Fitness Industry Roundup: U.K. Fights Obesity with Older PTs

    The U.K. is facing an inactivity epidemic among people over 55 and officials want older personal trainers to help alleviate the problem.

    Health clubs support those affected by Hurricane Florence, the personal trainer for a U.S. Supreme Court justice opens up, IHRSA staff honors a colleague, and more news from the fitness world.

    Calling All Personal Trainers Over 55

    Industry News Merritt Clubs Senior Column

    British health officials want to tackle the inactivity epidemic by encouraging more older personal trainers to get back in the game or become a fitness instructor. The country is experiencing worsening health problems, with the obesity rate rising faster than in the U.S. and more older people staying away from physical fitness. If current lifestyle trends keep, the National Health Service will face financial and staffing shortages, a study warns. Compounding the problem are older adults who feel uncomfortable heading to the gym and establishing a fitness routine, the study adds. “We need an army of older fitness instructors to lead the way, showing their peers how you can live not just longer but better, by being more physically active,” said Professor Sir Muir Gray, an adviser to Public Health England.

    Read about the British effort to get more older personal trainers.

    Planet Fitness Opens Doors for Hurricane Florence Victims

    Planet Fitness locations in eastern North Carolina kept doors open to anyone in need of the facilities. In New Bern last week, the gym announced it would leave open the locker rooms to "anyone wishing to shower or freshen up." Meanwhile, one location in South Carolina became a collection center for donations going to those affected by the storm. Disasters can strike anywhere, and with preparedness on mind, a gym can help alleviate the fallout and quicken recovery.

    Read how to prepare your gym for a natural disaster.

    The Personal Trainer Behind RBG’s Success

    Bryant Johnson, associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s personal trainer of almost two decades, has opened up about the workouts he created for the 85 year old. After Ginsburg’s fight with colon cancer in 1999, she took the recommendation from another judge to begin working with a personal trainer. Johnson rose to the occasion and began assisting the justice on her return to health. With age in mind, Johnson developed a regimen incorporating exercises that improve posture, strengthen bones, and benefit seniors overall. At the center of the Ginsburg’s twice-a-week workout are push ups, planks, and squats. “When she's with me she doesn't think about [work]. She turns off the brain and works on her body. This keeps her refreshed so she can go back to the law having had a break,” Johnson said about his famous client.

    Read more about Johnson’s work with RBG.

    Founder and CEO Discusses Success of 1Rebel

    James Balfour, the found and CEO of 1Rebel in the U.K., talked to Forbes about surviving the fitness revolution and keeping up with the experience economy. Balfour and his business partner Giles Dean created 1Rebel, a spin studio boutique, after shifting away from work at his father’s Fitness First gyms. Together, the partners shunned traditional means to start a business, took to crowdsourcing, and focused on the “experience” aspect of exercise. “Anyone can get fit in the park, but training in a beautifully designed club, with the best instructors in the world, and with a like-minded community delivers a sense of belonging and advocacy you can’t get from a bench press in your shed,” Balfour said.

    Read more about 1Rebel’s success in the fitness industry.

    Team IHRSA Runs 5K in Remembrance of Colleague

    Industry News Bills Bunch Team Photo 2018 Column

    Photo: Lily Duffy

    IHRSA staff members joined together and raised over $6,000 for the Get Your Rear into Gear 5K run/walk in memory of Bill Dussor, the former director of meetings & trade shows who passed away early this year after a battle with colon cancer. "He was unique. A person who could seamlessly orchestrate thousands of moving parts without seeking the limelight," said IHRSA President & CEO Joe Moore. The September 15 event brought in almost $90,700, surpassing the $20,000 goal. Proceeds went to the Colon Cancer Coalition in support of their efforts to improve awareness and encourage screenings.

    Read about Bill Dussor’s work at IHRSA.

    NEO U: ‘A One-stop-shop for Everybody’s Wellness Needs’

    Fitness startup NEO U in New York City is being called the Netflix of the fitness industry, according to a Forbes article. The 20,000-square-foot wellness space serves as a place where celebrity trainers can create content and share it with a wider audience and where normal exercisers can drop in or tune in to a plethora of workout options. “We wanted all these influencers and brands to come here and film, so we are providing them with a one-of-a-kind amazing space and facility,” said founder Nathan Forster. “We wanted something where people could walk in and feel like they’re in the center of the NEO U platform. That they can experience real classes, real people, real community, and real accountability.”

    Read more about the NEO U.

    Author avatar

    Rachel Valerio

    Rachel Valerio previously served as IHRSA's Digital Content Editor—a position focused on collecting and reporting on fitness industry news, staying on top of IHRSA's social media accounts and website, and hatching new plans to expand the association's digital footprint.