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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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People: Todd Allen, LIVunLtd

Fitness and programme director at LIVunLtd

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 9
Todd Allen
Todd Allen
We want to elevate the experience of residential gyms and create a boutique feel, so members don’t need to join an off-site gym

What is LIVunLtd and how did you start working for the company?
We’re a concierge service business, working out of around 200 residential properties in New York City. We run the gyms, swimming pools and other amenity spaces at the properties, such as children’s nurseries and party rooms. We also deal with miscellaneous requests, from finding hairdressers and dog walkers to helping residents find a hotel for their holiday.
It’s a fast paced, improvisational business, making things work in a short space of time – people generally expect things to happen within an hour.

LIV’s chief creative officer, Michael Fazio asked me to join last year, when I was a creative director at Flybarre, the barre programme of Flywheel Sports. I originally joined the health and fitness industry to supplement my income as a modern and contemporary dancer.

How does your gym model work?
Unlike most gyms, we’re not responsible for selling the memberships, as these are usually sold as part of the lease when people move into the buildings. The majority of the gyms are only open to residents. Our role is to mobilise as many people as possible to use the services. In many cases, we bid for the contract to run the gym and amenity spaces and the building owners pay us for the service we provide.

We also partner with other companies where relevant, such as Zeal, to offer massage services.

Zeal is an app that enables people to book a massage therapist on demand – using the same model as Uber. They get a therapist to you within two hours.

What does your role as fitness and programme director involve?
Currently only around 5 per cent of the residents make use of the gyms. My role is a new one and is part of a bid to encourage more residents to use the facilities. I oversee all the fitness and wellbeing offerings to make sure the quality is consistent and to create more of a community among the building’s residents and our instructors at the gyms.

I’m also responsible for creating new content and branded classes. I’m currently working on a new HIIT programme, called LIV Quickfire, which will be a 30-minute high intensity cardio programme to get the heart rate up and burn a ton of calories.

How do residential gyms compare to commercial gyms?
Residential fitness is battling a bad reputation – lots of my friends in New York wouldn’t dream of going to the gym in their building! Often the people who go to the residential gyms are less discerning, as they’re the people who are too intimidated to go to a commercial gym.

We want to elevate the experience of residential gyms and create a boutique feel, so our members feel they don’t need to purchase an off-site gym membership. We want them to find the gym a social experience and make personal connections with their neighbours and with the staff. All fitness junkies have their favourite classes and instructors, and they base their weekly schedule around these classes. My goal is to make the classes offered in each building the favourite class that the residents plan their day around.

What do residents want from the gym experience?
Fitness and amenity space is becoming more important in the residential market. Our residents want the gym to be a one stop, full experience in one building. They want yoga on the roof, quiet space for guided meditation, quiet outdoor space, party space and kid space. They want to get to know their neighbours. They want to be able to get chair massages and everything to be on hand.

We have a lot of requests for parent and child, and nanny and child fitness experiences, including yoga, swimming and creative dance. Also there’s a big demand for all types of yoga, pilates, meditation and tai chi – anything that is calming to the nervous system.

Is there a uniform feel to all the gyms you operate?
All the buildings we operate out of have different price points for their fitness amenities and varying amounts of commitment to them. Some developers are keen to invest and make the best use of the space possible, asking our advice on what is current and popular, to create beautiful, world class gyms. Unfortunately, others are like a hotel gym, with just a treadmill and a few weights.

What are the main challenges to running residential gyms?
Getting accurate data on who is attending is difficult, as we don’t sign members up, they don’t have to check in when they use the gym and there are no receptionists. It’s hard to find out what equipment they use and what are the most popular classes.

Also keeping instructors on track and on brand is a challenge, as we have numerous locations across New York City and no one monitoring them on a daily basis. Traditionally, they have been used to doing their own thing and then going home. Now I’m introducing quality control and working to make more of a team out of the different suppliers, by providing a lot of in house training and regular phone calls to keep in touch.

What location does LIV look for?
There’s a lot of growth potential in concierge services. Our business model needs urban settings in order to service the requests we do – in suburbia there’s less of a pool of suppliers. We’ve started to look beyond New York now for growth, to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington DC, as well as overseas.

