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Entries in news (26)


This Week in the Fitness Industry: A Single Workout Could Be Good for the Heart

A Single Workout Could Be Good for the Heart
Just one single workout could be good for the heart, according to a study featured on The New  York Times’ Well Blog. Researchers found that when mice spent 30 minutes on a treadmill, it affected gene activity within cardiac cells in ways that could slow the aging of their hearts over time. “Although the study involved mice, the results may help to explain just how, at a cellular level, exercise improves heart health in people as well,” the article states.

Prepare for IHRSA 2017, March 8-11 in LA
In less than two weeks, thousands of attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and speakers will convene in Los Angeles for IHRSA 2017. The event will feature more than 100 education sessions, 350+ Trade Show exhibitors, and scores of networking opportunities. To help you prepare—and get the most out of your convention experience—IHRSA staff put our heads together and created three tip-sheets: 

Exercise May Help Obese Women Avoid Pregnancy Complications
Exercising during pregnancy may help obese women lower their risk of dangerous complications, including diabetes and high blood pressure, according to a study by Oregon Health and Science University. “The study suggests that a prenatal exercise-based intervention leads to both decreased costs and improved outcomes in obese women,” said Leah Savitsky, a medical student who led the study. For the study, Savitsky and her team analyzed previously published research on the effect of exercise on pregnant women with a body mass index of at least 30. They calculated that for every one million obese pregnant women, there would be 38,176 cases of preeclampsia (a pregnancy-related blood pressure problem) among those who exercised, compared to 113,000 cases among those who didn’t exercise. They also found exercise may be linked to a decrease in gestational diabetes, with a rate of 195,520 per million among exercisers compared to 305,500 among non-exercisers.

Health Club Owners Get Their News from Industry Publications
Nearly 69% of club operators said that “industry publications” was their main source of industry news and information, according to a blind survey IHRSA commissioned in the Fall of 2016. Rounding out the top three responses were “internet search” at 64% and “conferences” at nearly 62%. Among IHRSA members, industry publications, such as Club Business International magazine, was the top resource for 78.4% of respondents, while “conferences” was the #2 resource chosen by 70.3% of respondents, and associations/federations by 64.9%. Read our full blog post about where club owners get industry news.


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Australia’s Goodlife Health Clubs Bought by Quadrant Private Equity

Australia’s Goodlife Health Clubs Bought by Quadrant Private Equity
A new holding company called Fitness and Lifestyle Group Pty Ltd (“FLG”) (funded from Quadrant Entities) has entered a binding agreement to purchase the Goodlife business in Australia. Chris Hadley, QPE executive chaiman and chairman of FLG, said, “we are delighted to join the team at Goodlife, the business fits our investment strategy of bringing together a great brand, strong management team, and culture, with industry growth opportunities. We intend to invest significant capital to further grow the business.” The acquisition by Quadrant is an exciting opportunity for Goodlife and testament to the successful business strategy led by Goodlife Health Clubs CEO, Greg Oliver, which has seen incredibly strong trends in member growth and retention over the past 18 months. Read the full press release on Goodlife Health Clubs. 

IHRSA Prepares for the 17th Annual IHRSA / Fitness Brasil in São Paulo

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. Learn everything you need to know about IHRSA / Fitness Brasil. 

McDonalds Removes Fitness Tracker Toy from Happy Meals
In recent years McDonald’s has been trying to improve its unhealthy image—especially when it comes to Happy Meals. The fast food giant has been offering more nutritious options, allowing kids to swap fries for fruit and soda for water. But the chain suffered a major setback last week when it had to recall the fitness trackers that were distributed with Happy Meals because it was causing wrist irritation, The Wall Street Journal reports. The toy tracker began appearing in Happy Meals in the U.S. and Canada on Aug. 9, and its removal from Happy Meals is voluntary, a McDonald’s spokeswoman said. “We have taken this swift and voluntary step after receiving limited reports of potential skin irritations that may be associated from wearing the band,” McDonald’s said in a statement. “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and we are fully investigating this issue. Our restaurants are now offering our youngest guests an alternative Happy Meal toy.”

