, reception area, canteen, showroom and boardroom. Paul Walker, managing director of Sportsway said: “We had worked with Spaceway before and knew their expertise. Once again their design work, handholding and attention to detail surpassed even our expectations.” Enquiries: 01794 835600 Website:


Corporate Trends ‘cares more’ CORPORATE Trends is the leisure industry specialist staff uniform supplier and their garments meet the needs within all health and fitness environments. They focus on product, price and service and strive to satisfy corporate identity using latest branding techniques while embroidery and print provide a bespoke look to initially plain garments. Using innovation in design and fabric choice their garments are designed to adapt in all environments from pool hall to air-conditioned health suites. Their La Beeby range of quality beauty therapist and spa uniforms provide beautiful designs, wonderful range of colours and great fabrics and styles. There is also no stock commitment

financially, quick deliveries of a maximum of five days and first class service. Sales and marketing director Richard John said: “‘We care more’ is central to all of the Corporate Trends team’s work ethic. “Enjoy the many benefits of being supplied by Corporate Trends.” Enquiries: 01142 513512 Website:

Badgemaster launches online badge design facility BADGEMASTER has launched a userfriendly, fully interactive on-line design facility, enabling customers to design their own name badges and create their own designs instantly on screen. Badgemaster first introduced a specialist, professional, free design service 12 years ago, and their designers regularly support many top designers, corporate clothing suppliers and leading companies across every industry. Now this new and innovative website makes all the professional skills, experience and resources used by top badge designers available to everyone with internet access. Via a user-friendly, step-by-step

programme, it allows users to explore different looks for their new badge and to create instantly their chosen options without any of the delays or costs involved in the need to use a designer. Accessed through, this unique facility enables users to select from a comprehensive range of badge shapes, styles, sizes, colourways, layouts, fonts, letter heights and clothesfriendly fasteners, instantly on screen. Enquiries: 01623 723112





Courtyard Health and Fitness has been a high street fixture in Gloucester for 12 years, but things at the gym are changing. Mary Ferguson spoke to owner Carl Ward to find out why.

Carl in recession-busting move IN 2007, the club was named in the Who’s Who of the most successful small businesses and Carl, who is chairman of the FIA’s single site operators group, has learned to adapt to members’ circumstances during the recession. If they have been forced to cancel their memberships due to redundancy, he sends them a personal card, offering them membership for half price while they find another job. This, he said, has encouraged some people to stay. “They may have been punched in the stomach by losing their job, but that doesn’t mean the gym has to punch them in the face. We try to make them see it will help if they keep a routine and fill their time by keeping healthy.” Carl said that between September 2008 and May this year, the gym lost something like 15 per cent of its long term members who had been with the club eight or nine years, and they all cited financial reasons. “We let members suspend their membership for three months if they need to and many with financial issues take that up. “It’s about responding to customers’ needs and those needs are changing. We keep in touch with them during the suspension period and we have regained some members but it’s the long-standing ones that we thought we didn’t have to worry about that

have left.” To combat falling numbers, Carl made the decision to introduce a long term contract for new members. “We have never in the past felt the need to tie our members into long term contracts. We have always believed that if we delivered what the customer wanted then they would continue to use the gym and this philosophy has served us extremely well during the last 12 years. “The recent economic downturn, however, has started to affect even our most loyal customers making us realise that, no matter how good are our products and services, we could be put at risk by economic influences beyond our immediate control.” The gym currently has just over 500 members and Carl said that although that’s a good number – and despite the recession – he would like to expand. “The problem is that we are in a residential area and when we opened we had a condition placed on us that we wouldn’t expand. We are hoping the council will see that we are offering a good service though and reconsider. However we don’t want to get so many new members that the existing ones get less attention. You only have to increase membership by 50 and you are forced to spend 30 seconds less with everyone else. People can get quite sensitive about that as they expect good service.”

Above: Courtyard Health and Fitness owner Carl Ward and, left, members enjoy the facilities at the gym.

UK first pays off for gym

Carl and his staff with members using the Milon system in the gym

IN FEBRUARY this year, Courtyard Health and Fitness became the only fitness facility in the UK to install Milon equipment and Carl said they have been reaping the rewards ever since. Popular in Germany, each machine is specifically configured to the personal requirements of each individual with range of motion, concentric and eccentric resistance levels together with seat, arm and leg positions all being recorded on a members’ ‘smart card’. These details are instantly recognised by each machine which then adjusts itself to the details stored on the members’ card. Workout details are then transferred to the

main computer where they are stored and recovered as and when required. Carl said: “We have never been persuaded to buy all our equipment from one manufacturer and this is the biggest single commitment to one brand of equipment we have made in recent years. “Inevitably, it comes at a price and the cost of installing the Milon system is higher than normal and we realised it could not be absorbed into normal membership rates.” Members are charged extra for using the Milon system, but Carl said they have been happy to pay because they see results quickly.


Personal trainer to get pit crew in top gear By Louise Cordell RED BULL’s Formula 1 racing team has taken on a personal trainer to help get the pit crew in top condition for the competition season. James De Montfort has been creating specialised workout routines and drills for the team to help them maintain the peak fitness needed for the job. He said: “It is really all about fine tuning those essential skills. “Most important is hand and eye coordination, so after assessing their speed and how they perceived distances I created a series of drills to keep their reactions sharp. “Also essential is core strength and flexibility, needed for movements like changing the tyres, so I included plenty of work on equipment that would help those areas.” The team have been working out in the newly built Red Bull gym on a range of Nautilus stations. Their routines have also been tailored to include plenty of cardio work - as stamina is particularly important to cope with the high stress atmosphere and working while wearing fire-resistant multi-layer suits and balaclavas.

