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August 2010

The UK’s No 1 fitness industry magazine

Independent gyms’ VAT fight going to No. 10

Clearer rules mean less risk for owners By Emma Spencer PRE-EXERCISE assessments are radically changing meaning clearer rules and less risks for gym owners. The Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) is being replaced by the Health Commitment Statement (HCS) drawn up by healthcare experts EIDO. If all gyms and clubs sign up it means the end of long lists of questions about a person’s medical history. Instead the HCS puts the onus on the individual to make sure they are fit to participate not the gym or health club. EIDO and the Fitness Industry Association along with other industry experts have been looking at the legal issues created by the 15-year-old PARQ document and the money it was costing the industry. Owen Tudor, EIDO director, said people with conditions ranging from arthritis to heart murmurs trying to join clubs were being referred to a GP first to be declared fit to exercise – but 15 per cent didn’t come back. He added: “We set about creating something up to date in terms of medical law that took the pressure off health clubs in terms of risk and was good for members.

“If for example I suffered from asthma, went to my local health club, slaughtered myself on an exercise bike and died from an asthma attack that is not the health club’s fault, it is mine. “It is up to me to get my own advice about the type and level of exercise I do. Health clubs are more at risk using the PAR-Q than the HCS.” So far only 400 (primarily chains) of the nation’s 12,000 gyms have signed up leaving almost 70 per cent susceptible to misinterpretation of the law. There is still some resistance to changing from the PAR-Q to the HCS which could be done by e-mailing clients, asking everyone in person to sign a copy or displaying the agreement on reception desks and around the gym. FIA members who sign up can also receive up to 30 per cent discount on insurance premiums. David Stalker, FIA executive director, added: “HCS has removed a long standing and, many believe, unnecessary hurdle consumers had to overcome if they wanted to get fit and be more active. “It also brings operators in line with all other sports and active leisure in regard to all health matters.”

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This time last year Hannah Golding weighed over 11 stones, worked in a catering factory and had a lazy boyfriend. Since ditching the boyfriend and joining Fit4Less in Swindon she has lost over two stones and is a finalist for the Miss Wiltshire competition topping the public vote while raising money for the Variety Club Children’s Charity. Ben Palmer, Fit4less manager, said: “We wish her all the best in the final rounds of Miss England.” Picture: Cassandra Golding

A CAMPAIGN to abolish VAT for gyms is being taken to Downing Street. An online petition has been set up and already has several hundred signatures with many more expected as the plight of the private sector gathers pace. The argument about why council run centres are exempt from paying the tax while independent operators and chains are not has been re-ignited following the new government’s plans to increase the tax from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent from January. The ‘No VAT 4 Gyms’ campaign is encouraging gym owners, managers and instructors to sign up and get in touch with local newspapers to highlight their plight. Gyms and clubs are being asked to put posters up around their premises and No VAT 4 Gyms has set up Twitter and Facebook accounts so people can get daily snippets and updates on any progress. The petition will be presented at number 10 on October 1.  Full story, Page 3


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‘VAT exemption could cut health service burden’ By Emma Spencer MAKING gyms exempt from paying VAT like their council-owned counterparts could help reduce the burden on the health service and levels of national debt according to industry professionals. Gyms would be able to re-invest the money they save into their businesses helping them recruit and retain more clients and in turn assist in addressing increasing levels of obesity and poor health in Britain. Wayne Heath, founder of software system Club Manager, is behind the ‘No VAT 4 Gyms’ campaign which will be descending on Downing Street later this year. The campaign was started to support private sector gyms who say they are in a constant price battle with centres being run by leisure trusts which as charities are exempt from paying VAT. He believes beyond things like supplement sales, an in-house cafe and maybe an ad in the local paper there are limited opportunities within the fitness industry to claim the money back unlike other service providers. Wayne said: “I work primarily with small to medium sized businesses and it is something that kept coming up. We came up with this brainstorm to try and take it to the masses and see whether No. 10 would listen.” He proposes that if the VAT was scrapped gyms could use the money to buy more equipment, take on more staff and sell more memberships. He added: “There is a large

swell of people that know we can make a difference to the national debt, the burden on the NHS and the health of the nation in general.” Steve Hammond has been running Sundance gym in Bristol for 16 years. He added: “The new budget is even more in favour of a council run gym. The level playing field that they said existed between them and the private sector is more uneven. “For every £10,000 a private gym generates £2,000 is VAT and I have recently discovered the GP referral scheme is geared towards leisure centres when the private sector would love to be able to offer this. Imagine if the government started selling its own food in competition with Tesco and Asda but it was 20 or 30 per cent cheaper there would be uproars but it is exactly the same situation.” Steve Philpott is the chief executive of DC Leisure, a private firm, which manages leisure facilities for around 30 councils nationwide. He believes the ruling costs the government around half a billion per year in VAT that is not being collected. Steve added: “Private sector gyms and operators like us are contributing to the tax and the economy and the leisure trusts aren’t. If you are a private sector gym competing against a leisure trust and having to charge VAT the rise will make it worse than it was before. Trusts will argue they don’t make a profit and plough everything back into the community but I have always argued that this is unfair because we do the same thing as they do.”

Search still on for oldest Precor EXF THERE’S still time to be in with a chance of winning an EFX crosstrainer for your gym worth over £7,000. Precor has launched a competition to find the UK’s oldest Precor EFX to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the crosstrainer. The owner of the oldest one in the country will win a new EFX 576i. Dozens of entries have been submitted so far with crosstrainers

ranging from seven to 14 years old. If you think your crosstrainer could be the oldest simply e-mail the serial number of your Precor EFX which is usually found on the back, along with your name, the name of your club or centre and some contact details to emmas@whpl.net by August 10. The winner will be announced in the September issue of WorkOut.

Pictured, from left,Glyn Allen from the property and facilities team at Fitness First, paralympic skier and Fitness First member Russell Docker and Dr Hilary Jones.

Brand recognised for disability efforts CHAIN brand Fitness First has been recognised for its efforts to accommodate people with disabilities. So far 24 of its clubs have been accredited through the Inclusive Fitness Initiative’s (IFI) National Sports Foundation (NSF) Programme. Personal trainers have been offered training in levels two and three of the IFI training programme and the chain is also working with equipment suppliers to have a selection of machines which are IFI accredited. Paralympian skier Russell Docker and TV doctor Hilary Jones were at a ceremony to mark the accreditation of the Poole branch. John Gamble, Fitness First managing director said: “It is a landmark step forward for the fitness industry and we are proud to be the first major health club group to offer this.’’ Sue Catton, IFI National Director said: “The scale and depth of Fitness First’s commitment to the programme illustrates the inclusion of disabled people is the right thing and also represents a sensible business decision.”

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Cancer survivor inspires new range MATRIX Indoor Cycles has launched the LIVESTRONG® range inspired by cancer survivor and cyclist Lance Armstrong. The bikes were launched at the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association show and a percentage of the proceeds have been earmarked for the LIVESTRONG® Foundation. The ‘S’ series is the industry’s first drop handlebar design, has more than seven hand positions and an onboard computer monitoring heart rate, time, distance and calories. Aimed at gyms on a budget is the ‘E’ series featuring dual speed pedals and a unisex saddle. Matrix is encouraging clubs to set up official LIVESTRONG® indoor cycling studios so they can put on specially designed classes which could help with membership retention. Jon Johnston, Matrix managing director, said: “In terms of the add-on value to health and fitness operators, the LIVESTRONG® bikes aren't just a new range of studio

Limit on members helps Craig keep the ones he’s got By Emma Spencer

bikes. “On a club level, they offer great marketing solutions and the opportunity to engage both existing and prospective members in something worthwhile. “They are emotive, inspirational and they demonstrate the club’s support for an important cause and means that members will feel part of a training community.”

A HEALTH club owner in Birmingham has set a limit on the number of members he has – because he says it helps keep the ones he has already got. Craig Ingley opened Vibro-Suite in September quickly getting almost 200 clients but capped membership at 300 in contrast to other gyms which have thousands of people on their database. He told WorkOut: “The vision was to break the mould. This is how many we can cope with to deliver the services which we have done. “Even though we have a smaller membership what we can achieve is larger than a normal gym.” Craig, a former distributor of Vibrogym, promotes his business as an alternative health club catering for the stressed out professional, those with medical problems and injuries which can’t be treated at a normal gym as well as professional athletes. The studio has six Vibrogym machines and sessions incorporate kettlebells, punch bags and foam rollers to vary the intensity of the work out and the results. There are beauty treatment and therapy rooms and a spa as well as tanning rooms

and a nail bar. Vibro-Suite looks like a boutique with a black, mocha and gold colour scheme, chilled out music and herbal teas. Craig said: “Powerplates and Vibrogym has been around a few years, the concept is not new but I wanted to take it to the next level.” The vibration training element of the business and the beauty side work well together and Craig says it helps keep members and up the revenue. Clients are asked to book three sessions ahead and in addition to the monthly £65 membership there are corporate rates, all inclusive rates plus a special 12 week package at £275 if a customer is preparing for an event like a wedding or holiday. Craig has also introduced a loyalty scheme where every time a client has a treatment or spends a certain amount of money they get five minutes back and can bank the minutes until they have enough for a free treatment. He added: “We want to maximise the feel of the place and the business revenue. Most beauty clients are already members so it works and shows it is well worth having. If they get results they will come back and if they get results in beauty they will come back.”


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Olympic medal winner Sharron Davies is backing the WorkOut magazine fitness awards. Emma Spencer found out about her own prize-winning career.

How Sharron keeps in shape after swimming WHEN Sharron Davies was 11 she broke both arms when she fell out of a tree. By this time she was already in training for the 1976 Olympics and three months out of the water with her arms in a cast would have been a major setback. So her dad who was also her coach wrapped both arms in plastic bags so she could keep training. When she snapped her cruciate ligament in her knee she swam with both legs tied together and using a float so she could continue with her training regime. It was this enthusiasm and determination that led to her becoming a competitor in three Olympics in

three different decades, winning silver in Moscow, 1980. She also won gold medals at the 1978 Commonwealth games when she was just 15 and some of the 200 British records she set still stand to this day. Sharron will be involved with her 10th Olympic games in London 2012 as a TV commentator. She said: “It is such a privileged position to be in to be involved in top level sport without the hours and pressures of training.” She discovered her talent when she went for swimming lessons like many children but by the time she was ten she was the Devon county senior champion. For the next 20 years she would train for six hours a day – a twohour session in the pool early morning would be followed by two hours of gym work (circuits, weights or running) followed by another two hours’ swimming in the evening. Since retiring from top level competition in 1994 Sharron doesn’t swim to keep in shape because she says it would be too much like a busman’s holiday and years of swimming have damaged her shoulder joints. Instead she works out in her home gym around three times a week. She will start with 30 to 40 minutes on the cross trainer or bike followed by a series of circuit exercises including crunches, curls and arm exercises. Sharron said: “The routine is not set in stone. Like lots of working mums it depends on what the kids are doing and work. ‘When I first stopped swimming I

put on about three stones. People think I could never be overweight but I used to eat vast amounts but training for six hours I was burning it off. “I was determined never to put it on again. I did yo-yo diets but it is a case of moderation and exercise – there is no magic solution.” Her top tips for keeping in shape are not eating after 7pm, finding an enjoyable activity and exercising with a friend as you are less likely to cancel. Despite her own successes in the sport and more recently Rebecca Adlington Sharron says swimming still doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Sharron says at the last world championships Britain brought home eight medals, four of which were gold and two world records. She added: “But I still find swimming doesn’t get much air time, at the same time the athletics were on live television every day. “We had a piece at the end of the week but swimming is the most participated sport in the country.” In any case Sharron was never driven by fame or glamour which seems to bestow football and rugby today – it was always about winning. She said: “To be the best at anything you have to be enthusiastic. For me if I was going to go into a race I would want to win. If I didn’t I would train harder until I did. “To win an Olympic medal is amazing. You are part of some sort of club that you are part of forever.”


