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Volume 23, No. 2


28 34
The ‘Issue’ is Optimal Cleanliness =
Member Attrition Member Satisfaction
Ronale Tucker Rhodes, M.S., Editorial Director Guy Brown

The ‘solution’ is to get members involved, Clean fitness centers keeps members by
46 show them results, provide great service raising standards and eliminating hazards
and keep your facility clean. and wasteful practices.

30 40
Assessing for Retention The Basics of a Youth
Richard J. Bloomer, Ph.D., CSCS
Weight-Loss Program
Improve member exercise program Ryan Vogt
compliance by educating them and Offering a successful youth fitness
showing them the results of their efforts. program takes planning, commitment, a
great staff and motivating ideas.
Use Secret Shoppers to 42
Enhance Customer Service Group Cycling Results
Amy Scanlin, M.S. Stephen A. Black, M.Ed., PT, ATC/L, NSC-CPT

A secret shopping company can provide Understand the principles that will help
insight about your members’ experiences create fun, motivating and safe group
and help to improve customer service. cycling programs.

42 46
The Fitness Cure
Ronale Tucker Rhodes, M.S., Editorial Director

Fitness professionals will play a crucial

role in the second annual Bash for Augie’s
Quest, to be held in March. FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 7

WARM UP MANAGEMENT MATTERS There’s more to FM than can be
found in the pages of each issue.
10 Editor’s Note 50 Operations Visit our website to find
Membership Attrition and resources to help you succeed in
12 Contributors Club Profitability, Part 1 your fitness services business.
13 Letters FM’S E-ZINE Read FM online
cover to cover for free. Inform
51 Independent Issues your international peers!
Retention vs. Sales Costs: CURRENT ISSUE Reading
A Re-Examination someone else’s issue? View this
14 News month’s articles online.
Industry News, Fitness Research, People 52 Risk Management PRODUCTS & SERVICES
and Places, Trend Watch and more When Your Insurance DIRECTORY Find suppliers by
Company Won’t Pay product or name in the most
BY DAVID L. HERBERT, J.D. searchable database in the
15 53 Facility Maintenance
Make a Difference with the Basics
industry meetings, conferences
and trade shows.
54 Instructor Training E-LETTER Clubs respond and
Obesity 101: The Physiology of Fatness interact about monthly
BY BARBARA A. BREHM, ED.D. management topics. Interested?
Read the e-Letter online, or
55 Client Handout
subscribe to have it emailed
Understanding Obesity Health Risks
directly to you each month.
23 Fitness Q&A
breakdown of industry data.
■ Is it possible to eat healthy at a fast food MARKETPLACE
■ What’s meant by the term ‘significant’ 56 Purchasing Guide Download an entry form to win an
when it’s used in studies? Treadmills award for outstanding innovations.
■ Is there a difference between refurbished BY HEATHER PEAVEY, ASSOCIATE EDITOR
and reconditioned equipment? Vote for the best suppliers in six
60 New Products
categories, as well as the best
24 Media
64 Classifieds product of the year!

■ Workouts from Boxing’s 67 Supplier Index LIBRARY OF ARTICLES Access

Greatest Champs more than 1,500 articles by topic.
■ Mastering Cortisol JOB FAIR Find a job, or post a
■ Vegetarian Sports Nutrition COOL DOWN
job opening.
Plus, catalogs and charts 68 What’s Next SUBSCRIPTIONS Need to renew
26 Best Ideas or update your subscription?
69 Calendar
■ Certified in Wellness Excellence CLASSIFIED ADS Find items for
■ Trick or Trim 70 Facility Spotlight sale, or post an item for sale.
■ Successful Aging Renovation Increases Usage
ADVERTISING Find out how to
advertise in Fitness Management



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Planet Plight
As if our industry hasn’t been battling its going to stop.” Then, when told the authorities were going to
be called if he didn’t stop his intimidating behavior, he stated,
image issue long enough, along comes “My f***g boss is the captain of the police force.”
Argibay is clearly a bully, and someone who misuses his
another scandal that is completely “perceived” position of authority. I don’t believe for a minute
that most fitness facility managers would have acted too dif-
mischaracterized by the media. ferently in Palazzolo’s shoes.
The story of Albert Argibay being kicked out of a Planet It’s bad enough that Argibay downplayed the account of
Fitness gym, and his membership revoked, smells bad, if what happened, but the Times article should have been
you ask me. Bad on the part of Argibay, who clearly isn’t more impartial. The article’s author made a mockery out
taking any responsibility for his actions, and is, instead, plac- of Planet Fitness’ no grunting rule by stating that Argibay
ing total blame on Planet Fitness’ written poli- “had violated one of the club’s most sacred and strictly
cies and the actions of its manager. Bad for our enforced rules: He was grunting.” What’s wrong with facil-
industry’s facility operators who are working ities making rules to appeal to their target market? As Planet
ever so hard to lower their member attrition Fitness states, “over 80 percent of the … membership is
levels by seeking out as much advice as possi- derived from people who are coming back to the gym for
ble about how to keep members coming back the first time.… Planet Fitness strives to make the environ-
to their facilities. And bad for our industry’s ment pleasant, non-threatening and supportive of those
image, as one facility’s policies are portrayed people who often feel out of place in more aggressive work-
negatively by the media. out facilities.” Heck, I’m a veteran of fitness facilities, and I
First of all, I don’t buy Argibay’s story of the find grunting offensive; I can’t imagine being a newbie in a
event that occurred. The discrepancies between fitness facility where members are constantly grunting.
his account and Manager Carol Palazzolo’s are Planet Fitness might be well-advised to be a bit more dis-
too different to be believed. In case you don’t know the creet in dealing with members who break their policies. Its
specifics, here they are: “Lunk Alarm” (a siren with flashing blue lights and a public
Argibay, a bodybuilder and state corrections officer, was scolding) goes a bit far, and I agree that it could definitely
grunting while lifting 500-pound weights. Because grunting be humiliating to some who possibly hadn’t meant to vio-
is against Planet Fitness’ policy, and because he was asked late the rules. But rules are good, especially when they sup-
repeatedly to stop and didn’t, Argibay was asked by the man- port the culture the club is trying to create.
ager to leave the facility. Argibay states in the first article printed One last thing about the Times article and some others.
about this incident (The New York Times, Nov. 18, 2006), that The fact that Maria Sharapova and Monica Seles grunt on
his response to the request was merely, “I’m not grunting, the tennis court has little relation to the Planet Fitness issue.
I’m breathing heavy,” and that the reason he was asked to leave I seriously doubt that members who worked out with body-
was because the manager didn’t like to be “challenged.” builder legends such as Joe Gold, Arnold Schwarzenegger
It’s possible that that’s what happened, but in this age of and Lou Ferrigno were offended by their grunting.
customer-service-conscious facility management, it’s not very The fact that “nationwide the [Planet Fitness] chain expels
probable. Kudos goes to Planet Fitness for making an official roughly two members a month for various reasons, most
response to the Times article, which was one-sided toward commonly grunting and dropping weights,” smacks of a
Argibay. In the statement, Planet Fitness spokesman Dave good retention policy, in my opinion. At least they’ve iden-
Lakhani gives this account: “Mr. Argibay was asked to stop tified a method for lowering their attrition rates among the
his excessively loud grunting and screaming as he squatted population to whom they seek to cater. FM
weight.… Mr. Argibay’s response was,‘I’m a bodybuilder and
I’ll grunt if I want to.” When asked again to stop the loud
noise, Mr. Argibay responded,‘You are a f****g b*tch. I’m not


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February 2007
Volume 23, NO. 2
(951) 244-6498
(760) 439-3779
Associate Editor HEATHER PEAVEY (570) 271-9001

Contributing/Technical Editors
PH.D., C.S.C.S.
Fitness Expert and Exercise Physiologist and Art Director AARON JANSEN
Certified Instructor Assistant Professor,
Production Director BONNIE MADISON
Using Secret Shoppers to University of Memphis, Tenn.
Electronic Production MARJORIE SCHULTZ
Enhance Customer Service Assessing for Retention Manager
Production Assistant SCOTT PACKEL
“Smart companies hire secret “While a change in body

shoppers before they think there weight/body fat may be most ADVERTISING SALES
may be a customer service issue.” important for many people, it is Advertising Sales ANDEE BELL (530) 661-7585
certainly not the only variable on Account Executive APRIL DONALD (530) 666-3496
which members should focus.”
Classified Ads DONNA BUTERA (469) 362-9953

4130 Lien Road • Madison, WI 53704
(800) 722-8764 • (608) 249-0186


Group Publisher BRAD ZAUGG
Administration Director SHARON SIEWERT
STEPHEN A. BLACK, & Controller
Fitness Director, Database Manager
CEO, Rocky Mountain
Tri-City Court Club Circulation Assistants COLLEEN WENOS
Human Performance Center LISA POPKE
The Basics of a Youth Accounting Assistant GLORIA HAWKINSON
Group Cycling Results
Weight-Loss Program MIS Director STEVE WEAR
“To help members get results, MIS Assistant SEAN RAY
instructors should adhere to “The focus of your program should Web Editor JILL NEBEKER
some general principles of be the benefits of proper nutrition Online Content REBECCA BEARJAR
and exercise for life.” Coordinator
sports conditioning.”
Web Programmer ALEX MALYUTIN
FITNESS MANAGEMENT (ISSN 0882-0481) is published monthly and is distributed
without charge to qualified professionals by Athletic Business Publications Inc., 4130
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Industry Challenge
e-Letter Encouragement
“I am trying to find information on corporations I sent in a question recently for the e-Letter The Editor replies:
that have onsite, multi-purpose wellness centers [Towels for Your Pool? October 2006]. There
with pools. My company is trying to determine the was a great response, with some very creative We encourage all of our readers to sign up for
value of building a lap swimming pool. [What are] ideas, printed in the e-Letter. I also had sev- the e-Letter at
the pros and cons?” eral other readers contact me directly with This open forum is a great way to share ideas
Sheila Sharemet more great ideas. I’d like to encourage other and experiences that will help our industry
Health & Wellness Supervisor club owners/managers/trainers to contact the grow.
BP Wellness Center e-Letter each month with questions and
via email ideas. I think the e-Letter has become a very
unique resource for people in the industry.
Rob Bishop
Elevations Health Club
via email

Is it really about grunting?

By now everyone’s heard about Planet Fit- the words “inflammatory” and “misogynis-
ness and its disgruntled grunter, and no tic” to characterize Argibay’s behavior while
doubt managers are turning their attention he basked in his 15 minutes of fame. One
to balancing on the ever-thinning line example is this insensitive remark, attributed
between attracting novice exercisers and to Argibay’s attorney, while a guest on the
keeping hard-core members happy. But have Bob Rivers Radio Show: “They didn’t tell
we, as an industry, missed the point of this him it was Free Tampon Tuesday and Curves
unfortunate incident? would not accept your membership, even
In August we asked: I had a different interpretation of the with proof of zero testosterone levels.”
reported events than simply one man taking I think this incident will have negative
How does your fitness center make sure a stand for the right to grunt in public. I implications for clubs struggling to get the
members are dressed appropriately? saw Albert Argibay’s extreme, defensive-by- attention of new exercisers (unless they
way-of-attack reaction to Planet Fitness successfully market themselves as the
Manager Carol Palazzolo’s reprimands as “anti-Planet Fitness”). But even more, I
Response: having less to do with rules and more to do think the event characterized perfectly the
At our college facility, we implemented the with gender. Would he have gone to all that very real (albeit unspoken) gender divide
“T-shirts with sleeves required” when we trouble if a male manager asked him to stop in our industry.
opened. This wasn’t well received for the first grunting? Or would he have just shrugged Thank goodness the days are over when
couple of months, as there had been no dress and toned it down a little? the majority of women on the trade show
code in the past, but we simply explained that Argibay’s behavior is eerily reminiscent of floor were oiled-up babes wearing bikinis —
we were looking out for their health. By wearing the misogynistic (and anti-semitic) tirade but women with power are still few and far
T-shirts with sleeves, it means less skin contact unleashed by Mel Gibson when he was between in the fitness industry. Show me the
with all of the upholstery, as well as less sweat arrested by a female police officer under sus- woman in a powerful, prominent position at
dripping onto the cardio machines. We have a picion of driving while intoxicated. Gibson a large supplier. Show me the speaker at an
few colorful shirts in our “forgotten” drawer for called the officer “sugar tits,” while Argibay industry trade show who isn’t a Hall of Fame
those folks who come in tank tops. When they called Palazzolo a “f***ing b**ch.” football star. Perhaps if the industry as a
are done with their workout, they drop the shirt Planet Fitness hinted at its awareness of whole recognized the considerable talents of
into the towel cart where it is washed and ready the underlying cause of the situation when more women, and allowed more of them to
to use the next time. it released an official press release explaining reach positions of power, it would be easier
Vicky Jaeger its version of the events. While Planet Fitness for managers like Palazzolo to do their jobs.
Luther College limited its description of Argibay’s behavior Heather Peavey
Decorah, Iowa during the event as “intimidating,” “threat- Associate Editor
ening” and “aggressive,” the release did use Fitness Management FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 13


Wellness Awards Promote Facilities and Industry

award winners in November at ICAA’s Active
Industry awards serve to honor recipients for outstanding programs, service Aging 2006 conference in Las Vegas. Its 2006
ICAA Industry Innovators Award winners were
and more, but they also serve larger purposes: to promote the chosen for their creativity and excellence of their
organizations offering them, to promote the wellness/fitness industry to a offerings, which promote health and quality of
life for adults ages 50 and older.
larger audience and to inspire other people to strive for their best. A few The winners were Advance to Wellness,
SecureHorizons from United HealthCare, Santa
medical/wellness associations offered their 2006 awards recently, and Ana, Calif.; Wellness Program, Inverness Village
Wellness Center, Inverness Village, Tulsa, Okla.;
honored those who help people live healthier lives. Project Enhance, Senior Services, Seattle, Wash.;
Get Fit on Route 66/Step Up to Better Health,
The Medical Wellness Association (MWA), Sugar award for a facility 50,000 square feet or larger AARP, Washington, D.C.; Travel by Leisure Care
Land, Texas, announced its 2006 Distinguished went to UNC Wellness Center at Meadowmont, (TLC), Leisure Care, Seattle, Wash.; and Excellence
Award winners, and honored them at the Chapel Hill, N.C. Cumberland Medical Center Well- for Living/Passport to Wellness, Sunnyside, Har-
national Medical Wellness Summit and Expo in ness Complex at Fairfield Glade, Crossville, Tenn., risonburg, Va. In addition, ICAA recognized the
Washington, D.C., in December. MWA chose won for facility 20,000 to 50,000 square feet. The
Dennis Colacino, Ph.D., as the recipient of its Fitness Center at High Point Regional, High Point,
2006 Distinguished Service Award for his more N.C., won for medical fitness facility of less than
than 40 years of outstanding leadership and 20,000 square feet. And LifeStyleRx, Livermore,
service to the corporate health and medical well- Calif., won for facility in operation for less than
ness industries. The American University and Dr. three years.
Bob Karch were honored as the recipients of the MFA’s Distinguished Service Awards recognize
Best University Wellness and Study Program. those who have displayed significant leadership
The Medical Fitness Association (MFA), Rich- in hospital administration and/or facility manage-
mond, Va., recognized the best in medical fit- ment. Recipients were the following: Director:
ness center management during a ceremony in Nancy Dostal-Hoyt, Mercy Medical Center, Cedar
November 2006 in Las Vegas’ Mandalay Con- Rapids, Iowa; and Administrator: Neil Sol, Vall-
vention Center, which also served as the site eyCare Health System, Pleasanton, Calif. The Don
of MFA’s 12th Annual Conference. The awards, Schneider Distinguished Service Awards were
in a variety of cate- presented for exceptional, long-term volunteer
Bob Forman, Director of The Fitness Center at High Point
gories, honored out- service to MFA and the industry. They went to Regional (on the right), receives an award from an MFA
standing facilities, Douglas Ribley, Director of Wellness & Adminis- board member.
programs and pro- trative Services for Akron General Health System,
fessionals for their Akron, Ohio, and William Baldwin. The Board of Life Fitness Circuit Series age-friendly strength line
achievements and Directors Award goes to an organization or indi- as its 2006 Industry Equipment Innovator.
contributions to the vidual that has significantly advanced the med- Colin Milner, ICAA founder and chief execu-
medical wellness ical fitness industry. This year, it went to Power tive officer, says, speaking about the ICAA
industry. Wellness Management, Arlington Heights, Ill. awards, but really saying something about all
Distinguished And, the Program Innovation Winner went to fitness industry awards, “Through their persist-
Achievement Awards Meter Madness/North American Rowing Chal- ent and committed efforts, these organizations
were presented to lenge by Keweenaw Memorial Rehab & Fitness are supporting healthy, vibrant living at any age.
The Medical Wellness Associa-
facilities that serve Center, Houghton, Mich. This is something we must successfully promote
tion chose Dennis Colacino
as the recipient of its 2006 as benchmarks for The International Council on Active Aging if we are to meet the challenges of our aging
Distinguished Service Award. the industry. The (ICAA), Vancouver, B.C., Canada, announced its [and sedentary] population.” FM


People are burning nearly 1 billion
more gallons of gasoline each
year than they did in
1960 because of
weight gain. More
weight in the car
means lower
gas mileage. Sport & Health Clubs donated $100,000 in sponsorship funds to
local schools through Project Fit America.
-The Engineering
Economist, October- Club Chain Donates
December 2006 to Local Schools
SPORT & HEALTH CLUBS, with clubs and day spas in 24
locations in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., celebrated
its partnership with Project Fit America (PFA) in October with
kick-off activities and a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially ded-
Colorado Leads in icating new fitness programs donated to area schools. PFA is a
national nonprofit charity organized for the purpose of donat-
Fitness Memberships ing cardiovascular health and fitness programming to schools.
Eight schools were offered the turnkey program, which pro-
THE INTERNATIONAL HEALTH, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), vides indoor and outdoor fitness equipment, teacher training
Boston, Mass., revealed in October that Denver and Colorado have the and physical education curriculum. Sport & Health donated
highest rates of fitness center memberships among cities and states in $100,000 in sponsorship funds. This donation will affect more
the U.S. These findings were part of the 2005 IHRSA/American Sports Data than 8,000 students and hundreds of teachers in schools based
Health Club Trend Report, a national survey conducted each year for the in Northern Virginia. “It is our goal to help deliver well-designed
last 19 years by American Sports Data (ASD) and sponsored by IHRSA. fitness programs to encourage physical activity among students,
The national study found that a projected 21.8 percent of Colorado teachers, parents and other community members,” says Sport
state residents (over the age of six) belong to a fitness center. Utah res- & Health’s Senior Vice President of Fitness Mitch Batkin.
idents follow closely with 20.8 percent and Massachusetts was next As part of the sponsored program, all day training sessions
with 20.6 percent of residents who belong. Rounding out the top five were held at each school with a PFA PE Instructor. Teachers were
are Arizona (20 percent) and Delaware (19 percent). taught safety and procedure, as well as how to incorporate the
Denver ranks as the top city in the U.S. for fitness memberships, PFA indoor and outdoor equipment with related games and chal-
with 25.1 percent of its residents belonging to a fitness center. Colum- lenges into their daily school activities. The program designed
bus, Ohio, follows closely with 24.9 percent of its residents saying they by PFA addresses the deficient areas where children fail fitness
are members, and San Diego, Calif., is third, with 23 percent. Rounding tests, and provides a boost to the minutes per week kids are
out the top five cities is Miami, Fla. (21.7 percent), and Indianapolis, active. “Physical education and fitness-related activities con-
Ind. (21.2 percent). FM tinue to be cut and/or poorly funded at a time when childhood
obesity and related illnesses are at epidemic levels,” says PFA’s
Executive Director Stacey Cook. “Our children’s health is too
important to sit idly by, which is why we applaud Sport & Health
for taking this leadership role to bring programming to the
D.C. metropolitan area.” FM FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 15

HEALTH & FITNESS new study shows. ous physical activity for more for a longer amount of time each
Intense Workouts For the study, which was pub- than 40 minutes daily had less day did have greater cardiovas-
Better for Kids lished in the August 2006 issue body fat than those who were cular fitness. “Our … results sug-
of the American Journal of Clini- this active for just 10 to 18 min- gest that vigorous-intensity
Weight Control cal Nutrition, researchers looked utes a day. There was no associ- physical activity may have a
Sustained, vigorous exercise may at 780, nine- and 10-year-olds, ation between the total amount greater impact in preventing obe-
be more effective than lower- measuring their activity levels of a child’s daily physical activ- sity in children than lower phys-
intensity activity in helping chil- over four consecutive days. The ity and his or her levels of body ical activity intensity levels,”
dren avoid obesity and stay fit, a children who engaged in vigor- fat, but children who were active researchers say. FM

Activity Pyramid
Created for Kids
LESS TV/COMPUTER TIME, and more play time
is the message in MyActivity Pyramid, a guide
to physical activity for children ages six to 11,
developed by University of Missouri-Columbia
Extension health educators. “We really want
kids to be active up to several hours a day,”
says Steve Ball, assistant professor of exercise
physiology and a state fitness specialist. “Reg-
ular physical activity is important to overall
health, and school-aged children need at least
60 minutes every day.”
With a design similar to the U.S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture’s MyPyramid food guide,
MyActivity Pyramid features cartoon-like draw-
ings and multiple activity levels. The pyramid
shows children what kind of activity they need
and how much.
Everyday activities — where children should
accumulate most of their physical activity time
— are at the bottom of the pyramid. These activ-
ities can include playing four square at recess,
shooting hoops or riding a bike after school.
The next level describes more vigorous activ-
ities, which children need at least three to five
times a week. These activities include sports,
running, rollerblading and playground games.
Flexibility and strength activities fill the third
level of MyActivity Pyramid. Two to three times
a week, children should be involved in activities
that promote muscle fitness and flexibility, such
as stretching, push-ups, martial arts or yoga.
The very top of MyActivity Pyramid represents
inactive time. Watching TV or playing video and
computer games should be limited to two hours
or less each day.
MyActivity Pyramid has an accompanying
activity log to help children chart their own activ-
ity on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. FM


