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
Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Les Mills International
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

Coronavirus: Pivot to digital

The coronavirus pandemic has inspired a huge pivot to digital right across the industry, from sole traders to large chains and trusts. Kath Hudson looks at some of the offerings pulled together in lightning fast time to keep members active and sane

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 4
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many fitness operators developing new digital services
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many fitness operators developing new digital services

Although the subject of embracing the age of technology to expand beyond the four walls of the club has been a talking point for years, not all operators were making it a priority above their day-to-day operations. However, the sudden onset of COVID-19 meant everyone had no choice but to respond immediately, and they did an absolutely sterling job, utilising a variety of digital technologies.

Some operators have turned to established content providers, such as Les Mills or Virtuagym, which have been offering support and some free usage. Others have recorded workouts for YouTube, or streamed classes via Facebook, Instagram or Zoom.

Within days of the enforced shutdown, the amount of content available online meant the world’s confinement needn’t be sedentary or miserable. From bodyweight training to HIIT, yoga and nutritional advice, a wealth of inspiring, nourishing content is being pumped out daily.

Now the argument for expanding beyond the four walls is over. Most operators have pivoted to digital and, as the new normal gets underway, can look at nuancing, and monetising, the offer and working out how it will complement their clubs when curfews are lifted.

BLOK
BLOK’s Ed Stanbury says their team managed to film 30 workouts before lockdown was announced
"We’ve been talking about an online offering for a while, but our digital strategy was longer-term, so we’ve had to think on our feet and rapidly change our plans,” says Ed Stanbury, co-founder of boutique brand BLOK. “What we’ve launched is not the finished project, but is still part of our long-term strategy, rather than a quick response.”

First to launch were 15 classes on Instagram, in partnership with Beats by Dr Dre, which will include headphone giveaways. This was followed up with a schedule of around 20 livestream classes a day and video on demand – before the lockdown was announced the team managed to film 30 workouts. In order to continue to support the team – which includes around 200 freelance instructors – this will be a paid-for service. At the time of going to press the team were working out the options, including pay-as-you-go options.

“We’ll continue to work on the full platform, which will be hyper-personalised with an app, a smart tv app, PT, live events, as well as editorial and audio content,” says Stanbury. “Going forward this will be an additional service and retention tool for existing customers, as well as providing a marketing tool to raise brand awareness in a city prior to launching a club."
“What we’ve launched is not the finished project, but is still part of our long-term strategy, rather than a quick response”
Everyone Active
“Although we’ve had to close our clubs until further notice, operators still have a huge role to play” – Duncan Jefford
UK-based leisure trust Everyone Active has a very broad membership from five-year-olds to 75-year-olds and, as soon as the shut-down was announced, the team set to work finding a suite of solutions to keep all the members active. This is now being offered at £9.99 a month.

“Although we’ve had to close our clubs until further notice, operators still have a huge role to play in keeping people healthy and active, and supporting mental health during this crisis,” says director Duncan Jefford.

“We’ve partnered up with Les Mills on Demand to offer a broad range of their workouts, as well as NEOU to offer thousands of dance, HIIT, sculpt and stretch classes, including pre-recorded workouts and live streamed sessions,” he said. “Live sessions help people to still feel part of a community, as they can arrange to go to the same class with their usual workout buddies. NEOU also includes NEO Kids which is ideal for kids PE lessons.”

Everyone Active is also offering 8FIT, an app which includes pilates, meditation, meal plans, yoga and general wellbeing. Further programmes are also available on the EA platform and discussions are ongoing to further add to the offering

“I’m hugely excited by what we’ve created,” says Jefford. “We’ve managed to cover online workouts, as well as live streamed classes which help our members retain a sense of community.
Frame
Just as Frame was gearing up to launch its eighth studio it had to do a quick pivot to launch Frame Online instead. Free for current Framers and frontline workers, it costs £10.99 a month for newbies.

Three genres of workout are on offer: Sweat, Sculpt and Party, made up of 18 classes with a series of high quality workout videos, including 80s Aerobics, Ass and Abs, and Mat Pilates.

