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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

IHRSA update

The EXOS/MediFit exec and outgoing IHRSA chair reflects on the new ideas, challenges and changes that the past year has brought to the fitness sector

Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 4
IHRSA chair Molly Kemmer
IHRSA chair Molly Kemmer

You’re about to conclude your term as chair of IHRSA’s board of directors. What can you tell us about the past year?
The year has gone very fast, but it’s provided a tremendous opportunity for me to learn, grow and connect with others to better understand the needs of our industry and the people we serve. My position, as the regional director of community services for EXOS/MediFit, is certainly enlightening, but the IHRSA role has broadened my global perspective.

Talented, passionate people are spreading our industry’s benefits across the globe, but each market around the world is unique, with its own nuances, challenges and opportunities. Some cultures employ a more conservative, traditional way of thinking while others, anxious to be first, eagerly embrace innovation and change. For example, the boutique model is exploding in Europe.

No matter the location, culture or business models involved, industry leaders on every continent are predicting growth. However, each market does so at a pace and with a rhythm all of its own.

What, in your opinion, is the most dramatic industry change that’s taken place during your tenure?
I can think of several, including the rapid growth of the studio, boutique and niche models, and the continued proliferation of low-cost fitness facilities.

The emergence of offerings that are positioned as ‘premium low-cost’ warrants some serious study to determine the long-term opportunity and market impact they may present.

In addition, the health and fitness market’s obvious appetite for new technology suggests traditional club models are at risk if they fail to study what works and adapt to address consumers’ changing needs and expectations.

And what hasn’t changed in that time – something you’d like to have seen more progress on?
Just one? Well, as an industry, we still haven’t moved the needle on obesity or physical inactivity – both global issues. I’d implore each IHRSA member to look in the mirror and ask themselves: Why? What haven’t we tried? What could we do better? What could we do together? I’d further urge them to consider the impact it would have – on global health, as well as our industry’s bottom line – if we could bring even 1 per cent of the world’s inactive population into our clubs.

Do you see technology as a threat or an opportunity?
Disruption is hard evidence that a consumer need or desire is being met by a process, product or service – a solution – that wasn’t generally available before. In the case of our industry, it has a lot to do with the access, information and convenience afforded by virtual connectivity.

The key question, though, is why are consumers so interested in virtual access, data, tracking, cloud-community participation and so on? What are they craving? And beyond that, how can clubs satisfy this need via their membership experience in a positive and productive way? We should also ask what experiences clubs can provide that can never be replaced or replicated by technology alone.

Find the answers to these questions and you’ll create a unique and engaging experience – one that will have a lasting impact – for your members.

EXOS/MediFit is a global fitness and wellness management company that works in spheres like corporate wellness. What makes a successful corporate programme?
Let’s be honest: lots of corporate fitness and wellness strategies haven’t enjoyed long-term success. Today, the data is showing that it’s not just one thing that makes a difference. Rather, success requires a layered, multi-faceted approach – one that’s supported by a culture with aligned values, and one that produces measurable and sustainable results.

We’ve also discovered that reward systems that are balanced between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, and buttressed by environmental and social support, produce better outcomes than ones that rely solely on financial incentives.

It’s also important to offer the programming and physical environment that provide the motivation, inspiration and convenience for employees to work out at work, as well as helping them remain connected to achieving their goals even when they’re not at work.

What advice would you offer club operators wanting to tackle the corporate sector?
Keep in mind that what works in a traditional health club setting may not translate seamlessly to a corporate environment. You need to do your homework to determine if you’re equipped to produce the value and outcomes that are expected in an on-site facility, and in a way that’s scalable.

Also, ask yourself if pursuing corporate fitness opportunities will really enhance or detract from your core business – and be honest in your response.

Managing clubs requires you to focus on balancing a number of critical factors, including the member experience, the team members’ roles in providing it, the sustainability of the experience, and the club’s unique relationship with the community.

As a management company, though, we function as a partner. We focus on each of our partners’ ‘care-abouts’, and on providing them with unique value, solutions and efficiencies. Sometimes this resembles a more traditional club model, but sometimes we deliver value via programmes or technology. We also focus on the scalability of our solutions and resources in order to produce a broader, sustainable impact.

Finally, what advice would you like to offer the next chair of IHRSA?
My advice would be to continue to challenge the thinking of the leaders of our industry and of the association. Think bigger. Think differently. And, when we know better... do better!

A longer version of this article appears in the April 2016 edition of IHRSA’s CBI magazine.

Introducing Molly

IHRSA chair Molly Kemmer
IHRSA chair Molly Kemmer

Molly Kemmer entered the fitness industry as a group exercise instructor at the age of 18. Next came a personal training certification, and a master’s degree in exercise physiology and health promotion from Illinois State University.