Trend Watch: Keeping
Franchisees Happy
KEEPING THEIR FRANCHISEES happy seems INDUSTRY an overview of the Asia Beijing, which took place in
to be the No. 1 new year’s resolution for fran- IHRSA Offers Asia Pacific health club market in October.
chises. CURVES INTERNATIONAL INC., Waco, Texas, a first-of-its-kind publication: Key findings in the report
announced the formation of the CURVES FRAN-
Pacific Market Report The IHRSA Asia Pacific include the leaders in market
CHISEE ASSOCIATION INC. (CFA) in November, an The International Health, Market Report: The size and size in millions (USD), with
organization created by — and for — its fran- Racquet & Sportsclub Asso- scope of the health club Japan first at US $3,556, fol-
chisees. Curves claims to welcome the CFA with ciation (IHRSA), Boston, industry. The report was lowed by Korea (US $990) and
open arms as a new way to facilitate communi- Mass., together with Deloitte released at the fifth annual Australia (US $907). New
cation. “We are looking forward to a continuing & Touche GmbH, compiled IHRSA Asia Pacific Forum in (Continued on page 18)
dialogue with its executive board on ways to
build our brand and our network,” says Mike
Raymond, president of Curves International Inc.
The CFA’s early emphasis will focus on the more
than 9,000 Curves fitness centers in North Amer-
ica, but its ultimate goal is to meet the needs of
all 10,000 franchisees globally. The CFA held its
first annual meeting in October in Las Vegas,
Nev., to coincide with Curves’ annual convention.
followed suit with the NATIONAL FRANCHISE COUN-

CIL (NFC), formed together with the GOLD’S GYM

member board of directors, with three representa-
tives from the GGFA and three from GGI, that will 1/2
1/2 island
function as a forum to resolve issues among Gold’s
Gym franchisees, such as the format of Gold’s
Gym’snational vendorprogram and the Gold’sGym
national Ad committee. “[The NFC] helps make a
Gold’s Gym an attractive franchise investment,”
says Andrew Selden of Briggs and Morgan in Min-
neapolis, Minn., GGFA’s franchise attorney.
Franchises have reason for being concerned.
Many, like FIT ZONE FOR WOMEN in Kalamazoo,
Mich., have been forced to make unpopular
changes thanks to feeling a financial pinch. FitZone
for Women increased its franchise fees 28 percent
in January, from $19,500 to $25,000. “Certain
expenses — from utilities to office supplies to legal 2004 2005 2006
and accounting fees — keep costing more,” says
Rick Romeo, director of franchising, in an email.
“This makes it harder for us to stay ahead of the
game in terms of service and support.”
This new focus doesn’t seem to be a deterrent
to new franchises, though, which are still popping
up with interesting approaches to success. KIDOKI-
NETICS, Weston, Fla., is hoping its all-around sports
fitnessapproach to kids’ fitnesswill be cute enough
to attractfranchisees— and keep them smiling. FM FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 17


YogaFit Now
Offers ACE CECs
YOGAFIT TRAINING SYSTEMS Worldwide, Torrance, Calif., will now offer contin-
uing education credits for yoga instructors through the American Council on Exer-
The anti-cancer effects of exercise
cise (ACE), San Diego, Calif. Beth Shaw, president and founder of YogaFit, and
ACE entered into a partnership to enhance fitness professionals’ educational oppor- are due to increases in a protein
tunities and provide new ways to augment credentials, according to Shaw. This
is the first time that ACE has entered into an alliance with a yoga organization. that blocks cell growth and induces
As part of the partnership, ACE professionals receive a 20-percent discount on
the YogaFit Level 1 teacher training program. ACE professionals also receive a 15-
cell death. Among subjects who
percent discount on select YogaFit apparel and merchandise. YogaFit profession- were physically active, an increase
als receive 20 percent off select ACE course materials.
Each of YogaFit’s more than 50,000 instructors worldwide are now encouraged in this protein was associated with
to sit for either the ACE Group Fitness Instructor or ACE Personal Trainer examina-
tion, in addition to their YogaFit instructor training. Says Shaw, “This effort will greatly a 48-percent reduction in colon
enhance the exercise science backgrounds of our members, and bring the prac-
tice of yoga to all populations in a safe and user-friendly fitness format.” FM
cancer deaths.
-Gut, May 2006

Zealand leads membership penetration rates, removed at one point, but, says O’Rourke,
with 10 percent of the population, followed by “We are now in the process of returning the
Australia (9 percent) and Singapore (7.1 percent). racquetball courts, along with a complete
The report examines the size and scope of the exterior renovation, to return the history of the
Asia Pacific club industry, and contains country-spe- first location.”
cificindustryinformation, including the number offit- Also, the facility has expanded to four loca-
ness centers, number of members and leading club tions in Mt. Pleasant, with plans for six to eight
companies for 11 countries (Australia, China, India, more facilities in the future. In addition, “We
Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sin- have adapted our business plan to fit more
gapore, Taiwan and Thailand). For more information, with our members who are on-the-move, and
go to, or call 617 951-0055. FM started a ‘sister’ brand of East Shore Athletic
Club called ES24, which stands for East Shore Absolute Fitness offers small group classes in order to
FACILITY 24 hours. These facilities are smaller, but are provide personalized attention.
open 24 hours a day,” O’Rourke says. “East
Club Changes With the Times
Shore Athletic Club is continuously updating, pants pay $25 per class, and their classes are
East Shore Athletic Club, Mt. Pleasant, S.C., and we want to continue to meet our members’ scheduled at a time that is convenient for them.
started out as a one-building racquetball needs,” she says. FM “Participants pay more for the classes offered
center in 1983. Since then, the club has at Absolute Fitness, but the personal attention
changed a lot, according to Director of Mar- FACILITY they receive is priceless,” says Rob Jewett of
keting and Community Relations Maggie Absolute Fitness. Instead of having a routine
Small Classes Offer
O’Rourke. The racquetball courts were already in place for the class, Absolute Fitness
Personal Attention instructors design the class according to the
It’s not unusual to find crowds of people participants’ fitness levels. They then design a
jammed into one group fitness class at many safe, appropriate workout that progressively
fitness centers. With so many people in one gets harder as the participants improve their fit-
class, it’s nearly impossible for one instructor to ness levels, Jewett explains. FM
make sure each person is performing every
exercise correctly, or if they should even be FACILITY
doing the exercises to begin with.
Fitness Center Raises
At Absolute Fitness in Boynton Beach, Fla., they
believe the only way to ensure a safe, effective Money for SPCA
class is to set a maximum limit of four participants Julie Luther’s PurEnergy Fitness Center, Greens-
in each class they offer, which includes Pilates, boro, N.C., held its First Annual Spinning
East Shore Athletic Club has come a long way since it yoga, strength classes, golf conditioning classes Marathon and Pet Adoption Fair in October,
opened in 1983. and small group personal training. Class partici- sponsored by PurEnergy and the Yankee Doodle


Pet Lodge. Twenty cyclists were spon-
sored in a two-hour group cycling class
to raise money for the Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)
of the Triad. The event also included a
free “Ask the Dog Trainer” booth, a
microchip clinic, Borders Books, and
SPCA dogs and cats. Sponsors held a
raffle for five personal training sessions
with Julie Luther, or one week boarding EXERFLEX SYSTEMS:
at Yankee Doodle Pet Lodge. The event Pre-finished ExerFlex hardwood floors
raised more than $1,400 to benefit PurEnergy Fitness Center held its First Annual Spinning deliver maximum shock absorption.
SPCA, a non-profit animal welfare group Marathon to raise money for the Society for the Prevention
that rescues dogs and cats and provides of Cruelty to Animals.
low-cost spay/neuter services. FM (Continued on page 22)

Trend Watch: Aquatics Log On RUBBER FLOORING:

Heavy-duty Flecks Speckled in convenient
WHO SAYS ELECTRONICS and water don’t tification using a blended format program that rolls, squares or interlocking tiles.
mix? Aquatics professionals now have a host uses narration, video, quizzes and other inter-
of electronic options to help them do every- active learning tools. This new format may
thing from getting a new job to earning certi- even be a better option for aquatics students.
“Compelling scien-
tific evidence shows
that blended learn-
ing is more effective
than either in-class
1/3 vertical
Multi-purpose GooseBumps snap
or online training
together in minutes and last for years.
only,” says Alex
Antoniou, director of
educational pro-
grams at NSPF.
“Having a portion of
the training online
also makes the
course more conven-
ient and economical
for students and
fications and attending conference seminars will launch a total of 16 online eProAcademy FLOORING IN THE BUSINESS.
— all through the Internet. classes between Oct., 1, 2006, and March 31, Designed exclusively for commercial
FITNESSJOBS.COM, Phoenix, Ariz., forged an 2007, including compliance courses such as fitness facilities, our high-performance
alliance with the AQUATIC EXERCISE ASSOCIA- occupational safety, employment law, health- wood, rubber and modular flooring
TION , Nokomis, Fla., to create a branded care, environmental and hazardous waste systems provide unequalled
career site specifically for the aquatics indus- management, and DOT training for drivers of quality and lasting value matched
try at WWW.AQUATICSCAREERS.COM. The site hazmat shipments. with easy installation and carefree
aims to help management recruit quality per- The Internet has also opened up a host of maintenance. Call us for a FREE
sonnel and offer job seekers a free service to ways for aquatic professionals to save money. flooring system consultation.
find part- and full-time employment. Appli- As reported in the December issue of Fitness Call Today 1.800.428.5306
cants can browse and search job postings free Management (p.16), the WORLD AQUATIC
of charge. Employers must register and pay to HEALTH CONFERENCE posted its 2006 seminars
post ads, search resumés or create job alerts. on the web at WWW.EPROACADEMY.ORG. For
Aquatics professionals can further their $95, people can watch three of the 35 semi-
education online, too, thanks to the NATIONAL nar choices. With no restrictions as to how
SWIMMING POOL FOUNDATION (NSPF), Col- many viewers can watch an Internet-broad-
orado Springs, Colo., which launched its casted seminar at a time, this option opens
eProAcademy Online Training Center at up a whole new way for facilities to educate LASTING VALUE UNDER FOOT
WWW.EPROACADEMY.ORG in January. Students their aquatics staff — at a fraction of the cost
can achieve a Certified Pool-Spa Operator cer- of sending them to the actual conference. FM 6801 Lake Plaza, Suite 105-A, Indianapolis, IN 46220
Telephone: 317.849.6181 Fax: 317.842.5384
©2006 Fitness Flooring, Inc. FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 19

People and Places
Names Lexington, Ken., the largest Gold’s Associations
Gold’s Gym International, Dallas, Gym franchisee in the world, hired THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON
Texas, announced the resignation ANTHONY MUNOZ, a former Cincin- EXERCISE (ACE), San Diego,
of GENE LAMOTT as chief executive nati Bengals’ football player and Calif., named LEN KRAVITZ ,
officer. The company’s board of
directors appointed DAVID SCHN-
ABEL to serve as its new CEO. …
JIM EVANS was named vice presi-
Hall of Fame inductee, as its
Gold’s Gym spokesperson in the
Dayton, Cincinnati and northern
Kentucky markets. … MOUNTAIN-
associate professor of exercise
at the University of New Mexico
and advisory board member for
Life Fitness, Schiller Park, Ill.,
Children and
dent/general manager of 7 Flags SIDE FITNESS SURPRISE, Tempe, Fitness Educator of the Year. …
Fitness and Racquet Club in Clive, Ariz., opened its sixth club in Ari- ACE board member WOJTEK adolescents who
Iowa. … CONNIE SUE CENTRELLA, zona and announced its next CHODZKO-ZAJKO was selected to
program director for the Keiser three locations: southeast Gilbert, the President’s Council on are overweight are
College eCampus, was recognized northwest Peoria and the City of Physical Fitness and Sports Sci-
as Instructor of Distinction by Maricopa. Plans for growth ence Board. … THE INTERNA-
more likely than
Keiser College, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. include five more facilities in the TIONAL COUNCIL ON ACTIVE their normal-weight
Phoenix Metro area, and at least AGING , Vancouver, B.C., Canada,
Facilities six clubs in Colorado within the presented the 2006 Industry peers to suffer bone
TCA HOLDINGS INC., Chicago, Ill., next 24 months. … YMCA OF THE Equipment Innovator award to
renamed a network of its Chicago- TREASURE COAST, Stuart, Fla., held Life Fitness, Schiller Park, Ill., fractures and have
area facilities to MIDTOWN ATHLETIC its Senior Health Fair in January. for its Circuit Series. The award joint and muscle
CLUBS. It will spend as much as The event included guest speak- spotlights North America’s
$30 million to expand the facili- ers, community resource informa- most inventive new fitness pains.
ties and install cafés in each. … tion booths and medical equipment for active older
GLOBAL FITNESS HOLDINGS LLC, screenings. adults. -Pediatrics, June 2006

1/2 horizontal


Suppliers manager of health management for City, Calif., is now the official fitness system. PT Link, a communication
CHECKFREE HEALTH & FITNESS, Atlanta, Health Fitness Corp.’s Eastman Chem- consultant for University of Southern system for clients and trainers, is
Ga., appointed Sean Jamesto business ical Companyaccount, wasnamed one California Recreational Sports, Los scheduled for release this month. Also
developmentmanager, Europe. He will of the Top 40 Professionals under 40 Angeles, Calif. … WATER TECH, East scheduled for launch in early 2007 is
join the Wokingham, U.K.-based oper- by the Tri-Cities Business Journal. … Brunswick, N.J., employeesparticipated Mealcasting, which allowshealth clubs
ation, which suppliesCheckFree’s club SCIFIT, Tulsa, Okla., formed Scifit UK, in the American Cancer Society’s Daf- to maintain contact with potential
management and billing software and headquartered in Kingsclere, England. fodil Relay for Life 2006 event, which members and corporate clients.
servicesto the European market. Other This new division helps strengthen its raised more than $90,000.
CheckFree news from across the pond: long-term goal ofEuropean expansion. Acquisitions
Its web-based management software Scifit UK manages warehouses in the Websites MOTIONSOFT INC. ’s health and fit-
was chosen to support a large govern- United Kingdom and Germany. Ken Taraflex Sports Flooring by Gerflor, ness division, KI Software, Silver
ment fitness and leisure facility based Pearson was named European devel- Atlanta, Ga., re-launched its website Spring, Md., acquired COMPUTER
in Belgium. The site isa 1,000-member opment director for the U.K. and Euro- at WWW.GERFLORTERAFLEX.COM with OUTFITTERS , Tucson, Ariz. KI Soft-
complex for staff that is managed by pean offices. … Research by the new interactive optionsand animation. ware assumed support and develop-
Bladerunner, a provider of club man- University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Visitors can design their own basket- ment responsibilities for all
agement services to the corporate, School of Business Administration, ball or volleyball court online, as well Computer Outfitters’ customers. …
public sector and hospitality markets. determined that GLOBALFIT, Philadel- as sign up and take the AIA Learning PENTAIR WATER POOL AND SPA INC.,
… HEALTH FITNESS CORP., Minneapolis, phia, Pa., is one of the fastest growing Course titled “The Fundamentals of Sanford, N.C., acquired ACU-TROL
Minn., formed a new executive struc- privately held companies in the Sports Flooring.” Architects can down- INC., Auburn, Calif.
ture to include an office of the chair- Philadelphia region for the fourth con- load technical information, including
man. The new executive management secutive year. Additionally, David specifications for all Taraflex products. Correction
team iscomposed ofMarkW. Sheffert, Giampaolo succeeded GlobalFit … Vitabot, location, announced a new Power Systems is located in
chairman ofthe board; JerryNoyce, vice Founder John Cassady as the com- set of features on its website at Knoxville, Tenn. Its location was
chairman; and Gregg O. Lehman, pres- pany’s chairman of the board. … WWW.VITABOT.COM . In January, incorrect on p. 15 of the Novem-
identand CEO. Additionally, Tim Peters, ADVANTAGE FITNESS PRODUCTS, Culver Vitabot released its new Goal Tracking ber issue.

1/2 horizontal FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 21

Weight Tied to
Mental Function
Adults who carry most of
tend to score more poorly on tests
of memory, attention and learning
their excess weight around
ability than their thinner peers do, the middle may be at
researchers have found. The find-
ings, they say, suggest that a heav- particular risk of high blood
ier weight in middle age may mean
a higher risk of dementia later in life. pressure. In a 10-year
Reporting in the Oct. 10, 2006, study, researchers found
issue of Neurology, the researchers
speculate that higher rates of cardio- that those whose waistlines
vascular disease or diabetes might help explain the link. But it’s also possible that substances pro-
duced by fat cells, such as the hormone leptin, have direct effects on the brain. expanded over the years
The study included 2,223 healthy adults who were between the ages of 32 and 62 in 1996. At
that time, they took standard cognitive tests, assessing abilities like memory, attention and speed
showed a similar increase
of learning. Five years later, they took the tests again. in blood pressure.
In general, the researchers found, people with a high body mass index (BMI) had lower test scores
than those with a lower BMI. They also tended to show greater cognitive decline between the two -American Journal of
test periods. Factors such as age, education and general health did not seem to explain the link.
According to researchers, the tests used in the study were sensitive enough to detect “small Hypertension, August 2006
variations” in cognition, and the weight-related differences seen among these healthy middle-aged
adults would probably not be obvious in daily life. But, over time, the researcher explained, there INDUSTRY
could be more apparent effects on the rate of mental decline. Personal Trainer
It’s possible, say the researchers, that excess fat cells have some direct effect on brain func-
tion. For example, some studies suggest that the “hunger” hormone leptin, which is produced by
Web Directory Created
fat cells, plays a role in learning and memory. Personal Trainer Listing Service, Bethel, Conn.,
Although study participants were in generally good health, disorders like elevated blood pres- created a “Yellow Pages” for personal train-
sure and diabetes could act as a bridge between high BMI and poorer cognitive function. Thick- ers at The site was
ening and hardening of the blood vessels supplying the brain can contribute to dementia. Similarly, created so that fitness centers, clients, uni-
diabetes may harm cognition by either leading to artery disease or because of the effects of the versities and others seeking qualified personal
hormone insulin on brain cells. FM trainers can have a single location to search,
locate, compare and contact personal trainers.
Dan Gaita, president of Personal Trainer List-
Exercise Important for Those with Diabetes ing Service, says that the site allows trainers
AMONG THE MANY health benefits of exercise that researchers have found in recent years, two new to update their information and upload their
studies deal with exercise and diabetes. The first study found that exercise can help people with large photo, and provides a one- to five-star trainer
waistlines reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first place. The second study found rating system based on the trainers’ combined
that obese diabetics can benefit from low-intensity, low-impact exercises such as tai chi, stretching certifications, education and experience.
and calisthenics. People seeking trainers can locate, compare
In the first study, which was published recently in Diabetic Medicine, researchers found that people and contact trainers directly. FM
with large waistlines who exercise were less likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes than their less-
active counterparts. Researchers studied 1,812 normal and overweight people and found that physi-
cally inactive people with large waistlines had a 5.5 times greater risk of suffering from diabetes than Send Us Your News!
active people with small waists. Say researchers, “People who were obese were more likely to be diag- If you have news about your
nosed with glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes; but, if they were physically active, their risk was fitness center, we want to publish
significantly lower.”
In the second study (Diabetes Care, September 2006), researchers found that older obese type
it! This includes facility updates,
2 diabetics can benefit from low-intensity, low-impact tai chi exercises, regular stretching and cal- renovations and new builds;
isthenics. In the study, 38 men and women with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to tai chi anniversaries; events; donations;
exercises, or seated calisthenics and stretching. The participants, who were about 65 years old, par- new programs or offerings;
ticipated in 55-minute exercise sessions twice a week for 16 weeks. At the end of the study period, community outreach programs;
participants in both exercise groups experienced improvements in their balance and walking speed. and much more. Send your news,
Say researchers, “We need to further investigate an optimal modality of exercise(s) and dose for with photos (if available), to
older, obese and long-term sedentary adults with type 2 diabetes, so that they are able to … enjoy
and adhere to an exercise program in order to retard the decline in physical function associated,
with diabetes.” FM and see your name in print! FM



Is it possible to eat healthy at a fast food restaurant?

In 2003, consumers spent nearly with French fries
$121 billion in fast food restau- doesn’t mean
rants. It has been said that each they can’t ask for
day, one out of every four people a baked potato
in the U.S. eats fast food. (plain, of course).
Although eating “on the road” is Control por-
usually quick and convenient, the tions. Tell clients
food tends to be high in calories, to order the
fat and sodium. Nevertheless, smallest burger,
there are healthy tactics that can not the largest
be employed when eating on the one (and get it
road. Here are a few suggestions: without cheese).
Drink responsibly. Two beverages They should get
to avoid are milkshakes and sodas. the smallest
Besides being high in sodium, milk- order of fries, not
shakes are high in calories and fat; the largest one. In
most sodas are high in sugar, which short, it isn’t wise
has virtually no nutritional value. to supersize.
Excellent choices for a beverage are Become knowl-
low-fat milk, juice and water. edgeable. A food at one restaurant chains. They found that a chicken
Get substitutes. Just because a can differ dramatically from the sandwich at one fast food restaurant
meal comes with a soda doesn’t same food at another. For example, had 360 calories, and a chicken
mean consumers can’t ask for low- researchers looked at 36 chicken sandwich at another fast food
fat milk; just because a meal comes sandwiches from 16 fast food restaurant had 950 calories.

