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JP Lennard
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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

HCM People: Dr Emma Ross, Baz Moffat & Dr Bella Smith Founders, The Well

When women train on half-truths and crap science it’s painfully limiting

Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 4
Dr Emma Ross, Baz Moffat and Dr Bella Smith are the team behind The Well (L-R) / photo: The Well
Dr Emma Ross, Baz Moffat and Dr Bella Smith are the team behind The Well (L-R) / photo: The Well
Many of the barriers for women becoming active are around women’s health

Tell us about The Well
We help active women and those who support them gain knowledge and know-how so they can thrive in health, in sport and in life.

Even today, health data doesn’t adequately represent women. Knowledge is stuck and taboos remain. When women train on half-truths and crap science it’s painfully limiting. The Well is here to change that. This is health and training through the female filter.

The three female founders come from the worlds of academia, medicine and sport and collectively Dr Emma Ross, Dr Bella Smith and Baz Moffat are able to support women throughout their life stages with an evidence-based approach that is usable in everyday situations.

What’s your purpose?
We established The Well, because we knew enough to start talking about solutions. We identified three main gaps in this space, the gender data gap (not enough research being carried out exclusively on females), the gender knowledge gap (not enough knowledge about being a female) and the gender communication gap (a lack of confidence on how to start talking about/to females about being female). We knew from our day-to-day work that we could help create a solution to these issues.

The three of us wanted to create content and communities that provided girls, women, coaches, teachers and trainers with the knowledge they needed but also the confidence and guidance to use it in an appropriate way. When we put this information in the hands of many, the change will start to happen which is what we want to be a part of.

What are your goals?
To educate girls and women and those that support them about being female and give them the confidence to use this knowledge. We’re doing this through our content and also through our work with exerciser providers, National Governing Bodies and the media.

What changes are needed in the activity sector to enable women to achieve their potential?
We need to start educating everyone about being female, not just those that want to specialise. At the moment there’s nothing in teacher training, PT training or coach education around training females and when we’ve gone out to talk with the top coaches in the country they agree that education is what will make the biggest difference.

We genuinely feel it’s possible for everyone to know the basics, so that if you work with teenage girls you know what normal puberty is and how to make sure that girls have everything they need during this time, if you’re training midlife women that you understand what perimenopause and menopause is, if you’re training 20-year-olds you have an understanding of how to optimise strength training around their cycle – this is all very, very accessible information, but it’s just not being integrated into training now.

What issues have you identified that need to be resolved?
The main issues are around participation rates in women – and research shows that from the age of five, girls are doing less sport than boys and this trend continues throughout life. Many have accepted these statistics as opposed to working out ways to address this challenge.

The other main issue for us is that many of the barriers for women becoming active are around women’s health – painful periods, leaking urine, having sore breasts, and no physical activity campaigns are addressing these barriers. If we created environments and cultures where these issues were not taboo and women felt that they did not need to hide ‘their’ issues then it’s our belief that more women would show up and stay.

Lastly – there are just not enough women in sport and exercise. There are some absolutely pioneering women doing great things, but this shouldn’t be news! But it is news when a woman coaches a men’s team, or umpires a men’s game, or coaches an Olympic Team, it’s all news. We don’t need more women in sport and exercise so that there can be more ‘period’ talk! We need more women to add different perspectives, life experiences and knowledge.

How long have you known each other and what’s the story of your collaboration?
We haven’t known each other long, but it feels as though we’ve worked together for years.

Baz and Bella started working together in 2019 and Baz read about Dr Emma Ross in The Telegraph and started to work together soon after.

We’re all totally different in terms of our areas of expertise, but we share an unwavering belief that women need to be educated and empowered to make the right choices for them.

What are your different strengths and areas of expertise?
We have a doctor, a scientist and a coach and between us, 60 years of working with women and athletes.

Dr Bella Smith is an NHS GP partner in Suffolk and specialises in women’s health, Dr Emma Ross is sports physiologist and has worked with Olympic and Paralympic teams for 10 years, doing pioneering work in the area of female athlete health, and Baz Moffat was on the GB rowing team for four years and is now a women’s health coach, with a specific interest in the pelvic floor.

Collectively we have it all covered from periods to hormonal contraception, to breast health, female specific sports nutrition, pelvic health and mindset and we love to make sure that even though everything we do is evidence based that everyone gets what we’re talking about!

We are also supported by Propel Teams and their network, which has really helped us to shape our passion into a viable business. They provide us with the business experience we just don’t have, the confidence to dream big and the contacts to make it all happen.

thewell-hq.com

Jessica Ennis-Hill launches Cyclemapping app

Fit tech company, Jennis, the brainchild of Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill, has launched a new app called Cyclemapping in conjunction with The Well’s Dr Emma Ross, who is Jennis’s resident physiologist.

CycleMapping helps women match their fitness sessions to the four phases of their menstrual cycle to optimise their hormone levels. The app joins the company’s growing portfolio of training, pregnancy and postnatal tech.

