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Entries in CBI Magazine (36)


Complete IHRSA’s CBI Reader Survey and Be Rewarded

Help IHRSA make Club Business International a more valuable magazine for you and your team.

What should we add to—or change about—the publication in 2017? What topics should we cover more, and what problems can we help you solve? We’re listening!

Complete our annual CBI reader survey by Friday, August 26 and receive the IHRSA convention session recording (MP3) of your choice. The recording will be sent to you via e-mail by September 15.

Please contact Kristen Walsh at or +1 (617) 951-0055 ext. 117 with any questions about the CBI Reader Survey.


Fitness Industry Leaders Tackle the ‘Big’ Questions

Most owners and operators focus, by necessity, on the day-to-day business of running their clubs. It’s hard to find time to think about, or reflect upon, what the future might hold. All too often, they’re working in their business—rather than on their business.

To give you a sense of what’s out there—of promising possibilities you may not have heard about or yet explored—CBI spoke with a select group of club professionals and industry experts, and asked them what you should be thinking about. Our sources, all first-time presenters at IHRSA’s recent 35th Annual International Convention & Trade Show, in Orlando, FL, offer some brand-new ideas and fresh takes on old ones.

Growth Opportunities

David Long is the cofounder and CEO of Orangetheory Fitness, a fitness franchise based in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and he clearly knows something about rapid
growth in competitive times. Since it was
founded six years ago, Orangetheory has
shot to more than 300 units in some 32
states, and achieved a three-year growth
rate of 1,147%. At IHRSA 2016, Long
spoke on “Building Multi-Million Dollar Fitness Businesses”—which seems appropriate. In 2014, Orangetheory booked $10.4 million in revenues.

“In general terms, I can see several trends that offer great opportunities for growth,” Long said. “There’s a rapidly growing demand for special group fitness, such as yoga, Pilates, group cycling, and, of course, Orangetheory. Heart-rate training and wearables are also continuing to emerge at a quick clip. There’s now a significant demographic population that wants objective data on their fitness regimen, and gravitates toward results-based programming. Having said that, there’s still a huge marketplace
for traditional fitness offerings, but consumers continue to demand a higher service
 level and ease-of-use with technology—something that every operator needs to be aware of.

“Because consumers, in general, are focusing more, and spending more, on health and wellness, the industry continues to grow,” he said. “It’s a great time for our industry.”

Increased Competition

Tara Sampson is the director of marketing at VIDA Fitness & Aura Spa, in Washington, D.C. At IHRSA 2016, she spoke on “Stop Competing and Capitalize: Maximize Revenues by Leveraging the Growth of Studios.” Sampson sees great promise in the Millennial generation, and, while many club operators regard the rapid proliferation of studios with concern, she suggests that they also pose fresh opportunities.

“We should keep our eye on the Millennials, and dial into their buying behavior,” she said. “They’re waiting
longer to get married and have children, which leaves them with more buying
 power than any preceding generation. When you couple that with the fact that they’re also very health-conscious—well, we should be paying real attention to them. They’re willing to pay more to be part of a community with specialized service, and they’re the driving force behind the rapid growth of studios.”

Studios are “the most relevant and fastest-growing trend in our industry, and,” Sampson cautioned, “they’re not going away.” She recommends that operators spotlight the wide variety of specialized services they already offer, and begin thinking of studios as an extra option for their members.

Continue reading “The Big Questions” in the June issue of CBI.


CBI First Person: Magnus Lindkvist

Last year, you spoke to more than 500 club operators at the 13th Annual IHRSA European Congress in Madrid. What did you learn about our industry from that experience?

What surprised me most was how diverse this industry is, both in terms of its offerings and the wide range of people who own and operate health clubs. It’s really remarkable! (See “CBI Interview,” October 2013 CBI, pg. 30.)

Now, as a keynote speaker at the 34th Annual International IHRSA Convention and Trade Show in Los Angeles in March, what’s the main message you’re going to convey?

It’s very simple, but, at the same time, quite profound. What we should all be doing is striving to create new, valuable, and rewarding products and experiences—rather than constantly focusing on competing with one another.


Read more

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CBI First Set: IHRSA events present a world of possibilities

Robert Brewster, IHRSA's newest board of directors chairperson, is used to traveling. He lives in Alaska afterall - not quite a car ride to major cities or other countries.

But part of being the board chairperson he knows it is good for him to be one of the faces of IHRSA at our events. There are many. And in many different locales.