What’s the most exciting fitness trend at the moment?
The idea of a workout that meets emotional and mental needs as well as physical needs – so people are pushed physically, which makes them let go emotionally and then also push past a mental barrier. The Class by Taryn Toomey, which combines HIIT, yoga, meditation and primal scream therapy is a great example of this. It takes people on a journey and they experience a release emotionally and spiritually, which is fulfilling and enriching, beyond just a physical workout.

The LIV gym model aims to get more residents involved
The LIV gym model aims to get more residents involved
The LIV gym model aims to get more residents involved
The LIV gym model aims to get more residents involved
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/465814_150372.jpg
"We want to create a boutique feel in residential gyms, so residents feel they don't need to purchase an offsite gym membership" – Todd Allen, LIVunLtd
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    features

    People: Todd Allen, LIVunLtd

    Fitness and programme director at LIVunLtd

    Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 9
    Todd Allen
    Todd Allen
    We want to elevate the experience of residential gyms and create a boutique feel, so members don’t need to join an off-site gym

    What is LIVunLtd and how did you start working for the company?
    We’re a concierge service business, working out of around 200 residential properties in New York City. We run the gyms, swimming pools and other amenity spaces at the properties, such as children’s nurseries and party rooms. We also deal with miscellaneous requests, from finding hairdressers and dog walkers to helping residents find a hotel for their holiday.
    It’s a fast paced, improvisational business, making things work in a short space of time – people generally expect things to happen within an hour.

    LIV’s chief creative officer, Michael Fazio asked me to join last year, when I was a creative director at Flybarre, the barre programme of Flywheel Sports. I originally joined the health and fitness industry to supplement my income as a modern and contemporary dancer.

    How does your gym model work?
    Unlike most gyms, we’re not responsible for selling the memberships, as these are usually sold as part of the lease when people move into the buildings. The majority of the gyms are only open to residents. Our role is to mobilise as many people as possible to use the services. In many cases, we bid for the contract to run the gym and amenity spaces and the building owners pay us for the service we provide.

    We also partner with other companies where relevant, such as Zeal, to offer massage services.

    Zeal is an app that enables people to book a massage therapist on demand – using the same model as Uber. They get a therapist to you within two hours.

    What does your role as fitness and programme director involve?
    Currently only around 5 per cent of the residents make use of the gyms. My role is a new one and is part of a bid to encourage more residents to use the facilities. I oversee all the fitness and wellbeing offerings to make sure the quality is consistent and to create more of a community among the building’s residents and our instructors at the gyms.

    I’m also responsible for creating new content and branded classes. I’m currently working on a new HIIT programme, called LIV Quickfire, which will be a 30-minute high intensity cardio programme to get the heart rate up and burn a ton of calories.

    How do residential gyms compare to commercial gyms?
    Residential fitness is battling a bad reputation – lots of my friends in New York wouldn’t dream of going to the gym in their building! Often the people who go to the residential gyms are less discerning, as they’re the people who are too intimidated to go to a commercial gym.

    We want to elevate the experience of residential gyms and create a boutique feel, so our members feel they don’t need to purchase an off-site gym membership. We want them to find the gym a social experience and make personal connections with their neighbours and with the staff. All fitness junkies have their favourite classes and instructors, and they base their weekly schedule around these classes. My goal is to make the classes offered in each building the favourite class that the residents plan their day around.

    What do residents want from the gym experience?
    Fitness and amenity space is becoming more important in the residential market. Our residents want the gym to be a one stop, full experience in one building. They want yoga on the roof, quiet space for guided meditation, quiet outdoor space, party space and kid space. They want to get to know their neighbours. They want to be able to get chair massages and everything to be on hand.

    We have a lot of requests for parent and child, and nanny and child fitness experiences, including yoga, swimming and creative dance. Also there’s a big demand for all types of yoga, pilates, meditation and tai chi – anything that is calming to the nervous system.

    Is there a uniform feel to all the gyms you operate?
    All the buildings we operate out of have different price points for their fitness amenities and varying amounts of commitment to them. Some developers are keen to invest and make the best use of the space possible, asking our advice on what is current and popular, to create beautiful, world class gyms. Unfortunately, others are like a hotel gym, with just a treadmill and a few weights.

