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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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Promotional feature: Matrix

Matrix Fitness is launching MX4 Active to engage the ageing and deconditioned populations. We talk to Steve Barrett, director of global group education and training, to find out more

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 9
MX4 Active trainers must be able to relate authentically to people of different ages and abilities
MX4 Active trainers must be able to relate authentically to people of different ages and abilities

What is MX4 Active?
MX4 Active is an expansion of our range of small group training solutions, targeting the ageing population and the deconditioned. Both MX4 and MX4 Active have similar features, such as periodisation, the equipment used and weekly structures, but the key differences are the coaching style and portfolio of exercises used.

We developed MX4 Active after many consultations on how to effectively connect those with a lower baseline of fitness. Special considerations were made to ensure the programme can serve the needs of older individuals who may have additional age-related conditions and physical limitations. The workouts blend cardio-based modalities with functional training to support fitness improvements.

The programming aims to ease the transition to an active lifestyle by including movements that are low impact yet develop coordination, balance, flexibility and skeletal and muscular strength. Each session lasts 45 minutes and participants are encouraged to train 2-3 times per week.

Why design training specifically for the older population?
The ageing population in the UK is rapidly increasing. The Office of National Statistics states that almost a fifth of the UK is now aged 65 and over. This group is also largely inactive, and we're paying a price for this. ukactive recently estimated that inactivity in this age group costs the NHS around £11bn per decade.

The fitness industry needs to do what we can to turn this around. Everyone may be talking about active ageing now, but we have spent nearly two years developing this programme. We went back to the source, spoke with the people in these groups, discussing the physical and psychological barriers they face to activity, working with experts to find the most adaptable, versatile exercises, performing research and beta testing scenarios in the US, to find a solution that would make an impact.

What were your findings in the research stages?
We already understood the physiological changes we needed to make to the programming in terms of adapting our exercises and intensities, but what was really interesting was the steering our participants gave us regarding trainer attitude.

Trainers need to be empathetic and reassuring in their delivery. Calm, clear and unrushed instructions paired with physical demonstrations. They need to relate, to understand that these people may be older, perhaps retired, but have been at the top of their games before now and deserve respect, not belittling.

When teaching MX4 Active, you can't be the same trainer you are when you’re training a 20-year-old. It’s not uncommon that most trainers have one mode of operation. We had to dig deep into this concept, working with instructors to recognise that their attitude and delivery is key to the success of this programme.

We have selected Matrix Master Trainers to be trained as Active Trainers so they can deliver this method. But this comes down to the operators having a bit of a reality check – ask the question, are your trainers interacting and relating to the population as a whole, or are they skewed towards a certain demographic? This doesn’t mean you need to hire older trainers to instruct active ageing groups, you just need the right trainers who can relate to different abilities and ages authentically.

The type of physical activity encouraged is also important. For years, the focus has been on the relevance of cardiovascular fitness but, over the last decade, studies have documented the hugely positive impact that regular strength training can have on an array of health and wellbeing indicators including: mobility, strength, bone density, mental health and long-term metabolic conditions such as diabetes.

In fact, the NHS website now recommends at least two strength training sessions per week for those aged 65 and over. That’s why the programme also incorporates functional training and weight-bearing exercises to maintain and improve these wellbeing factors.

How does MX4 Active differ from your original MX4 small group training?
MX4 is about never doing the same thing twice, high intensity and variation. There are 156 workouts to choose from. MX4 Active is completely different. From our findings, the ageing population prefer familiarity to their workouts, not variety, so we carefully reduced our training plans to just 26 workouts. We also use periodisation differently, focusing on just two workout plans a month.

With this periodisation, members can 'learn it, then work it', with the familiarity building confidence. The idea is that members will acclimatise to the exercises and movement patterns in the first two weeks and then the trainer can increase the intensity of these for the rest of the month.

We also increased the recovery period, removed any exercises that involved pressure on the back, knees or repetitive floor work. Interestingly, we also had to weigh up the decision regarding music. Normally, in MX4 training this is hugely motivational, but our MX4 Active testing groups found it potentially distracting when trying to listen to the instructor and take guidance.

Many forms of small group training are about the quick, in-and-out model, but the older age group aren’t concerned by time constraints. They aren’t rushing in and out of classes. It became clear that there was a real social aspect at play, not just conversing amongst the members in the group, but the rapport they wanted to build with the instructor.

Overall, we have changed the environment, the experience and the stimulus to engage in the process.

How does a programme targeting the ageing population help the industry?
Getting an increased number of older or deconditioned people active represents a major avenue for growth. We have developed something that specifically engages this avenue.

It’s not necessarily that this age group isn’t already represented in the memberships of gyms, but it is true that they're not being catered for in a way that suits their exercise needs. Clubs are taking their membership fees, which in many cases simply equates to giving the member a key to the door of the gym but nothing beyond that. By providing solutions specifically designed for this age group, facilities have the opportunity to stand out from their competition. This is a group that, if satisfied, will build an incredible boost in loyalty and promote through word of mouth.

