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

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Leisure Management - Precor - Get creative with functional training

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Precor - Get creative with functional training

Fitness facilities across the UK are demonstrating the versatility of the Queenax™ rig for people of all ages and abilities

When the rig is not in use, there is ample storage and floor space for other types of group classes to take place
The rigs are popular with all groups, from active ageing classes to all-female sessions

Functional training encompasses a variety of elements, but what really makes a facility stand out is how it is used creatively to enrich the member experience.

Whether encouraging members to incorporate functional fitness into regular exercise sessions, or incentivising new members to join, it’s all part of making the most of a functional fitness training unit like a Queenax™ rig from Precor.

Providing a versatile use of space, the Queenax™ enables gyms to offer small group training sessions and when not in use, space underneath can be used to hold additional classes, efficiently maximising the floor area.

The Queenax™ showcases a variety of accessories that can easily be attached, removed or reconfigured, allowing the unit to be effortlessly adapted to offer fun, versatile exercise options that encourage participation. When not in use, accessories can be stored away in the built-in storage units, optimising the floor space available.

Fitness facilities across the UK are demonstrating the versatility of the Queenax™ rig, introducing innovative classes, organising specialised sessions for younger members and working with those in need of extra personal attention or rehabilitation.

The next generation
Leisure at Cheltenham has introduced twice weekly junior sessions for 11-15 year olds on the Queenax™, where supervised circuit-style sessions guide the youngsters through a variety of fun, structured activities, inspiring them to try new exercises. For example; ladders are used for pull-ups and participants are encouraged to cross the monkey bars without touching the floor, creating a lighthearted, but effective environment.

Bankole comments: “Attendance is growing all the time. Kids love using the Queenax™ and they get to try an array of bodyweight exercises, under supervision and in a safe environment.”

Hutton Moor has weekly timetabled sessions with Broadoak Community School and Western College Academy (North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College), where small groups of students have supervised usage of the Queenax™ on a weekly rotational basis; so a new group can learn its versatility and capabilities each week.

White says: “The unit's versatility has helped motivate students who aren't as athletic or may not enjoy the gym, and has even contributed towards students joining as members after they've graduated.”

Family-friendly circuit training is actively encouraged at Salt Ayre with children and their parents/guardians using the Queenax™ and its accessories in fully booked, back-to-back classes on a Saturday, to meet demand.

Rehab and Active Ageing
Facilities are also using the Queenax™ to enable less mobile or ageing participants to become more active and engaged.

Leisure at Cheltenham boasts extensive rehabilitation and active ageing programmes, including an exercise referral scheme (EOR), falls prevention programme, an NHS physiotherapy group, and a respiratory group.

EOR participants use the superfunctional attachment to develop core stability to help with day to day activities and improve their level of stability.

Similarly, falls prevention programme participants hold on to the unit and superfunctional attachment to do a variety of exercises designed to strengthen the core, encourage leg strength and help with shoulder mobility. The aim is to progress to doing the exercises without holding on to anything.

The respiratory group, which uses Precor treadmills, ellipticals (EFX) and adaptive motion trainers (AMT) to promote endurance, has now progressed to all the gym equipment including the Queenax™.

A lift at Hutton Moor gives injured or wheelchair-bound members access to the Queenax™ studio, enabling them to work out in privacy and focus on the exercises without distractions.

White says: “The Queenax is a versatile tool that enables us to offer exercises not achievable on the general gym floor; the band attachments and bars provide stability and can be used to help wheelchair-bound members stand up – a very effective use of the rig.”

Salt Ayre’s Queenax™ is booked for small group sessions by local services focused on adults with disability and excluded students. These popular bespoke sessions, run by one of the PTs, further cement Salt Ayre’s vital role in enriching the health and wellbeing of its community.

Business is Booming
Glover says: “Our Training Zone, with the Queenax™ as the centre piece, has undoubtedly enhanced the member experience and we receive so much positive feedback from our members.”