What’s meant by the term “significant” Is there a difference between

when it’s used in studies? refurbished and reconditioned
In discussing research studies, a term that appears frequently is “signifi-
cant” (or a derivative of the term, such as “significantly”). In normal dia- Many individuals elect to purchase fitness equipment that’s used rather
logue, “significant” means “important”; in statistical dialogue, “significant” than new. While this can allow a fitness center to acquire name-brand
means “probably true.” The term “significant” is used to describe the equipment without incurring significant costs, it’s important to be aware
amount of change, as well as the difference between two or more groups. of the terminology that’s often employed.
When the amount of change is said to be “significant,” it means that it’s The terms “refurbished” and “reconditioned” both refer to used
“probably true” that the amount of change was the result of the treatments equipment, but they have different meanings. In general, equipment
rather than pure chance. When the difference between two or more groups that is refurbished means that it’s repainted, repaired and rebuilt;
is said to be “significant,” it means it’s “probably true” that the difference equipment that’s reconditioned means that it’s only repaired as
was the result of the treatments rather than pure chance. needed. (Some vendors use the term “remanufactured.”) Different ven-
Consider, for example, a study in which subjects are randomly assigned dors may have different definitions of those terms, so it’s a good idea
to two different groups: One group receives Treatment A and the other to determine exactly what they do to the equipment so you’re not
group receives Treatment B. Both Treatment A and Treatment B could pro- surprised at the time of delivery. As an added measure, you can
duce a “significant” increase in some variable — such as muscular size or request photographs of the equipment. Finally, it’s important to ask
strength — without there being a “significant” difference between the about warranties and to check references.
two treatments. So the group that did Treatment A might experience a
greater amount of change than the group that did Treatment B, but the dif- Matt Brzycki is coordinator of recreational fitness and wellness programs at Prince-
ference might not be large enough to conclude that Treatment A is supe- ton University, Princeton, N.J. He has more than 22 years of experience at the col-
rior to Treatment B. Rather, the difference may be due to “pure chance.” legiate level and has authored, co-authored or edited 14 books. FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 23


Workouts from Boxing’s Greatest Champs

AUTHOR: Gary Todd
PUBLISHER: Ulysses Press, 800 377-2542,
Boxing has gained exposure from cable television, yet you never really get a peek at what the ath-
letes do to prepare for their big fight. In Workouts from Boxing’s Great-
est Champs, Gary Todd assembled knowledge and workouts from
top-notch boxers into a format that is entertaining, informative and will
have you yelling at Rocky to give you one more.
If your facility has a boxing program, this is a must-read for training
routines and regimens that can really add some sizzle to boxing work-
outs. From Norton to Ali to Bramble and everyone in between, you
will know what they ate, when they ate it, when they slept, how far
they ran, how many days a week they trained and even what they liked
to watch on television. Even if you aren’t a boxer, you will be fascinated
by the answers each fighter gives to Todd. The style of the book makes
you feel like you are in a boxing gym, and has that feel of hours of
working on being tough. Todd has a section on such topics as road
work, gym work, the heavy bag, and other training methods to moti-
vate and direct. The book is as good for motivation as the techniques and tips.
If you have a boxing program at your facility, this is a solid, entertaining book
with tested training ideas.

Mastering Cortisol Vegetarian Sports Nutrition

AUTHOR: Marilyn Glenville AUTHOR: D. Enette Larson-Meyer
PUBLISHER: Ulysses Press, 800 377-2542, PUBLISHER: Human Kinetics, 800 747-4457,

A premise of Mastering Cortisol is elevated cortisol levels, which Vegetarian Sports Nutrition is als likely to be at low levels in vege-
that weight gain is partially due to Glenville terms “the devil in dis- thoughtful and entertaining, yet, more tarian athletes, including zinc, iodine
hormonal imbalances. Author Mari- guise.” While stress is subjective, importantly, makes a case for vege- and copper. If you work with vegetar-
lyn Glenville makes a solid case for she makes the case that women are tarian options as fuel for sports per- ian athletes, this is packed with
the relationship between cortisol and more susceptible to mental stress formance. From the start, this book useful information.
excess body fat. While this book is than men. The section on excess fat is about a vegetarian approach to
aimed at women, there is enough and its role in health problems is achieve both health and sports
strategy to cross the gender line for good for consumers and fitness pro- performance advantage. Larson-
universal practicality. This book fessionals alike because its power- Meyer points out that serious ath-
covers the various sub-topics with ful facts and explanations are concise letes can get enough calories from
enough depth, yet is a and to the point. The a vegetarian diet if they choose
little more aimed at exercise section is good, carbohydrates and fats wisely. The
the consumer than the but not progressive from author challenges the idea that
fitness professional. a personal trainer’s per- you can’t build muscle without
According to the spective. This is a good meat. Evidence from the author
author, the body stores book if your clientele asserts that the right blend of pro-
fat primarily on the consists of women 40 teins and amino acids will fuel the
waist because of and older who are build. The section on using vege-
repeated bouts of the struggling with weight tarian nutrition to break free from
stress syndrome finally due to increased levels supplements is thought-provoking,
taking their toll with of cortisol from stress. along with a section on the miner-

Catalogs SPRI PRODUCTS INC. (800 222-7774,, Libertyville,

SPORTSMITH (800 713-2880,, Tulsa, Okla., pub- Ill., issued a catalog of professional fitness products, such as aquatics,
lished its 156-page Fitness Parts and Products Superstore catalog, fea- balance, stability, sport conditioning and more.
turing a large selection of parts, and strength and personal training
products with express, same-day shipping.
PREPAK PRODUCTS INC. (800 544-7257,, Chart
Oceanside, Calif., released its catalog of professional rehab and fitness OPTP (800 367-7393,, Minneapolis, Minn., released the
products. Featured brands include Web-Slide exercise rail systems, Exer- Stretch Station, a 5-by-3-foot wall chart that graphically demonstrates
Band tubes and accessories, and a Home Ranger shoulder pulley. 100 flexibility exercises.

Neil Wolkodoff, Ph.D., is the developer of Physical Golf and Zonal Training Technologies, based at the Greenwood
Athletic Club in Englewood, Colo. He has served as an editor for ACE and ACSM, and is the author of four books.



I have money,
I am loyal, and
I bring my friends.

If you are ready

to earn my business,
contact the
International Council
on Active Aging.
Best Ideas

wellness coach, and participate in com-

Is the Freshman 15 — the amount of weight students can expect to gain munity service and/or attend wellness-
in their first year of college — a myth? It might be, but the truth is that related seminars.
This year, the Center for Intercolle-
more than half of college students do gain weight during their first year. giate Athletics & Recreation has 22 stu-
Long hours of studying often mean less provided a one-year complimentary dents enrolled. While that’s a small
time for physical activity. And, while alumni membership to all of the insti- number compared to the 15,000-plus
most colleges do have some physical tute’s facilities and a one-year pass to the students on campus, Davies believes
activity requirement, it’s not enough to men’s hockey games (RIT is Division I in the program has served as a role model
keep those pounds from creeping on. men’s hockey), and are invited as guests for other students. “We are saying that
Louann Davies, a wellness instructor at the end-of-the-year luncheon where we will provide the resources and the
and assistant at the Rochester Institute they are given a certificate, as well as manpower … if you [students] will make
of Technology’s new fitness center, rec- other gifts. Students participating in the a commitment to being active and
ognized this, and decided to do some- program are required to complete double making fitness an important part of
thing about it by creating the Certificate the graduation requirement for physical your life,” says Davies. FM
of Excellence in Fitness & Wellness. activity (four classes
Sponsored by the Center for Intercolle- vs. two), maintain
giate Athletics & Recreation, students are normal progress
encouraged to apply for the certificate toward graduation,
program online, which is free. By partic- stay in good aca-
ipating, students are assigned a personal demic/judicial
wellness coach to work with them standing, maintain
throughout the year, are given recogni- their one-on-one
tion in the center and on campus, are meetings with the



IT’S HARD TO resist Halloween Williams, fitness center

candy. There’s always an abundance manager. “It was a fun,
of it, and it’s seemingly everywhere. creative way to get them
So, to encourage members to exer- motivated to exercise,
cise and steer clear of Halloween and provide them with
treats this past year, Megan Williams new workouts to
and Stacey Hubbard from the Sallie decrease boredom.”
Mae Metroplex Fitness Center at the Forty-nine members
National Institute for Fitness and participated in the pro-
Sport developed Trick or Trim. gram, expending
The seven-day incentive program, approximately 1,561
which ran from October 23 through calories per person.
31, provided participants with daily Prizes included a one-
workouts corresponding to candy year subscription to a
calories. Each day, participants health-related magazine
would fictitiously trick or teat to a of their choice, an
different house and, at each house, Adidas gym bag and two
they would receive pretend candy Indiana Repertory The-
and a corresponding workout to use atre tickets. “Our mem-
up those calories. After each com- bers absolutely loved
pleted workout, participants com- the incentive,” says
pleted a drawing slip to enter to win Williams. “It increased
a prize at the end of the program. our membership, as
“The program came about as a way well as monthly visits.
to educate our corporate fitness site I’m seeing new faces on a regular informed me that they completely The Trick or Trim inventive program
members of exactly how sneaking basis completing the Trick or Trim steered clear of Halloween candy this helped members steer clear of Halloween
candy and expend more calories at the
your children’s candy or eating workouts even though the incentive year once they learned how long you same time.
candy leftovers add up,” says is over. Best of all, members have to exercise to burn it off!” FM

Successful Aging THE TENNIS AND FITNESS CENTER, ROCKY HILL, CONN. To be featured in
WITH THE POPULA- bers’ individual needs.” our monthly Best
TION of active adults Members who enroll in Ideas column:
ages 55 and older grow- the program are eligible
ing faster than ever in for a discount on mem- WRITE A SHORT description
the U.S., so too is the bership and receive of a program you’ve imple-
number of injuries three half-hour per- mented in your facility during
requiring physical ther- sonal training sessions. the past year. Include infor-
apy. The problem is A physical therapist and mation about how the pro-
that, once patients are personal trainer review gram came about, how it is
released from physical those members’ operated, and how it has
therapy, where do they progress every two benefitted your facility and
go? The Tennis and Fit- months, or on an as- your members.
ness Center, which needed basis. If we choose your facility to
caters to this popula- While the program be featured in the column, we’ll
tion, knows this prob- has only been in exis- notify you. You must be avail-
lem all too well. That is tence since August able for a phone interview, and
why the staff developed 2006, as of this writing, you’ll be requested to provide
Successful Aging, a pro- it has brought in 30 photographs of your facility.
gram that smooths the The Tennis and Fitness Center’s Successful Aging program creates programs new members. And, Send your best ideas
transition from physical specifically for older adults who have been released from physical therapy. present members are
therapy to fitness. also taking advantage of via email to Editorial
“When physical therapy is over, additional guidance. “We have a sep- some of the new equipment. Other Director Ronale Rhodes at
the patient is given instructions as to arate corner just for Successful Aging, facilities could benefit by designing
what exercises he or she can do,” with a NuStep, bands and pulleys,” similar programs for this population.
says Cathy Presutti, tennis and fit- Presutti says. “We work closely with “The Successful Aging program is Or for more information,
ness consultant manager. But what physical therapists in creating an something that can be used … by call 951 244-6498.
they really need is a program and exercise program suited to the mem- anyone,” says Presutti. FM FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 27

ATTRITION IS THE No. 1 talked-about business member retention suit with many other operators by hiring secret
topic in the fitness industry. The old adage that • developing monthly special events to shoppers. Amy Scanlin explains in her article,
says it costs more to acquire a new member expose members to programming options Use Secret Shoppers to Enhance Customer Ser-
than to retain an existing one is a key concern • developing a selective staff recruitment program vice (p.32), that secret shopper companies will
among fitness facility operators. Unfortunately, • executing trainer performance expectation evaluate your business in any way you ask them,
while this appears to be a main focus of con- agreements and contracts and on a schedule that you decide. What you
cern, Ray O’Connor, owner of Wisconsin Ath- • developing a program design and training find out may surprise you, but the end result can
letic Clubs, states that,“More people have joined progression process only help you to provide superior service, which
and quit clubs today than are members today.” • identifying and correcting your trainers’ can lower your attrition rate.
With less than 14 percent of the population cur- skillset weaknesses
rently fitness facility members, you have to • increasing personal training sales at the Establish a “clean” philosophy
wonder how many of that other 86 percent has membership point-of-sale Part of providing superior service includes
“been there, done that.” And, if they have, is it • enhancing staff professionalism and train- maintaining a clean facility. In Guy Brown’s arti-
even possible to get them to come back? ing competencies cle, Optimal Cleanliness = Member Satisfaction
While attrition is certainly a part of doing While many facilities’ retention programs will (p.34), he quotes Mary Schrad, franchise support
business, it can be reduced. “There are always differ, depending on the market, these steps are manager for Contours Express, as saying, “If one
going to be cancellations,” says Doug Ribley, arguably a good beginning. Many incorporate was to poll its members, gym cleanliness would
director of administrative and wellness services getting members involved in your facility. And, rank in the top three concerns.” Keeping the facil-
at Akron General Health & Wellness Center, industry experts seem to agree that building ity clean shows members that you care about their
Akron, Ohio. “People’s lives change. It is a part member-to-member and member-to-staff con- experience and their health. If you think your
of our business, part of what happens.” In fact, nections is what will develop the emotional cleaning program is up to par, compare it to the

the majority of those who quit fitness facilities bond to the facility. As O’Connor explains, systems other facilities have in place. You may be
do so because of relocation, financial hardship “People quit clubs; they don’t quit relationships.” overlooking some areas that need attention.
or illness. What we must identify is why indi-
viduals drop their memberships due to dissat- Give and show members results Solutions to the attrition issue
isfaction, and then create ways to reduce the Equally important to relationship building is Retention equals money. And, to make
likelihood of that continuing to happen. showing members that the product — their money, says Esquerre, fitness centers, and the
membership investment — is working for them. industry as a whole, need to evaluate them-
Retention requires a program But before you can show them it’s working, you selves and make change. “The fitness industry
At the Club Industry trade show and confer- have to educate them about what results they needs self-evaluation,” he explains. “It is not the
ence held in Chicago in October 2006, Bob should actually look for. In most cases, members strongest of the species who survive, but those
Esquerre, owner of Esquerre Fitness Group, look only at weight loss as a measure of suc- who change.” While not quite a direct quote
Weston, Fla., in his seminar “Member Retention: cess. Richard Bloomer, in his article, Assessing for from Darwin, the parallel to the fitness indus-
17 Steps to Success and Profitability,” asked atten- Retention (p.30), states that “While a change in try is certainly well-made.
dees how many of them had a retention program body weight/body fat may be most important If you don’t have a retention program in
in place at their facility. Out of all the attendees, for many people, it is certainly not the only vari- place, now is the time. Look past the facility
only three raised their hands. Since the seminars able on which members should focus.” Bloomer itself, and figure out how you’re going to get
on retention at the major industry shows tend outlines nine other measurement variables that members involved. O’Connor explains how he
to be the most well-attended, it’s clearly not a trainers should educate members about. This did this at his fitness centers during the rac-
question of whether attrition is important but, way, he explains, “members have several oppor- quetball boon: “What we learned when it was
rather, confusion about what to do about it. tunities for success.” And fitness program success just racquetball was that they were just courts,
Esquerre believes that, for fitness centers to equals retention. and if [we] didn’t figure out a way to get them
be successful, they must be able to change and [members] to play, [we] didn’t get paid. So we
adapt. They must have a retention program in Ensure service strategies are working created leagues, which created relationships.”
place, which includes the following: Retention, according to Ribley, is a fitness Once you get members involved, make sure
• implementing a new member “meet and facility staff’s job. And, you accomplish that job that you treat them well and that they’re seeing
greet” program by offering a service to members that is great results. Establish a process that shows members
• establishing an interactive/pro-active fitness enough to keep them coming back and staying on a periodic basis what they’re gaining from
floor management process healthy. Yet, while most fitness professionals continuing to be a member at your facility. Ribley
• creating a synergy between personal train- would claim that their members receive superior states that, with every 1 percent improvement in
ing and group exercise programming service, most members of fitness facilities don’t retention, there is a 5 to 15 percent improvement
• developing a comprehensive staffing plan see it that way. If you want to know how good in pre-tax profit. Your facility’s success depends
• positioning personal training to support your facility’s customer service is, you can follow on finding solutions to the attrition issue. FM FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 29
Assessing for
EACH NEW YEAR, thousands of individuals begin a Are your members’ fitness programs working? You
fitness program as part of their “resolution.” Unfor-
tunately, the majority of these individuals fail to con- can increase individuals’ program compliance by
tinue with their program beyond the initial six to giving them more to measure than their weight.
eight weeks. This may be due to lack of success in
achieving their goals, which can be associated with
And, if they are successful in their results, you’ll most
not having measurable variables to assess actual likely be successful in retaining them as members.
progress. Most individuals focus exclusively on body By Richard J. Bloomer, Ph.D., CSCS
weight/body fat as their indicators of success. Yet,
while some members, indeed, experience a rapid and
significant decrease in these variables, which can improve training inter- Blood markers of health
est and motivation, others do not. And these individuals are often frus- Blood markers include fasting cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose.
trated by their lack of progress and give up. For diabetic members, testing should include hemoglobin A1C (glyco-
While a change in body weight/body fat may be most important sylated Hb). It is well known that regular exercise can favorably alter
for many people, it is certainly not the only variable on which mem- these important biomarkers. In addition, regular exercise can help to
bers should focus. Trainers should educate members about other prevent the oxidation (damage) of cholesterol and glucose, which com-
important health and performance variables that can serve as indi- monly leads to promotion of atherosclerosis (arterial plaque formation).
cators of program success, and should be included as part of an Members can be referred to their physicians or local clinical labs to con-
ongoing assessment plan. These assessments should be performed duct these routine tests. Upon completion of testing, they can bring test
on an individual basis, depending on member needs and desire for results to the fitness center for inclusion in their records. A certified
improvement. and qualified trainer should know how to interpret these labs, as famil-
Member retention often depends on member success in achiev- iarity with this information is a requirement for all reputable certifying
ing their fitness goals. Having more than one measurable goal organizations. An alternative would be to use one of the automated
increases the chance of overall success and compliance with any given chemistry analyzers (e.g., Cholestek), which can be purchased relatively
fitness program. Following are other ways that fitness and health inexpensively, with testing conducted by a trained staff member (only
can be measured to show clients and members that their programs a finger prick of blood is needed for full testing capabilities). These
are working. parameters provide important data related to overall health, and can
be easily included as a component of the assessment plan.
Cardiovascular markers
Lowering resting heart rate and blood pressure, as well as the heart Sport-specific skills
rate and blood pressure in response to submaximal exercise, are favor- Sport-specific skills may include a wide variety of activities, such as
able adaptations to regular exercise training. However, many members shooting baskets, rope skipping, rock climbing, kickboxing, running,
and trainers put little emphasis on these variables. Consider measuring swimming, etc. Having an athletic-skill-related goal rather than simply
a true resting heart rate and blood pressure (preferably with the member focusing on “getting fit” or “losing weight” certainly makes regular exer-
in a seated position and rested for five to 10 minutes). In addition, meas- cise more enjoyable and rewarding for both members and trainers. It
ure members’ heart rate and blood pressure at different submaximal also allows members to develop a sense of mastery, which may be
workloads during exercise. Lastly, measure their one-minute recovery equally as rewarding as developing an aesthetically pleasing physique.
heart rate following a standard exercise challenge. A lower resting and
exercise heart rate and blood pressure, and more rapid heart rate recov- Balance and coordination
ery following exercise, generally suggest an improvement in cardiovas- Balance and coordination are routinely overlooked when develop-
cular health. ing a fitness program, yet both are of vital importance. They may assist


in the improvement of many sport-specific skills and activities of daily
living. Consider such tools as exercise balls, balance beams, wobble
boards and step boxes, while having members perform both bilateral
and unilateral exercises, using both upper- and lower-body movements
(with eyes open and eyes closed). Consider timing members in an
attempt to measure their ability to perform these tasks. Also consider
having them perform traditional weight-training exercises while incor-
porating balance drills into the movement. Doing so can make exer-
cise more enjoyable and challenging for members. In addition, consider
using agility and speed drills, which can easily be set up in any group
exercise studio using cones, step boxes, etc. Be creative and challenge
members with these tasks.

Range of motion
Many members perform stretching exercises as a component of their
workout, but trainers should consider placing greater emphasis on this
aspect of members’ fitness plans, as almost all individuals can improve
a good deal in this regard. This may be accomplished by getting mem-
bers involved in a class targeted at improving flexibility (e.g., yoga,
Pilates), or simply designing a detailed stretching program to perform
at the conclusion of their workouts. Set measurable goals for range of
motion, as would be done for other variables. Range of motion in all
major joints can be measured by a qualified fitness instructor with the
aid of a goniometer.

