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”

Return to Normal Strategy for Fitness Facilities: Think Like A Member Again

By Sal Pellegrino
Intro by John:

I’ve known Sal Pellegrino (with Precor) for a number of years. Since our initial meeting in Bend Oregon at a Fitlife convention, I’ve learned he is not only an icon in the fitness industry but will do everything he can to exceed expectations of his customers. Whether its being involved as a keynote speaker at the annual Gold’s convention or helping the many facilities he has relationships with to improve the membership experience, Sal brings a sense of commitment and loyalty that is not often seen or experienced.

Again, Sal has stepped up to the plate and prepared a list of things to think about for reopening your facility (see below). His commitment to detail is unmatched and if implemented, it will make your reopening process smooth and uneventful. In typical Sal-esque fashion, this is his gift to you that you will realize success with your “reopening” and that your members will be safe and enjoy their workout experience.

I would encourage you to contact him (his email address is printed below) should you have any questions or comments. Or, send him an email just to say hello and share with him your appreciation for providing the “Reopen” document.

Finally, all of us here at PetrA-1 appreciate your business and the opportunity to help you during this stressful “Reopening” process. If you have questions, comments or concerns, forward an email to us and we will make sure one of our representatives gets back in touch with you immediately. Stay safe and we will all get through this challenging time together.


You Must Get Things Right as Soon as the Doors Open!

Most of my current contacts know me as an exercise equipment specialist but, my career started as a club owner back in 1978. For six years, I learned a great deal about engagement, working with the new- to-exercise population, what it takes to be competitive in the fitness industry. My strategic advantage was earning the trust of my members and staff, creative programming, always re-investing profits, and creating a safe environment. Now more than ever, safety, cleanliness, and trust are top-of-mind for all of your members. It’s important that you “Think Like Member Again” and, put yourself in their situation. Trust will be the operative word and it will be so critical in the new roll-out. Remember you have only one opportunity to make a great first impression. If I was back in the owner- ship seat today, this would be my strategy to re-open a facility post COVID-19 shutdown.

I’ve listened to numerous presentations over the past few weeks and believe it’s time to really start planning your reopening strategy and ask yourself “What does your plan include? What will the fitness floor look like once we re-open? What programs do we offer? What will the members want and expect?”

Here are a few suggestions and things to think about for your overall gym and specific sections within it:

Member Communication Strategy for Pre-Opening:
• Share Your Preventative Safety Measures

• What can your members expect when they return?
• Determine what new signage is needed and where it should be posted. Show your members

what you have changed.
• Post expectations for member behavior.

• Consider what amenities may need to be phased in over time (walk before your run).

• Consider sharing a video of the staff doing a deep clean of the club for powerful messaging.

• Show the investment you have made in cleaning products, procedures, and facility upgrades.

• Create e-mails, update website messaging and in-club signage to communicate what members should know before they return to the gym.

• Share state and local official health guidelines for fitness clubs:

• When will you re-open (date set by local authorities)? Don’t rush this – get it right! o What are the limitations set by local governments (member numbers per square foot)? o Adhere to and exceed all CDC guidelines for cleaning, sanitizing, and social distancing. o Look at each of your studios closely to see what the new occupancy rules will be.

New Staff Responsibilities
• Who owns each of the areas in the club (responsible for making sure things get done in a safe environment)?

• Is there a written checklist for each staff member (things to do each day at specific intervals)? The team must be accountable to follow these guidelines.

• How should they greet and encounter members (how do they properly welcome everyone back)?

• You will only have one opportunity to make a good first impression and gain the trust of each of your members.

• Each staff member must create an environment of care, support, and safety.

• Post the cleaning schedule for members to see (perception is reality).

Cardio Area: Which Staff Member Owns This Area?
• Touch screen consoles must be sanitized after each usage. Educate staff and members to not spray the console directly when cleaning as this will lead to damage of your equipment.

