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Entries in Rasmus Ingerslev (31)


Fit to Lead: Danish Prime Minister’s Running Meetings Set the Bar for World Leaders

On a rainy Monday in April, eight people ran about three miles around a lake near Marienborg, the official residence of Denmark's prime minister. But this was no ordinary jogging group. 

Seven of the runners were leaders and influencers from a variety of industries, from television to the corporate world. The eighth runner—and the person who called the meeting—was Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen himself.

Continue reading "Fit to Lead: Danish Prime Minister’s Running Meetings Set the Bar for World Leaders."

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3 Tangible Ways Cloud Computing Can Benefit Your Health Club

You don't need to be an aerospace engineer to appreciate air travel—and you don't need to be an IT expert to grasp the possibilities of the cloud at your health club. Here are three examples of how cloud technology can boost your bottom line.

1. It makes basic functions like renewals, class signups, and member purchases more efficient and cost-effective.

Continue reading "3 Tangible Ways Cloud Computing Can Benefit Your Health Club."

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IHRSA 2017 Day 3 in Photos

Rasmus Ingerslev Leads Annual Meeting

Outgoing IHRSA Board Chair Rasmus Ingerslev kicked off day three by leading IHRSA's Annual Meeting.


FITNESS SF Wins Community Service Award

FITNESS SF, an IHRSA member for more than 16 years, won The Outstanding Community Service Award, which is presented to an IHRSA member that has made a longstanding commitment to making a difference in, and beyond, their community.


Johnny “Cupcakes” Inspires Brand Loyalty

Johnny Earle, branding expert and founder of Johnny Cupcakes, shared tips for viral business success in his keynote presentation, sponsored by Matrix Fitness.

Trade Show Day 2

There's never a dull moment on the Trade Show floor!


Johnny Earle VIP Session 

Johnny "Cupcakes" Earle spoke to ILC members during a VIP session following his keynote presentation. 


Cool to see @tamrajudge and @eddiejudge outside the #IHRSA2017 Live studio!

A post shared by IHRSA (@ihrsa) on Mar 10, 2017 at 10:58am PST

Spotted at IHRSA Live

Real Housewife of Orange County Tamra Judge and her husband Eddie posed for a photo outside of the IHRSA Live studio.


21st Annual Financial Panel

Rick Caro, president of Management Vision, Inc., and former IHRSA board president, and other expert panelists shared their insights during the 20th Annual IHRSA Financial Panel.


Health Clubs Must Balance Technology with the Human Touch

The following was written by IHRSA Board Chair Rasmus Ingerslev.

No doubt, our products, services, and business models will have to evolve to remain relevant. So what will these changes mean regarding our role—since we’re the flesh-and-blood part of the industry?

To illustrate the answer to that question, let me share this heavily tech-supported customer experience from a different industry: On Saturday, I pull in for service for my car. A camera shoots a photo of my plate, and a text is sent to my phone welcoming me to the store. Messages are relayed to my service advisor and sales advisor. My name pops up on a huge welcome display. The valet personally greets me.

(source: Instagram)

Technology is being used to make a customer feel loyal and special, and to create sales opportunities. This scenario is fairly easy to translate into a member’s visit to your club. Technology takes care of the “moment of truth”—the first impression—and a staff member takes over from there.
 But what kind of value, exactly, can that person add?

The human touch!

Bear in mind, however, that the bar has been set high by flawless digital solutions, so just any human touch won’t do. It should reflect empathy and social intelligence.

Technology—in this case, artificial intelligence—can’t navigate and negotiate complex social relationships and environments, which is the definition of social intelligence. Nor can it understand, or feel, what another person is experiencing. It has no human frame of reference; it can’t place itself in another person’s position.

In other words, it has no empathy.

My conclusion: We’ll continue to need the human touch to make the most of any kind of digital system. It truly is the other side of the equation.

My advice: Sharpen your focus on hiring staff who are very empathic and highly socially intelligent. Those staff members are the perfect human extension of any business system, and will continue to be relevant when other functions are digitized.

If we play this right, and maximize the leverage of digital and human capacity, then we’ll have enormous growth opportunities ahead of us. 


IHRSA's 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2016

2016 has been an eventful year for IHRSA and the fitness industry. We opened a European office to better serve our members, launched our Club Business Exchange, held yet another successful IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show, and published a number of in-depth research reports.

So it comes as no surprise that much of those ongoings—and more—are reflected in our most-read blog posts from the past 12 months. See for yourself...

