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Market enjoys strong growth across Europe By Christina Eccles
THE European health and fitness market enjoyed strong growth in 2017, according to a new report, which reveals club membership has increased by four per cent to about 60m members. The European Health and Fitness Market Report 2018 from EuropeActive and Deloitte was presented at the European Health and Fitness Forum in Cologne, ahead of this year’s FIBO. The research showed that Germany has strengthened its position as the country with the highest membership, with a growth of 5.3 per cent to 10.6m members; followed by the United Kingdom (9.7m), France, Italy and Spain. In terms of market penetration, figures showed Sweden ranks highest with 21.4 per cent of the total population holding a health or fitness club membership. Other countries with high fitness club penetration include Norway (20.9 per cent), Denmark (18.3 per cent), the Netherlands (17 per cent), and the UK (14.8 per cent). Overall, 7.6 per cent of the total population were members of a health or fitness club, with a penetration rate of 9.1 per cent for people aged 15 years and older. The high penetration rates in most
Northern and Central European countries were partly offset by lower market penetration in many Southern and Eastern European fitness markets. The club operator section of the report also revealed the top 30 operators increased their membership by 9.5 per cent to 14.1m, with the top five operators by membership including McFIT Group, Pure Gym and The Gym Group. Other findings from the report revealed total fitness club revenues in 2017 were €26.6b, which represents an increase of 3.8 per cent compared to 2016 at constant currency exchange rates. In contrast to the membership ranking, the revenue ranking is led by three operators with higher-priced concepts: David Lloyd Leisure (€483m), Migros Group (€388m), and Virgin Active (€356m). EuropeActive board member and co-author of the report Herman Rutgers said: “2017 was another year of strong growth in terms of both membership and market value. “This shows that the products and services of our sector remain highly attractive to consumers across Europe and makes us confident to reach the industry goal of 80m members by 2025.” The report was supported by BasicFit, FIBO, IHRSA and Technogym.
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Thousands sample the latest kit at IHRSA 2018
FitPro national trainer Holly Lynch has been named Personal Trainer of the Year at the International Fitness Showcase. The award was presented at the IFS Gala Dinner in Blackpool where Holly was recognised as an exceptional fitness professional with superb leadership, business, motivational and instructional skills and an inspirational figure to all her clients. As well as being a FitPro national trainer for ViPR and MOSSA, Holly also works as a personal trainer and fitness co-ordinator at Fitness Evolution in Burnley.
ABOUT 12,000 fitness industry professionals descended on San Diego for IHRSA 2018, where they got the chance to sample the latest fitness equipment and learn how to improve their businesses. Attendees from more than 80 countries visited the event, with highlights including early morning workouts, education sessions from industry experts and a range of networking opportunities, as well as a hall featuring over 400 exhibitors. Noting that there are currently 162m health club members worldwide, IHRSA chairman Derek Gallup announced that IHRSA has set an industry goal to reach 230m members by 2030. He presented a top 10 country list for the highest number of health club members as a percentage of population, as well as the 10 countries that saw the biggest increase in membership penetration rates in 2017. He added: “Only six per cent of the world’s population has a health club membership. As an industry we can and must do better. It is our mission to increase the number of people globally who are physically active.”
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Facility aims to reduce its plastic consumption By Christina Eccles A FORWARD thinking facility has launched a number of new sustainable initiatives, designed to reduce its plastic consumption and encourage the use of reusable materials. Exeter Golf and Country Club has taken steps to improve its environmental credentials including implementing a 25p charge on takeaway cups for hot drinks, replacing water fountains and plastic cups in its pool and gym with drinking fountains and removing shoe covers in its pool area; instead encouraging members to bring their own reusable cups and bottles and wear flip flops poolside. The club made the decision to go greener in order to protect the natural landscape it is situated in – and the wider area – and encourage members to think about the amount of plastic they are using. Marketing manager Jenni Ashford said: “The club could get through 1,000 takeaway cups per month so we had some reusable coffee cups produced with our logo on and some water bottles. “But we were really conscious we didn’t want to make this a money making exercise, so we have kept them at a cost of £5 each and people also get their first tea or coffee free. On the whole, people seem to be very supportive about it.” The 25p takeaway cup supplement will be donated to Devon based
Exeter Golf and Country Club. non profit organisation, The Beach Network, which is responsible for the #2MinuteBeachClean campaign to keep Britain’s beaches tidy. General manager Chris Jones added: “The importance of supporting these organisations is paramount in securing the environment for the future. “The Beach Network particularly demonstrates the importance of the impact we can all make as individuals – which is the reason we have decided to reduce plastic consumables across the club, in as many ways as we can. We are delighted that most of our members have been so supportive of this move.” The changes have so far been well received by the club’s members,
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which total over 5,000, but good communication with customers and explaining the reasons behind the changes have been key to making it work, according to Jenni. She added: “As long as you give warning and explain the reasons why you are doing it, then the changes seem to sit comfortably with people. “It’s really important that everyone does their bit. If every club considered doing this, the difference would be huge.”
Personal trainer Tim Hayes has launched a new app and website to help Londoners access the same highquality personal training available to sports stars and celebrities. The website, which was developed by RNF – the team behind Anthony Joshua’s BXR London app and website – is designed to provide an overview of the services and drive downloads of the Get Peach app, which allows users to find a trainer in seconds, book sessions to take place when and where they want and manage payments. Tim said: “Our mission is to set a new standard in personal training. With entry to the profession starting from just six weeks’ online training, we felt the busy Londoner deserves better than the onesize-fits-all fitness solutions that never truly deliver results. Peach connects you to exceptional personal trainers, who have been hand picked by my team and who are held to impeccably high standards.” Advertising
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WV Active installs SWIMTAG THE City of Wolverhampton Council has invested in Club SWIMTAG software system and lane displays to enhance its swim offer and encourage higher participation levels. The council’s leisure portfolio, branded WV Active, includes three leisure centres, two of which have pools; Bilston-Bert Williams and Central Baths. In addition to the standard Club SWIMTAG system, which enables swimmers to log and track session activity and get involved in a variety of cloud-based challenges, the council has also invested in lane displays which offer the added benefit
of delivering real time information on session activity direct to swimmers on poolside. WV Active manager Sean McBurney said: “In addition to enabling swimmers to seamlessly log and track their activity, recording data such as session duration, number and type of strokes plus the number of lengths completed, the system also creates opportunities to get involved in a variety of individual or team based ‘battles’. “This offers those who want it, a chance to become a part of a swim community, introducing sociability to an otherwise very solitary activity.”
Members at Bannatyne Health Clubs will soon be able to charge their electric cars in less time than it takes to do a spin class. The operator is working with charging company InstaVolt to install rapid DC chargers at its sites across the UK. Bannatyne Group CEO Justin Musgrove said: “Our health clubs offer members the latest in fitness technology and keep ahead of all the latest trends, while aiming to maintain our environmental credentials. Enabling members to charge their electric vehicles while using the health club is part of this commitment.”
The newly extended BORNEFIT community gym in Pool, Cornwall.
Gym is first certified centre in Cornwall A POPULAR community gym has become Cornwall’s first Official Hammer Strength Training Centre following a 2,000ft² facility extension. Previously used for storage, the decision was made to transform the space at BORNEFIT into a dedicated strength training area to grow membership and increase engagement with the gym’s existing members. Working closely with the team at Life Fitness, owners Nick Pugliese and Chris Green chose a range of plate loaded and ground base equipment from Hammer Strength, alongside benches, free weights and accessories for the new training space. BORNEFIT was launched in 2015 by former teacher Nick and electrician Chris, who both retrained and began to grow their client base through
functional training classes and a mobile PT business. Nick explained: “We had a small training area to train our clients but things evolved faster than anticipated and when a large facility in Pool came up for grabs we decided to go for it. “We felt there was a massive gap in Cornwall for a large gym facility.” Following the latest install, BORNEFIT’s membership base has grown significantly, with members travelling from more than 20 miles away to use the premium equipment. Chris added: “It’s a huge honour for us to be named Cornwall’s first official Hammer Strength certified centre. “By proudly displaying the Hammer Strength plaque, our members know that we have selected the highest quality equipment on the market.”