• Consider investing in Electro Static Sprayer technology by Earth Safe for cleaning The cleaning solution wraps around the machine, barbell or fixture. The cleaning tablet is safe on all surfaces and cleans in only one minute.

• Cardio units should be 6-8 feet apart or alternate by having every other unit in use. Cover every other console face to ensure proper spacing – then rotate the units every other day to balance the usage. Have a sign on the cardio unit that says “I am practicing social distancing”.

Group Exercise Area:
• Clean floor mats and other exercise modalities. This is probably the dirtiest part of the club.

• Ensure all mats, dumbbells, kettle bells, bands, and other accessories get cleaned daily and after each class or SGT session.

• You will need to limit the number of members in each studio, group cycle room or SGT space.

• Determine if social distancing opens the door for streaming content or virtual training. If so, are you equipped to do so?

• Instructor Behaviors & Responsibilities: Managers must review all procedures and make sure each team member has a full understanding of these new guidelines.

Group Cycle Room:
• Reduce the number of bikes to create that safe social distancing environment.

• Spinning suggests allowing an area of 6×6 foot square per bike.

• Each instructor should have their own mic and headset with mic cover.

• Cleaning stations and supplies should be available in the room.

• Sanitize all bikes and room after each class.

HIIT / Turf Areas:

• No more rotating the group through various stations of a circuit. You must have enough equip- ment available for each member of each SGT class at their specific station (in other words, no more sharing of exercise tools).

• All equipment and stations should be cleaned after all sessions.

• Limit the numbers of members in each class (no more than ten).

Free Weight Area:
• Most gyms have way too much equipment in the free weight area.

• It’s time to re-think this space and spread out the benches, racks, platforms, and dumbbell racks in order to create a safe social distance between exercisers.

Group Exercise Instructor Behaviors Will Change:

• Pre-Class instructor guidance and greeting: Teach members how to self-clean the bike surface and touchpoints. Give clear instructions on the new rules for the ride.

• Post-Class: Everyone must clean their bikes and the club should sanitize the room after class.

• Schedule: Have at least thirty minutes between classes to clean and sanitize the room.

• Consider adding an UBE (Upper Body Ergometer) to the group cycle space (for inclusion of spe- cial populations).

Personal Trainers New Roles, New Behaviors and Responsibilities:

• Do they wear masks? Do they wear gloves?

• How do they greet members (no more handshakes)? Communicate new guidelines.

• Be observant of other members’ behaviors.

• Have cleaning towels ready (wipe down the machine or bench surface and grips before and after each exercise).

• Maintain social distance between personal trainers, clients, and other members.

Free Weight & Dumbbells Areas:

• Consider using electro cleaning spray devices for this area – this adheres to all surfaces.

• The Dumbbell handles must be cleaned throughout the day as well.

• I highly recommend that members wear full-fingered gloves while exercising. This makes it less likely to touch their face.

Selectorized Strength Machines:

• Consider Electro Cleansing Spray devices for this area.

• Make sanitizing wipes or spray bottles and paper towels available throughout the area.

• Check spacing between machines.

New Trainer Responsibilities:

• Make sure members wipe machines down after use.

• Suggest that members wear long workout pants or leggings.

• Make sure a staff member owns this space and is accountable for following procedures.

Recommendations for Designing Exercise Spaces In Post COVID-19 Environments:

• See a sample cardio area below: Adhere to proper distancing between each machine.

• Notice the differences between rows 1 and 2 (before the health crisis), and row 3 (which

considers social distancing spacing).

• See a sample Group Cycle/Spinning room (notice the reduced bike number in the space).

• Make sure the riders have 6’ radius or consider moving the bikes to a basketball court or


• See a sample free weight area (space out the benches, dumbbells, Olympic racks and stations).

• Use Wood platforms for Half and Full racks installations (helps with proper distancing).

