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September 2010

The UK’s No 1 fitness industry magazine

Entries pour in for first WorkOut awards

VAT abolition ‘unlikely’ for independents By Emma Spencer AN MP has admitted that despite a nationwide campaign to abolish VAT payments for independent clubs the situation is unlikely to change. Karen Lumley, Conservative MP for Redditch, has taken the NoVat4Gyms campaign to Parliament while a petition supporting the private sector is still gathering signatures prior to being handed in at Number 10 in October. She was contacted by Gymophobics, based in her Midlands constituency, and has since written to the Treasury. She has asked for clarity on why local authority centres are exempt from VAT, where tax paid by chains and independents is spent and what will happen when the VAT rate rises from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent next year. Karen told Workout: “It is an answer the people who own gyms need. We need clarity sooner rather than later. “One person raised it, they have hundreds of members that are my constituents and there are several gyms in Redditch in the same situation. It is a legitimate question to ask. “We need a definitive answer and see where we go from there. The country is

in serious economic difficulty. There is no way we can commit to cutting taxes in this particular economic climate.” Over 1,000 people have added their names to the online campaign which is gathering more names each day. In just one day a hundred people signed the petition after it was reported in last month’s WorkOut. Founder of NoVat4Gyms, Wayne Heath from Clubmanager argues the money saved in VAT payments could be used to pay more staff, increase services, attract more members, get more people active in turn reducing the obesity burden on the NHS. He said: “We have had an enormous amount of support with gym owners saying they feel this has been unfair for years and at long last we are getting together as one big voice. “It has gathered pace quicker than we could have ever imagined and it has made people realise how important all of this is. “It is a complete injustice that needs to be balanced out. Ultimately we want to get VAT removed but want to say people feel this way and where do we start to come to some compromise.”

No 204 £3

International rugby player Gavin Henson is fronting a sports supplements range launched by Gold’s Gym. As part of his role as ambassador he will be writing a monthly on-line blog sharing his training experience and expertise. Gavin said: “When I hear Gold’s Gym I think of physiques like that of Arnold Schwarzenegger. With 35 years’ experience who better to keep me in shape?”

WORKOUT’S National Fitness Awards are shaping up to be the highlight of the industry calendar this year. Independent gyms, combat gyms, health clubs and specialist bodybuilding gyms are all putting themselves forward for the awards designed to recognise clubs and individuals who have had a particular impact on the industry. The most sought-after category is bound to be gym of the year which is being broken down into five regional areas covering Scotland, North, Midlands, South and Wales and the lifetime achievement award given to someone who has made a long term contribution to the industry. It is the first awards of its kind for those working in the health and fitness business including those in the public and private sector. A prestigious dinner is being held at the National Railway Museum in York where the winners will be announced at an awards evening hosted by former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies. Full details, Page 44

76-Page Leisure Industry Week special issue


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New features set to make LIW bigger and better By Emma Spencer OVER 13,000 people are expected to descend on Birmingham for Leisure Industry Week (LIW) – the only show of its kind in the UK. LIW is in its 22nd year and the show’s organisers had to come up with something to make it bigger and better than last year. There are seven areas covering different sectors of the leisure industry including health and fitness, leisure facilities, pool and spa, sport, play and attractions, eat and drink and licensed business. Some of the latest products and fitness trends will be launched at the event which is at the NEC from Tuesday September 21 to Thursday September 23. They include the PTontheNET functional training zone which features a virtual personal trainer and there are a number of seminars lined up including Pete Cohen, GMTV’s life coach who will be discussing ‘making a difference with positive psychology’. Clubs can also learn how to save money by reducing their carbon footprint and utility bills. Chris Brown, LIW event manager, said: “The features we have developed for this year’s show will really benefit both visitors

and exhibitors and give people more opportunities to do business and network. Our aim year-on-year is to improve and give visitors what they want, the new features this year will ensure this.” Last year at the show’s 21st birthday over 12,500 people attended which also saw the launch of Independent Operators Unite (IOU). It was set up to provide a voice for the smaller operator and surpassed organiser Dave Wright’s expectations. He said: “After years of exhibiting at LIW and introducing existing clients with each other, I thought something needed to be done to get independent club owners together to network and to be able to meet each other and discuss their own concerns and successes. I committed to hosting a party for independent club owners and to make it worth a day out of the clubs we decided to put on educational sessions specific for the independent operator. “2009 proved to be a phenomenal success and feedback was brilliant on how we could improve it for 2010. One of the recommendations from club owners was to create a unique ‘buying consortium' which has been well received.” IOU Special begins on Page 65

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New Precor crosstrainer heading for Northern Ireland THE OLDEST Precor EFX crosstrainer in the UK is still up and running in a local club in Northern Ireland. Bodyworks Gym in County Armagh has won a brand new Precor crosstrainer worth more than £7,000 after an exclusive competition in WorkOut to find the oldest machine still in use. Clubs from all corners of the UK entered the competition to mark the crosstrainer’s 15th birthday but Tony McParland scooped the prize with a 14 year-old machine still being put through its paces on the gym floor. He said: “I thought it was a wind-up at the start, as I’ve never won anything in my life. I bought two EFXs back in 2000

when I opened the gym along with all the other equipment from a club in Dublin that was closing down, as I couldn't afford to buy new. They’re going as well now as the day I got them. “I'm delighted to have won. It makes all the hard work and hours I've put into the gym worthwhile. As all independent gym owners will tell you, it’s hard work keeping up with the big chains that come into the area. Our members will be delighted with the new EFX.” Miles Rimell, head of marketing for Precor said: “The level of entries was high and we were delighted at just how many old Precor EFX’s are still working hard in clubs today.”


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Paul living off the fat of the land A VISIT to a Porsche performance centre led to Paul Bates doing away with the day job in television production and investing in building up his own fitness business. Over a year ago he paid £3,450 for an InBody analyser which identifies how much and which parts of the body are made up of fat and muscle – enabling clients to focus their training on particular parts of the body. It has proved a sound investment because people keep coming back to find out what they need to target next and has encouraged new members who might have felt intimidated about joining a normal gym. Paul, of Gunnersbury Fitness, said:

“I had never come across it before but knew there were ways of measuring body condition but most of them I found quite inaccurate. I know with my clients you can take a measurement but then five minutes later it will be completely different. “I saw this at the Porsche Human Performance Centre as a way of measuring fitness for driving and thought there might be something in this. They gave me a print out of my body fat and it was what I expected so started doing some research.” Paul gave clients free trials and was able to show them the fat they were burning was turning to muscle even though they might still weigh the

Spice Girl and fitness fan Mel B has teamed up with Fitness First and BLAZE to promote a new range of exercise products for the Nintendo Wii. Mel started her relationship with the gym chain last year after becoming the face of National Fitness Week and has now endorsed the new range, which manufacturers believe will take interactive gaming and fitness to a new level. Head of group marketing at Fitness First David Langridge said: “The group is on a mission to make the world a fitter place, so products which enhance our core business fit into this perfectly.’’

same on regular scales. He added: “The people who use the machine are returning more than the ones that don’t. There are some people who come just for fitness and don’t want to use the machine but those that do are impressed. In terms of client retention it has definitely encouraged them to come back.” The success Paul has had with this has helped his business go from a once a week circuit training session in a West London Park. He now does five outdoor fitness classes, private personal training appointments and is in a position to go part-time with his tv job while he develops Gunnersbury Fitness.


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Low-cost chain owner reveals high expectations By Christina Eccles

Top rugby league team Wigan Warriors have turned to vibration training to help keep them ahead of the game. The Power Plate pro5 AIRdaptive HPTM machine has been incorporated into the training and is being used alongside the existing advanced recovery protocol. Mark Bitcon, head of sport science at Wigan Warriors, said: “We are investing a lot of time into vibration training as a

way of improving our overall rugby programme, both on and off the field. “We believe it enhances player performance, increases flexibility and joint ranges, enhances power output and increases muscle blood flow during recovery and training. The benefits of using the machine are obvious for all to see and it’s a tool that all rugby clubs should take advantage of.”

ONE of the UK’s newest low-cost providers plans to have 24 branches within the next two years. Pure Gym already has low-cost gyms in Sheffield, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds and Wolverhampton and is opening up in Belfast and Southampton later this year. Managing director Peter Roberts believes Pure Gym – no contract, 24/7, £9.99 a month – could be the fastest growing company in the sector with 24 centres earmarked for the next couple of years. The low budget concept has come from overseas and Peter says he is tapping into a gap in the market. However, he says the concept would not work if the market was flooded. He won’t open a PureGym within 15 miles of another and there has to be a catchment of 150,000 people within a ten-minute drive. “We saw a big gap in the market for people that wanted to work out in a no frills environment without sacrificing the quality of the equipment they use. “To date our gyms have filled their memberships very successfully and we

believe the time is right to roll this out across the UK. “It is what it says – Pure Gym. It is for people who want to be fit and healthy and not hang around drinking coffee in a comfortable chair reading a newspaper.” Even though the model is called low cost it has taken some £10m worth of investment to get the project off the ground so far. After selling his hotel business to Whitbread in 2007 it meant Peter had funds for the first four gyms, which cost around £1 million each to set up. In February he was backed by Magenta Partners whose main investor is Tom Singh the man behind the New Look clothing retailer. It raised another £6m which has allowed for this latest phase of roll out. Peter added: “We have no bank debt at all we have funded it all through equity type funding. Next year we will fund it with bank debt as we expand further. “People could think this is easy and all pile in, that is a risk. In Germany there are only three people offering it across the country. If lots of people dived in it would create a problem.”


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7 Model Kelly Brook has launched a new women’s workout designed by Reebok and Cirque du Soleil. JUKARI Fit to Flex is available exclusively at David Lloyd Leisure clubs and follows on from the success of JUKARI Fit to Fly, which was rolled out last year. Group health and fitness manager Rob Beale said: “By introducing these classes we aim to bring some of the Cirque’s expertise in the act of moving to our clubs, whilst providing attendees with a high-energy full-body workout. The classes will be available nationwide, across all our clubs, with a minimum of two classes a week – so there’s plenty of opportunity for all to try.”

Revamped baths makes a splash By Emma Spencer A 160-year-old baths in central London has been re-launched with a gym and fitness suite and had 600 new members before it even opened. Prior to the opening in July staff at Westminster Council’s Marshall Street baths in Soho held a series of outreach activities with local residents and business. There was a consultation to tell residents about plans to re-open the baths – disused for over ten years – and feedback from them used to develop the programme of classes and services available.

Presentations were made to local businesses near to the baths and managers attended local community events and groups to tell people about what would be on offer. In addition to this for the three months before the launch date membership appointments were held for potential members to ask about the service, classes, different membership options and also to have a look at the pool. The level of activity meant 600 people had signed up to be a member of Marshall Street which following a £25 million redevelopment also has a sauna, dance and exercise studios.

The original Sicilian marble-lined pool with its green Swedish marble walls has also been returned to its former glory as has the barrel vaulted roof. Public baths have been on the site since 1852 but had to be closed down in 1997 for health and safety reasons. The renovation means the grade two listed building can be taken off English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk register. The facility will be managed by Nuffield Health, the council’s existing leisure management contractor.

Ian White, Nuffield head of operations, said: “There was a tremendous enthusiasm for the site and we made that work for us. “We did our website, sent out 14,000 letters, did banners, posters and leaflets all the tools you would expect but nothing any other operators wouldn’t think to use but we got out into the community spreading the word. “We thought it was reasonable and realistic to expect so many members given the quality of the facility and location but knew it would be difficult. “ To achieve 600 is excellent.”


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Simone Price

The Gym for Heroes event

Gym owner Simone Price has worked in the industry for the last 20 years – building up a wealth of contacts and experience. Here she shares the secrets of her success with Workout.

How Simone learned to be strong By Christina Eccles AS AN aerobics instructor, personal trainer, independent gym owner and REPs lifetime achievement award winner, Simone has definitely made her mark on the fitness industry. Her gym – Simone’s Health Club in Cirencester – has been open for the last 10 years and currently has about

300 members – with Simone and her team working hard to attract more. And she told Workout that the key to lasting success is being willing to move with the times and diversify to keep up with the latest trends. She explained: “The key things for us have been hard work, creativity and a willingness to fight when you

need to. I have learned that you have got to be strong. Communication and networking is also important and so is keeping your finger on the pulse.” As part of this, the gym is embracing new ideas such as signing up to social networking sites and Simone added that becoming members of Facebook and Twitter is working well as it helps them communicate effectively with existing members, potential members who want to find out more and other gyms and local businesses. She added: “It’s also good to talk to other people in the industry. We got in touch with Gym Central in WestonSuper-Mare after reading about them in Workout and we talk on Twitter and share ideas.” One of the latest projects which Simone has become involved in is Gym For Heroes – a nationwide challenge held in fitness centres and gyms, which raises money for Help for Heroes.

Members were able to compete either as individuals or as a team and although final figures are still being counted, Simone estimates that the gym raised about £400. She added that a lot of members at the club have family connections to soldiers and two members are even currently serving in Afghanistan – meaning that members were keen to get involved in the challenge and lend their support. She added: “Everyone was proud to wear the t shirts and we are even thinking about doing a medal ceremony. Challenges like these also keep people motivated in the gym. “We are also hoping that word might get round about the gym through Gym for Heroes and we can attract more members. And for anyone who came down while it was on, we also offered them the chance to become a member without paying a joining fee.”

Kit firm teams up with Charlotte KIT suppliers EXF have teamed up with one of the country’s top personal trainers to spread the word about health and fitness. Personal Trainer of the Year Charlotte Ord has been delivering specialist sessions on kettlebells for EXF who have teamed up with Perform Better USA. It is part of the Seminar tour featuring fitness and nutrition experts Nick Grantham, Matt Lovell and Neil Parsley. They work with some of the country's leading sports people, teams and governing bodies and

are using the seminars to share their latest research, teachings and methods. Guildford based Charlotte said: “I believe passionately in this industry and in striving to help others enjoy fitter, healthier and more active lives. “By becoming an EXF Fitness Perform Better USA presenter myself I’m thrilled to have teamed up with some amazing coaches and share our knowledge, information and training techniques with fellow fitness professionals and members of the public.”

Loyalty rewards for personal trainers GYM chain Fitness First has launched a new loyalty scheme for its personal trainers – providing them with a number of free benefits and rewards.

courses on first aid, leadership, coaching and business management and discounts on external training courses.

The company employs over 1,000 personal trainers in the UK and benefits of the scheme include recognised training programmes, in-house

Other features include a dedicated website linked through Fitness First’s own site for each trainer to feature their own profile page.


