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Entries in Patricia Glynn (35)


Introducing: The CBI Pro Project!

By Patricia Glynn

Today, I’m inaugurating what will become a regular feature on CBI Unbound. Periodically, I’d like to share advice, recommendations, and thoughts from a variety of industry professionals, based on interviews I’ve conducted with them. I hope these “question-and-answer” posts will be both informative and instructive.

First up is Kelli Hatton. Presently, she serves as a business development consultant for Fitmarc, the regional distributor for LES MILLS in the South Central U.S. She’s also a principal in KMH Fitness Solutions, a Tampa, Florida-based firm that offers educational presentations, speaking engagements, and customized consulting services. She also teaches group fitness classes for the Tampa Metro YMCA and Lifestyle Family Fitness in Tampa. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

A colleague once told me that, to be successful, I needed to figure out what I really wanted. In other words, what did I want to be when I grew up? Then, once I answered this, I needed to figure out how to make it happen.

I’ve always been motivated to assist other people. I’d often take on projects or jobs in order to help others. But, by doing so, by focusing on their needs, I wasn’t doing much in the way of advancing my own career. Actually, all I was doing was creating a longer to-do list.

Finally, I came to a realization: I had to get clarity, and I had to focus on me. I began devoting energy toward what was important to me. It not only led to less stress, but, for the first time, I began to experience success.

Have you read a book that’s made a difference for you, either personally or professionally?

I loved Seth Godin’s book The Dip: A Little Book that Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick). I learned that, sometimes, you have to stick with things—and, sometimes, you just need to quit. It all comes down to determining whether or not what you’re doing is moving you toward your ultimate goal. So, if something isn’t working for you, quitting doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Instead, it means you’ve recognized the fruitlessness of that approach. You’re letting go of what isn’t working so you can embrace what will work.

How do you stay fit—and what helps keep you motivated to stay fit?

Group fitness has always been one of my favorite forms of exercise—it’s just so much fun! I never get bored with it. Since college, I’ve been a group instructor. And, currently, when I’m not traveling, I teach LES MILLS’ BODYPUMP and BODYFLOW classes. Additionally, in the past couple of years, I’ve found myself running and cycling a lot more.

Keeping fit is really important to me. I remain active because it’s enjoyable and because it makes me feel great. I also remain committed for my kids—I want to play and run with them, and I want to be an example for them, too. By growing up in a household where fitness is valued and practiced, I believe they’re far more likely to remain healthy and active as they grow older.

Why do you work in the fitness industry?  

Helping people improve their lives is important to me, and I’ve always wanted to work in an industry where I’d be able to make a difference. And my aim was to find a position that would allow me to marry my love for fitness with my professional skills. In my present role in business development for Fitmarc, I’ve been able to do exactly that.

I consult with club owners and managers, assisting them in a variety of ways, including helping them identify strategies to enhance member relations, and to efficiently market and grow their business. Partnering with Fitmarc has allowed me to use my skills to introduce fitness to more people. It’s a unique chance and has meant that I’ve been able to positively influence far more people than would otherwise have been possible.



4th Grade Teacher ‘Partners with Peter’ 

By Patricia Glynn

Last week turned out to be an especially good one for Charlice Noble-Jones, a fourth-grade teacher from Albany, Georgia. In June, Noble-Jones, a widow and survivor of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, had entered the Partner with Peter competition sponsored by Snap Fitness, the Chanhassen, Minnesota-based fitness-franchise company.

On Friday, Noble-Jones learned that she’d won the grand prize.

She’ll receive a single franchise location, standard equipment for an average-sized club, security deposit for facility leasing, a $20,000 working-capital allowance, training at Snap headquarters, site selection help, and a dedicated account manager.

The aspiring 35-year-old entrepreneur was one of some 2,000 individuals who entered the contest, which was created by Peter Taunton, the founder and CEO of Snap. Noble-Jones stood out from the competition not only because she was one of the most promising, but also because she seemed one of the most deserving.

