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Research is key when opening a club

Karen JashinskyNiche clubs are extremely popular now. And with so many hot exercises the options are limitless.

Another reason niche studios are popping up everywhere is that not only are exercises diverse but who to cater to is, too. 

In a recent Entrepreneur magazine story, it mentions IHRSA members O2 MAX Fitness and Overtime Fitness, both with programs for tweens and teens.

Patrick Ferrell, owner of Overtime Fitness, noted that research is paramount to a successful endeavor.

"You really can't do enough of it," says Ferrell. "You have to hone in on the key characteristics of your target demographic."  He said one of his top resources was IHRSA.

For the entire story, visit Entrepreneur magazine.


Learn How to Reap High Rewards with Low Risk, in Next Webinar

In these times of still uncertain markets and economies, very few businesses, the health industry included, want to take big risks.

IHRSA’s next webinar looks into what a club can do in oder to get maximum return, but with a low risk.

The webinar, Results-Driven Marketing: Low Risk Strategies with High Volume Return, will be presented in tandem, by Debra Lee and John Carmean, both from Gainesville Health & Fitness Center. The three-club company not only survived the recent downturn in the economy but actually came out looking pretty good.

Read on to learn more about the webinar and how to register.

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Health Club Consumer Report Delves into Studio Consumer Behavior 

More than 52.9 million Americans belong to health club, according to the recently released IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report. This report provides comprehensive data on health club consumer activity and participation trends. Produced in collaboration with ClubIntel, The IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report provides analyses, insights and applications clubs can glean from member behavior. 

“I’ve read the new 2014 edition of the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report cover to cover,” says Brent Darden, IHRSA’s ex-officio and principal in Brent Darden Consulting. “There’s tons of useful information in the report. I plan to make use of several of the findings, and recommend the report to anyone wishing to better understand the health club consumer and club business.” 

New to this year’s report is data and analysis of studio consumers. More than 11 million Americans utilize a fitness studio, including yoga/barre/Pilates, indoor cycling, bootcamp, boxing/martial arts/MMA, and sport-specific studios. Studio facilities capture roughly 20% of all members. Consumers spend more per visit at a studio than they do at multipurpose and fitness-only facilities. But as many as 90% of studio consumers also have memberships at other clubs. 

According to the authors of the report, “members are choosing to spread their fitness dollars among multiple facilities that are able to accommodate their particular interests and goals.” The report goes on to explain that club operators stand to gain from this trend as these diverse interests create niche opportunities. Larger clubs as well as smaller studios can target specific segments and populations to meet their unique needs and goals. 

The report also analyzes demographic profiles, utilization levels and membership fees for studios, multipurpose, fitness-only and corporate fitness facilities. To learn more, check out the Health Club Consumer Report at ihrsa.org/consumer-report


The Fitness Industry Technology Council (FIT-C)

Covington, LA, September 24, 2014 - Fitness technology is evolving and poised to play a critical role in the lives of tens of millions of individuals.

The Fitness Industry Technology Council (FIT-C) is a collaboration of leaders representing innovative companies and organizations within the field of technology and across the fitness industry. Fit-C is seeking the involvement of innovators and forward thinkers to join and develop a common networking solution that is affordable and adoptable. By saving on development costs and establishing the standards to move this industry forward, we can leverage the networking solution across the multitude of applications being developed today and into the future…

The goal of FIT-C is to improve the user experience and mature the collection of real-time wellness data through the creation of interoperability standards for technology-based fitness devices and applications (similar to the early beginnings of WI-FI standardization).

View the full press release from FIT-C.


AussieFit fighting teen obesity

Geoff Dyer, the founder of AussieFIT, which has two clubs in Ohio, was once an overweight teen, and, as a result, is acutely aware of the importance of physical activity for young people. So when, two years ago, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Ohio had the 12th highest rate of diabetes in the country, he knew he had to do something.

Working with the Columbus Public Health’s Institute for Active Living, Dyer created a fitness initiative for Columbus-area youngsters, offering free summer memberships at his 25,000-square-foot facilities to teens between the ages of
12 and 17. “Studies show that even teens who are genetically predisposed to obesity will maintain a healthy weight by exercising for an hour every day,” he points out.

The opportunity to use the clubs’ cutting-edge strength and cardio equipment, cycling studio, and various group exercise programs offers a safe, healthy alternative to expensive summer camps or misspent free time, notes Dyer.


October CBI Chock Full of Great Information

The October CBI magazine is now available online. Here are just some of the great features this month:

  • Feature stories include the inaugural IHRSA/Mercado Fitness Mexico City Conference & Trade Show; green initiatives in clubs; catering to Master Sports competitors; and Jonas Kjellberg, a speaker at next month’s European Congress.
  • News on the industry and IHRSA members in News & Know How, In Brief, On the Move and Member News. 
  • Product showcases
  • Regular columns by CBI Editor Craig Waters, IHRSA Board Chairperson Robert Brewster and IHRSA CEO and President Joe Moore.

