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Business

De- “MIST”ifying Fogging and Spraying

By | Business

The process of “fogging” has been used for years as a solution in remediation and pest control, while the process of disinfecting has been a traditional one of bleach and rag for even longer than that. Over time, technology has advanced in commercial kitchens, food manufacturing facilities and barns, disinfecting with fog and foam-based products that cover all surfaces. And, in the last decade, disinfectant spraying and fogging have both been used as a way to clean spaces such as classrooms and locker rooms, but was limited to who used this. Until this year, when suddenly fogging is a process that nearly EVERY business is now considering.

In the fitness industry right now, there are more challenges then ever to keep spaces clean and disinfected.  Trying to balance how to be time efficient, cost efficient and do the right thing has been forced upon the industry in new ways.

Let’s break fogging down and de-mystify what it is all about by answering some of the most common questions that we get below!

You can also learn more about the difference between cleaning and disinfecting, what dwell time is, and how we can support you with telling your “clean story” to members and clients by watching a pre-recorded webinar

What is Disinfectant Fogging and Spraying?

Disinfectant fogging and spraying is the process of using a piece of equipment (fogger or sprayer) to disperse disinfectant into a specific space. In the case of a fogger, the disinfectant travels through a high-speed vortex and is atomized into a fine mist or “fog”.  In the case of a sprayer, the disinfectant is “charged” as it exits the sprayer so that it attaches and wraps around a surface.

Why would I choose fogging or spraying over elbow grease?

Two words: Time and Efficiency! The solution of good old-fashioned elbow grease works, but this means that every surface in a room needs to be cleaned manually. This is time consuming, allows more room for error (how often do you clean EVERY light switch?), and does not take into account dwell time (the length of time wet disinfectant needs to sit on a surface to actually disinfect it).

With fogging or spraying, once a room has been cleaned (the process of eliminating debris and dirt), the fogger or sprayer will do the work for you! In about a quarter of the time, every nook and cranny of a room will be covered with a layer of disinfectant that will eat all surface bacteria and viruses.

But is it safe?

100%!!! People have been fogging and spraying for a long time, but that does not mean SAFETY shouldn’t be considered when fogging and spraying as there are a few things to take into consideration.  First, what TYPE of disinfectant is being used? Secondly, what PPE makes sense for that disinfectant?

You should also consider the spaces and WHO/WHAT will be in the space. Just because you can pour it into a fogger or sprayer does not mean that you SHOULD! You also need to consider that when you fog/ spray, the disinfectant is changing from a liquid state to an atomized state. This is why we always advise working with experts who understand not only their product, but others as well!

How do I know it works?

Similar to manually disinfecting, when disinfecting with a fogger or sprayer, the best way to know the efficacy of the treatment is to perform tests. This is the same as with manual cleaning. With fogging and spraying, you can assess coverage of disinfectant with testing papers to ensure that all areas have been covered. We have completed swab tests and can demonstrate the efficacy.  The most important part is making sure the surface stays wet for the amount of time the label says it needs to.  Whether fogging or manually cleaning.

Fogging and spraying is a cost-effective way to ensure a COMPLETE and DEEP disinfecting of your space.  Whether you have a service provider complete the work for you or you choose to purchase equipment and disinfectant solutions on your own, Go Fog It can support all your disinfecting needs in one place!

We are super excited to announce your member rewards discount click here to receive 10% off any purchase of Botanical Disinfectant, Fogging or Spraying Equipment, or Training and Certification. Use Discount code: CANFITPRO10

Visit by clicking this link.

 

The Long Road Back

By | Business

By Mario Mavrides

Without question the global pandemic has challenged the way we in the fitness industry conduct business.

The global shutdown of most of our facilities and gyms has necessitated creative approaches to operations as an act of outright survival in most cases. For many gyms, this creativity has indeed helped them make it through to the other side of forced closures, and massive reduction in revenues and reopen their doors to the public.

Unfortunately, far too many facilities were unable to weather the storm, and thus closed their doors permanently.

Yet, for those businesses who remain viable in the face of such adversity, one can glean lessons to help improve and safeguard our businesses for the future.

One such lesson which came to prevalence is the value and importance of professional training. Be it small group, one-on-one, or even remote and virtual sessions, supervised training has again demonstrated its extraordinary value in member retention and revenue generation for many a gym. In fact, there have been multiple reports of as high as 90% of personal training clients returning upon reopening irrespective of age. This number of returning clients is drastically larger than that of general members, which in some cases is down below 30% (potentially lower in the over 50 demographic).

While the numbers above do represent the extremes of those data collected, the differential serves to illustrate the power a strong personal training department can have on mitigating the negative impact the pandemic has had on our industry. That said, make no mistake the benefits of a robust personal training offering go far beyond “disaster proofing” your business. A strong P/T department can help build a vibrant core of members who are focused on fitness, willing to support your business as something other than a simple commodity.

Facilities who managed to modify their practice via implementing alternative service methods to members, showed a clear advantage in client retention. One such remarkably effective approach was the liberal and intelligent use of online resources. Adapting their business to the use of online training tools by operators allowed them to virtually connect with existing members, and clients. This early and consistent connection proved a boon in providing a sense of community, connectivity, and inclusion.  By continuing to offer a relatively uninterrupted exercise experience, training clients who participated in weekly virtual training sessions with coaches were able to maintain forward progress, and more importantly satisfaction in their gym offerings. This satisfaction in turn clearly influenced participating members in their desire and willingness to return to the gym.

