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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Insight: Rene Moos

The CEO of Basic-Fit shared insights into the workings of the company at the Virtuagym FitNation conference in Amsterdam. Megan Whitby was there for HCM

By Megan Whitby, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 3
Rene Moos
Rene Moos
If raised voices or certain verbal intonations that signal aggression are detected in the clubs, the smart camera system alerts Basic-Fit’s remote control-operators, allowing them to intervene if necessary

Founded in the Netherlands, budget operator Basic-Fit has more than 750 locations across the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Spain.

The brand has cited ambitions to increase its European club network to reach the 1,250 club mark in 2022.

CEO Rene Moos was a professional tennis player in the 1980s, but didn’t reach the top, so became a tennis coach.

He opened his own tennis school which grew into a complex with 24 courts and fitness facilities, before launching the first Total Health Club in Hoofddorp in the Netherlands, however, Moos told delegates at the FitNation conference the club wasn’t much more successful than his tennis career had been.

Eventually, he found success, along with his business partner, Eric Wilborts, in the budget fitness market. “I failed as a tennis player, but succeeded as a businessman,” he told delegates.

About Basic-Fit
Having witnessed the success of Planet Fitness in using a low-cost approach, he was inspired to follow the same route in building his own business.

“Our brand operates with a low-cost model because, although investment is low, the return is high,” Moos said.

The brand recently launched in France and despite concerns it would be a challenging market to enter, Moos described the move as “fairly easy”.

“You have to focus your efforts and resources to succeed,” he said. “Better a market leader in a few countries than number three or four in many countries.

“Time to market is important and you can always improve with feedback,” said Moos. “Better done than perfect!”

In depth insights
Moos gave an in-depth presentation into Basic-Fit’s operating structure. He explained how the brand’s gyms are remotely managed by centralised teams using smart cameras and intercom systems, because the brand has so few staff at clubs and wants to support them.

This method was initially tested and fine-tuned in three locations and then rolled out across the estate.

Basic-Fit has developed its own remote surveillance tool and control-room to observe in-club activity using live-feeds that are monitored by sound and vision by an external, off-site team.

This allows the club to control access to clubs as well as keeping tabs on security and tracking members’ welfare.

To illustrate how this works in practice, Moos explained that – using specialist software – Basic-Fit’s surveillance system also monitors levels of aggression in clubs.

If raised voices or certain verbal intonations that signal aggression are detected, the system alerts Basic-Fit’s remote control-operators, allowing them to intervene if necessary, by sending someone to site.

Data driven
“We have one staff member per gym and about 20 to 25 smart cameras,” Moos explained. “These cameras are monitored 24/7 in our own control room and everything is data-driven, from opening the doors to operating the assistance intercom.

“But of course, this kind of system is not something you can set up easily and it also involves trial and error,” he said. “These smart cameras detect, among other things, whether someone has been lying still for more than three minutes, so we can tell if someone has become ill. However, you can guess what happened when Basic-Fit introduced yoga classes… the control room went crazy!”

Future tech
During his keynote, Moos made predictions about the future relationship between the fitness industry and technology, saying: “The fitness world will see VR really take off in a couple of years, and I believe that we’ll soon see Apple and Google enter this industry.

“If this happens, gym operators simply won’t have the budgets to be able to compete against such major brands”.

Megan Whitby, reporting from the Virtuagym FitNation conference in the Netherlands, for HCM

Read our interview with Tom Moos, son of Rene, in the February issue of HCM magazine

Top tips from Rene Moos

Better done than perfect
Release your product and improve it based on feedback

Focus your energies
It’s better to be the number one in one market than number three or four in many

Make mistakes
Don’t just think, but do. Try new things

Create a strong, loyal team
They will underpin your business success

Cluster
If you want to set up additional gyms, do so in places you’re already known

Keep innovating
Your competitor is no longer just another gym. Big tech is coming

Rene Moos, photographed at the first Virtuagym FitNation conference in Amsterdam
Basic-Fit has thrived in the low cost gym space
Basic-Fit has thrived in the low cost gym space
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/2020/33072_660995.jpg
The CEO of Basic-Fit shared insights into the workings of his business at the Virtuagym FitNation Conference...
Rene Moos, Basic-Fit,gym operations, Basic-Fit, low cost fitness
People
HCM people