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Changes help gym fight off competition NEW classes and an increased range of membership options have helped an independent gym in Flintshire to successfully retain its members – beating off strong competition from local rivals. Lyons Den has recently celebrated its fifth birthday and a high proportion of members have been there since the start. The gym currently has about 420 members paying monthly memberships, as well as another 400 who come to classes and pay per session. But recently, a local council-run gym has benefited from a refurbishment and new facilities – meaning Lyons Den has had to diversify to make sure they didn’t lose out. To keep up with the competition, a ladies’ 30-minute circuit gym was introduced, as well as vibration plates and new classes such as Zumba. Contracts were also changed to include shorter terms – either three or six months – and the gym has also introduced a 10-session advance ticket. General manager Faye Lyons explained: “The local council facilities had a major refit which created a much bigger gym area. We couldn’t compete on the equipment front so we looked at putting extras in. “You can’t just be focused on one thing. You have to diversify and offer other services.” Fay also told Workout the gym has recently seen a lot of returning mem-

bers who have left at some point but now rejoined. And she put the gym’s success down to always making sure that members always feel welcome. Faye said: “This means a lot to us. As a family run club we pride ourselves on our friendly, approachable attitude which obviously works in making people feel welcome and wanted.” According to Faye, although the market is competitive, providing a great service to members and encouraging them to want to keep coming is what will get them through. She added: “In a tough market where financial worries are stressing people out, it’s important not to lose perspective and keep focused. For us this is remembering why we originally created our own facility. The main objective being to provide a quality service and make a difference to peoples lives, for the long term as well as the short. “From the positive feedback we hear on a regular basis I can see that this works well for us. We don’t have a massive marketing budget and rely a lot on word of mouth – it takes a lot of effort to produce a standard people are happy to positively talk about. “It also takes constant evaluation and adaptation to compete in an exciting and dynamic way to make you stand out from your opposition. “We are by no means raking in the pennies but providing a great service, enjoying our careers and making a difference to people’s lives.”

A Sheffield sports centre has raised over £7,600 by hosting a charity Swimathon event. Ponds Forge International Sports Centre took part in the event in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care and the venue’s efforts placed it at number three in the fundraising table

for the North of England. General manager Helen Broadbent said: “Not only is the event a great way to raise money for a fantastic cause like Marie Curie, but also means that participants are keeping fit and healthy, which is something we actively encourage.”

By Christina Eccles


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11 TV presenter Gail Porter and Olympic swimmer Keri-anne Payne have launched a new campaign to get Londoners swimming for free at GLL pools across the capital. The pair have got behind Schwim Free – a campaign from Schweppes Abbey Well – where participants exchange their water bottle caps for a complimentary swim at any of the 40 GLL pools. Swimming development manager at GLL Andrew Clark said: “We hope that the initiative will encourage many Londoners to get into the water for the first time, while established swimmers will have the chance to visit a fantastic range of facilities, conveniently located and for free."

Chris’ family packages prove a tonic for gym members By Christina Eccles A GLOUCESTERSHIRE gym owner has introduced discounted family memberships at his club after noticing a demand from members. Chris Warren – who owns Gym and Tonic in Tewkesbury – charges members £37 per month for a single membership. But after getting several requests from parents asking if they could bring their kids into the gym, he has launched the family packages – allowing members who bring their

children to benefit from a discounted rate. The new rate costs £75 for a family of three or £80 for four, which allows members to bring kids aged between 14 to 18 to use the facilities as long as they are supervised by an adult. According to Chris this is working out well for the gym and is something he is keen to build on in future. He said: “We introduced the packages because there was so much demand from members asking for it, particularly as it’s the summer holidays. The kids see their parents com-

ing to the gym and think it’s fun. But they have to have an adult with them – it’s not a creche.” The gym is also making the most of its unique lakeside location and regularly holds social events there to encourage members to interact with each other. The last event Chris organised was a windsurfing and BBQ evening where members could come along with their families and learn watersports on the lake, followed by the BBQ. And he added the social element is an important part of running a gym.

“I really pride myself in running a really personal club and the social events means that it isn’t just a place where people come to workout. In the future, we are also organising a trip to Go Ape and a 20 mile bike ride.” The gym currently has about 300 members and Chris says he would be happy to get another 100. To achieve this, he is marketing the club in a number of ways including leafleting, sponsoring a local sports team and hitting the local high street to talk to passers by about the gym.


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Comment box keeps gym in good shape By Christina Eccles A SIMPLE comments box has allowed one independent gym to gain valuable feedback from its members. The owners of ladies only gym Style and Tone have found that the best way to improve their facility is by asking members what it is that they would like to see and what areas they could improve on. And after trying out paper questionnaires, the Birmingham-based gym found that they get the best responses by allowing people to leave anonymous comments in a box, which they can empty and read. Owner Simon Baldwin said: “We always ask members for feedback and about what we can do better. We tried questionnaires but found that the comments box and speaking to us face to face were the most effective ways of communication.

Owners Simon and Julie Baldwin

‘We tried questionnaires but found that the comments box and speaking to us face to face were the most effective ways of communication’ And because we are fairly small, we are able to react quickly to what members want.” After collecting feedback, Simon – who owns the gym with wife Julie – discovered that members would like to see more cardio equipment and the chance to go to classes. Since then both have been introduced – with classes on offer including tone zone, step and combat. The gym has been open for about two years and one of its biggest draws is Power Plate.

Another popular part of Style and Tone is its beauty facilities and Simon told Workout that instead of looking for completely new members, it makes sense for the gym to first look at those who are already attending for something else and encourage them to become full members. He added: “At the moment we are working out what we can do to get more people through the doors. Word of mouth has been most pro-

ductive for us but we also have enquiries through our website and are planning a leaflet drop in the future. “We are currently targeting people who are not getting the most out of their membership and also people who come to Power Plate to try and get them to convert to full membership. And if people come in to the gym, we encourage them to try treatments and vice versa. We have tried to create a one-stop shop.”


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Audit results ‘terrifying’ – LA Fitness boss By Emma Spencer

24-hour fundraiser sees gym raise over £1,000 MEMBERS and staff from a Beverley gym spent 24 hours on treadmills and bikes to raise over a £1,000 for charity. As part of Gym for Heroes week which saw clubs doing 12 hours’ worth of events Riverview took it one step further. Staff and members took it in turns on bikes, treadmills and rowing machines for 24 hours’ fundraising for Help for Heroes. Co-owner Vicky Hart said: “My stint was 2am to 5am. One chap came in at 4am and I was desperate to see him because I couldn’t do anymore. We decided to do 24 hours so it was different to what everybody else was doing.” Vicky has worked at the gym for many years and took it over in March with husband Darren. She hopes to make the Gym for

Heroes challenge the first of many fundraising events which she says has proved a good way of interacting with members. She said: “Everybody came together. It has been the talk of the gym, we have got photos all over the gym and we have had a really good response. It has created a buzz and keeps people interested.” Plans are in the pipeline for a Beverley to Beverley Hills challenge on the treadmill and a biggest loser challenge to help with weight loss. She added: “It was the first time I have done a fundraising event and I have learned from it so next year will be bigger and better. “The main thing is people were willing to give up their time in the middle of a Saturday night to sit on a rowing machine.”

THE key to motivating members is motivating your staff first according to the man in charge of the LA Fitness brand. Arthur McColl, business and brand director, told delegates at the recent Flame Conference gym staff and managers are getting bogged down with paperwork and administration. He carried out an audit of how LA Fitness staff spent their time at work and admits the results were “terrifying”. Every member of staff from corporate and sales to front of house to instructors were monitored on work load and intensity for 50 minutes. For example, in club A filling the vending machine took 20 minutes. In club B it took 45 minutes to carry out the same process because that was the time allowed to do it. After reviewing rostas in the chain’s 81 clubs he discovered just 13 per cent of staff time was spent on customer service such as making appointments or holding classes and only ten per cent on membership sales and signing people up. Fifty-seven per cent of staff time

was spent behind the scenes on the phone and on administration tasks like banking and 20 per cent was dead time. At quiet times there were too many staff and at peak times not enough. 36,000 members were asked what they looked for in joining a gym. Twenty per cent said a personal trainer, 57 per cent wanted group fitness and 74 per cent a pool. The reality of those services being used was personal trainer (six per cent), group fitness (18 per cent), pool (20 per cent). Arthur said: “The results were terrifying. For the sector it is not about putting more time in but making the time more efficient. The challenge is fairly obvious. We need to attract members, retain them and staff. Let’s not apologise we are here to make a profit whether we sit in the budget sector, whether we are LA Fitness or the private sector.” Since the audit LA Fitness have been ruthless with paperwork, speak to 80 per cent of members on a regular basis and memberships have risen 10 per cent. Arthur added: “It has a massive impact on members to see a club manager in a locker room picking up towels or behind reception.”


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How Glen helps teens turn a corner A GYM owner has won an award for his work with troubled youngsters and teens in Coventry. Since opening Red Corner Gym five years ago Glen Smith has taken on teenagers who have fallen out of mainstream education as paid employees. One of his success stories is now hoping to become a professional athlete with four boxing matches under his belt. He was recognised for his efforts with an award backed by the local council at the Coventry Telegraph’s business awards held at the Ricoh Arena. Glen receives no financial help from the bodies who refer kids to him and his staff voluntarily help out but there have been one or two problems along the way. He said: “I had said no to doing it originally but then I saw a film about a similar thing and phoned back to say I would take them. “We have had one or two incidents. My brother is disabled and when I was out one day he was threatened but it was out of character and this lad had had a bad day at home. A few words in his ear and it was sorted.” Glen normally takes on one or two at a time and they are usually aged between 14 and 16. In return for the minimum wage

Glen Smith was recognised for his efforts at the Coventry Telegraph’s business awards held at the Ricoh Arena they help out behind the desk, with warm up and warm down sessions before and after classes or shadow the gym instructors. It is mainly lads that are referred to his gym from Connexions youth offending service but other organisations are becoming aware of the work Red Corner does as are other

youngsters in the area. Glen said: “When they have finished school they might not have that much opportunity, we give them gym experience and life skills and pay them a wage. “Two years ago we had a lad noone could do anything with. After a year of being here his mum phoned

me up and was crying down the phone saying how different he was. “We have a lot of professional fighters here and these lads see how quiet and humble they are. “Now this lad has had eight fights, gone from smoking and drinking to almost a professional athlete.”

Gyms are making a difference to youngsters OTHER gyms are following suit and recognise the positive impact gyms and training and fitness can have on young people. Freedom Leisure collected an award for best “Innovative Youth Project” at the annual Crawley South West Youth awards last month. The Friday Night Project is aimed at 11 to 19 year-olds who pay £2 per session to take part in activities such as basketball, football, climbing, trampolining, streetdance, breakdance and boxercise. Sessions take place between 8pm and 10pm every Friday and reports of anti-social behaviour in the area have dropped by 29 per cent compared to figures before the scheme

started. Dave Downey, Sport Development Officer at K2 Crawley, came up with the idea which is part funded by the local council, police and youth service. He added: “We have been able to respond to local needs by providing young people with very affordable and accessible activities.” Crawley Police District Commander, Inspector Steve Curry said the project “has made a significant contribution to enhancing community safety in Crawley”. Meanwhile leisure centres under Wokingham Council are giving subsidised gym memberships to youngsters undertaking community service as part of court orders. They have been litter picking in

car parks and cleaning off graffiti, cleaning lockers and gym equipment and carrying out basic office duties at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre, St Crispin’s Leisure Centre and Carnival Pool. In return, Leisure Connection offers gym passes for a pound per session and many offenders have carried on using the gym on a pay as you go system after they have completed their court order. Kevin Cox, business manager at Loddon Valley said: “The scheme has been more successful than we expected. At any one time, at least one of the three Leisure Connection sites in Wokingham Borough is providing reparation. “We’ve even had some young peo-

ple apply and successfully obtain jobs with us, meaning they’ve not gone on to re-offend and in turn have developed a keen interest in sport and the leisure industry.” Pep Padodafo, of Liberty’s Gym in Nottingham, also works with teenagers who have landed themselves in trouble with the law. He told Workout: “We have groups of young offenders coming down and training. We set up specific sessions like circuit training, boxing and other training. “The offences cover quite a broad area and some of them have enjoyed the gym and carried on coming. It does make a difference.”


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Branding is key to success – Gold’s boss By Emma Spencer

Heptathlete Jessica Ennis and Keith Morris, deputy director of sport at Leeds Metropolitan open the new gyms.

Changes boost membership THE £400,000 refurbishment of two university campus gyms has seen an increase of 700 new members. It was the first time in more than ten years that work had been done on Leeds Metropolitan University’s Headingley and City sites. Between them they have 6000 members made up of staff, students, members of the public and athletes and Dave Henderson is confident the revamped gyms will attract more users. He said: “Everyone has been very complimentary about the new gyms,

and even better, they certainly seem to be very well used. “We’ve signed up more than 700 new users so far and are on track to meet our targets. We’re now working on promoting the two new clubs with a sustained marketing campaign in conjunction with Precor.” The two gyms have been kitted out with Precor equipment. Headingly has a 52-station gym and the City Campus has a 60-station gym. All CV stations, including seven Adaptive Motion Trainers, have personal viewing screens.

BRANDING your gym is the key to success says the award-winning man behind one of the biggest chains in the world. Gold’s Gym started as a modest centre at Venice Beach, California in 1965 but now has 600 branches in 26 countries around the world. Derek Barton former senior vice president of marketing at Gold’s told industry colleagues at the Flame conference in July a recognisable but simple brand such as Nike and Pepsi is vital. He said: “In this industry for some reason we don’t think of ourselves as a brand but we should be the biggest on the planet. There is no better industry than health and fitness.” Derek said logos should immediately appeal to someone and slogans should work independently of a logo like the recognisable Nike tagline ‘Just Do It’. He added: “Branding is about taking something and making it meaningful. For example, Starbucks is not about the coffee, it is the name and what we need in our life. “People would rather go and buy

coffee every single morning than miss it.” Staff uniforms, stationary and even toilet doors can promote your brand and business as well as flyers and painted vehicles. Branding, he believes, is the key to club owners competing with the influx of budget operators rather than getting into a price war where one offers £10 a month, another gym drops the price to £9 and then £8 and so on. Derek said: “In our market only one can be the cheapest really, the rest have to rely on branding. People will pay for more and pay for the experience if they feel socially connected. “You have to stay true to who you are. The consensus is looking for something to trust and believe in when they are being bombarded by so many different things. “When people get tired of working out in isolation you need to have something that makes people want to spend time and money with you. “Brands are built on what people are saying about you not what you are saying about yourself.”


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£2.2m plan for Portsmouth AN ICONIC but outdated sea front building in Portsmouth is being transformed into a £2.2m leisure facility with an 80-station gym. While the leisure pool and function rooms at the Pyramids Centre are still open to the public other areas are being refurbished and underused spaces given a purpose. The old viewing gallery over the pool will house a self-contained 448 square metre fitness suite featuring 20 Hoist Roc-It resistance machines, four interactive Expresso bikes and 50 cardiovascular Life Fitness units. Alliance Leisure is funding and managing the project on behalf of Southsea Community Leisure Limited and Portsmouth City Council while Physique supplied the equipment. Part of the poolside area is being turned into a health spa featuring a sauna, salt grotto, pyramid shaped steam room, ice fountain, foot baths, monsoon shower and treatment rooms. The gym is expected to be completed by November and other improvements include a cafe, children's play area, new changing rooms, reception area and terrace bar. Stephen Parker of Alliance Leisure, said the development would establish the commercial viability of the site. He added: “The redevelopment aims to bring a new lease of life to the building, ensuring the space is better used and provides facilities for both local communities and those visiting the area on holiday or for the day.”