Highlights from the Canfitpro World Fitness Expo

Earlier this month, IHRSA staff attended and exhibited at Canfitpro World Fitness Expo in Toronto, Canada—the largest fitness expo in Canada, attracting more than 16,000 fitness professionals, business owners, and consumers from all over the world. The Canadian Industry Forum—presented with the Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC)—featured several topical discussions, including boutique fitness studios and the advance of technology. Read our full coverage of the Canfitpro World Fitness Expo.


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Exercise is the Antidote for 5 Common Diseases

Exercise is the Antidote for 5 Common Diseases
And the benefits of exercise keep coming… Regular exercise may reduce people’s risk for five common diseases, according to a new report. Researchers analyzed 174 studies published over the last 36 years, and found that those with high levels of weekly physical activity had lower risks of getting breast cancer, colon cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. “The study findings showed the biggest benefit at 3,000 to 4,000 MET minutes a week,” WebMD reports. “A person could get 3,000 MET minutes by weaving activity into their daily routine—for example, 10 minutes of climbing stairs; 15 minutes of vacuuming; 20 minutes of gardening; 20 minutes of running; and 25 minutes of walking or cycling.” 

Study: Long-term, Intensive Training Doesn’t Damage the Heart
Is it possible to get too much exercise? In an attempt to answer the age-old question, exercise scientists studied former Olympians and other athletes to determine if years of rigorous training can irreparably injure the body and, specifically, the heart. The results are good news for athletes; “Its findings suggest that while such training can substantially change how the heart is shaped, it does not seem to cause lasting damage to the heart’s function,” reports The New York Times.    

IHRSA European Congress Registration is Now Open
You can now register for the annual IHRSA European Congress, one of the best networking opportunities for the industry in Europe. The Congress features presentations by highly respected speakers from both within and outside the industry, that focus on improving operational performance and seizing new opportunities. Attracting leaders from across Europe, the keynotes and all education sessions will be simultaneously translated into French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Over 500 pan-European leaders from the health club and fitness industry are expected to attend this year’s European Congress in Seville, Spain, 17-20 October—make sure you’re one of them! Learn more about the IHRSA European Congress.

Virtual Reality Fitness Apps Aim to Make Exercise More Exciting
Several new virtual reality (VR) fitness apps were displayed at the Virtual Reality LA Summer Expo 2016 in Los Angeles earlier this month. Blue Goji’s Goji Play essentially turns any cardio machine into a giant game controller, according to The Washington Post. It consists of two straps with buttons that wrap around the handlebars of a stationary bike, elliptical, or stepper. Combined with a VR headset and the app’s library of games, the product creates a unique exercise experience. “The VR game I tried used the Goji Play and an elliptical machine to control an antigravity racer on a futuristic neon track — quite an exhilarating, mind-bending experience,” The Post reporter wrote.


The 7 Most-read IHRSA Blog Posts in July

The summer months can be a slow time for health clubs in the Northern Hemisphere, where warmer weather drives some members to exercise outside instead of at the club. But, here at IHRSA, there’s never a dull moment—especially when it comes to delivering useful content that will benefit your business. 

Here are the seven most-read IHRSA blog posts published in July.  

  1. Small Group Training Delivers Huge Results for Health Clubs 
  2. Shape the Future of the Health Club Industry by Joining the IHRSA Board
  3. Anytime Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, GoodLife Fitness: Perennial Leaders of IHRSA's Global 25 
  4. New IHRSA Board Chair Sets Sights on Reversing the Physical Inactivity Epidemic 
  5. Leading Health Clubs Spent an Average of $90K on Fitness Equipment in ‘15
  6. Create a Five-Star Locker Room Experience with These 4 Tips 
  7. This Week in the Fitness Industry: Equinox, Life Time Fitness Create Workspaces for Members 

Check out previous months’ most-read blog posts.


Founder of Fresh Fitness and Fitness DK Launches New Innovative Chain of Clubs

REPEAT is Denmark’s newest fitness concept. The first two sites will open in Odense, the country’s third-largest city) and Copenhagen come September. 

