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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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German fitness operator BestFit Group has acquired regional gym chain EuroFit for an undisclosed sum. ...
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The US fitness industry lost around 58 per cent of its revenues during 2020, due ...
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Speaking exclusive to HCM, Ralph Scholz and Nathalie Smeeman have confirmed that B2B trade show ...
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The Pingdemic of people receiving notifications on their phones, telling them to self-isolate because of ...
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Xponential Fitness has completed its initial public offering (IPO), becoming the second major franchised operator ...
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The Gym Group has extended its partnership with digital fitness platform Fiit, becoming the first ...
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Let’s talk about Orbit4 – the secret behind successful gyms.
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Featured supplier news: A new world for memberships
During lockdown clients have had more time to self-reflect than ever before. As a result, many are prioritising mental health and incorporating activity into their day to improve overall wellbeing.
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.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Company profiles
Company profile: Mediana Co., Ltd.
Mediana specialises in the manufacture of medical and health care devices, such as body composition ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Freemotion Fitness
With science and innovation at its core, Freemotion questions how we work out and then ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Safe Space: Changing concept
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
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Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
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Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
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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