    What are the main challenges to running residential gyms?
    Getting accurate data on who is attending is difficult, as we don’t sign members up, they don’t have to check in when they use the gym and there are no receptionists. It’s hard to find out what equipment they use and what are the most popular classes.

    Also keeping instructors on track and on brand is a challenge, as we have numerous locations across New York City and no one monitoring them on a daily basis. Traditionally, they have been used to doing their own thing and then going home. Now I’m introducing quality control and working to make more of a team out of the different suppliers, by providing a lot of in house training and regular phone calls to keep in touch.

    What location does LIV look for?
    There’s a lot of growth potential in concierge services. Our business model needs urban settings in order to service the requests we do – in suburbia there’s less of a pool of suppliers. We’ve started to look beyond New York now for growth, to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington DC, as well as overseas.

    What’s the most exciting fitness trend at the moment?
    The idea of a workout that meets emotional and mental needs as well as physical needs – so people are pushed physically, which makes them let go emotionally and then also push past a mental barrier. The Class by Taryn Toomey, which combines HIIT, yoga, meditation and primal scream therapy is a great example of this. It takes people on a journey and they experience a release emotionally and spiritually, which is fulfilling and enriching, beyond just a physical workout.

    The LIV gym model aims to get more residents involved
    The LIV gym model aims to get more residents involved
    The LIV gym model aims to get more residents involved
    The LIV gym model aims to get more residents involved
    http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/465814_150372.jpg
    "We want to create a boutique feel in residential gyms, so residents feel they don't need to purchase an offsite gym membership" – Todd Allen, LIVunLtd
    Latest News
    ukactive has questioned the government's decision to make all employers start paying towards the wages ...
    Latest News
    A study on how exercise changes the body at a molecular level has suggested that ...
    Latest News
    A new industry support association, Fitness United, launches today (1 June) to bring suppliers and ...
    Latest News
    Corporate broking and advisory firm, Peel Hunt, has issued a 'buy' recommendation for shares in ...
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    Health club chain 24 Hour Fitness has reopened some of its sites in Texas and ...
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    The fitness industry in Europe is uniting today (30 May) to launch #beactivehour, a free ...
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    Job search
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    Opinion
    promotion
    Hedgehog Concept Ltd has developed software that allows its clients to track usage and customer volume on a minute to minute basis.
    Opinion: Is your software fit for COVID-19?
    Featured supplier news
    Featured supplier: What’s your Covid-19 exit strategy? How will you use this time to relaunch your business to thrive, not just survive
    There is no escaping the fact that we are operating in extraordinary times. Our physical health clubs, gyms and studios are closed and we’re trying to keep our membership engaged, fit and healthy via online and digital training.
    Featured supplier news
    Featured supplier: Gympass partners with Wexer to launch on-demand workouts for operators
    Gympass has launched Gympass Plus - including an on-demand platform powered by Wexer - for its 2,200+ operator partners. The platform comprises more than 500 workouts from 18 content providers including Zumba and Gaiam.
    Video Gallery
    Technogym mywellness app
    Technogym
    Improve your training experience. All your data in a single app. Read more
    More videos:
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      Company profile: Crown Sports Lockers
      Crown Sports Lockers has designed, crafted and fitted bespoke timber furniture for spas, hotels and ...
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      Catalogue Gallery
      Click on a catalogue to view it online
      Directory
      Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
      Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
      Trade associations
      International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
      Lockers/interior design
      Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
      Locking solutions
      Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
      Fitness software
      Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
      Wearable technology solutions
      MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
      Gym flooring
      REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
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      Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
      Skincare
      Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
      Independent service & maintenance
      Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
      Property & Tenders
      Greywell, Hampshire
      Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
      Property & Tenders
      Derby City Council
      Property & Tenders
      Diary dates
      13 Jun 2020
      Worldwide, Various,
      Diary dates
      06-07 Jul 2020
      Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      28-31 Aug 2020
      Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
      Diary dates
      21-24 Sep 2020
      Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
      Diary dates
      01-02 Oct 2020
      Whittlebury Hall, Whittlebury, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      11-12 Oct 2020
      ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      17-23 Oct 2020
      Pinggu, Beijing, China
      Diary dates
      27-30 Oct 2020
      Messe Stuttgart, Germany
      Diary dates
      30-31 Oct 2020
      NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      27-28 Nov 2020
      Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
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