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Entries in Latin America (10)


This Week in the Fitness Industry: 700 Anytime Fitness Gyms to Host Free Outdoor Workouts

700 Anytime Fitness Gyms to Host Free Outdoor Workouts
Hundreds of Anytime Fitness gyms will host free outdoor exercise events nationwide, according to a release. The “May Free Workouts” began in 2015 as a grassroots effort by a few Anytime Fitness gyms, and has grown into a nationwide campaign to promote physical activity. About 700 facilities are expected to participate, hosting activites such as yoga in the park, Zumba classes, kickboxing lessons, and tug-of-war competitions. “We believe a healthy lifestyle is achievable for anyone,” said Chuck Runyon, co-founder & CEO of Anytime Fitness. “May Free Workouts are designed to encourage community members to get up and move in an active, motivating atmosphere. Because when fitness is enjoyable and done in an encouraging, fun environment, it becomes easy to reach your goals.”

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Latin American Health Clubs Generate $6 Billion in Revenue 

The health club industry in Latin America is robust and growing, according to the new IHRSA Latin American Report (Second Edition).

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17th Annual IHRSA / Fitness Brasil Kicks off in São Paulo

The 17th Annual IHRSA / Fitness Brasil kicked off in São Paulo this morning, with IHRSA Latin America Manager Jacqueline Antunes delivering the opening welcome address.

Maturity, Change, and Knowledge

“Today, more than ever, the Brazilian fitness industry will achieve changes through the union on behalf of the industry for public policies that benefit all of you,” she said. “The place and the voice of the industry should be through an association, in this case, ACAD Brasil—the Brazilian health club association.”

Antunes recognized former Olympian and IHRSA Board Member Gustavo Borges, the new president-elect of ACAD. She also explained the theme of this year’s convention—“maturity to change to know”—and the event hashtag #multipliqueconhecimento, meaning “multiply knowledge.”

“The Brazilian health club industry is over 30 years old—just this stage of maturity—and must face the challenges in ‘mature’ way, making the right decisions based on knowledge gained through meetings like these,” she said. “IHRSA really believe we make our industry strong whenever we multiply knowledge, whether in conferences like this, online through websites, mobile applications and social networks.”

As her contribution to multiply knowledge, Antunes unveiled some new statistics from the yet-to-be-released IHRSA Latin America Report 2016.

  • Total number of Brazilian clubs: 34,509 (second position on the top 10)
  • Total number of Brazlian members: 9,662,520 (second) position on the top 10
  • Brazil occupied the 4th place after Germany and the UK
  • Total revenue: US$ 2.1 billion = R$ 7.0 billion (10th position on the top 10) 

Continue reading about the Fitness Brasil opening keynote address.

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Everything You Need to Know About the 17th Annual IHRSA / Fitness Brasil 

We’re gearing up to head south to the 17th Annual IHRSA / Fitness Brasil, Latin America’s largest fitness industry conference and trade show, held in São Paulo, Brazil, September 1-3. 

Since Brazil has been struggling with an economic recession and political instability—all on top of the Summer Olympic Games—much of this year’s event will focus on change and transformation in the industry. The program is designed for all types and sizes of clubs—from established clubs to those that are just starting out in the industry. The program provides educational opportunities in a variety of interactive formats: traditional seminars, how-to sessions, and best practices. 

IHRSA is committed to investing in Latin America, which, with 55,809 health clubs, has more clubs than any other region worldwide, according to the IHRSA Global Report 2016. The Brazilian health club industry is the largest in Latin America by far, with 31,809 clubs and nearly 8 million total members. 

