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August 2011

The UK’s No 1 fitness industry magazine

Could you be a Workout award winner? By Christina Eccles THE National Fitness Awards are on course for a record-breaking year, with nominations flooding in from all corners of the UK. The awards, organised by Workout, were launched last year to celebrate excellence in the fitness industry and reward those clubs and individuals leading the way. Gyms up and down the country have already got behind the event, with winners from last year looking to retain their titles and shortlisted entries aiming to go one better and scoop an award. A number of clubs have also entered for the first time, hoping to follow in the footsteps of last year’s finalists, who gained priceless publicity from their local press and valuable marketing material by entering the awards. As well as categories from last year – such as regional gym of the year, gym team, gym based personal trainer of the year and lifetime achievement – new categories including ladies’ only gym of the year, newcomer of the year and budget gym of the year are also proving popular with clubs eager to shout about their achievements and motivate their

staff and members. But if you haven’t already put your club in the running for an award, time is running out. Nominations close on September 2, when the judging panel then has the difficult task of choosing the worthy clubs, which will make this year’s shortlist. Last year, the Workout team covered about 6,000 miles visiting every shortlisted gym before the winners were chosen by an expert industry panel which included Olympic swimmer – and last year’s host – Sharron Davies and sprinter Jennifer Stoute. This year’s winners will be crowned at a ceremony on November 25 at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, hosted by Coronation Street favourite Katherine Kelly. The awards dinner is open to all clubs – not just the lucky ones which have made the shortlist – and promises to be an exciting end of year party the whole industry can enjoy.  To book your place at the event, contact event organiser Liz Lee on 01226 734459 or email ll@whpl.net or for more information about how to enter the awards, visit the website www.nationalfitnessawards.co.uk

No 215 £3

Aaron in charity call to gyms

The name of David and Victoria Beckham’s new baby daughter provided the idea for a quirky marketing campaign from Harpers Fitness. The celebrity couple named their new arrival Harper Seven and to celebrate, Harpers Fitness offered a free seven day pass to people who ‘liked’ or commented on the announcement on the Harpers Fitness Facebook page or re-tweeted it on Twitter. Full story, Page 3

GYM manager Aaron Howlett is calling on clubs up and down the country to get involved in his latest charity challenge. Aaron – who runs Peak Physique in Hull – is walking 1,700 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End and back again to raise money for the NSPCC. The walk, which begins next March, is already being supported by a number of famous faces including Suggs, Jeremy Kyle and David Jason. And Aaron told Workout, he would like to see other gym owners and members join him on the walk, to raise as much money for the charity as possible. He said: “I would like to see some gym owners and members on the walk. Even if they don’t take part in the whole thing, it would be nice for them to walk a mile with me when I pass through their town or city.” Aaron is aiming to complete the challenge in 56 days – meaning some days he will be walking up to 60 miles. Any interested gym owners can email Workout at ce@whpl.net and we will pass your details on.


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UK FITNESS SCENE

Fifty new members sign up at open day By Dominic Musgrave A LEISURE centre in Burnley is celebrating a successful open day after signing up over 50 new members at the event. About 400 people flocked to Padiham Leisure Centre for a day of free, fun filled activities including swimming, Spinning taster sessions and a kids’ boxercise masterclass from Shokk. Visitors were so impressed with the facilities that 57 memberships were sold on the day, which assistant manager Scott Bryce said was a great achievement for the club. He said: “We have now been open about two years and are trying to publicise our fantastic facilities. To get this many memberships on the day was fabulous. The day was absolutely superb and a great success.” The open day was designed to showcase the centre’s facilities to the local community while highlighting some of the regeneration work that has taken place in the area, including at the tennis courts situated

close by and a new cycle route. Including the new members signed up at the event, the leisure centre and it’s sister site, St Peter’s, now have over 2,500 members – their highest ever figures – something which Scott attributes to delivering good facilities at an affordable price. He added: “We have also signed up to the Active Leisure Network, which includes 17 sites across Pennine Lancashire. “This means that if a member signs up to one centre, they can use any in the scheme, which is a great add on. “We are all in difficult times but it has made us listen to customers and make things more specific. We stopped doing some classes that didn’t have many people in them and instead put more on that are in demand.” Following the success of the open day, Burnley Borough Council is now looking to make it an annual event – staging it alternately between its two sites.  Are you a local authority gym achieving success in a difficult

climate? Tell us your stories by contacting Workout on 01226 734463 or emailing ce@whpl.net The National Fitness Awards also has a dedicated category for local authority gym of the year. To enter or find out more, visit the awards website www.nationalfitnessawards.co.uk

Group exercise boosts visits CLUBS that offer Les Mills classes attract more visits through group exercise than facilities which don’t maximise their group offering, the first Scoreboard global club survey has revealed. The survey of 1,200 clubs shows group exercise accounts for 33 per cent of attendance in facilities offering Les Mills programmes, while the industry average for group class visits

of total attendance is 10-20 per cent. Les Mills CEO Philip Mills said: “There is absolutely a commercial connection between group fitness and long-term profitable clubs. “Just one extra visit per week from each member can increase retention by around three per cent, and group fitness member retention rates are higher than other members, on average.”

www.workout-uk.co.uk

Official media partner of the Fitness Industry Association

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Beckham baby heralds arrival of campaign THE birth of Harper Seven Beckham and the power of social networking helped Harpers Fitness create a lighthearted campaign to celebrate the new arrival. To mark the birth of David and Victoria Beckham’s new baby, the company offered a free Harpers’ seven day pass to people who commented on or ‘liked’ the Harpers Fitness Facebook post or retweeted it on Twitter. Head of sales Terry Gibbs said: “There had been an amazing amount of hype in the run up to Victoria Beckham’s due date, not least about the sex of the baby but also what it would be called and where it would be born. When the announcement was made, that the little girl was to be called Harper Seven Beckham, more than a few of us had a lightbulb moment and thought about running a special offer! It’s great to be able to join in with the celebration in a lighthearted way. We have had a great response so far, particularly on Facebook with our sites who are taking part.” Winners of the Harpers Seven passes could also access the swimming pool, take part in gym classes and use all gym facilities, as well as receiving expert advice on how to improve their personal fitness. The pass was valid from July 11 for seven consecutive days. Advertising

Editorial

Sales and marketing director: Tony Barry Sales manager: Daniel Lloyd Tel: 01226 734699 dl@whpl.net Assistant sales manager: Danielle Hornby Tel: 07860 522 230 dlh@whpl.net Field sales executive: Chris Hartley Tel: 01226 734709 ch@whpl.net

Group Editor: Andrew Harrod Tel: 01226 734639 ah@whpl.net Chief reporter: Christina Eccles Tel: 01226 734463 ce@whpl.net

Production Group Deputy Editor: Judith Halkerston Tel: 01226 734458 jhalkerston@whpl.net

Wharncliffe Publishing Ltd. 47 Church Street, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S70 2AS


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2011 is shaping up to be the best year yet for an independent gym in Cornwall. Club owner David Herman told Workout why ...

Hot new exercise class debuts in Bude A CHARITY fitness challenge, the launch of the UK’s hottest new exercise class and a specialised GP referral scheme are just some of the plans in the pipeline at Fusion Fitness in Bude. The club, which has about 400 members, is gearing up for a busy summer and when Workout spoke to David, he and a group of members were preparing for their latest charity event, something which the club does regularly to raise funds for worthy causes. In previous years, members have collected hundreds of pounds, which has been donated to Help for Heroes and Cancer Research. This year’s challenge involves teaming up with the Royal Marines, which has five officers undertaking a charity bike ride from Exeter all the way to Spain. David and members at the club are also going to take part – embarking on the challenge inside of the gym and matching the riders

on their journey. Money raised will be donated to the Royal Marines Association and the Royal British Legion, and David said that although neither he or his members could take time off to join those going to Spain, they were keen to be involved and this was the ideal way. He added: “We have 17 members taking part and the aim is to clock up as many miles as possible. We are going to keep in touch with the riders throughout using Facebook and hope to match them mile for mile.” David has also become one of the first instructors in the country to be qualified to teach a brand new class, Bokwa. According to David, Bokwa is the next big thing to hit the fitness industry and is set to rival the popularity of Zumba. To celebrate its arrival at Fusion Fitness, he is holding a launch event, which has been publicised in

the club and online to give people the chance to try it out. He added: “Bokwa is an amazing workout which is going to take the fitness industry by storm. We are expecting to attract about 60 people to the taster session.” David has owned the club for four years and says, so far, this year has been the best yet: “We have had loads of new members. We haven’t really done any advertising but word of mouth carries. Zumba has really taken off and we think Bokwa

will be exactly the same.” Although the club is doing well, one of its downsides is a lack of space. David is currently teaching classes in a local church hall and has also teamed up with a nearby holiday park to use their ballroom, allowing holidaymakers and non members to get involved. But he revealed in future, he would love to be able to open new, bigger premises in the town – which would include his own dance studio.

Degree first for David DAVID is also on a pilot scheme with Oxford University – studying for a Masters degree in exercise for people with long term neurological conditions. He will be one of the first 10 people in the country to have this qualification and says he is

already starting to get referrals from local GPs. David said he took on the course to learn new skills and improve the club’s offering, while helping people who have specialist needs to live a better life.


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No frills gyms attracting first-time members By Dominic Musgrave NO frills gym models are changing the face of the fitness industry by attracting people who have never been members of a club, according to one operator. The Fit4less by énergie brand is on track to reach its target of 45 openings in the next two years following the addition of several new clubs, including sites in Chesham and Hartlepool. Operating using a no frills and no contract model, the company has outstripped previously set targets, with newly opened clubs including one in London’s Tower Hill, which opened last September, reporting an average growth of 200 new members per month. On average, over a third of new members at Fit4less clubs claimed to have never been part of a gym before, which brand and marketing director, David Beattie says is changing trends in the industry. He explained “The Fit4less offer-

ing is attractive to a much wider audience. Fitness enthusiasts historically deterred by long term commitment and escalating fees now have a clearly defined alternative to the traditional established health club groups. “Fit4less is upbeat and a bit cheeky, which we have found to be a fun and effective way to communicate with a new audience. “The marketing before and during the launch campaign grabs headlines and creates a real stir in the community but it is all done in a tasteful and respectful way. “Online social media has also played a large part in building awareness that has enabled us to communicate even more closely with members and prospective members.” Part of the cost-saving exercise within the Fit4less model is to drive people online to join, something that social media such as Facebook and Twitter has encouraged. Additionally, no member will

receive a membership card, with access to the gym by a biometric fingerprint identification system. David added: “The website really illustrates our progression as a brand. The simple to use online

joining facility is groundbreaking and one of, if not the best facility in the industry that gives our franchisees a unique administrative support function while giving customers an easy joining process.”


