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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Fast-forward stage for Fitness on Demand, virtual group exercise

It’s hard to believe that Lift Brands launched Fitness On Demand (FOD) just three years ago, in early 2011. So much has happened since then, propelling the company to grow far beyond expectations.

Based in Excelsior, Minnesota, FOD delivers digital group exercise so that clubs can offer classes more efficiently and at a lower cost than with live instructors - any time members want to work out. Just a year after its debut, the nascent firm was already boasting a roster of 60 different offerings that were being presented at more than 250 fitness facilities worldwide.

Fast-forward two years, and we mean fast. In that time, FOD has expanded in nearly every conceivable category: from 10 to 33 employees; from 60-plus to more than 600 unique titles; to a presence in approximately 1,000 facilities across the globe; and to year-over-year revenue growth, in 2013, of 130%. “It’s been crazy, but fun,” observes Garrett Marshall, the company’s business development director.

Read on to see more about Fitness on Demand's past, present and future.

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If you lead, others will follow

As we in this industry are well aware, physical inactivity is a global problem. The number of people who don’t get the exercise needed for good health is staggeringly high in nearly every country in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 31% of adults aged 15 and over are insufficiently active.

As a result, health and fitness clubs are now more important than ever to the world’s health, but how do we encourage more people to join? The following are three ways fitness professionals around the world are managing to do so.

Read on to see how others are promoting physical activity.

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Study: running with music helps times

Today's edition of This Week in the Fitness Industry is about what you can do to improve performance and feel better about yourself.

Here's what we have:

  • Study: running with music improves performance
  • Those who exercise feel better about their physical appearance
  • Don't let fellow members intimidate you
  • Working with trainer better than video, magazine

Check out more on all of these in This Week in the Fitness Industry.

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Clubs and members prosper with cross-discipline collaboration 

The growing sophistication of health, fitness, and wellness professionals, and the expanding number of specialties they practice, pay significant dividends for clubs and their members. It’s innovative improvement, with special relevance for the increasingly diverse populations - including those with health issues - that clubs are now being called upon to serve.

But there’s often a fly in the ointment, a pebble in the progress.

As the process of caring for members becomes more complex, the providers - personal trainers, nutritionists, health coaches, group and small-group exercise instructors, and others - tend to work independently within their respective niche, focusing exclusively on their particular skill set.

It’s a situation that’s sometimes referred to as “siloing” - a failure on the part of professionals to communicate, fully and effectively, about the singular goal that they’re all striving toward: the well-being of an individual client.

A number of factors may contribute to the condition: a limited understanding of other disciplines, professional tunnel vision, heavy work loads, lack of opportunities to confer with colleagues, etc. But the result is a disjointed, rather than a seamless, procedure; a limited, rather than a comprehensive, treatment plan.

Read on to see how some clubs and businesses are helping members' overall health with teamwork and collaboration.

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Career improvement, networking tops list for new Institute attendees

David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.netThe upcoming IHRSA Institute is the one event in the health and fitness industry where you can improve your career with sessions and faculty that provide a small-group setting and personal education. It has been shown many times over with past graduates who are leaders in the industry, their clubs and businesses, and their community.

That is one of the main reasons why up-and-comers and those who are looking to the next step in their professional career decide to attend. It can be a new position or just doing a better job at the one they are at. The IHRSA Institute provides graduate-level education that can easily and immediately be instituted back at the attendees’ company.

And working with, and learning from, names like Brent Darden, Sandy Franco, Bonnie Patrick Mattalian, Mark Miller, Debra Siena, and more, cries out success and professional movement. 

The IHRSA Institute, which is Aug. 5-8 at Kenan-Flagler Business School on the campus of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, is back after a five-year hiatus. The all-inclusive event features graduate-level education with top-notch educators – many of whom are Institute graduates - in small classroom settings. Over the four days there are many networking, team building and social events that give attendees plenty of time to commiserate with classmates and educators alike.

Read on to see what new attendees hope to get out of the Institute.

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