James added: “Before the car comes in their heart rate is very high, but their fitness, strength and reactions all still need to be at optimum levels. “We conduct mental as well as physical drills to keep them focussed and use equipment like the Nautilus Schwinn bike to get them fatigued before the routines to test them when they are tired.” James is now creating individual programmes for the crew that they will be able to carry out while they are on the road, to make sure they are in top condition before a race. He is also set to start working with the whole Red Bull team throughout the site so that everyone from the drivers to the designers can benefit from being fitter and in better condition. He added: “Everyone here works in a naturally competitive environment anyway, so I use when creating the programmes to keep them focussed. “I try to make the workouts as interactive as possible and vary the drills to keep them on their toes. “I also reassess everyone every two months to keep on top of their progress which is great for motivation.”

Cystic fibrosis patients encouraged to join unique exercise scheme ADULTS with cystic fibrosis are being encouraged to take part in a unique exercise programme to help them manage their condition. The 12-week start-up exercise programme at Llandough Hospital, near Cardiff, will also educate patients to help them exercise independently. A similar scheme has been running in Birmingham for the last year. Although regular exercise can help

improve lung function, unlike other gym users, people with cystic fibrosis must be careful not to push themselves too far. Declan Weldon, general manager of healthcare for sponsors Air Products, said: “We’re aware of the problems and challenges that patients have accessing gym facilities. “Doing this programme through the hospital where patients attend seems a much better way of tackling this issue.”




When Jo Walker opened Studio 20, she was adamant she would only teach fitness classes. But four years later and after installing a gym, business is booming and she hasn’t looked back.

Jo’s gym proves a real hit AFTER 15 years of taking aerobics classes in school halls, Jo stumbled across a studio location in Ilfracombe town centre and set about getting ready for business.

A packed timetable now includes Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Pilates and Yoga and although membership currently stands at 500, Jo said it is growing continuously.

When people started asking if there would be gym facilities, at first she was determined to hold studio classes only – but after bowing to pressure and installing a few pieces of equipment, the success of the facilities inspired her to expand and create a fully-functioning health club.

“You have to stay one step ahead of what people want all the time and I’ve learned that you can’t be afraid to give something away free to retain what you have already got. “For example we have recently halved our one-to-one sessions to £10 an hour because I believe that it’s more important to keep people motivated over the summer and that will help with retention.”

She said: “I was reluctant to open a gym at first because my passion was aerobics and I had never even been a member anywhere myself.

Jo refuses to let her staff simply sit behind a desk and encourages them to approach members who are working out in the wrong way, or who could benefit from intervention.

“But now I can see why people get such a buzz from being in the gym. “I wasn’t worried that I didn’t have any experience of running one as I knew I had passion and the ability to motivate people – the rest just came naturally.” Jo’s friend had bought the building and used the downstairs as a hairdressers, and the upstairs as a flat to live in. “When she bought a house, Jo rented the flat and turned it into a studio by installing flooring and mirrors.

She added: “We get a lot of lads who stack up the weights because it looks good, but then use the wrong technique because it’s too heavy.

Business is booming at the gym at Studio 20 “After a year though I realised the town would really benefit from a gym so I created a small mezzanine level of equipment that was really successful. “Then last summer we got the chance to buy the whole building so

closed for seven weeks and installed a full gym downstairs, creating two studios above. “It meant we tripled the size of the workout area and I needed another studio too as some classes were attracting 50 people.”

“But they are happy to take advice because we do it in the right way, without being patronising. “I regularly put comment forms out and the feedback I get is that members really appreciate us offering help.”

Jo (centre) with her staff during the Comic Relief fancy dress event.

‘Social events are the key to unity within gym’ BEING member-focused is the main reason the gym is continuing to do well, Jo claims. She said: “We are very much a ‘people’ gym and it doesn’t matter whether people are size 6 or 26 or what they wear – we have lads that come in here straight from work covered in paint and it doesn’t matter. “I was talking to a member who joined recently with his wife and he said he was concerned about joining because of bad experiences at other gyms. “But one of the first times they came his wife was struggling with a piece of equipment and the young lad exercising next to her showed her how to use it, which really impressed them. So we may have got bigger but we have still retained our friendliness.”

Organising regular social events that bring everyone together is a key way of encouraging unity within the gym. And for Comic Relief last year, members suggested dressing up in school uniform for their workout and buying raffle tickets to win prizes donated by local businesses. Jo added: “We thought it was something everyone could join in with, no matter what their size or age as it’s an easy costume to put together. It really brought everyone together because it was so much fun. “And on the last Friday of each month we always go to the pub over the road for a drink straight from one of the classes – it doesn’t matter that we are sweaty and in hoodies. Lots of people come here for the social experience as well as the health benefits.”

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Long exercise sessions do not necessarily mean better health for children

Shorter can be just as sweet for kids’ fitness By Louise Cordell CHILDREN should not be forced to take part in long exercise sessions because shorter play-based games are just as effective, according to new research. For the first time evidence has shown that sporadic activity can be as beneficial to children’s health as longer workout periods. Researchers at the University of Exeter carried out a study measuring the frequency, intensity and duration of physical activity in a group of children and analysed the results. They found that the associations between the children’s activity and their health were similar regardless of how they accumulated the activity. This meant that a child who built up short bursts of moderate or vigorous exercise throughout the day was just as healthy as one who did a similar amount of activity over longer sessions. Lead researcher Michelle Stone, a PhD student at the University of Exeter, said: “Our study suggests that physical activity is associated with health, irrespective of whether it is

accumulated in short bursts or long bouts. Previous research has shown that children are more naturally inclined to engage in short bursts of running, jumping and playing with a ball, and do not tend to sustain bouts of exercise lasting five or more minutes. “This is especially true for activities that are more vigorous in nature. “If future research backs up our findings, we would do better to encourage young children to do what they do naturally, rather than trying to enforce long exercise sessions on them.” The study focussed on 47 boys aged between eight and ten who all wore electronic ‘accelerometers’ to record their activity levels over seven days. The researchers then conducted a series of tests to measure their health, including waist circumference, aerobic fitness and cardiovascular risk. During a typical day, less than 15 per cent of the boys achieved five bouts of moderate intensity activity lasting five minutes and very few managed to achieve one bout of vigorous intensity activity lasting five minutes.