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Don’t leave it too late to get your nomination in By Christina Eccles CLUBS with potentially award winning facilities have been urged not to leave it too late to get involved in this year’s National Fitness Awards. Nominations for the 2018 event close on July 30, with gyms and individuals who are thinking about entering being encouraged to start planning their submissions and pulling together all the relevant information. Event organiser Lucy Dickinson said: “The National Fitness Awards are a great way to gain recognition for your business and can be a great morale boost for staff who put their heart and soul into the industry. “Nominations from across the nation are already flying in, but don’t leave it too late to think about submitting yours. The more detailed your nomination is – and the more supporting evidence that is sent across – the more likely you are to be shortlisted.” The awards, which are now in their ninth successful year, are organised by Script Events in partnership with Workout and headline sponsor ServiceSport.
Aintree Racecourse will host the 2018 NFAs. Other well known industry names are also showing their support for this year’s NFAs, with category sponsors including MYZONE, ClubRight, Jordan Fitness, Matrix and Fitness Systems already confirmed. Trophies will be handed out at a glittering end of year party on Friday December 7 at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool where the best of the best in over 20 categories will be recognised. To find out more or submit your nomination, head to www.nationalfitnessawards.co.uk
Tops tips for submitting a successful NFA entry n Read the categories carefully and make sure you include all the information we ask for on the application – we need to know these key details about your club to ensure you’re eligible to enter and that you’ve picked the category which best suits your business. n If you are a gym which is less than two years old on the date of the 2018 NFAs (December 7) you are only eligible to enter the Best Newcomer category. Clubs which have passed the two year mark can enter as many of the other categories as they like – but you must fill in a separate nomination for each category. n Send as much relevant evidence via email as possible, making sure it’s clearly set out and easy to read. n Testimonials from satisfied members are great to strengthen your nomination but please collate
individual responses into one document and send them all over together. n Clearly label all your evidence to ensure we can match it up to your original application. n Make sure your images are high quality and accurately showcase your facilities. n Include any recent media coverage which supports the work you’re doing in your club. n Include information of any recent events, charity fundraising efforts, member or staff achievements. n Make sure you include your full gym address and that your contact details are up to date incase we need to contact you about your application or notify you that you’ve made the shortlist. n Think about supplying us with some video content. This is a great way for us to get a feel for your facilities and also hear first hand from your team and members.
Coun Becky Crawford (Stockport Council), Coun Christopher Murphy (Stockport Council), Coun Sheila Bailey (Stockport Council), Malcolm McPhail (CEO, Life Leisure), Phil Lavers (Willmott Dixon) and Coun Andy Sorton (Stockport Council) on a visit to the new facility.
New £7m facility opens A NEW multi-million pound sports and leisure centre has opened in Stockport. The £7m Brinnington Park Leisure Complex, developed through investment from Stockport Council, will be operated by Life Leisure, replacing the old Lapwing facility which closed its doors for the last time in late February. Facilities in the new centre include a gym equipped with cutting edge fitness equipment, aerobics studio with weekly programme of
classes, community room, boxing gym, a four court sports hall and an outdoor 3G football pitch. Life Leisure CEO Malcolm McPhail said: “The Brinnington Park Leisure Complex will be a destination facility for the area – providing much needed career, leisure, health and wellbeing opportunities. We hope that our integration into Brinnington and our provision of state-of-the-art facilities will encourage residents to become more active.”
Alliance Leisure Services has expanded its team with the appointment of Sean Nolan as business development manager. Sean has over 25 years’ senior level leisure experience in the private, pubic and trust sectors, working for organisations including Vivacity Peterborough and Sheffield International Venues. He said: “I’m passionate about the leisure industry and having developed a large number of facilities from concept through to operation, I’ve seen the positive impact leisure can have on people’s lives, health and wellbeing. I’m looking forward to using my knowledge and experience to help other local authorities, trusts and contractors to develop their facilities and services to achieve their social and financial objectives.”
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Evolution of the internet By Dr Paul Bedford
THE evolution of the internet and its ability to help operators learn where and when to support customers is a magnificent tool. Imagine you’re considering buying a health club membership online. It’s not an off the cuff decision, it will impact on your time and money, so it’s one you’re unlikely to undertake without some level of research. You probably want to check out a few health club websites to see which one suits you best. Having invested significant time on a website, it should have a good idea of your general preferences; recognising whether you’re primarily interested in classes or PT, mind body activities or high intensity classes. Most importantly, the site should be able to leverage this information to subtly personalise your experience. But what if you could take that a little further and personalise your members’ day-to-day experience within the club too? Machine learning is truly revolutionising business at the one-to-one level. However many people are confused by the term ‘machine learning’ and frequently confuse it with ‘artificial intelligence’ (AI). Machine learning is programming computers to make intelligent decisions and to draw conclusions without human involvement. It’s used to decide what experience to give each customer at the one-to-one level. Artificial Intelligence takes this a step further. It’s the development of computer systems able to perform tasks that usually require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, translation between languages and decision making. Up close and personal There are two main types of personalisation, where customers are put into groups or clusters based on their attributes or behaviours: rulebased and machine-learning. Rule-based personalisation allows operators to deliver experiences to specific groups of customers based on the manual creation and manipulation of business rules. Categorising customers to tailor their experience is a method used by a number of software products, designed to increase interaction with customers most at risk of leaving.
Dr Paul Bedford A segment created using just one or two data points, such as male, female, individual or corporate members, is called a broad segment, meaning it fits many customers, while those combining multiple data points are narrow segments and often leverage “AND” and “OR” logic to identify very specific groups. In these cases, the segment size will be much smaller, for instance, male, corporate members over 45 who do yoga. Operators must decide for themselves whether the effort to manually design an experience for a very small group of people is worthwhile, as the more rules you add, the more complicated it becomes. The club would need to set up and manage hundreds or even thousands of rules to narrow segment and personalise the rest of its customers. Speeding it up Machine learning is revolutionising the speed, scale and depth of data analysis to yield invaluable insights into customers. Predictive segments, also known as automatic clustering, can identify groups of customers with
similar behaviours and affinities, enabling more relevant insights and targeting than rule-based segmentation, essentially allowing operators to create smarter segments more quickly and easily. Machine learning can also help operators identify behaviour differences among existing customers that may not be easy to see from a manual data inspection. For example, the key behaviour differences between a customer that stops using the club versus one who is retained. Operators can then examine high value versus low value customers that quit and, with those insights, react more quickly to business trends and create new opportunities to advance their business. For example, creating a ‘churn risk’ segment for people that exhibit similar behaviours to customers who leave and a ‘potential high-value customer’ group for those similar to existing highvalue customers. Using these segments, operators can create targeted experiences, through digital and physical channels, to encourage high churn risk customers to stay and potential high-value customers to purchase. Predictive segmentation enables operators to identify valuable customers and learn what makes those customers unique. Without that knowledge, they rely on best guesses. Machine-learning presents operators with the most relevant content or experience for each and every customer.
Unique to you Essentially, machine learning personalisation provides a highly scalable way to provide unique human and digital experiences to your customers – right down to the individual level. Everything from the amount of support and interaction required by a customer to the recommending of classes or personal trainers and food and beverage offers. Operators can even modify website navigation, search results and digital content. Popularised by household names like Amazon and Netflix, machine learning algorithms aren’t just for giant e-commerce companies; health club operators of any size can jump on the band wagon. One algorithm can do the work of thousands of rules, personalising who to interact with and what content to share with them based on their behaviours and individual preferences, ultimately resulting in simpler deployments.
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Belly dancing classes added to timetable By Christina Eccles
A Stratford-upon-Avon hotel has invested £100,000 to upgrade its spa facilities. Improvements at the Hallmark Hotel The Welcombe include a refurbished swimming pool hall – including the re-tiling of the pool – a new sauna, refurbished steam room, redecoration – including new lighting and new relaxation loungers – and a refurbished vitality pool. In addition, a new spa product, BABOR, is being introduced and the spa is also introducing new treatment and food and drink menus.