Personalised training with expert instructors will also be offered via one-to-one video sessions, while digital corporate wellness packages give employees access to the on-demand classes, as well as the option of bespoke corporate workshops encompassing meditation, sleep and happiness workshops.

Weekly workshops and events are also going online, including group hypnotherapy sessions, kicking off with Calming Anxiety in an Uncertain World.

Co-founder, Pip Black, says: “This is a difficult time for everyone. With the launch of Frame Online, we can continue to dish out those sweet endorphins and look after the nation’s physical and mental health from the comfort of their homes.”

Frame Online is free for frontline workers and current members
David Lloyd Leisure
The week after the shutdown, high-end family club operator David Lloyd Leisure launched David Lloyd [email protected], offering virtual workouts for all ages and levels, which can be done in the home or garden.

The classes will be added to over the next few weeks and will be accompanied by expert wellbeing advice and information, and fun activities to keep the younger ones occupied in the weeks ahead, including arts and crafts and superhero workouts.

Live streamed classes will be available for HIIT, strength – using props like tins instead of weights; as well yoga, pilates, mindfulness classes and expert wellbeing advice. There will also be a programme of workout and meditation playlists available on David Lloyd Clubs’ Spotify page and new content will be added on a continual basis.

Initially available through the David Lloyd Clubs members’ app, the on-demand workouts will also soon be available to non-members in a more basic form through social media and the website, in a bid to broaden the reach of the business.

Non-members will soon be able to access David Lloyd’s digital content
Urban Sports Club
Benjamin Roth says members want to support their local clubs
Within three days of the club closures, Berlin-based Urban Sports Clubs had set up its first live classes and in 10 days launched a new product offering livestream courses directly from the studios. Every day around 50 new livestream workouts are being made available, and by the end of March there had already been more than 10,000 check-ins.

Members are being charged for the content, which is being used to support all of the partner venues under the company’s umbrella, including those that are not able to offer their services at the moment, such as bouldering and swimming centres.

“Many of our members are showing their solidarity with our partners,” says co-founder Benjamin Roth. “Even those who paused their memberships when their countries went into lockdown are now reactivating their memberships. They really care about their local studios and their trainers.

“The digital product is something we had in mind for a long time, but we had other priorities. When the lockdown came it was time to do it and we had the first live classes online after two days and a whole new online product in one and a half weeks!

We needed to do something for our partners and members. Although there’s still a lot to improve on and a lot to do, our partners are already working well with it and our members can stay active and healthy at home.”
Motosumo
Users only need a smartphone and a heart rate monitor
To make home exercise more sociable, Motosumo launched HomeTeam in response to the crisis, which gym operators can set up in a matter of minutes.

Home users only need a smartphone and a heart rate monitor – and a stationery bike for cycling classes – and can tune into a live stream, race against other people, compare fitness data and enjoy other interactive features.

Kresten Juel Jenson, CEO of Motosumo, says HomeTeam aims to bring the group fitness vibe into the living room: “The world is going through some tough times right now and we all have to adjust. “Livestreaming classes are great, but they don’t capture the social experience of a real indoor cycling class or HIIT session.

With HomeTeam, users can actually work as a team, compare stats or even compete and race against each other.”

Available to gym operators on a monthly subscription, HomeTeam costs £106 (US$124, €115) or, for indoor cycling, £177, ($208, €192) and there is no binding contract.

“The world is going through some tough times right now and we all have to adjust” – Kresten Juel Jenson
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/584327_682029.jpg
Coronavirus has inspired a huge move to digital across the industry. These offerings were pulled together in lightning fast time...
BLOK, Urban Sports Club, Frame, Ed Stanbury, Everyone Active, Duncan Jefford, David Lloyd Leisure, Pip Black, Benjamin Roth, Motosumo,health club, gym, digital, coronavirus
HCM magazine
Despite industry challenges, there’s a fresh air of positivity
HCM magazine
HCM People

