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Gyms urged to do their bit for Sport Relief By Christina Eccles THE fitness industry has been encouraged to harness the power of physical activity to change people’s lives by getting involved in Sport Relief. This year’s event takes place from March 17 to 23 and organisers have urged gyms to do their bit by hosting a charity fitness event in their club; engaging members while raising money for the cause. Interim executive director of commercial and partnerships at Comic Relief Alan Gosschalk said: “Sport Relief is all about raising money and changing lives by getting people active so engaging gyms and the wider fitness sector is a perfect fit. We also know that gymgoers, irrespective of their level of fitness, are more than ready to take on a challenge. “In the past, gyms have really stepped up their game when it comes to raising money for Sport Relief and we are sure this year will be no different.” To give gyms a head start in their fundraising efforts, Sport Relief has created a resource pack designed specifically for them, which can be found at sportrelief.com/gyms. Alan added: “There are lots of ways for your gym to get involved with
Sport Relief 2018. You could host a Have-a-Go-Day to interest new members and excite existing ones to try new activities and classes. “You could take on an endurance challenge on an exercise bike or on a static rower. Or you could organise a treadmill relay and try to cover an epic distance over the course of a day. “No matter what the activity, you’ll need to encourage participants to make a donation or, even better, to get sponsored for their hard work.” According to Alan, getting involved with Sport Relief offers a great way for clubs to motivate staff and current members, as well as attracting new people through their doors. He added: “Your own fundraising activity will bring staff and members together to raise some cash to help people both here in the UK and across the world to live happier, healthier and safer lives.” The nation as a whole has also be challenged to come together to beat one billion steps a day during Sport Relief – another initiative which operators can promote to their members. n What are you doing for Sport Relief? Send us details and pictures to email@example.com or contact us on Facebook or Twitter. We’ll print the best in our round up.
No 294 £3
Ben Dunne Gyms UK acquired by JD Gyms
TV sports presenter Alexandra Legouix is achieving success with her first yoga DVD. Alexandra, who is a qualified fitness professional and yoga instructor, travels the world as a motor sports TV presenter and credits yoga for helping to keep her fit and healthy. Her DVD, Yoga Made Simple; For Beginners and Improvers is aimed at anyone who hasn’t done yoga before or who needs a refresher or confidence boost. *For full story, see page 18 where Workout editor Christina Eccles tries out the DVD for this month’s ‘challenge’ feature.
THE UK division of Ben Dunne Gyms has been acquired by JD Gyms in a multi-million pound deal. The three sites will reopen as JD Gyms following full redesigns and refurbishments. One is located in the heart of Manchester city centre and the other two are on the outskirts of Liverpool city centre. After strong growth in 2017, this acquisition will see JD Gyms reach 19 operational gyms by the end of Q1, with a further 10 sites legally committed to open within the 2018-19 financial year. Managing director Alun Peacock said: “This exciting acquisition helps to fuel our wider growth plans. “Our skilled team are now fully redesigning and refurbishing each of the sites to be ‘typical’ of the award winning JD Gyms brand standard. “Our first acquisition is a milestone in the development of the brand and we are open to approaches from independent gyms or small chains that would help to further grow our expanding portfolio.”
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NFAs gallop their way to Aintree Racecourse By Christina Eccles THE fitness industry’s biggest freeto-enter awards ceremony is moving to an exciting new venue, with plans to make this year’s National Fitness Awards the biggest and best one yet. The 2018 NFAs will take place on Friday December 7 at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool and promises to be a celebration of excellence across the entire fitness industry. With three new trophies up for grabs, this year’s event will combine the fresh excitement of a new venue and categories with the glitz and glamour the awards evening is renowned for. Event director Judith Halkerston said: “We’re really excited to be moving to a new venue for this year’s National Fitness Awards. “Its location, prestige and added ‘wow’ factor makes Aintree the ideal place to host the 2018 event. “With a new look and plans to be even bigger and better, the awards evening will provide the perfect opportunity for the whole industry to come together and celebrate the success of our winners.
“We’ve already received some brilliant nominations and with our new venue and categories there is so much to look forward to.”
Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool will host the 2018 National Fitness Awards. “We can’t wait to welcome our opportunities are also available. finalists and sponsors to Liverpool Event organiser Lucy Dickinson in December and have already been added: “I can’t contain my excitement wowed by the entries we’ve received for this year’s awards! so far. “We’ve already received some “If you haven’t got to work on yours brilliant nominations and with our yet, now is the time to start thinking new venue and categories there is so about your nomination, as we’re much to look forward to. looking for the best of the best to We’ve got some amazing plans up pick up trophies at what promises to our sleeves and I’m looking forward to be the industry’s biggest end of year sharing them with everyone.” party.” Organised by Script Events, in partnership with Workout and headline sponsor ServiceSport, nominations for this year’s awards are now open at www. www.workout-uk.co.uk nationalfitnessawards.co.uk A range of sponsorship
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Wearable technology specialist Polar has appointed a new UK managing director. David Wiley (pictured above), who worked most recently at Helly Hansen, brings over 20 years of experience in the outdoor fitness and sporting goods industries including time at Cross Sportswear and Ellesse. David will be based at Polar UK’s headquarters in Warwick and his role will be to lead and develop Polar’s presence in the UK and Ireland markets. He said: “I’m delighted to have joined Polar and am looking forward to the new and exciting challenges in the wearable technology market. The range and quality of products that Polar produces is fantastic and my key goal is to position the brand as the number one choice for runners, triathletes and cyclists in the UK and Ireland.” Advertising
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ICG gets set to power events THE Indoor Cycling Group has partnered with Fitness Fiesta to deliver interactive group cycling classes at events across the UK. The new partnership with ICG will be launched at an event in Camber Sands, where more than 15 group cycling classes are scheduled across three days. Attendees will use the awardwinning IC7 and class participants will also train using ICG’s Coach by Color system, a self-powered console that delivers real-time, colour-coded feedback to accurately coach the user’s effort.
Director of Fitness Fiesta, Andy Lucas, said: “Indoor cycling is a big part of group exercise provision and our new partnership with ICG will provide a fantastic opportunity for attendees to not only try out the stateof-the-art equipment, but to also experience something revolutionary in group training in the Coach by Color system. Our events are all about trying something new, learning and training in an exciting and energetic environment – ICG fits perfectly with this and we’re already anticipating a high demand for our group cycling classes.”
Barnsley Premier Leisure is investing half a million pounds to enhance the facilities at its Metrodome Pool Complex. Changes will include a new teaching pool, the installation of a new interactive parent and toddler zone, a new poolside in the waterpark and improvements to the viewing gallery for the pool hall. Manager Simon Potter (pictured above) said: “The addition of a new teaching pool and the creation of a new interactive parent and toddler zone is going to be a major enhancement to our pool offering. The improvements are also going to see the creation of a new all-family changing village which we hope will really appeal to families. We’re really excited about the improvements.”
A boutique style facility has been created at Knightwood Leisure Centre.
Centre transformed thanks to project A HAMPSHIRE leisure centre has been completely transformed, thanks to a redevelopment project to create a boutique style facility. Knightwood Leisure Centre, managed by Places for People Leisure on behalf of Test Valley Borough Council, has been totally reconfigured by leisure design and build specialist, Createability, to create a modern, welcoming reception complete with a ‘grab and go’ refreshment area, as well as a state-of-the-art gym environment and direct access from the sports pitches to the outdoor changing rooms. Before work began, the centre didn’t have a gym and simply offered a sports hall for badminton, a room for hire and a range of outdoor sports courts and pitches. After being brought right up
to date, it now boasts a gym offering a functional training area, cardiovascular equipment and free weights, as well as a Technogym’s TEAMBEATS; a heart-rate driven group exercise experience. Commercial director for Createability Brian Thompson said: “Knightwood is the first gym in Hampshire to install Technogym’s innovative TEAMBEATS. “It has the look and feel of a highclass London boutique fitness studio and really enables the centre to stand out from its competitors, including private offerings in the local area. “It gives users the chance to take part in something completely different and is a fun, efficient workout aimed at improving fitness, losing weight and maximising performance.”
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Gyms urged to be more accessible By Christina Eccles
World Leisure (UK) has completed construction of a modular swimming pool at Rivermead, Reading. The new 25m, five-lane pool at Rivermead will provide continuity of swimming for central Reading while the permanent replacement for Central Pool, which closed in January, is built. The proposal for the modular pool was developed by Reading Borough Council alongside Greenwich Leisure Ltd, which has managed the site in partnership with the Council since 2006. Managing director of World Leisure, Simon Smith, said: “Modular pools are a relatively new concept and provide a fantastic solution for local authorities to continue providing swimming facilities for local residents while upgrading permanent facilities. We are very pleased to have completed this project, which adds to our portfolio of swimming pool solutions of all shapes and sizes throughout the UK.”
Dyaco to exhibit bikes at IHRSA DYACO International will be among the exhibitors at IHRSA 2018, where visitors will have the first opportunity to see the new Johnny G bikes by Spirit. After signing a development agreement with Spinning inventor Johnny Goldman in 2016, Dyaco, through its commercial CV and strength equipment brand Spirit Fitness, will manufacture the future generations of Johnny G indoor bikes and training programmes. IHRSA also provides an opportunity to see the commercial line of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) equipment. Dyaco holds the global licensing to manufacture and
distribute UFC branded Kombat and fitness equipment and attendees of the show will be able to see a broad range of kit available to health clubs worldwide. President of the Dyaco commercial and medical division Daniel Clayton said: “We’re delighted to be exhibiting at IHRSA and have the chance to show the fitness industry the exciting future for our brands. “The launch of our commercial and medical division at the beginning of the year is just the start for us and we hope that the Johnny G and UFC products on our booth will turn a lot of heads and really grab attendees’ attention.”
AN expert has urged the fitness industry to do more to help people with disabilities access their facilities. According to research from the English Federation of Disability Sport, seven out of 10 disabled people in the UK say they want to become more active, but feel they are limited in the activities they can access. As a provider of accessibility solutions, Cibes Lift Group UK has worked with a number of national fitness companies, installing equipment to enable step free access to gyms and leisure centres across the UK. Sales and marketing director Gary Sullivan said: “Since London’s Paralympic Games in 2012, the industry has made remarkable headway in making sport and fitness more accessible, particularly in gyms and leisure centres. “Just last year, the English Federation of Disability Sport which already runs the Inclusive Fitness Initiative, joined up with Quest to create an accreditation to award leisure facilities which are allowing disabled people to enjoy active recreation. “There are already hundreds of gyms accredited, but still some facilities that are being left behind.” According to Gary, as the industry continues to grow, the company has
Gary Sullivan seen an increase in demand for stepfree access in fitness facilities. Gary added: “Gym owners must take into consideration the 2010 Equality Act, which declares disabled people cannot be discriminated against and ‘reasonable adjustments’ should be made to premises’ if necessary, but they should be going above and beyond to make sure their facilities are inclusive, providing support to users wherever and however possible. “Everyone should have the same access to a fit and healthy body, and the fitness community need to be more understanding of the damage that messages like ‘only wimps take the stairs’ and ‘only the lazy take the lift’ could do to a person’s self-belief.”
