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Category Archives: Health & Fitness News

Health & Fitness Industry News from 4Leisure Recruitment

Do you have what it takes to be a CrossFit trainer?

CrossFit is a brand name for a training method which is high intensity, edgy, and produces results fast. It is a specialist training technique which is sometimes offered in regular health clubs, but more often than not in dedicated CrossFit facilities. CrossFit’s brand is underground and niche, with a small, personal community of hard-core fitness fanatics.

Crossfit instructor

Delivering training using CrossFit requires an in-depth understanding of the high-intensity methods and the safety involved, as well as unusual equipment, such as tractor tyres.

In Health Club Management Magazine there is a debate as to whether CrossFit will ever become a mainstream training method, or indeed, whether it can. Will making CrossFit appeal to the mass-market reduce its appeal to its relatively small but growing number of devotees? You can read the full article here.

We believe that Crossfit is here to stay in its own raw and tough form. Its popularity is rising as more people are realising the benefits of a programme designed for fast results. What we love about health and fitness is the variety of exercise programmes available. There is something to suit everyone, whether they’re exercising to improve their strength, to lose weight, or just to get their heart rate up a couple of times a week. We wouldn’t want to see the end of something good just because someone thinks that it should be done by more people. Not everyone wants to do Zumba!

CrossFit trainers are some of the most dedicated and relentless trainers in the business, and they have to be. The clients want results and fast, and the PTs need to know how to make that happen. CrossFit trainers have attitude and can push themselves, and their clients, to extremes. Have you got what it takes?

We are currently recruiting CrossFit trainers for a fitness company in the Middle-East. If you’ve got what it takes, and you fancy working somewhere a bit (a lot) sunnier, with accommodation, and a tax-free salary, then please get in touch.

For more information on this job, and others in the Middle-East, please click here

4Leisure Secure Outdoor Pool Contract

We’re happy to announce that we’ve just been awarded the contract to staff the Oakham open air swimming facility in Rutland throughout the summer.

We’re recruiting hard for NPLQ qualified Lifeguards in the area so if you’re looking for a fun and unique working environment this summer, get in touch today!

NPLQ courses also now available in the Rutland area at discounted rates. For more info, drop us a line.

Positive talk from DLL after sales goes through

Representatives at David Lloyd have been in a positive mood since the sale of the business to TDR Capital. Despite a drop in value, a strong EBITDA performance has buoyed confidence at the the premium health and racquets operator.

TDR have a good track record in leisure with Stonegate, Centerparcs and Pizzaexpress in their portfolio but industry insiders have speculated that a change at the top is what’s required at DLL to ensure the business stays at the forefront of the leisure industry.

It’s probably come as a relief for many though, that the operator hasn’t been snapped up by one of it’s rivals in an ever shrinking premium marketplace.


Is the quality of Health Club Managers really Dreadful?

Bold statement last week from Liz Terry Editorial Director of Health Club Management Magazine at the Annual Members Choice Health Club Awards, saying that there are too many “dreadful” health club managers running the UK’s clubs.

It won’t come as a great surprise to many industry insiders that the quality across the industry is varied to say the least. But it’s a subjective statement that needs to be clarified. Dreadful in relation to other managers in the industry? Dreadful in comparison to the quality of 5 years ago? Or dreadful when comparing against compatriots from other sectors?

From a recruiters perspective, we’ve found that a higher percentage of GMs that we talk to have lower skill levels and in particular lower levels of competencies around strategic decision making than 5 years ago. But is this indicative of the quality of staff that the leisure industry attracts or a result of a “paint by numbers” formulaic management model employed by so many operators? If people aren’t given the opportunity to make decisions, how do we breed strong decision makers?

It would certainly be an interesting exercise to use qualitative tools provided by companies such as Thomas International and SHL to map the abilities and attributes of GMs over a period of 5 years.

A goal of improving the quality of GMs is fine provided the operators can accommodate their skills and actually let them make decisions about their clubs. But which operators will be brave enough to allow the autonomy?

