20 Sep 2018 Health Club Management Handbook
 

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Health Club Management Handbook - Independents' day

Who's who

Independents' day


We showcase a selection of recent projects where independent operators and suppliers have worked together to ‘think out of the box’ and bring genuine innovation to the table

JOIN THE TRIBE

Operator: Active4less, Hove, UK
Supplier: MYZONE

Active4less in Hove launched a new small group training concept in September 2013, combining HIIT with heart rate training. Known as Tribe, the concept adopts a membership model and sits alongside the main gym. It’s priced at £24.99 a month – compared to Active4less membership of £19.99 for gym and classes – and is described by owner Brandon Harris as “the best possible value for people wanting to make a difference to their fitness”. Membership of Tribe also includes membership of Active4less.

Tribe was born out of the club’s previous small group training business, which Harris evolved into a low-cost model when his club joined the Active4less group. Catering for 16 to 20 people, Tribe’s instructor-led sessions run six or seven times a day in a dedicated studio featuring CV and resistance kit, motivating music and energising lighting.

The classes use the MYZONE system, which provides real-time feedback on heart rate, calories burned and effort levels. Members’ MYZONE belts also monitor all other exercise in and outside the club.

Instructors post a video on a website each week, showing the exercises that will feature in the forthcoming classes. These are selected to ensure progression and that no part of the body is under-utilised.

Tribe attracted 240 members in its first six weeks. In addition to increasing membership revenues, the club also benefits from secondary spend generated by the sale of MYZONE belts.

Harris plans to roll out the Tribe concept via franchise or license in the future.

 



Tribe offers small group training using MYZONE’s HR monitoring system
 


Tribe offers small group training using MYZONE’s HR monitoring system
 
FIGHTING FIT

Operator: Toxteth Fire Fit Hub, Liverpool, UK
Supplier: Cybex International UK

Toxteth Fire Fit Hub opened in spring 2013 – a £5.2m facility with ambitious aspirations for its role in the community. Comprising a split level gym, studio, 1200sq m sports hall and four outdoor five-a-side pitches, the Hub is also home to Toxteth’s new fire station.

Central to the Hub and a condition of Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s residency is the 340sq m gym, used by fire service staff and the local community. Cybex, which equipped the gym, has also been putting firefighters through their paces using its Firefighter Performance Programme.

Developed by the Cybex Research Institute and widely used in the US, the training concept is designed to enhance the specific attributes required by the profession. The programme offers three difficulty levels, combining intervals and circuits. Fire crew who have already taken part in the programme include individuals who were recovering from injury and working towards returning to full duty.

The training concept has not only been used by the fire service: it underpins the facility’s dual purpose philosophy, as Keiran Timmins, deputy chief executive of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, explains: “The concept allows the wider community user group to ‘train like a firefighter’ with our fire crews. The fire service staff act as role models and community leaders at the station, while maintaining their operational fitness using the gym equipment.”

“Through our work with the fire service, crew are not only provided with a training programme bespoke to their profession, but we’re also able to impart much higher levels of understanding of the equipment, which staff can then share with other users,” adds Chris Rock, Cybex master trainer.

 



Members of the community are able to ‘train like a firefighter’ at Toxteth Fire Fit Hub
MAXIMISING GROUP EXERCISE

Operator: Reebok Sports Club London, UK
Supplier: The Retention People

In 2012, Reebok Sports Club London deployed TRP’s GroupX software to help streamline its group exercise programme. With over 40 instructors teaching more than 170 classes a week, the club’s challenge was to accurately measure performance of its instructors, classes and programmes, as well as ensuring a seamless process was in place for paying its instructors.

TRP’s GroupX software is an online group exercise management solution offering live reporting tools that allow users to easily review programme, class and instructor performance at the touch of a button.

John Penny, MD at Reebok Sports Club London, explains: “The software has allowed us to develop structured KPIs to oversee our group exercise programme. This has been of considerable use when making changes/additions, making every penny count towards serving our members.