Jeremy McCarthy

Group director of spa, Mandarin Oriental
HCM magazine
Energy is top of the agenda for two major reasons – cost and decarbonisation. With these two on a collision course, our experts share their views
HCM Magazine
Interview
It’s a travesty that teenage girls are being pushed out of sport on such a scale
HCM Magazine
Flooring
Time for a flooring upgrade? Experts share their latest insights to inspire flooring projects of all types
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
The body composition specialists are showing no signs of slowing down, with new leadership and launches for 2022
HCM Magazine
Write to reply
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM Magazine
Insight
The pandemic brought about our sector’s biggest ever collaboration on COVID safety data. Lizzie Broughton tells the story
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Yate Leisure is one of the largest sites in Circadian Trust’s portfolio, with around 4,000 members. Ben Beasley, director of commercial development, explains why they were an early adopter of Technogym Biocircuit, and how the offer has evolved
HCM Magazine
HCM People
We want Grndhouse to be everywhere: in gyms, hotels, on holidays, at home – it’s boutique fitness in your hand
HCM Magazine
Latest News
The best in the business from across the physical activity sector were honoured last night ...
Latest News
At UK Active’s Active Uprising event yesterday (30 June) in Birmingham, Hattie Jones, the head ...
Latest News
HCM understands researchers are moving closer to creating a pill to mimic some of the ...
Latest News
Establishing new data and insight services and strengthening relationships with both government and the NHS ...
Latest News
More than one in five (27 per cent) Americans belonged to a health club or ...
Latest News
Ultimate Performance (UP) – the private gym chain and PT business – has opened a ...
Latest News
Luxury hotel chain Mandarin Oriental has launched a new brand called Intelligent Movement to deliver ...
Latest News
Boutique fitness chain 1Rebel opens the doors to its tenth club today (Monday 27 June ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EGYM announces integration with software provider Fisikal
EGYM has announced an integration with a leading UK-based software company Fisikal to enhance its capabilities to serve the needs of enterprise customers running multi-site operations.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: How wearables-driven gamification will boost your business
It’s a known fact that gamification is an effective method to make everyday activities and work more fun.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active to launch new exercise classes to reduce gender gap
As part of their work to break down the barriers that deter women and girls from participating in sport and physical activity, Everyone Active has teamed up with EMD UK to launch new exercise classes linked to the This Girl Can campaign.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New partnership delivers swimming support to children with disabilities
A new partnership has been launched to provide inclusive swimming for children with mobility, visual and hearing disabilities.
Video Gallery
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Mindbody, Inc
Mindbody, Inc
Company profiles
Company profile: Everyone Active
Everyone Active operates leisure centres in partnership with local councils across the UK. Today, Everyone ...
Company profiles
Company profile: FIBO Global Fitness
FIBO Global Fitness is the leading international trade show for fitness, wellness & health....
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
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

Coronavirus: Pivot to digital

The coronavirus pandemic has inspired a huge pivot to digital right across the industry, from sole traders to large chains and trusts. Kath Hudson looks at some of the offerings pulled together in lightning fast time to keep members active and sane

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 4
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many fitness operators developing new digital services
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many fitness operators developing new digital services

Although the subject of embracing the age of technology to expand beyond the four walls of the club has been a talking point for years, not all operators were making it a priority above their day-to-day operations. However, the sudden onset of COVID-19 meant everyone had no choice but to respond immediately, and they did an absolutely sterling job, utilising a variety of digital technologies.

Some operators have turned to established content providers, such as Les Mills or Virtuagym, which have been offering support and some free usage. Others have recorded workouts for YouTube, or streamed classes via Facebook, Instagram or Zoom.

Within days of the enforced shutdown, the amount of content available online meant the world’s confinement needn’t be sedentary or miserable. From bodyweight training to HIIT, yoga and nutritional advice, a wealth of inspiring, nourishing content is being pumped out daily.

Now the argument for expanding beyond the four walls is over. Most operators have pivoted to digital and, as the new normal gets underway, can look at nuancing, and monetising, the offer and working out how it will complement their clubs when curfews are lifted.

BLOK
BLOK’s Ed Stanbury says their team managed to film 30 workouts before lockdown was announced
"We’ve been talking about an online offering for a while, but our digital strategy was longer-term, so we’ve had to think on our feet and rapidly change our plans,” says Ed Stanbury, co-founder of boutique brand BLOK. “What we’ve launched is not the finished project, but is still part of our long-term strategy, rather than a quick response.”