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UK FITNESS SCENE

With a new venue and new categories, the National Fitness Awards are back with a bang for 2011. Organiser Liz Lee revealed what’s new for this year and how your club can get involved.

Fitness awards head for Birmingham How are plans going for this year’s awards? The awards are going to be held at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham this year. Although we were really pleased with last year’s venue, The National Railway Museum in York, we were conscious of the fact some of the people who attended the awards had travelled quite a long distance to be there, so this year we decided to book a more central venue. The ICC is a stunning venue with plenty of accommodation available within walking distance and excellent on site parking. The menus have been chosen and entertainment booked – a good night is guaranteed again this year! What changes have you made to the event? This year, in response to feedback from clubs who entered last year, we have added some new categories – Ladies Only Gym of the Year; Newcomer of the Year; Best Rehabilitation Facility of the Year; Best Children's Facilities of the Year and Budget Gym of the Year – all of which have proved to be popular additions, especially Newcomer of the Year. What are the benefits to clubs which enter the awards? In the weeks after the awards we received numerous emails from

clubs, both those who had won their category as well as those shortlisted, telling us about the amount of local media coverage they had received, both for being shortlisted and then for winning. Clubs have used the fact they have been shortlisted in their marketing campaigns and also to gain valuable publicity from their local media. Those who went on to win their category then gained further coverage and we were contacted by various regional news groups for quotes and photographs for articles about winners in their areas. What feedback have you had from last year’s winners? Comments we received included: “We are very proud to have taken part in this inaugural celebration of all that is great in our industry. The knock on effect for us as a business will be wonderful and I will exploit it to the full. “I am preparing a logo of the short list certificate to go on our literature and our members are urging us to enter again next year to see which award we can win next time.” Carol Morgan, Wellow Fitness Centre “I thought it was absolutely fabulous and professional from start to finish. My guests and I enjoyed every minute of it. I think the whole concept will change the face of the UK

This year’s venue: the International Convention Centre in Birmingham fitness industry in a very, very positive way ... Never before has the industry had the opportunity to recognise achievements and to honour our own in this manner ...” Scott Horton, Hercules Gym “Just wanted to say well done and thank you for the excellent night last week. It was well structured, well organised and well attended and thank you also for our award. It means a huge amount to us.” Steve and Gina, Ministry of Muscle

How can a club enter or gain more information on the awards for 2011? Go to the National Fitness Awards website – www.nationalfitnessawards.co.uk for more information on the categories and criteria. There are also videos of both last year’s awards and of individual winners.  Anyone requiring any additional information should contact events manager, Liz Lee on 01226 734459 or by email at ll@whpl.net


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Leisure centre gets £370m revamp RIVER Park Leisure Centre in Winchester is undergoing a £370,000 redevelopment to expand its fitness suite and changing facilities. The 12-week redevelopment follows the renewal of DC Leisure’s contract to manage the site on behalf of Winchester City Council for a further 12 years. The work will be carried out by development partner Createability and will include demolition of the existing changing rooms, as well as extensive remodelling of the area, including the health suite, to create a more spacious and user-friendly layout. The work, which incorporates feedback from customers, will see the changing areas swap sides, creating a larger area for female customers, who make up 60 per cent of the leisure centre’s users. General manager Sarah Morgan said: “The last major refurbishment took place in 1998 and since then the increase in gym usage and membership means the existing changing facilities struggle to cope with the demands placed upon them. “The new changing rooms are being designed and built to a very high standard, with new showering facili-

‘Members will feel like VIPs’ at new club FITNESS First has opened its most lavish club to date – a £2.2m facility at the former home of Arsenal football club. The club is part of the Highbury Square Development and features include a fitness suite with the latest Life Fitness and Technogym equipment, group exercise studio and separate group cycling studio, with one of the widest range of classes available in the Capital. It also houses a freestyle area where members can use the latest developments in fitness equipment and techniques, either on their own or with a personal trainer, using tools such as ViPRs, TRX bands, Kettle Bells and Power Plates. COO Martin Seibold said: “Members will feel like VIPs when using the new club which has some unique features. Beneath the location of the former Arsenal pitch, members will be able to make use of the newly furbished swimming pool and spa area with distinctive glass roof.” To celebrate the opening, the club held a launch party which included a champagne reception, gym challenges and prize giveaways.

Have you got a story for Workout? Call us on 01226 734463 or email: ce@whpl.net

The building work in progress ties, vanity areas, wooden lockers and even saunas in each of the male and female changing rooms; and we have already received positive feedback from members, especially females,

who say they will now use the saunas. Later in the year, we intend to replace our CV equipment and spinning bikes, ensuring the new fitness suite exceeds customers’ expectations too.”


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Gravity master trainer Greg Sellar

Multi-functional kit could help retention war By Christina Eccles USING multi-functional, space saving equipment could help gyms win the war on retention and generate useful secondary spend, according to an expert. Gravity master trainer Greg Sellar teaches small group classes at Nuffield Health’s flagship club in London. The club has five Gravity units, which are used for one to one personal training or small group sessions where there is a ratio of five members to one instructor. A single session costs about £20 or members can block book 12 for £200, which most users choose to do as it saves money and secures them a place in the class. The units measure 3m x 1m and fold up completely and according to Greg, offer an ideal solution for smaller clubs wanting to utilise space on the gym floor. He explained: “A lot of stuff is brought out on to the gym floor but this is a showstopper – people want to have a go. “Financially, it makes sense for a club as they get a return on investment after the initial outlay. “You can get three or four of them and command a corner of the gym as a functional training space, run a class and then fold them up and take them away. Or if you want to keep it free for members to use themselves during peak hours, run classes at off peak times and you can make some extra money. “It all comes down to budget but

as an industry, we have to be bold in moving away from the current model of pin loaded equipment and dumbells, which take up a big footprint on the floor.” Greg added that although everything has its place and traditional equipment is still useful to gyms, operators could benefit from also introducing new pieces of kit which could give their club a new lease of life. He added: “Trainers have two options – they can work harder or they can work smarter. If you ask a regular trainer working in a club, they would say they can’t work any harder. But they can work smarter. “It’s a simple formula – charging five people £20 each for a session or one person £40? The club wins, the instructor wins and the member wins because their £40 has gone down to £20. “Cost is the number one barrier to people taking up personal training. If we can get that down and get people access to a trainer on a small group level using kit such as GTS, then hopefully it is a no brainer for clubs.” While some gyms use the equipment as a revenue stream, others have installed it as a way of thanking members for their loyalty and do not charge them extra to use it. This can act as a good retention tool – showing customers the club is prepared to move with the times and introduce new kit to keep their workouts fresh.

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Opening a gym in the middle of a recession could be a risky move for anyone, but Kelly Rennie and Paul Glazby took the plunge. A year later, business is booming and they have just opened a second site. Christina Eccles met with them.

Pair pride themselves on results KELLY and Paul opened Prime Mover in Sheffield to fill what they saw as a gap in the market for people wanting small group personal training without the hefty price tag. Their first site, situated near the popular Meadowhall shopping complex, has been open about a year and the second, in Sheffield city centre, followed on at the start of 2011. The pair pride themselves on results – claiming they can offer something different – and more effective – than the traditional gym environment, as their successful business model proves. Paul explained: “We started doing outside bootcamps once a week and then indoors in a local church hall and business really picked up. “We opened last July and around Christmas time we started to think if someone did what we do in town, it would affect us. So in January this year, we started to look at other premises for a second site.” Clients pay £79 a month, giving them access to the fitness classes, detailed advice about their diets and ongoing support. And according to Kelly, who is also a successful fitness model, this combination works. She added: “We are giving everyone the personal training experience but at a fraction of the cost. More people now need personal training but less can afford it so we thought about how we could fill those gaps. We focus on delivering quality sessions and exercise techniques. Each class has a maximum of 10 people so we can go round them all. We want them to get results. We’ve currently got about 160 members but between the two sites can get 500 to 600.”

Paul and Kelly told Workout the biggest hurdle they have faced is people comparing the cost of attending their classes to gym membership, as although coming to Prime Mover may be seen as a more expensive option, they believe they are offering better value for money. As well as the actual fitness classes, the business also has a thriving online community, with a page on Facebook attracting about 2,500 fans. This gives instructors another platform to interact with members and support them between sessions, as well as giving clients the chance to get to know each other. The page also has a photo album where people can post pictures of their meals, motivating them to keep on track with their healthy eating plans and share recipe ideas with others. The long term aim is to have five sites around Sheffield and eventually franchise the model, running the business alongside their latest venture Global Fitness Music. The company creates tracks from scratch specifically for the fitness industry, made from start to finish by professional DJs, meaning they are PPL and PRS free. The tracks can also be tailored to different types of workout – from high intensity aerobic exercises to Pilates – with Paul’s background as both a professional DJ and personal trainer giving him the skills to identify what type of music fits with a particular exercise. The pair believe the concept will save gyms valuable time and money as trainers don’t have to spend time looking at which music to run with which workout, or even counting the beats, and can instead focus more on clients and making sure they are using the correct techniques.

Paul and Kelly and, below, the studio.


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Andy makes £10k in six hours from new system INDEPENDENT gym owner Andy Peacock is franchising a system he believes will revolutionise the fitness industry – after it made him £10,000 of additional revenue in just six hours. Andy discovered ultrasonic liposuction after his partner said she was going to give it a try. He admitted to being sceptical but after seeing the results she achieved, set about researching how he could incorporate the offering into his gym, Warehouse in Honley. He explained: “I scoffed at the idea instantly and said I would prove her wrong but she went and after two sessions I visibly saw a change in her body shape. After four sessions she had lost about 4lbs of fat. “I thought I would buy one and test it myself. There was little information around about it but I’m an engineer by trade so took it to pieces and started testing it alongside the theories I know about diet and exercise.” Andy was so impressed he decided to launch the system into the club – trialling it with a package of six sessions, six-week gym membership and weekly nutritional advice for £350 per person. In just six hours, the club took £10,000 and Andy believes in the idea so much, he is looking to franchise it to other gyms, having sold it

to three clubs so far. He added: “If a gym wants to use it, we can do a turnkey package to provide everything and train the staff. “We had an outside company come in and do all the figures and a gym could normally make about £35,000 to £40,000 profit in the first year. We have made £60,000 since February and are set to make £100,000 this year.” As Andy feels passionate about educating clients about health and fitness, it was vital to him people who joined the programme didn’t see the treatment as a quick fix. Instead he hopes participants will use the sessions to kickstart a healthier lifestyle and become more active. “If you use it on its own, it works. If you use it alongside the right diet and exercise, you can get fantastic results. It is revolutionising the fitness industry completely. “I didn’t want to be the type to sell my soul to make some money. I had to make sure it works alongside diet and exercise and not say it’s a miracle cure. It’s an add on not a substitute – we talk about it as a 3D system of diet, exercise and lipo – and we’ve found at least half have actually converted into gym members.”


