Today, it's not just Curves anymore but a blossoming industry. There are a host of other 30-minute circuit training gym franchises cropping up, each with a slightly different slant on what the future success formula will be. There's also an abundance of independent clubs with a lot of entrepreneurs choosing to go it alone and not pay the annual franchise fees. The Harmony Workshop welcomes both independent and franchised club operators alike.
From a broader perspective, according to the International Health and Racquet Sports Association (IHRSA) it took approximately 25 years for multipurpose gyms and health clubs to grow to its current size of 26, 831 clubs in the U.S., although an exact number has not been tabulated it is widely estimated that the number of hydraulic circuit training clubs for men, women, co-ed, seniors, and kids is in excess of 12,000 clubs with most opening in just the last half decade. As people become more educated to the health benefits of exercise, it is clear that there will soon be a circuit club in every neighborhood in North America.
As to what the forces are to this exceptional growth, Phil Trotter, a 30-year veteran in the fitness who's been a pioneer in many exercise trends such as racquetball, Nautilus circuits, Reebok Step, Resist-A-Ball, the Ramp, and most recently, Workout Theater, had this to say,
"Traditional gyms and health clubs are all chasing after the same small audience, the 'Fit', those people that understand advanced fitness and love all the complicated equipment. But they are only the tip of the iceberg, the mammoth market that lies beneath is the 'deconditioned market', these people are ignorant of fitness, extremely self-conscious of their weight and shape, and intimidated by traditional gyms and of the fit crowd. So, if this new industry, the 30-minute circuit training industry, can intelligently cater to the specific needs of this group, namely time independence and non-intimidation, while getting them to better health, it will enjoy absolutely explosive growth."
The Theme for This Year's Conference is IRMA
As this industry goes through its current growth passage, the conference focus will shift slightly from member acquisition to member retention and exercise adherence, according to Harper, this year's show will focus on IRMA. It's an acronym that stands for:
"If a small gym can develop immediate skills in these 4 crucial membership areas, then they will be far more successful than otherwise", said Harper. "We've learned from our multi-purpose gym predecessors, that we have to address the retention issue early in our growth, it's something that the large health clubs ignored for years to their detriment".
A Jam-Packed Weekend of Skills Development
Harper has enlisted the most knowledgeable and visionary people in this nascent industry, presentations will be given by:
- Al Valente, Co-founder, President and Chief Editor of FitCommerce.com and former general manager of one of the largest health clubs in the U.S., who has been covering the circuit training phenomenon since its inception, will give the keynote address giving insights into the changing world of the exercise and fitness and where we can expect to go from here.
- Phil Trotter, who is an exceptional fitness entrepreneur has been involved with several fitness trends over the past 30 years. He was instrumental in bringing out Reebok Step, Resist-A-Ball, and most recently the Ramp to the market. Trotter will give insight as to how to attract additional segments to clubs while retaining existing members via some groundbreaking innovations. Also, additional revenues can be achieved by re-packaging gyms and attracting seniors and juniors during off hours.
- Symanthia Harper, successful business entrepreneur, energetic motivator, founder of Shapes For Women and founder of the Association for Hydraulic and Fitness Clubs, will be sharing secrets of sales and communications. She will share revenue enhancement secrets from her unique position as the Association founder and interfacing with hundreds of clubs.
- Carey Hicks , is the CEO of Forme Fitness & Yoga Studios in Denver, Colorado will address critical issues of marketing and branding specific to hydraulic circuit training clubs. Since most gyms are on tight marketing budgets, she will address the inexpensive ways to market the circuit club business.
- Helen Racz, back by popular demand, Racz is the owner/operator of the Fitness Zone in Houston. She has systematized all the operations of properly running an independent hydraulic club. This year she will be conducting a "Power Workout with Helen", on hydraulic circuit training equipment, then offer a special ball class to add variety to the circuit workouts.
- Susie Schmitz, an expert on insurance and liability for circuit clubs is going to break down into layman's terms the basic liability terminology. Most importantly, she'll address how to prevent injury and liability in the first place, and the legal aspects of safety relevant to facility, trainees' needs, facility rules, and the diet and medical concerns.
About the Association of Hydraulic and Fitness Clubs
The Association of Hydraulic and Fitness Clubs (AHFC) was formed in September, 2004 to address the specific needs of 30-minute circuit training health clubs. These clubs target the deconditioned fitness market and have entirely different needs than larger multipurpose health clubs. The AHFC conducts the Harmony Workshop, an annual conference where top speakers and consultants are addressing the contemporary issues facing circuit-training clubs.
For further information contact AHFC at (800) 258-4059,
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