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FIA secures licensing savings for gym owners THE FITNESS Industry Association has struck a deal that will save gym operators money when it comes to music licensing. Over the last year the FIA has been negotiating with Video Performance Limited (VPL) which was established in 1984 to collect fees for the use of music videos in clubs. A licence to play music and videos in clubs is a legal requirement. The FIA has secured a set tariff for the licence for its members at £285 plus VAT and non members of the FIA at £370 plus VAT. The FIA says it is a 24 per cent saving for members and is an interim deal for three years while a review of the use of music and videos within the fitness industry is carried out. The licence will cover the period from January 1 this year to December 31, 2012 and the FIA has also agreed with VPL that there will be no backdated charges if the licence is purchased by October 31. David Stalker, FIA executive director, says: “Negotiating a saving for FIA members is definitely an accomplishment we are all proud of. “However, we can also save our members thousands of pounds by securing the authority’s undertaking not to press for backdated charges.”

£33m bid for biggest centre EQUIPMENT manufacturer Life Fitness is working with Leeds Council in a £33m deal to produce the largest leisure centre in the city. Morley Leisure Centre opened in June under a private finance initiative and has 150 stations of Life Fitness kit from cardio to resistance. The Engage CV range uses USB technology and with the Life Fitness virtual trainer users can perform at their own pace, create bespoke workouts and share programmes online. Armley Leisure Centre was completed in May featuring 10 pieces of Life Fitness gear.

Anne Crook

Picture: Wendy Moran

Mum’s the word for personal trainer Anne By Emma Spencer A PERSONAL trainer has used her experience of being a busy working mum to start a fitness class for other parents. It is a year since Anne Crook established Fit Women and she told WorkOut how she overcame starting a business in a recession and on a low budget. It was after having her second child she decided she wanted to broaden her horizons using the experience she had gained from leading post natal exercise classes on behalf of the local NHS. She said: “There are a lot of classes for new mums but nothing for mums with older children trying to fit everything in around the school run. “I had to put on classes that were accessible and thought when do mums have childcare, well it is usu-

ally at the weekends when the dads are around. “It didn’t need to be too early but not too late that it interfered with the rest of the weekend. I started the Tuesday sessions about a month ago for school run mums once they have dropped the kids off but a lot of the group aren’t mums but work shifts and some are too tired to go to the gym after work.” Anne, 34, also had to consider a payment plan and opted for a payas-you-go type scheme rather than pressuring people to sign up for a fixed term. She added: “When I have done other classes you had to be a member which put people off in a recession. I had to attract as many people as possible and make it accessible so I don’t have a membership.” Anne charges £7 per session or offers a discount for block booking

sessions. For that clients have a pretty intense 45-minute session of stretching, squats, lunges, ball games, cardio exercises, hula hoop and skipping. Sessions are held in Didsbury Park, Manchester whatever the weather so there is no cost for room hire and because Anne had no budget for marketing she had to come up with other ways to advertise it. Anne said: “It is difficult to spread the word but the first thing I did was get a big banner which the park manager let me hang on the railings which are on the main road and right in front of the traffic lights. “People have found out that way as well as through friends and the internet and I do a guest slot on BBC Radio Manchester so I get more exposure and I enjoy it.”


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Cage fighting gym pulls in the ladies By Emma Spencer A NOTTINGHAM cage fighting gym has overcome the stigma associated with the sport and is attracting more female members. Liberty’s Gym near the city centre has been open two years and has clocked up 2000 members – 25 per cent of which are female despite one of the gym’s biggest challenges being getting women through the doors. Owner Pep Padodafo puts it down to the gym’s association with cage fighting and martial arts which he believes can be quite intimidating. He told Workout: “They walk by and see blokes training and we have a reputation for cage fighting so they think it’s not for them. “Getting them through the door is the hardest but when you talk to the girls that are in here and once they have got over that they say they are well looked after and get more from their work out.” Pep uses different methods of attracting female members such as advertising in local magazines and doing leaflet drops. He has also advertised in the local free paper giving discounts if women cut out and bring in a voucher. Liberty’s also has different pay plans offering £12 a month membership for

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£5billion prediction for fitness industry THE fitness industry is expected to be worth over £5 billion in the next four years. With figures from the Fitness Industry Association saying 120 new gym and health facilities had opened within the last year there are predictions the trend will continue. According to FIA’s Market and Business Development report the market is expected to increase year-on-year to a value of £5.14 billion in 2014. SkillsActive say the global recession has led to Britain becoming divided – between those who have sunk into a depression and become couch potatoes and those that have turned to exercise.

Pep Padodafo girls compared to £20 for men and pay as you go schemes. He says women also like the martial arts and cage fighting training methods compared to the usual gym routine. Pep added: “If you got to some gyms there is a stepper, cross trainer, treadmill and you are expected to work out in a solitary manner.

“Here there are lots of techniques from circuit training, to sparring to martial arts. It is a lot more interesting than sticking them on a treadmill for an hour. “They should not be male dominated. Women don’t have to perform an end product like go into a cage fight but they can train using the methods.”

Stephen Studd, chief executive, said: “While you may assume that a knee jerk reaction to the credit crunch would be to cut out all luxuries, it has become clear from these industry figures that the gym and sporting activities are not considered by most to be luxuries but necessities.”


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Redundancy leads Garvan to Power Plates By Emma Spencer

Body Vibe owner Garvan Liddy and model Jenny Curran on the opening day

WHEN construction worker Garvan Liddy was made redundant at the height of the recession he had to think of another way to make a living. He had always been interested in the fitness industry and had spotted a gap in the market so set up a Power Plate studio in Belfast. Body Vibes opened in June and is the first of its kind in the city. Garvan, 30, said: “The economic climate really hit me hard, there were quite a few of us getting laid off so I had to diversify. “I had an interest in the fitness industry and the good thing about it is people always need to keep their fitness. It was growing throughout the recession.” Garvan had to think of something different to the chain gyms and knew about powerplates but aside from the odd machine in a gym there wasn’t a designated studio and thought the quick fix sessions would appeal to more people in the locality. He said: “I thought there was room

in the market for a studio, the concept had not been brought over to Northern Ireland. “People have been asking what is this new concept and a few ladies have come in saying they had seen the Power Plates in London and were glad to see them over here. “They are interested in having a quick fix in 20 minutes and that is what brought me down this road.” Garvan has capitalised on the interest by getting in touch with local magazines and newsletters who have done articles. Local model and former Miss Northern Ireland contestant Jenny Curran was drafted in to add glamour to the grand opening. To get customers through the door he is offering free trials and special rates for block bookings and customers. He added: “There has been quite a buzz about it and we have had people coming out to take pictures. “People are really interested.”


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Roko rolls out shopping incentive scheme FITNESS chain Roko is offering high street shopping vouchers as a reward to members who spend more time in the gym. The Gym Miles scheme was launched in July as part of an incentive to retain members and encourage them to work out more. Members have been given their own log-in password and each piece of equipment in the gym has had Fit Link software installed. When members enter the gym they tap in their code every time they use a piece of equipment and the length and intensity of the workout is recorded. Sessions on free weights, in the swimming pool and at extra-curricular classes can be logged manually. Points scored are converted into a cash equivalent which can be spent online at many high street shops, sports shops and large supermarkets. The new scheme is being implemented in all five of the Roko

branches – Portsmouth, Gillingham, Chiswick, Nottingham and York. Lee Cooper, director of health and fitness at Roko Nottingham said the scheme will be replacing their inhouse rewards system where targets were set in return for rewards such as a free coffee, free day pass or personal trainer session. He said: “The Fit Link system logs the training session and members acquire points depending on how long and how hard they exercise. “So say if you gain 500 gym miles they would be worth a certain amount of cash to spend online at Tesco for example. “We are trying to get people who are already members into the gym to become more active. It is an incentive and also an opportunity for businesses to gain. “We get people who train 24/7 because they enjoy it and it is a habit but some people do need a

Lee Cooper little bit more encouragment.” A separate scheme is also running aimed at getting families in the gym. When an adult joins they get

a free child’s membership until September. Programmes to attract kids include games, cheerleading, pool activities and aerobics.

Military team beats endurance world record SIX military fitness instructors completed a 300-mile race beating a world record and raising £24,000 for charity at the same time. Carlos Glencairn-Campbell 46, Nigel Ilsley 36, Chris Preston 37, Jeremy Nelson 46, Paul Kenny 34, and Andy Bosman, 27, ran from Marble Arch to Dover in ten hours and seven minutes, swam to Calais in 15 hours

and four minutes and then cycled to the Arc de Triomphe. They arrived at 5.25am on Friday July 2 after setting off 39 hours and 45 minutes earlier. They beat the time set by the British Gas team in June last year who set a record of 63 hours and 26 minutes. Their participation in the Enduroman Arch to Arc has so far

raised £24,000 in aid of Help for Heroes. Team captain Carlos GlencairnCampbell dedicated the race to friend and colleague Tom Keogh who died during service in Afghanistan. Carlos said: “We had no doubt that this was going to be a challenge to us all. The running and cycling were definitely our strongest categories

and you could say most enjoyable. “The swimming on the other hand certainly proved a challenge especially as we were fighting with the tide and had to swim in an ‘s’ shape across the channel. “The camaraderie between us guys kept us going and knowing that we were raising money for Help for Heroes was a real motivator.”


