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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

IHRSA update: The great Dane

Kristen Walsh chats to the Danish entrepreneur, and recently appointed IHRSA chair, about his passions, goals and the future of the global health and industry

By Kristen Walsh, IHRSA | Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 11
Ingerslev has spent 20 years in the industry, building a strong international network
Ingerslev has spent 20 years in the industry, building a strong international network
I’ve never really seen myself as a ‘boss’, but more as an aggregator of input from my fellow team members

You're the first non-North American to hold the position of IHRSA chair. What do you bring to the role?
I bring passion, which, I believe, is the most important ingredient required to push anything forward.

I bring experience as a fitness industry entrepreneur. I’ve founded and co-founded two of the largest club groups in my home country of Denmark, I’ve built an international company that supplies virtual training and I’ve built a national trade body: the Danish Fitness & Health Organization (DFHO).

I’ve created a very strong international network over nearly 20 years in our industry, which has given me a global perspective. My many years as a speaker, writer and participant at IHRSA events have been a central point of building this network.

What can you tell us about your agenda for IHRSA?
My agenda is growth. Ultimately, the wider we spread IHRSA’s wings, the better we can do as an industry and the more likely it is that we can make the planet healthier.

We also want to embrace the next generation of industry leaders. We’re launching a new programme – IHRSA Rising Stars – that recognises the young talents that will shape the industry’s future.

The Technology & Innovation Council is another key initiative, whose core purpose will be helping IHRSA members understand the development, risks and opportunities in the fast-paced world of technology.

You founded Wexer Virtual. How do you see virtual fitness evolving?
Our research shows that the average fitness consumer has changed. While many people still look to a gym to achieve their fitness goals, more are engaging with high-quality digital fitness solutions, such as wearable technology and mobile applications. We see a clear trend: health clubs’ digital ecosystems are expanding inside – and outside – of their walls.

For virtual fitness providers like Wexer to continue to grow successfully, we must continue to enhance our product and increase the number of strategic collaborations with other technology companies to best support clubs as they digitise their customer journey. In this context, live streaming and a strong app are two of our latest product additions.

You’ve described your management style as one driven by passion, and that involves “leading the way, not telling others what to do”. Can you expand on this?
I’ve never really seen myself as a ‘boss’, but more as an aggregator of input from my fellow team members and surroundings that I put into executable plans.

According to Forbes, nine out of 10 start-ups fail. I’ve been able to do better because I’m clear about my vision and have attracted like-minded spirits to my projects. When your team is aligned, they become passionate about what they do. And if you have passion, you’ll fight to bring the vision to life and you’re significantly less likely to fail.

What does IHRSA’s philosophy of ‘success by association’ mean to you personally?
Life is a learning process. Nobody has all the answers and I’ve had many great people help me grow. Mike ‘Clubdoc’ Chaet was a mentor for me when I entered this industry, and for the past 10 years I’ve had tremendous benefit from my round table group and a very close association with Frank Napolitano, a past chair of IHRSA. Currently, he’s the president of 24 Hour Fitness and also the chair of Wexer Virtual.

You’re also now the chair of Stockholm Leisure Partners (SLP), an investment/incubator company for new projects in the fitness sector. Tell us more.

I founded Stockholm Leisure Partners with my former chair of Fresh Fitness (Denmark), Johan Nilsson. Our ambition is to make use of our industry knowledge and network, as well as our combined competencies, to bring new concepts to the Nordics from the world, or vice versa. We’ll either help entrepreneurs bring their projects to life, or import or export existing concepts.

Our primary activity is Barry’s Bootcamp, for which we’ve secured the rights in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

Barry’s Bootcamp is pretty much a love story. Our round table met in February 2015 to discuss the concept and I was completely sold. The fact that the workout is so tailored and creates a community of like-minded people fascinated me and the chemistry felt right.

I’m really looking forward to opening our first bootcamp studios and collaborating with the Barry’s family.

Tell us about Repeat, your new health club concept that's been designed to target Millennials.

Repeat is a very targeted health club concept that I’ve developed and started in Denmark with previous colleagues and partners from Fresh Fitness. We wanted to create the best possible gym experience for a specific group of people: Millennials and people who are young at heart (like me!)

