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weight


management


WORTH its WEIGHT


Gyms are responding to the need for more holistic weight-loss programmes, and are reporting great results for their members, says Dawn Tuckwell


record in helping people to meet these goals. Not only that, but those with significant amounts of weight to lose typically won’t join a gym. “The number of people who want to lose weight exceeds the number of people who want to join gyms to exercise,” explains Rob Beale, head of sports, health & fitness at David Lloyd Leisure. Nevertheless, as he explains, this simply represents an untapped market: “Targeting weight loss rather than exercise makes sense. It’s just a larger audience to go after.” Yet, as weight loss coach Pete Cohen explains: “Gyms have not traditionally been equipped to help with weight loss. Offering the latest equipment and even devising great programmes isn’t enough. Exercise is only part of the answer – successful programmes need to offer emotional support, a sense of community, as well as nutritional advice and a progressive, varied exercise programme.” A change in thinking was required, and the fitness industry seems to have upped its game accordingly: nearly every major chain now offers some form of weight loss programme, not only featuring structured exercise sessions, but also


A


lthough weight loss is one of the main reasons quoted for joining a gym, health clubs don’t have the best track


emphasising the psychological and emotional aspects of weight loss.


FREEDOM LITE Freedom Lite is an eight-week, small group weight-loss programme consisting of 90-minute weekly sessions. The programme places equal importance on exercise, nutritional, lifestyle and motivational advice. Freedom Lite was developed by Cohen and focuses on behavioural change rather than calorie counting. Debbie Reed, Freedom Leisure group customer service manager, explains: “The secret to the course’s success is tackling all the potential factors that could contribute to carrying extra weight. The course is designed to provide the tools needed to make a change from within, lose the unwanted weight and keep it off.” The first half of each session takes place in a quiet space within the club. In the second half of the session, participants get the chance to participate in a range of group exercise classes – they will try at least five different classes over the duration of the course, including aqua fit, group cycling, aerobics, circuit training and kettlebells. Course leaders receive intensive training from Cohen on how to deliver advice on nutrition, exercise and how to change and break habits, as well as


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