With many media outlets currently vociferously proclaiming the death of the gym membership as we know it, it is fair to assume members are leaving gyms in droves. If the various media claims are to be believed, former avid gym-goers have transitioned to home based primarily cardio based workouts provided by their hastily purchased dumbbells, treadmills, and other fitness equipment.

While certainly the scarcity of fitness equipment in the local retail outlets may support this contention, history clearly illustrates there should be a glut on the market of gently used treadmills, bikes and ellipticals in the coming months. Why? For the same reasons as always: Most cardio centric workouts rarely provide enough meaningful or positive changes in body composition, muscular strength, or performance (the three most coveted reasons cited by most gym attendees). Therefore, for the dedicated gymgoer who aren’t necessarily interested in running or cycling for the sake of doing so, the need for a focused, results-based gym experience provided by a professionally guided training plan is invaluable and not likely to be realised at home.

Businesses who have understood the value of personal training as a “member retention” system have historically demonstrated a resilience to the inevitable “peaks and valleys” of operating in an uncertain environment at the best of times. Organizations, who have fostered a culture of a results-based fitness approach within their facilities have benefitted versus those who may espouse a more social or amenities-based value proposition to their member base.

While there is not anything inherently wrong with the aforementioned promotion of your facility as a social hub for members, doing so at the expense of the core offering of “fitness” may lead to some unintended outcomes.

Steam rooms, hot tubs, massage chairs and beds, juice bars, lounges and gathering places can all be wonderful and valuable additions to a gym and may indeed be a boon to member acquisition. However, these are amenities and services which can be provided, and probably to greater effect by other businesses who specialize in such things (i.e. restaurants, bars, and spas for example) and therefore not a core competency of a gym.

This is not to say a gym should not offer such services, in fact many a gym business has enjoyed increased revenue diversification and numbers from doing so. Rather it seems clear the members who prioritize physical progress and change over other “ancillary” offerings, are more likely to venture forward out of their imposed lockdowns and get back to achieving their physical goals at their gyms.

Essentially one can draw a clear correlation between members who have returned and those who place import on achieving their goals. Clearly members who have invested a meaningful amount of time, effort, and money into personal training fall into this latter category and take the pursuit of results seriously. Thus, clients who prioritized fitness goals, and placed value on the relationship developed with their trainers demonstrated a seemingly greater willingness to get back to their gyms, their trainers and ultimately their healthy habits.

About Mario Mavrides

A 25 year veteran of the fitness industry  (with the bumps to prove it) Mario has successfully worked with most of the major players in North America. From business development to certification, education and training Mario has provided support and guidance to thousands of individual trainers, and operators on how to grow and build a strong, vibrant fitness business.

Most recently as an active member of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada and it’s Ontario Coalition, Mario has played a leading role in creating and advocating the #practicesafefitness initiative, a framework developed to help operators provide a safe exercise experience for their members.

Currently based out of the new TapOut Fitness brand’s flagship in Woodbridge, (www.woodbridge.tapoutfitness.com) Ontario, Mario can be reached via email at mmavrides@gmail.com.

canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series: September

By | Business

We hope you continued to enjoy the first-ever canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series. Your continuous support made the September event a success! We hope your experience with us was positive and successful, as we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you from all of us at canfitpro!

Please remember to check your email to fill out a post-event survey to help increase their effectiveness in the future.

Take a look at some of the event highlight photos:

THANK YOU TO OUR WONDERFUL SPONSORS -
WE COULDN'T HAVE DONE THIS WITHOUT ALL OF YOU!

What you missed...

  • Make 6 Figures Teaching Online While You Sleep! With Sadie Nardini
  • WORLD OF DANCE U-Jam House Party With Sheldon McBee & Nikki Snow
  • 10 Proven Principles for Success in Business (And Life) With Sean Greely

What's coming in OCTOBER

OPENING KEYNOTE: THINK Yourself® CONFIDENT: Find Confidence & Clarity to Make Money living Your Purpose
With Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas
Sat. Oct. 17 | 8:30 AM EST

Learn from 8 times No.1 Bestselling Author and Confidence Expert, the key to unlock your full potential.

PROFIT MINDSET & BUSINESS STRATEGY for Studio Owners
With Sean Greely
Sat. Oct. 17 | 1:15 PM EST
.
In this session, you’ll get the tools needed to THINK DIFFERENTLY and win.

KEISER®: RUSH
With Sergio Velasco
Sat. Oct. 17 | 11:45 AM EST

This workshop takes interval training and delivers it in a way that is both challenging and empowering.

 

DID YOU GET A CHANCE TO VISIT OUR SEPTEMBER TRADE SHOW EXHIBITORS?

Cocoon Fitness Pod®

Fitness Industry Council of Canada

Fitness Marketing Group

Functional Movement Systems

Gallagher

Gleevie

GoodLife Fitness

Human Kinetics Canada

Life Fitness

Matrix Fitness Canada

Merrithew™

Mobility Tape

Muscle Activation Techniques®

New Era Grafix

NPE

One Day to Wellness

OptiMYz

Oxygen Yoga & Fitness Inc.

PL3Y Inc.

Pliteq Inc.

POLAR

POUND - Rockout. Workout.

Power WearHouse Inc.

SoulBody Fitness

TELUS

THINK Yourself® ACADEMY

Trainer Plus

TRX

Venus Concept Inc.

VTMN Packs

World of Dance U-Jam Fitness

YogaFit Worldwide Inc.

ZUMBA®

STRONG Nation™

We hope to see you back in October for sessions in French, spin/cycling education and more incredible learning opportunities from world-class presenters.

Register for the October sessions!

Thank you again and hope to see you soon!

 

 

Photo credit: Dawn Bowman Photography

Industry Strong – How COVID-19 can help us be better!