In her entry, she enumerated her qualifications and explained why she so passionately wanted to own a Snap Fitness franchise. After losing her husband to cancer, and after nearly losing her own life in the World Trade Center attack, she believed that winning would be the answer to her prayers: “I’ve been a widow and a single parent for three years. I want to own a franchise because of my why—my seven-year-old son, Preston. I pray daily for the opportunity and the strength to make a better life for us. If I win, I’ll finally feel I can exhale.”

Her presentation convinced Taunton that she was the right partner for his company. “I have no doubt that she’s going to become incredibly successful,” he says. “Her positive attitude, strong work ethic, and entrepreneurial spirit are what I love to see in a franchise owner.” Taunton himself will serve as her mentor and work with her, one-on-one, as her new club gets up and running.

Noble-Jones, for her part, admits that winning feels “Just amazing!

“I’ve always wanted to own my own business in the fitness industry,” she tells CBI Unbound. “To win a Snap Fitness franchise and partner with one of the best businessmen in the world is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I feel that I'm about to live the life I was born to live. I'm extremely proud to be a member of the Snap Fitness franchise family.”

Snap Fitness currently has facilities in all 48 states, as well as in Canada, Mexico, the U.K., India, and Australia.


Women in Zen with Yoga

By Patricia Glynn

Perhaps you think your membership wants yoga.

This might seem to be true, especially given there are upwards of twenty million participants in just the United States alone. But the reality is that it goes far deeper.

As illustrated by a new film, Yogawoman, clients don’t simply want yoga. They need it.

Mentioned in the August issue of CBI magazine, and scheduled to premier in various major cities next month, this wellness-centric documentary, narrated by actress and yoga devotee Annette Bening, is a two-hour long exploration of how women (who comprise 85% of yoga practitioners), in particular, have transformed, and been transformed by, this ancient tradition.

The film cites modern day stressors and a global body-image crisis as the impetus for women embracing the practice. Women, the filmmakers and its featured experts agree, are finding themselves overwhelmed by career and family concerns. Further, the film mentions alarming statistics - 90% of the female population, for instance, is dissatisfied with their appearance. One solution to these woes, as the film goes on to show us, is yoga.

And so we traverse from the hip studios of New York to the slums of Kenya, from hospitals to prisons, all the while watching a multitude of women nurture, and be nurtured by yoga.

According to one of the filmmakers, Kate Clere McIntyre, the relevancy of this project for our own industry becomes quickly apparent: “With yoga, you’ll find you’re able to keep clients loyal for many years. It’s a viable way of bringing them through many emotional pressures and the multitasking nature that is modern-day life.”

McIntyre notes that "in making Yogawoman, we spoke to scientists, doctors, teachers, yoga experts, and women off the street, all of whom shared the health and life benefits of yoga. Doctors, as one example, are advising yoga as a treatment for their patients, thus embedding it into mainstream medicine. Additionally, from the major football leagues to ballet companies, from runners to rock stars, people of all ages now practice yoga to enhance their fitness.

“Fitness industry pros need to understand its many benefits so they can be at the top of their game. Yoga is a multi-billion dollar industry and it promises to only keep growing.”

Kate Holcombe, a yoga teacher, as well as the founder and president of Healing Yoga Foundation (HYF) in San Francisco, California, was interviewed for the film and she offers what is perhaps an apt, succinct conclusion: “This yoga stuff actually works,” she laughingly proclaims. “Who knew!?”

In the end, Yogawoman urges us to unroll our mats so as to change our lives. It reminds us to “never underestimate the power of inner peace.” And it proves that down dog can, if you let it, turn your entire world upside down. 



CBI magazine EXTRA!

By Patricia Glynn

“To accept good advice is but to increase one’s own ability.”

Those who partook in any of the 140 seminars, panels, workshops, and educational sessions this past March at IHRSA’s 30th Anniversary International Convention and Trade Show in San Francisco can attest to the validity of this statement, attributable to German philosopher and playwright Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

If you weren’t able to attend, you’ll surely want to review the latest issue of CBI magazine, as it contains, in the multi-page recap, “IHRSA30 Celebrates & Demonstrates Industry Excellence,” some of the most valuable lessons from the event.