Glasgow club moves with the times ... By Emma Spencer A 140-year-old baths club is moving into the 21st century as part of a bid to attract younger members. Arlington Baths Club in Glasgow city centre is steeped in history and board members who run the not-forprofit club want to capitalise on that while at the same time moving forward. The pool, Turkish baths, sauna and steam rooms have always been popular but the volunteers in charge at Arlington are making improvements to the gym in a bid to increase the offering. In the last few months all the old equipment has been ripped out and replaced with new kit on a lease term including treadmills, cross trainers and free weights.

Board member George Mcdougall said: “Every bit of equipment in there is brand new. We had fairly old equipment and felt it was necessary to get a whole set of fitness stuff to encourage people to use the gym as well as the pool. “It is a fairly traditional membership and we needed to get new and young people to come along. The gym is what used to be the snooker room not just a shed full of equipment. It has a bit of character to it and people seem to quite like that.” As well as updating the provision the Arlington board is updating its approach to business. George added: “Imagine a club that has been going 140 years – there are a lot of rules we are trying to modernise and simplify the membership.” Current promotions include 12

months membership for the price of ten, free day passes for prospective members and a reduction for members joining via a website promoting activities in the city centre. There are already 600 members at Arlington and it is hoped breathing new life into a historical facility will pay off. George said: “We want to maintain and restore original features which are a big selling point but fill it with state of the art equipment. “We have had a big drive since the last AGM to get new members and engage in new technology. It has taken us 140 years but we had a members party a few weeks ago to officially launch the new website and the Facebook page is proving very popular.”


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Appeal for award entrants FITNESS First gym members are being encouraged to shout about their successes by entering the company’s New You Achievement awards. Now in its sixth year, the awards are divided into four categories – shape, health, sport and strength – and champions individuals for accomplishments they have achieved with the help of staff and facilities at Fitness First. Managing director John Gamble said: “The New You Achievement Awards create the perfect arena for us to really engage with members and see what they have achieved in our clubs. The difference our members can make to their lives with the support of our staff in our facilities is truly inspiring and it’s vital those achievements are recognised and Rewarded.” The winners will be announced at a ceremony in January.

New way to measure customer satisfaction A NEW way of measuring customer satisfaction in the health, fitness and leisure industry is being launched this month. It is done using the The Net Promoter Score® (NPS) where the satisfaction and loyalty of members can be answered with just one question. They are asked out of ten how likely it is they would recommend their club to a friend or colleague. Based on their responses members are categorised into three groups such as ‘Promoters’ if they give nine or ten; passives if they score seven or eight and detractors if they rate it at six or under. The percentage of

detractors is subtracted from the percentage of promoters to obtain a Net Promoter score. A score of 75 per cent or above is considered quite high and other research shows the health and fitness sector’s average NPS is just 34 per cent. Leisure-net which gives customer feedback to the leisure sector and The Retention People (TRP) will be doing a free trial with 400 operators from the public and private sector to create a benchmark for the industry. The Net Promoter Score® (NPS) has been used before over 12 different industries with companies such as Apple and Amazon and has been

linked to business growth, profitability and increased use of product. Mike Hill, managing director of Leisure-net Solutions said: “This survey is the largest of its kind ever carried out and will give operators a true snapshot of where they sit within the sector in terms of customer satisfaction and loyalty.” Alister Rollins, from TRP, added: “NPS’s main benefit is that it gives organisations a single customer service objective of creating more ‘promoters’ and fewer ‘detractors’ – ideal for retention and far simpler to act upon than complicated and hard-tounderstand satisfaction metrics or indices.”

New leisure centre for Freedom Leisure

Trust retains contract

FREEDOM Leisure has acquired its 20th site in the Sussex and Kent area. Aylesham Welfare Leisure Centre, currently under construction, will be run by Freedom Leisure the largest provider of community leisure in Sussex. Funding has come from a number of other agencies. There will be ten grass pitches,

FREEDOM Leisure Trust has retained its contract to run three of Hasting borough council’s leisure centres. It saw off competition from six other bidders. A £700, 000 investment is planned for Summerfields, Falaise and Hillcrest leisure centres over five and a half years. The pool hall at Summerfields will be upgraded and a new circuit gym installed and at Falaise the cardio vascular equipment is being replaced.

cafe, multi-use games area, artificial pitch and changing rooms. The second phase will see state of the art fitness facility, a meeting room and bar. Jeff Hart, Freedom Leisure’s Managing Director, said: “Together with the centre in Sandwich, this will be Freedom Leisure’s second Kent site. “We are looking forward to

working with the local sports clubs and community to make the Aylesham Welfare Leisure Centre a great success for the town. Freedom Leisure is delighted to offer a growing variety of activities in fun, friendly and inspiring environments”. Freedom Leisure now employs 1,200 staff and has an annual turnover of £20 million.


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When the gym that Chris Summers was a member of went bust owing thousands of pounds he decided to buy it. Two weeks later he re-opened a new business with no members. He tells Workout how he did it.

Chris works hard to get bust gym back in shape THE administrators were parked outside the gym and everything from the treadmills to the kettle was marked for auction when Chris turned up with his credit card and bought the lot. That was on February 10. In the next fortnight he set about a mass renovation of the gym which was old fashioned, had a confusing layout and filthy saunas unfit for use. Using his own property maintenance firm he ripped everything out, redecorated and laid new floors before totally re-ordering the lay out. The fitness suite and cardiovascular machines are now on the ground floor, changing rooms and showers and a beauticians on the middle and free weights and an area for classes on the top floor. He said: “I had spoken to the landlord to check he still wanted a gym in the building and then spoke to the administrators. I said I was interested in buying it all as long as it stayed in place. I didn’t want to buy half but not have enough stuff to open. He

agreed if I turned up with a credit card he would let me do that.” Existing staff were kept on and while the refurb was taking place Chris put adverts in the local paper, held an open weekend and also relied on word of mouth. But there was a more pressing problem. A lot of irate members had paid £450 up front for a three-year membership weeks before the old business folded but as Oaks was a new business there was nothing Chris could do about it. Chris said: “He sold a lot of memberships in November and December for cash and all the cash had disappeared. We had a lot of irate people coming to the door but there was nothing we could do about it. “If something sounds too good to be true it is. People were saying we should be offering special discounts to existing members but the old gym proved if you sell memberships too cheap the gym is unsustainable.” The membership database had

been wiped from the computer for data protection so when Chris opened for business at 7am on March 1 he had no members either. The membership pricing structure is kept very simple – same price for everyone – classes are included and there is no limit to how much you can use the gym. There are now 200 members, half of which were members of the old gym, and he is looking at ways of generating extra income through secondary spend. He rents a room to a beautician, the old sauna space is being converted to treatment rooms which can be rented to a

physiotherapist and he is selling drinks and eventually supplements. Chris said: “The first couple of months were very nerve-wracking. We had no members but the same bills and rent to pay. So far I have not earned a penny from it but the level we are at now it is paying its way. My wife has been going to Tesco to buy Lucozade, water and cans and we sell it out of the fridge but we are going to grow that side of it. I hadn’t anticipated the level of cash that comes in from that sort of thing so it is a very nice added bonus.”


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Links with schools pay off for Sandra By Christina Eccles A LADIES-only gym in Wigan is using its links with local schools to attract more new members. Ladybird Fitness has been allowing secondary schools to block book sessions for female pupils to come and work out in the gym on quieter periods. And recently owner Sandra McGugan received a visit from two school leavers who came to join up after first visiting with their school. Another member who is a teacher has also helped the gym to forge a relationship with its first primary school after asking if gym staff could come in and talk to her pupils. And although Sandra said it is not feasible to go into many schools and it is easier for them to come to her, in this case she made an exception. She explained: “We went to a primary school and did a lesson with the kids – taking some of our equipment such as trampolines and talking to them about exercise and healthy eating. “We also gave the kids a ticket to take home for a free session and

that week we had two of the mums join.” To keep the gym ticking over through the quiet summer period, the gym also runs a 10 sessions for £10 deal every year during the summer holidays. Last month they sold about 50 of these and Sandra said the conversion rate to full membership is usually about 60 per cent. Ladybird Fitness now has just under 400 members but Sandra told Workout she is happy with this size as classes are already filling up

and existing members would suffer if the club was busier. She added: “Some of the classes do get full and if we took on more members I think we would lose a lot of people. “With the 10 days offer, we explain to people that if a class is getting full, a member takes priority.” The next campaign for the club is coming up in November when Sandra will launch a £5.76 per week membership offer for the Christmas period.

Hot competition for Flame awards OVER 700 people attended a Ball of Fire in Cheltenham hosted by the Fitness Industry Association (FIA). It was led by Dave Stalker, executive director, who said there had been a record number of entries this year which were ‘hotly’ contested. Clubs from across the country were vying for the prizes in ten categories from centre of the year to corporate club of the year and awards were handed out to recognise those who capture the ‘spirit of flame’ and the ‘future of flame’. Dave said: “In some cases, the difference between winner and runner up was a fraction of a percentage point.” Winners were: Club of the Year (under 1000 members), The Valley Health and Fitness EIS Sheffield; Club of the Year (1000 to 4000) members, Spirit Health Club, Haydock; Club of the Year (over 4000 members), Warwickshire Golf and Country Club; Centre of the Year, Concord Sports Centre, Sheffield; Corporate Club of the Year, RBS Nuffield Health and Fitness Club, Scotland; Educational Club of the Year, Abbs Cross Health and Fitness, Hornchurch; Spirit of Flame, Peepful Centre, Leeds for unique pricing structure and community interaction; Future of Flame, Annie Redelinghuys of Curves for commitment to consumers and fitness industry; Health Club Operator of the Year, The Club Company; Leisure Centre Operator of the Year, Sport&Leisure management. The awards and dinner followed a day of seminars at the Racecourse venue from leaders within the industry such as Derek Barton who used to head marketing of the Gold’s Gym group, Arthur McColl LA Fitness’ business and brand director and management consultant Phil Dourado.

Suppliers of fitness equipment, Precor, has announced in-house promotions within its sales team. Steve Shaw has been promoted to senior group account manager. He has been with Precor for three years and his new role also includes defining new business opportunities. A former personal trainer and health club manager he takes

over the role vacated by Tom Fairey who has left the company to set up his own business. Jo Headington will move from a regional sales role to take over from Steve as group account manager. She has worked in the industry for 11 years as a fitness instructor and at Precor for four years.

New role for former nightclub A FORMER night club and an old ice rink will form integral parts of a leisure centre refurbishment. Alliance Leisure has been appointed to oversee the redevelopment of Flintshire County Council’s portfolio. The first project is Deeside Leisure Centre at a cost of up to £4m. A former first floor nightclub will be converted into an 80 station family fitness zone with free weights, resistance and car-

diovascular equipment, Powertone tables and Easytone chairs. The old ice rink will be refurbed and to further encourage footfall there will be other facilities installed such as a climbing wall, skate park and BMX bikes. The former ice rink queuing area will be turned into an interactive centre with dance mats, digital climbing wall and trampolines.

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Steve keeps changing to keep his gym Tops By Emma Spencer A WEST Yorkshire gym has told how it keeps its business up to date after 35 years in the industry. Tops Fitness and Rehabilitation in Wakefield started out as a one level gym beneath a flat but now specialises in neurological physiotherapy, disabled users and sports massage. Owner Steve Johnson started training at Tops as a teenager with his dad who took on the business over 30 years ago when the then owner ran into difficulty. At the time there were only 100 members. Steve said: “My dad had no experience in the industry but took it on after training here and having a basic insight. “It was a stagnant gym and needed new ideas and new personalities. It got to the stage where we bought the flat upstairs and made that into the gym, there was an extension at the back we developed into and used to have health and beauty downstairs.” Not afraid to change things to meet demand they got rid of the aerobics area because it wasn’t generating much income to make way for a better gym and the health and beauty

rooms have been replaced by physiotherapy, disabled equipment and treatment rooms. The name of the gym has varied over the years from Tops Private Health Club to Tops Health Club to Top Fitness Centre to reflect what the business was offering at that time and is now Tops Fitness and Rehabilitation. Steve said: “You have to keep changing. When mum and dad left the business I wanted to take it on but it wasn’t making any money so something had to change in some way. “It was by chance my friend broke his neck, I ended up doing some rehab with him and we had the idea of setting up the centre. Straight away there was a reason to buy my parents out and move it forward.” So five years ago he set about a £200,000 renovation which saw the entire downstairs ripped out and renovated and specialist equipment brought in. Amid the building work the gym continued to operate from a small space upstairs but members stayed loyal and kept coming despite the disruption. Steve said: “We were operating in

Steve Johnson just one quarter of the building and kept the gym open which was hard but members were loyal throughout and eventually it all got sorted.” Members continue to remain loyal with 40 per cent having been members for over ten years and a percentage have been on the books for over 30 years. Steve says it is a friendly and personable service which helps with retention as well as a combination of membership payment options and pay as you go sessions. He added: “I see members as

friends first and foremost rather than clients. Because we have no set contracts people have the freedom to leave whenever they want so we can have a turnaround membership base. “Gyms with contracts can say they have a membership base but people might not be going. All the people that pay are coming. It keeps us on our toes. We look after members and if they want something we act on it. “In a lot of larger clubs no-one knows you from Adam, no-one talks to you but here you are greeted by the owner of the business.”

Team takes to the water to help teenage cancer sufferer WHEN one of Tops’ teenage customers discovered he had bone cancer and had to have his leg amputated staff and members wanted to help. In July they entered the annual Dragon Boat event at a water park a few miles away and ended up winning despite never having rowed before. They saw off competition from a police team and Scarborough Surf Club and expect to have raised over £2,000 for local lad Chris Chapman, now 17. The disease was discovered during an x-ray after he broke his ankle while playing football. Tops owner Steve Johnson said: “He started coming from the age of 15 and was a cheeky kid but liked by everybody. “He had been training for about four months when he found out. It

was a big shock to me. All the time it was going on I thought the chemo will kill the cancer and he will get on with a normal life. “Everybody was saying can we do something because we have done fundraising at other times.” After three qualifying rounds the team, made up of 22 gym members, made it through to the final where they had to row 250 metres shaving three seconds off their previous best. Steve added: “None of us had done it before and we were just going to have a laugh but once we sat in the boat it got serious and when we qualified for the final we upped our game because we knew we could compete and the adrenalin kicked in.” Chris will use some of the money raised to pay for his gym membership and will donate the rest to the bone cancer charity and Candlelighters.


