Matrix Fitness UK
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Matrix Fitness UK
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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Victus Soul sets sights on growth as concept is 'locked down'

New boutique studio Victus Soul is targeting growth within the UK and overseas as it makes a success of its HIIT concept of running and boxing-inspired group exercise classes with a particular focus on recovery.

The London studio is aiming to reach a presence of five or six clubs in the capital within three or four years.

In an interview with HCM in the February 2019 issue, co-founders Paul Trendell and Chris Djuric said that once the concept has been proven, the company may explore franchising options with énergie as a way to expand into overseas markets.

“Instructor training would be a big consideration and is the one thing we would want to have central and complete control over,” Trendell said. “But principally, as long as we can lock down our concept and our product, I don’t see why it couldn’t be franchised.”

Part of that concept is a strong focus on recovery within Victus Soul’s HIIT classes. “We don’t feel recovery is very well served in the market at the moment; if you’re asking anyone to train at the intensity they need to achieve in a HIIT class, they also need to recover just as hard,” Trendell explained.

Chris Djuric continued: “It’s active recovery, so it isn’t like some other studios where an instructor might even say: ‘If you need to leave now, please do.’ That will absolutely not happen at Victus Soul.

“All our instructors emphasise the importance of recovery, plus it isn’t really a separate section of the class – we do it subtly, so people don’t even realise it’s starting, and there’s nothing static. The whole workout flows into one and the start of the recovery is still quite challenging, but by the end of it we’ve brought people back to a stable state so they’re ready to leave.

“We end the class focusing on breathing, being aware of yourself and what you just achieved. We want people to go away feeling mentally good as well as physically good.”

Instructors are given specialist training so they can design their own recovery flows, focusing on the specific areas they’ve trained in that class. Djuric said Victus Soul is currently spending eight to 10 minutes on active recovery in an hour’s class, but would like to increase this to 15 minutes of the 60, though he accepts that “the market isn’t quite ready for that yet”.

This emphasis on recovery is even built into the company’s values, explained Djuric, which it has spent a great deal of time thinking about.

“The first is ‘Conquer your journey’, because we’re not going to compare you to other people in class. It’s about what you can achieve and how you progress. The next is ‘Train for tomorrow’, which is all about recovery and good technique that means you’re able to come back and train again tomorrow. And the last one is ‘Protect our soul’, which is about doing everything ethically and sustainably – minimising the use of plastic in the studio, for example.”

To read the full article see the February 2019 issue of Health Club Management here

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