“We’ve seen up to a £1 reduction in the cost per member per class over recent months – great savings that can be put back into other retention-based activities.”
Using GroupX has also helped the club increase overall use of its group exercise programme, says Penny: “Attendance of classes is up 2 per cent compared to the same period last year, which translates to 3,000 more visits involving group exercise.”

Since the original installation, TRP has developed the software further to help save time collating payroll data. “The software automatically generates instructors’ costs at the end of the month,” says Penny. “This has reduced our manager’s workload by up to 15 per cent each month.”

He concludes: “GroupX has given us a real understanding of the value of our class programme and the impact of group exercise on member attendance, as well as the ability to make informed decisions about necessary changes.”

 



TRP’s GroupX software has allowed The Reebok Sports Club London to make up to a £1 reduction in the cost per member, per class
SMALL GROUP TRAINING

Operator: Odyssey Knebworth, UK
Supplier: Technogym

In February 2013, Odyssey Knebworth partnered with Technogym to transform a selectorised strength section in its gym into a dynamic group functional training and resistance area with five Kinesis Stations.

Supported by full staff and member training from Technogym, the Stations instantly made an impact on the gym floor, with increased resistance usage and evidence of a more engaged membership across all demographics. The club has also seen a 25 per cent increase in group training revenues, a great return on the initial £20,000 investment.

Ian Riches, club director, says: “We’ve seen the Kinesis Stations create a culture of functional and group training that standard machines never seem to create. The biggest influence has been on the over-50s, who form a large proportion of our member base. We’ve also seen a change in gym usage patterns among young men and women: women see Kinesis Stations as a viable resistance training option, while young men devoted to free weights now recognise the versatility and benefits offered by the Stations.”

Complimentary sessions on Kinesis Stations now form part of each member’s journey, to introduce them to the benefits of group training and connect them with other members. Kinesis Group Circuits are also used as a retention tool, introducing lower-use members to its small group exercise training format in a bid to re-engage them with the club.

“This is important, as we’ve seen that 75 per cent of group session attendees continue with paid group exercise,” says Riches. “Kinesis Stations are now used in over 60 per cent of programmes written since the equipment was installed.”

 



Odyssey transformed a selectorised strength area into a functional and resistance zone
GOING PREMIUM

Operator: Headlands Hotel, Cornwall, UK
Supplier: Life Fitness

Creating a luxurious, wellness-focused destination hotel was the aim of the family-owned Headlands Hotel, which overlooks the tourist location of Fistral Beach in Newquay, Cornwall. Over the past 30 years, the hotel has seen significant change, most recently benefiting from a £30m investment to attract a new premium clientele.

The latest phase of the renovation has seen the introduction of a brand new spa and gym facility, the latter kitted out with Life Fitness equipment.

“We took great care when selecting our partners to ensure we incorporated the very best materials and technology into the hotel,” says general manager Darryl Rebun. “Health and wellness is a really important factor and we were particularly impressed with Life Fitness’ new console, which enables our guests to instantly connect to their own mobile devices and track existing workouts through LFconnect.”

As well as being open to guests, in July 2013 Headlands decided to open up membership to the general public, to boost revenue and ensure year-round use. Monthly memberships and day passes are now available for gym only, spa only, and spa and gym, and both revenue and occupancy have risen as a result.

Alongside the gym, spa facilities include a heated pool, Cornish salt steam room, Swedish sauna, aromatherapy showers and a hot tub. A new VIP couples treatment room, hydrotherapy pool, St Tropez Suite, four additional treatment rooms, a manicure and pedicure space and a deep relaxation lounge were also added at the end of last year.

 



Headlands Hotel has invested £30m in making its offering more luxurious, including a brand new spa and gym equipped by Life Fitness

Originally published in Health Club Handbook 2014 issue 1

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