Port Kennedy Western Australia’s only 24-hour gym, Non Stop Fitness, is set to become one of Australia’s largest gyms, with plans to expand after just 12 months of operation.
With more than 1,900 members and counting, the club would not have had capacity for any more had owners Chad and Amy Francis and Brendan Knowles not made the decision to expand. With their first birthday coinciding with the Western Australian Fitness Industry Conference and the Perth Fitness Show in early October, Non Stop are celebrating a very successful first year of operation.
“Our first year of business has been exceptional, better than we had hoped or expected,” said co-owner Brendan Knowles.
“We’re excited about our plans to expand – we are taking over the three buildings next door to us, which will give us an additional 900 square metres, making the club close to 3,000 square metres!” he said.
Chad, Amy and Brendan have not always been in the fitness industry, despite having a keen interest in keeping fit themselves. Brendan and Chad worked together on oil rigs and husband and wife, Chad and Amy met while both serving in the Australian Navy.
“When we decided to open a gym together, we really wanted to create something different in Port Kennedy. There are a lot of shift workers in our community so it makes sense that we are a 24-hour gym, but we didn’t want that to restrict what we offered and the size of the club,” said Brendan.
The club features endurance, strength and agility classes called ‘The Locker’, personal training, a special program for women, mixed martial arts, group fitness, free weights and machines as well as a supplement store. They also offer a crèche service, and a choreographed kids’ group fitness class called ‘Rad Kids’.
With the expansion, Chad, Amy and Brendan will add a dedicated body building room, a weights room, a juice bar, cardio cinema and a power lifting room, as well as a bigger crèche.
“Our aim was to respond to the demand locally for a 24 hour gym, but remain a full-service gym in terms of our facilities, offerings and customer service,” said Brendan.
“Our gym is big for a 24-hour facility, it’s also staffed for the majority of the time it’s open, as one of us is generally in the gym from 7am til 12midnight. We’ve created an atmosphere that our members say they love, with some fantastic artwork, music and sports channels projected on to big screens, and we’re even looking to screen body building movies in our new body building room!” he said.
The gym will officially open the body building room on the weekend of WAFIC and the Perth Fitness Show, showcasing their new range of Precor strength equipment.
“We’re excited about opening the new weights room, and very pleased with the Precor equipment we have chosen. We have already installed a number of Precor pieces including their Discovery Line plate-loaded and selectorised equipment, as well as benches and free weights, and later on we plan to add a collection of their top-of-range P80 cardio equipment as well,” said Brendan.
“Precor have been instrumental in helping us to set the gym up with their quality equipment, as well as providing service that is just second to none. We installed another brand of equipment when we first opened but found that some of it just didn’t last even beyond a few months of heavy use, so we’re pleased to now be investing in the quality that Precor offers,” he said.
For the next 12 months, the club’s focus will be on their expansion, as well as further their involvement in the local community.
“We’re supporting a young local hockey player and a rugby club as well as sponsoring some of our body builders, but this is definitely an area that we want to do more of as we grow,” said Brendan.
Brendan, Chad and Amy’s tips for others considering opening their own gym:
- Definitely understand your level of risk and what is comfortable for you. We all had to put everything into this business to get it started. We believe being young and in business has been an advantage as we understand the current market and the importance of being ahead of the game.
- Obviously do your research when it comes to suppliers and tradespeople…go and look at equipment, talk to people you may know already in the business, ask around – mistakes will be made but you learn from them.
- Invest in the best, both when it comes to staff and equipment. You may pay more at the outset but in the long run this decision will pay you back many times over. In our case, it was also a huge benefit to go into business as a team – we’ve had each other to share the challenges and the load.
- Try and hire staff who have life experience and not just qualifications. All of our personal trainers are strong in their sporting background and practice what they preach.
Precor is a leading supplier of fitness solutions, with a reputation for quality, excellence and innovation, selling directly to the Australian health and fitness sector since April 2012. In 1995 Precor introduced the world’s first elliptical fitness crosstrainer, changing the face of aerobic exercise. In 2007 Precor replicated this landmark achievement, launching the world’s first Adaptive Motion Trainer (AMT). www.precor.com
Precor is now one of the foremost suppliers of fitness solutions across the globe. With operations in over 80 countries, Precor is ideally positioned to meet the needs of the modern-day fitness business, wherever that might be.
Precor is part of Amer Sports Corporation, which includes other internationally recognised brands such as Wilson, Atomic, Suunto and Salomon. www.amersports.com