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Gym takes to the streets to target and tackle A TARDIS-style gym is hitting the streets of Cambridgeshire. A lorry has been converted into a mobile gym which is part of an initiative to make exercise more accessible to the community. It was launched by Fenland district council at the beginning of June and has been kitted out with Precor equipment including six pieces of strength kit, a Powerplate machine, two running machines, two bikes and a crosstrainer. One of the challenges the project faced was getting equipment into a small space and how it would cope with being transported on roads every day. It was fitted by Torton Bodies Ltd a firm which specialises in building mobile clinics and display trailers. Louise Smith, mobile gym project manager said: “We wanted to ensure the gym had as wide a variety of equipment as possible with the limited space but retain the look of a mod-

Budget chain continues to open branches THE GYM Group is now halfway through its national roll-out of budget gyms. Branches in Birmingham and Brighton opened in July offering memberships at £14.99 a month or £9.99 with a pre-opening offer. John Treharne, chief executive, said: “The opening of Birmingham and Brighton is another exciting milestone for us. “We are now over halfway through our national roll-out and it’s great to see the concept coming to life.” He also announced three more sites for the summer in Nottingham, Plymouth and West Hampstead. The Gym is already open in Guildford, Hounslow, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester and Vauxhall in London.

ern stylish gym.” “Fenland has a lot of health inequalities which we, as a council, are making a priority to target and tackle. The mobile gym idea came from a review into how other councils are helping those in socially isolated locations to access community facilities.”

It is open seven days a week and to attract people the first five sessions are being offered at £3.75 each before reverting to normal leisure centre rates. The council hopes in the long run users will join already established leisure centres.


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The game of sales and marketing By Dave Wright, Creative Fitness Marketing IN simple terms there are two types of members in our catchment area. 1. Those who are self motivated. 2. Those that think they ‘should’ really be doing something, but haven't yet found the motivation to act. The most crucial step for clubs wanting to appeal to both of these markets is to be ‘top of mind’ as a brand. If people know who you are, if they know where you are, and if they simply know you are a gym, then when they wake up and think “I need to get fit, I feel flabby” you will at least be considered as a solution, and from that point you will win some and lose some based on their preferences. The self motivated consumer will

simply walk in off the street if they know about you, and there is a market in that. The fitness contemplator will be encouraged to think about their problem so much (because you keep prodding their thoughts with top of mind awareness building) that they will soon succumb and want to solve their niggling problem. Being “top of mind” is the single most crucial step in sales and marketing. That is seriously half the battle. Which is why real estate with high visibility is so expensive, it is because a large element of that rent is really advertising dollars. So other than picking a great location, it is about alerting the consumer as frequently as possible about their fitness problem, and about your solution. Snap ... It is not about running a

“new year” celebration and then forgetting marketing for the year, it is about having 12 themes, one for each month, with 12 separate offers (both value add and also forms of discount), and using traditional media (newspaper/tv/ radio) to deliver the message, but it must be backed up by a power load of gorilla marketing to create community ‘buzz’. Doing wobble boards, street handouts, chalk drawings on the pavement, mud sign on the side of the road etc is what creates the platform for your traditional media to get heard. Furthermore it cuts the clutter. Remember that all businesses, in all industries, are in the game of sales and marketing, it is the goal ... generate enough revenue to exceed expenses and then make enough profit to keep doing it ... we need to

Dave Wright

remember that we are not a charity, but a business, a business that is just selling health and fitness. So don’t forget that game that we play, it is in fact sales and marketing.

Gym members get on their bikes for heroes charity MEMBERS of a gym in Coventry have raised over £5,000 for Help the Heroes with a 143-mile bike ride. Clint Jones, owner of Future Fitness gym, organised the charity fundraiser to coincide with the gym’s 20th anniversary and because his on line nutrition company supplies supplements and products to serving troops in Afghanistan and Camp Bastion. The local mayor cut a ribbon to

mark the start of the ride on June 6 which set off from outside the gym at 6am. Over nine hours later they reached their destination – HMS Victory in Portsmouth. Clint and his fellow riders were in training for months before the ride and work and family commitments meant they were often training for 60 to 80 miles on their own. He said: “My nutrition company

started getting orders from troops so we have been supplying them. “They have got gyms out there and they like to keep in shape. “Because it is 20 years since I had the gym I said why don’t we do something for Help For Heroes. “We get a lot of business from them and thought it would be nice to put something back. The ride was quite a slog around Winchester and there is a

hill going into Portsmouth about two miles long, but there is light at the end of the tunnel when you have gone that far.” Clint generated publicity of the ride and raised the profile of Future Fitness by getting in touch with the local media. He added: “Someone saw the piece in the local papers and donated £50 and there is more coming in.”

Introducing new steel dumbbell DUMBBELLS are probably the most widely used freeweight in any fitness facility so they need to be easy and comfortable to use and look good. Jordan dumbbells up until now have been available in rubber, cast iron and chrome but a steel one is being added to the range as a stylish and durable alternative to chrome. They have a brushed steel finish that will not chip or flake and have comfort grip handles associated with all Jordan dumbbells. They are available in ten pair sets 110kg (1kg increments) and 2-20kg (2kg increments) with the weight identification engraved on the head of each dumbbell. Packed away in a Jordan vertical dumbbell rack they make for a very

impressive display in any fitness facility. Prices start at £396.37 plus vat for a 1kg-10kg ten pair set. The 2kg-20kg set is £792.73 plus vat not including delivery. From next month Jordan will have its exclusive range of Urethane dumbbells available providing a dumbbell solution for any functional training facility. For the full Jordan range visit www.jordanfitness.co.uk or contact sales@jordanfitness.co.uk/ zak@jordanfitness.co.uk

How to solve carpet headache GYMS could be causing eye, skin and nose irritation, headaches, shortness of breath, coughs and fatigue among clients. Carpets are the culprit. They absorb chemical and biological pollutants including pesticides, dust mites, infection, sweat and fungi. Regular washing and vacuuming only reduces these slightly and can never totally remove them. To protect your members you need to provide flooring which has no absorbable fibres, which wipes dirt clean away, protects the users against harm and which does not contain any chemicals. There are some really great fitness flooring solutions out there which are environmentally friendly, protect members, support and enhance

workouts, boost business profits and are 100% hygienic and user safe. Flooring such as Escape Flexi hard, Flexi Tuff, Flexi Soft, BSW flooring or Pavigym flooring can be found at www.escapefitness.com/flooring They are the perfect alternative solution in combating this irritating and potentially harmful carpet condition.


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Jo swaps lessons for gym sessions By Emma Spencer JO Holmes gave up a teaching career to take on a floundering gym with falling membership – but has never looked back. Along with business partner Paul Lonsdale they have rejuvenated Samson and Delilah’s in the York village of Haxby. When they took on the gym 18 months ago the accounts were in a carrier bag and the reception area consisted of an old three piece suite. Since then they have transferred all the company data onto a computer, chucked out the settee, painted and re-carpeted the reception and set up a website. Clients range from retired locals to bodybuilding competitors. Jo said: “I came fourth in Britain’s Strongest Woman last year and that is how this came about. “Paul had been training me and the then owner of the gym had had enough and suggested we take it on. “I left my job as an A-Level sports

and PE teacher and that was it. “It has been a big turnaround for me but I love it. “The client database has really helped with retention. “We can monitor the attendance and I want to contact those that are not coming often and find out what’s the problem, can we help, do we need to change their programme?” One of the other ways Paul and Jo keep clients motivated is by setting group challenges for members. Some members took part in the Race For Life, a one mile Santa Jog followed by a social event was held at Christmas and in March, 30 members between them climbed the ten metre climbing wall 590 times (the equivalent to Mount Kilamanjaro) to raise money for Help for Heroes after one of the members, serving soldier Matthew Hatton, was killed in Afghanistan. Samson and Delilah’s now has 400 members with numbers steadily

on the up. Paul added: “We don’t advertise but promote what we do and get people involved. Some health club companies will try and get more

custom and people know they are just trying to make money out of them. We don’t want to do that. We try to approach everything with the view we are here to serve members.”


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Obesity clinic teams up with centre A SPORTS centre in South Yorkshire has teamed up with the Rotherham Institute of Obesity to help local people lose weight and get active. The Thomas Rotherham Sports Centre, which is attached to the local college, was approached by RIO in January as the Institute was looking for a club that offered a friendly, helpful atmosphere. It has now referred 25 clients to the club, after assessing them as borderline obese, where they are receiving two free months of membership. Each client is given one-to-one sessions with an instructor three times a week and is weighed and measured each month. Their results are recorded and sent back to RIO and they receive a ten per cent discount if they want to sign up when their trial is finished. Daniel Wilson, centre manager, said: “Every member who has been

referred by the clinic so far has said that they are going to join up once their free two months have finished and they have also said that the main reason they like coming here is that is it not intimidating, staff are friendly and want to help us achieve our goals. “We thought that, as a college club, it would be a good initiative to get involved in, because we are all about educating people about a fitter and healthier lifestyle. “It also means that we have a good range of people and ages coming to the club.” So far the scheme has been extremely successful, with members losing up to two stones using equipment including rowers, cross trainers, treadmills, training bikes and strength training equipment. The club also holds spinning, dance and aerobics classes that referees from the obesity clinic can also get involved in.

Daniel Wilson and Brian Oliver Daniel added: “The clients are referred to us because they are obese, so we take that into account when we are putting together their personalised programmes so that they are effective, but achievable. “They are also often suffering from related medical conditions as well,

for example arthritis, so we need to make sure that each case is catered for individually. “I think that schemes like this are something that all clubs should get involved in. It has been very beneficial for us and for all the people who have taken part so far.”

Life-changing experience for Brian BRIAN Oliver, 72, started attending training sessions at the club in April after being referred by RIO and has since lost two stone as well as improving his overall health and fitness. He said: “I was referred to RIO after a routine GP check up found that I was borderline obese. “They then advised me to take part in the programme here, and it

has been a life changing experience. “I have lost a lot of weight, but on top of that I feel much more fit and healthy, the exercise has helped my recovery from two knee operations and I have made a lot of friends. “It’s not a chore for me to come and work out, I really enjoy it.”


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With one cancer charity saying sunbeds in gyms and clubs should be banned and another now considering the health benefits Emma Spencer looks at their place in the industry.

Sunbeds: to tan or not to tan? WHEN the Club and Spa at Hoole Hall in Chester stopped using sunbeds in its club the move was backed by the North West Cancer Research Fund. The charity then called for all gyms and spas to ban sunbeds because of health risks and the links to skin cancer. Anne Jackson, NWCRF chief executive, said: “We are challenging gyms and spas across the North West to remember that they are in the health business and offering the use of sunbeds is a complete contradiction in terms. “The Club and Spa at Hoole Hall is a great example of how commercial operations can take a stand against skin cancer and remain true to their mission as providers of health and fitness facilities by banning sunbeds across the board.” NWCRF funds research into the cause of cancer and how it spreads and has so far discovered the risk of cancerous melanomas is increased by 75 per cent when the use of tanning devices starts before the age of 30. But according to the Sunbed Association the government should be recommending sunbed sessions as a way of counteracting health spending on vitamin D deficiency which has been estimated at £27 million per year.

