Home of the SoapBox

Welcome to the online archive of John’s SoapBox.

Featuring the leaders in health and fitness club management

A Message From John…As many of you may know, I publish a monthly blog in which I feature the leaders in health and fitness club management. Since my entree into the industry back in 1984, I’ve had the good fortune to cross paths with many knowledgeable, fun, passionate, motivated and caring people.

These special people have changed the lives of their member’s and now via the SoapBox, we have a way to honor them and share their stories.

We hope to share with you what peers in our industry have found to make their operation work better and more efficient. Continue reading “Home of the SoapBox”

John’s Musings – 2018 is going to be a great year!

By John’s Musings

Happy News Years to everyone! 2018 is beginning to feel like a record year with the amount of orders that are streaming into our order desk. Fitness facilities seem to be packed with new members and I’m optimistic that “fitness” is going to be back in fashion again.

January’s Soapbox will be one of our best ever. Lots of new content furnished by experts new to the Soapbox, its exciting to be meeting all these new people and their desire to help people achieve a better quality of life. If you have a suggestion for a topic to be highlighted, please let me know and we will do everything we can to be accomadating.

Lets start with Petra’s very own “Cleanologist”, Franz Johnson and his video test of hand sanitizers and dealing with the flu

Just about every person I know has been affected by the flu epidemic. Reviewed figures seem to point to a record flu season. The current flu shot only inoculates you to 30% of the flu viruses which means you more susceptible than in past years to get the flue.  As we all know the best way to avoid the flu is “wash your hands” as often as you can! In the first Soapbox article for the January issue, Petra’s “Cleanologist” Franz Johnson speaks to the need to wash your hands and if this isn’t possible, use a hand sanitizer. We have embedded in Franz’s article a video on a test comparison of Petra’s foaming non-alcohol hand sanitizer versus Gojo/Purell’s hand sanitizer. Not only did our foaming hand sanitizer reduce/neutralize/kill more pathogens/bacteria than the Gojo/Purell hand sanitizer but our product is half the cost! I believe your will find Franz’s video not only entertaining but very educational.

Continue reading “John’s Musings – 2018 is going to be a great year!”

Petra’s Cleanologist – Shame on you, go back in there and wash your hands!

Hello to All,

I cannot even begin to tell you how many men I have seen leaving restrooms without washing their hands….It really irritates me, especially if it means touching the same door handle. Of course,  I use a paper towel to shield my clean hands from touching their “junk”.

As usual it is the few bad apples that create problems for the rest of us, the old 20/80, 20% (or so) causing 80% of the problem. Oh sure, everyone says “not me”, “I use soap and warm water”. Oh, really? Do you scrub them for a minimum of 20 seconds?Do you wash the backs of them? Between your fingers? Under your nails?

Continue reading “Petra’s Cleanologist – Shame on you, go back in there and wash your hands!”

Taking Back Their Fight against Parkinson’s Disease

Kimberly and The Rose City Rebels- Taking Back Their Fight against Parkinson’s Disease

Meet Kimberly Berg Oregon coach specializing in Parkinson’s disease and injury rehab and owner of the Rebel Fit Club   

Kimberly Berg is on a mission to help people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) change the course of their disease through exercise and dance.

Kimberly calls her students and clients with PD “fighters” because they are fighting a huge battle against an unforgiving disease. Everything she does with her fighters is to help them live their best life and give them hope to keep going, to keep fighting.

Today, Kimberly has 200 fighters and 20 very full boxing classes a week offered to 4 levels of fighters. Her fight club “The Rose City Rebels” and her all-female fight club the “Rose City Knock-Outs” bring awareness to the fact that PD is not an old man’s shaking disease, but rather a disease that can also affect women and young people all over the world. Every month they get together for “Fight and Flight” happy hour to show each other support, and go out dancing from time to time because PD is not an excuse to stop living life!

Continue reading “Taking Back Their Fight against Parkinson’s Disease”

Education To Better Work with Aging Population and Medical Conditions

Medical Fitness Tour 2018

Expand Your Knowledge in Medical Fitness And Active Ageing

The aging population is growing at an unprecedented rate, and those with medical conditions are seeking fitness & allied health professionals with skills to help improve their quality of life and overall health. Education in medical fitness and active aging is more important than ever!

The Medical Fitness Tour is working to educate professionals in these fields, so they can effectively work with these populations. Increased knowledge will not only broaden your toolbox, it will help boost your business.

Registration is open for Tour events in:

Phoenix, AZ, February 3-4, Ability360

Glassboro NJ, April 14-15, Rowan University

Continue reading “Education To Better Work with Aging Population and Medical Conditions”

PetrA-1 invites you to attend the IHRSA Trade Show in March

PetrA-1 invites you to attend the IHRSA Trade Show in March. Not only do we invite you to attend but we will provide you free access. Click on the following link (https://www.xpressreg.net/register/ihrs0318/attendee/reginfo.asp?hkey=&aban=&sc=BW91331&iq=&k=0&o=&pb=&aa= ) fill in the requested information and your request will be processed and confirmed.