Trust adds its name to charter SANDWELL Leisure Trust has added its name to a charter aimed at helping employees who become terminally ill at work. SLT, which runs and maintains nine leisure centres and a golf course for Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council across the Black Country, is the latest employer to sign up to the Dying to Work Voluntary Charter – and the first leisure employer nationwide – following in the footsteps of companies such as Rolls Royce, Royal Mail and the Co-op. The Charter is part of the TUC’s
wider Dying to Work campaign which is seeking greater security for terminally ill workers where they cannot be dismissed as a result of their condition. Chief executive of SLT Ash Rai said: “Sandwell Leisure Trust is committed to supporting the welfare of all our 500 plus employees, in particular those diagnosed with a terminal illness. “Signing up to the Dying to Work scheme is part of the Trust’s ongoing commitment to support our employees who are most in need.”
A FORWARD thinking village hall in Barnsley is tapping into the latest fitness trends by adding a belly dancing class to its timetable. Mapplewell and Staincross Village Hall has launched Strictly Come Belly Dancing after visitors requested the classes were added to the venue’s event line-up. Village hall manager Nick Hibberd said: “At the beginning of the year we asked all our visitors for suggestions as to what courses or events they would like to see offered at the Village Hall. “Whilst many of the suggestions are already catered for, the most novel and intriguing class requested was for belly Dancing. “It appears that a number of our patrons already attend a course but have to travel all the way to Horbury as this is the nearest professionally run course we’re aware of.” The classes, run by Catherine Clarke of A Sound Footing, will initially run for 10 weeks with an option to extend should they prove successful. Nick added: “Before commissioning the classes I looked into all the health benefits and quickly recognised that the hip drops, rolls, and pivots used in this style of dance utilises muscle groups in the abdomen, pelvis, trunk, spine, and neck, working with the body instead of against it. “Also, being a low impact exercise,
Strictly Come Belly Dancing instructor Catherine Clarke. the risk of injury is minimal when movements are done correctly and can support both weight loss and aid digestion through the exercising of the abdominal region. As such, it is ideal for all ages. “And if laughter is the best medicine and a cure for stress release, then most belly dancing classes tend to have a fun and social element to them which is an added bonus for dance members.”
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LiveWire Warrington has been kitted out with the latest equipment including Wattbikes, Technogym Skillmills and Climbs as well as IFI equipment.
New £16m facility opens its doors By Christina Eccles A NEW £16m community facility and fitness centre, which is leading the way in dementia-friendly standards, has opened its doors in Warrington. LiveWire Warrington, the largest provider of leisure, library and lifestyle services in the town, has unveiled the first phase of its newly refurbished Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub after an extensive two-year redevelopment programme. The new community facility and fitness hub, designed in collaboration with Walker Simpson Architects, has been specifically designed to meet leading dementia-friendly standards throughout, creating a safe and
welcoming environment for people living with the condition. It is also aiming to become the first public building in England to achieve University of Stirling’s Gold Accreditation Certificate for Dementia Design. LiveWire’s managing director Emma Hutchinson said: “We’re proud that this is the first public wellbeing centre in our area with dementia friendly elements at the very front and centre of its construction and design. “We wanted this to be regarded as one of the most dementia-friendly community facilities in the UK so, from the first stages of the design process, we considered all aspects of the customer experience from lighting and layout to signage and
colour scheme. “As our ageing population increases, so will the need for accessible, dementia-friendly environments and we’re determined to lead the way in designing and building facilities that acknowledge this challenge.” The building’s new state-of-theart fitness suite has been kitted out with the latest equipment including Wattbikes, Technogym Skillmills and Climbs as well as IFI equipment. The centre also includes three dedicated group fitness spaces designed for classes and a functional training space. Other features inside the building include a new community library, a quiet room, six NHS consultation rooms and a new space for an
interactive, rolling programme of cultural and heritage displays. Emma added: “We are very proud to launch another incredible and thriving health and wellbeing hub in Warrington. “We’ve invested a lot of time and resource getting the fit-out of the fitness suite just right, with highend technology and state-of-the-art equipment throughout. “It’s all part of our drive to ensure our members have access to the latest fitness equipment and technology, but without the added cost.” As well as new health services, a fully-accessible swimming pool, sports hall and luxury spa are set to be opened at phase two of the project, expected to be later in 2018.
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 email@example.com or you can message us on Facebook or Twitter.
Talking point: How do you generate secondary spend in your gym? What products and services do you offer members – and what are your best-sellers? Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via Twitter or Facebook. We’ll print the best responses next issue.
AS I write this month’s editor’s comment, it seems that spring has finally sprung! It’s always nice to see the sun make an appearance, especially after all that snow, and the warmer days and lighter nights also bring with them more opportunities to get outside and exercise. Whether you’ve organised a running club with your gym members, set up a bootcamp in your local park or simply taken your group workouts or PT sessions outside the doors of your gym, we’d love to know how you’re making the most of the change in season. If you’ve held a class somewhere a bit different – perhaps you’re situated near a beach or local beauty spot – also send us some pictures as we’re always looking for a striking image to be crowned our Picture of the Month. Personally, I’m looking forward to lots of long walks during the summer – and maybe trying out a couple of local bootcamps – but I‘ll be taking my waterproofs along just incase! This time of year is also a busy one for the fitness industry as a whole. Recently some of our team attended FIBO in Germany and there’s also BodyPower and Elevate coming up this month a bit closer to home. Attending shows like these are a great opportunity to meet up with our readers and advertisers, as well as giving us the chance to see some of the newest products launching in to the market, so it’s always good to catch up with everyone there. We’ve also been hard at work spreading the word about this year’s National Fitness Awards and while the closing date of July 30 still feels like ages away, it will come round quickly! We’re sure many of you are currently hard at work on your nominations and are already gathering your supporting evidence and information, but if you are planning on entering and haven’t begun your entries yet, don’t leave it to the last minute. Spending time on the content of your application – whether that’s creating a video presentation, a portfolio of testimonials or a selection of press cuttings – is worth that extra effort. The more you can tell us about your business and the more detailed your entry is, the better your chances of making the shortlist. And if you are named as a finalist, there can be many benefits to be had – from raising the profile of your club to boosting staff and member morale. Read our top tips for creating a potentially award winning entry on page ... and if you have any questions or need some help, give our team a call or chat to us at one of the upcoming shows. Good luck and enjoy the issue! Christina Eccles
Congratulations to this month’s Workout Way to Go joint winners; mother and daughter Carole and Vicky Nixon. Before working with PT Troy Lake, 64-year-old Carole struggled to walk properly and getting up and down the stairs was a struggle. After training with Troy once or twice a week for the past two years, Carole’s health has improved tremendously and she has shed four stone, going from a dress size 20 to a size 12. Daughter Vicky, 24, embarked on the fitness journey with her mum and has also achieved great results; getting fitter and healthier and losing two stone. Vicky said: “When mum and I first started training with Troy, we were both looking to lose weight and tone up, but didn’t expect to do it so quickly. Troy has helped our whole family, he’s educated us about what foods to eat so now there is always something healthy on the table at home.” Way to go Carole and Vicky! You’re our May winners!
Troy, his partner Victoria, Carole and Vicky.
Picture of the month
Follow us on Twitter @ WorkOutUK or contact us on Facebook at www. facebook. com/workout magazine The world’s strongest man Eddie Hall cut the ribbon to mark the opening of Anytime Fitness’ newest club in Peterborough. As well as meeting Eddie, guests were invited to take photographs with him, as well as being given a guided tour of the facilities and equipment by Anytime Fitness staff and PTs. Club owner Jaspal Singh said: “Eddie Hall is a huge name with the sporting and fitness world and is always a big hit with fans, clearly demonstrated by the queue of people lining up out of the door to meet him. It was great to see the reaction from the community in welcoming the new Anytime Fitness Peterborough to their town and we look forward to meeting all of our new members.” Pictured is Eddie and membership advisor Ruby Parvez.
#social media ...
@christinebarker: Nice write up from @iomnewspapers for the @FitnessAwards. Second best ladies gym in the UK, Ireland and IOM. This year it’s ours!! @ warehousefitiom
in @WorkOutUK taking an in depth look @hiitstep.
@ChristinaEccles: Had a great time last night trying out my first @Block_Fit class! Look out for a review in the next issue of @ WorkOutUK!