Just in the next year Brewster will leave the comfy confines of The Alaska Club and go to Fitness Brasil, IHRSA/China Fit Management Forum, European Congress, and the IHRSA Mercado Fitness Mexico City Conference and Trade Show.

Check out his First Set column in CBI magazine to see why it is important to take advantage of IHRSA's events.


CBI "First Set"—Why does IHRSA board chairperson get active?

You would think the chairperson of the IHRSA board of directors would know why he gets active. He admitted, he was stumped when asked the question during the IHRSA Annual International Convention & Trade Show in March in San Diego.

IHRSA's new #WhyGetActive campaign officially kicked off this month. But we got the ball rolling in San Diego by asking the question and having people answer it by writing their answer on a white board. A photo was taken with the answer and then published in many social media platforms as well as

Darden explains in his "First Set" column in the June issue of CBI that he could have answered the query in many different ways, and it was difficult to fit it on a small board. What is more important as club owners and those in the fitness industry, he said, is helping the inactive reverse their ways and help them be able to answer the question, if posed to them.

Check out the entire "First Set."


CBI Interview: Robert Brewster

Robert Brewster, the chairperson-elect of IHRSA’s board of directors, is an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience, and currently serves as the president of The Alaska Club, based in Anchorage. TAC operates a network of 18 facilities, ranging from self check-in “Express” boutique clubs to large, upscale, multipurpose properties more than 100,000 square feet in size; and Alaska Fitness Equipment, a commercial equipment company. 

Brewster, an accomplished athlete, holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and, before joining TAC in 1988 as the company’s vice president and director of operations, had served in a variety of capacities with Hotel Captain Cook and Captain Cook Athletic Club, and as the manager of the Spa Fitness Center/Boniface Club, all in Anchorage. He joined the IHRSA board in 2011.

Brewster took some time out of his IHRSA board and TAC schedule to answer some questions in the CBI Interview.


Weights are not losing popularity to niche exercises

Even though functional equipment, CrossFit, high intensity interval training, small group training and obstacle course races are super hot right not it doesn't mean free weights are collecting dust in the corner.

Actually, the popularity of these niche exercises have forced companies to innovate and produce new products that not only stand on their own but complement the CrossFits and Tough Mudders rather nicely.

“Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen free weights migrate from basic strength training, to group exercise training, to small-group personal training, to functional training,” said Michael Rojas, president of Iron Grip Barbell Company. “Strength training has tracked a steady trajectory of rising popularity.” 

Check out what else free weight businesses are saying, as well as the accompanying product showcase in CBI magazine.


Sport City to use DNA to craft workout plan

A Mexican chain of clubs is using individual's DNA to develop a training, nutrition and injury-prevention regimen as a way to help reach goals easier.

Sport City's Metric uses saliva samples to to assess 48 genetic variables, with half of them nutrition-related and 18 that deal with fitness capacity.

“The results are interpreted to map out the best path for each individual- predicated on their genotype and current health and fitness levels - to help them obtain the results they want,” said Marcel Kerriou, manager of Sport City, in the CBI "News & Know How" section.

Metric is available at all of Sport City's location and both members and non-members can utilize it.

Check out CBI for more.


Now is the time to participate in Passport Program

IHRSA makes it easy for your traveling members to exercise through the IHRSA Passport Program.

Offered free as a part of IHRSA membership, this reciprocal guest access program could provide your members with 50% off guest fees at participating clubs worldwide.

The IHRSA Passport Program is a great sales and retention tool for your club. Don't miss the chance to offer your members this added benefit as the summer travel season gets into full gear. 

Participating clubs receive online access to download all support materials including ID for traveling members! And your members will find that locating a club to visit is easy at This area of IHRSA's consumer website makes it possible to conduct a search of only those IHRSA clubs that participate in the program.

Check out the story on the Passport Program in the March CBI.

Enroll your club at


Use social media to push advocacy

Most clubs and businesses in the fitness industry most likely do some form of social media - whether they have a full-time employee dedicated to it or a few people who take some of their day for Facebook, Twitter and others.

A 2012 Pew Research Center report notes that political activity on these sites has increased quite a bit in the past five years - 39% of adults participate in political of social activity. 

The IHRSA Report section of CBI magazine explains that social media would be a great platform to tout the industry's advocacy efforts, in addition to items about your clubs, businesses and fitness events.

Go to CBI's digital edition to read more.