Gary Lipman, chairman, said a few minutes on a sun bed a couple of times a week had been recommended as a way of maintaining adequate vitamin D levels. “Modern sunbeds can offer sensors to measure UV output according to an individual’s skin type creating the right balance and session length to avoid any chance of burning. “Changing the perception about sunbed use will be difficult but the overwhelming evidence suggests that used responsibly with resultant vitamin D benefits sunbeds could have a significant role to play in saving thousands of lives as well as saving billions of pounds annually.” Issues around the extra revenue generated by sunbeds and whether they still have a place in gyms and clubs has provoked a mixed reaction from gym owners and managers. Craig Ingley, from Vibro-suite health and wellness club, said his sunbeds have slow releasing UVA rays and can only be used for a certain length of time. He said: “It is the same as alcohol, cigarettes or whatever – it is all about usage. There are positive effects such as helping with seasonal affective disorder and there are negatives. “I have gone to salons where a

person is going on the sunbed everyday for the maximum time allowed and the business owner is allowing it because it is a business – that is when it becomes a problem. “I would much rather one of our members who is going on holiday use one to protect their skin before they go.” Chris Hillyear of Formula One Gym in Nottingham said: “It is revenue but we don’t do anywhere near what we used to. I used to make £150 a day from them but now we don’t do £150 a week. I think the public have made up their mind and they are not advisable. “I thought we could get rid of one and put a sports massage table in instead. People aren’t bothered by them anymore, there were lots on the high street but you only really get them in gyms now.” Lee Cooper, manager at the Nottingham branch of Roko, added: “There are worse things out there, they will not kill you, but you will always get a mixed opinion but I don’t agree with people who smoke for example. “We have sunbeds. Your facility offers a service and so we need to offer them. If people don’t like them that is their opinion and if they do that’s fine.”

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Seven sections for LIW visitors

Before: Charlie Wright, left, and after: right

AROUND 13, 000 people from the fitness world are expected to visit this year’s Leisure Industry Week Exhibition. The latest products and developments from the health and fitness sector will be launched and Independent Operators Unite will meet for the second year following a successful launch at last year’s event. It will be at the NEC in Birmingham from September 21 to 23. The show will be split into seven sections covering health and fitness; leisure facilities, pool and spa, sport, play and attractions, eat and drink and licensed business. In the health and fitness area there will be the new PTontheNET Functional training zone where personal trainers can get new material and new products by Nordic Walking, Fitpro, Padbox and Escape will be on show among other equipment demonstrations. Pete Cohen, GMTV’s resident life coach, will be one of speakers at the three day show and will be talking about ‘making a difference with positive psychology’. The EnviroZone will be the highlight of the leisure facilities sector. It will give clubs and centres an insight into how they can reduce their carbon footprint, tackle expensive gas and electricity bills and how to be more environmentally friendly. Chris Brown, LIW event manager, said: “The features we have developed for this year’s show will really benefit both visitors and exhibitors and give people more opportunities to do business and network. “Our aim year on year is to improve and give visitors what they want, the new features this year will ensure this.”

How Ripped helped Charlie shed 11 stones By Emma Spencer A BOXING gym has helped a client lose over 11 stones in just eight months. In October catering student Charlie Wright, tipping the scales at 31 stones, decided he needed to take the plunge and lose some weight. He and a friend who was going to work out with him looked around a couple of gyms and were offered a free trial at Ripped in Harlow and decided that was the place for them. Four times a week they would visit as Charlie, 20, attempted to lose ten stone. In January Charlie enlisted the help of personal trainer Michael Jordan who varied the content of sessions to keep Charlie motivated. Michael, a personal trainer for just 18 months, admitted he was surprised at how much Charlie weighed for his age so it provided a challenge for him too. He said: “He had been plodding

along on the treadmill which at first was what he needed to do but in January he approached me for a bit of advice. “We mixed the programme up a bit and wanted to get him on his feet as opposed to sitting at a machine. We started off with simple things like step ups and bench presses. “For something different in the space upstairs we smashed some benison balls around which he liked and we did some boxing work on the pads which he really took a shine to and he ended up joining the men’s boxing class.” Other personal trainers also gave their time for free when Charlie struggled to lose the last half stone but he managed it and is still a member at Ripped. To keep Charlie interested in fitness Michael is writing him a couple of work out programmes he can follow with free weights. He added: “When I am not there he is not too sure what to do so I have

written him a programme so he can do them twice a week on his own.” On reaching his target weight Charlie decided he wants to shed more pounds and is keeping up his gym membership and even landed himself a job in the cafe at Ripped. He said: “When I saw the results that was pretty great and when people started to notice it gave me more confidence. “I joined up with Michael and he has been a big help and Michelle paid for a few of my sessions which was really nice.” Michelle Meade, owner of Ripped, said Charlie had raised the profile of the gym because his story had been sent to local newspapers and it had inspired other members. She added: “Within the gym he has caused quite a stir among members. When we were taking the pictures of him and he brought out his old trousers they couldn’t believe it.”

IOU event set to be bigger and better SUCCESSFUL retention and tapping into secondary spend are on the agenda for independent operators at LIW this year. After the successful launch of Independent Operators’ Unite (IOU) last year organiser Dave Wright, president of Creative Fitness Marketing says this year’s event will be bigger and better with the biggest free party of independent operators the industry has seen. Up to 800 people are expected to attend each of the four sessions which this year will feature a panel

of experts as opposed to having one person speaking. The independent operators guide to retention results will be the first panel session of its kind with some of the industry’s key experts sharing their knowledge with gym owners about how to cost effectively keep members on board. This issue of making money from sources other than memberships is also up for discussion. This session will look at some of the systems and programmes available to help boost secondary spend and which have been successful for

other operators. Tips on sales and marketing from low cost schemes to a 12 month marketing plan will be debated and the IOU programme closes with an open discussion on the trials and tribulations of the independent operator. Dave said: “For independent clubs who are going to spend a day out of their clubs it has to be of some value. “It was clearly shown with close to 500 Independent clubs making the trip to Birmingham in September in 2009 that they thought it was of

value. “Not only could they view all the new products and services at LIW, but they had a full day of phenomenal seminars, a free party and also a great way to network with other independent club owners. “The sessions this year have been carefully selected so that they are purely geared to someone who owns and operates their own club. “They can take away powerful information and action points that will start making them more money in their own gym. “All that is free to IOU members.”


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Flood-hit gym bounces back A GYM in Cumbria turned last year’s floods to its advantage and had a £100,000 refurb and replaced its tenyear-old equipment. The Swan Hotel and Spa in the village of Newby Bridge was left under three feet of water when torrential rain hit the country last November – all the equipment was ruined and the premises were out of action for over seven months. Gym manager Mike Fell told WorkOut every piece of kit was replaced with Precor treadmills, crosstrainers and cycles. The layout of the gym was re-organised to make better use of the space and the changing room and sauna were also given a facelift for the first time since they were installed in 1999. After seven months of works the gym and hotel re-opened at the beginning of June. Most of the gym’s 350 members who had to train elsewhere while repairs were taking place have returned and new members have since joined up. Mike told Workout how they kept members involved. He said: “We sent letters out to all members and depending on how

many months they had left on their membership we said we would give them that time back and some complimentary time of up to three or four months. “We kept in regular contact with them to inform them when we were hoping to re-open and what we were planning to do.” It paid off despite fears about reopening in the traditionally quiet summer months.

Mike added: “We were worried about losing members to competitors and obviously they went elsewhere while we were shut but we have got the vast majority back. ‘We had budgeted to get 60 per cent back but I think we got more like 80 per cent back. “Opening during summer is a bit of a struggle but by September I am confident of getting almost 100 per cent back.”

Tone scheme Dan plans free VibroGym aiming to workshops in Cheltenham motivate rural communities RURAL parts of Devon will benefit from the first Active Villages programme which aims to bring long term, sustainable sports opportunities to local communities. Tone, which operates leisure facilities on behalf of local authorities, will oversee the scheme in the mid Devon and South Hams districts. A pilot phase will enable Tone to forge links with parish councils, schools and voluntary organisations and develop sport packages based on need. They will be delivered to a total of sixteen communities next year. Clare Bill, Strategic Development Manager, said: “We’re looking forward to getting into the heart of these rural communities and developing tailored sports packages for people from primary school aged children to adults. “We will be looking to recruit and train local volunteer leaders and coaches, and organise mass participation events in order to facilitate positive, inclusive atmospheres within the communities.”

DAN Fivey has used the Vibrogym machines for over ten years and has been a master trainer for VibroGym in Australia. He also worked as a personal trainer and fitness manager for over 12 years and therefore has specialist knowledge and experience of what VibroGym users want from their workouts, how owners can help individual clients and how to increase the number of personal training sessions through the VibroGym. He has used vibration training with a huge variety of clients and had

fantastic results and wants to use his experience to help club owners and personal trainers take their business to the next level using the VibroGym. He is keen to meet and assist personal trainers so is holding free VibroGym workshops in Cheltenham on August 7 and 8. To register for the event email: info@vgymuk.com. Dan will also be displaying new VibroGym promotional material in the workshops: www.vgymuk.com

Invest in your members ... WITH the summer here, now is the time to invest in your members to keep them using the gym over these warm months. York have a special offer on the 110kg Chrome Dumbell set. They are offering the ten Pair set and vertical storage rack for an incredible £449.00 inc VAT and delivery The York Chrome Dumbells have a lifetime warranty on head detachment, ergonomically style handles and a durable bright chrome finish. The rack is compact in design and has clean lines to make it fit into any gym environment. To order contact York on 01327 701852 or commercial@yorkfitness.co.uk or yorkstrength.com

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UK FITNESS SCENE With predictions that budget gyms will make up 25 per cent of the UK’s fitness market Emma Spencer looks at how to set one up, the impact on the independent operator and whether the trend is sustainable.

