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Entries in VivaFit (12)


5 Ways to Step Up Your Gym's Group Exercise Game

Group exercise, or "group X," has become a staple at boutique studios. You can avoid losing market share—or even make gains—by reviewing your health club's group exercise program and making these five simple adjustments. 

1. Ask your members what they want. Frequent surveys are the best way to keep tabs on your members' needs.

"What owners think members want and like isn't necessarily the case," Marisa Hoff, general manager for Stevenson Fitness in Oak Park, CA, said in a recent IHRSA blog post. "You have to continue to survey; that will allow you to keep your programming fresh and cater to the needs of the members."

Continue reading "5 Ways to Step Up Your Gym's Group Exercise Game."

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10 Exciting New Revenue Streams for Health Clubs

“Ancillary revenue.” It’s not a particularly exciting term, but if you’re a health club owner, just the thought of it can raise your heart rate well beyond your training zone.

And for good reason:

“Generally speaking, ancillary services account for a quarter of a club’s total revenues,” said Melissa Rodriguez, IHRSA’s senior research manager. “So operators need to be creative in terms of coming up with new nondues revenue services, and getting members—and nonmembers—to make use of them.”

It’s not a new notion for IHRSA clubs, and, especially in recent years, a fair number have been using them quite successfully. “Many have managed to boost their profitability to pre-recession levels—or even higher—by tapping nondues revenue sources.”

What have they been up to? Club Business International checked in with a host of operators, consultants, and industry suppliers to find out.

NO. 1: A Boutique Within a Club

For an extra $40 a month, a member of GymIt, a high-volume/low-price (HV/LP) bran with two locations in the Boston area, can train like a professional boxer inside a state-of-the-art BOXFIIT modular classroom.

The studio and associated programming are the creation of EveryBodyFights (EBF), a high-end boxing business cofounded by George Foreman III, son of the two-time world heavy-weight boxing champion.

The turnkey EBF studio comes equipped with bags and special lighting and décor, and the classes incorporate patented BOXFIIT techniques developed by Foreman. Clubs pay a monthly licensing fee for EBF, and instructors are BOXFIIT-certified. Certification costs $400, and includes continuing education credits and access to a library of more than 50 hours of video demonstrating 100 custom workouts and 200 boxing moves.

“The BOXFIIT curriculum was designed for members of both genders and of all ages and fitness levels,” said Ben Eld, EBF’s marketing manager. The program, he says, tends to attract individuals 22 to 38 years old, who earn $75,000 to $250,000 a year, and 60% of them are women.

Matthew Harrington, the president of GymIt, explained, “We wanted a way to differentiate ourselves from other low-cost clubs, and to offer a boutique fitness experience at a much more affordable price.”

GymIt offers approximately 30 EBF sessions per week. Members and nonmembers can take classes for $20 each or $140 for 10; members also can pay $40 for an unlimited monthly pass. “We reached 200 members on the monthly add-on pretty quickly following the launch,” said Harrington, “so we’ve seen a pretty significant increase in our nondues revenue.”

Continue reading "10 Exciting New Revenue Streams for Health Clubs."

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Singapore Encourages Citizens to 'Lose to Win'

This post is the third in a series of four that will provide useful information on international health promotion programs to use as successful models for your business and will help to encourage good health and wellbeing among members of your club, members of your staff, and members of your local community. View the first post here and the second post here.

Studies have shown that physical activity is one of the most important things that anyone can do to improve their health as regular involvement can lead to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Regular physical activity has also been proven to improve mental health and increase life expectancy. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately a quarter of adults and more than 80% of adolescents worldwide are not sufficiently active.

Fortunately, health clubs have been playing a large role in helping to lessen this number by encouraging worldwide participation in physical activity.

Singapore: Lose to Win 

The Singapore Government and the Health Promotion Board (HPB) have joined forces to encourage citizens to be healthier by getting rid of those unwanted pounds.

Lose to Win is a creative weight-loss program that looks to get participants involved through personal guidance from specialized trainers, regular exercise initiatives, and planned nutrition regimens.

Progress is tracked throughout the course of the eight to 12-week program and upon completion of the program; participants receive vouchers to be redeemed on a number of different health-related items. Since the program began, it has helped more than 4,700 Singaporeans to live healthier each and every day. 

Starting a weight-loss program in your club is actually much easier than it may initially seem. There are many industry members who have gone through this process before and can offer advice on how to effectively execute a plan from start to finish. For example, VivaFit has just recently expanded to Singapore and the club offers a nutrition program that focuses on healthy lifestyle behaviors in order to maintain a healthy weight. Each participant will receive nutrition consultations, access to an online nutrition platform, and personalized coaching pertaining to best practices for physical activity and exercise. 

“What we’ve discovered in our VivaFit gyms around the world is that women want to be active and eat healthy diets but also want to ensure the time they spend is efficient and gets them the results they are looking for,” said Pedro Ruiz, who co-owns the company with his wife Constance.