@lucy_yoga: Yoga at the Museum is “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” (@WorkOutUK). If you’d like to give it a try then book now for 9 May.
@DaveReadle: Awesome article
@FitnessAwards: Have you
seen our new categories for 2018? Boutique Facility of the Year and Education Facility of the Year have been launched to recognise the great work being achieved by operators in these areas. Does your business fit the criteria? Enter now at http:// www.nationalfitnessawards. co.uk @DPMCL: Excellent article @ WorkOutUK from @lifeleisureUK and @cimspa Malcolm McPhail.
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Pictured: Nick Rimmer, head of Development Badminton England; Hannah Gilday, group active communities manager Freedom Leisure; Julia Strong, director of development and competition at Badminton England and Mike Worsnop, head of business development and active communities.
Leisure operator signs three-year deal with Badminton England LEISURE operator Freedom Leisure and Badminton England have signed a partnership agreement designed to get more people in England playing the sport. The deal will see Badminton England invest in Freedom Leisure to support the operator in offering a more visible and enhanced badminton experience across centres with courts across England. The three-year partnership will see badminton highlighted to local communities, with encouragement and support offered to those who would like to try out the sport. Novice players, families, frequents participants, clubs, and tournament organisers will all be catered for and benefit from improved court scheduling and resources. The organisations will also work together to jointly fund badminton development co-ordinators with a
remit to drive even greater levels of grassroots badminton within local communities. Freedom Leisure head of business development and active communities Mike Worsnop said: “We are extremely happy to be working in partnership with Badminton England and for this valuable opportunity to grow resource and support the sport. “We are looking forward to implementing integrated, groupwide initiatives to get more people playing badminton more often. “It is our priority to support the communities in which we operate to be more active and badminton is a great mechanism. “It can be played by people of all ages and abilities, is good fun and has a strong legacy in the UK after good performances in Rio by team GB.”
Sound Dynamics set to showcase sound system with 50 inbuilt speakers WE’RE excited to be exhibiting at the Elite Sports and Rehabilitation Expo this year, taking place on May 9 and 10. We’ll be showcasing the new Maui P900 high quality sound system, designed by The Porsche Design Studio. This amazing, unique system has 50 inbuilt speakers with a power rating of 1400W RMS/2800W Peak It really does deliver unparalleled audio reproduction with exceptional definition and clarity. There’s also relatively low installation required as the speakers are built within the system. Our stand at Elite will also focus on the world of virtual classes. We truly believe adding virtual to your gym timetable, alongside
instructor led classes is a great way forward. The opportunities are absolutely endless with virtual and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have to cost the earth. It works well with a projector, or if you have a higher budget to spend, you could go for a real wow factor and create a cool cinema, surround sound experience. If you’re at the ExCel in London for Elite, Elevate or Copa, come and find us on stand 6146 within the Elite Expo. We can talk you through the best options for you. Otherwise, get in touch today for more information on the products we can offer you. Call 01773 828 486 or email email@example.com
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How to access hard to reach audiences By Stuart Stokes
TARGETING hard to reach audiences is a hot topic. The hardest to reach audience are those who aren’t currently active, regardless of age, ethnicity, religion or money. In pursuit of them, much is made of the national awareness days, which numbered 56 in 2017. That sounds like a lot to me! In a world of information overload, I can see why health organisations need to shout louder for one day out of 365 to be heard, but in this sea of media campaigns are the people we are trying to reach missing our message altogether? While year on year additional resource is ploughed into these campaigns, I’m worried we’re in danger of marketing to the same 20 per cent of serial engagers. I’m not knocking these campaigns. They all have their worth, but how about creating a powerfully consistent media campaign 365 days of the year? Apparently DLKW Lowe’s stroke work is still “the most effective public health work ever.” Some eight years later, the FAST message remains on the side of the NHS Ambulance
Service vehicles. However, there are ways we can use these numerous awareness days to access those who aren’t undertaking activity. Using software solutions, like ReferAll, it is possible to pinpoint the people who are potentially most at need. For example, consider cancer awareness: first identify those in your data who have cancer, then find those who aren’t taking part in your service. It is also crucial to find out if any of them don’t have English as their first language, as translation may be needed. Once you have the data you can formulate a strategy using the health awareness day as an impetus. Find out where these individuals live and then consider an outreach talk explaining the benefits of physical activity. My challenge to service providers is to start from the data to bring ideas and individuals to the forefront, but then to think broadly about how you can engage and inspire them. Individuals with mental health conditions are a great example: they are a hard to reach group but their needs will be vastly different
to someone who has had a life threatening life event, such as a heart attack, and so the strategy needs to be different too. In the hard to reach group, many individuals will see the service as simply sales patter so you need to consider the barriers to them taking part. The biggest is always awareness. It is immensely encouraging to see so many instructors now training in ‘soft skills’, because without listening and understanding what the individual truly wants it is impossible to provide it. Too often opportunities are wasted. A classic scenario: someone who has had cancer turns up at a leisure centre and is simply provided with
a list of services. If we spent a little more time understanding the barriers to exercise and working to reduce them it can make all the difference, not only to the individual but also to your service and your business’ bottom line. Assumptions about diseases, like cancer, are also a barrier: if you have had cancer you will have had surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and will need to be treated with kid gloves. This may be true for some individuals but it definitely isn’t for others. Every case is different. We need to see wider than the ‘leisure centre’ or ‘health club’ box we live in and see the value in outreach. First check to see if there is value to the individual and your service in offering this (using your data). You then need to find them and inspire them. Health awareness days are a great starting point but they are not the whole package. Be strategic and, above all, be bold! n Stuart Stokes is commercial director at ReferAll; a company which offers a fast and efficient online referral pathway for Exercise on Referral schemes.
Devised by X Factor star Chico, Block Fit is the latest class taking the fitness industry by storm. Workout’s Christina Eccles and Lucy Dickinson went along to a session in Barnsley.
Instructor Bronia Warden with Chico at the launch of Block Fit (left) and the group that Christina and Lucy took part in with Bronia Warden in Barnsley.
Class lets you sample four types of session in one AS the name suggests, Block Fit is a class made up of blocks. Four to be precise – dance, combat, HIIT and yoga and meditation – giving participants the chance to sample four types of fitness session in one. Designed to appeal to a wide a range of people, participants follow blocks of choreography set to original music sung by Chico himself. The end result is an inclusive class suited to all abilities and interests. Instructor Bronia Warden is a familiar face on the Barnsley fitness circuit, as she has taught Zumba around the local area for many years and also delivers falls prevention and mobility classes. Ready for a new challenge, Bronia first came across Block
Fit on Facebook and the concept immediately appealed to her, thanks to the combination of disciplines it includes, the original music and the whole buzz surrounding its launch. She said: “Life is so busy and going to four separate classes is sometimes difficult for people, so this covers a lot in a short time.” Bronia has only been running classes in Barnsley for a couple of months, but she’s already building up a loyal following; currently teaching three sessions per week. She told Workout, she has been “amazed” by the feedback from participants, who say not only can they feel the difference fitness-wise, they also feel more confident. “New people attending also say they immediately feel welcomed into
the group. Bronia added: “People have fun and love the classes. They’re for everybody – the moves can always be adapted. “I want people to feel comfortable when they walk in. It’s all about promoting positive mental attitude.” With lots of different classes available for fitness fans, Bronia has found a gap in the market with Block Fit and is enjoying the chance to teach something new, which also makes her stand out from the crowd. She added: “I’m self employed and it’s a big challenge to try and survive against big fitness centres. “Although the groups I have prefer community based [classes] like myself, as I make sure it’s about them and make time to listen.”
Lucy and Christina at the Block Fit class.
