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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Interview: Blurring the lines

Les Mills has launched a suite of digital solutions to help gyms future-proof by expanding their reach in the booming online fitness space, while complementing their live offerings. Steph Eaves talks to Les Mills International’s CMO Anna Henwood to find out more

Published in Fit Tech 2021 issue 1
Anna Henwood says digital fitness has quickly become a core expectation of every gym member in the world
Anna Henwood says digital fitness has quickly become a core expectation of every gym member in the world

Tell us about the development of Les Mills’ digital solutions
We’ve worked closely with our partners to develop a suite of digital solutions to help future-proof clubs by expanding their reach in the booming online fitness space, while complementing their live in-club offerings. Leveraging 52 years of group fitness expertise, we’ve created a range of LES MILLS™ On Demand (LMOD) and livestream products designed to support clubs in driving new revenue and meeting growing consumer demand for a ‘blended’ fitness offering. This combines the best of digital and live fitness to produce a connected member experience enabling members to work out however they choose – whether in-club or at-home.

How do you envision these solutions will help clubs to recover post-COVID and also stay relevant in the coming years?
There’s no getting away from the fact that Big Tech – Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook – are sizing up the fitness industry and represent a major threat for clubs. COVID-19 has changed the game forever, making digital fitness a core expectation of every club member in the world in just a few months – and that’s precisely why Big Tech is preparing to strike.

Clubs may not have the financial might or brand power of major tech firms, but they have assets that Big Tech can’t yet match: highly-engaged communities centered around authentic, live experiences. For those willing to be bold, the digital fitness boom can fast-track club growth and help operators thrive in the new age of fitness by enabling them to combine the best of live workouts with the scalability and convenience of digital – a compelling proposition for consumers.

How will these solutions help clubs who don’t yet have a digital offering?
First and foremost, it will help them to stay relevant. Since lockdown, the phrase ‘Innovate or die’ has shifted from being a fitness conference catchphrase to the harsh reality of operating a club in 2020. Digital fitness is becoming a basic expectation among consumers, so clubs that fail to provide a solution will struggle to compete.

And with health and fitness now a top-tier priority for people of all ages, there are big opportunities for clubs to grow their business by offering a connected member experience encompassing both live and digital solutions. Digital tools help clubs to reach more potential members and a connected member experience ensures that they keep them for longer.

How does Les Mills work with clubs to tailor a solution to their needs, and then help implement it?
Technology has understandably dominated the fitness industry discourse in recent months, but technology isn’t the answer to our challenges; our people are. Technology is still just a tool to help us deliver motivation to members beyond the club. It’s our people – the faces our members know and love – who remain at the heart of these solutions, and that’s the approach we take when supporting our club partners. How can we use technology to enhance their existing strengths and support their goals?

Whether it’s LMOD Affiliate (where clubs can upsell LMOD to their members and receive a share of the revenue), Les Mills workouts clubs can embed into their existing app, Virtual, Immersive Fitness, livestream or live, we have a host of solutions to support clubs, and a wealth of experience in how to implement them. As operators of a successful chain of clubs in New Zealand, we understand the problems that operators face and we only bring our products to market once they’ve proven to be a success in our own clubs.

Do you think Les Mills’ digital solutions can act as a gateway to getting more members coming in for in-club workouts?
Digital offers huge opportunities for clubs to reach beyond their traditional local catchment. Now, anyone with an internet connection is a potential target for digital memberships. By taking the club experience into people’s homes through digital solutions, operators have the chance to reach huge swathes of the population who wouldn’t typically visit a club and help them start their fitness journey. We can support people to build their fitness skills and confidence at home, so they can then graduate into clubs.

There’s clear appetite for such fitness progression among non-gym members using LMOD, with 53 per cent stating they’re interested in trying live Les Mills classes in a club (research from May 2020). Providing digital stepping stones will be key to gyms driving up the penetration rate and reaching mass adoption.

How can clubs integrate their digital offerings with their physical offerings, ensuring one complements and supports the other?
I’ve mentioned it already, but offering a connected member experience really is key – and a big component of that is consistency. Are you offering digital versions of the workouts that members love doing in your club? And conversely, are you offering better live versions of the workouts on your digital channels, so that users are enticed to come to the club more?

