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Health Club Management

Health Club Management


New trends: David Minton's California road trip

David Minton goes on a US road trip and shares emerging trends and fitness roll outs

By David Minton, The Leisure Database Company | Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 5
Mayweather Boxing & Fitness in LA is planning to roll out through franchising.
Mayweather Boxing & Fitness in LA is planning to roll out through franchising.
New brands like Bunda, (for a ‘better butt’), RiseNation, (30 minutes of VersaClimber), LIT (Low Impact Training), Prevail (high energy group boxing) are just a few of the new workouts I tried or considered

I’m in California for the annual IHRSA gathering. Around 12,000 people have registered for the convention and trade show from 70 different countries, including 200 from the UK.

California is the most populous state in the US, with around 40 million residents – were it a country, it would be the fifth largest economy in the world.

It’s home to four of the world’s ten largest companies and four of the ten richest people and is considered a global trendsetter in so many areas including technology, film, new media, wine and, of course, fitness.

The can-do attitude here is layered with dynamism, creativity and a pace of life that’s infectious. No wonder the state has six of the 15 fittest cities in the entire country.

People who live in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Diego value their health and love working out and as a result, thousands of people are inventing new fitness concepts all the time.

As a result of this energy and focus, these cities are home to some of the most successful global fitness trends and brands including, group cycling, Piloxing, Pound and Aeriform to name a few.

High street revolution
Fitness in California is also the darling of the high street. A failed nail bar turns into WoLAFiT, a failed showroom turns into Carrie’s Pilates Plus, a failed fashion store becomes the fashionable CruBox.

New brands like Bunda (for a better butt), RiseNation, (30 minutes of VersaClimber classes), LIT (Low Impact Training based on water rower and resistance bands), Prevail (high energy group boxing classes) are just a few of the new workouts I tried or considered during my visit. StretchLab, seemed a good idea at the time – this operators offers one-to-one ‘assisted stretching’ for 25 minutes and two days later I really felt it.

Xponential fitness
StretchLab is one of the portfolio of concept brands under the Xponential Fitness label – others include RowHouse (a low-impact rowing concept), Club Pilates (with over 360 sites, the USA largest Pilates franchise) and most recently a NYC dance concept called InTensive, which was developed by Anna Kaiser.

Founded in 2017 Xponential is backed by private equity heavyweight TPG Growth and has industry veteran John Kersh – formerly with Anytime Fitness – on the team as chief international development officer.

I tried their group cycling offer, CycleBar, in LA’s Culver City – this brand will debut at Battersea, London around June this year. Oliver Chipp has taken the master franchise agreement for the UK and plans to open over 30 studios over the next few years.

Floyd Mayweather, the controversial boxer, with an estimated fortune of US$1 billion and renowned for his fitness levels, has opened a flagship Mayweather Boxing & Fitness studio on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.

In small intense classes, you can follow Floyd’s training programme. At the end of the class I asked my instructor how long it will take to improve my shadow boxing technique – “About a year,” came the reply.

To help me get to this level of excellence, I have the Mayweather app and the virtual in-home workout.

Mayweather and his team are thinking big – 200 sites are planned over the next two years – with a franchise model that allows for the rebranding of existing gyms which will help the company to scale faster.

Soulbody barre
In 1986 Angel Banos first walked into a Gold’s Gym on Venice Beach and today, with his brother, they own 11 clubs in the Greater Los Angeles area and have just agreed to expand into southern California.

One of my early LA favourites was Angel’s Gold’s West Hollywood on Cole. Besides the stunning atmosphere, this club keeps the studio on trend with pre-choreographed Barre classes from SoulBody. I just wish my body flowed as well as some people around me.

Body bar and ballet barre are mindfully intense movements that work deep into the muscles and give great results – no wonder the word ‘sculpt’ comes up so often in conversation in California.

Outside the main cities, the fitness love-in on the high street continues. Temecula City in Southern California, just north of San Diego, has a population of just over 100,000, with a median household income of US$78,356.

The City sustains over 20 fitness brands, plus boutique studios, all scattered throughout the shopping complex and where the ‘high-value, low-price’ operator EOS Fitness are just fitting out a new site to add to the mix.

EOS Fitness are expanding their business following their acquisition in 2015 by BRS and PEM. As an indication of things to come, it’s worth remembering BRS took Town Sports International from 22 clubs to 162 locations and an IPO in only ten years, so watch this space.

David Minton is founder of the TLDC


Your guide to David Minton’s California fitness hotspots

Bünda What they say:
“Bünda is designed to bring you your best body ever. We’re all about efficiency and effectiveness. This is why we’ve based our workout around the butt and legs.
Lower body training is proven to burn the most calories compared to any other exercise, resulting in a total body change.

The Bünda program is designed by some of the most educated professionals in the industry. Once you Bünda, you’ll never look back....well, maybe for a selfie.”

Cruboxing What they say:
“CruBox is a boutique boxing studio centered in the heart of LA. Its primary focus is group exercise, mastering technique, and a full-body workout.
By combining fitness and lifestyle, CruBox aims to fill a void in the market of high-end boutique boxing studios, by centering on product perfection.”

