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    Association News


The IHRSA Global 25 Rankings

by Jon Feld

We’re in the midst of persistent, ongoing, international growth.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), overall global gross domestic product (GDP) should increase to 3.7% this year, up from 3.6% in 2017, with each of the world’s major economies firmly in the growth column. That growth is reflected in the fortunes of the fitness companies that compose the IHRSA Global 25.

The world’s largest economy—that of the U.S., which accounts for 25% of the global total—boasts the top three entries: Planet Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness, and Anytime Fitness, which, in terms of revenue, achieved growth rates of 21%, 64%, and 16% between 2016 and 2017, respectively. No. 4 on the “Revenue Growth” list is Qingdao Impulse Health Management Co., Ltd., reflecting China’s place at No. 2 in the global economy.

Moving down the list of the top 10 economies, you find Japan, Germany, the U.K., India, France, Italy, and Canada. Five of them are well-represented—by Konami Sports (Japan); BodyStreet GmBH (Germany); David Lloyd Leisure (U.K.); Keep Cool (France); and Goodlife Fitness (Canada). Only entries from India and Italy are absent.

Power in Franchising
In almost every category, franchisors are among the industry’s leaders. Last year, we mentioned that they were doing well. This year, they’re really blowing the doors off of the current lists. In fact, of the 53 companies whose metrics provide the basis for the Global 25, 15 are either franchise-based or offer franchises. And while some things look similar on the surface, exploring further tells a bit of a different story.

“Number of Members 2017,” for example, shows a top five that looks much like it did in 2016, which was: (1) Planet Fitness, with 8.9 million members; (2) 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc., with 3.8 million; (3) Gold’s Gym International, with 3 million; (4) Anytime Fitness, with 2.85 million; and (5) McFit, with 1.4 million. For 2017, the order is nearly identical, with Anytime switching places with Gold’s.

The difference? Planet Fitness grew to 10.6 million (+19.1%); 24 Hour is down, at 3.54 million (-6.8%); Anytime is at 3.54 million (+24.2%); Gold’s is stable at 3 million; and McFit is at 1.73 million (+23.6%).

Fortunately, in the fitness industry, change often equals growth. While Planet Fitness, Anytime Fitness, and McFit had milestone-type growth, 24 Hour was down, and hybrid owned/franchised Gold’s Gym was unchanged. Proceed a little further down the list, and you’ll find that Snap Fitness expanded from 438,536 members in 2016 to 509,642, a more-than-healthy 16.2% increase.

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"What is One Program that your Members Would Insist on Keeping?"


Devin Sherrington
president, 360fit

I recently went to a professional development seminar where another gym owner spoke about working on his business not in his business. I have long been the engine of my gym doing more sessions than the other trainers because people would request me and I didn't want to say no to the money. After listening to this speaker, I made a shift in my business. I backed off the number of hours where I taught classes and trained clients one-on-one. I decided my job was to grow the business not work in it as a trainer.


Elaina Bahm
Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3
Certified Corrective Exercise Coach
Georgetown, Ontario

When I began in the fitness field over 10 years ago, I used to notice that a physical workout was not enough for many of my clients. I'd put them through a great workout, but they seemed to be stuck in their lives; they weren't moving forward, something was blocking them. I've recently taken the Holistic Lifestyle Coach courses through the CHEK Institute. The focus is on treating the body as a system of systems by applying “the last four doctors you'll ever need: Dr. Diet, Dr. Movement, Dr. Quiet and Dr. Happiness.”


Gino Arcaro
owner, X Fitness
Welland, Ontario

Great question! We use the same strategies with our general public club members that we have used successfully while coaching football. The progressive system, which incorporates multi-levels of structured learning and performance outcomes, includes a seamless pathway of academic and athletic structured learning outcomes based on prerequisite mastery.


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

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    Featured Article
Olympic Champions Built Here


Article reprinted from the March/April 2017 issue of Fitness Business Canada magazine
By Kathryn Korchok

Nerio Alessandri always dreamed of building something.

When he was 22, he designed and built the first piece of equipment that would become Technogym, a global fitness and wellness brand today sold in over 100 countries. And during the course of the company’s  34 years, Alessandri has also built champions.