Great workout left me with a smile on my face Christina: IN previous ‘Challenge Christina’ features, I’ve tried dance, combat, HIIT and yoga, but never all within the same class; meaning that Block Fit was definitely going to be something different. We began with a dance section, which was so much fun and meant everyone started the session feeling warmed up and also grinning from ear to ear, thanks to the high energy, fun routines and motivating music. This was then followed by a combat workout, which left me feeling confident and empowered and deciding this type of class is something I’d definitely like to do more of. HIIT came next and although this isn’t my favourite way to work out, because each block only lasts for 12 to 15 minutes, it’s not long before you move on to the next thing, which
provides you with that extra push to give it your all. The class was nicely rounded off with a section devoted to yoga and meditation which was the perfect way to cool down and stretch out after three high energy blocks. Many times in this feature, I have commented on my lack of co-ordination so from a technique point of view, having four types of workout to learn was my worst nightmare! The dance and combat sections, in particular, left me hopping around with not much idea of what my arms and legs should be doing or how I could co-ordinate the movements. But Bronia was excellent at spotting that and provided constant encouragement an a gentle reminder throughout. There were also options to
make movements easier or harder if we needed to, which is also helpful when you’re trying a class for the first time and although I wasn’t sure how the session would flow, the four different concepts fitted together seamlessly. This class was energetic and fun and I particularly liked the fact it combines a few different things into an action packed hour. If you’re someone who gets bored of doing the same workouts or you just fancy trying something new, Block Fit is the perfect introduction to dance, combat, HIIT and yoga; giving you a great all round workout while guaranteeing you’ll leave with a smile on your face. And when it comes to a good fitness class, surely that’s what it’s all about? Lucy: I was a little unsure what to
expect from the Block Fit class, if I’m honest, but once I was there and taking part, I thoroughly enjoyed it! It was full of energy, flavour and – in true Chico style – had that slight air of cheese which in my eyes added to the enjoyment. The variety of the exercises kept me engaged, and if anything gave me a better workout than an hour’s worth of the same themed cardio. The class instructor Bronia was really encouraging. She had the perfect outgoing personality to marry up with the class and pushed each individual to ensure they were achieving a great workout. This is definitely one I would recommend to those who are looking for a more light hearted class, which at the same time delivers a great full body workout.
UK FITNESS SCENE Advertiser’s announcement
New site lets trainers earn cash for product recommendations By Christina Eccles
ClubRight strengthens team NEIL Woodward, formerly of DFC (Debit Finance Collections Plc), has joined ClubRight to strengthen the already over-performing team there. Neil brings a wealth of knowledge from the leisure industry, with over 20 years’ experience. “I have worked in leisure at many different levels, from the early days as a lifeguard and duty manager to sales and marketing manager and then on to sell home / light commercial fitness equipment,” said Neil. “More recently I worked in the direct debit collection side of the leisure industry, where I gained a wealth of knowledge and met many fantastic people. “What is lovely about this new role is, I am now back in contact with ex-clients, but with a new and exciting product.” Wayne Heath founder and CEO of
ClubRight, added: “Neil has a real passion for helping people and within his first few weeks has already shown to be creating a real buzz within the organisation. We have some really exciting growth plans here at ClubRight and Neil is part of the team that I have no doubt will succeed in making these plans a reality.” ClubRight has a tried and tested integrated solution with Go Cardless, DFC and Harland’s for your direct debit billing requirements and enhance their services with further partnerships with eGym, MyZone, MailChimp and MyWellness to name just a few. To arrange a free Online demo with Neil, please call him directly on 07849 863576, or email firstname.lastname@example.org – you can also follow him on Twitter @ClubRight_Neil, or connect with him on LinkedIn.
Centre installs Wattbike Training Zone
THE HSBC UK National Cycling Centre in Manchester has installed a new Wattbike Training Zone. The site, which boasts an indoor BMX arena, outdoor mountain bike trails and an indoor Velodrome, is in constant use by anyone from elite athletes to local clubs and schools. Marketing manager at the National Cycling Centre Shaun Brennan said:
“We’re looking forward to launching our new Wattbike Training Zone. “The bikes will be available to anyone; from local residents and general public to GB cyclists and club riders. In fact, anyone can drop-in and use them for general training and fitness or book onto our programme to help prepare for competitions or events.”
PERSONAL trainers and coaches can now earn commission for recommending sports nutrition products to clients, thanks to the launch of a new website. Spotter is a price comparison tool for fitness professionals to find and recommend the best deals on supplements and equipment and earn money when their clients make purchases. Spotter partners with almost every major supplement brand on the UK market – including Myprotein and USN – to make products available to trainers at the best prices and with discounts, so as the trainer makes money, the client also saves money. Trainers can also send personalised product recommendations to clients in seconds via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage, text or email. Spotter takes 25 per cent of the commission, while trainers receive the majority at 75 per cent. CEO Julia Stent said: “It’s high time trainers were rewarded by the brands they promote daily. “Clients entrust their bodies and health to their trainers, so their product recommendations really do count. “Until now, personal trainers might give a recommendation
during a workout that’s either easily forgotten or earns them no credit. By using Spotter, trainers can add an extra layer of quality service for clients with highly personalised recommendations in a professional format, and be paid for it too. “We built Spotter because we are aware trainers have a really tough time financially while they’re building up loyal client bases, which can take years. “It’s well known in the industry that a large proportion of personal trainers don’t make it past their first year of business due to financial troubles. Even for the more established, it can be difficult to break beyond the model of selling time by the hour and find new ways to diversify and expand. We hope this additional revenue stream will make a difference.” Spotter’s other mission is to help trainers learn more about how supplements really work and what impact they can have on helping clients achieve their goals. Julia added: “As a certified nutritionist, I also want to ensure their safety. For ethical and health reasons we only show supplements that we think trainers should be advised to recommend. We hope we can use Spotter to help make our trainers’ lives easier and their clients’ lives healthier.” Olympic cycling champion Laura Kenny has been announced as a keynote speaker for ukactive’s Active Uprising in Manchester this summer. Laura became a four-time Olympic champion after winning team pursuit and omnium gold medals at both London 2012 and the 2016 Rio Olympics. She will share her inspirational success story with guests at Active Uprising, which takes place from June 21 to 23 at Manchester Central.
UK FITNESS SCENE
So you want to open a gym? By Dave Wright
Anthony Joshua receives his Guinness World Record certificate.
Champion boxer adds world record to list of accolades CHAMPION boxer Anthony Joshua has added another accolade to his long list of world titles; helping Lucozade Sport Fitwater and over 500 members of the public set a new Guinness World Record for the largest Boxercise lesson. Fitwater – the new functional electrolyte water from Lucozade Sport – partnered with Boxercise to put 541 participants from across the UK through their paces in a 30 minute workout session at London’s iconic boxing venue York Hall; hosted by AJ and Andy Wake of Boxercise.
Head of Lucozade Sport Lucy Grogut said: “It was fantastic to see so many people sign up for the Lucozade Sport Fitwater event and take part in this World Record attempt. AJ is a huge inspiration and to achieve more World Record success is a testament to him as an athlete. “It has also allowed us to emphasise the importance of hydration when exercising. Fitwater is the perfect hydration partner for this type of exercise, as it contains electrolytes to help replenish what you lose when you sweat.”
FOR as long as people need to move, need company and need motivation, the health club industry will continue to thrive – so it’s no wonder that clubs are still springing up in what existing clubs may think are ‘cluttered’ space. However, working in a gym and opening a gym are two different beasts, here are some tips on how to start your own club. First, it’s probably worth considering whether you want to buy a franchise or start your own brand. The benefit of a franchise is that you have the support all the way through, but that’s less advantageous if you just want to do your own thing ie ‘paint a wall red’ if the corporate colours are blue. Once you’ve decided, here are some tips to help get you started: Create a business plan. Whether you’re on your own or with a franchise, you’re going to need a plan to work out how much money you are going to charge, how much you are going to pay staff, how much you are going to need per month to cover costs and then how much you need to propel yourself forward. Whatever you do, make sure you have a reserve. Sort your finance. Once you have your business plan, start speaking to banks and financing companies and work out how much money you will need to put in yourself. Speak to friends and family that might be interested in investing in your business venture. Select a location. Obviously, you want to look at the town first and then the premises second. If you are considering looking at a particular town, approach the gyms in town to see if they would consider selling. You would be surprised how many clubs are up for sale. Apply for planning. Once you have found a spot then you must apply for D2 planning. This can take anywhere from 8-12 weeks at best, years at worst and don’t commit to anything (lease or equipment) until this is confirmed. People. You would also need qualified personnel to help you run your business, like trainers and group ex staff. These people should be able to present the necessary credentials and certification (Go to CIMSPA to check), as well as the experience, before you hire them. Equipment. Depending on what type of club you are offering, speak to equipment suppliers who can be very knowledgeable and will often take you to other clubs that they have provided equipment with, to give you an indication of what you may like. Never underestimate the opportunity to do this because you can form a relationship with the owner and then learn from their mistakes.