Independents: should they fear budget chains? PETER Roberts, managing director of Pure Gym says his brand is aimed at “people who want to be fit and healthy and not sitting around in a gym cafe drinking coffee and reading the paper”. However, he is the first to admit the logistics require considerably more thought. He said: “There is a gap in the market which has been filled overseas but not so much here but it is an expensive investment. “But look at other providers in other sectors such as Primark and Easyjet – they have all been successful so I think at the moment the market has opened up for it.” Even so it costs him £1 million to get each new gym off the ground, it has to be open 24 hours and have 150,000 people within a tenminute catchment area. At the moment he is using equity and external investment to fund it but as he expands the chain he plans to use bank debt. Peter said: “Because it is a low price it does mean you need a certain number of members. That depends on each gym but I certainly need over 5,000 members per gym. “That is one of the reasons we made it 24 hours so we can attract part time and flexi workers like the police, hospital and restaurant workers. “One of the potential difficulties because you need a large number of members is you need a large gym with a large number of pieces of equipment in it. It is remarkably difficult to find 20,000 square feet in the right location at the right price.” Peter says he wouldn’t open another within 15 minutes of the last and if someone were to set up competition across the street they would both end up with a smaller membership and neither venture would be successful. Yet with the right approach he argues the budget gym is here to stay. He added: “Because it is so easy to join it is also easy to leave. The no contract is a major attraction for people. “To retain them you have to run the gym to a very high standard in terms of cleanliness, how you treat people on the floor and offering

Pure Gym different equipment. “You have to be as much on the ball about it as you would be if you had a full service gym.” A recent study by Ray Algar from Oxygen Consulting said there were 19 low-cost operators at the end of 2009. That figure is expected to be 75 by the end of this year and 119 by the end of 2011. But Dave Wright, chief executive of Creative Fitness Marketing, is concerned budget operators are in it for the money. “Budget clubs are based on a numbers game. The more the chimney pots, the more likely they are to open up in those towns. “Low cost clubs in the UK have missed a trick compared to those overseas. They only offer light weights, no classes and little if any secondary sales. “It’s like being a low-cost airline and not offering headphones or sandwiches. This is where existing clubs can focus on that area of their business. “Studies show if you get members to participate and buy more programmes and services from you, they are likely to stay longer. “I’m not sure the budget chain is

Peter Roberts a sustainable product or whether there’s just been a lot of hype to gain investors money and then to sell out before the club matures and they’ve burned and churned as many people as they can in the market place. Time will tell.” The opinions of independents across the country differ. Chris Hillyer, part owner of Formula One, Nottingham, said: “We are £25 a month and could get into a price fight but what’s the point? “They are just going to get you in, it is doubtful they will give an induction, and they will do it all on-line. We will just keep doing what we do which is give good service, I have seen them come and go.” Alastair McKenzie, gym manager at Chapel Allerton health club in Leeds said: “We aren’t really concerned. From speaking to members half of them haven’t even heard of them. Most members are from the area, we don’t have many from town anyway.” Hayley Wilkinson from Expressions near Maidenhead said: “We haven’t experienced them around here but I wouldn’t appreciate it. It definitely would affect us.”

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Breakthrough in reliability of fingerprint access CLUBWISE has its finger on biometric access – a developing way of measuring useage and identifying members.

‘Budget club’ concept works for Neil HELIO Fitness in Blackpool increased revenue by 35 per cent after implementing new web-based member management software. By adopting a successful ‘budget club’ concept and implementing SDA’s LeisurePoint online membership solution, the independent gym is now a unique and profitable venture. Owner Neil Henshaw said: “We found it increasingly difficult to differentiate ourselves from the competition. If we were to grow the business successfully, we needed to completely rethink our business model. “I was convinced we could adopt a

‘budget club’ model and make it successful in Blackpool, if we could automate administrative processes and cut costs by using technology to do the work for us.” Neil reduced prices, simplified membership categories and partnered with SDA Solutions to implement LeisurePoint.net software. He added: “We could pay a low monthly fee and ensure the system was fully supported and always available. Members can now enquire, join and make bookings online, without the need for an staff to be involved.”

For many years, the ability to offer fingerprint access using biometric readers has been considered unreliable primarily due to technology issues. But now ClubWise, a market leader in providing integrated club management solutions, has designed a web based solution using the next generation of biometric technology. Sales manager Guy Foster said: “We’re currently experiencing a 96% success rate in capturing member’s fingerprints and, where this is not possible due to age and general wear and tear, we provide dual recognition using proximity cards via the same reader.” “Biometric authentication provides the very highest level of member identification eliminating the possibility of more than one member using the same membership card. We are not only enhancing the member experience by removing the need for

them to remember to bring a card but issues associated with forgotten, lost and damaged cards, costs of continually providing cards and not seeing them returned when members leave the club. This cost effective solution doesn’t require a local PC and software and can still be used if internet connection is lost as data is stored not only in the ClubWise management system, but also on the reader or series of readers throughout a club. Guy added: “In addition, at traditionally quiet times or if clubs are looking to reduce staff costs, there is no need for staffed access control points and personnel can be deployed elsewhere as the club can rest assured that, with complete integration with ClubWise’s managed direct debit collection service and club management solution, those members who are in arrears to the club will be denied access to the club.” For more information call ClubWise on 0800 072 6411


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Re-invent your space UNHAPPY members, lack of stimulation and customer service are some of the main issues affecting the industry. Managing membership is a main concern for businesses especially given the findings of a recent study by Empire Research Group says Matthew Januszek customer solutions director for Escape Fitness. The main challenges identified by the report were:  Lack of facility stimulation,  Lack of value added service,  Member dissatisfaction,  Customer attrition. Of those surveyed 70 per cent said that they found exercise a chore, while another key finding highlighted that those who exercise to shed fat and not because they enjoyed it were less likely to make a long term behavioral change and more likely to re-gain any weight lost. We also know that one in three people who join a gym, leave again. We know that people lose motivation and get bored and we know that people want to see results. Put all this evidence together and it’s easy to see how retention can be

‘Identify areas where you can add value to your membership offering’ improved through some fairly simple, easy to implement and relatively inexpensive solutions. To win the attrition battle: 1) Your facility needs to be stimulating to those using it. Think about how your equipment is laid out – could you utilise your space more effectively? Check what colours have been used in the environment – are they motivating and appealing to the senses? 2) Keep it varied – choose multipurpose equipment and products that allow plenty of exercise options. Not only will it benefit a wide range of members, it can also be used by individuals, for one-toone personal training, in a small group environment or for large group sessions, all of which ensures that you get maximum return on investment. 3) Make exercise fun – people underestimate the effectiveness of training in a group. If you look at

the popularity of group exercise classes in the studio, it makes perfect sense to replicate that in the gym. It’s fun, it’s motivating and it’s infectious – I guarantee it! 4) Incorporate a challenge – everyone loves a bit of healthy competition! 5) Get Results – at the end of the day, if your members aren’t achieving their health and fitness goals, they are either going to get bored and give up or go somewhere else. Promote greater interaction between staff and members, ensure programmes are reviewed and updated regularly to maintain motivation and encourage your members to try new activities and equipment. As great as it is to completely re-invent your space in one hit, realistically and financially it’s not always possible. These ideas are designed to give you food for thought and can be introduced gradually as opportunities and funding allow. The important part is to get the basics right – look at the facility through the eyes of your members, review your service levels and identify areas where you can add value to your membership offering.

Matthew Januszek

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Web portal provides leisure clubs with simple means to sell their services MOST readers of this article will already have a web-site which is hopefully doing a good job of showing off your company’s services to the world at large. However, would it not be a marked improvement if it could also take membership renewals and even join new members. This would not only give you a 24/7 revenue stream but also free up your staff time at reception. Add to that the capability to book classes and activities and you have an even larger revenue stream, which is also fully integrated with your inhouse point of sale and access control systems. If that is not enough, add a content management system which enables you to keep the web-site up-to-date with your news, photos, events and other content, such as advertising, and this also means no bills for updates to your web-site. SportSoft has developed such a sophisticated web portal to provide leisure clubs with a simple, costeffective means to advertise and sell their services. The portal can either be used

Software allows clubs to take control ... LEISUREMOST software lets clubs take control of their memberships. It records every visit by a member and even lets you know if a member is at risk of leaving or if money is owing. To keep track of genuine members the software displays the member’s image or uses finger print recognition. LeisureMost records and assists collection of regular payments including direct debit, standing orders and debit finance. You can easily communicate with one member or a selected group of members by mail merge, email or text messaging. Powerful reporting facilities let you access the vital information stored in your database and print, save or export the data. LeisureMost is a powerful, cost effective tool for managing your business regardless of how many members you have. Free installation and on-site training is provided, with unlimited telephone and remote access support. Contact Duncan Gibson on 0113 2370688 or at www.leisuremost.com

stand-alone as a complete web-site solution or integrated into an existing web-site. The addition of a secure, credit card payment system, or a PayPal channel allows customers to pay online to join, renew or make leisure bookings. This all adds up to a better service for the members, and cost savings at reception. Paul Duncalf, Sportsoft managing director, said: “Most sales revenue in a health club comes from membership fees. “So having a round-the-clock advertising and sales mechanism where the majority of the club’s revenue goes directly into their bank account

is essential. “All successful clubs will have this capability within the next few years” SportSoft have been suppliers of computerised leisure management systems since 1990. Contact them on 01423 873873 or go online and try out their new portal at www.sportsoft.co.uk/eleisure


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Wayne Heath

Wayne’s chuffed by software solution success WHEN Wayne Heath started his own gym three years ago he quickly realised all his time was being taken up with everyday admin and banking tasks. He needed a software solution to ease the daily running of Gymophobics in Romsford, Essex but struggled to find anything credible or affordable. It was a chance meeting that led to him creating ClubManager. He said: “Once my gym was up and running every day would begin the same way. What do I do first? Where is the next member coming from? Are the accounts up to date? Is the paperwork up to date? What is the status of my direct debits? “I was running around like a headless chicken whilst my staff spent all of their spare time completing paperwork.” “I am a process-driven person and knew that if I could get the process right my staff and I could spend a lot more time with our members and more time on increasing the footfall into the gym.” Through a chance conversation Wayne was introduced to a member’s husband who for 15 years had run a software development company. They agreed a software solution for small to medium sized gyms was essential for the industry so they decided to build ClubManager. Wayne said: “It took about a year to develop initially. I remained thor-

‘Since then the demand for ClubManager and feedback has been phenomenal with the system being used by many gyms throughout the UK’ oughly in control of the design and built it around processes and bestpractices of a working gym. “This was fascinating for both myself and the development team as it means that ClubManager has been built around how a gym actually works rather than how a software company thinks a gym should work.” It was tested by ten gyms who used the programme for six months giving continual feedback and suggestions before it was launched. Wayne added: “Since then the demand for ClubManager and feedback has been phenomenal with the system being used by many gyms throughout the UK.” “We work with some great people and I'm chuffed that absolutely every customer loves ClubManager. 'I think this is in part because it's easy to use and affordable but also because we know their industry and can provide a lot of additional help and advice. 'New customers are coming on board all of the time so it's very exciting for us.”

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Heptathlete Jessica opens two new gyms WORLD heptathlete Jessica Ennis recently officially opened two new Precor gyms at Leeds Metropolitan University after a massive £400,000 refurbishment programme. Both the university’s Headingley site and City Campus have seen their gyms re-modelled for the first time in a decade. Between them the fitness facilities boast 6,000 members made up from students, staff, public and visiting athletes. Joining Jessica at the grand opening ceremony was Keith Morris, Deputy Director of Sport, as well as students and staff who’d come to witness the event and sign up for membership. Response to the new gyms has been good so far and Dave Henderson, Operations Manager for Leeds

Metropolitan University, is confident it will attract more members than ever. He said: “Everyone has been very complimentary about the new gyms, and even better, they certainly seem to be very well used. “We’ve signed up more than 700 new users so far and are on track to meet our targets. “We work with a number of worldclass athletes here at Leeds Metropolitan so we’re delighted when one of the leading lights in British athletics Jessica Ennis was able to come and open our new gyms. “We hope all students and staff at Leeds Met will be inspired by this and will enjoy a healthier lifestyle as a result.”