I am always here to help you with the following:• Re-configure your group cycling space to reduce the number of bikes per class

• Re-do cardio room design to stager the cardio units

• Best methods for cleaning all cardio, strength products and work out accessories

• Precor Recommended Disinfectant Cleaners document

• Do you need a source for cleaning supplies? I have a great recommendation for you.

Thank you and enjoy this opportunity to re-invent yourself, reset club procedures, and create a safe club environment.

If you have any questions, please send me a note to sal.pellegrino@precor.com or call 984-289-9426.

Sal Pellegrino
Senior Manager Strategic Accounts at PRECOR.

The Touching Story of Mike Alpert and The Claremont Club

To our Social Media family and readers of the Soapbox blog/newsletter. I met Mike Alpert at a Fitlife event and found his story very uplifting. His story demonstrates a movement I see spreading throughout North America, the movement of making a difference in people’s lives and “Giving Back”. Mike provided me with the details of how his desire to help those in need started and evolved. My non-profit charitable foundation “Caritate” has contributed to Mike’s foundation (you are able to make a donation with a credit card through his website at www.claremontclub.com. You will see the Non-Profit Foundation tab at the top and it will take you through the process) and know the donated money will make a huge difference in so many lives.

Should you have a need for financial support for a charitable event, please contact me and let’s discuss.



April 29, 2019

Article for John Mickelson, by Mike Alpert

I believe that there are occurrences that happen to each of us that have a major impact on who we will become and what we choose to do with our lives.  This happened to me back in 1992 at The Athletic Club of Bend in Bend, Oregon when I was working with a 5-year-old little boy who had Spina Bifida. He was confined to a wheelchair and would never be able to walk on his own.  Twice-a-week his mother brought him into our Club where he participated in a program that we ran called Team USAble Oregon that worked with physically challenged children. I would take him in the warm water section of our indoor pool and let him feel the freedom of the water.  To this day I remember how happy and excited he would be to get in the water where he felt buoyant and like he could move his hips. He would often hug me and kiss my cheek. The thought occurred to me that if our Club could bring so much joy to a little boy who had so much to deal with, why were we not doing more of this and helping more kids.  It also occurred to me that there were adults in similar situations who were challenged with chronic injuries and chronic illnesses and I wondered where they went after their insurance had run its’ course of reimbursement for medical coverage. Were they isolated and left to simply deal with their injury/illness? Everyday I saw the powerful effect that exercise and being in a social environment had on these children and adults and it really changed my life.  In a sense, I became obsessed with it.


I left The Athletic Club of Bend in 1995 and came back to Southern California where I ran a large Club in Irvine for 2 ½ years until it was sold.  During that time, I was recruited to come to Claremont as their President/CEO on August 1, 1997.


At the 2005 IHRSA Convention I took my Wellness Director, Denise Johnson to hear a presentation that Julie Maine was doing on a program she had developed with a hospital in Santa Barbara called The Cancer Wellfit Program.  Julie was someone that I knew through the industry and we were so moved by her presentation that I asked her if she would share the template with us and allow us to customize it for our Club in Claremont. Julie was such a special person and so gracious that she was happy to accommodate us.  Working with Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center we developed The Living Well after Cancer program. The program at the onset, focused primarily on women who were dealing with Breast Cancer and the first group that we put through had 8 women. It became obvious to all of us that we were not just working with the women who had cancer but rather with their entire family.  The program runs for 13 weeks and consists of a support group; cardio & strength training; oncology massage; nutrition counseling and cooking class. There is no cost for the program and Club usage is afforded to each family. As of today, we have helped to improve the overall quality of life for almost 1,100 women, men (we have had 7 small men’s groups) and their families through this program.


