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SPORTS CONDITIONING


Whether you’re a PT


or a large health club, if someone gets injured


on your watch, you lose them as a customer


in hand, be it running a marathon or regaining strength following an injury,” explains Cole. “We’re not looking at any blueprint of how a body should move – it’s individual. We’re fitting the client to their goal, not the other way round.” PRP involves four main assessments:


gait (walking and running), bilateral and unilateral squatting and shoulder mobility. “This establishes a start point and signposts where we need to investigate further,” says Cole. After the 60-minute screening, clients receive a video report outlining the trainer’s findings and recommendations. They are then encouraged to work with a PT within the club to address any limitations or weaknesses identified. Meanwhile, at 37° – a group of three


health clubs in Surrey and London – a LifeScore screen is free to members (£150 to non-members). This one-to- one assessment, described as a ‘total body-mapping tool’, looks at posture and gait, strength, body composition, nutrition and hydration. You can even opt to pay extra for a DNAfit test, to ensure your diet and training are optimal for your genetic make-up. Independent operators are at the


helm of the prehab trend – typically high-end gyms with specialist staff. But Goulden believes any club could benefit from offering similar services.


“Whether you’re a PT or a large health club, if someone gets injured on your watch, you lose them as a customer,” he says. “It’s in everyone’s interests – the club and the user – to minimise the risk of injuries by introducing initial screening and regularly monitoring exercise performance.”


Nuffield’s Health MOT measures factors related to a client’s overall health


MEMBER SUPPORT Cole and Goulden both have extensive specialist knowledge of movement – including neuroscience and motor learning theory – so are well-positioned to offer in-depth musculoskeletal screening. The average gym instructor, however, isn’t likely to have the necessary level of education or experience. So that means further training, or taking on specialist staff. “Whether these services add value


depends on how well they are delivered,” says Dr Paul Bedford, a specialist in member retention. “Research suggests they can contribute to retention, but unfortunately most operators are not prepared to invest in the training required to make them work.” Goulden agrees, but believes that


trainers and clubs need to take more responsibility for ongoing training and development. “Too often, the approach is ‘I’ve done my training course – now I know everything I need to know’,” he says. To encourage and facilitate learning, Goulden runs regular study groups and courses at Integra, which are open to all health and fitness professionals. Bedford isn’t convinced a significant


number of memberships fall by the wayside due to injury, but believes there’s an issue with discomfort in the early days of exercise. “A high heart rate, profuse sweating and burning muscles signal progress to the experienced exerciser, but to a beginner they can feel more like a medical emergency,” he says.


“Having some guidance and reassurance through that period could be beneficial.” Goulden supports the idea of more ‘hand-holding’ and monitoring early on.


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


“Instead of a bog-standard induction, why not offer a six-week ‘way in to exercise’?” he suggests. “It could focus on really finding out what the client’s needs are and educating them about movement. This would help ease them into exercise and build a stronger relationship between club and client.” Nuffield Health’s Fitness and


Wellbeing Centres are already on the ball with such an offering. All new members get a Health MOT – a clinical assessment of overall health, including blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, aerobic fitness and resting heart rate. But Nuffield’s recently introduced Wellbeing membership option also provides ongoing individual support and monitoring (see also p34). Wellbeing members get four one-


to-one appointments with an expert of their choice – a physiologist, physiotherapist, nutritionist or personal trainer – as well as a free physiotherapy session (which could be used as a pre- exercise musculoskeletal MOT) and four sessions with a health mentor. “Our health mentors are educated by


our Fitness Academy to a significantly higher standard than the average personal trainer,” says Natalie Cornish, the company’s fitness and wellbeing director. “We educate them not only on how to deliver exercise prescription, but also on nutrition, sleep and stress. All of our training is underpinned by effective coaching and understanding of how we can help our members achieve behavioural change.” How has the membership been


received? “The comments have been incredibly positive,” says Cornish. “We


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