First to launch were 15 classes on Instagram, in partnership with Beats by Dr Dre, which will include headphone giveaways. This was followed up with a schedule of around 20 livestream classes a day and video on demand – before the lockdown was announced the team managed to film 30 workouts. In order to continue to support the team – which includes around 200 freelance instructors – this will be a paid-for service. At the time of going to press the team were working out the options, including pay-as-you-go options.

“We’ll continue to work on the full platform, which will be hyper-personalised with an app, a smart tv app, PT, live events, as well as editorial and audio content,” says Stanbury. “Going forward this will be an additional service and retention tool for existing customers, as well as providing a marketing tool to raise brand awareness in a city prior to launching a club."
“What we’ve launched is not the finished project, but is still part of our long-term strategy, rather than a quick response”
Everyone Active
“Although we’ve had to close our clubs until further notice, operators still have a huge role to play” – Duncan Jefford
UK-based leisure trust Everyone Active has a very broad membership from five-year-olds to 75-year-olds and, as soon as the shut-down was announced, the team set to work finding a suite of solutions to keep all the members active. This is now being offered at £9.99 a month.

“Although we’ve had to close our clubs until further notice, operators still have a huge role to play in keeping people healthy and active, and supporting mental health during this crisis,” says director Duncan Jefford.

“We’ve partnered up with Les Mills on Demand to offer a broad range of their workouts, as well as NEOU to offer thousands of dance, HIIT, sculpt and stretch classes, including pre-recorded workouts and live streamed sessions,” he said. “Live sessions help people to still feel part of a community, as they can arrange to go to the same class with their usual workout buddies. NEOU also includes NEO Kids which is ideal for kids PE lessons.”

Everyone Active is also offering 8FIT, an app which includes pilates, meditation, meal plans, yoga and general wellbeing. Further programmes are also available on the EA platform and discussions are ongoing to further add to the offering

“I’m hugely excited by what we’ve created,” says Jefford. “We’ve managed to cover online workouts, as well as live streamed classes which help our members retain a sense of community.
Frame
Just as Frame was gearing up to launch its eighth studio it had to do a quick pivot to launch Frame Online instead. Free for current Framers and frontline workers, it costs £10.99 a month for newbies.

Three genres of workout are on offer: Sweat, Sculpt and Party, made up of 18 classes with a series of high quality workout videos, including 80s Aerobics, Ass and Abs, and Mat Pilates.

Personalised training with expert instructors will also be offered via one-to-one video sessions, while digital corporate wellness packages give employees access to the on-demand classes, as well as the option of bespoke corporate workshops encompassing meditation, sleep and happiness workshops.

Weekly workshops and events are also going online, including group hypnotherapy sessions, kicking off with Calming Anxiety in an Uncertain World.

Co-founder, Pip Black, says: “This is a difficult time for everyone. With the launch of Frame Online, we can continue to dish out those sweet endorphins and look after the nation’s physical and mental health from the comfort of their homes.”

Frame Online is free for frontline workers and current members
David Lloyd Leisure
The week after the shutdown, high-end family club operator David Lloyd Leisure launched David Lloyd [email protected], offering virtual workouts for all ages and levels, which can be done in the home or garden.

The classes will be added to over the next few weeks and will be accompanied by expert wellbeing advice and information, and fun activities to keep the younger ones occupied in the weeks ahead, including arts and crafts and superhero workouts.

Live streamed classes will be available for HIIT, strength – using props like tins instead of weights; as well yoga, pilates, mindfulness classes and expert wellbeing advice. There will also be a programme of workout and meditation playlists available on David Lloyd Clubs’ Spotify page and new content will be added on a continual basis.

Initially available through the David Lloyd Clubs members’ app, the on-demand workouts will also soon be available to non-members in a more basic form through social media and the website, in a bid to broaden the reach of the business.

Non-members will soon be able to access David Lloyd’s digital content
Urban Sports Club
Benjamin Roth says members want to support their local clubs
Within three days of the club closures, Berlin-based Urban Sports Clubs had set up its first live classes and in 10 days launched a new product offering livestream courses directly from the studios. Every day around 50 new livestream workouts are being made available, and by the end of March there had already been more than 10,000 check-ins.