10. Personal Trainer Packs Big Fitness Design Into Tiny House

Our tenth most-read blog post of 2016 made a big splash by featuring a tiny home. We spoke to Mike De Vivo, a Corporate Fitness Works personal trainer, whose a fitness-themed, 330-square-foot house was featured on HGTV.    

Continue reading "IHRSA's 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2016."

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How IMAXShift and Peloton Are Disrupting Indoor Cycling

The following was written by IHRSA Board Chair Rasmus Ingerslev.

On a recent trip to New York City, two companies made an impression on me. One in a different industry is using its technology to create a unique fitness experience. The other, a cycling startup that streams its content, is reaching beyond physical walls, with global scale as its reward.

My first stop was IMAXShift, which is basically a cinema with a 40' x 24' screen and bikes rather than theater seats. The instructor was talented, the bikes and their individual data screens worked flawlessly, and the huge screen with its tailored content was an overwhelming experience.

Unique as the class was, the thing that fascinated me most was that IMAX is using its knowledge of cinema to create an exercise offering that’s been earning five-star reviews on Facebook. It’s innovative, and consumers like it.

Continue reading "How IMAXShift and Peloton Are Disrupting Indoor Cycling."

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What's the Game-changer the Fitness Industry Isn't Seeing?

The following was written by IHRSA Board Chair Rasmus Ingerslev.

Recently, I had a very inspiring conversation with the CEO of one of Europe’s leading health club groups, someone I consider to be a thought leader. He posed a very interesting and highly relevant question for discussion: “What’s the one thing we’re not seeing?”

He was referring to the fact that he’s running one of the largest club groups in Europe, yet no one gave a thought to its new business model when they first entered the market—high-volume/low-priced (HV/LP).

The fact is, HV/LP has changed the fitness landscape significantly; it’s grown markets and shifted market share. Those who didn’t foresee this and failed to adapt their business to it probably had a difficult time. With this in mind, this CEO wanted to understand what he and others might not be seeing now.

My answer was, and is, the impact of technology. At best, I think we’re underestimating the effect that fast-paced developments in technology will have on our industry. The worst case: We’re not recognizing it at all.

When Pokemon Go, an app that uses augmented reality to make people physically active, attracted more than 75 million users this summer, this was a very clear sign to me. We’ve spent decades building our industry to 150 million people, and Pokemon Go reached 50% of that within weeks. This was possible because technology has a scalability that’s unparalleled when compared to typical brick-and-mortar clubs.

Often, when trying to predict the future, our assumptions are based on a constant. In my view, our industry’s constant is that “people have to go to the gym to get their workout.”

Ironically, I believe the only constant we have is change. Even today, people don’t have to go to the gym to get a guided fitness experience. Like Pokemon Go, we’ll see more new fitness options using augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and other key technologies that will enable out-of-club workouts.

This development can be a threat or an opportunity; it’s up to each of us to decide. If you don’t adapt, there’s a risk that you’ll be in the same position as the operators who didn’t see the impact of HV/LP. However, if you embrace the possibilities that technology offers, you’ll have the opportunity to grow your business—and our industry—to reach new heights.


Calling IHRSA Members Dedicated to Fitness Innovation and Technology

Are you an IHRSA member who recognizes the increasing significance and impact of technology in the global health and fitness club industry? 

If you answered ‘yes,’ we need your insight! 

IHRSA’s New Innovation & Technology Advisory Council 

We’re creating an advisory council on technology and innovation in order to ensure that IHRSA members have the necessary information and resources they need to capitalize on innovation and technology trends in their businesses. 

“Technology is changing the customer journey and the perception of brands,” says Rasmus Ingerslev, chair of IHRSA board of directors. “The next 20 years of technological development will match the last 100 years. The health club industry’s traditional four walls are being affected by wearables, tracking, streaming, and online exercise. This doesn’t mean the health club industry can’t compete, just that the industry must stay alert and up-to-date on these trends to become and remain relevant.” 

Objectives of the council include: 

  • Aligning the industry with vetted technology oriented companies, organizations, and key influencers to leverage information and experience.
  • Capturing and interpreting the articulated and unarticulated needs of the industry’s current and future customers relating to technology and innovation.
  • Educating IHRSA members on the current innovation and technology landscape to aid them in making sound innovation and technology decisions.
  • Establishing IHRSA as a credible source of knowledge on the future of technology in—and relating to—the health and fitness industry.
  • Helping IHRSA and IHRSA members improve, expand, and enhance their current products and service offerings.
  • Exploring visionary strategic partnership opportunities for IHRSA.

Interested? Here Are the Details: 

The new council, which will meet three times per year—in person at IHRSA’s 36th Annual International Convention & Trade Show in March and during two virtual meetings—will consist of 10-16 members appointed by IHRSA. 