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Diet pills beat memberships in web searches By Christina Eccles

New platform for artistes ZUMBA Fitness has created a new promotional platform for artistes wanting to get their music heard. The idea will debut with rapper Pitbull’s new track Pause and involve Zumba Fitness offering its network of instructors exclusive music and a special workout available on the brand’s YouTube page. Co-founder and CEO of Zumba Fitness Alberto Perlman explained: “We’re thrilled to roll out this innovative music platform with the release

of a Pitbull track to our global network of passionate instructors and enthusiasts. It’s truly a unique way to generate awareness and buzz for the release of Planet Pit. “Our instructors know what their students want to hear so we provide them with fresh music, and then they choose the playlist that rocks the house. In many ways, we have become a global radio station that can turn a song into an international hit.”

Pulse sponsors football club THE Pulse brand has become the official sponsor of Barnet FC for the 2011/2012 season. Prominently positioned upon the team’s football strip and within the home ground at Underhill Stadium, the company hopes the increased brand exposure will help to

support awareness of its growing chain of leisure complexes throughout the UK. Pulse will also support the team’s training needs with its cardiovascular and resistance fitness machines within the training ground at Barnet FC.

ONLINE searches for discounted gym memberships have drastically decreased, while those for diet pills are on the rise, according to research. Data from discount and voucher code website, www.MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, has discovered searches for gym membership discounts on the site are 72 per cent lower than the January – June 2010 period. In contrast, searches on the discount site for dieting pills are up by 55 per cent compared to the same time period last year. As well as gym memberships, searches for fitness equipment are slowly declining compared to the same period last year, with site analysis showing searches are decreasing monthly. January 2011 searches had decreased by eight per cent when compared to the same time in

2010 and a further 12 per cent in May 2011 compared to the previous year. Chairman Mark Pearson said: “It was really interesting to discover that searches on the site are drastically decreasing for gym memberships and gym equipment. “The fact that searches for diet pills are increasing shows that although the nation is aware that there is a weight issue, people are not yet prepared to go through the more traditional method of decreasing calorie intake and increasing exercise. “Searches on the site continuously fluctuate, however it is rare for searches to continue to decrease or increase over a six-month period. “I feel confident that searches for exercise equipment and gym memberships will return to being popular searches, perhaps when the indulgences of summer holidays start to take a toll.”

Have you got news for us? Email: ce@whpl.net


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UK FITNESS SCENE As the first centre in the UK to run a GP referral scheme, Hailsham Leisure Centre has helped thousands of people, suffering from a variety of conditions, back to health. Fitness manager Bev Whitney spoke to Workout about the scheme’s successes so far and why this is only the beginning ...

Commitment pays for first GP referral scheme THE scheme has been running 20 years, initially starting when the centre was operated by the local council. Since Freedom Leisure took over 10 years ago, it has gone from strength to strength, with 10,000 clients having been referred to one of its centres. Those on the programme get referred by their GP or other health professional and take part in 20 sessions of exercise deemed appropriate for their conditions. At the beginning and end, they also complete fitness tests to see how they have progressed and about half sign up once it has finished to take part in some form activity at the club, whether it be working out in the gym, swimming or a class. According to Bev, the scheme has become so successful because all parties involved are totally committed to it – from the GPs referring people to the patients taking part and the instructors teaching them. She explained: “The scheme is successful because people are referred by GPs or other health professionals, who have all bought into the programme and are very proactive at referring. “And because they have been referred by a medic, people take better ownership of carrying on with the exercise as they know their GP will know whether they have completed it. “We are also really lucky because the Freedom Leisure brand is well known – and a lot of good instructors want to work with specialist populations and are very positive about training to become referral instructors.” The programme started off with just exercise prescription in the gym but now covers a number of areas such as pre and post natal, cardiac rehab and weight loss. And Bev added that although some patients are apprehensive at first, they soon settle in and build relationships with each other. She added: “There is a lot of nervousness and they are not sure what to expect at first. But generally, they feel quite comfortable when they come into the gym and see the population is quite mixed and that they can relate to who they see using the facilities. “We start talking to them about the benefits of regular exercise and

Bev receiving a Freedom Leisure WOW Award, won for going above and beyond helping a cardiac rehab patient. look at what they are interested in, maybe the swimming pool or classes, and see what is the best route for them. Most people find something that’s appropriate and because we are a charitable trust, we have got lots of options available to them afterwards such as subsidised membership.” Bev also told Workout that in future the centre is aiming to become accredited by the government for its GP referral scheme, which would help it reach even further into the community and extend some programmes where needed. “At the moment, the schemes run for 10 weeks. Patients can be rereferred but this would give us more flexibility. We could also maybe look at other areas such as young people and cancer care. “In this day and age, it is seen as becoming a much more popular thing. Referrals have increased in general and there seems to be a much bigger buy in about the benefits of exercise. “The industry has always been known for having a high staff turnover but once you have a programme like this in place, staff become far more committed. “From my own point of view, I have worked in the private sector but really enjoy working for a charitable trust because it gives you such a unique ability to improve your skills and do such rewarding work with people who achieve great results.”

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Diploma is relaunched to add value PREMIER Training International is relaunching its diploma in personal training to add extra value to the qualification. From September, Premier has added the necessary skills to train clients using both ViPR and Kettlebell equipment, which have both recently become popular additions in gyms. Research and development director for Premier Global Julian Berriman said: “The Diploma in Personal Training is recognised as the ‘gold standard’ training within the industry. “We believe these adjustments to the course will improve the employability of our graduates – both from an employer’s point of view and also from what a client wants from a trainer.”

Fit fifties MANY people over 50 feel fitter and healthier now than they did in their twenties, research has revealed. In a study of 1,500 over fifties, undertaken by Engage Mutual, 17 per cent said they felt better now than in their twenties and over 70 per cent of ‘fit over fifties’ claim they now do more exercise and pay more attention to their diet. Nearly a third said working long hours or running round after children interfered with their health and fitness when younger, but with more time on their hands, they now exercise more frequently. The research also indicates this age group eat far more fruit and vegetables now than they did in their early years and exercise on average four times a week.

UK FITNESS SCENE

Trusts advised to check lease terms By Christina Eccles LEISURE trusts should check the terms of their leasing agreements to minimise the risk of personal injury claims, a new report has warned. The report, by insurance broker Endsleigh, warns trusts they could be liable should a customer injure themselves on a piece of faulty gym equipment. It highlights that under the terms agreed between some leisure trusts and companies leasing gym equipment, it is the trust and not the supplier who would be liable to meet the costs brought by an injured customer due to a fault on the part of the manufacturer. The report said costs could end up being in the tens of thousands of pounds and recommends leisure trusts review their existing contracts instead of purely relying on their products’ liability insurance to cover them. General manager of Endsleigh’s Business Insurance Services David Christmas said: “Leisure trusts should go through their leasing contracts with a fine tooth comb – insurance agreements are generally subject to terms, exclusions and conditions. “Many of our customers, particularly those in the leisure trust sector, hire and purchase goods for

use or consumption by their customers. This can relate to a wide range of products from gym equipment to vending machines and swimming goggles to food and drink. “Inevitably a formal agreement will exist between the trust and the product supplier and it is vitally important to check, that by signing such agreements, the trust are not exposed to increased liability.” The report also examined the contractual complexity that often arises when a personal injury claim is lodged. It states if an injury were sustained due to faulty equipment the responsibility may rest with the manufacturer or the supplier. But if an injury resulted from lack of supervision or instruction on the use of such equipment then responsibility may rest with whoever is managing the facility. David added: “It would be reasonable to assume that personal injury sustained as a direct result of equipment failure would be the responsibility of the manufacturer. This is where the exclusion of liability assumed under an agreement may pass responsibility for injury to the trust. “Then regardless of effective management around the maintenance and use of such equipment,

the trust would be exposed due to the exclusions under their liability insurance. Put simply, an existing contract with a fitness machine supplier may make your insurance invalid.” Endsleigh’s report also recommends leisure trusts re-examine existing agreements with local authorities as again there could be confusion over who is liable for specific insurance issues. “The general consensus and understanding that a local authority will insure the buildings and the leisure trust will insure the contents is not always that simple. “Since working with the sector, we have seen lease agreements requiring trusts to cover items such as astro pitches, fencing surrounding grounds or pitches and paths and car parks. “Clearly, these items would not be covered by an insurance policy where the trust has only requested that cover be arranged for the contents. “Not all insurance policies will define buildings and contents in the same way so it is equally important to check the exact wording of your insurance policy or speak with your broker for advice.”

Company signs up to responsibility deal LEISURE Connection has signed up to the Department of Health’s Public Health Responsibility Deal, which aims to work with industry to improve the nation's health. There are five strands to the deal, with Leisure Connection signing up in the area of physical activity to encourage and assist more people to

become more active. As well as the collective pledges set out, the company has committed to a number of individual pledges, which include to get a million more people enjoying exercise and leisure within a Leisure Connection venue, to increase the number of adults swimming in structured swimming sessions and to

reward and recognise users who use sport and physical activity to improve their health and wellbeing. Chief executive Richard Millman said: “We are pleased to be supporting the Responsibility Deal. “It’s encouraging to see the Department of Health working with

businesses and organisations to tap into our expertise and knowledge base in a bid to tackle the issue of inactivity head on. “We have buy-in from the entire company and we are looking forward to delivering our pledges and seeing more people enjoying the benefits of leading an active lifestyle.”


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Campus gym bids to raise profile in the community A GYM situated on a university campus has held an open day to showcase its facilities to the wider community. Tremough University Sports Centre in Falmouth offered a day of free activities to give prospective members a taste of what the gym has to offer. Although the club has a thriving student population, staff thought the day would be a good chance to raise its profile in the community and give locals the chance to see why they could benefit from joining. Fitness instructor Harry Taylor said: “Because we are a university gym, a lot of people don’t realise we are here or think the gym is exclusively for students. “We have some external members but wanted to let more local people know about us and thought this was a good way to raise awareness.” Classes on offer on the day included kettlebell taster sessions, yoga, Spinning and boxercise as well as the chance for people to take part

in 45-minute personal training sessions. To take advantage of the nice weather, classes were also held outside and a BBQ was put on, serving healthy options such as chicken, vegetable skewers and a salad bar. Harry added: “We are always going to be guaranteed a membership number because we are on a

university campus, which is probably why in the past we haven’t embarked on a lot of marketing or publicity. “But we wanted to tell people we have got a gym which is a decent size and can offer a lot of classes. “It is about 70 per cent busier in term time so now is a great time for people to join who want to use the

gym when it’s quieter “This is the first time we have done something like this but would definitely consider doing another one. “We are very busy when the students come back in September but it would be a good idea to do it again, perhaps in the New Year.”