Just another example of PetrA-1 wanting to meet or exceed your customer service expectations

The IHRSA International Trade Show is the place for health club operators to discover the newest and best fitness equipment and technology the world has to offer.

Continue reading “PetrA-1 invites you to attend the IHRSA Trade Show in March”

Your Friends Are Here

By Ashley at Club Northwest

As we jump into the new year our thoughts often focus on change. We reflect on what we accomplished throughout the year and how we can improve ourselves in the coming year. While we may think we want a better body, a better relationship or a better job, what we really want is to be happy.

Happiness isn’t an overrated concept. When we feel happiness other aspects of our lives align. Our physical health improves, our relationships improve, and every day improves. Wellness is holistic happiness. This happiness in all areas of your life is either shadowed or enlightened by one thing, your perspective. While we may not have control over many things in life, perspective is something we decide for ourselves.

Continue reading “Your Friends Are Here”

Augie’s Quest 2018 Bash

Fitness Industry to Celebrate During IHRSA’s 13th Annual BASH for Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease affecting 6,000 people every year. It steals people’s muscles, and robs them of every benefit exercise provides. That’s why for more than a decade, the fitness industry has refused to accept that fate, rallying hundreds of companies, countless professionals, staff, studio and club members and local communities to take on this disease and unifying cause.

Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS is the challenge the fitness industry once dared to accept, raised a record-breaking $3.5 million last year alone and more than $35 million total since its inception.  This year’s BASH for Augie’s Quest will be in San Diego, CA on March 23, 2018 in conjunction with the IHRSA Tradeshow.

Continue reading “Augie’s Quest 2018 Bash”

John’s December Musings

By John’s Musings

December is the month for giving, for making donations at the Salvation Army Red Kettle, for spending time with family and friends and wanting to give back to those less fortunate than ourselves. December is one of my favorite times of the year as it refocus me on  what’s really important, helping to make lives better, provide hope and help people achieve a better quality of life. Those of you in the fitness industry are blessed with a bigger than normal heart and your members are often thought of as extended family. As I travel around north America, I’m amazed at the generosity I see in our industry and cherish the friendships I make as so many of you truly do want to make a difference and make the world a better place. In the new year, if there are “Giving Back” experiences you have witnessed or participated in, we would love to hear about them. If there are charitable organizations that need recognition or perhaps a donation, don’t be shy, let us know. We cherish our readership and are looking forward to 2018 as we have some exciting events to share with everyone.


Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New years

Salute to our Soldiers

By Larry Conner

Our Salute our Soldier campaign started in 2013 from an idea sparked by the Bert Jacobs’ keynote speech at the IHRSA Convention in Marc h.  Bert is the co-founder and CEO of Life is Good Company and during his talk he spoke about a fundraiser his company did for a children’s charity.    This fundraiser was special and raised more than they imagined it could because they took it to the streets and created a visual that inspired and moved people who were not even aware of what was going on until they came upon it.  The visual inspired and the message moved more to get involved.

At Stone Creek Club and Spa, we raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for numerous charities.  We support a wide variety of causes dealing with Cancer, Parkinson’s, ALS, families with children with disabilities, animal shelters, schools, etc…  All of these are great events and worthy charities, but only the people involved with the events are inspired to donate or to get involved.  We are not moving people beyond the reach of the event.  This talk made us realize that we could do something similar for a charity along the road our club is on.  Take it to the streets.   That is when we came up with flying Parade Flags along our street to Salute our Troops and to raise money to help injured Veterans.  Move people by a strong show of Patriotism in support of our Troops. Our country needs this and so do our Troops.    For a $25 donation, people could dedicate a flag with an inspirational message written on an attached yellow ribbon.

Continue reading “Salute to our Soldiers”

Wake up and smell the Hypochlorous

By Franz Johnson

A week or so ago, “John from-Petra-glad-I-met-ya” asked me to start writing a monthly article for the Soap Box . Since I am just as crazy as John, I agreed to it! Pretty sure he asked me because of my commitment to the Jan San industry and the passion I have for helping my customers maintain their built environment. Either that, or everyone else turned him down…..

Since the cold and flu season hangs on for several months and is not nearly as enjoyable as the holiday season let’s talk about ways to keep your facilities and members healthy. Providing wipes for gym members and staff is the best possible solution during open hours, the equipment touch points are at the very least being cleaned. Having access to wipes gives your members the confidence that they are being cared for.

Continue reading “Wake up and smell the Hypochlorous”