The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.



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Entries in technology (23)


How Better Software—and Better Data—Can Take Your Fitness Business to the Next Level

This is an IHRSA featured post, brought to you by ASF Payment Solutions.

Disruption is overrated. After years of tech start-ups trying to transform business models to create sleeker, more efficient markets—and building up huge losses along the way—investors are learning that sometimes it’s better to simply upgrade the technology you already use than to break everything and start over.

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Are You Taking Full Advantage of Your Gym’s CRM Software?

As you well know, operating a health club calls for managing a long list of functions, including human resources, finance, programming, equipment facilities … and members.

Yes, your members need managing, just like every other aspect of your business.

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Why So Many Tech Solutions Fall Short in the Health Club Sector 

This is an IHRSA featured post, brought to you by Virtuagym.

Teamwork—it’s one of the bedrock principles of business success, and crucial for health clubs to thrive. But the value of a cohesive unit, all horses pulling at once, isn’t limited to the human element.

When businesses outsource digital services to third parties, they often need to recruit multiple partners to serve all of their needs. Health clubs need technology to manage not just financial tasks, such as membership dues and point-of-sale transactions, but also daily club activities like class schedules and online coaching.

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Opinion: Health Clubs Must Weave Technology into the Fabric of Member Journeys

by Carrie Kepple, IHRSA Board member and club manager for Les Mills Newmarket in Auckland, New Zealand 

How will technology fit into fitness clubs? Creating clarity out of confusion is key.

There is one thing for certain that I believe all health club operators can agree on—it’s confusing to know what technologies we should be incorporating in our club businesses.

The Chaos of Tech Options

There are so many tech options available in the big, bad world of business-to-consumer industries that we don’t know what to choose for our own businesses to enhance the member journey. 

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Consider Applying the Decluttering Movement Ethos to Your Club’s Data

This is an IHRSA featured post, brought to you by InTouch Technology

Lifestyle trends tend to be cyclical and short-lived, so it’s rare to see a genuine movement take on a life of its own like today’s preoccupation with “decluttering”: the process of discarding material objects to create a more pleasing living environment.

The most famous advocate is Marie Kondo, a Japanese-born author of several books about “the life-changing magic of tidying up.” She prescribes an almost spiritual approach to a less-is-more ethic by discarding the objects in your house that don’t spark joy or inspiration.

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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.

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IHRSA’s 5 Top Fitness Tech Posts of 2016

Back in December, we looked at our overall most-read blog posts of 2016, which provided some interesting insights about the news and topics that dominated the past year.

One common thread that seemed to be present in most of the stories was technology. So we decided to dig a little deeper into our analytics and pull out our five most-read tech-related blog posts from the past 12 months. 

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How to Go from Madness to Mindfulness in Record Time 

This is an IHRSA featured post, brought to you by SportsArt.

Have you noticed that the same old objects we’ve had for decades have suddenly become “smart”? We have smartphones, smart watches, smart lights, smart clothing—even our appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators have joined the smart club.

Soon you’ll be using a smart toilet, if you’re not already.

Great, right? Well, not always. We love technology until we don’t. While cramming an appliance with chips and circuits brings a new level of performance and function, it also increases complexity, forcing the user to learn new operating systems with varying levels of difficulty. In short, our appliances are getting smarter, but that doesn’t mean we are.  

The Technology Paradox Plagues Health Clubs, Too

Any health club owner has witnessed this technology paradox in his or her own facility.

Today’s high-tech exercise machines are ingenious inventions, offering numerous variations of workouts on stair climbers, treadmills, stationary bikes, and other cardio equipment. But while the functionality always improves, the usability may not. Or to paraphrase noted Russian philosopher Yakof Smirnoff: “On health club machine, touchscreen controls you.”

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The Unlimited Potential of Cloud Computing for Gyms

Imagine a health club where the following is possible: 

  • Members can sign up for classes, download their instructor’s playlists, and purchase the apparel that their favorite instructor is wearing
  • They can enjoy new virtual classes on a timely basis to keep their interest level high
  • By checking the screen in front of them while they work out, members can ascertain whether they’re training in the correct heart-rate zone
  • The bikes, treadmills, ellipticals, and weight machines in the club send performance data directly to the user’s mobile fitness app
  • The cardio equipment notifies the club operator when maintenance or servicing is required 

Well, those are but a few of the proliferating perks made possible by cloud computing.

The Unlimited Potential of Cloud Computing

You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrases “cloud technology” or “in the cloud,” but may not know exactly what they mean or how they relate to your club. According to IBM, cloud computing is “the delivery of on-demand computing resources—everything from applications to data centers—over the Internet on a pay-for-use basis.”

And what does it have to do with your club? A lot, today. And more, tomorrow. Because the cloud is virtual rather than tangible, it may seem elusive, phantasmal, but, in all probability, you’re already making good use of it—either personally or professionally.

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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.