IHRSA / Fitness Brasil Keynote Presentations 

The current economic situation in Brazil is reflected in this year’s keynote presentations:  

  • Why and How the Economy Will Improve and Surprise Us After 2016: Ricardo Amorim, one of the country's leading experts in macroeconomics, will present in a clear and transparent way the available paths for Brazil and the world, in times of crisis and, as such, help with decision-making for our businesses. 
  • Happiness Leads to Profit: Márcio Fernandes, CEO of Elektro, explains his Innovative Management Philosophy, which is based on valuing ​​people and making business more sustainable. From former packer to Brazil's most highly rated executive by the employees themselves, with a 99% satisfaction rate, argues that it is possible to increase the profitability of a company without downsizing. Instead, it is necessary to create an efficient environment, with real growth opportunities for employees.
  • Making Innovation Happen: Rivadávia Drummond, one of the country's most sought-after speakers and former CEO of HSM, will bring to the table ideas about how to think and rethink our businesses. Drummond is a consultant, lecturer, and post doctoral professor who has taught at Harvard, Stanford, Darden, Dom Cabral, and Hong Kong. He is the author of books and articles on innovation, business models, and knowledge management.
  • A Life Worth Living: Clovis de Barros Filho, Ph.D., associate professor at the School of Communications and Arts of São Paulo University, will share his tips to lead a life worth living. To be human is to be ethical, because ethics is the activity of choosing the best life to live. In this talk, ethics, happiness, commitment, and quality are presented in a chain of ideas that moves and touches us. 

IHRSA / Fitness Brasil Live Coverage

We’ll be providing plenty of live coverage of the convention for those of you who can’t join us in São Paulo. Over the course of the event, we’ll be posting updates right here on the blog, as well as on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

You can also check out the Fitness Brasil Facebook page and Fitness Brasil blog


Olympian Gustavo Borges on the Future of the Brazilian Fitness Industry

Gustavo Borges, Olympian, entrepreneur, and IHRSA board member, told Club Business International about the opportunities and challenges facing the Brazilian fitness industry. 

Borges is a former competitive swimmer turned entrepreneur. He swam for Brazil in the Summer Olympic Games in 1992 (one medal), 1996 (two medals), 2000 (one medal), and 2004; and also competed in the World Championships and the Pan American Games (eight medals).

At one point, Borges held the world record in the 100-meter freestyle (short course). He currently lives in São Paulo, where he runs his own swimming school, Academia Gustavo Borges, which has four locations in Brazil. 

CBI: First of all, congratulations! You were recently elected president of ACAD Brasil, the Brazilian health club association. Please tell us about that organization and what it does.

Gustavo Borges: ACAD Brasil represents our industry in the same way that IHRSA does, both in the U.S. and the international market. In Brazil, every day there are important public policy issues that need to be addressed, as there are in all countries of the world. New laws that could interfere with our market always require attention, especially in a country as unstable as Brazil.

Our major focus, now, is to grow the organization in terms of numbers and representation all over the country, which means that we need the participation of all the major players, as well as the small operators, in order to produce great results.

CBI: We understand that you also serve as a member of the Brazilian Olympic Committee. What sort of involvement did you have in last month’s Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro?

GB: I was a member of the committee’s athlete’s commission, but had no real role in the games. The commission’s role was to help the Olympic Committee with regards to the needs of the athletes. My main participation in the games involved supplying the Olympic-size pools that were needed. I’m a representative for Myrtha Pools, an Italian company, which offers a specialized solution based on stainless steel. Together with a partner company, we provided all of the pools for the Rio 2016 Games.

In addition to that, I served as a commentator for the swimming events.

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IHRSA Events in Brazil and Mexico Highlight Achievements and Promise

This past fall, I had the pleasure of attending the industry’s premier gatherings in Brazil and Mexico—the 16th Annual IHRSA/Fitness Brasil Latin American Conference & Trade Show, which took place in September, and the 2nd Annual IHRSA/Mercado Fitness Mexico City Conference & Trade Show, which took place in October. As a result, I’m able to report, with confidence, that the Latin American fitness industry is healthy, vibrant, and overflowing with potential.

Bullish in Brazil 

São Paulo was once again the host city for IHRSA/Fitness Brasil. More than 15,000 professionals took part in the region’s largest industry gathering. While the Brazilian economy as a whole struggled in 2015—and continues to battle strong headwinds this year—the fitness industry fared better, especially in the budget sector, where low-cost clubs continued to open at an impressive rate.

During the three-day IHRSA/Fitness Brasil event, the Transamerica Expo Center was bustling with activity, as 157 companies showcased their products and services, engaging trade show visitors. Waldyr Soares, the president of Fitness Brasil, observes that the strong showing by both exhibitors and attendees is a strong indication that the Brazilian health club sector is definitely open for business. He reports that the number of exhibitors increased by an impressive 15% over 2014, while attendance at the educational sessions rose by a solid 10%.