By | Business

By Robert Robinson

We will not soon forget the year 2020.  We started flattening the curve in the spring and social distancing in the summer, what will the Fall bring our way?

Indeed, everyone will have a story to share including the many personal experiences like virtual weddings, funerals, birthdays, and fitness conferences to name a few.  We have all demonstrated admirable resilience and courage to not throw in the towel in the face of adversity.  The Fitness Industry, not exempt, has been mentioned in several media stories including how clubs will reopen and whether members will be reluctant to return to the gym. Recognizing the ripple effect that decisions, by both Fitness Businesses and Fitness Consumers, will ultimately have on the health of the industry, many club owners and operators from across the country started the conversation.

#IndustryStrong

Personally, in the past six months I have attended more virtual roundtables and industry coalition calls than ever before.  The outcome of the global crisis ultimately brought together some of the country’s most influential club owners, operators, and fitness professionals to the table to discuss best practices, shared experiences, and to consult on next steps.

Did COVID-19 actually produce some positive outcomes?  Fascinated by the recent vertical engagement that has emerged in our industry, the true testament will be, what happens when COVID-19 is no longer a common enemy? Will we stay unified as a fitness industry or return to business as usual? For now, let us celebrate the fact that we have consolidated together – because of it.

Thank you COVID-19?

I know, this may be a stretch and even offensive, because of the global impact felt by the pandemic which has directly or indirectly touched us all.  Right here in our industry, many businesses have closed their doors for an extended period, while others have closed for good.  It can be extremely hard to see the good in something that has been so bad!

I am both a Black Fitness Professional and a Professional working in the Fitness Industry.  My unique appreciation for this period in our history is influenced solely by this reality.

The other pandemic (Crisis) = Opportunity

While being industry-strong can lead to club doors reopening, my hope is that it will also lead to the opening of caring hearts that desire to change the demographic and diversity landscape of fitness.

Earlier this year we witnessed the greatest unified global outcry against racial injustice and social unrest ever in our history.  On May 25, 2020, another human life was taken at the hands of carelessness and systemic racism, but this time there were no distractions (no sports, no movies, no concerts, no fun vacations), and the world echoed, “enough is enough”.

This other crisis can actually be our greatest opportunity to be Industry Strong.  It’s easy to react, but instead we chose to respond. We quickly realized that it is not what you say, but what you do that will measure your true commitment to change.  We listened to the feedback of our members and are now imploring the Fitness Industry to join us to be better together!

The following list is only the beginning of our journey to lasting change at canfitpro:

  1. Formed Diversity & Inclusion Committee to champion organization objectives and motivate positive change in our membership base and the fitness community.
  2. Outlined a 12-Month Strategy to identify and address organizational priorities timely.
  3. Launched a Learning Club & Resource Library to promote lifelong learning.
  4. Reviewed our hiring processes to make career opportunities accessible to diverse applicants.
  5. Surveyed members and partners to better understand how best to service everyone equally.

What can you and your organization do to start?

As an industry partner we hope you are starting too.  Many fitness businesses and professionals have admittedly asked, “Where do we start?”  These five things can help you make an immediate impact in your company’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy:

  1. Hiring & Promotion: Take a look at your staff body and if there is an imbalance of racial and gender diversity on your leadership team, then this is a good place to start.
  2. Training & Development: Find an organization that specializes in Diversity & Inclusion and invite them to the table to do a corporate assessment.  You can also start by finding online training resources and initiate a Learning Path starting from the highest level of leadership downward.
  3. Survey: Ask your team how Diversity & Inclusion has impacted them and what they would like to see in the workplace to make it safe and equitable for their career growth.
  4. Management/Leadership: Leadership must lead the change in your organization.  A senior leader and/or mid-level manager must drive the corporate agenda.  If the team leading your Diversity & Inclusion strategy does not include leadership, it will fail fast.
  5. External Representation: Review your marketing materials, websites, communication channels, and product packaging to learn if your organization is victim to unconscious bias.  Your communication channels will tell your audience a lot about you.

You have a tremendous opportunity and influence. The strength of your words has the power to give life a new reality, so say less and do more. Let’s lead fitness and start with the conversation.

The whole is greater than the sum of all its parts. – Unknown

About Robert Robinson

Robert Robinson is the Manager of B2B Sales & Strategic Partnerships at canfitpro and a certified Personal Training Specialist for over 7 years. He led the revision of the current edition of canfitpro’s Personal Training Specialist program and now oversees the B2B Business Unit. Robert is an experienced sales professional with over 15 years in the financial and fitness industry. His personal focus is to enlighten others about making individual and collective choices for positive change.

GoodLife Fitness: Setting the standard for COVID-19 safety

By | Business

By Jason Sheridan, Senior VP of Operations, GoodLife Fitness

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Canada in mid-March, GoodLife Fitness made the difficult but

important decision to close its clubs to prioritize the health and safety of its Associates and Members in a fluid and unknown situation. We joined gyms across the country in experiencing complete upheaval and uncertainty.

It was an extremely tough time for the fitness industry. We all took a huge hit. But as Canada’s largest gym chain, we knew we had to be proactive to find ways to stay connected with and take care of our Associates and Members.

A multi-disciplinary team kicked into action to address immediate problems, and we prepared to start planning how to get back to doing what we do best — giving everyone in Canada the opportunity to live a fit and healthy good life.

Communicating the latest information

At the time, there were so many questions. Information was changing quickly. We established a dedicated section on the GoodLife Fitness website with frequently asked questions about novel coronavirus and its impact on the Clubs. This content was updated regularly to address Associate and Member concerns, as well as evolving health and safety requirements. GoodLife also added a weekly email update to keep Associates informed and connected.