Ian Wright is the face of Fitter Families

Gyms say it’s all Wright for kids to work out with parents FITNESS First gyms got behind Ian Wright’s ‘Fitter Families’ initiative by opening their doors to children working out with their parents. Clubs across the country held open weekends offering free activities, classes and health checks and the chance to sign up to the initiative. Activities were specifically designed with families in mind and included a co-ordination test, number of times families can catch and throw a ball between them, core strength, number of chair lifts each family member can attempt and shuttle runs. John Gamble, managing director of Fitness First said: “The aim is to

encourage families to train together – and find ways of exercising that suit and fit in with their own way of living. “We want to help families to understand more about their own fitness – and break down any perceived barriers which stop many people from exercising. The Fitter Families Challenge is a fantastic starting point – a place to begin encouraging everyone to get active and incorporate exercise in to their everyday lives for a healthier, fitter nation.” Fitter Families is an initiative introduced by Fit for Sport – aiming to get families teaming up to become more active.

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BOXING Trained by Enzo Calzaghe, champion middleweight boxer Gary Lockett now teaches at Miskin Manor Health club in Wales and here he answers our quick questions.

Why boxing really packs a punch in the popularity stakes ... Why is boxing a popular sport to train in? I think that people see how physically fit a fighter is and it is very impressive. Add to that the shape that most boxers are in when they step through the ropes and it must be an attractive incentive to people. I also think that in general people love to be able to throw punches without getting hit back. What are the benefits of people training in boxing for fitness? The exercise element is obviously the attraction but add that with the bonus that you are learning to defend yourself and also training muscles and parts of the body that have never been trained. How would it benefit a gym to offer boxing training classes? Boxing is very much on the up. I’m finding more and more women are becoming boxing fans these days so now we have an all-round audience. What better classes to offer someone than a boxing class where people can have a great workout, learn to defend themselves and also boast to their friends and colleagues how well they can throw a ‘right-hander’ or ‘left-hook’. What does a gym need to consider when looking for someone to take the classes? The person who takes the classes should have a good standard of boxing experience behind them and/or be a fully qualified coach of either amateur or professional standards. I’d also insist on the person having passed the Boxercise qualification with advanced honours.

Gary Lockett and, below, Gary in the ring

What kind of person makes a good boxing instructor? That would be someone who is sensible and experienced enough to keep it simple. I recently appeared at a gym and saw coaches trying to teach bare novices advanced punching drills. Why? The best way to coach someone is to keep it simple and move the fighter on stage by stage; give them time to let things to sink in. Does boxing’s image put some people off trying it? What are the misconceptions that people have? I think that boxing is seen as a barbaric sport that isn’t for the faint hearted. I can understand that but just look at the white collar events these days. Most of the boxers are lawyers, barristers, estate agents and generally people in well-to-do positions. I train a few of them myself and they love the release that boxing gives them.

How are you finding your classes at Miskin Manor? There has been a real buzz since we started it. We saw a gap in the market and thought over long and hard about what exactly people would want from a boxing related fitness class. My class is enjoyable, sometimes old school,

sometimes modern exercises. I always change the sessions to keep them enjoyable and refreshing and I always take time out to teach people to punch with the correct technique. I think that in life, if you are going to do anything then why not do it properly.



Neil takes boxing classes into the community By Mary Ferguson AN independent gym owner is trying to drum up business by taking boxing classes out into the community. Neil Henshaw, who operates Helio Fitness in Blackpool, has rented a social club seven miles away to deliver Thump boxing sessions twice a week. Neil, who is the only UK training provider for Thump, told Workout he hopes to attract people who will then be persuaded to work out and take

classes in the gym too. He said: “Most club managers spend all of their time thinking about their own facilities and how they can increase their profile, attract more of the local community in to the club, increase membership and profitability. But how many have thought about utilising their resources and taking fitness outside their club? “It’s something I had thought about doing even before I got involved with Thump. If I look at the membership of the gym, it probably accommo-

Sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe with the GB development squad at EIS Sheffield.

Minister opens state-of-the-art boxing hall SPORTS Minister Gerry Sutcliffe unveiled a new era for British boxing at a special event in Sheffield to celebrate the opening of the sport’s new Olympic gym. He visited the English Institute of Sport to officially open a new stateof-the-art boxing hall at the venue, which will be used by the GB Development Squad in the build up to the 2012 London Games. Mr. Sutcliffe said: “I am a keen boxing fan and it is a privilege to open this new gym. We have congratulated

GB Boxing for their success at European and Olympic contests but those congratulations are in the past – this is the future. This is a world class facility and that doesn’t happen by chance.” Sheffield Central MP Richard Caborn, who is president of the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE), was among 150 guests including the Lord Mayor of Sheffield Jane Bird, GB boxing officials, coaches and boxers who attended the event.

