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.



From educational tools and events to promotional programs and public policy initiatives, IHRSA brings you success... by association!

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CBI Interview: Robert Brewster, IHRSA board chairperson-elect

Robert Brewster, the chairperson-elect of IHRSA’s board of directors, is an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience, and currently serves as the president of The Alaska Club, based in Anchorage. TAC operates a network of 18 facilities, ranging from self check-in “Express” boutique clubs to large, upscale, multipurpose properties more than 100,000 square feet in size; and Alaska Fitness Equipment, a commercial equipment company. 

Brewster, an accomplished athlete, holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and, before joining TAC in 1988 as the company’s vice president and director of operations, had served in a variety of capacities with Hotel Captain Cook and Captain Cook Athletic Club, and as the manager of the Spa Fitness Center/Boniface Club, all in Anchorage. He joined the IHRSA board in 2011.

Brewster took some time out of his IHRSA board and TAC schedule to answer some questions in the CBI Interview.

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2014 IHRSA Global Report offers useful and pertinent information 

The health and fitness industry is doing quite well. One would be hard-pressed to argue against it. Recent reports, studies and research prove that.

  • revenue grew to $77.5 billion, up from $75.7 billion
  • 3,000 clubs worldwide; last year the number was just over 150,000
  • 32,150 facilities, a 2,000 increase
  • 140 million club users, a huge jump from 131.7 million last year

It isn’t just about numbers. How about these accolades:

  • A recent study said that fitness is the world’s biggest sport and there is still plenty of room for growth.
  • Entrepreneur magazine placed Anytime Fitness at the top of its 2014 Franchise 500 list.
  • Franchise Times named Snap Fitness and Founder and CEO Peter Taunton a Dealmaker of the Year in February 2014. 
  • Anytime Fitness plans to open more than 1,500 clubs in the next five years; Planet Fitness added 50.

More on these findings, and what this means to the industry, can be found in one place – the 2014 IHRSA Global Report, which is now available in a PDF. The publication is the most up-to-date on the global fitness industry, consisting of an industry overview, research, and company and supplier profiles.

Read on to learn more about what the 2014 IHRSA Global Report has to offer, and how to order it.

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What is causing failing grades for children’s fitness?

Children are not exercising enough, according to a recent report.

Seeing most people in the U.S. will be enjoying an extra day to read This Week in the Fitness Industry, thanks for Memorial Day, we decided to pack a little more in this week's edition:

  • 'Hot' and 'not' trends
  • Social media tips for personal trainers
  • Pro fitness league coming
  • Youth exercise get failing grades

Read it all in This Week in the Fitness Industry.

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Top faculty, curriculum featured at IHRSA Institute

The IHRSA Institute is the perfect place for those ready to take the next step to strengthen their management skills in order to take their health club to the next level.

There are three days of graduate-level education with small classes that allows for hands-on teaching and learning and fosters interaction among students. There is a broad curriculum that touches on every aspect of club management.

The events runs Aug. 5-8 at the University of North Carolina.

With the goal of providing students with a solid foundation for growing their club business, the IHRSA Institute will focus on helping you lead, plan, and manage your business more effectively.

Of course, learning is only as good as those teaching. The advisory group has come up with some of the top leaders in the health and fitness industry and experts from the IHRSA staff, as well as few from the host school’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Read on to see the faculity, curriculum and how to register.

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Teaching healthy lifestyles to children is fun with 'Active from A to Z' 

When Jay Ablondi, IHRSA executive vice president of Global Products, was reading to his daughter Ella, now 3½, he noticed there were plenty of alphabet books but not necessarily many that had a message of exercise.

That gave him an idea. Or, actually, sparked an old idea that had been shelved for more than five years.

Ablondi and Stan Tran, IHRSA Association Management Systems administrator, had started working on a children’s book in the late 2000s but put it on hold due to time restraints and the recession. With his new revelation he went to Tran and set a deadline to finish, and publish, the book.

“Active from A to Z”, IHRSA’s first foray into publishing a children’s book, just became available for purchase this week. The 56-page publication is full of bright illustrations by Tran that complement Ablondi’s rhyming of animals being active and accompanying fun facts.

Read on more on how it came about and how to order a copy.

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