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Pair invest in studio idea TWO fitness-loving entrepreneurs have invested £50,000 to open Nantwich’s first dedicated Power Plate studio. Cheshire personal trainer Jennie Johnson and business partner Andrew Watts opened JJ Studio, which is equipped with four Power Plate pro6 machines, after spotting a gap in the market for people who struggle to find the time or motivation to go to the gym. They were introduced to the Power Plate studio concept through Andrew’s cousin who runs a studio in Brighton. As there was a lack of such facilities in their own region, they visited several London studios to research the business model further and loved what they saw. The pair chose a business park location as the short class times would appeal to businesses with staff looking for a quick lunchtime or after work fitness fix, but will also market their services to nearby residents. Jennie added: “We want to offer a fitness studio that is different from other gyms on the high street. Our aim is to create a friendly and relaxed environment, with clients who want

results and staff equipped with the skills to help them achieve that. “People are looking for a more personalised, tailored approach to their training now. We believe that Nantwich residents will respond well to the studio concept and will feel comfortable training with us. Our ultimate goal is to open a further five studios within the next two years.”

Rebecca opts for powerBIKE REBECCA Romero, gold medallist at the Beijing Olympics, is the first UK professional cyclist to train with the Power Plate powerBIKE, the only mechanical stationary bike with integrated vibration technology. She follows in the footsteps of Dutch professional cycling team Rabobank, who are also seeing the benefits of incorporating the powerBIKE into their training regime. Rebecca said: “The ability to switch the vibration on and off means I can replicate high intensity race conditions far more easily. “Recovery is also faster, because of the instant increase in circulation and lactic acid drainage due to the

vibration technology.” Representing the newest evolution in vibration training from Power Plate International, the powerBIKE has a patent-pending pedal and crank system that delivers vibrations through the pedals as the user cycles. Preliminary research conducted by the University of Greenwich’s Centre for Sports Science and Human Performance has shown the addition of vibration during cycling causes a significant increase in activity in the hamstrings, glutes and quadriceps, signifying the powerBIKE’s potential as the ultimate training tool for cyclists or anyone looking for accelerated conditioning.


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Vibration studio on the move to cater to client demand By Christina Eccles A SUCCESSFUL Power Plate studio is moving to a new site and changing its opening hours to cater to client demand. Vybe Studios opened in Barnsley last June, filling a gap in the market for busy fitness fans who want results fast. The studio has consistently been running a range of classes using its four plates and after building up a loyal client base, owner Emma Scargill has decided to move to new premises and alter her opening hours to meet increasing demand from members who want to work out in the evenings. She explained: “We are moving just out of town mainly due to it being a better studio and having parking. “We are also scaling the opening hours back to suit demand and are going to open 6pm to 9pm Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and all day Saturday. “Most people want to come in the evening. Our evening classes are full and we currently close at 7pm so are extending that by another two hours.” The new site is situated on a popular business park, which houses several related companies. As well as a dance studio next door, the building Emma is moving into is also the home of successful personal trainer Anthony Chapman and a physiotherapist – creating opportunities for the businesses to cross sell and promote each other. She added: “I think the three businesses will complement each other and it should be a nice environment. Hopefully there will be a cross over and we can send some business their way and visa versa.” Over the last year, Emma has built up a database of over 4,000 customers – providing her with the perfect starting point to market the new studio. She has sent out an email alert and also promoted the move on Facebook and Twitter but added that currently her biggest selling tool is word of mouth. She added: “We have had mostly good feedback about the move and have reassured anyone who likes to come in the day that if the demand picks up for those classes, we will put them back on. “We are sticking with four plates for the moment but will have a ground floor studio, instead of being on the first floor, so there will be more scope to increase the class

Studio gets into the Zone THE Bodydoctor Studio in London has improved its offering with the opening of a new Power Plate zone. At the studio, clients are given bespoke programmes to follow, which incorporate different forms of exercise, including Acceleration Training on a Power Plate machine. The 45-minute workouts are offered either as tailored one-to-one sessions or in pairs – with the studio now kitted out with four Power Plate pro series models – and include 25-30 minutes of strength training, using the machines, followed by 10-15 minutes of pure cardiovascular work.

Emma Scargill type. Power Box classes have been really popular so we are going to be doing those every day and increase them to an hour from 30 minutes.” Once the new studio is up and running, Emma hopes to hold an open day to further promote the business within the local community.

Ambitious businessman unveils expansion plans A STUDIO in Birmingham has unveiled ambitious plans for expansion – with the owner claiming he wants his brand to be seen in cities up and down the country. Vibro-Suite in Birmingham opened almost two years ago and business is booming. The business consists of two sides – the gym which specialises in vibration training and the beauty side including spa treatments, tanning rooms and a nail bar. Owner Craig Ingley told Workout things are going really well, with new flexible membership options proving popular with customers who don’t want to be tied into long term contracts. He said: “A lot of people are reluctant to sign up for 12 months so we are offering more flexible memberships such as one month and three months. “We have people who have been on short passes for six or seven months and are still renewing every month because they are getting results and want to come back.” The club is currently looking forward to

its second birthday celebrations in September, where it will be launching special promotions including a new off peak membership. Craig has also recently developed a series of beauty and wellness camps in Ibiza. Eventually he wants to promote them to other health clubs and encourage their members to sign up for camps – and in return the clubs will get commission. The long term plan is to open up more studios and Craig is already looking for locations which might be suitable. He added: “The two sides complement each other really well. It has also given us stability in the business. If the fitness side is quieter, we can push the beauty side up to support it and vice versa – it’s a very flexible model. “In every major city we want to have two or three studios. We were never designed to be a one off. We want to become established as a boutique brand health club and become a brand name like Fitness First or Bannatynes.”


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Vibration plates hit the right note with soul diva Beverly UK soul diva Beverly Knight has joined a growing number of celebrities and well known sports personalities who are choosing the new Vplate vibration plates to keep in shape. Over recent months, many major leisure operators have also opted for Vplate, with quality, outstanding value and a great support package being the main reasons. Vibration plates have been around now for several years and for many operators they are no longer seen as a luxury innovation, but an essential “must have” item. With the right staff training and a premium quality plate, savvy operators have found vibration training can not only attract and retain members, but they can be a great revenue generator. In some cases Vplates have paid for themselves in just four weeks. There are four machines in the Vplate range, from the heavy commercial twin motor Vplate Pro down to the compact, portable Vplate Mini. Each machine has been developed using the best components available,

without compromise. They are backed up with an industry leading warranty too. With silver, black and now a stunning ice white colour option, they are arguably one of the sleekest looking machines on the market. Tom Fairey, sales director at Gymkit UK who manufacture Vplate believes that well trained staff is absolutely key. That‘s why they have developed a highly interactive, practical REPs accredited training course. Tom said: “The course teaches trainers not only about the technical elements of vibration training, and practical coaching tips, but also how to attract customers onto the machines. “Getting customers to engage with the machine is crucial.” The Vplate range is manufactured by GymKit UK, sister company to Health Clubs at Home Ltd. GymKit UK have one of the largest stocks of refurbished commercial gym equipment in Europe. For more details contact Gymkit on 01733 205551

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UK FITNESS SCENE

Flame award winners announced THE winners of this year’s FIA and Matrix Flame Awards have been announced at the Ball of Fire in Telford, which was attended by over 800 people. The awards celebrate excellence and honour those who make a contribution to the industry, both through their organisation and community. The winners were: Club of the Year (Under 1000 Members)

Breadsall Priory, a Marriott Hotel and Country Club

Educational Club of the Year Ethos Sports Centre, Sport Imperial

Club of the Year (1000-4000 Members) Chartham Park Golf and Country Club

Corporate Club of the Year Nuffield Health RBS Fitness and Wellbeing Centre

Club of the Year (Over 4000 Members) Lichfield Golf and Country Club Centre of the Year Rainbow Leisure Centre

Health Club Operator of the Year LA Fitness Leisure Centre Operator of the Year Everyone Active (formerly SLM) Future of Flame WINNER: Bob Halls Spark of Innovation William Gregg VC Leisure Centre, DC Leisure The FIA’s chief executive officer David Stalker said: “Attracting a record number of submissions and with more awards up for grabs than ever before, this year’s entries were of a calibre that we should all be proud of. In some cases, the difference between winner and runner up was just a fraction of a percentage point. “As well as endorsement of the industry’s representative, the award winners will now reap the rewards of what has become a great accolade. Well done!” The awards ceremony took place following the FIA’s annual conference at the Telford International Centre.

Two new roles are created MATRIX Fitness has created two new roles to support the growth of the business. Jo Rich joins the team as key account manager, with responsibility for managing ongoing relationships with Matrix’s key accounts and identifying and developing new business opportunities. Anthony Foster has also joined the company, taking on the role of head of sales north to support head of area sales, Jeremy Jenkins, to develop the regional sales team. Matrix Fitness is the commercial division of Johnson Health Tech UK.

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New swimming lesson software makes a splash LEISURE and cultural trust BH Live has introduced new swimming lesson software at a second leisure centre, following a successful pilot phase at another of its pools. CoursePro, developed by leisure trust and social enterprise Tone and software specialist Cap2 Solutions, has been launched at Stokewood Leisure Centre in Bournemouth with the aim of reducing the amount of time the centre spends on swimming lesson organisation and

administration. It had been trialled at nearby Pelhams Park Leisure Centre and following positive feedback has been rolled out to a second site. The software facilitates administration, course coordination and customer interaction, meaning everything from organising lessons to updating the progress of each child and producing detailed reports is handled within the system. Swimming instructors feed up-to-

the-minute data into the system via iPod Touches whilst on poolside, eliminating the need for follow up paperwork and manual reporting. It also means pupils can join a 50 week per year swimming programme at any point and move through levels completely at their own pace, without needing to wait for the start of a new term. Pelhams Park leisure centre manager Gaynor Hawkett said:

“Bournemouth Swimming Academy swimming teachers are now using iPod Touches to log a swimmer’s progress rather than the traditional paper based systems, and we have found that this saves a considerable amount of administration time. “This move away from the more traditional term time swimming lessons to a 50-week programme has proven to be more beneficial to a swimmer’s progress and offers greater flexibility to the customer.”


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Workout caught up with gym owner Chris Elms to find out how ClubManager helped him to grow his business. Here’s what he had to say.

