GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Active IQ
Active IQ
Active IQ
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
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
HCM People

David Blitz

CEO, BlitzLake
One of the best aspects of Studio Three is our loyal membership community. Our team has really come to know our members and where they are in their wellness journey
HCM magazine
Children with better cardiorespiratory health than their peers also do better on cognitive tests and other measures of brain function, according to new research
HCM magazine
Hussle’s new Membership Conversion Service proactively turns Hussle customers into direct club members, encouraging them to join clubs they attend regularly
HCM Magazine
HCM People
Find ways to come together and flourish. Even when you’re a group of competitors, you can make it work for everyone when you all listen with respect
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Tad Chapman from Active IQ argues that operators should take a fresh look at apprenticeships and their power to drive recovery
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
As health clubs around the world start reopening, controlling COVID-19 – while also delivering a great service to customers – must be an obsession for everyone in the sector
HCM Magazine
Ask an expert
In spite of having met all government-agreed, COVID-secure operating standards, group exercise has had a rough ride during the pandemic, being closed more than gyms. HCM asks why this is and what can be done about it
HCM Magazine
Promotion
Goji’s virus-killing air purification system is the future of air purification for gyms, says Greg Whyte
HCM Magazine
Wellness
The team manager of Mahindra Racing talks to Kate Cracknell about creating a new corporate culture in a competitive world – one that places employee wellbeing first
HCM Magazine
Finance
New tax laws will hit the UK fitness sector in early April, changing the way freelance PTs are legally classified for income tax and national insurance, as Abi Harris reports
HCM Magazine
Latest News
A parliamentary report is calling for a £3bn intervention fund to build back better health ...
Latest News
Leisure centre operator Everyone Active has formed a partnership with WW (formerly called Weight Watchers), ...
Latest News
Adults suffering from chronic pain should be advised to take exercise, rather than be prescribed ...
Latest News
As health clubs and fitness studios in England are counting the hours down to reopening ...
Latest News
Empowered Brands, the franchise investment business that acquired énergie Fitness out of a CVA in ...
Latest News
John Treharne, founder of The Gym Group, and Jana Havrdová, president of the Czech Chamber ...
Latest News
Questex, owner of industry buyer event, Sibec EU, has announced it will partner with FIBO ...
Latest News
Les Mills has come up with an ingenious solution to get around the pandemic travel ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Bounce back faster with a new risk-free joiner channel
The industry is eagerly awaiting the reopening of health clubs and leisure centres in another year affected by COVID-19, where the only thing that’s been certain is uncertainty.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: The Retention People unveil 2020 Member Experience Awards winners
Member engagement software provider The Retention People (TRP) has unveiled the winners of its annual 2020 Member Experience Awards (MEA).
Company profiles
Company profile: Freemotion Fitness
Freemotion Fitness is the global pioneer in fitness equipment and technology, introducing the world to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Fisikal Limited
Fisikal helps fitness professionals, operators and education organisations improve efficiencies and service through its online ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
Hillingdon
Hillingdon Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-04 Jul 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
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
A parliamentary report is calling for a £3bn intervention fund to build back better health ...
Latest News
Leisure centre operator Everyone Active has formed a partnership with WW (formerly called Weight Watchers), ...
Latest News
Adults suffering from chronic pain should be advised to take exercise, rather than be prescribed ...
Latest News
As health clubs and fitness studios in England are counting the hours down to reopening ...
Latest News
Empowered Brands, the franchise investment business that acquired énergie Fitness out of a CVA in ...
Latest News
John Treharne, founder of The Gym Group, and Jana Havrdová, president of the Czech Chamber ...
Latest News
Questex, owner of industry buyer event, Sibec EU, has announced it will partner with FIBO ...
Latest News
Les Mills has come up with an ingenious solution to get around the pandemic travel ...
Latest News
At-home fitness giant Peloton has officially completed the acquisition of equipment provider Precor, in a ...
Latest News
There is growing evidence that a COVID-19 infection could trigger diabetes in some patients. One ...
Latest News
Danish health club operator Repeat, launched in 2016 by serial fitness entrepreneur Rasmus Ingerslev, has ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Bounce back faster with a new risk-free joiner channel
The industry is eagerly awaiting the reopening of health clubs and leisure centres in another year affected by COVID-19, where the only thing that’s been certain is uncertainty.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: The Retention People unveil 2020 Member Experience Awards winners
Member engagement software provider The Retention People (TRP) has unveiled the winners of its annual 2020 Member Experience Awards (MEA).
Company profiles
Company profile: Freemotion Fitness
Freemotion Fitness is the global pioneer in fitness equipment and technology, introducing the world to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Fisikal Limited
Fisikal helps fitness professionals, operators and education organisations improve efficiencies and service through its online ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
Hillingdon
Hillingdon Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-04 Jul 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Active IQ
Active IQ