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Inspiration and innovation the topic for event By Christina Eccles INSPIRATION and innovation will be the theme of the 2016 National Fitness Conference, Workout can reveal, with topics up for discussion including technology and trends, social media and the growth of the boutique business model. The event takes place on Friday December 2 at Leicester Tigers Stadium, ahead of the National Fitness Awards in the evening at the nearby Athena, and promises to be a must attend event for any fitness professional looking to put their business at the forefront of the industry in 2017. Speakers at the conference, organised by Script Events in partnership with Workout and headline sponsor Harlands Group, will include star of The Apprentice and award winning personal trainer Katie BulmerCooke, who following her successful appearance at last year’s event, will be updating delegates on the latest developments in social media – and how they can make social networking work for their clubs. Katie said: “If last year was anything to go by, 2016 is set to be a fantastic event, packed with really usable
strategies and ideas to build and grow your fitness business through marketing, retention, the online space and exciting new fitness concepts. “The atmosphere at the event was the perfect mix of brilliant fitness energy and a business buzz and I took so much away from the sessions I went to. “The session choices are perfect for everyone from the gym owner and self employed fitness professional through to those working in clubs and at a managerial level – you can’t fail to leave this event buzzing with energy and ideas.” Renowned fitness industry presenter Dean Hodgkin will also be speaking at the conference, focusing on the rise of boutique clubs and the lessons traditional gyms can learn from them. He added: “The National Fitness Conference has very quickly established itself as a key date on the industry’s annual calendar and a mustnot-miss event for many within our sector, be they operators, suppliers or consultants. In light of this, I’m absolutely honoured to have been invited to share my experiences and ideas with the attendees and hope to provide some invaluable takeaway tips that operators can swiftly implement for long term benefit.”
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Sport and Leisure Management has taken over the management of Westminster City Council’s sports centres. As part of the 10-year contract, SLM – known to consumers as Everyone Active – will invest £9m in facilities and equipment and will also offer 130 hours of free sport and physical activity programmes every week in community locations. Rio 2016 Team GB gymnast Max Whitlock (pictured) said: “As someone who uses an Everyone Active managed centre, I know the investment in Westminster leisure centres will play a big part in making activity even more accessible to all, helping the community get active and find a sport they love.”
LEISURE Industry Week and Sporta have announced a partnership to support operators – and are working on an educational programme for this year’s show. The education programme put on by both parties will feature seminars from experts in their field, designed to help operators increase engagement with new customers and retain them in their organisations. As part of this, Sporta will hold a health improvement conference day within the Health Education Stream, featuring seminars and workshops directly relevant to their members’ needs on topics such as evidence based practice, perspectives of a commissioner and case studies from the sector. UK director of LIW Steve Orton said: “This partnership highlights the importance of LIW to the leisure industry. With such key associations like Sporta supporting the expo and viewing it as an ideal platform to communicate with and support their members, this reinforces how important LIW is as a place for leisure industry professionals to learn, develop and future proof their businesses.”
UK FITNESS SCENE
Time running out to get your NFA nomination in By Christina Eccles GYMS and personal trainers have been urged to get to work on their National Fitness Awards’ nominations, with time running out to submit entries for the 2016 event. This year’s expert judges are already looking forward to being impressed by our finalists, but are encouraging clubs to put maximum effort into their nominations and supporting evidence to make their entries stand out from the crowd. Top personal trainer Richard Callender is one of the judges on the panel this year. He said: “It is a massive honour to be asked to participate as a judge at the National Fitness Awards because it has always had a fine tradition of top fitness professionals overseeing the fantastic talent within the industry and to be included feels like I’ve won something myself. “The awards are such a prestigious event that I urge trainers, gyms and operators to get involved because to be shortlisted is a credit to your hard work.
“To be a contender shows you have a high level of expertise and to win can take your business to another level. “But you need to be in it, to win it – register fast and get out of the comfort zone.” Instructor experience director at Les Mills, Jean Ann Marnoch, is also looking forward to judging the finalists after scooping the Lifetime Achievement trophy herself at last year’s awards. She added: “I’m excited to be on the National Fitness Awards judging panel this year. Fitness is in the public eye more than ever. Group exercise is taking the space by storm. “I’m looking forward to see which clubs and instructors are bucking the trends and anticipating customer demand.” Nominations can be made via the website www.nationalfitnessawards. co.uk until August 22 after which a shortlist will be drawn up in each category. Finalists will then be visited by a member of the Workout team for the second stage of judging before the
Last year’s Lifetime Achievement winner Jean Ann Marnoch will be among the judges choosing the 2016 National Fitness Award winners. expert panel choose the winners. Trophies will be handed out at the 2016 National Fitness Awards ceremony, which take place on
Operator to open its sixth Scottish facility XERCISE4LESS has announced plans to open its sixth Scottish site in Hamilton this summer. The gym will boast over 400 pieces of state of the art gym equipment including running and sled pull tracks and a dedicated combat zone
complete with boxing ring and MMA cage. The gym will also include a separate ladies only gym, large main studio and spin studio offering over 40 free classes per week, including free classes for children aged three to five.
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Facility bounces back from closure threat to become community hub By Christina Eccles A FACILITY in Manchester has bounced back from the threat of closure to become a thriving community hub. Charity Love Withington Baths was set up by a group of local residents to keep the Edwardian pool open after it was earmarked for closure by the city council. After two years of campaigning and negotiating with the council, LWB took over the running of Withington Leisure Centre in June 2015, and work began to transform it. Community volunteers gave their time to revamp and redecorate the fitness facility and clean the pool, with the gym completely renovated to include new flooring, lighting and decoration, plus new equipment. The week culminated in an opening event, attended by local families, residents, businesses and invited guests – plus a free swimming event for children. Chair of LWB Paul Smith said: “We had a really strong belief that what we were proposing was viable but it was still a very stressful time. We had so little money that, at the start, a bad week and we were going to struggle to pay our bills.” Thankfully, the facility has gone from strength to strength, attracting over 1700 members, and as a single site operator, LWB has been able
Withington Leisure Centre in Manchester. to respond very quickly to what its members want, establishing strong partnerships with local businesses and schools. As well as a successful swimming programme, popular fitness classes and a well-attended gym, the club has also seen a growing focus on holistic classes such as Yoga and Pilates and
the LWB group is also working on a wider community offering; hosting events and meeting for local groups. Facility manager Dennis Shannon added: “We’ve not tried to be all things to all people. We run a lot of classes across the week and have brought in great instructors and our focus is on a more social experience.”
Ex professional footballer, multichain owner and entrepreneur Jamie Cartwright has joined MYZONE UK as customer experience manager. Jamie will be responsible for supporting existing MYZONE facilities to maximise their member engagement, along with assisting UK director Jonathan Monks with new business and key accounts. Jamie said: “MYZONE has over 3,500 facilities across 32 countries and I’m delighted to help assist with that further growth. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for me to work with the technology leader along with industry leading people, and most of all with a product that helps shape how fitness is delivered today and in the future.”
UK FITNESS SCENE
Gym owner breaks records at Bench Press Championships COLCHESTER gym owner Stuart Hamilton has returned from the World Bench Press Championships in South Africa with a string of new records to his name. Powerlifter Stuart, who has owned and trained at Hamiltons Fitness Centre for over 25 years, was competing in the over 50 years old class and managed to set new European and Commonwealth records with his opening lift of 162.5kg. Although Stuart’s second lift of 167.5kg would have given him a bronze medal, he twice received
two red lights to one for it, so was narrowly beaten into fifth place in the competition by lifters from America, Australia and Japan. Stuart said: “Although I was disappointed not to receive the bronze medal, I was over the moon to add the two records to my British record from the British Championship last January. “My next plan is to prepare for next year’s European Championship in Finland. Although I’m lifting quite well I need to add at least another 5kg to my bench press to remain competitive in this class.”
The fitness studio at Frome Sport and Fitness boasts more than 70 cardiovascular and resistance stations.
Frome centre reopens following multi-million pound investment FROME Sport and Fitness has reopened its doors to local residents following a multi-million pound investment by Fusion Lifestyle. The renovations at the Somerset facility include relocation of the fitness suite, a dedicated soft play facility, expanded studio space, refurbished changing areas and an improved reception space. The fitness studio now houses more than 70 of the latest Life Fitness cardiovascular and resistance
stations, along with a large free weights and personal training space. Two new studios have also been created, offering an array of classes from yoga to INSANITY, and a dedicated indoor cycling studio. The pool and changing areas have been completely refurbished and a large soft play area has been incorporated for younger users. Completing the offering are two existing squash courts, sports hall and AstroTurf for hockey and football.
Anytime Fitness has opened a new club in Ruislip Manor. The site, originally a public house and more recently a vacant retail unit, has been extensively remodelled and now features a state-of-the-art 4,500sqft fitness suite. The gym floor showcases 16 pieces of Precor cardiovascular equipment, along with 13 stations of Precor Vitality Series strength equipment, two multi-stations, two Icarian power-cages, four plate-loaded pieces and a Smith machine. The fitness facility also features a multi-purpose room for PT use, as well as an area for stretching and circuit training.
UK FITNESS SCENE
HIIT coaches in demand
HIGH-intensity interval training (HIIT) is known to burn serious amounts of fat, seriously fast. But not just any fat. New research shows that specific forms of HIIT can be key to cutting fat from your tummy. The demand for coaches to deliver cutting-edge HIIT programmes is big. The tummy trimming benefits of HIIT are highlighted in a recently published study into how different approaches to training can affect fitness and body composition in healthy adults1. The study tested two groups of exercisers.