The Italian-based company has been the official equipment supplier for the last six Olympic Games, including the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. The company also supports and partners with some of the world’s top soccer teams, America’s Cup sailing crews, European basketball teams, and Formula 1 racing teams, including Team Ferrari and Team McLaren.

The Olympics connection
Last summer in Rio de Janeiro, Technogym equipped 15 Olympic fitness facilities—including the main 21,527-square-foot training centre in the Olympic Village and other warm-up and prep stations located at specific competition venues—from tennis to golf to aquatics. The company supplied more than 1,400 pieces of equipment, each fully integrated into the company’s mywellness cloud digital platform.

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pic5Visionary Dialogue at FIBO CHINA

Rainer Schaller, CEO and founder of the McFIT GLOBAL GROUP and inventor of the fitness discount strategy, presented his vision for the development of the fitness industry at FIBO CHINA in Shanghai. "We have to move away from the idea that fitness is linear and create customised offers for people. Fitness must be accessible to anybody regardless of age, origin or income," says Schaller at the Chinese equivalent of the world's largest trade fair for fitness, wellness and health, FIBO.

More than 170 million people worldwide already take part the number one sport: fitness. And this number is growing daily. “But, how do we also reach those people who have not been interested in fitness yet? By getting people to move and have fun at the same time - with a revolutionary concept that does not require a monthly membership fee," Schaller continues. “We have laid the foundation for this in recent years with our various brands and new concepts, which also include exclusive boutique studios. With THE MIRAI, we want to continue the legacy of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who created a pioneering location for the fitness industry with “Muscle Beach” in Santa Monica. We thereby want to transform fitness from a popular sport to a national sport and should receive as much consideration as it deserves," Schaller adds in his presentation to an audience of 400 at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai.

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pic5Gold’s Gym Awards Matrix Fitness 2018 Vendor of the Year for Equipment

Johnson Health Tech North America, Inc. recently announced that its commercial brand, Matrix Fitness, was awarded the 2018 Gold’s Gym Equipment Vendor of the Year, its fifth such honor in the past nine years. Gold’s Gym franchisees from 29 states and 28 countries ranked vendors in several areas, such as customer satisfaction and overall product quality, to name Matrix Fitness the Vendor of the Year in the Equipment category.

Matrix has previously won the award in 2009, 2012, 2013, and 2016. Gold’s Gym and its Gold’s Gym Franchisee Association (GGFA) collaborated on this year’s Convention themed, “THE GOLDS GYM WAY.” Over 500 attendees representing 700+ locations gathered at the Tropicana in Las Vegas for four days of education sessions and networking events.

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pic5World Gym Athletics Expands Globally

World Gym International, is continuing to grow World Gym Athletics with new programming and more locations in the United States and around the world. World Gym Athletics is an exclusive, studio-style, small group training program that combines the best of HIIT, Olympic lifting and functional training.

Since launching last year, World Gym Athletics has hosted 10 certifications attended by over 400 coaches from around the United States.  There are currently 13 World Gym locations in the United States with World Gym Athletics programs.  By the end of next year, World Gym expects to have more than 30 World Gym Athletics programs running in the United States, Canada, Brazil and Australia.   World Gym Athletics will also have its first standalone studio location next year.

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pic1 Arthritis and Activity – A Good Mix

by Patricia Clark

Millions of older Canadians – both men and women – suffer from the pain, stiffness, and swelling caused by arthritis. The pain can slow down and limit movements of an individual suffering with this disease. When they move around less, muscles get weaker, and it becomes more challenging to steady and balance them self. Arthritis can also aggravate other physical problems such as osteoporosis.

Sadly, many people do not seek treatment for arthritis because they think that they just have to cope with the condition and endure the pain. This is not true. There are drugs available that help to slow arthritis down and manage the pain. Early diagnosis and treatment of arthritis is important. Once they get the disease under control, they can and should start being more physically active.

Research shows that regular, physical activity will not only make them stronger – it will also help them to better manage their pain and stiffness. Researchers have found that the right kind of regular physical activity actually reduces pain and does not damage the joints. In fact, people who were the least active before were the first to see gains once they started an activity. They also enjoyed the greatest health benefits over time.