The marketer in me is going to insist on a slick customer experience and journey that takes an omnichannel approach – using the club as a promotional channel for digital and vice versa. How are you demonstrating the value of your total membership package (with digital included) and pricing it attractively to encourage the upsell? Does the digital user experience match the standards you set when people visit your club? Is your app/website consistently branded and easy to navigate? Is it bug-proof? These are the basic elements that need to be executed well for the offering to be considered a total package that the member sees value in.

How do you plan to keep LMOD fresh and exciting moving forward?
We’re constantly working on ways to enhance LMOD and raise the bar. We added our 1,000th workout to the platform in June and our audience has never had a greater choice of world-class programmes than they do today. These are the workouts you’ll find in clubs around the world and we’re working hard on new features to encourage more LMOD users to go out and experience live classes at their local club.

We’ve recently introduced daily workouts led by rockstar Les Mills Trainers – these are proving really popular as they’re short, sharp workouts that have never been seen before. We’ve also ramped up our range of challenges and workout plans designed to support specific user goals and we’re starting to include more diet and nutrition advice to support this. Personalisation is becoming ever more important – both for us and the industry as a whole.

What are your predictions for how the fitness industry will change over the next few years?
The growth of digital workouts isn’t a sudden shift in consumer behavior sparked by COVID-19, it’s actually the acceleration of a trend that’s been taking hold for some time. The 2019 Global Consumer Fitness Survey showed that 85 per cent of gym members also exercised at home – and that was before COVID-19 – so this is a longstanding trend which I fully expect to continue.

That said, live workouts in a pumping club studio will always be the most motivating fitness experience because we’re pack animals, so working out in groups is in our DNA. Our research has shown that group workouts produce increased levels of individual enjoyment, exertion and satisfaction – we call this the group effect.

After months of isolation for much of the world’s population, people are craving connection more than ever, so the opportunity for clubs is to be the bridge between the digital and the physical fitness space by taking an omnichannel approach. Fusing the best of digital (innovation, accessibility and scalability) with the motivation of live fitness experiences will be the key to stealing a march on Silicon Valley and setting up clubs for long-term success.

Les Mills’ newly-launched digital solutions include:
Enhanced livestream workouts

Clubs offering live Les Mills workouts can now deliver the latest versions of many of the world-famous classes to their members via livestream. Clubs can livestream using whichever platform they prefer, provided the necessary music licences are in place with their local performing rights societies.

App workout content

Clubs can bring the world’s best workouts into their own member app without the need for CapEx and mass content creation. Spanning 12 Les Mills programmes, clubs host the content via their own branded ecosystem and set the price members pay them for access.

LES MILLS On Demand Affiliate Programme

Clubs can support their members’ entire fitness journey by providing home workouts via LES MILLS On Demand and receiving a share of the revenue for each sign-up. Members have access to the full LMOD ecosystem, including Les Mills workouts, training programmes and community support.

Online training

Les Mills Instructor training and Group Fitness Management (GFM) training have now been digitised, making it easier than ever for clubs to upskill their teams and improve their business with world-class training.