Keeping people safe and #CanadianStrong

With gyms closed, we offered alternate workout options and content to keep people active from the safety of their homes. GoodLife launched its new digital gym #GoodLifeAtHome that gave all Canadians access to a weekly schedule of free workouts, wellness tips and free live classes on GoodLife’s social channels (@GoodLifeFitness).

#GoodLifeAtHome expanded over the subsequent weeks to deliver a variety of live fitness options to a wider audience. Senior leaders with experience in group fitness and team training stepped up to offer daily 30-minute strength, HIIT and functional fitness workouts online. These regular workouts helped many GoodLife Members stay connected, stay active and provided a sense of routine during a time of chaos.

Improving and expanding personal training

The personal training team kept their skills up with a virtual development session called Stronger Together in May. The sessions attracted 500+ personal trainers and fitness professionals to learn from experts in their field about how to deliver great experiences post-lockdown.

As a way to stay in touch with their peers and clients, several GoodLife senior leaders and personal trainers used Instagram Live to post regular interviews with personal training experts sharing their experiences and tips for maintaining mental and physical strength.

GoodLife introduced at-home virtual training, as well as outdoor training options for clients looking for different venues to workout with their personal trainer.  Policies, best practices were revamped to ensure personal trainers were comfortable with this option for their clients.

GoodLife also adapted its GoodLife Personal Training Institute and Base Camp programs to give personal trainers the option to learn virtually with the same standards and expectations

Revamping anything that requires movement analysis and coaching requires a lot of detailed work and practice. The personal training team and trainers in the Clubs have committed hours to ensuring they deliver training with the same high standards clients experienced before the closure.

Setting ‘The GoodLife Standard’

Long before provincial governments gave the green light to reopen gyms, GoodLife consulted experts in infection prevention and control and sanitization to ensure every Club that reopened would align with or exceed the recommendations and standards put forth by all levels of government.

GoodLife developed a comprehensive health and safety plan focused on three main areas: ensuring physical distancing, reducing capacity levels in our Clubs, and enhanced cleaning and sanitization practices. The plan was introduced as The GoodLife Standard, and acted as a guide for reopening Clubs across the country. The GoodLife Standard outlines a clear structure and guidelines for Associates and is intended to help Members understand what to expect when they come back to a GoodLife Club.

We filter every aspect of the business through The GoodLife Standard to ensure it stands up to today’s ever-changing health and safety requirements.  We recognize this is a continual process and we use these principles constantly as we operate our Clubs in this new normal.  For example, as we move into the colder months, we’re considering how changing conditions will affect Members and are preparing our Clubs to be ‘winter ready’ in line with The GoodLife Standard.

Crash testing safety protocols

But we didn’t stop there. GoodLife worked with healthcare design experts Dr. Chris Hicks and Dr. Andrew Petrosoniak of Advanced Performance Healthcare Design to crash test its COVID-19 safety protocols, including The GoodLife Standard. Hicks and Petrosoniak , both ER physicians, used simulation, combined with clinical and behavioural psychology expertise, to create customized solutions for the unique needs of fitness clubs.

Hicks and Petrosoniak completed thorough research on the fitness industry, as well as GoodLife spaces, processes and policies, with a specific focus on the company’s proposed re-opening plans and new operating model.  They tested The GoodLife Standard against real life scenarios using a situational analysis, tabletop and in-club simulations.

Their findings helped us pinpoint and fix confusion points and blind spots, as well as eliminate friction associated with compliance before Clubs opened.

A video of these simulations can be viewed on the GoodLife Fitness YouTube channel.

Reopening in stages

GoodLife worked closely with the provincial governments and regional public health offices to prepare our Clubs to open as safely and as efficiently as possible. We got ourselves ready in every province, so we could open our doors to Members as soon as we had the green light.

The official reopening dates were informed by a number of factors, including:

  • The stage each region was at with their recovery
  • Information and guidelines released by public health authorities
  • The full implementation of The GoodLife Standard

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, was the first GoodLife Fitness club to reopen. It proved to be a good test market since there were minimal COVID cases and there was only one Club in the province. We proceeded to reopen our other Clubs province-by-province as government regulations relaxed. During the reopening process, we learned to be flexible and patient to accommodate unique markets and regional fluctuation of COVID cases.

Communicating with Members

As we reopened, we took steps to make sure Members clearly understood the new normal, including health and safety protocols, cleaning requirements and what to expect during their workouts. We used as many channels as possible: email, social media, and the website. We produced images and videos depicting our processes and what Members can expect.

Of course, there will always be people who haven’t seen the information, so we made sure our Associates were equipped to explain the new protocols and answer questions from Members. Members have been happy to contribute to the cleaning and other preventative measures in our Clubs. Largely, people recognize that everyone’s safety is dependent on each person’s actions.

GoodLife asked its Members to book their workouts in advance using the GoodLife app. Members were able to book one time-block per day but were also allowed to walk in if there was capacity at their Club. These measures have been relaxed in some markets where COVID-19 rates have been lower.

To evaluate the safe-work practices, GoodLife turned to our Members and Associates for feedback. What we’re hearing has been overwhelmingly positive, and Members and Associates feel very comfortable with the protocols we’ve implemented.

Here’s what GoodLife Members said about their experiences shortly after the Clubs reopened:

  • 92% of Members said they feel very safe or somewhat safe in the clubs
  • More than 90% said it’s very easy or somewhat easy to practice proper physical distancing in their club.
  • 89% rated the space in their club as very clean.