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Physiotherapist Natasha Green

Friend’s rugby injury leads to thriving rehab facility WHEN Steve Johnson’s friend broke his neck while playing rugby he didn’t expect it to kickstart his business. But Jimmy Gittings’ paralysis was the catalyst for rebranding the Tops business and rehabilitation is now as big a part of it as fitness. It was while Steve was treating Jimmy the pair hit on the idea of starting their own rehabilitation centre because at that time Jimmy had to travel to Spain or America for the level of neurological physiotherapy he needed. Jimmy is now a business partner while Steve and physiotherapist Natasha Green look after the practical side. Steve said: “As soon as he said it I was buzzing. Everything in the premises was very tired and dated so we ripped the bottom floor out and put a through floor lift in. We thought we would get grants but didn’t so that put a strain on the finances.” Tops Rehabilitation specialises in head and spinal injuries generally as a result of car crashes and sporting injuries, amputees and stroke sufferers. A lot of business comes from solicitors and hospital and GP referral but Tops also provides general physiotherapy, sports massage and acupuncture. It is also one of only two centres in

the country to have an FES bike which allows people who have lost the use of lower limbs to cycle. Sensors stimulate the muscles and because it is motorised the user ends up pedaling the machine. An on-board computer assesses muscular performance and the data is sent to the States for analysis. There is another bike which is part motorised for those with limited mobility and Vitalide sliding machines can be tailored to target different muscles. The former aerobics area is now a treatment room with four beds, parallel bars and hoists and there are two private rooms for massage therapies and ultrasound laser treatments Wheelchair users who are not rehabilitation clients also have access to the regular gym. Steve added: “With the credit crunch everybody knows leisure is one of the first things to go but the rehab aspect took the business to a totally different level. “Out of that does come extra wages and we have taken on two part time physiotherapists but it does bring in a massive income. That side is growing and growing. “When people come in totally dependent on a wheelchair and then walk out months later for me the rewards are personal not financial.”

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Simple marketing techniques to get more personal training clients or members By Dave Wright Creative Fitness Marketing 1) Establish your Unique Selling Point You and your potential clients should clearly understand ‘Why someone should train with you and not the personal trainer or the gym next door’. 2) Engage with everyone As the name implies ‘personal training’ it is very ‘personal’, so you need to get out onto the gym floor and engage with everyone. Find out what makes them tick, why they are training, what their dog’ s name is etc. etc. Too many personal trainers or club owners think that sitting at reception with their sleeves rolled up over their biceps will earn them more customers. It doesn’t. 3) Get testimonies People want results, so you need to show them that you’ve got people results. Create a portfolio of the clients that you’ve helped achieve the goals that they set out for. If you’ve been a personal trainer or club owner for over a year and you don’t have clients that you’ve got results for change career. 4) Understand the law of reciprocity When you give something for free, they feel obliged to repay the

favour. If you see someone doing the lat pull-down wrong then give them advice on the best way to do it. This shouldn’t be hard if you’ve followed point number two above. You will be surprised how this will pay off in the long term. The same goes for `free sessions’ so that people can get a taster of what you are like. 5) Be the expert You’ve paid a lot of money to

know what you know. So offer free seminars on training techniques or diet information. At the very least, create an ezine newsletter and enable people to sign up for free. 6) Existing referrals This delves a little in the role of ‘sales’, but your existing clients can be a great source of marketing. In today’s day and age of Facebook you can connect with friends of friends and your potential ‘market’ could be endless. There is also nothing wrong with asking a client that you’ve helped get results the question ‘Can you think of a friend of yours that could do with some help too?’ It’s not hard, but not many personal trainers or club owners do it. 7) Use Multiple Exposure Marketing Be in as many places as possible whether it’s in the local paper, handing out leaflets, signs in the club, sponsoring sports teams etc. The more you are ‘out’ there, the more likely you are to ‘be known’ particularly if you utilise all of the above tips. Marketing is a moment in time, so when the moment is right, a potential client will want to go to the expert in the field.

Sports and fitness developer Inspirit is celebrating its tenth anniversary and the news it has been appointed exclusive UK distributor of the latest equipment from American firm Schwinn. It will distribute the ‘Authentic Cycling’ range which has been designed to simulate the feel and aerobics of road cycling and the Stairmaster Stepmill. Andy Mack, Inspirit managing director, said: “We are delighted to be working with this best-known and best-loved brand to offer a revolutionary member experience for all types of fitness enthusiasts and exercisers in the UK.”

New gym for Glasgow PURE Gym has opened a new 24-hour facility in Glasgow – its second site in Scotland. Facilities at the gym include over 170 pieces of equipment and personal training and new members also have the option to join online for a rate of £16.99 per month.

Fitness group ready for expansion to India THE énergie Fitness Group has revealed a two-year plan to expand to India. Its research and development team has been targeting the quickly developing western and southern regions of India since the fitness market showed signs of expanding. The company has identified opportunities for multiple sites and is now actively seeking investors to take the brand to a new continent. It is hoped ten centres either énergie Fitness Clubs, énergie Fitness for Women and low budget brand

Fit4less can be opened within the next two years. Moving into India follows the launch of the énergie Fitness brand into the Middle East and North Africa which proved especially challenging because of the cultural differences. At the £2million club in Doha Airport in Qatar bosses at énergie had to maintain the brand’s identity while at the same time respecting cultural differences. Details from the washing and prayer rituals were incorporated as well as the setting up of separate

male only and female only clubs plus translation to Arabic. Gaining local knowledge led to 708 pre-sales and 1, 100 memberships in just three months. There will be three more clubs in Doha and expansion to the eastern part of Dubai. Jan Spaticchia, énergie founder and chief executive, said: “We have been looking at the Indian fitness market for some time now and have already begun investing considerably in understanding and identifying the right opportunities for the énergie Fitness Group.

“We are now in a position to find the appropriate investors to help develop the brand in regions across the west and south as part of our growth strategy. “Our experience in the Middle East has given us knowledge and understanding in the many aspects needed to satisfy local cultures from language translation to physical construction as well as marketing to the right audience. We are extremely excited about our progression to India and taking the énergie name to a new part of the world.”


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Why Jason’s classy clubs are thriving By Christina Eccles A SUCCESSFUL gym owner has revealed how his recession-beating clubs are flourishing – despite a difficult climate. Jason Hall owns three clubs in Kent under the Reynolds Health and Fitness brand – with gyms situated in Bexley, Rainham and Sittingbourne. The capacity of the clubs ranges from the smallest, which has about 1,500 members to the largest at 2,000 and all of them are housed in unusual buildings, including a converted parsonage. According to Jason, business is booming and the clubs are doing so well that the Chapel site in Bexley is going through a complete redevelopment, designed to further improve the experience for members. New facilities will include a swimming pool, new Matrix gym equipment, an in-house cafe and redesigned reception area – with a focus throughout on providing the very best. Work is due for completion later in the year but Jason admits that it has been a delicate balance getting things done without disrupting members using the existing facilities. He said: “We are doing it in stages but it has been a juggling act. The first phase has been laying new flooring in the pool area and a new studio and then we will do the changing rooms and the pool. We have tried to work around members as much as possible while the work is being done. “The plan is to get it all finished by the end of November and get any teething problems sorted in

December, which is a quieter period, ready for January. The development will make it an incredible club and we think that as we are coming out of the recession, now the time is right. Our customers deserve and want a bit more.” Jason added that the Reynolds Group model of offering a traditional gym environment alongside the spa facilities is one that is working for them as people are The reception at Sittingbourne increasingly keen to combine the two into their visits. He added: “Our belief is that people don’t really want to exercise but they know they have got to do it. But they want that pleasure and relaxation as well and that’s where the spas come in. People now more than ever need to de-stress and having that combination of fitness and relaxation is working for us.” All three of the gyms are managing to ride out the recession and Jason revealed to Workout why he believes that the clubs are working so well. “We put a lot of effort into making sure that people are using the club. It’s very easy for people to stop going to the gym and if the gym doesn’t contact them to keep them coming then they may not come back. “We also have a very high level of service and quality of facilities – we are very much results driven and our members see that. “Our clubs are also very unique and we are really trying to go for that boutique hotel look. From the feedback we have got, members see the gyms as a home away from home and feel quite special when they are there. We offer very caring clubs and as we are independent we are able to adapt more easily to the needs The reception at The Chapel in Bexley, which is of our customers than the bigger chains.” currently being refurbished


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Notes bring a personal touch ...

Sarah-Jane Wall

Sarah-Jane’s motto: If you don’t have it, don’t spend it By Emma Spencer SEVENTY per cent of clients at a boutique fitness centre in Glasgow are already members of other gyms in the city. Sarah-Jane Wall, owner of SJ Fitness in the city’s West End puts it down to offering services other gyms don’t. She said: “The types of people that come here are already members of another gym – as many as 70 per cent. They pay a monthly membership somewhere else and come here and pay for various reasons. “It might be we offer different services that are not available like drop a dress size boot camp or it might be the instructor led powerplate sessions. “All gyms have them but they are generally sat in a corner and people don’t have a clue what to do with them. People come here for personal training with a proper programme. I know it sounds mad.” For many years Sarah-Jane worked in local authority gyms and large chains seeing how they did and formulating a plan of what she wanted her business to be like. She started offering personal

training sessions from her spare bedroom with just ten clients but has built it up to where she is now – 2,000 square feet premises with nine members of staff and on the look out for somewhere bigger. She said: “I was getting frustrated working for someone else and having no control over what I was doing. I started from my spare room doing a personal training gym with clients coming to the house. “There would be one in the shower, one on the sofa waiting. It was a bit crazy but most of them are still with me today.” And taking heed of an old Scottish wives’ tale has seen her come through the recession unscathed. Sarah-Jane said: “I was brought up with the motto if you don’t have it, don’t spend it. I started with one treadmill and a set of dumbells from Argos. “As I got more money and more members I invested that money straight back in the business. “Everything in here is owned, nothing is leased and that is probably one of the reasons why I have done so well throughout the recession – I am not carrying any debt and I don’t have any loans.”

SARAH-JANE Wall is so embarrassed if she doesn’t know the name of someone in her gym she makes little notes about them. As well as the usual details you would find on a computer membership database there will be snippets about birthdays and even whether a member has a dog and what it’s called. Using the information stored on there Sarah-Jane also sends handwritten cards and a £10 voucher for birthdays and arranges nights out for staff and members. Sarah-Jane says it makes members feel as though they are getting a personal service and makes them more likely to want to return. She said: “I learned very early on take details like mobile numbers and e-mail addresses that way I can send out newsletters and details of promotions. I have been doing Facebook for about three years and haven’t sent out flyers in over a year. If I don’t know someone’s name I am embarrassed so I write files. If they have a dog called Billy I’ll shout how’s the dog and they think I have remembered.”

‘All under one roof’ “ALL under one roof” is the plan for SJ Fitness because it means clients don’t need to go anywhere else for specialist treatment such as physiotherapy or sports massage. She said: “I didn’t want to be a jack of all trades so surrounded myself with other professionals. I wanted a facility where everything was under one roof and didn’t have to refer somebody out of here.” The beauty treatment rooms were not part of the original business plan but Sarah-Jane realised there was the potential for extra revenue. She added: “A beauty salon was not the intention but quickly realised there was a massive market here. There are all these women so why not capitalise on that because they all get waxing, have fake tans and already feel comfortable here. It adds value to what we do.”

Tough times are bringing increased business for service company A SERVICE company says the economic climate has actually helped it prosper. Servicesport, based in Bolton, maintains fitness equipment and is taking on new staff to meet demands. Sales manager Rick Fowler said the recession meant finance agreements were harder to come by so instead of replacing equipment companies

were keeping it longer and entering into service agreements. He said: “It was definitely happening in the public sector and still is but a lot of the private sector are buying remanufactured equipment because it is a third of the price of new stuff. “We have seen a change in terms of what people are doing because the finances are not available but as a

company we are going from strength to strength and have got 30 field engineers around the country, we are constantly looking for more because of the workload.” Servicesport makes around £2million a year from refurbishing equipment and the number of service agreements has increased by up to 40 per cent generating an extra £60,000.

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Powerhouse powers ahead By Emma Spencer POWERHOUSE Fitness which started out in a shop in Glasgow in the 1980s has celebrated its 30th anniversary. A day conference with key suppliers was held in the city followed by a dinner and an internal awards evening for staff. Those who have been with the company for over ten years were presented with long service awards. Dave Webster senior OBE founded Powerhouse and started off selling commercial products to sports clubs and gyms. The first shop opened in Glasgow in 1987 – there are now 11 around the UK employing over 80 members of staff with a 56, 000 square foot head office in Clydebank. Dave has enjoyed a long and varied career in the fitness industry starting out as a PE teacher coaching a certain Denis Law and later award-winning bodybuilders as well as being involved in several Olympic and Commonwealth games. He was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award by two of his sons David and Nigel Webster who have since taken over the running of the company and received a surprise award themselves. Other awards winners were: store audit, Chessington; sales department performance, direct internet department and Harrods store; leading nutrition performance, Stephen Pickering (Newcastle); future star, Louise Kelly (commercial depart-

Nigel and David Webster ment); sales person of the year, Lisa Webster; employee of the year, John Durham (Newcastle); manager of the year, Colin Moore (Newcastle); people’s champion, Kathryn Prendergast; outstanding contribution, Alex Carroll (web design manager). Earlier in the day Powerhouse’s future plans were unveiled which include launching a nutrition and sports supplement website.

Transforming your business TOTAL Leisure Solutions (TLS) has united top specialists to offer a service that the market has long been craving for. Even a refurbishment can transform your business where you not only retain your existing clients but attract new ones. However it doesn’t end there, your staff and fitness experts need to be highly trained and knowledgeable in their field. From design and build to return on investment they work with you to achieve your ultimate goal. Each project is unique and bespoke, from the outset this includes the input of the UK’s top fitness instructor who has taught and lectured worldwide on his unique styles of fitness. His knowledge sets this company apart from other contractors in that they have the expertise in every area

encompassing the whole package. TLS will advise you how to maximise your potential and allow your design to develop. Their years of experience and technical knowledge offer infinite design possibilities to even the most unusual and striking projects. Whether it is a traditional or contemporary building their designers and craftsmen will bring your facility alive and make you stand out, for all the right reasons, from your competitors. All of this is tailored around your budget and they pride themselves on their 100 per cent rate of projects being completed on time and within budget which many companies aspire to, but not so many achieve. For further information visit www.totalleisureltd.co.uk or contact 01702 416 126

Founder of Powerhouse David Webster Senior OBE receives his lifetime achievement award from son Nigel. As well as selling Powerhouse’s own products they will stock other brands and offer on-line advice about products in the same way a shop assistant would. After the event David and Nigel Webster said: “After 30 years of business we felt a celebration of Powerhouse Fitness achievements was long overdue. “We are immensely proud of our

team and achievements within the fitness industry. Our 30th birthday party and first annual conference gave us the ideal opportunity to look back at key milestones over 30 years, and to recognise and reward our key performers. “It also gave us an invaluable opportunity to look to the future and provide an insight to the exciting times ahead.”