Read all of this, and much more, in the October CBI magazine.


Plenty to Gain by Attending European Congress

“The European Congress itself, the networking opportunities, and the club tours were invaluable, and will, without a doubt, have a significant impact on shaping the future of Fitness First U.K.”

Martin Seibold, Managing Director, Fitness First UK

RijksmuseumThe comments about IHRSA’s Annual European Congress - whether it is like Siebold’s, they relate to last year’s meeting in madrid or next month’s gathering in Amsterdam - attest to the fact that this event, now in its 14th year, is having a true impact not only on individual club companies, but also on the European and global fitness industries, as well.

This year, the congress is expected to attract more than 500 attendees from over 30 countries, including individuals from as far away as the U.S., Canada, South Africa, and Australia.

“Cross-border friendships, business relationships, product and service innovations that have found their way into European facilities—these are examples of the impact the congress is having,” notes Hans Muench, IHRSA’s director of Europe.

Read on to learn more about the event, local attractions and more.

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Exercise May Help Delay The Loss Of Independence In People With Dementia

Often, as dementia and age progress, many older adults in the community lose their ability to live independently and move to assisted living and nursing facilities. An innovative study in the journalAging & Mental Health looked at the effect of exercise in delaying that loss of independence. During this pilot study, 11 people participated in various types of exercise, including tai chi, yoga, and dance. Researchers compiled qualitative feedback from participants and exercise instructors and analyzed the data to identify themes.

Results showed that participants saw increased body awareness, memory, and function skill following the exercise program. Participants also exhibited a more positive attitude towards exercise, and increased social interaction, making more friends. These results suggest that adults with mild to moderate dementia can experience beneficial functional, emotional, and social improvements by incorporating exercise into their lives. Health clubs provide a safe, supportive, and social place for older adults to be active.

Wu E1, Barnes DE, Ackerman SL, Lee J, Chesney M, Mehling WE. Preventing Loss of Independence through Exercise (PLIÉ): qualitative analysis of a clinical trial in older adults with dementia. Aging Ment Health. 2014 Jul 14:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]

Get the visual poster to display in your club.


Health Benefits of Exercise Report - Sitting More Linked To Depression 

In recent years, people all over the world have been sitting more and moving less. A group of researchers in China reviewed data from 24 previously published studies involving over 19,000 people over four continents to determine the associations between sedentary behavior and depression. The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found a link between spending a lot of time sitting in front of a screen and depression - people who sat the most had a 25% higher risk of developing depression than people who sat the least. 

Researchers noted that more studies should be done, as these results found an association, not a cause - it is possible that depression may lead to sedentary behaviors and not the other way around. Still Megan Teychenne from the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia said "the message we really need to get out to the public is ‘Move more and sit less". 

Read more from Reuters

This Week In Health Benefits of Exercise Report

1. Exercise May Help Delay The Loss Of Independence In People With Dementia 

2. Aquatic Exercise Program Improves Health, Quality of Life, And Activity In Men Diagnosed With Type 2 Diabetes

3. Various Types of Exercise Improve Arterial Stiffness In People With High And Normal Blood Pressure


Mad Dogg has grown from one brand to many

Mad Dogg Athletics office in California.In 1991, cycling enthusiasts John Baudhuin and Jonathan Goldberg designed and produced the first Spinner bikes, which, in short time, led to the indoor cycling boom, changing the health and fitness industry forever.

Goldberg, of course, is better known as Johnny G, the South African cycling pro who, by joining with Baudhuin, an avid cyclist with an MBA degree, created the world’s first indoor group-cycling product line.

A year after coming up with the concept and a prototype, they began to manufacture and distribute the commercial Spinner bike and Spinning program. The bikes and the course were officially introduced in 1993 at the Crunch Gyms in New York City. 

Baudhuin has barely had a chance to catch his breath since.

In 1994, Baudhuin incorporated Mad Dogg Athletics, Inc., in Venice, California, and began trademarking the Spinning name worldwide; he now serves as the company’s president and CEO. (Goldberg is no longer involved with the company.) Over the next two decades, the com-pany grew dramatically in terms of scope and size. Today, Mad Dogg Athletics manufactures and/or distributes a large and diverse family of fitness equipment, training, and programming under a variety of brand names. Its portfolio currently includes Spinning; SPIN Fitness; Kettlebell Concepts; Peak Pilates; CrossCore Rotational Bodyweight Training; Resist- A-Ball (stability balls); UGI (a weighted ball system); and, via a joint venture, Bodyblade (vibration training).

Read on to learn more about Mad Dogg Athletics.

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