We’ve had nearly 5 million check-ins since reopening, and we’re proud of the teamwork, dedication and flexibility of GoodLife Associates and Members. We’re always looking for ways to improve on our protocols, and we continue to consult Dr. Hicks and Dr. Petrosoniak along with government and health unit guidelines to continue making our Clubs as safe as possible.

About Jason Sheridan, Senior Vice President of Operations, GoodLife Fitness

As Senior Vice President of Operations, Jason Sheridan oversees strategy, sales and operations for GoodLife Fitness Clubs across Canada. Through research, innovation and creative thinking, he is constantly developing the company’s culture and practices, ensuring GoodLife’s Members receive the best experience possible and GoodLife’s Associates have fulfilling careers.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Jason has taken the lead on GoodLife’s reopening strategy, ensuring that the health and safety of our Members and Associates is at the forefront of all decision making, and that our Clubs are consistently aligned with the requirements and recommendations from all levels of government and the many local public health units across Canada.

In his 20+ years with GoodLife, Jason has worked in multiple positions, including sales and personal training. He is passionate about coaching people to develop and reach their goals, whether it’s personal fitness goals or a career path. He urges people to make fitness a habit and believes achieving goals comes with passion.

Vendor Spotlight: Thermal Guard

By | Business

What type of business are you? We are a software and technology company.

Tell us about your business Thermal Guard is a leader in temperature screening and entry management.

How long have you been in the industry? We have been manufacturing and technology space for more than 20 years. Thermal Guard was launched with the temperature control system as an add on to our facial recognition and entry management system. Since COVID-19, there has been an urgent need for our solutions, we are supplying schools, hotels, retirement homes, Dental/medical offices, gyms, retail and office establishments throughout the US and Canada.

What attracted you to the fitness industry? The fitness industry is a hands-on and often either sharing equipment or in direct contact with trainers or training partners. Gyms are making their best efforts to prevent any spread of any viruses and with elevated temperatures being a top indicator, the prevention and early detection starts at the point of entry.

What has been your greatest challenge as a business owner/operator and how did you overcome it? Like most of us, in the past 25 years or so we have been through a variety of shifts, but nothing in comparison to navigating through quarantine and the new normal. The world needed solutions and from developing COVID-19 questionnaire to Digital entry management, we answered the call to many of our customers and provided a state-of-the-art solution.

What do you hope your buyers achieve within your product/service? Providing peace of mind and confidence to staff and guests alike.

Tell us your greatest memory/highlight in your career. As a group we have enjoyed many great achievements from design awards to having products featured in Oprah’s favourite things/ the O’List.  But nothing lights us up as much as a 5-star review.

What is the percentage of Canadian business you currently have? We currently have 80 US-based businesses.

How do you plan to grow your Canadian business in the next 12-24 months? Adding on distributors, increased digital advertising and a steady flow of referrals.

Make sure to check out Thermal Guard by visiting their website, or following them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series: August

By | Business

We hope you enjoyed the first-ever canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series. Thank you for making our August event a success! We couldn't have done it without your endless support and we hope your experience with us was positive and successful.

Please remember to check your email to fill out a post-event survey to help increase their effectiveness in the future.

Take a look at some of the event highlight photos:

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors - we couldn't have done this without all of you!

Congratulations to this year's winners!

Sadie Nardini
New Presenter
Dr. Gillian Mandich
Canadian Presenter
Dr. Lee Burton
International Presenter
Kyle Byron
Specialty Presenter
Ruby Smith Diaz
Fitness Professional of the Year:
Personal Training Specialist
Tony Felgueiras
Fitness Professional of the Year:
Fitness Instructor Specialist

Did you get a chance to visit our
August trade show exhibitors?

McMaster University Athletics & Recreation
Town of Milton
Bloor St. Boxing and Fitness
First Class Personal Training
City of Mississauga
Keyano College
Town of Halton Hills
Abilities Centre (Durham)
West Coast Strength & Movement
Hive Muskoka
Credit Valley Golf and Country Club
Physique Womens Fitness
YWCA Hamilton
Fight Fitness Markham
Lifestyles Health & Fitness Studio
Humber College Fitness Centre
Revive Lifestyle Fitness
Rehab Plus Rehabilitation and Fitness

We hope to see you back in September for Mind-Body focused education and more incredible learning opportunities from world-class presenters.

Register for the September sessions!

Thank you again and hope to see you soon!

Photo credit: Dawn Bowman Photography

New reality, new challenges

By | Business

By Daniel Sama

Wednesday June 17th, 2020. 10:30 AM. Our eyes are glued to our television screens.  After 94 days of our gyms being shut down, the government is finally going to announce our reopening.

We are finally going to get confirmation of the protocols that will need to be followed. Our questions will be answered. We will be able to set up a timeline for what needs to be done to get ready in time. Sure, we have been proactive and have already ordered some of the essentials that we know we will be needing: extra towels to sell, spray bottles for sanitizing product, stickers for signage – LOTS of stickers for signage.

We have already gone ahead and redesigned our floor plan – some cardio machines have been turned off to only make one out of every two available, all resistance training equipment has been spaced out to ensure at least two meter distance, benches have been also spaced and bolted down so that distancing can be respected. But is it enough? How much is left to do before we can say we are COVID-ready? This is the press conference we have been waiting for to find out.

It does not take long – two minutes into the press conference to be exact – Minister Isabelle Charest announces that gyms across Quebec will be able to start operating as of the 22nd of June!

Finally, the wait is over! Finally, members will fill up our group classes, dumbbells will be lifted, rowers will be rowed! And it all starts Monday! Wait… Monday? Monday as in this Monday? As “in FOUR days” Monday??!

