18 Sep 2019 World leisure: news, training & property
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Health Club Management
2019 issue 3

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Leisure Management - Gustav Gym

People profile

Gustav Gym

Co-founders: Gustav Gym

Pleunis (left) was in the special forces before teaming up with Timmerman to create Gustav
Gustav’s interior has a luxury feel, with the use of wood, concrete, glass and expensive art
The boutique gym’s classes include HIIT, boxing and kickboxing
Gustav is aiming to be the best PT gym in Holland

What’s your background?
I did the marines training and, following that, was in the special forces, which made me appreciate how valuable exercise is to support a high pressure job.

When I left, my ambition was to open my own gym, targeting professionals with stressful jobs who could benefit from exercise. I joined forces with my business partner, Jeroen Timmerman, who went to business school in Holland. My experience is in the fitness and his in the administration side of the business.

What did you want to achieve with Gustav Gym?
We want to be the best PT gym in Holland: offering a high end environment, combined with excellent personal training and a personal approach. Our team of PTs is very well qualified and support our members with their goals by providing them with bespoke training programmes, as well as nutrition plans. We help people break bad habits and change their lifestyles for better health. By monitoring our members’ progress, and keeping in touch via our app, we guarantee results.

This expertise is complemented by a luxury environment, with wood, concrete, glass and expensive art. The club centrepiece is our 5m-high, 16m-wide indoor waterfall. We offer Technogym equipment and luxury changing areas with rain showers and high quality toiletries.

What is the concept?
It is a studio-based offering, for PT and small group exercise. We offer HIIT, boxing, kickboxing, rowing, yoga, pilates and barre classes.

Were you inspired by any other operator when putting together the concept?
No. My business partner and I had a vision of what we wanted to achieve and how we would go about it.

When did you launch?
Our first site, in Amsterdam’s business district by the canal, opened in November 2016, followed by a slightly smaller site in the city centre last August. Members can go to both clubs and we are seeing that they use the business district club during the week and the city club, nearer to where they live, at the weekends.

What is the membership model?
Around half of our members join for our PT service and about a half join to use the classes independently. Memberships start at €65/month, but some members pay €2,000 a month to work out with PTs six days a week. We attract a wealthy clientele, with many lawyers and bankers among our members.

What has been the biggest challenge?
To build the brand and raise awareness. We had the vision of what we wanted to achieve, but the challenge with the first club was communicating what we were doing. However, with the second club it was easy – it sold itself.

What are your plans for the future?
We want to open more clubs in different areas of Amsterdam, we have plans to launch our third club this year and fourth next year. We’ve also launched our franchising business, which is how we’d like to grow the brand further afield.

Originally published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 3

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