The secret of their success for Elms Personal Fitness CLUBMANAGER has been amazing. I have been operating for eight years now and two years ago I felt I had to make some changes to the business to take it to the next level. I had to get more systems and procedures in place before everything started to get on top of me, like paperwork. I was getting busier and busier but less and less organised. So one of the changes I made to the business was to change my software provider and after having a few trials with different providers I decided to start using ClubManager in both my Chelmsford and Braintree clubs, partly because of the people at ClubManager but also because it was the easiest to understand but at the same time seemed the most efficient. “My decision to choose ClubManager has turned out to be by far the best decision I have ever made. I feel I have managed to grow the business more in the last two

years than I had in the previous six, mainly because of the ClubManager system. It has allowed me so much more time to concentrate on the other main aspects of the business, like our members and training the staff. It has allowed me to grow the business to a stage where we are now opening another club in September; Elms Personal Fitness in Burton on Trent, and also launch Elms Personal Fitness as a UK Franchise opportunity. I would not have had the time to concentrate on these things if it wasn’t for ClubManager. It is so easy to use and manages so many aspects of my clubs. I couldn’t imagine where the clubs would be without it and with it being internet based means I can easily log on wherever I am in the country / world and check the day to day dealings of the clubs. I like that! To find out more visit: www.clubmanagercentral.com or ring: 01245 352 000

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MEMBERSHIP & SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS Disinterested and dissatisfied gym members leading to membership attrition is a major challenge facing businesses in the UK fitness industry, for both independent gyms as well as the major chains. Here Txtlocal managing director Darren Daws reveals the benefits for gyms who use SMS.

Darren Daws

Texts can be answer 4U AS many as one in three people who join a gym will leave within six months; reports have suggested this discontentment is a result of poor customer service and feelings of lack of value added service. Regular communication with your current membership base is an easy yet often overlooked approach to improve customer service, encourage feedback from members and promote customer loyalty and satisfaction. As people become more and more dependent on mobile phones in their everyday lives, the fitness industry needs to be aggressively looking to mobile solutions to integrate with their overall communication strategy. Cost-effective, simple, quick to use and with no wastage, SMS is a consumer friendly and versatile tool that can be used to promote, provide regular updates, and encourage member feedback. We have worked with a number of gyms who were finding that email communication was having minimal impact on their members, with only a small fraction actually opening the emails. Targeted text messages are open and read by over 95 per cent of consumers. Due to their concise nature they take seconds to read, delivering maximum impact with minimum inconvenience. One independent gym uses our SMS service to promote classes and events to targeted groups of their members

with the option to book easily by just replying to the text. For example, a weekday yoga class promotion was sent to women that historically work out during that time. Other clients use text to check in with members that haven’t visited in a certain period of time by using promotions such as ‘refer a friend’, or by offering tailored deals on products to encourage them to use the facilities more often. With the continual rise of smartphone and mobile internet usage, more people are accessing information online via their phones than ever before. Using our free to build mobile web tool, for the price of a text message gyms can capitalise on this to link to mobile websites. For example, they could be used to link to members’ personalised fitness programs and nutritional information that gives them the ability to track their own progress wherever they are. Mobile web can also be used to link to news, events and feedback areas creating a sense of community amongst the membership. With no set up fee or contract, Txtlocal enables fitness businesses of any size the ability to communicate directly and efficiently with their targeted membership, to promote their services and to encourage loyalty through improved customer service, building and strengthening a relationship of trust and community.


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New software reduces gym operator’s costs LEISURE centre operator Halo Leisure is enhancing customer service levels and reducing costs thanks to the roll out of new software across its clubs. The charity operates eight leisure centres across Herefordshire on behalf of Herefordshire Council and has installed software from Legend Club Management Systems. The system allows employees to record and analyse data on their interactions with club members – including classes booked and attend-

Edinburgh Leisure signs five-year deal EDINBURGH Leisure has signed a five-year agreement for Gladstone Health and Leisure to deliver its membership, ePOS and bookings software solutions. The trust, which manages 32 venues across the Scottish capital, has been using Gladstone’s software solutions for more than 10 years.

The renewed partnership will see the companies working together until at least 2016 and follows the implementation of Gladstone’s new Software for Life programme, which reduces leisure operators’ capital spending by providing an annual maintenance programme that eliminates the need to pay for upgrading software in the future.

ed, payment schedules and frequency of use. This data can then be used to improve customer service and drive more effective and timely marketing and retention programmes. Legend’s Vision Server solution will also record, analyse and track facilities’ utilities consumption, providing Halo with the opportunity to reduce carbon footprint and in turn cut costs across its leisure centres.

Take control with Leisuremost LEISUREMOST software lets you take control of your membership. Every visit by a member will be recorded, warn you if money is owing or not a valid member, and will even let you know if they are at risk of leaving. Fraudulent use is eliminated by the display of the member image, or by fingerprint recognition, whenever they visit. LeisureMost will record and assist the collection of regular payments including Direct Debit or standing order. We can also integrate directly to 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 and 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. For further information or a detailed demonstration contact Duncan Gibson on 0113 2370688 or at www.leisuremost.com


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To contract or not to contract ... is that the REAL question? By Dave Wright FIRSTLY, in the UK, we have an obesity epidemic that will bankrupt the NHS by 2050 ... so we can't expect to solve a long term problem with a short term commitment to exercise. Many people say that a two or three year membership is too long to commit someone to. So the question has to be asked, "How do you enrol someone ethically to a long term contract?" Well the answer is ‘quite easily’ as long as you ‘believe’ that long term exercise is critical to someone’s wellbeing. Behavioural scientists have had, and will continue to have a field day with long term contracts and in particular their use in the health club industry. Every year someone joins a health club with the best inten-

tions in the world to get the results that they want, but for one reason or another, they decide to breach that contract. Obviously a world without contracts would be wonderful! Wouldn’t it be great if you have a slow month of August, to not pay your rent for that month? Or if you bought a washing machine on finance and then after three months realised that you actually didn’t get as much use out of it as you’d thought so that you could hand it back? Of course, contracts don’t suit everyone. A student who is home for the summer is not going to commit to a 24 month contract. However, a mother of four who wants to lose eight stones and wants to have the security of knowing that her membership fees won’t go up may want that luxury. But the important thing

to bear in mind is understanding the needs of the person who is about to join and then tailoring a membership to them. Members need choices. Contracts are everywhere – in almost all industries – they form a commitment between two parties to each fulfil their own side of the agreement. So in the health club industry, the club has the responsibility to offer the use of equipment and the member has the responsibility to continue to pay for a set period of time. They only fail when one party decides that they don’t want to fulfil their side of the ‘deal’. In conclusion, whilst there should be a variety of options available, longer term contracts are an asset to independent clubs looking to truly survive in today’s health and fitness market.

Dave Wright


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UK FITNESS SCENE Helping your instructors get to grips with sales can be a challenge for many gym owners but, if successful, can reap rewards for your club. In the first of a two part series, fitness industry consultant Pete Scott explains more.

Time to step up and start selling! AS we move into another evolution in the health and fitness industry, a big part of it needs to be a culture shake up when it comes to holistic versus commercial. Things have progressed incredibly over the last decade, with new concepts on training and advances in knowledge to literally guarantee results for every member who grabs hold of the opportunity. Yet, we are still light years behind when it comes to the majority of fitness instructors getting pumped up and athletic about business! It doesn’t matter how much your best fitness instructor can bench press or how good they look on the gym floor. My questions are “how many memberships did they sell last month? Do they consistently up sell to nutritional products during their one to one inductions and consultations? Are they business focused and proactive?” There is a clear divide with sales on one side of the fence and holistic minded fitness on the other. How many times have you heard the words “I am not a salesperson” from one of your fitness team? I am not stating that every fitness professional should become a business hungry, hard nosed selling machine. However, to find a balance between the passion to help people get healthy and the consciousness that this is a fitness business will only be good for everybody involved. The key word here is awareness.

Pete Scott As much as I hate to generalise, most fitness instructors are not conscious of the fact that sales can be an even more effective way of helping people. We know or should know as managers, for every new person who signs a membership it is another person committing to their fitness goals and each time a member purchases nutritional products from a one to one consultation it is because they understand the benefits of how correct nutrition and supplementation can help them manage their weight, gain muscle mass, detox their body, you name the benefit as the list goes on and on. To ensure your fitness team step

up and take on a conscious business mind, it is essential to first eliminate the negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs around sales. Everybody has met a bad salesperson, the wheeler dealer type and unfortunately even if your fitness staff haven’t worked in a larger gym (with a dedicated sales team) they have at minimum met another fitness professional who has, and in my experience the industry is still littered with the “I’ll do you a deal,” type membership sales advisors so of course it is understandable why the majority of fitness professionals do not want to be associated with sales. There is no wrong or right way of dissolving the negativity around the attitude of sales in your gym, although there are certain factors that are a must if you are going to create empowering new mindsets. The first stage happens without even leaving your chair or speaking to any of your fitness team. It is you as a leader having the belief that you already have the team in place to get the revenue results you want. That with the correct guidance and coaching, your current team can absolutely make it happen. If you don’t buy into this, how will they...? Next issue Pete reveals his top tips for getting your instructors more sales savvy.  Pete Scott is a consultant to the fitness industry – www.maximummembership.com

A GROUP of Mr and Miss England contestants were put through their paces by British soldiers to decide who is the fittest of them all. In a competition held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, Jade Williams – Miss Stratford-upon-Avon who works as a fitness instructor – was named Miss Sportswoman and Aaron Whitnall, was named Mr Sportsman. As a reward, both received a LivingWell membership to their local club.

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Kids Fitness in association with

Edinburgh pupils give touch rugby a try OVER 300 Edinburgh schoolchildren were introduced to a fast growing sport as part of a festival marking the year of Active Scotland. The ActivCity Touch World Cup Youth Festival gave the youngsters a first hand introduction to touch

rugby from the best in the business, including current World champions Australia. Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison said: “Touch is a fast growing sport and can be enjoyed by people of all ages

and abilities. It is a tremendous way of keeping active and having great fun at the same time. The growth in touch over the past few years has been fantastic and is making a very positive contribution to our efforts in encouraging a more Active Nation.”

Bootcamp for budding basketball players

Sports fun for pupils run by student trainees A GROUP of young people gearing up to pass their NVQ coaching qualifications have organised a sports taster day for local primary school pupils. The event at the Talacre Community Sports Centre, in Kentish Town included team games, table tennis, trampolining, fitness sessions and dance.

It was run to boost grassroots participation and counted towards the NVQ students’ final assessments. The training programme is run by Camden Council’s sports development team in partnership with LaSwap Sixth Form Consortium and the national Positive Futures youth programme.

YOUNG basketball fans will be given the chance to improve their skills by taking part in a new residential bootcamp. MasterClass Sports Tours and NBA have signed a deal that will see a series of camps rolled out for 10-16 year olds at Condover Hall in Shropshire. The first deal of its kind with the NBA in the UK, the camps will focus on developing essential basketball skills, whilst instilling the core values of the game such as teamwork, inclusiveness and responsibility. The two to four day camps are for boys and girls of all ability levels and 1,000 youngsters are expected to take part in the five camps held this year, with more expected in 2012. During their stay at Condover Hall, students will also be able to take part in other activities such as climbing, fencing and swimming.