“People come here to catch up, regardless of the struggle the Brazilian economy is facing,” Soares said. “This industry is forward-looking.” 

On the Move in Mexico 

As for the 2nd Annual IHRSA/Mercado Fitness Mexico City Conference & Trade Show, Jacqueline Antunes, IHRSA’s senior manager for Latin America, summed it up this way: “It was gratifying to see the industry come together in Mexico City in such numbers. … There’s clearly a need for more collaboration, learning, and networking.”

Conference attendance grew by a substantial 37%, and trade show participation by a remarkable 50%, over figures for the inaugural 2014 gathering.

“I’ve attended both IHRSA events in Mexico City, and have had a great experience!” said José Manuel Pérez y López, the regional manger for Mexico’s Sport City Clubs. “These conferences have great value, because, while the speakers have an international perspective on the fitness industry, they offer useful tools that apply to the Mexican industry.”

Read Jay Ablondi’s full account of both events in the March issue of CBI. 


Meet Team IHRSA: Jacqueline Antunes, Senior Manager Latin America

With the IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show less than two months away, we’re running the “Meet Team IHRSA” series to highlight some off the staff members you’ll see in Orlando, March 21-24. We hope this will help you to get to know our team a little better. 

Jacqueline Antunes
Senior Manager Latin America


Explain your role at IHRSA. What do you do? What is the best part of your job?

I am the Senior Manager Latin America for IHRSA. The best part of my job is helping Latin American clubs be more successful through IHRSA events (in the U.S., Brazil, and Mexico), introducing them to one another, and providing resources and information.

Many times when people attend an IHRSA event for the first time, they tell me on the last day how thankful they are for being encouraged to attend the event and how they are going back to their businesses with great ideas. They often say it was the best professional investment they have made. Others say that, after our interaction and introducing them to other industry professionals, it has opened doors for his or her life and for new profitable business opportunities. I love this! 

What drew you to work for an organization that supports the health club industry? 

The great challenge is in changing people's lives. It is wonderful to work for an industry that helps people live longer and healthier lives.  

Tell us about your fitness routine. How do you stay active?

My favorite active routine is walking around a pond close to my house. It is a beautiful place surrounded with flowers, geese, and friendly people. It also is a place that I can go with my family, which includes my dog—a beautiful Yorkie named Pepita. 

What is your favorite thing about the IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show?

My favorite part of the IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show is the Latin American Forum. This is the best opportunity for attendees across Latin America to meet old friends and make new ones, exchange ideas, learn from best practices, start a new alliance or partnership, etc. 

Where can IHRSA 2016 attendees find you at the Convention in Orlando, March 21-24?

I can be found at the International Club and I will be happy to help any Latin American attendees. 

Convention attendees come from more than 80 countries. Can they speak to you in any other language? 

I can also speak in Portuguese and Spanish. 

What do you do for fun in your spare time? 

I love to entertain friends at my house, prepare a delicious meal, and enjoy having them around the table. Friendship is what you take from life.

Share a random fact about yourself. 

I have two teenage children that love sports. My son plays soccer and does cross-country, and my daughter does snowboarding.


IHRSA Fitness Brasil trade show Day 2

There is plenty to check out at the IHRSA Fitness Brasil Latin American trade show. 



More Latin American countries eating poorly

We all know that the United States has an obesity epidemic. Some Central and South American countries may be heading in the same direction.

For example:

  • Mexicans drink more carbonated drinks than any other country
  • Peru has the highest density of fast food
  • Chileans buy as much processed food than other foods
  • Brazil has seen a rise in the consumption of junk food

For more, click here.



Latin American report now available in English

Last summer IHRSA unveiled a new report that looked into the health club industry in Latin America.

The first-of-its-kind publication has been available in Spanish and Portuguese, until today. It is now printed in English.

“I believe it is essential for industry entrepreneurs to have information that will help them to make good decisions,” said Guillermo Velez, editor and director of Mercado Fitness. “In addition, the worldwide industry needs to have a realistic scope of the opportunities available in our region.”