This involves a really cool environment (SoHo-ish, with dimmed light and loud music), flexibility of pricing and terms, and a smooth digital extension of the in-club offering.

Denmark can only accommodate 10 to 15 of these clubs, so we may be looking for partners to grow the concept internationally (see also HCM Oct 16, p38).

What do you see happening in the sector over the next 10 years?
I’m expecting significant growth and continued change. Today, we mainly define our industry by the walls that surround our clubs. Going forward, there will be bricks-and-mortar operators, but more of them will have a digital extension that’s relevant to their members.

We’ll also see more purely digital concepts like Pokémon Go. An estimated 75 million people downloaded that app in July. That’s a following equal to 50 per cent of the total number of members in the fitness industry, and the build-in took close to no time! These numbers show there's enormous potential in digital, and that’s something we should embrace.

About IHRSA

Founded in 1981, IHRSA – the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association – is the only global trade association, representing more than 10,000 health and fitness facilities and suppliers worldwide. Locate an IHRSA club at www.healthclubs.com

To learn how IHRSA can help your business thrive, visit www.ihrsa.org

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Ingerslev is one of the founders of Repeat, a gym concept targeting Millennials
Ingerslev is one of the founders of Repeat, a gym concept targeting Millennials
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/596800_28480.jpg
Danish entrepreneur Rasmus Ingerslev talks about his recent appointment as IHRSA chair
Rasmus Ingerslev, Danish entrepreneur,IHRSA chair, ,Rasmus Ingerslev, IHRSA, Kristen Walsh, Danish Fitness and Health Organization, Wexer Virtual, Repeat health club
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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Diary dates
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Online,
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Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
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features

IHRSA update: The great Dane

Kristen Walsh chats to the Danish entrepreneur, and recently appointed IHRSA chair, about his passions, goals and the future of the global health and industry

By Kristen Walsh, IHRSA | Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 11
Ingerslev has spent 20 years in the industry, building a strong international network
Ingerslev has spent 20 years in the industry, building a strong international network
I’ve never really seen myself as a ‘boss’, but more as an aggregator of input from my fellow team members

You're the first non-North American to hold the position of IHRSA chair. What do you bring to the role?
I bring passion, which, I believe, is the most important ingredient required to push anything forward.

I bring experience as a fitness industry entrepreneur. I’ve founded and co-founded two of the largest club groups in my home country of Denmark, I’ve built an international company that supplies virtual training and I’ve built a national trade body: the Danish Fitness & Health Organization (DFHO).

I’ve created a very strong international network over nearly 20 years in our industry, which has given me a global perspective. My many years as a speaker, writer and participant at IHRSA events have been a central point of building this network.

What can you tell us about your agenda for IHRSA?
My agenda is growth. Ultimately, the wider we spread IHRSA’s wings, the better we can do as an industry and the more likely it is that we can make the planet healthier.

We also want to embrace the next generation of industry leaders. We’re launching a new programme – IHRSA Rising Stars – that recognises the young talents that will shape the industry’s future.

The Technology & Innovation Council is another key initiative, whose core purpose will be helping IHRSA members understand the development, risks and opportunities in the fast-paced world of technology.

You founded Wexer Virtual. How do you see virtual fitness evolving?
Our research shows that the average fitness consumer has changed. While many people still look to a gym to achieve their fitness goals, more are engaging with high-quality digital fitness solutions, such as wearable technology and mobile applications. We see a clear trend: health clubs’ digital ecosystems are expanding inside – and outside – of their walls.

For virtual fitness providers like Wexer to continue to grow successfully, we must continue to enhance our product and increase the number of strategic collaborations with other technology companies to best support clubs as they digitise their customer journey. In this context, live streaming and a strong app are two of our latest product additions.

You’ve described your management style as one driven by passion, and that involves “leading the way, not telling others what to do”. Can you expand on this?
I’ve never really seen myself as a ‘boss’, but more as an aggregator of input from my fellow team members and surroundings that I put into executable plans.

