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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Helen Durkin Bio and Commentaries

Growing up in Springfield, Mass., I lived in a neighborhood that would erupt into spontaneous games of Relievo. From 10 blocks around, there would be dozens of us running, twisting, turning, diving—whatever it took to capture our opponent, or escape.

Now, as an adult working in the health club industry—an industry that recognizes the dangers of physical inactivity and works to promote active, healthy lifestyles—I look back on those days with tremendous appreciation. Jumping over puddles; running across fields; climbing trees. Our minds were clear, our hearts light. We were free to move. It was play. And we loved it.”             

── Helen Durkin, “Dodge Ball on the Hill, Saving Physical Play” as published in Roll Call

As Executive Vice President of Public Policy for the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the trade association for the health club industry, Helen Durkin is a committed advocate of physical activity, primary prevention, and public policies that advance wellness.

Having worked with health clubs across the United States to promote healthy lifestyles for nearly 30 years, Helen understands full well the challenges people face in becoming and staying physically active in an increasingly sedentary society.

Helen is passionate about the important role exercise plays in the well-being and happiness of all Americans. And she speaks out regularly on the importance of physical activity to America’s business productivity, economic health, global competitiveness, and national security.

Upon joining IHRSA in 1989, Helen developed the health club industry's first government relations and legal service programs. Under her public policy leadership, IHRSA:

  • became a founding member of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA);
  • co-chaired the Business and Industry Sector of the National Physical Activity Plan and is an Organization Affiliate of the plan;
  • participates on the advisory board of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD);
  • partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in promoting the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines;
  • is a network member of the Exercise is Medicine™ initiative;
  • has worked with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition on a number of initiatives, including the President Council’s Funny or Die video that is part of its #0to60 campaign, the launch of the Adult Fitness Test, and the IHRSA Joining Forces Network that provides free gym membership at select clubs to the immediate families of our nation’s deployed Reservists and National Guard members; and
  • created The IHRSA Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization aimed at promoting health through exercise.

On the international front, under Helen’s public policy leadership, IHRSA sponsored and participated in the first-ever Forum on Innovation in Health and Well-being, hosted by BIAC (the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) in Paris, France.

IHRSA’s top legislative priorities are the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act and the Workforce Health Improvement Program (WHIP) Act.

Prior to her role at IHRSA, Helen worked for the labor law firm of Kearns & Associates, and worked in various government positions in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. She received her law degree in 1986 from Washington College of Law at American University, and received her undergraduate degree in political science at Holy Cross where she was a member of the varsity lacrosse team.

In her off time, Helen lives to ski, dreams of knitting nirvana, is a mom and wife, and makes sure her springer spaniel gets as much exercise as the rest of the family.

Speaking Out

A listing of some of Helen’s published opinion editorials, commentaries and blog posts include:




Precision Nutrition Signs on as ClubConnect Education Partner

(February 13, 2017) San Diego, CAClubConnect is pleased to announce that Precision Nutrition has signed on as a ClubConnect Education Partner, solidifying its commitment to health club education. Through ClubConnect’s advanced health club platform, Precision Nutrition has included expert resources for thousands of fitness professionals to learn cutting-edge nutrition and behavior change information with the click of a button.

Now health clubs that use the ClubConnect software will get access to Precision Nutrition's high-quality nutrition information found in the "Resources" section of their ClubConnect site.  Fitness professionals at over 4,500 health clubs will now have unlimited access to Precision Nutrition’s best in class content. In addition to Precision Nutrition, other world-class education companies including EXOS, Gray Institute, MYZONE, ACSM, and TRX have partnered with ClubConnect to deliver their industry-leading education.

“For years, ClubConnect has been leading the way in software solutions for health and fitness clubs around the world,” said John Berardi, PhD, CSCS, and co-founder of Precision Nutrition. “That's why I'm so excited to share our exclusive Precision Nutrition content with ClubConnect members. Helping to level up the knowledge and skills of professionals across the industry is extremely important to me. With this relationship, I think we're going to make a real difference.”

Jason Davis, President of ClubConnect (an Inspire360 company), said “Precision Nutrition is seen as the leader in the nutrition and health coaching space. I’m thrilled that they have put their education onto ClubConnect so that fitness professionals at over 4,500 locations will have 24/7 access to their top-notch education.”

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.inspire360inc.com.


Blink Fitness, Fitness Connection and Sport & Health Executives to Speak at IHRSA 2017 Education Session Hosted by Motionsoft

February 14, 2016 – Rockville, MD – Motionsoft, the leader in software, payment processing and back office support services for the fitness, health and wellness markets today announced the company will host an education session at IHRSA 2017 at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Thursday, March 9th at 2:00 pm PST.

The session will address how the best brands in fitness implement and manage fitness technology.   IHRSA 2017 attendees will be able to join executives from Equinox Holdings (Blink Fitness, Equinox) Fitness Connection, and US Fitness (Onelife Fitness, Sport & Health) to learn how some of the best brands in fitness select and implement technology tools that have an immediate impact to the bottom line. This panel session will address the opportunities and steps required for operators to ready their clubs for success using social media, video, blogs, apps, analytics and business intelligence as well as effective membership billing strategies.

Panelists include Jeff Skeen, CEO, Fitness Connection, Glenn Rappaport, CIO, Sport & Health, and David Collignon, COO, Blink Fitness.  Al Noshirvani, Chairman, Motionsoft will moderate the session.