Seeing the incredible impact that the Living Well after Cancer program was having, I began to wonder why we were not offering a program for children and young adults who were battling cancer.  We had a Personal Trainer whose wife was an Oncology Nurse at City of Hope and she made a connection for us with Dr. Joseph Rosenthal who is a Baron Hilton Fellow and also head of Pediatric Oncology at City of Hope.  Dr. Rosenthal invited me out to give a presentation of our adult cancer program to a select few Oncologists. Several weeks after that presentation, he invited me back to do another presentation to a larger group of Oncologists and Administrators.  During the following couple of months our Childcare Director; Group Exercise Director and our Wellness Director put together a fantastic program for both the children/young adult and for their parents and we began that program in partnership with City of Hope.  At the beginning of the 2nd year of that year-round program a member came to see me whose son had Leukemia when he was eight years old.  She was telling me that when young children have cancer many of their friends believe that they can catch the cancer and avoid the friend.  Many times, this causes the child with the cancer to withdraw and feel very isolated and alone. The member asked if we would consider allowing the child to bring a friend with them to the program, which we all thought was a great idea.  Since then we have encouraged each child to bring their best friend with them for the entire year, which includes Club membership; all social activities; all 13 weeks of summer camp and field trips, lunches and t-shirt. We just started our 4th year and the program has been growing.


Back in 1999 at our annual Manager’s Retreat, our Day Spa & Salon Director, Maggie Weeks brought up the idea that we should start a program to raise funds for people in dire financial need during the Holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The program adopts 14 – 18 families each year that are brought to us by several school districts, churches and local city fire & police. The departments at the Club adopt these families and then go to visit them. It is a very sobering experience when you see a family of 5-6 living in a one room apartment with 2 gallons of milk on the floor because they do not have a refrigerator.  The children are not asking for video games or toys, but rather for underwear and socks and shoes. We make sure that these families have an extra special Christmas and a Holiday dinner.


All of the above programs are privately funded through our TCC Non-Profit Foundation and from Club profits.  These and many other Community Outreach programs (like our Cycling for Parkinson’s; Ontario/Montclair School District and Claremont Unified School District programs; High School Prom programs; Urban Garden and others) are offered free of charge and are at the core of our Culture.  They have not only changed the lives of our members, staff and communities that we live and work in, but they have also had a major effect on both Member & Staff attrition and retention.


In life, we are given the opportunity to work with great people to help build our passion.  Great people are built upon the creation of opportunities for purposeful & meaningful work. It takes someone being in that environment to really learn how to motivate, guide and encourage those around them.  Building great passionate people leads to an overall better culture. But nothing beats the power and results that exercise has on someone’s life. Exercise is Medicine.

claremont club image


IHRSA NEWS: Over 6 Billion Visits to 39,570 Health Clubs Last Year

Dear readers, please see this amazing report directly from IHRSA. -John

Latest IHRSA Data: Over 6 Billion Visits to 39,570 Health Clubs Last Year  

U.S. Health Club Industry Serves 71.5 Million Consumers

Boston — March 27, 2019— More than 71.5 million consumers utilized U.S. health clubs in 2018, a record-high since IHRSA began tracking health club utilization in 1987. The number of individual members totaled 62.5 million, up 2.6% from 60.9 million in 2017. In all, consumers frequented their health clubs for more than six billion visits in 2018.

“We’re proud to highlight that the U.S. health club industry is increasingly serving the health, fitness, and wellness needs of consumers,” said Joe Moore, IHRSA president and CEO. “More than 62 million health club members use a club or studio for an average of 104 days a year, while 9 million non-member users attend a club or studio for an average of 24 days a year.”

Based on a study conducted by The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) as part of the Physical Activity Council (PAC), more than one out of five Americans (20.8%) belong to at least one U.S. health club or studio. Since 2008, membership has grown by 37.1%, while the total number of club-goers has increased by 34%. The total number of health club visits has also increased, amounting to 6.1 billion visits in 2018, up from 4.3 billion in 2008.

At 39,570, the number of health club facilities increased by 2.8% over the previous year, up from 38,477 locations. In 2018, U.S. health club industry revenue increased to $32.3 billion, up from $30 billion in 2017, an improvement of 7.8%.

