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Fitness business – America V’s Australia – Who is the land of opportunity and my top 4 consumer tools.

So here I am writing about the heading above. Now there’s two ways how to write this blog I can do it so over half the population need a dictionary to understand what I’m writing and bore you to death or tell it in lay terms,which is real. So I’ll write as a consumer, after all that’s what I am when I go to these events, a consumer after all I’m an independent club owner looking for inspiration in an industry that is evolving at the speed of light. Well, America is. Why? Pretty simple it’s the way they deliver themselves. Technology for starters is everywhere and the Americans embrace it, they share it,they educate you on it,there not shy and there so freaking HAPPY they want the world to know about it.No wonder Forrest Gump was a hit. From Apps to watches,to clothing with sensors its there it’s happening and you want to be apart of it how could you not want to be a part of progress? – as people as individuals we are progress in the making until the day we die. What I enjoyed the most about the American fitness industry was how they embrace people they open their arms to do whatever they can to help you, whether its education or just a chit chat about life,they never make you feel like you’re speaking to a sales person and it doesn’t matter who you’re speaking to they really have a deep care factor – there’s no closing in the conversation,it just ends when it does. Their energy is over the top,innovation is a priority,growth is paramount and they listen,they listen in silence.They’re not superior nor do you feel inferior you’re an equal in an industry where in Australia we fight for survival,to be heard,to be seen to be taken seriously about our passion. Opportunity is big in the U.S for those with passion,creativity and willing to embrace change. But most importantly it’s a country of chance where every person is embraced for what they give.

I’ve been in the industry just on 15 years, I’ve been a club owner for 12 of them. What’s the difference here – a lot! Not so much with technology because reality is the states get it first then we follow but we do miss out and we miss out a lot.Here is an example. I know that as a club owner who has Wexer virtual cycle classes in her club that I’m hanging out for virtual Les Mills classes and hanging out and hanging out. Yet these classes are already up and running in the states. Now I know it’s all about negating the right fee here before we can launch,but come on we need to move on this! Why? Because other group fitness program providers have already done so and clubs can put virtual in their club and run group fitness classes,but not as superior as LM.

LM is retention.

Clubs that already run say 4 LM programs if they then install virtual into their club, they then pay a small licence fee for virtual, they then have access to LM virtual GF. What a great retention tool for clubs. Their members get access 24/7 to their favourite classes and virtual classes will not put instructors out of work,because nothing replaces a live concert! If anything members will get better results due to the flexibility of taking classes…drive that retention people…. Virtual classes should be seen as a secondary up sell in clubs and not a replacement to live concerts.

So what else is different here? Convention workshops – the Aussies seem to worry more about numbers and not about the personalization. I heard a few times over the weekend just passed – speakers opened with, it’s the morning after people in bed, not sure if people would turn up..and thou these words were used in jest the reality is ALL the IMPORTANT people were in the room and those that weren’t there missed out. In the states speakers were more inclined to open with “I love small groups it means we can get more deep and personal” . Could you imagine a group fitness instructor opening a class with “Where is everybody”…..hold on they do! Now I’m not saying our workshops or speakers are no good what I’m saying is there is a difference and it’s a difference we can learn and grow from.Ask yourself why is America 5 years ahead! No matter which part of the world we live in the Fitness industry is the same for the gym consumer they have an agenda and they want to achieve it. Our job as professionals is to be role models for new trainers,instructors and speakers coming up through the industry. Our job is to move over where required and let the new blood in. As I said to a lady today personal trainers and group fitness instructors they want to be inspired by people in the now and people in the present.They want to look up to somebody who has achieved great things and learn from them and know that person is practising everyday what they preach. I found this more evident in America than here in Australia. A few weeks back a friend asked me would I work in the states and you know what if the opportunity came up – YES. I know I have a lot to offer just like many others,I know I can share my knowledge and experiences with others.I don’t need an MBA for that,what I have is NOW, just like so many others out there – don’t give up.

In closing I have learnt a lot from IHRSA and FILEX in 2015 – I applaud the Americans for what they gave me and continue to do so. I look forward to watching the growth of the Australian market.


1. Wexer Virtual programs – great retention tool

2. Fit Tech Council – club owners tool

3. Myzone – affordable consumer tool

4. Netpulse – Who needs a mobile website when you have this

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