Dave Wright Obviously, for trusted suppliers, the first port of call is Workout magazine. Insurance. Once you have your site and the equipment, then get quotes from insurance companies and brokers to make sure you are legally covered. Software and billing. You are going to require companies to handle the collection of money and also to chase the defaulters if they don’t pay. Membership management companies manage the data base and billing companies manage the direct debit collections. Some companies do both. Layout. When laying out your club, think of the member journey. Think about making it as easy as possible to join, to track their workouts, to book classes and to connect with others. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so think of your layout through the lense of the new customer. Marketing and sales. Running a business without marketing is like winking at a girl in the dark, you may think you are doing a great job, but she can’t see it. Social media is massive to get your message out in a cost effective way. Don’t be afraid to spend big on Facebook and Instagram. Also make sure you have a system of sales so that you can capture those that are looking around your club and they understand the benefits of why they should join yours over the competitors. Finally… Have fun. The health and fitness industry is such a wonderful industry to be a part of. A place where people leave their ‘hats’ at the door and are there to move, smile, sweat and have fun. What more could you want? n Dave Wright is the creator and CEO of MYZONE®, CEO and owner of CFM (Creative Fitness Marketing) and owner of the Feelgood Fitness & Voyage Fitness Club chains. With offices in Chicago (US), Nottingham (UK) and Melbourne (Oz), Dave’s companies have worked directly with over 5,000 health clubs across 30 different countries, encouraging people to be more and stay more physically active. He may be contacted on Dave@ myzone.org
UK FITNESS SCENE
New DC Blocks are highly versatile 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 BlocksÂŽ 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 dcblocksuk.com looks to spread the benefit of DC Blocks to more and more facilities throughout the UK and Europe.
UK FITNESS SCENE
Review your timetable: one size doesn’t fit all By Charlotte Newton
FOR most customers visiting a health or fitness studio, a personal fitness regime is just that: personal. With this in mind, flexibility and variety are key for business owners to ensure they are providing an offering that is tailored to their customers’ needs. However, with so many variables to consider and new trends coming into the market all the time, perfecting your class timetable can soon become a real challenge. We recently undertook research into the fitness habits of the nation, in order to better advise our customers on how they can tailor their offering to suit their own business needs; whether that be growth, better customer retention or a more innovative approach to fitness. Above all, the research showed that flexibility is key, with 63 per cent of people saying they wanted a fitness routine that could fit into their day-to-day life. When it came to the times people are most likely to attend a class, whilst 6pm to 8pm came out on top, there was very little variation across the day. Overall, almost half of the people we asked said there was no specific time that suited them best, so we would recommend offering a range of classes throughout the day in order to target varying demographics.
Charlotte Newton The study also looked at most popular exercise times per city. Londoners were the quickest to jump out of bed in the morning, with 16 per cent saying they would prefer a 6am to 10am session, whereas those in the North of England were most likely to opt for a post-work workout.
Nearly a third (31 per cent) of Leeds residents preferred 5pm to 9pm, while 22 per cent in Newcastle and 18 per cent in Manchester also said the same. When it comes to the classes and services on offer, naturally this differs per studio and is completely dependent on the customers and the studio itself. However, one emerging trend worth paying attention to is the growth of fitness and wellness as a lifestyle choice, rather than a habit, with our data showing an improvement in physical wellbeing is the leading motivator for taking part in fitness activities. When looking at this in line with the undeniable growth of the yoga and Pilates industries in recent years, it begins to paint a picture of the nation’s attitudes towards wellness. For any studios looking to introduce a new class, our research also gauged the nation’s interest in some of the industry’s latest trends. The top five classes people were most eager to try out in 2018 were: 1. Water workouts, water aerobics, water (SUP) yoga – 11.63 per cent. 2. Dance – 11.37 per cent. 3. Crossfit – 6.93 per cent. 4. Climbing – 6.61 per cent. 5. HiiT – 6.54 per cent. n Charlotte Newton is senior manager EMEA marketing for MINDBODY.
Case study – MINDBODY studio Hot Yoga South Carolyn Jikiemi-Roberts, founder of MINDBODY studio Hot Yoga South reveals her tips for curating the perfect timetable: “My research involved visiting other (hot) yoga studios to see why they were so popular and I discovered it was down to the fact they had nailed their class schedules – they had smaller classes and more variety and more teachers. With the addition of music, this seemed to be the recipe for success for yoga! “After visiting the States and trying out a lot of yoga studios, I saw a new trend emerging for hot classes, including Hot Pilates. “This was really popular and I knew I wanted to add it to my class schedule, but when to do it was the question. To test the water, we added Warm Vinyasa/Flow and that went crazy, so slowly we added a second class. “We kept the schedule the same for about four to five months and then introduced a Pilates class once our students became confident in the
Vinyasa and Flow classes. We also trialled new class times and put on classes at 4.30pm. “The clients loved the new time slot, as it was before rush hour and, for stay at home mums, it was a great chance to relax before the mayhem of
evenings began. “For us, it was also low risk and efficient, because generally my staff were already there anyway (either doing admin or prepping the studio) and the heating was on too, so the studios were nice and hot! “Once again as the new classes got busy, we were confident we would fill additional slots, as we’d had the positive feedback from students. “The weekends really took off when each class was different. The numbers went up by 50 per cent, with some doing two to three classes, which complemented each other. While there, they hire towels, buy snacks and it is a win, win formula. “The existing schedule was chiselled out of what customers asked for, bringing in new blood who wanted more exciting classes and really engaging with my customers throughout the whole process. “Friday night will now add a Hot Pilates followed by Bikram Yoga and this will have a dramatic effect on both classes where the numbers are average.”
UK FITNESS SCENE
Perkbox partners with Boxx EMPLOYEE benefits platform Perkbox has partnered with workout subscription service Boxx; allowing users access to exercises anywhere and at no cost. Boxx, which focuses on providing a variety of boxing, HIIT/cardio, strength and yoga workouts, operates wherever users are in the world, so employees can get the best results for their body and mind on the go and at the time that suits them best. All of the workouts are taught by world class instructors, require little or no equipment, and are available on and offline.
V1BE will have a nightclub experience within a gym.
Boxx co-founder Anna Samuels said: “In this increasingly busy world, it’s becoming harder than ever to fit physical exercise into our daily schedules. Yet precisely for this reason, it’s never been more important to stay active so as to counteract stress and improve overall health. “With this extremely exciting partnership we hope to make exercise more accessible and achievable to employees, boosting the overall mental and physical wellbeing of this powerful community of users that is Perkbox.”
Photo credit: Gary Brown
New boutique studio opens A NEW boutique fitness studio has opened in Manchester, which features a sleek design, neon lighting and live DJs to create a nightclub experience within a gym environment. Focusing on HIIT, V1BE classes will provide functional, targeted workouts within a vibrant and supportive group environment. A VIP launch night gave press, bloggers and fitness enthusiasts the chance to take a first look around the state-of-the-art space, which has been kitted out with high-specification Freemotion incline treadmills, custom-built benches and branded boxing gloves. To get the full experience, some guests opted to brave the floor and take part in a demo class on the evening led by general manager and head coach Andy Griffiths, with
a soundtrack provided by local DJ Sarah Giggle. Participants also got to try out the latest in wearable technology from MYZONE, which live-streamed their performance results on screens around the studio. Andy said: “I can’t wait to unleash V1BE to the Manchester public and start building our fitness community. “It’s been a long time coming, and the feedback we’ve had so far definitely reflects this. “There’s a huge demand of people looking for unique challenges in a more social environment, and that’s exactly what V1BE will offer.” After securing a prime location in the heart of the Northern Quarter, the V1BE team already have plans to launch a second studio at Hyphen on Mosely Street by the end of the year.