Boxing clever with Padbox PADBOX prides itself on being the most realistic course within the fitness industry. The practical course starts from teaching the punch and footwork foundations of boxing before encouraging students on how to build up punch combinations. Their professional and friendly instructors will advise on how to get the best results on combining your combinations with our reactionary moves to create a challenging round of boxing. Among their students have been people who have never boxed through to professional boxers who as well as enjoying the course have picked up new ideas for their training sessions. Their methods can be used on a one

to one basis or boxing circuits which they are happy to help plan. Padbox has been introduced into several schools in Essex and South London. Padbox is based at the world famous Peacock Gymnasium, but the first course in the North West will be held at the JJB Gymnasium in Warrington11 and 12 July. Enquiries: 07930 376 995 Website:

Neil Henshaw has rented a social club to deliver Thump boxing sessions dates just two per cent of the local population so we wanted to do something to help reach the rest. “And I appreciate that the gym isn’t for everybody, so by taking classes into the community it helps spread our name.” Neil’s instructors will run two classes in the social club a week, one for teenagers and one for adults, costing £3 and £4 respectively. People have to book by ringing the gym, so they will be able to capture their data for future marketing purposes.

To promote the community classes, Neil is creating a group on social networking site Facebook and has done leaflet drops to try and spread the word. Instructors will be able to turn up at the venue with a kit bag of gloves and pads, music and microphone, deliver the class and then be on their way. Neil added: “Community fitness classes died out in the nineties when people started joining gyms instead so by doing this, we hope to bring things round full circle.”



The boxing facilities

The punch bag area

Gym manager Nigel Wilkes

Champion boxer Ricky Hatton has opened a new gym in Manchester, bringing his brand to the masses. Mary Ferguson visited Hatton Health and Fitness to see the facilities first-hand.

Ricky boxes clever with new gym in Hyde KEEPING it close to home, Ricky has set up the club with father Ray just 800 metres from his house in Hyde. The upper level on the two-floor building – a former printers – is reserved for elite boxers and features two rings, speed balls, body shape bags and pads. Wall pads were made specially for Ricky, who will be training there himself. Members can work with a personal trainer in the rings and the team are hoping to set up some white collar events in the future but for the moment, the facilities are closed off to members of the fitness gym downstairs. Manager Nigel Wilkes, who used to train with Ricky, said demand from the general public wanting to use the boxing facilities has been huge, but they have to be turned away. The main gym features two Power Plate machines plus a full range of Cybex equipment, including the FT450. Group exercise classes run in an adjoining studio and the gym also retails Ricky’ branded clothing. Prints that show the boxer in action during his fights decorate the whole of the facilities and his world title belt hangs in the recep-

tion area, along with framed photographs of him with celebrities including Oasis and David Beckham. Nigel, who has known Ricky for 20 years, said: “How many gym managers can point to something like that and say, ‘that’s my boss?” Three to four weeks of pre-sales were done from a portable building and the gym wasn’t officially finished until a week after opening. Ricky opened the gym at an official opening ceremony after flying from back from a boxing defeat in Las Vegas. Nigel said: “They asked me to be manager before they had even bought the place. It’s not the best time to open a gym in the summer but we were willing to take a chance and memberships are going well. “Ricky’s name has had a big impact on enticing people here because it’s where he comes from. He’s attracting a lot of interest from young lads but we have set the minimum joining age at 18 – we don’t want 13 years olds trying to push people off equipment during busy times.” Nigel decided he wanted an equal balance of men and women in the

Ricky Hatton with Power Plate representatives. gym so spent time in local shopping centres to convince females that just because Ricky is a boxer, it wasn’t going to be a male-dominated club. He showed them floor plans and a video walk-through of the club while it was being built and Nigel himself teaches free family boxing sessions at weekends, engaging children as young as six. And he said that when it came to finding staff, he was overwhelmed by the responses. “We put adverts online for 13 jobs

and had over 600 applicants. We had mechanics and shop workers applying, whose only experience is that they have worked out in a gym before, and that made me realise how hard things are out there for people in the recession.” The most expensive membership is £35 a month and according to Nigel, it’s a really good deal. He added: “There are no other facilities like this in Hyde and if we had a pool, we could easily charge £55.”


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Ken becomes a fitness instructor at 73 A RECENTLY-QUALIFIED 73-yearold fitness instructor is helping pensioners get into shape at a retirement village gym. Ken Howlett, from Northampton, has qualified as a level 2 gym instructor and now delivers fitness programmes to residents at a retirement scheme’s onsite purpose-built gym. He said: “I went for an interview for the job and was told they’d employ me on a temporary basis, but that I must complete a fitness instructor course before they would take me on full time. “I put programmes together for retired people with a whole host of health complaints, from heart problems to hip replacements to high blood pressure – it’s

certainly a varied role.” Since doing the YMCAfit course and taking on the job Ken has trebled the gym membership at the club. He believes that being a gym instructor keeps him young, and that having someone older build their programmes encourages his clients to take part in exercise. He added: “I think it gives them hope to see me. And it’s the effect you can have on improving people’s quality of life that’s the important thing – that’s true for any fitness instructor. One of my members had a stroke which left him paralysed down his right side – but last week he was able to grip a light weight with his hand. “Moments like that are what the job is all about.”

Ken Howlett with a client

New foundation makes leadership training available to young

DC Leisure has restructured its fitness team and appointed three new regional fitness managers. Allan Reid, who will be looking after the Southern region, joined DC Leisure in 2002 as a relief receptionist, then became a fitness instructor, progressed to fitness manager and until recently was operations manager at

Fleming Park Leisure Centre in Hampshire. Mark Knight will be covering the north and west and Tim Burrow, who has joined the company from Freedom Leisure, will be overseeing the London and East Anglia region. Pictured, from left: Tim Burrow, Allan Reid, Sarah Leonie (group fitness manager) and Mark Knight

A NEW foundation has been launched to open up sports leadership training to young people. Sports Leaders UK has launched the Foundation for Sports Leadership to provide open access to sports leadership training, build a network of local sports leadership centres and develop strategic alliances with organisations operating in the youth and community markets. It aims to help marginalised young people and adults achieve awards, qualifications and training as a route to further education and employment. Operating alongside the Sports Leaders UK function as an awarding body, it will broaden the reach of sports leadership training to communities and individuals who have been

excluded on grounds of location or cost. Linda Plowright, chief executive of Sports Leaders UK said: “Our intention is to take sports leadership into the community where the benefits it can bring are most clearly needed. “Sports leadership courses provide valuable qualifications and life skills but it is the volunteering requirement of all awards that links us firmly in the community.” The Foundation will build on the network of 50 local sports leadership centres created over the past year and open a number of regional centres offering open access courses. Project officers have been appointed in three regions to deliver direct interventions.