Free dance sessions SCHOOLS up and down the country were able to gain free access to an online dance programme, thanks to Cyber Coach. To recognise and thank School Sports Partnerships for their contribution to children’s health and fitness, the company offered schools free access to its Smart online dance programme during Lloyds TSB National School Sports Week. The sessions were streamed directly to interactive whiteboards in classrooms, enabling teachers to deliver dance and exercise at any time of the school day.


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Budget gym opts for dedicated ladies’ area BUDGET chain Xercise4Less is expanding its offering by opening a dedicated ladies’ only area at its Wakefield club. The club opened in October last year and has gone from strength to strength, having signed up almost 8,000 members. With an approximate 60/40 female to male split and the recent closure of a couple of ladies’ only gyms and a Fitness First in the area, management identified a gap in the market for a dedicated area to keep female members happy. An area at the back of the club, which was previously used for storage, has now been converted into a ladies’ only area and will include

about 50 pieces of CV equipment, space for warm ups and stretching and a female friendly weights area. The extension is due to open in September and has already been promoted internally, with sales director Stuart Perrin saying feedback so far from members has been extremely positive. He added: “Internally we have had a fantastic reaction from members. People can’t believe we are doing it and not charging them any extra to use it This will give female members more privacy if they want it and it is also an additional selling point for the club.” He added the club’s price point of £14.99 per month and extensive

range of equipment and classes are keeping members coming back – and encouraging them to tell their friends. “Our referral traffic is so high – referrals are one of our biggest marketing tools. The price is the cheapest in the area and we have the largest studio in Wakefield, offering 43 classes per week, so there is a lot going on for members.” The company also has another club in Castleford and one due to open in Stockton on Tees and Stuart added that after identifying a big gap in the market, the company is going in ‘all guns blazing’ to capitalise on it.

Racquet club upgrades with gym installation THE largest members’ racquet club in the North East has installed a range of SportsArt Fitness equipment as part of an upgrade to provide members with a superb, fully equipped gymnasium. The air-conditioned gym is an important asset to The Northumberland Club as members use the facilities for many reasons – notably to improve sports performance, increase muscle and strength as well as more general health and fitness reasons such as losing weight, reducing stress, or simply striving to feel better. General manager Jim Douglas said: “We went through the process of inviting three different companies to tender for the supply of cardio and strength training equipment, before finally selecting SportsArt Fitness UK to replace our existing gym equipment. “From the outset, SportsArt did not pressurise us and their approach was

very friendly as they listened carefully to our needs, offering subtle improvements to our original plans and presented alternative proposals that remained within our budget. Throughout the sales process, SportsArt was excellent and provided us with a great deal of confidence and following a site visit to view their specific equipment, they were selected based on quality, service and price.” SportsArt supplied and installed 16 cardio and strength fitness units including an energy efficient treadmill, steppers, ellipticals, rower, plus bikes and several strength training stations to provide members with an excellent total body workout. Jim added: “The installation is a success and I am pleased to report the project was delivered on time and completed with minimal disruption to members. SportsArt equipment has since performed reliably and the overall reaction from members is

extremely positive as the gym has been transformed into a fantastic facility for them to train and improve their fitness. We would certainly have no hesitation inviting SportsArt Fitness UK to tender for any new equipment in the future.” For more information contact Mark Turner on 01282 779234 or mark.turner@sportsartfitness.co.uk

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UK FITNESS SCENE Following a varied career in leisure and hospitality, Steve Brailey joined Sheffield International Venues in 1996. Since then the company has gone from strength to strength – opening more venues and winning countless awards. Christina Eccles met him at one of SIV’s most popular venues, Don Valley Stadium.

Turning negatives into positives proves a winner THREE core values have changed the face of Sheffield International Venues, transforming the city into a hub of top quality sporting and leisure facilities. With Steve at the helm, SIV has grown from four venues to a portfolio of 14, including some of Sheffield’s premier leisure facilities. Steve admits over the years, attitudes in Sheffield have changed drastically with local people now taking pride in what the city has to offer. But he told Workout, it wasn’t always like that. He explained: “I remember going to Hillsborough Leisure Centre and there were 29 different signs of which 28 were negative, saying things which people couldn’t do. It encapsulated a lot of what was wrong – everyone was negative about the city. “I set about trying to play a part in changing that. Now Sheffield has changed enormously. It took people coming in from outside to say what a brilliant city it is and took a number of years for the mood to change and for people to become more positive.” According to Steve, the key to success has been living and breathing the company’s core values, which are continuous improvement, a can do culture and a focus on the customer. He added: “If you start with a ‘yes we can’ attitude, it makes a big difference. We try to always focus on the customer. Our venues get 4m visits per year and a lot of them are from people who live in the Sheffield city region. We want them to come to us for more than one thing so we need to make sure they have a positive impression.” Nearly 16,000 members are signed up to the company’s Fitness Unlimited programme, which launched on January 1 2000 with a Millennium promotion to join at £19.99, and has continued to develop ever since. “We were ahead of our time – not many leisure centres had gyms that ran in a commercial way. “We set about trying to offer

The pool at Ponds Forge ‘affordable quality’ so that our facilities would compete with the likes of Greens and Fitness First, but at a cheaper price. “Professional sales has made a big difference. We didn’t skimp on our marketing, promotion and sales and invested heavily. There are downsides with being at the lower end of pricing, such as high turnover, but we have lots of strategies to improve retention. We have lots of mechanisms for getting customer feedback. We have terminals in most of our venues so customers can give immediate feedback. We always try to look at how we can do things better and this has a knock on effect with customer service.” Steve said the thing he is most proud of is seeing sport, leisure and tourism recognised as a key industry by Sheffield’s business leaders – something which SIV has fought long and hard for. “We create jobs and add real value to the economy and the fact we are now recognised as a key industry is a huge step forward. Last year, I was awarded the Sheffield Star’s businessman of of the year award. For someone from the sport and leisure industry to win a businessman award was a huge leap forward.” Looking to the future, Steve

revealed he thinks more changes are on the way in the fitness industry, with the recent arrival of budget gyms playing a big part. “Budget gyms will change the face of the market significantly over the next couple of the years. I think we will get more market segmentation and clubs will have to look at what is different about their offering. That’s what we are saying – we are more than just a gym. We have hundreds of classes and activities, swimming pools and an athletics track, so can offer a lot more than just a workout. “The recession is our biggest challenge. I don’t think we have seen the worst but it does also create a big opportunity. “The government finally seems to recognise the need to invest in health prevention rather than treatment. The cost of things like obesity and heart disease is crippling the country. The only way to change it is by investing in health and fitness and preventing people getting these ailments.” Despite the company’s success, the team are always looking at how to further improve the offering. SIV has recently taken over the running of four centres from the local council and has also set up a subsidiary to win business outside Sheffield.

MBE leaves Steve lost for words STEVE was recently made an MBE for services to the leisure industry, an accolade which he said he was both surprised and proud to receive. He added: “I was knocked off my feet when I found out about the award. It was a huge surprise and I was completely lost for words. It is not just about me though, and credit must go to everyone I work with. It is a reflection of the can do culture demonstrated daily by my team. “It also gives me great pleasure to know

this award is about Sheffield and the impact we, at SIV, have been able to have in transforming the city’s sports venues into the best in Europe. I am proud to be playing a key role in driving forward the economic, cultural and sporting profile of the city with high levels of investment and innovation. “My aim for SIV has always been to lead the way in developing Sheffield as an exciting sporting city with a worldwide reputation for sports management and innovation.”

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WOMEN’S ONLY Beauty treatments, hula hoops and vibration training are among the many extras boosting income and member satisfaction at an award-winning ladies’ only gym. Christina Eccles found out more.

Secondary spend takes pressure off for Michelle LADIES Only Ltd, which was recently crowned Best Service Provider at the Rochdale Town Centre Business Awards, is leading the way when it comes to successful secondary spend. Although the club’s core revenue stream is membership sales, owner Michelle Matthews has found a number of ways to diversify and earn extra cash. These include selling a range of products such as drinks, snacks, supplements, professional hula hoops and resistance bands as well as charging extra for additional services such as vibration training. The club also holds regular ladies’ evenings – including jewellery and Body Shop parties – where it takes 10 per cent of the revenue made on the night. Michelle explained: “It takes the pressure off when you have good income from secondary spend. “The key is trying to keep up to date with what’s out there. Knowing your members is also a big thing. It’s about testing the water. Some things work really well and others go down like a lead balloon.” Another way for the gym to earn extra money is through renting out additional space. The building is also home to a remedial massage therapist, hairdresser and beauty therapist, allowing the gym to make money from rent and the therapists the opportunity to tap into its membership base. But Michelle warned gyms thinking of doing the same that it’s vital not to rush into a rental agreement and

important to take the time to find someone who is going to fit in well with your business. She added: “When we have rented the space to people, at first we have said to them, we can’t guarantee our member base will become your client base but it’s a good place to start. “It takes time to build up from both parties. Don’t rush into getting someone who may not be suitable – but if you can find the right person it can work really well.” Michelle has also recently converted the gym’s vertical tanning bed into a collagen red light therapy bed – allowing her to tap into a potentially more profitable skincare market. “We have had a stand alone, vertical sunbed for a number of years and have always been conscious about record keeping, skin analysis and giving people advice. “We have never had problems with it but it started to make me feel uncomfortable so we changed the tubes to collagen red light tubes,

which has helped us to reach a wider audience who may not have considered using sunbeds. Going forward, we think this has the potential to make more money and it also fits in better with our ethos of looking after health and wellbeing.” The club has been trading for six years and Michelle told Workout, coming up with new ideas to raise additional revenue has been important to help the business become a success. She added: “I wonder where I would be if we had not looked at new ways to innovate and turn ideas into cash. “If it’s an easy thing to do, adds something to what you can offer members and can earn you an income, why wouldn’t you look at the options? But they have to be looked at carefully. Test the water on a small scale. If you can get someone in to do demonstrations of their product, you can see for yourself if it’s something members want.”

