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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Sweating the details: Content that kills

The ubiquity of screens offers our sector greater reach than ever before. The challenge is to find creative solutions to transform this perceived threat into an opportunity

By Jak Phillips | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 1
Companies like Peloton are harnessing screen power to offer engaging fitness options
Companies like Peloton are harnessing screen power to offer engaging fitness options
Peloton aims to persuade consumers to part with £2,000 for a bike and £40 a month in subscription fees to work out at home with its array of streamed classes

Addictive’, ‘deadly’, ‘the scourge of modern living’ – just some of the warning sirens from our growing moral panic around screen time.

Whether it’s new ukactive research that UK adults spend an average of 12 hours a week watching on-demand TV, or those amusing YouTube videos of toddlers furtively trying to swipe and zoom in on newspapers, seemingly everything today signals the impending apocalypse where screens finally take over.

Make no mistake, screens are everywhere. They’re in our living rooms, atop our desks, in our pockets even. The chances are, you’re reading these words on a screen.

But what’s so bad about that? Screens aren’t to blame for our ‘box-set binges’ and love affair with the chair, it’s the content. Screens don’t force people to stare at them for hours at a time, it’s the fact that Netflix does such a bloody good job of producing addictive content.

Content Landmarks
Idle forms of content currently dominate our screen time, but there’s no reason why the health and fitness sector can’t fight back with its own inspiring content to get people moving. It’s not like we haven’t done it before.

Think back to Jack LaLanne in the 1950s, Jane Fonda in the 1980s and Mr Motivator in the 1990s – they all became big ‘on the box’. Far from being the enemy of exercise, many of the landmark moments in our fledgeling fitness movement have stemmed from the screen.

The ubiquity of screens offers our sector greater reach than ever before. The challenge now is to find creative solutions to transform this perceived threat into an unprecedented opportunity.

Many firms have already started, and as digital fitness has exploded in recent years, the mission to establish fitness facilities as consumers’ ‘third space’ has moved into cyberspace.

The fitness content war is coming
And this is where the quality of content is key. Just as the dodgy on-screen instructors and faded projectors initially gave virtual fitness a bad name in health clubs, it’s the high-quality offerings now becoming the norm that are currently fuelling this new wave of virtual and on-demand fitness.

The content war is well underway, and the stakes are quickly rising. US private equity-backed Peloton recently arrived in London with much fanfare and is opening a production studio dedicated to creating ‘UK-centric’ fitness content.

Pitting itself against the traditional gym market, Peloton aims to persuade consumers to part with £2,000 for a bike and £40 a month in subscription fees to work out at home instead, with its array of streamed classes.

Meanwhile, established market players – such as Fitness On Demand, Wexer Virtual and Les Mills On Demand – are working with health and fitness clubs to bridge the gap between members’ homes and the gym, with fitness subscription services that offer an exercise touchpoint in between club visits.

And then there are a growing number of boutique clubs starting to offer live and recorded feeds of their workouts to be broadcast through streaming services such as ClassPass Live.

What does all this mean for health clubs?
There are those who believe that on-demand fitness offerings will negate the need for the health club and ultimately cost them members.

But the initial numbers don’t seem to bear this out. As the digital fitness revolution has gathered pace over the past decade, gym memberships and penetration rates have continued to steadily increase.

The evidence suggests that digital fitness is helping to bring more people into the world of fitness – the inactive, the self-conscious, the time-poor – with many then graduating into the club space, as they did in droves when the Fondas and LaLannes first hit our screens.

You only have to look to the music industry, which has similarly been disrupted by streaming services to see how this can play out. Most people have a Spotify subscription, but live music has never been more popular, with attendances to gigs and festivals at an all-time high. It just shows how live experiences will always be the pinnacle.

It’s the same story with virtual fitness in gyms. Far from cannibalising the group fitness crowd, industry research has shown clubs that install virtual fitness in their studio see an average 12 per cent increase in attendances to live classes.

Quality content gets people moving and crucially, it helps provide sustainable inspiration. We know the main reasons people leave gyms are down to perceived cost, convenience and lack of time – all of which ultimately boil down to a loss of motivation. A loss of motivation to fork out for that membership, to make that trip to the gym, to create the time for that regular workout.

By offering fitness at members’ fingertips, we can support them to stay in the fitness groove and maintain motivation whether they’re stuck at home, or at work or are travelling.