According to Forbes, nine out of 10 start-ups fail. I’ve been able to do better because I’m clear about my vision and have attracted like-minded spirits to my projects. When your team is aligned, they become passionate about what they do. And if you have passion, you’ll fight to bring the vision to life and you’re significantly less likely to fail.

What does IHRSA’s philosophy of ‘success by association’ mean to you personally?
Life is a learning process. Nobody has all the answers and I’ve had many great people help me grow. Mike ‘Clubdoc’ Chaet was a mentor for me when I entered this industry, and for the past 10 years I’ve had tremendous benefit from my round table group and a very close association with Frank Napolitano, a past chair of IHRSA. Currently, he’s the president of 24 Hour Fitness and also the chair of Wexer Virtual.

You’re also now the chair of Stockholm Leisure Partners (SLP), an investment/incubator company for new projects in the fitness sector. Tell us more.

I founded Stockholm Leisure Partners with my former chair of Fresh Fitness (Denmark), Johan Nilsson. Our ambition is to make use of our industry knowledge and network, as well as our combined competencies, to bring new concepts to the Nordics from the world, or vice versa. We’ll either help entrepreneurs bring their projects to life, or import or export existing concepts.

Our primary activity is Barry’s Bootcamp, for which we’ve secured the rights in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

Barry’s Bootcamp is pretty much a love story. Our round table met in February 2015 to discuss the concept and I was completely sold. The fact that the workout is so tailored and creates a community of like-minded people fascinated me and the chemistry felt right.

I’m really looking forward to opening our first bootcamp studios and collaborating with the Barry’s family.

Tell us about Repeat, your new health club concept that's been designed to target Millennials.

Repeat is a very targeted health club concept that I’ve developed and started in Denmark with previous colleagues and partners from Fresh Fitness. We wanted to create the best possible gym experience for a specific group of people: Millennials and people who are young at heart (like me!)

This involves a really cool environment (SoHo-ish, with dimmed light and loud music), flexibility of pricing and terms, and a smooth digital extension of the in-club offering.

Denmark can only accommodate 10 to 15 of these clubs, so we may be looking for partners to grow the concept internationally (see also HCM Oct 16, p38).

What do you see happening in the sector over the next 10 years?
I’m expecting significant growth and continued change. Today, we mainly define our industry by the walls that surround our clubs. Going forward, there will be bricks-and-mortar operators, but more of them will have a digital extension that’s relevant to their members.

We’ll also see more purely digital concepts like Pokémon Go. An estimated 75 million people downloaded that app in July. That’s a following equal to 50 per cent of the total number of members in the fitness industry, and the build-in took close to no time! These numbers show there's enormous potential in digital, and that’s something we should embrace.

About IHRSA

Founded in 1981, IHRSA – the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association – is the only global trade association, representing more than 10,000 health and fitness facilities and suppliers worldwide. Locate an IHRSA club at www.healthclubs.com

To learn how IHRSA can help your business thrive, visit www.ihrsa.org

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Ingerslev is one of the founders of Repeat, a gym concept targeting Millennials
Ingerslev is one of the founders of Repeat, a gym concept targeting Millennials
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/596800_28480.jpg
Danish entrepreneur Rasmus Ingerslev talks about his recent appointment as IHRSA chair
Rasmus Ingerslev, Danish entrepreneur,IHRSA chair, ,Rasmus Ingerslev, IHRSA, Kristen Walsh, Danish Fitness and Health Organization, Wexer Virtual, Repeat health club
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Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston, has joined gym-goers this morning to kick-off the annual National Fitness ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Technogym awarded “Supplier of the year” at ukactive awards 2021
The best in class of the physical activity sector have been revealed at the ukactive Awards 2021.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Life Fitness introduces Integrity SL, the next generation LED console
Life Fitness has unveiled the new Integrity SL, its connected LED console designed for the Integrity Series cardio portfolio.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Company profiles
Company profile: Xn Leisure Systems Ltd
Xn Leisure is a provider of cutting-edge health and fitness software, offering an exceptional service ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Octane Fitness UK
A global innovator of innovation and variety in fitness equipment, Octane Fitness, a True Fitness ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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