The name “REPEAT” is a play-on-words—REPEAT is the third health club chain to be established by entrepreneur Rasmus Ingerslev. However, REPEAT, or rather repetition, is what it takes to be successful with your exercise and, according to the fitness entrepreneur Ingerslev, REPEAT will be both innovative and different from what you would normally expect of a health club. 

The team behind REPEAT from left to right: Peter Rehhoff (Portfolio Director), Rasmus Ingerslev (Chairman), Peter Modin (Business Development Director) and Hans-Henrik Sørensen (CEO).

“I have trained in various clubs for the past 28 years and worked in the health club industry for the past 18 years nationally as well as internationally,” Ingerslev said. “REPEAT will offer the best of all the experience I have gained on that journey. REPEAT will quite simply be super cool. Think of a trendy café with a raw design, industrial elements and loud music, a bit Soho-ish, rather than a traditional health club. All the specifications, including interior design and equipment, have been carefully thought through to ensure the smoothest end-user experience. It will be an environment where the young millennials and those young-at-heart will feel at home and want to train.” 

Even though both equipment and design have been carefully selected, REPEAT will in no way be an elite gym for competitive athletes. They are most welcome, but the ambition is first and foremost to create a surrounding that will engage the target group and allow them to carry out, or find their passion for exercise. 

Continue reading about REPEAT, Denmark's newest fitness concept.

Click to read more ...


The 7 Most-read IHRSA Blog Posts in June 

Each month on the IHRSA Blog we publish scores of posts aimed at helping health and fitness industry professionals improve their business, learn best practices, and keep up with relevant news.

We share each blog post across our social media channels—including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and, sometimes, Instagram—and it’s always interesting to see which topics readers engage with the most. So we thought readers might be curious, too.

Here are our top seven most-read blog posts published in June: 

  1. 11 Questions You Should Ask Every Job Candidate at Your Health Club
  2. Life Fitness President Chris Clawson Talks Acquisitions, Competition 
  3. 4 Steps to Deliver a Service Culture in Your Health Club
  4. Personal Trainer Packs Big Fitness Design Into Tiny House
  5. Two Worthy Recipients Awarded Scholarships to the IHRSA Institute
  6. Fitness Industry Leaders Tackle the ‘Big’ Questions 
  7. Learn How Jim Worthington's Leadership Style 'Walks the Talk' 

Technogym to Debut on Milan Stock Exchange on May 3

Cesena, Italy, April 21, 2016 –  Following the admission request filed to CONSOB (Italian National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange) on March 26, Technogym announced that on April 20, 2016 CONSOB approved the registration documents. 

Salhouse Holding (a vehicle of Arle Capital—a Technogym minority shareholder that owns 40% of the company capital) intends to sell 50 million shares and has granted the joint global coordinators an option to purchase up to 7.5 million additional shares under the greenshoe. The 57.5 million shares correspond to 28.75% of the total share capital of Technogym. The Alessandri family will retain the majority of 60% share capital. The price range was set at 3.00 – 3.75 € per share. 

(Photo by The Wall Street Journal.)

The offering to institutional investors will end on April 28, 2016. This morning in a press conference in Milan, Nerio Alessandri, Technogym founder and CEO, announced that the company will make debut on Milan Stock Exchange on May 3, 2016. 

“I believe that wellness represents a current economic mega-trend and a social opportunity for governments, operators, and citizens,” Nerio Alessandri said. “At Technogym we believe that our IPO will help us to strengthen and consolidate our managerial culture and to support our international growth strategy.”


This Week in the Fitness Industry: More Health Clubs Offering Meditation Classes

More Health Clubs Offering Meditation Classes
The latest gym craze: doing nothing. Well, not exactly—a growing number of health clubs are offering classes that feature meditation, due to demands from members who are looking to de-stress in a place they already frequent. The Wall Street Journal reported on several of these types of classes at fitness centers, from Antigravity Cocooning at a Crunch Gym location to HeadStrong, a forthcoming Equinox conditioning class that will invites members to “start training our brains the way we train our hearts, lungs and muscles.” “When I’m in the cocoon and I’m lying down like that, I’m here for me,” a Crunch member, who usually lifts weights or does cardio at the gym, told The Journal. “I just feel calm.” 