Members are being charged for the content, which is being used to support all of the partner venues under the company’s umbrella, including those that are not able to offer their services at the moment, such as bouldering and swimming centres.

“Many of our members are showing their solidarity with our partners,” says co-founder Benjamin Roth. “Even those who paused their memberships when their countries went into lockdown are now reactivating their memberships. They really care about their local studios and their trainers.

“The digital product is something we had in mind for a long time, but we had other priorities. When the lockdown came it was time to do it and we had the first live classes online after two days and a whole new online product in one and a half weeks!

We needed to do something for our partners and members. Although there’s still a lot to improve on and a lot to do, our partners are already working well with it and our members can stay active and healthy at home.”
Motosumo
Users only need a smartphone and a heart rate monitor
To make home exercise more sociable, Motosumo launched HomeTeam in response to the crisis, which gym operators can set up in a matter of minutes.

Home users only need a smartphone and a heart rate monitor – and a stationery bike for cycling classes – and can tune into a live stream, race against other people, compare fitness data and enjoy other interactive features.

Kresten Juel Jenson, CEO of Motosumo, says HomeTeam aims to bring the group fitness vibe into the living room: “The world is going through some tough times right now and we all have to adjust. “Livestreaming classes are great, but they don’t capture the social experience of a real indoor cycling class or HIIT session.

With HomeTeam, users can actually work as a team, compare stats or even compete and race against each other.”

Available to gym operators on a monthly subscription, HomeTeam costs £106 (US$124, €115) or, for indoor cycling, £177, ($208, €192) and there is no binding contract.

“The world is going through some tough times right now and we all have to adjust” – Kresten Juel Jenson
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/584327_682029.jpg
Coronavirus has inspired a huge move to digital across the industry. These offerings were pulled together in lightning fast time...
BLOK, Urban Sports Club, Frame, Ed Stanbury, Everyone Active, Duncan Jefford, David Lloyd Leisure, Pip Black, Benjamin Roth, Motosumo,health club, gym, digital, coronavirus
Latest News
The best in the business from across the physical activity sector were honoured last night ...
Latest News
At UK Active’s Active Uprising event yesterday (30 June) in Birmingham, Hattie Jones, the head ...
Latest News
HCM understands researchers are moving closer to creating a pill to mimic some of the ...
Latest News
Establishing new data and insight services and strengthening relationships with both government and the NHS ...
Latest News
More than one in five (27 per cent) Americans belonged to a health club or ...
Latest News
Ultimate Performance (UP) – the private gym chain and PT business – has opened a ...
Latest News
Luxury hotel chain Mandarin Oriental has launched a new brand called Intelligent Movement to deliver ...
Latest News
Boutique fitness chain 1Rebel opens the doors to its tenth club today (Monday 27 June ...
Latest News
A new report by Deloitte, outlining the social and economic value of the global health ...
Latest News
Barry’s has entered the world of retail, opening a studio in the new Flannels flagship ...
Latest News
The London 2012 Olympic legacy investment designed to improve physical education at primary schools has ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EGYM announces integration with software provider Fisikal
EGYM has announced an integration with a leading UK-based software company Fisikal to enhance its capabilities to serve the needs of enterprise customers running multi-site operations.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: How wearables-driven gamification will boost your business
It’s a known fact that gamification is an effective method to make everyday activities and work more fun.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active to launch new exercise classes to reduce gender gap
As part of their work to break down the barriers that deter women and girls from participating in sport and physical activity, Everyone Active has teamed up with EMD UK to launch new exercise classes linked to the This Girl Can campaign.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New partnership delivers swimming support to children with disabilities
A new partnership has been launched to provide inclusive swimming for children with mobility, visual and hearing disabilities.
Video Gallery
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Mindbody, Inc
Mindbody, Inc
Company profiles
Company profile: Everyone Active
Everyone Active operates leisure centres in partnership with local councils across the UK. Today, Everyone ...
Company profiles
Company profile: FIBO Global Fitness
FIBO Global Fitness is the leading international trade show for fitness, wellness & health....
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
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Partner sites