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PHI L LI P MILL S


LES MILLS: CHIEF EXECUTIVE


T


echnology can be most useful on the motivational side: making exercise fun and adding a social


aspect, as well as setting goals – which is shown to be motivational for adherence – and mapping progress. You do have to be careful with


technology though, as over- technicalising can remove the enjoyment and the social factor. We’ve experimented with setting up leader boards in cycle studios and people tend to fi nd it interesting once or twice, but it can become a tyranny, taking them away from the right brain enjoyment and into left brain analytical. A Japanese


chain went from 950,000 members to 600,000 not very many years ago because it digitised the workout environment and made it too scientifi c. Operators should incorporate


technology that makes the club interesting, entertaining and social: it’s great to look at YouTube while you’re exercising, for example, and communicate with friends and do email. By using technology to create immersive, highly experiential environments, people can expend a lot of energy without realising it. It becomes fun and addictive. I think virtual will be the next big thing, as it brings something cool to clubs and


“You have to be careful with technology, as over-technicalising can remove the enjoyment and the social factor”


helps the bottom line. It doesn’t make economic sense to employ an instructor for all classes if you’re a 24/7 operator, but if you can fi ll off-peak hours with virtual classes, it’s great for the operator and convenient for members. Lots of suppliers are experimenting with virtual at the moment, so it’s likely that some interesting products will come on-line. Beyond this, I think it’s important


that clubs start to make good use of technology for convenience, such as booking systems. Educational technology, like online links illustrating how to use equipment, is also good because it’s a great form of motivation.


Les Mills’ immersive technology: An experiential workout environment


BRIAN WANG


FITOCRACY: CEO O November/December 2014 © Cybertrek 2014


perators need to adopt technologies that support people outside of the club,


bringing services such as PT to end users via digital and mobile. The traditional health club model is based on


a monthly membership, with clubs then trying to upsell a PT package – but most people can’t afford it. It’s not a great model. Even for those who see PTs once or twice a week, there’s a gap in regards to what’s happening in between, when the PT isn’t in touch with the client. By using the internet for PT, clubs


could eliminate overheads, speak to multiple people and have effi cient interactions: providing a fi tness plan, tracking using an app and motivating between sessions. Unless clubs adopt this type of technology, PTs will move away and clubs will lose business. ●


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 51


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