Aerobic power and endurance

Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) is the best measure of aerobic appropriate surface. Calculate their muscular power using this equation:
power. Ideally, direct measurements of oxygen uptake are obtained Power = (Force x Distance)/Time
during a maximal graded exercise test; however, you may also use Example:
submaximal tests to estimate members’ VO2max. This can be done Body Weight (force) = 60 kg
using a variety of laboratory and “field” tests. Two of the easiest tests Distance running = 100 meters
to administer are the Rockport 1-mile walk test and the 1.5-mile run Time = 15 seconds
test. Various equations for estimated VO2max can be found online Power = (60 kg x 100 meters)/20 seconds = 400 kg-m/sec
for these tests, or you can simply record both the time taken to com-
plete the tests and members’ heart rate at the conclusion of the test. Improved mood
These numbers can be compared upon serial assessment in order to Several pencil and paper tests of psychological state and overall mood
determine overall improvement. This is an excellent way to estimate can be used to determine the effect of members’ exercise programs on
aerobic capacity in situations where direct measurement of expired their overall mood (e.g., profile of mood states or POMS). These tests
gases is not feasible. are easy to administer and provide information unrelated to physical
attributes gained from the exercise program. For many members,
Muscular strength, endurance and power improvement in overall mood is as important as or more important
Try the following assessments to determine members’ fitness levels than any other variable. Although these types of assessments are rou-
in these areas. Strength: Choose a variety of exercises and assess mem- tinely offered in exercise-related research studies, they are rarely con-
bers’ one-repetition maximum. Endurance: Choose any exercise and sidered in fitness settings. Adopt such assessments with members who
have members perform as many repetitions as possible until they reach you believe would benefit from these measures.
a point of momentary muscular failure. Make certain they use proper
form, including a slow and controlled tempo (e.g., two seconds up, Exercise compliance
two seconds down). Power: Have members perform a standing verti- Once a member commits to a certain training schedule (or dietary
cal jump test and measure the height of their jump. Alternatively, or in intake), measure compliance. This may include a simplistic assessment
addition to the jump test, have members perform a sprint test on an Continued on page 38 FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 31

Service Shoppers
WHAT IS THE one thing that sets your facility apart Working with a secret shopping company will give
from its competitors? The most frequent answer to
this question is customer service/attention to the you valuable insight into your members’ experiences,
member. But, how do you know your members and and help you to improve your level of service.
potential members are actually receiving the service
By Amy Scanlin, M.S.
you intend to give them? The Mystery Shopping
Providers Association (MSPA), Dallas, Texas, states that one unhappy cus- employees may be wonderful, but if the procedures in place for the busi-
tomer will tell 10 others about their experience, and that person will tell ness are not customer friendly, employees may choose not to use them.
another 10. With that knowledge, can you afford not to know what your
customers’ experiences are like? Just like other retail and service indus- The evaluation
tries, fitness centers are turning to secret shoppers and professional sur- Each secret shopper is provided different focus areas to evaluate, or
veyors to get a clearer picture of what their members truly experience. different shops within the shop. All of these focus areas are predeter-
“Businesses send us out to see what their customer’s experience is mined by both the secret shopper provider and management of the
like, and they can then change things about their business based on facility being evaluated. The first focus for a fitness center might be the
what we find out,” says Larissa Gillotti of Shoppers Critique Interna- front desk. Shoppers will be looking for things such as the following:
tional, Longwood, Fla. Secret shopper companies will evaluate your busi- • Was the customer greeted?
ness in any way you ask them to, including in-person or phone visits; • If so, what type? A quick “hello,” “Welcome to ABC Fitness Center,” etc.
evaluating the ease of use and correctness of website information; web- • Was check-in prompt, or did the shopper have to wait?
based customer satisfaction surveys, where secret shoppers visit a web- • What was the appearance of the front desk employees? Were they
site to rate your service on a particular day; and Interactive Voice dressed neatly? Did they appear to have good hygiene? Were they wear-
Response surveys (IVR). ing the proper uniform?
You and the secret shopping company work together to set up param- • What was the appearance of the front desk area?
eters, such as what the shoppers will be looking for, how frequently your • What was the overall impression of the front desk?
business should be “shopped” and how you would like their findings The second focus area might be the exercise room:
reported back to you. Essentially, you combine your expertise of the fit- • If the mystery shopper is considering joining, was he/she given a
ness business with their expertise of determining customer satisfaction. tour of the facility or told to walk through on their own?
Brad Christian of Shop n’ Chek, Norcross, Ga., says, “there’s really a • If the shopper is already a member, was the fitness staff able to
hand-in-hand benefit” to the relationship between the secret shopper answer questions or be of assistance?
provider and the client. “Managers and owners typically develop oper- Think of each area of your fitness center — group fitness, locker
ations expectations that form the corporate culture.” As Christian rooms, cardio/weight areas, day care — as a focus area. “Every compo-
explains it, people gravitate toward places where they have a good expe- nent or thing that is unique should have its own focus,” says Christian.
rience. Conversely, the MSPA states that 69 percent of customers leave “Every opportunity is an opportunity to deliver and generate strong loy-
a business due to poor service. A good experience includes being greeted alty,” from your members.
politely upon entering, noticing a clean facility, interacting with employ- Also, make sure each question for the shopper to evaluate is formu-
ees who are well-versed in their jobs — pretty much the very things lated separately. If you are evaluating a person’s greeting, don’t com-
fitness managers work hard to improve. Businesses that people choose bine whether they smiled, said hello, shook your hand, all into one
not to frequent have likely not met customers’ expectations in some evaluation question. They may do some but not others, and it will be
way, whether it’s due to poor service or in other areas. Christian explains difficult to evaluate in those instances. Include both open and closed
that these companies don’t strive to offer negative service; they are just questions in your survey.
falling short of meeting the expectations of management. “People tend
to be surprised by our findings,” he says. “Corporate expectations are The experience
often higher than what is actually delivered.” The key to receiving great customer service is the feeling of being valued.
Tiffany Gleason, co-owner of Mystery Shoppers, Knoxville, Tenn., When members ask for help finding a machine for a particular workout,
suggests evaluating your customer service procedures. She says the what are their experiences? If it’s bad, they won’t even be able to find a staff


Customer Service Surveys
WHILE SECRET OR mystery shopping looks at the customer service
your employees provide, another type of survey gives you insight into
member on the floor to ask. If it’s average, they’ll be pointed in the general how your customers feel about that service, which can be an invaluable
direction of the machine. If it’s great, they’ll be walked to the machine and tool. Social science research, or custom mail surveys, provide data as to
be asked if they would like instructions on using it. Across the board, the how members feel about the service they receive, and what changes they
biggest issues with customer service are the levels of engagement between would make if they could.
employees and members — and that level of engagement as part of a cor- “We have over 50 questions, two sides of a piece of paper,” says Bill
porate culture is often the hardest for managers to address. Lazarus, CEO of SEER Analytics, Tampa, Fla. “You can ask more ques-
If your employees know they are being shopped, one of two things tions via the mail than you can in an e-survey because people are will-
will happen. They’ll be motivated to improve their interactions with ing to take more time.” He also says that mail surveys provide a more
customers for the long run, or only for the short term. Hopefully, the accurate view of your member’s thoughts because e-survey data sets are
motivation takes hold and they’ll aspire to great service, whether they skewed to only those who use the Internet.
think they are being watched or not. To get a true sense of what your This member data can be used in a number of ways. For instance,
members’ experiences are like, it is not recommended to share with based on the size of your city, its demographics, your location and other
employees any specifics of the secret shopping experience. “The whole factors, how many members should you have? How far do your mem-
point in keeping it a mystery is the mystery,” says Christian. bers travel to visit your center? Do they pass other centers in route to
You’ll decide, with your secret shopper, various scenarios in which to get to your facility? Would they be responsive if you opened a new center
shop. Perhaps you want the experience of a prospective member, or a cur- closer to them?
rent member with a billing question. You may even want a confrontational Typically, response to mail surveys is about 2 to 3 percent. But,
secret shopper to get an idea of how your employees react under stress. Lazarus finds that businesses who share their findings with their cus-
You’ll also need to decide how often you’d like your business to be tomers, and work to improve on the service they provide based on the
shopped. Most companies hire secret shoppers to visit on a monthly basis, findings, have closer to 20 percent response. When people are vested
others quarterly. But rarely do secret shoppers visit one time only. All with you, they want you to make them happy, which will, in turn, help
employees have bad days. And, while you don’t want their bad day to your business succeed.
become your customer’s, it isn’t necessarily fair to take that one snapshot
as an overview of their customer service skills. However, if you have monthly does it really? Anyone can put fitness equipment in a building and com-
visits with negative results, you’ve got something to take action on. petitively price their membership rates, but the care members receive
Gleason suggests tying the evaluation of your employees to some kind of from your employees is far more valuable than any bulletin board or
reward. Knowing that a certain number of evaluation points might win them profit center. Look at your environment from their point of view, and
movie tickets, a shirt, etc., could be a great motivator for staff members. see if their needs are being met. FM

Getting started REFERENCE

Smart companies hire secret shoppers before they think there may Mystery Shopping Providers Association. Press release: Taking the mys-
be a customer service issue, but a fair number wait until they suspect tery out of mystery shopping. Jan. 1, 2004.
a problem. Whenever you contact a secret shopping company, be pre-
pared to provide as much information as possible about your business Amy Scanlin is a fitness expert, certified instructor and freelance writer.
so that the shoppers will know what they are looking for. She has a master’s degree in health promotion management, certifications
You may want to provide training manuals, snapshots of what uni- through ACSM, ACE and the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, and
forms should look like, signage that should be displayed and even train- she has facilitated health promotion programs both at home and abroad.
ing videos, if you have them. The more information for the shopper,
the better. “If [fitness facilities] can tell us what [employees] are trained
to do, we can tell if they are doing it or not,” says Christian.
Get More Information Online!
If you found this article useful, you can read more about this topic on Fitness
You’ll also need to explain your customer base so the shopper can Management’s website. Below is a list of related articles that you can find online:
better understand your environment and what your business is trying 1. Customer Service 101. By Amy Scanlin (October 2004). In the cate-
to accomplish. A center that caters to those new to exercise will have a gory “Service Quality” from the Library of Articles link in the left menu at
different set of parameters than a center dedicated bodybuilders., or at
The great thing about hiring a secret shopping company is access to information/articles/library/service/frontdesk1004.html
a wide range of shoppers that can fit any scenario you may require. 2. Creating and Sustaining a Service Culture. By Stephen Tharrett and James A.
After all, it won’t be believable to have a muscle-bound person come Peterson (August 2006). In the category “Service Quality” from the Library of Arti-
in as a “new to exercise” shopper, and vice versa. Also, know that some cles, or at
states require that secret shoppers be licensed. 3. Teaching Employees Customer Service. By Teri O’Brien (May 2006). In the cate-
gory “Service Quality” from the Library of Articles, or at
Most fitness centers say that customer service sets them apart, but
FM/information/articles/library/mgtmemo/mgtmemo0505.html FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 33

Optimal Cleanliness =
Member Satisfaction
ALL FITNESS CENTERS are cleaned, to some Clean fitness centers keep members — it’s as simple as
extent. But the best fitness centers make clean-
liness a top priority, and with good reason. “I that. Paying close attention to cleanliness can raise
know there is a big focus on sales, personal standards and eliminate hazards and wasteful practices.
training and revenue-based items. But cleanli-
By Guy Brown
ness is not to be overlooked,” says Jim Cianci,
vice president, facilities management, for WOW!
Work Out World, Brick, N.J. “The cleanliness team is one of the most think people disinfect fitness equipment to the level and degree they
important in the club. You cannot have sales if you don’t have some- should,” he says. This is the same for countertops and toilets, Guen-
thing worthy of selling.” Frank Guengerich, executive vice president of gerich adds.
WTS International, Rockville, Md., says cleanliness, “speaks to mem- Cleanliness needs to be monitored to ensure standards are upheld.
bers’ expectations.” The cleanliness expectations they have at home “It starts with management being clear [about] what their expecta-
“translate to wherever they might shower [and] where personal hygiene tions are, having a system in place, training people and following up,”
comes into play.” says Guengerich. “I am amazed at how often people do not have sys-
What can optimum cleanliness achieve? Fitness Management and tems in place.” WTS International has a checklist and standards docu-
Consulting, Flower Mound, Texas, works with a facility that has been ment called Basics to Excellence, and fitness centers are inspected
in business for 20 years. A competitor recently opened a fitness center according to those standards.
nearby, leeching members away. But they have started to come back. Inspection is also a key strategy at WOW! clubs. WOW! has two
“When asked why they were coming back, they said this club was much people who walk the fitness center: the housekeeping manager and a
cleaner,” says President Jim Thomas. “There are few things as impres- secret shopper. The chain uses a checklist of 150 items, and, once a week,
sive as a clean club, no matter what the age.” both of these people go into the fitness centers and score them. The
Mary Schrad, franchise support manager for Contours Express, housekeeping manager of each club gets a bonus according to how
Nicholasville, Ky., agrees that members appreciate cleanliness. “If one many points is scored per month.
was to poll its members, gym cleanliness would rank in the top three Thomas also recommends incentives as part of compensation
concerns,” she says. “Gym cleanliness establishes a philosophy of the packages. He further offers an organizational framework that can
gym, and reflects how it feels about its members.” help with cleanliness. “Some clubs we work with have divided the
club up into ‘territories,’ with different people responsible for each
The cleaning process territory,” he says. With the addition of management follow-up,
Even in fitness facilities with a good cleaning philosophy, some fitness centers can establish a robust approach to cleaning. “The
areas get overlooked. Schrad says the transaction counter at the front clubs that we see doing the best job do the best job of following
desk is one prime example. It is intensively used, so how do you up,” says Thomas.
keep it clean? Besides a thorough clean twice a day, it would also be
beneficial to have a spray bottle and cloth behind the reception Disinfection
counter for the reception staff to wipe the surfaces down several Cleaning is removing dust, spots and stains. Disinfecting involves
times a day. killing potentially harmful germs, and is essential in some areas
Other areas that can get overlooked include door and toilet han- of the facility to provide members and staff with a hygienic and
dles, stretching areas, designated floor exercise areas and closets. safe environment. “I tell people, anywhere their skin can come into
There are also hard to reach spaces in between and around the contact with something, the surface needs to be disinfected,” says
machines, and dust collecting on areas of the equipment, says Guengerich.
Schrad. Guengerich says the inside of lockers are often missed, and In WOW! clubs, there are wipe-down stations consisting of paper
people don’t have rigorous consistency in cleaning drains. “I don’t towels and disinfectant, so members can wipe down machines after they


have used them. For the housekeeping department, key priorities for
disinfection (besides cardio equipment) are locker rooms and showers.
Schrad says disinfection is a priority for Contours Express, too. “Any-
where people place their hands — on machines, hand weights, jump
ropes, stability balls, bikes, etc. — [is a priority],” she says. “It should be
understood that whenever there is human contact, a disinfectant should
always be applied.”
Human contact is the main culprit when it comes to elevating a
person’s risk of infection. “It is recognized that 80 percent of all infec-
tious disease is caused by contact,” Schrad says. “Human sweat is not
really a problem. It’s primarily the moisture from the sweat that causes
problems by helping germs grow. Keeping gyms clean and dry is the
No. 1 priority.”
Members can help. “Management can put responsibilities on its
members by providing clear direction as to where they should dispose
of their used towels and used water cups,” says Schrad. “The more man-
agement can communicate direction for this type of cleanliness, [the
more it] will take a load off of the maintenance staff to pick up after
Similarly, Schrad says providing a hand sanitizer on top of the weight
machines invites members to protect themselves against germs. “When
members use this, they feel better about their germ control, and it cuts
down on the maintenance cleaning schedule.”

Periodic cleaning
Some tasks do not need daily cleaning, but are still vital on a peri-
odic basis. Periodic cleaning tasks can include things such as windows
and all high cleaning. WOW! does high-level dusting at least twice per
year. “Above eye-level areas, such as duct work and lighting, often get
overlooked,” says Cianci.
Guengerich says he often meets people who have never even
heard of high cleaning. “Most of our facilities close annually for When to clean
cleaning windows inside and out. Then there are ongoing clean- Determining the best times of day to clean needs careful attention.
ing tasks, such as moving cardio equipment around and cleaning Guengerich says that there are two different philosophies. One is to
under it, and cleaning the mechanics of the equipment. If you fail never get in the way of the customer. The second is to clean in a
to do that, static electricity can build up and damage the electri- seamless way, cleaning around the customer as much as you can. Gen-
cal components.” He adds pest control and spraying for bugs as erally, there are three key times to clean: after the morning rush, after
another periodic requirement. the lunch rush and before the evening rush. And then a full clean in
Contours Express says shampooing carpets and cleaning air ducts the evening. He adds that busier facilities may want to constantly clean
and air filters are carried out twice per year. “Depending on your ceil- around their users.
ing type, if it is open, those heating and air duct passageways collect “The slower times of day and ‘off’ hours will be best for heavy clean-
dust,” says Schrad. Similarly, ceiling fans should be dusted so they don’t ing, such as wet areas and the like,” says Thomas. “However, many of
circulate dust. our client clubs will want to bring attention to the fact [that] the club
Thomas adds other periodic cleaning tasks: “With heat of the is being cleaned, and have a porter on duty, in full uniform, cleaning
most recent summer, many club owners were reminded of the the club throughout the day. It creates great awareness and lets the mem-
importance of regular checks on the air conditioner filters.” Steam bers see the effort being made.”
cleaning carpets, sweeping parking lots and painting walls are Most Contours Express clubs use a maintenance log to assign clean-
other examples of periodic tasks. Further, cleaning grout in show- ing responsibilities; however, Schrad says cleaning is an ongoing respon-
ers and washing down walls can be monthly, or perhaps annual, sibility throughout the day. Vacuuming the carpet is done after the
cleaning tasks. members leave. Because most Contours location are closed from 1 to FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 35

Zone Cleaning
CMS International, Helena, Mont., teaches its clients a three-step
process — called Zone Cleaning — to keep their fitness centers clean
3 p.m. for community-based marketing, she says that this is the ideal while keeping costs down.
time to complete this task. “Members appreciate seeing the obvious
cleaning completed while they are getting their workout in,” Schrad says. Step 1: Divide your facility into zones
“These areas would be the hand grips of each machine, bike handles, Begin by visualizing your fitness center as if you were looking down
core stability balls, jump ropes and hand weights. Especially in the at it through a grid. The number of departments and staff you have will
cold and flu seasons, members are consciously aware of the spread of determine the size and number of zones. Here is an example of how one
germs and welcome the Contours staff [making] the extra effort for facility divided itself into cleaning zones:
their protection.” Zone 1: Front desk manager (front desk, waiting and lobby area, tan-
“One can never clean enough,” Schrad says. “It is safe to say that ning room, break room)
key areas should be cleaned minimally one time per day. These key Zone 2: Daycare manager (daycare)
areas are stretching areas, floor exercise areas, etc. Restrooms should be Zone 3: Group fitness manager (group exercise areas, including main
cleaned twice per day and periodically checked for any emergencies. group exercise room, group cycling room and swimming pool)
General high traffic areas should be checked hourly.” Zone 4: General manager/front desk manager (men’s and women’s
locker rooms)
Eye on costs Zone 5: Day spa manager (day spa)
Selecting the wrong cleaning product or application technique, and Zone 6: Fitness director (main fitness area)
overdosing, can damage floors, fittings and equipment. “I’ve seen wood Zone 7: Education director (education room)
floors ruined, carpets ruined, equipment upholstery ruined … even Zone 8: Janitor (maintenance rooms)
wrong lubricants on the equipment,” says Thomas. Zone 9: Administrative staff (administrative offices)
“An over-application of chemicals of any sort increases costs,” Schrad Zone 10: Group fitness manager (group fitness office)
says. “For example, when wiping down the upholstery of machines, if
you use a product that has alcohol in it, in time, this could weaken the Step 2: Assign cleaning duties
material and [it can] begin to tear. The alcohol tends to dry this mate- Once you’ve decided on the zones, as well as the people responsible
rial.” She also warns against using polish on the upholstery, as it can for overseeing them, the next step is to have the responsible parties
make the surface slippery and endanger a member. Slippery floor waxes make a list of all cleaning duties required to keep that particular area
can also increase injury risk. clean every day. Start by having each zone manager hold a meeting
Cleaning expenses can be reduced in other ways, too. WOW! has a with their staff. Staff members should be encouraged to contribute ideas
budget handed down by the franchise owners. Supplies are purchased and suggestions toward creating the list. This will help to create team
from one company, and shipped to one central place. They are disbursed unity and buy-in.
by the housekeeping manager, on the basis of orders placed by each house-
keeping supervisor once per week. Centralized control can cut down on Step 3: Provide checklists
waste, and centralized bulk purchasing can secure cheaper prices. The final step is to create an entire list of all cleaning duties associ-
Measurement, rather than “guesstimation,” can have a surprising ated with that area, create checklists for the employees within each
impact on the effectiveness of cleaning efforts, and dramatically cut department and assign cleaning duties to people within the zone. The
costs. Says Thomas, “Read the label. If you don’t know [how much to list should include the area to be cleaned, who is responsible, frequency,
use], ask. Have a system of tracking.” Thomas says some fitness centers space for initialing once completed and which cleaning products to use.
over-apply chemicals, needlessly increasing costs. “We had a client club The general manager should walk through the facility every morning with
recently discover they were using three times the necessary ingredients a checklist for the entire fitness center. This way, the manager can hold
to wash towels. Substantial savings have been realized since changing the appropriate staff person accountable on a daily basis before it gets
the method of measuring.” out of hand.
However, Guengerich warns not to cut corners in trying to reduce
cleaning costs: “Cleanliness is not an area we want to be scrimping in.”
In the long run, you save time and money with thorough cleaning. low cost and easily maintained,” says Thomas. “We find the biggest mis-
For instance, not allowing mold to build up in shower areas can avoid take is usually made in the locker rooms.”
the process of stripping out and replacing the tile. Look at cleaning as Cianci sits in on the design of WOW! clubs and is project manager
preventive maintenance. in building the clubs. WOW! uses rubber flooring instead of carpet, as
carpet has to be replaced every three years, gets dirty and harbors bac-
Clean design teria. “We put in materials that are what we call ‘bulletproof,’” he
A proportion of cleaning costs can be designed out. “Building mate- explains. “This includes sheet metal on walls, which always looks clean
rials should be used that show a clear expression of cleanliness, but are and can be washed off. Ceramic [tile] is used in locker room areas and


[are] a 12-by-12-inch size, which means less grout to clean
and maintain,” Cianci says. Another example of cutting
down on cleaning requirements is WOW!’s shower units,
which are constructed with one piece of fiberglass, thereby
eliminating grout completely.
Schrad also offers some designed-in savings. “A good
club design will have wide open doors entering bathrooms
so people don’t have to open doors and have a chance to
spread germs,” she says. “Restrooms will have hand dryers
to take away paper towel issues that could increase paper
towel costs and maintenance. Signage of proper tampon
disposal will keep the plumber away.”
Guengerich says that some approaches to designing for
cleanliness don’t create an aesthetically appealing environ-
ment. “Design definitely affects the simplicity of cleaning a
facility,” he says. “But there is an aesthetic balance to achieve.
For instance, in a locker room, do you use carpet or not? Some say Get More Information Online!
they need to have carpet because it creates a home environment, but If you found this article useful, you can read more about this topic on Fitness
carpet brings cleanliness issues, as opposed to tile, which is more Management’s website. Below is a list of related articles that you can find online:
durable.” 1. Poor Maintenance = Involuntary Manslaughter? By Doyice J. Cotten (May
Making cleanliness a priority can help raise standards in your fit- 2004). In the category “Maintenance” from the Library of Articles link in the left
ness center. It can also eliminate waste. “Cleanliness, or lack of cleanli- menu at, or at
ness, is the No. 1 complaint we hear in health clubs,” says Thomas. “So, information/articles/library/riskmgmt/riskmgmt0504.html
2. Keeping Your Facility Clean. By Kurt Broadhag (April 2006). In the category “Facility
we would be mindful to put it at the top of our to-do list.” FM
Maintenance” from the Library of Articles link, or at
Guy Brown has been a manager in international leisure and hospitality for 3. Keeping the Germs Away. By Kurt Broadhag (October 2005). In the category
several years in private facilities and with international hotel chains. He “Facilities” from the Library of Articles link, or at
also writes for international business, and travel and medical magazines. information/articles/library/facmaint/facmaint1005.html