For more best practices on how to create a successful weight loss program, see IHRSA’s Best Practice E-book on Weight Loss Programs


Flurry of Openings for VivaFit

Ambassador of Portugal in Delhi Jorge Roza de Oliveira cuts the ribbon at the new VivaFit.It was a whirlwind tour of the Middle East and Asia for VivaFit CEO Pedro Ruiz. 

The Portugal-based, women-only chain opened four gyms in the first week of November and also came to an agreement for 150 sites in Taiwan by 2020.

“What we’ve discovered in our VivaFit gyms around the world is that women want to be active and eat healthy diets but also want to ensure the time they spend is efficient and gets them the results they are looking for,” said Ruiz, who owns the company with his wife, Constance. “Our experience is that thirty minutes at a VivaFit gym several times a week along with a change in eating habits guarantees women will rapidly change their bodies.”

Ribbon cuttings happened in Lucknow and Cochin, India; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Oman. The openings in Indonesia and Oman were the first in those respective countries.

For more on VivaFit, visit


Next Webinar Will Cover Nutrition At Your Club

Sometimes a potential roadblock can lead to a more prosperous avenue.

That is certainly what happened at the VivaFit locations in Portugal – for the company and its members.

In 2011 the sales tax in Portugal skyrocketed to 23%, from the previous 6%. But VivaFit owners Constance and Pedro Ruiz discovered that if they employed a dietician then their sales tax would be a more-than-manageable 0%.

As it turned out, what possibly could have debilitating instead was an “ah ha” moment for VivaFit, a women-only gym. The Ruiz’s realized that employing a dietician at the clubs can do so much for their members as well as their bottom line.

Constance Ruiz will share her experiences and knowledge when she hosts the next IHRSA webinar, Successfully Launch a Nutrition and Weight Management Program in Your Club, on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2 to 3 p.m. EST.

Read on to see what Ruiz will discuss during the webinar.

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Vivafit and Miss Portugal Working Together

Pedro Ruziz, Vivafit CEO, and Isidro de Brito, sign the agreement while Miss Portugal 2014 Zita Oliveira, Miss International Portugal Rafaela Pardete and Miss Princess of the World Isabel Vieira look on.The Miss Portugal Foundation and Vivafit signed an agreement earlier this month that makes the Portugal-based health club chain the official group exercise and nutrition consultants.

Vivafit and Miss Portugal will also promote each other in Portugal and internationally. As a first step Miss Portugal 2014, Zita Oliveira will inaugurate of the first Indonesian Vivafit this month in Jakarta.

For more information, visit the Vivafit website.


Vivafit offers scheduling app

Vivavit, the women-only gym franchise in Europe, has tried to stay ahead of the curve in the past couple years with expansion in the Middle East and Asia and the opening of a group fitness compact studios.

Recently it made it easier for members to book classes with its new mobile app. It is available on three continents in five languages. Users can also see their class schedules.

"This online booking app intends to increase usage, retention and profitability of the franchise and, of course, members' satisfaction," said co-founder Pedro Ruiz.

For more on the app and Vivafit, visit the company website.


Vivafit to expand to Indonesia

Vivafit CEO Pedro Ruiz, left, and Pak Abrian Natan, CNI CEO, right, shake hands as Joaquim Moreira de Lemos, Ambassador of Portugal in Indonesia, looks on.Vivafit, a chain of women-only health clubs in Portugal and United Arab Emirates, as well as agreements for master franchises in Oman and Qatar, has signed an agreement to open centers in Indonesia. 

Vivafit, which is based in Portugal, and CNI Indonesia made the partnership official last month. Portuguese Ambassador Joaquim Moreira de Lemos witnessed the signing Two years ago Vivafit was on hand for the Portuguese government trade mission with Indonesia.

The two countries have a long history of working together, with more than 140 Portuguese companies in Indonesia. However, Vivafit will be the first to work directly with consumers.

According to a Vivafit press release, CNI, a manufacturer and distributor of nutrition supplements, food, cosmetics, cook wear and cleaning products in Asia, hopes to open hundreds of Vivafit locations.

Click here for more on the agreement. For additional IHRSA blog entries on Vivafit visit


Vivafit opens its first United Arab Emirates club

Deputy Prime Minister of Portugal Mr. Paulo Portas cuts the ribbon at the first Vivafit in United Arab Emirates.In its 10th year, women's-only fitness chain Vivafit has attained a first.

Earlier this month it opened its first location in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Vivafit won't be a stranger to the Middle East as co-founder Pedro Ruiz said there have been contracts already signed for master franchises in Oman and Qatar. There are also plans for more in UAE.

Vivafit has 60 franchises around the world.

For more, visit the Vivafit website.



Vivafit to open in Oman

Pedro Ruiz, co-founder of Vivafit, and Khadija Abdullah Alkhonji, administrator of Alkhonji Group, sign a Master Franchising contract.Vivafit, the European women-only chain, has announced that it will be opening franchises in Oman.

The Alkhonji Group signed a Master Franchising contract and it will open two locations by the end of the year and another five in the first full year.

Vivafit recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and now has locations in Portugal, Spain, Uruguay, Singapore, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, India and Oman.

For more information, visit the Vivafit website.