And thus, the clock started ticking.

The first thing we addressed was getting in touch with our staff. If we were going to get this done – preparing and integrating the new protocols – we needed everyone to be on board. After all, the members of our staff were the ones who are on the front line, offering the service our members come to Gym Fit Forme for. We were quite happy to learn that most of our team members, personal trainers and group class instructors were eager to get back in the gym and do what they do best – help people. Of course, there were some questions, some concerns, but the consensus was the same across our three locations: let’s get back in the gym!

Then we addressed our members. Gym Fit Forme gyms are high-volume, so getting through to everyone is best done through email and social media. The issue with that form of communication is that it leaves a lot of questions up in the air. It leads to replies, and replies need to be answered. Again, at the volume of emails we sent out, that would be a lot of clients to answer.

So, we produced a 3-minute video that we incorporated in those emails and on those social media posts. The video can still be seen as soon as you visit our website – www.gymfitforme.com. By putting the message through video we were able to make it clearer and have less questions to answer.

When the gyms finally opened the thing we were most grateful for was that we made the decision from the beginning to stop processing payments for the period that we would be closed. It was a gutsy decision to make. Not knowing how long we would be shut down for, not having any idea what kind of support our governments would provide our industry,we obviously left ourselves in a vulnerable state. Nevertheless we felt that it was an occasion to show our clients that in time of need, Gym Fit Forme puts its clients first. We definitely did not feel comfortable taking payment from our members when we were not able to provide them with the services they signed up for. Ultimately, it was the right decision.

In terms of public perception, our members appreciated that Gym Fit Forme took this position. Had we continued to take payments over such a long period of time – over three months – our members would most likely have felt that we were taking advantage of an extraordinary situation.

When it came to logistics, freezing payments and memberships saved us a tremendous number of headaches and cancellations. It took a full month before our management teams were finally able to catch up on emails and messages. We can only imagine how this work would have been increased if we had to deal with frustrated members writing us “why are you processing payments?”.

We have now been operating for seven weeks and things are looking good.

In terms of volume, we have lost many memberships to COVID. What is encouraging however is that the feedback has been consistently “goodbye for now”. Our inboxes have been flooded with messages stating that when the situation comes back to normal – or to whatever the new normal will be – most of them are looking forward to coming back.

What has also been very encouraging is the influx of new members. To keep our costs low, we have not invested much in marketing – we decided to focus our resources on offering the best possible service to our current members before focusing on recruiting new members. And yet, in our first 2 months back in business, we have seen an increased number of new memberships in comparison to the same period in 2019.

Our members have spoken, and the message is clear: high volume gyms can still go strong. Offering services – group classes, personal training, small group training – puts faces on our brand and this is where our strength lies when faced with adversity. It is these faces that people trust. The measures we have taken are great in theory but having people who are making sure that members are applying the protocols is what is keeping the environment safe. It is also those faces that our members turn to give us feedback.

Of course, we can never be COVID-proof – no public space can be – but the teams in the different Gym Fit Forme locations have been the reason why the return to the gym has been possible. We have adapted our protocols slightly when we realized certain things were not optimal or did not work. The human contact with our teams is the reason why our gyms will continue to work.

About Gym Fit Forme

With over 20 years in the fitness industry, Gym Fit Forme currently operates 3 locations in Greater Montreal (Rivière-des-Prairies, Laval and Pointe-Claire) and has confirmed the opening of their fourth location (Mascouche) in the winter of 2020-21.
The concept offers large-scale, high quality gyms at low costs. Their tagline – Training That Fits Your Needs – explains their concept: different packages for different services. This allows it to reach all types of members.
Services include Group Classes, Personal Training, Small Group Training, Functional Training, Indoor Cycling. For more information, visit www.gymfitforme.com/en

Les gyms de qualité à bas prix : Apprentissages en temps de crise

By | Business

Nous commencions notre réunion de gestion mensuelle en ce matin du jeudi 12 mars 2020 sans savoir que notre entreprise cesserait temporairement ses opérations trois jours plus tard. Un nouveau sujet était sur les lèvres du comité de gestion : étant donnée l’évolution de la pandémie mondiale de Covid-19, quel est notre plan de contingence et quelles sont les prochaines étapes? Nous avons exploré plusieurs avenues comme augmenter la fréquence de nettoyage, sensibiliser les membres à l’hygiène respiratoire, et modifier les opérations des gyms pour assurer la sécurité de nos membres et employés. Et finalement, comment ça fonctionne si nous devons fermer nos portes temporairement? Autant de questions, autant de réponses inconnues dans un contexte qu’aucun des membres de notre équipe n’a vécu auparavant.

Le dimanche 15 mars à 13h, le premier ministre, en point de presse, annonce la fermeture obligatoire de tous les services non essentiels dont les gyms font partie. Chez Éconofitness, la cellule de crise se met en place pour procéder à l’arrêt temporaire des opérations sans savoir que celui-ci durerait 102 jours.

Le gym à bas prix est un commerce de service qui se consomme sur place. Contrairement aux autres produits de l’industrie de la mise en forme, les attraits du gym à bas prix sont, évidemment, les bas prix, mais aussi la proximité et la qualité des installations. À ces éléments s’appliquent difficilement les solutions typiques du commerce de détail, utilisées pendant la crise, telles que la vente en ligne et la livraison, ou même celles des acteurs traditionnels de l’industrie de la mise en forme comme l’entrainement virtuel. Même si une certaine catégorie de membre d’Éconofitness s’est tournée vers l’entrainement virtuel à un certain moment pendant la crise, il reste que cette solution ne répond pas au même besoin que le gym à bas prix.