Continued from page 31 Richard Bloomer, Ph.D., is an exercise physiologist and assistant professor
within the department of health and sport science at the University of Mem-
of the percentage of program adherence. For example, if a member phis, Tenn. He has offered individual exercise counseling and supervision for
decides that they will exercise four days per week over the course of many years, and holds certifications from both the American College of Sports
the next 10 weeks (40 sessions), and they actually complete 35 ses- Medicine (HFI) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (CSCS).
sions, their overall compliance would be 87.5 percent. This is an excel-
lent method to assess progress in many members who may have, in Get More Information Online!
the past, neglected their training for one reason or another. If you found this article useful, you can read more about this topic on Fitness
Management’s website. Below is a list of related articles that you can find online:
Final thoughts 1. Assessments for Older Adults. By Colin Milner (September 2004). In the cat-
When putting together an assessment plan for members, it is impor- egory “Exercise Prescription” from the Library of Articles link in the left menu at
tant to consider multiple variables. In this way, members have several, or at
opportunities for success. While loss of body weight/body fat is certainly information/articles/library/oldadults/ageassess0904.html
important, and should be included as a component of the overall assess- 2. Pre-participation Health and Fitness Assessments. By Michael Nordvall,
Ed.D., and Michelle Walters-Edwards (January 2006). In the category “Exercise Pre-
ment plan, many members find extreme difficulty achieving success in
scription” from the Library of Articles link, or at
these areas. If so, retention to exercise training may be poor. Inclusion information/articles/library/exprescribe/acsmguides0106.html
of several other health- and fitness-related endpoints may improve 3. Assessing Your Assessments. By Shana McGough (July 2006). In the
member adherence and retention to training, and, hence, improve the category “Exercise Prescription” from the Library of Articles link, or at
overall long-term benefits of regular exercise. FM


WITH THE GROW- With childhood obesity increasing, fitness centers instructor,” says
ING number of obese Veronica Whitish,
children, this is a need to be part of the solution. Offering a success- personal trainer at
market the fitness ful youth weight-loss program requires planning, the Tri-City Court
industry should not Club in Kennewick,
be missing out on. commitment, a great staff and motivating ideas. Wash. “The chal-
The key is under- By Ryan Vogt lenges that you face
standing what can with the program are
you do to get your overweight youth members generating program? Do you have the appro- much easier to handle when you have a gen-
involved within your facilities. The answer is priate time, space and equipment available? Do uine desire to help the youth.”
in your programming! Fitness centers are you have the marketing dollars to drive the The other side of education involves the
known for developing programs and fusing program? Will your membership be support- participants’ parents. They must be held
them with other programs to meet the grow- ive of the program? Do you have the right accountable for supporting and encouraging
ing demands of their membership base. The people to implement it? Consider these seven their children through the program. One
same concept can be used to develop your main components of creating, developing and way to ensure this is accomplished is
own youth weight-loss program. First, you implementing a youth weight-loss program. through weekly parent/youth education and
must determine your need for such a program. 1. Education. It is essential to have the right exercise sessions.
If your facility is family-oriented, the need is people in place to implement a youth program 2. Motivation. A program that focuses on
there, and taking action is necessary. If your within your facility. The staff involved must encouraging participants to be physically active
facility is not youth-oriented, you may consider have a desire to work with youth and be every day and eat a balanced diet of fruits, veg-
expanding your services. excited about the process, as well as have a pro- etables and grains (while eliminating poor
fessional approach to and execution of the new food choices) sounds great. But, this alone will
Seven components to consider program. It is also important to have certified not provide youth with the motivation they
The need for a youth program has been fitness professionals with a solid educational need to succeed. Get to know why the partic-
determined, so who is going to design and background. “Having a passion for working ipants are in your program; remember, their
deliver this new results-driven and revenue- with kids is the most important aspect for the parents want them to lose weight, but the chil-


Fitness Center’s Youth
dren may just want to have fun. The trick is focus on program- The Tri-City Court Club, Kennewick, Wash., developed its own youth weight-
delivering fun activities that motivate. The ming that makes each loss program titled EMPOWER.
weight loss will follow. individual feel good Basics. The program is 12 weeks long, and each session has eight to 10
3. Preparation. Homework? Yes. Ask your about themselves. participants. The class is open to youth ages six through 15. Each 12-week
students to do what it takes to be successful. Most people enjoy session generates $2,500 in revenue, and has a 60-percent profit margin.
A results-oriented youth weight-loss program competition if the The average weight loss per participant is 10 pounds. The most weight lost
requires students to complete a series of activ- playing field is level. It by a participant to date is 25 pounds.
ities outside of class that keep them focused on is important to be Program components.The program consists of weekly group meetings involv-
the true goal: life-long weight management. supportive; your ing parents and youth, as well as three group workouts with a personal trainer.
Examples of homework assignments include youth will work hard Each week, the program is divided into a fitness topic and activities. Topics focus
keeping food journals and exercise logs, goal as long as they have mainly on nutrition, but also fitness, and range from smart goal setting, to exchang-
setting, self-esteem assignments and learning your support. “Going ing food in your menu, serving sizes, nutrition labels, weight lifting, heart rate
to read nutrition labels. to school was hard training and more. Activities include strength training and cardio drills, fitness
4. Opportunity. A weight-loss program because I felt bad activities such as indoor cycling and cardio equipment training, and sports activ-
should be so much more than weight loss. You about my weight, but ities such as rock climbing, racquetball, dodgeball, basketball and swimming.
have the opportunity to be the catalyst that now I am able to go Challenges. One challenge the program faces is a lack of space. For the pro-
allows youth to see physical movement as an to school without gram to grow any further, scheduling and space availability must be considered.
exciting experience. Provided you have the being embarrassed,”
facility to explore multiple fitness options, says Rippley. “Now, with 23 less pounds, play- follow through outside of class. Parents are
include as many exercise modalities as possi- ing sports is much easier and a lot more fun. responsible for providing healthy meals and an
ble (i.e., fitness stations at the park, exer-tain- I loved the program, I love being 20 pounds environment where youth are able to be suc-
ment options, rock climbing, indoor cycling, lighter, and I have never felt better (oh, yeah — cessful (i.e., arriving to class on time).
swimming, dodgeball and fitness obstacle the girls swarm around me now).” Other challenges you will face may just come
courses). Give each individual the opportunity from within your own organization. Often,
to explore as many modes of movement as Marketing your program events will compete with each other. Seasonal
possible; you may just be training the next gen- Once your program is designed, it must be events and/or classes can cause difficulty in the
eration of fitness center members. marketed within your facility, as well as to the exclusive use of an exercise studio or gymna-
5. Weight management. The focus of your community. This can be done through your in- sium. The use of a free weight room or circuit
program should be the benefits of proper house newsletter, and at health fairs, hospitals training studio may cause conflict with the gen-
nutrition and exercise for life, not the typical and schools. The local newspaper is another eral membership. Communication is the key to
quick weight-loss program. Placing youth on way to market new programs within your facil- success in any environment. It is also impor-
restrictive diets and vigorous exercise routines ity. It is much easier to market your program tant to have complete support from all staff
will only lead them to a negative perception once you have positive results. As positive members in your facility; a program can only
of both healthy eating and exercise. Equipping results are established, contacting the local go so far unless it is fully supported. FM
them with the appropriate education and pro- media to run a story on the unique features of
gramming will lead to a life-long positive expe- your program is a great way to springboard to Ryan Vogt has a B.S. in sports and fitness man-
rience with weight management. the next level. Word of mouth is a great mar- agement, and is an NASM-certified personal
Evan Rippley, a participant in the youth keting tool, so always be positive about changes trainer, a freelance writer and presenter. He is
weight-loss program at the Tri-City Court and/or growth within your facility. the fitness director at the Tri-City Court Club, a
Club, says, “I accomplished many things as far
private fitness center in Kennewick, Wash.
as weight loss, not to mention the boost in self- What challenges can you expect?
esteem. When I began the program, I weighed ( For more information
Any time a new program is implemented,
193 pounds … I now weigh 170 pounds. My obstacles will arise. Keeping people motivated on Tri-City Court Club’s youth weight-loss pro-
body fat percentage decreased by 12 percent. is a challenge in any fitness facility, let alone a gram, contact him at
All of this was accomplished with minor youth weight-loss program. There are many or 509 783-5465.
adjustments to my diet and four workouts a groups of people to
week for 12 weeks.” consider with this Get More Information Online!
6. Exercise. It is important to have a desig- program, such as the If you found this article useful, you can read more about this topic on Fitness
nated space within your facility, such as a instructors, the par- Management’s website. Below is a list of related articles that you can find online:
1. Preventing Obesity in Children. By Barbara A. Brehm (May 1997). In the
group exercise studio, with easy access to free ents and the youth.
category “Children” from the Library of Articles link in the left menu at
weights, Bosus, exercise balls, agility ladders Interestingly, the, or at
and medicine balls. Remember, however, that biggest challenge of articles/library/clip/clip0597.html
you are not limited to this space alone. Does the three groups is 2. Child’s Play: Fitness Programs for Children. By Debra Atkinson (May 2006).
your facility have a basketball court, rock wall, the parents. They are In the category “Children” from the Library of Articles link, or at
teen fitness room or indoor cycling studio? All responsible for bring-
of these areas are great places to implement ing youth to your 3. After-School Fitness. By Julie Anne Eason (May 2006). In the category “Chil-
exercise while having fun. facility, as well as dren” from the Library of Articles link, or at
7. Respect. A weight-loss program should making sure they information/articles/0506-kid-camp.htm FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 41

A PHYSICALLY ACTIVE lifestyle offers signif- on a road or mountain bike. Cyclists would • Older individuals generally need more
icant health benefits, and is now recognized not ride without a seat, use rubber bands or recovery time than younger individuals.
as one of the most important behaviors for dumbbells, or ride without hands. Sticking to • The greater the load/intensity, the longer
health and well-being. Regular physical activ- the basic principles of biomechanics, bike fit, it will take muscles to recover.
ity helps individuals of all ages to build and nomenclature and conditioning will allow for A good instructor will be able to conduct a
maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints, a fun and safe environment, with minimal risk class, maintain everyone’s attention and give
control body weight, reduce fat, and develop of injury and attrition. each participant the ride they came for.
efficient functioning of the heart and lungs. To help members get results, instructors Remember, it is not the instructors’ ride; they
Physical inactivity is recognized as a critical should adhere to some general principles of are there to provide encouragement, entertain-
health issue, and is related to many prevent- sports conditioning to allow participants to get ment, instruction and fun for the participants.
able diseases. the most from their activity. Teaching off the bike is a good way to pro-
While these health benefits are long term, vide individual attention, and an opportunity
your members want results now. Their goals The principle of individual difference for the instructor to interact with each partic-
are related to weight loss, greater cardiovascu- Each individual’s response to exercise will ipant in a meaningful way.
lar efficiency, stronger muscles and bones, vary. A proper program should be modified to
more energy and less stress. They are looking take individual differences into account. Gen- The principle of overload
for encouragement, direction, a varied work- erally consider these known facts: The principle of overload states that a
out and feedback from a knowledgeable • Fast or explosive movements require more greater than normal stress or load on the
instructor. What better environment than recovery time than slow movements. body is required for training adaptation to
group indoor cycling to provide members with • Fast-twitch muscle fibers recover quicker take place. The body will adapt to this stim-
all they want, and more? than slow-twitch muscle fibers. ulus. Once the body has adapted, a different
Be mindful that it is not safe or physiolog- • Women generally need more recovery time stimulus is required to continue the change.
ically sound to perform activities on a group than men (due to heart size, stroke volume For a muscle (including the heart) to gain
cycling bike that do not customarily take place and muscle size). strength, it must be gradually stressed by


working against a load greater than it is ing and heart rate training. The principle of adaptation
accustomed. To increase endurance, muscles One product that is interesting, engaging Adaptation is the way the body “programs”
must work for a longer period of time than and motivational and that will provide muscles to remember particular activities,
they are used to. movements or skills. By repeating a skill or
With this in mind, instructors should select activity, the body adapts to the stress, and the
music that reflects the type of training they skill becomes easier to perform. Adaptation
are offering. Music selection is critical to The Suunto explains why beginning cyclists are sore after
motivate members to gain the level of per- Team POD the first session, but, after a few classes, they
formance outlined in the class structure. have accommodated to the ride and the seat
Instructors are encouraged to put together pressure. Proper bike fit and appropriate cloth-
their own playlists to accomplish the goals of ing will enhance enjoyment and keep partici-
the ride. With the increased popularity of pants coming back, as well.
MP3 players and music websites, this process Bike fit is a critical factor. Seat height
is simple and will motivate the participants should allow for a 15-degree flex in the
to be more engaged in the ride. Personalized rider’s knee when the foot is at the bottom
music, a heart rate monitor and knowledge intrigue, safety and fitness enhancement into (dead center). A good rule of thumb is to
of individualize heart rate intensities will group cycling classes is the Suunto Team POD. align the bottom of the seat with the greater
ensure the “perfect” ride. The POD allows instructors to monitor the trochanter of the hip (bump at the top of
heart rate and physiology of up to 30 partici- the outside of the thigh). Then have the
The principle of progression pants simultaneously. It wirelessly gathers per- rider “mount up” and look for the appropri-
The principle of progression implies that formance information from participants’ heart ate flex in the knee.
there is an optimal level of overload, and an rate belts and displays it in real time on a com- With the seat appropriately adjusted, have
optimal time frame for this overload to occur. puter screen. the rider get on the bike, clip in (or get into
Overload should not be increased too slowly, The principle of progression also indicates toe cages) and assume the 9 o’clock/3 o’clock
or improvement is unlikely. Overload that is the need for proper rest and recovery. Con- position with the feet. With the feet horizon-
increased too rapidly will result in injury or tinual stress on the body and constant over- tal to the floor, adjust the seat fore/aft posi-
muscle damage. Exercising above the target load will result in exhaustion and injury. tion so that the knee aligns just behind the
zone is counterproductive and can be danger- Instructors should caution class participants big toe of the foot at 9 o’clock.
ous. This fact alone should encourage all against repetitive intense sessions. Providing With the rider seated in the saddle and the
instructors to familiarize themselves with the variety in the class schedule will keep mem- hands resting on the tops of the handle bars,
latest technology related to physiological test- bers motivated and injury-free. adjust the handle bar fore/aft position so that FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 43

ments are subject to are a prime time for education, concentra-
revision based on tion on pedal cadence/contact and pearls of
individual anatomy, instructor wisdom. A good instructor will set
prior injury or per- up an annual plan of periodization for class
sonal preference. An participants.
appropriate “bike fit” Some additional tools will enhance the
should be performed delivery of the workout, and give the instruc-
for each individual tor additional information about each rider.
rider to ensure their A heart rate monitor is basic, essential gear
enjoyment, optimal for group cycling. If participants know their
performance and heart rate levels, this will allow for optimal per-
safety. formance, efficiency, safety and enjoyment.
Clothing is equally Knowing anaerobic threshold (AT) will allow
important. Cycling the rider the appropriate numbers to achieve
shorts make the ride success in a safe environment. There is no need
more comfortable, to go to the max or theorize what max is. AT
protect the anatomy, is the magic number, and class structure can
prevent chaffing and follow this scale:
provide safety (loose AT–20 = Warm-up and recovery
clothing will get AT–10 = Optimal “fat” use and fitness
caught in the pedals, improvement
cranks, seat and AT= Optimal in overall aerobic (cardiovas-
handle bars, resulting cular) improvement
in serious injury). AT+10 = Anaerobic endurance
Cycling shorts with improvement
synthetic or real AT+15 to 20 = High-intensity intervals used
chamois is a “best to improve anaerobic metabolism and sprint
fit.” A cycling jersey performance, and raise VO2max
or snug fitting top This is a simplified chart. For more detail
with “wicking” mate- and explanation, see Figure 1 (Heart Rate
Figure 1. Polar’s Heart Rate Chart provides rial will add addi- Rationale Chart).
guidelines for different age groups. tional comfort to the There are several commercially available
ride. Cycling shoes devices to monitor heart rate and cadence.
the rider’s back is flat, the elbows are flexed with clips give optimal performance. If sneak- Polar offers several monitors for heart rate
about 15 degrees and the neck is in a neu- ers are worn, they should have a stiff side wall and other variables. Caloric expenditure is
tral position. to minimize “toe squeeze” when secured in the the hot item these days, and everyone is on
The handle bar and seat height are usually toe baskets with toe straps. Be sure all laces the march to accurately calculate caloric
the same to start off, but seasoned riders will are tucked in to avoid getting caught in the expenditure. Other options include the Star
lower the handle bars, and those with crank or pedal.
neck/back issues will raise the handle bars, as Don’t forget the water bottle and towel.
a general observation. Also, these basic adjust- Encourage class participants to drink early and
often for optimal hydration, which will allow
maintenance of the desired heart rate, mini-
mize cardiac drift, decrease dehydration and
enhance enjoyment.
These recommendations are open to inter-
pretation, but safety, comfort and performance
are the desired outcome.

The principle of use/disuse

The principle of use/disuse implies “use it
or lose it.” Simply stated, muscles hypertro-
phy (grow) with use, and atrophy (shrink)
with disuse. It is important to find a balance
between stress and rest. There must be peri-
Polar offers several ods of low intensity between periods of high
monitors for heart rate
and other variables.
intensity to allow for recovery. The periods CycleOps offers an indoor cycle that has position
of lower-intensity riding, or the rest phase, variability and ability to measure power and heart rate.


Group Cycling Stands the Test of Time
By John Baudhuin
Trac Spinning computer, which provides Despite the growing number of group exercise programs, group cycling is still among the most
cadence, heart rate and elapsed time, and the popular. This is no surprise to Master Spinning Instructor Sherri Crilly of Elements Health Club
LeMond Rev Master cycling computer, and Wellness Center in Toms River, N.J. Crilly, who has taught Spinning since 1999, believes the
among others. program has longevity and is not just another trend because, among its benefits, it offers a
mind/body connection. In fact, she credits the mental component of this particular group exercise
The principle of specificity for changing her life.
The specificity principle simply states that One of the advantages of group cycling is that beginners and pros can be in the same class
training must go from highly general to and not even know it. This creates a comfortable environment for students because they never
highly specific. The principle of specificity feel embarrassed, since they go at their own pace. “It’s not about pedaling as fast as you can, it’s
also implies that, to become better at a par- about going at your own pace and creating a workout that’s ideal for you,” says Crilly.
ticular exercise or skill, that exercise or skill As many fitness instructors know, keeping students motivated is one of their biggest challenges.
must be performed. To be a good cyclist, a When students don’t feel inspired, they fail to meet their goals and ultimately drop out of exer-
person must cycle. Therefore, just because cise classes. Crilly says she feels it’s important for herself and each of her five Spinning instruc-
instructors are good at instructing yoga, tors to keep up with their continuing education classes. “Maintaining credentials keeps instructors
dance or strength training doesn’t mean they on top of new trends,” she says, “and also gives them the coaching skills that helps them make
can teach group cycling. There are many that connection with their students.”
valid and credible cycling certifications avail-
able, but there are also a lot of poor/anec- John Baudhuin is president and CEO of Mad Dogg Athletics, an international fitness education
dotal offerings in the industry. Some credible and equipment company based in Venice, Calif.
programs include Mad Dogg Athletics,
Schwinn, Rev Master and Body Cycle, to
name a few. Programs based in the science ited in the fitness market. CycleOps offers an ment, the program will grow in members,
of cycling and sound physiology will be cred- indoor cycle that has position variability and popularity and profitability. If you are con-
ible and worth study. ability to measure power and heart rate. sidering starting a group cycling program,
Specificity of training in cycling should talk to manufacturers and attend trade
Variety is contagious shows where there are a variety of group
Providing variety in the cycling studio will cycle vendors and instructional programs.
cultivate participation, from beginners to pro- Try the bikes, talk to the professionals, make
ficient cyclists. A varied offering of program- your selection, get certified, practice and
ming will keep participants engaged and launch the program.
motivated, and allow for progression as they Cycling is a fun, low-impact, easy-to-do
The Star Trac Spinning advance in fitness level and proficiency. Once activity that can be done at any level. Chil-
computer provides
cadence, heart rate and put together, the most logical cycling program dren can ride, as well. The Jr. Cycle by Millen-
elapsed time. involves a periodized approach that varies the nium Fitness is designed for youth cyclists.
intensity and training objectives. The pro- Don’t wait! Initiate or enhance your cycling
gram must be specific not only to cycling, but offerings today. FM
to each individual’s abilities (tolerance to
training stress, recoverability, outside influ- Stephen A. Black, M.Ed, PT, ATC/L, NSCA-CPT,
ences, etc.). The training load must increase has taught group cycling, and has conducted
over time (allowing some workouts to be less cycling clinics and workshops for more than 10
intense than others), and members must cycle years. He has honed his skills since his first
often enough to keep a detraining effect from triathlon in 1985. He resides in Boulder, Colo.,
happening and to force a positive training where he runs a human performance facility
adaptation. providing testing, exercise prescription and
Group cycling is contagious! With the research in the fitness/performance industries.
incorporate the principle of power. As cyclists right environment, instructor and equip- He can be reached at
become more efficient and look to improve
their performance, measuring power is imper-
ative. Power is the measure of force produced
Get More Information Online!
If you found this article useful, you can read more about this topic on Fitness Management’s website. Below
over time, and is expressed in watts. Power is a list of related articles that you can find online:
tells riders how they are responding to a given 1. Launching an Indoor Cycling Program. By Tatiana Kolovou (May 2000). In the category “Group Exercise”
load (intensity). By measuring both power from the Library of Articles link in the left menu at, or at
and heart rate, the individual and the instruc-
tor have a clear picture of intensity vs. 2. A Safety Checklist for Group Cycling Classes. By Richard P. Borkowski (February 2005). In the category
response. Measuring these variables provides “Group Exercise” from the Library of Articles link, or at
a solid foundation for cycling performance
3. Group Cycling: Unique, Powerful and Profitable. By Steven Renata (December 2005). In the category
and enjoyment. “Group Exercise” from the Library of Articles link, or at
Indoor cycles that measure power are lim- library/groupex/groupcycle1205.html FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 45

This March, the second annual
Bash for Augie’s Quest will be
held to raise funds for research
to find a cure for ALS. The role that
the fitness industry plays is crucial for
many reasons. Here’s how you can help.

