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Fitness First Australia reveals new approach to fitness

Fitness First Australia reveals new approach to fitness
January 22, 2014

Fitness First Australia has unveiled a transformation of its fitness philosophy, customer service, and clubs, to deliver a better fitness experience for its members.

Aiming to help members "go further", and linking with a $490 million three-year global strategy to upgrade its clubs and customer service (announced last week), Fitness First describes their new approach to fitness as "a 360-degree approach to change, across all aspects of the organisation, from the inside out."

Fitness First Managing Director Pete Manuel said that Fitness First had been listening to members and was pleased to be introducing a number of industry first changes.

Speaking at a launch event yesterday (21st January), Manuel explained "over the past 18-months, we have been listening to our members and using these insights to develop a raft of exciting initiatives to demonstrate that we too, can change for the best and lead by example. Today is just the beginning of a complete transformation, as we redefine the fitness experience for our members and the fitness industry."

A significant part of this redefinition of has already begun with the investment of more than $20 million in the past 12 months, and will continue with a doubling of that investment during 2014 to $40 million across capital expenditure, training and products.

Five Fitness First clubs across Sydney (The Zone in King Street, Market Street, Kings Cross, Darlinghurst and Bondi Junction Platinum) will be first to showcase the new brand.

The new approach also aims to improve customer service, with Manuel stating "a financial investment is just one part of our commitment to making changes for the best across Fitness First.

"We have also invested in raising the bar of customer service and ensuring that we have a team that offers both exceptional service and fitness expertise. We know that machines don't motivate people people motivate people, so we are making a significant investment in developing and training our team to ensure they can help our members to go further.

"We are also pleased to be giving our members access to longer opening hours across our network. We asked our members if they wanted us to open 24/7 and they said no, they simply want us to adjust our hours to open a bit earlier or a bit later in some locations."

From customer service perspective, Fitness Firsts most significant change may well be the introduction of pay-as-you-go membership options where casual users can pre-pay for a certain number of gym sessions. It is also introducing a fitness guarantee, where members who use the gym an average of three times a week have the right to quit at any time.

Mindful that Fitness First has frequently been criticised for its long term contracts and creating obstacles to members quitting their contracts, Manuel explains "we want to be able to increase the flexibility of memberships to members, to help improve their fitness experience.

"We know that locking them in to a contract isn't what helps get them results."

The chain's 'Pay As You Go' membership removes the necessity for a contract and allows members to pre-purchase a number of visits, providing them the flexibility to use their membership as and when it suits them.

Manuel adds "in addition, we're introducing a revolutionary first to the fitness industry our Fitness Guarantee.

"Any member who uses their membership on average three times per week or more, can cancel their membership, even within contract, at any time.

"This is our way of saying to members that if they commit to their fitness, we'll honour their efforts with the ultimate in flexibility."

Other parts of Fitness First’s new approach to fitness, being introduced under the ‘Changing for the Best’ tag include:

• A new brand identity that will see Fitness First’s familiar blue logo replaced with what a Fitness First spokesperson refers to as “a new, vibrant red logo, symbolising, passion, energy and strength”;

• New fitness innovations: new training programs built around the principles of Dynamic Movement Training (DMT), a faster, more effective training philosophy that works every part of the body through three dimensions

• Custom Bio Age: a new scientifically designed fitness test that measures your biological versus actual age and acts as a motivation and behaviour change tool

• Custom Fit: a unique fitness program for every member that scientifically assesses members' 'training personality' and goals in order to establish a personalised program from a range of over 350,000 programs

• Fitness App & iPoint: new motivational technology enabling members to track progress daily, get feedback and connect socially as a fitness community

Manuel concludes "no gym in Australia has gone to this length to support its members' fitness. From the physical transformation of our clubs to our bold new identity, we are making a number of significant changes to help our members to take their health and fitness further.

"To be the best, to be a leader, you can't stand still, you need to embrace change and keep challenging the status quo, and this is what we are doing at Fitness First."

In Australia, Fitness First currently has more than 240,000 members who visit their 78 clubs more than 15 million times a year.

Fitness First's relaunch was the cover feature in the January/February 2014 issue of Australasian Leisure Management. If you don't already receive the magazine, be sure you get your copy by subscribing here. Back issues are also available.

16th January 2014 - FITNESS FIRST TO MOVE BRAND UPMARKET WITH $490 MILLION GLOBAL REVAMP

26th July 2013 - FITNESS FIRST LAUNCHES DYNAMIC MOVEMENT TRAINING CLUB CONCEPT

1st June 2012 - FITNESS FIRST TO SHED 24 AUSTRALIAN CLUBS

10th May 2012 - FORMER INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE TO LEAD FITNESS FIRST 

14th February 2012 - MANAGEMENT CHANGES AT FITNESS FIRST’S UK BASE 

14th September 2011 - MEMBERSHIP, PROFITS FALL AT FITNESS FIRST

16th April 2011 - PETE MANUEL TO HEAD FITNESS FIRST AUSTRALIA  


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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