UK FITNESS SCENE The opening of a new multi-million pound sports centre is giving people in Bromsgrove a range of new options for keeping physically active. Christina Eccles found out more.
New sports centre proves popular THE new Bromsgrove Sports Centre, operated by Everyone Active in partnership with Bromsgrove District Council, opened its doors late last year and is already proving popular with the community. The new facility, which replaced the well utilised Dolphin Leisure Centre, has everything you would expect a facility of this type to have; from its 100 plus station gym to its three exercise studios, 25m swimming pool and teaching pool. But the offering doesn’t stop there. Bromsgrove Sports Centre is also home to a ‘Clip ‘n’ Climb’ climbing centre and a luxury spa; meaning there’s something for everyone,
whether they’re looking for a place to unwind and relax or the chance to try a new activity. Everyone Active contract manager Neil Cowdrey explained: “The new centre has added to the offering that was already here and with the climbing wall and spa, there’s now something quite different to the ‘average’ leisure centre.” There’s also plenty more choice for customers focusing on fitness. The gym includes kit from the likes of Technogym and Wattbike, while the class timetable offers everything from relaxing yoga and Pilates to more high intensity Les Mills sessions and virtual indoor cycling.
Neil added: “The feedback we’ve received has been very positive and we’ve seen a massive increase in footfall. We’re really pleased. “We opened at the beginning of December, which is traditionally a quieter time, but we’ve had a lot of people coming through the doors in January.” Two open days have also helped to attract locals into the facility. The first one focused on the new climbing offering, while a second one highlighted the new swimming facilities. Special guests present on the day included Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington, with families also
getting the opportunity to try out a range of activities on offer inside the centre. After a successful start to 2018, Neil is hoping the initial excitement and interest surrounding the new facility will be maintained long term, with the team already discussing plans to keep momentum going. He added: “We’re constantly reviewing our timetable to refine our offering even more and will be introducing small group training in the gym. “So far, it’s been really positive and hopefully that will continue. “We can offer something for the whole family.”
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Brits ‘too busy to be healthy’ MILLIONS of Brits claim they are too busy to be healthy, a study has revealed. A poll of 2,000 adults, commissioned by healthy recipe box company Mindful Chef, found more than half want to eat healthily and get plenty of exercise – but are hindered by their hectic lifestyles. Two thirds admit they often eat ‘badly’ because they don’t have the time to prepare nutritious food and 75 per cent revealed they skip meals entirely for the same reason. The results also showed, three quarters have avoided going to the gym because they have been too rushed off their feet and more than a fifth have cancelled memberships altogether because they have been too busy to attend sessions. Co-founder of Mindful Chef Giles Humphries said: “Whilst the importance of a healthy diet is becoming increasingly recognised, it’s clear a huge proportion of us need more help to achieve a healthy lifestyle. “Our research found of those who have tried a recipe box, eight in 10 said it made eating healthily easier. “We think this shows a healthy lifestyle is possible – even for the large chunk of us who lead incredibly busy lives.”
Staff first to gain new Trampoline Park Court Monitor qualification By Christina Eccles EMPLOYEES from Oxygen Freejumping have become the first to gain the new Level Two Trampoline Park Court Monitor qualification. The first formal training qualification of its kind, it has been developed by Right Directions for the sector and been given Active IQ Regulated Qualification status. Oxygen currently has nine sites, each with between 30 and 60 frontline staff. 40 court monitors at its Derby site have now gained the qualification, which requires them to complete a three-day training course including practical scenarios and workshops; as well as holding an Emergency First Aid at Work qualification. Staff at the other eight sites have also already embarked on the training and should be qualified in the next couple of months. CEO of Oxygen Freejumping David Stalker said: “This is the first publicly available training accreditation for the sector and should provide a quality benchmark that all operators adhere to. “There is too much variation across operators currently with huge gaps in quality, training and ultimately customer safety. The qualification provides a means of every operator improving their standards.” The qualification is valid for three
Oxygen Freejumping staff in Derby are the first to gain the new qualification. years and court monitors will be “It’s important for all our required to complete work-based court monitors to gain this new CPD as part of the retention of the qualification as they are doing a very certification, which will be completed important job and are responsible in-house as ongoing training. for ensuring the safety of all our Staff will be required to attend a Freejumpers which is our primary one-day refresher course every three concern. years and renew their Emergency “Secondly, we want to invest in First Aid certificate. and grow our teams to ensure our David added: “We are delighted to court monitors can see a career with have become the first to put our staff Oxygen Freejumping: investing in through this qualification. their development is integral to this.”
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Newcomers to 2018 – Ascendancy Gym NEW to the fitness industry, we are proud to have worked so closely with facilitating and creating the first of many Ascendancy Fitness Gyms. The current facility is based in the heart of Warrington bringing a professional gym set up to the community – all at competitive rates. We spoke to Clayton Leah, the founder of Ascendancy Fitness, to find out more about how it all came about and what his aspirations are with the business moving forward into the future. Speaking to Clayton, it was clear that fitness, along with helping individuals to achieve their individual fitness goals, has been his passion for some time now. Prior to establishing and getting Ascendancy Fitness up and running, Clayton had been an established
personal trainer for over four years in Warrington. Throughout this period he has broadened his fitness knowledge and professionalism, allowing him to move forward on his journey of becoming a director of his own gym. Although it’s not all been plain sailing to get to where he is now. He explained: “I have been methodically planning Ascendancy Fitness for over two years. I have had many different visions, plans and requirements. “I have learnt so much along the way, mainly by getting things wrong. It has taken me over two years to even open my own facility, and throughout that two year time period, I have had many let downs, many ‘nos’ and it has been extremely difficult. Only the closest people know how tough it has
been to get to this stage.” Fitness Systems were able to assist Clayton with methodical planning to customer specifications to ensure that his requirements were achieved in a cost effective and efficient manner. Sourcing from our extensive suppliers allows a wide variety of fits for all aspects of customer needs and expectations, always placing the customer first in what can otherwise be a complex and difficult project. Clayton added: “Speaking truthfully from the heart, Fitness Systems has been a blessing for me. “As I had discussed with them my extremely strict budget and time frame, they managed to not only meet both my requirements, but to exceed them with the sheer quality, feel and look of the customised
equipment. “They met my budget and delivered on the specified date and I couldn’t thank them enough for their efforts and service.” Fitness Systems, with nearly 40 years’ industry experience, were able to support and help to achieve what Clayton had envisioned; producing a range of kit bespoke painted with a vibrant purple, branding of equipment and helping to lay all of this out via CAD to ensure the gym was completed to its full potential and confidently knowing it would work within the available floor space. With this all completed and on site, the first leg is complete and the journey can begin of Ascendancy Fitness. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ ascendancyfitness/ Instagram: @ascendancyfitnessgym
UK FITNESS SCENE
Yoga teacher and wellbeing coach Kelly Thistlethwaite (above) plans to organise her own festival, host more workshops and open her own studio this year.
Yoga teacher and wellbeing coach reveals exciting plans By Christina Eccles
A YOGA teacher and wellbeing coach has revealed big ambitions for her business this year; including organising her own festival, hosting more workshops and opening her own studio. Kelly Thistlethwaite started her business, Yorkshire Yogi, after a varied career in sports rehabilitation which included working at defence medical rehabilitation centre Headley Court and the Help for Heroes recovery centre in Catterick. After completing an intensive trauma sensitive yoga and mindfulness course, she decided to focus on yoga and wellbeing full time; starting by launching half and full day retreats before expanding into teaching regular classes. Kelly explained: “I’ve always loved keeping fit myself. “I realised I loved working with people and helping them to feel
stronger in their bodies. Yoga is fantastic in enhancing both physical and mental wellbeing. “I love teaching yoga because I totally believe in the positive effects it can have for people. I have experienced them myself and when I am teaching I feel great. “It doesn’t feel like work and I find myself feeling so relaxed afterwards... even after a powerful vinyasa class!” Kelly is also helping schools and businesses take time out of their busy and pressured environments by offering in-house workshops, focusing on areas including yoga and relaxation and mindfulness. She added: “I love offering workshops in schools and companies because these environments can be stressful for people. “The pressures of results and performance and the added challenges and social pressures within both sectors are huge. “Offering sessions onsite feels great
because I can inspire people in their daily environment to create five or 10 minutes of ‘you time’ out of their busy day. It can really help people get through their day.” After steadily building up her business, Kelly has taken on more projects including organising the Huddersfield Yoga and Wellbeing Festival in August, working with Sweaty Betty to deliver in-store workshops and putting plans in place to open her own studio. She added: “I have been to other festivals across Yorkshire and l loved them. “It felt great to be a part of something so inspiring and positive and I knew that I wanted to bring something like this to Huddersfield. “Day to day, it feels great to inspire people to look after and nourish their mental and physical wellbeing and the festival just offers that but on a bigger scale.” As part of the festival, she’s also
keen to collaborate and hear from other instructors who could offer taster workshops on the day, with plans to curate a timetable featuring some of the best instructors in their fields. She added: “I believe we are stronger together and we should have a community spirit over a competitive one, so bringing some of the amazing professionals that we have in the area together to deliver the festival just feels so right. “The people that attend can feel supported in knowing there are so many people out there ready to help and genuinely interested and passionate about helping people to feel well. “I encourage people to come and get involved because not only is it a great way to promote yourself and your business, but you can meet some other inspiring professionals and build your network of likeminded people.”
Welcome to WorkOut Weigh In – it’s your chance to have your say and share your views on industry issues. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can message us on Facebook or Twitter.
Talking point: When it comes to putting on classes, how do you curate the best possible timetables? What makes the perfect mix of workouts and how do you choose the best instructors?
Send your answers to email@example.com or contact us via Twitter or Facebook. We’ll print the best responses next issue.