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Enter your club in WorkOut fitness awards FITNESS experts from all ends of the sector have been entering our national fitness awards aimed at the smaller operator – a first in the industry There are twelve categories catering for the chains and local authority clubs as well as the independent market. Combat and strength gyms also have their own categories and there is recognition for those displaying excellent customer service, community involvement or who have come with an innovative idea. There are categories for gym team of the year and gym based personal trainer as well as best membership recruitment campaign. One of the most sought-after awards is the lifetime achievement award. Sam Taylor is up for gym-based personal trainer. She is based in Birmingham and works with clients with complex medical conditions to

endurance athletes. Life@whitehouse in Shropshire has been nominated for health club of the year after a rocky start to business. It used to be a chain of three hotels bought out when the then owner went bankrupt. It operates with no capital spend and kit has to be bought from profits yet the club is continuing to grow. A prison near Doncaster is in the community involvement category because it opens up the prison gym for local people with special needs and fundraises. There is still time to enter your club by simply visiting www.nationalfitnessawards.co.uk Winners will be announced in a ceremony hosted by Sharron Davies at the National Railway Museum in York on November 25. For more details contact Liz Allen on 01226 734459 or info@nationalfitnessawards.co.uk

No VAT campaign reports a phenomenal response THE No VAT 4 Gyms campaign racked up another gear recently with the drive to get the petition up to 100,000 people. Wayne Heath explains: “We've had a phenomenal response to the No VAT 4 Gyms campaign so far with many hundreds of gym owners, instructors and members joining the petition. “To make a real difference and to put some real weight behind the campaign we want to get over 100,000 signatures. “We're calling on club owners to help us reach this mark, all we need is 1,000 gyms to sign up just 100 of their

members. “There are a number of items available at www.novat4gyms.co.uk to help the gym owner to get their members involved and I’m convinced that if we do reach 100,000 signatures the government has no choice but to listen to us.” The campaign was started to support private sector gyms who say they are in a constant price battle with centres being run by leisure trusts which as charities are exempt from VAT. For further information visit: www.novat4gyms.co.uk

Latest technology gives recruitment boost EMBRACING the latest technology to hit the fitness industry has helped a council recruit new members at its leisure centres. Broxtowe Borough Council is the first local authority in the country to install four Power Plate® pro6™ models in three of its leisure centres as part of a £1 million wider refurbishment. Two machines were put in at Bramcote Leisure Centre in addition to two other Powerplate models and the one at Kimberley replaced its old vibration trainer with the pro6 model. The pro6 combines cable resistance

and acceleration training allowing a complete body workout in just 15 minutes. Chilwell Olympia Sports Centre will get one of the machines in December. After the first installation Broxtowe council realised it had to offer the same at other sites and staff are being trained on how to instruct members to use them. Ashley Marriott, the council’s head of leisure and culture said: “It was an instant success and helped us attract new members, so we knew we had to offer the same at other sites.”


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Training tools merge for challenge THE total body workout tool that took the fitness industry by storm joins forces with an old pro for the ultimate fitness training fusion. Escape Fitness in conjunction with Fitness Anywhere and Dragon Door Publications present the first ever TRX and Kettlebell fusion DVD to hit the UK. Discover how the two most ground breaking training methods in history team up to create the ultimate fitness combo in this preview video www.trxsuspensiontrainer.co.uk/kettlebell. This two-hour cutting-edge DVD uses both the TRX® Suspension Trainer™ and kettlebells for ten rounds of intense interval training fusions. The TRX® Kettlebell™: Iron Circuit Conditioning DVD and guide www.trxsuspensiontrainer.co.uk/kettlebell/ is the latest addition to Escape Fitness’s innovative educational training programmes and is set to revolutionise the way in which these two great tools can be used in an exciting and effective way. Merging the two most groundbreaking training tools in this explosive fusion will push and challenge your training in a number of new and exciting ways such as strengthen muscles, improve aerobic conditioning, increase power, mobility and balance. Within this truly innovative DVD former Soviet Special Forces trainer, Russian kettlebell expert and chief instructor Pavel Tsatsouline pairs up with Fitness Anywhere director of programming, Chris Frankel to demonstrate set up and introduction

of the TRX and kettlebells, a warm up that will get you ready for this revolutionary fitness experience, 60 minute real-time workout finishing with a cool down. This fun and versatile workout alternates between TRX and Kettlebell intervals that strengthen muscular and aerobic endurance, also featuring a series of hybrid TRX/ kettlebell exercises which challenge power, speed, stamina and stability. Chris said: “Both training tools allow an incredible variety of exercises, which make workouts truly functional, we knew this collaboration would create something exciting. The hour long workout is just a small taste of the hundreds of exercises made possible with pairing TRX and kettlebells.”

Interactive challenge to residents THURROCK residents, from eight to eighty, are being encouraged to get interactive as Impulse Leisure takes ZigZag dance mats and Sportwalls out to the community. The mobile gym is part of a larger scheme to tackle a number of health and social inequalities in the Thurrock area, which will see a dedicated youth interactive zone created at Blackshots Leisure Centre. Garry Tapsell, Impulse Leisure’s group fitness manager, said: “We are consulting widely with our partners and young people to help us create a facility which best serves the community and we expect our 21st century interactive fitness zone to be up and running by next summer. “But we wanted to start using the ZigZag equipment right away, so decided that if the community can’t come to us to use it, we would take the equipment out to the local community instead.” Impulse Leisure received £20,000 from Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation to buy 16 ZigZag dance mats to be used on various outreach projects and the new youth interactive zone, due to open in 2011. Garry added: “We are very keen to engage with people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, so we thought why not take ZigZag's fun, interactive equipment to accessible locations in the heart of the community. “We have had such a great response to the interactive equipment that we have funded two ZigZag Sportwalls to further our outreach work.” As well as taking the ZigZag equipment along to school events, shopping centres and group exercise classes, Impulse Leisure will be integrating the ZigZag equipment into existing programmes including MEND and working with special needs groups including specialist schools, Thurrock Disabled Group and the Thurrock Stroke Project.

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Fitness manufacturing equipment firm backs British triathlete SPORTSART Fitness UK, part of a leading international fitness equipment manufacturing group, has provided sponsorship and access to modern fitness equipment to support Stephen Morales attempt to qualify for the Great Britain Triathlon. Stephen, who is the business manager at Watford Grammar School for Girls, had set himself a challenging goal to qualify for the Great Britain Triathlon squad and travel to the European Championships in Ireland. He said: “Achieving this goal required me to develop a 12 month training programme that demanded me to rigorously adhere to, even through the cold and dark winter months. The winter of 2009/10 presented additional challenges for endurance athletes as we experienced long periods of heavy snow and ice, making outdoor training near impossible at times. “Access to SportsArts fitness equipment allowed me to continue my training intensity even during the most appalling weather conditions. “Between November and February most of my interval training was carried out on a SportsArt Treadmill that was very impressively designed with clear visual

displays and user-friendly controls. “The unit is fitted with a new belt cushioning system that provides a unique cushioning effect to protect against joint impact and provided for safe, excellent interval training. “I also used the ergo rowers as an excellent form of endurance cross training and managed to develop important core strength using the resistance weights machines. “My training was very intense and involved me pushing these machines hard and taking the treadmill close to its capacity but this was never a problem, as the equipment responded perfectly. “I was also able to accurately monitor my efforts and progress by using the displays recording speed, heart rate, distance elevation and so gauge improvements over the weeks and months. “By rigidly and painstaking keeping to my fitness development plan, this eventually paid off as I managed to qualify and now have a European ranking of 25th. “SportsArt fitness equipment has performed in the premier league and the company has been extremely enthusiastic and supportive throughout. As a result, I have been provided the facilities to train and make my dream goal a reality and therefore, in many ways

Stephen Morales I owe a big thanks to SportsArt Fitness UK.”

Trainer Alex strikes out on his own A PERSONAL trainer has left his job with one of the large fitness chains and set up his own business. Studio CV 34 opened in Warwick in July and has a holistic approach to fitness and well being offering yoga and a life coach as well as personal training. Alex Myers was a personal trainer with Fitness First but wanted to do things differently. He said: “With a mainstream gym you reach a point where that is as far as you can go. It is full every day and the turnover of staff is really high. “I am only 25 and quite ambitious, I had this opportunity and took it. It is a chance to run something how I want to do it.”

£200k revamp for leisure centre A LEISURE centre in South Yorkshire has had a £200,000 refurbishment. The pool hall and changing rooms at Hoyland Leisure Centre have benefitted from the investment through Barnsley Premier Leisure who manage the local council’s leisure centres and the ‘Free Swimming Capital Investment Fund’. The works were in response to demand from customers.

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KIDS’ FITNESS

Youth crime drops in Devon fitness initiative By Louise Cordell A DEVON initiative in which young people are encouraged to visit local leisure centres on Friday nights has been hailed as a success after new figures show a significant reduction in youth-related crime across the district in the period since the project started. The VIBE Youth Leisure Nights project is run by Tone Leisure, a social enterprise and charitable trust which operates leisure centres on behalf of South Hams District Council. It operates in four of Tone’s leisure centres in the South Hams district of Devon and is an open access programme for young people aged between 11 and 19. For an entrance fee of £2 they can take part in a host of sporting and social activities on a Friday night,

which encourage them to spend their time positively and achieve healthy lifestyles. Activities include football, trampolining, swimming, gym, inflatable games, basketball, musical events and much more. There are also health workshops such as stopping smoking, sexual health, and drug and alcohol awareness. The initiative has been supported by police in the district and PC Michael Elliott from Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Since the VIBE project began in 2006, the district’s youth crime statistics have, in the main, shown a reduction in the types of offences associated with large congregations of young people centred in the area’s market towns in the evening.”

Free gym membership offer RESEARCHERS at the University of Bath are offering free gym membership to school leavers in Wiltshire who take part in a study to promote healthy lifestyle habits. Dr Stefan Koehn from the university’s School for Health is looking for 16 to 19 year olds to take part in the study which will look at exercise and healthy eating. Each volunteer will be given free gym membership at a local leisure centre and encouraged to choose an activity they enjoy which includes using the gym, playing tennis, football, basketball or swimming. They will also be able to receive refunds on other activities and will be invited to bring along a friend or family member to exercise together.

The programme will begin with an introductory session at local leisure centres across Wiltshire and this will include a meeting with a dietician to teach them about healthy eating. During the course of the programme, participants will be asked to meet six times with a researcher to discuss their progress and fill out questionnaires on their exercise experience. Dr Koehn said: “The idea is to establish the routine of activity and healthy eating at an age when it is easier to change habits as young people move from school to university or work. We are particularly interested in those who have not been interested in exercise in the past.”

Martin Robinson, general manager of Hilton East Midlands Airport and Ricky Hatton

Ricky rounds up charity cash BOXING champion Ricky ‘the hitman’ Hatton has teamed up with Precor to help raise money for children’s charities. He was one of several sports stars to throw their weight behind this year’s Hilton in the Community Foundation charity challenge, helping to raise over £80,000. Ricky was encouraging people to run, cycle, row and crosstrain for this year’s “Around the world in a Day” challenge, in order to collectively cover enough miles to cover the circumference of the earth.

More than 4,000 contestants covered miles either working-out using Precor cardio-vascular equipment in gyms or by taking part in organised walks. Collectively they needed to clock up 24,901.55 miles to say they’d ‘crossed’ the globe and comfortably passed it by reaching 34,099 miles. England second row Nick Kennedy said: “It’s great to be part of Around the World in a Day. This is a fantastic chance for people to challenge themselves, to get active and to support young people in need around the country.”

Easy way to build knowledge THE Earn Your Stripes educational Pathway is an easy way to increase knowledge when working with young people. SHOKK offers the widest range of REPs accredited youth specific qualifications, CPD courses and workshops delivered in a completely unique and innovative fashion. Stripe one offers all entry level courses and qualifications, from young leader’s awards to professional workshops and qualifications. Stripe two progresses skills by offering a choice of 11 group exercise workshops such as breakdance, kombat or parkour. Stripe three provides advanced learning for the elite and sport specific market.

All SHOKK training is linked to key stage two, three and four of the National Curriculum helping instructors blend training and coaching with young people into education. SHOKK has been selected as one of the leading quality training providers in the country for employers and individuals wanting to work and progress in the sector. Contact 0161 877 7870


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COMBAT SPORTS

Boxing club saved by £90k boost By Emma Spencer A BOXING club which was two weeks away from being closed down has been saved thanks to a £90,000 investment. The roof of Aberamen Boxing Club in south Wales was leaking, the gym was constantly flooding and the electrics were shorting and there were no toilets. The local council had deemed the building unsafe and it was to be shut down within a fortnight when the club applied for a

Above: The restored Aberamen Boxing Club and below, the club before the investment grant to refurbish it. Amgen Environmental Body Ltd which oversees projects paid for by the Landfill Communities Fund agreed Aberamen Boxing Club was a worthwhile cause and in December set about transforming the club which has 60 members aged from eight to 64. Everything was stripped back to just four walls and a new roof, windows and porch fitted. Internally the electrics were re-wired, heating system, showers and toilets plumbed in

and a new boxing ring installed. Jeff Edwards, boxing club secretary and head coach, says although the members stayed loyal to the club they can now move forward and recruit more which is usually done through word of mouth because of how long the boxing club has been going. Their new lease of life was publicised in a local newspaper article about a mural of two boxers painted on the wall by the mother of one of the members.

Jeff added: “When our old club burned down we were given two outside classrooms at a disused school. The school was demolished and we just hung on in there but found out recently the council were within two weeks of closing us down because the building was so bad. It was a complete eyesore. “We applied for the funding, met all the criteria, they appointed a project manager and all we did was move out and move back in and now we are up and running.”

Shaun’s gym fits in with his clients FORMER boxer Shaun Marsh doesn’t open his gym when he wants – he opens when his clients want. He has set up Box to Fitness which specialises in kick boxing and boxercise sessions after realising other local classes were usually at the same time of day. Clients can book a time that suits them for a session and he will open especially for them whether there is just one person training or a group. He said: “I have worked for other companies and they all seem to be the same time like 5.30pm or something like that. “I try and open in the morning for people after they have dropped the kids off at

school for example. It is an open time table, I am quite flexible in what I do.” Box to Fitness, which operates from a unit in a business park, opened in April and in the first few months Shaun has set his prices realistically at £3.50 per session, £3 each if the client books two and £2.50 a time if they book three sessions. He said: “There is no monthly membership, a lot of gyms do and people are tied in and it becomes another direct debit that is coming out. “I have to think of the situation we are in here. If it isn’t successful and prices are cheap you can’t put it down to price.”


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SUPPLEMENTATION AND NUTRITION Following on from the great success of PAS ambassadors, Mark Lewis Francis and Christian Malcolm at the recent European Championships, we can now unveil the best kept secrets and the great potential of PAS.