One group followed a conventional gym training program four days a week, the other did two conventional gym workouts and two HIIT based LES MILLS GRIT™ Cardio workouts a week. Both groups trained for the same total amount of time each week. At the end of the eight-week study both groups saw a reduction in total body fat, but it was those doing HIIT who really took the fat burning up a notch. These individuals eliminated an average of 2.2cm from their waistlines and experienced an overall loss of 2.2% visceral fat – that’s the awful gut fat that clogs up our organs, affects our hormones and increases the risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes. They also benefited from a
significant increase in cardiorespiratory fitness, sprint speed and arm strength. While the results are significant, the length of the workouts was not. Those who incorporated the HIIT didn’t need to slog it out for hours at the gym – the LES MILLS GRIT sessions they did twice a week were just 30-minutes long. LES MILLS GRIT workouts are short, but explosive. Combining intervals of speed training with body weight exercises such as squat jumps and lunges, they are designed to maximise calorie burn during the workout, and beyond. All it takes is the introduction of just two LES MILLS GRIT workouts a week and you can increase aerobic fitness, grow lean muscle tissue and amplify
fat burn – all while you whittle away the waistline. As a result, cutting-edge HIIT programmes like LES MILLS GRIT and certified coaches are in demand by clubs and class members. LES MILLS is currently running training to become a certified LES MILLS GRIT coach 1. Giannaki, C. D., et al. “Eight weeks of a combination of high intensity interval training and conventional training reduce visceral adiposity and improve physical fitness: a groupbased intervention.” The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness (2015).
Upcoming training dates – LES MILLS GRIT July 2-3 – Loughborough July 9-10 – Plymouth July 16-17 –Liverpool July 16-17 – London August 6-7 – Teesside August 13-14 – Glasgow August 20-21 – London September 24-25 – London September 24-25 – Bristol September 24-25 – Dublin
Sign up for training to be a LES MILLS GRIT coach at www.lesmills.com/become-an-instructor-uk Read the full study at http://www.lesmills.com/uk/knowledge/fitness-research/grit-gut-study
UK FITNESS SCENE
Operators invest in industry’s future through programme
The recent group completed Europe’s biggest assault course in Marbella.
Miss Galaxy organisers introduce prep camps ORGANISERS of Miss Galaxy Universe have introduced pre-show prep camps abroad to put participants – both male and female – through their paces. The recent camp in Marbella saw the group embark on Europe’s biggest assault course with an average finishing time of one hour and 15 minutes. The girls also shot the 2017 Galaxy calendar and had their own personal shots done by photographer Lowell Mason using Marbella’s best hair and make up team. Show founder Sarah Donohue explained: “With the growth in popularity of training camps abroad, we wanted to offer something different that no one does, or even can do the way that we do it. “With the skills available in the
Galaxy team, we decided to pool all the knowledge and talent we have and run something which would be challenging for even the fittest of athletes, and working with former Royal Marines, great make up artists, posing instructors, photographers and great venues both inside and out. “For men, they can always do more fitness if posing for a show isn’t high up on their list of things to practice, but for the girls, posing with instructor Victoria Craig brings a feminine side to the hard core five days’ continuous training that the team will give them. “We cover everything, hitting every part of the body and putting everyone through some gruelling sessions, with not only our best trainers but Marbella’s best trainers who were once in the Royal Marines.”
OPERATORS and suppliers from across the sector are investing in the future of the industry through the ukactive Future Leaders programme. The week long programme takes place at the world-renowned IESE Business School and will equip candidates with the skills to empower the next generation of executives and provide the tools for them to lead the sector into a new era of growth. Confirmed organisations taking part include Virgin Active, Les Mills UK and Fitness First and the programme has also received international backing, with delegates sourced
from organisations such as Ingesport Health and Spa Consulting, Go Fit and Miha Bodytec. ukactive’s executive director Steven Ward said: “We are proud so many renowned organisations from across the sector have recognised the need to invest in their personnel and in our sector’s future by sending delegates on our first programme. “I have no doubt that over the coming years graduates from the Future Leaders programme will fill boardrooms across the country and even the world to lead a stronger physical activity sector.”
An independent gym in Halifax has raised over £2,000 for Crohn’s and Colitis UK by holding an eight-hour spin-a-thon challenge. Bailey’s Workout Warehouse was inspired to create the event after watching long-standing member Matt Doyle struggle with colitis. A group of 12 took part, with each one staying on the bikes for two hours. Gym owner Hadley Pollard said: “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone involved. We cannot thank them enough.” Gym owner Hadley Pollard is pictured with member Matt Doyle.
UK FITNESS SCENE
Nuffield Health to acquire 35 Virgin Active facilities By Christina Eccles
Ethics Leisure has introduced the newly released Total Gym Row Trainer into the UK and Ireland. The only row machine that uses adjustable bodyweight resistance on an incline, the Total Gym Row Trainer targets all the muscle groups simultaneously and enables a smooth consistent load through the entire range of motion, due to loaded concentric and eccentric phases of the exercise. Director of Ethics Leisure Andy Gill said: “The Total Gym Row Trainer is a really exciting piece of equipment and genuinely different from anything else on the market. It’s the perfect complement to any of the other Total Gym machines, but equally can stand alone as a highly effective cardio machine with built-in resistance options. Quite apart from the fitness benefits people can enjoy with the Total Gym Row Trainer, it’s an ingenious piece of equipment that has great appeal and is fun to use.”
New running event for London LONDONERS are being challenged to take on their city in Shelter’s Urban Rush – a new running event in support of the housing and homelessness charity. Taking place on October 2, Urban Rush will see over 300 runners limbering up on the start line at Queen Elizabeth Park in Stratford before they embark on a 15-mile
urban adventure across London’s landscape. To help participants prepare for the event, the charity has also developed a set of training routes to give runners a taste for the urban adventure, including racing the number 88 bus from Clapham, a tour of the East End’s canals, and a discovery run across Hampstead Heath.
NUFFIELD Health has exchanged terms to acquire 35 sites from Virgin Active, boosting its number of health and wellbeing gym sites to 112. The transaction has been approved by both parties and is expected to complete in the third quarter of 2016, subject to the transfer of existing landlord agreements and the completion of the TUPE consultation process for employees. This allows Nuffield Health to offer both fitness and a range of clinical services to more individuals in the UK in line with its charitable purpose. The new sites will give Nuffield Health the capacity to offer broader health and wellbeing services such as fitness classes, personal training, swimming lessons, physiotherapy, health checks and nutritional therapy on-site as well as a helpful link to Nuffield Health hospitals. Nuffield Health already operates 31 hospitals, 77 fitness and wellbeing gyms and over 200 corporate fitness and wellbeing centres. Chief executive officer for Nuffield Health Steve Gray said: “This acquisition is a great move forward and allows us to increase the pace of delivery of our strategy and our
charitable purpose, to help people achieve, maintain and recover to the level of health and wellbeing they aspire to. “Research shows that UK consumers have an appetite for direct access to a range of health and wellbeing services in their communities and this is also true of employers providing corporate fitness and wellbeing facilities for their staff. “This acquisition will increase our reach in key sought-after locations and allow both members and non-members access to broader health and wellbeing services as well as proximity to Nuffield Health hospitals. “I’m delighted to welcome new members and teams to the Nuffield Health family and firmly believe that they will benefit from our broader health and wellbeing model.” Chief executive of Virgin Active Group Paul Woolf added: “This is a positive deal with a compelling rationale for both ourselves and Nuffield Health. “We believe that the success of these clubs will continue under Nuffield Health and are pleased that the members and club teams will be transferred, which was a very important consideration for us.”
Welcome to WorkOut Weigh In â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your chance to have your say and share your views on industry issues. You can email us at email@example.com or you can message us on Facebook or Twitter.
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Staff and members at National Fitness Award winning Burnley Leisure have celebrated their success after completing this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Burnley 10k run. A team of 50 members, made up of professional runners and novices alike, took on the challenge to raise money for charity and clock new miles at the same time. All team members finished the run under 90 minutes, with the fastest Team Leisure runner Danny Collinge scooping second place overall in the race, crossing the finish line in just 35 minutes.
Letter to the Editor IN response to Philâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opinion on so-called elite trainers, I wholeheartedly agree. It seems to be a current phenomenon, fuelled by the sad power of social media and the like, that overnight wonders tag themselves with labels and titles that are far from deserved. I have trained and advised literally thousands of clients over 22 years â&#x20AC;&#x201C; many of whom have been elite athletes in various sporting disciplines and among them include world record holders and Olympians. It is they that are the elite, not I. I truly despair that so many are caught up in how many digits they earn, the remote/on-line training tragedy that alienates personal contact (I do smile that these personal trainers never so much as meet their clients) and the fact that because someone has a good physique, it automatically transforms them into some sort of â&#x20AC;&#x153;guru.â&#x20AC;? I have studied endlessly â&#x20AC;&#x201C; both at
the highest academic level and via experiential learning via client feedback, and I shall never cease. We should focus on the desire to broaden and deepen our knowledge base in order to offer the very best of services to all that we work with. I am very good at what I do but I will never tag myself as â&#x20AC;&#x153;eliteâ&#x20AC;? or the like ... I am no better, or superior to any one of my amazing clients or students and many would be wiser for realising this. I care not who earns a six figure sum whilst sat on a beach, the number I care about is my giving 100 per cent all of the time. Cain Leathem, exercise and nutrition consultant.
Keep up to date with all the latest news on the National Fitness Awards by following @FitnessAwards on Twitter or visiting the Workout Magazine Facebook page. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be announcing more details about this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event over the coming weeks, so keep checking our social media channels to make sure you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss out! This monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hot topic:
Which social networks do you find most useful to your fitness business and how do you effectively use them? Are there any you would like more help getting to grips with? Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via Twitter or Facebook. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll print the best responses next issue.
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UK FITNESS SCENE
Gyms miss out on vital business due to poor customer service ... By Christina Eccles
Industry veteran Ken Heathcote has taken on the three mile Great North Swim at Lake Windermere for the second year running. Raising money for Cancer Research UK, Ken completed the challenge in two hours and one minute – four minutes faster than last year.