Of course, due to space limitations, we weren’t able to include everything in the print version. And so here I offer you some more standout suggestions from that educational week:

Ask an Industry Leader: Extending Your Marketing Arm and Engaging Your Membership through Social Media - Moderated by Justin Tamsett, Steve Groves, Karen Jashinsky, and Christine Thalwitz

Use social media to give potential members a comprehensive, interactive look inside your facility. Including a ‘virtual tour’ can make the experience especially vibrant.

Users may post complaints, but don’t let the risk of negative feedback dissuade you from engaging on social media networks. Instead, address negative issues as quickly as they crop up.

If you elect to resolve an issue offline, be sure you still respond to it online, as other followers will note, and appreciate, your proactive management of the situation.

Watch and learn. Be on the lookout for companies who are excelling and innovating with social media platforms. And look beyond fitness-centric businesses—consider all industries.

The Digital Medium - The Technology is Here for Club Communications . . . Where Are You? – Presented by Bryan Andrus

Flat-panel TVs, when used instead of bulletin boards, allow you to “show and tell.” Thus, messages can, and should, include both text and motion.

Members are more media- and tech-savvy than ever, so expectations for digital advancements throughout the club environment are increasing.

Digital messaging can reduce paper costs; allows for an enhanced member experience; and can elevate the public perception of the club—clients will view the facility as more sophisticated.

Keep messages: 

Relevant—they should be useful to the member

Respectful—don’t try to sell something with every post

Rewarding—tell your members something interesting they may not already know

Short—be concise, as members don’t have time to absorb lengthy content; also, too much text can clutter the screen and reduce readability

Varied—update information regularly and include diverse content.


Turning No into NOW!

By Patricia Glynn

When I first stepped onto a plane this past March, bound for IHRSA’s 30th Anniversary International Convention and Trade Show in San Francisco, I never imagined that, just a few days later, I’d be contemplating what my deathbed regrets might someday be.

Yet, later in the week, there I was, at a special networking luncheon, as Phil Keoghan of CBS’s The Amazing Race asked me to do exactly that. “Think about what you’d regret if you died tomorrow,” he prompted.

Keoghan, one of the convention’s keynote speakers, asked luncheon attendees to split up into pairs to discuss our dreams, the obstacles we believe are keeping us from realizing them, and the ways in which we can overcome these seemingly insurmountable barriers.

We explored ways in which we might live—really live. We talked about how we should, and could, stop waiting for “someday” to arrive. As Keoghan mingled with guests, he encouraged us to live “NOW,” an acronym Keoghan uses to express his philosophy: “No Opportunity Wasted.”

Throughout the afternoon, we listed our goals and, more importantly, agreed to let go of the excuses that were keeping us from achieving them. Our justifications, Keoghan emphasized, are usually only in our mind. For instance, we only think we don’t have time. But as the old English proverb rightfully reminds us, if we have the will, we really can find a way (and a few extra minutes in our day, if need be).

Our industry, for example, is filled with people who imagined something more for themselves and who made their dreams come true. They have, among other things, launched businesses, created innovative products and programs, and written best-selling books. Many of these risk-takers have been featured in CBI magazine.

Keoghan’s message to the industry: No more excuses! Our dreams, be they big or small, can become reality. We must release our objections and just go for it. We need to live passionately, rather than in a state of perpetual procrastination.

So stop thinking you can’t ever realize your dreams. Instead, spend your energy on figuring out how you can make them become your “new normal.” Do new things and never stop reinventing yourself. And, remember, life is short—so be sure to live to the fullest each and every day. Live “NOW.”

And be on the lookout for the June issue of CBI magazine for more on the annual trade show and convention. 


A Superstar is Born

By Patricia Glynn

How do you find a group instructor who can teach a safe, effective class, and simultaneously make it a “wow” experience for your members? What can you do to turn your current team of “OK” teachers into true superstars who will literally have clients lining up to take classes?