We need to encourage this age group to trade an inactive lifestyle for an active one. Maintaining health and functionality for as long as possible will have a profound effect on an individual’s quality of life and will also save the health service literally millions of pounds, delivering widespread benefits to the nation as a whole.

MX4 Active is an ideal addition to facility timetables, helping older and less fit members form a habit of exercise. Old age does not have to mean ill health and a lack of mobility. Keeping physically active and performing regular cardiovascular and resistance training is scientifically proven to positively impact mental and physical health in older adults.

MX4 Active is now available across the UK. To find out more about MX4 Active visit www.matrixfitness.co.uk

Steve Barrett, Matrix Fitness
"The ageing population in the UK is rapidly increasing. The Office of National Statistics states that almost a fifth of the UK is now aged 65 and over. This group is also largely inactive, and we're paying a price for this" - Steve Barrett, Matrix Fitness

TEL: +44 (0)1782 644900

EMAIL: [email protected]

WEB: www.matrixfitness.co.uk

MX4 Active has been designed to enable participants to quickly feel comfortable and familiar with the exercises
MX4 Active has been designed to enable participants to quickly feel comfortable and familiar with the exercises
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/354885_454477.jpg
Matrix is launching MX4 Active. 'MX4 Active is an expansion of our range of small group training solutions, targeting the ageing population and the deconditioned'- Steve Barrett, Director of Global Group Education and Training, 'old age does not have to mean ill health and a lack of mobility'.
Matrix Fitness, Steve Barrett, Fitness, Ageing Population,Fitness, Ageing Population, Matrix Fitness,
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features

Promotional feature: Matrix

Matrix Fitness is launching MX4 Active to engage the ageing and deconditioned populations. We talk to Steve Barrett, director of global group education and training, to find out more

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 9
MX4 Active trainers must be able to relate authentically to people of different ages and abilities
MX4 Active trainers must be able to relate authentically to people of different ages and abilities

What is MX4 Active?
MX4 Active is an expansion of our range of small group training solutions, targeting the ageing population and the deconditioned. Both MX4 and MX4 Active have similar features, such as periodisation, the equipment used and weekly structures, but the key differences are the coaching style and portfolio of exercises used.

We developed MX4 Active after many consultations on how to effectively connect those with a lower baseline of fitness. Special considerations were made to ensure the programme can serve the needs of older individuals who may have additional age-related conditions and physical limitations. The workouts blend cardio-based modalities with functional training to support fitness improvements.

The programming aims to ease the transition to an active lifestyle by including movements that are low impact yet develop coordination, balance, flexibility and skeletal and muscular strength. Each session lasts 45 minutes and participants are encouraged to train 2-3 times per week.

Why design training specifically for the older population?
The ageing population in the UK is rapidly increasing. The Office of National Statistics states that almost a fifth of the UK is now aged 65 and over. This group is also largely inactive, and we're paying a price for this. ukactive recently estimated that inactivity in this age group costs the NHS around £11bn per decade.

The fitness industry needs to do what we can to turn this around. Everyone may be talking about active ageing now, but we have spent nearly two years developing this programme. We went back to the source, spoke with the people in these groups, discussing the physical and psychological barriers they face to activity, working with experts to find the most adaptable, versatile exercises, performing research and beta testing scenarios in the US, to find a solution that would make an impact.

What were your findings in the research stages?
We already understood the physiological changes we needed to make to the programming in terms of adapting our exercises and intensities, but what was really interesting was the steering our participants gave us regarding trainer attitude.

Trainers need to be empathetic and reassuring in their delivery. Calm, clear and unrushed instructions paired with physical demonstrations. They need to relate, to understand that these people may be older, perhaps retired, but have been at the top of their games before now and deserve respect, not belittling.

When teaching MX4 Active, you can't be the same trainer you are when you’re training a 20-year-old. It’s not uncommon that most trainers have one mode of operation. We had to dig deep into this concept, working with instructors to recognise that their attitude and delivery is key to the success of this programme.

We have selected Matrix Master Trainers to be trained as Active Trainers so they can deliver this method. But this comes down to the operators having a bit of a reality check – ask the question, are your trainers interacting and relating to the population as a whole, or are they skewed towards a certain demographic? This doesn’t mean you need to hire older trainers to instruct active ageing groups, you just need the right trainers who can relate to different abilities and ages authentically.

The type of physical activity encouraged is also important. For years, the focus has been on the relevance of cardiovascular fitness but, over the last decade, studies have documented the hugely positive impact that regular strength training can have on an array of health and wellbeing indicators including: mobility, strength, bone density, mental health and long-term metabolic conditions such as diabetes.

In fact, the NHS website now recommends at least two strength training sessions per week for those aged 65 and over. That’s why the programme also incorporates functional training and weight-bearing exercises to maintain and improve these wellbeing factors.