GYMS that don’t effectively deal with telephone enquiries could be missing out on vital new business, according to research, which reveals the industries where customers are struggling the most to get their calls answered. According to a study by 8x8, when they last called a company, just 22 per cent of people surveyed said their call was answered the first time they rang, meaning a significant number of customers could be slipping through the net. The research also showed more than a third (35 per cent) of those who couldn’t get through to anyone first time were new customers looking for information on products, trying to open an account or make a purchase. Even when customers do manage to get through to someone, businesses are still at risk of losing them to a competitor while they’re on the phone. One in eight say they have started searching for competitors online during a call, rising to more than a quarter of young people aged 25-34,
who seem to have a much lower tolerance of bad service. More than a tenth of Brits have even posted live on social media to name and shame a company during a poorly handled call, rising to 26 per cent of those aged 25-34. The vast majority (91 per cent) of Brits say they have had a poor experience on the phone. According the survey, the worst companies for customer service include utility and telecoms, and although entertainment and leisure – including gyms – was ranked fourth best, the findings suggest the sector can still make improvements. UK MD of 8x8 Kevin Scott-Cowell said: “A business only has one chance to make a great first impression. “A prospective new member can be easily turned off joining a gym if they struggle to get through to anyone on the phone – instead of calling back, they may well turn to a competitor who answers their call first. “Making sure customers are quickly directed to an appropriately skilled agent who is qualified to handle their call stops them from being transferred around to multiple agents
Kevin Scott-Cowell and ultimately, getting frustrated.” Q How do you ensure great customer service in your gym? Do you have a policy on dealing with enquiries from potential new members? Let us know by emailing email@example.com
UK FITNESS SCENE
Regular investment and keeping up to date with new trends is helping an award-winning Burnley facility go from strength to strength. Christina Eccles took a look around.
Crow Wood Leisure’s Woodland Spa was named Global Spa of the Year in 2015, while the gym is current holder of the National Fitness Awards’ Regional Gym of the Year North trophy.
Award-winning Burnley club has come a long way in 15 years ... FROM starting life as a health club in 2001 to the creation of today’s 100-acre site incorporating awardwinning gym, spa and much more, Crow Wood Leisure has come a long way – and has accolades to prove it. Its Woodland Spa was named Global Spa of the Year 2015 and on the fitness side, the gym is the current holder of the National Fitness Awards’ Regional Gym of the Year North trophy. And this success, according to director Oliver Brown, brings benefits to both members and staff. He explained: “The [National Fitness] award had two benefits for us. “One, to external customers both new and expired to showcase that the investment into the club over the past two years has been a success and worthy of a no obligation facility show around and free coffee. Two, it gave the internal staff a boost in morale knowing that we had been recognised for their hard work.” Although the site has grown in size and stature over the years, customer service has always remained key across all areas of the business from
fitness to food and beverage. But even with the arrival of budget clubs in the area, the health club has no desire to compete on price, with non contract membership costing £69 per month. Instead, it bills service and customer experience as its biggest selling points
and brings in a different audience to some of its competitor clubs, including many older members. Oliver added: “We are a social club – and 35 per cent of memberships are over 60s. We know we are the most expensive but we want to be the most aspirational offer.”
This idea of being part of a social club is also enhanced by member challenges in the gym and Crow Wood Leisure was recently crowned top club in the UK for a second year in a Technogym global challenge. Regular investment also ensures all areas of the business remain competitive and up to date with the latest trends, with all members of staff – including directors – always on hand to listen to member feedback and hear suggestions on what they would like to see introduced. Oliver added; “From an investment perspective, we have just put three training agreements in place with internal instructors to enhance knowledge in Spinning and kettlebells, both very popular classes. “Listening to feedback from current members, we have placed an order with Technogym for a further £50,000 of kit which will see more cardio equipment on the main gym floor and the creation of a new personal training area. “We are also looking at two new Power Plates – the pro7 model – to ensure all of our equipment is the latest and best in class.”
UK FITNESS SCENE
Childhood obesity campaigns should focus on outdoors Award winning low cost operator Xercise4Less is to open a new club in Temple House, North Leeds, later this year. Xercise4Less Leeds North is expected to open in the autumn and will include over 400 pieces of the latest gym equipment including running and sled pull tracks and a dedicated combat zone complete with boxing ring and MMA cage. The gym will also include a separate ladies’ only gym, large main studio and spin studio offering over 40 free classes per week, including free classes for children aged three to five. Director of property and construction at Xercise4Less Darren Pallett said: “We are thrilled and excited to be opening our second site in Leeds to bring our established health and fitness offer to the north of the city.”
Venues extend Plus One scheme CARERS, support workers, family members or friends of those who need extra support to take part in physical activity will now get free access to Sheffield’s sport and leisure venues. Health and wellbeing charity SIV has extended the Plus-One scheme to support people with disabilities, mental health issues and limiting health conditions who need help to get active. The scheme applies to gym and fitness classes, swimming and Learn to Swim lessons and ice skating and Learn to Skate lessons across a number of its venues including Concord Sports Centre, Hillsborough
Leisure Centre and Ponds Forge International Sports Centre. Healthy partnerships manager for SIV Rob Womack said: “We want everyone to enjoy our facilities and the Plus-One scheme has been re-designed after extensive consultation for our facility users who require additional support to access our venues. “By offering the Plus-One supporter free access, we hope it will support those who need it to take part more fully and confidently, increasing their enjoyment and reducing additional burden on carers. It also gives the supporter the opportunity to get active.”
CAMPAIGNS to promote physical activity and reduce childhood obesity should focus more on active outdoor play, a study has claimed. The Active Healthy Kids Scotland Report Card 2016 has found that children’s physical activity levels are continuing to fall well short of recommended levels, with kids still spending far more than the recommended maximum of two hours’ free time a day in front of screens. To reduce screen times and promote physical activity, researchers have proposed that more emphasis should be placed on playing actively outdoors – something children could potentially do every day of the year. The 2016 Report Card – Unplug and Play – has been produced by the University of Strathclyde with the University of Aberdeen and was led by professor John Reilly of Strathclyde’s School of Psychological Sciences and Health. He said: “The amount of time children spend in front of screens has had an impact on their wellbeing for many years. “The popularity of computer games and the emergence of the internet, smartphones, and social media have contributed further to this problem.
“Physical activity among children in Scotland is below the levels they require, not only for short- and longterm health and wellbeing but also for their academic attainment. In fact, the time they spend at screens – far more than is recommended – is harmful to their health and academic attainment. “There are a number of promising policies in place in Scotland to deal with this problem but we propose a new focus on active and outdoor play. Past and current public health strategies have been very much built around the school day, on commuting to school, break time and PE lessons but, while these are important approaches, they do not take account of all the time children spend outside school – at least 160 days a year. “Children should be playing outdoors more often. Play benefits children in helping them to develop socially and emotionally, so promoting active outdoor play would have many benefits in addition to improving physical activity, improving academic attainment, and reducing obesity.” Q Let us know what your gym does to help by emailing ce@scriptmedia. co.uk and your club could appear in a future issue of Workout.
UK FITNESS SCENE
Gym’s membership quadruples thanks to new programme By Olivia Taylor
Bobbie Joseph, Technogym’s key account manager, with Daley Thompson and Technogym’s managing director, Steve Barton.
Olympian opens upgraded gym after £600,000 refurb OLYMPIAN Daley Thompson has unveiled the upgraded gym facilities at award winning Foxhills Club and Resort in Surrey following an investment programme worth over £600,000. Developments at the site – named Best Hotel Facility at the 2015 National Fitness Awards – include a functional area fully-equipped with the recently-released Technogym SkillMills and a Technogym Kinesis Press Station for core strength. The club has also added four more Watt Bikes for indoor cycling plus an expanded free weights area with bespoke flooring and a Technogym Olympic Half Rack.
In addition, Foxhills has also unveiled new outdoor adventure playgrounds for children and three state-of-the-art all-weather synthetic clay tennis courts. General manager of Foxhills Jason Adams said: “Hot on the heels of our award last year we remain at the forefront of fitness in Surrey. “Technogym’s mywellness cloud platform allows gym members and guests to receive and access their personalised training programmes anywhere, and also track all their workout and physical activity data both in and out of the gym, through a vast connection with the most popular apps and devices.”
A HERTFORDSHIRE gym has quadrupled its membership numbers thanks to a new management and staffing programme. Pride Fitness in Letchworth has been open for over 20 years but had struggled to gain over 270 members. But when local personal trainer Craig Worley began using the facility to train his clients, he saw potential and took over the club as general manager. Craig said: “I started doing a bit of personal training there in 2013, and it wasn’t the best. The equipment was old and outdated and there was no set staff regime. “The gym’s been here in the centre of town for a long time and I don’t think anyone could understand why it didn’t have more members.” Now three years on the facility has over 1,000 members and a more up to date fitness suite and class timetable.
Craig added: “We’re about to do our third refurbishment, we have a new reception area and we do indoor cycling, Pilates, yoga, circuits and we’re looking to introduce boxing because there’s a demand for it from members. That’s what it’s about, listening to what our members want to see.” The club’s reception staff are either personal trainers or working towards gaining their personal training qualification, meaning that they have an extensive knowledge in fitness. Craig added: “We get a lot of walkins so when our reception staff are showing them around the gym we need them to know what they’re talking about. “We’ve gone against the industry a little bit because we’ve also put more staff on the gym floor, so they’re able to actually help members out.” In the future the club is looking to continue building the brand until they’re able to open another facility.
National Fitness Award winning Gym 64 has held the Arnold Classic Strongman Qualifier for a fifth year in a row. This was the first year that women could participate the event, with 13 strongmen and 11 strongwomen signing up to take part. The overall ladies winner was Mary Anderson, who won every one of the four ladies events. The men’s winner was Paul Benton, who defended his title from last year. Through running these events, the Dunfermline based club has raised over £20,000 for the Mary Leishman Foundation.
An independent gym in Wakefield is proving that fitness can be both fun and deliver results. Christina Eccles took a look around and tried out a class.
The Works Fitness, based at Sandal Rugby Club, was set up by personal trainer James Stewart in 2013 and appeals to a wide range of people in the community.