Les Mills Body Pump on-demand and live virtual classes can now be offered to members directly via a club’s own app
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Fifty-three per cent of non-gym members using LMOD say they are interested in trying a live class in-club
Fifty-three per cent of non-gym members using LMOD say they are interested in trying a live class in-club
Les Mills has recently introduced daily workouts led by rockstar trainers
Les Mills has recently introduced daily workouts led by rockstar trainers
Henwood says the digital customer experience must be well executed for members to appreciate its value
Henwood says the digital customer experience must be well executed for members to appreciate its value
Personalisation is becoming more and more important to keeping customers
Personalisation is becoming more and more important to keeping customers
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/740551_432598.jpg
Les Mills has launched a suite of digital solutions to help clubs expand their reach in the booming online fitness space
Anna Henwood, Les Mills International, online fitness, digital fitness,digital fitness
HCM magazine
As the UK government’s social prescribing initiative gains momentum, Kenny Butler calls on the sector to step up and get involved
HCM magazine
In this issue, we’re focusing on sharing insights and thought leadership to highlight opportunities for the development of the sector in terms of both markets and offerings, says Liz Terry, HCM editor
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Our equipment doesn't consume power but does generate it, recycling human energy
HCM Magazine
Research
We’re not necessarily against weight loss, we just think that it shouldn’t be the primary criterion for judging the success of a lifestyle intervention programme
HCM Magazine
Letters
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM Magazine
Mental health
Research confirms the role health clubs can play in supporting people in nurturing their mental health, as Victor Brick explains
HCM Magazine
Insight
Research firm Qualtrics surveyed 12,157 consumers across 15 countries in seven languages to create the Les Mills 2021 Global Fitness Report, highlighting the ways consumers are choosing to work out as we emerge from the pandemic. Jak Phillips reports
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Statistics
This year’s edition of the IHRSA Global Report which addresses performance from 2020, is a valuable record of the tremendous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector, creating a benchmark from which to understand the recovery. Kristen Walsh reports for HCM
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HCM People
We first started talking to KSL over two years ago, so this was not a rushed partnership
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Policy
Generations rarely have the opportunity to reset public opinion and effect behaviour change for good, but post-pandemic two unequal movements with a lot in common will be the focus of governments, says David Minton
HCM Magazine
Latest News
Boutique operator 1Rebel has launched its first 1Rebel Labs Studio at its club in Holborn. ...
Latest News
The Local Government Association (LGA) has called on the UK government to invest £875m in ...
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Anthony Hamilton, the father of F1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton, is launching a fitness equipment ...
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The pandemic has had an "unprecedented" impact on physical activity levels in England, with 1 ...
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The first énergie Fitness club has opened in Spain as part of a push for ...
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A global innovation competition has been launched to find ways to encourage and support more ...
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Xponential Fitness has acquired Body Fit Training in a deal worth US$44m. The deal takes ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Founder of dynamic yoga platform launches cinematic wellbeing classes for luxury spas and hotels
Matt Miller, founder of leading yoga training platform Broga has announced the launch of Earth+Sky – a collection of cinematic virtual wellbeing classes filmed in breath-taking locations around the world.
Featured supplier news
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Company profiles
Company profile: Parkwood Leisure
Parkwood Leisure is a family-owned leisure management company working with local authority partners across England ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Life Fitness
The Life Fitness family of brands offers an unrivalled product portfolio, providing customers with access ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Skincare
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Uniforms
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Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
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Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
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Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
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

features

Interview: Blurring the lines

Les Mills has launched a suite of digital solutions to help gyms future-proof by expanding their reach in the booming online fitness space, while complementing their live offerings. Steph Eaves talks to Les Mills International’s CMO Anna Henwood to find out more

Published in Fit Tech 2021 issue 1
Anna Henwood says digital fitness has quickly become a core expectation of every gym member in the world
Anna Henwood says digital fitness has quickly become a core expectation of every gym member in the world

Tell us about the development of Les Mills’ digital solutions
We’ve worked closely with our partners to develop a suite of digital solutions to help future-proof clubs by expanding their reach in the booming online fitness space, while complementing their live in-club offerings. Leveraging 52 years of group fitness expertise, we’ve created a range of LES MILLS™ On Demand (LMOD) and livestream products designed to support clubs in driving new revenue and meeting growing consumer demand for a ‘blended’ fitness offering. This combines the best of digital and live fitness to produce a connected member experience enabling members to work out however they choose – whether in-club or at-home.

How do you envision these solutions will help clubs to recover post-COVID and also stay relevant in the coming years?
There’s no getting away from the fact that Big Tech – Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook – are sizing up the fitness industry and represent a major threat for clubs. COVID-19 has changed the game forever, making digital fitness a core expectation of every club member in the world in just a few months – and that’s precisely why Big Tech is preparing to strike.

Clubs may not have the financial might or brand power of major tech firms, but they have assets that Big Tech can’t yet match: highly-engaged communities centered around authentic, live experiences. For those willing to be bold, the digital fitness boom can fast-track club growth and help operators thrive in the new age of fitness by enabling them to combine the best of live workouts with the scalability and convenience of digital – a compelling proposition for consumers.