Defining the rotator cuff By Alan Runacres, director of training, WABBA Qualifications SO WHAT is The Rotator Cuff? It’s talked about all the time, yet when you ask a dozen people you get a dozen different answers. That means that 11 were wrong and one was right, or even worse all 12 of them were wrong. Contrary to popular belief it is not a joint, and it is not a muscle. In truth, the rotator cuff is best described as a group of muscles, which collectively stabilise the shoulder during movement of the arm. The primary muscles concerned are two ‘superficial’ (surface) muscles, called the teres minor and the Infraspinatus, located in the upper back whose main function is to turn the arm out. Next, we have two ‘deep’ or hidden muscles, called the subscapularis and the supraspinatus. The location of the subscapularis is almost selfexplanatory. ‘Sub’ meaning submerged, whilst ‘scapularis’ refers to a muscle

attached to the scapular or shoulder blade. Therefore, it is a deep muscle submerged underneath the shoulder blade separating it from the ribs. Its function is to turn the arm inwards. The supraspinatus is located underneath your mid trapezius neck muscles. It runs from the cervical vertebrae in your neck along your shoulder line to the top of your humerus (upper arm bone). Its function is to initiate arm movement away from the side of your body before your lateral deltoid continues to lift your arm out from the side of your body. Ok, now we’ve got the muscles sorted so why all the hoorah about what injures it? Ironically it’s nothing to do with pulldowns to the back – the main ‘whipping post’ and ‘scapegoat excuse’ often used as the instrument of blame. The main guilty party is in fact lateral DB raises done like you are pour-

Alan Runacres ing jugs of water, an old training technique ditched by knowledgeable bodybuilders over 25 years ago, but now ironically being taught by tutors to prospective personal trainers on certain courses here in the UK as a ‘new and progressive functional training technique for better results’. Students are unknowingly passing on this duff information to clients who end up injured. Why did bodybuilders stop using this technique? Because of injuries to their shoulders. The lateral deltoid’s only function is to raise the arm out from the side of the body up to parallel – absolutely nothing else. It does not rotate or twist the arm in any way, so the crazy notion of ‘discovering a new technique’ has actually led many people to experience pain and injuries which could have

been easily avoided. People who had been told to use this technique were also at the time doing pulldowns to the back, and amazingly found that they no longer had good enough shoulder mobility to perform the technique in the correct way and were forced to lean forward, nodding their head like a donkey, and hyper extending their front shoulder region (anterior deltoid), placing excessive stress onto not only the shoulder muscle, but more importantly, the supraspinatus, one of the muscles which surprise, surprise, makes up the rotator cuff. Has the penny dropped? I Alan Runacres has over 35 years’ gym experience, been WABBA director of training for 14 years and is the author of three books and over 100 published articles.


Success sees scheme run again

Erak Simmson

Design and deliver ... A FITNESS coach specialising in weight loss programmes is launching a series of workshops to help professionals design and deliver their own slimming schemes. Erak Simmson set up Coach Me Slim And Trim in 2007 and has since delivered the programme to the NHS, in gyms, corporate settings and private facilities. He is introducing the oneday workshops – to be held in Wiltshire – to help existing professionals and those new to the industry pull together their skills to create their own

successful weight loss packages for clients. How To Write, Market and Sell Your Own Successful and Profitable Weight Loss Programme will be delivered using Erak’s own business as an example and will offer a money-back guarantee. Erak said: “From my own experience of struggling when newly qualified I know it can be hard to package and sell your skills. “Weight loss is such a growth area and I want to help people in the industry tap into that.”

A SCHEME to encourage more women from ethnic minorities in London to work in the fitness industry has proved so popular it is set to run again. Unemployed women aged 20 and over, who are from Bangladeshi, Pakistani or Somali communities in Newham and Tower Hamlets are being given the chance to train with YMCAfit. The ten-week training scheme provides the opportunity to become a fully qualified YMCA kids’ fitness play and games instructor, able to plan and teach exercise classes for children, as well as monitor positive changes to their fitness levels and mental well-being. Instructors can teach child health and fitness classes in community centres, as well as after-school, holiday and breakfast clubs. Participants have support from their own mentor and once qualified also receive help finding a job in health and fitness or to sourcing further training.

38 TRAINING AND RECRUITMENT Tom Ramsay has been appointed as community sports development manager for Barnsley Premier Leisure (BPL), which runs eleven leisure venues throughout the borough. Tom’s main role will involve promoting Darton Sports Centre as a leisure and fitness facility to the local community, as well as encouraging local schools in the region to use the facilities that are right on their doorstep.

New employee health initiative is launched in Sheffield FITNESS staff at leisure operator Sheffield International Venues (SIV) are leading by example with the launch of a new employee health initiative. SIV, which employs more than 1,000 people across its portfolio of 14 facilities in South Yorkshire has kicked off a company-wide Well Workforce scheme. The group has already introduced healthy tips printed on pay slips and the creation of a smoking cessation scheme.