Users exercising without realising SHOKK’s innovative multiplayer dancemat system is one of the best interactive products on the market revolutionising how young people get involved in physical activity. High energetic dance routines, balance, co-ordination and quick thinking on your feet, will provide a total body work-out. Schools, leisure centres, youth clubs, specialist sport colleges and football academies have all benefited from the SHOKK dancemat system that have session programmes mapped to the national curriculum. The system offers popular chart music, spilt screen options for up to three levels of difficulty, multiplayer options and a progressive method of exercise. As well as being mobile, wireless,

light and extremely durable, it is the perfect addition for any fitness space. Using the most up-to-date technology, SHOKK equipment gets users exercising without realising which keeps them motivated and interested in activity. For more information about a free dancemat demonstration contact 0161 877 7870

Jessica Ennis with Keith Morris, deputy director of sport

Health club launches Teen Fit Academy A NEW initiative to encourage teens to take regular exercise has been launched by a leading health club. The ‘Teen Fit Academy’ takes place at the club at DoubleTree by Hilton and has already been a big success with over 50 children signing up to take part. Because unsupervised use of the gym is usually restricted to those age 16 or below, the idea is to allow teenagers access to the range of equipment at specified times, once they have completed an induction course. This includes guidance on the etiquette of using the gym such as use of towels and how to use the workout stations safely. Once they have completed the induction they are given a certificate

which gives them access to the gym, on their own, at certain times. Tom Horton, fitness manager at the club said: “This is a great scheme that not only encourages those between the ages of 12 to 15 to take more exercise but gives them access to the gym and most of the equipment. “We do not encourage the use of weights but show the children how to improve their health and well being using the cardio vascular machines, body weight exercises and other gym equipment such as Swiss balls and medicine balls. “The response has been fantastic with over 50 teens graduated so far and there is a waiting list for a place on the induction days.”

Sir Geoff opens new facility ONE of England’s ‘extra special status’ schools, Pates Grammar School in Gloucester, has created a new state-of-the-art sports facility to help keep students fit and healthy. The club has now been opened by Sir Geoff Hurst and features Life Fitness equipment including Classic

range cardio stations and Optima series strength equipment. The school’s headmaster, Mr Fenton, said: “As a school with healthy school status, we take health related fitness seriously and this facility is proving extremely popular with our students before, during and after school.”


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How gymnast Daniella turned bodybuilder ... By Emma Spencer DANIELLA Pellegrini is a gymnast turned tv presenter, actor, speaker and is now a bodybuilding competitor. At the first time of asking and with less than four months’ training under her belt she won the FAME UK 2010 Fitness category. South African Daniella, but now based in London, told Workout how she had to change a gymnastics orientated training regime and diet for competition in a totally different discipline. “Bodybuilding is totally different to gymnastics. You tend to find everybody is very strong and had years of building up the muscle mass. It is 35 to 40 hours of training. I have never known a gymnast go to a gym, they don’t need to because of the amount of training they do. “Diets for gymnasts are 60 per cent carbohydrates, 20 per cent protein and 20 per cent fat. Because of the dynamics, movement and exercises gymnasts need more energy than a body builder.” As a gymnast Daniella’s diet contained 1500 calories in six small meals a day but she needed to change the dynamic after she decided to take up body building to keep in shape and get back into competing. The first diet and nutrition plan she tried was 2500 calories starting with four eggs for breakfast, half a cup of oats and 100 grams of blueberries along with larger meals for lunch and dinner. She found she simply couldn’t eat that much food so adjusted to a 2000 calorie intake cutting out some of the egg and oats. Four daily meals consisted of 100 grams of protein, 150 grams of steamed vegetables and a quarter of a cup of rice. Daniella was also having protein shakes after training and before bed but her body shape still wasn’t changing and she was getting headaches, stomach cramps and had a lack of energy so the diet was changed for a third time. It included 80 grams of meat, half a cup of rice and 150 grams of steamed vegetables and she dropped a dress size in three days. She said: “When I cut the protein my body started to change and I could fit into my size 8 jeans again

Daniella Pellegrini so I kept that up until competition.” She was also taking a glutomine supplement which repairs the gut, spirulina, omega oils, and vitamins C and D to boost the immune system as she was busy with other work commitments alongside the training and vitamin B to help relieve stress. Daniella said: It is each to their own. You have to make adjustments as you go along. “When I was having a lot of protein I was so thirsty and drinking four to five litres of water a day and I’m thinking I’m not sure how good this can be.” She also trains less than the average body-building competitor but blitzes the five gym sessions she has per week. To begin with she does 20 minutes of cardio and works on her

abs every session but then she will focus one day on legs, the next on arms and chest and the next her back and shoulders and finishes with stretches. Despite the intensive workout and sticking to a diet Daniella didn’t expect to win FAME. She added: “I went into it thinking whatever happens happens but I will train to the best of my ability. To win was totally unexpected but really pleasing. ‘It was the first thing I had won in years and felt amazing. I had forgotten what it was like and gave me added incentive to go to the next one.” Her success at FAME UK has given her a place at the FAME World Championships in November and she will be competing at Muscle Mania in September at St Albans.


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Newly-discovered peptide SCIENTISTS have discovered a naturally-occuring appetite suppressant that could be used to make a diet drug without side effects. Professor Simon Luckman and Dr Garron Dodd from the University of Manchester believe the peptide hemopressin might treat some aspects of alcohol and drug abuse aswell. Dr Dodd said: “It has long been known the rewarding aspects of feeding behaviour influence our appetite, so that sometimes we eat for pleasure rather than hunger. “By reducing hedonistic feeding, it is possible to help people lose weight by quenching the desire to eat.”

Olympic gold medal winner Darren opens sports science lab PROFESSIONAL sports testing can now be taken to clubs and groups ranging from athletes to football to hockey players. Since retiring from competitive athletics Darren Campbell has developed the Pro Athlete Supplementation range and has been involved in coaching, sports science and the benefits of physiological testing. The Olympic gold medal winner opened the fitnessASSIST sports science lab which aims to make sports science testing available to everyone. The lab has been approved by the Research Institute of Sports and Exercise Science and addresses spe-

cific areas of an athlete’s routine in order to maximise training and performance. A typical testing session looks at body composition analysis, lactate thresholds, peak anaerobic power, heart rate zones and calculation of VO2 max in addition to tests of strength, power, flexibility and agility. Specific testing packages are available for endurance athletes, cyclists, triathletes and their coaches while the mobile lab can also be taken to clubs and groups for multi-athlete testing of football, rugby, basketball and hockey teams for example.

New dedicated package for women PhD Nutrition are already one of the UK’s leading sports nutrition brands, supplying many health clubs, stores and fitness centres throughout UK and Europe. Their fantastic range of products are designed to deliver results, taste superb and provide the trade customer with great profit margins. View the product range at www.phd-supplements.com and contact us to become a stockist. Following on from this success, PhD have released PhD Femme (www.phd-femme.com) a new dedicated sports nutrition brand and lifestyle package designed for the

female gym-goer and athlete. Far removed from the traditional “slimming packages” aimed at the uneducated, PhD Femme provide serious products designed to enhance energy, body tone and recovery. For information on our PhD Femme trade rates and how to become a trade customer, please contact us at: sales@phdfemme.com and visit www.phd-femme.com to view the range of products.

A synthetic antagonist, Rimonabant, was developed six years ago and marketed as an anti-obesity treatment acting in peripheral tissues to reduce fat deposition. It was later withdrawn from the market due to undesirable side effects such as depression and increased suicidal thoughts. Dr Dodd believes that naturallyoccurring hemopressin may not cause such side effects. He added: “This is a newly-discovered peptide and we do not know yet exactly where it is expressed in the brain. We also need to find out whether it has prolonged actions on body weight.”

Sports nutrition company launches trade-only website A SPORTS nutrition company has launched a trade-only website for its supplements. It is helping Prolab with its distribution to all parts of the UK and Europe from its Bristol base. Pro-lab Trade was established in 1989 and now stocks 50 different brands and over a thousand products. One of which is Inner Armour “Strength from Within” a top selling brand from the United States

– a wide variety of supplements from time released proteins to testosterone boosters, fat burners and hardcore weight gainers. The Inner Armour range has been designed so it caters for beginners or athletes looking for a competitive edge. Other brands distributed by Prolab are Prolab Nutrition, Musclemeds, Xero limits, Nx Labs, Nutrex, Stacker and Musclepharm. The makers of a protein drink have added three new flavours to their current favourites. 100 % Whey Protein from USN now comes in banana, forest fruits and chocolate orange as well as the vanilla, chocolate and strawberry options. The wheat free formula is a protein drink to aid muscle recovery and development after intense exercise As well as being available in large tubs it now comes in single serving sachets providing 25g of high biological value protein, rich in amino acids.


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SUPPLEMENTATION AND NUTRITION The woman behind the international distribution of Gaspari Nutrition shares her secrets of success with WorkOut. When Liz Gaspari’s husband, former bodybuilding champion Rich Gaspari decided to bring out his own range of supplements others mocked but the couple persevered and now own one of the most renowned brands in the business.

‘If the athlete who buys our products is not successful, neither are we ...’ How did you first get involved in business and to what do you attribute your success? Before Rich and I met, I owned quite a few successful businesses but it wasn’t until I met Rich and saw his passion that I knew I had something really special. If what sets you apart also happens to be the best the market place has ever seen success will come if you execute properly. The downside to this is making the ‘real stuff’ is very expensive. I knew from the start all our money was in the products and I wouldn’t have nearly the margin to work with as my competitors so I’ve always had to be creative. If you ask me why I’ve been successful – customer service. Rich takes a personal interest in the athletes. He truly wants them to succeed and he’s very protective of their interests. If the athlete who buys our products is not successful, neither are we. If our business partners are not successful, neither are we. Everyone is important. I try very hard to give as much attention to a single local store as I do a large international customer.

What is it that makes Gaspari Nutrition so different? Rich makes it all possible. I remember years ago when he told me his vision wasn’t going to be easy and that he was hitting opposition at

every turn. He said the sports nutrition industry had always been more marketing hype than science and he wanted to do something about it. He spoke to other successful industry people and told them that he wanted to “do the right thing” and put the products first. They all laughed and told him he was in the wrong business. Rich’s tenacity and work ethic have always carried him. When his competitive bodybuilding career was over, he was determined to put that competitive spirit into helping other athletes be their best. He tells me he likes seeing them succeed even more than he did himself. for half an hour.