Members encouraged to work hard and have a great time THE Works Fitness is a gym which takes its workouts seriously. But it also wants members to have a great time. Set up by personal trainer James Stewart in 2013, the business, which is situated at Sandal Rugby Club, is appealing to a wide range of people in the community – from the rugby lads who use it for their training to local women looking to get fitter and stronger. James puts the gym’s success so far down to the level of service and education members are able to benefit from; ensuring every person feels valued and knows they are not just there to make up the numbers. He explained: “I started out just personal training in a mainstream gym which has since closed down. I saw first hand how members were just a number and I knew that I could offer something more than this. “I then started looking down different avenues to open my own place. Using my experience as a personal trainer, The Works was
Member challenges to win prizes are proving popular. place later this month. created.” James added: “Big gyms are now While the social side of attending becoming a social event and while the club is really important, members we do offer coffees and a chill out are encouraged to make sure they area, we take you back to the basics are also putting the work in and are and the main reason you go to a gym. rewarded with incentives such as a “For results whether that comes free protein shake if they check into in the form of fitness, muscle the club three times on Facebook or building or fat loss, the science is not use its hashtag on Twitter. complicated – you do the graft, you Member challenges to win prizes hit your goals. and encourage engagement are also “Our aim here is to support and proving popular, with the newest one encourage by having skilled staff and – a group challenge to deadlift the personal trainers who are on hand to weight of the Flying Scotsman and as offer great advice.” many carriages as possible – taking
As well as innovative classes – such as Bazerka Circuits – the gym also offers free sessions in which to teach members the correct techniques when doing exercises such as deadlifts and squats. Every couple of months, professional powerlifters are also invited down to give members a full day workshop – resulting in many smashing their personal bests and getting a taste for competing. In the future, the challenge for James and his team is to continue spreading the word about what they do to a wider audience, with social media and word of mouth from satisfied members hopefully helping them to attract more faces through the doors. He added: “We’ve been open three years but membership has increased in the last six months since we’ve been doing the challenges and more on social media, which has got people talking about us. “When people enjoy coming to the gym, that goes a long way.”
Gym goes the extra mile with free classes... THE Works Fitness is a gym which strives to really look after its members and one way it goes that extra mile is by offering free classes on the gym floor which anyone can take part in. The class I tried, Bazerka Circuits, is one example of this and would be a great addition to any timetable where a club wants to get more people involved in group training. A session devised by James to introduce members to different pieces of kit – from cardio to strength to functional equipment – trying out Bazerka Circuits gives them the chance to mix up their training to ensure they don’t get bored, as well as offering a supportive group training environment to help members achieve their goals. Lasting for one hour,
participants go through three circuits, three times each, with each circuit consisting of four or five exercises. The first circuit included exercises such as bear crawls, indoor rowing and a kettlebell clean and press or snatch and for each one, all of us were asked to work out at our maximum for 45 seconds before a 15 second rest where we moved to the next station. After three rounds, we switched to a different circuit using the same principles; this time using other pieces of kit such as battle ropes, a treadmills for sprints and slam balls to complete another three rounds. The final set of exercises were designed to work the abs and included sit ups, kettlebell twists and leg raises. While small group training on the gym floor isn’t something exclusive to this gym, one of the things I liked best about this class is that it utilised a large range of equipment. In the past, I’ve tried group classes which have included functional items like kettlebells but never kit such as treadmills and rowers within the same session – and having that mix was a good chance to fully experience everything the gym had to offer.
Being in a small group meant it was also easy to get support from James who led the session and kept an eye on everyone to ensure their technique was good or if they needed any help. Different weight options or a chance to modify the exercises slightly also meant noone got left behind, making this a good choice for members of any ability. James told me he’d made more friends here while running the gym than he ever had doing anything else. And with an inclusive atmosphere and the ability to offer such a personalised experience, it’s easy to see why members keep coming back.
UK FITNESS SCENE
‘Show me the data’ By Dave Wright
I LOVE the saying ‘In God We Trust, but for everything else, show me the data’ as we embark into the future of data collection and the new era of ‘digital fitness.’ Data defines our actions in almost all parts of the fitness industry, be it sales (gathering pre-history exercise experience), to fitness assessments (to define a user’s limitations), to fitness programmes (live feedback during training) and member engagement (club management software and behaviour analytics). There is an enormous amount of data that is being collected in today’s health club environment that there is a significant need to introducing ‘geeks’ into the ‘jock’ world of fitness. Simply to analyse the whole member journey and how digital fitness and data collection sits at the hub. That said, there are a few things to understand to make sure that you are on the right track in data collection and action. Dirty data We’ve all been there when the wrong member’s email address or postal address is inputted into our system. We try to act on that data and communicate events and services at the club yet there is no engagement from that member. It’s not that they chose to ignore it, but if the data was wrong in the first place then there is nothing that can be done to action that at the back end. The first step towards solving any problem is first defining what the problem is and the symptoms around what may be causing that – so that data must be reliable to make any sense of an outcome. The same too when you are training and coaching someone with real time feedback – if that data is not accurate (such as with wrist based wearables), then you could be coaching someone through an unsafe intensity because of the incorrect readings. Clean data Finding out how many times your member swipes their membership card at the club is one thing. But finding out whenever they exercise, how long they exercise for, what intensity that they exercise, what classes that they participate in, at what point when a member changes their exercise habits that they may choose to cancel is the type of information that can be quite meaningful. Matching external devices with member analytics is helping unveil the picture of a member in the same way as you do with a game of ‘guess who.’ Dealing with the data This is where the rubber meets the road and the member engagement and retention kicks in.
Dave Wright Imagine if you, as an owner, could walk up to a member and say “Hi Mary, John mentioned that you were going to be trekking the Inca trail in December and that you wanted to prepare for it. Remember to make sure that you build that base line cardio to be able to deal with those hills.” Now that shows proper member engagement. It shows to your members that you care, even if you haven’t met Mary before, or even spoken to John about it. It is about collecting the data (in this case in the CRM), but more importantly, it’s about taking action and doing something about it. In a class setting, to have someone’s heart rate on the screen is almost irrelevant if the instructor is not using that to their benefit by coaching and motivating those in the class. As an operator it’s very easy to lose track of the basic things that are available to us. We are there to serve – our members, the community, our families. Data is now considered the new oil. Collecting it and then taking action on it, will move us all one step closer to raising the bar in the industry; helping more people, getting more results, more often. Q Dave Wright is the CEO of CFM (Creative Fitness Marketing), CEO and creator of MYZONE, owner of the Feelgood Fitness and Voyage Fitness Club chains, a former board director of ukactive and founder of the IOU. With offices in Chicago (US), Nottingham (UK) and Melbourne (Oz), Dave’s companies have worked directly with over 5,000 health clubs across 30 different countries, encouraging people to be more and stay more physically active. He may be contacted on Dave@ myzone.org
UK FITNESS SCENE
Survey shows continued growth in weight lifting By Christina Eccles BRITISH Weight Lifting is celebrating after the results of Sport England’s Active People Survey showed a continued growth in the sport. The survey found there are now 100,200 people over the age of 14 participating weekly in weightlifting, with 125,500 lifting on a monthly basis. The ages in which people are engaging with the sport is also widening, with an increased number of younger and older people being attracted. The rise of fitness movements such as CrossFit and more awareness around the benefits of weightlifting are amongst the key drivers increasing its participation and popularity. And the biggest growth over recent years has been from women, where there has been a significant increase over the last four survey periods. The numbers of young people taking part in weightlifting in an education setting has also risen, leading to an increased amount of younger people learning the professional techniques of the sport and entering competitions to test themselves in a competitive environment. This increased accessibility has also spread to people in the 45 to 55 age group, which has significantly grown over the previous year. There have also been positive results Wattbike has expanded its UK sales team with a new appointment. Simon Overing, who has joined as regional sales manager, will manage sales in the north of England and across Scotland, as well as supporting the sales team with key accounts. He said: “I’m incredibly excited to be working for Wattbike, a well-established company and product of the highest quality and so well respected within the sector, as well as across elite sport. My passion is cycling and triathlon and I have always trained using the Wattbike so the opportunity for me to work within the UK sales team for something I truly believe in is fantastic.”
on a regional level, with the survey showing continued growth of the sport in the North West and South East. British Weight Lifting CEO, Ashley Metcalfe, said: “We are very pleased with the results from the latest Active People Survey, showing the rise in participation but also the increasing diversity of those getting involved. “We’ve worked hard to not only encourage new people to join the sport but to continue to maintain excellent relationships with our existing members; central to this is the work of our regional staff, our commitment to the increased promotion of the sport and a focus on education and the delivery of nationwide participation events. “The growth in female participants has been particularly welcomed, something which has been emphasised by the success of GB lifters including Zoe Smith and Rebekah Tiler. “Female participation is a key focus for sports’ governing bodies so for British Weight Lifting to have seen a rise in this area over four consecutive years is a very positive development.” This year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games are expected to bring even more attention to the sport, with Team GB fielding one man and one woman at the Olympics and two men and two women at the Paralympics.
Kate to pass on her expertise to others A WOMAN who transformed her life through nutrition and exercise has pledged to pass her expertise on to others to help them lead healthier lifestyles. Kate Michalkova was dangerously ill at 5st 5lb, having been diagnosed with Coeliac’s disease, but after cutting out gluten from her diet became a successful muscle model and body transformation coach. She now intends to show other people how to overcome serious health issues through diet and exercise. Kate said: “I felt I needed to change my life after I was diagnosed with Coeliac’s disease.
“I trained myself from scratch and introduced healthy meals into my diet. I started to make new recipes and turned my fitness into my profession and passion. Now it’s time to share my knowledge to help other people. “If I can inspire someone to make a positive change in their life, and help them feel better, then it’s working. “My coaching is for people of all ages, and for people with health problems too. “I’m experienced in gluten-free diets, and I know how tough it can be to come through those problems, but my methods will show people the light at the end of the tunnel.”
GROUP EXERCISE Gyms around the country have been reaping the rewards of getting involved in the National Fitness Awards – reporting positive press coverage, boosts in staff and member morale and a renewed interest in their group exercise offering. Workout found out more.
A seniors’ class at Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre.
