John’s October Musings

By John’s Musings

Greetings from the high mountains of Reno/Tahoe

I’m so blessed with the different people that come into my life. The content for the October Soapbox is provided by people that want to make a difference, that have a “heart” to help others and provide a better membership experience.

Social media is a necessary part of branding an athletic facility and yourself. In today’s fitness industry, you need to distinguish yourself from your competitors and cultivating your brand via social media is one way to do so. Amanda Vogel is a fitness expert and speaker that educates decision makers on group exercise, social media, fitness writing and blogging. In this Soapbox issue she shares with us her latest podcast on “Your Guide to Guest Blogging as a Fitness Expert”. In her podcast she talks about  1)What is guest blogging  2) Does blogging benefit your business 3) How do you know if a blog accepts guest bloggers? 4) How can you make your blog stand out from the crowd 5) Common do’s and don’ts and other topics you should find of interest. Take 30 minutes out of your busy schedule and listen to her blog which I believe will give you insight on burnishing your brand and highlighting your facility and yourself.

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Wyoming Athletic Club gets a ‘lift’ from Copper Weights

By: Angela Woody

WAC is among first full service health and fitness centers in U.S. to enlist copper alloys to fight against the spread of infection-causing bacteria.

Casper, WY, August 15, 2017 – The Wyoming Athletic Club (WAC) here has become one of the first full service health and fitness centers in the U.S. to enlist the help of antimicrobial copper alloys to help protect customers from the spread of infectious bacteria.

The Club is using Black Iron Strength’s CuLEAN® line of weight lifting equipment. The line is made with EPA-registered CuVerro®, a copper alloy that continuously kills 99.9% of infectious bacteria it touches.

According to Lou Quint, founder of Health Club Management, Inc. which owns and manages two WAC facilities, infection control is a big concern for customers of health clubs.

“Knowing 80% of germs are spread by touch, we ran tests on our traditional weight equipment using a hand-held microbe measurement tool,” Quint says. “‘Clean’ is any reading below 300. The bacteria readings on our grips at WAC were over 7,000.”

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Can you spare a cup of soap?

By: Don Miller
St Vincent de Paul of North Central Montana

When you picture a typical business or customer of PETRA products, you probably see health clubs and their members. Let me tell you that nearly all of our customers can’t afford their next meal, let alone a refreshing day at the spa. We serve our clients living on the streets and in the local prison. Beyond the necessities of food and shelter, we have found the gift of a shower and some clean clothes to be medicine for people needing hope. The volunteers of our group visit jails and homeless camps with a few treats and nutrition, but one of the most appreciated gifts we can share is cleanliness.

We have found that body wash and shampoo are a blessing to those struggling through life each day. In the jail, we give writing paper, a bit of candy and a small cup of shampoo. That shampoo gives a nice aroma in their cell, it helps them stay healthier in the over-crowded cell blocks, and it even doubles as laundry soap so they can clean their uniforms more than once per week.

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Amanda Vogel: Your Guide to Guest Blogging as a Fitness Expert

By: Amanda Vogel

Amanda Vogel has a Master’s degree in human kinetics and is a certified fitness instructor. She regularly speaks at top fitness conferences–including IDEA World, NASM Optima, canfitpro and IHRSA–where she educates fitness pros on group exercise, social media, fitness writing and blogging. She recently completed her role as the Social Media and Technology Track Captain for the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual summit meeting. In addition to being a social media consultant for fitness brands and public figures, Amanda reviews fitness technology, exercise gear and workout wear on her blog FitnessTestDrive.com. As a professional writer, she has contributed to many popular publications—including IDEA Fitness Journal, Shape and Women’s Health—and guest blogged for the American Council on Exercise, NASM, AFAA and more. Amanda lives in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

http://fitnessbusinesspodcast.com/127-amanda-vogel-your-guide-to-guest-blogging-as-fitness-expert/

Front line stories from David Cardone’s FitMarc Team

By David Cardone’s

Thank you Brent for thinking of the impacted club’s.  I’m sure all clubs impacted by disasters have very similar stories.

It’s definitely trying times.  Many of our displaced staff are front liners.  It’s hard for us because we want to just write checks to make their world right again.  But, the club also has to think of our long term viability because the flooding displaced 1000-1500 of our members.  Many of which are still under water, over a week after the storm.   It will be a year before many of these people are back in their homes. The club needs to be prepared to handle those losses.

It is humbling to see what front line people go through to have the privilege of working.  They are critically important to our customer service chain. But, for many, the club is everything to them and they care more about us even though they may of lost everything.

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Highlights from the 37th FitLife Summer Conference


This was the  37th year for the Fitlife Summer Conference (held in Bend Oregon), which rivals IHRSA as the longest running conference in our industry. The conference addressed issues of change which seem to be everywhere. Topics like growing a facility’s membership base, dealing with new categories of clubs/studios that are eroding membership and managing the “Rapids of Change” that permeates the fitness industry were highlighted.

Presenters like Bill McBride from Active Wellness/BMC3 keynoted a presentation on “People Performance” and Sal Pellegrino from Precor presented on “How to Sell and Succeed in Competitive Markets in 2017”. If you ever get a chance to hear these guys present at a conference or event, they will exceed your expectations.

