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Entries in Lynne Brick (7)


4 Trailblazing Women in the Fitness Industry 

The fitness industry has produced—and benefited from—many strong, pioneering women. These women have started and grown their businesses, mentored the next generation of women leaders, taken leadership roles in the industry, and embraced innovation and change as the industry grew.

Continue reading "4 Trailblazing Women in the Fitness Industry."

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Lessons in Fitness Leadership: Get Involved and Share Your Voice

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. 

Lynne Brick
Brick Bodies
Baltimore, MD 

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

The most fulfilling part [of being a leader] is three-fold:  

  1. To connect with other industry leaders and learn from them.
  2. To inspire rising stars and other rising leaders to exert their leadership skills and give back to the industry.
  3. To inspire our staff to discover their greatness.  

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 have two pieces of advice. They are: 

  1. Don't be afraid to fail.
  2. Begin with the end in mind. 

What prompted you to join the Industry Leadership Council (ILC)? 

I joined the ILC because it is one of the best ways that our industry can contribute to IHRSA's mission to protect the industry. It is best to be involved, contribute, and share one’s voice to avoid negative legislation as opposed to sitting on the sidelines and wondering what's happening. 

What has been your most memorable experience as part of the ILC? 

My most memorable experience was when we defeated the expansion of the sales tax in Maryland. We recruited bus loads of members and staff in addition to other clubs in our region and stormed the capital of Annapolis, Maryland. We starting chanting “Don’t tax health” and doing push-ups in front of the building where the hearings transpired, called “Lawyers Mall.”

Later when there was an opportunity to speak in front of the committee hearing on behalf of our industry, along with our lobbyist, I simply asked each legislator to do some seated shoulder rolls and explained that sitting is the “new smoking” and as a state we need to encourage citizens to move, not inhibit or create barriers by including health club memberships under the expansion of the sales tax.   

Bottom line: We won!


What's Next for Fitness Industry Pioneers Lynne and Victor Brick?

These industry pioneers have passed on the reins of Brick Bodies to their daughter, Vicki, and embarked on a new franchise route. 

Club Business International recently spoke to the Bricks to look back on their successes and find out more about their plans for the future. 

CBI: Tracking you down has been a bit of a challenge—you seem to be particularly busy these days. What’s going on?

LYNNE BRICK: Right now, we’re serving on the board of directors of one of our companies, Brick Bodies Fitness Services, Inc., to help our daughter, Vicki, the CEO, with the big decisions—things such as relocating an existing club, selecting a site for a new one, major renovations, and reworking debt. We’re also managing Planet Fitness Growth Partners, LLC (PFGP), our Planet Fitness franchise, where our principal responsibilities are strategic planning, corporate culture, and staff morale. Victor serves as CEO, and I’m the CCO, or chief culture officer. I also serve on the franchise advisory council for Planet Fitness, and chair its fitness committee.

CBI: And, on the personal front?

LB: Well, we’ve moved from Baltimore to Miami Beach, but, because our corporate headquarters for Brick Bodies and PFGP is still in Baltimore, we spend a good bit of time there. ... We remain committed to our own personal health and fitness, and have recently embraced yoga; and Victor has mastered Shavasana, otherwise known as “the dead man’s pose.”

CBI: You’ve been involved in the industry for over 30 years now. Remind us how you started out.

VICTOR BRICK: In 1982, Lynne was a nurse at the University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma Center, the first such facility in the world. I was a recreation director and a part-time college basketball coach, and in search of additional income. I answered an ad in the Baltimore Sun for a weight loss and aerobics instructor at the Bel Air Athletic Club, in Bel Air, MD, and was hired.

I was thinking Ken Cooper–style aerobics—running, swimming, and biking—but this was aerobic dance. Realizing I was in over my head, I talked Lynne, a dancer, into taking over the classes. She was a hit, so, soon, we were renting space at another club and running a part-time aerobic dance business. Lynne was teaching 22 classes a week, we had 300 students paying $39 each for a six-week session, and were netting $200–$300 per session. We thought it couldn’t get any better than that.

CBI: But, obviously, it did. What happened next?

VB: Lynne became pregnant with our second child, Jon, and couldn’t teach as many classes, so we had two choices: We could just let the business go, or pursue our dream of getting into the fitness industry full-time.

We decided to take a leap of faith, and, in August of 1985, borrowed $125,000 from my parents to buy the Padonia Fitness Center in Timonium, MD, which still serves as our headquarters today. At first, there were times when we literally cried ourselves to sleep wondering how we’d make payroll, but with luck, hard work, and help from our great staff and members, we turned the corner in October of that year, and, since then, have never looked back.

CBI: Which has brought you, today, to ... ?

