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Core Health & Fitness
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

HCM People: Aaron Brooks-ThornettFreely Given PT: founder

A donation-based payment system creates a non-discriminatory environment and empowers people to give what they think the service is worth. This also challenges me to keep service levels high

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 3
Brooks-Thornett’s PT sessions take advantage of Cornwall’s natural beauty
Brooks-Thornett’s PT sessions take advantage of Cornwall’s natural beauty

What’s your USP as a PT?
Nature is a great healer and offers the chance to be playful, so I conduct my sessions outdoors as much as possible.

As I’m based in Cornwall, I like to meet clients at the beach, or in the woods, and we do a mixture of cardio and bodyweight exercises using minimal equipment.

I encourage them to appreciate what they have on their doorstep, as many of them don’t make the most of the natural environment that’s all around them.

As our physical, mental and emotional selves are all connected – for example if you put on weight it’s not just your body which is affected – I like to take a holistic approach. I start and end each session with meditation, encouraging people to relax, centre themselves, take in their surroundings and look at the sky.

Exercise has always been a release for me. I have personal experience of using exercise to create a better and healthier life and to feel better about myself, so my aim with Freely Given is to reach out to people who need it most, many of whom are disadvantaged.

How have you gone about this?
I’ve reached out to GP surgeries offering to work with people as part of the social prescribing scheme. Because many of the people who could benefit the most from personal training can’t afford the service, I work on a donation-based system, so people pay what they can afford via an honesty box or an internet link.

A donation system sounds laudable, how does it work out?
I find it works really well. I was inspired by a donation-based meditation retreat I attended, and by the community waste food cafés using the same model.

I encourage people to pay what they can afford – so if money isn’t a problem to give generously in order to let me work more cheaply with those who wouldn’t usually be able to afford PT.

I was very keen to be able to reach out to people who need personal training and not to exclude those who could most benefit from the service.

A donation based system creates a non-discriminatory environment and empowers people to give what they think the service is worth. This challenges me to keep service levels high. I don’t live a lavish lifestyle – that’s not what I aspire to.

My business costs are low and I go to cool and exciting places – both outdoors and people’s homes. Working this way feels exciting and creative and allows me to show my values and attitudes.

Plus, I believe the current economic system is outdated: continuous growth in a finite climate is a farce. I’d rather grow the business for the benefit of people, not money. I like trusting people’s natural trait to want to give and be generous.

You have to have faith and give people the opportunity to show their nice side.

What has been your experience of finding clients?
In Cornwall, it’s easy to find people from marginalised backgrounds – through GP surgeries, food banks, clothing banks. It’s much harder to find affluent people, so far they have come through networking and word of mouth.

Is money the main barrier for low income clients?
Money is a big issue, but sometimes people just don’t know how to get started – where to go or what to do – and need support with their confidence.

Many of my clients are intimidated by gyms and think they’ll be unfriendly environments full of fit, good looking people. I think operators could help to overcome this by offering a buddy system: inviting, or incentivising experienced members to accompany newbies on their first few visits.