Editor’s Comment IT’S that time of year again when we start looking ahead to upcoming events and our diaries fill up with appointments, trade shows and exhibitions. We always love getting out and about and meeting our readers and advertisers and will be taking every opportunity we can over the next few months to attend industry events, so look out for us and come and say hello. Obviously we’re slightly biased, but our favourite event of the year has to be the National Fitness Awards! Although it’s a few months away yet, we’re already looking forward to it and after announcing our new date and venue for 2018, which you can read about on page three, excitement is building. After holding the last few awards ceremonies at the fabulous Athena in Leicester, we felt it was time for a change of scene this year – and the iconic Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool fits the bill perfectly. It’s glitzy, glamorous and easily accessible from many parts of the country, making it the ideal place for us to take the industry’s biggest end of year party. And plans are already in place to make it bigger and better than ever. Although it’s only March, we’ve already received some amazing entries from eager clubs – with our new boutique facility category proving particularly popular – and we’re once again delighted to welcome ServiceSport on board as our headline sponsor; a big thank you to them for their continued support. Momentum will continue to build over the next few months as we get closer to the awards, so keep sending those nominations in. The event wouldn’t be the success it is without the support of the industry and we love reading the inspirational, motivating and amazing stories you send us as part of your entries. There are many benefits available for clubs who do get involved in the awards; whether it’s the networking opportunities available on the night, the positive publicity which can come from winning or being named a finalist or the morale boost for staff and members. And it’s free to enter, so you really have nothing to lose. Wow us with your entries and you could be celebrating with the best of the best at Aintree in December – and we can’t wait to join you! Have a great month! Christina Eccles
Congratulations to our March Workout Way To Go winner – Darren Hall. Darren was nominated by James Bezant, who coaches him at Grenade Fit gym in Chichester, for his efforts in losing over 22lbs and improving his strength enough to enable him to do pull ups. James said: “The main thing with Darren I’ve seen is his change as a person. His confidence has grown massively, he trains alone very effectively and checks in with me now and then. He’s even a member at the gym. From the first time we met, he put his trust in me. I gave him the tools and guides and he just got it. This is all massively down to him using his initiative, discipline and, most importantly, being adherent to a plan of action. As coaches, it’s our duty to empower clients with knowledge, skills and confidence so that one day they don’t actually need us.” Way to go Darren! You’re this month’s winner!
Picture of the month
A new leisure centre has opened in Romford, which includes Havering’s only ice rink. The £28m Sapphire Ice and Leisure centre has been funded by Havering Council and forms a major part of its multi-million-pound investment to improve sports and fitness facilities in the borough. The centre – managed by Everyone Active – is named after the sapphire reign of Queen Elizabeth II and offers a wealth of facilities including an eight lane, 25m pool, learner pool, 100 station fitness suite, group cycling studio and the ice rink, which has capacity for 1,200 skaters. It was opened to the public by Everyone Active Sporting Champions ambassador Colin Jackson, who was joined for a day of family activities by skating stars Graham Newberry and Kristen Spours and former X-Factor and Dancing on Ice star Ray Quinn.
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@sammydinneen: Did you see my interview in the latest issue of @WorkOutUK? We chatted about why handstands are a great full body workout and why gyms should start handstand classes!
WorkOutUK again this morning. Looking forward to a very busy 2018 and the fantastic National Fitness Awards.
@GGFit: 2018 plans can start in earnest now with the @ WorkOutUK wallplanner. Thanks @ChristinaEccles.
@ChristinaEccles: Really enjoying Alexandra @Legouix ‘s new yoga DVD. Great to chat this morning about its success and plans for further releases. Look out for a feature coming soon in @WorkOutUK!
@sessionstation: Brilliant to see @ChristinaEccles and @
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in @WorkOutUK February 2018 issue. Sponsored by @gym_ career! @_Leisurenet: Thanks for the article @WorkOutUK sharing our work with @CBCleisure @ ChesterﬁeldBC @katiebulmer1: Over the moon to see my ﬁrst regular column in @WorkOutUK. Also a big thanks for the piece on my events with @everyoneactive.
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Equipment isn’t fit for us, say visually impaired people By Christina Eccles
TV presenter Phil Spencer on his Versaclimber.
Phil chooses Versaclimber for epic charity challenge TV presenter Phil Spencer has chosen the Versaclimber as his core training tool while preparing to take part in a four-day charity fitness challenge. Phil is participating in the Everest In the Alps challenge, in aid of The Brain Tumour Charity, which will see 30 volunteers take to the Swiss Alps to scale the equivalent height of Mount Everest – 8,848m – to raise vital funds for the cause. After starting his preparations with regular PT sessions, Phil chose to partner with Versaclimber UK to further aid his training. He said: “Training on the Versaclimber is very intense. I’ve used rowing machines and treadmills to train for previous events, but using the Versaclimber has been ideal preparation ahead of the trip to
Switzerland. “The challenge will undoubtedly be the toughest task I’ve ever endured, but I’m confident that I’m fully prepared.” To increase his cardiovascular endurance and prepare for the high altitude, Phil underwent a series of interval training sessions on the machine with timed deadlines to reach certain heights – starting from 1,000m in one hour, with the hope of climbing the height of Everest on the machine within two days. Managing director of Versaclimber UK Neil Kelford added: “We’re thrilled to have our machines put to use for such a worthwhile cause and we’re delighted that it was selected by Phil; it’s a real testament to the machine’s performance.”
OPERATORS and manufacturers have been urged to provide more inclusive kit, after research revealed the design of some gym equipment is preventing visually impaired people from exercising. A new report by consumer research charity Rica reveals visually impaired people enjoy the health benefits of exercise and want to be more active. However, they find the design of some gym equipment is a barrier to taking part in exercise. The research project investigated the accessibility and ease of use of fitness equipment controls found on treadmills, exercise bikes, cross trainers and rowing machines. Research was carried out by Rica with the support of Thomas Pocklington Trust and Metro Blind Sport and involved user experience testing of equipment by 20 blind and partially sighted people, followed by feedback from three focus groups and 20 individual interviews. Rica also investigated what equipment, facilities and services gyms offer visually impaired people; trends in fitness equipment technology and ways of working with manufacturers to develop more accessible fitness equipment. In particular, the research project focused on: n The needs and experiences of blind and partially sighted people when using this equipment. n The impact those have on people’s lives, health and fitness. n The importance of control console design in meeting participants’ needs. n Visually impaired people’s experiences of using separate accessible audio and tactile controls. The participants welcomed the
“New voice-assistants like the Amazon Echo and Google Home have opened up a fantastic new world of possibilities for visually impaired people.”
physical and mental health benefits of exercising in the relatively safe environment of a fitness centre, they told Rica researchers. However, they made some recommendations which could improve the experience for visually impaired people, including: n Much wider use of audio output and voice-over technology in fitness equipment. n The use of wireless technology. n The ability to increase font size on the screens. n Tactile buttons and high-contrast colours on LED consoles. n Lever controls and/or control buttons on handlebars. n Improved layout, colour use, signage and lighting in leisure centres. n Trained staff to assist visually impaired people in using equipment. Director of sports development at Metro Blind Sport, Roy Smith, said: “New voice-assistants like the Amazon Echo and Google Home have opened up a fantastic new world of possibilities for visually impaired people. “The challenge now is for gyms, leisure centres and the fitness industry to provide audio and screen magnification on new gym equipment so more visually impaired people like me, as well as older people, can have better access and can use the equipment independently.”
The launch of a new DVD and a class in an unusual museum space gave Workout editor Christina Eccles two very different opportunities to try out yoga. In this month’s challenge, she explains more about her experience.
Yoga instructor Alexandra Legouix (above) and one of Lucy Bannister’s yoga classes at Leeds City museum.
Bitten by the yoga bug thanks to DVD and class A COMBINATION of the indulgence of the festive period and the doom and gloom of the winter weather, left me entering the new year lacking in fitness motivation and the thought of high intensity workouts and busy gyms just didn’t appeal to me. But I hated feeling lazy and knew I wanted to get back into fitness, so when I considered what classes and workouts I would like to try this year, I realised yoga is something I really enjoy – and want to get better at – so I made a New Year’s resolution to do more. While on the lookout for the perfect way to kickstart my yoga journey, I was offered the chance to try out sports presenter and yoga instructor Alexandra Legouix’s debut DVD – it was perfect timing. Yoga Made Simple; For Beginners and Improvers is aimed at those who may never have done yoga before or who need a refresher or confidence boost and as someone who has tried a few classes in the past but has never made yoga a regular part of my workout routine, it sounded ideal. The DVD is divided into four 20 minute sections – stretch, core, energy and relaxation – giving viewers the chance to participate in the whole thing or mix up the sections as they wish.
And who can’t find 20 minutes in even the busiest of days? Alexandra was inspired to take up yoga to help her overcome health problems and it has become an integral part of her life; not only for its fitness benefits but because of its ability to help her to stay grounded and relaxed in spite of a hectic lifestyle, which sees her regularly jetting off around the globe to cover major sporting events. The first time I tried the DVD, I decided to take part in the whole workout – and I have to say I was really impressed. Even despite the distraction of my mischievous cat, who took the opportunity to make herself at home on my yoga mat, I managed to complete all of the sections. Each one was easy to follow – with options to progress the poses if and when I felt ready to do so – and Alexandra’s calm teaching style left me feeling energised but also relaxed. Since then, I’ve been breaking the sessions down individually, with the relaxation one proving particularly popular just before bedtime – and I’m really enjoying it. Alexandra and producers IMC Vision hope to release more follow up DVDs to enable viewers to evolve their yoga step-by-step.
And I’ll be first in the queue when it comes to trying them out. With a few DVD sessions under my belt and my confidence increased, I was then ready to tackle the next session in my month of yoga! I spotted instructor Lucy Bannister’s monthly Yoga at the Museum class on Twitter and immediately became intrigued. I liked the idea of trying out a class in Leeds City Museum instead of a studio (and without my nosy cat trying to get involved!) so thought it would be the perfect opportunity. Lucy, who originally comes from an art background has made a name for herself teaching yoga in unusual spaces. She’s the teacher who brought rooftop yoga to a car park in Peckham before moving back to Yorkshire and continuing the theme with classes at the museum and the Tetley gallery in Leeds, as well as in more ‘traditional’ venues. Lucy specialises in Dru Yoga; a flowing form of yoga which helps you relax and unwind and she aims to help busy people find stillness and time out in today’s busy world. I found this class really enjoyable and even though it was my first time at one of her sessions, Lucy’s gentle approach to teaching put me at ease – I can see why these sessions sell out
so quickly. The museum provided the perfect backdrop to the class and it was so nice to see people of all ages and abilities in attendance. Throughout the class, Lucy provided options to make the postures easier if we felt we needed to, creating an environment which was fully inclusive and non intimidating; making this class perfect for those who are new to yoga or who need a confidence boost. Lucy’s classes prove that yoga really is for everybody and it’s great to see such an inventive and welcoming teacher offering classes on our doorstep – I’ll definitely be back. Thanks to Alexandra’s DVD and Lucy’s class, I’ve definitely been bitten by the yoga bug and now hopefully with the worst of winter over and spring almost on its way, I feel I’ve finally got my fitness mojo back. I’ve also recently attended a half day yoga and meditation workshop and already have plans to try Lucy’s Saturday class at the Tetley, so yoga is now becoming more of a regular part of my life. As well as being good for your fitness, it’s also good for the mind, so for me ticks every box when it comes to the ideal workout. It’s safe to say I’m hooked!