How does MX4 Active differ from your original MX4 small group training?
MX4 is about never doing the same thing twice, high intensity and variation. There are 156 workouts to choose from. MX4 Active is completely different. From our findings, the ageing population prefer familiarity to their workouts, not variety, so we carefully reduced our training plans to just 26 workouts. We also use periodisation differently, focusing on just two workout plans a month.

With this periodisation, members can 'learn it, then work it', with the familiarity building confidence. The idea is that members will acclimatise to the exercises and movement patterns in the first two weeks and then the trainer can increase the intensity of these for the rest of the month.

We also increased the recovery period, removed any exercises that involved pressure on the back, knees or repetitive floor work. Interestingly, we also had to weigh up the decision regarding music. Normally, in MX4 training this is hugely motivational, but our MX4 Active testing groups found it potentially distracting when trying to listen to the instructor and take guidance.

Many forms of small group training are about the quick, in-and-out model, but the older age group aren’t concerned by time constraints. They aren’t rushing in and out of classes. It became clear that there was a real social aspect at play, not just conversing amongst the members in the group, but the rapport they wanted to build with the instructor.

Overall, we have changed the environment, the experience and the stimulus to engage in the process.

How does a programme targeting the ageing population help the industry?
Getting an increased number of older or deconditioned people active represents a major avenue for growth. We have developed something that specifically engages this avenue.

It’s not necessarily that this age group isn’t already represented in the memberships of gyms, but it is true that they're not being catered for in a way that suits their exercise needs. Clubs are taking their membership fees, which in many cases simply equates to giving the member a key to the door of the gym but nothing beyond that. By providing solutions specifically designed for this age group, facilities have the opportunity to stand out from their competition. This is a group that, if satisfied, will build an incredible boost in loyalty and promote through word of mouth.

We need to encourage this age group to trade an inactive lifestyle for an active one. Maintaining health and functionality for as long as possible will have a profound effect on an individual’s quality of life and will also save the health service literally millions of pounds, delivering widespread benefits to the nation as a whole.

MX4 Active is an ideal addition to facility timetables, helping older and less fit members form a habit of exercise. Old age does not have to mean ill health and a lack of mobility. Keeping physically active and performing regular cardiovascular and resistance training is scientifically proven to positively impact mental and physical health in older adults.

MX4 Active is now available across the UK. To find out more about MX4 Active visit www.matrixfitness.co.uk

Steve Barrett, Matrix Fitness
"The ageing population in the UK is rapidly increasing. The Office of National Statistics states that almost a fifth of the UK is now aged 65 and over. This group is also largely inactive, and we're paying a price for this" - Steve Barrett, Matrix Fitness

TEL: +44 (0)1782 644900

EMAIL: [email protected]

WEB: www.matrixfitness.co.uk

MX4 Active has been designed to enable participants to quickly feel comfortable and familiar with the exercises
MX4 Active has been designed to enable participants to quickly feel comfortable and familiar with the exercises
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/354885_454477.jpg
Matrix is launching MX4 Active. 'MX4 Active is an expansion of our range of small group training solutions, targeting the ageing population and the deconditioned'- Steve Barrett, Director of Global Group Education and Training, 'old age does not have to mean ill health and a lack of mobility'.
Matrix Fitness, Steve Barrett, Fitness, Ageing Population,Fitness, Ageing Population, Matrix Fitness,
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Latest News
VivaFit has entered the Spanish fitness market with the opening of a studio in capital ...
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John Treharne, founder of The Gym Group, has been appointed chair of boutique fitness brand ...
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Parkwood Leisure has launched a programme of workshops, aimed at making its staff more aware ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Does your fitness studio contain the cure to 21st-century living?
What’s the secret ingredient that makes a live group fitness experience so powerful? And how can clubs unlock it?
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Gympass brings together corporate workforces and leisure operators
The Gympass mission is to defeat inactivity – a vision shared by many in the leisure industry.
Company profiles
Company profile: The JC Group
The JC Group is home to JC Facilities Management, JC Leisure Solutions, JC Water Services, ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Eleiko
We build upon our six-decade legacy in weightlifting, fuelled by our unwavering commitment to innovation, ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Fitness equipment
Miha Bodytec GmbH: Fitness equipment
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Management software
GymSales: Management software
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Member access schemes
Move GB: Member access schemes
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Governing body
EMD UK: Governing body
Property & Tenders
Kirklees Active Leisure
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
15 Oct 2019
Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
Diary dates
15-18 Oct 2019
Gran Via Exhibition Centre, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
28-30 Oct 2019
Hotel Royal Savoy, Lausanne, Switzerland
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2019
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
05-08 Nov 2019
Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
21-22 Nov 2019
JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort, Aventura,
Diary dates
29 Nov 2019
The King’s Fund, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
10-27 Jun 2020
tbc, Pinggu, China
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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