The gyms that win will be those that can form the right partnerships to extend their reach beyond their four walls through top quality content. They’ll keep current members engaged and will open up a route to reach the 85 per cent of adults who aren’t currently members of a gym. They’ll be primed to help these audiences dip their toe into the world of fitness, before graduating from home workouts into the club space.

The competition will be fierce, but the potential spoils are seismic. Forget being our biggest enemy, screens could yet prove to be the gym’s best friend.

Companies like Fitness on Demand are harnessing screen power to offer engaging fitness options
Companies like Fitness on Demand are harnessing screen power to offer engaging fitness options
Companies like Les Mills are harnessing screen power to offer engaging fitness options
Companies like Les Mills are harnessing screen power to offer engaging fitness options
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/488047_616714.jpg
We need to stop demonising screen use and instead embrace quality content that gets people moving, says Jak Phillips
People
We want to develop the next generation of health and wellbeing centres, offering a mix of clinical, physical and emotional wellbeing services
People
With two instructors per class – one devoted to correcting form – we fix people, and this creates clients for life
People
As clubs with swimming pools and health and beauty facilities, the low cost model wasn’t going to work for us, but the clubs weren’t as high-end as David Lloyd clubs either. Our first intervention was to win over the staff and encourage them to act as though it was a high-end club
Features
HCM Celeb
The boxing entrepreneur aims to help people ‘unleash the fighter within’ to better handle life’s challenges, with the slogan, ‘It’s not yours until you fight for it’
Features
ukactive
Following the ActiveLab Live! finale at the recent Active Uprising conference, we take a look at startups that are using technology to help people become healthier and more active
Features
Asia
Over 300 fitness executives gathered in Singapore recently for the World Fit Summit. HCM’s Steph Eaves attended to chat with CEO and founder Ross Campbell and find out more about the industry in Asia
Features
Strength training
You may be able to help your members and customers avoid or reverse osteoporosis by encouraging weight bearing activities, as Liz Terry reports
Features
Retention
Are you optimising HIIT for your members, or are they put off by the pain? Abigail Harris looks at research into ways to better support members towards a positive outcome
Features
Retention
There’s no one thing that will fix your member retention, but clarity of mission, a strong culture and an eye for data will drive significant change. Kate Cracknell reports from this year’s Retention Convention
Features
HCM Celebs
In the name of work, Australian actor Chris Hemsworth has undergone impressive physical transformations for film roles such as Thor in The Avengers and Marvel films. Inspired by the public’s interest in his workouts, he’s now created a health and fitness app called Centr that utilises the expertise of his team of world-class experts
Features
Statistics
The fitness market in Europe is entering a new phase of growth according to the European Health & Fitness Market Report 2019 by EuropeActive and Deloitte. HCM reports
Features
Flooring
With the increase in popularity of functional training, the floor is increasingly becoming a piece of equipment in itself. Kath Hudson investigates
Features
Innovation
Silicon Valley hacker Dave Asprey used his tech skills to gather the latest fitness kit to create a bio hacking boutique. Kath Hudson investigates cusapero
Features
Active ageing
The older people get, the more likely they are to have a long term health condition. But getting ill is not an inevitable consequence of getting older, so targeting the over 50s market could bring about multiple wins. Kath Hudson reports
Features
Promotional Feature
Promotional feature
EMS training is a great opportunity to differentiate your offering in a crowded fitness market. The kit requires very little space and the business model can be extremely lucrative - Phil Horton, miha bodytec
Latest News
Fitness subscription platform ClassPass has appointed a UK general manager as it looks to grow ...
Latest News
Bannatyne Group has named Karen Wilkinson to the board of Bannatyne Fitness. The appointment comes ...
Latest News
UK children will be offered a greater opportunity to take part in 60 minutes of ...
Latest News
Regular exercise, a balanced diet, quitting smoking and cutting down on alcohol are the best ...
Latest News
The best class instructors earn the best salaries the market offers, bringing enhanced value to ...
Latest News
Research from property experts at Colliers International suggests people are increasingly willing to pay more ...
Latest News
The Grade II listed, 17th century Grantley Hall hotel and wellness retreat will reopen today ...
Latest News
Boutique health and fitness operator Ten Health and Fitness plans to double the size of ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Myzone vs. wrist trackers
According to ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal, wearables trumped the top spot for trends in 2019. However, the question between Myzone or wrist trackers still stands.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Crown overhaul changing rooms at Saunton Sands spa
Saunton Sands Hotel in Devon, UK, has completed a £2m expansion of its spa and wellness facilities.
Opinion
promotion
Member retention is a growing problem for long-established gym chains, who are battling the growing budget and boutique gym market.
Opinion: Are you trying to beat budget gyms at their own game?
Video Gallery
TRX MAPS
TRX Training
TRX MAPS completes body movement assessments in just 30 seconds to help trainers develop personalized fitness plans and goals for members. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Dyaco UK Ltd
Dyaco UK Limited offers a versatile range of world-class commercial, medical and home fitness equipment ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Vital Tech
Vital Dome is the company’s patented and proprietary technology. Vital Tech has full control over ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Professional services
Deloitte UK: Professional services
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Exercise equipment
EXF Fitness Equipment: Exercise equipment
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Member access schemes
Move GB: Member access schemes
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions Ltd: Flooring
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
23-25 Jul 2019
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Diary dates
05-06 Sep 2019
TagusPark, Oeiras, Portugal
Diary dates