If you’ve been asking yourself these questions, you’re not alone. In fact, just the other day, I spoke with a studio operator who was actually on the verge of dissolving her group fitness department—she was having that much trouble assembling and developing a team of instructors whom she felt would satisfy her discerning membership. Kimberly Spreen

So what’s the answer? Coincidentally, in this month’s issue of CBI magazine, in the column titled “Developing 5-Star Instructors,” I write about a potential solution.

I spoke with two leading industry pros: Kimberly Spreen, national director of group fitness and yoga for Chanhassen, Minnesota-based Life Time Fitness, and Rob Glick, part of the creative team for Total Gym’s GRAVITY System in San Diego. With years of experience working and teaching in clubs, each has firsthand knowledge of this widespread problem.

As Glick notes, many instructors “go through a theoretical certification and then just jump right into teaching without having honed the skills that will allow them to make their classes a great and magical experience.

Rather than throw up their hands in defeat, the two proactively began researching possible fixes. After months of concerted effort, they formulated a unique educational opportunity dubbed the 5-Star Instructor Development Training Workshop, or “The Star Within.”

Spreen describes it as “an opportunity for continued growth and improvement.” And Glick points out, “This program is really for everybody—anyone who wants to build and grow their business,” he says.Rob Glick

Further, Spreen observes, there are benefits beyond simply increasing member satisfaction: by offering this class to your staff, she explains, “you’re also creating dedicated employees. Anytime you provide education for someone who works for you, they’re going to be considerably more committed to you.”

The course covers: how to connect with members through eye contact; how to offer positive reinforcement; developing confidence in front of an audience; selection of appropriate music; how to end the class on time; how to confer education via sound bites; guidelines for pre-class practice; how to keep the class engaged and entertained from beginning to end; how to leave your inhibitions outside the studio; and how to be creative and show the group a good time while remaining true to who you are.

Ultimately, says Spreen, “The course is about getting more people exercising. That’s our big mission: getting—and keeping—people involved.” Glick adds: “When you create a strong team, create a strong brand of people, you’re better able to build a loyal following."

For more details on this innovative training program, be sure to check out the May issue of CBI, available online and in your mailbox.



Mind and Body Wellness at Vail Athletic Club

By Patricia Glynn

Nowadays, it seems nearly everyone, young and old alike, has taken to practicing yoga. 

It has essentially become ubiquitous. And the pages of CBI magazine offer further evidence—next month, in the May issue, I provide an in-depth look at how Colorado’s Vail Athletic Club (VAC) has incorporated this very popular workout into its group fitness lineup and how it has, in the past several years, grown participation by an astounding 74%. 

The VAC treatment

Of course, you’ll find a lot more than just yoga at this 18,000-square-foot full-service facility, which is part of the larger Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa. Another equally notable feature, one that’s expected to experience equally significant growth in the coming years, is The Longevity Center. Launched in January of 2010, the center is home to the area’s first comprehensive wellness program. It’s here that members, along with the general public, are given an opportunity to learn from, and be treated by, a team of renowned medical, nutritional, and spiritual experts.

From individual diagnostics, to guided, intensive regimens, to group retreat programs and workshops, The Longevity Center is the VAC’s way, says spa director Lisa DeKoster, to “give clients more.” In this case, “more” equates to such options as nutritional consultations, hormone treatment, chiropractic adjustments, assistance with stress-reduction, and extensive blood work analysis.

“More” also means offering education. There are, for example, a series of fee-based sessions. Conducted throughout the year, and lasting for several days, these “intensives,” as they’re called, incorporate lectures, fitness, meditation, healthy eating, and other wellness-related events. Each is kept small, with about eight to ten participants, to make the experience more personalized. And each, DeKoster notes, can be “a significant source of profit.”

Lisa DeKoster, Spa Director

Then, too, there are the complimentary talks. They’re held at least once a month, and attract upwards of 50 people; recent topics have ranged from a look at sports nutrition to insights into spine health. DeKoster emphasizes that “the ultimate goal is to educate.” Nevertheless, attendees usually find their interest piqued and will subsequently seek treatment at the center. And so these “free” lectures become yet another source of revenue, albeit an indirect one. “Out of a lecture,” she reveals, “we typically get at least three or four people signing up for services at the center.”