Do you run an innovative group exercise class that you would like the Workout team to try for a forthcoming issue? If so, email editor Christina Eccles at firstname.lastname@example.org
UK FITNESS SCENE The wealth of research on why customers join, stay and leave health clubs makes it easy to generalise approaches to improve retention, which at least means everyone gets something. But this one size fits all approach is no longer an option, according to retention guru Dr Paul Bedford. In the first of a series of columns for Workout, he explains why.
Up close and personal ... THAT’S not a prediction – it’s a fact. Technology allows us to personalise the digital experience down to the individual level. We’re seeing it now, impacting our lives as consumers and it’s what your members expect. To remain relevant, it’s imperative for health club operators to personalise their customer experience. Back in 1993 Don Peppers’ and Martha Rogers’ book ‘The One to One Future’ recognised that, as technology made it affordable to track individual customers, marketing could shift away from finding customers for products to finding products for customers. Their paradigm-shifting approach was to think of ‘share of customer’ rather than ‘share of market’. It was the approach adopted by Tesco when they introduced the Club Card; by offering a personalised experience, how much of a customer’s disposable income could they get? Collecting the transactions of the shopper to build a profile of each one at the individual level, Tesco sends vouchers to its club card holders tailored to their shopping behaviour. The company even prints different versions of its magazine
based on groups the marketing department created around shopper personas. The approach was so successful, one in six adults in the UK now carry a Tesco’s Club Card. For the health club operator this could be expressed as share of leisure time or wallet. Rather than looking to corner 10 per cent of the market, a big ask, by personalising the experience you could look to secure 10 per cent of each members’ leisure spend. Tesco saw the value of data and systematically collected and utilised customers’ buying data to improve the customer experience at an individual level. You could argue the fitness industry already has personalised approaches. After all, personal training and small group training has experienced a boom over the past decade. The challenge is, whilst the experience is being personalised, little data is formally collected and instructors need to hold vast amounts of information about customers’ personal preferences in their head, rather than within a business database where it can be utilised. When the instructor stops teaching or moves onto another club, the data is lost and so is the
Dr Paul Bedford personalisation. Through membership management software, health club operators have access to technology that collects data, so at the most basic level they can segment customers by age, gender, membership type and visit frequency and use that data to see who’s most likely to leave and then create a risk of dropout score as an indicator of who needs support now. Using this generalised approach a health club would need to speak to 172 customers to save just one member. More advanced approaches, such as retention software Reunify, already
in use in some US health clubs, apply machine learning tools to recognise and learn customer behaviour, while enriching that data from other external sources, such as purchase patterns and Facebook, to provide staff with a greater understanding of the type of support an individual customer needs. By understand members’ behaviour these tools can accurately reduce that figure to just 12 interactions to save one member. Using enriched data collected outside the health club’s membership system, along with appropriate content and conversation, it’s possible to increase the likelihood of a customer returning next month by 74 per cent with just a single interaction. So there’s a strong business case for personalisation of the customer experience within health clubs and it should form a key component of your retention approach. If there weren’t, why would Nike offer Nike ID, Coca Cola have gone to the trouble of putting names on bottles and car manufacturers allow customers to choose multiple personal preferences when ordering a new car?
UK FITNESS SCENE Gaining the best return on investment is vital for any operator looking to run a successful business. But how do you create a profitable facility? In the first of a series of columns, Everyone Active regional director Duncan Jefford explores the best ways to maximise your profits – and keep members happy.
Making a profit at your gym WHEN looking at financial planning, it’s smart to start with profit. If your business is making a profit then this puts you in a far stronger position and opens up more possibilities for the future. Not everything within your business may make profit – you might have new lines, less profitable facilities or loss-leaders – and that’s ok. Consider all your revenue streams but set your targets by looking at the business overall. It goes without saying that priority, time and resource should be invested into your biggest revenue streams. For Everyone Active – and most operators – this is fitness. Fitness along with swimming makes up 75 per cent of our total revenue so we know if we can get these areas right, we’ll be well on the way to hitting budget. We spend time looking at trends and predicting growth within these areas to help ensure we maximise the opportunities available to us. We also give careful consideration to payroll, one of our biggest expenses, to ensure we strike the right balance between looking after members and maximising profit efficiencies. For me, you then have three major secondary spend opportunities
which every facility should be exploring; vending, retail and PT. Vending presents one of the easiest opportunities for secondary revenue. Cafes come with high costs but with vending, all you need is stock, which can provide a 50 per cent gross margin. The key to success with vending is finding the right location to drive purchase and the right partner to provide the items which will most appeal to your customers. Retail, whilst slightly more involved, offers a better return than vending and is, in my opinion, one of the biggest missed opportunities for secondary revenue. First identify a space which is accessible to members. For retail to be successful it’s crucial that customers can touch and feel the stock as this encourages purchase. Be realistic with your targets, don’t expect to compete with online retailers and bear in mind that most revenue will come from distress purchases, but you’ll be surprised how many people forget their goggles or swimming costume! Finding the right retail partner is also crucial, ensure the price of the items fit the demographic of your members and choose items with the best margins.
Duncan Jefford PT is a proven source of secondary income and it offers a good margin. Perhaps even more importantly, members having PT will stay longer in the facility because they are seeing results which has a positive impact on attrition. The industry average for members paying for PT is two per cent, at Everyone Active our top performing sites reach five per cent. It’s a myth that PT doesn’t work in areas with a lower socio-economic demographic,
you just need to adjust your pricing model accordingly. All you need for PT to provide a successful revenue stream is a decent size membership. Offering PT will have a positive impact on your fitness team as it provides them with an opportunity for development and progression. It’s win win. It’s also smart to consider secondary revenue streams which members can access outside your facility. We offer a membership bolt-on for a service called Nutrition Complete. We identified that a nutrition service was something we wanted to offer, but didn’t have the right skills in house. This partnership allows us to provide a more complete offering to members as well creating an additional revenue stream. Finally if you are considering renting out spaces within your facility to generate revenue, ensure it’s to a complementary service that enhances what you offer, such as physiotherapy. Encourage them to open their service to non-members and cross promote your services too. n Look out for the next issue of Workout where Duncan will be explaining how to set budgets that work for your business.
UK FITNESS SCENE
Five ways to avoid common swimming pool hazards ... By Barry Eagle SWIMMING provides leisure centre members with a great cardiovascular, low-impact workout and is also a great activity for families to share and have some fun together. But pools are also a place of risk, where things can easily go wrong. In 2015, slips at swimming pools accounted for over 40 per cent of leisure centre accidents. Gyms and leisure centres must take care to protect themselves and their members when it comes to duty of care and safety of their facilities. To protect yourself from liability claims, damage to your reputation and member dissatisfaction, make sure your centre or club is a safe environment. Practical safety While good pool design will eliminate many potential hazards, most pool managers will have responsibility for an existing pool, in circumstances where they cannot make changes to its layout or major features. In such circumstances there are some simple ways to augment existing sites to maintain good safety. 1. Slippery floors Water is a constant around swimming pools. You can’t really avoid it. This is why tactile, slip-resistant flooring is so important to poolsides, locker rooms and other high-traffic areas around the pool. Slip and trip hazards can be reduced by good design. Surface roughness, moisture displacement, the profile and surface pattern of the finish and foot grip, all affect slip resistance. The slip resistance of any given surface will diminish if the gradient becomes steeper than one in 30 or is less than one in 60 because such a
shallow gradient is not sufficient to ensure that moisture drains away. The normal recommended range for the fall in wet areas is between one in 35 and one in 60. When combined with a slipresistant finish such as a ‘25-stud’ ceramic tile, this should create a satisfactory surface for members. If you opt for a floor finish or coating, remember to make sure it is appropriate for wet bare feet and shod feet in both wet and dry conditions. 2. Poor drainage To prevent water pooling in hightraffic areas, make sure the gradient of the floor drains away any surface water. The maximum gradient of one in 35 for floors and one in 15 for ramps should not be exceeded. Around the pool, ensure that your drainage channels are covered and regularly monitored for damage. The interlocking plastic grating that covers swimming pool overflow channels is prone to stress, breaking over time with the constant movement of water. When bits break off and float into the drainage system, it can lead to costly damage. In addition, debris floating around in your pool spoils the experience for your members. Alternatives to common plastic, such as GRP, are more robust, making for a more reliable material for channel covers that is still fit for the purpose of draining water. 3. Poor lighting Lighting is important, especially for areas that aren’t suitable for windows that allow lots of natural light, like changing rooms. Poor lighting can lead to accidents, especially slips and trips.