By Ronale Tucker Rhodes, M.S., Editorial Director


Augie Nieto, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s dis-
ease two years ago, and his wife, Lynne, have made it
their quest to raise funds for research to find a cure for
ALS. The first annual Bash for Augie’s Quest, held in
March 2006 at the IHRSA Convention and Trade Show,
Las Vegas, Nev., raised $2.8 million for ALS research.

wouldn’t be what it’s like today.” But, now, while the disease is taking all of those
Nieto began his career in the fitness indus- benefits away, it has also given him a whole
try while he was in college, where he did a class new strength and determination.
project on starting a strength-training gym,
which he opened. He then sold his gym to pur- The Lou Gehrig of the 21st century
chase the marketing rights to Family Fitness At 48 years old, Nieto is battling ALS on all
Centers founder Ray Wilson’s Lifecycle, and fronts. He and his wife, Lynne, teamed up with
after a lot of hard work, determination and a the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which
strong belief in the product, he eventually suc- provides research, medical services and edu-
IT’S IMPORTANT THAT fitness professionals ceeded in making the Lifecycle a staple in fit- cation for more than 40 neuromuscular dis-
understand the role they play in society. While ness centers across the U.S. Adding other pieces eases, including ALS. They formed “Augie’s
the perception by many may be that the indus- of equipment to his company’s line, Life Fit- Quest,” an ALS foundation to raise research
try strives to make people beautiful, the truth ness became one of the world’s largest fitness funds for the disease, and they currently serve
is that the main goal is to make people healthy. equipment makers. In 1997, he sold Life Fit- as co-chairs of the Muscular Dystrophy Asso-
Fitness is merely one small piece of the health- ness for $310 million. Nieto is now the chair- ciation’s ALS Division.
care puzzle, but, according to research during man of Octane Fitness, based in Minnesota, He then looked to Translation Genomics
the past decade and more, it is a crucial piece which designs and distributes elliptical trainers. Research Institute (TGen), a nonprofit group
of that puzzle. But his life as an active leader in the fitness in Phoenix, Ariz., that uses gene screening to
Fitness is part of a healthy lifestyle that acts industry is perilously coming to a close. There seek targets for various diseases. In March 2006,
as preventive medicine. But, sometimes pre- is no known cure for ALS, and most individ- his ALS foundation partnered with TGen, each
ventive measures can take a different form — uals diagnosed with the disease die within offering matching funds of $650,000 for
different than what we’re normally used to pre- three to five years. According to the ALS Asso- research to find ALS-related genes. Their hope
scribing. Our facilities and staff can provide ciation’s website, ALS “is a progressive neu- is that, if they can find the genes that cause
some of the best products, programs and pre- rodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells the disease, maybe they can find a cure. By late
scriptions available to help people become and in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neu- September 2006, the team had identified 50
stay healthy. But those things don’t help when rons reach from the brain to the spinal cord genes with some association to ALS, and they
it comes to some forms of disease, such as ALS and from the spinal cord to the muscles narrowed that down to about 25 that appear
(better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Yet, just throughout the body. … When the motor to play a bigger role in the disease.
because we can’t help with such a disease with neurons die, the ability of the brain to initi- Today, Nieto has made the search for an
our ‘standard’ methods doesn’t mean that we ate and control muscle movement is lost. With ALS cure his job. “Because there are very few
can’t help at all. We can, and we should. voluntary muscle action progressively affected, people who actually understand the disease,
patients in the later stages of the disease may Lou Gehrig’s disease is sort of forgotten,” says
The Henry Ford of the exercise industry become totally paralyzed. Yet, through it all, Ron Hamelgarn, Nieto’s long-time friend and
Perhaps the main reason we should help is for the vast majority of people, their minds owner of 21st Century Super Fitness in Toledo,
for Augie Nieto — a pioneer of our industry remain unaffected.” Ohio. “When Augie got sick, [he] wanted to
who, two years ago, was diagnosed with ALS. As of this printing, Nieto is losing muscle make a difference. To me, he has become the
Whereas men like Norm Cates and John control, and his speech is slurred. "The irony Lou Gehrig of the 21st Century.”
McCarthy pioneered the industry by building of it all is that I’ve spent my whole life trying Nieto compares his vision for the fitness
fitness facilities and setting standards, Nieto to preach the benefits of fitness,” says Nieto. industry with his work today for ALS research.
pioneered what would be the staple of those
facilities: equipment. That’s why Cates, a
founder of IHRSA and publisher of Club How to Attend the Bash
Insider News, has dubbed Nieto the “Henry
Ford of the exercise industry.” In an article Individuals can attend the Bash for Augie’s Quest on Friday, March 30, from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.,
published in the Orange County Register (Oct. by purchasing sponsorships and/or tickets. Tickets are $300 each. Sponsorships include Ambas-
28, 2005), Cates is quoted as saying, “Titan is sador for $3,000, Bronze for $10,000, Silver for $20,000, Gold for $30,000 and Platinum $50,000.
a good word. Legend is a good word. And All sponsorships include reserved tables for 10 people in assigned seating sections.
friend to the industry are the best words. With- To purchase sponsorships and/or tickets for the Bash for Augie’s Quest, contact the MDA Orange
out Augie Nieto’s work on [the] Lifecycle, 25, County office at 714 550-0161 or visit
30 years ago, the health club industry clearly FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 47

Augie’s Quest Can Be Every Club’s Quest
Every fitness facility can make a difference for a cause. In this case, one facility owner is showing
His determination to spread the word of what others how grassroots fundraising has helped to raise funds for Augie’s Quest, while at the same
the Lifecycle could do for the industry “was time garnering respect and awe from its members. Ron Hamelgarn, a long-time friend of Augie
truly a passion of spreading the word and Nieto’s, had ties to the Muscular Dystrophy Association prior to Nieto being diagnosed with ALS
leveraging technology that was available to (Lou Gehrig’s disease). As owner of 21st Century Super Fitness, Toledo, Ohio, Hamelgarn knows
allow people to exercise, where in the past, they his facility and its members can make a difference.
couldn’t,” he explains. “The tools for genomics
and stem cells that weren’t available two years The Club Quest
ago are available today.” And, any research find- The club’s first fundraiser was simple, yet
ings related to ALS “will have implications for effective. “We had these round mobiles with
a lot of neuromuscular diseases.” Augie’s picture on one side, and, on the other
side, [there were] pictures of others with
Your role in Augie’s Bash ALS,” Hamelgarn says. The mobiles were
In March 2006, the first annual Bash for sold to members for any amount of money.
Augie’s Quest was held at the IHRSA Con- “The trainers [who train on Life Fitness equip-
vention and Trade Show in Las Vegas. The ment] would explain to the members about Ron Hamelgarn, owner of 21st Century Super Fitness,
also owns his own racing team, Hamelgarn Racing.
Bash raised $2.8 million dollars, all of which Augie’s Quest and how Augie was behind the Hamelgarn’s quest is to help raise funds for Augie’s
went to research a cure for ALS. But most Life Fitness Products,” says Hamelgarn. It was Quest — complete with a slogan printed on his race car.
people could never fathom the cost of con- up to the members what to donate. “We had
ducting that research. Every minute of ALS some people give $1, some gave $10, some gave $100,” says Hamelgarn. “We actually covered
research costs $65. Translated: A full day (24 our walls with these circles, so, when you first walked into the fitness center, all the walls were
hours) of research for ALS costs $31,200. The covered with these Augie’s Quest circles with the people’s names who donated on them.” The
money raised at the first Bash may seem like result was $3,600 for ALS research.
a lot, but it only resulted in 90 days of research. With such a success, Hamelgarn knew they could do more. Last November, he decided on a
Much more needs to be done. football fundraiser. “In November each year, when the University of Michigan and Ohio State play
Next month, the second annual Bash for each other, it’s almost like a Super Bowl,” says Hamelgarn. So, they put the club’s trainers in
Augie’s Quest will be held at the IHRSA Con- their favorite colors — red for Ohio and blue for Michigan — as a promotion to sell the shirts to
vention and Trade Show on March 30 in San raise funds. Members bought their favorite color shirt for a total of $1,100 raised for ALS research.
Francisco. Attendees can participate by pur-
chasing sponsorships and/or tickets. Sponsor- Giving back to society
ships range from $3,000 to $50,000, and ticket Hamelgarn’s commitment to help Augie’s Quest is about friendship, but it’s also about soci-
prices are $300 each. During the event, there ety. “His [Nieto’s] quest to bring this to the forefront has become a quest of mine … because
will also be silent and live auctions, as well as we’ve been friends for 25 years,” says Hamelgarn. “If I can help in any way, if I can come up with
a research-minute auction. The event will sell ideas, I’ll do that, because I think he would do the same for me if the tables were turned.”
out at 1,500 guests. But, as Hamelgarn explains, “There’s a personal commitment, but there’s also a commitment
All fitness professionals, attendees at the to our members to give back to society and show our community involvement.” Diseases such as
convention or not, are urged to attend the ALS touch many people. “It’s quite amazing to me how many people come up to me and say ‘I
Bash to help raise funds for ALS research. It’s have a sister-in-law [or other relative/friend] who has this disease,’” says Hamelgarn. “What we
a good cause, but it’s also a good party. The have found is that members love to be charitable. Members have a very positive opinion of you
event will be emceed by Olympic Gold if you’re giving back to society and if your company is giving back to the community.”
Medalist Summer Sanders, and there will be Hamelgarn’s examples of grassroots fundraising can be done at any fitness facility. All you
some outstanding auction items, which, as have to do, explains Hamelgarn, is have a theme and something to rally around. Augie’s Quest is
of this printing, cannot yet be released. How- definitely something to rally around. “I wonder, if every health club in the country [did this], how
ever, the caliber of auction items is said to much that would bring in,” asks Hamelgarn. “If you figure 29,000 health clubs could do some-
be equal to last year’s, or better. For those who thing like that, we’re taking major [money].” Indeed. If you multiply $4,700 by 29,000 clubs, that’s
didn’t attend last year, the biggest sellers were $136,300,000. Now, that could fund some ALS research!
a one-on-one basketball game with Magic
Johnson, and a signed Lance Armstrong bike.
There will also be comedic performances stay healthy, our industry can make a differ- [last] March that we could all come together.”
(one of whom is rumored to be Robin ence. We should get involved for Augie Nieto, And, that’s what our industry is doing. As
Williams), but names are not confirmed at as well as for all of the other people affected Lance Armstrong said, “I think it says a lot
this point due to filming schedules. And, to by ALS, many of whom, no doubt, have come about Augie — the fact that everybody came
round out the evening, one of Nieto’s favorite through our fitness facilities’ doors. ALS is not together regardless of whether they are from
bands is scheduled to play. picky. As Nieto says of his own diagnosis, “It competing gyms or competing companies that
can happen to anybody at any time.” make equipment. They all say, ‘This is one of
Our industry can make a difference The early returns on the Bash, according to our own. This is a guy who has committed
Whether it’s through a program of fitness Nieto, are unbelievable. “The people who gave his life to our industry, and who has been dealt
or of rallying our colleagues and members to $15,000 [last year,] are giving $50,000,” he says. a serious blow. We’re going to be there for him.
get behind a cause to help people become and “It’s almost like we proved to the industry We’re part of the ‘Quest.’” FM


Management Matters



Membership Attrition and Club Profitability, Part 1

Retention plays THE 1998 publication Why People tum Business Devel-
Quit, published by the Interna- opment in the U.K.,
a significant role tional Health, Racquet and introduced a
Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), dynamic member-
in your fitness Boston, Mass., highlighted the fit- ship retention pro-
ness industry’s understanding of gram for the U.K.
center’s operations. why people quit their member- market. Collectively,
ships, and the steps facilities need these efforts (written
to take to reduce this exodus. Two and programmatic)
years later, IHRSA released a offer a meaningful
second publication, Why People signal that the fitness
Stay: Health Club Member Reten- industry needs to
tion Research and Best Practices. address and solve the
This resource provided further attrition puzzle.
evidence about the variables influ-
encing an individual’s desire to Why attrition is so
remain a member of a fitness important • Average annual dues: $882
center, and shared some strategies An old saying states, “a penny • Average non-dues revenue: $545
used by several of the top club saved is a penny earned.” By the • Average length of membership:
operators to enhance retention. same token, for the fitness indus- 3.2 years (based on retention level)
In 2001, just one year later, the try, “a member saved is a member • Average number of members
Fitness Industry Association in the who drop their membership each
United Kingdom released Winning Facilities that are able year: 1,225
the Retention Battle, a six-part Based on this data, a typical
report on the forces driving attri- to win the ‘retention facility member is worth approx-
tion and retention in the U.K. fit- imately $5,364 to the facility, an
ness industry. It not only identified
battle’ are in a better amount that does not include the


the reasons why people maintain position to generate value of their referrals. As such,
and/or drop their membership, the average 60,000-plus square-
ident of Club Industry Con-
sulting, a fitness and sports but it also identified strategies that long-term revenue. foot IHRSA facility has approxi-
industry consulting com- facility operators could execute to mately $7,713,202 worth of
pany. He has spent almost help win the retention battle. sold.” Such a point is particularly members who quit each year. In
three decades in various These publications represent relevant because common other words, facilities have to sell
roles in the industry, ranging from serving
as a director of athletics to being a senior
the tip of the iceberg when it wisdom states that the cost to save an incredible number of new
vice president with ClubCorp, Dallas, Texas. comes to articles, presentations a membership is far less expensive memberships to turn the faucet
He is a past president of IHRSA and co- and reports written and espoused than the cost to sell one. Doing off, let alone let the sink fill up.
editor of the second and third editions of by industry experts that address whatever you can to retain mem- As this example indicates, the fit-
the ACSM Health/Fitness Facility Stan-
the topic of membership attrition bers can be a more profitable ness industry has become all too
dards and Guidelines. Recently, he wrote
and produced a comprehensive textbook and retention. As a result of these strategy than selling more mem- adept at throwing money away —
and DVD series for the industry, both enti- publications, and the continued berships if you want to experience an attribute that reinforces why
tled Fitness Management, both of which dissemination of information on continuous business growth. membership retention is so
can be purchased from Healthy Learning the topics, retention has become The value of this strategy is illus- important. Obviously, facilities
online at or by
calling 888 229-5745.
one of the hottest areas of con- trated in statistics contained in that are able to win the “retention
JAMES PETERSON, Ph.D., cern in our industry. For exam- IHRSA’s 2005 Profiles of Success, battle” are in a better position to
FACSM, is a sports medicine ple, just last year, IHRSA adopted which show that the average generate long-term revenue and
consultant, fellow of the Face to Face, a program devel- IHRSA club of 60,000 square feet sustain profit growth. FM
American College of Sports
oped by Paul Brown of Australia, or greater has the following profile:
Medicine, a former faculty
member at the United as its official member retention • Average memberships: 4,670 Editor’s Note: For a different per-
States Military Academy and a former direc- program. In a similar vein, • Average membership fees at spective on this issue, read the Inde-
tor of sports medicine for StairMaster Duncan Green, CEO of Momen- joining: $249 pendent Issues column on page 51.
Sports/Medical Products Inc.


Independent Issues BY ROB BISHOP

Retention vs. Sales Costs: A Re-Examination

Everybody says keeping EVERY YEAR, as facility owners do learn that we are retention- and classes, we add more. If we can
all over the world, my business service-focused. We don’t even make a case for new equipment
members is less expensive partner and I craft a marketing have sales people. Our trainers that will be popular with members,
and advertising budget. We then and front desk people do our sales we buy it. If we have valuable staff
than finding new ones. refine our spending throughout and, I must admit, I typically hate members, we reward them. If a
the year and, before you know it, walking into a sales-based fitness member hasn’t been to the facility
But, is it really? it’s time to start all over again. Each center. The rows of cubicles with for a few weeks, we contact them.
time we go through this exercise, I sales people seem more appropri- And yes, we have member appre-
hear these often-said words in my ate for a car dealer than a fitness ciation events, seminars, newslet-
head: “Selling a new membership facility. However, if such sales- ters and many other things that fall
is more expensive than keeping an focused facilities weren’t success- under the formal banner of “reten-
existing one.” Sometimes, I hear ful financially, they wouldn’t tion.” But, it’s the daily operation of
the actual number in my head: Is continue to exist and thrive. Many our business that is our single
it five times more expensive? Ten of these fitness centers are some biggest retention effort.
times? I’m never quite sure, but of the most widely known and Sometimes I wonder if it’s all
that message keeps popping up, worth it. Our experience, which is
like an annoying tune you just When messages are consistent with industry data, is
heard on the radio. And, this little repeated often that approximately 30 percent of
fact is just as annoying. members quit each year due to
I understand the spirit of the enough, they tend factors beyond the our control —
message. It is, after all, quite relocation, changes in work sched-
expensive to run advertisements,
to be taken as ules, family crises and other life
receive visits by prospects, assign unquestioned truths. factors. So, while we are tracking
them to sales people, provide an every member’s attendance, con-
orientation, follow up, etc. Sales, respected businesses in our indus- tacting them when they are not
marketing and advertising can be try. I certainly believe that if there showing up, and helping them to
a huge percentage of a fitness were a less expensive way for them stay motivated and successful,
center’s expenses. Keeping cus- to be as successful as they are, we’re going to lose a whole bunch
tomers, on the other hand, has an they’d take it. of them anyway.
immediate payoff. Every member I know that our efforts to serve
provides monthly dues, and can Which is less expensive? and retain members are, in fact,
also provide health bar and pro Which brings me to the second worth it for us, and our business
shop sales, personal training and thing that bothers me about this model has proven successful over
tanning revenue, referrals of other message: I don’t believe it. I may the years. We have proactively
members, etc. But when messages not like the particular business chosen not to pursue aggressive
like this are repeated often model of a sales-driven facility, and sales techniques because (among
enough, they tend to be taken as their clubs might not be for me, other reasons) we want the right
unquestioned truths. And several but I certainly respect them. And, kind of members who will, hope-
aspects of this message bother me. sometimes I envy them. That’s fully, respond to and appreciate
because retaining members is hard the services we provide. We have
Which is more worthy? work and it’s expensive — more found that when we “talked”
One thing that bothers me expensive than most people realize. people into a membership, and
about this statement is the impli- Almost every dollar we spend on they really weren’t ready to join,
cation that retention efforts are our business goes to customer they didn’t stick with it.
somehow more worthy than sales service and keeping our members So, our model is right for us.
efforts. Now, if you’ve read this far as satisfied as possible in order to But, all of those costs make me
Rob Bishop is the owner wonder just who is doing the
(and thank you for that!), I’d like keep their business for another day.
of Elevations Health Club, Scotrun, Pa.
( He can be you to guess — is my small club If our daycare gets too crowded, math that says finding a new cus-
reached at a sales- or retention-focused oper- we bring in the emergency babysit- tomer is more expensive than
or at 570 620-1990. ation? You may be surprised to ter. If we fill up our group cycling keeping an existing one. FM FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 51

Management Matters

Risk Management BY DAVID L. HERBERT, J.D.

When Your Insurance Company Won’t Pay

IT’S SCARY, but true. Some liabil- with diet, cardiovascu-
When a member sued one
ity insurance available for health lar fitness, body build-
Georgia fitness facility, an and fitness facilities will not pro- ing or physical training
vide either a defense or indemni- programs.”
appeals court determined fication from certain bodily injury Though the trial
lawsuits against those facilities. court ruled in favor
its insurance company In one case [York Insurance of the facility, the
Company v. Houston Wellness insurance company
didn’t have to pay. Center Inc. (2003) 261 Ga.App. appealed — and
854], a lawsuit was filed by a fit- won. The case file by
ness center member (Vandalinda) the member against
against the defendant facility. Van- the facility was deter-
dalinda alleged that she was given mined not to be
instructions by one of Houston’s within the coverage
employees on the use of various of its liability insur-
exercise machines. At the time of ance policy with the
her injury, Vandalinda was using insurer. The facility
an exercise machine that develops was not provided with an insur- determined by comparing the alle-
the triceps. Vandalinda tried to ance-paid defense or payment of gations of the complaint with the
release the machine using her any judgment that could be ren- provisions of the policy.”
arms, as she had been instructed dered in the case. Exclusions from insurance cov-
to do by Houston’s employee. erage similar to those identified in
However, the complaint alleged Review policies now the Georgia case may sometimes
that the machine “improperly In support of this ruling, the be contained within many
released from Vandalinda’s control appellate court noted that “an health/fitness facility liability
‘due to improper instructions’ insurance policy is governed by insurance policies. While it may
given by the employee and, as a come as a surprise to some that
result, Vandalinda experienced Facilities need to review certain services normally carried
pain in her left arm, for which out in such facilities may not be
surgery was later required.”
their insurance policy covered, once such gaps in cover-
coverage terms before age are identified, steps can then
A language barrier be taken to correct the deficiency.
Houston Wellness Center appar- claims ever arise. These steps might include secur-
ently turned the matter over to its ing additional and different insur-
insurance carrier to defend the suit. the ordinary rules of contract con- ance coverage, limiting service,
But York Insurance Company, a struction. The hallmark of con- employing alternative outside
commercial general liability insurer, struct construction is to ascertain service providers that have the
sought a court ruling that it had no the intention of the parties applicable insurance coverage, and
duty to defend the facility, based on (OCGA §3-2-3). However, when usage of a waiver and/or express
the explicit language of the insur- the terms of a written contract are assumption of risk documents or
ance policy it issued. The policy con- clear and unambiguous, the court other similar risk-management
tained the following exclusion from is to look to the contract alone to strategies. In any case, facilities
coverage: “This insurance does not find the parties’ intent. Under need to review their insurance
apply to ‘bodily injury,’ ‘property Georgia law, an insurance com- policy coverage terms before
damage’ or ‘personal and advertising pany is free to fix the terms of its claims ever arise. FM
injury’ arising out of the rendering policies as it sees fit, so long as such
of or failure to render any service, terms are not contrary to law, and REFERENCE
DAVID L. HERBERT, J.D., is treatment, advice or instruction it is equally free to insure against Herbert, D.L. Picking the right lia-
senior partner at Herbert & Benson, Attorneys relating to physical fitness, includ- certain risks while excluding others. bility insurance. Fitness Man-
at Law, Canton, Ohio. ing services or advice in connection An insurers’ duty to defend is agement 12(9):48, 1996.


