IHRSA Newsroom

Get the latest news about the health and fitness industry, consumer research and trend information, IHRSA advocacy, and the role that it plays in providing a solution to the crisis of physical inactivity.

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The IHRSA 2017 European Club Leadership Award Goes to Jon Wright

London, England and Boston, MA, USA – October 23, 2017 – IHRSA, The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association has announced that Jon Wright, founder of Xercise4Less in the U.K., is the recipient of IHRSA’s 2017 European Club Leadership Award. The award was presented on Monday, October 23 in London, England, during the association’s 17th Annual European Congress.

The IHRSA European Club Leadership Award annually recognizes a leader in the European fitness club industry who has advanced their company and the industry through strong leadership and performance. 

“Nine years ago, Jon Wright saw a gap in the U.K. industry. He believed there was a need and demand for a low-cost gym with affordable, accessible facilities and a robust group exercise offering,” said Derek Gallup, chair of the IHRSA Board of Directors, in making the award presentation. “Xercise4Lessor the ‘Peoples’ Gym’ as it is popularly knownwas born. Today the company serves 350,000 members in 48 facilities located around the U.K.”

The company’s success can be attributed, in part, to its innovative approach to connecting members with each other and their staff beyond the walls of the club. Xercise4Less accomplishes this by creating their own fitness app, an investment that has had a tremendous impact on retention and has more than paid for itself, according to Wright.

“In an effort to contribute to reversing the childhood obesity epidemic, Jon and his team launched the Xercise4kids program, for kids ages 3 to 5, two years ago,” Gallup said, noting that the program encourages families to exercise together starting when children are young. The classes which are free to nonmembers as well as membersare set up so that a parent or caregiver participates with the child.

“These are just a few of examples of how Xercise4Less is innovating and working to fulfill their mission to change people’s lives for the better each day,” Gallup said.

The IHRSA Awards Program seeks to “recognize, celebrate, and inspire.” For more information about IHRSA’s annual industry awards, including prior recipients and open applications, please visit IHRSA’s website.


The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA and its members are dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and activity promotion. IHRSA's events provide a vast array of speakers on business and corporate culture, instructional sessions on all aspects of succeeding in the health club industry, social events to mix and mingle with peers, and the most spectacular trade shows in the industry. IHRSA's mission is to grow, protect and promote the health and fitness industry, and to provide its members with benefits that will help them be more successful.

About the IHRSA European Congress

IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association hosts an annual meeting for leaders in the European Health Club Industry. With an average of over 500 of the industry’s business leaders in attendance, the annual IHRSA European Congress offers one of the best networking opportunities for the industry in Europe. The event features seminars presented by an array of speakers from within and outside the industry, with a dual focus on improving operational performance and seizing new opportunities.

The 2017 IHRSA European Congress is sponsored by American Council on Exercise, Core Health & Fitness, eFitness Software, eGym GmbH, Fabiano Designs, Financo Inc., Funxtion International BV, GANTNER Technologies, InBody Co., Ltd., InTouch Technology, Johnson Health Tech. Co., Ltd. / MATRIX FITNESS, Keiser Corporation, Les Mills International, Life Fitness, miha bodytec GmbH, milon industries GmbH , MINDBODY, MYZONE, National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA), OJMAR, Perfect Gym, Polar, Precor, Pulse Fitness, QualiCert - Qualitop International, SoulBody BARRE, STRONG by Zumba, Technogym SpA, Thinkerly srl, Virtuagym, Wattbike Ltd, and Wexer Virtual.


BOSU Releases the BOSU Complete Workout System Certification Using CoursePlus

San Diego, CA – October 5, 2017 – CoursePlus is proud to announce that the BOSU Complete Workout System Certification is now available online. Their most popular, and most essential, certification can now be completed in the comfort of your home at your pace!

The BOSU Complete Workout System Certification is designed to help Group Fitness Instructors, Personal Trainers, Small Group Trainers, and hybrid fitness instructors successfully integrate the BOSU Balance Trainer into a wide variety of fitness settings. You’ll unlock the potential of the BOSU Balance Trainer with this foundational balance training certification that combines science, practical application and over 150 BOSUexercises and drills.

It’s a jam-packed training that will provide you with a toolbox full of ideas to make the BOSU Balance Trainer more effective in your club, in your classes and with your clients. This certification takes you step by step through the BOSU Complete Workout System, provides you with 9 workouts you can start using right away, and gives you a unique system to help progress, regress, or vary any exercise. This online workshop will teach you the science behind functional balance training, teaching skills to accommodate all levels of fitness, and new tools and ideas for designing endless BOSU workouts that are effective and fun!

This robust online certification includes access to an extensive exercise library, 9 exercise charts categorized by workout focus, and an in-depth manual that includes the science behind functional balance training as well as variations to all of the drills listed on the exercise charts. 

In addition to BOSU, other world-class education companies including EXOS, TRX, and ACSM use CoursePlus to deliver industry-leading education. 