Supplementation that keeps sportsmen clean and safe DARREN Campbell formed PAS in partnership with Jon Williams (WRU National Squad Nutritionist). This winning partnership was forged over time, Darren working with Jon at the peak of his athletics career when he was winning European Championship and Europa Cup Golds and Olympic Gold and Silver medals. Since Pro Athlete Supplementation was formed in 2006 they have firmly established themselves within pro sport, currently supplying eight Premiership football teams and over 40 clubs from Championship down to non league. They are the official sports nutrition partners to Cardiff Blues, Scarlets, Biarritz, Celtic Crusaders and Leicester City FC. When Darren began thinking about retiring from international competition, Jon suggested they team up and form a company to develop the most effective sports nutrition products available for professional athletes, footballers and rugby players. Darren explains that ‘after working in professional sport for so many years Jon felt that there must be a better option for athletes than what was out there at the time’. Darren continued; “There are over 100,000 drug tests conducted worldwide every year designed to

detect and deter the abuse of performance enhancing drugs. Elite athletes get tested randomly throughout the year and have to give their whereabouts so they can get tested at anytime. “When the testers turn up at the sportsman's door the athlete wants to be secure in the knowledge that all the products they have been taking are 100% free of any contamination of trace elements of banned substances. “In the past professional sportsmen and women had often mistakenly believed that off-the-shelf products were OK and that they needed only to avoid products on the banned list. “In a few well-publicised cases this led to sportsmen unknowingly using off-the-shelf products which it was subsequently found had trace elements of banned substances contained within them by cross contamination, so producing positive drug test results with all the ramifications that entails. “The scary part is once an athlete tests positive then the strict liability rule applies, the fact that the athlete took a product that appeared safe but was contaminated is not accepted as an argument.” “I was lucky,” says Darren, “because Jon went that extra step to ensure my safety ... Sports gov-

erning bodies require that athletes be responsible for knowing which products are banned, despite the fact that additions to the list are being made all the time. It can be hard to keep on top of what’s changing, that's where PAS come in. “It was clear to me and Jon that the only way we could fully guarantee safety and compliance was to make the products ourselves. PAS stays abreast of all the changes, and we source all the raw material ourselves blending the products in our own secure, sterile ‘clean room’ allowing no possibility for cross contamination.

“All our products are batch screened to Informed Sport Protocols in the world’s largest internationally accredited sports drugs surveillance laboratory, HFL Sports Science Ltd, with whom we work very closely, so that we can have total confidence that our products are safe. “It’s been great to play our part in the success of our ambassadors Mark Lewis Francis and Christian Malcolm. PAS really can help professional sportsmen and women get the best from their performance whilst keeping them clean and safe.”

New drink from Boditronics New addition WHEY 2 O is a new and exciting product from Boditronics. Whey 2 O is a light, very refreshing protein drink, ideal for consuming after an intense workout. It is very popular with both male and female gym goers looking for an alternative to heavy milkshake type protein drinks. Containing the very best Whey Protein Isolate available Whey 2 O has virtually no fat or carbohydrates and with only trace amounts of lactose, it’s suitable for people who are intolerant. With 20g of ultra high biological value protein and under 80 calories per serving Whey 2 O is the perfect supplement for training helping you to increase lean muscle mass and reach your weight man-

agement goals when used with suitable diet and exercise. It’s light texture and easy drinking also make it ideal to drink during a weight session to help keep catabolism at bay. Whey 2 O is refreshingly fruity tasting and available in delicious apple and mango, pineapple and grapefruit, zesty lemonade and orange and passion fruit flavours with a special edition winter berry flavour becoming available in the autumn. There is no milky or chalky taste, usually associated with some protein drinks. Offer something very different to your customers with Whey 2 O available in a 908g tub containing 36 servings.

DEVELOPERS of sports nutrition supplements CNP Professional have added another cycling specific product to their range. Pro Recover is a post-race or training recovery drink designed to give the body the nutrients it needs to recuperate after an intense cycling session. There are two flavours, chocolate and strawberry, and are easy to prepare by just adding water. For optimum recovery it should be consumed immediately after a ride and contains a blend of high glycemic, fast-acting carbohydrates and proteins to aid muscle repair and strengthening. Pro Recover also contains antioxidants to help limit muscle damage caused by intense exercise. It has 297 calories made up of 23.59g protein, 48.55g carbohydrates of which 48.45g are sugars, 1.05g fat of which 0.83g are saturates, 250mg Vitamin C and 10mg Vitamin E. It is also safe to use for those subject to IOC drug testing.


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SUPPLEMENTATION AND NUTRITION A recent development in carbohydrate drink technology is the addition of the fruit sugar called fructose to conventional glucose-based drinks. But what benefits if any do they offer and how should you use them? Andrew Hamilton explains …

Benefits of energy drinks with added fructose What are glucose/fructose energy drinks? Glucose/fructose energy drinks are similar in formulation to conventional (glucose-only) energy drinks. They both aim to supply easily absorbed carbohydrate to the working muscles for use as energy during exercise and to help replenish stores of muscle carbohydrate (glycogen) afterwards. However, glucose/fructose drinks provide their carbohydrate as a ratio of 67 per cent glucose and 33 per cent fructose rather than 100 per cent glucose like conventional energy drinks. Why use glucose/fructose energy drinks? Research shows a glucose/fructose blend allows more carbohydrate to be transported more rapidly to the working muscles for use as energy during exercise. This is because fructose is absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream using a different pathway to glucose so extra carbohydrate can be absorbed even when the glucose absorption pathway is already maxxed out. Since more energy is available from the carbohydrate consumed in a glucose/fructose drink, stores of muscle glycogen are used up more slowly, resulting in superior endurance compared to conventional glucose-only drinks. Who can benefit from carbohydrateprotein energy drinks? Anyone who uses a normal carbohydrate drink can potentially benefit from a glucose/fructose drink. Having said that those who are exer-

cising at relatively high intensities for periods of over two hours stand to gain the most. This would include for example sportive cyclists, marathon runners, triathletes etc. How should you use carbohydrate protein energy drinks? These drinks should be mixed up and consumed in a similar way as a conventional glucose-only carbohydrate drink using the manufacturer’s recommendations. However, because fructose allows a higher rate of carbohydrate absorption, a glucose/fructose drink can be mixed and consumed at a rate that provides 80g of carbohydrate per hour rather than the normal 60g per hour from conventional carbohydrate drinks. Are there any drawbacks to carbohydrate-protein energy drinks? In a word – no! Although they cost a little more than glucose-only carbohydrate drinks evidence suggests they offer real performance benefits without any drawbacks. For example, in addition to supplying energy more rapidly to hard working muscles, there’s evidence they help keep exercisers better hydrated in hot conditions and appear to cause less gastric distress for those with sensitive tummies.  Andrew Hamilton BSc Hons, MRSC, ACSM is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American College of Sports Medicine and a consultant to the fitness industry, specialising in sport and performance nutrition: www.andrewmarkhamilton.com

Andrew Hamilton

Affordable poses the Question of the Day ... AN ONLINE discount sports store (www.affordablesupplements.co.uk) invites you to answer its Facebook ‘Question of the Day’. Affordable Supplements offers the most comprehensive collection of discount sports supplements available today including products from Maximuscle, Reflex, USN and many more. With such a wide selection of nutritional supplements and ergogenic aids available on the market today, it is no wonder that even many bodybuilders and athletes are confused as

to which are the most effective. With this is mind, affordablesupplements.co.uk has created a Facebook profile named “Affordable Supps” where fitness fanatics can share their reviews on supplements, diet and training by answering their ‘Question of the Day.’ The company profile hosts monthly competitions which ‘friends’ can enter to be in the chance of winning a fantastic prize from the wide selection of products the company offers on its website. The last competition saw Facebook

friend, Adam John Hindle bag himself a PhD Pharma Whey and Wired (RRP £94.98 Affordablesupplements.co.uk Price £39.99) for winning the competition to ‘invent your own supplement’ in which he came up with the idea for protein gummy sweets. To keep updated on all the latest news, reviews and views on the different sports supplements, diet, training tips or to be in the chance of winning prizes then go to http://www.facebook.com/affordable.supps and add the company as your friend.


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Gym in on-line supplements move By Emma Spencer A NEW gym in Wakefield is planning to sell supplements and provide nutrition advice on-line as a way of supporting the fitness side of the business. The Firm has been in business just a few months and is in the process of radically revamping its premises which used to be a scuba diving academy. It has been recruiting members while the building works are going on and in just 16 weeks has clocked up 300 members by handing out

letters announcing they were about to open and are planning an official open day when work is completed. In addition to the usual cardiovascular equipment a new mezzanine floor will provide a ladies only section, a designated space will allow for classes and one to one fitness as well as use of equipment such as kettlebells, ropes and monkey bars. It is hoped the gym being run by Lynne Holbrook and partner James Kelly can capitalise on James’ connections in the body building competition circuit.

They have already started stocking supplements for gym members but plan to turn what it currently being used as the office into an in-house supplements shop. Lynne said: “It is mainly the young lads that want to build up so we try and promote a good diet for them. Supplements are really an addition to your diet not a replacement. “We will have proteins and creatines – things that will help prevent injury and help them get a little bit stronger.” As well as buying supplements

How Jonti chose bodybuilding By Emma Spencer WHEN a kayaking trip made amputee Jonti Wilson realise how unfit he was it spurred him to hit the gym. He never expected it would lead to a career in bodybuilding and tackling stigmas within industry. The ambulance station manager from Cumbria said: “I did some cardiovascular stuff and made a bit of difference and started eating better and it developed from there. “I moved from that gym to another with more machines and free weights. The guys who owned that were body builders and I thought what would it take to get to that standard and hit it hard from there really.” After two years of serious training Jonti was asked to make a guest appearance at the North Lakes Classic BodyBuilding show in Cumbria in May. It led to being asked to appear again a week later at the National Amateur BodyBuilders’ Association (NABBA) North West, NAC at Middleton in May and Mr Lincolnshire at the beginning of July. He was born without his right leg but enjoyed a normal childhood jumping out of trees and off walls despite being told not to do this and that. Because the bone in his hip is crumbling it means he can’t wear his prosthetic leg anymore but concerns about what people might think proved unfounded. After experiencing great feedback from the crowd he wanted to compete properly but struggled to find a category he could enter. Jonti said: “When I started seeing some development in me I asked the guys I was training with what are the chances of competing but they said I wouldn’t get placed. “Because I have a leg missing they wouldn’t be able to judge it and I would be dramatically marked down.” But he is now in training for the Open Yorkshire Classic in Castleford on October 10 where there is an amputee class and the winner will be crowned Mr

“I wanted to go to the extreme and be really ripped and have people think ‘oh my God, look at him’” Inspirational. Jonti is now well into a 12 week pre-show routine and strict diet. At 6am he does 45 minutes of spinning or rowing and has porridge and protein powder for breakfast. Every three hours he has a meal with protein coming from turkey, chicken or fish and rice or potatoes for the carbs. Jonti has another workout in the evening and before bed eats a six egg omlette to keep his protein levels up throughout the night. Just before the show he will cut out sauces, replace the eggs with white fish, increase his water intake and reduce portion sizes. On show day he will have a jacket potato and up the salt and sodium to define the muscles. He said: “I found it hard when I hit 12 weeks I wanted all the stuff I couldn’t but I didn’t want to go on stage just looking good. I wanted to go to the extreme and be really ripped and have people think ‘oh my God, look at him’. “There are more disabled people coming into bodybuilding than ever before. We work just as hard as everybody else and deserve our place. “We are not saying aren’t we brilliant just give us a chance. It is not just a hobby now, it is a way of life. If I had to choose between body building and the job the job would go no question – that is how seriously I take it now.”

on-line, which will be available to the wider public, members can access their own diet and nutrition programme. Lynne added: “There will be the gym business itself but members will be able to go on-line and speak to instructors and get programmes to suit them. “They can put their diets on there and can get feedback on what they are missing out on and what they should be doing more of. ‘The two aspects, the gym and the supplements, will link from one to the other.”


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SUPPLEMENTATION AND NUTRITION Strongman competitor Samuel Duthie says if it wasn’t for gyms like Musclezone he wouldn’t be able to compete. He has been training at the Buckinghamshire gym for three years and in August competed at the Bognor Regis area strongest man and later this month will be flexing his muscles at the London area strongest man. The 20 year-old weighs in at 19 stone and can perform a 300 kilo deadlift but there is no way he could have got to that level in a fitness gym. Samuel said: “This is the nearest heavyweight gym for me. There is no way I could have the potential in a fitness gym. Freeweights usually go up to 40kg but some guys don’t even warm up on that.”

Gym’s reputation keeps it going ... By Emma Spencer THE OWNER of a hardcore strength gym says it is the business’ reputation that has kept it going in a tough market. Tony Demarco established bodybuilding gym Musclezone in High Wycombe six years ago but said had it not been a gym previously it would have been hard to make it work. He bought the business and the equipment and rents the space in Wycombe Sports Centre from the local council for whom he used to work as a gym manager and personal trainer. Musclezone is run independently of the authority but Tony had to do plenty of work to turn it around. He said: “I knew of this gym when it came up. It was a dump, a tired rundown gym. I have refurbished it, put

a new reception in, bought new dumbbells, replaced machines and put in a tv. There were previous members but I have built it up because membership was low. I have doubled that.” There are now 1,300 members on the book but 300 active regular members. Tony says the influx of fitness gyms and chains with special offers and financial backing has made it hard for the independent operator to succeed. Tony said: “It is hard to make money out of a body building gym and that is why fitness gyms took over. There is money in fitness even though they are expensive to open up but they appeal to teenagers and 80 year-olds and you don’t usually get women coming to body building gyms.

LAUNCHED in May 2010, at the NEC Body Power Expo, ISOPURE® by Nature’s Best the number one (RTD) sports nutrition brand in USA is offering a premium range of products with an extensive ready to drink protein range, making them very different to the other protein supplement suppliers. Nature’s Best offer an extensive range of protein drinks and shakes, energy and fat burning drinks, protein powder and bars.

“Because we are an established gym and have been here a long time people keep coming, they like familiarity. “It has always been a hardcore gym and members have been coming since they were at school. A gym is only as good as the members. If you were to open a new one it would be very hard to make money, that is why a lot open up and a lot go under.” Aside from memberships Tony generates secondary spend from mixing and making supplements drinks in the gym as well as selling the powder form. He added: “We make money otherwise we wouldn’t be here but supplements trade is not what it used to be. You used to only be able to get them from gyms but now you can get them on-line and everywhere. It is not the business it was but we still sell them because you have to but there has to be such a high mark up.”

ISOPURE® proteins contain 100 per cent ion exchange whey protein isolate, zero fat, zero carbs, zero lactose, and are free from preservatives and aspartame. Available in both powder and ready to drink forms and come in refreshing fruit flavours, they are light, easy to digest and provide the fastest method of replenishing the body after a workout, and available in three different sizes and nine flavours. For more information visit www.isopure.co.uk


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Before ...