“We are happy to report that along with consumer growth, the number of fitness facilities and total industry revenue increased in 2018,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products. “Consumers in the U.S. continue to place a high value on their health, investing in club access and services in order to meet their health and wellness needs as well as fitness and athletic goals.”

Later this year, IHRSA will release the 2019 IHRSA Global Report (June) that will provide an overview of the worldwide health club industry and the 2019 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report (Sept), which will provide analysis of health club consumer growth, demographics, utilization, and trends as well as insights and applications for club operators. The 2018 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report is available on IHRSA’s website.


Methodology: Each year, IHRSA conducts an annual health club consumer study as part of the Physical Activity Council (PAC). The PAC is made up of six of the leading sports and manufacturer associations that are dedicated to growing participation in their respective sports and activities. During 2018, a total of 20,069 online interviews were carried out with a nationwide sample of individuals and households from the US Online Panel of over one million people operated by IPSOS. The total panel is maintained to be representative of the US population for people ages six and older. Oversampling of ethnic groups took place to boost responses from typically under responding groups.


The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs and suppliers worldwide. Its mission is to grow, promote and protect the health and fitness industry. As the leading authority on the commercial health club industry, IHRSA regularly conducts primary consumer research and industry economic and operating studies. For more information on IHRSA research, visit the IHRSA website.

Ending IHRSA 2019 with Augie’s Bash | Conquering ALS

IHRSA 2019 has come and gone with Augie’s Bash being the final event. This year Augie’s Bash was held in a new venue in the convention center. Close to 2 million dollars was raised and the news of the start of human testing was celebrated. Not only is the goal to eliminate ALS but there is hope the experimental drug will also help treat Parkinson and Alzheimer’s. I partnered-up with several other fitness organizations through “Caritate” my non-profit organization to make sure we did our part to maximize the funding of Augie’s Quest. Its uplifting to be a part of a movement wanting to make a difference in the fight to conquer ALS and provide hope for people that have this horrible illness. Caritate gives me the vehicle to make a difference and give back to others.


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”

It’s Christmas WEEK! And There is a lot to be thankful for, so giving away a few “REX Scholarships

By: Eddie Tock

On Monday the 25th we celebrate Christmas in exchanging gifts and give thanks for the many positive relationships and blessings that have come into our lives.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years and may you reflect/cherish all you have been given over the year and look for opportunities to be able to give back to others that are less fortunate.

I have the best job in the world, to be able to travel and meet club owners who truly have a heart to help their members enjoy a better quality of life. Our industry has changed and its not just about “pumping iron” but its also about providing people a venue where they can meet, spend time together and improve their quality of life.

In the coming months, we will be highlighting club owners and their facilities that think outside the box and work with people with special needs. The “Baby Boomers” are requiring different programs to help with their age related challenges. Parkinson disease is becoming much more common place and in our featured article, Brielle Carter has a 62,000 square foot facility (Ability360 Center is located in the heart of Phoenix) that provides exceptional adaptive sports, recreation, aquatic, and fitness programs that promote the independence, health, and overall well-being of people with disabilities and their family members.

Continue reading “It’s Christmas WEEK! And There is a lot to be thankful for, so giving away a few “REX Scholarships”

Selling Fitness: The Complete Guide to Selling Health Club Memberships

By Casey Conrad

Lets face it, like it or not, chances are most of us have to sell products or services at some point in our career as a fitness professional.

Regardless of your role in the business, understanding the steps to fitness sales is a skill that can not be over looked.

Casey Conrad has been in the health and fitness industry for 27 years. In addition to authoring ‘Selling Fitness: The Complete Guide to Selling Health Club Memberships,’ she has created and published over 25 other sales, marketing and management training products for the industry.