Gyms reaping rewards of NFAs involvement IN what is always a hotly contested category, seven gyms from as far afield as Wrexham, Hertfordshire and the North East were named as finalists for the Group Exercise Gym of the Year award at the 2015 NFAs. And a few months later, many of them have experienced a boost in business as a result of making the shortlist. Ayesha Mir is group exercise manager for Fitness Unlimited, the Sheffield fitness scheme which operates at six sites including finalist Hillsborough Leisure Centre. She said: “It was fantastic recognition for the success of our Fitness Unlimited gym and the classes and sessions we run to improve the health and wellbeing of people across Sheffield. “Being nominated was a great way to benchmark ourselves against the UK’s best and demonstrate to existing and new customers the quality of our facilities and our innovative approach to group exercise.” Classes are also proving popular with members at another finalist – Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre in St Albans – which has recently launched a series of senior sessions aimed at older customers. Group exercise co-ordinator at Westminster Lodge Chris Dennis added: “These classes aim to help over 50s keep fit and healthy and everyone is welcome with absolutely no restrictions on fitness or ability. Feedback has been really positive with attendees commenting on the friendly, social atmosphere, as well as the progress they have seen in their health and fitness.” Westminster Lodge has also announced plans to install a Hot Yoga studio, opening in
September, making the club the first in the area to run this type of class, and Chris told Workout, the team is hoping new developments such as this will help them to go one better at this year’s NFAs and bring home a trophy. He added: “We received some great local press coverage from our nomination, which demonstrated to the local community that Westminster Lodge is a fantastic facility for group exercise, and encouraged more people to come and try the activities we have on offer. “We were also able to display our finalist certificate in the centre, which really shows off how impressive our facilities and offering are to our members. “While we did not win the Group Exercise category last year, we were delighted to be involved with the National Fitness Awards, and we hope the exciting new developments will stand us in good stead for the award this year!” Meanwhile, in Lancashire, two past NFA winners have been working hard to continue pushing the boundaries when it comes to group exercise. St Peter’s Leisure Centre in Burnley scooped three awards at the event last year – including the group exercise trophy – and since has been working on its timetable to include new sessions such as 90 minute class Ball Breaker, which is split into three 30 minute blocks based around HIIT training, weight training and an ab workout. New parents are also enjoying a 45-minute Spinning class which allows them to bring along their baby, with reduced class sizes and lower level music to create a more family friendly atmosphere. Health and fitness manager
Elaine Adams Gilligan said: “Group fitness it at the core of our fitness offering and we aim to provide a wide range of classes for everyone. We pride ourselves on being innovative and are always conscious of living up to our 2015 National Gym of the Year. “Our team reviews each class monthly and every three months new ideas are incorporated to keep things fresh. We like to push everyone beyond their limits for both new exercises and more advanced athletes.” The Health Club at Ribby Hall Village in Preston is also a previous NFA winner and, according to staff, continuous investment over the years has been key to its success; bringing a larger choice of studios, instructors and innovative fitness classes, including recent additions aerial Pilates and Barreconcept sessions. Brand manager Charlotte Gili-Ross added: “Entering and attending the NFAs really is a key date in the health club‘s diary. We never like being runners up and we’re so keen this year to win back our previous titles! “The health club team work tirelessly to ensure that all members enjoy their membership to the maximum and this, alongside our continual reinvestment in new facilities and group exercise classes is relentless. “Entering the NFAs enables us to reflect on what we’ve achieved over the previous 12 months as we’re always looking forward to what’s next to improve and perfect. “Such reflection also boosts morale and everyone involved thrives on such positive energy. Yes, we’re entering the awards again this year – you’ve got to be in it, to win it!”
Class instructors report growth in participants, latest survey reveals
A Sheffield gym has expanded its group exercise offering with a new Bollywood style fitness class. The class takes place at Hillsborough Leisure Centre, which is run by SIV, part of the non-profit Sheffield City Trust. Group exercise research and innovation manager for SIV’s fitness brand – Fitness Unlmited – Ayesha Mir said: “Our Belly Dancing class has already seen great success and popularity and we hope that the new Bollywood class will follow in its footsteps and provide yet another fun way for local people to keep fit and healthy. We are always looking to innovate and bring the latest fitness trends to our members. Bollywood Dancing is an exciting new exercise craze a great way to relieve stress, tone your body, boost coordination and rhythm and feel good.”
Kettlercise launches new COMBAT-MX formula WHAT do you get when you mix two of the most popular group fitness classes on the planet? Kettlercise launches Kettlercise COMBAT-MX. Guy Noble from Kettlercise UK said: “It’s taken over four years to develop the NEW Kettlercise COMBATMX formula which is completely music driven sits perfectly with our philosophy of delivering exercise that works with pre-choreographed workouts of 45 and 50 minute duration. “We are entering an exciting new phase in group fitness... it’s no longer just about how good the workout is. We have to deliver an exceptional experience to the end user in a very compact timeframe. “This is why taking Kettlercise and blending with dynamic combat moves has worked so well. We launched to our initial instructor base earlier this year with all of the initial dates being oversubscribed. “As we are now starting to gear up for the launch nationwide we are showcasing the new program at Fitness Fiestas and Fit Camps in the autumn.
ALMOST half of group exercise instructors reported a growth in participant numbers in the last year, the latest Working in Fitness Survey has revealed. Conducted by Exercise Move Dance Insight and SkillsActive, the survey, based on the opinions of nearly 2,000 fitness professionals, discovered that 45 per cent of instructors saw growth, with dance fitness organisations in particular benefiting from a boom in participation. The survey also found that 67 per cent of respondents confirmed they joined the industry due to their genuine passion for fitness and nearly three quarters of fitness professionals claimed their instructing career was either important or very important amongst other life priorities. Over half (62 per cent) of respondents stated their reason for staying in the industry was to help others, underlining the dedication shown by instructors in helping to get the nation healthier and fitter. Other key findings included: Q 63 per cent of instructors said they expect to be working in the industry for at least another five years. Q Low income remains a key deciding factor for leaving the industry with nearly half of those questioned (46 per cent) citing it as an issue, despite a quarter of those questioned experiencing an increase in salary
over the last 12 months, a rise of five per cent from last year. Q Just under half (48 per cent) of respondents claimed they were very interested in further training and gaining qualifications to support teaching group exercise, but just under two thirds cited financial cost and value for money as the biggest barriers to undertaking training in the last 12 months. CEO of the Exercise, Movement and Dance Partnership Ross Perriam said: “The research we undertake in partnership with SkillsActive is valuable to so many different professional groups, giving insight into areas that have not been given attention before. “The Working in Fitness Survey gives a voice to the instructors; those frontline professionals getting the nation active. We’re proud to be able to gain their opinions, share them with the wider industry and highlight the great work they do.”
ServiceSport indoor bike sales continue at pace “We do have training dates available across the country later this year and offer introductory packages to corporate partners wishing to be part of the Kettlercise next generation.” To find out more about Kettlercise COMBAT-MX Group Fitness or to book a course go to www.kettlercise.com or www.kettlercisecertification.com Alternatively, call the office on 01282 698 698.
FRENCH health and fitness chain Body Harmony are the latest firm to purchase some of ServiceSport’s popular M10 spin bikes. Designed with performance, durability and style in mind, the M10 Aerobike is one of the best in the budget group cycling market. The super calibrated magnetic brake, coated iron and alloy fly wheel is combined with a smooth belt drive which delivers the ride of your life. Able to withstand heavy usage, it is
a perfect addition to any busy gym or fitness studio. Body Harmony have 22 health and fitness clubs across France, offering a range of group fitness activities including spin classes, Zumba and step classes. The M10 bikes were ordered as part of an upgrade to facilities at their Calais site. For more information on the M10 Aerobike, go to www.servicesport.co.uk/m10 or call 08453 884 662.
S-Drive Performance Trainer is revolutionising group exercise CREATED to add a new dimension to virtually any circuit training programme, the S-Drive Performance Trainer from Matrix Fitness is revolutionising group exercise by providing intense workouts that push users to their limits. Launched in March, the selfpowered treadmill, which has already won an ISPO gold award, is fast becoming a popular addition to gyms across the globe. Vice president of global marketing for Johnson Health Tech, Mark Zabel, said: “The S-Drive Performance Trainer is truly unlike anything else on the market today. “We worked with some of the world’s most demanding coaches and athletes to understand their
needs and deliver a product to support sprinting, sled pushing, and agility work that exceeds their expectations.” Offering the functionality found in self-powered treadmills, weighted sleds, resistance parachutes and harness systems in one spacesaving footprint, the versatility of the S-Drive allows coaches to deliver intense sprinting and sledpushing workouts to athletes while standing alongside them to provide immediate feedback. The design also complements small group training circuits by enabling sprint training, interval training and weighted sled resistance pushes to be completed in restricted spaces. For more information visit www.matrixfitness.co.uk
How the fit get fitter FORGET clocking up more time on the treadmill – research proves that it’s intensity not volume that gets results. A study by Dr Jinger Gottschall and a team of researchers at Penn State University followed the effects of LES MILLS GRIT on professional female athletes. LES MILLS GRIT is a cutting edge HIIT workout that comes available as a strength, cardio or plyometric format. A team of soccer players substituted their usual seven hours of off-season training with just four hours and added two LES MILLS GRIT workouts. Despite decreasing their training time by two hours per week, the soccer players saw significant changes in both body composition and fitness levels. This and other studies prove that 30 minutes of LES MILLS GRIT twice a week, will create significant changes
in your fitness and body composition, lower the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and smash through your fitness plateau. For a fit and active population, HIIT is extremely time efficient. Les Mills head of research Bryce Hastings said: “For those people with a good base level of cardiovascular fitness and strength, HIIT will help you to keep getting fitter. For athletes, it can reduce training time and still improve performance. “It is a very real prescription for maximizing competition performance and minimising training time across a range of competitive sports.” Les MIlls is looking for new LES MILLS GRIT coaches to meet the demand for HIIT. Sign up for training at: www.lesmills. com/become-an-instructor-uk Read the full article at www.lesmills.com/uk/knowledge/fitness -research/hiit-how-the-fit-get-fitter/
Increase sales in the ‘fitness marketplace’ THE digital sales revolution has been driven by a new form of commerce – the online marketplace, which has been embraced in other sectors including property, fast food delivery and travel through websites such as Rightmove, JustEat and Expedia. The logic is simple; if more people can see what your business has to offer then the better chance you have of attracting new customers. Thousands of gyms across the UK have already listed their clubs on PayAsUGym – which is the only online marketplace for health and fitness. Gym managers do this to gain access to a whole new pool of customers who are using PayAsUGym to find a new club, and to make sure that other clubs in their area which are already listed do not gain a competitive advantage over them. Gyms are promoted free of charge in the marketplace that PayAsUGym provides and are given full control over what they sell and what they charge. They also benefit from access to the vast amounts of
marketplace data and insight which PayAsUGym offer which will help them make their business more competitive in their local market. PayAsUGym also provides intelligence on which gym is currently ranked as the number one venue in any given area. To support this, PayAsUGym has recently invested in a management system that all participating gym operators get access to called the Partner Portal. It is an information hub that gives operators the benefit of all the insight that PayAsUGym gain as a marketplace. For example, they can see price
points, customer search traffic, demand, customer feedback – they can see the things that make a sale more likely – and as a true marketplace, they share this information with the operators in a really easy way. Operators can analyse the sales they have made historically, but also the sales that they’ve missed out on to local rivals by not being as competitive in their local area as they could be. It also gives operators insight into the things they might want to consider as a change that, on average, would improve their ability to convert an interested new customer into a paying customer. From an operational perspective it could not be simpler. Contact PayAsUGym to ask them to list your club free of charge and they will help set up your page, help you decide what to sell and charge, upload photos and show you how to redeem the simple text message passcodes that customers receive when they pay to use your club. Simple! For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.payasugym.com/marketplace
Member recruitment made easy with time saving app OPERATORS struggling to capture prospective member details while away from their clubs have been offered a time saving solution thanks to the launch of a new app created specifically for the fitness industry. Created by ClubWise, the app allows gyms to collect information without the need for an internet connection, making it ideal for outreach activity; particularly during pre-sale periods where staff may have the time consuming task of collating member details and then having to manually re-enter them into their club software when back at the gym, before scheduling follow up contact. The free app integrates with ClubWise’s Club Management System (which takes care of member management, CRM, performance measurement and billing), and the details entered are automatically captured and synced when an internet connection is available. This enables clubs to
streamline member recruitment, save time, and have the flexibility to always be ready wherever they might meet a
prospect – reducing the risk of losing them to a competitor. The app also allows multiple users and devices to capture prospective member contact details simultaneously and can identify duplicate entries such as existing prospects and members. It can also automatically schedule a task to remind users to follow up on their leads. Managing director of ClubWise, Julian Matthews, added: “Experience and industry insight highlighted the need for an offline prospecting solution. “The app was developed to help clubs capture prospect data simply and effortlessly, without the need for an internet connection. “We provide customers with a comprehensive end-to-end club management solution, and the app was a natural addition to this.” The ClubWise app is fully optimised for iPad and iPhone and is downloadable from the App Store from mid-July. To find out more, visit www.clubwise.com/clubwiseapp/
To advertise in a forthcoming issue of Workout call 01226 734699 or email email@example.com
Don’t leave customers hanging in silence... Mark Williamson, sales and marketing director for audio branding specialist PH Media Group explains how gyms and fitness centres can turn hold time into a key marketing tool.