Ed Stanbury

BLOK: CEO and co-founder
Although we’re now ambitious about creating a global lifestyle brand, initially there wasn’t a grand masterplan – we just thought it would be fun to open a local gym and that has spiralled...
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HCM people

Adala Bolto

Founder, ZADI Training
I saw the need to create a bespoke, female-specific and results-driven boutique offering that was on-trend as well as being sexy and backed by exercise science when it came to getting results
People
Fundamentally, customers don’t want choice, they just want exactly what they want Pine & Gilmore
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Dubbed Ireland’s priciest health club, the new Eden One in Dublin fuses fitness and wellness with a boutique vibe. MD Charlie Bourne explains the vision
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CIMSPA and UK Coaching are combining REPs and the CIMSPA Exercise and Fitness Directory. Tara Dillon, CEO of CIMSPA and Mark Gannon, CEO of UK Coaching, explain what it means for exercise professionals and employers
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Pulse Fitness has collaborated with luxury health club operator Third Space to supply state-the-art strength equipment to its new site in London
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Great changing rooms are one of the main reasons people join a gym. Get inspired by HCM’s roundup of the latest high-end installations
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Body scanning has become a major fitness trend, offering both operators and members alike insight into their body composition, muscle mass and fat percentage. Operators offering body scanning share their experiences
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Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: The unmissable independent fitness event is back!
Pre-sale tickets are now available for the UK’s only event created exclusively for personal trainers, gym owners and fitness managers working in the independent gym and health club sector.
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Incorpore and MoveGB have entered into a landmark partnership, combining the UK’s largest provider of corporate gym memberships with the nation’s biggest network of classes.
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promotion
The modern training gym champions functional fitness in a small group personal training model, with a premium service experience at its heart
Opinion: Overcome membership attrition with this surprising new industry trend: the modern training gym
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
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Trade associations
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Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
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Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Spa software
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Direct debit solutions
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Diary dates
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tbc, Beijing, China
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04 Jun 2020
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Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
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17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
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30-31 Oct 2020
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27-28 Nov 2020
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Diary dates

features

Insight: Rene Moos

The CEO of Basic-Fit shared insights into the workings of the company at the Virtuagym FitNation conference in Amsterdam. Megan Whitby was there for HCM

By Megan Whitby, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 3
Rene Moos
Rene Moos
If raised voices or certain verbal intonations that signal aggression are detected in the clubs, the smart camera system alerts Basic-Fit’s remote control-operators, allowing them to intervene if necessary

Founded in the Netherlands, budget operator Basic-Fit has more than 750 locations across the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Spain.

The brand has cited ambitions to increase its European club network to reach the 1,250 club mark in 2022.

CEO Rene Moos was a professional tennis player in the 1980s, but didn’t reach the top, so became a tennis coach.

He opened his own tennis school which grew into a complex with 24 courts and fitness facilities, before launching the first Total Health Club in Hoofddorp in the Netherlands, however, Moos told delegates at the FitNation conference the club wasn’t much more successful than his tennis career had been.

Eventually, he found success, along with his business partner, Eric Wilborts, in the budget fitness market. “I failed as a tennis player, but succeeded as a businessman,” he told delegates.

About Basic-Fit
Having witnessed the success of Planet Fitness in using a low-cost approach, he was inspired to follow the same route in building his own business.

“Our brand operates with a low-cost model because, although investment is low, the return is high,” Moos said.

The brand recently launched in France and despite concerns it would be a challenging market to enter, Moos described the move as “fairly easy”.

“You have to focus your efforts and resources to succeed,” he said. “Better a market leader in a few countries than number three or four in many countries.

“Time to market is important and you can always improve with feedback,” said Moos. “Better done than perfect!”

In depth insights
Moos gave an in-depth presentation into Basic-Fit’s operating structure. He explained how the brand’s gyms are remotely managed by centralised teams using smart cameras and intercom systems, because the brand has so few staff at clubs and wants to support them.

This method was initially tested and fine-tuned in three locations and then rolled out across the estate.

Basic-Fit has developed its own remote surveillance tool and control-room to observe in-club activity using live-feeds that are monitored by sound and vision by an external, off-site team.

This allows the club to control access to clubs as well as keeping tabs on security and tracking members’ welfare.