What are your ambitions?
My dream is to be able to continue my work and have a positive impact on as many people as possible. I’m also looking for external sources of funding to help me do this and have applied to the National Lottery and also to the Tudor Trust. I hope I can find a source of support which will enable me to extend my work to other vulnerable groups.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Brooks-Thornett works with clients using a donation system for payments
Brooks-Thornett works with clients using a donation system for payments
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/60535_648647.jpg
This personal trainer works on a ‘pay what you can’ basis, allowing him to reach those most in need...
Aaron Brooks-Thornett, Freely Given PT: founder,Aaron Brooks-Thornett, Freely Given, personal trainer
People
We have a period of lead generation before we allow anyone to join. We build the excitement up to a specific launch time and date, much like the ticketing model for concerts
People
Member confidence is the single most important factor, and I say – without doing so lightly – that our cleanliness standards, protocols and marketing are the best I’ve seen in the industry
People
I invite every organisation to become part of our consultation on workplace wellbeing, active ageing and long-term health conditions
Features
Supplier showcase
SIX3NINE opened its second London studio in August, and will continue to partner with Physical Company as it aims to open up to five studios across the city
Features
Research
Five months after the start of lockdown, Leisure-net did a survey to gauge how public sector operators and industry suppliers are faring
Features
Editor's letter
The hard work is paying off and we’re earning a reputation for safe operations. Now it’s time to tackle the next set of challenges – increasing capacity, yield and memberships, deepening engagement and rebuilding profits says liz Terry
Features
Supplier showcase
Sporteve has enhanced its in-club digital experience by working with Funxtion to install multiscreens to power the member experience
Features
Write to reply
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – email: [email protected]
Features
Research
A new study suggests that exercise leads to elevated galanin levels – which in turn helps the brain’s stress response, giving more resilience. Tom Walker reports
Features
Body scanning
COVID-19 is driving huge consumer interest in health, creating the opportunity for operators (with the right kit) to offer body scanning and analysis. We look at some of the top options
Features
Latest News
The government has pledged to invest £100m in supporting public leisure centres this winter, as ...
Latest News
Gyms in Liverpool,UK, have been given the go-ahead to reopen, following a dramatic week of ...
Latest News
Be Military Fit (BMF) has completed a restructuring project, designed to transform the outdoor fitness ...
Latest News
Rod Hill, former president of TRIB3 and director general of Anytime Fitness Iberia, has signed ...
Latest News
Persistent and rising levels of lifestyle disease across the world have exacerbated the effects of ...
Latest News
Customer experience software provider, AskNicely, has announced it will host a new virtual event called ...
Latest News
In breaking news, HCM understands the UK government has removed gyms and fitness facilities from ...
Latest News
Globally, gyms have, on average, seen nearly 70 per cent of their pre-lockdown members return ...
Opinion
promotion
In a post-Covid world, member experience is more important than ever before. Your customers’ expectations have been heightened as the coronavirus continues to dominate our everyday lives.
Opinion: Why member experience is more important now than ever before
Opinion
promotion
Our world has changed since March and together, we are learning and adapting to how this sector can continue to thrive in this COVID conscious world.
Opinion: Why fitness clubs and facilities need to evolve in a COVID-conscious world
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Ritz Carlton co-founder joins Frontline Summit 2020 as keynote speaker
Frontline work has never been more important and frontline workers are the largest class of workers on the planet, as well as the most impactful group on the experience customers get.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Matrix takes its partnership with Renault Sport racing team up a gear
Matrix Fitness, the commercial brand of Johnson Health Tech, has announced the renewal of its long term partnership with the Renault F1 Team.
Video Gallery
Temple Gym - Nautilus Equipment
Core Health & Fitness
Temple Gym - Nautilus Equipment Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Hedgehog Concept Ltd
Ground breaking leisure and fitness club management software. Software that has incisive focus on the ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Les Mills UK
Committed to creating a fitter planet, Les Mills UK works with clubs and instructors to ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Software
Volution.fit: Software
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Fitness equipment
TRX Training: Fitness equipment
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Exercise equipment
Technogym: Exercise equipment
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
12 Nov 2020
Virtual, United States
Diary dates
17 Nov 2020
Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-03 Dec 2020
Virtual,
Diary dates
08-09 Dec 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
02-04 Feb 2021
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

HCM People: Aaron Brooks-ThornettFreely Given PT: founder

A donation-based payment system creates a non-discriminatory environment and empowers people to give what they think the service is worth. This also challenges me to keep service levels high

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 3
Brooks-Thornett’s PT sessions take advantage of Cornwall’s natural beauty
Brooks-Thornett’s PT sessions take advantage of Cornwall’s natural beauty

What’s your USP as a PT?
Nature is a great healer and offers the chance to be playful, so I conduct my sessions outdoors as much as possible.

As I’m based in Cornwall, I like to meet clients at the beach, or in the woods, and we do a mixture of cardio and bodyweight exercises using minimal equipment.

I encourage them to appreciate what they have on their doorstep, as many of them don’t make the most of the natural environment that’s all around them.

As our physical, mental and emotional selves are all connected – for example if you put on weight it’s not just your body which is affected – I like to take a holistic approach. I start and end each session with meditation, encouraging people to relax, centre themselves, take in their surroundings and look at the sky.

Exercise has always been a release for me. I have personal experience of using exercise to create a better and healthier life and to feel better about myself, so my aim with Freely Given is to reach out to people who need it most, many of whom are disadvantaged.

How have you gone about this?
I’ve reached out to GP surgeries offering to work with people as part of the social prescribing scheme. Because many of the people who could benefit the most from personal training can’t afford the service, I work on a donation-based system, so people pay what they can afford via an honesty box or an internet link.

A donation system sounds laudable, how does it work out?
I find it works really well. I was inspired by a donation-based meditation retreat I attended, and by the community waste food cafés using the same model.

I encourage people to pay what they can afford – so if money isn’t a problem to give generously in order to let me work more cheaply with those who wouldn’t usually be able to afford PT.