Is your gym getting the correct message across to customers? FOR gyms and fitness centres, visual branding is a key part of the marketing strategy. After all, a key part of the reason people go to the gym is to improve the way they look, so their chosen venue has to match the desired image. Human buying behaviour is easily influenced by an organisation’s visual identity and if it isn’t up to scratch, potential customers can be put off paying for membership. The way a company sounds is equally as important. For example, if inappropriate music is played over the gym’s sound system, it could communicate the wrong values the organisation has worked hard to reinforce through visual marketing. Similarly, if a customer calls a business and is greeted by an impolite and unfriendly employee, it could spell danger. In fact, recent research conducted by PH Media Group of 1,000 British consumers discovered 73 per cent would not do business with a company again if their first call was not handled in a satisfactory manner. The telephone is still a key source of inbound leads for fitness businesses. Granted a lot of information, such as gym amenities and class timetables, tends to be situated on the organisation’s website yet a large number of businesses tell potential customers to ‘call for membership costs’. Formulating a best-practice set of guidelines for employees to follow, such as how to answer the phone and the manner in which they speak, not only avoids customers forging a lasting negative opinion of the company but also helps to convey the
desired brand image and values. Make use of ‘dead’ time Leaving callers on hold can also prove problematic for businesses. There have been numerous accounts in the media of consumers sitting in an automated queue for hours waiting to talk directly to an employee. However, it is impossible to answer every call immediately. Perhaps the caller needs to be transferred to a specific personal trainer or they want information on a fitness class which isn’t to hand. A study of 3,360 UK businesses by PH Media Group found that gyms and fitness clubs keep customers on hold for an average of 36.97 seconds per call before they reach their intended destination. While this may not seem like a long time on paper, given that further research has found 70 per cent of callers will hang up within 60 seconds if faced with silence on hold, it spells danger for fitness organisations if no consideration is given to what a customer hears when they ring the business. In these instances, a cost-effective on-hold marketing solution makes use of what otherwise would be ‘dead’ air. Bespoke audio messages combining brand-congruent voice and music can be used to communicate with an attentive audience, while boosting customer service levels. Not only has it been shown to decrease the perceived amount of time on hold but 51 per cent of consumers feel more valued as a customer when they hear tailored voice and music while waiting on the
Mark Williamson phone. It can also help to up-sell and cross-sell services. For example, a caller could ring up to enquire about a Pilates class, only to be informed about a new boxercise class which they might be interested in. By promoting other classes or facilities, it boosts awareness and makes customers feel like they’re getting full value from their membership. The messages could also promote additional services not included in a membership, such as personal training and fitness supplements, to help boost revenue. People tend to join gyms as a new year’s resolution or to get a ‘beach body’ in time for summer. An on-hold marketing solution can advertise seasonal offers around these times to
maximise uptake. Get the message First impressions last. When a customer picks up the phone for the first time to a business, their ears are their only tool for making an initial judgement Despite this, too few companies give consideration to the sound of their business. It seems counterintuitive that call handling is overlooked when it comes to choosing where money is invested in marketing and customer service. Given that carefully constructed on-hold marketing messages work to reduce hang-ups by 79 per cent and actually helps to decrease perceived waiting time, gym owners would be well-advised to consider audio as a key element of the marketing mix.
Understanding your demographic is key UNDERSTANDING your demographic is key when it comes to marketing, according to the experts at Pulse. A recent campaign at Goldsmith’s University implemented by Pulse’s in-house marketing agency achieved success after the company responded to feedback from students and introduced a term time only membership, instead of the standard full year, from just £70. Using a mixture of both offline and online techniques, Pulse launched this new membership during the university’s Fresher’s Week, which generated 400 members in the first five days of the Fresher’s Fair,equating to an income of £50k and 300 per cent increase month on month. Keeping up to date with the latest marketing trends is a vital way to reach a potential audience. Using Facebook alone, Pulse launched a
no-joining fee campaign as a new customer acquisition tool. In just one weekend, Pulse Health and Fitness Carshalton received over 45 new members. Based on this success, the strategy has been replicated across other facilities. Pulse’s head of marketing Linda Forster said: “We’ve seen a huge shift in thinking from our members. We’ve noticed that it’s now much less about the offer itself and more about the lifestyle and the associated benefits that come with being fit and healthy that’s important. “Because of this we have adapted the approach to our marketing campaigns to ensure we get this message across in the right away, whilst staying relevant and local to our audiences at the same time.” Linda’s top marketing tips: 1) Value your members. It sounds simple, but it’s vital for a
gym operator to really get to know who their members are and look after them. You need to know exactly what your female to male ratio is, whereabouts your members live and the age range of your membership base so that you can create tailored campaigns that are specific to them. You need to also ensure you have a strategy in place to reward, incentivise and retain them. 2) Be local. It’s important to understand your local area, the demographics and who your competitors are. This will help you to develop your marketing strategy and figure out what will appeal to the audience in your area. 3) The power of social media. Don’t under estimate the impact social media can have. Having the right channels and implementing a social media strategy can be a great way to connect with existing and potential customers.
UK FITNESS SCENE
The evolution of strength training “I know that all successful things evolve to suit their audience. I’ve had close ties with bodybuilding since I was 15,” says Matthew Januszek from Escape Fitness. “Escape’s roots are in strength sports, in fact, we started out in my garage, and have innovated to keep pace with this growing market. “I wanted to take a look at how strength sport has evolved.... and what we can look forward to in the future.”
HAS everyone fallen in love with weight training? Peer into any gym (or scroll through any social media feed) and it seems that way. Why now? Escape Fitness asked fitness writer and blogger, Nicola Joyce, to explore the rise and rise of strength training. The concept of weight training for physical health is hardly new. It can be traced back to around 2040 BC. Strength training features in the writings of the ancient Greeks, and on the tombs of Egyptian royalty. But its current boom popularity is nothing short of incredible. Lifting weights was once considered a niche activity, hidden away in spitn-sawdust gyms. In 2016, it’s hit the mainstream. People previously cynical, suspicious, or downright scared of lifting weights are giving it a go. Some have become evangelical about training, building muscle, and even competing. Exactly why has strength training
captured our hearts (and muscles)? Strength training in numbers Increased numbers of people getting into strength sports is part of a bigger picture. Although there’s no data to support the idea that hosting an Olympic Games inspires a nation, anecdotal evidence is positive. Sport England’s Active People Survey showed a 19.75 per cent increase in Brits participating in sport from 2014 to 2015. Powerlifting federations, Bodybuilding organisations, Olympic weightlifting bodies and even Strongman competitions all report a surge in interest. Membership numbers are up. Social media interaction is buzzing. And participation in strength-based competitions and events is higher than ever. Take weight lifting, for example. It’s perhaps the most difficult strength sport to get into, due to its focus on technique, power, and speed. But we don’t seem too discouraged. In fact, British Weight Lifting says the sport saw a significant increase in participants between October 2014 and March 2015. This was particularly noticeable in females, despite women’s weight lifting only becoming a sanctioned Olympic sport in 2000. It’s hardly been in public consciousness for a generation, yet record numbers of women and
Matthew Januszek younger people are clamouring to take part. Could this be the Zoe Smith effect? The Commonwealth Gold Medal winner suffered online trolling as recently as 2010. Six years later and she’s the inspiration for a new breed of lifters. British Weight Lifting is actually one sport which exceeded Sport England’s strategic outcome targets. Who would have thought it? Weight lifting – a sport which is challenging, technical, and not yet widely available – is smashing participation targets. How many people could say they had even considered doing weight lifting 10 years ago? A boost from social media Social media platforms are flooded with images of muscular bodies training, posing, and competing.
