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members who come to the club just to Sounding it out The swimming pool while Club V Max is successfully
Spin love it, because they don’t have to has an underwater sound system attracting young families with children.
wait for a class to start any more,” he that keeps members motivated Local competition includes South
says. “But it also makes Spinning more while they do their lengths African chain Planet Fitness, an
accessible to those who’ve never done independent club called The Zone, and
it before, as they can try it in their own Another interesting offering is a number of small personal training and
time without having to go into a class, the Virgin Life Care HealthZone, a mind-body studios – but Jacobson is
which might be a bit intimidating.” fully automated ‘health kiosk’ where confi dent that, as far as multi-purpose
It’s not only in terms of kit that members can undergo a comprehensive facilities go, Virgin Active Claremont
Virgin Active Claremont is pioneering health and fi tness check – heart rate, leads the way. And in the Cape Town
new fi tness trends: group exercise is blood pressure, weight, body mass area generally, Virgin Active has all its
another area where it’s leading the index, body fat percentage and so on. bases covered, with a second site in
way. In addition to the usual range of This information is used to provide Kenilworth, a third in Cape Town proper,
classes, the club has recently introduced personalised exercise and eating plans, a fourth in Constantia and a fi fth –
– a dance-based programme and users also have access to a personal, Waterstone Village – opening this month.
combining Latin moves and international online web page where they can track The group also has a dominant
music for a fun, dynamic workout. Virgin and review their progress. position across South Africa as a whole;
Active has exclusive South African rights An added bonus is that members Planet Fitness, second in terms of size,
to the programme, which was launched who belong to one of the participating has around 20 clubs. Says Jacobson:
in May across the entire portfolio. insurance schemes – Discovery Vitality “There are a lot of niche operations
According to Jacobson, the launch was and Momentum Multiply – can earn opening up, and the industry is getting
so successful that thousands of people reward points simply by accessing more competitive, but we’re certainly
across the country attended a Zumba Virgin Life Care services; achieving set the market leader.” Virgin Active
class in the fi rst three days. goals earns them even more points (see also has a number of new openings in
HCM March 09, p56). the pipeline this year, in spite of the
However, those who still feel recession. “The industry is fairly robust
the need for human, as well as which, combined with our brand and
computerised, support are not reputation, is helping us to survive the
neglected. The Claremont club pressures quite well,” explains Jacobson.
employs a biokineticist specialising Yet despite this position of strength,
in sports rehabilitation, as well as there’s no temptation for the group to
a team of personal trainers. rest on its laurels. “Our mission is to
bring about positive change in people’s
position of strength lives by making it fun to move,” he
Memberships have risen steadily continues. “We constantly evolve our
since the new club opened, with a product to ensure that our members
growth of around 10 per cent enjoy achieving their wellness goals,
since October. The majority of while always staying focused on the
members are currently 18- to actual experience – that’s critical for us.”
36-year-olds – students and
Haven of tranquility The mind-body young professionals – but there is a rhianon howells
studio offers a calm environment growing base of 40- and 50-somethings,
36 Read Health Club Management online july 2009 © cybertrek 2009
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