header splash June 12th, 2018



Key Findings from The 2018
IHRSA Global Report

by Melissa Rodriguez, Senior Research Manager, IHRSA

In 2017, health club membership topped 174 million consumers around the globe, according to The 2018 IHRSA Global Report, which was published last month. Industry revenue totaled an estimated $87.2 billion in 2017 and the club count exceeded 200,000 facilities. As leading markets posted strong performance, emerging markets—particularly in the Asia-Pacific region—showed potential for continued growth.

Revenue, membership, and the total number of clubs all increased in the U.S. from 2016 to 2017. Revenue grew from $27.6 billion in 2016 to $30 billion in 2017, while membership increased from 57.2 million to 60.9 million. The U.S. club count rose from 36,540 locations to 38,477 sites.

The IHRSA Canadian Health Club Report indicates that club operators serve nearly 6 million members at roughly 6,000 facilities in Canada. IBISWorld, an independent industry research firm, projects that revenue from gyms and health clubs in Canada will increase through 2019. One of the key drivers for growth is consumer demand for health and fitness programs to help address obesity, active aging, proper nutrition, and sports performance.

The Latin American health club market is robust with potential for growth. Based on data gathered in The IHRSA Latin American Report (Second Edition), Brazil’s 34,000 health clubs rank the country second only to the U.S. among global fitness markets. More than nine million Brazilians are members of a health club. With more than 12,000 health club facilities, Mexico ranks second in Latin America and third worldwide in terms of number of clubs. Opportunities for growth exist in Latin America as member penetration rates remain low at an average of 2.15% across 18 countries.

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"What is One Simple Thing a Club Operator Can Do Today to Improve Their Club?" rule1

Develop a process to get regular member feedback. Can you really know how you’re doing from an experience standpoint without asking for feedback along the way?

Think of how much time an operator spends on developing the operational guidelines to create an exceptional member experience. Does your team really follow these guidelines? How can you know if you don’t audit the process? Finding gaps in service, experience, sales and retention can dramatically improve your club.


One of the most common objections we hear in the industry is, “I need to think about it.” Although it’s easy to put this response down to the incredible indecisiveness of today’s consumers, a lot of times it’s just the result of too much information.

Have a look at your pricing options. If your sales staff and personal trainers are offering more than three packages to choose from, you’ve got too many. Although you may think it pays to have multiple choices to suit all kinds of budgets, choice paralysis is a real thing and it may be costing you.


One of the simplest and most effective things we’ve done to improve our club is to give members a voice by conducting a member survey.  It’s a great way to find out what your customers really think about your club, the service provided, the amenities, etc.

We tried a paper survey about 12 years ago before everything was available and more easily shared through the internet.  It gave us reasonable feedback, but distribution was left to the front staff and it didn’t provide a lot of in-depth answers.


The one area I’d love to improve sounds simple, but it is challenging for many businesses: getting the right message out to the right people.

Our mission at the City of Mississauga is to get more people, more active, more often. Although I am both proud and inspired by this goal, we have a very broad scope of programs reflecting the needs of the entire community which presents a daunting task for our marketing department.


To see the full answers from each participant, select 'continue reading'

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    Supplier Profile
Balanced Habits


By Kathryn Korchok

A California company finds success by offering clubs a turn-key nutrition program based on a balanced diet and sensible portions

Carolyn Fetters wants her company to be the Über of the diet world.

“I’m intent on disrupting the diet industry,” says the 52-year-old CEO and founder of Balanced Habits, a California-based company that offers comprehensive nutrition coaching programs for fitness clubs and individual consumers. “I’m really intent on dismantling it, to be honest.”

Fetters and her husband Paul started Balanced Habits in 2012, building on their 25-plus years of fitness experience, their backgrounds in competitive athletics, and their grounding in nutrition and health.

The two met in the 1980s when Carolyn was a competitive cyclist and rower attending UCLA, and Paul was a bodybuilder and personal trainer at Gold’s Gym in Venice, California. They married, raised three children, and owned three fitness clubs.

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pic5Alberta Company Acquires World Health Edmonton

The owners of World Health Calgary, Spa Lady (Edmonton and Calgary) and Bankers Hall Club have completed a transaction to acquire the assets of World Health Edmonton, Fresh Fit Foods, and Tru Ride Cycle Studio.

The alignment between the companies brings 24 Alberta fitness clubs under one ownership group. This provides a platform to increase convenience for members and deliver new and unique health and fitness offerings.

Fresh Fit Foods makes healthy eating easy and convenient, by offering fresh, healthy, ready-to-eat meals at all WHE locations. Tru Ride Cycle Studio is Edmonton’s first indoor boutique cycle studio and offers members a luxurious and immersive cycling experience. In the future, the Company plans to expand these offerings to other locations.