Five years ago, nobody knew what a gym selfie was. In 2016, we’re all taking them (even if we don’t admit to it). Strength training and social media go hand-in-hand: visual, visible, and immediate. Social media has helped spread the word (often hashtagged) about strength training. It’s helped connect a planet of gym goers. With one swipe of your screen, you can take inspiration from someone halfway around the world, from an athlete you may never meet, or from a gym on another continent. Think back to the mid 90s. Skinny was in. The only people who wanted big arms were men. Round bums (sorry, “glutes”) and strong thighs weren’t the look anyone was going for. Yet here we are, a couple of decades on, and “strong is the new skinny”. Big round glutes, visible abs, and bulbous thighs are desirable on men… and women. It’s a remarkable about turn, if you think about it. Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook Live came just at the right time for weight training. Social media has brought muscle, strength, and fitness out of relative obscurity. It’s made social stars of its most visual role models. And it provides beginners with positive inspiration around the clock. Q Look out for the second part of this article coming up in Workout next issue.
CLEANING AND HYGIENE
Reduce impact of sweat with easy-clean flooring THERE’S no getting away from sweat in the gym but hygienic, easyclean mats and flooring options can minimise its impact, according to the experts at Physical Company. One of the simplest pieces of kit that can make or break a gym or studio space is the humble mat. Foam mats may look comfy but they absorb sweat and quickly start to smell. Physical Company’s vinyl mats are one of its best sellers. Made from specially formulated PVC foam to give the cushioning required, they are laminated, welded and sealed to give optimum durability and a surface which is easy to wipe down
after a workout. They have eyelets, enabling them to be hung up after use and kept clean, off the floor. The company also reports that it is seeing more and more gyms opting for rubber flooring, with account manager Paul Farrell seeing many wanting to replace their carpets. He said: “The Bladerunner Duratech heavy duty rubber flooring is perfect for gyms of all sizes and its smooth surface is easily wiped down between sessions. “The Bladerunner looks great and absorbs sound but it doesn’t absorb sweat or spillages so moisture marks don’t appear and it doesn’t become smelly like carpet or foam flooring.”
Addgards launch ‘executive’ range of wet wipe stations AVAILABLE in Granite, White Marble, Sandstone and Green Marble, the new Wet Wipe Station will add a touch of class and enhance any gym interior. Not only do the Wet Wipe Stations look great, they are easy to use and maintain. Placing the station in key points around the gym, members have the option to sanitise equipment, mats, balls etc in an easy and affordable manner. No matter how clean your gym, each piece of equipment is only as clean as the last user.
The station conveniently combines a wet wipe dispenser and bin for the used wipes in one unit. The Wet Wipe Dispenser holds rolls of up to 1,000 anti-bacterial wipes. The wipes will kill 99.9 per cent of germs and won’t tear like dry wipes. They have odour neutralisers built in and will clean and disinfect not only all gym surfaces but are also sensitive enough to use on hands. The stations are available in corporate colours with gym logos. To view the new range of finishes and colours visit www.addgards.com or call freephone 0800 973 165.
Low cost operator does not compromise on cleanliness A LOW cost gym operator is proving to customers that using a budget gym doesn’t mean a compromise in the quality of cleanliness and facilities. Pure Gym has been working with Emprise since 2011 when the company was awarded the contract to clean 10 clubs. Since then, Emprise’s relationship with the gym chain has developed significantly, with the company being awarded sole supplier status in 2012. Now in 2015, they are now servicing all Pure Gyms across the country, delivering daily cleaning, washroom services, waste and consumables to over 100 clubs. Emprise’s night cleaners are also first aid trained and trained in how to properly respond to any potential
incident, giving members piece of mind and increasing safety and security. Pure Gym chief operating officer Jacques De Bruin said: “People expected low cost gyms to be low quality with dirty and grubby facilities, but Emprise prove that is not the case. “Our members are impressed by our standards, especially from a cleanliness point of view, and I can honestly say I have not had a major complaint relating to cleanliness. “The Emprise staff are always willing to help out in other areas when needed and always provide an exceptional cleaning service which emphasises the importance of a solid partnership.”
SUPPLEMENTATION AND NUTRITION
JST Jodie celebrates four years of female fitness
Nutritional powders get seal of approval RETAILER Musclefood.com has launched a clean range of supplements, which have gone through rigorous banned substance testing by Informed Sport. The three ranges, Elite Mass+, Elite Whey+ and Elite Focus+, all carry the Informed-Sport stamp, which means athletes can be certain the supplements contain no stimulants, hormones or other substances banned by the WADA. Darren Beale from Musclefood. com said: “It’s important to every professional athlete to train hard, eat well and be in the peak of physical fitness ready for competition. Unfortunately it is very easy for athletes to fall foul of these rules. “Being certain they’re not inadvertently taking any banned substances is vital which is why we’re delighted these three Musclefood.
com products have been given the seal of approval by Informed-Sport. “This is an issue important to our regular bodybuilding and fitness customers too as well as people who are regularly drug tested at work like members of the armed forces and police. “They’ve fed back to us that they’re very conscious about what they put into their bodies and want to be certain they’re taking supplements which don’t contain anything they shouldn’t. “This is a significant step for us and shows the sport nutrition market in the UK takes its responsibilities to its customers seriously.” Elite Whey+ and Elite Mass+ come in three flavours, Chocolate Heaven, Raspberry Ripple and Vanilla Swirl. Elite Focus+ is available in Lemon and Lime.
HEALTH and nutrition business JST Jodie has celebrated its fourth birthday – and announced big plans for expansion. Launched by INBF bodybuilding champion and entrepreneur, Jodie Marsh, the brand has gone from strength to strength; creating a 90 per cent female customer base, with 130,000 product orders and an annual turnover of over £6m. Based in Lancashire, JST Jodie has four full-time employees but plans to expand substantially over the next four years as more products are introduced to the range. The brand also plans to invest more in marketing the range to Britain’s growing number of female fitness enthusiasts. Jodie said: “I am immensely proud of what we have achieved with JST Jodie – I wanted to empower other women to get fit, and show them that taking protein and supplements to power workouts and become the best versions of themselves wasn’t just for boys. “We have successfully created an army of fans who believe in our “strong not skinny” ethos, which I feel is extremely inspiring and healthy in today’s image-obsessed culture.
Jodie Marsh “Our product range is second-tonone and we have lots of exciting launches and campaigns planned for the future.” Online training guide provider LDN Muscle has launched a new supplements range. The LDNM supplements range consists of products which LDN Muscle have recommended since the company first launched three years ago, including BCAAs, Mega Green Tea Extract and Whey Protein. Co-founder of LDNM Tom Exton said: “The support for what we do within the industry and all of our ventures to date is such that it felt like the time is right to release an affordable, honest supplement range with a transparent and genuine marketing message. The quality of this supplements range, as with any of our products, is extremely high, using what we believe to be only the highest-quality blenders and suppliers.”
Introducing new Protein Water…
Vegan cook, author and TV presenter Kirly-Sue has launched her own brand of organic coconut oil. Kirly-Sue’s Kitchen Raw Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is sourced from Sri Lanka, with all ingredients certified organic and grown and processed in accordance with the EU and USA organic standards.
A NEW protein water has launched, which gives consumers 20g of protein but zero sugars and fats. For Goodness Shakes Protein Water comes in blackcurrant and orange and mango flavours and is available exclusively in Sainsbury’s. Registered nutritionist and sports nutrition specialist Claire Baseley said: “Many fitness fans, of every ability, want to be strong but lean and for them this is a fantastic addition to their diet. “With zero sugars and 20g protein, the nutritional profile is extremely positive, the taste is great and it’s an excellent alternative to sugary energy drinks.”
Future Fit Training managing director Rob Johnson and CIMSPA CEO Tara Dillon.
Future Fit Training partners with CIMSPA FUTURE Fit Training has been confirmed as CIMSPA’s newest skills development partner. The company has also been named as the Continuing Professional Development launch partner for CIMSPA’s exercise and fitness stream, with a range of Future Fit Training modules counting towards meeting
members’ annual requirements in line with the Institute’s new policy. Future Fit Training managing director Rob Johnson said: “Our work with CIMPSPA and ukactive on the Raising The Bar report has shown clearly the need for high quality CPD opportunities to enable fitness professionals to extend their
knowledge and build their skillset. “We are only too pleased to support CIMSPA by offering a range of quality assured courses to help people progress their careers. “The new policy will also encourage a greater appreciation of the professionalism of the fitness industry.”
Platform allows PTs and owners to create personalised stores PERSONAL trainers and gym owners can now create their own personalised online stores to sell products to clients, with the launch of a new eCommerce platform specifically designed for the fitness industry. Gymbag has launched following a successful 18-month UK pilot, along with investment support through the Wellness Accelerator Programme for young entrepreneurs, established by H-Farm and global fitness equipment manufacturer Technogym. Gymbag members have access to over 1,200 products including Tonbridge and Malling Leisure Trust has launched a new community fund to benefit local people and voluntary organisations committed to increasing health and wellbeing. The not-for-profit organisation, which delivers sport and leisure facilities on behalf of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, has established the new tmactive Community Fund to assist local projects dedicated to encouraging physical activity. Derived from the trust’s annual profits, the Community Fund will award grants to individuals, formally constituted sports clubs (non-commercial) and voluntary community organisations, and will help with anything from funding activity days to paying for individuals to qualify as coaches or community activators. Grants of up to £500 are available for projects and events that benefit people in the Tonbridge and Malling Borough area and funding applications can be made at any time of the year. Martin Guyton, CEO of TMLT, is pictured with Natalie Smith, health and wellbeing co-ordinator, TMLT.
supplements, fitness equipment, apparel and healthy food and snacks. They receive 75 per cent of sales profit, without the need to develop a website or carry any stock. Founder and CEO of Gymbag Stephanie Mitchell said: “We recognise that the fitness market is changing rapidly and we want to support others in harnessing the exciting opportunities digital technology provides. “The Gymbag team, which includes developers, marketers, entrepreneurs and fitness professionals, is dedicated to breaking down barriers and
helping sector professionals easily enter the world of eCommerce. “With more and more services moving online we want to empower our members and expand their offering to customers with easy-touse, fully stocked and beautifully customised eCommerce stores – which take just 15 minutes to set up. “We know PTs and gym owners want to recommend and sell products to clients and our platform allows them to do so with ease. Further, providing them with a secondary revenue stream while they concentrate on their core business.”