Fitness First Buoyant about the Future

The hype seems to be building around Fitness First and it has been reinforced by their CEO Andy Cosslett who spoke to the Evening Standard recently and outlined their plans for reinvention and growth.

In particular, it’s great to see someone who hasn’t avoided the issues with reputation and contractual terms and is indicating that they will become more transparent, a trend that is surely welcome news to the general public.

There can be no doubt they have some serious convincing to do with historically poor image perceived by their target market but they’re making all the right noises and we’ve seen some substantial changes in the attitudes, strategies and recruitment already. And with some great people on board, they’re certainly giving themselves every opportunity to pull it off.

Phoenix from the flames? The next 18 months will be key but it will be a remarkable return to glory for a business many had written off.

Read the full interview: Evening Standard

More on this story: Leisure Management

Do meticulous or excessive interview processes deter candidates?

Interviews are getting longer!

With a shortage of highly skilled, highly experienced candidates on the market, you might expect business would be keen to make quick appointments to secure the available talent.

But we’ve seen a trend over the last 12 months, that with some of the more established leisure operators, the interview process is actually becoming longer. Some candidates are even going through five or six stages including interviews, assessment centres and profiling over periods of up to six months.

There is an argument to say that employing a long and meticulous process engages candidates more effectively, gets them bought into the business and ensures that people really want to work for the business. Many operators will say that “if they want to work for us enough, they’ll wait.”

And that works in theory, but does it work when there is such competition for talent? We can talk from experience of candidates who have withdrawn from interview processes at the latter stages because another business has moved faster and made an offer.

Are businesses taking an arrogant approach and burying their heads in the sand? Placing all of your faith in your employer brand is a brave move in this climate.

Or do businesses need to change their recruitment strategy to reflect the current market?

Linkedin Poll

Xercise4less signs major deal with Tesco

Yorkshire-based low-cost gym operator Xercise4Less have signed a major deal with retail giant Tescos.

In a bold move for the gym operator, the deal will see gyms installed in several Tesco’s sites across the country. With a potential membership base on tap, is this the start of a trend of gym and retailer partnerships, or is this something we’ve seen come and go before with JJB?

Slimmed down LA Fitness cuts its losses by £10 million

The accounts filed with Government business records agency Companies House show that LA Fitness managed to reduce its losses by £10 million over the 12 months to October 31, 2012, due to cost cutting and lower debt repayment charges.

However, the private equity owned group did see its turnover tumble 22.8 per cent to £86.6 million.

LA Fitness, which has 80 health and fitness clubs across the country, says its 2013 financial year has got off to a good start.

It says that its membership numbers have risen from 187,879 to 190,967 over the three month period to January 31.

It said: “The group performed credibly in the year despite significant inflationary pressures. The strong performance in January 2013 represents a solid start to the new financial year and augurs well for the rest of it.”

LA Fitness trimmed its overall wage and staff costs by nearly a quarter to £23.6 million.

The firm’s five directors, including founder and chairman Fred Turok, who was among those who carried the Olympic flame last year, saw the combined value of their pay packets fall 24.3 per cent to £633,000.

Source: Sunday Express

US interest in UK market?

We’ve noticed recently that there has been an increased interest in the UK health & fitness market from US companies. It’s not the first time that our trans-Atlantic counterparts have dipped their toes in what should be a lucrative market but their big brands like Golds have had limited success in the past.

However, it was always mooted that the UK market wasn’t quite developed enough for the US offering but with the likes of franchise operators Anytime and Snap Fitness starting to get a foothold here and US firms investing in Pure Gym, does the US feel that the UK market is finally ripe for the picking? It’s fair to say that the UK public are far more educated in the benefits of exercise than 10 years ago and  that has been reflected by the increased uptake of gym memberships.

With major US premium Chain Equinox biting the bullet and testing the murky London water with a single club, maybe the speed at which they decide to follow up with subsequent openings will provide stronger evidence that we should prepare for some considerable US driven activity in the near future?

If nothing else, it’s surely a confidence booster for the sector that it’s attracting significant interest from overseas.

Some of Our Clients