In the future, DeKoster expects interest in mind/body wellness to increase substantially. After all, she says, people are more stressed than ever. They’re also finding it difficult to afford medical care and medical insurance. “People want—and need—alternatives, which is why, in just over a year, we’ve had great success with this. And I expect we’ll receive a lot more recognition in years to come.”  

Felix leads a meditation class at VAC

The Longevity Center has been an ideal fit for the VAC. Participants, as well as staff, have found tremendous value in the program. Dekoster herself acknowledges that she “loves watching people have transformational experiences.” And she believes other wellness professionals will also appreciate the many rewards that this sort of programming addition can confer. She points out: “It’s what our industry is really about; it’s our mission, and we’re driven to help people be well.”



IHRSA30: Like Being a Kid in the Coolest Candy Store!

By Patricia Glynn

If you missed IHRSA’s 30th Anniversary International Convention and Trade Show in San Francisco this past week, you missed a lot!

There were dynamic speakers discussing relevant, timely topics. There were lively special events, including lunch with Phil Keoghan of CBS’ The Amazing Race. And then, of course, there was the trade show, which was especially inspiring and invigorating. It seemed, no matter which way you turned, that there were many wondrous sights to behold—some expected and some very unexpected.

As I browsed the booths, feeling like a kid in the coolest candy store in town, I saw lean-bodied runners sprinting on treadmills and well-muscled ladies and gents hoisting heavy objects. I saw dancing, Spinning, bouncing, Kranking, and stretching. I saw tried-and-true products alongside the newest and hottest creations. I saw people bouncing as if they were kangaroos, and people relaxing as they were gently massaged.

Then, too, I saw stuff that really captured my attention like a woman dressed as an orange and an attendee perched atop a mechanical horse, a shotgun in hand as she aimed at onscreen prey. There was plenty to bring a smile to one’s face.

But I didn’t just view the sights. I also dove in and sampled the wares. For instance, I muscled up at the TRX booth (an absolutely fun, functional workout!) and then I shook things up over at the Power Plate booth (it was a workout and massage all at the same time!). I also sampled some wickedly delicious protein snacks (yum!) and very tasty beverages.

As I browsed, enjoying these sights, sounds, and tastes, I had a chance to chat with attendees who had flown in from around the world to celebrate IHRSA’s 30th anniversary in person. Everyone I met was very enthusiastic and assured me they were having a really great time. I also spoke to a charming man who told me about an upcoming product—all I can say for now is that I never thought I would use the word “cool” and “towel” in the same sentence. Stay tuned!

Overall, it was a simply fantastic experience. And if you weren’t there in person, weren’t able to hear the invigorating music, see the amazing new products, and feel the incredible energy, then maybe you’ll consider joining us next year. Actually, don’t consider it—just go! It’s a great time and I know you’ll find it to be a truly unforgettable experience! 

For a comprehensive recap of IHRSA’s 30th Anniversary International Convention and Trade Show, click here.


See Them in San Francisco!

By Jennifer H. McInerney

In just a few days, our industry will converge on San Francisco for IHRSA’s 30th Anniversary International Convention and Trade Show.

We’ll be sending Patricia Amend and Patricia Glynn, two of our esteemed reporters, so be sure to keep an eye out for them as they immerse themselves in the extensive array of educational sessions and scour the trade show floor for the latest innovations.

For those of you who’ve never met our lovely Patricias, please allow me to make the introductions:

Ms. Amend has been involved in the industry for 20 years and has been to several IHRSA conventions throughout her career.

“As someone with a business background who has produced more than 700 articles for CBI, I’ll be looking to see what clubs, associate members, and various speakers have to say about the economy, club performance, public policy, how this recession may have fundamentally changed the industry, if it has, and what lies ahead,” explains Patricia Amend.

“In addition, I look forward to hearing what featured speakers Daniel Pink, Patrick Lencioni, Tony Hsieh, and Phil Keoghan have to say, as I’ve always walked away from these types of presentations with a slightly new outlook.    

“I’ll also be looking to connect with new clubs and new associates we’ve not heard from before, who will help to lead the industry into the future.”

