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JP Lennard
JP Lennard
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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

People profile: Joanne Mathews

Founder of Ten Health and Fitness

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 4
Mathews has seen the boutique fitness sector grow exponentially since she launched her studio brand in 2007
Mathews has seen the boutique fitness sector grow exponentially since she launched her studio brand in 2007
We sit at the point where the fitness world meets the medical sector, offering a ‘prehabilitative’ approach to exercise

Where did the idea for Ten Health & Fitness come from?
I was in a car accident and suffered a number of injuries, including severe whiplash, a fractured coccyx and soft tissue damage. The impact on my quality of life was significant. I was often in pain, I lost a lot of mobility and wasn’t able to work for around six months.

I saw GPs, physios and sport massage therapists, all based in different practices and none very interested in a joined-up approach to my case. I became frustrated by this lack of consistency and joined a local rehab gym where I met David Higgins, a personal trainer who specialised in a dynamic form of pilates.

David had also recognised this lack of joined-up thinking in the sector, and together we saw a gap in the market for a boutique pilates studio that could offer both rehab and functional exercise. By combining my marketing background with David’s fitness expertise, we felt we had a chance to make our business idea a reality.

Can you describe your offering?
We’re not one of those ‘get a beasting in a nightclub’ providers. Our focus is on small classes and expert trainers. Combine that with our in-house physiotherapy, massage and rehab offer and we occupy a really interesting place in the boutique fitness sector. We sit at the point where the fitness world meets the medical sector, offering a ‘prehabilitative’ approach to fitness and exercise.

How did you get started?
We were lucky to be one of the first entrants into the boutique fitness sector; when we started in 2007, no-one was entering the sector with the amount of funding we’re seeing now. We were (and still pretty much are) self-funded, and had a really tight budget. When we opened, David taught 40 hours of classes a week while I manned the reception.

But we were in the right place at the right time, with a strong product. By the end of 2008, we were doing well enough to hire more trainers and open a second studio.

Where did the name ‘Ten’ come from?
We always felt a good name should mean everything and nothing. Think of brands like Apple, Gap, Reebok, Audi… whatever the initial reason for the name, they’ve just become ciphers, a memorable short-hand for a brand or experience. We wanted to get to that point quickly with something short, memorable, different and recognisable, and also something that wouldn’t limit us. Ten seemed to fit the bill.

How has business progressed?
Dynamic reformer pilates will always be at the heart of our business, but as we’ve grown we’ve been able to broaden our offering. We’ve recently introduced two new classes: TenStretch, a reformer-based stretch class; and TenYoga, developed in conjunction with physios to make it more suitable for today’s sedentary and desk-bound lifestyles.

We’ve also used the learnings from our own in-house REPs-accredited training academy to launch TenEducation, which offers reformer-based courses for external fitness, rehab and therapy professionals. Our eighth studio opens in Fitzrovia, London, in a couple of months, but I think there’s still room for growth.

How has the market changed?
The boutique fitness sector has grown exponentially since we opened. There’s now much more competition for sites and rents have gone through the roof in recent years, which puts pressure on margins.
A relatively new challenge affecting us – and the sector – is the arrival of ClassPass and other aggregators. It’s great that they’re encouraging people to experiment and maybe fall in love with something they wouldn’t have otherwise tried, but they’re also in danger of devaluing what we do.

A ClassPass user can do a basic exercise-to-music class in a room full of 50 or 60 other people one day, and a highly specialist class with just a handful of people the next. But they’re doing it all on the same monthly pass. So they’re encouraged to value all classes – and all providers – the same, when they’re patently not. It’s something we have to manage carefully.

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Dynamic reformer pilates remains at the core of Ten’s offering
Dynamic reformer pilates remains at the core of Ten’s offering
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/998407_985233.jpg
"We saw a gap in the market for a boutique pilates studio that could offer both rehab and functional exercise." Ten Heath and Fitness' founder Joanne Mathews on taking her business from idea to reality.
Joanne Mathews Founder of Ten Health and Fitness,Joanne Mathews, Ten Health and Fitness, David Higgins, TenStretch, TenYoga, TenEducation, ClassPass
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features

People profile: Joanne Mathews

Founder of Ten Health and Fitness

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 4
Mathews has seen the boutique fitness sector grow exponentially since she launched her studio brand in 2007
Mathews has seen the boutique fitness sector grow exponentially since she launched her studio brand in 2007
We sit at the point where the fitness world meets the medical sector, offering a ‘prehabilitative’ approach to exercise

Where did the idea for Ten Health & Fitness come from?
I was in a car accident and suffered a number of injuries, including severe whiplash, a fractured coccyx and soft tissue damage. The impact on my quality of life was significant. I was often in pain, I lost a lot of mobility and wasn’t able to work for around six months.

I saw GPs, physios and sport massage therapists, all based in different practices and none very interested in a joined-up approach to my case. I became frustrated by this lack of consistency and joined a local rehab gym where I met David Higgins, a personal trainer who specialised in a dynamic form of pilates.

