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Out of 170 gyms surveyed, this is the only site where McGown has advised buying more functional equipment, as the site is hitting 60 per cent usage on suspension training straps and 46 per cent use on the punchbags. Dave Cove, CEO at


Dacorum Sports Trust, says staff and layout is the secret to success. “We put the


Sportspace, Hemel Hempstead – Dacorum Sports Trust Around 10 programmed


functional training area at the back of the gym rather than making it a centrepiece, as that can be intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing,” he says. “But it’s the enthusiasm of the staff that’s selling it. The training Matrix delivered on the Absolute Performance kit was excellent, so our staff all buy into it and use it.”


sessions are run each week – called HIIT sessions, or toning sessions, rather than functional training sessions. PT is also at an all-time high. Cove concludes: “It’s


easy to get bored on a treadmill, but with functional training there’s so much to do – it offers a varied workout. However,


I absolutely agree with Rory that it’s a push trend. The industry got excited, but the customers didn’t know what it was. To make functional


training work, you do have to work hard and get instructors enthused. Also get the key members on board, so that they become advocates on your behalf.”


The Lagoon has introduced small group training classes in the functional zone


The Lagoon leisure centre, Paisley – Renfrewshire Leisure


“The GYMetrix study confirmed our thinking that the functional training area at The Lagoon isn’t as popular as we would like,” says Mark Tokeley, leisure operations and development manager for Renfrewshire Leisure. “Members said they weren’t comfortable with the equipment, didn’t know what they should be doing and wanted some guidance and structure.” Interestingly, the functional zone had


enjoyed higher usage when it was fi rst installed: when GYMetrix measured it in August 2012, equipment was used for 84 hours a week, but this had fallen to 51 hours a week in August 2013. So what happened in those 12 months? “Several functional, CrossFit and


conditioning gyms opened in the vicinity of The Lagoon in that time, which may


March 2014 © Cybertrek 2014


Members said they weren’t comfortable with the equipment, didn’t know what they should be doing and wanted some guidance and structure


have attracted some of our members who previously used our zone. We also opened our own £25m new-build site – OnX Linwood – six miles away in March 2013, including a functional zone. There was a huge migration of members, which has now tailed off, but the profi le of The Lagoon is now a little older, and perhaps less confi dent in this style of training.” Nevertheless, small group exercise sessions have been introduced in the


functional zone at The Lagoon to meet members’ expressed need for guidance and structure. These sessions have proved popular, with weekly hours’ usage rising once more. “The success of these classes has


highlighted how functional training zones need to be dynamic and instructor-led to meet members’ desire to learn how to use the kit correctly and which kit to use to reach their goals,” says Tokeley.


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 61


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