A new attraction featuring the UK’s largest Ninja Course and the country’s first freeroaming virtual reality experience has opened in Lancashire. Mayor of Preston, Coun Brian Rollo, cut the ribbon to officially open Ninja Adventure Preston, a new leisure destination offering fitness challenges for adults and children. Ninja Adventure director Samir Patel said: “After months of hard work, it’s fantastic to be open and seeing people enjoying the activities. Our courses are aimed at people who’ve watched the Ninja Warrior TV show and thought ‘I could do better than that!’ But there’s so much more inside to try out with a high ropes course, a large-scale snooker experience, plus hundreds of groundbreaking VR games.” Mayor of Preston, Councillor Brian Rollo (centre left) and Mayoress Trisha Rollo cut the ribbon to officially open Ninja Adventure Preston, alongside Samir Patel, the director of Ninja Adventure (centre right) and staff.
Are you looking to become a Bootcamp instructor? JOIN us for a weekend packed full of ideas and education to help you build and develop your Bootcamp business The Bootcamp instructor training certified training course is aimed at exercise professionals who are either looking to teach Bootcamps or instructors who are wanting to enhance their skills, knowledge and learn new exciting ideas and formats. The two day training course covers everything from mobilisation drills, movement preparation drills, fun warm up ideas, programme design,
fun team games and also marketing ideas to build a successful bootcamp business. So if you’re looking at setting up your own bootcamp, train people in large groups and earn more money doing so then the bootcamp course is definitely for you. Our next instructor training dates are: May 12-13 in Basingstoke. June 9-10 in Worcester. To find out more about our bootcamp instructor training courses please visit www.bootcamp-fitness.co.uk
SPORT RELIEF ROUND-UP 31 The fitness industry came together to do its bit for Sport Relief; organising everything from stepathons to spinathons to raise money for the charity. Here Workout rounds up a selection of events.
Indoor cyclists at Chepstow Leisure Centre achieved 820km, reaching the equivalent distance to Rhyl and back on their tour of Wales – raising £251.63. Caldicot Leisure Centre took on the same challenge; achieving a distance of 1,594km and raising £212.
Ferndown Leisure Centre hosted an open day with free classes running during the morning. The club also held a fundraising ‘row-off’ challenge where they asked people if they could row 250m in under one minute. Staff decided to don their sportswear in honour of the event and, in total, the centre raised £85.63.
Two stepathons at Dearneside Leisure Centre in Barnsley raised a combined total of £250. Hosted by instructors Vicky Low and Christina Hudson, one of the classes was also optional fancy dress.
Staff and members from Kirklees Active Leisure got on their bikes for Sport Relief – raising almost £100. The team from KAL’s Huddersfield Leisure Centre took part in an eight-hour bikeathon in reception. Members also got involved by jumping on the centre’s ‘smoothie making bike’ and blending their own smoothies by pedalling.
Life Fitness employees got involved in a range of activities – from tackling an outside circuit to taking on a reps challenge. Staff were also challenged to see how many t-shirts they could put on in 30 seconds while being blindfolded and wearing gloves. Overall, their efforts raised just over £200.
At bstfitness Newbury, the team completed a spinathon from 9am to 5pm. During that time, they covered a distance of 130 miles; raising £100 for Sport Relief.
Operator Soho Gyms held a Sport Relief week at each of its 10 gyms, raising £426. Pictured is general manager Nikki with member Seb who did all seven gym classes that day.
Two Walking Netball groups in Wiltshire, who are part of Wiltshire Council’s Walking Sports Initiative, embraced Sport Relief; raising nearly £200. The ladies, who play regularly in Melksham and Corsham, participated in a merged session which included a friendly fixture and fun drills. The players also hosted a bake sale and auctioned off cakes made by participants.
UK FITNESS SCENE
Dyaco to exhibit UFC equipment at Elevate
One of Scotland’s top golfing champions has launched the newly renovated leisure facilities at Macdonald Inchyra Hotel and Spa in Falkirk. Stephen Gallacher, 2014 Ryder Cup player and three-time winner on The European Tour, is an official ambassador to Macdonald Hotels and Resorts. He visited the hotel to open the new Vital Health and Wellbeing Club and spin studio which have undergone an extensive renovation. New additions include the latest technology from Life Fitness such as SPARC Trainers for high intensity interval training; SE3 interactive cardio machines and PowerMill Climbers. Stephen will be using the facilities throughout the 2018 golf season.
Is Phase Angle the new fitness biomarker?
THERE is a new body measurement increasing in popularity, called Phase Angle. It is currently used in hospitals to monitor nutritional assessment and recognised as a general ‘wellness’ biomarker, however this measurement has found its way into the fitness industry with huge intrigue. There is a statistical significant correlation between Phase angle and muscle strength (lean muscle mass). Could this be another way to accurately measure muscle strength and prevent over-training and injury? Measuring a person’s Phase Angle is simple, quick and non-invasive, much like measuring body composition. Recent exciting research has lead Phase Angle to be accepted as a global health marker. Although there are no cut-off points or normal ranges as yet, there is a certainly a general trend that individuals can follow. A lowering of Phase Angle reflects a deterioration of health, whereas an increased Phase Angle indicates an improvement of health, often related to an increase in lean muscle mass through strength training, eating healthily or general fitness and wellness. Phase Angle is a measurement from a specific and advanced bioelectrical impedance device specially designed to measure Phase Angle. It has been described as a direct measurement of the integrity of the cell membranes within our body. Thus healthy body cells are reflected through a higher Phase Angle, and likewise a lower Phase Angle will reflect unhealthy cells or disease (acute or chronic). In some hospital
settings, clinicians have used Phase Angle to monitor the growth or recovery of tumour cells, particularly breast cancer (International Journal of Health & Allied Sciences • Vol. 3 • Issue 1 • Jan-Mar 201) As well as the numerous benefits in a clinical setting, Phase Angle is increasingly becoming known as an indicator for muscle strength and nutritional status. In fact, most dietitians and nutritionists have now heard of Phase Angle in some sense. This has potential for a wide variety of potential applications such as sports injury, rehabilitation and tracking of strength training, including injury prevention. A study based on elite Brazilian athletes depict a strong correlation between Phase Angle and increased muscle strength, and in fact noted that “intense physical training may affect cellular membrane stability” as shown by the Phase Angle marker. This has led to the question whether Phase Angle can actually predict injury? (Proceedings of the Nutrition Society (2008), 67 (OCE8), E332) The Olympian rowing team in Slovenia used Phase Angle in Rio as part of their training, and it was found that an unusually high Phase Angle (>10) indicated over-training, and poor performance due to muscle fatigue. So should we be tracking our Phase Angle instead of our weight if our aim is for holistic wellness as well as an increase in muscle strength? Could this simple measurement be giving us more value than we realise? If you want to find out more, go to www.bodystat.com UK leaders in this technology, or call them on 01624-629571.
VISITORS to Elevate will notice the iconic global brand of the Ultimate Fighting Championship at the ExCeL Arena as global fitness company Dyaco exhibits a broad range of UFCbranded equipment for the first time in the UK. Dyaco holds the global licence to manufacture and distribute UFCbranded fitness equipment and leveraging the popularity of the iconic, global brand, is providing a diverse offering of premium equipment for both commercial and retail markets. The broad range of equipment available will give health clubs the platform to deliver bespoke ‘UFC Zones’ on the gym floor and engage its customers with a brand synonymous with elite-level performance. On the Dyaco stand, Elevate visitors will be able to see a range of products from the UFC Ultimate Kombat range and also a Functional Training rig, barbells and accessories from the functional training pillar of the product offering; UFC Ultimate Training. The UFC offering is split into four key pillars: UFC Ultimate Kombat – Combat training equipment including UFC-branded gloves, mitts and punchbags. Products suitable for beginner level right through to professional UFC athletes. UFC Ultimate MXS (Strength Series) – A full range of premium commercial UFC strength equipment suitable for health clubs of all shapes and sizes. Products include selectorised strength and plate-loaded machines as well as benches. All machines are in the instantly recognisable red and black UFC colourway. UFC Ultimate Training – A diverse range
of functional training equipment, ranging from rigs to accessories including ab wheels and battle ropes. The equipment has been designed so it is synonymous with the UFC brand. For example, the Functional Training Rigs are available in an octagon shape as well as the weight plates on the free weights and barbells also boasting the iconic octagonal design. UFC Training and Programming – Complementing the range of UFC equipment is bespoke training programmes to simulate the strength and conditioning of an elite UFC athlete. These will be available to health clubs and individual users in both written and video formats. A specific training programme in development is ‘Championship Rounds’ – five x five-minute rounds (with one-minute rests) of training which replicate the intensity of championship competition in the UFC. The commercial line of UFC equipment will be available in the Autumn along with a comprehensive range of accompanying programming packages.