Jason Davis, President of CoursePlus (an Inspire360 company), said “I’m excited that the BOSU Complete Workout System Certification is now available for fitness professionals to complete. Their certification offers extremely valuable education for industry professionals to learn from.” 

About Inspire360

Inspire360 is dedicated to providing inspired software that is fanatically focused on helping health clubs and organizations in the fitness and wellness industry achieve remarkable things. Originally developed under IDEA Health & Fitness Association, the company builds on decades of experience in the health and fitness industry to deliver world-class software to educate fitness professionals and enhance profits for health clubs. Its two flagship products, ClubConnect and CoursePlus, are used by some of the most respected names in fitness, like the American College of Sports Medicine, EXOS, Lifetime Fitness, and Gold's Gym. For more information, visit www.inspire360.com.


IHRSA Releases 2017 Health Club Consumer Report

Greatest membership growth came from youth and older adult markets

BOSTON, MA - September 27, 2017 - The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) has released the 2017 Health Club Consumer Report. This annual publication, based on a nationwide sample of more than 24,000 interviews, provides demographics and health, sports, and fitness participation data on America’s health club consumers.

“Membership in U.S. health clubs reached an all-time high of 57.3 million in 2016, an increase of 3.6% from 2015,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products. “Another 9.3 million non-members exercised at clubs. In all, 22% of Americans use a health club to pursue fitness and wellness goals.”

The report confirms that health and fitness clubs are playing an increasing role in helping consumers get active, lead healthier lives, and pursue fitness and sport goals. “Although inactivity rates are disappointing among older generations, The IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report shows that nearly one out of four health club members are 55 and older and membership among Boomers and the Silent Generation (typically born between 1925-42) has increased by 5% since 2012," said Melissa Rodriguez, IHRSA’s senior research manager. “The report provides insights and applications on how clubs can engage older generations as well as other segments. For example, club operators who aim to target older generations should not only offer relevant exercise programs, but also provide stellar in-person customer service and foster ongoing interactions with club staff.”

Opportunities also prevail to attract the youth market, which in 2016, had higher participation rates in studios than in previous years. Managers of full-service clubs like multipurpose and fitness-only facilities may be uniquely positioned to provide offerings that complement youth activity and athletic goals.

Although one out of five Americans utilizes a health club, opportunities remain for club operators to help increase activity among sedentary Americans. According to Physical Activity Council research, more than one out of five Americans (27%) do not engage in any sport or physical activity.

The report guides club operators in how to target underrepresented groups as well as leverage demographic trends in efforts to stand out from the competition.

The 2017 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report is organized into the following chapters:

  • Chapter 1. Overview of Health Club Participation: analysis of total membership and consumer growth trends;

  • Chapter 2. Health Club Member Demographics: an exploration of gender, household income, age, educational, and ethnicity, as well as how demographics are influencing the health club industry;

  • Chapter 3. Health Club Member Attendance & Tenure: insights on membership tenure and attendance;

  • Chapter 4. Health Club Member Activity Participation: an examination of consumer utilization of equipment and participation in group-based training formats;

  • Chapter 5. Health Club Member Fees: an analysis of fees paid overall and per club segment;

  • Chapter 6. Personal & Small Group Training Users: an overview of private and small group training clients;

  • (NEW) Chapter 7. Special Report: Core Consumers: an examination of members who use clubs at least 100 days per year and multi-club members;

  • Chapter 8: How to Apply Consumer Research: 10 in-depth applications for club operators and suppliers;

  • (NEW) Appendix - 10 Key Findings & Infographic Insights: one-page summary of key data points and infographic highlights of report

The 2017 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report is based on analysis of 24,134 online interviews that were carried out with a nationwide sample of individuals and households in early 2017. This publication is available in PDF format for $99.95 (IHRSA member price) and $199.95 (non-members).

The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is the trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, racquet and sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. Its mission is to grow, promote and protect the health and fitness industry. As one of the world's leading authorities on the commercial health club industry, IHRSA regularly conducts industry and consumer research, along with club operator studies. For more information see IHRSA’s research.

Contact IHRSA public relations with media inquiries.


Master Lock Enhances Classic Lock Design With Launch Of Magnification Combination Padlock

MILWAUKEE, Sept. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- From the iconic security solutions brand, Master Lock, comes the Magnification Combination Padlock – the latest example of innovation born from consumer insights. Featuring a larger font size and an all-new optical grade 360-degree magnification lens, the Master Lock Magnification Combination Padlock offers a convenient, secure and thoughtfully designed solution to address users' combination lock challenges.

"After listening closely to user feedback on our wide variety of personal padlocks, we found that a number of our customers were experiencing difficulties with reading the small numbers on their locks," said Cris Smyczek, Senior Product Manager at Master Lock. "The new Magnification Combination Padlock is meant to be an innovative and welcome solution for those older users with an active lifestyle and young professionals who encounter challenges reading their combinations due to farsightedness."