2 apprentissages réalisés

Tout défi amène ses apprentissages. Des 102 jours de fermeture des gyms au Québec, nous retenons deux apprentissages :  la solidarité et la capacité d’adaptation.

  1. La solidarité

D’abord, la solidarité de l’ensemble des parties prenantes a été le facteur clé de la réussite. L’absence prolongée de revenus implique qu’autant les actionnaires que les membres, employés, fournisseurs, bailleurs et créanciers doivent travailler à long terme dans une optique de pérennité des entreprises. C’est la volonté de l’ensemble de ces gens de voir l’économie traverser les bouleversements qui a assuré une reprise pérenne.

Voici quelques actions concrètes posées chez Éconofitness :

Membres Plusieurs membres ont choisi de poursuivre leurs paiements pendant la fermeture des gyms en échange d’une remise de temps et d’un mois gratuit en prime. Avec ces prêts, nous avons pu nous procurer l’équipement de protection ainsi que nous approvisionner en fournitures consommables en vue de la désinfection quotidienne.
Employés Si nous avons dû procéder à des centaines de mises à pied temporaires, la majorité de notre équipe est demeurée fidèle et est de retour au travail depuis juin afin de servir les membres. Nous avons énormément de gratitude pour la petite équipe qui est demeurée au travail pendant la crise afin de maintenir les tâches essentielles.
Fournisseurs, Bailleurs et Créanciers Ce groupe a aussi été extraordinaire pendant la crise afin de nous permettre d’avoir les liquidités nécessaires; les entreprises les plus solides ont offert des congés de paiement et, de notre côté, nous nous efforcions de payer les entreprises les plus à risque afin de maintenir en sécurité financière l’ensemble de la chaine.

2. La capacité d’adaptation

Outre l’impossibilité de servir les membres, une difficulté en situation de crise demeure la réorganisation humaine et financière qu’il est nécessaire de mettre en place pour passer à travers une période d’incertitude. Comme nous ne connaissions pas la durée de fermeture des gyms, nous devions mettre en place une structure qui nous permettait de durer dans le temps. Dans le contexte d’un gym à bas prix, un facteur important est le nombre limité de ressources humaines nécessaires aux opérations en comparaison avec les autres catégories de gyms. Dans ce contexte, le mot d’ordre était polyvalence. La petite équipe qui a maintenu le fort pendant la crise devait, en effet, faire preuve de polyvalence en touchant à tout. À bas la structure organisationnelle et les descriptions de tâches! Une cellule de crise travaille en équipe et est polyvalente en travaillant sur une seule mission commune : traverser la crise.

Et le futur?

La catégorie des gyms à bas prix ne semble pas menacée à moyen terme dans la mesure où une gestion stricte est réalisée à court terme. La pression financière est à son apogée avec la réduction des revenus et de la capacité ainsi que l’augmentation des coûts liés aux mesures de sécurité en réponse au Covid-19. Ce fait est véridique dans la catégorie des gyms à bas prix comme pour l’ensemble de l’industrie et même de l’économie canadienne et mondiale.

Il y a un impact majeur de la crise sur le futur de l’industrie et c’est l’accélération des changements.

  1. Les gyms à bas prix vont sortir gagnants.

Le gym à bas prix répond à un besoin de mise à forme, pas cher, à proximité. La reprise graduelle de l’économie et l’impact de la crise sur les finances des ménages canadiens favoriseront le choix du gym à bas prix comme option la plus intéressante pour se mettre en forme sans s’engager dans des dépenses importantes.

  1. Nous connaissons le potentiel de l’entrainement virtuel.

La crise sanitaire nous a appris que l’entrainement virtuel complémente le gym, mais ne le remplace pas. Si une bonne partie de la clientèle s’est contentée du virtuel pendant la fermeture des gyms, elle est de retour au gym et fidèle. Comme dans le télétravail qui a été adopté pendant la fermeture des bureaux, beaucoup sont retournés ou sont prêts à retourner travailler dans leurs lieux physiques.

En conclusion, même si les 102 jours de fermeture complète des gyms au Québec ont été l’un des plus grands défis connus de l’industrie, il reste que nous avons appris et nous avons été solidaires pour assurer la pérennité des entreprises. Il faudra plus qu’un virus pour venir à bout de l’industrie canadienne de la mise en forme.

 

Renaud Beaudry
Vice-président, Éconofitness

Renaud Beaudry est vice-président d’Éconofitness. Son rôle est de superviser les opérations et le développement de la chaine de gym à bas prix qui compte aujourd’hui 70 gyms au Québec.

Visitez econofitness.ca

Les gyms de qualité à bas prix : Apprentissages en temps de crise

By | Business

Nous commencions notre réunion de gestion mensuelle en ce matin du jeudi 12 mars 2020 sans savoir que notre entreprise cesserait temporairement ses opérations trois jours plus tard. Un nouveau sujet était sur les lèvres du comité de gestion : étant donnée l\'évolution de la pandémie mondiale de Covid-19, quel est notre plan de contingence et quelles sont les prochaines étapes? Nous avons exploré plusieurs avenues comme augmenter la fréquence de nettoyage, sensibiliser les membres à l\'hygiène respiratoire, et modifier les opérations des gyms pour assurer la sécurité de nos membres et employés. Et finalement, comment ça fonctionne si nous devons fermer nos portes temporairement? Autant de questions, autant de réponses inconnues dans un contexte qu\'aucun des membres de notre équipe n\'a vécu auparavant.