Barry Eagle Much like a bathroom, lights in changing rooms need to be brighter over the mirrors to ensure a shadowless reflection but there doesn’t need to be as much in the toilets or showers. However, make sure there is sufficient light to see clearly, as a fall in the shower is dangerous. In general, you should ensure that your site is equipped with automatic lighting. Automatic emergency lighting, powered by an independent source, should also be fitted where sudden loss of power would create a risk. 4. Insufficient training Staff training is also a crucial element to pool safety. Certification requirements vary based on job function, but everyone
should have ongoing, documented training and a schedule of refresher training. This gives your team the necessary skills and confidence to be proactive in situations and reactive should an issue arise. Putting up appropriate signage and physical safety measures all go a long way to ensuring that your centre or club is insulated against liability. 5. Misuse of facilities But it isn’t just the staff that need education. Making sure that your swimming pool members are familiar with pool policies and health and safety concerns helps cultivate an environment of safe use. New member orientations give you the opportunity to highlight guidelines that your members may not otherwise be aware of. New members are more likely to use a pool without thinking about safety than any other facility at a leisure centre. The familiarity of swimming pools outside a gym or leisure centre can cause people to become complacent with safety, which is a big risk. Spending time during new member orientation to go through pool safety will help keep this issue in their minds. Safety first! Swimming pools are one of the most attractive facilities to potential members, making them a real asset to your business. However, it is vital that your pool is as safe and hazard-free as possible for the pleasure of your members and the security of your reputation and liability. n Barry Eagle is managing director at Gripclad Limited
UK FITNESS SCENE
Virtual group exercise – friend or foe? By Dean Hodgkin
WHILE the introduction of technology to the fitness industry was inevitable, it’s not been welcomed in all corners, with some operators and trainers reluctant to embrace tracking and also denigrating the value of virtual classes. As someone who feels naked working out without wearing a MyZone belt, I’ll lay my cards on the table as to which side of the argument I endorse. But having been recently drawn into a number of conversations regarding the merits of virtual classes, specifically, I urge instructors to think of this development as a huge positive, for the following reasons: Threat? Virtual could never replace the live experience and as fitpros, I know you’ll be familiar with the list of reasons why. No studio/fitness/club manager would be foolish enough to remove a good instructor with a loyal following simply to reduce costs, as this would impair the customer experience and result in dwindling attendance numbers. With this in mind, I’d recommend taking a glass half full approach and use the introduction of virtual to spur you on to improving your skills and range. Commit to constantly educating yourself and developing your classes and you will make it very difficult for anyone to remove you from their timetable. Cost At the end of the day, it has to be remembered that clubs have to make money and controlling costs is a primary KPI. It often isn’t financially viable to bring in a freelance instructor to teach to a class of four members in the middle of the afternoon, so virtual affords the opportunity for operators to broaden the class timetable without increasing the associated costs. This shouldn’t be seen as a negative impact on instructor earning potential, as classes like these simply wouldn’t be there without the virtual facility. Flexibility Virtual not only gives the opportunity to schedule classes in the traditional off-peak times such as mid-morning and afternoon but also late at night and very early in the morning which, with the growing number of 24 hour clubs, is the only way to service this need... unless you really do fancy teaching a 2am spin to two members in their break on the night shift! Safety I think this is a moot point as it suggests that all live
Dean Hodgkin instructors are 100 per cent on the ball in issuing the perfect technique instruction, observe everyone all of the time and correct every participant, every time it’s necessary. It could be argued that a virtual class presented by an excellent instructor carries a lower injury risk than a live class taught by a bad instructor and as with any other line of work, we have to accept there are always going to be good and bad practitioners. Choice A hugely beneficial feature of virtual is the on-demand option that enables members to pick the class theme and the time to suit them. At 2pm in the afternoon, three ladies might decide they fancy a 15 minute BLT class and now they can have it. Clearly the idea of a live instructor being available at the drop of a hat and armed with the ability to teach every possible class on the timetable for any duration, is a non-conversation. ROI As an operator, it kills me to know we have studios sitting empty in our clubs when we’re paying for square footage. To have just one member taking a virtual class that keeps them coming back is a much more preferable scenario. In and out Virtual classes enable those new to group exercise
to dip their toe in the water, maybe join the class for just 20 minutes if new to exercise, with the freedom to leave the class when they wish. I’m pretty sure that, like me, you wouldn’t be too keen on members regularly walking out of your class whenever they feel like it, but this is clearly a more flexible, bespoke service and, therefore, one that many members will appreciate. Social A recent study showed that if a new member makes just one friend at the club they’ll be 40 per cent less likely to leave. In a virtual class, without a live instructor to interact with, it may well be that participants talk more to each other. This will lead to better retention, ie more members around to join your live classes. Barriers Like it or not, a significant percentage of the public view the studio as a fitness church with the live instructor preaching from the gospel according to Zumba, Les Mills, etc to a congregation of the already converted. We have to accept that for some, we instructors might be the barrier and so the opportunity for them to start their journey without us intimidating them (even when we really don’t mean to) means they are more likely to stick with their journey and almost certainly then end up in our live classes when they have more confidence. Big picture Research shows that members who participate in group exercise stay longer, so anything a club can do to encourage them to take this route is good for business. Adding outdoor to indoor sessions, exciting new workout themes, quirky new equipment and yes, virtual to live classes will lead to an increased level of service that is good for the member and ultimately good for the success of the group exercise programme, therefore, also good for the job security and longevity of the live instructor. As a lover of group exercise, I wholeheartedly embrace virtual as a complement to live options and a route through which we can achieve our ultimate collective goal of getting more people, more active, more often. However, I appreciate that not everyone will agree with me but a broad, rich, diverse range of philosophies is what makes our industry so exciting. n Dean is a consultant to award winning spa Ragdale Hall and leading fitness franchise operator Energie Fitness. He is a Global Ambassador for PT on the Net and was also voted Best International Fitness Presenter at the 1 Body 1 World awards in New York.
STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING
Business to specialise in strength and functional training for women By Christina Eccles
A FITNESS fan turned personal trainer is preparing to launch her own business, specialising in strength and functional training for women. Sarah Harradine currently works in social media for a fitness brand but after discovering her own love for fitness – in particular strength training and Cross Fit – decided to take the plunge and train to become a PT; choosing to focus on women who want to feel more confident when using weights. She said: “I like strength training because you’re not focusing on how you look – it’s all about what you can do. “I’m not going down the Cross Fit route for clients but will be focusing on functional fitness and what their bodies can do. “I want to help them reach their goals through also being body positive and building up their confidence.” Sarah, who will soon be starting work at studio TRAIN Heald Green in Manchester, is planning to build up her PT business gradually; initially working part time before hopefully becoming a full time trainer later in the year.
Operator transforms its centres to meet demand Sarah Harradine She told Workout a ‘typical’ client could be someone who wants to start lifting weights but doesn’t know where to start or someone who has some experience in this area but wants to increase their confidence and ability. Eventually she would also like to work with elite athletes. She added: “It really is a confidence thing. I can’t wait to see that change in mindset. “It’s not just about how they look. It’s that day when they realise they’re confident about what they are doing. “I want to have a selection of female clients who all might have different goals but who are all working towards the same overarching theme of being strong and getting better at life.”
KNOWSLEY based leisure operator Volair is transforming its centres to meet an increasing demand for functional training, HIIT and strength and conditioning. Halewood Leisure Centre has become the third of its centres to benefit from a full refurbishment, with the revamp including new flooring, wall art, lighting effects and a full range of Gym Gear equipment. With a tight turnaround time to complete the project, the centre needed a partner who could not only supply high quality kit but who could also help design, plan and execute the project, looking at key details from flooring to branding and marketing. Gym Gear fully understood the dynamics of the project; from existing members’ wants and needs to what Volair needed to drive future
membership sales. The result of the partnership was a new gym which has exceeded all expectations, with features including a sled track, spacious functional area, a large free weights section and innovative equipment including Tornado Air Bikes and the XPO Trainer – a multi-surface resistance prowler. Health and fitness manager Lynn Wilson said: “It is really hard to believe that this result was achieved in a matter of weeks. Since the refurbishment, we have seen a 22 per cent increase in our membership at Halewood, making this our most successful refurbishment to date. “We know that going forward we have an innovative and attractive facility that is future-proofed to adapt with the changing face of fitness.”
STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING
The duo behind an independent gym in Kent took the plunge and opened their own business after spotting a gap in the market for a high quality strength and conditioning facility. Now with multiple awards under their belt, a growing reputation in the area and a successful online coaching system, the word is continuing to spread. Workout found out more. Alex Shoebridge and Martin Shyvers. Photo credit: Chris Shoebridge.
Word continuing to spread about award-winning gym AS two of just a handful of self-employed National Level strength coaches, Martin Shyvers and Alex Shoebridge reached a point where their schedules were so full they had to turn away work; giving them the inspiration to create their own facility – The Strength and Conditioning Institute – to bring their skills and expertise to a wider audience. Martin explained: “We saw a gap in the market for a specialist training facility offering high quality training along with individual nutrition plans, containing equipment informed by and designed around the latest advances in fitness science. “We’d seen that the ‘one size fits all’ approach to training was failing, and we knew how to change it.” Since opening the club, the pair have worked with a varied demographic. Clients range from a 77-year-old who has had a double hip replacement, to an England Judo Commonwealth Bronze Medallist preparing for her next competition and everyone in between, including local football, rugby and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu clubs. The layout and equipment in the gym has been specifically designed to support strength, conditioning and functional-style training, with all members encouraged to train this way. Martin added: “We are advocates of strength and conditioning training because it allows us to enhance clients’ muscular endurance, sprinting speed, anaerobic conditioning and pure strength simultaneously. “Teaching clients to use groups of muscles together is far more transferable to sports and everyday life than traditional types of training, and we see excellent results in terms of improved body composition. “Our bespoke Watson gym equipment has been designed to our own specifications, and is informed by the latest advances in fitness science. Every item is created with injury prevention and maximum strength and fitness gain in mind. “We regularly add new equipment to our training inventory, illustrating our belief in continual improvement, and our dedication to offering the best possible service and value.” The word is also spreading to the local
community, thanks to recommendations from existing members, positive press coverage and their wins at the National Fitness Awards. Alex added: “Winning two National Fitness Awards and being finalists in numerous hotly contested categories has delivered a huge motivational boost to a team of committed and hardworking professionals. “This success has given our coaches the recognition that we know they deserve. We are immensely proud of them, and grateful for them, and sharing a National Fitness Award with them has been a real privilege. “Our award success has enabled us to further increase awareness of our brand, and it has reaffirmed the relevance of taking a caring and individualised philosophy to market in the modern age.” 2018 has started with a bang at the Strength and Conditioning Institute, with the launch of mini half-day workshops and plans to start a weekend mixed group training class. The next few months are also looking busy as Martin and Alex will be continuing to promote their online coaching portal, The SCI Smart Coach, and developing a new subscription service, as well as launching a competition prep training and nutrition package both online for remote clients and in-house. Alex added: “This website negates the typical “catchment area” associated with gyms: through this website anyone, anywhere, with an Internet device can access SCI training and nutrition programmes. “We initially launched the service by offering bespoke programmes for clients training at home and in the gym, and in 2017 added a secondary level of gym training, and a sports-specific programme for swimmers. “Over the next three years we will increase content to provide bespoke nutrition and training protocols for further gymbased programmes, and additional programmes for sports such as rugby, running and golf. “We continually grow our library of healthy, nutrition-optimised cooking videos on the website, and release new content every month.”
STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING Advertiser’s announcement
Power is crucial THE road to increased strength and power can often be clouded by conflicting studies; one study tells you that sumo dead lifts are imperative to a strength programme, the other states that conventional are more representative of sport. However, in the strength and conditioning game one thing everyone can agree on is that consistency is key. The diameter of a competitive plate has always been 450mm; squats are always considered one of the most effective exercises and lifting blocks will always be a feature in any facility that boasts strength and conditioning clientele. In addition to being a highly versatile method of developing both power and proper technique, block training is easy to incorporate into existing training programmes or around which to create a completely new training programme. Enter the DC Block. Manufactured to a high spec in the USA, its design provides an interlocking, lightweight and virtually indestructible weightlifting block for all levels of training from step classes to elite athlete development. A huge range of facilities are taking advantage of the highly versatile
DC Blocks® because they can be configured to a variety of heights (at 5cm increments) with any block becoming the top block. Boasting a small footprint for storage, they are a clear triumph over the heavier, more restrictive wooden jerk blocks. Endorsed and distributed by Absolute Performance, which is currently pioneering the gym equipment and installation industry, specialising in working with coaches and sports directors to create bespoke strength and conditioning training facilities for a wide spectrum of clients from schools to elite sport facilities. The Launch of the DC block website – dcblocksuk.com – looks to spread the benefit of DC Blocks to more and more facilities throughout the UK and Europe.