"With 1 in 3 Americans over the age of 50, and even younger adults experiencing tired eyes due to digital eye strain, a substantial portion of our population needs at least some form of correction for reading and near range. When plans include exercise or other activities to stay fit and healthy, many patients choose to go without their glasses, making some tasks more difficult than they should be," said Dr. Artis Beatty, Chief Medical Officer at MyEyeDr. "The clearly-magnified and large, easy-to-turn dial on the Master Lock Magnification Combination Padlock gives patients a better option when they decide to leave their glasses or contacts in their gym or spa locker."

Master Lock Magnification Combination Padlock Benefits:

  • Enhanced Visibility – Features an innovative, optical grade 360-degree magnification lens and larger font size to eliminate user guesswork while dialing their combination.
  • Exceptional Security – Optical grade 360-degree magnification lens obscures combination from nearby onlookers to ensure user's belongings are safe from intruders.
  • Innovative Solution with a Familiar Interface - Rotary dial features classic right-left-right functionality with tactile feedback and a large font in all-numbered positions for precision dialing.
  • Comfortable Construction - Built with a soft touch dial and textured perimeter ring for no-slip grip while dialing.
  • Increased Speed - Prominent alignment indicator enables faster dialing while unlocking on the go.

Designed to ease strain on a user's eyes with its magnified-yet-secure design, the new Master Lock Magnification Combination Padlock was created with users of all ages and abilities in mind. So no matter if at the gym, at school or at home, users can be confident their items are safe, secure and easily accessible when entry is needed, whether wearing their glasses, or not.

The Master Lock Magnification Combination Padlock is now available for customers on Amazon.com and at select retailers.

For more information on the Master Lock's catalogue of personal padlocks, visit http://www.masterlock.com/personal-use.

About Master Lock

The Master Lock Company is recognized around the world as the authentic, enduring name in padlocks and security products. The Master Lock Company offers a broad range of innovative security and safety solutions for consumer, commercial, and industrial end-users. The Master Lock Company LLC is an operating unit of Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc., a leading consumer brands company. Headquartered in Deerfield, Ill., Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc. (NYSE: FBHS), is included in the S&P 500 Index. For more information about Master Lock visit www.masterlock.com.


Medical Fitness Education Foundation, Fitness Event Strategy Team, and Personal Fitness Professional Magazine Partner to launch a nationwide Medical Fitness Tour

(Costa Mesa, CA) – (September 20, 2017) The Medical Fitness Education Foundation (MFEF) has partnered with the Fitness Event Strategy Team (FEST) and Personal Fitness Professional Magazine (PFP) to launch the Medical Fitness Tour in Phoenix, AZ February 2-4, 2018 at Ability360

The Tour will be 2-day weekend event for fitness and allied health professionals with single track 60-90 minute presentations.  There may also be a pre-conference ½ day workshop or training session.  Continuing education credits and an expo will also be included for professionals and the community.

Speaking topics may include (but are not limited to): Active Aging, Alzheimer’s, Arthritis, Autism, Cancer, Diabetes, Working with Persons with Disabilities, Fall Prevention, Fibromyalgia, Health & Wellness Coaching, Heart Disease, Joint Replacement, Mental Health Challenges, Multiple Sclerosis, Nutrition, Parkinson’s, Osteoporosis, Respiratory Disease, Stroke, and Women’s Health Issues (including pre- & post-partum care).

The Tour will bring top educators in the fitness and allied healthcare industry together to present on important, relevant, evidence-based topics. The Tour sessions will also be filmed and made available on Medical Fitness TV for those who cannot attend live. The second stop on the tour will be Glassboro, New Jersey on April 14 & 15, 2018. Continued Tour dates and locations will be announced soon.

MFEF’s vision is to make this type of education available in every state and continue to build the Medical Fitness Network (MFN) registry of qualified professionals in the area of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of chronic disease/medical conditions, those with disabilities or who need pre or postpartum care.

For more information about the Medical Fitness Tour, Medical Fitness Education Foundation, or Medical Fitness Network, please contact Becky LoBosco, Public Relations at Becky@MedFitEd.Org.

About Medical Fitness Education Foundation (MFEF)

The Medical Fitness Education Foundation (MFEF) is nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that was founded to elevate the quality and amount of available education for fitness professionals to learn how to best work with our aging population or those with medical conditions/chronic disease or those with disabilities. The Foundation’s primary goal is to facilitate professional webinars and live education workshops across the country.  https://medfited.org/

About Fitness Event Strategy Team (FEST)

The Fitness Event Strategy Team (FEST) is a full-service consulting and event planning company with more than 50 events in the health and wellness industry under its belt. From strategy development to budgeting, speaker recruitment to marketing, accountability to LIVE event execution -- FEST does everything from start to finish. http://www.fitnessfest.org/fest-consulting.