With memberships, usage and revenue continually rising, Salt Ayre, Hutton Moor and Leisure at Cheltenham are great examples of how, done well, functional training can transform a business.

Case study 1: Salt Ayre

Salt Ayre Leisure Centre’s Training Zone functional fitness area hosts a ‘double format’ Queenax™ module, as well as a sprint track, plyo boxes, tyres, etc, creating an instant boutique environment within the larger gym area.

Prior to the opening of the Training Zone, the centre offered around 100 classes a week in the studio, pool and sports hall, but no small group exercise classes or family-friendly training.

Since installing the Queenax™ units the centre has revamped its class timetable, added 28 new classes throughout the week, including Boost Fit, Core Fit, Metabolic Fit and Team Fit, and increased its class attendances by 50 per cent. Precor’s Master trainers have taught 10 new instructors to deliver the classes, allowing Salt Ayre to tap into a whole new following.

Centre manager Stuart Glover says: “Our aim has been to create an inspirational destination, so people from across the region can enjoy a wide range of new and innovative activities.

“Our improved class programme ensures we maximise the unique benefits and features the Queenax™ rigs offer. Consistent use of TRX, battle ropes, punch bags, sprint track and prowler, tyres, plyo boxes and monkey bars in conjunction with the Queenax™, has also encouraged more members to do free training in the Training Zone. We had over 300 attendees the first week of the new timetable and numbers have been consistently high ever since.”

Salt Ayre is keen to diversify its customer base, introducing ‘mums to be’ and ‘new mums’ specialist classes, while also adding women-only sessions called Power Lean and Power Lift, which are full to capacity every week.

Glover says: “Alongside the overall centre redevelopment, this new direction, which included the addition of Queenax™ functional training and group exercise classes, has seen monthly fitness revenue at Salt Ayre more than double.”

At Salt Ayre Leisure, annual membership has more than trebled, from 800 to 2,700
Case study 2: Hutton Moor

Located in the heart of Weston-super-Mare, Hutton Moor Leisure Centre’s £2.15m transformation included the creation of a first-floor functional training studio featuring a large freestanding Queenax™, along with a smaller Queenax™ unit in the lower-level gym.

A year on, the centre’s fitness manager, James White, is fully aware how members use them and what they like. He says: “To keep it interesting and diverse we’ve created a completely new ‘mash-up’ class; a combination of four to five specialised elements in a circuit-style session. We’d normally use UFOs, superfunctionals, boxbags and 4D Pro attachments in their own specialised classes but in the mash-up we use a couple of each and exercisers rotate around them. It’s already proving to be popular, with members coming back for more.”

The larger Queenax™ is located in its own space next to a studio used for virtual exercise classes. The dividing doors between them are opened during circuit classes to incorporate sprints and lunges, creating a bespoke class.

Hutton Moor offers Queenax™ circuit classes five times a week with each 30-member class full-to-capacity. The space under and around the unit is also utilised with rowers and slam balls.

White says: “The Queenax™ circuit classes have encouraged a build-up of regular attendees, which continues to grow as we constantly evolve the programmes to keep it interesting.”

Case study 3: Cheltenham

Leisure at Cheltenham’s £2.5m recent refurbishment created a dedicated functional training PT zone showcasing a Queenax™ functional training unit, along with an Assault AirRunner and Assault AirBike Elite, enabling the centre to increase its small group training and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions.

Fitness coordinator Faiz Bankole comments: “The Queenax™ has allowed us to be more creative with our workout sessions. We now include exercises geared towards specific joints and muscles, and are better able to adapt to an individual's needs.”

Bankole states: “Our members see the Queenax™ as a playground for grown-ups, and because it’s fun to use, they challenge themselves. One member gave herself two weeks to swing across the monkey bars without stopping, which, with dedicated practice she achieved.”

TEL: 01276 404900

EMAIL: info@precor.com

WEB: www.precor.com

Originally published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 3

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