New role for Danny LIFE Fitness has appointed Danny Oliver as UK country manager. In his new role, Danny will be responsible for leading all aspects of the UK business and driving growth in-line with company strategy. He will report to Frank van de Ven, vice president international of Life Fitness. Danny said: “The Life Fitness commercial fitness business has grown exponentially in the past year with the additions of Cybex, SCIFIT and InMovement to the existing Life Fitness and Hammer Strength brands so this role presents a fantastic opportunity to build our business across all sectors in the UK. “I’m looking forward to developing our innovative product and service offering further and ensuring Life Fitness maintains its leading position in the UK marketplace.”
Gym hosts fundraiser
A COVENTRY gym has helped an instructor with her fundraising efforts by hosting a charity group exercise event. Five classes took place at Simply Gym Coventry – Vibe Dance Aerobics, Vi-Box and three lots of Vibe Cycle – with presenters including founder of the Vibe Concepts Delvin Clarke travelling from all over the country to lend their support. The event was held to raise funds for Zoe’s Place hospice in Coventry, a charity which Vibe Cycle instructor Laura Shepherd, has committed to raising £3500 for. As well as the class event, Laura has also held cake sales, had stands at local shows and in October will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. She is already over halfway to reaching her fundraising target.
UK FITNESS SCENE Advertiser’s announcement
The inconvenient truth is there is no such thing as either the correct ratio of members: piece of equipment nor cardio:resistance: free weights – here is why.
BIG problems with operators using equipment ratios ... Rory McGowan GYMetrix can calculate the precise amount of equipment required to match customers demand for the equipment, by measuring the demand levels for it with sensors, so at first we thought we could come up with the answer. We went through previous studies
looking at what our calculations were about the amount of equipment required, and compared this to the number of members that a gym had. The first thing that surprised us was the high variation that were seeing, they ranged from 22 members: piece of equipment to 52 pieces members: piece of equipment When we investigated further we realised what was causing this huge variation. 1) Peak Period Attendance Determines a Gyms equipment requirement. We must start by defining what exactly determines a gyms equipment requirement. A gym’s capacity requirement is determined by the peak time customer demand levels, generally for most gyms this is after customers finish work so between 5.30pm and 7pm, although this is not always the case.
This is the period where the gym needs to supply enough of the individual equipment types –Treadmills / Benches / Racks / Crosstrainers etc that their customers will be able to use them and they won’t have to wait because they are constantly in use by other customers ie demand is greater than supply. Different gyms then could have the same number of members but because they have different daily attendance patterns, they will have different equipment requirements in their peak period. If operators are wanting to use ratios then a better ratio to use would be the number of customers attending per hour in peak relative to the quantity of equipment, as it is peak attendance that determines what the equipment supply needs to be, not the number of members. 2) Different Gyms have different amounts of dormant members. The second thing to cause the variation was the variation that different clubs had in terms of dormant members – sleepers as they are sometimes referred. Two clubs could have the same number of members, and the same attendance patterns, but if they have very different numbers of dormant members they will then have a very different equipment requirement. We have also found that even the same gyms have different numbers of dormant members according to how old the club is – it seems when a gym first opens and members have just signed up, that they have a relatively low number of dormant members, but as time progresses the number of dormant members increases. Price points and cancellation
policies will also affect the number of dormant members. 3) Different Gyms have different demand patterns for the equipment types That there exists a golden Equipment ratio of how much Cardio Vs Resistance Vs Free Weights etc is a myth. Even the theory that by looking at the demographics of customers this can be determined is incorrect, we have found gyms with identical demographics located close to each other have very different demand patterns. A far bigger determinant of customer demand patterns is the gyms instructors and what equipment they are inducting customers on and what they are teaching customers to use. What other customers in the gym are doing also seems a big determinant as customers are inclined to copy other customers. Here are four examples of gyms that have similar demographics but very different demand levels (measured in hours per week) for the equipment types in the peak periods. Although many operators assume that Treadmills will always have the most demand followed by Crosstrainers, as the data shows us in these examples this is far from always being the case. In summary – although many operators and equipment suppliers use equipment ratios to determine how much equipment they should buy and in what quantities, in fact data has proved that these will be far from accurate and the inconvenient truth is each gym has a unique demand pattern and there is no such thing as a golden one size fits all ratio. www.gymetrix.co.uk
Life Fitness supports ambassador Jamie following selection PARALYMPIAN Jamie Burdekin is working closely with Life Fitness to ensure training preparations for Rio 2016 are on course after qualifying for Team GB. The British number two wheelchair tennis player has benefited from the installation of Life Fitness equipment at his home gym and is also using state-of-the-art Life Fitness equipment during his training blocks. Jamie, who recently claimed his second Super Series quad double title of 2016 in the Japan Open Challenge, said: “It’s an honour to be part of the Team GB Wheelchair Tennis squad for a third time and compete in Rio as a Life Fitness ambassador. “After Beijing in 2008, there was a real step-change in the way Paralympic athletes were viewed. “It helped raise awareness and showed that disability is no barrier to success. London 2012 was very special, not just because it was our Home Games but Paralympians became household names and it helped put wheelchair tennis on the map.” Life Fitness equipment has been an integral part of his preparation; it includes the Life Fitness Optima
Series Dual Adjustable Pulley which provides Jamie with a full body workout and the Row GX Trainer has helped transform his cardio training and performance. Jamie added: “Along with the SCIFIT hand bike, I’ve got the essential mix of cardio and strength training to keep me in peak condition.” Managing director of Cybex International, part of Life Fitness brand family, Jason Worthy, added: “We’re very proud to support Jamie in this year’s Paralympic Games. For elite athletes, having access to worldclass fitness equipment is essential and as a Life Fitness ambassador, Jamie consistently demonstrates an inspiring attitude and work ethic.” For more information visit www.lifefitness.com
Roger Bracken (pictured) has been appointed as CEO of Transaction Services Group Europe. TSG is the parent company of a number of leading direct debit billing solutions providers around the world, including DFC. Roger joins the group with a wealth of experience in the European and UK payment spaces, as well as significant knowledge in the payments ecosystem. He has spent the past eight years in various leadership roles at First Data (FD), most recently as GM for FD’s European operation. TSG group CEO Craig Marshall said: “Roger’s strong operational background, leadership skills and excellent track record of driving results and building teams will be an asset to our clients as we continue to invest and grow in Europe.”
Repairs done ‘on-site’ thanks to fully equipped vehicles OUR unique fully equipped mobile upholstery vehicles enable us to carry out the repairs ‘on-site’, allowing fitness clubs to keep their business running to its maximum potential whilst undergoing refurbishment. Our clients include Virgin Active, David Lloyd Leisure and Marriott Hotels. In addition to our on-site repair service, we also manufacture fitness equipment upholstery to many leading suppliers across the UK. We are proud to sponsor the 2016 National Fitness Awards’ Regional
Gym of the Year Scotland category and will be exhibiting at Leisure Industry Week on stand C102. For more information call 01282 831238, visit www.gymupholstery.com or follow @ gymupholstery on Twitter.
Liberate Nutrition expands its range with new sizing
Gym Wizard offers a hassle free gym upholstery service GYM Wizard has over 18 years’ experience in the fitness equipment industry. After repeatedly hearing customers telling us how much hassle it could be to get their machines upholstered whilst trying to maintain good service to their own customers, i.e. not wanting to have machines out of action for several days or even having to close the club, we decided to do something about it. We set up Gym Wizard in 2006, our aim to specialise in offering a hassle free on-site gym upholstery service. Our main objective would be to offer a service that would cause the least possible amount of disruption to the most important people – the club’s
customers. To enable us to do this we designed and built our unique mobile workshop which in turn enabled us to carry out the majority of the work outside of the club and out of the way of the club users. To further ensure the smooth running of the club in which we are working, a maximum of two machines are ever out of action at any one time for no more than 30 minutes. This, now tried and tested, approach is extremely successful and encourages excellent feedback from both managers and club users alike with many clubs using our service time and time again. For more information call 0700 3400 335.
DUE to the popular demand of the 500gm Breakfast Smoothie tub, “we’ve responded by introducing the new larger tub size” said Adrian Burton, managing director. “Throughout our company we have strived to give our customers what they want and we want to continue to lead the way with specifically designed nutrition for women. “Our aim is simply to supply you
with the very best supplements for the ‘woman on the go’. We all know trying to fit everything in can cause a challenge and sometimes people have a tendency to neglect themselves. With Breakfast Smoothie we’re ‘bridging the gap so you can at least keep your nutrition on track’.” For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01282 698 698 or go to www.liberatenutrition.com Made in Chelsea star Josh Patterson has become an ambassador for supplements and lifestyle brand Decibel Nutrition. A self-confessed health and fitness fanatic, Josh joins fellow ambassadors Rob Edmond – famous for his gruelling workouts on the TV show The Biggest Loser – and former Miss Great Britain Amy Willerton.
OCL creates sales and retention role OLDHAM Community Leisure has appointed Daniel Webster to the newly created role of sales and retention manager. Daniel joins from Active Tameside, where he was also sales and retention manager, and in his new role at OCL, is responsible for a team of five sales advisors overseeing the sales performance of each of OCL’s five facilities. He has also been tasked with developing a new corporate health programme and growing OCL’s corporate partnerships, as well as implementing a new customer journey to maximise the results of members and improve their motivation. He said: “I’ve always enjoyed helping people to make positive life changes and become healthier. My aim at OCL is to sell the benefits of
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Daniel Webster improved health and wellbeing, not just memberships. “I was very happy in my previous role, but I believe this move to OCL will have the biggest impact on my personal career and goals. It’s a very exciting time for OCL and it’s fantastic to be a part of the journey.”
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