How will these solutions help clubs who don’t yet have a digital offering?
First and foremost, it will help them to stay relevant. Since lockdown, the phrase ‘Innovate or die’ has shifted from being a fitness conference catchphrase to the harsh reality of operating a club in 2020. Digital fitness is becoming a basic expectation among consumers, so clubs that fail to provide a solution will struggle to compete.

And with health and fitness now a top-tier priority for people of all ages, there are big opportunities for clubs to grow their business by offering a connected member experience encompassing both live and digital solutions. Digital tools help clubs to reach more potential members and a connected member experience ensures that they keep them for longer.

How does Les Mills work with clubs to tailor a solution to their needs, and then help implement it?
Technology has understandably dominated the fitness industry discourse in recent months, but technology isn’t the answer to our challenges; our people are. Technology is still just a tool to help us deliver motivation to members beyond the club. It’s our people – the faces our members know and love – who remain at the heart of these solutions, and that’s the approach we take when supporting our club partners. How can we use technology to enhance their existing strengths and support their goals?

Whether it’s LMOD Affiliate (where clubs can upsell LMOD to their members and receive a share of the revenue), Les Mills workouts clubs can embed into their existing app, Virtual, Immersive Fitness, livestream or live, we have a host of solutions to support clubs, and a wealth of experience in how to implement them. As operators of a successful chain of clubs in New Zealand, we understand the problems that operators face and we only bring our products to market once they’ve proven to be a success in our own clubs.

Do you think Les Mills’ digital solutions can act as a gateway to getting more members coming in for in-club workouts?
Digital offers huge opportunities for clubs to reach beyond their traditional local catchment. Now, anyone with an internet connection is a potential target for digital memberships. By taking the club experience into people’s homes through digital solutions, operators have the chance to reach huge swathes of the population who wouldn’t typically visit a club and help them start their fitness journey. We can support people to build their fitness skills and confidence at home, so they can then graduate into clubs.

There’s clear appetite for such fitness progression among non-gym members using LMOD, with 53 per cent stating they’re interested in trying live Les Mills classes in a club (research from May 2020). Providing digital stepping stones will be key to gyms driving up the penetration rate and reaching mass adoption.

How can clubs integrate their digital offerings with their physical offerings, ensuring one complements and supports the other?
I’ve mentioned it already, but offering a connected member experience really is key – and a big component of that is consistency. Are you offering digital versions of the workouts that members love doing in your club? And conversely, are you offering better live versions of the workouts on your digital channels, so that users are enticed to come to the club more?

The marketer in me is going to insist on a slick customer experience and journey that takes an omnichannel approach – using the club as a promotional channel for digital and vice versa. How are you demonstrating the value of your total membership package (with digital included) and pricing it attractively to encourage the upsell? Does the digital user experience match the standards you set when people visit your club? Is your app/website consistently branded and easy to navigate? Is it bug-proof? These are the basic elements that need to be executed well for the offering to be considered a total package that the member sees value in.

How do you plan to keep LMOD fresh and exciting moving forward?
We’re constantly working on ways to enhance LMOD and raise the bar. We added our 1,000th workout to the platform in June and our audience has never had a greater choice of world-class programmes than they do today. These are the workouts you’ll find in clubs around the world and we’re working hard on new features to encourage more LMOD users to go out and experience live classes at their local club.

We’ve recently introduced daily workouts led by rockstar Les Mills Trainers – these are proving really popular as they’re short, sharp workouts that have never been seen before. We’ve also ramped up our range of challenges and workout plans designed to support specific user goals and we’re starting to include more diet and nutrition advice to support this. Personalisation is becoming ever more important – both for us and the industry as a whole.

What are your predictions for how the fitness industry will change over the next few years?
The growth of digital workouts isn’t a sudden shift in consumer behavior sparked by COVID-19, it’s actually the acceleration of a trend that’s been taking hold for some time. The 2019 Global Consumer Fitness Survey showed that 85 per cent of gym members also exercised at home – and that was before COVID-19 – so this is a longstanding trend which I fully expect to continue.

That said, live workouts in a pumping club studio will always be the most motivating fitness experience because we’re pack animals, so working out in groups is in our DNA. Our research has shown that group workouts produce increased levels of individual enjoyment, exertion and satisfaction – we call this the group effect.