Le dimanche 15 mars à 13h, le premier ministre, en point de presse, annonce la fermeture obligatoire de tous les services non essentiels dont les gyms font partie. Chez Éconofitness, la cellule de crise se met en place pour procéder à l\'arrêt temporaire des opérations sans savoir que celui-ci durerait 102 jours.

Le gym à bas prix est un commerce de service qui se consomme sur place. Contrairement aux autres produits de l\'industrie de la mise en forme, les attraits du gym à bas prix sont, évidemment, les bas prix, mais aussi la proximité et la qualité des installations. À ces éléments s\'appliquent difficilement les solutions typiques du commerce de détail, utilisées pendant la crise, telles que la vente en ligne et la livraison, ou même celles des acteurs traditionnels de l\'industrie de la mise en forme comme l\'entrainement virtuel. Même si une certaine catégorie de membre d\'Éconofitness s\'est tournée vers l\'entrainement virtuel à un certain moment pendant la crise, il reste que cette solution ne répond pas au même besoin que le gym à bas prix.

2 apprentissages réalisés

Tout défi amène ses apprentissages. Des 102 jours de fermeture des gyms au Québec, nous retenons deux apprentissages :  la solidarité et la capacité d\'adaptation.

  1. La solidarité

D\'abord, la solidarité de l\'ensemble des parties prenantes a été le facteur clé de la réussite. L\'absence prolongée de revenus implique qu\'autant les actionnaires que les membres, employés, fournisseurs, bailleurs et créanciers doivent travailler à long terme dans une optique de pérennité des entreprises. C\'est la volonté de l\'ensemble de ces gens de voir l\'économie traverser les bouleversements qui a assuré une reprise pérenne.

Voici quelques actions concrètes posées chez Éconofitness :

Membres Plusieurs membres ont choisi de poursuivre leurs paiements pendant la fermeture des gyms en échange d\'une remise de temps et d\'un mois gratuit en prime. Avec ces prêts, nous avons pu nous procurer l\'équipement de protection ainsi que nous approvisionner en fournitures consommables en vue de la désinfection quotidienne.
Employés Si nous avons dû procéder à des centaines de mises à pied temporaires, la majorité de notre équipe est demeurée fidèle et est de retour au travail depuis juin afin de servir les membres. Nous avons énormément de gratitude pour la petite équipe qui est demeurée au travail pendant la crise afin de maintenir les tâches essentielles.
Fournisseurs, Bailleurs et Créanciers Ce groupe a aussi été extraordinaire pendant la crise afin de nous permettre d\'avoir les liquidités nécessaires; les entreprises les plus solides ont offert des congés de paiement et, de notre côté, nous nous efforcions de payer les entreprises les plus à risque afin de maintenir en sécurité financière l\'ensemble de la chaine.

2. La capacité d\'adaptation

Outre l\'impossibilité de servir les membres, une difficulté en situation de crise demeure la réorganisation humaine et financière qu\'il est nécessaire de mettre en place pour passer à travers une période d\'incertitude. Comme nous ne connaissions pas la durée de fermeture des gyms, nous devions mettre en place une structure qui nous permettait de durer dans le temps. Dans le contexte d\'un gym à bas prix, un facteur important est le nombre limité de ressources humaines nécessaires aux opérations en comparaison avec les autres catégories de gyms. Dans ce contexte, le mot d\'ordre était polyvalence. La petite équipe qui a maintenu le fort pendant la crise devait, en effet, faire preuve de polyvalence en touchant à tout. À bas la structure organisationnelle et les descriptions de tâches! Une cellule de crise travaille en équipe et est polyvalente en travaillant sur une seule mission commune : traverser la crise.

Et le futur?

La catégorie des gyms à bas prix ne semble pas menacée à moyen terme dans la mesure où une gestion stricte est réalisée à court terme. La pression financière est à son apogée avec la réduction des revenus et de la capacité ainsi que l\'augmentation des coûts liés aux mesures de sécurité en réponse au Covid-19. Ce fait est véridique dans la catégorie des gyms à bas prix comme pour l\'ensemble de l\'industrie et même de l\'économie canadienne et mondiale.

Il y a un impact majeur de la crise sur le futur de l\'industrie et c\'est l\'accélération des changements.

  1. Les gyms à bas prix vont sortir gagnants.

Le gym à bas prix répond à un besoin de mise à forme, pas cher, à proximité. La reprise graduelle de l\'économie et l\'impact de la crise sur les finances des ménages canadiens favoriseront le choix du gym à bas prix comme option la plus intéressante pour se mettre en forme sans s\'engager dans des dépenses importantes.

  1. Nous connaissons le potentiel de l\'entrainement virtuel.

La crise sanitaire nous a appris que l\'entrainement virtuel complémente le gym, mais ne le remplace pas. Si une bonne partie de la clientèle s\'est contentée du virtuel pendant la fermeture des gyms, elle est de retour au gym et fidèle. Comme dans le télétravail qui a été adopté pendant la fermeture des bureaux, beaucoup sont retournés ou sont prêts à retourner travailler dans leurs lieux physiques.

En conclusion, même si les 102 jours de fermeture complète des gyms au Québec ont été l\'un des plus grands défis connus de l\'industrie, il reste que nous avons appris et nous avons été solidaires pour assurer la pérennité des entreprises. Il faudra plus qu\'un virus pour venir à bout de l\'industrie canadienne de la mise en forme.

 

Renaud Beaudry
Vice-président, Éconofitness

Renaud Beaudry est vice-président d\'Éconofitness. Son rôle est de superviser les opérations et le développement de la chaine de gym à bas prix qui compte aujourd\'hui 70 gyms au Québec.

Visitez econofitness.ca