Company cook offs, a new partnership with Coca Cola to distribute water bottles to all staff and a website with health forums for employees are also being planned by the group. Justine Foster-Davis, head of sport, for SIV, said: “It is really important to practise what you preach. “If you take part in exercise, customers will see you benefiting and as a result they are more likely stay motivated.”

Cash boost for sports coaches gaining skills By Mary Ferguson SPORTS coaches from around Derbyshire are being offered financial support to help them gain new skills and qualifications. This year the Derbyshire Coach Bursary Fund will be awarding more than £5,000 to 67 paid and volunteer coaches. The bursary fund aims to support the professional development of coaches working in the area by helping them to meet the costs of education. Those involved work across 18 sports including athletics, boxing, canoeing, cricket, football, golf, rugby league and table tennis. The money will allow them to work towards assistant coach qualifications, Level 2 and 3 qualifications and other coaching education. Clive Moesby, chair of Derbyshire Sport, said: “We want to see young

people taking part in sport regularly, achieving the highest level they can, and having more opportunities open to them. “The Coach Bursary Fund is one way we hope to achieve this. “By supporting coaches to gain accredited qualifications and improve their knowledge and skills, we hope more young people will get a better, more positive experience of sport.” Applications are now being accepted for the bursary’s next round of funding and anyone who coaches through schools or community clubs, on a paid or voluntary basis, is eligible to apply for cash help. Money can be used to pay for training, or other associated costs such as travel and accommodation, to gain new qualifications or skills through observation and mentoring.

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SUPPLEMENTATION AND NUTRITION As well as hours of exercise, military-inspired weight loss camps use diet and nutrition to help clients shed up to a stone in a week. Mary Ferguson visited Prestige Boot Camp to find out how much thought goes into the food served up – and how it achieves results.

Chef Mike ensures success on a plate at boot camp THE latest residential fitness camp to open, Prestige Boot Camp focuses on weight loss and fitness development through rigorous exercise regimes and a strict diet. Iain Reitze set up the camp with business partner Francesca Christian after a spell at a different company and has 20 years’ experience as a physical trainer in the British military. He said: “The correct nutrition is vitally important during a boot camp week. It is tough on the muscles so correct amounts of carbohydrates and protein are required to aid with recovery in muscle repair and replenish glycogen stores. High or low GI carbohydrates are used in conjunction with the type of activity following that meal.” The menu is designed by the camp’s chef, Mike Sanz, alongside the team of physical training instructors (PTIs) in conjunction with NHS recommended daily allowances of calories, carbohydrates and protein. Four grams of carbohydrate is used alongside every gram of protein and Prestige is about to be endorsed by NHS Bristol, who will design the menu so it is researchbased and along government guidelines. Iain said: “The feedback I have had from women who have been to other camps is that the food is more varied and they don’t feel like they are being starved into gaining results. The idea is that people can continue a healthy eating regime

when they leave the camp.” Clients are served three meals and two snacks per day, with everything made from scratch by the onsite chef – who is available all week to answer questions and discuss food and nutrition with the clients. A typical day’s menu would be homemade muesli with rice milk for breakfast, tuna steak and salad for lunch and soup followed by chicken and vegetables for dinner. Snacks range from seeds and half an apple to homemade cereal bars and a soya and banana smoothie. During the week that Workout visited the camp, clients also ate kippers and eggs for breakfast and meatballs and healthy curry for dinner. On three occasions, they were offered two squares of dark chocolate for an afternoon snack, encouraging the idea that everything is ok in moderation. Most days consisted of eight hours of exercise, with activities including circuits, rock climbing, canoeing, hiking, boxing and running. Iain, who is in the process of setting up men-only camps too, added: “Clients do moan about being hungry, which is understandable because most are used to bigger portions and less exercise. That’s why there is such a big emphasis on portion control at our camps and we try to educate people that they should eat according to what physical activities they are doing that day.”

Above: Chef Mike Sanz in the boot camp kitchen Right: hard physical training sessions mean the women need the right nutrition



One of LA Muscle’s sponsored athletes is entertaining the nation after winning a place in the current series of reality TV show Big Brother. Angel McKenzie, a professional boxer who also runs McKenzie Boxercise, a gym in South East London, is sponsored by the CNP Professional have launched a new product that combines three different supplements in one. The Endurance Stack contains Pro Energy, Pro Hydrate and Pro Recover, designed to work together but taken individually. Kerry Kayes, founder of CNP said: "As former athletes ourselves we understand the demands sport places on the body. With the Endurance Stack we've put together a package of three of our popular products to help the athlete go that extra mile."

supplements manufacturer and took up the sport following a BMX accident. Angel, who’s main goal is to become a world champion boxer and Miss Universe, joined 15 other contestants in the Big Brother house when the series started in June.

‘Vitamins after workout can block benefits’ TAKING vitamins after a workout can block the benefits of exercise, new research has suggested. A study by academics in Germany found that taking vitamins C and E after an exercise session can prevent the workout improving the body’s energy regulation. According to the study, published by a group of researchers from Leipzig and Jena Universities and Harvard Medical School, the health-promoting effects of exercise require the formation of oxidative stress during sports and if this is blocked, some of these effects do not occur. The researchers compared two groups of 20 men who took 85minute exercise sessions five days a week for a month. One group took daily vitamin C and E supplements during their training and the other

did not. The researchers report that men who consumed antioxidant supplements showed no changes in their reactive oxygen levels, whereas those who did not take antioxidants showed an increase in the formation of the free radicals. Dr. Michael Ristow, lead author of the study, said: “Exercise causes repeated boosts of free radicals, which – according to our results – induce a health-promoting adaptive response in humans. Subsequently, our body activates molecular defence systems against stress and metabolises carbohydrates more efficiently, both of which prevents diabetes and possibly other diseases. Blocking these boosts of free radicals by antioxidants accordingly blocks the health promoting effects of exercise.”