The IHRSA education session is designed fo

  • Club professions, owners, and operators
  • Directors and managers of marketing
  • Sales directors and managers
  • Member service directors and managers

This panel is a pre-cursor to 4th annual Motionsoft Technology Summit that will be held in Washington, DC from Sept 11-13, 2017.

About Motionsoft

Founded in 2004, Motionsoft is the leader in software, processing and back office support services for single location studios and gyms, multi-unit clubs and franchises, corporate wellness programs, university recreation centers as well as hospital wellness centers. Motionsoft’s comprehensive software solutions are used by more than 2,500 innovative businesses that require technology-driven member, facility and payment processing solutions. Motionsoft’s software suite includes MoSo™, an enterprise software solution designed for large fitness operators and MoSoClub™, a club management software solution for small and mid-sized businesses. Motionsoft’s integrated gateway for payment processing, MoSoPay™, processes $2.5 billion annually while supporting over 5 million gym memberships in the U.S. and Canada. Motionsoft Full Service™ is the fitness industry’s most powerful member services and accounts receivables solution that helps clubs keep their past due members active while getting member accounts current. Motionsoft is also the host of the annual industry event Motionsoft Technology Summit.  Learn more about Motionsoft by visiting booth #2201 at IHRSA 2017 or by visiting our site http://www.motionsoft.net or by following @motionsoft.

About Motionsoft Technology Summit

The Motionsoft Technology Summit is the premier technology event for executives in the health and fitness industry. The Summit brings together really smart people from amazing companies to discuss the challenges and opportunities of technology in the fitness industry. Attendance is limited to health and fitness industry club professionals including owners and operators. The Summit is an intimate gathering that gives attendees the chance to really connect and network with other peers while discussing common technology issues in the health and fitness industry during panel sessions and keynotes.  Learn more by visiting the Motionsoft Technology Summit.


ASF Payment Solutions Launches New and Innovative Website

DENVER, CO, February 8, 2017. ASF Payment Solutions is proud to announce the launch of its new website. With the breakthrough of numerous new software products and program updates, ASF has created an exciting new web presence for clients and prospects to visit. New products such as My Enrollment gives clients the flexibility to expand club enrollment through multiple methods; thus increasing club revenue using My Cash Flow; while monitoring and controlling the club’s bottom line through My Reports. In addition, the ASF website includes a Learning Center to help educate visitors with the latest trends and fitness industry developments. Other new areas of the website include a Walk the Talk page showing ASF staff and their commitment to fitness. The new website can be found at: www.asfpaymentsolutions.com

About ASF Payment Solutions:
ASF is an industry innovator in full service billing and online management software systems for health clubs, fitness centers, and martial arts studios. ASF is a true relational partner and takes pride in our client’s business success that goes beyond just being a gym management software company. By offering more services and flexible options for payment, ASF gives clients the opportunity to increase profits and grow their business. Furthermore, by utilizing member engagement services, clients will not only help their business run smoother, but also help with member retention.

For more information, contact:

Sales and New Accounts

ASF Payment Solutions


email: sales@asfpaymentsolutions.com


MostFit and Power Systems will Feature Core Hammer and SYN Ring Demonstrations at the 2017 IHRSA Conference in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, Calif., February 2017 –  On March 9 and 10, MostFit will join more than 350 fitness equipment and technology exhibitors from around the world to network and meet with thousands of health club operators at the IHRSA Annual International Trade Show and Convention in Los Angeles.

“We are looking forward to sharing our products and education with club, gym and studio owners, and working closely with our exclusive distributor, Power Systems, at the show,” says MostFit Owner, Andrew Gavigan.

Andrew and his team of trainers will be demonstrating exercises and movements derived from their education and programming at Booth 753 on an ongoing basis during Trade Show hours. MostFit will also hold a Functional Training Early Morning Workout in the booth on Friday, March 10 at 6:30 am, and Power Systems will hold a Functional Training Workout Friday March 10 at 7:30am that includes the Core Hammer. Power Systems will also be holding product demonstrations in their booth #1023.

During Trade Show hours, attendees will receive 15% off plus free shipping of all MostFit products at the MostFit and Power Systems booths. 

MostFit products include:

The MostFit Core Hammer is a first of its kind, finally making sledgehammer workouts possible without the tire. The Core Hammer is designed just like a sledgehammer, but the head is round and composed of solid urethane, providing the right amount of rebound so the user can establish a rhythm that exactly mimics traditional sledgehammer swings. This means that sledgehammer workouts can now be done anywhere…in a park, gym, Crossfit box or at home and multiple users can workout together in small spaces with the Core Hammer, which fits in nicely with MostFit’s mantra of helping the user be the “Most Fit” they can be – anywhere, any time. 

The MostFit SYN Rings allow the user to suspend weight plates or kettlebells from an Olympic weightlifting bar creating instability; forcing the user to engage more core and stability muscles and increase overall strength. The rings allow the weight plates to move in all directions, including forward, back, side-to-side, up-and-down and in circular motions. Portable and easy to store, the SYN Rings can go with you anywhere, fit in a drawer or small spot on the functional training zone floor.

About MostFit

Founded by trainer Andrew Gavigan MostFit strives to provide unique, effective, and efficient products to the fitness community in an effort to make optimum performance more accessible. Accessibility is the key to success for athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all levels. MostFit's line of functional fitness accessories make tried methods and techniques simpler and more accessible.