Physical Company has launched Surge Storm – an updated design of its successful Surge. The product includes restructured multiple handle options, which provide increased accessibility, and different hand positions to target individual muscle groups. Its 4.5kg weight sets a challenge, but adding up to 65lbs of water creates a different element. Not only does the increased weight crank up the intensity, the dynamic resistance created by the movement of the water challenges strength, stability, reactions and balance. A wide array of moves can be completed including overhead lifts, single arm farmer carries and battering ram moves.
STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING
The new Juice and the Beanstalk cafe at Rigs Fitness (left) and the award winning gym facility (above).
New programme is a success By Christina Eccles
AN award winning independent gym in Birmingham is achieving success with its athlete development programme, which includes a focus on strength and conditioning. The programme at Rigs Fitness caters for both individuals and teams and is one of a kind in the Midlands; drawing in athletes from across the region. The ADP is designed to optimise athletic performance through providing sport-specific elite-level strength and conditioning support. After completing a detailed athlete profile, needs analysis and athletic screening, the performance data obtained is then used to inform a periodised S&C programme, tailored towards optimising athletic performance at key competition periods throughout the year. Many youth athletes also join the programme; benefiting from a safe, structured and individualised introduction to the gym environment. Gym owner Sam Smith said: “We
launched the programme because we saw there was a need for elite level strength and conditioning support to local teams and athletes who either weren’t with a full time professional set up or couldn’t afford the prices that usually come with that. “This is particularly important for youth athletes – we see it time and again – a young athlete with all the potential who isn’t lucky enough to have the infrastructure around them to fulfil their athletic potential.” The ADP is currently home to a number of county and national level athletes, many of whom achieved this status while on the programme. The programme is also providing strength and conditioning support to last year’s Gaelic Football All Britain Finalists, with the goal to go one better this year and qualify for the All Ireland Finals. Sam added: “It’s proving so popular because our ADP really gets results. We provide bespoke, structured and evidence-based strength and conditioning support that takes the guesswork out of training.
“Our coaches believe in performing fundamental movements and doing them well; no gimmicks or shortcuts. And the carefully planned, progressive and strategic approach to training ensures our athletes move, feel and perform to the best of their ability. “One aspect we didn’t expect is how much benefit general members of the public are getting from our ADP. “It’s not just athletes, we have people from all ages and training backgrounds who benefit from our movement screening and corrective exercise programming. “I’ve lost count of the amount of ‘bad lower backs’, ‘dodgy knees’ and ‘bad ankles’ we’ve helped – simply because people don’t realise that with the right coaching all these problems can be addressed.” As well as achieving success with the programme, the club has enjoyed a busy start to 2018, which has seen them open a new healthy eating cafe and capitalise on the success of their National Fitness Awards’ win last December, when Rigs Fitness was
crowned Regional Gym of the Year Midlands and Wales. Sam added: “The year has started really well. Since winning, we’ve seen a massive influx of walk ins and phone calls and class numbers have been busier than ever. “We had our new cafe installed in January. It’s called JBS (Juice and the Beanstalk) and it was one of the things we were lacking at Rigs. “It offers standard cafe products (coffees, teas, salads, smoothies, etc) but also offers individualised meal plans to all our members and athletes. “This has been really popular since we’ve started it. It can be as specific as you like – lots of our athletes want to eat a specific number of calories with a specific macronutrient breakdown each day. “Heather who manages JBS is an experienced qualified biochemist and nutritionist and is able to make meal plans to suit anybody’s goals. “It’s also given our members a really nice space to relax before and after a workout.”
STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING
Specialising in strength and conditioning can help trainers differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace, according to Active IQ’s managing director Jenny Patrickson. She told Workout why.
Strength and conditioning – a specialist area that differentiates trainers and clubs THE term ‘strength and conditioning’ is often used quite casually to depict an area in the gym where equipment for typical strength and conditioning moves are stored and used or to explain the style of a group workout, often ‘boot camp’ sessions. But Jenny believes it’s important not to undersell the specific skills of a qualified coach in this area. She explained: “Strength and conditioning is a specialist area, no doubt about it. “As such, trainers qualified as a strength and conditioning coach and the clubs that offer such training in groups or one-to-one have a clear point of difference in the crowded fitness marketplace. “We must take care not to undersell the specific skillset of a fully trained strength and conditioning coach. “A trainer who is able to use exercise prescription to improve an individual’s performance, help with injury prevention and support the specific biomechanics of their chosen sport is a true asset to their gym or club.” In order for a PT or club to offer strength and conditioning training with confidence, specific training and an advanced qualification must be
completed. There had been a gap in the market for this specific training and assessment which Active IQ, in partnership with British Military Fitness, has addressed with its Level Four Certificate in Strength and Conditioning, the first-ever regulated qualification. The programme comprehensively covers strength and conditioning theory as well as the actual application for any fitness
professionals who wish to develop their knowledge and skills to work with serious fitness enthusiasts and athletes alike. The new qualification can be taught by industry experts who hold equivalent qualifications or nationally recognised accreditations, such as via UKSCA, and who have experience of delivering strength and conditioning services for performance gains. Active IQ also plans to offer technical upskilling via its
Professional Career Development service for those who do not hold such credentials. Jenny added: “A proficient strength and conditioning coach can enhance all aspects of performance among clients and club members by developing programmes that can boost strength and power, improve speed and agility, as well as promote flexibility, athleticism and metabolic power. “Offering these specialist skills will help set the trainer – and their club – apart from the competition. “Applying strength and conditioning training will help take regular members and PT clients to the next level in their programmes. Importantly, it can also be used to attract new members and add specific sessions to a club’s timetable and forge links with individuals and sports clubs in their local area. “In addition to enhancing a personal trainer’s skills, this qualification will give them a clear point of differentiation and help them support clients seeking strength and conditioning gains, including the increasing number of people undertaking obstacle course races and challenges.”
Luxury chain’s move to ‘card only’ pays off A LUXURY spa and gym chain, whose clients include Rita Ora and Sienna Miller, has revealed why going cashless in all its sites has paid off. When Bodyism expanded in London, opening its first cafe, the brand decided to go completely cashless, rejecting notes and coins in favour of card payments only. Area manager of Bodyism’s Notting Hill branch, Julia Harvey, said: “Our members have always been encouraged to pay for classes and spa treatments online via MINDBODY. “We decided to become ‘card only’ after noticing that fewer people were carrying cash. “We thought it would be easier to manage our finances if we limited our payment methods to online only for our gyms, and card only in our cafe and retail outlets. “It has definitely had a positive impact.” Bodyism uses iZettle Pro to accept card payments in its Westbourne Grove cafe and New Bond Street retail store. Alongside the card reader, its POS system allows Bodyism to keep track of useful things such as how much stock they have left, how many sales they’ve made and what their best selling products are.
FINANCE AND INSURANCE
Bank’s helping hand to boost Boogie Bounce INNOVATIVE fitness class Boogie Bounce is expanding into the home market, after securing financial support to grow the business. With the help of an overdraft from HSBC, founder Jenny Belcher has now been able to purchase five containers of equipment – with a retail value of £368,000 – without any further borrowing; enabling her to bring the benefits of the classes to a wider audience. Jenny explained: “Since our launch 21 years ago I’ve dreamed of teaching the world to bounce. Now, thanks to HSBC, that dream is becoming a reality. “Boogie Bounce has been transforming lives for 21 years now – with 50,000 people attending classes each week and more than 700 instructors across the UK. “We’ve seen how bouncing has brought miraculous results and improvements in everything from osteoarthritis and obesity to depression and diabetes. Instructors also talk of the joy of being empowered to run their own business and achieve an enviable work-life balance. “But I was also acutely aware that some of the very people who would benefit most from my classes might not be able to get to them. It can be
for all sorts of reasons – from lack of time and childcare to low confidence or shortage of money. Then, one day, it dawned on me; if they couldn’t get to a Boogie Bounce class – we’d bring Boogie Bounce to them!” The result was a home kit – comprising a Boogie Bounce trampoline with T-bar handle, a DVD with two class routines, plus three months free access to the Boogie Bounce App to keep home bouncers motivated. Jenny added: “We were able to slowly launch the home market this
summer but needed to invest in more stock to really get things moving. “We were thrilled when HSBC recognised that we were a strong business with a brilliant idea and a proven track record and agreed to back us. The impact on the business has been phenomenal. “Long term, we estimate it will double both our turnover and profitability but the increased revenue has already enabled us to take on three more full time members of staff specifically to promote the home market.”
Have you got the right insurance for your outdoor activities? JOHN Ansell and Partners are specialists in gym and outdoor activity insurance and have been since the 1980s – and we have seen lots of changes in the way fitness is delivered. With the proliferation of group exercise classes and personal training sessions in the outdoors, many gyms are taking their exercise outside. When considering this as a direction for your business it is important to understand the additional risks and responsibilities this entails such as health and safety policies, site specific risk assessments and proper qualification of staff for outdoor activities. There is a whole new area of things to consider when taking your exercise away from the confines of your gym such as what to do if the weather is poor, how you communicate with
customers and staff at the last minute if things change, how to deal with first aid and how to deal with “dynamic” risk assessments in a changing landscape. A good place to start is the UKActive Outdoor Code of Practice to help draft your plans. From an insurance perspective the risks of injury to staff and customers are greater in an environment you cannot control. You will need to speak to your insurer to ensure they are aware of the additional risks as many policies are designed for “premises only” risks. If you have any difficulties you should speak to a broker specialising in the fitness and/or outdoor activity industry, like us. For more information contact John Ansell and Partners Ltd on 020 7251 7474 or visit www.ansell.co.uk
FIBO PREVIEW Once again the industry is gearing up for FIBO, where visitors from all over the world will descend on Cologne to talk all things fitness and check out the hottest products on the market. Here Workout previews what to watch out for at this year’s show
Three to become one: New holistic approach for FIBO Three become one: the new layout at FIBO 2018 This year, the show is getting a new structure, making it easier and faster for visitors to find their way. FIBO director Silke Frank explained: “We think about fitness holistically. “That means there’ll only be one FIBO from now on. Dividing the event into three shows is an outof-date approach.” Studio operators, trainers and instructors all face the same challenge today: they have to keep up with innovative technologies, new sports-scientific and medical insights and the ever-greater demands of exercisers. Silke added: “Visitors come to the show with similar questions. That’s why we’re organising FIBO more clearly by the issues the industry cares about.” “The various exhibition segments become more permeable, giving exhibitors an opportunity to reach out to new target groups.” From aqua fitness to wellness: The topics covered at FIBO On all four show days, trade visitors can browse Halls 4.1 to nine to see new equipment and innovative concepts for training styles such as cardio and strength, EMS and vibration, group and aqua fitness, functional training and fighting fit, plus new products and services in key fields such as sports nutrition, fashion and interior, an area that’s all about equipment and furnishings for fitness studios. The wellness and beauty area will be enhanced with the addition of another centrally located
information hub where visitors can get up to speed on new exhibited products and attend brief lectures to catch up on the latest insights. The Power segment will still be housed in Halls 10.1 and 10.2 of the Cologne Exhibition Centre. Experience know-how live: Even more education at FIBO Responding to trade visitor requests – one in five of whom visit the show to increase their own expertise – the education and training programme at the world’s largest fitness trade show will be expanded yet again. With the new Academy format, FIBO 2018 will be hosting the education, training and development event of the year. Studio operators, class organisers, trainers and instructors will be able to experience three days of high-profile speakers sharing their first-hand knowledge of such key industry topics as customer relations, fan engagement, individual course concepts and digitalisation. The programme will also include lectures about training-related themes such as nutrition, motivation, fascia and trigger points, and medical fitness, as well as practice-oriented master classes with international presenters and new group fitness concepts. Rounding off the programme will be a networking lounge with associations, institutions, speakers, presenters and exhibitors. Session participants will be able to earn education credits recognised by selected associations and institutions. FIBO’s new point of contact for entrepreneurs will be the New Business area in Hall 5.2. featuring the newcomers of the industry – startups and young, innovative companies. More than that, it’s also a place for young business owners and potential company founders to get hands-on advice on all four trade visitor days. Consultants, banks, insurance companies and franchisors will be on hand. The Consulting Services area will provide opportunities for studio operators and executives to get advice on software solutions, among other things. Special focus on physiotherapy The selection for physiotherapists will also be expanded. For the first time, special events aimed at making it easier for them to find access to the trade show and educational programme will also be offered on FIBO Sunday – for example Physio at Work by the German Academy of Applied Sports Science. The Meeting Point Physiotherapy in cooperation with Buchner and Partner will also feature a special Sunday programme.