After months of isolation for much of the world’s population, people are craving connection more than ever, so the opportunity for clubs is to be the bridge between the digital and the physical fitness space by taking an omnichannel approach. Fusing the best of digital (innovation, accessibility and scalability) with the motivation of live fitness experiences will be the key to stealing a march on Silicon Valley and setting up clubs for long-term success.

Les Mills’ newly-launched digital solutions include:
Enhanced livestream workouts

Clubs offering live Les Mills workouts can now deliver the latest versions of many of the world-famous classes to their members via livestream. Clubs can livestream using whichever platform they prefer, provided the necessary music licences are in place with their local performing rights societies.

App workout content

Clubs can bring the world’s best workouts into their own member app without the need for CapEx and mass content creation. Spanning 12 Les Mills programmes, clubs host the content via their own branded ecosystem and set the price members pay them for access.

LES MILLS On Demand Affiliate Programme

Clubs can support their members’ entire fitness journey by providing home workouts via LES MILLS On Demand and receiving a share of the revenue for each sign-up. Members have access to the full LMOD ecosystem, including Les Mills workouts, training programmes and community support.

Online training

Les Mills Instructor training and Group Fitness Management (GFM) training have now been digitised, making it easier than ever for clubs to upskill their teams and improve their business with world-class training.

Les Mills Body Pump on-demand and live virtual classes can now be offered to members directly via a club’s own app
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Fifty-three per cent of non-gym members using LMOD say they are interested in trying a live class in-club
Fifty-three per cent of non-gym members using LMOD say they are interested in trying a live class in-club
Les Mills has recently introduced daily workouts led by rockstar trainers
Les Mills has recently introduced daily workouts led by rockstar trainers
Henwood says the digital customer experience must be well executed for members to appreciate its value
Henwood says the digital customer experience must be well executed for members to appreciate its value
Personalisation is becoming more and more important to keeping customers
Personalisation is becoming more and more important to keeping customers
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/740551_432598.jpg
Les Mills has launched a suite of digital solutions to help clubs expand their reach in the booming online fitness space
Anna Henwood, Les Mills International, online fitness, digital fitness,digital fitness
Latest News
Boutique operator 1Rebel has launched its first 1Rebel Labs Studio at its club in Holborn. ...
Latest News
The Local Government Association (LGA) has called on the UK government to invest £875m in ...
Latest News
Anthony Hamilton, the father of F1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton, is launching a fitness equipment ...
Latest News
The pandemic has had an "unprecedented" impact on physical activity levels in England, with 1 ...
Latest News
The first énergie Fitness club has opened in Spain as part of a push for ...
Latest News
A global innovation competition has been launched to find ways to encourage and support more ...
Latest News
Xponential Fitness has acquired Body Fit Training in a deal worth US$44m. The deal takes ...
Latest News
Exercise has been highlighted as a crucial weapon in cancer patients’ battle against the disease. ...
Latest News
The global health and fitness industry is returning to a busy programme of live trade ...
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Matrix and Intelivideo have signed a strategic partnership, which will see Intelivideo's fitness content integrated ...
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Nadine Dorries, the recently appointed secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport at ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Founder of dynamic yoga platform launches cinematic wellbeing classes for luxury spas and hotels
Matt Miller, founder of leading yoga training platform Broga has announced the launch of Earth+Sky – a collection of cinematic virtual wellbeing classes filmed in breath-taking locations around the world.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EMS personal training: shockingly simple
People's fitness goals are extremely diverse – ranging from an elite athlete focused on the next goal to someone who dislikes all activity due to chronic back pain.
Featured operator news
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.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Sporting heroes to officially open £22 million redevelopment at Everyone Active centre
A £22 million redevelopment project will be unveiled at Grange Paddocks Leisure Centre, as part of the official launch of the state-of-the-art centre.
Company profiles
Company profile: Parkwood Leisure
Parkwood Leisure is a family-owned leisure management company working with local authority partners across England ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Life Fitness
The Life Fitness family of brands offers an unrivalled product portfolio, providing customers with access ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
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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