Go keyless, go KitLock CODELOCKS brand KitLock is a range of keyless locks that can be easily fitted to a variety of lockers in your changing room. Fitted in place of standard cam locks, KitLock provides simple keypad access without the hassle of keys, tokens or coins. KitLocks can also be fitted to lockers or cabinets that do not have an existing locking device – just drill another hole. There are many benefits in going keyless, but for your club members what could be simpler than using a four-digit code and not having to carry a key around. If the code is forgotten, then entering a six-digit technician code will open the locker. From a maintenance perspective, having no more keys to replace saves a great deal of time and money. Want to know more? Codelocks will be at Elevate on May 9 and 10. Come along to our stand H12 to discover how going keyless could benefit you and your members. For a quick preview visit www.codelocks.co.uk/gokeyless
UK FITNESS SCENE
PTs and GPs must share their best practice for health of the nation By Dr Dane Vishnubala, Active IQ chief medical adviser THE health of the nation doesn’t just rest in the hands of GPs. In fact, I believe the leisure industry in general and PTs in particular can play a key role in increasing physical activity levels and decreasing 21st century chronic diseases including heart disease, obesity, Type Two Diabetes, depression and anxiety. That said, PTs can’t win the health war alone – they must collaborate with GPs and medical professionals to pool their resources and skills and collaborate in community settings. In today’s climate, it is more achievable for PTs to improve their medical knowledge, rather than ask GPs to add to their workload by asking them to improve their
‘As well as upskilling existing PTs, we must ensure new learners coming into our industry are trained as a matter of course to recognise and manage common health issues and understand inactivity better.’
PT skills. To my mind, fitness professionals are the “physical activity specialists” but PTs and GPs must work together to raise the leisure industry’s standards to ensure success. Until recently, the active leisure industry has been hindered by a medical knowledge gap. But some extraordinary work behind the scenes has been going on and we are now at a point where PTs can upskill with confidence with refreshed, updated qualifications and GPs can broaden their understanding supported by Public Health England and its Physical Activity Clinical Champions Programme. A GP myself and one of the PHE clinical champions, I am seeing first hand how this peer led education for health professionals and medical students is already having an impact. As well as upskilling existing PTs, we must ensure new learners coming into our industry are trained as a matter of course to recognise and manage common health issues and understand inactivity better. Active IQ is ahead of the game here and I have the privilege of working closely with them to upgrade their PT qualifications to include more medical knowledge and insight. Ongoing, I’m helping keep Active IQ fitpros up-to-date with the latest
refreshed PT qualifications such as those offered by Active IQ to bring more emphasis to chronic disease and behaviour change in PTs’ training. Raising our own fitness industry standards The work of CIMSPA with partners such as Active IQ will help GPs recognise and trust the professionalism of PTs and feel confident collaborating with them.
Dr Dane Vishnubala research to ensure not just the credibility of their qualifications but also to keep PTs abreast of the latest medical issues (I’ve yet to find a PT who reads medical journals willingly!) I believe the next steps to bring PTs and GPs closer together include: Upskilling medical professionals Upskill Medical Professionals via the PHE Clinical Champions Programme, now in its third year and supported by Sport England. Upskilling fitness professionals Prioritise the new, upgraded
Physical Activity Clinical Advice Pads A pilot is running with health care professionals ‘prescribing’ activity to patients in the form of a physical activity prescription pad. This ‘treatment’ is personalised and on paper: a great call to action bringing GP patients to PTs who can help. A PT in every GP surgery I know that practically this is not possible due to space and NHS pressures, but the sentiment is correct. What other spaces can we find to bring various medical, health and fitness professionals under one roof? Community spaces? Leisure centres? Office blocks? We must keep moving this forward because if medicallyaware PTs and open-minded GPs come together, it can really make a difference.
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Outsourcing your direct debits is about more than just managing money ... By Ivan Stevenson DIRECT Debit is the simplest way to manage member payments. Fact. But like any mundane finance task, it isn’t as cut and dry as dipping into your customer’s pockets on a weekly or monthly basis. Direct Debit maintenance is a continuous cycle and organisations must stay on top of their game in areas such as: n Payment frequency. n Data management and integration. n Customer service. n Late payments and the time and resource implications of chasing this. Your admin team might be brilliant folks. But here’s the real question: are they getting you more bang for your buck?
Consider the potential revenue at every stage of the customer journey, starting with your membership offering: is it competitive? What about manageable and in line with your business model? If indeed it ticks all the boxes, then consider if it gives people the right information to convert. Online joining is the pinnacle of membership acquisition and one of the most valuable revenue solutions offered by direct debit bureaus. If your organisation doesn’t already have online joining, you can bet your bottom dollar that your competitors do. The joining portal act as a 24-hour online sales aid to increase monthly Direct Debit sales. New members can sign up from the couch, on their morning commute or through a
Facebook post marketing an offer. It even automates bank verification, reducing delays and payments that often rear their heads at first payment. Sadly, it can’t completely eradicate late payers, but luckily Direct Debit bureaus have the answer to this one too – or at least, one does! DFC provides revenue management solutions to the health and fitness industry, and MyPayments is their solution to arduous credit control affairs. The MyPayments portal exists as an integrated feature on an organisation’s app or website. Members can keep track of payments and quickly rectify problems without creating extra work for those inside the business. The outcome is time saved on
admin and an increase in customer experience. So you see, managing direct debit payments really is a full-time job, and one best left to the experts. Outsourcing offers you a world of opportunities to grow your business, from increased analytics giving you the score on your best and worst paying customers, to specialist customer advice. Get there before your competitors do! We’re at Elevate! Come and discuss your Direct Debit requirements with us at stand F44. We’ve been known on average to achieve a three-month increase in average length of stay. Find out more about our cashflow management solutions at debitfinance.co.uk n Ivan Stevenson is a director at Debit Finance Collections.
App grows in strength
A gym in Skegness has raised almost £1,000 for charity by hosting a successful spinathon. The event at Fresh Fitness was in aid of Cycle Without Age, which organises volunteer pilots to take local elderly people and care home residents out on trishaw cycle rides – three-wheel cycles with a passenger cab on the front. It was held from 6am until 9pm and participants raised £945; completing a total distance of 800 miles, which represents the distance from Skegness to Copenhagen where Cycle Without Age was founded. Fresh Fitness manager Mark Belton added: “I would like to thank everybody for taking part and their kind donations both during and since the event.”
A PERSONAL training app, which allows PTs to create workouts and nutrition plans for clients while also managing their schedule and payments, is going from strength to strength. My PT Hub, which has grown by 4.5 times its size year on year and sees over 18,000 new users a month, was created when founder Phil Carr (pictured right) noticed his friend Lewis walking around the gym with clients trying to juggle organising their next sessions and managing schedules. Combining the pair’s knowledge of the fitness and digital sectors, in just five months the product was created and launched – streamlining the process for both clients and PTs. Phil said: “In the days where we rely on our smartphones, I thought it was mad that there wasn’t something like this already out there. “We started out as a just a team of three, we were thrilled when we made our first pound in 2015. “I can’t believe that three years later we are now a team of 20 and hiring
at a rate of someone new every six weeks. “I’m extremely proud of the growth of My PT Hub. It’s a product which can genuinely provide a full service solution – no third-party add-ons required. “All of the support team are qualified personal trainers, as we wanted each team member to be able to provide real contextual answers when questions popped up from customers.” Now, the app is used by over 55,000 trainers, 1.2m clients and acquires a new customer every two minutes. Phil added: “People are wanting to use the product for their own gyms/ clubs and businesses are wanting to integrate it with their software. “ This is set to be a really exciting year for us and I can’t wait to announce amazing partnerships, features and new product releases.”
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