Cyclebar What they say:
“CycleBar offers a rocking array of classes. Our library of millions of songs and videos brings pedal-turning, heart-stopping, music-pumping fun every time you ride.

We measure six key metrics of your performance and email the results to help you track your fitness journey.

Part sanctuary, part rock concert, our audio, video, and lighting creates a multi-sensory experience every single ride.

Equal part educator, DJ, drill sergeant, motivator and friend, our instructors will help you reach your goals and change your life, one ride at a time.”

EOS Fitness What they say:
“E?S isn’t just a gym, it’s a revolution against snobbery and extravagance, where individuality and teamwork, dedication and fun live side-by-side: we’re a home-base for serious athletes and a haven for casual exercisers.

There’s a restless spirit that keeps us up at night. Every rep is a triumph over mediocrity. It’s your body. OWN it!”

LIT method What they say:
“LIT stands for [Low – Impact – Training] our method is designed to ‘Build you, not break you’.

While other regimens can break you down over time, we felt the need to create a sustainable method that strengthens, empowers and corrects you.

With intelligence...we naturally rebuild the body and change how you think about fitness. We provide a fitness experience with comfort and convenience that caters for your busy lifestyle.”

RiseNation What they say:
“Climbing utilises the body’s primal upright biomechanics, promoting healthy spinal alignment, a balanced physique, and neuromuscular coordination.

Our workout is momentum-neutral and activates all the major muscle groups simultaneously, making it the most effective calorie burner on the market.

The high-intensity nature of our workout means you only need 30 minutes, saving you time in your busy day.

Climbing is zero-impact, self-regulating and accessible to a diverse demographic.”

SoulBody What they say:
“SoulBody Barre ‘Unhitched’ at Gold’s Gym is a one hour, mindfully intense class with the perfect mix of dynamic, isometric and isotonic movements that work deep into the muscle, seamlessly transitioning to deep stretches to balance the body.”

WO.LA Fit What they say:
“WO.LA is a cutting-edge group fitness boutique studio offering a daily escape from stress and challenges through an exhilarating 45-minute fitness journey using cardio and resistance training.

WO·LA was created to give young people (ages 8+) and adults in urban Los Angeles an inspiring way to collectively invigorate their bodies, minds and souls.

WO·LA’s mission is to build closer relationships through fitness between peers, families and community.”

Prevail Boxing

What they say:
“Prevail is LA’s premier fitness boxing studio, offering a welcoming setting and a focus on getting fit through the art of boxing.

At Prevail, we incorporate the mental, physical, and emotional challenges of boxing into a fitness regimen and lifestyle.

High-energy group classes are designed to test your limits and help you exceed your own expectations, Prevail uncovers what it truly means to realise your potential.

With every punch, we inspire and unleash your inner warrior – that fights hard and dreams bigger.”


What they say:
“When you think of stretching, you think of loosening up after a workout, to ensure your muscles don’t stay tight.

But ask anyone who’s come to StretchLab and they’ll tell you stretching is about so much more than simply feeling better, or having a wider range of motion – stretching is about reclaiming your freedom. The freedom to move as you want, to be active and engaged in the life you see yourself having, with no pain and risk of injury.”

Carrie’s Pilates Plus

What they say:
“Carrie’s Pilates Plus, a woman-owned business, is a high-intensity Pilates/cross training workout; a combination of weight training, cardio and Pilates.
The company has a mission to empower everyone of all shapes and sizes, help them achieve their goals and keep feeling great.”

Carrie’s Pilates Plus combines weight training, cardio and pilates.
Carrie’s Pilates Plus combines weight training, cardio and pilates.
Controversial boxer Floyd Mayweather is planning 200 gyms in two years. 
His franchise model will allow for the rebranding of gyms to scale the business faster
Controversial boxer Floyd Mayweather is planning 200 gyms in two years. His franchise model will allow for the rebranding of gyms to scale the business faster
Prevail Boxing fitness training focuses on teaching ‘the art of boxing’.
Prevail Boxing fitness training focuses on teaching ‘the art of boxing’.
Carrie’s Pilates Plus, a high intensity, pilates cross-training fusion
Carrie’s Pilates Plus, a high intensity, pilates cross-training fusion
WO·LA was created to give kids aged 8+ and adults an inspiring way to collectively invigorate mind, body and soul
WO·LA was created to give kids aged 8+ and adults an inspiring way to collectively invigorate mind, body and soul
StretchLab offers assisted stretching to minimise pain and help prevent injury
StretchLab offers assisted stretching to minimise pain and help prevent injury
Carrie’s Pilates Plus
Carrie’s Pilates Plus
SoulBody founders Stacey Vandiver and Ann Marie Barbour
SoulBody founders Stacey Vandiver and Ann Marie Barbour
At Mayweather Boxing & Fitness, you can follow the same training regime as Floyd
At Mayweather Boxing & Fitness, you can follow the same training regime as Floyd
New fitness brands Bunda, RiseNation, LIT and Prevail Boxing were all part of David Minton's US road trip, where he discovered the hottest new trends in fitness...
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