features

Sweating the details: Content that kills

The ubiquity of screens offers our sector greater reach than ever before. The challenge is to find creative solutions to transform this perceived threat into an opportunity

By Jak Phillips | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 1
Companies like Peloton are harnessing screen power to offer engaging fitness options
Companies like Peloton are harnessing screen power to offer engaging fitness options
Peloton aims to persuade consumers to part with £2,000 for a bike and £40 a month in subscription fees to work out at home with its array of streamed classes

Addictive’, ‘deadly’, ‘the scourge of modern living’ – just some of the warning sirens from our growing moral panic around screen time.

Whether it’s new ukactive research that UK adults spend an average of 12 hours a week watching on-demand TV, or those amusing YouTube videos of toddlers furtively trying to swipe and zoom in on newspapers, seemingly everything today signals the impending apocalypse where screens finally take over.

Make no mistake, screens are everywhere. They’re in our living rooms, atop our desks, in our pockets even. The chances are, you’re reading these words on a screen.

But what’s so bad about that? Screens aren’t to blame for our ‘box-set binges’ and love affair with the chair, it’s the content. Screens don’t force people to stare at them for hours at a time, it’s the fact that Netflix does such a bloody good job of producing addictive content.

Content Landmarks
Idle forms of content currently dominate our screen time, but there’s no reason why the health and fitness sector can’t fight back with its own inspiring content to get people moving. It’s not like we haven’t done it before.

Think back to Jack LaLanne in the 1950s, Jane Fonda in the 1980s and Mr Motivator in the 1990s – they all became big ‘on the box’. Far from being the enemy of exercise, many of the landmark moments in our fledgeling fitness movement have stemmed from the screen.

The ubiquity of screens offers our sector greater reach than ever before. The challenge now is to find creative solutions to transform this perceived threat into an unprecedented opportunity.

Many firms have already started, and as digital fitness has exploded in recent years, the mission to establish fitness facilities as consumers’ ‘third space’ has moved into cyberspace.

The fitness content war is coming
And this is where the quality of content is key. Just as the dodgy on-screen instructors and faded projectors initially gave virtual fitness a bad name in health clubs, it’s the high-quality offerings now becoming the norm that are currently fuelling this new wave of virtual and on-demand fitness.

The content war is well underway, and the stakes are quickly rising. US private equity-backed Peloton recently arrived in London with much fanfare and is opening a production studio dedicated to creating ‘UK-centric’ fitness content.

Pitting itself against the traditional gym market, Peloton aims to persuade consumers to part with £2,000 for a bike and £40 a month in subscription fees to work out at home instead, with its array of streamed classes.

Meanwhile, established market players – such as Fitness On Demand, Wexer Virtual and Les Mills On Demand – are working with health and fitness clubs to bridge the gap between members’ homes and the gym, with fitness subscription services that offer an exercise touchpoint in between club visits.

And then there are a growing number of boutique clubs starting to offer live and recorded feeds of their workouts to be broadcast through streaming services such as ClassPass Live.

What does all this mean for health clubs?
There are those who believe that on-demand fitness offerings will negate the need for the health club and ultimately cost them members.