To illustrate how this works in practice, Moos explained that – using specialist software – Basic-Fit’s surveillance system also monitors levels of aggression in clubs.

If raised voices or certain verbal intonations that signal aggression are detected, the system alerts Basic-Fit’s remote control-operators, allowing them to intervene if necessary, by sending someone to site.

Data driven
“We have one staff member per gym and about 20 to 25 smart cameras,” Moos explained. “These cameras are monitored 24/7 in our own control room and everything is data-driven, from opening the doors to operating the assistance intercom.

“But of course, this kind of system is not something you can set up easily and it also involves trial and error,” he said. “These smart cameras detect, among other things, whether someone has been lying still for more than three minutes, so we can tell if someone has become ill. However, you can guess what happened when Basic-Fit introduced yoga classes… the control room went crazy!”

Future tech
During his keynote, Moos made predictions about the future relationship between the fitness industry and technology, saying: “The fitness world will see VR really take off in a couple of years, and I believe that we’ll soon see Apple and Google enter this industry.

“If this happens, gym operators simply won’t have the budgets to be able to compete against such major brands”.

Megan Whitby, reporting from the Virtuagym FitNation conference in the Netherlands, for HCM

Read our interview with Tom Moos, son of Rene, in the February issue of HCM magazine

Top tips from Rene Moos

Better done than perfect
Release your product and improve it based on feedback

Focus your energies
It’s better to be the number one in one market than number three or four in many

Make mistakes
Don’t just think, but do. Try new things

Create a strong, loyal team
They will underpin your business success

Cluster
If you want to set up additional gyms, do so in places you’re already known

Keep innovating
Your competitor is no longer just another gym. Big tech is coming

Rene Moos, photographed at the first Virtuagym FitNation conference in Amsterdam
Basic-Fit has thrived in the low cost gym space
Basic-Fit has thrived in the low cost gym space
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/2020/33072_660995.jpg
The CEO of Basic-Fit shared insights into the workings of his business at the Virtuagym FitNation Conference...
Rene Moos, Basic-Fit,gym operations, Basic-Fit, low cost fitness
Latest News
One of the factors that has made the coronavirus outbreak so severe across the globe ...
Latest News
Mindfulness app provider, Headspace, is making a bid to support US-based healthcare professionals curb anxiety ...
Latest News
Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of the world’s health and fitness clubs are currently ...
Latest News
Although the facts may seem less relevant now due to the coroavirus pandemic, new numbers ...
Latest News
Fitness professionals should use the coronavirus-induced lockdown – where possible – to enhance their knowledge ...
Latest News
The US government has passed a motion that will see gig workers, independent contractors and ...
Latest News
The physical activity sector is adapting to the difficult circumstances caused by COVID-19 (Coronavirus), according ...
Latest News
Joe Wicks, the personal trainer who has become a global star thanks to his daily ...
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Physical activity sector bodies have welcomed the government's measures to help the UK's self-employed workers ...
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Hollywood star Chris Hemsworth is making his online fitness programme Centrfit available for free for ...
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American Council on Exercise (ACE) has urged US policymakers to not leave the fitness sector's ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: The unmissable independent fitness event is back!
Pre-sale tickets are now available for the UK’s only event created exclusively for personal trainers, gym owners and fitness managers working in the independent gym and health club sector.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Incorpore and MoveGB ink groundbreaking partnership to transform corporate wellness offering
Incorpore and MoveGB have entered into a landmark partnership, combining the UK’s largest provider of corporate gym memberships with the nation’s biggest network of classes.
Opinion
promotion
The modern training gym champions functional fitness in a small group personal training model, with a premium service experience at its heart
Opinion: Overcome membership attrition with this surprising new industry trend: the modern training gym
Video Gallery
How to use the MZ-Bodyscan
MyZone
The Best Product for the Best Clubs Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Physical Company Ltd
Physical Company provides specialist fitness solutions. This includes equipment, flooring, gym design, programming and training ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Premier Software Solutions Ltd
Premier Software was founded in 1994 and has proven experience developing business management solutions specifically ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Exercise equipment
Star Trac / Core Health & Fitness: Exercise equipment
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Property & Tenders
Greywell, Hampshire
Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
19-24 Apr 2020
tbc, Beijing, China
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
06-07 Jul 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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