Report: Less than 3% of Americans Lead a ‘Healthy Lifestyle’
Less than 3% of Americans meet the basic qualifications for a “healthy lifestyle,” according to a Mayo Clinic Proceedings study, The Atlantic reports. To live a healthy lifestyle as defined by the study, one must meet four qualifications: 1) moderate or vigorous exercise for at least 150 minutes a week; 2) a diet score in the top 40% on the Healthy Eating Index; 3) a body fat percentage under 20% (for men) or 30% (for women); 4) not smoking. The study looked at data from nearly 5,000 people and found that some qualifications were more easily met than others. For example, 71.5% were non-smokers, 46.5% got enough exercise, and 37.9% had a healthy diet, but only 9.6% had what the study calls “a normal body-fat percentage.” Ultimately, only 2.7% of people met all four.

U.S. K-12 Students to Test Adidas’ New Fitness Tracker
American students may soon be testing the Zone, Adidas’ new heart-rate monitoring fitness tracker. Zone is an Adidas initiative meant to keep students active, and they’re hoping to use it to change the way the Presidential Fitness Challenge is measured; rather than asking students to run a nine-minute mile, the goal would be to keep their heart-rate in a zone that’s best suited for their health abilities. “The Zone tracker, which only monitors heart rate, allows teachers to track a student’s performance and set up workout goals based on the individual’s personal fitness levels,” Mashable reports. “In addition to giving real-time heart-rate feedback on the display, it sends all collected data via the cloud to a teacher's software portal for assessment. Over time, an educator can see how a student is progressing weekly, monthly or even a year-to-year, and can elect to email the student (and their parents) fitness updates.”

World’s Obese Population Climbs to 640 Million
The world now has more overweight than underweight people, with more than 640 million people globally weighing in as obese, Reuters reports. In the past 40 years, the number of people with a BMI over 30 has risen from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014, according to a study published in The Lancet medical journal, which involved the World Health Organization and more then 700 researchers worldwide. "The number of people across the globe whose weight poses a serious threat to their health is greater than ever before," Majid Ezzati, a professor at the school of public health at Imperial College London, told Reuters."And this epidemic of severe obesity is too extensive to be tackled with medications such as blood pressure lowering drugs or diabetes treatments alone, or with a few extra bike lanes."

CNN Rates Comparable Indoor and Outdoor Exercises on Exertion, Fun
Indoor cycling studios continue to be on-trend, but, as the weather warms up, should cyclists take their exercise outdoors? To answer that question, CNN looked at the pros and cons of similar indoor and outdoor workouts, measuring them by comparing calories burned, heart rate, likelihood of injury, and fun. They found that indoor cycling burned more calories-per-hour than outdoor (761 versus 570), indoor cycling had a higher average heart rate (140 versus 119 for outdoor), and indoor cycling had a lower risk of injury. CNN ranked both indoor and outdoor cycling equally in terms of fun-factor, but they named indoor cycling the overall winner.


IHRSA 2016 by the Numbers

Thousands of fitness industry leaders celebrated IHRSA 2016 in Orlando, March 21-24. The event showcased the newest and most innovative equipment, programs, and technology from over 400 exhibitors, reinforced the industry’s commitment to increase physical activity levels across the globe, and provided an unparalleled venue to learn, network, and exchange ideas.

“You are all doing magnificent work,” said Joe Moore, IHRSA president and CEO in his State of the Industry presentation to kick off IHRSA 2016. “The number of health club visits is going up again—this is a great trend. And everyone at this Convention—whether from clubs or companies exhibiting at the Trade Show—had a hand in making this happen. You are all helping more people get active.”

Here are some of the stand-out statistics from the four-day Convention.

