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Entries in Healthtrax International (2)


Lessons in Fitness Leadership: People Make the Difference

The Lessons in Fitness Leadership series highlights IHRSA’s industry leaders and thanks them for their continued commitment to growing, promoting, and protecting the health club industry. By sharing their business expertise, we hope that you will get to know them, what they've learned along the way, and how they view leadership.

Steve Capezzone
Healthtrax International
Glastonbury, CT

What is the most fulfilling part of being a business leader in the fitness industry?

Being in a leadership position and having the opportunity to be a change agent is so important. To me, leadership means being directly involved in influencing public policy initiatives, having access to other operators to learn from and network with, and having the ability to call upon other leaders to help make an impact on the industry.

If you were able to go back in time, what is one piece of leadership advice you would have given your younger-self about working in the fitness industry?

I can’t just pick one piece of advice because I have found that there are many strategies that—if implemented correctly—can help a person improve their leadership abilities.

First, people make the difference! A lot of people talk about new clubs and equipment and that’s important, but what really makes a difference in this business is the people. They create the stickiness for our members and create the environment that can make or break your work.

So, surround yourself with the best people you can. It makes work more enjoyable and has a huge impact on your bottom line. 

Continue reading "Lessons in Fitness Leadership: People Make the Difference."

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Joining Forces is Good Business  

By Craig R. Waters

A little more than seven months ago, First Lady Michelle Obama announced an important addition to her Joining Forces initiative, which is designed to help meet the needs of military families.

The new component is, of course, the IHRSA Joining Forces Network (JFN), which now includes some 1,000 health clubs, coast to coast, that are extending free memberships to the immediate family members of actively deployed National Guard and Reserve members. Prominent among the participants are: Anytime Fitness; Sport & Health; Curves International, Inc.; and Healthtrax International, Inc.

The principal motive for enrolling in JFN is clear and incontrovertible: it is simply a matter of doing the right thing. No other reason is really required, but, at the risk of seeming crass, let me point out that there are sound, very pragmatic business reasons for becoming involved.

Patriotic sentiments and acts have long resonated with the American public, and, when employed appropriately, can prove worthwhile for all. In November, The New York Times pointed out that “For Veterans Day 2011, Madison Avenue will seem redder, whiter, and bluer than it has in a long time.” In noted that, while, in the past, retailers had focused largely on straightforward Veterans Day sales, this year, the approaches were more heartfelt, imaginative, and multifaceted. In some cases, they included cause-marketing components, benefitting organizations such as the USO and the Wounded Warriors Project.

Among the blue-chip brands that capitalized on the moment were American Airlines, Applebee’s restaurants, Cheerios cereal, Heinz ketchup, Papa John’s pizza, Pringles chips, and the Sam’s Club division of Wal-Mart Stores.

Veteran’s Day has passed, but JFN remains alive and very active, and continues to provide the families of many military personnel with access to all of the health, fitness, and social benefits that IHRSA clubs can offer. In addition, the program is inspiring and rewarding for everyone else involved with it, from club management, to staff, to existing members. It reminds them that they’re part of a healthy, bighearted, and powerful life-changing culture.

Beyond that, JFN can provide a solid platform for compelling public-relations initiatives; drive memberships among members of the public who learn about the club because of the program; enhance a club’s visibility and reputation in its community; and allow clubs to interact, in a new and positive way, with local groups that work with military organizations. IHRSA stands ready to help with support materials, including a staff-training sheet, press-release templates, a digital logo and a JFN decal.

JFN pays off in palpable, concrete ways for military families, clubs, and our industry. There’s no question about it.

To enroll in this important campaign, simply log on to    

- Craig R. Waters is the editor-in-chief of CBI and can be contacted at