The Physio Day will be multilingual in 2018, ensuring that international visitors, too, can get fresh inspiration when it comes to exercise and training programmes in the areas of prevention, therapy and rehabilitation. Moreover, FIBO is creating the perfect setting for making new contacts and exchanging ideas: the new networking evening at the Meeting Point Physiotherapy. Making deals without the noise: The new Silence Slots As the leading industry gathering place for the international fitness sector, FIBO also serves as a popular business platform for the industry. Silke added: “Aiming to provide exhibitors a chance both to deliver live experiences for visitors and engage them in business talks in a peaceful atmosphere, we’ve further improved our noise rules and show concept.” That’s why there will be, for example, two to three one-hour Silence Slots in Halls six, seven, and nine on each show day, giving exhibitors an opportunity to meet with their business partners in a quiet setting. In Halls 10.1 and 10.2 – the Power halls – the event areas and stages will remain closed on Thursday and Friday; at the weekend, the midday hours of 12pm to 2pm will serve as the Silence Slot for business discussions. Interest in FIBO remains strong: last April, the trade show attracted more than 150,000 visitors – 83,000 of them trade visitors. FIBO 2018 tickets can be booked at www.fibo.com
Top trends set to appear in lesson plan
HIIT, fascia training and group fitness as an emotional group experience will be among the top trends appearing on the FIBO Academy’s lesson plan. From April 13 to 15, the event will deliver a power programme for trainers, instructors and course executives. While at FIBO, they can acquire new training know-how and exclusive industry knowledge from international industry experts. Complementing the theory seminars will be practical master classes with international presenters introducing the latest workout trends, with four stages reserved for the live programme. Highlights will include: n Stage one: dance and step. n Stage two: functional and workout. n Stage three: body and mind. n Pool stage: aqua fitness. Important for trainers, instructors, course executives and decisionmakers: participants will be able to earn education credits recognised by selected associations and institutions and can customise not just their own continuing education programme but also their access to the Academy. Tickets are available to attend the Academy for one, two or all three days.
Find out how fit you really are with the FitQuest test AFTER enjoying a successful event in 2017, FitQuest will be back at FIBO this year, once again allowing visitors to find out just how fit they really are. Powered by MiE medical, the FitQuest machine measures a person’s physical capacity over eight parameters in just four minutes, offering a wide range of data and feedback to users using full biomechanical lab technology; providing a much broader and more accurate analysis than other measurement tools currently available. This unique testing supports operators by aiding member engagement and enhances the gym experience for members by supporting tailored exercise programming based on a breadth of data on their physical fitness and results tracking. 2018 marks the official European debut of the brand-new FitQuest BIA machines fitted with the MiE FitQuest Body Composition Analyser, which uses standard techniques to determine body composition. Through minute, varying electrical currents, the machine can determine a user’s body fat and muscle percentage. This sophisticated method of body composition analysis is provided in addition to the standard FitQuest
score, offering users a complete and unique health and fitness assessment. FitQuest CEO Brian Firth said: “We had a fantastic year at FIBO in 2017 and we’re looking forward to returning for 2018 to display our new machine. Fitness diagnostics is set to be a huge trend at this year’s show, and the FitQuest machine is a stand out product in this field. “It enables operators to help
members on their fitness journey by offering a fun and challenging way to set fitness goals and track their progress.” If you visited the FitQuest stand last year, make sure you come back to see if you’ve improved on your scores! If you’re new to fitness measurement, come and try out the exciting, new FitQuest BIA and find out how fit you are!
TRAINING AND RECRUITMENT SPONSORED BY
Recruitment is a key area for any fitness professional, whether your an operator looking for staff or a personal trainer searching for a new role. Here the experts at gymcareer offer their advice on getting it right.
Get your recruitment right What advice would you give to operators when it comes to finding staff? It’s all about advertising. It’s about making sure the right people are aware you are recruiting. What kind of thing do they need to consider and how can you help? In a competitive business environment, it is important to have the right sales pitch. When recruiting you are essentially selling a workplace/workspace and a culture. You need to consider what is different about the role you are offering and ensure you capture this. We work with our customers to extend their reach; reproduce their marketing images on brand with gymcareer, and ultimately communicate the role effectively to the candidates.
gymcareer co-founder Ryan Johnston
What mistakes do you think employers are currently making when it comes to getting the recruitment process right? Assuming people know you are recruiting, and that they automatically want to work
at your company. People aren’t necessarily willing to visit multiple websites to search who is currently recruiting in their area. gymcareer make this task user friendly for all applicants, enabling them to view all job opportunities in their immediate area. What advice would you give to candidates looking to make their applications stand out? It starts with your CV. In most cases your CV is the first impression a potential employer has of yourself. Spend the time to update your CV and ensure that you are honest about the skills and expertise you have. Be confident and ensure that all areas of experience are included, (e.g. skills you have gained when covering another job role). What are the benefits for candidates that apply through gymcareer? The adverts are detailed, interactive and visual. Alongside our ‘quick apply’ feature, our candidates also have the option to create an in-depth profile about themselves to include; images, video, upload of certificates and social media links. This makes you appear more attractive to the employer who has the ability to view your profile upon application. What are the benefits to businesses who use gymcareer? We offer one of the most cost-effective methods of attracting the right candidates to your business. Our media team work with your branding to create bespoke adverts and marketing. We administer all new positions onto the platform saving you time and present your vacancy to a wide number of passive and active job seekers across the UK.
How do you streamline the recruitment process for fitness brands? Our employer dashboard features an array of tools that can be utilised by both small and large operators. This keeps applicants and persons of interest organised and shortlisted in a central location. The instant messaging feature also allows the employer to communicate with applicants via the online platform.
International expansion for UK fitness equipment bidding site BRITAIN’S first fitness equipment bidding site WeBuyGymEquipment. com has been so successful in the UK, it’s going international. Leading industry expert Tracy McCurtin will lead the EMEA division of the business. Following two successful years growing the company, Daniel Jones has made the move into the European market as he believes it’s a natural step for the commercial buy-back platform that facilitates the process of buying and selling used fitness equipment. Daniel said: “It has been a fantastic start to 2018 and after two years of growth, we can’t wait to take our business to Europe and US. “Our automated commercial buyback platform has proven to be a commercially advantageous service for gym operators and affiliated partners. Our natural step is to take our platform to a larger market and the EMEA territory is the right choice. “The acquisition of Tracy is a real coup for WeBuyGymEquipment. com. Tracy’s 13 years’ experience at Precor where she managed UK key
Leading industry expert Tracy McCurtin and CEO Daniel Jones. accounts and more recently within process even faster. Export EMEA, will be invaluable to The third and final stage of our business.” development is underway and this WeBuyGymEquipment.com has will see the logistics and payment also hired Rhys Jones as UK sales process also automated. executive. It’s an exciting time for Rhys joins the company with 15 WeBuyGymEquipment.com but years’ sales experience within the also for gym operators and fitness and recruitment sectors. affiliated partners who can carry out From this month, the platform their transactions from start to finish will be fully automated, making the with the ultimate ease.
ukactive has appointed Dr James Steele as principal investigator, strengthening the ukactive Research Institute ahead of a year of milestone research reports. He will combine his new role at ukactive with his position as associate professor of sports and exercise science at Southampton Solent University, providing an effective link between universitybased academic work and the real-world intervention studies of the ukactive Research Institute, as well as ukactive’s members and partners. He said: “Joining the ukactive team is a great honour as I share its mission to translate academic expertise into real world practice and utilise the insight of what is happening on the ground with ukactive members to further our knowledge of what works in getting the nation moving. As someone who has studied and worked in exercise science for the past decade, I have seen the ukactive Research Institute grow in prominence as the go-to bridge between academia and industry.”
TRAINING AND RECRUITMENT SPONSORED BY
CEO makes move to specialist firm
Jan Spaticchia and Neil King.
énergie appoints new CEO as it gears up for growth MANAGING director of 1Life Management Solutions King is to join énergie as chief operating officer. Neil joined 1Life in June 2013 and led the rebranding and successful turnaround of the leisure management company which operates some 40 sites across the UK. Founder, chairman and CEO of the énergie Group, Jan Spaticchia, will focus his attention on group strategy and business expansion while Neil concentrates on brand value and operations. Jan said: “The appointment of Neil as COO is a statement of our intent with an ambitious agenda for growth and quality that requires us to attract the very best talent to the organisation. “Neil is a respected leader in our sector and he brings a blend of
experience, integrity and commercial acumen that will serve us well as we enter our 15th year in business and our next stage of explosive growth.” In his new role, Neil will join the énergie board and will work closely with Jan to grow the business both in the UK and international markets. He added: “I am delighted to be joining énergie Fitness at this important stage of its development. “The new énergie brand presents a fantastic opportunity to own a unique space in the marketplace and the current diversity in the sector brings multiple opportunities for franchising. “Clear plans for a future capital realisation event, innovations such as ‘Thé Yard’ and ambitious growth plans make this an exciting time to be joining énergie.”