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pic5GoodLife Fitness installs fitness facility on Royal Canadian Navy’s newest vessel

The crew of the MV ASTERIX, the Royal Canadian Navy's (RCN) vessel that was officially welcome to the fleet in in March, now have access to a 4,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art fitness facility thanks to GoodLife Fitness and Federal Fleet Services.

The facility includes customized Olympic-style power lifting racks with GoodLife bumper plate, a full TurfZone with pushing sleds, battle ropes, plyometric boxes and TRX straps. There is also a full set of GoodLife Fitness dumbbells ranging from 5 to 100 lbs, indoor cycles, rowing machines, treadmills and more. All of the equipment was installed and secured with maximum efficiency and safety in mind to meet the demands of the ship’s crew when they are deployed.

“GoodLife Fitness was honoured to have the opportunity to give the brave men and women who serve on the MV ASTERIX the very best equipment we have to offer so they can stay healthy and fit as they serve Canada abroad,” said David Patchell-Evans, Founder and CEO of GoodLife Fitness. “GoodLife proudly supports Canadian veterans through our CF1 Appreciation Program and we see this fitness facility as the next step in showing our care for active armed forces members.”

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pic5CPTN now Preferred Personal Training & Group Fitness Certification Provider for FKCI

Fitness Kickboxing Canada (FKCI) has partnered with Certified Professional Trainers Network (CPTN) to be their "Preferred Provider" for certifications in Kickboxing, MMA and Bootcamp. Personal trainers and group fitness instructors interested in transferring their existing certification status to CPTN must complete a CPTN transfer application.

FKCI courses and certification will now be posted online on the CPTN Workshops listing page and will be pre-approved for CPTN CECs. CPTN members will enjoy a 10 percent discount off of Fitness Kickboxing Canada certifications by entering their CPTN member ID number when registering for the course and certification exam packages. For more information, visit www.fitnesskickboxingcanada.ca.

pic5Virtuagym Closes €6 Million Series B Investment Led by Endeit Capital

Virtuagym, provider of a cloud-based fitness software platform and mobile apps, closed a €6 million Series B financing round led by growth investor Endeit Capital, to fuel international growth of the company.

Founded by two brothers, Paul and Hugo Braam, Virtuagym has grown from a single-room start-up to a scale-up with over 200 employees and offices in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Medellín, Colombia. The company serves businesses in the fitness space in over 80 countries worldwide, including the United States and key European markets. Virtuagym will use the new funding to develop new innovations, strengthen their market position in both Europe and the Americas, while fueling further expansion in new markets, such as yoga studios, martial arts and dance studios.

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pic1 David vs Goliath – Surviving 17 Years From Scratch – P25: Core Beliefs

by Gino Arcaro

When I started my independent gym X Fitness from scratch in 2001, there was no social media. The World-Wide Web and cell phones were in their infancy.  Revolutionary changes have happened since 2001. Here’s my point – we had to adapt. We had to change. Adaptation and change are two major elements of business survival and growth. But there are certain elements of our gym operation that have never changed and never will. One element is our Core Beliefs.

Here’s Real-Life Lesson #3,996 that I’ve learned in my previous professions that I’ve transferred to business – nothing endures without ideological consistency. Before I became a full-time business owner, I worked in high-risk professions and sports that require ideological consistency regarding Core Beliefs to achieve Leadership Congruency, the single-most important leadership element needed to lead a team to its collective and individual actualization. The biggest mistake a leader can make is Leadership Incongruence that results in erratic decision-making, dysfunctional teams, and wasted potential.

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Assistant Studio Manager, Hamilton and Brampton

Orangetheory Fitness is currently looking for fun, smart and passionate leaders to join our rapidly growing studio management team! If you are

  • a passionate, positive and detail oriented person that can talk to anyone
  • someone who would enjoy leading a team that provides a world class fitness experience
  • someone who would go all in on an 80's themed workout and might just drop and do a burpee for fun Then you're probably the right person for us!

    Full ad details here.

    What's New

whatsnewAviron Interactive introduces its flagship rower, equipped with an immersive 21.5” HD touchscreen. The rower allows users to compete in exhilarating challenges with friends and strangers sitting right next to each other or anywhere around the world. Aviron aims to bring a more-connected, collaborative and competitive experience to traditional fitness. Challenges include Grand Prix (an exhilarating 10-player race) and Zombie Apocalypse (an intense thriller that can be played with five friends). For more information, call (437) 317-1199, visit www.avironactive.com or email info@avironactive.com.


2018 canfitpro World Fitness Expo

August 8 - 12th, 2018

Metro Toronto Convention Centre

See details at: worldfitnessexpo.com

    About FBC

FBC 2018Fitness Business Canada (FBC), first published in January 2000, is the primary trade magazine for owners, managers and staff of health and fitness facilities across Canada. To get your copy, call our office at 888-920-6537, email us at fbc@fitnet.ca or click here to subscribe online.

Next Issue: Summer 2018
Executive Focus: Body Odour in the Gym
Conference Overview: canfitpro World Fitness Expo

plus much more...look for it this Summer!

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