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IHRSA Members Will Be Well Represented at Club Industry Show

For industry suppliers, it’s an important opportunity to display their wares in an important market. And a number of well-known IHRSA associate-member companies will be doing just that during the 29th annual Club Industry Show, taking place this month, October 22 to 24, at the McCormick Center in Chicago.

Approximately 70 of IHRSA’s 622 associate members will be exhibiting at the show’s expo, taking advantage of the chance to catch up with their current clients, court the interest of prospective customers, network with business partners, and, of course, check out the competition.

Many of them also will be congratulating and socializing with John McCarthy, IHRSA’s executive director emeritus, who’s being honored with Club Industry’s lifetime achievement award during the proceedings.

To read more on IHRSA members at Club Industry, read on.

Click to read more ...


Monday Just Got A Lot Better: Introducing the Move It Monday! Toolkit for IHRSA Members

In recent years Monday has not enjoyed the best reputation, often seen as the blue-sy day we all return to work. But did you know Monday is also the more people are thinking about getting active? According to research  by the Monday Campaigns, a non-profit public health initiative that dedicates the first day of every week to health, more Google searches for gyms or health topics and more check-ins at fitness centers occur on Monday than any other day. 

So we know people are ready to get healthy on Monday's? We also know (according to the IHRSA Consumer Report) that people who visit their health club at least 100 times per year (roughly twice per week) are most likely to keep their membership over the longer term. With this in mind, IHRSA teamed up with the Monday Campaigns to produce a toolkit aimed at helping your club harnass the power of Monday to get more members coming back in the rest of the week. The Move It Monday! Toolkit includes helpful statistics, programming ideas, and fun, visual posters and is free for IHRSA members.

Learn More Now >>


IHRSA 2015 Brochure Is Available

The IHRSA 2015 brochure is now available for download!

Get an early jump on everything happening at the 2015 event in Los Angeles. 

  • Over 30 NEW Speakers
  • MORE THAN 100 Sessions
  • 350+ EXHIBITORS 

IHRSA 2015 - Where the Health & Fitness Community Comes Together!


European Club CEOs Weigh in on Trends 

Three leading club company CEOs discussed the trends they are seeing in a panel discussion moderated by Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s Executive Vice President of Global Products, today at the 14th annual IHRSA European Congress in Amsterdam. Here is a sampling of the insights they shared:

Valerie Bonstrom, Mrs. Sporty:  We see McFit (budget club chain) doing an amazing job. The competition is increasing on the low-cost side, with more companies opening smaller, low-cost clubs. There is an opportunity on the higher end to provide a greater brand with strong positioning. Otherwise it becomes more difficult in a market that is increasingly price sensitive.

Olav Thorstad, Health & Fitness Nordic:  Functional training is a trend. Instructors are really important in driving profit. We also have to look at outdoor opportunities – people don’t necessarily want to go to the club. How do we serve them? This market is growing more rapidly than the club market. We have a big opportunity here, but we have to do more to catch the potential members interested in exercising outside of our clubs.

Irina Kutina, Russian Fitness Group: We continue to work closely with our personal training because it’s a good indication at how well the clubs are doing in engaging members. We are also looking at small group training – yoga, cycling – because it’s putting people together.

All three panelists agreed that the boutique model is an important trend. Bonstrom is operating some small, functional fitness training studios and notes that participants are very different from the target group that goes to a club. Thorstad said, “There is a market for it, and we should be in it. The margins and profits are bigger, and it will be positive for members.”



Rise of the Boutique Studio

Competition within the industry is increasing, and the nature of the competition is changing. Traditional multi-sport clubs are finding new competitors in the form of boutique studios serving market slivers of perhaps just 300 people, observed Ray Algar, Managing Director of Oxygen Consulting, in his presentation at the 14th annual IHRSA European Congress in Amsterdam on October 17.

Algar noted that middle market clubs charge an average €42 per month while boutique studios are charging €25 for 60 minutes. These new, relatively high-priced players are a stark contrast to the low-priced players that clubs have been competing against over the past five-plus years.

Because the boutiques are serving such small slices of the market, it might be tempting to ignore them, Algar said. “But if you have enough competition from all different slices – yoga, cycling, micro gyms – they could put you out of business,” he said.

So how should clubs respond to this new competition?  Algar noted that several operators are finding a way to offer the boutique experience within their existing club models:  Fitness First has recently set up a small studio that is appointment-driven. David Lloyd Leisure currently has three small studios and is looking at adding more. David Barton Gyms have partnered with a boutique provider to operate within the gym.

Algar is currently working on a boutique studio report, which will be published in December. He will be offering it free of charge.


Photos from European Congress Day 2

The 14th Annual IHRSA European Congress continued on Friday at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam.

Among the highlights were the keynote by Jonas Kjellberg, the European Club Leadership Award presented to Olav Thorstad and many thought-provoking educational sessions.

Check out the above slideshow. And for all of the photos, visit the IHRSA Flickr page at www.flickr.com/photos/ihrsa/.


Studies and Research is This Week in the Fitness Industry Theme

Phasinphoto image at FreeDigitalPhotos.netSometimes it is fun to have a theme for This Week in the Fitness Industry.

Today's entries are all studies and research that will make you sit back and think.

Here is what we have:

  • what is your fitness age?
  • wine instead of a workout?
  • not enough muscle strength training
  • more doctors talking about exercise

Read all of them in This Week in the Fitness Industry.

Click to read more ...


2015 Fitness Trends ... Already

With only 2 ½ months left in 2014 it is not surprising that the end-of-the-year lists are starting to come out. Hey, Halloween items in the local drug stores have been on the shelves for more than a month, so why not?

The first seen here is from the International Business Times Health section, listing the top five trends for 2015.

Really, none are going out on a limb. But, if your club does not have at least four of the five then it might be time to start planning.

International Business Times’s list:

  1. HIIT
  2. Workouts for children
  3. Yoga
  4. Short workouts
  5. Video workouts

Read more at International Business Times.




Kjellberg Encourages Congress Attendees to Find Their 'Delight'

Jonas Kjellberg exhorted club professionals to find their “delight”  - what it is that makes their clubs stand apart from the rest - today at the 14th Annual European Congress in Amsterdam.

Efficiency and functionality are expected of any company, Kjellberg noted.

“That won’t help you increase sales, though,” he said. “Delight will. Companies focus on the first two because they can control them. Figuring out what delights people is more difficult.”

If you want to focus on efficiency and functionality alone, then you have to be exceptionally strong in sales. You have to increase the number of contacts you make with prospects because it takes 100 contacts to make one sale.

Kjellberg acknowledged that finding your company’s delight is not easy. For example, it took the founder of H&M 10 years to discover that the company’s delight is that it is a fashion company, not a discount clothing company. H&M uses high fashion models and has stores in all the major cities, but sells clothing at a fraction of the price of high fashion stores.

Like H&M, you will become a game changer in your industry if you can find your delight. And when you do, your customers will tell your story and essentially become your sales force.


Third Day of European Congress, in Photos

The 14th Annual IHRSA European Congress continued on Saturday with another full day of networking, education and fun. 

Check out the top images from day 3 in the above slideshow.

For all European Congress photos, visit the IHRSA Flickr page.