When Nathan Harman was a professional cyclist, Type 1 diabetes forced him to be more careful than most when it came to diet and nutrition. Now working as a master trainer for GB Fitness and helping others with nutrition, he spoke to Mary Ferguson about bananas, sports drinks, and why having an illness shouldn’t stop people achieving success.

How master trainer Nathan didn’t let diabetes get in his way ... NATHAN started cycling at ten and at 11, was diagnosed with diabetes. But through careful diet management he managed to achieve National Champion status and was selected to represent the Great Britain cycling team. He said: “I definitely feel it put me at a disadvantage as I was constantly having to monitor my sugar levels and if they were too high I’d get lactic acid build-up. When I was out on a four or five hour ride I’d be checking my blood sugar every half hour and if I had to give myself an insulin injection while training, I’d have to give myself less because my muscles were so sensitive. It was a case of constant monitoring.” To manage his diet, Nathan said he was careful to eat ‘clean’ and when he needed extra sugar he would have a drink of Coke – but changed his ways after getting involved with GB Fitness.

“I stopped drinking the Coke because of the aspartame it contains and now if I need sugar I’ll have a banana instead because it’s more natural and is fasteracting. And when I was cycling I used to have sugary sports drinks too but now I take dextrose.” After approaching Cain Leathem, owner of GB Fitness, for nutritional advice he began studying with him and in 1997 was asked to become a master trainer in the London area. “I’ve only actually worked with one client who has diabetes, I think the problem is that I don’t promote it enough that I have it myself. Having diabetes really shouldn’t be a barrier for people who want to achieve their goals through sport.” Today, Nathan works with a range of clients including boxers, cyclists and bodybuilders, as well as those wanting his help to

achieve weight loss and general fitness. He said the biggest misconception amongst his clients is that you have to eat less to lose weight and said that in general, everyone has too much sugar in their diets. He believes everyone can benefit from vitamin and mineral supplements and said people need to realise that protein supplements are not just for bodybuilders. He added: “Because everyone gets so stressed these days, they release cortisol which breaks muscle tissue down. So if they want to lose fat, but have a particularly stressful lifestyle, they could really benefit from a protein supplement if they want to keep muscle tone. You see so many skinny celebrities but often they are really soft, because they are literally eating away at themselves.”

Joanne muscles in on title A BRISTOL gym is celebrating the success of one of its trainers who has won the title of Miss Britain. Joanne Sperring, pictured above, who works at the Fitness Factory as a receptionist and trainer, flexed her way to the title in Southport and was invited to compete in Miss World in Slovakia. Gym owner Sally Jeffery said Joanne – who has worked there for ten years – is an inspiration to the

members. She added: “She has so much dedication and trains three times a day, despite being a single parent. “I feel like a second mother to her and always do her hair and make-up before competitions – I’m so proud.” The gym is also following the success of their work experience student Daniel Barry, who was named Mr. Britain at just 20 years old.

Nathan with Cain (right) and one of their clients


Terry Hollands displays his strength

Dayo organises Classic SUPPLEMENTS distributor and former Mr. Universe Dayo Audi organised the SportsPN Classic, held in conjunction with England’s Strongest Man contest. The event, now in its third year, made its debut at Doncaster Dome and saw Terry Hollands emerge as the overall winner of the Strongman event, with Mark Felix as runner up and Darren Sadler in third place. Paul Mason walked away with £1,000 worth of supplement prizes as

winner of the Open Amateur. The Masters class was won by Martin Holroyd, the First Timers by Adam Elhasham and the Novice by Jon Tuplin. Sponsors of the event included SK Sports Supplies, Sci-Mentor Nutrition, U-Boss Nutrition, Perfect UK, Peak Body, MuscleTalk and Vitargo. Dayo, a Vitargo UK distributor, also owns a retail and wholesale supplements store in Wakefield.

Endurance motorsport team Strakka Racing is working with sports nutrition company CNP Professional. The aim is to ensure the drivers' diets are formulated to deliver the concentration, coordination, stamina and energy they need to drive the perfect lap during the Le Mans Series, Europe's highest level sports car championship. "Strakka's combination of supplements is designed to support the body in all these areas," says Kerry Kayes, CNP's sports nutrition expert. "For example, ProNapalm's electrolytes maintain hydration and the product has caffeine and guarana for alertness. The Pro Slams include beta alanine and help with muscular endurance before and during a race." Dayo (left) with Paul Mason


Salt inhalation rooms from Dale Sauna THE latest heat experience to be made available by Dalesauna Ltd is the salt inhalation room. This steam filled tiled room is infused with a salt water solution which mingles with the steam to create an invigorating effect. The salt vapour produces negative ions which are widely regarded to assist with sufferers from head aches and migrain. Salt vapour is also extremely beneficial as an aid to breathing and for those suffering from bronchial ailments. The latest centre to add such a room is the newly refurbished Waves centre in Whitley Bay.