Facility Maintenance BY BRIAN SAMUEL

Make A Difference With the Basics

Here are some quick tips on GREAT RESULTS! Wow! See for during your regular
yourself! These are terms we often checklist walk-
how to increase the “wow” hear in reference to promotions, throughs and at the
advertisements and program- end of the day.
factor in your facility. ming. When it comes to the four
walls of your facility, your mem- Move cardio
bers and guests can also experi- equipment around
ence the “wow” factor (like Members tend to
well-kept mahogany and marble), use the treadmill,
or experience nothing (as in clean, cycle or elliptical
uncluttered space, which is a good trainer that is
thing). You may not have the directly in front of a
budget to get the “wow” of television. Most
mahogany and marble, but you cardio pieces come
can certainly strive for “nothing.” equipped to keep
I’m talking about focusing on track of usage
simple things that may make a big (miles, hours, etc.).
difference to your members and Check your usage
guests. trackers and you’ll
All too often your member find a trend. Move
feedback box is full of complaints. your equipment
About one out of every 10 com- around to even out
the usage and mini-
Facility users may not mize the potential
for breakdowns. Make a great last impression
report all that is wrong When members and guests
with your facility or Use your facility enter your facility (depending on
The far left bench press at a fit- front desk layout and design), they
the equipment. ness center I frequent is the per- should be greeted by a well-kept,
fect example of employees not neat, uncluttered front desk. And
ments is positive. Wouldn’t it be taking in their facility from a what about when they leave? They
great to cut that ratio down by member’s perspective. When I lay may be approaching the front
getting less negative feedback and down on that bench and look at desk from the back. Does it look
maybe an extra compliment or the underside of the bar rack, I see as good leaving as it does enter-
two? Here are some tips on some a big wad of gum stuck there. Not ing? The front desk is your gate-
little things that can go a long way exactly the “wow” moment you way in and out. Send the same
toward member satisfaction. want members to have. Facility message both ways.
members may not report all that Clean your equipment (go by
Shower curtains is wrong with your facility or the the manufacturers’ guidelines —
This is an easy one that is often equipment. If you and your staff often soapy water is recom-
overlooked: Look at the inside of are using your facility and taking mended and disinfectant cleansers
your shower curtains. If they’re it in from a different point of view, are noted to be harmful). Every-
torn or scummy, toss them. That’s you can correct an issue before it one loves clean, shiny equipment.
BRIAN SAMUEL is a director of operations one of the last things your mem- becomes one. By the way, I haven’t This is just a short list of some
with L&T Health and Fitness, a company bers will see before they leave your put a complaint in the feedback simple things that you can do that
focused on fitness facility management, facility. Have them leave with the box yet about the gum. I’m going can really make an impact by
health promotion services, wellness program right impression. One thing you to wait until they pry that prehis- going unnoticed. The operational
design and delivery, and facility design and
consulting services to organizations around
can do to increase the longevity of toric wad off of the bench and “wow” factor is like camouflage
the country. He can be reached at 703 204- shower curtains and cut down on then write a kind thank you note — if members don’t see it, you’re
1355, ext. 26, or buildup is to draw them closed for taking care of it. doing a good job. FM FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 53

Member Handout: You may make photocopies
Management Matters for free distribution to your members.
(Customize by placing your company logo in the lower right corner.)

Instructor Training BY BARBARA A. BREHM, ED.D.

Obesity 101: The Physiology of Fatness

New research is “THE OTHER day my exercise stu- cells, or adipocytes, dedicate a great site of a great deal of immune
dents were asking about the health part of their volume to triglyceride system activity, as well. Large num-
unraveling the science risks of obesity, and how it con- storage. Adipose tissue is comprised bers of a type of white blood cell
tributes to heart disease and other of many adipocytes, along with known as macrophages have been
behind the health risks health problems. I have always other structural elements such as observed in adipose tissue, especially
heard that excess body fat ‘strains blood vessels and connective tissue. in the fat of people who are obese.
associated with obesity. the heart,’ but I realized that I don’t Scientists used to regard adipose Macrophages engulf foreign
really know what that means. I tissues as fairly inert storage depots invaders such as bacteria and viruses,
needed to learn more about why that took in or released triglyceride and the body’s own dead cells.
obesity causes health problems so depending on energy balance in the The macrophages found in adi-
I could discuss this topic more body. Excess calorie consumption pose tissue appear to be responding
knowledgeably with my clients.” was thought to lead to increased fat to damaged adipocytes. Adipocytes
Everyone knows by now that storage, while a calorie deficit would can grow larger, as more fat is
most countries are experiencing dra- signal the adipocytes to release stored, but they cannot expand
matic increases in obesity rates triglyceride for the body to use as indefinitely. It is possible that, with
among adults and children. In the fuel. Fat cells still do these things, but obesity, adipocytes cannot keep up
United States, the Centers for Disease scientists are beginning to unravel with the body’s demand to store
Control and Prevention,Atlanta, Ga., some of the cellular biochemistry triglyceride. Cells may leak or
states that approximately 30 percent involved in fat storage and metabo- become damaged, signaling
of adults are obese, as measured by lism, and some of the physiological macrophages to move in to clean
body mass index.Another one-third processes that occur when triglyc- up the mess. Macrophages, in turn,
of the adult population is over- eride supply overwhelms the body’s release chemical messengers called
weight, but not yet obese, and about immediate storage capacities. cytokines, such as interleukins, that
16 percent of kids ages six to 19 are summon more white blood cells
overweight or obese. Adipose tissue joins the and lead to more inflammation.
Most people also know that endocrine and immune systems Some of these cytokines appear to
public health officials have expressed Researchers have identified a interfere with normal blood sugar
alarm concerning the predicted rise number of chemical messengers regulation and to contribute to the
in obesity-associated health prob- that allow adipose tissue to help development of type 2 diabetes.
lems that may develop over the next regulate fat storage, and allow it Scientists still have a great deal
decade. What are these health prob- to communicate with other organs to learn about the biochemistry of
lems, and how does obesity con- and systems in the body. Some of obesity, and how obesity con-
tribute to their development? these messengers act as hormones, tributes to many health problems.
sending signals to other parts of The more they learn, the more evi-
The physiology of fatness the body. Leptin, for example, is a dence we have about the benefits
Body fat is a good thing, in mod- messenger produced by adipose of a healthful lifestyle, as regular
eration. Fat cushions and protects tissue. Leptin concentration in the physical activity and good eating
the organs. Fat under the skin helps blood is thought to inform the habits help to reverse the negative
keep us warm, and storage fat helps brain about triglyceride storage health effects of obesity. FM
us through future food shortages. levels. Researchers have hypothe-
Our ability to make and store fat sized that when the brain finds out REFERENCES
could have contributed to the sur- that storage levels are getting low Bliss, R.M. Inflammatory news about fat
cells: Molecules that sequester dying
vival of our species, as people who (lower leptin levels), the brain fat cells also spread inflammation.
were adept at storing fat survived turns on the hunger signal that Agricultural Research 54 (3): 4-7,
lean times and maintained their fer- tells you to go look for some food. March 2006.
tility enough to populate the planet. Tissues that produce hormones Centers for Disease Control. Overweight
and obesity.
When you consume more calo- qualify for inclusion in the body’s dnpa/obesity/.Accessed December 2006.
ries than you expend, a majority of endocrine system, a collection of Tilg, H., and H.R. Moschen. Adipocy-
Barbara A. Brehm, Ed.D., is tokines: Mediators linking adipose
professor of exercise and these excess calories are converted hormone-producing organs that
tissue, inflammation and immu-
sport studies at Smith Col- to triglyceride molecules, the body’s help to regulate body functions. nity. Nature Reviews Immunology 6:
lege, Northampton, Mass. primary form of fat storage. Fat Adipose tissue appears to be the 772-783, October 2006.



Understanding Obesity Health Risks BY BARBARA A. BREHM, ED.D.

Obesity can lead to serious ative health effects are thought to be the
result of inflammation in the fat tissue.
health problems. Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Dia-
betes may result when some of the chemicals
BODY FAT is a good thing, in moderation. produced by the macrophages interfere with
But too much body fat interferes with good blood sugar regulation. These chemical mes-
health in a number of ways. Understand- sengers prevent the body’s cells from
ing the effect of obesity on your health responding appropriately to the hormone
helps you understand why it’s important insulin, which signals cells to take up sugar
to develop a healthful lifestyle: good eating (glucose) from the blood. High blood sugar
habits and plenty of physical activity. Here levels, in turn, cause more damage, includ-
are some of the ways obesity interferes with ing accelerated aging of the arteries, thus con-
maintaining good health. tributing to artery disease, the leading cause Cancer promotion
of heart disease. High blood sugar also causes Obesity is associated with increased risk
Metabolic interference damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerves. of many types of cancers. Researchers have
Obesity results when people eat more High blood pressure. High insulin levels suggested that fat tissue may secrete chem-
calories than they use. When you eat extra create a stress response in the body, acti- icals that make people more susceptible to
calories, your body wants to store the extra vating the fight or flight response. This can cancer. Health professionals emphasize,
calories for a rainy day, just in case starva- contribute to high blood pressure. however, that this research is preliminary,
tion conditions arise. What is the body’s Risky blood lipid levels and heart dis- and advise that cancer patients not lose
favorite way to store extra calories? Fat, of ease. Excess triglyceride production (from weight, as extra weight can be protective
course. It converts extra calories into mol- excess calories) raises levels of blood fats, once cancer has already developed.
ecules called triglycerides, and packs the
triglyceride into fat cells. Fat cells can grow Obesity is associated Physical strain
larger as more fat is stored, but they cannot The physical strain of excess weight can
expand indefinitely. Weight gain and too with increased risk of overload weight-bearing joints such as the
much body fat interfere with normal meta- hips, knees and feet, and accelerate devel-
bolic processes in many ways that con-
many types of cancers. opment of the joint degeneration and pain
tribute to the chronic health problems likely associated with osteoarthritis.
to arise with obesity. including blood triglycerides and low-den-
Researchers believe that when people are sity lipoprotein cholesterol levels. These lipids Lifestyle solutions
gaining weight and their bodies are making contribute to the formation of arterial plaque Switching your body from energy stor-
extra triglycerides, expanding fat cells may and more inflammation, as macrophages age mode to energy usage mode produces
become damaged, or simply reach the end attempt to deal with damaged arteries. many health benefits. As fat cells stop grow-
of their life expectancies when they get too Other inflammatory disorders. The ing, inflammatory processes slow. A rela-
full of fat. When this happens, immune cells inflammation caused by obesity may con- tively small weight loss (5 to 10 percent of
called macrophages come in to help dispose tribute to other disorders associated with body weight) has enormous health benefits,
of damaged and dead fat cells. The job of inflammation, such as liver disease, pancre- as fat tissue’s secretion of disruptive chem-
macrophages is to disarm potential attackers, atitis, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. icals declines. Consume a heart-healthy diet
like bacteria and viruses, by engulfing and Obesity increases risk for Alzheimer’s dis- with plenty of fish, fruits and vegetables,
digesting them. They try to attack triglyc- ease, perhaps through accelerated aging of and increase energy output with regular
erides and dead fat cells in this manner, but the arteries. physical activity. FM
are often overwhelmed by the challenge. Body fat packed around the internal
They call in more immune cells to help. As organs (visceral fat) appears to be most
more immune cells congregate to deal with damaging to health. Researchers also believe Compliments of:
the damage, inflammation is the result. that inflammation results not only from
While inflammation is helpful for heal- having a lot of fat, but from getting fatter.
ing a wound, chronic inflammation can Inflammation is more likely to occur when
interfere with a number of important bio- you are in energy storage mode, and your
chemical processes. Several of obesity’s neg- body is dealing with caloric overload.
Purchasing Guide BY H E AT H E R P E AV E Y, A SS O C I AT E E D I T O R

Treadmills Lead the Cardio Pack machine’s design and drive system. “Beyond
that, club owners should consider the aesthet-
ics of the treadmills — will it be inviting to
Treadmills are as popular as ever. They take up the most cardio space on members — as well as the interface — will it
be easy for members to use while also offering
the fitness floor, have time limits, sign-up sheets and waiting lines, and compelling visual feedback,” Logan says.
Innovation is the lifeblood of our industry,
were even featured as the lone prop in a music video (check it out at but, so far, it seems likely treadmills will remain mills that use less electricity are also available the beeping, whirring heart of most fitness
Scott Logan, director of marketing at SportsArt for facilities that aim to “go green.” floors. Treadmills don’t seem in danger of
Fitness, Woodinville, Wash., says that the tread- losing their spot at the top of the cardio heap
mill’s popularity is no mystery: “Walking is the Worth the investment any time soon, and manufacturers’ focus on
most natural of cardio movements and requires A treadmill is a big-ticket item in any fitness improving their product is good news for fit-
no learning curve.” center, and it’s in your best interest to make it ness facilities. FM
worth the investment. There are at
Yesterday, today and tomorrow least two variables that help to
Manufacturers aren’t taking lightly their determine how long your new
position as an industry leader. They’ve treadmill will last: amount of use
improved and adapted their product to meet and maintenance. “Preventive
consumers’ ever-changing needs. “The quality maintenance is really the magic
and technology [of treadmills] are light years bullet, since a clean and well-serv-
ahead of where they were even 10 years ago,” iced treadmill can last two to three
says Logan. “Significant improvements include times longer (or more) than a
enhanced durability, speed response (consis- non-serviced unit,” says Logan.
tency of power delivery), user interface and “The drive system on a well-serv-
feedback, and heart rate [monitoring].” iced machine can last for 10 years,
And, there is something out there for every even in a high-use setting. But take
fitness center’s needs. “Most treadmills from away the regular service and that
leading manufacturers offer good durability can easily drop to three years. …
and performance, and can be had in choices The other big wear items, bed and
of simple displays, [or with] eye-catching dot belt, also have variable life spans
matrix/LED combinations with integrated that depend on maintenance and
screens and entertainment-ready,” Logan says. other factors, such as [if] the deck
“When you consider all of this, you can see that [is] reversible. That said, even a
the bar is already set very high.” well-maintained bed and belt
Fitness facilities looking to serve older or system may need to be replaced
obese members, or to create a more environ- every three to four years in a mid-
ment-friendly facility, will soon find more to high-use setting.”
treadmills to meet their needs, as well. When purchasing treadmills for
Machines with very low start speeds, ergonomic your fitness facility, consider the
designs and more cushioning are hitting the cost of operation, as well as poten-
market for older and obese exercisers. Tread- tial service issues inherent with the


Cybex International reduces knee and joint stress by up to 30 percent power walkers. Its treadmills run on 110-volt
774 324-8000; more than non-cushioned surfaces, and eight Life- power. Programmable models have up to 11 pro-
Cybex’ CX 445T has the same compact footprint, spring shock absorbers, guaranteed for life never files, including three user-customizable and two
streamlined user oper- to wear out or lose absorption capability, deliver heart-rate-controlled programs.
ation and design of the smooth cushioning throughout the deck, regard-
Cybex LCX 425T tread- less of user weight or running stride. Precor
mill, but built to the 800 786-8404;
commercial level. It Motus USA Precor’s C966i low-impact treadmill features a
features heart rate 866 668-8766; “wrap around" console with an easy-to-use dis-
monitoring and a Motus USA developed a line of commercial tread- play, “cantilevered”
safety lanyard, with mills that feature com- handrails and an
Cybex CX 445T
speeds from 0.5 to 11 ponents from leading optional Cardio The-
mph. The CX 445T manufacturers, such ater screen. Tap Con-
maximizes the useable running area, but with a as Samsung TV Enter- trol buttons confirm
small footprint. tainment, Hyundai commands with a
Electronics and Mit- sensory “click.” The
FreeMotion Fitness subishi Motors. Tread- new IFT Drive delivers
Motus M990TL Precor C966i
877 363-8449; mills include Motus’ speed changes and patented triple-shock absorption system; anti- cuts power consumption. Ground Effects and Inte-
The FreeMotion Incline Trainer is like two microbial handlebars; fully integrated LCD TV enter- grated Footplant decrease impact and deliver a
machines in one, with speeds from 0 to 12 mph, tainment with up to 125 channels; Polar heart rate responsive feel at speeds of 0.5 to 15 mph, at a
and incline from –3 to monitors; smooth and quiet running with minimal –3 to +15 degree incline. The 21 courses avail-
30 percent. The vibration; and large, touch-sensitive keys for easy able include pace, personal profile and segment
machine can accom- viewing. time. Precor treadmills have an efficient
modate marathoners, roller/drive and a self-lubricated bed/belt.
someone out for a Nautilus
stroll or a member 877 657-7762; Promaxima Strength and Conditioning
looking for a hike. It is The TreadClimber TC916s provides the cardio 800 231-6652;
powered by the DRVS and calorie-expending benefits of running, but Promaxima Strength and Conditioning distrib-
FreeMotion Incline Trainer Direct Rear Velocity at a walking pace, utes Stex treadmills featuring a 5.5 Hyundai AC
System, a rear-drive and minimizes the motor, Mitsubishi/
motor system that, combined with urethane deck stress and impact on Toshiba Drive
isolators, provides additional cushioning to create the user’s ankles, Inverter and more
a softer running surface to reduce impact on joints. knees and hips. than 30 different
The Trainer features the optional Workout TV con- Studies have shown programs. It also
sole: a flat-panel LCD screen integrated into the that walking at 3 offers an automatic
console to offer a bright, clear picture at a com- Nautilus TreadClimber TC916
miles per hour on the drive belt tension
fortable viewing angle. TreadClimber uses the same number of calories system and optional
Stex 8025TL
17-inch LCD flat
as running at 6 mph on a treadmill. Its dual-
Life Fitness screen Samsung TV. The speed ranges from 0.5
motion design combines low-impact walking with
800 634-8637; to 15.5 mph, and 0 to 20 percent elevation with
gradual hill climbing, and the TreadClimber fea-
Life Fitness offers seven models to choose from a 500-pound user weight.
tures eight programs and a user capacity of 400
and a wide range of user features, including the
pounds. SportsArt Fitness
DX3 belt and deck
system, heart rate 800 709-1400;
monitoring, Zone Noramco Fitness The SportsArt Fitness 680 Xtreme treadmill
Training for workout 800 827-2017; features the new ECO-Powr (Extreme Conversation
variety and an intu- All models of Noramco Fitness treadmills fea- and Output) System,
itive console. The ture a 600-pound user capacity, all-steel frame, and a maintenance-
Activity Zone on the patented flywheel free, self-regulating,
Life Fitness 97Te Ergo bar makes it system for smooth- brushless drive
easy for users to get ness and motor life, system that uses up
started, and adjust speed and incline settings. Auto no-maintenance to 32 percent less
Alert diagnostics inform you of service needs and deck and belt SportsArt Fitness 680 Xtreme electricity than stan-
permanently record and date-stamp maintenance system, and flip-up dard DC-powered
performed. The FlexDeck Shock Absorption System NF 4600 grips for runners and units. The My-Flex cushioning system automati- FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 57

Purchasing Guide
cally adjusts the firmness of the treadmill deck Technogym USA vertical markets, as well as traditional fitness
based on the user’s weight, while the command 800 804-0952; facilities. True engineers manufacture the Per-
center features the proprietary CardioAdvisor The Run Excite treadmill combines Technogym’s formance Series
heart rate training system and an entertainment- design with durability and energy savings. Run Excite treadmill by starting
ready, 10.2-inch LCD screen capable of display- offers an integrated and ergonomically positioned with a commercial-
ing full-screen workout data, full-screen video or 15-inch touch screen grade frame and
a split-screen combo. TV, Breezer fan and building their way
FastTrack controls. The up, adding a stylized
Star Trac pedestal, powerful
display visually tracks
800 228-6635; motor, rugged tread
progress based on
Star Trac offers the Elite, Pro and Pro S tread- True PS700 belt and advanced
mills. Each treadmill is based on the same look QuickStart or one of
computer console
and feel, and incorpo- six program options.
calibrated to help maximize users’ workouts.
rates an intuitive dis- Safety features include
Run Excite 900
play, 1/4-mile track an extra-wide console, Vision Fitness
and SoftTrac deck flat motor cover, rear roller protection and emergency 800 335-4348;
system. Star Trac stop functions. The treadmill microprocessor system Vision Fitness’ T9700 and T9800 Series
treadmills are built on monitors the user’s speed and weight to determine treadmills provide users with 16 different work-
corrosion-resistant necessary amperage draw, resulting in an average out programs, including four heart rate pro-
aluminum frames consumption of 30 percent less energy. grams, five user
Star Trac Pro
designed to maximize programs, six preset
running area while minimizing product footprint. True Fitness programs (including
The Elite and Pro models also feature built-in per- 800 426-6570; its Sprint 8 work-
sonal cooling fans and 5 hp motors. True Fitness offers treadmills designed for out), and a manual
option. Contact heart
rate bars and con-
stant feedback dis-

Fitness Assessment
plays let users see
Vision Fitness T9700 Series their progress. The
T9700 Series tread-

is our life
mills offer a 60-by-20-inch running surface,
while the T9800 Series treadmills offer an
even larger 63-by-22-inch running surface,
plus a 3.0 hp AC drive system with matching
motor and controller.
• Fitness & Wellness
Assessment Software Woodway
800 woodway;
• Computer Controlled Woodway treadmills feature an internation-
Assessment Equipment ally-patented design — the running surface is
a relatively stationary
1/3 square • Portable Assessment
Equipment hard-wood deck over
which the belt trav-
• Excellent Support and els. Design specifica-
Training tions for the
Widepath treadmill
include a patented
slat-belt transporta-
tion system, 110-volt
Woodway Widepath power supply (dedi-
cated circuit and NEMA 5-20R outlet receptacle
Health & Fitness Systems
required) and unitized steel frame with inte-
For a free trial CD call: grated black powder-coated side handrails. The
800-822-0405 Widepath has a contact heart rate handlebar,
0.1 mph resolution, 0 to 11 mph speed and 0 to 15 percent elevation.