“Every woman’s experience of her period is different,” Ross told Vogue. “The commitment from the Jennis team to making sure every user is given a bespoke plan is what sets it apart.”

App users are recommended a different selection of workouts each day, including HIIT, strength, yoga, LISS, audio HIIT runs and recovery session, all between five and 35 minutes long.

“A number of important hormonal changes take place across the different phases of the cycle,” says Ennis-Hill. “These affect motivation to train, the way muscles adapt and the type of fuel the body needs.

“By understanding what’s happening hormonally, we can help women do what’s best for their body at the right time in their cycle.

“It’s possible to build more lean muscle by focusing strength training in the follicular phase, for example – the first half of the period cycle – when high oestrogen levels can lead to strength gains increasing by 15 per cent more than at other times,” she explains.

As women, we can work with the biological rhythm of our body to unlock the best in ourselves every day

“I never really researched my period cycle and the effects having a baby had on my body until I had issues,” Ennis-Hill told Vogue. “I had tightness in my muscles and an issue with my Achilles as a result of having a baby – both of which I’d had no idea could happen.

“What I want to achieve is to see women using the app long term,” she said. “For me, success for Jennis Cyclemapping would be hearing about women whose monthly symptoms have changed and are building a great relationship with exercise. It’s about comparing how you feel and are performing to the previous month, rather than the constant weekly pressure.”

“When you cycle-map, you become more body literate,” said Ross. “As women, we can work with the biological rhythm of our body to unlock the best in ourselves every day. Most women have their period cycle happen to them, but this is about taking back the power and mastering skills to ultimately become healthier and happier.”

Jessica Ennis-Hill is growing a portfolio of tech products to support women’s health via her company, Jennis / photo: Jennis
The trio are committed to championing the cause of women in sport and improving opportunities for women / photo: The Well
The trio are committed to championing the cause of women in sport and improving opportunities for women / photo: The Well
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/106863_612857.jpg
The founders of The Well talk to HCM about helping women thrive, plus Jessica Ennis-Hill launches Cyclemapping
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features

HCM People: Dr Emma Ross, Baz Moffat & Dr Bella Smith Founders, The Well

When women train on half-truths and crap science it’s painfully limiting

Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 4
Dr Emma Ross, Baz Moffat and Dr Bella Smith are the team behind The Well (L-R) / photo: The Well
Dr Emma Ross, Baz Moffat and Dr Bella Smith are the team behind The Well (L-R) / photo: The Well
Many of the barriers for women becoming active are around women’s health

Tell us about The Well
We help active women and those who support them gain knowledge and know-how so they can thrive in health, in sport and in life.

Even today, health data doesn’t adequately represent women. Knowledge is stuck and taboos remain. When women train on half-truths and crap science it’s painfully limiting. The Well is here to change that. This is health and training through the female filter.

The three female founders come from the worlds of academia, medicine and sport and collectively Dr Emma Ross, Dr Bella Smith and Baz Moffat are able to support women throughout their life stages with an evidence-based approach that is usable in everyday situations.

What’s your purpose?
We established The Well, because we knew enough to start talking about solutions. We identified three main gaps in this space, the gender data gap (not enough research being carried out exclusively on females), the gender knowledge gap (not enough knowledge about being a female) and the gender communication gap (a lack of confidence on how to start talking about/to females about being female). We knew from our day-to-day work that we could help create a solution to these issues.

The three of us wanted to create content and communities that provided girls, women, coaches, teachers and trainers with the knowledge they needed but also the confidence and guidance to use it in an appropriate way. When we put this information in the hands of many, the change will start to happen which is what we want to be a part of.

What are your goals?
To educate girls and women and those that support them about being female and give them the confidence to use this knowledge. We’re doing this through our content and also through our work with exerciser providers, National Governing Bodies and the media.

What changes are needed in the activity sector to enable women to achieve their potential?
We need to start educating everyone about being female, not just those that want to specialise. At the moment there’s nothing in teacher training, PT training or coach education around training females and when we’ve gone out to talk with the top coaches in the country they agree that education is what will make the biggest difference.

We genuinely feel it’s possible for everyone to know the basics, so that if you work with teenage girls you know what normal puberty is and how to make sure that girls have everything they need during this time, if you’re training midlife women that you understand what perimenopause and menopause is, if you’re training 20-year-olds you have an understanding of how to optimise strength training around their cycle – this is all very, very accessible information, but it’s just not being integrated into training now.

What issues have you identified that need to be resolved?
The main issues are around participation rates in women – and research shows that from the age of five, girls are doing less sport than boys and this trend continues throughout life. Many have accepted these statistics as opposed to working out ways to address this challenge.

The other main issue for us is that many of the barriers for women becoming active are around women’s health – painful periods, leaking urine, having sore breasts, and no physical activity campaigns are addressing these barriers. If we created environments and cultures where these issues were not taboo and women felt that they did not need to hide ‘their’ issues then it’s our belief that more women would show up and stay.