How do you stay in such great shape with your busy work schedule? If it weren’t for the lifestyles of my husband and the rest of our team to keep me motivated, I’m not sure how I would do it. Getting the kids’ days started in the morning, either working in the office or on the road all day, then coming home to be mum again is a lot all by itself. I try to stay on a three hour interval meal schedule with moderately high protein all day. My carbs are usually heavier in the morning and taper down as the day goes on. As far as exercise, cardio is all I have time for these days at home on the treadmill three to five times a week

Allsports launches egg white powder FOR years athletes have used hen eggs as a source of protein but now a supplements firm has launched an egg white powder. The protein in Allsports Only EggÓ contains all the essential amino acids plus many others in ideal proportions to repair and build lean muscle tissue. Up until now the basic problems for athletes using egg whites has been variation in size of individual egg whites making it difficult to calculate protein, the mess and waste involved in cracking eggs and getting rid of shells, the risk of bursting the yolk, contamination from dirty shells, egg freshness and cost.

Only EggÓ has the solution to these problems because there is no mess, waste, risk of contamination, broken yolks, no lactose, cjolestrol, sugar or fat. Unlike the majority of commercially available powdered egg whites with Only EggÓ the albumen is left intact so lysozyme, conalbumin and other proteins are not removed in the drying process and then sold into the pharmaceutical industry. It also has a better taste, odour and colour than the others because special bacteria is used in the ‘de sugaring’ process instead of yeast. Contact Robin Story on 01302 325163 or sales@allsports-int.co.uk

Do you take any Gaspari Nutrition products? I didn’t drink protein shakes, I just wasn’t into supplements. Some tasted ok the first or second time but then I just couldn’t bear it. Then came Myofusion and the rest is history. With my schedule, there’s no way I’d be able to get my meals in without the help of these products. If they can convince a junk food lover like me to love a protein drink, they can convince anyone. Aside from the proteins, it’s our multivitamin. It really makes a huge difference. The only other thing I’ve been taking is a half dose of an experimental fat burner/energy tablet that the team has been handing me. Word is you will all be getting it in a few months.


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Introducing new blend ...

Three-time World Ironman Champion Chrissie Wellington smashed her own world record for the Ironman-distance triathlon in Germany. She recorded a time of eight hours, 19 minutes and 13 seconds for a marathon run, 3, 800 metre swim and a 42 km cycle.

BODITRONICS MASS ATTACK EVO has been formulated to now include a new low glycemic index ultracarb complex. Featuring a huge 40 grams per serving of muscle building protein, Mass Attack Evo, contains the same time released protein blend as in the original Mass Attack. But it now also contains Boditronics’ unique ‘UltraCarb Complex’ a proprietary Low Glycemic Index blend that utilises ground whole oats, barley malt, whole durum wheat and waxy maize

starch. Mass Attack Evo is also high in nutrients, vitamins and minerals and releases energy in a slow timed manner, sparing protein and ensuring muscle growth is lean and rapid with minimum fat gain unlike the usual maltodextrin and sugar filled gainers on the market. Mass Attack Evo is available in 2.5kg and 4kg sizes and six flavours including milk chocolate, strawberries and cream, vanilla ice cream, banana cream, toffee delight and mocha.

Chrissie, 33, beat her own previous mark of eight hours, 31 minutes and 59 seconds recorded last year by 12 minutes and 46 seconds. She won the Challenge Roth event by over half an hour from Australia’s Rebecca Keat. Chrissie said the race was “as close to as

perfect as I have ever had” adding: “I never thought I would be able to break my own world record, and to do it has made me so incredibly happy and proud.”  Look out for an interview with Chrissie in a forthcoming issue.

Organisers ‘over the moon’ as Bodypower wins launch award By Emma Spencer ORGANISERS of the BodyPower Expo were recognised at the Association of Event Organisers awards. The team won the “Best Consumer Launch Award” seeing off competition from Masterchef Live and Top Gear’s MPH. Marketing director Ollie Upton works alongside show managers Steve Orton and Matt Bevan. Cycling is an endurance sport which requires sustained energy-levels and specific nutrients to help cyclists recover post-session. So supplementation firm CNP Professional has developed a range designed to meet the specific needs of cyclists and pro-energy bars are the latest creation. They are a healthy snack, low in fat and high in time-released carbohydrates for sustained energy and because they are individually wrapped they are ideal for taking on a training session. The bars are dried fruit and whole grain in banana or berry flavour and can be eaten by athletes subject to drug testing.

He said: “We were over the moon to find out we had been shortlisted for the award, but we knew that we were up against major competitors. “To put on an exhibition of this calibre is phenomenal and is testament to the experience of the team, who expect the rapid growth of the event to continue with 25,000 visitors attending in 2011.” The date for next year’s show has already been set. It will be at the NEC in Birmingham over the weekend of May 21 and 22.


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SUPPLEMENTATION AND NUTRITION Some sports drink manufacturers are now adding small amounts of protein to their carbohydrate-energy drinks, claiming enhanced performance and recovery over standard carbohydrate drinks. But do these protein-containing energy drinks offer any real advantages? Andrew Hamilton investigates …

Does adding protein have any real advantages? What are carbohydrate protein energy drinks? In many ways, carbohydrate-protein energy drinks have a very similar composition to conventional carbohydrate-energy drinks but there is one important difference - they also contain protein in addition to carbohydrate. Although their compositions vary, a carbohydrate-protein energy drink typically supplies around 80 per cent of its calories as carbohydrate and 20 per cent as protein (often in the form of whey protein, which is rapidly absorbed). It’s important however not to confuse these carbohydrate-protein energy drinks (designed to be used during exercise) with recovery drinks, which contain higher levels of protein and other nutrients (designed to be used after training). Why use carbohydrate protein energy drinks? A number of recent scientific studies have demonstrated the following benefits over conventional carbohydrateonly drinks:  Enhanced endurance performance in very long events (three hours plus)  Better recovery following training  Less muscle damage (and therefore less muscle/strength loss during extended periods of high-volume training);  Reduction of metabolic stress on the body, which can help to maintain immunity and prevent the risk of illness and infections during periods of heavy training. Who can benefit from carbohydrateprotein energy drinks? With the above in mind, these drinks may be particularly useful for endurance sportsmen and women (eg cyclists, runners, rowers etc) who want to maintain maximum strength/muscle mass during periods of high-volume training. There’s also some evidence they can benefit strength trainers by helping to promote greater levels of muscle tissue synthesis than when a carbohydrateonly drink is used during a resistance training session. How should you use carbohydrate protein energy drinks? These drinks should be consumed in the just same way as conventional

carbohydrate-only drinks – ie mixed up as per the manufacturer’s recommendations to supply around 60-80g of carbohydrate-protein (containing 12-16g of protein) and 600-1400mls of fluid per hour (depending on formulation) immediately prior to and during exercise. Are there any drawbacks to carbohydrate-protein energy drinks? Some researchers have claimed that a potential downside of carbohydrateprotein drinks is that they ‘displace’ some of the carbohydrate that would have been present in a carbohydrateonly drink therefore limiting endurance performance in long events. Moreover, there’s some evidence that for maximum performance in a one-off short event (up to two hours), a pure carbohydrate-only drink may just have the edge, especially when combined with caffeine (a topic we’ll look at shortly). However, using carbohydrate-protein drinks during training is less about maximising performance for just one event, and much more about improving performance month-by-month and yearby-year. If that’s your goal, the evidence really does suggest that carbohydrate-protein drinks have much to offer!  Andrew Hamilton BSc Hons, MRSC, ACSM is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American College of Sports Medicine and a consultant to the fitness industry, specialising in sport and performance nutrition: www.andrewmarkhamilton.com

Andrew Hamilton

New look for protein powders WHEN nutrition company CNP Professional needed specialist packaging to protect their protein powders they called on Yorkshire firm National Flexible. The brief from CNP’s marketing manager Paul Riley was a new look for the protein sachets which featured CNP’s logo and would be easily recognisable by their target market of athletes in the sports of boxing, rugby, football, bodybuilding, power lifting and martial arts. National Flexible’s in-house agency, NXL Design, took the design from the concept to print-ready artwork. “National Flexible made the whole thing very easy for us,” said Paul. “Their expertise in packaging films, printing and the creativity of their graphic design meant that the project was delivered quickly and in a cost-

effective way,” he added. The laminate film was printed using a state-of-the art high-speed flexographic printing press, with National Flexible’s technical team being on hand throughout the whole process to make sure the film was exactly to specification – and CNP are delighted with the results. The new sachets are currently available on-line and from retail stockists throughout the UK. To discuss your packaging requirements please contact National Flexible’s commercial team on 01274 685566.


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Eight meals a day puts Micky in competition mood EIGHT meals a day is how body builder and personal trainer Micky Mckay prepares for a competition. The 47-year-old has been competing since he was a teenager and says the secret to success in today’s competition is 80 per cent down to the diet and just 20 per cent about the training. The current holder of the UKBFF under 80k class, EPF 75kg class and Mr Muscletalk 2010 is now in preparation for the UKBFF British finals. His strict carefully measured diet will play a major part in any success. When he wakes up he has 30 grams of protein before doing a 45 minute power walk. Breakfast at 7am consists of 50g of oats, 100ml of skimmed milk, 40g of whey, 10g of l-glutomine and a handful of raisins. At 10am Micky will have 40g of whey, a dessert spoon of healthy fats, an oil blend of omega 3, 6 and 9, two oat cakes, six brazil nuts and an apple. His 11am pre-training meal is 20g of whey, 5g lglutomine, 5g of amino acids, 5g of a beta-alanine supplement and 3g creatine. After his workout Micky prepares 50g of whey, 30g vitargo, 5g l-glutomine, 3g of creatine and 5g of amino acids followed by 40g of whey, two oat cakes and six brazil nuts an hour later. Before his afternoon workout at around 4pm Micky will have 200 g of chicken or lean steak, 30g of basmati rice and broccoli. His 6.30pm meal is 40g of whey, two oat cakes and a banana and at 8pm he will have a chicken breast with broccoli. Before bed at 10.30pm he has two table spoons of an oil blend and a protein powder. Micky who runs his own personal training business 121 Fitness in Corby, Northamptonshire said when he returned to competing after a five-year break the industry had changed dramatically.

Micky Mckay and, right, Micky in competition He said: “Everything is unbelievably advanced now. Schwarzenegger would find it tough in the amateur ranks now. “Eating for me is 80 per cent of how I am going to look, only 20 per cent of it is training. I never used to diet I just had a decent physique. “I thought it was just the same until I made my comeback and really started with my nutrition. When I won the British title 18 months ago I still wasn’t taking many supplements but I am smarter, older and wiser now.”

