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free
weights
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The days of spit and sawdust
are long gone, but some
operators are re-introducing
more comprehensive weight
training options to their clubs
to meet customer demand.
Guy Brown reports
here has been a marked
T
increase in the number
of operators integrating
weights into more areas
of their clubs, says Jeremy
Navrady, Escape Fitness sales and Delroy McQueen, a competition
marketing manager: “The notion of having powerlifter, says most clubs have
only one free weights area is outdated.” the kit to offer powerlifting
He reels off examples of facilities that
have invested in comprehensive weights
offerings, including: Sheffi eld Hallam
University (see case study p47); Fitness Sports Park, which recently invested Kevin Yates, national health and
First Bedford, which has a dedicated PT in a heavy lifting zone; and The Athlete fi tness manager for Leisure Connection,
zone that’s a fusion of weights with PT Performance Centre in Flintshire, which adds that a growing number of personal
equipment; Wentworth Club, which has “the best functional zone” Navrady trainers are doing fi xed resistance and
has a functional weights area; Gosling has ever seen. cable work, using equipment such as
plate-loaded machines and kettlebells.
He notes a change in philosophy away
y
d
LEISURE CONNECTION – HARPERS STEEL
from fi xed time periods on CV machines
t
u
and towards functional training.
club. “We have to get a lot right in
s
e
s
terms of, for example, education – powerlifting growth
c
a
L
eisure Connection is launching
its Harpers Steel gym brand as
a predominantly (95 per cent) instructors will need an advanced However, in spite of this move towards
resistance-only club. “We’re taking personal trainer qualifi cation – and functional training, and although some
the old bodybuilding gym but making safety, as there will be a lot weight health clubs offer a full weight training
it a more user-friendly facility,” says plates and dumbbells around.” option (see case studies), most are not
Kevin Yates, Leisure Connection’s It has been done successfully yet fully embracing weight training.
national health and fi tness manager. elsewhere. “Gold’s Gym is already Dave Hembrough, a strength and
The gyms will be independent doing similar things in terms of conditioning expert at Sheffi eld Hallam
of existing Harpers facilities. The resistance. We visited Gold’s Gym in University, breaks down weight training
fi rst will be a trial site, due to open Venice Beach, which is regarded as the into three principal forms: weightlifting,
between late April and June this year. Mecca of bodybuilding. It was packed (the clean and snatch and their derivatives
The 929sq m (10,000sq ft) site will with people resistance training. You as you see in Olympic weight lifting
offer 114 stations of plate-loaded have 60- to 70-year-old ladies in there events), strength training (using resistance
resistance equipment, with each area doing seated leg presses, which makes methods like free weights and weight
zoned by body part. There will also you think this is how it should be. The machines, as associated with bodybuilding)
be movement corners, reaction walls, community spirit is a lot better there, and powerlifting (squatting, deadlifting and
basketball and boxing, a DJ booth and too – people are talking and having a bench pressing). Powerlifting in particular
wide range of supplements. great time. Maybe [in the UK health is enjoying unprecedented growth thanks
Yates is not underestimating the club industry] we got lost by selling to increased media coverage, says Mark
challenge of setting up a resistance loads of treadmills and CV.” Norton, president of the British Drug
Free Powerlifting Association.
46 Read Health Club Management online january 2009 © cybertrek 2009
healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital
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