IHRSA 2018 | Takeaways from Allison Flatley from Allison Flatley Consulting

Allison Flatley IHRSA 2018

Work Hard and Recover!

Two themes prominent at the International Health Racquet Sports Club Association (IHRSA) Convention and Trade Show in San Diego last month were high intensity internal training (HIIT) and recovery.

HIIT was everywhere – the morning exercise classes, trade show floor and educational sessions.  Even the large equipment vendors set up pods of equipment vs. the traditional rows of treadmills, ellipticals and bikes.  The vendors emphasized the low profile of the equipment for easy on and off; fast transitions between equipment.  The equipment with wheels allowed it to move around functional training spaces.  HIIT classes incorporated technology and heart rate solutions to measure output and intensity.

HIIT is not a new concept.  The emergence of CrossFit in the media re-ignited the popularity of HIIT as well as functional training.  As a health educator, my favorite part of HIIT is the social component.  It draws people together in pursuit of a goal.

Many people talk about the risk for injury in HIIT.  Whether it is a valid concern or not, the research is not 100% clear.  What I do see is the emergence of recovery, which may be necessary if you are doing HIIT.

Recovery is a broad term meaning return, regain or restore to a beginning state.  The IHRSA trade show had many recovery tools: HydroMassage® lounges and beds; cryotherapy; relaxation pods; mindfulness stations; foam rollers; vibration therapy; Hyperice; MyoBuddy; NormaTec; TheraGun; infrared saunas; stretching machines; etc.  Club members are demanding services to restore, recover and rejuvenate.

While visiting the HydroMassage® booth, Mike Feeney, EVP of New Evolution Ventures, commented “I think it’s a mistake to build a club without this amenity.”

Leisl Klaebe, Group Exercise Manager at Virgin Active Australia reports that “our 5,500 members are shifting their mindset and embracing Mind Body programs, Yoga, Pilates, Reformer, Meditation and BodyBalance.  We have seen huge growth in our Mind Body class attendance and for the first time Virgin Active has introduced options for members to pay for certain offerings, above and beyond what their club membership includes.  A greater percentage of our members are now getting the benefit of blending high intensity training with Mind Body programs.”

Tim Hipp, Owner of the Recovery Lounge in Gainesville, VA had recently added Cellular HIIT Training with CVAC Systems.  Tim says “as you sit comfortably inside the CVAC Pod, an external vacuum pump adjusts the barometric pressure inside.  Clients who use CVAC regularly, report results that include: increased stamina, improved feeling of alertness and mental acuity, reduction in inflammation and swelling, and improved recovery time after exercise.”

At IHRSA, I moderated a panel discussion, Strategies From Industry Leaders, with Kevin McHugh, COO, Atlantic Club; Cory Brightwell, Co-Founder, Chuze Fitness; Ken Davies, Owner, City Fitness.  All three represent diverse club models, price points and geographic areas.  All three talked about HydroMassage being a driver for premium membership, a destination location in their club for recovery and a solution for member reward and retention.

Clients and members are demanding recovery.  Clubs need recovery services.  Trainers should program recovery into workouts or within programs.  Everyone needs recovery to maximize performance and results, especially if you are doing HIIT.

Allison Flatley has been committed to the health and fitness industry for 30 years. An accomplished leader and experienced club operator, she has started Allison Flatley Consulting to help organizations with their strategy, business growth and client engagement. From 2013 through 2017, Allison served on the IHRSA Board of Directors, as Nominations Committee Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson. For 14 years, Allison shared her industry knowledge and experience as an adjunct professor at American University, teaching the Fundamentals of Health Promotion as part of the Sports Administration graduate program. She currently serves on the Club Solutions Advisory Board and Industry Advisory Council for American Public University Sports and Health Sciences Degree Program.

1 Comment

  1. Gerry Daley on April 16, 2018 at 10:18

    Great article on what I believe will prove to be the current and next “big thing”. As we age and life gets so busy with technology recovery becomes essential. Not just for athletes but for all walks of life.

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