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fi tness testing


SPELLING IT OUT I


n the last issue of Health Club Management, we provided first-hand reviews of the fitness assessments


and subsequent approaches to exercise prescription offered at Nuffield Health and Lifesmart (see HCM Sept 10, p32). This month our attention


turns to Fitness First’s BodyFirst programme, and to the V-Check machine, to see how these two systems approach this fundamental aspect of member management.


FITNESS FIRST Clapham Junction, London – Body First Assessor: Ryan Levin, health and fitness manager


THE ASSESSMENT: The BodyFirst package consists of three sessions: the assessment, a basic programme, and then a ‘PT wow’ session with a view to upselling members to regular personal training. It’s promoted particularly to new joiners, with prices starting at £39.95 (£45.95 at Clapham Junction), and around 60 per cent of new members sign up for the three-stage package.


Using the Bodystat 1500, with


electrode connections to the hand and foot, the tests cover areas such as body fat percentage, fat weight (kilos of fat in the body) and amount of water in the body – all of which are compared to a recommended range – plus metabolic rate at rest and estimated average energy (kcal) needed on a daily basis. There are also tests for members with


specifi c targets: sport, strength, health or shape. Most of these are included in the basic tests, but a few additional measures may be needed subject to your key goals. This is followed by a simple postural


analysis on the gym fl oor – in my case, running on a treadmill and doing squats. This allowed Levin to check my gait and to identify any areas of tightness and/or weakness in my body.


THE PROGRAMME: I didn’t go through the full three-stage BodyFirst package, which meant I wasn’t given a full programme. However, although less in-depth than both the Nuffield and the Lifesmart assessments (covered in part one of this series), I felt the tests – and, more importantly, Levin’s interpretation of the results – gave us a good starting point, and I was confident in his ability to design a programme for me had we proceeded to the full PT session. Based on my results, Levin explained


that his fi rst focus would be nutrition: he’d look at calories needed based on my basal metabolic rate, combined with the amount of exercise I do, and would break that into meals for a clear action plan. In terms of my gait, he immediately


identifi ed a few areas of concern – such as tight calves, quads and hip fl exors – which led to recommendations for foam rolling, as well as prioritising lunges over squats and the Versaclimber over bikes to develop my glutes rather than my quads. He also recommended I visit a podiatrist. When it came to the upper body,


Fitness First’s BodyFirst programme is focused towards personal training 28 Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


Levin explained that: “You quickly spot someone’s weaknesses once you start


october 2010 © cybertrek 2010


In the second of a two-part series, Kate Cracknell looks at how clubs prescribe exercise to their members


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