Lastly – there are just not enough women in sport and exercise. There are some absolutely pioneering women doing great things, but this shouldn’t be news! But it is news when a woman coaches a men’s team, or umpires a men’s game, or coaches an Olympic Team, it’s all news. We don’t need more women in sport and exercise so that there can be more ‘period’ talk! We need more women to add different perspectives, life experiences and knowledge.

How long have you known each other and what’s the story of your collaboration?
We haven’t known each other long, but it feels as though we’ve worked together for years.

Baz and Bella started working together in 2019 and Baz read about Dr Emma Ross in The Telegraph and started to work together soon after.

We’re all totally different in terms of our areas of expertise, but we share an unwavering belief that women need to be educated and empowered to make the right choices for them.

What are your different strengths and areas of expertise?
We have a doctor, a scientist and a coach and between us, 60 years of working with women and athletes.

Dr Bella Smith is an NHS GP partner in Suffolk and specialises in women’s health, Dr Emma Ross is sports physiologist and has worked with Olympic and Paralympic teams for 10 years, doing pioneering work in the area of female athlete health, and Baz Moffat was on the GB rowing team for four years and is now a women’s health coach, with a specific interest in the pelvic floor.

Collectively we have it all covered from periods to hormonal contraception, to breast health, female specific sports nutrition, pelvic health and mindset and we love to make sure that even though everything we do is evidence based that everyone gets what we’re talking about!

We are also supported by Propel Teams and their network, which has really helped us to shape our passion into a viable business. They provide us with the business experience we just don’t have, the confidence to dream big and the contacts to make it all happen.

thewell-hq.com

Jessica Ennis-Hill launches Cyclemapping app

Fit tech company, Jennis, the brainchild of Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill, has launched a new app called Cyclemapping in conjunction with The Well’s Dr Emma Ross, who is Jennis’s resident physiologist.

CycleMapping helps women match their fitness sessions to the four phases of their menstrual cycle to optimise their hormone levels. The app joins the company’s growing portfolio of training, pregnancy and postnatal tech.

“Every woman’s experience of her period is different,” Ross told Vogue. “The commitment from the Jennis team to making sure every user is given a bespoke plan is what sets it apart.”

App users are recommended a different selection of workouts each day, including HIIT, strength, yoga, LISS, audio HIIT runs and recovery session, all between five and 35 minutes long.

“A number of important hormonal changes take place across the different phases of the cycle,” says Ennis-Hill. “These affect motivation to train, the way muscles adapt and the type of fuel the body needs.

“By understanding what’s happening hormonally, we can help women do what’s best for their body at the right time in their cycle.

“It’s possible to build more lean muscle by focusing strength training in the follicular phase, for example – the first half of the period cycle – when high oestrogen levels can lead to strength gains increasing by 15 per cent more than at other times,” she explains.

As women, we can work with the biological rhythm of our body to unlock the best in ourselves every day

“I never really researched my period cycle and the effects having a baby had on my body until I had issues,” Ennis-Hill told Vogue. “I had tightness in my muscles and an issue with my Achilles as a result of having a baby – both of which I’d had no idea could happen.

“What I want to achieve is to see women using the app long term,” she said. “For me, success for Jennis Cyclemapping would be hearing about women whose monthly symptoms have changed and are building a great relationship with exercise. It’s about comparing how you feel and are performing to the previous month, rather than the constant weekly pressure.”

“When you cycle-map, you become more body literate,” said Ross. “As women, we can work with the biological rhythm of our body to unlock the best in ourselves every day. Most women have their period cycle happen to them, but this is about taking back the power and mastering skills to ultimately become healthier and happier.”

Jessica Ennis-Hill is growing a portfolio of tech products to support women’s health via her company, Jennis / photo: Jennis
The trio are committed to championing the cause of women in sport and improving opportunities for women / photo: The Well
The trio are committed to championing the cause of women in sport and improving opportunities for women / photo: The Well
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/106863_612857.jpg
The founders of The Well talk to HCM about helping women thrive, plus Jessica Ennis-Hill launches Cyclemapping
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Opinion: Re-engaging your post-lockdown absent members
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Featured supplier news: Celebrating the return of group exercise – Les Mills to host free ‘Fastest Way Back’ livestream event for the industry
Last month (May) saw the welcomed return of group exercise classes. Group exercise is the heartbeat for so many clubs, with in-studio and instructor-led live experiences at the pinnacle.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Active IQ launches two industry-ready health and fitness diplomas
Active IQ has launched two new qualifications – the Level 2 Diploma in Health and Fitness and Level 3 Diploma in Health and Fitness – to help engage learners in an industry-ready training experience that can be tailored to suit local employer needs.
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Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
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Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
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Company profile: Legend Club Management Systems (UK) Ltd
Legend provides the leading software solution for driving improvements in leisure operations. We deliver savings ...
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Company profile: Octane Fitness UK
A global innovator of innovation and variety in fitness equipment, Octane Fitness, a True Fitness ...
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
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Fitness equipment
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International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
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Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
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Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
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Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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