In a recent appearance as the expert guest for The Fitness Business Podcast Sales Intensive Series, Casey talks about 4 key areas of fitness sales:

  • The 8 Steps to Fitness Sales
  • The 5 pre-qualifying questions you must ask a prospect
  • How to handle sales objections
  • How to make follow up calls with a prospect

Continue reading “Selling Fitness: The Complete Guide to Selling Health Club Memberships”

Petra-1 Towels

By John Mickelson

Were you aware that PetrA-1 is the largest “first run” towel provider for the fitness industry in North America? With more warehouses strategically located throughout North America, we typically can have your towel order delivered within 2-3 days.

PetrA-1 manufacturers their towels in “state of the art” manufacturing facilities which allow us to provide the highest quality towels available at the least possible cost. Compare our prices and let us show you that quality doesn’t mean you have to pay higher prices.

PetrA-1 is uniquely positioned as a manufacturer and distributor of our own linen products. These products include bath, hand and wash towels, bar mops, and various other items. Our owned and operated manufacturing allows us to develop specialized, dedicated linen programs for our customers. Through our various Golden Mills lines which include Classic Terry, Golden Camelot, Golden Jewel, Golden Cam and Golden Touch, we are able to offer products for various uses and budgets. Each line offers a consistent, quality product which is governed by strict quality controls. These products are distributed through our nationwide 2-3-day delivery network and stocked in seven warehouses.

Continue reading “Petra-1 Towels”

Facility Tour, You’re Invited!

Gain Knowledge to Change Lives

The Medical Fitness Tour offers fitness and allied health professionals an opportunity to grow their knowledge in the field of medical fitness. Join us for three days of educational sessions presented by industry experts that cover an array of medical fitness and aging topics. Earn continuing education credits and network with presenters, vendors, and your peers!

Check the below attachments for Session Schedule and other information:

Gain Knowledge to Save Lives
Tour Schedule Phoenix


Living Your Well

By Club Northwest in Southern Oregon

There is no standard formula for wellness. And if any theory outlines the concept it may be the butterfly effect, because small simple acts of wellness ripple out into larger more powerful impacts elsewhere. We may not see these impacts as much as we can feel them contributing to our sense of well-being. Wellness is this holistic happiness. Aspects such as lifestyle, physical health, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being comprise the overall feeling of wellness we each experience.

Big moves aren’t necessary for wellness and little moves make triumphant strides. The wonderful thing about it is that you can support someone else’s wellness journey and in turn your own journey will blossom. Support can be something as easy as a smile, a hug or a listening ear. Wellness is contagious. Yes, an aspect of wellness includes attention to physical health, but physical health is not a stand-alone for what makes wellness possible. To achieve the greatest possibilities for well-being, there are other essentials to include other than simply supporting the health of the body. Just as in a loving home, support, encouragement and an atmosphere conducive to growth are equally as important.

To be well is not to find your way into a fixed state of being, it’s not a destination we have to reach, it is a lifestyle supportive of progression. It is a progression toward a healthier life in mind, body and spirit and for each of us that progression takes different forms. There is no prescription for wellness. Navigation of it requires self-awareness and the desire for better. Wellness is within us. It’s an ongoing journey of awakening and releasing positivity into your surroundings. In this act, you are supporting both your own and other’s wellness journeys.

Continue reading “Living Your Well”

We Love Ability 360

By Brielle Carter

The Ability360 Center is a 62,000-square-foot universally designed, accessible and transit-oriented non-profit resources center serving the disability community in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan area.  A national model for accessible design and collaborative programming, the Ability360 Center is located in the heart of Phoenix, less than two and a half miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and situated conveniently on the Valley Metro light rail system.

Ability360 continues a 35-year tradition offering and promoting programs to empower people with all disabilities to take personal responsibility so that they may achieve or continue independent lifestyles within the community. The independent living philosophy states that people with disabilities should have the same civil rights, options, and control over choices in their own lives as do people without disabilities.

The Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center opened in October of 2011 to provide health, fitness and recreation programs to individuals with disabilities and their families. The spectacular center is co-located with the Ability360 Center in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to Ability360, eleven other disability services organizations call the Ability360 Center home.

Continue reading “We Love Ability 360”