After concluding her formal education, she became assistant manager of a small club, and subsequently assumed positions of increasing responsibility at the Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club, Pura Vida Fitness and Spa, and the Lakeshore Athletic Club-Flatiron – all located near Denver, US.

In 2012, Kemmer joined global fitness and wellness management firm EXOS/MediFit, serving as general manager of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado; in 2014, she became EXOS/MediFit’s regional director of community services. 

She joined IHRSA’s board of directors in 2012 and in 2015 was elected chair. Her one-year term ends in June 2016.

Clubs must understand why virtual fitness 
is growing, and what people are craving / shutterstock
Clubs must understand why virtual fitness is growing, and what people are craving / shutterstock
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/81099_485687.jpg
The outgoing IHRSA chair reflects on the learnings from her 12-month tenure, and challenges the fitness sector to think bigger and think differently
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Corporate wellness is getting on to the agenda of a growing number of companies, who appreciate the fact their employees are their number one asset. Kath Hudson reports
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Your flooring literally underpins your business and although it may not seem the most glamourous purchase you make, making the right choice will ensure the success of everything from your safety rating to your bottom line, says Liz Terry
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For more than 35 years, Precor has driven fitness forward. We continue that heritage every ...
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Company profile: TRIB3 International Ltd
First established in Sheffield in January 2016 TRIB3 is a bootcamp boutique studio designed to ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Direct debit solutions
Debit Finance Collections: Direct debit solutions
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Management software
Fisikal: Management software
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Spa software
ResortSuite: Spa software
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Professional services
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Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Wearable technology solutions
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Property & Tenders
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Diary dates
21-23 Jan 2020
Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Diary dates
28-30 Jan 2020
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
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29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
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20 Feb 2020
The Old Truman Brewery, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
25-26 Mar 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
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26-29 Mar 2020
The Winter Gardens Blackpool, Blackpool , United Kingdom
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19-24 Apr 2020
tbc, Beijing, China
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
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10-27 Jun 2020
tbc, Pinggu, China
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13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
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17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
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21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
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Diary dates

features

IHRSA update

The EXOS/MediFit exec and outgoing IHRSA chair reflects on the new ideas, challenges and changes that the past year has brought to the fitness sector

Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 4
IHRSA chair Molly Kemmer
IHRSA chair Molly Kemmer

You’re about to conclude your term as chair of IHRSA’s board of directors. What can you tell us about the past year?
The year has gone very fast, but it’s provided a tremendous opportunity for me to learn, grow and connect with others to better understand the needs of our industry and the people we serve. My position, as the regional director of community services for EXOS/MediFit, is certainly enlightening, but the IHRSA role has broadened my global perspective.

Talented, passionate people are spreading our industry’s benefits across the globe, but each market around the world is unique, with its own nuances, challenges and opportunities. Some cultures employ a more conservative, traditional way of thinking while others, anxious to be first, eagerly embrace innovation and change. For example, the boutique model is exploding in Europe.

No matter the location, culture or business models involved, industry leaders on every continent are predicting growth. However, each market does so at a pace and with a rhythm all of its own.

What, in your opinion, is the most dramatic industry change that’s taken place during your tenure?
I can think of several, including the rapid growth of the studio, boutique and niche models, and the continued proliferation of low-cost fitness facilities.

The emergence of offerings that are positioned as ‘premium low-cost’ warrants some serious study to determine the long-term opportunity and market impact they may present.

In addition, the health and fitness market’s obvious appetite for new technology suggests traditional club models are at risk if they fail to study what works and adapt to address consumers’ changing needs and expectations.

And what hasn’t changed in that time – something you’d like to have seen more progress on?
Just one? Well, as an industry, we still haven’t moved the needle on obesity or physical inactivity – both global issues. I’d implore each IHRSA member to look in the mirror and ask themselves: Why? What haven’t we tried? What could we do better? What could we do together? I’d further urge them to consider the impact it would have – on global health, as well as our industry’s bottom line – if we could bring even 1 per cent of the world’s inactive population into our clubs.

Do you see technology as a threat or an opportunity?
Disruption is hard evidence that a consumer need or desire is being met by a process, product or service – a solution – that wasn’t generally available before. In the case of our industry, it has a lot to do with the access, information and convenience afforded by virtual connectivity.

The key question, though, is why are consumers so interested in virtual access, data, tracking, cloud-community participation and so on? What are they craving? And beyond that, how can clubs satisfy this need via their membership experience in a positive and productive way? We should also ask what experiences clubs can provide that can never be replaced or replicated by technology alone.

Find the answers to these questions and you’ll create a unique and engaging experience – one that will have a lasting impact – for your members.

EXOS/MediFit is a global fitness and wellness management company that works in spheres like corporate wellness. What makes a successful corporate programme?
Let’s be honest: lots of corporate fitness and wellness strategies haven’t enjoyed long-term success. Today, the data is showing that it’s not just one thing that makes a difference. Rather, success requires a layered, multi-faceted approach – one that’s supported by a culture with aligned values, and one that produces measurable and sustainable results.