Come to Orlando for the best deal in conferences around. Register for either
the Athletic Business (ABC), International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) or
Medical Fitness Association (MFA) Conference and you’ll be able to attend
seminars from all three conferences – at no extra charge. No matter what
segment of the industry you serve, there are more than 150 educational
sessions to choose from -- the widest selection in the industry today.

Athletic Business
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Setting the Pace for Success:
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finest presenters in the www.athleticbusiness
Exciting seminars for the
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growing hospital wellness and fitness center industry,
roundtables, special events
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November 29-December 1
Orange County Convention Center
5 Orlando 5
New Products
Product of the Month
Bootcamp program
Power Systems’ Sports Performance Boot Camp is a program kit for fit-
ness centers and group instructors that helps to create a fun, dynamic
and intense circuit workout. The workout incorporates aspects of sports
performance such as strength, agility, plyometrics and core condition-
ing. The class combines bootcamp training with sports performance for
a workout that can be tailored to any setting, including group fitness
circuit training. The Sports Performance Boot Camp DVD and manual
offer a step-by-step plan to organize, set up and conduct a bootcamp
class. Numerous athletic drills are demonstrated using the equipment
that comes in the kit, including agility ladders, Power Med Balls, Step
Hurdles, Resist-A-Balls, Reflex Balls and more. The Sport Performance
Boot Camp program is available in two kits. The Group Kit is designed
for personal trainers or small group classes of up to 20, and the Class
Kit can accommodate up to 36 participants. Both kits come with train-
ing equipment, a training DVD and a manual.
Power Systems: 800 321-6975;

Cycles Exercise bar FreeMotion’s Cardio Line now includes recum-
bent and upright cycles. The bikes feature a
SportsArt Fitness’ new commercial grade Xtreme Body Bar Systems’ Body Bar Flex Power offers QuickTouch function to change resistance and
Cardio Series includes the 500 Series upright double the resistance of the original. A 4-pound choose programs, water bottle and accessory
and recumbent cycles. The cycles come with two weighted version offers further training options holder, a wider pedal platform, and a drive
screen options: a dot matrix and LED, or an for athletes and extremely fit individuals. The system that uses a self-tensioning Flexonic belt
entertainment-ready 10.2-inch Liquid Crystal Dis- Body Bar Flex Power is a flexible fiberglass com- designed to provide fluid motion and require less
play (LCD) screen capable of displaying full- posite rod with easy-grip rubber casing and end maintenance. A low profile, step-through design
screen workout data, full-screen video or a caps. Weighing approximately 2 pounds, the allows for easy entry/exit of the machine, Quick-
split-screen combo. Machines also have contact 4-foot Body Bar Flex Power can be used for bal- Lift seats rise with the lift of a lever, and molded
heart rate points and are HR telemetry compat- ance and stretching when straight, but offers arm rests with dual pulse grips are offered. Cycles
ible. Upright cycles offer a large seat with a one- resistance ranging from 0 to 40 pounds when can come with the optional Workout TV console,
touch adjustment system and oversized pedals. bent into an arc. It has ergonomically tailored which includes a 12.1-inch flat panel LCD screen
Recumbent cycles feature a step-through flexibility to allow full joint range of motion and that offers users their own entertainment options
design, an adjustable Comfort-Dri seatback, works the entire body in simple or compound (with coaxial cable). Integrated directly into the
oversized pedals and a one-touch adjustment movements to develop strength, flexibility, coor- console, the screen is positioned to offer a bright
system. dination and balance. picture and comfortable viewing angle.
SportsArt Fitness: 800 709-1400; Body Bar Systems: 800 500-2030; FreeMotion Fitness: 877 363-8449;


Coordination trainer Yoga mats Steam room pump
OPTP’s Quick Hands BOLA Trainer consists of Wai Lana Yoga now offers its EnviroMat yoga The Nano Steam Room Aroma Pump by Spa Part-
two balls on an elastic cord. It is designed to mat, which is 100-percent biodegradable; recy- ners is an automatic steam room pump. Aromas
improve neurological function, including reac- clable; free from toxins, allergens, synthetic will last for up to three months. It installs in about
tion time, quickness and coordination. It is also materials and chemical dyes; and PVC- and 45 minutes, and features adjustable aroma
designed for athletes and others to help Latex-free. Its closed-cell design offers traction levels. Aromas include eucalyptus, mentholyp-
improve sports skills such as hand/eye coordi- and resists water and sweat. Mats are available tus, menthol, mint, alpine, cherry, citrus, laven-
nation, spatial awareness and balance. It comes in 24 by 68 inches, and either 3 millimeters or der, Caribbean breeze and tropical coconut. Two
with a DVD that features dozens of demonstra- 5 millimeters thick. Colors include iris, lilac, deep versions are available: 110 volt and 230 volt.
tions at various skill levels. ocean and summer sky. Spa Partners: 800 243-6772;
OPTP: 800 367-7393; Wai Lana Yoga: 800 624-9163; FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 61

New Products

Strength machines
Resistance machine Body-Solid’s new commercial line includes the modular Pro-Dual line
designed to accommodate commercial facilities with limited workout
Hoggan’s new Sprint Trainer is an ADA-compliant resistance training space. The line includes 10 function-specific dual machines that can stand
machine, suited for use in active aging centers and in physical therapy alone or be combined with a three-stack or four-stack weight tower to
applications. Designed for use by people of all abilities, the Sprint Trainer build a single multi-function gym. This allows facilities to create a cus-
uses an adjustable exercise position system that allows the user to per- tomized series of workout stations. Machines feature continuous welded,
form countless exercises on the same machine, while situated in a wheel- factory assembled connections; impact resistant, fiberglass-reinforced
chair, standing or seated. By using Hoggan’s wireless therapy cord nylon pulleys; electrostatically applied metallic powdercoat finish with
system, the Trainer provides feedback to the user, such as force and clear coat; DuraFirm upholstery with 2-inch-high density foam that is
total repetitions, and the ability to set force thresholds. Exercises include double stitched; high-density rubber foam grips and handles; and weight
those for the core, upper body and lower body. shrouds and covers.
Hoggan Health Industries Inc.: 800 678-7888; Body-Solid: 800 833-1227;


BS Program in Wellness and Fitness – 100% Online
- Transfer credits accepted
- 2-Year completion program if you have an
Associate’s Degree
- NASM Certifications in CPT & PES
MS Program in Exercise Science & Health Promotion
– 100% Online
• Four degree tracks:
- Performance Enhancement & Injury Prevention
- Rehabilitation Science
- Wellness & Fitness
- Sport Psychology
• NASM certifications in PES, CES, and/or CPT
• Network with health & fitness professionals worldwide
Phone: 1-866-595-6348 or visit:
A proud member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.


Gym tote
The Fitness Caddy is
like a small gym bag
that holds bottles (up
to 1.5 liters), and
includes a water

Pool photometer bottle cooler sleeve. A

Facility cleaner The Pooltest 25 Professional from Palintest is a pool

deep pleated front
pocket with a flapped
Athletix Odor Neutralizer Spray from Contec is for photometer that can store up to 500 test results and Velcro closure holds
cleaning equipment, showers, restrooms, lockers can be integrated with a PC via its USB port. It also money, driver’s
and more. The spray does not mask one odor with floats and is fully waterproof. It offers a range of swim- license, membership
another, but uses a nanopolymer technology to lay ming pool water tests, including more specialized card, etc. An addi-
down a microscopically thin protective barrier. This tests such as phosphate and sulfate. Its chemical test- tional hideaway inte-
surface barrier prevents the odor-causing elements ing uses light to measure color changes in water sam- rior pocket is also included, plus a metal clip to
from clinging to the surface, multiplying and even- ples treated with a reagent. The sample is placed in hold keys and a metal ring to hold a towel. The
tually causing smelly mildew. The spray penetrates the cell holder and a button is pressed to get results. pleated pouch in back is roomy enough to hold
small nooks and crannies to help prevent odor A backlit LCD screen allows access to programmed both a cell phone and glasses. The Fitness
from developing, and prevents odor from develop- tests. The standard kit comes in a portable case with Caddy body is made from microfiber with PVC
ing on mats, floors, shower and restroom surfaces, test tubes and a starter supply of reagents. The Pro- backing, and the pouch is 420 denier nylon. It
and lockers. It is safe for use on tile and grout. fessional Minilab kit contains a TDS sensor, a range measures 4 inches in diameter and 10 inches
Comes in a 5-liter container that includes a sprayer. of test reagents and a bench-top tray. tall, with a 54-inch adjustable strap.
Contec Inc.: 800 289-5762; Palintest USA: 800 835 9629; BVT Products: 727 834-8944;

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Benches • Hand Grips • Displays • Pads

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888-449-9147 FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 63



A fantastic opportunity to work in a corporate HUDSON COUNTY, NJ
environment in the San Francisco Bay area. Successful co-ed gym for sale
Fitness W.e.s.t. Sports Club is seeking an enthusiastic in upscale area w/room for
and motivated General Manager to work at it newest expansion, includes all equipment.
corporate facility, Club Genentech in South San Francisco.
The facility is 25,000 sq ft with a corporate full court Qualified buyers only.
basketball gym. The club has been open for 3 months. Call Kim 973-769-7845
The club is very active and sports a wonderful positive
atmosphere. A Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science
or a related field with a minimum of 5 years experience.
All applicants must have 2 years of corporate
experience or equivalency. Current CPR and First Aid
certifications plus one or more from the following
organizations are required, ACSM, ACE or NSCA. A
thorough knowledge of exercise principles, exercise
evaluation and fitness programming is important.
Please contact Bob McLennan at
or fax your resume to 650-994-1125.





FITNESS ÜÜÜ°Ì>}‡«ÕLˆÃ…ˆ˜}°Vœ“

>Ê-œ˜˜ÞÊ "7Ê£‡nÈȇÇäӇÇÓÓÇÊܘ˜ÞJÌ>}‡«ÕLˆÃ…ˆ˜}°Vœ“ MMC® is looking for Independent Contractors to
HOLDINGS run protected territories throughout the US, Canada,
Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.
Global Fitness Holdings MMC® specializes in raising immediate CASH
and MONTHLY RECEIVABLES for health clubs.
the largest and fastest growing We have a proven success track record for more
fitness company in than fifteen (15) years. Our programs are no risk
OHIO,, KENTUCKY Y & TENNESSEE to the health club owners because they completely
pay for themselves. If you love Sales and Marketing,
has immediate openings for want to be your own boss, work from
• DISTRICT & GENERAL MANAGERS your home office and have the
• OPERATING PARTNERS • FITNESS potential to earn more than $100,000.00
per year then you want to contact us at
• PERSONAL TRAINERS FLOORING 1-877-620-8135 or visit our website
We currently have 8 clubs that
will open within the next 7 months.
Would you like to be part of that growth?
We offer salary, commission & bonus.
Medical, dental, life & retirement.
This opportunity is only for the committed,
hard-working fitness professional.
or fax to 859-977-3091
Visit our website,
Call 1-866-GO-GGTKO

All Categories:
$160.00 per column inch
(Frequency discounts available)

Call (469) 362-9953 or email FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 65

Supplier Index
Company Page Phone Website
2XL Corp. 62 (888) 977-3726

Affiliated Acceptance Corp. 20 (800) 233-8483

ASF International 4-5 (800) 227-3859

Balanced Body Inc. 71 (800) 745-2837

BSDI 17 (888) 273-4348

California University of PA 62 (866) 595-6348

Creative Fitness Marketing 21 (800) 383-4427

Dri-Dek 61 (800) 847-9341

Electronic Billing and Collecting Services 61 (800) 766-1918

Exerflex 19 (800) 428-5306

Fitness Management Magazine 66 (800) 722-8764

FiTour 16 (281) 494-0380

Hoist Fitness Systems 39 (800) 548-5438

International Council on Active Aging 25 (866) 335-9777

Iron Grip Barbell Co. 9 (800) 664-4766

Keiser Corp. 37 (800) 888-7009

Kleen-Machine 63 (888) 449-9147

MicroFit Inc. 58 (800) 822-0405

Motus USA 49 (866) 668-8766

Power Plate 6 (877) 87-PLATE

Spermies 63 (800) 578-1470

SportsArt Fitness 11 (800) 709-1400

Star Trac 72 (800) 228-6635

True Fitness Technology 2 (800) 426-6570

Vitabot 3 (301) 864-3886 FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 67



• The Role of Certification in Staffing • Educating Staff About Insurance
Certifications are important for the health and and Risk Management
fitness industry for a variety of reasons: They set What do your staff members need to know • The Reality of Vibration Technology
industry standards, regulate professional growth, about insurance and risk management to help In the past few years, a number of vibration
curb liability and ensure staff competency. When them keep your facility out of trouble? Never technology products have been introduced. But,
hiring, you need to ensure that your staff mem- assume that staff members understand the role what exactly is vibration technology and what
bers have appropriate entry-level and advanced they must play when it comes to issues of liabil- are its applications? Fitness professionals have
skills, depending on the jobs they will perform. This ity. Educate them about what insurance covers tested various brands and will share how they
list of qualifications, from competent to expert, as and how it applies to various situations, as well apply to specific populations (rehabilitation, gen-
well as an explanation of the types of certifications, as proper risk-management procedures. eral fitness and sports performance), what their
will help your facility staff for success. contraindications are and how some facilities have
• Core Training for used this technology.
• Retaining Staff for Member Retention Athletic Performance
Paying attention to retaining great staff will have Industry experts share how fitness profession- • Locker Rooms: Fabulous
a commensurate effect on retaining members. Find als can turn conceptual knowledge about core Upgrades and Renovations
out what some fitness facility operators are doing to training into practical exercise programs that Fitness centers offer tips on what worked for
keep their best people — from recruitment, to remu- result in performance enhancement for members. them (and what didn’t) when they renovated their
neration and benefits, to inspirational management The five key types of core movement will be locker rooms. Find out how to deal with locker
— as well as how they identify when employees are described, including examples of exercises for room closures and how to keep your members up-
flight risks and how they win them back. each category. to-date during the renovation process.



Mar 2-4 FitnessFest

February Columbus, OH 480 461-3888
3 Arnold Classic
Apr 19-22
New Orleans, LA 614 431-3600 Chicago, IL
IDEA Health &
C.O.R.E. Instructor – Level I
800 321-6975 Mar 3 Fitness Association Morgantown, WV Fitness Fusion American College of
Aquatic Therapy 800 999-4332, ext. 7 Sports Medicine
12-14 & Rehab Institute 54th Annual Meeting
La Quinta, CA Professional Development Day 317 637-9200, ext. 138
Fitness Industry Supplier’s 866 462-2874 Apr 23-29
Association N.A. National
4th Annual Fitness Medical Fitness Association Jun 6-9
Supplier Invitational Mar 13-17 Medical Fitness Week Orlando, FL
858 509-0034 Baltimore, MD 804 327-0330 Club Industry American Alliance for East
Health, Physical Education, 800 927-5007
15-18 Recreation & Dance
May 14-16
Washington, DC San Diego, CA
National Convention & Exposition Jun 11-13
Aquatic Therapy Fitness Industry Supplier’s
800 213-7193
& Rehab Institute Association N.A. Las Vegas, NV
Specialty Institute Program Director Forum Sporting Goods
866 462-2874 Mar 21-24 858 509-0034 Manufacturers Association Spring Market
Dallas, TX
American College 781 535-5117
16 May 16-17
Atlanta, GA of Sports Medicine
Washington, DC
Body Training Systems 11th Annual Health and Jul 5-9
International Health, Racquet
Business of BTS Fitness Summit & Exposition & Sportsclub Association San Diego, CA
800 729-7837, ext. 2943 317 637-9200, ext. 138 IDEA Health &
5th Annual Legislative Summit
800 228-4772 Fitness Association World Fitness Convention
16-18 Mar 28-31
800 999-4332, ext. 7
College Park, MD San Francisco, CA
May 17-19
University of Maryland International Health, Racquet Hartford, CT
13th Annual Southeast & Sportsclub Association Aug 6-10
Body Training Systems
Collegiate Fitness Expo 26th Annual Convention Wellesley, MA
301 226-4418
Business of BTS
& Trade Show & Hartford Summit International Health, Racquet 800 228-4772 800 729-7837, ext. 294 & Sportsclub Association
17-18 19th Annual Institute for
Dallas, TX Professional Club Management
Mar 28-31 May 30-Jun 2
PhiPilates 800 228-4772
San Francisco, CA New Orleans, LA
Reformer Foundations II
American Journal of Health
877 716-4879 Promotion Events listed on this page are national annual meetings and major
17th Annual Art and Science of monthly industry events. For a complete listing of year-round and recur-
ring events, refer to our online calendar on the
21-23 Health Promotion Conference
website (
Las Vegas, NV 248 682-0707 • To be listed on this page and in the online events calendar, send the
Day Spa Association name, date and city of the event, and contact name, telephone, email and
2nd Annual Day Spa web address to: Fitness Management Events Calendar, P.O. Box 409,
Expo & Business Forum Apr 12-15 Danville, PA 17821;; or to 570 271-1201.
800 859-9247 Tempe, AZ • For additional information:; Waterworks On Wheels Inc. 570 271-9001. FITNESS MANAGEMENT • FEBRUARY 2007 69


Renovation Increases Usage

The renovated fitness MOST FITNESS centers will never strength area. Above
face the type of challenge that that a floor was cre-
center at an all-male Tiger Recreation – Fitness & ated to include a
Sports (TigeRec) did several years group exercise room
college increased usage back. Students at the 230-year-old with wood flooring,
college wanted a change: They wireless microphone
and improved the health wanted an updated fitness facility. and audio technol-
Says Director of Tiger Recreation ogy, and a storage
of the students and Steven W. Harrell, “The fitness room. The renova-
faculty/staff. center was a project that began in tion was such as suc-
2002 when graduating students cess that the
said that having a equipment supplier
true fitness facility now uses TigeRec as
would have made a showcase, “even
their college experi- after so much use,”
ence more fulfilling.” Harrell says.
TigeRec is located The existing 25-
at one of the two meter pool with six lanes and are no sports or fitness classes in
remaining all-male diving board remained untouched the curriculum at Hampden-
liberal arts colleges in except for interior wall painting. Sydney College, TigeRec has had
the U.S., Hampden- However, with the fitness center’s to search for a new way to gain
Sydney College, renovation, the pool has seen “a personal trainers and employees.
which is one hour definitive increase in usage,” says One way is its Student Employee
southwest of Rich- Harrell. It is used so extensively, Contract: If students want to
mond, Va. The col- hours of operation had to be become certified in personal train-
lege does not offer a curriculum in increased. The college’s swimming ing, TigeRec will pay for a percent-
TigeRec health, fitness, wellness or sports, club has grown to more than 60 age of the costs in exchange for

Fitness so TigeRec provides just that, says

Harrell. The renovation project
members since 2004.
Technology in the fitness center
one year of employment.
Students at Hampden-Sydney

Center was pushed through, and the new

center was placed in the old Kirby
also reflects the times. The campus
computing center and TigeRec
College finally have a central loca-
tion for fitness, aquatics, intramu-
Fieldhouse. Says Harrell, “The $3 worked together to develop two rals and informal recreation. The
Hampden-Sydney College
million, 10,000-square-foot reno- interactive programs. First, an community also uses the fitness
Hampden-Sydney, Va.
vation paved the way to a high- interactive access point tracks par- center, and TigeRec boasts a 90-
tech and modern facility that is ticipation, attendance, locker percent retention rate with its
Date fitnessfacilityopened: March 2004
nestled in a 230-year-old campus, rentals, membership access and community memberships, accord-
Fitness facility size: 10,217 square feet
and it still maintains the history of message boards. The second pro- ing to Harrell. Other good news:
(first floor and group exercise room);
the college.” gram allows participants to track The HR department of the college
8,250-square-foot aquatics area
Where there once was a locker workouts, sign up for events, reports that insurance premiums
Number of members: 1,100 stu-
room, storage, squash/racquetball receive emails on workout have declined since TigeRec Fit-
dents, 500 faculty/staff, 1,000-
courts, a few athletic offices and progress, print out specific or ness Center opened. And, the
plus spouse/dependents, 125
an athletic training room now generic workouts, request an dining hall recently adjusted its
community memberships
stands a facility that has seen appointment with a fitness special- menu to offer more healthy cui-
Unique features/offerings: Body Tone
more than 100,000 visitors since ist, view workout progress, and sine. What’s the biggest benefit of
and yoga group classes, seven 32-
March 2004. The three remaining tally results on incentive programs the new fitness center? Says Har-
inch televisions with BroadcastVision
racquetball courts received maple like cardio challenges and races. rell, “More students, faculty, staff
flooring and Plexi-Glass walls. To keep things running and their families are finding time
To have your fitness center featured,
Two locker rooms received a com- smoothly at TigeRec, one full-time to devote to themselves, and are
send an email describing your facility
plete overhaul. An old racquetball director and 50 students are now more in tune with healthy
court is now a multi-use and employed. However, since there lifestyle habits.” FM
Introducing HumanSport ™. Star Trac’s 2-in-1 functional training system.
The fastest growing company in commercial fitness equipment is pushing
performance even further with best-in-class functional training
equipment. HumanSport’s attractive and smooth operating machines
offer 12 intuitive workout stations. That means the most efficient
use of floor space for you and unlimited exercise and training
options for your members and trainers. For more on this rock solid
6 pack, call 800 228 6635 Dept. 1009 or visit

©2007 Star Trac. All rights reserved. HumanSport, the HumanSport logo and Designed to Inspire are trademarks of Star Trac.

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