Council members will serve for a two-year term, with an additional term at IHRSA’s discretion. New council members will be recruited regularly in order to ensure a diversity of experience (e.g. non-industry indigenous companies, technology thought leaders, IHRSA membership types, etc.). 

IHRSA members were invited to apply for the council on our website by November 18. We’ll announce the inaugural council members prior to IHRSA 2017—taking place March 8-11, 2017, in Los Angeles, CA.


Health Clubs Should Focus on 'Being Our Best'—Not Competitors

by Rasmus Ingerslev, IHRSA board chair

In a fast-changing marketplace, competition can seem fierce, and adapting quickly enough is challenging. But, although change and increased competition are important, unavoidable parts of the game, it all starts with you.

I have an elite sports background. I used to compete on the Danish National Karate Team. In those days, weekends most often meant competition somewhere in the world. I’d have a day of travel, I’d make sure to fuel up, and I’d settle in at the hotel. On competition day, all the acquired skills and years of hard work were put to the test. You won or you lost. Both meant going back to the dojo—a karate term for a gym—and putting in more hard work to do better. If you didn’t strive for improvement, you’d automatically do worse, as the general level of competition continually rose.

Our industry is similar in that there’s constant change and improvement. That’s how we’ve managed to grow. However, it means that, if you do the same next year as you’re doing today, you’ll do worse. You must work to do better.

In retrospect, I never trained and competed to be better than anybody else. I did it to discover the best version of me.

Now that I’ve reentered club operations by launching my third club group, several journalists have written that I’m starting a “fitness war.” Obviously, we didn’t enter the market to compete with our colleagues in the industry. That wasn’t our vision during the many months of conceptual work. Our focus has been fully on creating the best possible gym experience for a certain demographic. We’re striving to be the best version of us, because that’s how we believe we can deliver the most value—and make a difference.

When challenged, it’s easy to start looking intensely at your challenger. However, it’s my belief that most of us gain much more by focusing on being our best, rather than on beating the competition.

I’m not saying that you should be blind to changes in consumer behavior, your strategic positioning, value proposition, etc., vs. those of other operators. I’m merely saying that, if you constantly have your eyes on someone else, it’s easy to lose perspective on the one thing that can really make a difference: being the best version of you.


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Rasmus Ingerslev Featured on Fitness Business Podcast

Rasmus Ingerslev Featured on Fitness Business Podcast
IHRSA Board Chair Rasmus Ingerslev was the featured guest on the latest Fitness Business Podcast in an episode called, “Club Landscape for The Future and Understanding Millennials.” Ingerslev, who also serves as the chair of REPEAT and the executive vice chairman of Wexer Virtual, spoke on a range of topics from hurdles on his road to success to three tips to strengthen your health club business. “The life of an entrepreneur and a pioneer is never an easy one, but for the true entrepreneur it’s the life you have to lead," Ingerslev said. “You simply can’t help exploring what you believe strongly in.” 

IHRSA Announces Fourth IHRSA 2017 Keynote Speaker
Soraya Darabi, co-founder of Zady, a clothing and consumer goods e-commerce company, will be joining three other dynamic keynote speakers at IHRSA 2017, March 8-11 in Los Angeles. Darabi has her finger firmly on the pulse of today’s constantly-changing media landscape. As a leader in next-generation digital communications and e-commerce over the past decade, Darabi has helped numerous brands and companies of all sizes anticipate, understand, and maximize emerging digital trends. Read our full announcement about Soraya Darabi and her keynote presentation.

Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago Ranked Most Active Cities in U.S.
Boston—home of IHRSA headquarters—nabbed the top spot in a new report’s list of the most active cities in America, according to CNN. San Francisco and Chicago landed the second and third spots, respectively. The report, which is part of the Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being Series, assigned 48 medium and large cities an "Active Living" score based on factors such as walkability, bike-ability, the quality of the public transit system, and availability of well-maintained parks. According to CNN, “the residents of the top five cities have significantly lower rates, on average, of a handful of diseases (from diabetes to high cholesterol to depression) compared to people living in cities with low scores. They also have higher rates of exercise and eat more fresh produce.”

IHRSA European Congress Wraps Up in Seville

Hundreds of fitness industry professionals from dozens of countries attended the IHRSA European Congress in Seville, Spain, this week. The four-day event was packed with education sessions, networking events, leading equipment and service providers, and, of course, an A-list crowd. For those who couldn't join us, we compiled some photo highlights from the event.  Stay tuned for more information on the 2017 IHRSA European Congress in London!