Please keep in mind the FitLife Conference is open to all independently owned facilities, no matter where your facility is located.

For further attendance info, please contact Neal Simpson (neal@fitlifeclubs.com).

John’s August Musings

Next to the month of March when IHRSA occurs, I find July to be the second busiest month of the year. Summer Conferences for regional IHRSA organizations like MACMA and Fitlife take place and provide excellent venues to refresh and learn the latest information to provide a better membership experience. And along with the summer conferences, prospects and customers want me to drop by and do a “walk-through of their facility. Three weeks on the road and I finally get to come home for a bit.

Fitlife is the regional conference held in Bend Oregon. Bill McBride was one of the key-note speakers and of course was sponsored by Petra-1. Bill spoke about “People Management”, finding the right people to work “with”, “manage” and “lead”.  We also welcomed Sal Pellegrino from Precor who presented an overview of key trends and how “low Cost”, “big box” and “boutique” expansion is effecting the marketplace. He provided case studies of how facilities hes involved with made adjustments and thrived in their respective marketplace.

The Fitlife conference is open to all “non-corporate” fitness facilities, not only will you find the conference informative but also relaxing as the venue is nestled along five garden-like acres on the banks of the tantalizing Deschutes River.

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John’s Musings, By John Mickelson

Soapbox readers

Next to the month of March where we all attend IHRSA, July has become the month for all IHRSA regional conferences and events. MACMA (covers the states of Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, Delaware and Pennsylvania and New Jersey) and Fitlife (covers the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana) are regional IHRSA organizations that provide conferences that educate and provide a tradeshow venue to view the latest items for improving your membership experience. If you are not a member of these organizations, please email me and I’ll provide you all the contact info.

This month, Will Phillips (Founder, REX Roundtables  will@rexroundtables.com ) has shared with us his perspective on hiring….you hire for attitude, and train for skills. I believe its one of the best written articles on what to look for when hiring a new employee. In being a preferred vendor for the REX Roundtables organization, we have found REX to be an organization where you receive much more than you give. It truly does change lives. If you are not a member, you need to talk with Will or Eddie Tock ((914) 643-3207) about how your facility would benefit by joining.

Bill McBride and Brent Darden have been regular contributors to the Soapbox. Both Bill and Brent along with Allison Flatley will be presenting at Club Industry (October 4-6) the topic of “Leadership Mastery, Leadership – The Direction & Strategy”. We have included a copy of the speaking notes and itinerary. If you haven’t experienced a session where Brent and Bill are presenting together, you need to make sure you attend. Add Allison Flatley of Corporate Fitness Works talking about “Service & Member Experience” into the presentation and you have three industry icons that will exceed your expectations.

Brent Darden – brent@brentdarden.com  Allison Flatley- allisonflatley85@gmail.com Bill McBride – BillMcBride@BMC3.com…

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The Creative Destruction of the Fitness Industry

FitLife will present some new research on fitness trends discussing the various business models, focusing on studios and boutique clubs.

A focus will be on studios and boutique clubs and why they work with the new wave of consumers. We will introduce the subject with some facts on what’s happening now in fitness.  Included are details on the new wave of fitness users (Millennials) including how they are spending their money in our industry. (10 minutes)  The good news they spend much more money of fitness than the baby boomers!  The challenge is delivering how they pursue fitness in a traditional club environment.

Members of the round table were chosen as they represent different types of clubs in our industry and inside the Fitlife Club Network.  Each Round Table Member will discuss what they are doing to offer a unique functional, boutique studio type experience within their business.

  1. Describe what’s new in their business that addresses fitness industry trends/ fitness business models.
  2. What’s working: (Best Practices) and its effect on member attraction, retention, ancillary revenue and operations.
  3. What’s not working (Lessons Learned)
  4. What are you changing to adapt (What’s next)
  5. Open discussion with the audience.

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Panel Discussion at Fitlife with Greg Dearholt

Medical Fitness Education Foundation will be launching a Medical Fitness Tour, with the help of Fitness Fest (event planner) in February 2018, in Phoenix, AZ. With the goal to travel to all 50 states at some point.

The “Tour” will offer fitness & allied health professionals two, 1-day full workshops and 8 non-competing workshops. Attendees will be granted a one-year professional membership to the MFN (MFN members will be given a large discount)

Topics may include and not be limited to: Active Aging, Alzheimer’s, Arthritis, Autism, Cancer, Diabetes, working with those with Disabilities, Fall Prevention, Fibromyalgia, Heart Disease, Joint Replacement, Mental Health Challenges, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Osteoporosis, Respiratory Disease, Stroke and women’s health issues including pre & postpartum care.

MFN is offering presenters a free opportunity to promote themselves, their course/workshops via a 90-minute workshop and a free vendor table at these events. FitnessFest will have CEC’s set up for the Tour.  Attendees will be granted a one-year professional membership to the MFN (MFN members will be given a large discount)

MFN is looking for venues to donate their location for this educational event. We have a few large fitness clubs, a country club in Boston interested as well as being part of Club Industry Tradeshow fall 2018.

Our vision is to spread this type of education around the country and continue to build the MFN registry of qualified professionals in the area of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of chronic disease/medical conditions.