CIMSPA launches pilot programme CIMSPA has launched the CIMSPA Higher Education Partnership Pilot scheme, which will finalise the endorsement and recognition process for UK sport and physical activityrelated degree programmes. The universities taking part in the pilot are: Canterbury Christ Church University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Edge Hill University, Southampton Solent University, University of Bolton, University of Brighton, University of Cumbria, University of Central Lancashire, University of Hertfordshire and University of St Mark and St John. Once the two-year pilot is complete, all degree programmes relating to occupations within the sport and physical activity sector will be eligible to be endorsed and quality assured by CIMSPA. Endorsed degree programmes will be certified as meeting employerset professional standards – an employability benchmark making clear the job roles a student completing the programme is qualified for. During the pilot, higher education partners will support
the development of new CIMSPA membership categories that recognise academic, research and insight professionals, with a pathway to chartered membership. Other ambitions for the partnership include improving work placement and internship opportunities and the development of a national graduate training programme for the sector. Students studying degree programmes associated with the pilot scheme will be introduced to their sector’s professional body and receive a range of affiliation benefits, including access to free eLearning via the CIMSPA Academy. CIMSPA CEO Tara Dillon said: “We are very pleased to be launching our Higher Education Partnership Pilot scheme and to be starting substantive work on an endorsement framework our sector is keen to embrace. “The 10 universities taking part in the pilot are at the forefront of working to ensure their graduates successfully transition into employment and I would like to applaud all of our new partners for their forward-thinking ethos and commitment to excellence.”
FORMER CEO at Bridport Leisure Centre Nick Neale has made the move to quality management and health and safety specialist Right Directions. Nick’s new position as quality and health and safety manager will see him covering a wide spectrum of facilities, from leisure centres and holiday parks to golf courses, theatres and town halls; delivering audits across health and safety, Inclusive Fitness Initiative, pool and environmental issues, as well as helping operators to implement quality systems and energy efficiency protocols. Nick said: “The pressures local authorities face to reduce their budgets creates enormous and often unrealistic challenges for leisure operators. How many more facilities will have to shut before something is done?
“With that in mind I am looking forward to supporting clients across the leisure spectrum, helping them to achieve quality improvements in what they do, which demonstrate and reinforce the impact and value of local authority leisure services.” Nick started his career as a lifeguard on Brighton beach before spending 15 years at a Kent leisure centre, working his way up from recreation assistant to operations manager, before returning to the West Country where he grew up to take up the position of Bridport Leisure Centre Chief Executive Officer. He has been working as an associate consultant with Right Directions for the last 15 years in his role as a lead Quest assessor for the South West of England, as well as carrying out project work for sport and leisure consultancy, Leisure Futures.
New spa manager appointed THE Wordsworth Hotel and Spa in Grasmere has appointed a new spa manager. Originally from Dumfries in Scotland, Lauren Wood has recently moved to Cumbria to take up her new position and brings with her a wealth of experience working in the cosmetic and beauty industry. Lauren said: “I instantly fell in love with the spa as soon as I saw it and
was overwhelmed by how beautiful it is and its stunning location. “I am really excited about my new role here in Grasmere and look forward to meeting my new clients as well as working with a new team. “One of the best parts of the job is making people feel relaxed and looked after and already I know the Wordsworth Hotel and Spa is going to be the perfect place to achieve this.”
Ben is new commercial and property director ANYTIME Fitness has appointed Ben Dixon as its UK commercial and property director. Ben brings over 20 years’ experience in the fitness industry to the role and will be the driving force in helping the company to further grow its presence in the UK market. He will be responsible for steering projects within Anytime Fitness’ property, construction, compliance and procurement departments and reports to UK CEO Stuart Broster. Ben said: “I’m delighted to be joining such an ambitious and forward-thinking company at a key time in its development. “Having been in the fitness industry most of my career and worked in many operating models,
joining a franchise was the next step. “With my accumulation of commercial and operating experience, I felt it was time to utilise this in a different way to help benefit our customers, the franchisees and their customers, the consumer.”
UK FITNESS SCENE
Give your business a health check and save some money THERE’S no such thing as the wrong time to look at your business from a new angle. Besides, when was the last time the whole business had a health check that involved which suppliers provide what level of service and how much are you paying right now? How much am I spending? Then we might have a look to see how many products we have sold as part of our secondary spend in the club. These are great things to keep focused on throughout the year, but how often do we take time to look at the other elements of the business that can have an impact on your bottom line? The next things you should look at are all the services you use to power your business: utility bills, insurance, rent/leasing costs etc. But the one service that often goes overlooked is membership management software – it manages your members and keeps things organised. As mentioned, software cost is often forgotten. Having a system that can manage your gym is key to ensuring that your business is running smoothly, so the common
Maximise the amount of money you get for your old equipment Wayne Heath process is to pay more for a service that will reflect the expensive price. The problem with that is, the level of service is not always determined by the price. By giving us a call and answering four simple questions, we will be able to show you how much money you could save. So if you’re ready to start saving, give us a call and take the ClubRight Switch and Save Challenge!
WeBuyGymEquipment.com is the best way gym operators can maximise the amount of money they receive when trading in their old fitness equipment. WeBuyGymEquipment.Com has created an internal automated auction platform where commercial gym equipment packages go under the hammer via the world’s top commercial fitness equipment dealers. The platform has now completed its automation which means gym operators can source the best price within a couple of days and complete
the transaction and select a collection day and time via the platform. Chief executive officer Daniel Jones said: “The fully automated platform is fantastic. Sellers (gym operators) and buyers (used fitness equipment dealers) can now communicate via our platform to confirm the price, payment and collection arrangements. “Our team oversee the whole process to ensure the cycle is completed without any issues.” WeBuyGymEquipment.com now operates in the UK and all over the EMEA Region.
Thousands set to visit IHRSA AN estimated 10,000 industry professionals and enthusiasts from all over the world will converge on San Diego, California for IHRSA 2018. IHRSA’s 37th Annual International Convention and Trade Show is set for March 21-24 at the San Diego Convention Center. Visitors will get the opportunity to share insights, ideas, and fresh information about new trends, programs, products, services, club operations, and business models. The two-day trade show on March 22 and
23 will also feature over 350 of the industry’s most respected and innovative manufacturers and suppliers. For more information or to register for IHRSA 2018, log on to ihrsa.org/convention. Use the promo code EuropeSD at checkout for free trade show only admission, or to save $100 off the full four-day convention rate. This offer expires on March 16, 2018 and may not be combined with or applied to any other promotions, discounts, or previously purchased registrations.
UK FITNESS SCENE
Understanding your member journey ... By Dave Wright
HAVE you heard of the term ‘can’t see the wood for the trees?’ It refers to when someone is so involved in the details of something that they do not understand or pay attention to the most important parts of it. This is so relevant with new technology in the fitness industry and, in particular, the whole member journey. Too many operators don’t really understand what it’s like to be a new member at your club – and to be fair, it’s hard to understand a first experience twice. Whether it’s from finding information, touring the club, accessing information such as booking classes, or understanding the new complex machines, it can be an intimidating place for someone and, more often than not, too much hassle.
Dave Wright In the tech world, the big word is ‘frictionless’… simply meaning ‘easy.’ Do you make it easy for your members to experience services and
activities at your club? A fantastic exercise would be to meet with your team and then map out on a piece of paper the total member journey from pre-joining, joining, attending and leaving your club. What does that look like? When you reach every interaction, ask your team ‘is that easy for them?’ Some of the questions are as follows: n How do members join your club? n How do members enter your club? n How do members pay for protein drinks? Book into a class? Move from the cardio to the strength area? n How do your members communicate with the staff? Or with each other? The first step in solving a problem is by identifying it in the first place. Rather than going out trying to source the latest and greatest in toys and technology for your club, begin
with the end in mind. If you can make it easy for members to experience your facility, they are more likely to continue doing so. Therefore, they are more likely to get results, stay longer, pay longer and make you more money. Either way, by addressing your member journey, everyone wins. n 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 UK Active 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
ZAPspace introduces classes THE first trampoline park in a theatre – ZAPspace – has expanded its offering by introducing new fitness classes. Founder of Fitness Fox London Kelly Bedford has brought her Fox and Cubs, mum and baby exercise classes to the Stratfordbased venue, while founder of The Jump Collective Simone Wilson will be leading a new high intensity trampoline class. ZAPspace CEO Henry Frost said: “We’re excited to be able to introduced these two fun fitness classes for the local community.
“Our soft play area is popular with parents, so it made sense that we introduced a mum and baby exercise class, and with Fitness Fox London’s experience in delivering postnatal training as well as personal training it’s a great fit. “We clearly love trampolines here, and with ZAPspace being the perfect place to jump up, get down, it was a natural move for us to introduce ‘ZAP fitness’ trampoline fitness classes as a fun way to get fit. “We’re delighted to be teaming up with The Jump Collective to deliver this.” The Hot Yoga Club at the Thames Club in Staines.
Club adds hot yoga studio to offering
Organisers have announced the dates and venues for SIBEC UK and SIBEC Europe in 2018. SIBEC UK will return to the prestigious Belfry resort in Wishaw on May 23-24, with SIBEC Europe taking place at the Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi in Marrakech, Morocco on November 7-10. Several high-profile buyers have already been confirmed for the events including Pure Gym, 1Life, Active Nation, Serco Leisure, Bannatyne Group, Everyone Active, Places for People Leisure, TRIB3 and Xercise4Less.
AN INDEPENDENT health club in Surrey has added a dedicated hot yoga studio to its offering. The Hot Yoga Club at the Thames Club in Staines has been created by reconfiguring existing floor space, previously housing a largely unused commercial kitchen. It is an integral part of The Thames Club but will also be offered as a standalone membership, with pay as you go options also available. The physical space, instructor training and class schedule have all been driven by Amanda Free, one of the UK’s first hot yoga pioneers. Managing director at The Thames Club Peter Williams said: ”Initial feedback has been incredibly positive. In our first week we secured more than 600 bookings, with all classes achieving at least 80 per cent capacity.
“We are currently running 28 hot yoga and Pilates classes a week with plans to add hot barre to the programme later this year along with a HIIT yoga and spin combo class. “The club is a well-established part of the community with a healthy membership of just under 2,500. “The addition of The Hot Yoga Club makes our offering unique in the county and extends our appeal to an even wider segment of the local residential and corporate population. “Our members now have an incredible choice when it comes to their health and wellbeing options. “They can choose between a swim or a gym session, a sauna or a steam room, a group exercise class or an individual personal training session. Variety is, they say, the spice of life and there is certainly no lack of it here at The Thames Club.”
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Published on Mar 8, 2018