Tenner offer proves flyaway success AWARD-WINNING independent gym Ladybird Fitness is enjoying a successful summer thanks to its popular 10 days for £10 marketing campaign. The club in Wigan has been running the offer annually since it opened five years ago as a way to boost numbers over the traditionally quieter summer holiday period. The campaign started on July 1 and runs until the end of August. In the first six days, 18 people had taken advantage of it, with the club expecting that number to rise to about 100. Owner Sandra McGugan said: “We always start this just before the kids break up from school as we are about to come up to a quiet time of year and it gets numbers up and increases traffic through the doors. We normally sign up 40 to 50 members and if people join up within the 10 days they don’t pay a joining fee. We usually convert about 60 to 70 per cent.” Throughout the 10 days, everyone on the offer is treated like a full member and gets an induction included. But if a class is full, a member will take priority, giving them another incentive to sign up. They can also join in with the club’s weekly weigh in, which is also running

a special offer where the person who loses the most weight in four sessions will be treated to a free manicure. The gym has also recently entered the National Fitness Awards in the new ladies’ only category, with Sandra hoping to repeat last year’s success which saw Ladybird’s staff

crowned gym team of the year. She added taking part in the awards generated priceless publicity from the local press and lots of support from members – who were so thrilled they had a collection to buy the team some flowers to celebrate their win.

Jacobs Ladder climbs in popularity at gym WHEN we first introduced The Jacobs Ladder to our members here at G&S Fitness not many had seen or heard of it. It created a great deal of interest and members were very enthusiastic to try it when we explained the many benefits of its use. The Jacobs Ladder has become a vital piece of equipment in our gym giving members something different to use as part of their workout. They can see and feel for themselves the benefit of a good cardio and core strength workout and the amount of calories burnt in a very

short space of time. It is easy to use and people of all ages and fitness levels have benefited from it and enjoy using it. Our members have set themselves personal challenges on the ladder working towards higher levels of fitness and we also have a 1,000ft in the shortest time ongoing challenge which has given many members a competitive aim and target. We at G&S Fitness would definitely recommend having The Jacobs Ladder in any gym and hope you enjoy its use as much as we have.

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Champ Matt training boxers of the future Have you got news for us? DOES your gym focus on martial arts, boxing or other forms of combat fitness? If so Workout is looking to hear from you. Every issue the magazine will include a dedicated section focusing on the latest news, views and hottest products from the world of combat fitness. Let us know how your business is going and what’s keeping members happy at your club and you could appear in a future issue of Workout.

Tell us your stories by contacting our editorial team on 01226 734463 or email ce@whpl.net You can also join in the conversation on Twitter by following us @WorkOut UK The National Fitness Awards also has a dedicated category for combat gym of the year. To enter your club visit the website www.nationalfitnessawards.co.uk or for more information about the event, follow us on Twitter @fitnessawards

Group Boxing solutions to give your members more than just a workout WHETHER it’s small or large group training in the gym or studio, Tube will create a new workout space that will captivate your members. Tube Boxing gives you tried and tested workouts that can be run in a variety of different spaces. Choose from:  Tube Boxing ‘Studios’ for the ultimate boxing experience.  Customised boxing rings for a more personalised 121 and small group training area.  Customised free standing frames for hanging bags when your walls won’t take the strain.  Studio programme when you want

to add a spark into your current provision. Call or e-mail now to create your own boxing space. Telephone 01487 831185 or email enquiries@tubeboxing.co.uk. www.tubeboxing.co.uk Finding a boxing space that fits ...

CHAMPION boxer Matt Marsh has opened a custom-made gym to pass on his skills to the stars of tomorrow. Matt – a former Super Bantamweight British Champion – is now training future boxing hopefuls at his club in Welling, drawing on the expertise he learned from two decades in the ring. The gym was especially made for boxing training and currently there are three amateur boxers training there and competing in local boxing shows. According to Matt, the club’s philosophy is to offer good training and valuable guidance to boxers and to present the opportunity to compete in the ring in front of thousands. He explained: “I may have retired, but I’m still in love with boxing and always will be. I want to pass on all the knowledge I’ve gained over the past 20 years. Got a couple of good lads training with me already so just looking for a few more to join them now.” Through his company Matt Marsh Promotions, a team of specialists also works to recruit boxers, training them and offering regular fight opportuni-

Matt Marsh ties. But Matt insisted fights are always involved with reputable boxing promotion companies and with well-matched opponents. He added: “I want to build my reputation now as a trainer. A good trainer who looks after his lads and scrutinises each opponent and fight opportunity that presents itself. I will not let any of my boys step into the ring without being entirely confident of their safety first.”


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SUPPLEMENTATION AND NUTRITION In the second part of Workout’s chat with Carly Thornton, she reveals her own diet regime and how gyms can inspire members to eat more healthily.

How Carly keeps her metabolism revving ... WHAT is your typical daily diet? My daily eating plan consists of five or six meals at regular intervals, usually every two to three hours. This helps maintain steady blood sugar levels and keeps my metabolism revving, which in turn keeps energy levels high. My diet does vary depending on if I have photo shoots or promotional events but on an average day it looks a little like this:  Meal one – oats and eggs  Meal two – lean protein with a huge salad and fresh nuts  Meal three – lean protein and sweet potato  Meal four – salmon and vegetables  Meal five – lean protein, brown rice and vegetables  Meal six – either a shake or an omelette How does this change when you are preparing for a competition? I change my diet depending on how I am looking and change accordingly. This could involve some of the following:  Deducting a meal and having five instead of six  Only having one day as a treat day where I will have a little of what I fancy – this is usually Burger King and ice cream with a cheeky packet of large chocolate buttons.  Only having complex carbohydrates until meal four and then vegetables for my other meals.  If I lower my carbohydrates, I up my fats to keep energy levels high and healthy fats help to burn fat also. Where do you turn to for advice on healthy eating and nutrition? I continually study and read up on nutrition as there is so much to learn. I nickname myself the “nutritional geek” as I find it all so interesting, especially how through healthy eating you can change your body. I think this comes from being an overweight girl and never having the information or anyone to edu-

cate me about the importance of healthy eating and exercise. This is why I have such a passion to help others as I want them to have some of the knowledge that I didn’t. Do you take any supplements? I take:  Multi vitamin  Beyond greens  Glutamine  Vitamin C  Vitamin B  Kelp  Green tea These are the main ones. I take a lot of antioxidants also, such as spirulina and wheatgrass. They are truly amazing products and I am a firm believer in all super foods for overall health and well being. What advice would you give to gyms looking to educate members about healthy eating and supplements? I would say, make it fun. Using the right terminology can really confuse people, so it is best to go back to basics as people soak more information in that way. Activity based seminars are fantastic and healthy eating taster days as these also bring the fun into fitness. What type of advice do people come to you for? People come to me for basic advice starting from questions like, what is a carbohydrate? Does water make you fat? To diet advice, training tips and supplement advice. Then other people ask about how to get into the industry, what fake tan to use and competition prep advice, such as right bikinis, hair, diet, shoes. I get asked for signed photos, supporting people with eating disorders, you name it people come to me for everything and I love it, as I feel so honoured that I can help these people and they are inspired by me to actually seek my advice. This is what definitely keeps me motivated, that I motivate and

Carly Thornton inspire other men and women to get fit, I actually find it quite overwhelming and it makes all my years of hard work worth it. I myself have had so many knockbacks from jobs, modelling agencies and still do, saying I’m not this and I’m not that, but as I say to people, be the person you want to be and train for the way you want to look. Everything takes time but never give up on your dreams, wake up with a smile and always keep the passion you have, it’s what makes you, you. Through adopting a healthy lifestyle, you not only see the positive effects on the outside but the inner beauty.


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Prestige Boot Camp has created a new camp where participants drink fruit and vegetable juices to boost weight loss and wellbeing. Other features of the 10 day juice detox camp include daily yoga and meditation, fitness training from military instructors, nutritionally balanced meals and snacks and unlimited water, green and fruit teas.

A typical breakfast on the plan is chopped fruit with natural yoghurt, nuts and seeds.

Body blitz plan promises to shift four pounds of fat in three days Actress urges mums to set a good example CALENDAR Girls’ actress Jennifer Ellison, pictured above, has urged overweight mothers to eat healthily and set a good example to their children. Jennifer, who supports weight loss programme All About Weight, says mums should take the time to eat well and educate themselves and their kids about the importance of nutritious foods. She turned to the programme to lose weight after becoming a mum herself.

CELEBRITY personal trainer Gina Hemmings has created an intensive fitness and nutrition plan designed to deliver results fast. Gina’s Body Guru Body Blitz Plan aims to be an alternative to fitness bootcamps and promises to shift up to 4lbs of fat in just three days. For the duration of the plan, Gina does everything for the client – from preparing meals to exercising with them and rewarding them with a treatment following a hard day’s work.

She explained: “After an initial detailed face to face/telephone consultation I do everything for the client from 9am-6pm for the full three days. “During the time I spend with clients it is important to teach them how to boost their metabolism so that once they’ve lost the weight they keep it off. “The diet is not extreme and clients get to eat real, tasty food, exercise right and celebrate the end of each day with a little bit of pampering.”


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Families swap shopping trolleys NUTRITIONIST Jeannette Jackson has taken on a new challenge – helping families to swap their usual food choices for healthier versions. Jeannette, pictured above, believes many of the country's health issues including obesity, chronic fatigue and stress, centre around the fact that people shop habitually, each week buying the same or similar food. TV channel Body in Balance has now commissioned Shop Swap, presented by Jeanette, which features two families, two shopping trolleys and one big challenge.

Her task is to find two families with very different diets and persuade them to swap their shopping trolleys to see what they can do with each other’s weekly groceries. As the week long challenge goes by, she’ll show both families how to improve their food choices, suggest healthy eating recipes and explain how the food we choose every week at the supermarket affects our health. She will visit the two families at the beginning, middle and end of each week, with the families meeting up at the end of the challenge to discuss their experiences.

A Yorkshire-based supplements company came to the rescue to give two local students a prom night they would never forget. Kelsie Todd and Daniel Brown were going to their school prom but didn’t want a traditional limo and a sports car was too expensive. Director of Affordable Supplements Ryan Millar joined forces with local news website We Are Barnsley to pitch in – driving his Nissan GTR sports car from Keighley to Barnsley to give the pair a ride to their prom at Ardsley House hotel.


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SUPPLEMENTATION AND NUTRITION As a former international athlete, sports scientist and TV Gladiator, Caroline Pearce knows the importance of healthy eating. Now she has created the JustSlim Challenge to pass on her expertise to others. Workout found out more.