VP: Today we have five Brick Bodies coed and two Lynne Brick’s women-only clubs in Baltimore, and 43 Planet Fitness franchises in four states and Washington, D.C. Taken together, we’re serving over 375,000 members.

Continue reading Lynne and Victor Brick's interview in the July issue of CBI.


Bricks, Dawes named Influential Marylanders

Victor and Lynne Brick, owner of Brick Bodies and Lynn Brick's Women Health and Fitness, were named 2014 Influential Marylanders. The distinction is compiled by The Daily Record newspaper and has only 53 people on the list.

Dominique Dawes, co-chair, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, was also named an Influential Marylander in the Freestyle category, the same one the Bricks were honored in.

Those on the list were recognized for their contribution in civic leadership, communications, education, finance, freestyle, health care, law, philanthropy, real estate and technology.

Brick Bodies also owns 23 Planet Fitness locations in Maryland and Tennessee, giving the Brick Bodies Fitness Services 30 locations and more than 200,000 members.

For more, visit The Daily Record


The Brick Family Business: The Next Generation  

In this industry, we’re known for our positive outlook.

But be honest.

Have there been days when you look at the obesity and inactivity statistics and find them startling and a little overwhelming? Or you think about the economy and get bogged down with a sense that it’s taking too long to recover? On those days, do you feel a hint of pessimism, for a few moments at least?

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A Flashdance-Era Flashback!

By Jennifer H. McInerney


Before October slips away, we here at CBI would like to wish Brick Bodies, based in Cockeysville, Maryland, a happy and healthy 25th anniversary!


When Victor and Lynne Brick, the husband-and-wife cofounders, opened their first of seven clubs in 1985, they were losing sleep over how they would ever break even, never mind turn a profit. After crunching the numbers, they determined that they needed 200 memberships to be able to pay all their bills and issue paychecks to their employees. So they staged a wildly successful open house and offered a no-initiation-fee special to hit that magic number.


But I’m making it sound easier than it actually was. The struggling couple was so committed to their dream of a thriving health club that they were willing to make huge sacrifices—including, as Victor puts it, their own dignity—for the sake of the business. He’s referring to a certain choreographed aerobics demonstration that he and Lynne filmed to help promote their business. And we have that vintage video footage right here!


Before we get to it, I just want to say that, in addition to the company’s amazing milestone, the Bricks and everybody involved in their business, and this industry, should be putting their hands together and celebrating this quintessential moment in the history of fitness.


So, without further ado, let’s take a journey back to the days of spandex leotards, legwarmers, and a very peppy couple on the verge of 25 years (and counting!) of success…


The Enduring Power of Strength Training

By Jean Suffin

I started lifting weights in the ’80s. Just that expression—“lifting weights”—tells you how old I’m getting. But here’s the thing: as old as I’m getting, I don’t feel it, and that’s because I “lift weights.”

I’ve long been a proponent of weight training, now called “strength training” or “functional training.” The emphasis now is, instead of building bulk to look buff, to be strong and powerful in our daily activities. To be able to lift, carry, walk, and run. To have energy and prevent diseases, like arthritis and osteoporosis. And here’s what’s really fantastic about strength training: while you’re doing all of this, you’re looking fabulous because you’re building muscle and sculpting your body.

A good trainer can change lives, not to mention bring in members. Let’s face it: anyone can get on an elliptical trainer or a treadmill for a half-hour without too much assistance, read their book, and be on their way. The education and personal motivation that a trainer provides engage members in a lifetime of fitness that takes place—and here’s the key—IN THE CLUB. I run, bike, and hike, but religiously, for my entire long life, I’ve gone to the club to get my strength training in. There is no substitute.

In the August issue of CBI, we’ll be talking about new personal training trends and programs, and we’ll be featuring a progressive facility called Brick Bodies in Cockeysville, Maryland. Founder Lynne Brick is an internationally acclaimed industry veteran. Fitness magazine recently deemed Brick Bodies the Best Family-Owned Mom & Pop Shape-Up Spot in America. Lynne gets it. She gets that offering a variety of goal-oriented, trainer-assisted programs engages members.

Group training, shorter durations, life coaching, and “holistic” methods are at the forefront now. Time-crunched members are looking for ways to get efficient workouts for less money, and group sessions that engage participants in continuous activity can provide that.

And the basics, of course: make sure your trainers are certified and highly trained and skilled in form and injury-prevention. Set standards for performance and evaluate them regularly. Get member feedback. Treat your trainers as an integral part of your club’s team, and provide them with continuing education.

The only reason I ever took up strength training is because a trainer at my gym was paying attention. He noticed my poor form, approached me, gave me a freebie, made me burn like hell, and got me hooked. Twenty years later, I’m still strong, and I’m in it for life.