Convention and Trade Show Stats 

  • Convening for IHRSA 2016 were over 10,700 industry professionals, including approximately 6,500 Convention and Trade Show attendees.
  • 81 countries were represented by this year’s Convention and Trade Show attendees.
  • The exhibit hall, with 415 exhibitors filling the 470,000 sq. ft. hall—IHRSA’s largest ever Trade Show—was alive with activity during the two-day Trade Show and early morning workouts. 

New Location, New Attendees

IHRSA 2016’s new destination of Orlando, Florida attracted many new attendees. Attendance from the Southeast increased by 380%. Attendance also increased from New England by 68%, New York and New Jersey (44%) and the Mid-Atlantic (35%), while attendance was lower from California and the Southwest. The new location also influenced travel on a global level, as attendance was up from Latin America by 19%.

Who attended: 

  • 57% of all attendees were first-time attendees
  • 30% of attendees answered that they were a facility owner
  • 37% of attendees answered that they make the final decision on equipment purchases 

IHRSA 2016 Multi-Media 

  • Audio MP3 recordings of approximately 70 IHRSA convention sessions will be available for sale later this month at Video recordings of select sessions will be added in May 2016.
  • The IHRSA Live team provided thorough coverage of the Convention through the IHRSA blog and social media accounts, including experimenting with live-streaming video on Periscope. The event hashtag—#IHRSA2016 —trended several times on Twitter throughout the Convention.   

Read the full press release recapping IHRSA 2016.


Motionsoft Hails the Arrival of Softer Software 

April 1, 2016 – Rockville, MD – In a continued effort to make its iconic software solution more user friendly, Motionsoft announced the release Friday of the world’s first soft technology software solution for the health and fitness industry, the SOFTER Soft Software line. SOFTER Soft Software or S-cube is the ultimate club management software companion for the modern front desk staffer.  

Building on industry expertise the firm has already displayed with its Plush series, Motionsoft is taking its commitment to softness all the way to the clouds—literally.  S-cube’s cloud-soft solution will be soft launched starting today.  

SOFTER Soft Software is made with patented softness, making it softer than any other software in the world.  

“You try holding a badge scanner all day,” expressed one callused staffer, stressing that a lot of the men who work at health clubs just aren’t that tough. “People are going to use SOFTER, because it’s so soft. I don’t know why they didn’t invent this thing sooner. You can feel it on the screen when you touch stuff. It’s really mind blowing.” 

Hybrid SOFTER Soft technology deployment with only the right-side of the software solution softened. 

“Our customers were asking for a softer software experience. Normally, we’d just ignore them,” expressed Clou Dsoft, director of Plush and lead developer of SOFTER Soft, adding SOFTER is really similar to dryer sheets.  “We don’t use a dryer sheet, a dryer or even do laundry at work cause we’re not allowed to do laundry at work.  Anyway, you know what I mean, right?  Basically, we stole the idea from Bounce.”

With SOFTER Soft, Motionsoft has renewed it focus on functionality and user experience. The product evolution started with clients asking the Support team about softer software. “Then they wanted ‘freshness’ but we haven’t found a developer who codes in J-Fresh,” shared Ms. Dsoft. “Gyms can smell funny sometimes so the freshness angle really played well in our focus group research.  Guess what they want now? Static control.”

About Motionsoft

Founded in 1985, Motionsoft is the leader in software and solutions for consumer-based businesses, including gyms and fitness clubs, corporate fitness facilities and, hospital and universities.  Motionsoft’s comprehensive software solutions are used by more than 2,500 innovative businesses that require technology-driven member, facility and payment processing.  Motionsoft’s software suite includes MoSo™, an enterprise software solution designed for large fitness operators and MoSoClub™, a club management software solution for small and mid-sized businesses.  Our integrated gateway for payment processing, MoSoPay™, processes $2.5 billion annually through our software offerings while supporting over 5 million gym memberships in the U.S. and Canada.  Motionsoft Full Service™ is the fitness industry’s most powerful member services and accounts receivable solution that helps clubs keep their past due members active while getting member accounts current.  Motionsoft is also the host of the annual Motionsoft Technology Summit.  You can learn more about Motionsoft by visiting

*If you know a developer who codes in J-Fresh, please make sure you smile when you say Happy April Fools’!