Caroline combines healthy eating with exercise in new challenge

Caroline Pearce

THE challenge is an extension of Caroline’s successful JustSlim diet plan, where people can sign up to her website to receive recipes, nutritional advice and daily online support. For this course, the aim is to combine healthy eating with exercise to achieve maximum results and 15 people from across the country have been chosen to take part over eight weeks. The challenge includes regular personal training sessions with a trainer local to each participant plus personalised meal plans and recipe ideas from Caroline and an online forum and Facebook group where participants can interact and support each other. At the end of the challenge, the person with the greatest percentage weight loss will be crowned the winner, scooping a top prize of a Trixter X Bike 1000 worth £1,250. When Workout spoke to Caroline, the participants had just taken part in their first weekly weigh in, achieving results ranging from 0.5kg to 4kg weight loss. Caroline said all of them are doing well and enjoying taking part in the challenge, especially as they can support each other online through their weight loss journeys. She explained: “It’s going really well and there is a real sense of community among everyone, even though they are from different parts of the country. “I set up the challenge because I wanted to engage more with people but couldn’t train them myself all over the country. “I looked for some of the best personal trainers who had clients that exercised but hadn’t seen big changes because their diet wasn’t great. The criteria was that they needed to lose weight, were motivated enough to stick to an eight week plan

and could train twice a week. “Everyone has their own profile page online and we have Twitter and Facebook pages. I also email them with links and resources – a big part of it is to interact with others and build up the brand.” Each person’s eating plan is bespoke, with everyone gaining access to a database of recipes. They are also educated about food swaps and meal replacements so if they don’t like something, they can change it for another food without worrying about consuming extra calories. Caroline added: “It takes the thinking out of it. Everyone is told how much to eat and how often and given new recipes to try. Some of them can’t believe how much they are eating and still losing weight as they are eating six times a day. “I created the philosophy behind the plan – and the food rules about what to eat and how often – based on the knowledge I’ve gained and how I’ve eaten over the years. “I’ve worked in the industry a long time and understand people’s needs, so I hope they can look to me for inspiration.” A typical day’s menu could include:  Breakfast – porridge with berries and yoghurt plus a boiled egg to boost protein.  Morning snack – a pear with a handful of nuts.  Lunch – a hollow jacket potato with turkey and cottage cheese or wholemeal pitta bread with salad and turkey or ham.  Afternoon snack – crudites with hummus, oatcakes with peanut butter.  Dinner – Grilled tuna with sweet potato and lots of vegetables or salad or lean meatballs with brown rice or wholewheat noodles.  Evening snack – Low fat Greek yoghurt with honey or fruit salad with yoghurt.

Dispensing system goes down a treat with gyms THE Go.Pro.Station is proving a big hit with independent and national operators alike. It’s the first dispensing system designed for gyms that allows you to serve freshly blended shakes quickly, cleanly and profitably. Mathew Russell runs the Energie Fitness Club in Croydon. He said: “Members often ask if we could supply supplements, but selling tubs, the returns looked pretty poor. Then we had a demo of the Go.Pro.Station. The product tastes great; we can blend and serve incredibly fast with no mess or fuss. It provides us with a very profitable secondary spend whilst meeting an increasing demand for protein shakes from our members.” The award winning Topnotch Health Club in Brierley Hill is

one of GoProtein’s first customers. Business manager Russell Ribeiro added: “We installed the system a few months ago and have not looked back. We’re really pleased, sales have been great, and margins even better! I’ve not seen a faster, easier way to serve a freshly blended protein shake. It takes about 20 seconds; the team actually enjoy making shakes!” Dr Kees De Nijs, head of product development at Be Well Nutritional Products who wholly own the goprotein.com brand, added: “We are delighted with the positive feedback the station and our Go Pro Whey have received. We have drawn on our experience, managing the nutritional programs of many Olympians and World leading athletes as well as contract man-

ufacturing for leading brands all over the world for over 25 years; it has certainly made a difference.” Head of UK sales Nick Mills added: “The demand for the GoProStation and products has superseded all expectation. “Manufacturing a great tasting smooth protein shake was vitally important; the second was delivering a great commercial proposition for the operators. The commercial proposition isn’t one of bank breaking figures; these £1,000 stations and £300 commercial blenders are made available to partner gyms on a product stocking policy absolutely free on loan.” For further information contact goprotein.com on 01778-560868 or Nick Mills on 07894-619686. Email: nickmills@goprotein.com


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PRODUCT NEWS

Escape just wants to make you sweat! THEY rocked at LIW 2009, stole the show at 2010 and plan to make you Move It like you have never moved it before at Leisure Industry week 2011. That’s right fitnatics, prepare yourselves for hot new moves, money making tips and business boosting fitness tools only at the Escape Fitness LIW stand. Every year Escape’s passion for fun, fitness and boosting business takes them to new heights and the same can be said for their LIW 2011 plans. All lucky LIW 2011 visitors can expect new training ideas, business boosting workouts, profitable programme advice, new Move It spaces and programming, tougher challenges, exciting demonstrations, the unmissable launch of revolutionary new products such as the TRX Rip Trainer and

much much more. And yes before you ask the fantastic Escape team will be there to educate, innovate and yes they will be accompanied by the hottest models you have ever seen. All this as well as some big top secret surprises in store which is sure to get you all motivated to Move It. PLUS as an extra special treat especially for our WO friends If you tear out this article and bring it with you to the Escape 2011 LIW stand you will receive an exclusively new and totally eco friendly Escape aluminium water bottle worth £20. PLUS you will be among the first to see the launch of our revolutionary new fitness kit range. To find out more about what Escape have in store for all you LIW 2011 goers call free on 0800 458 5558 today.

Company looks to reach new audiences AFTER 75 years as a global leader in fitness, York Fitness is seeking to capitalise on its unrivalled rich brand heritage, whilst also undertaking a brand refresh that will both secure its position in the market and assist in reaching new audiences. The company prides itself on being the ‘strongest name in fitness’ with more weights in the world branded ’York’ than any other manufacturer. With offices across the world and distributors in 50 countries, the company boasts a portfolio that spans across home, commercial and boxing. Its product range includes everything from dumbbells, treadmills, cycles, cross trainers and multigyms, with its commercial gym

equipment used by high profile sports teams such the LA Lakers and Northampton Saints, to name but a few. This extensive company history and incomparable industry knowledge has acquired York Fitness a wealth of experience and expertise that goes into the design and manufacture of everyone of their products. York Fitness’ new ‘go to market’ approach will be to explore new ways to build advocacy amongst consumers, gyms and strategic associations in the UK, through a programme that will incorporate media relations, sponsorship and social media activity, further substantiating their claim as being the strongest name in fitness.

Total Loser club kickstarts weight loss for gym members A COMPETITION at a Nottinghamshire gym has helped a group of members to kickstart their weight loss goals. Blidworth Community Leisure Centre ran a Total Loser club, which took place at the gym over eight weeks. All interested members completed an application form and were drawn at random to be a member of one of three teams. There were eight members in each team with a fitness instructor as the team leader who organised different activities to keep the workouts fresh and participants motivated. They were also encouraged to keep

a food diary and attend individual weekly weigh-ins. This is the third time the centre has run the programme and centre manager Suzanne Shaw told Workout it is working well. She added: “It’s been really successful, mainly due to the fact our fitness instructors have also taken it in board. “It’s become a bit of a competition between them as well. “If you are not going to take ownership of something, you are not going to perform. If you are passionate about what you do, love your job and want to help people, it can work really well.”


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SOFTWARE

UPHOLSTERY

SOFTWARE

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UK FITNESS SCENE

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Readers’ letters

‘A welcome new era of clarity’ John Clayton-Wright, managing director, Ashbourne Membership Management AS reported on the front page of Work Out in its July 2011 issue, the Office of Fair Trading and Ashbourne have been to the High Court. The result of this is a legally binding ruling that any gym contract longer than 12 months is no longer legally enforceable. This applies to contracts from any supplier, not just Ashbourne.

A Barnsley gym has taken part in a popular local event to raise awareness of its latest marketing campaign. Staff from DW Sports Fitness took to the streets of the town during the Mayor’s Parade, handing out information to the 15,000 strong crowd which had turned out

to watch the show. The gym’s main aim was to support a local event while promoting its special Get Active trial membership offer, which offers six weeks’ membership for £40 plus a free one hour session with a personal trainer. At the end of the six weeks, the club is

Now that the dust is settling on this ruling, here at Ashbourne we are not just philosophical about this – we in fact think this ushers in a welcome new era of clarity to the whole issue of gym membership contracts and their duration. It was already the case that the vast majority of contracts that Ashbourne handled were for 12 months or less, with a rolling one month’s notice to cancel thereafter, and this remains an enforceable clause. However, contracts of up to 36 months had often been set up in the past as part of a recruitment promotion, offering new members lower monthly membership in return for a longer contract. This ruling means that this type of promotion is no longer enforceable beyond 12 months. For many clubs, it would appear that 36 month-style promotions have not worked well, as clubs have been

obliged to give higher discounts than they needed to for the first 12 months, when collection rates sat at 98 per cent anyway, and were then confronted with ever higher default levels during years two and three. These were default levels which we at Ashbourne bore the brunt of sorting out in our role as the payment collection resource for clubs. We are now recommending that any membership recruitment promotion is based on a 12 month contract which can be enforced. This new clarity of contract duration creates a more transparent proposition for clubs to offer to consumers. Publicity surrounding the OFT ruling led to the usual knee-jerk reaction in the tabloids and radio consumer watchdog shows about the nature of gym membership contracts. This highlighted the often poor public perception which, rightly or wrongly, is a cloud over our industry. This fresh clarity of contract duration will help to improve the public’s image of how gyms promote their services. So, while this has been a difficult episode, we are proud of the fact that we managed to avert the need for gyms to obtain Consumer Credit Licenses, something the OFT was pressing for within this case. Also we do believe that working within the confines of 12 month contracts is a more stable and sustainable situation for the whole gym industry.

‘A marketing gimmick’ Mark Gates

New LIW features unveiled THE organisers of LIW have revealed new features designed to engage and entertain visitors to this year’s show. The annual health and fitness industry show – organised by UBM Live – returns to the NEC in Birmingham from September 20 to 22. A new area for this year is the CPD Masterclass Arena and CPD Seminar

SUPPLEMENTS

Theatre, both of which are powered by Skills Active. The CPD Masterclass, sponsored by MYZONE, includes training sessions from a range of industry providers including Jordan Fitness, Keiser and Premier Training, while the seminars will give delegates the chance to hear tips from training experts such as Stott Pilates and Nordic Walking UK.

FOR SALE

I HAVE just read the front page of Workout no 214 and was particularly interested in the yummy bummy feature. I have been a fitness professional for over 15 years and I must say that this feature by Gymbox is absolute nonsense.

You cannot just pick a shape and achieve it like shopping at Asda. Anyone who knows anything about anatomy and physiology and the core fitness principles will realise it’s complete rubbish. It's just a marketing gimmick to make money and Workout should know better than to print this sort of thing.

Send us your news and views ... Email ce@whpl.net or send them to WorkOut newsroom, 47 Church Street, Barnsley, S70 2AS HYGiENE

ADVERTISE HERE

TO ADVERTISE HERE:

01226734699


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Work Out August 2011  

The UK's No1 fitness industry magazine

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