I was very keen to be able to reach out to people who need personal training and not to exclude those who could most benefit from the service.

A donation based system creates a non-discriminatory environment and empowers people to give what they think the service is worth. This challenges me to keep service levels high. I don’t live a lavish lifestyle – that’s not what I aspire to.

My business costs are low and I go to cool and exciting places – both outdoors and people’s homes. Working this way feels exciting and creative and allows me to show my values and attitudes.

Plus, I believe the current economic system is outdated: continuous growth in a finite climate is a farce. I’d rather grow the business for the benefit of people, not money. I like trusting people’s natural trait to want to give and be generous.

You have to have faith and give people the opportunity to show their nice side.

What has been your experience of finding clients?
In Cornwall, it’s easy to find people from marginalised backgrounds – through GP surgeries, food banks, clothing banks. It’s much harder to find affluent people, so far they have come through networking and word of mouth.

Is money the main barrier for low income clients?
Money is a big issue, but sometimes people just don’t know how to get started – where to go or what to do – and need support with their confidence.

Many of my clients are intimidated by gyms and think they’ll be unfriendly environments full of fit, good looking people. I think operators could help to overcome this by offering a buddy system: inviting, or incentivising experienced members to accompany newbies on their first few visits.

What are your ambitions?
My dream is to be able to continue my work and have a positive impact on as many people as possible. I’m also looking for external sources of funding to help me do this and have applied to the National Lottery and also to the Tudor Trust. I hope I can find a source of support which will enable me to extend my work to other vulnerable groups.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Brooks-Thornett works with clients using a donation system for payments
Brooks-Thornett works with clients using a donation system for payments
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/60535_648647.jpg
This personal trainer works on a ‘pay what you can’ basis, allowing him to reach those most in need...
Aaron Brooks-Thornett, Freely Given PT: founder,Aaron Brooks-Thornett, Freely Given, personal trainer
Latest News
The government has pledged to invest £100m in supporting public leisure centres this winter, as ...
Latest News
Gyms in Liverpool,UK, have been given the go-ahead to reopen, following a dramatic week of ...
Latest News
Be Military Fit (BMF) has completed a restructuring project, designed to transform the outdoor fitness ...
Latest News
Rod Hill, former president of TRIB3 and director general of Anytime Fitness Iberia, has signed ...
Latest News
Persistent and rising levels of lifestyle disease across the world have exacerbated the effects of ...
Latest News
Customer experience software provider, AskNicely, has announced it will host a new virtual event called ...
Latest News
In breaking news, HCM understands the UK government has removed gyms and fitness facilities from ...
Latest News
Globally, gyms have, on average, seen nearly 70 per cent of their pre-lockdown members return ...
Latest News
A UK government U-turn – just announced – will see gyms and leisure centres staying open ...
Latest News
"Dozens" of gyms in Liverpool, UK, have defied the government and stayed open for business ...
Latest News
The UK government is likely to face legal challenges from gym operators following the revelation ...
Opinion
promotion
In a post-Covid world, member experience is more important than ever before. Your customers’ expectations have been heightened as the coronavirus continues to dominate our everyday lives.
Opinion: Why member experience is more important now than ever before
Opinion
promotion
Our world has changed since March and together, we are learning and adapting to how this sector can continue to thrive in this COVID conscious world.
Opinion: Why fitness clubs and facilities need to evolve in a COVID-conscious world
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Ritz Carlton co-founder joins Frontline Summit 2020 as keynote speaker
Frontline work has never been more important and frontline workers are the largest class of workers on the planet, as well as the most impactful group on the experience customers get.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Matrix takes its partnership with Renault Sport racing team up a gear
Matrix Fitness, the commercial brand of Johnson Health Tech, has announced the renewal of its long term partnership with the Renault F1 Team.
Video Gallery
Temple Gym - Nautilus Equipment
Core Health & Fitness
Temple Gym - Nautilus Equipment Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Hedgehog Concept Ltd
Ground breaking leisure and fitness club management software. Software that has incisive focus on the ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Les Mills UK
Committed to creating a fitter planet, Les Mills UK works with clubs and instructors to ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Software
Volution.fit: Software
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Fitness equipment
TRX Training: Fitness equipment
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Exercise equipment
Technogym: Exercise equipment
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
12 Nov 2020
Virtual, United States
Diary dates
17 Nov 2020
Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-03 Dec 2020
Virtual,
Diary dates
08-09 Dec 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
02-04 Feb 2021
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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