Enquiries: 01423 798630 Website:

Chelsea FC the new venue for the International Fitness Forum Convention & Expo 2009 THE International Fitness Forum Convention and Expo is back and will be held across 10 – 11 October 2009 at Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea Football Club. Europe’s leading fitness convention will be split into three themes: personal training, group fitness and mind and body, and will have an array of sessions to cater for all industry professionals. It will showcase the world's leading fitness presenters and educators with sessions ranging from hi-lo, step, conditioning, kickboxing, indoor cycling, youth group sessions, Pilates, Yoga and everything in-between. The Expo is a trade show specifically for health and fitness instructors and will be showcasing a wide variety of

new products and services from many different companies, including sports apparel, small equipment, training supplements, recruitment agents and training providers. New areas of interest for this year include youth training and physiotherapy, with experts on hand to demonstrate new technology and ideas. Enquiries: 020 7719 1414 Email:

Good lighting enhances workout experience LIGHTMASTERS was established in 1994 to service the needs of the expanding leisure and entertainment sectors in the UK. The company has supplied systems to bowling centres and health and fitness operations, cabaret clubs, discotheques, theme restaurants, bars and corporate hospitality,. Working out in a gym can be boring, but it needn't be with imaginative, flexible, lighting. Combined with high quality Lightmasters designed entertainment systems, it's an experience. We have been successful in business by maintaining close contact with our customers and adapting to the everchanging needs of the market. Our philosophy is that we are an integral part of your operation. It is essential that we gain a full under-

standing of your business' strategy so that we may specify the most suitable products for your particular application. This approach ensures that our customers have a system that is unique, custom-designed and fit for the purpose. Enquiries: 01480407727 Website:

Top of the range vibration plate THE Ultim8 Pro + is the top of the range vibration plate and designed for use in fully commercial gyms, studios, sunbed centres, beauty salons, clinics and hospitals and has a full professional warranty. It is made from solid steel and not plastic and has a large wide plate to enable you to have a full workout. The computer allows the choice of a wide range of frequencies and there are 2 large motors to ensure the

vibrations are strong enough to stimulate the largest user. Corporate customers receive a full ‘train the trainer’ programme inhouse or at a training centre. Buy the best solid steel Vibration trainer available today. Buy the Ultim8 Vibration Plate. Commercial leases are from £110 a month over five years. Enquiries: 0845 226 0067 Email:


Hatton Health and Fitness choose LeisureMost ... BOXER Ricky Hatton’s new state of the art gym and leisure complex in Hyde, Cheshire have chosen LeisureMost leisure management software. Having looked at various software solutions, Hatton’s manager Nigel Wilkes chose LeisureMost as it is a ‘powerful, cost effective and straightforward system backed up with excellent training and support’. LeisureMost comprises membership, visit recording, access control, bookings, courses, point of sale and

back office reporting modules. For almost 20 years LeisureMost have supplied leisure management software to leisure facilities throughout the UK and are continuously developing and enhancing the software’s capabilities. Enquiries: 0113 2370688 Website:

S.K. Distributions cool down the industry S.K. Distributions are one of the UK’s largest suppliers of mobile fans and coolers to the leisure industy, specialising in products that can dramatically improve the poor air conditions in many leisure establishments. Most establishments will have the obligatory plastic fans and dream of the day they can afford conventional air conditioning. However, S.K. say alternative products can be equally effective and just a fraction in running costs. The Cyclone range of cooling fans is just one example and exclusive to S.K. Distribution. The impressive top of the range Cyclone 650 fan is capable of moving 13,000 cubic meters of air per hour. The amount of air movement produced gives the same effect as holding your arm out of a car window on a hot day. The Cyclone 650 is the first truly

commercial oscillating fan and is available on a pedestal adjustable up to two meters in height or can be wall mounted. For small areas we recommend the 450 range also available on a pedestal or wall mounted. Effective air movement creates positive pressure especially in rooms that have open windows. Normally pressure coming through an open window will push the stuffy and stagnant conditions further in to the room. The Cyclone fans will prevent this happening. Other products include low cost evaporation coolers, suitable for receptions, crèches etc. Mobile air conditioners designed for rooms without natural ventilation are also available. We are offering pre-season discounts including free delivery. Enquiries: 01216020411 Website:

Atkins’ ready to drink shakes TO COMPLEMENT the Atkins range of low carbohydrate bars, which can be enjoyed alongside a healthy eating diet plan, Atkins has added two ready to drink shakes to its Advantage range, which come in convenient 325ml Tetra Pack. The shakes come in two flavours – cafe royale, made with real coffee for a coffee boost, and a creamy milk chocolate. They offer a delicious way to start the day and are a perfect way to refuel after a workout. Both guilt-free and a nutritious pick me up, each contains 15g of protein, and only 151 and 157 calories respectively, with less than 3g of net carbs per serving.

The full range is available from CLF Distribution. Enquiries: 01725 514200 Website:

Queen’s Award for UV pools specialist atg UV Technology is a world market leader in the design, development and manufacture of state-of-the-art ultraviolet disinfection systems for a range of applications including swimming pools, spas, hydrotherapy pools and splash pads. Their fundamental commitment to development and innovation has been the driving force behind their success for over three decades. This approach, alongside their passion for social corporate responsibility has lead to the equivalent of a business 'knighthood', seeing atg UV join Britain's business elite after being honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the UK’s most prestigious honour for business performance. With product advancement strongly

linked to technological ingenuity and the needs of their customers, atg UV are able to provide the level of service expected from both a market leader and Queen’s Award winner. Enquiries: 01942 216161 Website:







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Are you looking to: Open a new gym or fitness centre? Acquire finance and CAD design? Have your equipment serviced? Expand or update and existing centre? Re-upholster tired looking equipment? Train your staff You need to contact us. We are leading suppliers of service and re-manufactured fitness equipment including Precor, Cybex, Life and Technogym. Tel: 01538 387999 E-mail:


Finance solutions for the fitness industry… As the fitness industry’s preferred finance partner, Shire has designed innovative leasing packages that allow you to acquire new equipment to expand or upgrade your facilities right now, rather than waiting until you can afford to pay cash.

Call Phil Morris on 07968 452061 for free confidential help and advice SHIRE LEASING PLC Company Registration Number: 02476571. VAT No: 55889480.

MEMBERSHIP COLLECTION SOLUTIONS • Credit Agreements • Instalment Collection • Cash Advances

Tel: 01444 449157 MARKETING Supplied and fully integrated with Clubrunner Management Software

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Work Out (July 09)