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pic1 Say No to Nuts and Sure to Seeds!

by Frances Michaelson

Saying good bye to summer is never easy , but at the same time routines feel good ! They are comforting and help keep us grounded  , especially if we are in control of our health. An easy way to spruce up your nutrition is to add seeds to your salads. You would be surprised to learn how much nutrition is in some of these super seeds.

Why no to nuts ? A harsh no may not be necessary but take a look here and find out why moderation is best  https://livethewow.ca/2017/07/are-nuts-really-good-for-you/ Seeds , on the other hand are loaded with power ! Chia seeds are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids , protein, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and the list goes on. You can buy them in either black or white . Throw a large handful into your salads as opposed to smoothies as they can contribute to some bloating with the fruit . Pumpkin seeds actually contain more iron than liver ! So if you are told that you are anemic, load up with these seeds. They are also an excellent source of essential fatty acids.

Hemp seeds have become very popular . They are a nice buttery seed to eat and very nutritious as they consist of essential fatty acids, protein, fiber , and all nine essential amino acids. I know that it has become popular to throw seeds into smoothies , but I would prefer you add them to your salads for better digestion and absorption.

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pic1 David vs Goliath
Surviving 17 Years From Scratch
P27: Experience of Experience

by Gino Arcaro

Our main priority at X Fitness to ensure customer retention is providing every gym member with “The Experience.”

‘The Experience’ is part of our business language. ‘The Experience’ refers to the strongest, positive emotional event that a customer can feel while working out at X Fitness. ‘The Experience’ transcends working out. The workout is the core of The Experience, the heart and soul of The Experience, but not the whole experience.

We have defined and refined what The Experience means at X Fitness through past experience. We carefully studied what worked out for us in the past, during 4 decades of athletic leadership and academic leadership that included 40 years of coaching football and two decades of teaching and coordinating two college law enforcement programs. The Experience was the heart and soul of our football program - in the gym, on the practice field, and on game-day. The Experience was the heart and soul of my academic program, in every classroom, during every semester. The Experience was the #1 factor in student-satisfaction and retention. After studying what worked out, we identified Best Practices and included it in our X Fitness Business System, our playbook that governs every single decision we have ever made since we started X Fitness from scratch.

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pic1 The Gym Social: Connection and Community

by Lauren Walker

The gym is not just a place to come in, work out and leave. It’s really just like a small town where everybody knows each other. Not every facility feels like this. It can be quite the opposite. Imagine walking in to a gym and the front desk staff greets you by name. You can exercise and socialize with other members. There’s always someone waving goodbye when you leave. How would you feel walking in to a gym like that? We do exist and this is part of our long term success. We’ve worked to create an environment that feels a little more like home.

Building a long term relationship with a client starts with a smile and handshake. You will never walk in to our facility without being greeted by a friendly face. I always make a point of introducing myself to new members. I encourage them to feel free to ask questions. You’d be surprised how often people tell me, “I feel embarrassed asking questions.” My response is, “There’s no such thing as a dumb question. If it’s a matter of safety then I’d rather you let me know.” It helps build a positive rapport. They do matter and I do care. That’s the message I want to get across.

I can’t tell you how many friendships have been built on a single introduction. Fifteen years later and it still feels like a social club. “I met this person. We talk every time we’re here. It helps pass the time on the treadmill.” Who knows who you’ll meet walking on a treadmill at the gym! It could be a new friend. I’ve learned people are more inclined to show up if they know someone is waiting for them. They are accountable to someone. This is why making friendships at the gym is also good for business.

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    What's New

whatsnewBorn from success in the indoor studio and with Stages Flight group display technology, Stages Solo is a commercial bike for the cardio floor. Stages Solo provides a real-bike feel, an engaging interface, diverse ride journeys, accurate training feedback and the ability to track fitness goals over time. Stages Solo is designed for the rider who wants to experience the exhilarating cycling experience of the studio but in a personalized single-rider environment. For more information, visit info@dotmarfitness.com.



Attend a world class conference right here at home! The 29th annual Island Fitness Conference will take place Saturday October 27 at Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence & Sunday October 28 at the Esquimalt Recreation Center. This event takes place in Victoria, BC and is organized by the Island Fitness Association.

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    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 905-873-0850, email us at fbc@fitnet.ca or click here to subscribe online.

Next Issue: Fall 2018
Special Feature: Product & Service Directory
Business Profile: Keystone Fitness

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

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