How diet and fitness changed Ollie’s life OLLIE Matthews used to be an overweight salesman in Norwich but now he is a competing bodybuilder. After a number of stop start diet and fitness regimes which he hadn’t stuck to Ollie, now 24, joined a local gym with a friend. The intention was to lose weight and gain strength but once he started to see the results and had lost five stones he took things one step further. He began researching and experimenting with alternative diets, supplements and training regimes to find out what worked best for him. Ollie discovered he loved diet and fitness so much he quit his job as a salesman to pursue a career in health and fitness. He wanted to use his new-found knowledge to help others as well as take his career to the next stage ... the competing stage. Ollie said: “I train four times a week with weights and when I am dieting and preparing for a show I will do cardio morning and night. “To help with my training I also use a range of supplements supplied by Affordable Supplements. “When I first started out it was whatever I could afford but now I use Dorian Yates No-Xplode with whey shake pre workout with their fat burner Thermonex and Nitrix before workouts to get the most out of my sessions, burn as much fat as I can and build as much muscle as possible. “Post workout I found their Cellmass was the perfect option also and then dessert before bed for the slow digesting, now I mainly stick with BSN supplements.”

After ...


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SUPPLEMENTATION AND NUTRITION Metro Flex Gym in south London is home to some of the most successful bodybuilders in the UK but welcomes other members from all walks of life. Workout found out more about the club that is proud to be ‘elite, but not elitist’.

Metro Flex members are encouraged to experiment with eating regimes By Louise Cordell METRO Flex Gym in Sydenham was opened up in 2004 by Terry Gilmour and Dave Talbot. They took on the club from bodybuilder and TV personality Michael Van Wijk, better known as former Gladiator ‘Wolf’, with the aim of turning it into a gym that people enjoy attending. Dave said: “We have a very successful track record in bodybuilding many of our members compete at national and international levels and others are on the verge of turning professional. “However, we also have a wide range of other men and women who come along and we have members aged from 16 to 60. “We believe in retention and results and we get both by keeping our members happy. “We get to know them and find out what they want to achieve, and if we don’t see them down here for a couple of weeks then we are on the phone to them to find out why! “I believe that the industry has gone full circle in this way - it has gone back to being about people and service. We want to break down barriers and make bodybuilding more accessible – what makes a successful club is the people in it.” The club is over 5,500 square feet and features a huge range of weight training equipment as well as a cardiovascular section and a socialising and ‘refueling’ area.

The club’s mixed martial arts facility

Dave Talbot Its boxing facilities have a sparring area, speedball and bags and other facilities include a sunbed, steam room, changing rooms and a physiotherapy suite. Justin House, one of the gym’s personal trainers, said: “We have a great range of equipment - to say that we have everything is putting it lightly – and we cherry pick from all the manufacturers to get the best of everything for our members. “We also avoid the traditional gym music, our members like to hear pumping house, and it creates a great, energising atmosphere.” As an extra benefit, Metro Flex employs a full time sports therapist, Jeff Noakes and an in-house doctor, Dr David Parry, to help advise members on how to work out safely and to provide treatment when needed.

The club also sells a range of natural supplements, but provides these alongside their own general nutrition guidelines. Members are advised to base their diets around real, whole foods before turning to supplementation, and to experiment with eating regimes to find the routine that works for them. Carole Roycroft, one of the club’s personal trainers, believes that the gym’s success is down to the fact that, even though many members are training for competition, there is no competitive atmosphere. She said: “It’s a friendly gym where everyone commends and compliments one another on their own relative performance, efforts and achievements. “Even the female clients enjoy coming here – they don't feel intimidated

Members socialising

Personal trainer Carole Roycroft helping a member train by the amount of testosterone in the place. “As a qualified female trainer I try to encourage more ladies to experience Metro Flex to help them realise that using weights will tone and help sculpt their body and that they won't end up looking like Arnie if they do!”


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New anorexia guidelines aim to assist operators By Emma Spencer

in gyms.

WHILE debate goes on about whether anorexia is caused by abnormally high or low chemicals in the body or whether a deficiency in nutrients like magnesium or zinc might be behind it, statistics show cases are on the rise.

“People slip into starvation mode, the other factor is that over exercise normally accompanies an eating disorder.

signs of one developing, what their duty of care was as a manager legally and morally and how they take steps to safeguard vulnerable adults using the gym.”

“Exercise is a powerful way of monitoring body fat and by releasing endorphins you get rid of calories. For somebody completely caught up in anorexia going to the gym is very typical for them.”

In conjunction with the Institute of Sport Recreation and Management (IRSM) and the Fitness Industry Association (FIA) they put together the guidelines now being circulated throughout the industry.

Statistics show one in 100 women in England and Wales have a diagnosed eating disorder yet 11 million people have psychological issues with food and there are increasing cases amongst youngsters especially boys.

The include asking a customer’s weight when they join, encouraging them to see a GP, having a member of staff trained to deal with eating disorders and in some cases suspending membership.

She added: “We are having calls saying ‘there is a woman at our gym on the treadmill all the time and we can’t get her off. We are worried she will collapse and we don’t know what to do’.

Jane added: “We are not going to eradicate the problem as they might go to another gym that doesn’t ask the same questions but if every gym does the same thing we might make sure people don’t slip through the net.

What is known is that anorexia sufferers are often found working out for hours in gyms trying to combat the calories. So much so that a charity has published guidelines to assist gyms and health clubs help clients they believe have or might be at risk of developing an eating disorder. Staff at Anorexia and Bulimia Care (ABC) were prompted to create the document after receiving increasing numbers of calls from gym owners worried about members. Jane Smith, director of ABC, said avoiding food and eating disorders are often triggered by family problems, abuse, bereavement or the breakdown of a relationship and manifest themselves

“What we wanted to do was produce something that gave gym managers information about eating disorders, how they can spot the

“That person might not be thankful at the time but might be thankful later on.”

Opinion split on tackling the issue THE guidelines have been welcomed by gyms, in particular ladies clubs, but opinions differed on how to tackle the issue. Donna Fletcher is a supervisor and senior instructor at GymAngelz in Burnley. She suffered with an eating disorder in her teens as a result of being bullied at school and says she would never speak to a vulnerable person herself for fear of making the situation worse. She is often approached by gym members who are parents worried

about their daughters’ weight. She said: “Knowing full well what I have experienced myself and what parents go through I would never try and speak to somebody myself. “I would tell them to go to a doctor or a group or counselling. If I said the wrong thing it could just escalate it. “It is good to do guidelines, it makes people more aware of the problem and there are a lot of people that don’t know much about it. ‘We should also be promoting

Senior instructors Donna Fletcher and Janet Wright

losing weight in an enjoyable way like dancing or swimming that leads people into a healthy lifestyle.” Kayce Zielinfki, manager at LadyZone in Sheffield, said if a member displayed signs of an eating disorder she would try to speak to them about it herself. She said: “Most of our members are pretty healthy in their weight but if someone was always at the gym I would suggest private counselling. I would want to build that relationship to try and find out

what was so bad they were overcompensating on their work out. “It would be difficult for a guy to speak to a woman but a gym is a service provider to enhance life style and that comes along with it.” Lynne Abbatiello, owner of Reflexions in the West Midlands said: “A member of staff had anorexia but has come out the other side but we haven’t any members as yet. “A lot of people wouldn’t know how to deal with it or how to talk to a member about it.”


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The reception area at Precise Fitness, Cumbria, and the extensive fitness suite.

Reunited couple ready to focus on bodybuilding gym A GYM owner is looking to sell one of his businesses because the other is doing so well. Martyn Yates Brown and wife Margaret took over a gym in Aspatria, Cumbria three years ago but when the pair split Margaret ran it alone and renamed it Precise Fitness. In the meantime Martyn, currently Mr Europe over 55, started up Deny’s World Gym in Stockton-on-Tees which is a specialist bodybuilding gym. The couple are now happily back together and Margaret is re-locating to Stockton-on-Tees but the 100-mile

distance and her job as a theatre nurse mean they can’t keep both gyms. They have decided to plough their assets into Deny’s which has seen its membership rise from 100 to over 400 in the eight months it has been running under Martyn. Martyn said: “With me not being there and Margaret being a theatre nurse she is under a lot of pressure so we are looking to lease it or sell it and concentrate on Deny’s – we could double the business. “Precise is in a lovely town with 500 members but it’s hindering us. She

has to live there and work there, we are 100 miles apart so she is going to relocate.” Meanwhile Martyn puts the success of Deny’s down to changing its image and getting rid of some customers as well as selling supplements which he says make more money than membership prices. He said: “It had been Moore’s gym for 25 years but went into decline. It has saunas and steam but it was male only. “We made it into a hardcore bodybuilding gym and ripped those out. We are still male dominated but for

competitive bodybuilders. “We gave got a new breed of customer and got ride of travellers and casual people. “There is a code of conduct, we don’t tolerate fools. Rather than spend money on advertising Martyn relies on his reputation as a competitor on the bodybuilding circuit to promote the business. He added: “I use my bodybuilding connections to prove myself, word of mouth and doing competitions. It helps to draw people in and everybody that walks in the supplements shop is a potential member.”

Rugby ace encouraging fans to take health steps SALFORD City Reds rugby league player Luke Adamson has become a health ambassador encouraging Reds’ supporters to take proactive steps to look after their health and wellbeing. A demanding training schedule calls for players to take additional supplements to achieve the build and stamina to keep them healthy and fit throughout the season and Luke works closely with Reds first team strength and conditioning coach Andy Haigh to keep his body in peak condition. Luke said: “Nutrition is clearly a very important part of a rugby player’s armoury. Once the season is underway and we are playing and training intensively we often find there is a need for sports supplements to make sure our bodies are not lacking in essential nutrients.” Salford Reds players have been using CNP Professional’s sports

supplements as part of their structured training programme. They have selected three products – Pro Fuel, a complex carbohydrate blend that is easily digested to guard against carb depletion; Pro Recover, a post workout recovery drink high in both protein and carbohydrate which helps limit muscle damage and aid recovery and Pro Mass which is a high quality blend of fast and slow acting proteins that helps with gaining lean muscle mass. Andy Haigh, coach added: “I like the no frills approach of CNP. Their products do the job. They are targeted to specific requirements and so I know exactly what the players are getting and what results to expect. “The players use Pro Recover post training, post gym sessions and post match. It definitely helps them recover quicker and means they can get back to training sooner and so keep up the levels of strength and fitness

they have built throughout the season.” For the younger players who need to put on muscle mass when moving into the professional rugby environment Andy suggests they use CNP’s Pro Mass. He says some players can lose weight during the stresses of a season but Pro Mass helps them maintain their optimum weight while encouraging the growth of lean muscle. Andy added: “Some of the players have put on as much as 6kg when using a combination of Pro Mass and a specially designed diet. They really enjoy it as well. It doesn’t go lumpy or chalky like some do and it tastes great.” “To make sure the players can keep up their energy levels during training sessions we use Pro Fuel. It’s probably the best dissolving mix around. We use it pre, post and during all sessions.”


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It’s bigger and better ... AFTER the success of its debut last year Independent Operators Unite (IOU) is set to once again take Leisure Industry Week by storm. It proved to be the biggest get together of independent operators who benefitted from carefully selected seminar sessions and the opportunity to network. The IOU event, thought up by Dave Wright from Creative Fitness Marketing (CFM), demonstrated how much a collective voice for the independent operator had been missing from the industry – anywhere between 300 and 800 people are expected to be attending the sessions. This year is set to be bigger and better with more seminars aimed specifically at the independent operator and for the first time this year a panel discussion.

LOOKING AHEAD TO IOU PARTY September 22, Mechu bar, Birmingham The legendary Independent Operators Unite (IOU) aftershow party was the highlight of last year’s event and is set to take centre stage again. It will be on September 22, the second day of LIW, where 1,000 independent operators will enjoy a party laid on by the industry and sponsored by WorkOut magazine, the Fitness Industry Association (FIA), Creative Fitness Marketing and Leisure Industry Week (LIW). Going on late into the night it will be at the Mechu bar in Birmingham with an unlimited free bar, live band and disco to thank independent operators for the part they play in the industry. Partygoers need an exclusive wristband to get into the party free to IOU members.

VIBROGYM JOINS IOU Vibrogym has joined the IOU offering potential VibroGym owners £1,000 off their machines. Dan Fivey said: “I want to make Vibration Training more accessible to the public and independent clubs.” The Professional is usually £5,000 + delivery plus VAT and Evolution is usually £8,000 + delivery plus VAT: both machines now cost £1,000 less under the IOU agreement. “You can now also lease purchase the VibroGym, paying for it bit by bit also makes it easier for clubs and gyms to purchase,” he added. Visit www.vgymuk.com for more details or call 07709169997

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BOOST YOUR REVENUE WITH FIGHT FIT! Fight Fit is the UK’s No 1 in Boxing for Fitness and delivers nationally recognised trainers courses and popular 6-week “Boxing for Fitness” courses to thousands of people every year. The Fight Fit world class team, including top marketing and fitness industry experts, international authors, world boxing champions, Olympic medallists, celebrity personal trainers and boxing coaches, offers health clubs, gyms and independent training operators the opportunity to take on the Fight Fit licence and deliver our popular 6-week boxing course at their venues to create an additional, consistent revenue stream of up to £1.5million per year. The Fight Fit 6-week course is now sweeping through gyms all over the UK, showing thousands of people how to learn new skills and get fitter and in shape with boxing, and proving that the Fight Fit licence brings outstanding benefits to clubs, including high member retention and attracting new and corporate memberships by offering the latest boxing training and applying Fight Fit’s proven business formula to offer boxing courses to corporate organisations and existing members. To find out how Fight Fit can train your instructors to deliver first class, safe and fun boxing courses that are designed by world boxing champions and fitness experts. Contact Fight Fit on: info@fightfit.co.uk 020 7788 7825 www.fightfit.co.uk

LEISURE FINANCE With a history dating back to 1975, we have been providing a specialist service efficiently collecting Direct Debit payments for thousands of independent operators across the UK, enabling clients to maximise income and reduce the strain on in house administration resources, therefore, leaving you free to concentrate on your core business. We are fully aware that every client has their own individual needs; therefore, when you outsource your Direct Debit collections to Debit Finance Collections Plc we provide a tailor made solution encompassing all the key processes. DFC provides a fully managed specialist service collecting direct debit payments from your customers through traditional paper-based methods or alternatively through our on-line Direct Debit portal FASTDD. As a result of DFC’s long history within the independent health and fitness sector we are proud to support Independent Operators Unite (IOU). For more information on any of our services and how we can work with you to ensure maximum profitability and efficiency from your Monthly Direct Debit paying members please contact us on: Email sales@debitfinance.co.uk or call us on 01908 422 000 Or Visit us at LIW stand H20

LOOKING BACK ON THE BASH It was standing room only at IOU’s debut party which was the talk of last year’s LIW. Dave Wright, who threw the bash, only expected a couple of hundred people to attend but 600 people crammed into The Jam House with a free bar, food and entertainment. On the night £120,000 worth of raffle prizes were given out with donations coming from suppliers and CFM themselves donated flights to America to see the Arnold Classic in Ohio.


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IOU SEMINAR 1 Sales and marketing success The first of four sessions looks at ‘Sales and Marketing success’ for the independent operator. There will be a host of sales and marketing experts who will look at some tried and tested methods and the best tips that independent operators can use to attract and convert new members into their health clubs. The experts will look at suggestions from low cost guerilla marketing ideas to a detailed 12-month marketing plan. This session is a must for any gym owner who wants to get more members into their clubs.

