Five questions with… Paul McClure, Managing Director, Life Fitness Australia.
Life Fitness is a leading manufacturer of commercial and corporate fitness equipment and the exclusive distributor for Life Fitness and Hammer Strength equipment. In 2017 the company will celebrate its 20th anniversary here in Australia. Starting out with a modest five employees, Life Fitness Australia has grown rapidly to over 100 staff with offices in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, enabling the company to offer the largest portfolio of equipment and product support infrastructure among commercial suppliers.
CM: What piece of Life Fitness equipment do you believe is a must-have for clubs, and why?
PM: In cardio, the hottest unit right now is definitely the Life Fitness PowerMill. The high intensity workout it provides caters for the current trend of short sharp intense cardio workouts.
In strength, the brand Hammer Strength is dominating the market.
We find more and more gym users are looking for clubs with Hammer Strength to train on. In fact the number of Official Hammer Strength training centres has increased threefold over the last 18 months in Australia.
CM: Tell us about the Life Fitness Academy and the role it plays in your client relationships.
PM: Life Fitness Academy is the training arm of our business. Its role is to ensure that once customers purchase Life Fitness or Hammer Strength the managers and trainers are fully equipped with knowledge to help members achieve their goals on our equipment. Look out for the new Life Fitness Academy Web Training Portal to be released very soon for our customers.
CM: Technology has brought about a higher level of member engagement to the gym market. How can facilities position themselves to maximise their business with all this new information?
PM: Fitness facilities require a digital strategy in place in order to maximise the available technology. In my opinion, the trick with technology is to use it to increase the engagement between the club and its members. If technology is being provided by equipment or fitness Apps then you run the risk of losing that connection which makes retention exceedingly difficult. Ideally the technology being provided by equipment or apps needs to be white labelled so members become linked to the club.
CM: Small group training programs are driving results and loyalty in an ever increasing sector of the market. Where does Life Fitness fit into this landscape?
PM: Our customers operate facilities that are integrating small group training spaces often to compete with smaller boutique offerings like F45 or even outdoor boot camps. Obviously they need to free up space within the facility and this often means less actual equipment. Our advice is to free up the required space but also differentiate by including some unique HIIT-style equipment like spin cycles, rowers, grinders, Cybex Sparc trainers and Hammer Strength ground base. Such units also cater very well for the personal training clientele. Life Fitness Australia also provides a full range of high quality accessories and storage solutions.
CM: What can we look forward to seeing from Life Fitness in 2017?
PM: Life Fitness USA has been on an aggressive acquisition strategy over the last two years adding brands such as Cybex, ICG and Scifit to its already expansive product range.
In Australia this provides our customers with a huge range of products to cater to all market segments.
Life Fitness R&D are also preparing for some exciting new product launches for IHRSA 2017.
To speak with a Life Fitness representative in your state call 1800 689 622 or visit www.lifefitness.com.au.
Article written for the What’s New in Fitness Magazine – Summer 2016 Edition.