We’ve also discovered that reward systems that are balanced between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, and buttressed by environmental and social support, produce better outcomes than ones that rely solely on financial incentives.

It’s also important to offer the programming and physical environment that provide the motivation, inspiration and convenience for employees to work out at work, as well as helping them remain connected to achieving their goals even when they’re not at work.

What advice would you offer club operators wanting to tackle the corporate sector?
Keep in mind that what works in a traditional health club setting may not translate seamlessly to a corporate environment. You need to do your homework to determine if you’re equipped to produce the value and outcomes that are expected in an on-site facility, and in a way that’s scalable.

Also, ask yourself if pursuing corporate fitness opportunities will really enhance or detract from your core business – and be honest in your response.

Managing clubs requires you to focus on balancing a number of critical factors, including the member experience, the team members’ roles in providing it, the sustainability of the experience, and the club’s unique relationship with the community.

As a management company, though, we function as a partner. We focus on each of our partners’ ‘care-abouts’, and on providing them with unique value, solutions and efficiencies. Sometimes this resembles a more traditional club model, but sometimes we deliver value via programmes or technology. We also focus on the scalability of our solutions and resources in order to produce a broader, sustainable impact.

Finally, what advice would you like to offer the next chair of IHRSA?
My advice would be to continue to challenge the thinking of the leaders of our industry and of the association. Think bigger. Think differently. And, when we know better... do better!

A longer version of this article appears in the April 2016 edition of IHRSA’s CBI magazine.

Introducing Molly

IHRSA chair Molly Kemmer
IHRSA chair Molly Kemmer

Molly Kemmer entered the fitness industry as a group exercise instructor at the age of 18. Next came a personal training certification, and a master’s degree in exercise physiology and health promotion from Illinois State University.

After concluding her formal education, she became assistant manager of a small club, and subsequently assumed positions of increasing responsibility at the Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club, Pura Vida Fitness and Spa, and the Lakeshore Athletic Club-Flatiron – all located near Denver, US.

In 2012, Kemmer joined global fitness and wellness management firm EXOS/MediFit, serving as general manager of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado; in 2014, she became EXOS/MediFit’s regional director of community services. 

She joined IHRSA’s board of directors in 2012 and in 2015 was elected chair. Her one-year term ends in June 2016.

Clubs must understand why virtual fitness 
is growing, and what people are craving / shutterstock
Clubs must understand why virtual fitness is growing, and what people are craving / shutterstock
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/81099_485687.jpg
The outgoing IHRSA chair reflects on the learnings from her 12-month tenure, and challenges the fitness sector to think bigger and think differently
Latest News
Rockwell Group have unveiled designs for luxury hospitality and wellness amenities at Manhattan's 550 Madison ...
Latest News
The Gym Group is set to continue its fast pace of growth in 2020, with ...
Latest News
A new product aimed at the ageing population is combining wearable fitness tech with artificial ...
Latest News
A three-year research project will look to provide the physical activity industry with a better ...
Latest News
The latest edition of the highly-successful This Girl Can Campaign has been celebrated for its ...
Latest News
The increasing popularity of streaming services and wireless earbuds – along with the introduction of ...
Latest News
Stuart Broster, chief executive of Anytime Fitness UK, will step down from his role in ...
Latest News
Digme Fitness has acquired Another Space – the boutique studio arm of premium health club ...
Latest News
Looklen Architects have created a stripped back gym in Bangkok, Thailand, that uses steel latticing ...
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The number of people in the UK who are members of a private health and ...
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A study has offered new evidence of the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and brain health ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: WEXO: The definitive cross training solution
A new cross training concept has arrived, offering weightlifting, athletic, metabolic, and functional exercises in a circuit format.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Incorpore: Creating a fitter, happier and more productive workforce
Inactivity is described by The Department of Health as the ‘silent killer’ of our generation.
Video Gallery
DFC: We do more...
DFC
DFC are a leading direct debit collection company, providing cash flow solutions to happy clients from all over the UK. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Precor
For more than 35 years, Precor has driven fitness forward. We continue that heritage every ...
Company profiles
Company profile: TRIB3 International Ltd
First established in Sheffield in January 2016 TRIB3 is a bootcamp boutique studio designed to ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Direct debit solutions
Debit Finance Collections: Direct debit solutions
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Management software
Fisikal: Management software
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Spa software
ResortSuite: Spa software
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Professional services
Deloitte UK: Professional services
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-23 Jan 2020
Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Diary dates
28-30 Jan 2020
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
Diary dates
20 Feb 2020
The Old Truman Brewery, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
25-26 Mar 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
26-29 Mar 2020
The Winter Gardens Blackpool, Blackpool , United Kingdom
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
10-27 Jun 2020
tbc, Pinggu, China
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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