David had also recognised this lack of joined-up thinking in the sector, and together we saw a gap in the market for a boutique pilates studio that could offer both rehab and functional exercise. By combining my marketing background with David’s fitness expertise, we felt we had a chance to make our business idea a reality.

Can you describe your offering?
We’re not one of those ‘get a beasting in a nightclub’ providers. Our focus is on small classes and expert trainers. Combine that with our in-house physiotherapy, massage and rehab offer and we occupy a really interesting place in the boutique fitness sector. We sit at the point where the fitness world meets the medical sector, offering a ‘prehabilitative’ approach to fitness and exercise.

How did you get started?
We were lucky to be one of the first entrants into the boutique fitness sector; when we started in 2007, no-one was entering the sector with the amount of funding we’re seeing now. We were (and still pretty much are) self-funded, and had a really tight budget. When we opened, David taught 40 hours of classes a week while I manned the reception.

But we were in the right place at the right time, with a strong product. By the end of 2008, we were doing well enough to hire more trainers and open a second studio.

Where did the name ‘Ten’ come from?
We always felt a good name should mean everything and nothing. Think of brands like Apple, Gap, Reebok, Audi… whatever the initial reason for the name, they’ve just become ciphers, a memorable short-hand for a brand or experience. We wanted to get to that point quickly with something short, memorable, different and recognisable, and also something that wouldn’t limit us. Ten seemed to fit the bill.

How has business progressed?
Dynamic reformer pilates will always be at the heart of our business, but as we’ve grown we’ve been able to broaden our offering. We’ve recently introduced two new classes: TenStretch, a reformer-based stretch class; and TenYoga, developed in conjunction with physios to make it more suitable for today’s sedentary and desk-bound lifestyles.

We’ve also used the learnings from our own in-house REPs-accredited training academy to launch TenEducation, which offers reformer-based courses for external fitness, rehab and therapy professionals. Our eighth studio opens in Fitzrovia, London, in a couple of months, but I think there’s still room for growth.

How has the market changed?
The boutique fitness sector has grown exponentially since we opened. There’s now much more competition for sites and rents have gone through the roof in recent years, which puts pressure on margins.
A relatively new challenge affecting us – and the sector – is the arrival of ClassPass and other aggregators. It’s great that they’re encouraging people to experiment and maybe fall in love with something they wouldn’t have otherwise tried, but they’re also in danger of devaluing what we do.

A ClassPass user can do a basic exercise-to-music class in a room full of 50 or 60 other people one day, and a highly specialist class with just a handful of people the next. But they’re doing it all on the same monthly pass. So they’re encouraged to value all classes – and all providers – the same, when they’re patently not. It’s something we have to manage carefully.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Dynamic reformer pilates remains at the core of Ten’s offering
Dynamic reformer pilates remains at the core of Ten’s offering
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/998407_985233.jpg
"We saw a gap in the market for a boutique pilates studio that could offer both rehab and functional exercise." Ten Heath and Fitness' founder Joanne Mathews on taking her business from idea to reality.
Joanne Mathews Founder of Ten Health and Fitness,Joanne Mathews, Ten Health and Fitness, David Higgins, TenStretch, TenYoga, TenEducation, ClassPass
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The Women in Fitness Association (WIFA), is partnering with Sport Alliance to undertake a survey ...
Latest News
Location and cost are the top considerations for consumers when it comes to choosing a ...
Latest News
Increases in COVID-19 cases across Europe are forcing governments to introduce restrictions, which is having ...
Latest News
Exercise has been found to increase levels of endocannabinoids – cannabis-like substances produced by the ...
Latest News
People suffering from mild depression should be offered exercise, mindfulness, therapy or meditation before medication, ...
Latest News
Total Fitness plans to launch a new-style health club model, with plans already in the ...
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Fitness operator Crunch Fitness says it's continued its recovery from lockdowns, with membership levels across ...
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The City of Madrid could become one of the healthiest in the world if plans ...
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promotion
FitnessOnDemand’s divisional vice president Uday Anumalachetty discusses what live fitness really means for clubs and their members today
Opinion: Why we need to reimagine what live fitness really means
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Hammer Strength just got stronger: Introducing the new HD Performance Trainers
Hammer Strength, the number one brand in performance strength training, is adding to its portfolio of industry-leading machines with the launch of its new anaerobic training line, HD Performance Trainers.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Greenvale Leisure Centre reveals brand new gym equipped with Core Health & Fitness products
Greenvale Leisure Centre in Northern Ireland last month revealed its brand new 800sq m gym completely transformed with Core Health & Fitness products.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active successfully reopens exercise referral scheme thanks to EXi partnership
Local authority leisure provider Everyone Active has reopened its essential exercise referral scheme, by joining forces with EXi, the NHS-approved exercise prescription app and data portal.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Video Gallery
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Pendex
Les Mills
Company profiles
Company profile: InBody UK
InBody provides products that are accurate, medically rated holding a CE mark and certified to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Hutchison Technologies Ltd.
Hutchison Technologies helps the UK’s leading gyms, health clubs and leisure trusts create memorable experiences ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
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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