New gel provides energy boost A NEW energy gel has been developed which riders in the Tour de France used to boost energy levels. The berry flavoured gel was finished just in time for the gruelling Col Du Tourmalet which was the high spot of this year’s race. Pro Energy has been created by nutrition company CNP in conjunction with Nigel Mitchell, head of nutrition at GB Cycling. It’s three main benefits are it delivers a sustained energy boost, is gentle on the digestive system and is caffeine free. Ingredients include Maltodextrin, for a sustained release of energy, electrolytes for hydration and naturally occurring vitamin E, for its antioxidant properties. The prod-

uct doesn’t have citric acid which is also usually used in gels. Kerry Kayes, nutritional expert at CNP, said: “We had to make sure the new gel didn’t just give riders a

temporary boost, followed by a backlash in the form of an energy flat. Pro Energy gets round that by using ingredients that sustain the energy lift. At the same time, we

wanted to give riders a gel they could use as often as they liked. So this one doesn’t contain stimulants, like caffeine, where the intake needs to be limited.”


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Referral scheme rewards members with vouchers A HOTEL gym is launching a referral based loyalty scheme to encourage new members and uses international sporting events to keep them motivated. In return for a friend or relative joining members of Innaction in the Park Hotel York get high street vouchers to spend in supermarkets or on clothes, sports and fitness equipment. Phil Mason, leisure club manager said: “You get better quality referrals if they come from a friend because they obviously think the gym is decent anyway. “The feedback from members is they will make more of an effort. We are paying for the vouchers but feel we will make the money back from the memberships we gain.” With a membership base of 150 Phil and his team constantly have to think of ways to get new members and keep the current ones motivated. Special rates have been applied when six colleagues from the same firm join and throughout the year

challenged are set to tie in with high profile events such as the Boat Race, London Marathon and Tour De France with simple prizes like a bottle of champagne for the winner. One of the most successful methods is a monthly questionnaire asking for feedback on the instructors, equipment, prices, cleanliness and atmosphere. An action plan is formed based on the answers and last month at the request of members a slam man punching bag was installed and the month before the gym purchased some 20kg free weights. Phil says it is better than spending money on marketing campaigns which so far have been fruitless. He added: “We are a smaller gym and fighting against the likes of David Lloyd and other chains. We marketed ourselves through the Yellow Pages but couldn’t compete. “We thought we would spend the money on members rather than on the papers.”

Andy Milne has joined Powerhouse as national sales manager to grow and develop the Johnson fitness equipment and Bodymax Ziva free weights and accessories lines across the UK.

Aussie trend proves big hit for Emma A FITNESS trend which originated in Australia and New Zealand has made its way to Exeter. Thump boxing has taken off to the extent that boxing fitness instructor Emma Boddy is looking for a new venue. Sessions started at Sweat and Stretch Fitness Centre in the city in May and numbers have grown so much Emma has had to put on a second weekly class. She said: “People keep saying they want to do it twice and have been asking for another class, I could do with a bigger space. “I have 16 at a session and couldn’t fit in more than 20. I am looking at doing more classes and if it goes well I would love to look at new venues.” Thump boxing is different to the usual boxercise classes because participants put on gloves and facepads and practice different punches like

Trainer encourages client through workout A TREADMILL with an inbuilt personal trainer is the latest offering from equipment manufacturers Star Trac. Whether the user is walking or running Star Trac Coach™ offers a personalised workout tailored to the specific needs of each user led by real-life personal trainer Kimberly Shah. She encourages clients through the workout just like having an actual personal trainer. Matthew Pengelly, Managing Director of Star Trac Europe, said it was a revelation in cardio-training.

He added: “This is a dramatic improvement in the way that fitness providers are able to offer clients a range of services within one package. “Initial feedback has been incredibly positive, and users have been impressed with the variety of workouts offered.” Star Trac Coach™ is available on all Star Trac embedded-screen treadmills. The Star Trac E-Series products allow users to either engage with the Star Trac Coach™ facility, or to watch television or movies on the personal 15” viewing screen.

Stuart Burge is commercial director at Powerhouse. Prior to this he worked as a national account manager developing partnership business relationships with ASDA, Booker Group and Tesco. His passion for health and fitness resulted in a career change and he now has ten years’ experience in the supply and commissioning of fitness equipment. Some of the most prestigious contracts and subsequently the largest gym installations in Scotland have been developed, won and managed to completion by Stuart.

jabs and crosses while incorporating cardio exercises. Emma, works part time in the sports nutrition industry while she promotes new classes, and is prepared to put herself out there to raise the profile. She doesn’t have a website and to promote herself on a limited budget she put flyers pretty much everywhere she could think of and approached girls in the street herself to tell them about the class. Emma puts her growing clientele down to the fact there is no contract involved. She added: “I have been to places before where you have had to commit for two years. That put me off because I don’t know where I will be in two years never mind pay all that money. I do pay as you go but people seem to want to come back.”

John’s knock-out decision WHEN professional boxing coach John Rooney renamed his gym after himself it did wonders for the profile of his business. For years the gym on London Bridge had been called Gleason’s but John decided to change the name after it was fully refurbished and changed into a state of the art boxing gym. Although it has been designed with professional boxers and their coaching teams in mind the gym is open to beginners, women and those just wanting to use boxing techniques to get fit. John has coached the likes of WBO Super Middleweight Steve Collins and WBO/WBC/IBF Featherweight World Champion

Manuel ‘Mantecas’ Medina and currently has British Featherweight Champion Martin ‘Mac Man’ Lindsey on his books. He said: “Seven or eight years ago no-one knew who I was at that stage, now my name is very popular in boxing. “I have trained up world and British champions. After I changed the name of the gym I went from being the bottom of the first page of Google to number one. I think sharing my name with Wayne Rooney helped us along.” His gym now has 320 members, 20 of which are professional boxers.


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Taking group classes to a whole new level FITNESS Options provides new ways of getting fit with like-minded individuals. Group activity training is a popular way for people to get fit and spin classes have proved a profitable source of income. Fitness Options is now able to offer three brand new pieces of equipment that take these types of classes to another level. The first is the Helix H901 Lateral Trainer. Unlike other aerobic machines the Helix also works the inner and outer thighs and because of the variety of movements is ideal for group exercise classes. Classes feature moves like surfing, inner and outer thigh pumps, rolling squats, sprinting, grinding and ball riding - not only great fun but less monotonous than other classes. Next is the Nessfit Fitwalker a high quality, smooth motion manual treadmill built for commercial environments. Treadmill group classes are very popular in Europe because it’s so simple to perform by people of all ages and abilities. With the Fitwalker there are no motors to break down or circuit boards to burn out and once the class is over it folds to take up less space then an exercise bike. Finally there is the Nessfit SMS (Standing Movement Solutions) strength circuit equipment featuring ten individual strength stations where exercises are performed from the standing position. This means there are no adjustments to be made to the equipment as the class moves from one exercise to the other and no time wasted in the process. It is suitable for all participants from athletes to the elderly. Each machine is compact and easy to move thanks to transport wheels. All equipment is exclusive to Fitness Options. For more information visit www.fitnessoptions.co.uk or contact Karl Viner (commercial director) on 0115 9463085

UK FITNESS SCENE

Oxygym is first UK centre to install new trainer BLACKPOOL’s hardcore bodybuilding Oxygym is the first UK centre to install the new SportsArt S770 Pinnacle Trainer along with other cardio and strength fitness equipment. Three times ‘Mr Britain’ champion David Steele and wife Cheryl, who has also won the coveted titles of NABBA's Miss England and Miss UK, are old hands on the bodybuilding competition circuit and decided to invest in new fitness training equipment for Oxygym. A number of fitness equipment suppliers were invited to tender, along with SportsArt who had been recommended to Oxygym. According to Dave the decision to award SportsArt the contract was down to the very friendly and personal way it dealt with their enquiry and negotiations - involving only one person throughout managing director Mark Turner. Dave said: “It was much easier to deal with SportsArt as opposed to other suppliers. Others identified you as a number and in negotiations passed you around several different people and departments. “It felt like you had to start explaining your needs every time you opened up a conversation.

Dave said: “Since the installation the response from our members has been great, the equipment has performed reliably and on the odd occasion when we needed support, the after sales service has been excellent. “We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend SportsArt Fitness to other gyms”.

Chain encourages outdoor move

Advances lead to lower prices INTERNATIONAL supplier of name badges to gyms and leisure clubs, Badgemaster, says advances in technology are behind lower prices. For years the company has invested in up to date manufacturing and order processing systems enabling economies to be passed on to customers. One is a unique on-line reordering facility via the Badgemaster website. John Bancroft, managing director, said: “We’ve saved time and cost by removing the need for operator inpu. All text is entered by the customer and downloaded directly to comput-

“Mark Turner came out to see us and because of his experience in bodybuilding, he had immediate empathy with our requirements and provided us with several options for cardio and strength training equipment within our budget – including the new S770 Pinnacle Trainer.” Mark explained to Oxygym the SportsArt S770 Pinnacle Trainer allows users to safely target muscles that aren’t toned on other trainers, offers a full-body workout continually engaging large muscle groups whilst also strengthening lateral muscles, small muscle groups and core stabilizers. Dave added: “We may have been the first UK gym to install the SportsArt S770, but our hardcore trainers are very impressed and like to use this particular station because it gives an excellent workout. “It is well designed and engineered, may look high tech with many features, but is simple, easy to use and safe on joints. Along with the S770, SportsArt supplied a T630 treadmill, bike and other strength training equipment that was installed to time and budget.

erised systems. Badgemaster is confident of providing best value and service – every order being backed by best price guarantee. He added: “We’re now in a position to complete even the shortest runs extremely cost-effectively. We’ve overhauled our price list to make lower quantities of badges accessible at the same discounted rate previously reserved for higher volumes and are able to offer further significant savings for larger users.” For more information contact 01623 723112 or www.badgemaster.co.uk

SOHO Gyms is encouraging its members to cross the boundary between indoor and outdoor exercise.

to help them get the most from the new equipment, including providing specific workout routes from its Waterloo site.

The independent chain has launched a new way for clients to get all the benefits of using a traditional indoor cross trainer, while outside and on the move.

The clubs will also be hosting one to one sessions with the chain’s head of personal training to give members the best start on their new programme.

Freecross is a blend between a static cross trainer and a bicycle, which strengthens the arms, shoulders, chest, abdominals, back and legs like a gym based machine, but also gives the user the freedom to travel.

Michael Crockett, Soho Gyms MD, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to offer our members free use of this exciting new product.

Soho Gyms has also created several bespoke training plans for members

“Having been involved in the fitness industry for such a long time, we are all very excited to bring this brand new equipment to the UK.”


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Work Out (August 2010)  

The UK's No1 fitness industry magazine

Work Out (August 2010)  

The UK's No1 fitness industry magazine

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