JOHN ANSELL: SUPPORTING THE SECTOR Specialist insurance brokers John Ansell/BAHIS were one of the FIA's earliest supplier members and have continued to support the independent fitness sector. John Ansell created the first combined insurance package designed specifically for the needs of the independent fitness operator or franchisee incorporating the all important cover for injury caused by wrongful advice or instruction. Over the past 10 years we have developed our market leading product to cater for the changing needs of the industry covering a wide range of health and beauty treatments and insuring 24 hour gyms, swimming pools, etc., with few restrictions. We have also added options including directors and officers’ liability and Extended Legal Expenses to protect the business and owners assets. With up to 15 per cent premium discounts for FIA members the package is comprehensive and cost effective. John Ansell & Partners Limited Insurance Brokers, Overseas House, 19-23 Ironmonger Row, London EC1V 3QN Telephone: 020 7251 6821 Fax: 020 7490 0708 e-mail:enquiries@ansell.co.uk

IOU SEMINAR 3 Secondary spend Once a club has got members in its gym one of the most important ways of capitalising on that is secondary spend. This seminar looks at how making money in the fitness industry has moved beyond just ‘membership sales’. There are plenty of widgets and systems used to boost a club’s secondary spend. This will look at some of the best systems and programmes that have been tried, tested and successful for other operators around the country.

ZYNK: DESIGN, DETAIL AND DELIVERY zynk is a team of interior architects and designers who specialise in the design, detail and delivery of health and fitness facilities. We define and develop contemporary interior solutions and brand identities in all sectors. zynk’s clients include budget operators, hotel groups, multi-site operators, local authorities and independent operators, all looking to establish and differentiate their brand in the market place. Our work ranges from large-scale new-build fit-outs, to smaller scale refurbishments, with projects that reflect not only our creativity but also our in depth knowledge of this market. zynk are members of the FIA and a supplier to the IOU initiative. Please call us to find out how we can assist with all aspects of your development. Call: 020 7467 7332 or visit: www.zynkdesign.com

IOU SEMINAR 2 Fantastic retention results Retention will be the focus of the mid morning session in ‘Independent Operators guide to Fantastic Retention Results’. Keeping members on the books is what many believe is the solution to breaking through the 10-15 per cent population penetration threshold within our industry. One hour well spent, this will be the first panel session of its kind, as the key independent experts will be put together in the one room on the same table to share their knowledge and experience on how independent clubs can use cost effective and easy ways to ‘stop the leak’ in their gyms.

OAK GREEN: EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS Oak Green is a specialist construction services company based in offices across the UK and Ireland. Our services include:  Construction (including refurbishment),  Design and build  Facilities management We are a dynamic, young company focused on quality of delivery and customer service. Our aim is to exceed our clients’ expectations and to continue the growth of the company. We have a proven track record across all sectors including private and corporate and specialise in the health and fitness sector. We have a wealth and depth to our experience in the delivery of health and fitness projects of all sizes and scope within the design and build project team, including direct operating experience of such facilities. We are therefore uniquely positioned to provide best practice from both a contractor’s and operator’s perspective. For further details please contact us free on 0800 112 3260 or visit our website www.oakgreen.com


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Dave Wright at last year’s IOU Event

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DAVE WRIGHT ON LAST YEAR ‘2009 proved to be a phenomenal success’ Last year Dave Wright from Creative Fitness Marketing (CFM) spotted a gap in the industry for an organisation that was the voice of the independent operator. He said: “After years of exhibiting at LIW and introducing existing clients with each other, I thought that something needed to be done to get Independent Club owners together to network and to be able to meet each other and discuss their own concerns and successes. “So with that, I committed to hosting a party for independent club owners the following year and to make it worth a day out of the clubs, we decided to put on educational sessions that were specific for the Independent Operator. “2009 proved to be a phenomenal success.”

DAVE WRIGHT ON THIS YEAR Improving IOU for 2010 “Feedback from last year was brilliant on how we could improve it for 2010. “One of the recommendations from club owners was to create a unique ‘buying consortium' which has been well received. “Also, for 2010, the sessions are going to be spread across the one day with a couple of hours in the middle for time to cruise the trade show floor. “This will also leave club owners with the opportunity to either spend the Tuesday and Thursday at the trade show whilst the sessions and the party will be held on the Wednesday.”

IOU SEMINAR 4 Trials and tribulations The closing session for the day will be a discussion debating the ‘trials and tribulations’ of the independent operator. They will share their experience and ‘lessons learned’ from running their own club. Be it small to large and old to new clubs, this is a unique panel selection of IOU members that can add value to the group. It is hoped it can be a starting block for total room participation and will also look at the best bits from the day and how IOU can develop in the future.

INDEPENDENTS ARE HERE FOR YOU As a leading specialist broker within the health and fitness industry for over 10 years, Independents Insurance Solutions have supported the IOU from the outset. Since the launch in September 2009, we have been able to demonstrate the exceptional value that we can bring to numerous independent operators. These testimonials highlight our successful relationships established with the health club and gym sector: “Having met Independents at IOU in 2009, we were delighted with the result. An improvement in cover and a £1,200 saving” Chris Grier, The Fitness Factory, Irvine

“When IOU was launched, there were a few companies that put their hands up to commit their support to the Independent Operator. Frank and all the guys at Independents Insurance Solutions were one of those initial companies and I know that they have been successful in helping hundreds of independent gyms (including all mine) with not only fantastic prices, but also a terrific service.” Dave Wright, Creative Fitness Marketing, Feelgood Fitness and IOU Founder Contact Name: Neil Adebowale, Phone Number: 01189 875100 Email: info@independents-ins.com Website: www.independents-solutions.co.uk


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Direct Fitness on the move DIRECT Fitness are pleased to announce they will be moving premises in September 2010. Owner Marc Heywood said: “The move coincides with the massive growth our company has seen over the past two to three years. “With ever increasing happy clients we are finding the majority of our work is returning customers or referrals from existing customers. “We currently handle over £1. 2 million a year of refurbished stock, providing a one-stop solution for all clients. “We provide rentals for people with poor credit, additional items for people making small changes to a club and specialise in full refits.” The move will see new spraying and remanufacturing capabilities along with reupholstery work being done in

York heritage helps budding athletes WITH the 2012 Games creeping upon us, one company has seen a massive uptake in schools, colleges, universities and gyms looking to jump on the Olympic train.

house. Marc added the in-house solution would add to what customers are already raving about and Direct fitness staff along with himself are excited by the venture. For more details contact www.directfitness.eu

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York has a rich heritage with the Olympic Games. In the 1950s, 60s and 70s many of the gold medal winners from the USA Weightlifting team worked for York and trained at the famous York Barbell Club, York PA. The UK operation in Daventry, Northants is working with young athletes and teams to produce sports men and women of the future, using

knowledge from their 75-year history. Tom Haynes of York said: “In the past, York UK concentrated on the domestic scene, but since purchasing York Barbell USA nearly ten years ago we have taken an active approach looking at what has made us who we are. “Our commercial and sports performance range is aimed at keeping it simple, as it’s the training methods that change over time not the equipment required to perform the exercises.” Visit yorkstrength.com or call 01327 701852

Helping prevent the risk Training Academy debuts at LIW of work-related injuries INTELLIGENT Training Systems™ is the only provider of Biomechanics Coaching™qualifications in the world. A Biomechanics Coach™ is an Advanced Master Personal Trainer. You must be at least a L3 PT, a qualified therapist, pilates teacher, strength and conditioning coach or be able to demonstrate learning at a similar level. Biomechanics Coaches™ work in elite sports helping prepare athletes for 2010, as well as the Irish Rugby Team, Malmo Ice Hockey Team and on the European Golf Tour. In industry they help prevent the risk of work-related injuries as

well as in health clubs throughout the world. Intelligent Training Systems™ provides technical and business mentoring for students and those already qualified with sales and marketing material, branding and stationary design. Training is unique and includes optional anatomy sessions working on cadavers to truly help you understand the biomechanical links and anatomical detail that separates a Biomechanics Coach™ from advanced personal trainers. For more details visit www.intelligenttrainingsystems.com

JORDAN Fitness have always enjoyed successful LIW exhibitions and this year looks set to be just as exciting. Jordan have much to look forward to in the coming year especially with the launch of their much-anticipated ‘Jordan Training Academy’ at this year’s show. Representatives from the Academy will be on the Jordan stand to discuss the wide range of programmes available to individuals and clubs. Jordan will introduce its brand new studio Powerbag at the exhibition in the functional training zone. It is a version of the very successful original Powerbag that has been slightly modified for the studio environment. An extra handle has been added for

more versatility and each size bag is colour coded for ease of identification in the studio. Come along to the Jordan stand H147 to meet key members of its team, contact sales@jordanfitness.co.uk or visit www.jordanfitness.co.uk

Fitness Options gears up Dan keen to meet for Leisure Industry Week personal trainers FITNESS Options is gearing up for LIW and one of the exciting ranges on display on their stand H248 will be the Nessfit Single Station Strength units. Made in Italy these stations are elegant in appearance and ergonomically correct in every detail. Nessfit may not be a household name in the UK but on the continent they have been supplying the commercial sector for over ten years and are synonymous with quality, style and impressive biomechanics.

A shopping centre in Milton Keynes has drafted in a personal trainer to get staff ready for the working day. For half an hour before shops open up for business a personal trainer from the Theatre District branch of énergie Fitness puts shop workers through power walking, stretches and breathing exercises. They can do the workout in their normal clothes and exercises are designed to target specific muscle groups as most of their staff are on their feet for eight hours at a time. It is believed the warm ups increase energy levels and

There are 24 stations to choose from and you can choose from a variety of frame and upholstery colours. In addition the price of each station will surprise you. So if you are looking to open a gym or refurbish an existing one and want something special at a price that won’t break the bank visit LIW and the Fitness Options stand. For more information visit www. fitnessoptions.co.uk or contact Karl Viner (commercial director) on 0115 9463085

improve co-ordination. Centre manager, Martin Hindson said: “We’re always looking at ways to support and motivate our staff and this is a fantastic way to get them active, prepared for the day and have some fun. “With few people in the Centre at that time of the morning it is ideal for staff to get involved and start the day on the right foot.” Warm up classes are once a week and will be increased if they prove popular. Herbal teas, water and fruit juices are handed out to staff attending to keep them hydrated.

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

He has used vibration training with a huge variety of clients and had fantastic results and wants to use his experience to help club owners and personal trainers take their business to the next level using the VibroGym. He is keen to meet and assist personal trainers so is holding free VibroGym workshops in Cheltenham in November. To register for the event email: info@vgymuk.com or visit www.vgymuk.com


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Uniform transformation WHO says you can’t get something for nothing? Well, Kenilworth Sports College PE department did. They underwent a uniform transformation this summer after visiting the Absolute Performance stand at the Sports Colleges Conference in February. They were the lucky winners drawn out of the hat and were given the choice of any team or leisurewear they liked, to a value of £600. They chose these great looking tops – designed exactly how they wanted them. The competition launched the new Absolute Performance range of bespoke sports and leisurewear, that sits alongside its strength and condi-

tioning equipment product portfolio. Tony Buchanan, MD of Absolute Performance, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to provide Kenilworth with this great prize and have been very excited at the response to the new addition to our product range.” Contact: 01727 767 389

Instant success for ClubWise LIW launch for two new Precor bike models CLUBWISE have seen the launch of their InterActive Referral scheme prove to be an instant success and it is now being used by 40 clubs. Not only have some owners seen as many as 60 members a month joining their clubs through the process, but one club has boosted its direct debit run by over £1,200 per month in just two months and directly attributes this to introducing InterActive Referral. Enabling you to offer members a reduction on their monthly direct debit for introducing a new member to your club, InterActive Referral not only increases your

new member sales, but ensures retention rates are boosted as well, as members lose the benefit if the friend they introduce leaves the club. The fully automated process developed by ClubWise also helps clubs reduce expensive marketing spend as members become marketers for the club whilst at the same time saving themselves money on their membership. Contact ClubWise on 0800 072 6411

PRECOR will unveil two brand-new bike models at LIW 2010. The new upright and recumbent ‘815’ bikes have been specifically designed to meet and anticipate the needs of users, and feature enhanced comfort and ride experience. As a result of extensive member research, Precor’s design team have produced a revolutionary new seat for the recumbent cycle, which was created by firstly examining how the furniture industry designs chairs for better comfort. As a result, the new recumbent’s

seat is specially contoured to offer maximum comfort, and has a unique ventilated design to help keep users cool. Both bikes also boast other enhancements, including biomechanical adjustments, to improve users’ posture and provide a more efficient workout. The bikes will also provide a more realistic cycling experience, by closely mimicking road riding. Both the upright and recumbent models will be available from September 2010. Contact Precor on 01276 404917

New online system aimed at low-cost operators LEISUREPOINT is a new online system for independent and low-cost operators managing all aspects of finding, keeping and servicing members.For an all-inclusive low monthly fee, you can manage all areas of sales, membership, front desk and bookings. LEISUREPOINT VIEWS enables you to quickly view business performance without the need for time-consuming reporting or spreadsheet analysis. Views keep everything online in a secure reporting area where operators can check performance in specific areas with easy to understand charts

and tables and compare reports for previous months or years. For a limited time LeisurePoint Views is free for all LeisurePoint users. SDACONNECT has all the campaign tools required to quickly and easily create subscriber email campaigns, including creating email templates, selecting recipients and reporting on performance. The simple pricing model means there are no monthly or hidden fees – you only pay when you're actually sending a campaign. Contact: 0870 607 1966 www.leisurepoint.net

Instabadge range is launched BADGEMASTER the UK’s leading manufacturer of custom-made employee name badges has launched a new product range to fulfill the needs of the re-usable name badge market. Instabadge enables employers to create instant name badges for new starters and staff changes offering the good looks and performance of a permanent badge with flexibility of a re-usable one. The wearer’s name is printed onto ordinary card or paper meaning no special equipment is required, new employees can be smartly badged from the word go and employers can control costs by re-using the badge frames when staff leave. The design of the badges together

with Badgemaster’s long-established expertise in corporate personalisation, means customers who prefer the re-usable option needn’t sacrifice either choice or visual appeal for economy. The new range includes six different styles, available in any base colour with plenty of space for individual corporate designs and logos. Contact 01623 723112 or www.badgemaster.co.uk


Classis

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CLASSIFIED EQUIPMENT

EQUIPMENT

To advertise in this classified section call 01226 734615

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FOR SALE MARKETING

FOR SALE MARKETING

LOCKERS

LOCKERS


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MARKETING

NUTRITION

SOFTWARE

SOUND & VISION

HYGIENE

SUNBEDS

To ad WANTED

UPHOLSTRY

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CLASSIFIED

74 UPHOLSTRY

FLOORING

MANAGEMENT

SERVICING

ID CARD SUPPLIES

DIRECT DEBIT COLLECTIONS

TRAINING

INSURANCE

To advertise in this classified section call 01226 734615 FOR SALE

To advertise in this classified section call 01226 734615


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Work Out (September 2010)