Ms. Glynn, an associate editor for CBI for the past seven years, is making her first visit to IHRSA’s biggest event.

“I am very excited, to say the least,” Patricia Glynn enthuses. “I expect to be wowed—IHRSA’s members never fail in that! I also expect to be inspired by all the incredible content that will be presented.”

She’s been busy familiarizing herself with the lineup of convention speakers and trade show vendors so she won’t miss a moment of IHRSA30.

“Simply put, there’s going to be so much to see! So much to do! So much to learn! So very much to celebrate!”

We’re looking forward to getting both of their unique perspectives on the convention and trade show—and the best part is, we won’t have to wait much longer! They’ll be sending us live updates from San Francisco, so stay tuned to CBI Unbound.


The Importance of Certification and Ongoing Training

By Patricia Glynn

As an industry professional, you’re probably familiar with all of the different certification and education agencies—groups such as The IDEA Health and Fitness Association (IDEA), The American Council on Exercise (ACE), SCW Fitness Education, and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), among many others. 

However, what you may not know is that many of these organizations offer products, services, and opportunities that extend well beyond their basic educational purview—some are wholly unexpected and might just surprise you. To find out of the details, check out “More Answers to Industry Needs!” in this month’s issue of CBI magazine, available online or in your mailbox.

And since we’re on the topic of education, I thought I’d relate an experience I had a short time ago while taking group fitness classes at a local health club. I believe it really highlights the need for, and the importance of, both certification and ongoing learning.

Group fitness classes have long been a favorite activity of mine. I find them, overall, to be fun and inspiring. So needless to say, when I recently entered the group-cycling studio of an area facility, I had high hopes that I’d experience an exhilarating workout.

I arrived early for the class, my first one at this particular club, eager to select the ideal bike and begin warming up. Soon, a fit young lady arrived and, as the music began playing, the class commenced. I was geared up for a great ride. Unfortunately, it was anything but.

During our ride, we ran through a number of moves I wasn’t familiar with and hadn’t ever encountered, despite having taken this type of course many times in other clubs. And while I can appreciate creativity, some of what this instructor was suggesting seemed remarkably dangerous. I feared that I, or one of my fellow riders, might be injured. My alarm was such that, after the class finished, I waited patiently to have a word with the instructor. I expressed my concern and inquired about her training. As I’d suspected, she’d not taken the time to obtain a certification. Further, she was shockingly well aware that her routine included multiple contraindicated exercises. I was completely dismayed—not only by her apparent lack of concern for her students, but also because she was, of all things, the manager for the entire group fitness department.

Overall, I was disappointed. I felt my safety had been comprised. And the class, as a whole, had been lackluster.

But I didn’t give up hope just yet. 

Expecting I might get a better workout in a different class, I opted, on a separate occasion, to try another offering at this same club: a Pilates mat session. Sadly, it proved equally disappointing and unsafe. The instructor was obviously woefully undertrained. Following the class, I chatted with a fellow participant who held the same opinion and who, like me, planned to never return.

I can’t speak to why this club had chosen to neglect staff education. What I can say is that I do understand the process requires a financial output and can place demands on time. Actually, I am quite familiar with all of the requirements—you know me as an associate editor for CBI, but I’ve also, since 1999, worked in a number of health clubs. I have, over the years, acquired a number of certifications and have participated in multiple continuing-education courses.

I know, and appreciate, the demands. But I also know the payoff—and unfortunately, too, the fallout from forgoing education.

So now, I urge you to assess your own team:

  • Are your staff certified and educated?

  • Are they continuing to develop their skills?

  • Are you giving your members an excellent experience or, alternatively, are you possibly risking their safety while offering mediocre programming? 

You’ve probably already guessed that I won’t be attending any more group exercise classes at the aforementioned club. Nor will I be recommending them; in fact, I’ve actually expressed my disappointment to area friends and family. It’s not the sort of word-of-mouth advertising you want. 

I encourage you, instead, to learn and grow. I recommend you take full advantage of all that our industry offers in terms of education. Become a leader. Be an innovator. Your members will thank you.