But the initial numbers don’t seem to bear this out. As the digital fitness revolution has gathered pace over the past decade, gym memberships and penetration rates have continued to steadily increase.

The evidence suggests that digital fitness is helping to bring more people into the world of fitness – the inactive, the self-conscious, the time-poor – with many then graduating into the club space, as they did in droves when the Fondas and LaLannes first hit our screens.

You only have to look to the music industry, which has similarly been disrupted by streaming services to see how this can play out. Most people have a Spotify subscription, but live music has never been more popular, with attendances to gigs and festivals at an all-time high. It just shows how live experiences will always be the pinnacle.

It’s the same story with virtual fitness in gyms. Far from cannibalising the group fitness crowd, industry research has shown clubs that install virtual fitness in their studio see an average 12 per cent increase in attendances to live classes.

Quality content gets people moving and crucially, it helps provide sustainable inspiration. We know the main reasons people leave gyms are down to perceived cost, convenience and lack of time – all of which ultimately boil down to a loss of motivation. A loss of motivation to fork out for that membership, to make that trip to the gym, to create the time for that regular workout.

By offering fitness at members’ fingertips, we can support them to stay in the fitness groove and maintain motivation whether they’re stuck at home, or at work or are travelling.

The gyms that win will be those that can form the right partnerships to extend their reach beyond their four walls through top quality content. They’ll keep current members engaged and will open up a route to reach the 85 per cent of adults who aren’t currently members of a gym. They’ll be primed to help these audiences dip their toe into the world of fitness, before graduating from home workouts into the club space.

The competition will be fierce, but the potential spoils are seismic. Forget being our biggest enemy, screens could yet prove to be the gym’s best friend.

Companies like Fitness on Demand are harnessing screen power to offer engaging fitness options
Companies like Fitness on Demand are harnessing screen power to offer engaging fitness options
Companies like Les Mills are harnessing screen power to offer engaging fitness options
Companies like Les Mills are harnessing screen power to offer engaging fitness options
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/488047_616714.jpg
We need to stop demonising screen use and instead embrace quality content that gets people moving, says Jak Phillips
Latest News
Fitness subscription platform ClassPass has appointed a UK general manager as it looks to grow ...
Latest News
Bannatyne Group has named Karen Wilkinson to the board of Bannatyne Fitness. The appointment comes ...
Latest News
UK children will be offered a greater opportunity to take part in 60 minutes of ...
Latest News
Regular exercise, a balanced diet, quitting smoking and cutting down on alcohol are the best ...
Latest News
The best class instructors earn the best salaries the market offers, bringing enhanced value to ...
Latest News
Research from property experts at Colliers International suggests people are increasingly willing to pay more ...
Latest News
The Grade II listed, 17th century Grantley Hall hotel and wellness retreat will reopen today ...
Latest News
Boutique health and fitness operator Ten Health and Fitness plans to double the size of ...
Latest News
Crunch Fitness could double in size over the next five years, according to CEO Jim ...
Latest News
énergie Fitness has tasted success at the bfa HSBC Franchise Awards, winning the Brand Awareness ...
Latest News
The acquisition of commercial fitness equipment manufacturer Life Fitness by KPS Capital Partners has completed, ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Myzone vs. wrist trackers
According to ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal, wearables trumped the top spot for trends in 2019. However, the question between Myzone or wrist trackers still stands.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Crown overhaul changing rooms at Saunton Sands spa
Saunton Sands Hotel in Devon, UK, has completed a £2m expansion of its spa and wellness facilities.
Opinion
promotion
Member retention is a growing problem for long-established gym chains, who are battling the growing budget and boutique gym market.
Opinion: Are you trying to beat budget gyms at their own game?
Video Gallery
TRX MAPS
TRX Training
TRX MAPS completes body movement assessments in just 30 seconds to help trainers develop personalized fitness plans and goals for members. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Dyaco UK Ltd
Dyaco UK Limited offers a versatile range of world-class commercial, medical and home fitness equipment ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Vital Tech
Vital Dome is the company’s patented and proprietary technology. Vital Tech has full control over ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Professional services
Deloitte UK: Professional services
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Exercise equipment
EXF Fitness Equipment: Exercise equipment
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Member access schemes
Move GB: Member access schemes
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions Ltd: Flooring
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
23-25 Jul 2019
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Diary dates
05-06 Sep 2019
TagusPark, Oeiras, Portugal
Diary dates
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